Passive absorption mechanic discussion

I think there was discussion on discord before with no result, so I’d like to bring it here (and this is somehow theoretical too). Technically ‘passive absorption’, actually ‘active transport’, is the process where there is a fixed (or dynamic) proportion of compound in the environment, and you can always absorb a certain amount at any time with an ATP cost. The absorbed compound goes the same way as cloud. So, I’d suggest that:

  1. passive absorption compounds go to compound storage instead of directly into the progress bar,
  2. absorption rate scale with environmental compound amount,
  3. we can add membrane upgrades to control the passive absorption rate and its cost.
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I do believe that this thread: Revamping Compound Clouds

Held the majority of discussions related to passive absorption, though its focus extended to a complete refactoring of how we dealt with compounds as a whole. What was generally settled out of this discussion was that phosphate/ammonia would be dealt with passively, but having every compound be dealt with passively would seriously take away from active gameplay in the cellular stage. Cellular interactions likely won’t be complex enough to have our active gameplay completely foresaw actively pursuing clouds.

Nonetheless, good ideas to bring up with phosphate/ammonia environmental concentrations being influential on absorption rate, and membranes. Right now phosphate and ammonia are obviously flat across environments, but when we eventually want to slightly reduce and vary their availability, that could be a strong incentive for becoming heterotrophic.

I guess I’d be all right with this direction. But the implications should be thought through. The initial goal of passive absorption was to make reproduction a timed progress. Making it so that the timed reproduction progress can be “banked” across generations would go against that design.

Also if all compounds can be passively absorbed, that needs careful balancing because basically the gameplay loop we have is going around hoovering up colourful clouds and then getting to the editor for a bit and then again going looking for clouds. So removing the main gameplay loop (or what makes Thrive very different from other games), is not something I can recommend doing lightly.

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