Alphyrion

Randomized item locations for infinite replayability

Recommended Posts

22 hours ago, UpUpAway95 said:

Finding a fish in an oven makes a lot more sense than finding a heavy hammer there.  I can certainly head canon an explanation - Perhaps some person walking to the coast used the house and tried to use the oven to cook a fish that was caught long after the original family of the house abandoned it.  Perhaps they are only an hour or two ahead of Will/Astrid.  As for the sweaters in TWM being at 40%, I usually don't get up there until later in my game (nearing day 500) so my head canon is that they've been sitting there deteriorating while I explored all the other areas of the map.

What's the game you play that has 100% random loot... without at least placing some choicer loot in places that are more difficult to get to?  I play at lot of FO4 and loot is certainly not totally random in that game.  Even drops aren't totally random since they change as the player levels up.  I played TW3 and loot certainly isn't totally random in that game (I go to this place for the Cat armor, that place for this particular sword, etc.).  I'm currently playing RDR2... again, it's not all random loot but has numerous placed items that are always there.  Even Minecraft isn't toally random since certain things only spawn in certain biomes.

If you make, say, the moose satchel a truly random spawn, it means it could spawn in the Camp Office.  If you find it there, then what is the point of even trying to go up to the signal tower... for your upteenth hatchet (if you're not in loper) and some food?  Right now, it's spawning in a place that, guaranteed, it's going to take some effort to acquire it.  Knowing it's there, doesn't make that journey any easier (and I have a feeling timberwolves are going to make it a lot harder soon).  I really don't have a problem with it not being a random spawn.

Addendum:  If someone stacked the odds in any way with any sort of algorithm in a slot machine, the odds of winning are no longer "totally random."  They're being manipulated.  If Hinterland can (and wants to) write an algorithm that ensures 1) choice loot only spawns in hard to get to locations; 2) disperses choice loot so that the player cannot totally equip themselves in a single zone; 3) ensures that the containers and places in which we find certain types of loot make some semblence of sense; and 4) don't litter the game world with an excessive amount of "random" containers, they can do that... but I'd still then that it's not "totally random" loot.

I'm fine with leaving appropriate items in appropriate places even though odd things here and there wouldn't bother me at all. When I started playing this game ~ as regions were added ~ the degradation didn't begin until you entered that region. While the change makes sense, it also means I spend the first 30 days doing nothing but scavenging. After that there just isn't much left to do beyond grinding out days. 

The game I play with random loot is the same one I've got 4787 hours into. It is modded into a recreation of this game with harsher weather, almost no loot at all, more night than daylight, and more blizzards. I play with Requiem or on Legendary (Legendary if I use Alone and Lonely which remove cities and towns and npcs), Frostfall, Campfire, Hunterborn, Realistic Needs and Disease, Realistic Animals and Predators, several weather mods, etc. Most of the survival mods allow for setting loot to minimum amounts (12 pounds vs. 80-120 pounds of meat from large animals), along with high level loot mods to remove/lessen item spawns. In addition to making several of these play nice together, I've modified several in Tes5 and/or the creation kit to adjust things a bit more. Without houses and bandits to loot, there isn't a lot left but plants and animals, and harvesting animals requires a fire. There is no run to point A, B, C etc., only take what you find and craft something to get keep you alive another day. 

The difference is that I CAN craft things to do that, there are no mechanics that cause storms to eat my clothing or the animals psycho. A bear or a sabre cat at level 1 when I'm all squishy will do me in … but if I can make it to level 15 or so I at least have a chance. I play without perks and just the basic skill tree. I also play with all sorts of stews, teas, cured meats, bread, butter and cheese (if I can keep the cows safe) ~ and I can plant and harvest items in a few limited locations. I travel with two tents; one for rain, one for snow. Fast travel is disabled, frigid water will kill me, and if I freeze I die ( and start over) … same as in this game. A few pluses are that I can catch and tame a wild horse if I want (modded), find an orphaned wolf pup and raise it (if I can protect it and feed it until it is grown), develop my skills and build a campfire that won't blow out, and so on.

