New difficulty mode : "realistic"


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Hello,

(in advance, sorry for my poor english, I'm french)

I usually like to play TLD in pilgrim mode, for one unique reason : the behaviour of wolves and bears is way more realistic. I like to take my time, and juste like they say, "contemplate the quiet apocalypse". In harder modes, TLD appears to me like a vulgar, "kill the enemy wolves" arcade game : definitely not what I am looking for. In reality, the biggest problems you may face in a survival situation would be surviving the harsh weather and hypothermia, finding potable water, getting something to eat and avoiding diseases and bruises. Definitely not confronting / hunting wolves and bears. But in pilgrim mode, I can get so much resources and face so few threats that my biggest problem usually become the weight of my backpack...

So, I suggest a new mode, with the following features :

1) Realistic animal behaviors : bears and wolves won't usually attack you (only at random times). If wolves attack you, it will usually come from a pack of wolves, not a solitary one (which would usually flee even before you see it). Rabbits will flee way before you get near them, and will get a boost in agility, so that you really can't hit them with a stone (or by pure luck).

2) Harsher weather conditions : Cold will be harsher, and the inside of the houses will get colder. So you HAVE to permanently find a way to stay warm, this would become your first priority, just like in reality. As weather is exceptionnally disturbed by the geomagnetic storm, blizzards can happen more often, and  may randomly last for days, maybe trapping you up to 10 days. These anormal and random blizzards can be both life-threating (do you have enough stocks in your backpack for 10 days ?), and be a welcomed phenomenom that brings random challenges even for experienced and well-equiped players.

3) Less effective clothes : Complementary to the previous point, there is no way adding clothes will get you so warm you can sleep outside without worry... This mode would lessen the effectiveness of clothes to keep you warm. With harsher and more unstable weather, and less effective clothes, going outside will become a risk by itself.

4) Scarcer resources : Finding a usable tool/clothe can become the happiest moment for the last week. Finding manufactured food, even ruined, could bring tears of joy to your eyes, after starving for days, and you won't hesitate to eat it right away despite very poor condition. Finding a few cardboard matches can become litterally life-saving. If resources are way more limited, your 3 priorities would become : not dying from cold, not dying from thirst, and not starving.

5) Harder to heal : Each disease or bruise will require days or even weeks to heal, handicaping you for a longer time. So you may become way more wary of your surroundings : is it really worth it to walk on this thin ice ? Is approaching a wolf with an unreliable handmade bow to hunt it really a good idea ? Getting a bruise should not be an secondary status ("oh, too bad, I got slowed down for 2 days"), but become life threatening ("if I go outside with this sprained ankle, I risk getting caught in a blizzard and die from cold, but I don't have enough food/wood to wait until it's healed !").

 

With these 5 features, that are just parameter values to change, surviving in TLD can become a whole new experience : forget the wolves/bears, your primary concern will become bruises, cold, thirst and hunger. Juste like in reality.

What do you think about this ? thank you in advance.

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Hi Stray Cat, and welcome to the forums. Many of the suggestions you've mentioned have been discussed "at length" over the years, and have been implimented into the game by Hinterlands which has evolved into the game we have today.

Many of your suggestions were incorporated into "Interloper" mode, which in itself, is still a rather new mode of game play which was introduced a year or so ago. You will find in Interloper, clothes don't keep you as warm, the weather is much harsher, and the resources are VERY scarce, and I believe healing time is much slower as well.

I do see your point about having a "mode" with these "harsh environmental qualities"  without the "highly aggressive" nature of the wolves, but don't know if Hinterlands would ever be willing to expand on the 4 different difficulty modes it has now. But you never know.....Hinterlands has always been very responsive to its community.

By the way, have you ever played "Joint Operations" by Novalogic???  Stray Cat "was" and still is my player name!  :)

Edited by cowboymrh
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Nice idea but remember that having that mode (although realistic) is being implemented into an apocalyptic survival; not just a survival.

