stay puft

new wolf behavior

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I have just experienced new wolf behaviour.  This was in a Stalker level game of around 360 days.

I went into the Hilltop Cave in PV as night was falling.  I lit a fire, near the back of the cave, to get some water, then I heard a wolf growling, the sound coming from the direction of the cave entrance. That initial growling turned into a pack of three wolves that kept popping into the cave.  This is the first time in thousands of game days that I have a pack of wolves come inside a cave after me.

Fortunately I had a stock of fir logs so was able to keep the fire burning. A wolf, or wolves, would enter the cave but I was saved by being next to the fire.  It was so dark I usually couldn't see the wolves.  Occasionally I could make out the silhouette of a wolf at the cave entrance as the outside was marginally lighter than the dark cave.  Sometimes I could see a pair of glinting eyes, or perhaps a couple of pairs of glinting eyes in the cave.  These brief sightings were not enough to aim a weapon.  I did fire a few arrows at them, I didn't have a rifle or revolver,  hoping that I'd have a lucky shot.   I managed to kill one wolf but my arrows soon ran out.  It then became a tricky task trying to get back my fired arrows.  When trying to recover these arrows a wolf attacked me.  Fortunately I did more damage to the wolf than he did to me.  After that things quietened down.

The fir logs lasted until daylight by which time the wolves had disappeared.  The was one dead in the cave and one dead a fair distance off among the trees.

It was quite a harrowing experience.

 

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5 minutes ago, stay puft said:

Sorry about that.

I'm currently playing and 600+ day Interloper run

Now that's impressive.   I found the first few days of an Interloper so stressful I gave up after a 5 day run.   

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8 minutes ago, peteloud said:

I have just experienced new wolf behaviour.  This was in a Stalker level game of around 360 days.

I went into the Hilltop Cave in PV as night was falling.  I lit a fire, near the back of the cave, to get some water, then I heard a wolf growling, the sound coming from the direction of the cave entrance. That initial growling turned into a pack of three wolves that kept popping into the cave.  This is the first time in thousands of game days that I have a pack of wolves come inside a cave after me.

Fortunately I had a stock of fir logs so was able to keep the fire burning. A wolf, or wolves, would enter the cave but I was saved by being next to the fire.  It was so dark I usually couldn't see the wolves.  Occasionally I could make out the silhouette of a wolf at the cave entrance as the outside was marginally lighter than the dark cave.  Sometimes I could see a pair of glinting eyes, or perhaps a couple of pairs of glinting eyes in the cave.  These brief sightings were not enough to aim a weapon.  I did fire a few arrows at them, I didn't have a rifle or revolver,  hoping that I'd have a lucky shot.   I managed to kill one wolf but my arrows soon ran out.  It then became a tricky task trying to get back my fired arrows.  When trying to recover these arrows a wolf attacked me.  Fortunately I did more damage to the wolf than he did to me.  After that things quietened down.

The fir logs lasted until daylight by which time the wolves had disappeared.  The was one dead in the cave and one dead a fair distance off among the trees.

It was quite a harrowing experience.

 

Sounds pretty scary! I don't believe I've ever seen a pack of wolves do that either glad you made it out.

7 minutes ago, peteloud said:

Now that's impressive.   I found the first few days of an Interloper so stressful I gave up after a 5 day run.   

Thank you :) although my best interloper run is just over 3000 days.

Interloper isn't as hard as it seems once you know the maps really well and learn where the important loot spawns, but I had many runs that only lasted a few days when I first started trying interloper

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stay puft,

"Thank you :) although my best interloper run is just over 3000 days."

What is the game like around 3,000 game days?   By then you must have run out of birch saplings for arrows, ammunition, perhaps bedrolls.

Do you hang around a specific place stoning rabbits or catching fish?

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5 hours ago, peteloud said:

stay puft,

 

"Thank you :) although my best interloper run is just over 3000 days."

What is the game like around 3,000 game days?   By then you must have run out of birch saplings for arrows, ammunition, perhaps bedrolls.

