@barikmorlocBingo, that's my thought as well. There will be a main goal and an ending to the game. The main goal is to rebuild society and secure Knox Country from most threats. The ending will be a Megahorde that continuously spawns more and more until you are completely overwhelmed and die. I said previously it should occur randomly after a certain population/time threshold. However, after a few months and many more hours of playing PZ, I think it would need to be player initiated.
My idea is this: a twist on most people's wish to escape to safety, or cure the Knox Flu. You would need to get into contact with the US Military. You would need to go to all the most dangerous places on the map: Fort Knox, the secret research base, the quarantine camp in Louisville and get some special item or make contact with the military itself there. After that you would need to build some complex machines. Perhaps a homing beacon, radio station, etc. Once complete, the military will bring evac helicopters to your location. However, here's the twist. They have thousands of zombies tailing them from wherever they are from. They never land due to this and leave you to deal with the mess they made. Maybe one of the helicopters even crashes, causing even more zombies to alert to your location. This will begin the Megahorde, and you will now be tasked with surviving as long as you can during this event. A secondary meta will form around surviving more and more waves even. This will allow players who are done with their game to take fate into their own hands and have one last hoorah send off for their PC, and showcase all the skills they've maxed out, the weapons, armor, and faction members they've acquired, and the amazing bases they've built up with all the collectibles. All by watching it crash and burn down in a firey blaze of glory. As I said in this thread previously:
This is a totally stupid logical fallacy. PZ is not sUpEr UnIqUe or whatever you are trying to claim here. This isn't Thomas Was Alone, QWOP, or Goat Simulator. It's literally The Sims as a zombie survival game?? By your logic, we shouldn't have crafting in the game because you can do that in Rust. We shouldn't have building since this isn't Minecraft. Take vehicles out of the game because you can drive in Forza. And we definitely shouldn't have guns anymore because, what is this, an FPS?
If you have fun collecting useless pianos, video games, and pool tables for hundreds of hours; that's perfectly fine. But you are basically playing Home Flipper with zombies at that point. Sure, that is actually a pretty fun aspect of the game. I love finding unique tiles, and building up an impenetrable zombie fortress with cool collectibles. Commander's Hobbies is one of my favorite mods to play with for that exact reason! But, the additions in that mod actually have gameplay uses and therefore have an extrinsic value. They haven't even gotten around to adding uses for most of those cool things yet, so they might as well be statues.
Regardless, no one is trying to stop you from playing the way you do and enjoying your time in Knox Country. What we are asking for, is more of a progression to the game that would allow us long-time players to try and push our playthroughs to new levels. It is 100% a fact that NPC Humans and Animals are coming within the next few years. And it has been planned for 10 years that those NPCs will form dynamic, fluid factions unique to each game. So my question to you is, what is your idea for how these factions will interact with the player character? No one is asking for a stationary quest-giver with a big exclamation mark above their head asking you for 10 troll skulls in exchange for XP. However, let's say you are trying to help/join a faction, or if an evil group comes to your door. Would you not be required, by the basic mechanics of the game, to bring them things like food and other supplies?
This is an intended feature in the game, it has been since PZ's inception. I understand you like the game the way it is right now, but nothing about this will take away from what you love about it. You will always have the ability to turn of NPC Humans or Animals in Sandbox, just like you currently can with zombies and do a 'Last Man on Earth' survival playthrough. Coming to the forums (and especially a discussion about how to improve the boring end-game), and saying that we should just play collector with an unfinished game that is missing 90% of it's late-game content is both nonconstructive, and ignorant. Most of us want to play this game for years to come, as we have for the past decade. And whether it's map expansions, vehicles, or new skills; everything they've implemented that adds to the late-game has brought us back (along with new players) in droves.