I made a comment months ago that we should have a mode where the train lines were working, the houses occupied and the cars all working fine to drive between the sectors. There's a reason that idea was filed under the bad ideas section: TOO REALISTIC

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cowboymrh -> Thanks for the welcome. I think you've put your finger on it : it's similar to interloper, but with a more realistic animal behavior. This lets the player concentrate on surviving the harsh environment. I have the feeling that interloper has been developped to give an "action packed adventure lol" for youngsters used to high-speed first person shooters. It' totally legitimate for hinterland to appeal to this large base of players, but older geezers craving for a slow paced "count your matches and use your head" game got forgotten in the way. I have also seen many people wanting more realism to TLD. This new difficulty mode would totally answer this and give us all a "here is your realistic slow and painful death by frostbite-induced necrosis" instead of "evade the wolves to survive !". At the same time, hunting become way more difficult, because well, in reality a wolf can smell you and evade you long before you can see it. So a rifle / bow become kind of useless. Excepted for the rare occasion when a pack of wolf has decided to make a human their meal.
And sorry, no joint operation, only arma 3 for me.  Realism, when you get us... :)

 

Henroe32 -> I think the main difference between our ideas is that yours gives the player new and really powerful resources to survive. A usable car can give you protection from cold, wind and animals, while letting you go just wherever you want. This would cause a huge loss of balance and may probably ruin the whole game. My suggestion is rather to shift the danger sources from wild animals to [weather + lack of resources]. The apocalyptical part can easily come from a very unstable weather, rather than explaining the far-fetched idea that "the electromagnetic storm causes changes in animal behavior, but not for humans". This explanation could have become extraordinary IF hinterland had put some alteration on the player's mind, by example by creating hallucinations (like a sweet house in the far, that disappears when you approach it, or same for a campfire in the wild). But right now, I see this explanation as quite weak.

Edited by StrayCat
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On 8/3/2017 at 1:38 PM, cowboymrh said:

By the way, have you ever played "Joint Operations" by Novalogic???  Stray Cat "was" and still is my player name!  :)

Forgive my brief hi-jack, but I played that! It was great, huge maps and tons of players. One of my best gaming moments ever happened as waiting by a log bridge on the coastline I saw two lorries approach packed with enemy troops headed towards one of our bases. I stood up from behind some rocks and fired my rocket launcher into the lead truck, killing the first squad and causing the second truck to rear-end it. Then I took out the second truck. 

Um, that was the only moment I was ever pretty awesome in Joint Operations, but still had a blast with that game. 

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As for Stray Cat's Idea, it does sound like Interloper but with reduced wolf troubles, which I can see the attraction of. I also like the idea of injuries being more punishing, but I wouldn't go quite as far as taking weeks, unless the negative effects began to lessen over a long period of time, so you were still hindered after a week or so, but could still manage tasks whilst taking longer to do so. I think ten day blizzards would stretch people's patience too, unless there were quiet spots in between. No storm system really rages for so long uninterruptedly. I like the idea of reduced loot too, though.

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7 hours ago, StrayCat said:

I think you've put your finger on it : it's similar to interloper, but with a more realistic animal behavior. This lets the player concentrate on surviving the harsh environment. I have the feeling that interloper has been developped to give an "action packed adventure lol" for youngsters used to high-speed first person shooters. It' totally legitimate for hinterland to appeal to this large base of players, but older geezers craving for a slow paced "count your matches and use your head" game got forgotten in the way. I have also seen many people wanting more realism to TLD. This new difficulty mode would totally answer this and give us all a "here is your realistic slow and painful death by frostbite-induced necrosis" instead of "evade the wolves to survive !". At the same time, hunting become way more difficult, because well, in reality a wolf can smell you and evade you long before you can see it. So a rifle / bow become kind of useless. Excepted for the rare occasion when a pack of wolf has decided to make a human their meal.
 

I'd play this.  In fact, it's pretty much how (and why) I play Interloper.  There aren't many places in the game world where you can play like the wolves don't exist, but there are a few.   That's where you'll find me.   Not that I can't avoid or kill the wolves just fine, I just don't care for the wolves-gone-crazy premise much.

Another variant I tried that turned out to be a LOT of fun:  Pilgrim with two restrictions:  

  • You must start, and survive, only in Forlorn Muskeg.  (Very few manmade resources forces you into hunting for food and clothing pretty quickly... I ended up hunting wolves too, to make a jacket)
  • Your only weapon is the bow and arrow. (for more realistic hunting challenge)

The weather is pretty warm, but the maze of thin ice adds some more challenge.  Also, sticks and firewood tend to be a ways from the better spots for bases so I had to wander a lot.

Edited by Ruruwawa
my spelling is... :(
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You are totally right, I have seen that a lot : playing pilgrim with restrictions. But well, it's so frustrating, when you don't benefit from the entire features/map of the whole game. That's why I really think this difficulty mode would be the reciprocate of interloper, easily replacing less used intermediate mode.

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Considering that you pretty much described 80% of what the Interloper is about, I don't think we need this at all.

