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Ice Hole

Safe Zones

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What is the deal with areas in the game world that are deprived of a predator.

You can stomp around the place wearing your best meat suit. 

Image result for lady gaga meat dress

The bunnies and deer might give you a second look but not one predator will come by.

This seems at odds with the game as a whole because there are large outdoor areas in The Long Dark that are considered safe from predator attack.

Introduction of the moose has helped the problem because now in some of theses areas there is a chance of an attack.

With the scent mechanic completely missing makes these areas seem unnatural because carrying meat and guts should be attracting predators. 

Without spoiling too much consider the Ravine area.  Carter Dam is near and there are wolves by the trailers.  Why are these wolves unable to pick up the scent.  Harvest a deer and none come over to investigate.  Have scent bars out the wazoo and still nothing.   The transition area should not stop scent from attracting predators.

What in this area is preventing wolves and bears from entering?

Could the solution be when scent is on spawn a predator after some time goes by?

Considering the ravine has a rope climb the predator would need to be agile and good at climbing rough terrain.

Edited by Ice Hole

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This game has enough predator density as it is, some of us players enjoy finding these secluded spots where we can feel safe, eventually you have to leave them for more loot like mushrooms, arrows, or access to a crafting table so I don't see a problem with areas like that. Currently the only useful areas without predators I know is that transition zone by the ravine, one in TWM and a couple spots in forlorn muskeg. All of them are missing several utilitarian resources due to being off the beaten path.

Even on a custom game with wildlife on low and aggression low, I get barked at almost every day, it gets pretty tiresome and the wolves become not very exciting and more just frustrating. I try just simply walking away with a flare in hand but they just pounce me on the back or if I throw it after they stop and growl, they still ignore it when they didnt used to. Brandishing was more fun and effective. In a 10 day sandbox I had 68 wolf close encounters according to the journal, luckily only 3 struggles (flare ignorers). And this was with me not actively seeking out trouble and trying to be stealthy.

Stealth has been pretty broken since the scent mechanic as well, without any meat or guts or crafted clothing I see wolves direct towards me at least a hundered meters away. Yes, the wind plays into it, but it's variability plays in their favor. 

Lately I've even been attacked by wolves that literally spawned a few feet in front of me and pounced before I can even bring out a deterrent.

Don't get me wrong, predators and wildlife like bears and moose are very exciting and important aspects of the game, but finding little spots like this is also what makes the game rewarding for the players looking to find them. It rewards experienced explorers.

Your cougar idea is great, the wildlife is so dense at the moment that if we were to add another hostile creature, we'd have to lessen the likelihood of other spawns to prevent the map from being super crowded. Unless they're ultra rare. It looks to me like cougar could fill in the gap at the ravine but if be annoyed if it respawned just as fast as the wolves. I could definitely see them in Timberwolf mountain as well.

New crafting recipie: Meat Dress

Lol.

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The safe zones are places that should be safe with a small chance of an encounter.  The moose has accomplished this but not being a predator doesn't care if you are carrying items that increase scent.  The safe zones are needed just that we should always be on our toes.  Expect the worst.  Hope for the best.  

The idea of having a rare encounter and the predator having the ability to track us anywhere is exactly what I am thinking .  The cougar is a great solution.

 

4 hours ago, MarrowStone said:

Stealth has been pretty broken since the scent mechanic as well, without any meat or guts or crafted clothing I see wolves direct towards me at least a hundered meters away.

The wolves patrol in predictable areas and if you take high ground this generally gives an advantage.  The wolf will come at  if you are seen or heard but this can be alleviated by throwing stones to distract them; the height allows the stone to go further.  This pretty much negates wolves for me as long as I am not carrying items with any scent.  Dropping the scent items is also another method.  Throw the stone to distract and when the wolf is further away pick up items and go.

Wolves spawning close seems like what is happening but I have noticed they are hiding in unusual places and setting traps. :ph34r:

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Yeah, I try those techniques I've learned over the four years of TLD playtime, I've just been unlucky and frustrated with it lately.

Lol, Idk how a wolf would hide in a flat expanse of ice in the southern part of mountain town. I know for a fact it spawned right there in front of me. I've had a bear jump out from under the ground before at mystery lake from a hillside but I think they fixed that one. 

I think your idea is valid and makes wildlife interactions more complex but I can see where it would have balancing issues if they gather too quickly aroubd player bases (less than seven days) and literally puppy guard the player from leaving their home. I'm all for predators spawning close and stealing the meat players leave on their doorsteps, it'd force players to either store it in the trunks of cars or inside. They shouldn't spawn close if your scent is mainly indoors or in a cave. I particularly want wolverines that steal from snares and compete with your rabbit hunting.