The first pelts/skins I harvest are generally ruined. Then they are of poor quality. The same goes for crafting. Failures then low quality items that gradually get better. Most food that IS found lying around or in a barrel or sack is moldy and will make me sick. Staying clean is a must ~ and a challenge in freezing temps. There are no magic pills for illnesses, and if I run out of food or firewood I'll die (and so will my wolf pup until he is grown and can hunt for himself). I turned an RPG into a true survival game by combining the mods, editing some, and creating two to complement the rest. 

As for finding quality loot in 'easy' places, I've already said that could/should be addressed, although I'm not sure that it matters all that much. Even if you find a moose satchel in the Camp Office, you may not find decent clothing, tools, medicine, or other supplies until you go through two other regions. One play through may set you up in your starting region … another may have you frantically scavenging over half the island. As I've said ~ to me what matters is actually being able to survive based on my own skill vs. rng. For my tastes, there is already too much loot on any level in TLD, and what few skills that are addressed would have most people dead or dying before they ever got to level 5. 

All I can really say is to each their own ~ but I'd bet good money that many experienced loper players would be seriously challenged with my setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Interesting how many people seem to have modded Skyrim into some variant of "The Long Elder Scroll". I attempted the same, but eventually found things would take up too much time. I've also even been working on quite an extensive minecraft mod to accomplish a similiar game as TLD, but eventually declared that effort too much for my family life as well as probably futile to begin with.

I even implemented a timelapse mechanic similar to TLD, and breaking blocks, trees, or anything really in the game would cost you similar resources: calories and daylight, essentially, same for placing blocks. So if you were good you could dig 16 blocks of dirt in a day, or mine 4 blocks of stone, twice the amount of that if you managed to get hold of steel rather than iron tools. Trees were managed differently than vanilla minecraft does in that you break the entire tree for blocksOfWood times 1 hours of time, but I never quite got the algorithm right, so there was a bug where you would be presented with the option to chop down an entire forest in one go, but it would take you a few thousand hours :D

It had a crude implementation of random shelters (basically randomly spawning wooden huts not too dissimilar from how villages are generated), and loot was randomized as well as the landscape, of course. And that's where, at least for me, issues started cropping up. Sometimes I would not find shelter before I was exhausted or frozen. Sometimes I would find 3 huts in the immediate surroundings. Sometimes I wouldn't find matches (basically a retextured flint&steel), sometimes I would find 4 in a random chest in the woods. I'm not saying such a thing cannot be balanced. But it helped me understand greatly why loot tables were probably implemented in the first place.

Plans to mitigate this included to adjust the world generator to make sure that I have at least 2 huts in around 50 meters of where I spawn, and to do something similar to loot chests (which were my crude makeshift way to simulate random loot since minecraft does not allow placing objects in the world), but I sorta lost the drive to keep it going at that point. There was still so much to do, and it was a serious bugfest. But it tought me something quite important about TLD 😉

Edited by jeffpeng

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, loriaw said:

I'm fine with leaving appropriate items in appropriate places even though odd things here and there wouldn't bother me at all. When I started playing this game ~ as regions were added ~ the degradation didn't begin until you entered that region. While the change makes sense, it also means I spend the first 30 days doing nothing but scavenging. After that there just isn't much left to do beyond grinding out days. 

The game I play with random loot is the same one I've got 4787 hours into. It is modded into a recreation of this game with harsher weather, almost no loot at all, more night than daylight, and more blizzards. I play with Requiem or on Legendary (Legendary if I use Alone and Lonely which remove cities and towns and npcs), Frostfall, Campfire, Hunterborn, Realistic Needs and Disease, Realistic Animals and Predators, several weather mods, etc. Most of the survival mods allow for setting loot to minimum amounts (12 pounds vs. 80-120 pounds of meat from large animals), along with high level loot mods to remove/lessen item spawns. In addition to making several of these play nice together, I've modified several in Tes5 and/or the creation kit to adjust things a bit more. Without houses and bandits to loot, there isn't a lot left but plants and animals, and harvesting animals requires a fire. There is no run to point A, B, C etc., only take what you find and craft something to get keep you alive another day. 

