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djb204

Random & Unpredictable Animal Pathing

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After playing for a while, the game starts feeling mechanical and predictable with the current animal pathing system. For example:

While I'm hunting... If I see an animal in a familiar area, I know the route it's going to take. So I run to where it's going to be.... EASY KILL. There is no stalking or tracking the animal needed anymore. In the event that I miss a shot, or simply injure the animal, its no big deal... because the animal returns to the same path if was on when I shot at it just moments later. In reality, Deer for example would be long gone and won't return to that area for a while. Especially if it was wounded in that area. After a little while, players learn this mechanical and predictable pathing system, and the immersion starts to fade. Bears could be here, wolves could there, etc. Running into predators should be a shocking and terrifying experience. It shouldn't be like, "I knew that would happen" kinda thing. It's still in alpha though... finger crossed.

Edited by djb204

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I woke up in the morning, ate some breakfast and had plans to go check my snares, but as soon as I stepped outside my cabin there was a huge grizzly sniffing around, so I turned around and headed back inside and said "forget the rabbits, I ain't that hungry". - That's the type of experiences we need. Unpredictable and shocking.

Edited by djb204
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IRL, animals do follow paths and such. And real hunters learn where animals tend to hang out, and where they tend to move when threatened. So as far as I am concerned, the way the animals are set up in this game is pretty satisfactory.

The unpredictable spawn points from game to game is what makes starting a new game so much fun! Not every spawn point is going to produce a bear, and wolves aren't going to spawn at every single point (though it may seem that way!). I love learning their patrols and figuring out the best way to move around the map with minimal risk. That is part of the huge appeal of this game for me - well, this and NO ZOMBIES!! :side-eye:

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13 hours ago, djb204 said:

After playing for a while, the game starts feeling mechanical and predictable with the current animal pathing system. For example:

While I'm hunting... If I see an animal in a familiar area, I know the route it's going to take. So I run to where it's going to be.... EASY KILL. There is no stalking or tracking the animal needed anymore.

 

2 hours ago, hauteecolerider said:

IRL, animals do follow paths and such. And real hunters learn where animals tend to hang out, and where they tend to move when threatened. So as far as I am concerned, the way the animals are set up in this game is pretty satisfactory.

Have to say I agree more with djb204. Yes, animals have habits, and follow familiar paths; but in TLD these paths are just a bit too limited. They're too predictable, and it does start to feel gamey once you've been in an area for a week or two. Animal pathing doesn't need to be revolutionised in the game, but a bit of expansion of their routes and a bit more randomness would be great.

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14 hours ago, djb204 said:

In the event that I miss a shot, or simply injure the animal, its no big deal... because the animal returns to the same path if was on when I shot at it just moments later.  In reality, Deer for example would be long gone and won't return to that area for a while. Especially if it was wounded in that area.

Not sure what exactly you're talking about. Do you often observe that wounded deer don't flee properly but stop running away after a short period of time and return to the area where they were shot?

I've never observed something along these lines with deer, just a few times with bears and wolves. Wounded predators seem to be rather unable to cope with players changing between safe and unsafe areas (e.g. on the porch vs. in front of the porch). If you shoot bears from in front of the porch initially, but step onto the porch a second afterwards, they don't start to run away (= reaction when you shoot them from the porch in the first place) but rather completely ignore you. They continue to walk around as if they had never been shot. You also don't see blood drops even though the bears are definitely bleeding out and die eventually.

I think it would be nice if the predator AI could be improved a little to trigger flight behavior (or some other reaction than completely ignoring their wounds^^) whenever they can't reach the player. Can't say much about the deer AI, unfortunately. I usually either have them killed by wolves or instantly kill them with a headshot myself, but the few times when I wounded them they ran away as intended and finally collapsed far away from where I shot them.

Edited by Scyzara

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Trappers cabin for example. I step outside and see an animal coming over ridge by the downed tree. Predictable it's gonna walk half was down the hill, turn slightly to its left, and hug the shack as it leaves through the pass on the right. This is rediculously TOO PREDICTABLE. At least add a little bit of randomness where not every single step the animal takes is obvious. It's a guarantee where the animal is headed once you see it. In real life, hunting is nothing like this. I hunt too up here in Canada.

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The developers are right in making the animals have a pattern of following the same path and staying at the same "Hangouts", though I believe there should be some deviation. If you injure an animal on a certain path it shouldn't keep using the same path until it dies.

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Never seen animals returning to same path after being injured. They can run on the other side of the map, given right conditions and then hang out there. Had more that enough wounded wolves lost and then corpses accidentally found, when i was already on a different task.

Altho sometimes their behavior is rather erratic, so they run back and forth in same area, which is extremely weird. But they never go back to where they started. I once wounded a bear on one side of DP, who then run around like crazy for good 15 minutes, till he calmed down on the opposite side of the map. 

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I bit of thread necromancy here.

I think occasional "surprise" wolves might be worthwhile at harder difficulties. Leave the normal patrols, but there is a small chance of a new wolf appearing in an atypical location or path. Not enough to be unplayable, just enough to keep you on your toes and a little nervous.

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Old thread here, but better bring it up again than starting a new one with the same topic.

I am a fan of unpredictable animal encounters as well, but beware: That would fundamentally change the game. Especially on Interloper, your survival depends on knowledge - knowledge of the maps, where shelter and loot are found, and where certain animals are likely to roam about. Encountering the sudden wolf or bear would quickly end a run. That's not for everyone to enjoy (I would enjoy it though). I would also suspect that Hinterland tested different degrees of randomness and found less randomness better suited, at least for the majority of players. I was talking about this topic in other threads again recently, as I think that in earlier versions, we had more randomness, even with specific roaming areas for animals. This was due to animal roaming areas overlapping more than nowadays (at least I presume so), and you would have more freak wolves pursuing rabbits or deer randomly across the maps. Sometimes a deer or rabbit would come running towards you over the next crest all of a sudden, and you already knew that a wolf would come right behind it and change prey as soon as it sees you. Such overlapping areas still exist (for example, on Deer Clearing (TWM) or at the wing (also TWM)), but my impression is they have become less numerous.

I could imagine a game in which wolf, deer, bear and moose appearances are completely random, in which these animals roam widely over the maps and are rarely seen. To hunt, one would have to search for tracks, and then follow these tracks upwind. Animals would be very alert and flee at the slightest sign of danger. It would require a lot of tracking and sneaking to hunt them, and a change in weather could always get in the way. In some cases, wolves or a bear might be very hungry and instead of fleeing decide to follow the player, or even try to ambush or pack-hunt him/her. And then there should be an occasional hunting time for wolves, in which it would be dangerous to go out. This could be advented by wolves howling, or even by a message displayed to the player ("A wolf pack starts to hunt! Better find some shelter!"). And then a pack would be released onto the map and would start searching for prey. The player would then be well off to have a shelter with sufficient food and water to wait this out.

Also, I could imagine deer carcasses to appear at random and be eaten by other animals. So the player would have to get up early in the morning, find a carcass and cut off his/her share before other predators claim theirs. There would be confrontations over carcasses which would require the player to use valuable resources (flare, warning shot etc.) to stave off the competition for long enough to get some stuff off the carcass.

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