Is there a way to remove the "invisible crouch" superpowers?


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Lets face it, being invisible to wildlife while crouching is ridiculous. Being 15 meters from a wolf looking at you and not being detected is really some awesome camouflage skill, our game character must have superpowers. Also, the whole mechanic when avoiding wildlife is also quite annoying, having to crouch at 0.0000001 Km/h until you're far away enough of that poor sense impaired creature called wolf. Not to mention how ridiculous it feels when you stand like superman on a ledge and the wolf 5 meters from you immediately forgets about your existence like Dori in Finding Nemo.

I understand this is all about gameplay. But the "invisible crouch man" is too cheesy, it feels like a cheap shortcut to compensate for the "zombie like" patrolling wildlife in game and I wish it could be removed somehow.

But is there really something that could be done to fix this without breaking the game? I honestly don't know for sure. Maybe a first step would be to tune a little bit the wildlife AI to be something more advanced that just A. Approach then charge or B. Flee.

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1 hour ago, Kyopaxa said:

Lets face it, being invisible to wildlife while crouching is ridiculous. Being 15 meters from a wolf looking at you and not being detected is really some awesome camouflage skill, our game character must have superpowers. Also, the whole mechanic when avoiding wildlife is also quite annoying, having to crouch at 0.0000001 Km/h until you're far away enough of that poor sense impaired creature called wolf. Not to mention how ridiculous it feels when you stand like superman on a ledge and the wolf 5 meters from you immediately forgets about your existence like Dori in Finding Nemo.

I understand this is all about gameplay. But the "invisible crouch man" is too cheesy, it feels like a cheap shortcut to compensate for the "zombie like" patrolling wildlife in game and I wish it could be removed somehow.

But is there really something that could be done to fix this without breaking the game? I honestly don't know for sure. Maybe a first step would be to tune a little bit the wildlife AI to be something more advanced that just A. Approach then charge or B. Flee.

Your comments could be applied a variety of different scenarios dealing with wildlife in the game. Are you speaking just about avoiding wildlife? What would make the encounters with wolves more meaningful to you? (they actually react to a variety of different conditions in the game, not just how close you are to them)

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Yes, I am speaking about wildlife avoidance, especially the crouching avoidance, which also inevitably implies speaking a bit about how wildlife encounters work.

Ok, lets talk about wolves, and for context purposes, I am biased for Interloper exclusively:

How it feels now

Current wolf system of lone wolves patrolling certain areas (and I am not aware of what wolves do when I am not there), means sooner or later you'll encounter a wolf blocking your path. The system is made so whenever the wolf is completely aware of you, it will approach you growling. If it approaches too much and you didn't decoy, it'll charge leading to wolf combat unless you have a fire, a flare or a torch lit. This means that unless you're certain you can cancel or survive the encounter, you want to avoid the wolf being aware of your presence, so the only option is to crouch and sloooooooooowly continue your way. In interloper this happens quite often up to the point it feels a bit retarded to crouch all around the place.

What would be meaningful to me

What I would like to have is a system that adapts and tunes to these rules:

