Thank you for your patience during the long-running Arc and Rift experiments, which have shed light on a number of important design issues and improved the core of the game immensely. The list of Rift-based discoveries is long, but to summarize, we have a better biome map layout, a more balanced birth placement algorithm, a tap-out system to ensure upper-end resource scarcity, a more powerful and intuitive cursing system, and a map system.
It's time to test out these improvements on an infinite map and in a perpetual world, shifting the focus away from community-wide story arcs and back to individual family arcs, happening in parallel. The full reasoning behind this change is described here:
Eves spawn into this boundless world whenever they are needed, when there are too few families or too many babies for the existing mothers to handle. These conditions occur rarely, so a new Eve will be a special event. The privilege of being Eve is granted to a player with a relatively high genetic fitness score. Eves are placed in a zigzag pattern spreading out to the west, which looks like this:
Thus, to find older villages, you can walk to the east, while walking west will take you to the frontier.
Each water well and oil strike taps out ground water and oil in a radius that matches this Eve placement pattern, meaning there can be roughly one water well and one oil well per Eve settlement, though distant resource outposts are possible.
The map has been set to never cull anything, except for during server updates, when areas that haven't been visited in a full seven days are cleared to conserve database space. Thus, in active areas, perpetual road networks are possible.
Things will obviously end up being more spread out than they were in the Rift, so the plane will become useful again. To make the plane more reliable, your destination can now be set by looking at a map immediately before taking off---you will land at the closest available landing strip to the map's destination.
With genetic fitness scores mattering more than ever before, the question becomes: how long can you keep your offspring alive, and what will you have to do in order to keep them alive? The resources in the immediate area surrounding a family's home base will run out. Survival beyond that will require quite a bit of planning and coordination.
The wastefulness of high-value food items has been reduced, because adults now have a large overflow store to accommodate the last food item that made them full. This overflow area starts small and grows along with your stomach size, so young children still have a tense eating game. This also helps to differentiate low-value food like berries from high-value foods like pies. Munching four berries is no longer equivalent to eating a piece of pie, because the pie can fill a larger portion of your overflow store. This graph shows the size of your overflow store, based on your stomach size:
Indoor areas have been buffed by applying a flat time-per-food-pip bonus while indoors. Being indoors makes you burn food much slower, no matter your heating or clothing situation. Mousing over your temperature meter now gives you information about your current food burn rate.
When a well or oil strike taps out neighboring areas, gradient markers are now left to the north and south as well as to the east and west, making finding the well easier.
The kill-spam bug has been fixed. In order to target (or re-target) someone, you must first drop your weapon.