What do you think about the stalker difficulty.  

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I didn't answer the poll because I feel it's poorly designed.  The choices are designed to tell Hinterland how to "fix" their game.  Instead, why not tell them what's wrong or missing in Stalker mode

I only play Voyageur, so I'm probably going to get hellfire rained down upon me for daring to voice my opinion on this decidedly controversial topic, nevertheless. If I was to increase the diffic

I'm an experienced player who eventually found Stalker easy enough... but I don't play on it, because it's the mode that feels the most "video game-y". Pilgrim and Voyager are more immersive experi

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I dont wannt Stalker to be harder, i wannt it to be different. I wannt a challenge, instead i get annoyance. My current game is on Voyager, even tho its easier, its far better balanced and far more enjoyable - its nowhere near to as hard as id like, but its far less irritating.

Id like stronger predators, but it dont wannt wolves to be every step of the way. I wannt bears being a real threat unless player is well prepared, but i completely despise parasites. I wannt more stuff(because i love scavenging, and finding nothing  80% of the time kills all the fun), but loot would be of lower quality. I wannt harsher weather and id like snow shelter to be properly balanced. Etc.

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I've voted for another difficulty beyond Stalker for a simple reason: Some people enjoy the current Stalker difficulty level while others (like me) very much long for a tremendously more challenging experience.

If HL simply made Stalker significantly harder (and I truely mean multiple times more challenging and unforgiving as I for one would love the game to be), a considerable amount of the current Stalker players might not be able to survive (or rather enjoy the process of survival) any more and either switch to Voyageur or get upset and quit playing. Hence I very much support a fourth difficulty mode.

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3 hours ago, Dirmagnos said:

I dont wannt Stalker to be harder, i wannt it to be different. I wannt a challenge, instead i get annoyance. My current game is on Voyager, even tho its easier, its far better balanced and far more enjoyable - its nowhere near to as hard as id like, but its far less irritating.

Id like stronger predators, but it dont wannt wolves to be every step of the way. I wannt bears being a real threat unless player is well prepared, but i completely despise parasites. I wannt more stuff(because i love scavenging, and finding nothing  80% of the time kills all the fun), but loot would be of lower quality. I wannt harsher weather and id like snow shelter to be properly balanced. Etc.

I played voyage for a while. But when the difficulty was not enough I decided to switch to stalker.

the difference for me was 

  • you can't save yourself from freezing with just a few sticks
  • wolfs are a threat now
Edited by Rifleman
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Any chance that you can add "Stalker should be more challenging" to your poll @Rifleman? I'm with @Dirmagnos on this one: stalker should be more challenging but it doesn't need to be harder. For instance, voyager 5 days in is roughly the same as stalker 10-15 days in. Once you've got the minimum required equipment and a rough idea of the geography of each region stalker (except for the more annoying wolves) doesn't play much different from voyager. Harder implies making stalker more punishing (e.g. more wolves) which I don't think is the correct response. Stalker should be more challenging by targeting the mid to late game (weather and animal scarcity) as opposed to continuing to front load all of the difficulty. It would also make for a more interesting experience. :winky:
 

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I honestly don't recognise the wolf danger in Stalker. I just avoid them. I don't go near them. I don't even see them that often. Yeah, there are more of them than in Voyageur, but they're in groups: you find one, you find a bunch and you avoid all of them at once. If they are where you want to go, then you go somewhere else or you take a different route or you change your plans for that day.

The difficulty jump from Voyageur comes entirely from the difference in the way fire warms you up, and that's a welcome change once you get used to it - it feels more believable.

Is there less loot on Stalker? It doesn't feel like it - there's still more than you need. If, like me, you spent many many hours on Voyageur before moving to Stalker, then you know how to survive (again, getting used to the fire-warming aside) and you know where to find the stuff you need. I enjoy the part of a new playthrough the most before I've found knife or hatchet, because it presents a different experience, forces you to think ahead more and plan. (And collect sticks.) I'm almost disappointed when I find my first tools because then I'm into the same old routine; but I'm not going to leave them behind just for the sake of it, because that would feel artificial.

For me, it's about management of time: time as a resource. Difficulty or challenge comes from having more basic tasks to fulfil for your survival needs than you have time (or energy/sleep resource status) to do them in. That's when the game becomes difficult or challenging, when you're on the edge and you're forced into prioritising that you need to do next rather than what you want to do next.

