The Sustainability debate


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50 minutes ago, Boston123 said:

You have very little idea about how actual human psychology works, do you?

Since you seem to have graduated from Harvard with a Bachelors in psychology and have lived in frozen winters with only a handful of other survivors, maybe you could tell us how the mental state works during moments of despair such as the Long Dark?

 

While you're at it, why don't you show us all your large ego ?

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As I read more and more of this forum, I sense an interesting divide among the most passionate fans of The Long Dark. While late-game sustainability seems to be a hot topic in many threads, I haven’t

Different people believe themselves to be set and ready to go once they find a rifle or the full kit of tools and weapons. I think that rather than have a mid-game 'lull', it would be better to instea

The way I would like to see this tackled would be to have injuries and conditions that you suffer throughout your game have a very small but permanent affect on your character's abilities to carry out

@Boston123 To be fair, I'm not the oldest one here. (For anyone wondering, I'm 16.) But then again, the older you get, the sadder your life is if it is based around video games and it's not a career, such as a game developer.

Kudos to you for your exceptional knowledge of the human mind. I hope to obtain such knowledge in my life. Cheers.

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12 minutes ago, cekivi said:

@CalNieDaGtarGuy, @EricTheGreat12, @Boston123: Hey guys reign it in. No need to start a mud slinging match.

In addition, humans in stressful situations can become violent but in the vast majority of cases they band together. Safety in numbers, more efficient hunting, etc.

(emphasis mine)

Thank you

People turning into little more than voracious killers and thieves when the going gets tough is little more than survivalist tripe. In a "real" situation, they would be the first ones to die.

Making future NPCs in The Long Dark "act like that" will be a disservice to the human ability to cooperate and work together. Turns out that human beings, when their back is against the wall, have an amazing ability to give a damn about each other.

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9 hours ago, Boston123 said:

(emphasis mine)

Thank you

People turning into little more than voracious killers and thieves when the going gets tough is little more than survivalist tripe. In a "real" situation, they would be the first ones to die.

Wow, hypocrisy at it's finest... 

 

Anyways back to topic: trade/NPCs however far you and the devs are thinking, this games is and always will be the Long Dark. If you want this to be a completely different game by removing the element that comes with Sandbox mode then go ahead, keep on playing; a lot of people including me, are gonna stop playing this game. I know that there will be a few a NPCs in Story Mode, but the last thing I want is to build a 'community' in Sandbox Mode and we start driving cars on lantern fuel....

 

Don't transform this game into something it was never meant to be

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17 hours ago, Boston123 said:

 

People turning into little more than voracious killers and thieves when the going gets tough is little more than survivalist tripe. In a "real" situation, they would be the first ones to die.

 

While "voracious killers and thieves" is a bit of an overstatement. How one would deal with a human on human encounter after being isolated over an extended period of time would vary greatly based on the individuals disposition. This would be significantly affected by time alone and the hardship of the survival situation. After six months of frostbite, intermittent starvation, wolf attacks and having your own imagination drive you batty, the individual would be less than predictable. Not Freddie Krugar but not Gandhi either.

 

Of course if it were someone in a rescue helicopter or a snowmobile, I am sure our protagonist would be as friendly as a puppy.

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1 hour ago, Lovehandel said:

Of course if it were someone in a rescue helicopter or a snowmobile, I am sure our protagonist would be as friendly as a puppy.

Funnily enough there are cases where, for whatever reason (e.g. an autistic child), people will hide from their rescuers. Like you said @lovehandel there is a lot of variation.

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32 minutes ago, cekivi said:

Funnily enough there are cases where, for whatever reason (e.g. an autistic child), people will hide from their rescuers. Like you said @lovehandel there is a lot of variation.

This is not surprising. One could not even conceive the value someone in this situation attaches to a pack of matches, a can of beans or a pair of socks. particularly once paranoia starts playing games with them. I would not suggest that most people would become killers, but certainly possible to be guarded beyond healthy caution.

 

If a group were lost together, I do believe they would band together, but if one person lost in isolation for an extended period of time were to encounter someone similar, I don't think there is a way to predict how the interaction would go, I do believe it would be different depending on circumstance.

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One thing I've noticed as the various game systems have come into place is a sort of thematic arc to the player experience. It's entirely speculative at this point, but if I'm picking up on Hinterland's design choices correctly it might help in terms of the sustainability issue. 