I am happy that you, a random fan, enjoys this early access game as it is. But nothing would make me happier than seeing TIS get massive critical and commercial success from this baby that they have been raising for a decade now. And that won't happen without a strong player progression full of emergent gameplay that ultimately ends with a sense of satisfaction and finality. This game is like old Minecraft, there is no 'ending.' Survival and player-generated goals are the whole point, and I love that about the game. However, there needs to be a general goal to build towards, or else every playthrough becomes monotonous. I guarantee once the goal of rebuilding society and conquering/securing Knox Country is implemented, it will open up infinite other ways to play the game. It's the reason MP is so much more fun and long-lasting than SP, because you can actually build towards a goal that feels bigger than yourself. It's also the reason Minecraft is the biggest game on Earth. For being nothing more than a "pixel indie game"; it has communities of competitive PVP, speedrunners, pixel artists, builders, and much much more. Project Zomboid could be bigger and more varied than that, with the level of depth everything has. It just needs a goal that you can build towards in a satisfying way while doing whatever other bullshit you wanna work on. The game doesn't have to end, and nobody wants a cure or escape from the apocalypse. Zombies, Raiders, and Nature will always be a challenge. We all just want a moment you can say, "I basically won," and either keep playing to work on smaller goals, or move on to a new save. I really hope to see the day this comes to the game, and see the vast playstyles this amazing indie masterpiece can spawn with an 'ending' of sorts. And guess what, your Collectathon will be one of them along with many more.
I think this could definitely be a fun addition to the game. I agree some might say it breaks the purpose, but with a Sandbox setting this would be easy to change. Plus, the sign could spawn in a place that's easy to miss; or you might just forget to check for the sign before entering the house. Even without considering that, it still isn't that big a deal because car alarms would always be a factor that pose the same threat.
I think it would be easiest to implement this by making it similar to generator spawns. Have the sign randomly spawn on different houses and then flag a certain percentage of those houses to have an alarm based on the settings. Then, potentially add a few more alarmed houses again based off settings. Even better would be to also add a physical alarm control pad to the house so it's possible to 100% determine if the alarm sign is a dummy or if there was none to begin with by looking through windows to try and spot one. A medium-high electrical skill could even disarm it before it goes off, giving a reason to level up Electrical beyond level 5 or 6.
It has to be. I mean, right now, you hop into a car in the middle of summer and it can be 100 degrees in there. Having a working A/C unit in your vehicle is super important if you don't want to get Hyperthermia. No matter how hot it is outside, though, you take one step inside a metal trailer and it's always a comfortable room temperature. It just doesn't make sense unless they purposely made it that way while they have a more realistic indoor heat mechanic on the backburner. Very Hot Sandbox playthroughs are ridiculously easy as well. While Winter and Snow are serious, deadly survival challenges; Summer and Heat Waves are basically minor inconveniences. Most people don't even know Hyperthermia is a thing in the game. I've only ever seen Overheating from being overdressed or forgetting the A/C in the car for a couple minutes.
I imagine when devs eventually get around to adding this into the game, all of these will be factors. I picture A/C units and fans being loud and attracting zombies, forcing you to manage your base's temperature in the summer while balancing the volume level. Alternatively, you could open windows to allow airflow in (wind could play a factor in this since it's already built into the game), but it would obviously allow zombies an easy in for their next dinner. Knowing how in-depth the PZ devs like to go with these kinds of things, I wouldn't be surprised if like light and other electrical devices played a factor. Too hot? Close the curtains and turn off all the lights and the place will start to cool off. Have a bunch of TVs, radios, and fridges running in a tight space? It might just heat up the room even more. Building/wall type would probably play a factor as well. Places like trailers and storage units would probably heat up quickly since they are small rooms with large metal surfaces. Old, wooden buildings and player built bases will probably have natural airflow and wont heat up as much. Big, drafty rooms like the kinds in warehouses and factories would probably stay the coldest. Maybe even body temperature could affect the heat in a space. A bunch of players all sleeping in one room will probably wake up sweaty and overheating.