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Time acceleration

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I have not yet tested this, but from reading comments - especially on Steam - I gather that the Vigilant Flame update brought about a fundamental change in the game mechanics which I did not see in the changelist. I am talking about in-game time being accelerated when we conduct an in-game activity which speeds up our "personal" time. This would have the greatest impact when we harvest a carcass: Before the update, harvesting would speed up the passing of our "personal" time while the surrounding game world would more or less "freeze". Our avatar would pass, say, two hours chipping hides/guts/meat off a carcass, and the distant wolf would only move a couple of steps within the same timeframe. Or we could "drop" a wounded animal by just passing one hour of time - the animal would drop almost in the spot where it was running when we sped up our "personal" time with rest. Several Steam forum users reported that they were jumped by wolves or bears while harvesting carcasses as a consequence of the new general in-game time acceleration.

First things first: I really like that change. The discrepancy in timelines was weird and immersion-breaking and allowed for unnecessary exploits. The game has now become a little more demanding, we need to do more thinking ahead. That's good and in line with the game's own premise.

I am a little irritated why this change was not announced in the changelist. It is quite fundamental, and in addition it brings along a risk to end coveted long-term runs many players may have kept in their save slots. Personally, I am not concerned, since I don't mind dying in a surprise. But I do understand people getting worked up over not having been warned in the changelist. Whatever, just a side remark.

Anyway, I would like to hear other players' opinions and potential insights concerning this change in game mechanics. Have you noticed it? Have you been mauled? Did you find it announced somewhere before the update came out? How do you like it? Does it change the way you play?

 

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I tested it - found a wolf in a distance on a nice day and hit "pass time", and yes, the wolf started moving very, very fast.

No verdict from my side so far. Yes, it is realistic in a way and it fixes the exploit you mentioned. It also exposes you to attacks without warning in situations where you could at least decide whether to fight or flee.

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Yep, I noticed this as well. I shot the three amigos by Mystery Lake and missed the one hitter on the last one. he did not drop on spot after I passed time by my fire. He was very close to the Camp Office when I found him. It also happened by River Valley with both bears I've killed there. 

Honestly this is a change for the better, bears are now a true menace and hanging out in bear territory is actually dangerous now. More reason to hunt them I guess. 

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This change makes sense, but I’ve been using this hunting exploit for a while. So now I’ll have a bit of challenge when hunting. I personally like this, it makes sense, but I just have to get use to it now. The thing it changes most is bears. Now you have to wait for them to bleed out the hard way, or shoot them till they drop. It also effects harvesting, and I’m not so sure about that. There was already the danger of being attacked on your way back from harvesting a carcass (because of your scent), so I don’t think animals should be accelerated while harvesting a carcass, but still while passing time normally.

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I was eaten by a bear this way at the frozen pond in ML. No bear anywhere within sight. I lit a fire next to a deer corpse, harvested the meat, and put it on the fire to cook. Still no predators nearby. I start harvesting guts, and hear the bear attack sound. I cancel harvesting (or did it finish? not sure), and come out of quick-time to find myself staring at a bear butt, then experiencing the joy of mauling.

The previous mechanic was immersion-breaking, and "cheating" in our favor. The new mechanic is game-breaking, and equally immersion-breaking.

 I mean, really, I wouldn't glance up once in a while while gutting or skinning a deer to see if there are any threats nearby? Unlikely. On the contrary, I can't imagine working more than about 10 minutes at a time trying to harvest, especially in the cold, and without the benefit of being able to hang the carcass. I'd need breaks just to warm up and get the kinks out.

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Does this *improved* world acceleration bring any change to weather changeability now? My idea is that the weather simulation, like the animal movement now,  has always been running at "full speed", it just wouldn't work any other way. Just remember the last time how a sudden blizzard would pick up while you're been busy harvesting/crafting, and watching your temp/healthbars plummet... That's much like your instant bear maul.

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2 hours ago, dead frozen dude said:

 Just remember the last time how a sudden blizzard would pick up while you're been busy harvesting/crafting, and watching your temp/healthbars plummet... That's much like your instant bear maul.

Blizzards are more manageable (in most situations). Being mauled by a bear heavily damages your clothes and brings you down to 10% instantly. With blizzards, you at least have some chance to get to shelter or set up a fire behind some rocks. And you can cancel harvesting once it hits, and you have time to escape it. With the bear, you have no warning whatsoever, and no chance of escaping. They should change it so you at least have a warning or chance in some way.