Edited by Pillock
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4 hours ago, Rifleman said:

I played voyage for a while. But when the difficulty was not enough I decided to switch to stalker.

the difference for me was 

  • you can't save yourself from freezing with just a few sticks
  • wolfs are a threat now

I havent really noticed serious differences in firemaking between Stalker and Voyager. And on Stalker there is just like 3 times amount of wolves, yet they are still on difficulty level of Voyager. I can outrun or avoid them 99% of the time, but the fact that i have to deal with it constantly annoys me greatly, its like final fantasy games on that matter - at some point those "random encounters" start to get really annoying, even tho i have no problems dealing with them,i just dont wannt to.

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i wasnt sure how to vote on this. i, by no means, want stalker to be harder. and i wouldnt prefer a difficulty harder than stalker.
however, i do believe stalker on its own is fine as is. so thats where my vote lies
BUT. i would like the next experience mode to be "realistic"
basically stalker mode, but with a few minor changes. these changes would include, but are not limited to:
longer lasting, more common blizzards. blizzards in pleasant valley should be just as common as blizzards in mystery lake. youre still in the same general area.
less loot in lived-in areas, such as coastal highway. in a panic, everyone would be looting, packing, and stealing as much supplies as possible. you certainly wouldnt walk into an abandoned house and find a whole cabinet stocked with canned food, unless by a very rare chance, the owner isnt around anymore and no one has found it yet.
no forge. thats right. its not realistic for an average joe to be an expert at metalworking. unless you just wanna imagine your survivor was a blacksmith before the event.
fires begin warming you up instantly. in stalker, you have to match the heat output of your fire to the outside temperature. this is not the case in real life, however.
no parasites. or, at least a reduced chance of them the higher your cooking level becomes. in real life, if you cook your meat thoroughly, there is no chance of parasites. i can see my survivor contracting them from a hunk of "rare" venison steak, but i personally prefer my meat well done.
slower meat degradation rates. the current degradation rates are completely unrealistic. in real life, you would be able to freeze or smoke your meat to better preserve it.
less of an appetite. a single full-sized adult deer will feed a family of 5 for several months. please, someone explain to me why our survivor can go through an entire deer in just a few days?
slower working medicine. because, cmon. a couple of antibiotics wont have you back at 100% the next day if youre deathly ill. and a couple painkillers will not instantly heal your sprained ankle.

im not adding any mechanics to the game. im simply taking the ones that are already there, and modifying them to fit in more realistically. and i think "realistic mode" should be a thing for us. this is the list i have compiled, please, if you have any other ideas to make current mechanics more realistic, let me know! :)

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Just as a sidenote: The term 'punishing' does (imo) not mean that the amount of wolves should be increased or anything.  Punishing means that poor decisions of yours get punished by severe injuries or death. In regard to wolves a 'poor decision' might e.g. be to fight them barehanded or at low condition. We have multiple ways in the game to get rid of them without a fight (flares, torches, decoys, building a campfire with accelerant, heck even outrunning them or climbing a rock or tree stump works.) Failing to use ANY of these techniques is also a poor decision (or at least a sign of severe unpreparedness unless you've just started a new game a few minutes ago.)

That being said I'm all for more punishing wolves (i.e. wolves that do more damage than currently so they can actually kill you), but I'm not for MORE wolves at all. Indeed I would very much welcome reduced wolf numbers if that makes the game more enjoyable for others. For me personally the numbers don't matter much, it's the quality that counts imo. :winky:

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7 hours ago, Boston123 said:

The level of "discrimination" around this poll is disgusting.

Do Pilgrim and Voyaguer players have nothing to contribute? Can we not add anything to the discussion?

Jesus.

I'm not hating on pilgrim and voyager players. It's just that the poll is for people that have a lot of experience with stalker.

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5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

longer lasting, more common blizzards. blizzards in pleasant valley should be just as common as blizzards in mystery lake. youre still in the same general area.

Oh god this. I want Whiteout not to be an optional challenge but an actual threat within the game. Would need adjustment for cabin fever tho.

5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

less loot in lived-in areas, such as coastal highway. in a panic, everyone would be looting, packing, and stealing as much supplies as possible. you certainly wouldnt walk into an abandoned house and find a whole cabinet stocked with canned food, unless by a very rare chance, the owner isnt around anymore and no one has found it yet.

You're right on one hand, but you'd be surprised how much people miss in a panic and how nonsensical looting can get.

5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

no forge. thats right. its not realistic for an average joe to be an expert at metalworking. unless you just wanna imagine your survivor was a blacksmith before the event.

Yeah, this.

5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

fires begin warming you up instantly. in stalker, you have to match the heat output of your fire to the outside temperature. this is not the case in real life, however.