  • Wolves in a certain area, especially when there is direct visual contact, are generally aware of your presence. They know you are there, period. Even if you crouch and pretend to be a rock. And here is where it all changes.
  • Wolves are not always patrolling, but also laying on the ground in certain areas, or standing looking around. They have a territory.
  • When they are patrolling, they are traversing the place. This means that instead of having a wolf walking the same empty small area in the middle of the ice, we would have a wolf traversing the area, but not staying. It could have decided to pay a visit to the rabbits in Rabbit Island and come back, for example.
  • Being aware of you doesn't mean to be aggressive. It's all about what you do, where you are and if you're visible, all based on chances according to the level of difficulty.
    • Generally, the wolf will stop and look to you from time to time, but continue its doing, avoiding you. The closer you are with visual contact, the higher the chances for the wolf to become scared of you or interested in you. I'm talking about 10 to 20 meters.
    • If a wolf is interested in you (bad), it'll approach with caution to a fair distance, stopping and circling you, hesitant, kind of like asking "What are you? Are you my lunch?".
    • Facing and looking at the wolf will make it stop to evaluate the situation. Yelling and making noise without the need of a flare or torch should be an available action for players. There is a chance for it to actually leave you alone and continue its way, or just stay where it was without approaching further. There are also chances for it to regain interest in you again in 20 - 30 seconds if you're still in range, giving the sensation that it is following us from a distance.
    • Having a flare/torch and yell can scare the wolf, forcing it to leave the place faster.
    • Giving your back to the wolf or running away will increase a lot the chances to make the wolf approach faster and become more aggressive.
    • The closer the wolf is, the more it growls. If its too close, it'll attack.
    • If at some point an interested wolf can't reach to you (staying on a ledge), it should at least wait for some time, bark and whine a little, before deciding to leave.
  • Also wolf combat could be improved:
    • Divide current wolf attack into several separated charge attacks with reduced health/injury impact. Attacks have a random length:
      • Just small bites to separate again quickly.
      • Long attacks where you move slowly as if the animal is holding you, allowing for several bites.
    • Close combat proximity enables counterattacking with left click, using your knife or whatever hand weapon you have, aiming at the center of your screen. Attack speed and strength is affected by your stamina. Your attacks help you get separated from the wolf, allowing the wolf to consider attacking again or running away on the next seconds. You can also move backwards, increasing chances for the wolf to not attack again, or run away giving the back to the wolf, increasing the chances for it to charge and attack again (but also depends on its health).
    • On each wolf charge attack, there is a chance for you to fall down reducing your chances to get separated from the wolf with your attacks. Your character always stands up as quick as possible whenever it gets separated from the wolf.
    • Of course, like currently, aiming with a bow or a rifle when separated will lead for a quick charge (I'm not particularly happy with this behavior but I understand it would otherwise be too easy to aim and shoot).
Edited by Kyopaxa
Added wolf combat from another later post.
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I can fully appreciate the frustration that is possible with wolves in Interloper and while I agree with some points made by @Kyopaxa, please allow me to present a different viewpoint.

After 400hrs playing Stalker it was getting boring. At 500hrs I was sick of it and at 600hrs I stopped. Then out came Interloper. It was different, it was harder and because of that it was a lot of fun. Yet after 400hrs I had three 200 day games and it was getting boring again. I could see a time fast approaching where I would stop playing TLD again. Instead I made my own rules. The number one rule was to kill as many wolves as possible in 200 days. Now, I believe that in pure survival mode I can make 200 days at will but so far I've spent 300hrs trying to do it while hunting wolves and although I've come damnably, frustratingly close, I still haven't done it. The amazing thing is I'm not sick of it yet. Far from it.

It is very rare that I try to sneak past wolves if I have a bow (on the contrary, I will often run toward a wolf) and I usually craft one by day 15. I leave Desolation Point soon after when I have killed the four wolves (excluding Scruffy) and have the hides curing for a coat.

After that, it doesn't get any better than walking up to a wolf pack and letting them charge one by one, dropping each one with an arrow to the head. It sounds silly but it is intense. Going through Coastal Highway is pure bliss with a chance to drop ten or more wolves in two days. I'm always wondering if the CH wolves have respawned and whether it's time to return.

Anyway I'm sure that I wouldn't want to see any reduction in the aggressiveness of wolves. It would turn them into sitting ducks and there would go the interest. I do like the idea of the odd wolf sitting or standing in the one spot but only if there was something that could be done to protect it somewhat from a stalking attack. The only thing I can think of doing is increasing the crouched detection radius for stationary wolves.

I've thought about increasing the crouched detection radius for all wolves but it is not a good idea. If you crouch walk as close as possible to a wolf, there is a good chance that when you stand up and shoot an arrow, you will miss and if you overshoot the wolf will charge. Because you are so close there will be no chance to fire another arrow and the wolf will have it's way with you. So it's actually safer to shoot from further away - from a distance where it is possible to fire another arrow before the wolf reaches you. If however the wolves detection radius for a crouched hunter was increased then it would always be this safe. Of course this all changes with the level 5 archery perks but I think that shooting the bow while crouched should be abolished.