Do you hang around a specific place stoning rabbits or catching fish?

Honestly day 2000 to day 3000 on interloper isn't all that different from day 200 to day 300, I've never ran out of any of those items the only items I've ran out of are things like man made foods/tea's/coffee, sewing kits and cattails. 

I barely fish at all(If I was going to I'd fish in Coastal Highway) rabbits I kill as I come across them I don't go looking for them..I am very nomadic even though most people that live that long just pass time fishing or in a cave I've never seen much point in that and I travel constantly.

It's always been a goal of mine to walk 10000 KM in this game (my most distance traveled is like 6900KM)

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About the zig-zagging or better the lack thereof: an experienced player could already anticipate those movements and have a good success rate shooting a charging wolf point blank, which even with a bow resulted in an instantly dead wolf most of the time. If not the following struggle was easily won even on Interloper. Now that they do not try do dodge anymore it has actually become rather easy to achieve for someone with good eye-mouse coordination.

Maybe this was done to offset difficulty now that decoy-baiting is gone? If so I'm not sure I like the change. It shifts the game from being a strategy game first to actually emphasizing good mouse controls and quick reflexes. The fact that The Long Dark did actually not really require these to be successful was something I found very positive. Not that I am a particularly bad shot in the game (see profile picture) but I don't think everyone can claim being an expert marksman of the frozen wastes.

With Timberwolves you are rewarded for landing a hit, but it is not neccessary to come out of pack attacking you. Plus there is always load and retry in story mode. But with wolves in Interloper, where even well equipped a single wolf can mean death I don't know if giving people with good aim such a great advantage is a good choice.

I mean you can successfully play Interloper for many days without ever having a wolf struggle. And once you acquire Archery 5 it's actually rather simple to successfully sneak up on a wolf close enough to land a good hit. But as it stands now I can basically just load up on some meat, and then shoot them one by one as they come piling in as soon as I get the bow. So ... for me it actually got easier, while for those not fast enough with aiming the mouse the game got substantially harder.

So, bottom line I'm not complaining about this, but I wonder if this was the intended effect, and I dare predict it was not.

 

Edited by jeffpeng
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Really great point, and I know they want the game to be a strategy game much more than a shooter type game.

I'm not sure if the current iteration is final, but in some way they need to make it a probability game with the wolf behavior and add some unpredictability and risk, but not too much.  If they had just added some extra variability to some of the previous bait behavior, maybe add more elements it was based off of like size of bait or other things, then that would have been cool.  But maybe they will do something similar to the current rendition.  I would prefer it a game of strategy and choice with some arcade rather than flipped the other direction.

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Just now, dbmurph22 said:

I'm not sure if the current iteration is final

Knowing Hinterland and how they are big on iterative balancing and how they usually get it right (torches not withstanding :D ) I'm pretty sure it is not.

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@jeffpeng I was originally a little confused with the new wolf behavior but now I agree with you it's 100% easier.. I honestly like the old way better.

As for aiming something I don't think Hinterland thought about with this change is that some people play on console and it's much harder to aim with a controller then a mouse and I've never been a fan of games where the person who can move their fingers and wrists faster will always do better.

"Baiting" just imo was a choice and I didn't use it all that much before the change but I liked having the option, oh well.

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I haven't played any interloper since the new update.  I briefly popped into an old stalker game and watched the wolves back off, drift away and amble around when they got close to the decoy I dropped.  And run off too, but I think that was after I raised my weapon.  That was one time a couple of weeks ago. 

I've been playing story mode, which I hadn't done yet and was waiting for #3.  And I haven't been even trying any decoys, since I have more than enough food to eat and have the flare gun and rifle for plenty of defense.

Can you describe what the wolves do now exactly and how you approach the situation that makes it 100% easier?  From what I've gathered, they don't respond to the bait and back off when dropped.  Then they will approach based off distance only but when coming at you they go only straight now?  Is that right? 

