The Long Dark Roadmap First Impressions


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Hi All. Just my first impressions of the roadmap released with @Raphael van Lierop's April update. So, nothing really substantive here. I'm just stating my first impressions and wondering what others are :)

Before anything else though, the "experimental branch" looks really cool. How do I sign up? Also, I 100% support delaying the game until it's done. I'd rather wait to play something that's finished than rush a game and ruin its potential. Also, whoot, regular sandbox updates are back! There was much rejoicing. Now, onto the first impressions! :)

For simplicity's sake, I'm just listing the things that stood out most to me:

The bad:

  • Cougars - If they behave like they do in real life they'll be silent, unseen hunters. Attacks could feel really arbitrary. If they behave like another predator than wouldn't they just be reskinned wolves?
  • Revolver - As a Canadian, I just don't particularly like handguns. They're not super common here (how would you get one?), our gun culture is very different from the US (why would you feel you need one?) and I don't think they'd add anything to the game. I'd rather see a shotgun or .22LR. Both are more common and are different enough from the rifle to justify their inclusion and, most importantly, have far more utility than a pistol.
  • Non-Map Based Navigation - This may be a misinterpretation on my part but this sounds like a quick travel system. As the game stands, I rather enjoy wandering around in the quiet darkness. Teleportation would slightly ruin that.

The meh:

  • Gunsmithing - If it's just basic repairs (mixing damaged stocks, replacing worn springs, etc.) than that would be really, really cool. I'm far less enthused if this means I can build my own musket
  • Horse - The odds of one being alive are slim (those wolves are super aggressive). Plus, what would you feed it? I'd be concerned about The Long Dark becoming "Horse Simulator 2016"
  • Ammunition Crafting - A really neat feature but unless there's a warehouse full of supplies I don't see this feature having legs
  • VR Experience - I have no intentions of buying VR just to experience the Long Dark
  • Steam Trading Cards - I'd rather art resources be focused on the game

The interesting:

  • Moose - The giant black deer. I wonder how they'll be different from the deer already in the game?
  • Axe - Same as the moose, this could be interesting but will it make the hatchet obsolete?
  • New In Game Fonts - Wonder what they'll be?
  • Backer Naming and Writing Rewards - Need more info please!
  • Mod Support - Intriguing... but what will we be allowed to change?
  • Frostbite Affliction - I wonder how it will be implemented? Is it something you get on the way to hypothermia and how will it impact your character?
  • Aurora - Cool. We finally get to see the phenomenon that brought humanity to its knees.
  • Knowledge System - I wonder how this will expand on the skill system we already have?

The missing:

  • Candles - We love ya and one day we'll have ya
  • Better Blood Drops/Hunting Mechanic - No mention yet
  • Multipurpose or Multi-purposing tools

The awesome:

  • Spring Sandbox - Awesome!
  • Wellbeing - Excellent! Especially since this is something high on my personal wish list!
  • Improved Cooking - Yes! Finally I can make deer meat stew in game (hopefully)
  • Narrative Collectables - Rejoice! My #1 requested feature is being added to the sandbox! :)
  • Improved Fishing - Please be bait and lures, please be bait and lures! :)
  • Sandbox Survivor Personas - OK, this is my #1 request: the end of the blank slate character! :)
  • Full Season Survival and Features to Support It - Yes. Just yes :)

In all, a whole lot of good, interesting and awesome was announced on April 4th :D

 

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If we created gameplay systems based on mis-spellings, this could lead to some interesting new mechanics...

This is actually incorrect.  If/when we're able to provide mod support for the game, we'll do our best to ensure it's robust and well documented. If we can't support it well, we probably won't su

Bring forth the holy hand grenades!  

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We'll share more about the Experimental Branch process soon. 

In general, I'll likely refrain from commenting on any specific Roadmap items, other than to let you know when we've updated the Roadmap. The only thing I'll ask is that nobody jump to conclusions about anything you see there. Don't make us regret posting it. ;)

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Fair enough. It'll be interesting to see how the road map items (and there were a lot!) will be implemented into the game and what final forms they'll take.