If you think about the way systems have been introduced into TLD and how they interact, most of the "pre-made" objects in the game are impermanent. You used to repair hatchets and knives with toolkits and scrap metal. Now you improve their condition with whetstones that are non-renewable. Those found, manufactured items will eventually break and be lost forever. But you can craft improvised hatchets and knives with scrap metal, which is renewable thanks to beachcombing. 

Your crafted clothing is not top tier - it has its drawbacks and isn't actually what you'd ideally want. But it can be crafted and repaired using renewable resources. Cloth is renewable, too, but it wouldn't be difficult to switch that off once there were enough crafted clothing options to prevent frostbite. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens at some point in the future.

Food, matches, books and ammo all run out eventually. But a bow-drill is on the roadmap and of course we have a consistent supply of food. Natural remedies are available where medicine runs dry. 

Meanwhile, we now have a skill system. When you first start out, you rely on accelerant and book-burning to guarantee fires. Mending clothes is error-prone and wasteful of resources. You cant shoot a bow straight. As the man-made resources dwindle, however, your skills improve and you gather a series of buffs that make you less reliant on those items. 

I say it's thematic because the transition fits nicely. This is a quiet apocalypse. The comforts of civilisation vanish into the distant past, and those left are hardy individuals who have adapted to the new reality. 

 

Sustainability is absolutely key to this concept. But it's not simply about giving the player avenues to maintain survival. It's about what role each item and mechanic plays in that arc. The stuff you make shouldn't be unquestionably better than pre-apocalypse equipment. In fact, it should probably be worse. But that should also be off-set by the player's improved survival skills. They have to go hand in hand.  

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 I am enjoying all aspects of the game, from late game to starting out. I have a few sandboxes going, all at varying stages, but far and away it's the late game I am playing more. I am at day 350 in a voyageur run and am still doing fine. The rhythm of the late game is quite meditative; the 3 alarm fire moments are scarce, planning has become more of a routine and the predictability of the scenario has increased dramatically. I know the maps well enough to navigate in low light and low visibility. My skills are all at or very near level 5 and with this comes much overall threat reduction allowing me to create my own risks and set the overall tempo myself as opposed to the early game where decisions and risks are more forced on the player.

 While I know that death is inevitable for this character, I am quite enjoying being in control and setting my own agenda. I have left loot in a particular area on each map, a kind of safe house and now I just take trips to each location, making the journey the adventure, not the survival, in a strict sense. I will just carry on with this sandbox until I simply run out of resources. Some find the late game uninteresting and I can completely understand this - it is comparatively so - but as has been said already in this thread, it is a different game at that point and it attracts different players.

 As such, it really isn't a question or one or the other; we can have it both ways. As I said, I have a few sandboxes started and can enjoy each stage for its own merits. I think that enabling this shift brought about by each stage is a valuable aspect of the longevity and if any one of these potentialities were removed the whole game would suffer. Thus, I quite like the way it is currently and see no reason to have to make a decision one way or the other. We can not only have our cake and eat it, but can further layabout, fat and lazy for a time afterward.

 As for NPCs, we'll see what story mode brings, but I personally don't want anyone else in the sandbox. There are scarcely enough resources for one and this might relate back to the earlier discussion regarding human nature; in a scenario where there is no deep obligation between people to assure mutual survival - two men who simply happened upon one another, for example - I believe it would turn either to violence or at least a parting of ways with an agreement that in the end, the strongest will survive. If, in the waning days of resources, one of them simply had to go for the other to carry on, yes, I believe things would get violent. If there were enough to go around or a  clear symbiotic nature to a certain relationship, then things would likely remain peaceful.

 However, if it were for example a couple between whom there is a true bond or emotional entanglement, this would alter the previous scenario dramatically where they would indeed work together for mutual benefit and one would perhaps sacrifice themselves in the end to enable the other to carry on. Or, in the face of certain death at some point not long past such a sacrifice, they would go out together in some tragic, fatal romantic gesture.

 So, unless there is something real between the NPCs and the main character and if resources remain as finite as they are, then it becomes a question of morality and mortality. Starvation a bit sooner with a friend or a bit later alone, a decision that the player would have to make or the NPCs, if coded to behave in one way or the other. Would I like to wake up to my co-survivor trying to kill me or have to look around every corner for them stalking me? Well, it might be interesting but if it came to that then I too would certainly be doing the same if not - and let's be honest here  - burying a hatchet in the resource-consuming, near-stranger's head and using bits of them for wolf decoys (I wonder what percentage would be lost on my hatchet?). Desperate times, desperate measures. Would I enjoy playing out the doomed romantic scenario? Absolutely, and much more so than anything else involving NPCs, save perhaps a more resource-laden environment with some clear motivation to keep the other around. But I'd get the top bunk.