The difference is that I CAN craft things to do that, there are no mechanics that cause storms to eat my clothing or the animals psycho. A bear or a sabre cat at level 1 when I'm all squishy will do me in … but if I can make it to level 15 or so I at least have a chance. I play without perks and just the basic skill tree. I also play with all sorts of stews, teas, cured meats, bread, butter and cheese (if I can keep the cows safe) ~ and I can plant and harvest items in a few limited locations. I travel with two tents; one for rain, one for snow. Fast travel is disabled, frigid water will kill me, and if I freeze I die ( and start over) … same as in this game. A few pluses are that I can catch and tame a wild horse if I want (modded), find an orphaned wolf pup and raise it (if I can protect it and feed it until it is grown), develop my skills and build a campfire that won't blow out, and so on.

The first pelts/skins I harvest are generally ruined. Then they are of poor quality. The same goes for crafting. Failures then low quality items that gradually get better. Most food that IS found lying around or in a barrel or sack is moldy and will make me sick. Staying clean is a must ~ and a challenge in freezing temps. There are no magic pills for illnesses, and if I run out of food or firewood I'll die (and so will my wolf pup until he is grown and can hunt for himself). I turned an RPG into a true survival game by combining the mods, editing some, and creating two to complement the rest. 

As for finding quality loot in 'easy' places, I've already said that could/should be addressed, although I'm not sure that it matters all that much. Even if you find a moose satchel in the Camp Office, you may not find decent clothing, tools, medicine, or other supplies until you go through two other regions. One play through may set you up in your starting region … another may have you frantically scavenging over half the island. As I've said ~ to me what matters is actually being able to survive based on my own skill vs. rng. For my tastes, there is already too much loot on any level in TLD, and what few skills that are addressed would have most people dead or dying before they ever got to level 5. 

All I can really say is to each their own ~ but I'd bet good money that many experienced loper players would be seriously challenged with my setup.

One premise being suggested by this thread though is that randomized loot would "force us" into doing more exploring.  I disagree and have pointed out that it also has a chance (being random) to discourage exploring.  If you do find a moose satchel in the Camp Office, you're not likely to be inclined to go looking for another.  Same with the distress pistol (which is another set spawn in this game).  If you find one in the Trapper's Cabin, you're not likely to be inclined to worry about getting a rope to go down into the bottom of the ravine.  Since the rope is a reasonably consistent spawn at the destroyed lookout, you may not be inclined to go up there to try to find it.  The pattern will most likely change from planning routes to get to the tough areas to find specific gear to just hitting all the easy places first and, if randomly lucky, not bother looking for anything else.  I don't think that's necessarily better than making plans to hit the more difficult places in the game early on in order to acquire specific choice loot.

The issue with the loot tables right now is merely that there aren't enough different ones made yet.  With 10 different ones, the loot on them will appear to be more random.  Instead of a 1/4 chance of finding something that defines what one of four loot tables you're on, you'll only have a 1 in 10 chance at the outset and you'd possibly need to find 2 or more items before you could narrow down your game to a single loot table (that's even if you've obtained a spreadsheet and are following it).  As I said, I would expect that more will be added just to accommodate new items and new regions being added to the game.  The devs can decide for themselves, but I personally (just me and my little own opinion) really don't see a need to change the rationale behind their loot system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I agree with most of what you say @UpUpAway95, I think more loot tables is the way to go...  I also agree that there is something unexpectedly positive that arrived with the publication of the loot tables, in terms of the chess like planning of your route based on working out what you need and where it is.