Edited by omoon66

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Just to update all of you - this new acceleration change, and how it impacts Wildlife encounters, is something we'll be making some tweaks to this week as we work on the hotfix. Thanks for your feedback!

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7 hours ago, Dan_ said:

I shot the three amigos

image.jpeg.d9ce8ec438f759adadbd501f242b488a.jpeg

But i did not shoot the deputy.

 

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8 hours ago, Ice Hole said:

image.jpeg.d9ce8ec438f759adadbd501f242b488a.jpeg

But i did not shoot the deputy.

 

But you did shoot the Invisible Swordsman.

----

There should still be responsibility on the player's shoulders to be aware of their surroundings before going into something that focuses their attention, but a wolf or bear coming within a certain range should break the player into normal time, perhaps even a moose as they can get rather cranky with personal space themselves.  Camera need not even fix on the threat, but leave it to the player to either try to find what broke their concentration or just make a blind break for it.

That's just my thinking on the matter.

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2 hours ago, Samsonguy920 said:

But you did shoot the Invisible Swordsman.

+1 for the reference. The death of the Invisible Swordsman is one of the most hilarious scenes I ever saw.

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12 hours ago, Patrick Carlson said:

Just to update all of you - this new acceleration change, and how it impacts Wildlife encounters, is something we'll be making some tweaks to this week as we work on the hotfix. Thanks for your feedback!

Dear @Patrick Carlson, please don't revert the change as such - it is a vast improvement.

I would also think twice about giving the player a warning - you can keep wolves at bay with a fire, and you can avoid bear/moose attacks by not doing long harvesting sessions in their territory. It also seems natural that a survivor could get lost in the harvesting process and not pay sufficient attention to the surroundings. 

If you DO have to give players a warning, please consider this: It would awesome to have conflicts with wildlife over resources (or, in other words, meat). I could imagine a situation in which I have harvested off a carcass and am interrupted by the grunt of a bear/growling of a wolf approaching. Now if drop all the meat and fresh guts/hides I have on me and back off, the bear/wolf will leave me alone and go for ther carcass, devouring it. However, if I try to leave with the foodstuff or fuss about, I will be attacked. The bear/wolf could even make clear its intentions by growling more intense if I turn to the carcass again or do anything else but drop smelly stuff I have in my backpack. Or you could make it so that the bear/wolf will tolerate me taking a fraction of the present meat with me as soon as enough is left on the carcass/floor and I back off immediately.

Another thing you should consider is potential exploits: If I attract a bear/wolf by harvesting a carcass and the game gives me a warning, I could use that to hunt: Just attract the bear/wolf by harvesting, and when I get a warning, I take out the rifle and shoot it. Right where my fire is anyway. Granted, this could take a bad turn if it's a bear and my shot doesn't take it down...

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Quote

It also seems natural that a survivor could get lost in the harvesting process and not pay sufficient attention to the surroundings. 

I'm no expert, but I've done some game processing. It's backbreaking work, and it would be impossible to do with mittens on. that means I'd need to harvest in small windows, then wash off my hands with snow or melted water and warm them up every few minutes (WHY OH WHY won't my dude put his hands in his parka pockets if he doesn't have gloves?! Frikkin frostbite!). There's no way I can imagine ever getting lost in the harvesting process. The idea that a novice could work for several hours straight without a break is nonsensical. Perhaps at level 4-5 skill that would make sense, but not for a novice.

We can already select to harvest meat a bit at a time, and look around. If we could have hide/gut harvesting "a bit at a time" (say 5-10 minute increments) also, this would solve the problem without giving us some magic predator-sense that guarantees we are not surprised.

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I too would rather see harvesting times to be done in shorter increments.... as already mentioned...harvesting previously felt like a cheat when predators were nearby and I would hate to see it go back to the old way...

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I also like the fact that the ability to force a bleed out through exploiting the behaviour of time compression is going away. But I don't like attacks occurring during time compression. Here is where my thinking takes me:

Harvesting carcasses is a risk/reward activity. To date, the risk has been primarily one of exposure. Harvesting on site exposes the player to outdoor temperatures, blizzards, and the like. The alternative is quartering, which allows the player to transfer the carcass to an indoor or otherwise sheltered location for processing. Importantly, whether you quarter or not does not protect you from predators. The scent mechanism means the threat of predators occurs because you are carrying uncooked meat. Quartering protects you from exposure, at the cost of some resources lost in the process. 