To add to that, watch how hot you get and try not to go out sweaty ;)

5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

no parasites. or, at least a reduced chance of them the higher your cooking level becomes. in real life, if you cook your meat thoroughly, there is no chance of parasites. i can see my survivor contracting them from a hunk of "rare" venison steak, but i personally prefer my meat well done.

Yeah, the parasites right now are plain unrealistic. They're an okay way to balance gameplay, but in no way a realistic or well-done one, and I do hope they're just a placeholder for something else. Seriously, they're the only thing where I say "Hinterland, you dun goofed" >_>

5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

slower meat degradation rates. the current degradation rates are completely unrealistic. in real life, you would be able to freeze or smoke your meat to better preserve it.

The fact that this doesn't seem to be in the game yet is pretty odd because I'm fairly sure there's a freezer at Hinterland-HQ :D

5 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

less of an appetite. a single full-sized adult deer will feed a family of 5 for several months. please, someone explain to me why our survivor can go through an entire deer in just a few days?

Depends on the kind of deer and the skill of the hunter though, but I do agree that 7kg of meat isn't much really, that's the average dog in Germany (and we do love small dogs for whatever reason)

6 hours ago, Tbone555 said:

slower working medicine. because, cmon. a couple of antibiotics wont have you back at 100% the next day if youre deathly ill. and a couple painkillers will not instantly heal your sprained ankle.

 

While I do agree with this, the sprained ankle isn't healed IRL either, you just don't feel it anymore. I'd still love a workspeed and accuracy debuff for a few days even with painkillers, just not as much as without.

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@Tbone555 I kinda disagree with your definition of "realistic"

While i do think that blizzards MAY last longer, randomly determined, it doesnt mean that they automatically should. Nor there should be more of them. Also blizzards should be more severe, with greater temperature drops and stronger winds.

Less loot ??!!? There would be actually more loot, because people didnt have time to properly pack, reducing amount of items they could take with them. And also due to less preparation time they would make less optimal choices in selection of items. Main difference would be quality of items, since everything would be tossed around, taken and dropped multiple times as people try to make choices and pack in a haste. Hell, player should be able to find more, since people would be taking out stuff that is usually stashed away. Plus, as many people are moving away it would limit amount of items that each person can take with them. Even if every family has a car there, its not made of rubber and you need to fit every1 in it, meaning less space for items.

Forge is actually realistic. We not talking professional blacksmith, but merely taking a piece of metal, softening it up with heat and then banging into shape with hammer. You dont need a phd in metallurgy to do that.

Yes to parasites, preservarion and amount of meat(but it should be balanced vs easy of hunting, it should be much more challenging and requiring caution and skill, but yield proportionally high reward - right now it completely blows compared to fishing and trapping, simply not worth it).

And yes, medical part needs some serious reworking. With more severe conditions and alternate recovery techniques(why im doomed to die from infection if i have no antiseptic after wolf bite, why cant i clean out wound with warm water and reduce that chance). Plus timed recovery, depending on skill and severity of illness and their amount and techniques used in treatment. Plus better condition management(how to frak i can be mauled to the brink of death one day and be at 100% after just one good night sleep)

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11 hours ago, Scyzara said:

That being said I'm all for more punishing wolves (i.e. wolves that do more damage than currently so they can actually kill you), but I'm not for MORE wolves at all. Indeed I would very much welcome reduced wolf numbers if that makes the game more enjoyable for others. For me personally the numbers don't matter much, it's the quality that counts imo. :winky:

Yes, sometimes less is more. Wolves should be more challenging, but simply doing it by increasing their amount is not it.

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23 hours ago, Boston123 said:

The level of "discrimination" around this poll is disgusting.

Do Pilgrim and Voyaguer players have nothing to contribute? Can we not add anything to the discussion?

Jesus.

if you dont play stalker then what exactly are you going to talk about with if it should be harder? 

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42 minutes ago, dbldrew said:

if you dont play stalker then what exactly are you going to talk about with if it should be harder? 

They can always contribute why they don't want to play. For instance, I play mostly Voyager because I get tired of the flocks of wolves. I still play stalker from time to time but there are aspects of it that I don't care for.

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4 hours ago, Rifleman said:

This topic is for experienced players who find stalker easy. The reason I made this topic is because I want a challenge.

I'm an experienced player who eventually found Stalker easy enough... but I don't play on it, because it's the mode that feels the most "video game-y".

Pilgrim and Voyager are more immersive experiences, to me. 

Maybe we just want different things from this game.