As I've said before I'd like to be able to choose, which is why I'd love to have an option to choose between the Classic 4 loot tables, which are completely mapped out, or a new set of 10 loot tables (we seem to be using 10!) which no doubt the community will then start mapping! (which as I've said I think is a fun project!).  As I said before, if we map out the ten, we can ask for more...

Incidently, I'd be happy to throw down a decent bit of cash maybe 10$ just to have a new set of 10 loot tables added. LTF (loot table fatigue) is definitely an "experienced player problem" and I guess with the business model as is there is little incentive to do work that only really makes a difference for people who have already got a lot out of the game...

You make a great point in the last paragraph about needing to find two items, to work narrow down your loot table. This would be the case if a placed key item could exist in more than one loot table. At the moment, they are unique to one and only one table. Of course for that to change the dynamic in the way you suggest, you would need to have access to all the loot tables the first item could have been placed by...(eg. Oh right, bedroll in cave near mystic river picnic area, if I'm on table 1 there will be a hacksaw on the summit of timberwolf but if I'm on table 7 then I'm gonna be out of luck... do I go all that way to find out, is there an alternative route that will narrow it down...) Of course this would be a long way off if we got a new set of 10 tables, since it will take the community time to map them, but I agree it would introduce a new element of luck and strategic planning at the early stages of the game. You would quite soon however, if you survive, narrow down your loot table and have a predictable rest of game in terms of key item placement.

I still maintain that the placement of guaranteed match spawns irks me, but what-evs....

I am going to start new threads with the topics on predator-prey distribution and harvestable resources, as they are tangential to the main point of this thread.

 

Edited by lyttol
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Interesting how many people seem to have modded Skyrim into some variant of "The Long Elder Scroll". I attempted the same, but eventually found things would take up too much time. I've also even been working on quite an extensive minecraft mod to accomplish a similiar game as TLD, but eventually declared that effort too much for my family life as well as probably futile to begin with.

I even implemented a timelapse mechanic similar to TLD, and breaking blocks, trees, or anything really in the game would cost you similar resources: calories and daylight, essentially, same for placing blocks. So if you were good you could dig 16 blocks of dirt in a day, or mine 4 blocks of stone, twice the amount of that if you managed to get hold of steel rather than iron tools. Trees were managed differently than vanilla minecraft does in that you break the entire tree for blocksOfWood times 1 hours of time, but I never quite got the algorithm right, so there was a bug where you would be presented with the option to chop down an entire forest in one go, but it would take you a few thousand hours :D

It had a crude implementation of random shelters (basically randomly spawning wooden huts not too dissimilar from how villages are generated), and loot was randomized as well as the landscape, of course. And that's where, at least for me, issues started cropping up. Sometimes I would not find shelter before I was exhausted or frozen. Sometimes I would find 3 huts in the immediate surroundings. Sometimes I wouldn't find matches (basically a retextured flint&steel), sometimes I would find 4 in a random chest in the woods. I'm not saying such a thing cannot be balanced. But it helped me understand greatly why loot tables were probably implemented in the first place.

Plans to mitigate this included to adjust the world generator to make sure that I have at least 2 huts in around 50 meters of where I spawn, and to do something similar to loot chests (which were my crude makeshift way to simulate random loot since minecraft does not allow placing objects in the world), but I sorta lost the drive to keep it going at that point. There was still so much to do, and it was a serious bugfest. But it tought me something quite important about TLD 😉

I'm in the process or reworking two mods that removes the cities and most npcs (everything but animals and the undead) into a single one. I figure I've got more than a few months of work ahead of me to make it stable, remove all the markers, triggers, redo landscape where cities 'were', rework pretty much the entire navmesh cell by cell, etc. 

 I will likely have to create new mods to alter the creature and weather since most people don't have a clue how to use Tes5 to remove master dependencies OR mesh incompatible mods to play nice together. 