It is worth considering another alternative food source - fishing. The player is also completely protected from predators while fishing, as no predators can breach the fishing huts. The player has some protection from windchill, but air temperatures are still a factor. Scent remains an issue for transferring meat to more permanent shelter. Fishing is somewhat balanced in the sense that it is heavier per calories, and has a greater amount of scent associated.  

The use of fire while processing a carcass has not been to protect against wolves, although this is one effect. The utility of fire is generally

  • to thaw carcass if you do not have tools for processing
  • to keep the player from freezing during harvesting
  • to cook processed meat and reduce scent from carrying

It is resource intensive to maintain a fire during harvesting, and fuel can be wasted in the event of a blizzard. With the correct tools, the benefit of thawing carcasses is questionable. Also worth noting, fires do not deter bears. 

Other time-compression activities to consider: 

  • Chopping Tree Limbs
  • Repairing equipment/clothing
  • Harvesting equipment/clothing
  • Crafting gear
  • Sleeping
  • Waiting

My question would be - is it a design intention that all time-compressed activities undertaken outdoors include a threat of wildlife attacks? If so, what strategies can the player employ to mitigate these risks? A warning system, or the ability to simply break from activities because wildlife threats are detected is not a strategy. It may make sense, particularly in the circumstance where simply waiting outdoors may result in a sudden wolf attack (not yet tested). But I'm not sure it makes for compelling gameplay if I am interrupted chopping a tree limb because a wolf approaches. I'm not going to light a fire to harvest wood in case of wolf attack, and interrupting the action is basically failing it.  

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8 minutes ago, LucidFugue said:

My question would be - is it a design intention that all time-compressed activities undertaken outdoors include a threat of wildlife attacks? If so, what strategies can the player employ to mitigate these risks? A warning system, or the ability to simply break from activities because wildlife threats are detected is not a strategy. It may make sense, particularly in the circumstance where simply waiting outdoors may result in a sudden wolf attack (not yet tested). But I'm not sure it makes for compelling gameplay if I am interrupted chopping a tree limb because a wolf approaches. I'm not going to light a fire to harvest wood in case of wolf attack, and interrupting the action is basically failing it.  

Maybe by not doing anything with time-compressing while predators are close without an active counter-measure? Predators do not actively seek out for you over longer distances than a stone´s throw. Clearing the area from predators is the only strategy that comes to my mind and kind of makes sense, does it?

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Thinking back many versions ago, I remember there was a risk of getting attacked during time compression once. At least for sleeping outdoors - you could (and would) get attacked by wolves in your sleep, if I remember correctly even in areas where no wolves could be seen. Can anyone remember clearly? It's been so long...

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I remember. I actually got the starry night achievement because I was cornered by a wolf in the ruined house in Deadfall area, Mystery lake. That was when you could harvest wood from a menu option, so I was basically gathering fuel for the stove in that ruined house, keeping the fire going, and sleeping in my bedroll, while the wolf kept failing to path towards me. 

But that was a long time ago, and I'm almost certain we haven't been able to go from time compression to wolf struggle for a long time. Hence why I bring it up... I don't believe we have adequate tools to mitigate this risk. It's already sensible to harvest in small increments, because of weather shifts and the speed at which one can freeze. But the smallest increment in some instances is 45 minutes, which is a long time for wildlife movement. 

6 hours ago, TerribleSurvivor said:

Maybe by not doing anything with time-compressing while predators are close without an active counter-measure? Predators do not actively seek out for you over longer distances than a stone´s throw. Clearing the area from predators is the only strategy that comes to my mind and kind of makes sense, does it?

If by clearing the area from predators you mean hunting them out, that seems an extreme action to be able to harvest tree limbs or extract gut safely from carcasses. There is a great deal of skill involved with avoiding wolf struggles, but I've never seen any player able to avoid being detected/tracked by wolves. The problem time compression brings is that the player has no opportunity to engage any active countermeasures. 

It's a bit like now we have a new fail state for cooking - burning food. It is within the player's control and responsibility to manage their time and collect cooked food before it burns. Prior to this update there was no way to "Fail" cooking and burn your food. This new failure state brings a richness to the task that did not exist, but it would have felt arbitrary and dis-empowering for a player to lose resources to what felt like random chance. 

I'm wondering if it's feasible, and preferable to retain wildlife movement during time compression, but prevent aggression/attack. I think I'd prefer that over simply cancelling out of compression activities when danger is near. Cancelling amounts to a failure for most activities, and having success exist at the whims of wildlife movement patterns would feel like random chance.