  Anyhow, it seems to me that morality is going to be a part of the story mode, so perhaps this type of scenario will actually play out. In the teaser trailer, we saw the main character witnessing 2 men beating another who is on the ground at which sight he appears disappointed by the brutality in what he appears to believe should be a time of banding together. At least he appears to frown upon this type of behavior implying that our character is intended to be of a certain ilk, one of a moral, generous survivor, not a selfish, murdering loner.

 To conclude, each stage of the game presents unique and particular pleasures and the introduction of NPCs can play out a couple of ways within a number of contexts. Ultimately on the last point, we will simply have to wait and see which context story mode presents. Keep NPCs out of the current sandbox as it stands however.

Edited by Carbon
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On 4/27/2017 at 5:14 AM, cekivi said:

In addition, humans in stressful situations can become violent but in the vast majority of cases they band together. Safety in numbers, more efficient hunting, etc.

No, they dont. Unless situation warrants it and potential positive outcomes outweigh risks, in dangerous stressful situations humans revert to basic instincts, like survival. Every time if enough stress is applied we descend to out most basic levels, like survival at any cost.

There are plenty of examples, like prisoner dilemma experiment(and multiple examples in real world, like skyrocketing rates of murder, theft, pillaging and rape in areas affected by natural disasters), where when threatened people always think about themselves first. And unless, there is direct gain from working together, they will prefer to fend for themselves, rather to put their lives on  the line for others(with exemption of family, but that is merely next level of survival).

Safety in numbers is nice notion, but with random group of people it lacks key element - organization. Meanwhile, while boundaries are being established people still need to sleep and to eat. Plus, such organizations usually lead to establishing of extreme autocratic systems as without limitations of law, its survival of the fittest. Especially when were dealing with lack of hope.

And those who tend to quack about democracy and fairness find themselves on the wrong side of the pointy stick.

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On 4/19/2017 at 11:09 AM, WildGPS said:

As I read more and more of this forum, I sense an interesting divide among the most passionate fans of The Long Dark. While late-game sustainability seems to be a hot topic in many threads, I haven’t come across one active thread dedicated to the issue.

I know I did this topic a while back and in true form, I had made a POLL out of it. I asked the question more like this: Should the player be doomed to eventual death on the hardest levels? The discussion got a bit heated as it tends to do from time to time on these more interesting and challenging topics.

[POLL] Doomed or Survive Long Term

Any time you find yourself using the "you" pronoun, you might want to think about what YOU are adding to the content of your message thread. It can be simply emotional commitment to a point of view. Try to view things objectively and from the alternative perspective. Thank YOU!! 9_9

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Might as well throw my 2 cents in. Does collaboration improve survivability? I submit that evolution has already answered this question emphatically. Human society is all about collaboration. The notion that humans operate best when acting competitively is a rationalization invented a few hundred years ago to justify a certain (unnamed) ideology. Let's put a fork in that philosophical discussion.

@Raphael van Lierop has already stated in the forward looking statements that the future of the Long Dark game will be in the personal choices that the player will be forced to make when he encounters NPCs. It's an apocalyptic future. Who knows which strategy succeeds? ;-) I know how I prefer to play and even if it is sub-optimal, I'll make the choice to play as collaboratively as possible while remaining guarded and cautious at the same time. Not every person has the same set of values. You must also be a good judge of character.

One thing that I really love about this game is the collaborativeness of the community, both from the developers and from the gaming community. To that end I will plug our new Facebook group "The Long Dark Community".

~ Steve

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4 hours ago, SteveP said:

Might as well throw my 2 cents in. Does collaboration improve survivability? I submit that evolution has already answered this question emphatically. Human society is all about collaboration. 

From an anthropologic point of view, cooperations is pretty much the only thing we're actually good at. We suck horribly at almost everything else - be it unarmed combat, running speed, metabolic efficiency, keeping a constant body temperature or even something as fundamental for a species as giving safe birth to a child. Compared to most other mammals on the planet, we're extraordinary bad at all of the above. And I truely mean extraordinary.

Our large skull and upright skeleton structure come with so massive disadvantages that we would never ever have prevailed if all of these disadvantages hadn't been compensated for by three main advantages - which are intelligence, crafting skills and cooperation. Especially the latter is absolutely mandatory for any form of civilization and humans can't survive (at least not in the long run as a species) without civilization any more.