Also, thank you very, very, very much for having the goal of a seasonal sandbox. I'm really hoping that will be one of the features that will make it into the final game. Truthfully, and I'm sure many others on the forum will agree, if everything in the roadmap is put into the game than the sandbox can probably be an entirely separate game. It really has taken on a life of its own from a mechanics test bed to a fully realized survival playground.

 

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1 hour ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

We'll share more about the Experimental Branch process soon. 

In general, I'll likely refrain from commenting on any specific Roadmap items, other than to let you know when we've updated the Roadmap. The only thing I'll ask is that nobody jump to conclusions about anything you see there. Don't make us regret posting it. ;)

Ok so I absolutely LOVE the idea of experimental branches but will they be availiable for Xbox users. If not it's okay I'm just asking.

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2 hours ago, cekivi said:

Fair enough. It'll be interesting to see how the road map items (and there were a lot!) will be implemented into the game and what final forms they'll take.

Also, thank you very, very, very much for having the goal of a seasonal sandbox. I'm really hoping that will be one of the features that will make it into the final game. Truthfully, and I'm sure many others on the forum will agree, if everything in the roadmap is put into the game than the sandbox can probably be an entirely separate game. It really has taken on a life of its own from a mechanics test bed to a fully realized survival playground.

 

Seasonal Sandbox is something we'll work towards over time. It's a pretty huge undertaking, and depends on a lot of content that will likely only be built as we continue to create the world needed to support future Story mode expansions. So, this might change your perception of the "final game", as we see the game continuing to expand/evolve over time, with subsequent major releases. In other words, there may not be a "final game" until we get tired of building it. :)

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5 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Seasonal Sandbox is something we'll work towards over time. It's a pretty huge undertaking, and depends on a lot of content that will likely only be built as we continue to create the world needed to support future Story mode expansions. So, this might change your perception of the "final game", as we see the game continuing to expand/evolve over time, with subsequent major releases. In other words, there may not be a "final game" until we get tired of building it. :)

I personally would be more than OK with that :D

 

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11 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Seasonal Sandbox is something we'll work towards over time. It's a pretty huge undertaking, and depends on a lot of content that will likely only be built as we continue to create the world needed to support future Story mode expansions. So, this might change your perception of the "final game", as we see the game continuing to expand/evolve over time, with subsequent major releases. In other words, there may not be a "final game" until we get tired of building it. :)

Then I hope you will never get tired of building it :D Or at least not until all 4 seasons are in ;)

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I'm really looking forward to most of the new roadmap features, but not to every single item or mechanic in particular to be honest. I'm really happy about ca. 70% of them, feel completely indifferent towards 20% and don't really know what to think about the rest yet. I guess that's just normal, everyone will have their favorite features while being rather sceptical about other aspects.

Just to give an example, I personally have a rather hard time to imagine how some of the new items (e.g. a revolver besides rifle & bow or an axe besides the hatchet) could add much to the game for me personally. However, I think it's best to give the team the chance to show us their implementation of these items before we start to complain about them. Maybe some game mechanics will change or things will turn out to be more fun gameplay-wise than we anticipate them to be from today's point of view. We just can't know before we've experienced the whole bundle of upcoming changes at once.:winky:

Most of all I think we should try to get rid of the thought that things will necessarily be as we anticipate them to be (e.g. "Cougars will jump down upon me from a cliff and kill me instantly and there'll be nothing I can do  about it!"). It's pretty likely in my opinion that the Hinterland team found a way to make cougars silent and dangerous predators without turning them into jump-scares or one-hit-ko monsters. And maybe they'll even make revolver shooting so awesome that I'll buy myself a Stetson and turn into a delighted gunslinger. :excited:

We'll all see it once the new sandbox version goes live. Until then, we should probably simply try not to worry about unlaid eggs. :normal:

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2 hours ago, Scyzara said:

We'll all see it once the new sandbox version goes live. Until then, we should probably simply try not to worry about unlaid eggs. :normal:

Well said!