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46 minutes ago, LucidFugue said:

If by clearing the area from predators you mean hunting them out, that seems an extreme action to be able to harvest tree limbs or extract gut safely from carcasses. There is a great deal of skill involved with avoiding wolf struggles, but I've never seen any player able to avoid being detected/tracked by wolves. The problem time compression brings is that the player has no opportunity to engage any active countermeasures. It was just the very first thing that came in my mind. There are other possible ways of dealing with wildlife while time is passing quickly.

I'm wondering if it's feasible, and preferable to retain wildlife movement during time compression, but prevent aggression/attack. I think I'd prefer that over simply cancelling out of compression activities when danger is near. Cancelling amounts to a failure for most activities, and having success exist at the whims of wildlife movement patterns would feel like random chance. Only if it´s possible to toggle this on/off in custom settings!

Don´t get me wrong, i know what you mean but due to the way the game is designed right now it is not really possible to introduce a cancel-process-when-danger-comes-close. Just imagine a wolf preventing you from finishing a harvest that´s 99% (or even 50%) done: "Oh, too bad! You lost your entire progress because a wolf came close". And even if would cancel your process then what? The wolf is so close that a charge is probably imminent. And having your process cancelled just because a wolf strayed a bit closer is not a good solution. It would also not fit into the game to disable aggression of wildlife while harvesting. Thats just not authentic to me. I could imagine that as an option in the custom settings though.

To prevent predators from attacking you or at least to reduce the chance of such unfortunate events you got a variety of options:

  • The most obvious first: harvest while being crouched!
  • Light a fire while harvesting something (to scare off wolves, keep you warm and proactively cook some meat)
  • If you know a bear is close harvest the carcass while looking at his general bearing to have an early warning when he closes the distance. That requires you however to minimize the time you pass by harvesting (usually 20 minutes). Yes, he could surprise you in the meantime but thats the risk of harvesting with a bear being close!
  • Consider laying some decoys between you and potential predators (bears especially - Dunno if it works though - needs testing)
  • Don´t harvest if bears are close and without appropriate counter-measures
  • Consider quartering Carcasses and take as much with you as you can carry (You will most likely not be able to process through 100% of it´s quantity anyways due to ridiciulous cooking times)
  • Consider killing single wolves or even bears. They provide some additional resources and you might have some days without those pesky creatures harassing you.
  • Last but not least Consider choosing hunting spots where predators are not too common (Ravine?) or that you keep predator-free on a regular basis.
  • Oh and bunnies deserve a honorable mention. They have become much more valuable since last patch!

To come to a conclusion: I am agreeing with you that you should be able to interupt a process for a short amount of time to deal with possible interferences due to wildlife. They would need to add a progress value for each time-accelerated harvesting action though. Or even better, They could provide an option to take a look at your surroundings every 5 or 10 Minutes while processing something to enable you to make sure that you are not in immediate danger.

Edit: Maybe even simpler. A warning symbol that shows up if a hostile animal (not specifying which one though) locks on you with a pop-up to cancel your process now or finish it if its close to being done (enable risky choices).

Edited by TerribleSurvivor
grammar, additional ideas

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I think you misunderstood me. I was suggesting that the pre-existing behaviour (i.e. wolves never attacked a player during time compression) was preferable. I wasn't against animal movement during time compression, particularly to resolve the exploit of waiting to force a bleed out on wounded animals. But I thought any sort of warning/cancel behaviour was counter to the design as I understood it, and a band-aid solution. My suggestion was, if possible, to prevent all attacks during time compression, as was the behaviour previously. 

Latest hotfix appears to do just that, so I'm quite pleased: 

*[All] Wildlife will no longer attack players during accelerated time, unless they were already detected prior to beginning an activity. This addresses an issue where players were being ambushed by predators during accelerated time actions.

 

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9 hours ago, LucidFugue said:

My suggestion was, if possible, to prevent all attacks during time compression, as was the behaviour previously. I think i covered this in my post and even came along with some alternative ideas

Latest hotfix appears to do just that, so I'm quite pleased: 

*[All] Wildlife will no longer attack players during accelerated time, unless they were already detected prior to beginning an activity. This addresses an issue where players were being ambushed by predators during accelerated time actions. "Pleased to hear that they improved your gameplay experience. For me, personally, it really takes away from it, sadly..."

 

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