This is not only true for the current state of civilization (characterized e.g. by highly specialized professions and 99,9% of the population being unaware how to survive in the wild), but was already true 200.000 years ago and probably even way before that. Simply because humans have multiple "deficiencies" that no single person could ever compensate. We can neither catch a deer, nor fend off a bear, nor even survive in a non-tropical climate without the help of tools, clothes and other inventions - which are all achievements of civilisation, naturally. And the knowledge how to craft (or create) these things has to be passed on from parent to child within a somehow permanent group - one does not simply start to craft an axe or weave a linen tunic spontaneously.

Long story short:

As a species, we have very much specialized ourselves to be cooperative beings. We're extremely adaptable regarding pretty much all other aspects - e.g. food, living space or climate - but we (as a species) cannot live solitarily any more. At least to the best of my knowledge there neither are, nor ever were any cultures where truely all members lived solitarily apart from each other as hermits. Simply because this strategy does not work for human beings in the long run.

And I personally am 100% convinced that - if someone decided to go an an egotistical 1 person rampage after a TLD-like apocalypse - it would only get them killed. And that probably very fast. Either by the chance (disease/injury/accident combined with no-one caring for them) or by the hands of a group of people who banded together and don't feel like being killed by some egotistical asshole.

Not even to mention that being antisocial is an incredibly stupid survival strategy for a human in general. That's like a wolf pulling out its own teeth or a hawk scratching out its own eyes.

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1 hour ago, Scyzara said:

From an anthropologic point of view, cooperations is pretty much the only thing we're actually good at. We suck horribly at almost everything else - be it unarmed combat, running speed, metabolic efficiency, keeping a constant body temperature or even something as fundamental for a species as giving safe birth to a child. Compared to most other mammals on the planet, we're extraordinary bad at all of the above. And I truely mean extraordinary.

Our large skull and upright skeleton structure come with so massive disadvantages that we would never ever have prevailed if all of these disadvantages hadn't been compensated for by three main advantages - which are intelligence, crafting skills and cooperation. Especially the latter is absolutely mandatory for any form of civilization and humans can't survive (at least not in the long run as a species) without civilization any more.

This is not only true for the current state of civilization (characterized e.g. by highly specialized professions and 99,9% of the population being unaware how to survive in the wild), but was already true 200.000 years ago and probably even way before that. Simply because humans have multiple "deficiencies" that no single person could ever compensate. We can neither catch a deer, nor fend off a bear, nor even survive in a non-tropical climate without the help of tools, clothes and other inventions - which are all achievements of civilisation, naturally. And the knowledge how to craft (or create) these things has to be passed on from parent to child within a somehow permanent group - one does not simply start to craft an axe or weave a linen tunic spontaneously.

Long story short:

As a species, we have very much specialized ourselves to be cooperative beings. We're extremely adaptable regarding pretty much all other aspects - e.g. food, living space or climate - but we (as a species) cannot live solitarily any more. At least to the best of my knowledge there neither are, nor ever were any cultures where truely all members lived solitarily apart from each other as hermits. Simply because this strategy does not work for human beings in the long run.

And I personally am 100% convinced that - if someone decided to go an an egotistical 1 person rampage after a TLD-like apocalypse - it would only get them killed. And that probably very fast. Either by the chance (disease/injury/accident combined with no-one caring for them) or by the hands of a group of people who banded together and don't feel like being killed by some egotistical asshole.

Not even to mention that being antisocial is an incredibly stupid survival strategy for a human in general. That's like a wolf pulling out its own teeth or a hawk scratching out its own eyes.

I love you forever, in an entirely platonic and professional fashion.

Humans are an inherently social species. Even those who share no common language are able to communicate, through nonverbal  cues.

Not that this means that humans won't kill each other, far from it. Humans are social, but we are also tribal as hell. We distrust anyone not of our social groups, and constant endemic warfare was the norm up from the emergence of modern humans (200,000 + years ago), and probably before, up until arguably 1000 years ago. It is just that...... well, we fought together, and supported each other, as opposed to the "dog-eat-dog" shtick espoused by many survivalists.

So, yes, there would be infighting, murder and theft, between groups of people, not individuals. You can see this even in the modern "examples" (you can tell how seriously I take these examples through my use of airquotes) of "survivalist" behavior in modern catastrophes, like looting and crime.

Even during Hurricane Katrina or Sandy, where law and order was interrupted..... people still banded together to help each other. Yes, help each other in struggles with other groups, but they still banded together!

