Arioch wrote:We have some ideas for playable factions that have more unusual environmental requirements. We're trying to be as creative with them (both from a lore and gameplay standpoint) as we can.
I think a plausible "lithovore" race that lived on airless worlds would need to have an incredibly slow metabolism (there's not a lot of chemical energy in rocks), which is why we have the Wrem as a minor race... I have the feeling that this would not be a very fun mechanism for a playable faction. Being exclusively limited to Barren worlds would actually be a significant disadvantage, I think, with our current planet generation ratios, and so that would be a double-whammy.
Perhaps a photosynthetic race might make more sense, but it still begs the question of how chemical interactions of the degree required for the evolution of a vigorous, intelligent lifeform can happen in a dry, airless environment.
A mineral being that evolved on a molten inferno world solves that problem, but then you have a problem of being even more limited in available planets... so I think they would need some kind of early access to terraforming methods to create Inferno worlds. But then you essentially have the Mycon from Star Control.
Perhaps the creatures get energy from nuclear or radioactive processes? Since most radioactive metals are going to be valuable, this explains why they need to consume metal to survive -- its not structural metal like steel or aluminum but its valuable stuff everyone wants. Surely there is plenty of energy density in a living nuclear reactor? They don't need air, or even sunlight. If you accept my "allergic to water" theory, they could use arid, desert, and maybe glacier planets, but not ocean or iceball or island, and maybe not garden or gaia or swamp planets. Why allergic to water? Heck if I know -- rusting seems kind of implausible, but perhaps water poisons their natural nuclear reactions somehow.
Edit: ok, how does this sound -- their bodies use deuterium as a neutron moderator, and being exposed to water causes their bodies to uptake hydrogen and replace the deuterium with it. Hydrogen is a far less effective moderator, and too much in their tissues causes their energy level to drop until they die. Think of it like carbon monoxide poisoning in humans.