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MueckE

EP3 review

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2 minutes ago, kristaok said:

She knows about HAARP

Or perhaps all of it is just a dream! :D

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1 minute ago, kristaok said:

Ikr haha

Actually, it seems like a great theory to use if the wolves chase my survivor up a tree and start preparing bbqer at the bottom.

it's just a dream... juuuust a dream *fingers crossed*

no cancel fingers crossed, fingers frozen 🥶

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43 minutes ago, tulkawen said:

Actually, it seems like a great theory to use if the wolves chase my survivor up a tree and start preparing bbqer at the bottom.

it's just a dream... juuuust a dream *fingers crossed*

no cancel fingers crossed, fingers frozen 🥶

Yea tomorrow the big freeze hits 😮

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3 minutes ago, kristaok said:

Yea tomorrow the big freeze hits

I'm afraid the weather in all my challenges doesn't do tomorrow what can be done today. :D

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6 minutes ago, tulkawen said:

I'm afraid the weather in all my challenges doesn't do tomorrow what can be done today. :D

:) I'm currently trying to make sure I'm prepared for that. 

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1 hour ago, tulkawen said:

Or perhaps all of it is just a dream! :D

Actually I'm afraid you could be right in a Lost-ian way. Really, I expect Titus Welliver to pop out behind a tree any minute now.

Edit: That being said.... I'll wait until I've seen EP5. Some pictures only make sense when you see all the parts to them. Some pictures never make sense. But I feel generally uncomfortable judging a story before I've heard it out.

As for how the story is told .... well.... I guess I'll write a longer post about this at a later time, but the entire thing about carrying survivors smells like it has some pretty deep, metaphoric meaning. 

But ... yeah I'm rather sure that not a whole lot we've seen so far is what it looks like.

Edited by jeffpeng

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Like if it's all so bad and going downhill, that Astrid is just hallucinating about the Father, and the Survivors?. :P 

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10 minutes ago, kristaok said:

Like if it's all so bad and going downhill, that Astrid is just hallucinating about the Father, and the Survivors?. :P 

I really go on a limb here, but .... the people at Hinterland aren't making games since yesterday. Now let's look at the entire survivor thing. That it literally drags along as it does probably has some reason. If it was just about finding the miracle survivor(s) and protecting them, they could have just given them some meds or some other miracle reason to enable them and let them follow you at a decent speed. Even some sort of sled would have probably been possible, although I see some pretty steep engineering problems with this (meaning how to code it, not how to build a sled.....)

But no. We have to carry them. Literally carry them - despite that making any sense from a physical standpoint. Like you would maybe carry a burden. A burden of knowledge, or guilt, or inability to change something, etc, yadda yadda. It isn't fun because they couldn't make it fun, it isn't fun because is not supposed to be fun. It is supposed to drag on and be unpleasant. Also to communicate that this situation really isn't great, but actually pretty damn bad, and "immerse" the player in this mindset (Although I really already got that memo after Gwen, tyvm )

I mean, of course, it could also be that after a long night with lots of the finest Canadian beer the people at Hinterland decided that it would be totally hilarious to have the player drag a person end to end across the biggest map in the game at crawl speed while said person periodically asks to die. That, in theory, could be how that came into existence as well. But I find my reasoning much more compelling. It lets me believe that I didn't waste hours of my life holding W for no reason.

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@jeffpeng, I see where you're getting at. They could've went the route where you carry the burden of only one plane survivor (Gwen) and just made that first trip very hard and much longer. It would have felt like less of a drawn out chore to me if they would've lengthened out your time with Gwen and forgot the others. Maybe even allowed you to socialize with gwen with a dialogue tree if she's at 100 percent condition and a fire nearby. OR fleshed out the other three so that it was much more worthwhile. 

Adding the 3 others felt like an afterthought, kind of like, "We needed to extend gameplay so here's 3 others with no interesting afflictions, oh, and they're all in traumatic shock and hypothermic shock so they'll literally contribute zero to the story other than the occasional delirious mumble about a family member." 

This may make me sound like a bad person, but do you know what you get rewarded with once you return Gwen? The emotional burden of telling 10 other survivors about their dead partners and relatives... And then the task of rescuing 3 more. You get a flare gun to spawn in the community hall but Father Thomas doesn't physically give it to you or mention it so it doesn't feel like an award, I didn't know that and left without the flare gun not knowing I needed it. And after that? You get told you need to go out and fetch food and supplies for all of them to last the storm. 

I understand it's supposed to develop Astrid as a tough character that will do the impossible to save a bunch of strangers, and I felt proud of what I had done once I was finished, but it didn't feel right WHILE doing it. 

To be clear I say this with the best intentions towards the studio, and the quotation I did is not meant to be take as a slight to the developers. 

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8 hours ago, Fuarian said:

Probably some rare sleep disease condition. Like sleep apnea but more severe. Also interestingly the word Seraphim is biblical. Yet another bible reference here.