Even in the harsh wilderness of northern Canada, survival efforts will be significantly helped by grouping up, as opposed to hindered. Division of labor is a thing that stretches back many thousands of years, and even those without applicable skills can keep a fire going, boil water, collect firewood, or clean.

When the winter winds blow harsh and cold, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.

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5 hours ago, Boston123 said:

 

Humans are an inherently social species. Even those who share no common language are able to communicate, through nonverbal  cues.

 

And it is exactly this reason that humans become unstable with extended isolation. In a case like Katrina, yes, people helped each other a great deal. This is expected in a group survival situation. Paranoia to varying degrees is the bedfellow of isolation and loneliness. These are black and white situations.  

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@Scyzara Yeah, nice story. Completely irrelevant in conditions presented in LD tho. Because when such idealistic refined views collide with reality, reality always wins.

First of all level of civilization and cooperation we have now evolved over thousands of years. Bunch of cavemen didnt just randomly got together and formed first society. At first they were killing everyone who wasnt one of their tribe. It took a long time and a lot of resources for first societies to form, but even then outsiders were treated with suspicion and usually shunned aside unless they were able to prove their value. And that after assessing that they do not pose any direct threat.

In practically all cases foreigners are accepted based on 2 factors - if society have extra resources to support them and if they have valuable skills. That, presuming they pass security check - as village with 30 men will have no problems subduing one guy. And often those outsiders were still not accepted, even when those conditions were met due to various cultural or religious limitations/rules. That often resulted in killing of sad outsider, and then simply dividing his belongings among villagers. Its a win situation for the village - while win is small, its guaranteed, without risks associated with unknown factors.

And while modern society considers itself to be "civilized" nothing really changed. Outsiders are still treated with suspicion. It is especially ironic in developed countries, where combined wealth is technically sufficient to provide for everyone. Yet there are people living below poverty line, there are homeless and crippled and sick. And then you hear stories about people being killed or robbed in dark alleys, while just few meters away people are just walking by, ignoring cries for help, not even bothering calling cops. Cooperation, my ass.

In fact, average american will associate better with european, that with his fellow, but homeless, countryman.

In modern world, with all this technology, there has been numerous studies, that even with development of internet and various smart technologies, people are more divided that just few decades before. Because people do not care, as they have no incentives to help. Even if it wouldnt cause them any discomfort, like taking like piece of bread and sharing it with a stranger.

Take an average westerner and drop him in the middle of warring Central Africa. He will be shot dead, raped or robbed within 24 hours. Just because they can. Hell, take and average white collar and drop him in the middle of "troubled" neighborhood and hel end up in a body bag before dawn. He stands higher chance of being killed or robbed(if hes lucky) than helped out.

And now we get to even better part. Long Dark. Lack of civilization at it finest. No law, no food, no shelter, no prospects for tomorrow. It has been scientifically proven that lack of most basics have severe effect on human brain. We literally revert to our most primal instincts, as being civilized we lack skills for survival in presented conditions. There is no 911, there are no malls and there is no central heating. And what little we do have we need for survival.

And everyone else in the world is exactly in the same condition. If you think that some random stranger will just wave at you in the middle of the snowy desert and share his last can of beans with you, then you are completely clueless what real hunger is. And what it can do to your world views.

Civilization and cooperation are nice notions, except they are completely irrelevant in extreme situations, as they are nothing more than waste of breath in conditions presented i n the game. Where every stranger is a likely to kill and rob you as to help you, presuming that he is able and willing, paranoia becomes way of living. If we cant get particularly along even when were doing ok, then expecting things to change when world went to shit is pinnacle of naivety.

If someone were to decide that he will do whatever it takes to survive in tLD, anything, then he will live, while naive ideologues will find their last rest in some snowy mounds(if not eaten), as latter will obtain more resources, while former will be reduced to be source of those resources.

While some groups will form, most of people will end up dead. And groups that will form, will form out of mutual benefit, and will be based on most primitive form of master and slave premise(as those who will be better off, take in those who will not as serves), not some absurd presumption of democracy. Over time they will probably grow and evolve into something more resembling modern society, but it will take years and by then 90% of initial survivors will be dead. Ironically, best chance for one of those survivors to survive would not be one of fellow "civilized" people, but some lone hermit, who spends most of his time in the woods and is equipped to live there - as he both posses resources to take that person in and may use him.

that notion that lone sociopath will die and fast is simply ridiculous. First of all, even if he will be injured, and granted, nobody will be there to tend to him, there is 2 important factors to consider. One, he will have adequate supplies to tend for himself, as he will not have some obsolete obstacles, like respect for life or personal property and will attempt to grab as much as he can. Two, he will not be subject to treachery, when ydays companion will decide that there is no point of wasting limited and crucial resources on someone and just packs everything and takes off. Or just finishes him off. On a side note, worth mentioning, being banded together doesnt mean shit, if your companions are as inept as you are. Plus, more people means more resources being spend. Larger groups do not magically mean more resources being available, but it does mean more resources being spent. One of the reasons why ancient tribes were fairly small and paranoid. And continuing that, more doesnt mean better, as history tend to prove, one well armed and fed person is far more efficient that dozen of half-starved idiots armed with sticks. Including at killing those idiots.