However, if we don't voice our potential concerns than there's no opportunity to address them before releasing the feature into the sandbox :)

I trust Hinterlands. Their updates and commitment to the game have been second to none. That doesn't mean we shouldn't give constructive criticisms and suggestions though. I am concerned about some features in the roadmap. I probably have nothing to worry about but by stating my concerns it gives me an opportunity to (hopefully) influence the implementation of these features so that I will definitely have nothing to worry about. :)

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5 minutes ago, cekivi said:

Well said!

However, if we don't voice our potential concerns than there's no opportunity to address them before releasing the feature into the sandbox :)

I trust Hinterlands. Their updates and commitment to the game have been second to none. That doesn't mean we shouldn't give constructive criticisms and suggestions though. I am concerned about some features in the roadmap. I probably have nothing to worry about but by stating my concerns it gives me an opportunity to (hopefully) influence the implementation of these features so that I will definitely have nothing to worry about. :)

For sure. As we wrote in the Roadmap description, it's a "living list," and not locked in stone by any means. And the team is likely working on things that aren't on that list as well. :)

 

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Just now, Patrick Carlson said:

For sure. As we wrote in the Roadmap description, it's a "living list," and not locked in stone by any means. And the team is likely working on things that aren't on that list as well. :)

 

That's actually one of the more exciting hints in the update. What else is planned for story mode and the final release? I am as eager to see today as I was when I bought the game over a year ago! :D

I'll be honest, there are not too many games in my collection that I have consistently played and gotten enjoyment from. The Long Dark is a member of a very short list :D

 

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22 hours ago, cekivi said:
  • Revolver - As a Canadian, I just don't particularly like handguns. They're not super common here (how would you get one?), our gun culture is very different from the US (why would you feel you need one?) and I don't think they'd add anything to the game. I'd rather see a shotgun or .22LR. Both are more common and are different enough from the rifle to justify their inclusion and, most importantly, have far more utility than a pistol.

 

In regards to the revolver, or any other new firearms introduced into the sandbox, my only request is that they be treated as just another tool in the toolbox and have a useful purpose in the survival routine. There are plenty of games out there that feature lots and lots of exotic firearms for people to play with, I'd rather TLD continue its utilitarian approach to firearms than implement a full blown gun collection.

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2 hours ago, cekivi said:

 

I'll be honest, there are not too many games in my collection that I have consistently played and gotten enjoyment from. The Long Dark is a member of a very short list :D

 

I'm the same with this game.It's my #1 in hours and don't think I will be breaking it anytime soon, just adding hours to it.. I'm over 300 hours now and still not tired of it all be it a little impatient for new content. Now I can't wait for the April update..

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3 minutes ago, TheRealNFK said:

In regards to the revolver, or any other new firearms introduced into the sandbox, my only request is that they be treated as just another tool in the toolbox and have a useful purpose in the survival routine. There are plenty of games out there that feature lots and lots of exotic firearms for people to play with, I'd rather TLD continue its utilitarian approach to firearms than implement a full blown gun collection.

I think it will be more to have something to defend yourself with when a wolf has a hold on your arm.. You can be filling him full of lead with a pistol where as that is a bit tough to do with a rifle. I don't think we will be getting a big supply of fire arms, but I can see a couple "collectables" as it were, like the flare gun.

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30 minutes ago, JoseyWales said:

I think it will be more to have something to defend yourself with when a wolf has a hold on your arm.. You can be filling him full of lead with a pistol where as that is a bit tough to do with a rifle. I don't think we will be getting a big supply of fire arms, but I can see a couple "collectables" as it were, like the flare gun.

Personally I think the knife would still be more effective in a struggle. You don't need to aim with a knife. Only jab repeatedly :)

 

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38 minutes ago, TheRealNFK said:

In regards to the revolver, or any other new firearms introduced into the sandbox, my only request is that they be treated as just another tool in the toolbox and have a useful purpose in the survival routine. There are plenty of games out there that feature lots and lots of exotic firearms for people to play with, I'd rather TLD continue its utilitarian approach to firearms than implement a full blown gun collection.