I agree ~ modding Skyrim into a variant of TLD is work. I'm a fairly experienced modder and it took over 6 months to get a stable load order ~ and it definitely requires a good bit of Tes5 know-how. The biggest issue to removing the buildings/npcs/quests is that 99% of the available mods require the patch as a master. The two mods currently available to remove the cities and npcs require NO patch. Granted, just playing the game with no patch and only those two mods (and random start to bypass the beginning) is difficult all on its own. I wanted more lol … so I dove in and worked it until I got it more than just partially functional. There ARE a rather dedicated bunch of us out there working on this though. Mostly it's driven by a love of TLD ~ and making the potential a reality. Skyrim was created to be modded, and the amount of resources and programming to push the limits are phenomenal. 

My biggest issue is living in a tiny house and trying to cram three monitors (in addition to my husband's) onto a single desk (thankfully I know how to use wall space!!), microphones, external drives, etc. has been a challenge all by itself. My children are grown .. but I have cats *G* who love to assist me. I also have an overflowing and constantly filled swear jar! My grandsons play Minecraft, but so far I haven't … that might be a good thing since it could potentially unleash another monster *G* In any case, I will be uploading a final product (or three) to Nexus at some point. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, loriaw said:

I'm in the process or reworking two mods that removes the cities and most npcs (everything but animals and the undead) into a single one. I figure I've got more than a few months of work ahead of me to make it stable, remove all the markers, triggers, redo landscape where cities 'were', rework pretty much the entire navmesh cell by cell, etc. 

 I will likely have to create new mods to alter the creature and weather since most people don't have a clue how to use Tes5 to remove master dependencies OR mesh incompatible mods to play nice together. 

I agree ~ modding Skyrim into a variant of TLD is work. I'm a fairly experienced modder and it took over 6 months to get a stable load order ~ and it definitely requires a good bit of Tes5 know-how. The biggest issue to removing the buildings/npcs/quests is that 99% of the available mods require the patch as a master. The two mods currently available to remove the cities and npcs require NO patch. Granted, just playing the game with no patch and only those two mods (and random start to bypass the beginning) is difficult all on its own. I wanted more lol … so I dove in and worked it until I got it more than just partially functional. There ARE a rather dedicated bunch of us out there working on this though. Mostly it's driven by a love of TLD ~ and making the potential a reality. Skyrim was created to be modded, and the amount of resources and programming to push the limits are phenomenal. 

My biggest issue is living in a tiny house and trying to cram three monitors (in addition to my husband's) onto a single desk (thankfully I know how to use wall space!!), microphones, external drives, etc. has been a challenge all by itself. My children are grown .. but I have cats *G* who love to assist me. I also have an overflowing and constantly filled swear jar! My grandsons play Minecraft, but so far I haven't … that might be a good thing since it could potentially unleash another monster *G* In any case, I will be uploading a final product (or three) to Nexus at some point. 

I'm thrilled to see it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks guys. Some of the latest posts have helped me to see better the challenges involved in randomizing loot locations. I think that adding as many loot tables as possible would indeed go a long way in achieving what I was hoping for, without thowing the game balance off, but as Lyttol says the novelty factor will depend on the number of new permutations.

The tension (not the negative type!) here seems to be between play-styles and preferences. Some are very attached to the knowledge they've collected and the advantage it gives them in game, and don't mind falling into set patterns as much, while I prefer a more varied experience. Those first few hours when we don't know where anything is are just magical.

In my case, I'm hoping that some form of item randomization can help me recapture that feeling of awe and fear, and I have a vague sense that it could help the game gain a broader audience. The idea is hard to put my finger on but I can't help feeling put off imagining how a newbie would feel watching a Youtube videos of TLD pros who can seemingly guess where the hacksaw or hammer are. It would probably put me off as a new starter. They might think "Oh you mean you can actually learn the environment to that extent?"

Edited by Alphyrion
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now