While this whole story about cooperation and anthropological view on formation of societies is really cute, it kinda misses whole part between solitary individual and formation of those societies, that spanned for millennia...and exactly where LD takes place.

Katrina example is curious, not particularly relevant, but its a good intermediary one.

First of all, Katrina was not a random unknown disaster, it was expected and it was prepared for. Poorly, but still. Also, tropical hurricanes are not really new in Florida. It hit harder than expected, thats it. And after initial hit, that lasted at the most a few hours at any given location, it was just flood. Second, Florida is not located on the Moon and help was on site within hours. There were emergency supplies and services, people didnt starve to death, nor freeze to death, nor got mauled to death by wild animals.

At the same time crime rates in areas hit by hurricane skyrocketed. Hell, New Orleans was capital city of homicides in US for 4 years after Katrina(with 2/3 of them unsolved), even tho its population was reduces by almost 60%. And that considering that people didnt have to fight for survival. They killed, raped and pillaged simply because they could. And that while being part of functional society.

However, if we are talking examples, id rather go with infamous Donner Party. I find it far far closer to conditions we are presented with in the game and it also included sociological aspect.

So, cold - check, limited resources - check, isolation - check, wildlife - check. And they were familiar with each other before shit hit the fan.

And what do we have on balance sheet ? Murder - check, paranoia - check, cannibalism - check, violence - check.

And im supposed to believe that modern people, who are even less prepared to such conditions due to our reliance on technology, inferior physical and mental health, will just come together, sit by the fire and sing...

 

...rofl...

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2 hours ago, Dirmagnos said:

Katrina example is curious, not particularly relevant, but its a good intermediary one.

First of all, Katrina was not a random unknown disaster, it was expected and it was prepared for. Poorly, but still. Also, tropical hurricanes are not really new in Florida. It hit harder than expected, thats it. And after initial hit, that lasted at the most a few hours at any given location, it was just flood. Second, Florida is not located on the Moon and help was on site within hours. There were emergency supplies and services, people didnt starve to death, nor freeze to death, nor got mauled to death by wild animals.

At the same time crime rates in areas hit by hurricane skyrocketed. Hell, New Orleans was capital city of homicides in US for 4 years after Katrina(with 2/3 of them unsolved), even tho its population was reduces by almost 60%. And that considering that people didnt have to fight for survival. They killed, raped and pillaged simply because they could. And that while being part of functional society.

However, if we are talking examples, id rather go with infamous Donner Party. I find it far far closer to conditions we are presented with in the game and it also included sociological aspect.

So, cold - check, limited resources - check, isolation - check, wildlife - check. And they were familiar with each other before shit hit the fan.

So, a few comments.

1. Katrina was a months long ordeal and no, people didn't starve or freeze, but they did drown in their home when they couldn't get outside. New Orleans was below sea level so when the levies protecting the city broke entire sections of the city were underwater. At that time, there were roving gangs, looting, etc. There were also cases of strangers rescuing people (instead of robbing or murdering them) and assisting them getting to FEMA evacuation centers.

2. New Orleans had huge income inequality before the hurricane and this certainly did not change. Factors like crime are usually not as simple as x causes y.

3. To the best of my knowledge there are no documented examples of murder within the Donner Party. While they did eat their dead to survive they were not killing each other while doing do. And yes, while they did "know" each other most of them were strangers before setting out on the trail.

It is highly unlikely that everyone in the world would resort to being cannibalistic, lone sociopaths as soon as the lights go out. Just as it is highly unlikely that everyone will be angelic altruists who share and share alike. Life is not black and white. In all likelihood people will be suspicious, on edge, and possibly aggressive but, as you yourself pointed out, if resources are plentiful (game, fuel, natural medicines) and the stranger has valuable skills (can help gather more food, fuel, medicine) it is unlikely that "I must murder everyone" will be the default attitude. Will some people kill to get what they want? Sure, desperation and isolation do funny things. But it is still unlikely to be the default.  