Edited by danicusrex
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31 minutes ago, danicusrex said:

I'm an experienced player who eventually found Stalker easy enough... but I don't play on it, because it's the mode that feels the most "video game-y".

Pilgrim and Voyager are more immersive experiences, to me. 

Maybe we just want different things from this game.

Same here. I found Stalker nonsensical. 

Hunting in Pilgrim is actually the hardest out of all three modes, since wolves and bear don't just jump on your knife.

If I could get a game mode with Pilgrim animals and Stalker weather and loot, I would be happy.

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1 hour ago, danicusrex said:

I'm an experienced player who eventually found Stalker easy enough... but I don't play on it, because it's the mode that feels the most "video game-y".

Pilgrim and Voyager are more immersive experiences, to me. 

Maybe we just want different things from this game.

For me I like a challenge even if it's unrealistic.

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In terms of realism, id like Stalker to have some significant changes.

First, animals(deer, wolf, bear) yield more realistic amount of meat, eg a lot more. Predators can be attracted to fresh carcasses. Player need to make a choice, either try to haul meat load after meat load and keep corpse closed, to prevent scent spread and need to spend additional time every time he gets back to reopen it and accelerated decay of in-corpse meat and or open it up and let it freeze, making harvesting a bit faster, depending on tool, but with higher chance of attracting predators.

Meat decay rate also based on temperatures with meat freezing if stored in below zero conditions, slowing down its decay, if fully frozen, by 99%. On the flip side frozen meat cannot be directly eaten(a bummer if its already cooked, it need to be thawed) and cooking it takes 25% more time. And ffs, lose those stupid parasites.

Animals are far more aware of t heir surroundings. While most of them have fairly poor vision, they do track movement. So if player appears anywhere near its line of sight and hes moving, theres high chance that deer will spot him and split. Wind should actually play its role in addition to that, with player scent playing role in detection(having wolf coat on when tracking deer - yeah, right, great idea). Current system does absolute zilch on that part. That crap where animals have limit to their view distance got to go - i can walk up to deer, standing, fairly close, be4 it "sees" me and reacts. Player must be forced to actually use stealth and account for sound and smell when hes deer hunting. In addition to that all animals should have fairly long respawn duration(ya think too many wolves is bad, try no wolf for couple of weeks... no deer, no rabbit, no fish), including rabbits and fish(each area could have certain amount of fish present there and player can fish it out, with fish supplies then slowly recovering over prolonged period of time).

Wolves could have a pack mentality, to a degree. Combined with already mentioned enhanced detection. So, even if their strength is not fixed, they will become serious threat. Basically, upon detecting player a wolf howls, alerting all wolves in his immediate surrounding to player presence(as if they spot him themselves). So, while fighting off lone wolf may be easy, try to take on 5 of them, in rapid succession. Would be nice if they would have some kind encircling script that would work with multiple animals present, basically trying to box player in and close distance at same time. And if player takes a shot at one of them, theres 50% chance that they either charge or flee.

Bears should be far more dangerous, with fixed amount of damage that would kill unprepared player. Also, if player is hiding in fishing hut or a house, all damage and conditions to all animals is reset. Its way too easy to exploit it. Also, running into fishing hut should also repel all animals from immediate area.

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56 minutes ago, Rifleman said:

For me I like a challenge even if it's unrealistic.

Realism is better, though, if it can be achieved. It allows you to solve your character's problems using your own intuition and common sense, rather than by learning game mechanics, and this is infinitely preferable.

But I agree that being challenged to stay alive in a hostile environment is where the appeal of this game is for me. And once you get to a point where you don't feel challenged to stay alive anymore - you're just pottering about trying to find interesting things to do or look at - then the whole appeal of playing the game is reduced massively (even if that might be realistic).

Having said that, I was playing a new Stalker run yesterday and I very, very nearly died - twice! I got into the Signal Hill radio cabin on literally 1% condition and falling after a surprise bear attack on the hillside; the other time was from arrogantly thinking I could navigate well enough in a blizzard and ending up lost in the forest freezing to death - if I hadn't stumbled across some tumbledown barns with ready-cut firewood in them, I probably wouldn't have made it.

So the challenge is still there, apparently, but these events are not common and only really pop up when you get complacent and take liberties. There needs, I feel, to be more challenge in the day-to-day tasks of collecting food and firewood (and the few materials you'll need in order to do that); because that's where the basic survival gameplay in TLD is. Collecting fuel and food is the only reason you go outside at all - in its most basic essence, that is the game (and it's quite easy).

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