On the other hand, deer and rabbits should be able to detect a crouched hunter at distances two to four times (at least) greater than they are now. It is just way too easy to hit them.

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Interesting idea about wolves laying on the ground, we will surelly see something new iwth wildlife movements, it's in the timeline.

I never tried to crouch to disappear like a rock! I usually want to move fast so I try to make a circle and disappear from his/her view.

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Wow @mystifeid, you really get further into this game. Of course, the whole thing I am talking about can be tuned to different difficulty levels, making interloper still challenging. My desire is far from making it easier, but to make it way more spicy and elaborated so there is no more relying on "invicrouch".

This could also make hunting more challenging, as it will remove the whole "I just crouch to your face because you can't see me and fire my bow" with something more related to your ability to hide from sight and predict your prey direction. The introduction to your smell and wind in wildlife mechanics could also be awesome, but well, lets not overcomplicate things too much.

Edited by Kyopaxa
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I agree that there is a lot that could be done to make it more interesting and challenging. I find your "invicrouch" really only applies to deer and rabbits though. With wolves it doesn't matter how good I get, a certain percentage are missed, then they get me. It does seem stupid to be able to crouch walk so close to them but I think it really is a lot more dangerous than firing from further away.

I tend to only stalk wolves on uneven terrain otherwise I find it is way safer to just let them charge.

The real "invincible archery power" is the ability to shoot while crouched that is gained at level 5. This just needs to be totally removed.

My record so far is 107 wolves but killed on day 167. Have a go.

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Oh ok, so you want detection range and behaviour to be the same regardless of whether you are crouched or standing?

Well, however valid your desires may be, they sound like a lot of work and a lot of testing. In the meantime I would be happy if just three small things were changed.

- increase the range at which rabbiits detect you when crouched
- increase the range at which deer detect you when crouched
- remove "shoot while crouched"

Also next time you are going to crouch walk past a wolf to avoid detection, if you are not carrying much weight, try sprinting instead. Or the other thing you can do if lightly encumbered is just keep walking (mostly backwards) - sooner or later the wolf will often give up.

Edited by mystifeid
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Forget the invincibility, why can wolves detect you from behind those snow dunes/walls in Coastal Highway. I don't wanna be forced into a battle nor do I want to play easymode with crouch. 

Why would a wolf start charging at you when you make noise ? Even if they are really hungry they would at least be standing still.

Every time I play this game the wolves always screw me over.They are still very binary when it comes to contact.First reaction should be curiousity rather that immediate hostility.

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Allthough I'm new to the forum, I'm not new to the game, and I have thought about the wolves a lot - the main problem is they still feel like cheap RPG enemies, that just come at you once you are close enough, not at all behaving like wolves would, and most of all they are mostly alone and not in packs...

But they could easily appear only in groups/packs, and on the other hand tend to less aggressive behaviour:
- If the player decides to shoot one, the rest of the group should immediately charge and attack, so their neutral behaviour can't be abused (no sitting ducks).
- They should have a non-aggressiv default setting and only attack, if they are defending prey, are attacked themselves, smell meat on the player, or are hungry aka the player was hunting or trapping in the region recently...
- They could give a warning sign if the player gets too close, growling or barking and attacking if you look directly at it or come closer
- You should get some sort of non visual warning that they are close, similar to the audio clues for the bear, like barking or the high pitched sound dogs sometimes make
- And most importantly: The current mechanic of the wolf is basically how a big cat would hunt, so instead of immediately jumping onto the player they should have a second attack possibly charging, biting once, tearing your trousers, spraining your ankle, etc. and retreating to save distance, while the pack continues to stalk you, sometimes charging in for a single bite, and once you are weak enough they do what they currently do and jump onto you... This would give the player time to get away, while making it a more authentic and terrifying experience...

- and lastly there should be a clear distinction if they have started to hunt you for food or are merely trying to defend themselves or a kill and let you go once you have run away for a bit...

If done right this would make the invisible crouching obsolete

Edited by Horst
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  • 2 weeks later...

I like the way this idea has fleshed out, so I would like to add to it.