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I think this is all moot, personally.

Fact is, if NPCs make it into the Sandbox, or more importantly when we deal with them in the Story, there ought to be some variety in their behaviour in terms of aggression/cooperation, and a variety of options for responding to them.

I want to be able to play like @Dirmagnos's raging sociopath if I feel like it; or alternatively I want to be able to play like a normal human being, if that suits my mood.

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6 hours ago, Pillock said:

 

Fact is, if NPCs make it into the Sandbox, or more importantly when we deal with them in the Story, there ought to be some variety in their behaviour in terms of aggression/cooperation, and a variety of options for responding to them.

I want to be able to play like @Dirmagnos's raging sociopath if I feel like it; or alternatively I want to be able to play like a normal human being, if that suits my mood.

That's actually how I personally expect the interaction with NPCs to work.

Some may be hostile and/or treacherous and you're better off killing (or at least avoiding) them entirely, others might be afraid of you at first, but can be calmed down and reasoned with once you gain their trust. And a third fraction might be cooperative right from the start.

What you make out of these stances, however, should be up to you. Killing the cooperative NPCs should be an option just like intimidating the fearful fraction to get their supplies or trusting the hostile ones and getting betrayed and stabbed in the back while sleeping. Your choices how to react to which NPC should matter a lot - and if you make a particularly unwise choice,you should suffer the consequences.

I for one would be extremely disappointed if NPC interactions worked otherwise. ;)

@Dirmagnos: We've had this discussion at least 10 times before and neither of us is going to change their mind, no matter which arguments we may present. Let's just hope we never encounter a situation that will prove (on a global scale) who of us is right. 

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4 hours ago, Scyzara said:

That's actually how I personally expect the interaction with NPCs to work.

Some may be hostile and/or treacherous and you're better off killing (or at least avoiding) them entirely, others might be afraid of you at first, but can be calmed down and reasoned with once you gain their trust. And a third fraction might be cooperative right from the start.

What you make out of these stances, however, should be up to you. Killing the cooperative NPCs should be an option just like intimidating the fearful fraction to get their supplies or trusting the hostile ones and getting betrayed and stabbed in the back while sleeping. Your choices how to react to which NPC should matter a lot - and if you make a particularly unwise choice,you should suffer the consequences.

I for one would be extremely disappointed if NPC interactions worked otherwise. ;)

Yeah. If I chose to murder a key NPC character and steal all his gear, I'd be a bit disappointed if the game gave me a "Mission Failed: Retry" screen.

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18 hours ago, cekivi said:

So, a few comments.

1. Katrina was a months long ordeal and no, people didn't starve or freeze, but they did drown in their home when they couldn't get outside. New Orleans was below sea level so when the levies protecting the city broke entire sections of the city were underwater. At that time, there were roving gangs, looting, etc. There were also cases of strangers rescuing people (instead of robbing or murdering them) and assisting them getting to FEMA evacuation centers.

2. New Orleans had huge income inequality before the hurricane and this certainly did not change. Factors like crime are usually not as simple as x causes y.

3. To the best of my knowledge there are no documented examples of murder within the Donner Party. While they did eat their dead to survive they were not killing each other while doing do. And yes, while they did "know" each other most of them were strangers before setting out on the trail.

It is highly unlikely that everyone in the world would resort to being cannibalistic, lone sociopaths as soon as the lights go out. Just as it is highly unlikely that everyone will be angelic altruists who share and share alike. Life is not black and white. In all likelihood people will be suspicious, on edge, and possibly aggressive but, as you yourself pointed out, if resources are plentiful (game, fuel, natural medicines) and the stranger has valuable skills (can help gather more food, fuel, medicine) it is unlikely that "I must murder everyone" will be the default attitude. Will some people kill to get what they want? Sure, desperation and isolation do funny things. But it is still unlikely to be the default.  

1. Katrina lasted for a week and as hurricane it was also constantly on the move, with no specific area being affected for more that a few days, and even that to various degrees due to size of the hurricane. Everything else was aftermath and result of poor planning.

And while exact number of casualties we will probably never know, estimated to be as low as around 1200 or as high as 3500. I couldnt find any hard numbers on numbers of drowned, but according to CNN(that i trust no more than next door drunkard, altho in comparison drunkard is probably fairly reliable), approximately 40% of them drowned.

Now, considering size of the city, amount of casualties is relatively low and majority of those who drowned were old people. Plus, according to survivors, first responders were rather picky who to save, which also contributed to death toll among elderly. And on top of that many of dead were mislabeled as drowned, even if they have died of different causes.

