Completing Frostpunk

The following are some notes on completing the Frostpunk game without too much of a hassle. Perhaps, there are many ways to complete the game but the method presented here is a method that focuses on efficiency rather than exploring or enjoying the game features.

Here are some quick observations:

  • During the game the citizens will approach the player on many occasions with choices on crucial matters. In such situations it is important to understand that choosing the option that outright dismisses them is counter-intuitively the safest option (perhaps the best) that strikes the least of losses and least of gains (albeit, being the least suspenseful). For instance: promising the citizens to construct some building where the building is locked by some development tree may take unuseful time to complete. The penalty for not delivering on a promise is shockingly disproportionate to just ignoring the request in the first place. In fact, it seems that the player could run through the entire game and just be dismissive which will yield good results (when strategy players are tamed to think that "doing the right thing" always have beneficial results)!
  • The game lays heavy accent on resource hoarding. No other action yields better long-term results other than stockpiling resources. In fact, the only way to complete the game is to stockpile coal and food / rations. That being said, not all resources are equally important. Here is a rundown of resources by importance:
    • Coal - Coal is the most important resource if the player plans on completing the game. There should be no higher priority other than stockpiling as much coal as possible. The reason for that is that the final game sequence, during a hefty storm, a bunch of buildings just shut down "due to the storm" and will not even work. The only purpose will be to heat up the buildings and resist on rations.
    • Food and rations - stockpiling rations is the second most important action in the game after coal gathering. During the storm, everyone will have to live for days on rations and gathering food by hunters will be disabled.
    • Wood and steel - wood is very important at the very beginning of the game because it allows buildings and roads to be constructed fast. However, after about a week in game terms, steel becomes crucial since all steam-powered buildings, development tree upgrades and building automatas will rely on steel.
  • [Improvisation]: The strategy chosen for the completion of the game (on the third run) consisted in producing as many automatas as possible. The strategy was based on the hypothesis that, during the storm, any building that requires humans will unavoidably lead them to their doom due to the freezing cold. In order to adapt to the situation, heavily relying on automatas had the following benefits:
    • Automatas are able to work day and night without having to overwork humans and thereby avoids the dissatisfaction penalty.
    • Automatas never die or fall ill.
    • Automatas will be able to function perfectly fine regardless of the freezing cold.
    • Buildings that have automatas assigned to them do not need to be heated.
    • [Bonus] Agitator beacons that spew propaganda still grant the bonus to buildings where only automatas work.
    • Automatas can also work medical units.
  • Not all buildings are helpful or worth the resources and time to build. For instance, the Hothouse yields disproportionate returns over time. Gathering food using hunter huts achieves much better results early on in the game and does not require power cores! Many advanced buildings that are to be found at the end of the development tree require power cores and power cores cannot be generated but only found with scouting teams. Similarly, coal thumpers have a regrettably low output compared to an advanced mine over time - in other words, mines are preferred over thumpers.
  • Exploration is disproportionate: there seem to be a fixed number of power cores available in the entire game. Remember that power cores cannot be generated nor harvested like other resources but have to found. The quickest and safest way, particularly if the player wishes to follow the automata strategy is to head east (on the Tesla trail TM) on the map and keep exploring eastward where most of the power cores can be found. West of the settlement only wood, a coal mine and a bunch of settlers can be found which do not lead to any palpable gains.
  • The game is meant to be played as a rush style strategy game due to the onset of the storm killscreen. There is seems to be a perceivable threshold torn between developing or amassing resources and the limited time such that without a speedy development the player can be left behind, crossing the threshold and guaranteeing failure.
  • Expeditions for resources are not worth as much as they are cool. When the storm sets, the player will be blocked from being able to receive resources from satellites and will have to rely on the resources inside the pit. It is a fair idea to mine for coal remotely in order to stockpile but the remote sites will not function during the most crucial part of the game.
  • It is explicitly desirable to attempt and reach the last layer of development on the technology tree in order to be able to build the most advanced resource gathering technologies. For instance, relying on the flotsam scattered inside the pit to provide a stable supply of wood over time is out of the question: it will run out!
  • [Improvisation]: a concentric building style where houses are amassed as close as possible to the generator is preferred over a radial development. The reason therefore is that the generator can benefit from extended range upgrades that will expand the heating area roughly to three squares the size of a House building (in game terms).
  • [Improvisation]: winning the game with 100 settlers is the same as winning the game with 1000 settlers. In other words, stacking, perhaps a limited amount of houses (10 to 15) in a circle around the generator is wholly sufficient. Similarly, and remembering the previous note on being dismissive, rejecting newcommers is a perfectly valid action that will not penalise the player much. Conversely, accepting everyone in the settlement will lead to the obligation to build homes which will, in turn, lead to the need to expand the thermal area (more coal consumption, etc…). This strategy bonds well with the automata strategy - the baseline will be that humans will be spending their time in pubs whilst the robots will be working. "Saving everyone" seems to be irrelevant for the game such that sacrificing scouts to complete the final tasks before the storm do not provide much of a gain towards the completion of the game - the player is neither penalised not exalted much for either choice.
  • [Improvisation]: other guides instruct the player to build Infirmaries because, as it is pointed out, Infirmaries are crucial to the completion of the game. This does not seem true and Infirmaries are expensive in terms of power cores. It seems that, as far as health is concerned, the healing time and amount of patients that can be hosted at the same time is the magic bullet. Several healing houses were used, combined with the automata medical efficiency upgrade and the Overcrowding perk from Adaptation. Furthermore, a power core was granted to the engineer such that automatas were able to work healing houses without the need of humans.
  • The choice between Piety and Order paths is irrelevant as long as the paths provide some convenient means to decrease dissatisfaction and increase hope during an emergency.
  • Due to the game being a time trial, it is advisable to not ferry a scouting team back and forth between a point of interest and the homebase. Instead, use the same scouting team to explore all the points of interest. Scouting teams do have a limit on the load they can carry such that ferrying back and forth just wastes precious time. Bringing a scouting team home because a power core is needed for development is perhaps the only good reason to ever bring a scouting team home. Furthermore, it seems that a single scouting team is really necessary for the completion of the game (worded otherwisely, a single scouting team will fit the time constraint and the necessary resources to complete the game).

fuss/frostpunk.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/20 23:57 by office

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