A survival fan with thousands of hours on survival games and still a desire to chop trees.
Outposts in Icarus
Outposts are a secondary game mode in Icarus more akin to a creative builder mode than the typical mission-based prospects. Outposts are permanent setups that do not wipe. They serve as a way to play around with the game and build extensive or elaborate bases in a way that isn't as practical or as worth it in a normal prospect. They also serve as a good way to experiment with newly unlocked technology should you want to learn how it works prior to having to use it in a timed prospect.
How It Works
Each player has the option to create an outpost at a forest biome. However, purchasers of the supporter's edition of the game have two additional outpost locations to use; a different forest biome with more water and one in the arctic. You can create multiple instances of outposts and select between them should you desire.
Once created, you can drop into your outpost at any point so long as you aren't already in another prospect. However, you can easily just use another character to visit your outpost should you want to. Other people can also join you in visiting your outpost if you want to show off your home or do a little experimentation with tech.
Outposts never expire, and they will regenerate their consumed resources over time or on a fresh load of the map. To clarify, you can clear ore out of a cave and that ore will repopulate over a few in-game days or you can leave and re-enter the outpost. Same goes for trees, brush, food spawns, etc. This makes outposts an exceptionally good place to experience the progression of the game as well as build extensive and robust bases. Furthermore, predators don't spawn as well, so you will not run into wolves, bears, jaguars, etc. You will get storms, but nothing actually threatening. Your biggest risk of dying is simply to fall damage or getting crushed by a tree.
The 3 Different Outposts
While the permanent outpost paradise sounds nice, there are some down sides.
For starters, experience gains are significantly reduced, making outposts a sub-par location to level up. This is somewhat balanced by the fact you can sit at end game tech and do activities more quickly and effectively for more experience. However, it generally seems to be lower even if that's the case.
As of early December 2021, the normal range of fruits and vegetables do not spawn in outposts. For aspiring farmers looking for their favorite corn, pumpkins, etc., you'll unfortunately be disappointed. You're stuck with berries and wheat. This may be an unintentional bug that hopefully gets fixed in the future.
While no predators can be great, that does mean there is less of the game available for you to enjoy. if you really want to wander around your arctic den with polar bear armor on, you're unfortunately out of luck!
Lastly, no currencies. This should be obvious and is only appropriate for balance, but you cannot earn any currencies for your workshop while in the outpost.
Icarus significantly benefits from having outposts. While its mission-based gameplay has a long list of good things about it, the game loses a really meaningful amount of charm and delight without permanent setups, particularly doing so just to make something that looks cool. Outposts offer that to players.
However, the mode does feel a bit too secondary. Instead of a functioning home base, it feels more like an alternate mode or add-on. It has no connection to your progression through the missions or your accrual of exotics. At times, it can even feel like a really deprioritized mode, with a few awkward bugs. Even the experience penalty communicates the mode is not the "real" game which is unfortunate as there are countless hours of things to do at your outpost.
Overall, I feel very positive about it even though I also feel like there is some missed potential.