First of all, I would like to address this issue of "free meat on legs with a bad attitude" that wolves are now perceived. Lately I've been playing a lot of Don't Starve, and the behaviour of a certain creature springs to mind. The Varg, as it is called, is an aggressive, high HP wolf-like creature who can summon hounds (which are smaller and weaker, but still dangerous adversaries) by howling - without this ability, the Varg would be much easier to defeat.

Therefore I suggest a tweak to the wolf behaviour. Lone wolves would behave similarly to @Kyopaxa's idea, however they would be more timid and reluctant to attack. Entering a certain radius would aggro the wolf, who would bark and run away - this bark would alert other wolves within 200-250 metres to your presence and they would converge on you.

Wind direction would asymmetrically increase the detection radius, meaning that upwind you are more likely to be detected, but downwind you can get closer without being detected.

The wolves would also be equipped with a "vision cone" that is sensitive to movement at long range, but can detect you regardless of position or movement at short range. They would also have a dynamic hearing radius - in cold, clear, windless conditions, their hearing radius is at its furthest extent. Blizzard conditions reduce it to within a 10 metre radius (visibility impairments also effect their vision cone).

Wolves should also posses a internal volume count. Fully fed wolves are less likely to pursue you, less likely to attack, but are also disinterested in decoys. Starving wolves are very likely to pursue you, more likely to attack but CAN be distracted by decoys. Killing a starving wolf only provides 2 kilos of meat, and a 75% condition hide. Fully fed wolves provide a full 6 kilos of meat and an 100% condition hide. Overhunting an area increases the chance of the local wolf population becoming starving wolves.

Cooking food on the campfire increases your detection range downwind for both bears and wolves, and at night, using torches or lanterns in clear conditions attracts wolves.

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6 hours ago, EternityTide said:

Entering a certain radius would aggro the wolf, who would bark and run away - this bark would alert other wolves within 200-250 metres to your presence and they would converge on you.

Unless they are all prepared to attack simultaneously, doesn't this just increase the immediate availability of "free meat on legs with a bad attitude"? I spend a lot of time in Interloper trying to find groups of wolves. Heck I spend a lot of time trying to find wolves period. In a lot of places there are only two wolves in an area and killing both may take two days but if they are prepared to summon each other for me, I can see my wolf count going up that much faster.

I like the idea of wolves running away - it quite often happens now when you have a wolfskin coat and it drives me crazy having to run after them - but in the right place they are forced to run quite close to me and often I can put an arrow into them as they pass.

Increasing the detection radius with better sight/smell would significantly increase the difficulty in some cases - perhaps to an undesirable extent. For example - going through Crumbling Highway to Desolation Point in Interloper before you have crafted a bow. Already this is a fairly popular time and place to die.

6 hours ago, EternityTide said:

Killing a starving wolf only provides 2 kilos of meat, and a 75% condition hide. Fully fed wolves provide a full 6 kilos of meat and an 100% condition hide. Overhunting an area increases the chance of the local wolf population becoming starving wolves.

Wolves in Interloper are already of variable weight and a lot exist in areas of little to no other game. If not, then they do after I arrive. 2kg of meat is still enough to survive for nearly two days and of the 151 wolves killed in my last game, I took the skins of only 20-30.

Eating wolf meat carries a risk of a pretty severe penalty before level 5 cooking skill is achieved. I would like to see this risk always exist no matter the cooking skill.

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On 20-11-2016 at 2:16 AM, Horst said:

If the player decides to shoot one, the rest of the group should immediately charge and attack, so their neutral behaviour can't be abused (no sitting ducks).

That doesn't sound very realistic, though. If you shoot a wolf, I'd expect others to flee and retreat, at least temporarily.

Maybe not long enough for you to harvest the wolf you put down, but long enough for you to get away or find shelter nearby.

Anyway, the main issue, in my opinion, is that wolves do operate like rather straightforward RPG-enemies, patrolling this or that area and aproaching you for an attack as soon as they spot you.

It would be far more interesting to have packs of wolves following you around from a distance and testing you, and getting closer depending on your stats like fatique and condition + their desperation.

Also, wildlife should be attracted to meat stored outside as long as it's not frozen, and they should be able to take away a fair amount of meat as long as it's not frozen solid.