Maybe the cougar would act like this:

Perhaps for artistic liberties cougars are mostly sight oriented predators

Cougar spawn on fallen tree overhangs, cliff edges and high grounds in strictly wilderness locals. Particularly archways players can move under. If a player spots a cougar before it spots them they can avoid being pursued by staying out of it's line of sight. If a cougar sees a player, they will remain still until the player leaves their sightlines or foolishly stumbles into their "pounce zone" where they attack. Drawing a rifle on a cougar while out of the kill zone this will cause it to flee if it sees you. If not, you can drop it with a well placed bullet.

If the player leaves their line of sight theres a chance the cougar will pursue the player, or simply ignore them, depending on players condition and clothing/gear. Upon pursuit the cougar makes no sound except very quiet footsteps, waiting for the player to perform maybe a harvest or a timed event outside in which in which it will surprise attack midway through.

If a player becomes pursued by wolves the cougar will give up the chase, not liking dogs, lol. If they enter an indoor area, the cougar will remember it, and then spawn in an ambush spot close to that area. Wolves can "Tree" cougar if more than one spots it for you. You can sneak up behind the barking wolves and shoot it out of the tree, scaring the wolves in the process if you used a rifle. Or maybe treed cougar just disappear after a bit and the wolves give up.

If you enter a new region while pursued, the game will spawn it in with you. Much like the Old Bear. Sometimes it will spawn ahead of you if there's a nice archway for it to get you from. 

The only way to get pounced while being pursued and not harvesting etc is I've you find yourself in a deadly forested or hilly area with low line of sight, the cougar will be much more confident here and actively try to pounce you.

This is probably too complex but it was just me throwing out ideas in hopes something might work. The reason I gave it all these rules instead of it just straight up chasing you is to make it distinct from any other predator. The cougar is much more aware of your location, your condition, and is much more self preserving, it only attacks when the odds are not in your favor with these rules.

It also gives wolves a useful application as a trade off from the cougar.

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I personally see this game as having a toggle between having constant wolf attacks or no wolves at all. Even on the lowest setting for wolf populations I feel like I am just constantly stabbing wolves to death. I guess you eat two+ wolves a week though so maybe that's a good thing.

edit------------------

One thing I do want to mention is that it feels like there are way too many predators for the rest of the animal population. There just wouldn't be enough for them to eat.

Edited by odizzido
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Some serious two cents to that topic:

If this game needs something then it is some more realistic wildlife behavior. I am fine with predators following the scent of meat even to a so called "safe zone" but i would like to see more authentic wildlife behavior too:

  1. Wolf pack behavior and at least being able to disable those Kamikaze-Super-Terminator-Wolves and replacing them with authentically behaving ones. Lone wolves do not attack the player unless he is exhausted/injured but rather stalk and observe him from a distance. If you stray into a pack you just get murdered.
  2. Wolves and Bears should get attracted by meat lying in front of your house door (or basically everywhere else) thus forcing you to get more creative on where to store your meat (Which is basically on par with your idea). Wolves and bears should be able to snatch some pieces of meat over time.
  3. Rotting carcasses should attract predators after some hours making quartering a way more valuable choice.
  4. Not being able to decoy a wolf or bear with a 10g piece of meat (why would they ever choose a cheap decoy over of a 60-80 kg adult male carrying meat).
  5. More interactive wildlife. Wolves will not appear frequently in spots where there is no prey to hunt. Yet, the game locks them to certain spots. Why? Thats stupid. Let deer wander arround the map thus drawing wolves/wolf packs and bears with them. High deer density means high chance to encounter wolves and packs or even bears. Low deer density means low chance to encounter wolves (you cannot sustain a whole pack with bunnies only).
  6. Last but not least a little more fear factor for wolves. Imagine a squad of wolves is stalking you and prepares an attack to bring you down but then you manage to kill one of them. You should be able to avert a fight with that mechanic (if the others didnt commit already of course) because wolves are not dumb or suicidal. If you kill one of them it is more than likely that they will watch out for more suitable and less dangerous prey (and they remember you in future engagements what will make them more catious but by no means less dangerous).
  7. Oh and to finish my list: Far, Far, FAR longer time windows between death of an animal and its respawn. Even with longest possible respawn rate for wildlife you will struggle to have a wolf-free front-yard for more than a week. Lower respawn rates would also encourage nomad life due to depleting resources.

I think by enabling those mechanics it would be possible to at least think about removing those safe zones. As it is now it would make the game totally unplayable since the daily morning routine would consist of killing at least a half dozen of wolves and a couple of bears because of them lurking around your base all time.

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@TerribleSurvivor, you hit all the right points. 