Hey Fuarian, you're a mod over on /r/TheLongDark! 

Anyway, yeah, Seraphim is the highest order of angels which I remember from the movie Dogma.  I also looked it up again to make sure that was indeed correct.  I actually mentioned the religous undertones going on in a Milton Mailbag a while back.  Here is a copy/paste of what I wrote:

Quote

So in religious texts, Methuselah is thought to have incredibly long life, or is sometimes even portrayed as immortal in various creative works.  There is also a book called: Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity wherein the author posits that Methuselah is actually a symbolic link between the creation of man and the great flood, which could draw some parallels of Methuselah in the game.  He himself says this has all happened before, which makes me think he's been witness to a previous "rebirth" of civilization (creation) and is now witnessing its downfall (the great flood).  Considering that Methuselah in the game seemingly is all knowing and appears in the right locations at the right time, I would wager a guess that his presence is either divine or even predestined.  Maybe even time travel, depending on how sci-fi this story goes.  I honestly felt Great Bear might be like the Island on Lost, shifting through time.  I know it's probably spoiler territory to ask but, is there any truth to anything I said?

 

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@MarrowStone, yeah like I said. I got the memo after Gwen. It would have been sufficient to find the other survivors, not also carry them all the way back.

Something you say here really rang true with me:

7 hours ago, MarrowStone said:

do you know what you get rewarded with once you return Gwen? The emotional burden of telling 10 other survivors about their dead partners and relatives... And then the task of rescuing 3 more.

That bugged me as hell. I work my freezing butt off bringing in a miracle survivor that shouldn't even exists and everyone should party hard about, but then I need to tell 10 or so individual people that their loved ones are frozen meat on some hill.

I really hope there is some higher purpose to all of this, that there is some unseen and not yet understood plot evolving in the background, and that all the odds and ends meet in a brilliantly orchestrated revelation. And until I've played EP5 .... I will hold on to hope. Silly, I know. 🥴

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I personally just loved this episode.  I binged on it, dreamed about it when I ran into problems (why can't I talk to Father Thompson? How the heck does this mine tunnel thing work?)  I know all the region maps well, am experienced, and felt I was using all the knowledge and skills I'd earned to play this episode through.  Some are picking apart details here, but overall I think this is a splendid update and job well done.  Thanks, Hinterland.

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16 hours ago, PlayerPawn said:

Hey Fuarian, you're a mod over on /r/TheLongDark! 

Anyway, yeah, Seraphim is the highest order of angels which I remember from the movie Dogma.  I also looked it up again to make sure that was indeed correct.  I actually mentioned the religous undertones going on in a Milton Mailbag a while back.  Here is a copy/paste of what I wrote:

 

You're going a little off the deep end with the sci-fi. This game tends to be more realistic. I think his name isn't really Methuselah but he calls himself that because he's a) religious and b) witnessed some shit. He says "I'm an old man, I've seen many things, some would say too many." This implies that he's been in some tough situations and been through some crisis before. Maybe he was a soldier back in the day and worked in foreign countires? Maybe he worked humanitarian aid? Either way he's seen civilizations come and go. He's seen what nature can do. He didn't know the solar flare was coming, but he knew SOMETHING was coming. I think he associates himself with the Methuselah identity because he's been around for a while and has a keen intuit on what's going on. Nothing supernatural. But it's definitely also there as a double meaning plot device. Raph and the writing team definitely had this conversation (among fans) in mind when they made his character.

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7 hours ago, Fuarian said:

You're going a little off the deep end with the sci-fi. This game tends to be more realistic. I think his name isn't really Methuselah but he calls himself that because he's a) religious and b) witnessed some shit. He says "I'm an old man, I've seen many things, some would say too many." This implies that he's been in some tough situations and been through some crisis before. Maybe he was a soldier back in the day and worked in foreign countires? Maybe he worked humanitarian aid? Either way he's seen civilizations come and go. He's seen what nature can do. He didn't know the solar flare was coming, but he knew SOMETHING was coming. I think he associates himself with the Methuselah identity because he's been around for a while and has a keen intuit on what's going on. Nothing supernatural. But it's definitely also there as a double meaning plot device. Raph and the writing team definitely had this conversation (among fans) in mind when they made his character.

From an outsider who hasn't really been witness to what this team has in store, it can make ones with active imaginations speculate many things, even if they are a bit far-reaching.  When I wrote that, it was before Episode 3's release and going purely off the story in-game, there isn't much to grasp onto and say with certainty that this is what's happening.  While the Lost idea of a time-skipping island was a wild speculation on my part, it was something that I found to be an interesting concept that is not completely without merit.  One could look at these events that transpire in the game and say that it's grounded in reality with a few twists; wolves with glowing eyes during and aurora event, a mysterious man who Will happens upon at critical points in his journey, computers and other electronics humming to life during an aurora, and so on.  However, all we know for sure or more precisely, all I know for sure, is that this is a geomagnetic event that caused in part, the ultimate demise of Great Bear.

