Slider for reproduction resource progress

Well, I have been playing thrive for a while, and a thing still irks me. Its very basic of the game and very unbalanced.

If you choose to progress automatically to reproduction, the game is very easy and passive. You just need to stand there with enough glucose/ATP and occasionally move slightly to evade an enemy engulfing cell (which are very dumb and not persistent). To summarize, the “you have thrived” on auto reproduction feels entirely undeserved. Hell, you can probably get it by getting a single chloroplast and just migrating in the overworld, you don’t even have to move in the stage.

But, on manual resources, the reproduction takes so long that it becomes boring, frustrating and unfun.

That is, if you set the need for reproduction resources… every single stage takes an eternity! Its not even funny. I guess most people don’t use this, but try to do the tutorial with the auto reproduction resources disabled. From taking like 1/2 minutes it can easily take 5/10 minutes or more. How many moles of chemicals does a single hex organism need for mitosis, jeez.

So, my proposal to fix this is to have a “reproduction resource requisite” slider (or a lower baseline for the one with no auto-progress). The requisite could be set to half or less. This would directly affect the progress bar: If you set the multiplier to x0.5, you would need half as much resources. My proposal would be for this to be possible in the range from 0.1x (10% of default resource requisites) to 10x (ten times more, for hardcore masochists I guess or people who really want to enjoy their current cell design before moving on).

It would, for example, be far less broken than the current available options such as reducing the evolution point costs extremely. Not that I propose replacing that mind you, but anyhow. The multiplier could make this grind far more tolerable while keeping the need and difficulty to find or synthesize the resources yourself.

This is very much based on real experience, But I’m hearing any thoughts on the matter as well. It is my hope that developers can see this… (otherwise I would have to apply to the game designer post for this and other suggestions, which would be a drag given my lack of time)


This is for sessile organism to also grow. Prior to this, sessile organism was unable to obtain phosphate and ammonia.

You can check this out:

The idea of this slider is good, ammonia and phosphate can be divided into two sliders.

I think this shows that the addition of passive reproduction feature has been very successful, when the old way Thrive used to be played is described as a really long grind.

The reason why the option to even disable it exists, is that we wanted to have an option for older Thrive players to be able to get the old experience still. If someone wants to balance this and make changes, I’m fine with that, but I’m kind of guessing nobody is going to prioritize this enough to go through the effort of implementing changes for the “no passive reproduction mode.” I see it as more likely that the passive reproduction mode will be made mandatory if there are too many perceived issues with allowing it to be turned off.

While this could be a good solution to what problem it adresses, I think instead of making microbe gameplay outside of editor skippable, it would be better to make it more fun (unless that won’t be possible)

It can be kept but may be with some sort of disclaimer.

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I don’t think the solution I am proposing is too radical or hard to implement. It is a simple numerical modifier.

I actually like the no passive (active) reproduction mode better than the passive one. This is why I want to improve it. A careful reading of my post shows that, mechanically, the No Passive Reproduction is better since it forces you to move and engage with the game (or pay a price such as adding compound producing organelles). Whereas the passive reproduction mode is not challenging and rewards passive gameplay (such as waiting for your cell to just thermosynthesize or photosynthesize for a long period of player inactivity). In that way, I don’t consider it “a success” in providing a more satisfying gameplay loop - your original design was better IMO.

If a slider seems like overdesigning it, the No Passive Reproduction mode can benefit from having 33-50% the resource requirement or so, when compared to now. A simple numerical adjustment…

That is why it shouldn’t be “a really long grind”. The relatively positive reception of the passive reproduction is not due to the passivity, but in that it actually makes the stages of gameplay 100-200% faster. As the referred complaint shows (“really long”), the length of the process is the problem, not the gameplay element itself.

Deleting the option for active reproduction, in my humble opinion, would be a terrible idea. Conceptually and in gameplay design, its one of the few settings that provides an actual interactive challenge. Others are just variations of “less glucose” such as free glucose cloud or less environment glucose, but the impact of those to fully passive gameplay is marginal while you can just produce free ATP from light or heat while standing still and still reproduce. If anything (and I am definitely not advocating for this), the passive reproduction is the one that should go away (I would be advocating for it at least to not be turned on by default, if the alternative was a fun length and not so dragged out), since it renders so many elements of the core gameplay design superfluous and irrelevant. Auto time reproduce makes it so you don’t really need Phosphate and Ammonia? Why are they even there and displayed in so many places then? Nice colors? As far as I understand it, reproduction progress is the entire reason these chemicals and their clouds were put into the game. I therefore hope this can be considered…


By its own, you are correct, but we have hundreds of similar easy things that are waiting for someone to pick them up and do them:

(that’s link to our entire backlog and bug reports, not just the easy ones)

If you collect ammonia and phosphate you can cut down the reproduction time by more than half. So you can just wait around if you want but if you play well you can progress in the game at twice the speed (and in easy mode with no reproduction speed limit, you can get into the editor within like 10 seconds if you find good resource clouds). Also in early multicellular as the reproduction compound costs go way up (it’s a prototype and not really well balanced), it’s way more useful to collect resources yourself to not have to wait for a really long time.

It can, but like I said before, someone needs to actually program and test balance changes related to this. Otherwise none of this will ever get done.

We have a complete microbe roadmap, which we don’t really accept new items on so that we’ll finish microbe stage at some point: Release Roadmap - Thrive Developer Wiki
If by the time we reach 0.9 and are doing polishing on the microbe stage, and all of the new gameplay features added aren’t enough, then I might consider doing this. But other than that scenario someone else will have to be the one to volunteer time in doing these suggested changes.

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