You’ll start play in your home Nest. This is a safe place for you to raise your beetles in absolute safety from the outside world. Here you will tend to the needs of your beetles with the resources you gathered from doing Tasks in the abandoned lot. Your beetles will need food, beds, toys, socializing, healing and grooming items to make them happy and more efficient in combat and while performing tasks. Happiness has a significant impact on the cost and success rate of many activities. Happiness is determined by a Beetle's lowest Need value, which can be seen on the Beetle Inspector screen (try double-clicking on a Beetle, or Beetle icon).
While in the nest, you can access all the items you’ve collected while doing Tasks and Missions. You don’t control your beetles directly here, you just need to watch them and respond to their requests for items you’ve collected which fulfill their needs. You can do this by removing items from your inventory and placing them on the floor of your nest where your little buddies can gain access to them. You can drag the item out of the inventory, double-click, or hit the Place button. Holding <shift> while placing an item automatically readies another copy of the item to be placed.
All items have a “duration” and a “uses” value; when either reaches 0 from use or elapsed time in the Nest, they’ll be consumed or decay and be of no additional use. A decayed item turns into a trash object that must be swept up.
Watch what your beetles are telling you they need. If you meet these needs, the beetles will regain or maintain happiness. Happy beetles can go on tasks and improve their success odds. Sad beetles can be so sad that they can’t even go on a mission. Sad beetles also require more genetic Goop when you breed them, so try and make your nest a happy place. Just as nature intended! Oh, nature also demands that NO item placed in the nest can be returned to the inventory. Sorry, nature’s dues must be paid, so plan accordingly.
On the left side of the Item Inventory is a details section which displays the name, description and useful information about any item selected. Some items meet more than one type of Need per use. Check this to see if the item is right for your current needs. When you select an item on the Item Inventory, the details show the values for a brand new item of that type. When you select an item already in the nest, the details show the values for that instance as it is being used up and decaying.Nature is watching.
The Item Inventory can be scrolled using the green arrows, by dragging the icons left or right, or with the mouse wheel if the cursor is over the list. If you hold <shift> and use the mouse wheel, the selected item changes. If you select an item in the nest, it is also selected in the Item Inventory. If there are zero items remaining in inventory, a temporary item of that type is inserted.
Like regular item inventory, the beetle inventory has two sections: the scrollable list and details section. However, the details section has a display of any beetle you have selected. Additionally, there are sorting buttons to sort your scrollable list based on a single stat, happiness, Beetle name, attack type, or health. You’ll find some hover help on these buttons and no harm will come to your beetle by sorting by these, have fun. Additionally, this list display will show beetles needs, happiness and tasks status. It will even put a small milk bottle on the portrait if the beetle is still a youngster.
The Beeting Inventory can be scrolled using the green arrows, by dragging the icons left or right, or with the mouse wheel if the cursor is over the list. If you hold <shift> and use the mouse wheel, the selected Beetle changes. If you select a Beetle, the camera will follow it in the nest until you next move the camera manually. If you select a Beetle in the nest, it is also selected in the Beetle Inventory.
Beetles can be gotten from Breeding or from Eggs in your inventory. When beetles are bred or hatched from eggs, they’ll show up in the Nest as a youngster and appear smaller than they will be when they grow up. The young are just like grown beetles, but cost more Goop whenever you use them for Tasks, Missions or Breeding. In fact, they’re downright expensive to use at this point so you need to be very sure you want to use them before they’ve grown up. They are sometimes hard to spot in the nest because they are smaller than any grown beetle by far and can hide behind placed objects. To help a young Beetle grow up, tend to its needs.
In the upper left of the Nest view, is The Plan. It shows a collection of important missions and exploration tasks that you should consider accomplishing. They will lead to genetic progress, and new resources. You will have to think about the best order to attempt them, and how to best prepare.
As you complete tasks and combat missions, you earn Nest Items, Experience Points and Goop. And sometimes Eggs. Experience Points are accumulated and appear in the bottom right of the UI. As you level up, you’ll be rewarded with a few level appropriate items, Experience Points, Goop and some special rewards for you; the first of which provides you with additional slots to store/house your beetles. The second special reward increases the number of beetles you can send into combat in each swarm. (More on Swarms later.)
Goop is the genetic material cost you must pay to Breed your beetles and to clone Swarms for use in Combat Missions. This gets expensive so keep an eye on that number as you experiment. Also, if you have a Beetle who has displeased you for any reason, you may choose to “Juice” them for their modified Goop value. The will of the swarm is yours, so feel free to show them who’s boss. The fact is, your early beetles will not be up to the tasks or missions in future areas and you’ll have to make room for new generations of lot conquerors if you hope to win.