When you pair the religious figure of Methuselah to a man who just happens to appear at critical points in your journey, and couple that with the wild events going on, it wasn't too far a stretch for me to start brainstorming ideas, admittedly sometimes a bit too wildly.  Again, I know nothing of the story's conception and development, only what is in the game.  This story appears to be focusing on the human condition and morality and a genre that's also heavily focused on those aspects is science fiction.  While a time-skipping Great Bear seems outlandish- and in all likelihood it is- there is nothing that states anything concrete about what's really happening outside of a "geomagnetic event". Then these characters just raise more interesting questions that people like me can only speculate on until the full story is revealed.

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I somehow have the feeling, this thread gets hijacked 😟

Let me summarise and put it under a question:

Is it (from a player perspective) good, enjoyful, meaningful to repeat a task for no reason, wthout any explanation , wthout beeing rewarded, not knowing why (the bigger picture-story) and in the same way as before?

PS: If you say yes, then you get the assambly-line worker of the year medal. 😀 Although, he at least knows the bigger picture and gets rewarded, a little bit.

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This episode is more puzzle-ish than the others, so the fun is in figuring it out.  However, had I known some things, it would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. 

The map you see at the start shows initial key locations. Other markers will appear when you discover things on the map, often bits of paper.  Be diligent in examining bits of paper.  By the end you will have covered the entire PV map.  However, if you just went Survival mode and covered the map first, some of the things wouldn't be visible yet, so work the main storyline.
 
Some in the forums say you'll find everything you need if you follow the main storyline.  That's mostly true, but you'll probably end up at the end with gaps.  I finally went to the forums for one thing, a "Tall Tale".  I learned you can't get that quest until you finish the main storyline, which ends by talking to the priest, as directed.  You'll know you're there when he's standing on the stage behind a lectern looking morose.  You may have to stand behind him to get him to talk to you. 
 
There is a revolver almost from the very first hour.  I missed it, and played through the entire Episode 3 before I saw its location in a YouTube video.  It's in a logical location. Don't go too far before you've found it because it's terribly useful.  Give me props for completing this sucker without it.  lol
 
Bring tea.  Finally, read quests carefully. Once or twice I thought I understood, then went back and realized I'd made a false assumption.
 
At the end, in the mine, there's an area that has lots of flares. Find it and you won't lack for light.
 
Oh, and I saved (you can, of course, in story mode) often, but the game is also autosaving.  You can restart at the autosaves. I didn't use my named game save unless I'd completed something that progressed me. That was very helpful at the very end, when I took too long, used up flares and felt I should restart the entire final effort.  That final "Aftermath" piece seriously discouraged me at first. I felt I was failing and went to bed sad.  But I roused myself, came back and finished the thing and left with a feeling of elation.  It's a great story chapter.
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On 11/1/2019 at 10:36 PM, MueckE said:

I somehow have the feeling, this thread gets hijacked 😟

Let me summarise and put it under a question:

Is it (from a player perspective) good, enjoyful, meaningful to repeat a task for no reason, wthout any explanation , wthout beeing rewarded, not knowing why (the bigger picture-story) and in the same way as before?

PS: If you say yes, then you get the assambly-line worker of the year medal. 😀 Although, he at least knows the bigger picture and gets rewarded, a little bit.

I think the way you've worded this question really speaks to a value judgement on the survivor rescue mechanic. You have to repeat the task because you always repeat the task in games. There is never just one lock to pick, or only one enemy to shoot, or only one conversation with a lone NPC. Normally, if you don't like the lock picking minigame, you don't have to engage with it. The survivor rescue is central to this episode and cannot be skipped. It's interesting that you don't seem to find it meaningful, good, or enjoyable.  

There is an explanation. A passenger liner crashed. Survivors have been making their way to the town for days. Astrid is a doctor and her motivations and outlook are that of compassion for those in need. Father Tom stresses that she can provide help. Even beyond medical care, people need closure. Molly stands in stark contrast to this and makes the same point you do here - why do this when you get no recognition, no reward? Would these people go out of their way for you? This is especially interesting coming from Molly, who went out of her way to rescue Astrid at the start of the episode. At any rate, Astrid answers that she doesn't do it for recognition. This is part of her character development. 

The survivors are given names. Maybe that's not enough for you. Maybe you need something more for them to feel like real people. Maybe lugging bodies in the snow feels like assembly line work once you are doing it for the second or third time. My line of work is process management - which literally has its origins in developing assembly lines. To be any good at process management you *need* to be able to see the bigger picture and connect even the smallest step to it. That's how you work out what steps are valuable and what steps aren't. 

It's not true that the worker always knows the bigger picture. Quite often people don't understand how their efforts contribute to a larger goal, and that can leave them feeling unfulfilled. I found rescuing survivors to be meaningful. 

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