ICARUS Week 47 Update: New Open World Survival Mode with Selectable Drop Zones for Olympus and Styx

This week, Rocketwerkz has expanded the open map Olympus Outpost into its own game mode, the Open World survival mode. You can choose the drop zone from several options on both the Olympus and Styx maps. This is a significant step toward what fans of the survival sandbox genre have come to expect: persistent saves, unrestricted exploration and building, and challenging survival circumstances.

icarus week 47 update open world mode menu selection screen 1

The new Open World mode can be accessed from the Character screen. Just select your character and choose the Open World option from the new game mode list on the left side of the screen. Like Outposts, you can host multiple Open World sessions per character, and each of your characters can work on the same sessions. The location of each character is saved when you return to the Character Selection screen, and you will resume a session from the last saved position.

Open World sessions differ from Outposts in that there is no peaceful option with no predators or weather dangers. You will encounter the same survival dangers as on any mission (weather, predators, horde mode, regenerating world bosses), and you can choose from the same difficulty levels (easy, medium, and hard). However, like Outposts, you currently cannot mine or extract exotics in Open World Sessions.

icarus week 47 update open world mode select difficulty no peaceful option 1

Unlike Outposts, resources currently do not regenerate in Open World sessions, so it might finally be time to dust off the Deep Ore scanner and mining drills. RocketWerkz is planning on working resource regeneration into Open World sessions. They want it to feel natural, and will continue to monitor and take feedback from the community on this feature as they plan future updates.

icarus week 47 update open world mode map selection olympus styx 1

The original Olympus outpost is no longer available. Instead, you can choose the map you want for your Open World session. For now, this is either Olympus or Styx, and expect this list to be expanded with each new DLC. The smaller Outpost maps are not available for Open World sessions.

Along with the choice of map is the choice of Drop Zone. There are several on each map distributed among the different biomes. The Drop Zone is set by the host when the Open World session is created, and it cannot be changed afterward.

Every character that joins the session will use this Drop Zone, and workshop gear can only be brought down and returned via your Dropship. Because of this, it may be best to choose a Drop Zone near where you plan to build.

When you click on a Drop Zone, a summary appears on the left side of the screen of the local resources availability, environmental conditions, and fauna dangers. Use this to help you choose your Drop Zone and initial loadout. Hover over each of the icons for an explanation of what they mean.

As of now, there are three game modes:

  • Open World: An unrestricted and natural survival experience with persistent saves
  • Missions: Curated and timed survival challenges with unique items and blueprints
  • Outposts: Unlimited resources and an optional peaceful environment setting

The details of each mode are summarized and compared in the table below:

icarus week 47 update open world mode feature mode comparison

According to this week’s update, the next big target for the developers is to push the dedicated server feature (and decentralized data storage) into public testing. Now that the Mount and Open World systems have been deployed, hopefully we hear some concrete details on the rollout of dedicated servers in the next few updates.

RocketWerkz also provided a taste of the new plans for the upcoming DLC maps, specifically the integration of missions into the new Open World system. “We’re designing our next DLC’s map with this in mind (more details coming soon, but check the Future Content in our patch notes for a preview).” There are numerous mentions of a sequence of story missions (at least five) on the upcoming Prometheus DLC map, and there are a couple mentions of a new “Mo’s Cave” asset.

Could this be the start of an ICARUS storyline to accompany the lore scattered throughout the mission briefings, item descriptions, and Sol’s narrations? Hopefully, we’ll get more details in future updates. Let us know what you think of this update in the comments below.

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SurvivalSherpa is an avid gamer spending most of his time at the nexus of the survival, crafting, building, and role playing genres on any platform, especially to test indie titles in EA. AFK, life is about work and education in STEM fields, reading fantasy, and sipping great coffee in the Pacific Northwest.

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1 year ago

they say there are no exotics in open world mode but they have a horde mode. anyone know yet in the open world if you get exotics from the horde mode or not?

1 year ago

What exactly occurs in Open World? Is there any overall goal? Is it like minecraft where you just explore and build? Are you constantly attacked by wildlife (kind of like Zombies mode in CoD)? Just curious if anyone had more insight into it.

1 year ago

Ores in our open world have started to regenerate… This is really not a good gameplay feature, as you might aswell just leave a chest full of ore for the player.

Also, what is the point of the thumper now? You are not going to use it during timed missions, because who is going to do all that work, just to have it deleted after the mission? It faster just to travel to more caves then…

It seems so obvious. But it guess it isnt… Please consider at least creating an option, to turn ore regeneration on/off for open world…