My experience and thoughts after playing 50 hours


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I started playing about 2 weeks ago and quickly became very interested and played for 50 hours already. The game was a very pleasant surprise for me. The trailers and the reviews on Steam were enough to draw me in, but it was much better than I expected.

The early experiences you have when you don't know how things work or what's going on, or what's going to happen next, are an absolute blast. At first I was a little frustrated that there was hardly anything in the way of tool tips or tutorials to explain things (since many games spoil you this way), but in hindsight I think that's for the best. The funny/scary/wtf/omg/holy shit moments that you have in your early runs are some of the best and most fun. Along with that, discovering how things work and what your character's limits are is a very enjoyable process.

After I had the basics understood and well learned, I was excited to dig deeper and then take that knowledge into a very long Stalker run. I had seen the Leaderboards on Steam and I was hungry :twisted: I did a bunch of personal tests in Voyager and some reading in the forums and then started my Stalker game.

Everything went very well, I managed to get through the early looting stage and set up nicely at the Gas Station with everything I needed for long term survival. Then I got to know the wolf habits in that area, where the deer would be and things got really easy. After about 40 days I had 45kg of deer/wolf meat (which I learned was wasteful because some of it actually decayed before I even needed to eat it), 40+ logs of firwood, I don't even know how much water because I dropped it all on the floor, and enough skins and guts to do lots of crafting. At this point, I passed the time by crafting and sleeping, and when I had nothing left to craft, I just slept, drank water, slept some more and ate every once in a while. I did that straight for the next 35 days or so, until my food was just about to run out. 80 days in I had two pairs of deerskin boots, three pairs of rabbitskin gloves, a wolf coat, a well stocked base, and plenty of supplies left untouched in about half the Coastal Highway map, and after that the entire Mystery Lake map.

And this is where things got really questionable for me. I started my game with the plan to take a shot at top 10 on the Stalker Leaderboards, but all the sleeping (and really nothing else to do for long stretches) was just super boring. And I knew that I had A LOT more of that routine to get through if I wanted to survive for years. So I decided that with more updates and maps to come, I'd just mess around a bit with the wolves until I died and then start a new game to do the Pacifist and Silent Hunter achievements. And now I'm at the point where I know I won't play until at least the next major update.

So yeah, an excellent game and a great experience, but Stalker or even harder modes may need more ways to pass time in order to keep things interesting. It's a lot of fun when you are always thinking and planning for what supplies you need and the best ways to accomplish that, but when that stops and all there is to do is sleep/eat/drink for month long or longer periods at a time, that's no good.

A few other things just off the top of my head:

  • Being able to cook stacks of meat at a time, the same way you can forage for lots of wood, or melt/boil a lot of water at once. Cooking like 12kg of meat from a deer/wolf combo is very tedious and the speed increase on the clock from cooking it all at once would be nice.
  • To expand on that, maybe a drop down menu or the option to type in the desired amount. If I have 20 liters of unsafe water that I want to boil, it's annoying to click on the arrow 40 times.
  • I think matches stored in a container should degrade slower, shouldn't they? My own personal test revealed that they lose 10% condition every 25 days, meaning that even when finding them at 100% condition, they'd disappear in just 2/3 of a year. I think there should be less of them to be found by looting the map, but the matches you do find should last a long time and be regarded as precious.

Other than that, I think the game is in a really good place so far. I'm looking forward to future updates and eventually taking a shot at the Leaderboards when the game is more complete. Thank you for making an awesome game! :D

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