I think the reason they are currently locked to a patrol is to make them more predictable and to block resource heavy areas or shortcuts. Its kind of cheap and annoying. Esp since they respawn so fast and there are only so many bullets.

I'm also glad you still included lone wolves. Most want to remove them entirely, but from the looks of it, the aurora is affecting the Wolves' behavior and possibly breaking the bands up. Some particularly desperate loners might be of average aggression, however.

Edited by MarrowStone

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5 hours ago, MarrowStone said:

@TerribleSurvivor, you hit all the right points. 

I think the reason they are currently locked to a patrol is to make them more predictable and to block resource heavy areas or shortcuts. Its kind of cheap and annoying. Esp since they respawn so fast and there are only so many bullets.

Yup! Killing a wolf should be more of an achievement rather than a frequently (3-4 days) repeating routine. A wolf´s fighting strength is actually pretty well implemented in the game and it feels real but the way they behave is more than awkward and really doesnt add much fun to the game since there are so many of them. Multiple wolves should occur rarely (one or two squads per map maximum). Wolf packs should appear only once or twice (perhaps even three times on high population settings) in the entire world. On whichever map they appear they should make this map much more dangerous to play because getting caught by such a pack should result in high death chances. Thus you would be forced to either wait it out until the pack moves one or alternativly leave the map until they disappear.

I'm also glad you still included lone wolves. Most want to remove them entirely, but from the looks of it, the aurora is affecting the Wolves' behavior and possibly breaking the bands up. Some particularly desperate loners might be of average aggression, however.

Lone wolves are no exception in reality. Usually, some male wolves leave the pack after reaching sexual maturity in order to find an appropriate mate somewhere else which causes them to wander around in the wilderness for quite some time. Desperate loners should be more aggressive in an encounter i agree with that. Those would be the rare occasions where a wolf should attack you in a suicidal last attempt to survive but that fight should have an utterly absolute outcome: It´s either you or him to lay dead on the ground. Not him fleeing and running a few miles before eventually collapsing because of blood-loss/exhaustion. Non-desperate wolves should have a more defensive and observative behavior (Checking if you are suitable prey? Predatory attacks? this kind of behavior). They should be chasing you away if you come too close to them. Fights should only occur if it is the player who provokes the wolf or looks like suitable prey (realistic behavior eventually).

 

Edited by TerribleSurvivor

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@TerribleSurvivor, perhaps these "desperate loners" can be distinguished visually from the others by having scars/arrows etc much like the Old Bear? To help players know the risks of agitating that one.

And yeah, loners are a natural occurrence in wolf behavior, but the sheer amount in this game and the rarity of larger packs can be justified by the aurora' s influence. 

What I really wanna see is kind of what you siggested, a large pack that wanders the whole map, while loners/smaller groups dot the rest of the areas. I can see where this might make predicting where the wolves are pretty difficult however.

If cougar aren't going to be implemented, perhaps they can introduce a white wolf that does more stalking and follows the player silently, waiting for them to harvest something etc. It'd blend in with the snow well.

Edited by MarrowStone

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17 minutes ago, MarrowStone said:

@TerribleSurvivor, perhaps these "desperate loners" can be distinguished visually from the others by having scars/arrows etc much like the Old Bear? To help players know the risks of agitating that one.

They would be distinguishable by their unusual behavior already (Which would be the common behavior of today´s wolves). Don´t see any need for that.

And yeah, loners are a natural occurrence in wolf behavior, but the sheer amount in this game and the rarity of larger packs can be justified by the aurora' s influence. 

Kinda. Depends on the environment though. This is more an artistic design decision

What I really wanna see is kind of what you siggested, a large pack that wanders the whole map, while loners/smaller groups dot the rest of the areas. I can see where this might make predicting where the wolves are pretty difficult however.

I would bind pack movement to movement of prey (mainly deer, perhaps moose). If you see larger groups of deer you can expect a wolf pack to appear in the region soon or having already entered it.

If cougar aren't going to be implemented, perhaps they can introduce a white wolf that does more stalking and follows the player silently, waiting for them to harvest something etc. It'd blend in with the snow well.

Kind of depends on what you want. I would personally prefer a cougar to be implemented in the game though. Specially behaving white wolves would be a little sketchy to me. I could imagine having differently coloured wolves in the game though. Would add to the visual variety of those beasts that the game is lacking in its current state.

 

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31 minutes ago, MarrowStone said:

distinguished visually from the others by having scars/arrows etc much like the Old Bear?

Something about this made me think of the Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick.

"Aye, like corkscrews.  He's spit full of harpoons, men!  And his spout is a big one, like a whole shock of wheat!  And he fantails like a broken jib in a storm!  Death, men!  You've seen him.  Moby Dick."

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