As a player, I'd like wolves to be a looming menace, creeping up ever closer as the days go by and food gets more scarce.

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That cracked me up.

A looming menace? Crikey, normally I'm happy just to be able to find some wolves. If a pack of wolves could find me instead of the other way around it would make my day.

I think any behavioural change is going to have implications that will be difficult to predict and would require testing.

The easiest, safest and fastest way to kill wolves or packs of wolves at the moment (in Interloper) is to let them charge and put an arrow into their head at the last second.

So purely for my own benefit, if I wanted to make things harder I would:

- maintain current detection range
- increase the aggro range
- increase the chance of a wolf fleeing between the detection range and the aggro range but put a time delay on this so that it would be possible to more easily run right into the aggro range or in pursuing a fleeing wolf it would be possible to run into the aggro range of another wolf.
- increase the speed of the wolf charge
- provide a chance of a feint by the wolf at the last second of it's charge
- provide a new "cornered" range where a wolf would become aggro when it was fleeing
- crouched stance is invisible in the detection range but not in the aggro range unless behind some sort of cover and not at all in the cornered range.

Edited by mystifeid
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I honestly think that the "one-shot-kill" mechanic needs to be done away with.

Unless you hit something absolutely vital, there's no reason a wolf should go down in one shot. Therefore, I think the hitboxes need to be revamped, with lethal shots being the eyes, the heart and the base of the neck. If you hit anywhere else, a timer starts, with an RNG that calculates every ten seconds whether the blood clots or not. If the timer runs out before the blood clots, the wolf dies. Of course, the wolf will run away and be afraid of you if shot, but this gets rid of the "fmolwba" aspect. There should also be a cool down timer that reduces a wolf's aggression to 0, making it flee at any chance it gets. A tiny aggro radius around it should trigger a unique attack scene where the wolf will immediately pounce on you and then run away after knocking you flat on your back.

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2 hours ago, EternityTide said:

Unless you hit something absolutely vital, there's no reason a wolf should go down in one shot. Therefore, I think the hitboxes need to be revamped, with lethal shots being the eyes, the heart and the base of the neck.

The eyes? That sounds like a tough shot. What about in the head, through the neck and into the heart?

That all sounds pretty much what happens already.

Here's an example of a gut shot wolf that was stalked. The wolf generally runs away.

gutshot.jpg.8b337094c7edc8ed473dfa8d72b3

Whereas 80% of the time an arrow to the head will stop this next charging wolf.

15% of the time I will hit the back or the legs and the wolf will keep coming and a struggle ensues.

5% of the time I will miss altogether.

wolf_charge.jpg.3b56dd9753b8f7395b465c7f

Edited by mystifeid
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3 hours ago, EternityTide said:

I seriously doubt that a makeshift arrow from a fairly low draw weight bow would be able to penetrate a Wolf skull. For a bow of this poundage, the killing factor is blood loss. Very rarely would you get a shot that would destroy vital organs.

Well doubt is good thing I suppose but if you had ever done this in the game you would know that quite often the arrow bounces off the head of the wolf. What should happen then? Should the wolf pretend nothing has happened? Run away? Attack me? Or would the kinetic energy from an metal tipped arrow fired from even a home made bow with low draw weight have a serious effect on the head of an oncoming creature at a range of about two metres?

It really doesn't bother me what happens. Already it is far from easy to consistently do what I have suggested. It will be a pity but I can see it changing in the future anyway.

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Personally, I don't think head shots should kill the animal at all (except maybe the rifle). Skulls are full of think, hard contoured bone. Likely your arrow would injure and possibly even blind the wolf but unless your shot was perfect it would probably bounce off leaving a terrified, wounded animal. I'd guess at that point it would panic and either run away or attack?

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1 hour ago, cekivi said:

Personally, I don't think head shots should kill the animal at all (except maybe the rifle). Skulls are full of think, hard contoured bone. Likely your arrow would injure and possibly even blind the wolf but unless your shot was perfect it would probably bounce off leaving a terrified, wounded animal. I'd guess at that point it would panic and either run away or attack?

makes sense :insanity_fluffy:

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