FEMA is a separate clusterfuck on this matter and it took them almost a week to get going. And yes, there were people saving people, but again, we are talking about functioning society - they knew that help is there, same FEMA camps(even tho many were actually send back), and even tho people knew that order will be restored, crime rates soared. And there was a lot more looters and rapist than there was those who helped. It was no end of the world and after initial hit situation was fairly bearable for majority.

2. What this has to do with anything ? Income inequality causes crime, fine, but it would be happening even before hurricane. And crime rates as result of hurricane went up comparing to what is "normal" for New Orleans.

You are referring to some absurd notion that crime rates in the city were compared to most criminalized city in US prior to hurricane and then to least criminalized areas after. Who does that ? Or even think about it ?

And yes, correlation does not imply causation, but you seriously want me to believe that increased crime rates in New Orleans during and after hurricane has nothing to do with this hurricane ? At the same time providing fairly similar claim about income inequality.

3. So, killing 2 indian guides for food is not a murder ? You, sir, are a racist ! In general, according to various sources, as many as 7 out of nearly 40 dead could have been murdered.

They were strangers before setting on a trail, but certain degree of familiarity had to be established between start of the journey and time when long pig feast has begun.

Yes, you are correct, majority of people are between those two extremes, and you are correct about abundance of resources as motivator. But you are also forgetting that those resources, in the game world, are quite finite and most people would lack skills and resources to be self-sustainable. Yes, there is deer, but not many people would actually posses skill to track it, shoot it, skin it and then make something out of it. Something as simple as roasting meat on open fire takes certain degree of knowledge of what you are doing. Its not flipping burgers at bbq.

And how much fuel there is do you think ? Can here and there, couple of gallons of gas in this car and few more in that. And thats it, there is no oil refinery in the area, as far as im aware. And that gas will be gone in matter of weeks, in best case scenario.

Natural medicines ? Do you know how to find them ? What they do ? How to prepare and use them ? Most people dont, even if they are actually living in such remote areas. They simply dont need it in their everyday life. Not every resident in rural area is a hunter with eagle eye, master tracker and reads herbarium in his spare time.

Few people will have "murder all" as default. But that was not the point to begin with. Practically everyone will be paranoid to a various degree in just a few days in. There is no help coming, supplies are limited and non-renewable and everyone will want to survive. How exactly are you supposed to know if that next guy is a samaritan with a heart of gold and all needed skills for survival, or is he a dangerous convict who have holed up nearby, being on the run from authority, on multiple counts of rape, murder and cannibalism ? After all, you only need to make this mistake once.

Main problem wont be hunger or cold, it will be lack of hope, that will amplify all the most basic instincts that person posses, main of them "do not trust strangers".

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8 hours ago, Scyzara said:

 

@Dirmagnos: We've had this discussion at least 10 times before and neither of us is going to change their mind, no matter which arguments we may present. Let's just hope we never encounter a situation that will prove (on a global scale) who of us is right. 

Considering that to date history tends to agree with my point of view, i truly hope so. After all, im not really that well adjusted to survive in such conditions either.

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22 minutes ago, Dirmagnos said:

3. So, killing 2 indian guides for food is not a murder ? You, sir, are a racist ! In general, according to various sources, as many as 7 out of nearly 40 dead could have been murdered.

They were strangers before setting on a trail, but certain degree of familiarity had to be established between start of the journey and time when long pig feast has begun.

In response to this it just hasn't come up in the few times I've read about the disaster. Doing a little digging, I was able to find an account that verified the murder: http://spartacus-educational.com/WWdonnerP.htm

However, as usual, there are some caveats. The guides had left with some of the party to try and get help. After a few days one person in the group wanted to murder and eat them. Another warned them to run away. Since they were starving they couldn't get far and were later murdered when the group caught up to them a week later. At this point, the group split into two (roughly along the lines of those OK with the act and those against it). Since the group were able to successfully hunt before the split (at least one deer was shot on the trek out) who is to say if more of the escape party may have survived if they kept working together? The sites I've checked didn't mention murders at the main site of the Donner party. I'm not ruling it out but there likely wouldn't be any need due to many dying from starvation and exposure.

The fallout of Katrina did last months. The storm may have been over in a few days but the flooding and damage to the city took months to fix.

I should have used wood instead of fuel since that's what I meant. There's plenty of wood (fuel) to keep warm all winter. It just takes a lot of effort to harvest especially for one person.

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