That is my number two concern with adding a handgun aside from the "Americanization" of the setting. But, like you said, if it is implemented in such a way that it is useful and makes sense within the context of the game than I'll be happy :)

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22 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Unfortunately, there is no way to provide an Experimental Branch on Xbox. :(

Unless you work on your own system for it. Which will take time. I understand. But it's okay if I don't get my experimental branch. As long as I get the story mode sometimes in the near future I am good.

 

*whispers* will we be getting Auroras next update? ;)

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2 hours ago, cekivi said:

That is my number two concern with adding a handgun aside from the "Americanization" of the setting. But, like you said, if it is implemented in such a way that it is useful and makes sense within the context of the game than I'll be happy :)

I must say that having put in so many hours into The Long Dark, and (presumably) knowing something about our approach/philosophy around the game so far, I find this to be a completely shocking statement. "Americanization" of the setting? Please. Ridiculous.

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30 minutes ago, Fuarian said:

Unless you work on your own system for it. Which will take time. I understand. But it's okay if I don't get my experimental branch. As long as I get the story mode sometimes in the near future I am good.

 

*whispers* will we be getting Auroras next update? ;)

I'm not sure if this has been done elsewhere on the Xbox, but the system is quite a bit more closed than Steam and something like this would be non-trivial to say the least! 

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1 minute ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

I must say that having put in so many hours into The Long Dark, and (presumably) knowing something about our approach/philosophy around the game so far, I find this to be a completely shocking statement. "Americanization" of the setting? Please. Ridiculous.

The single most defining characteristic of Canadians: we're not Americans :)

"Americanization" was just my way of saying I don't want the Long Dark to be a first person shooter. Again, Hinterlands has not given any indication of moving in this direction - quite the opposite in fact! Still, my knee jerk response with handguns is usually nope, nope, nope!

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I don't have a problem with guns, myself. Grew up around several of them, both rifles and pistols. Shot a few of them myself, back before the Chinese restaurant got built behind us. 

However I'm with the Canadians -- I'm quite tired of "Americans'" love affair with handguns. They are not the be all and end all of anything, other than lives. 

I have enjoyed only finding a military/hunting rifle (Lee Enfield) in the game which is very similar to the one my Dad had - a bolt-action .22 that he called his "deer rifle," though it is on the small side and kinda lightweight to be shooting deer. I think he called it that because it had a hunting scope on it. I don't miss the revolver at all.

But based on what I've seen so far of the Sandbox, I trust Hinterland to give revolvers the same considered regard they have given their choice of rifle. 

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19 minutes ago, cekivi said:

The single most defining characteristic of Canadians: we're not Americans :)

"Americanization" was just my way of saying I don't want the Long Dark to be a first person shooter. Again, Hinterlands has not given any indication of moving in this direction - quite the opposite in fact! Still, my knee jerk response with handguns is usually nope, nope, nope!

As with anything else in the game, Revolvers would be a tool/resource, particularly useful in specific instances. I'll let you imagine what those instances might be.

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My major highlights:

Improved Cooking - This is huge. Suddenly you have hours of time back, where you're not just boiling water/making meals. A full day can now fit much more activity in it, and that's significant. I'm really interested to see the impacts and balancing elements.

Improved First Person Presence (various) - I'm assuming this is mostly polishing stuff, but making those little flourishes that add to immersion are really important.

New Clothing system - another major balancing element in the game that is getting overhauled. My best guess is you'll see the items on the body in the main UI, and have a sensible way of seeing which items belong on which body part, instead of using the inventory grid, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it interacts with the new afflictions, and what steps have been taken to counteract some of the ridiculous clothing strategies that exist.

Wellbeing system - I'm on the fence about it, but if the decision is to go with this, I'm interested to see the implementation, and play around with how it interacts with other systems in the game. Balancing more needs could get fiddly, but it's completely human to go from fighting to survive each day, to wanting something more from life than just survival.

Improved Infections/Sprains/Frostbite - Hooray for misery! At the moment I turn back for bad weather. Little else is so devastating as to make me abandon my intended plan. Deviate a little, maybe, but nothing is as dire as the weather. Hoping these will begin to impact decision making a lot more.

Not really looking at things in the 6 month plus window. Good to know they're there and on the team's minds, but the stuff I'm more likely to see sooner is the stuff I get most excited over.

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