Additionally, here comes a logical fallacy in your so called "realistic" mode - you would present a game mode where the temperatures are falling down and the wildlife is less aggressive. Those two are competing each other. Lower temperatures equal higher calorie need to produce body warmth for animals. That is reflected in increased calories consumption. This leads to higher needs for calorie intake, hence why predators are hunting anything they can. 

I hate that lazy explanation that Hinterland made about why the wolves are so aggressive in the game, how they are affected by the storm. There is so much more logical explanation - fight for survival. During very hard winters, predators are known to get a lot more hostile than during the easier times when the game is rich. Darwin´s Survival of the fittest statement proves this to point, weak perish and strong survive.

Lower temperature = more desperate and dangerous predators.

2 minutes ago, StrayCat said:

 That's why I really think this difficulty mode would be the reciprocate of interloper, easily replacing less used intermediate mode.

1

LESS USED??! Voyager, which is what I expect is what you call an "intermediate" mode is probably by far the most played of all the game modes out there. Everyone who wants to play the TLD leisurely but also wants some challenge at it plays the Voyager. And you would have it replaced by a difficulty which is very close to that of Interloper, only takes away the dangers of wildlife attack.

Now I would much rather see some sort of "customizable" game mode which would allow players to generate the game to their liking. There were talks of customizable game mode but never too serious talks. 

And finally, your game mode would become old very quickly. I have played countless Interloper games in my time and I doubt I have ever died in any other way then through an animal attack, which often came in swiftly and in the least favorable moment of all. If predators no longer stalk and attack on sight, Interloper becomes just an easy Pilgrim with restrictions. 

Part of the fun of hostile modes is that you have to figure out ways to pass by the wolves, whether it is killing them, bribing them with bait or just distracting them away by stones. 

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I'm in agreement here. This is one of the only reasons I have been talking so much about some kind of Mod support .... I'd love a "Realistic" mode as well, and I think it could be a thing done really well with a community created mod pack. I have my list of changes already compiled,  in hope that I get to open the game files one day!

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The idea that wolves will hunt through desparation may be more logical but that does not explain why they are attacking immediately after the storm. It also doesn't explain why the bears are not in hybernation. They are a much needed hostile npc for the game and personally I can't think of a rationa explanation that both creates this mood of hostility and knocks the power out.

Personally I don't see any need to make the game any more colder (it's cold enough as it is) because if you have bad luck and start with a nice t shirt, ragged jeans and a nice pair of leather shoes making it between structures can be difficult enough as it is.

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My apologies if you thought I suggested to delete modes like voyager, that's not what I meant. Didn't know it was the most used.

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And you would have it replaced by a difficulty which is very close to that of Interloper, only takes away the dangers of wildlife attack. [...] If predators no longer stalk and attack on sight, Interloper becomes just an easy Pilgrim with restrictions. 

Although though my explanations it seems very similar, the gameplay would be absolutely different. I'am absolutely not suggesting a harder mode for "look-at-me-I'm-the-boss-I-always-play-on-impossible-mode" fast-paced players, but for more contemplative ones, who like to take their time. And it would be an answer for all the players wanting more realism to TLD.

Edit : re-reading my post, I apologize if it sounds sarcastic about fast-action players. I just wanted to highlight the differences between different types of players.

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Part of the fun of hostile modes is that you have to figure out ways to pass by the wolves

That is EXACTLY why i HIGHLY dislike those "hostile modes". Absolutely not realistic, and totally not what I'm looking for in TLD. ;)

Edited by StrayCat
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I get it, I used to have the problem with wolves too, but eventually, I figured out my ways around them. I still suck at it, but am getting better.

What you need is not a "realistic" game mode, what you need is a "customizable" one, which is something I would greatly support as well. Many people like to present their own challenges by using the existing modes and introducing some limitations, but I think it would be better if the people could pre-determine some aspects of their own individual game mode.

I can imagine an extra page of "new game creation" where you would create how brutal you want the weather to be, how frequently you want the weather to change, how hostile are the predators and if only some of them are hostile or all of them, or none, how many plants would spawn and if they would respawn and how often, how much firewood would spawn and how often, if the world gets progressively harder and how quickly, etc.

I think just about everyone would appreciate some option like that. No point to create a specific difficulty setting when just about every player would want something different.

I apologize for being a prick, I did not have to be so hostile in my response, I really don't know why I was, actually, it is not like I actually believed you would recommended removal of the Voyager in the first place. I was just tired and grumpy, I suppose - so please accept my apology.

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