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Pillock

Timberwolves and 'normal' wolves

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Firstly, I don't know anything about Lupine variations so I may get some things wrong here. I'm also going to make a couple of assumptions about the future of the game which I fully accept may also be wrong.

The first assumption is that the new larger, tougher, smarter Timberwolves that are going to make their TLD debut in Wintermute Ep 3 are going to be in addition to the other wolves that are already in The Long Dark, not a replacement for them; the second assumption is that they will at some point make their way into the Survival Mode.

So this got me wondering: what is the reasoning behind having two different varieties of wolf in Survivor Mode, if that is indeed to be the case? If the Timberwolf is going to be "smarter", and potentially is going to have some form of pack/group behaviour AI, then do they not simply supersede the 'normal' wolves as a gameplay element? Is there really a good reason for continuing to have the 'normal' wolves in the game at all, if there's going to be an all-new-and-improved version of them? Improved AI and pack behaviour for wolves has been a long-time request from the playerbase, and something that Raph has consistently talked about as a development goal for Hinterland - and it's fantastic that it does appear to be coming to the game soon. But what of the old wolves, in that case? Do they serve a purpose any more? Purely from the perspective of Survivor Mode, would it not be better if Timberwolves, with their improved behaviour, just replaced the old ones as a gameplay threat to the player, rather than having 'good wolves' and 'crap wolves' in the game simultaneously?

I don't know, maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick with this.

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I'm anticipating that you'll only first contact timberwolves in TWM and HRV and then, I believe, they will be able to transition (follow you) into other zones of the map.  They also may make it such that timberwolves will only spawn at the higher difficulty levels, allowing reticent players to still get used to some wolves in the game by dealing only with the easier "normal" variety.  Who knows, they may even introduce a custom setting, allowing players to eliminate normal wolves and keep timberwolves in their own game and/or adjust the relative spawning rate of each.  We also don't know regular the current wolfhide clothing will be craftable using timberwolf pelts or whether there will be something entirely different that can only be crafted with timberwolf pelts.

Also, we currently have both moose and deer in the game and they've managed to balance both the differences in their behavior and in their spawn rates to make them both feel essential to the game... at least I'd hate to imagine TLD without either one of them.

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My interpretation is that the normal wolves AI works well as a ‘lone wolf’ encounter but is not working as the Hinterland team wants for a “pack attack”.  Currently the few multi-wolf encounters I have had feel like two/three separate AI trees waiting to resolve individually.  Creating a separate animal is probably the easiest way to create a pack AI & warn the player of the danger of the encounter.

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1 hour ago, Rashad82 said:

My interpretation is that the normal wolves AI works well as a ‘lone wolf’ encounter but is not working as the Hinterland team wants for a “pack attack”.  Currently the few multi-wolf encounters I have had feel like two/three separate AI trees waiting to resolve individually.  Creating a separate animal is probably the easiest way to create a pack AI & warn the player of the danger of the encounter.

That sounds like a good interpretation to me.

So, it could be a kind of 'phasing-in' of the new, more dangerous wolves so as not to unreasonably disrupt people's existing games? But once people have got used to them in time, the question still stands as to what value the current 'lone-wolf' type actually has in the game in the longer term.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Pillock said:

the question still stands as to what value the current 'lone-wolf' type actually has in the game in the longer term

The only reason to have them around is to be the eyes and ears for the alpha. So if you manage to evade the alpha and one of these pack members manages to spot you but instead of attack this wolf then heads back to the alpha.  Maybe giving us a chance to intercept the messenger or prepare for the upcoming battle.  That brings me to the question of how to prepare against the wolf pack.

JuneDevDiary1.thumb.png.170888924618933c5b71d7ced4c4da59.png

To me the dirty dozen shown here would camp outside howling and wait for you to poke you head out.  You will be surrounded and pursued.  At nights the pack is heard off in the distance getting louder as they approach. 

This alpha wants you gone from this island to restore the balance.  There must be a brutal confrontation or a wonderful deception to escape.  The revolver seems the best choice but interlopers will need to be crafty.

Placing camp fire just might not be enough when an alpha is around.  The fires might need to be bonfires to have any impact.  The fire doesn't scare any of them and just keeps them at a distance.  The alpha is the one to focus on in order to disperse the pack.  That means fighting a bunch of these pack members in order to confront the alpha.  The use of bribery bags laid out for Boo-Boo might give an interloper the edge.

These pack members are the pawns on the battle field and the scouts on the range. 

This is all of course speculation.

Edited by Ice Hole
number twelve is hiding behind the tree on the right

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So you think these larger Timberwolves are the Alpha of the 'normal' wolf pack?

I'd assumed they were a separate breed of wolf that has its own pack of Timberwolves. That'd possibly even bring it into confrontation with the smaller wolf type.

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1 hour ago, Pillock said:

That sounds like a good interpretation to me.

So, it could be a kind of 'phasing-in' of the new, more dangerous wolves so as not to unreasonably disrupt people's existing games? But once people have got used to them in time, the question still stands as to what value the current 'lone-wolf' type actually has in the game in the longer term.

I am gonna guess that a lone wolf encounter (easier) will always have a place in the game, as will multi-wolf (much harder).  

Hinterland is probably thinking about how many of one vs the other they want in what difficulty mode, and/or when the harder packs start spawning? (Immediate vs late to challenge an established run.)

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47 minutes ago, Rashad82 said:

I am gonna guess that a lone wolf encounter (easier) will always have a place in the game, as will multi-wolf (much harder).  

Hinterland is probably thinking about how many of one vs the other they want in what difficulty mode, and/or when the harder packs start spawning? (Immediate vs late to challenge an established run.)

This would be my guess as well.

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I just wish the time didn't go into making just an animal variation... I really wish we could actually get more animal kinds like foxes, mountain lions, and bison or something.

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