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28 minutes ago, dbmurph22 said:

I haven't played any interloper since the new update.  I briefly popped into an old stalker game and watched the wolves back off, drift away and amble around when they got close to the decoy I dropped.  And run off too, but I think that was after I raised my weapon.  That was one time a couple of weeks ago. 

I've been playing story mode, which I hadn't done yet and was waiting for #3.  And I haven't been even trying any decoys, since I have more than enough food to eat and have the flare gun and rifle for plenty of defense.

Can you describe what the wolves do now exactly and how you approach the situation that makes it 100% easier?  From what I've gathered, they don't respond to the bait and back off when dropped.  Then they will approach based off distance only but when coming at you they go only straight now?  Is that right? 

Yes that's it

If a wolf detects you now and you drop your decoy he will just turn around and walk away as if you or the bait aren't sitting right in front of him plus they seem to be taking direct paths to get to you instead of zig zagging although I have had a couple of wolves zig zag since the update most seem not to.

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42 minutes ago, dbmurph22 said:

Can you describe what the wolves do now exactly and how you approach the situation that makes it 100% easier? 

I wait until they charge, then shoot them in the head. Since they charge in a straight line it's really much easier to hit them. Before they would actively dodge your aim (which always annoyed me, but now I get why this was in the game), now they're just running it down and as long as you can line up a straight shot fast enough .... it really is quite simple.

55 minutes ago, stay puft said:

As for aiming something I don't think Hinterland thought about with this change is that some people play on console and it's much harder to aim with a controller then a mouse

I didn't even consider console. Man .... that's actually a really good argument. Again ... nothing that affects me since I play on PC and don't plan on changing that, but I feel like this actually puts a bit of a double whammy on console players. Aiming with a gamepad is already hard (I never could pull that sort of thing off tbh), but now that baiting is gone .... really how do you down a wolf before you gain Archery 5 playing on a console? I guess you just don't.

For people wondering why Archery 5 is so important: With Archery 5 you gain the ability to shoot your bow while crouched. This enables you to either crouch towards a wolf and then take a good shot, or you have some sort of smelly stuff on you, and let them come towards you. They will seek out the smell, but do not see you before you can take a well lined up shot.

55 minutes ago, stay puft said:

I've never been a fan of games where the person who can move their fingers and wrists faster will always do better.

I feel you. I've never been good at FPS (plus I always found it silly everyone is jumping around like they got a nest of bumblebees in their pants). I simply lack the reaction time to be good at such a thing. I was okay playing high Elo League of Legends for a few years, but approaching 40 fast at least for me that's too old to compete. In general I always preferred games that put thought over trigger, and The Long Dark really is very well balanced in this regard. You can have magic aim and the quickest draw in the west - it won't help if you don't manage your resources and get your planning straight.

Edited by jeffpeng
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9 minutes ago, stay puft said:

I have had a couple of wolves zig zag since the update most seem not to.

Personally not a single one. I've tested it in a Stalker game. Started Coastal highway, got a rifle, and then racked up 12 dead wolves in a matter of minutes without one of them trying to dodge anything. Then I got into my Loper game which was parked at Pleasant Valley, backed up the save and went on an unresisted killing spree on the fields at the barn. The only instance a wolf "dodged" my aim was when something was obstructing its path.

I'm pretty sure this is not intended and absolutely confident this isn't the final word we'll see on this.

Edited by jeffpeng
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32 minutes ago, jeffpeng said:

I didn't even consider console. Man .... that's actually a really good argument. Again ... nothing that affects me since I play on PC and don't plan on changing that, but I feel like this actually puts a bit of a double whammy on console players. Aiming with a gamepad is already hard (I never could pull that sort of thing off tbh), but now that baiting is gone .... really how do you down a wolf before you gain Archery 5 playing on a console? I guess you just don't.

One thing you can still do is to light a fire and stand out in an open area with a bunch of raw meat on you and just wait for the wolves to come to you and even if you miss your shot the fire should keep you safe. Guess that's the only way to bait now..

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1 hour ago, stay puft said:

"Baiting" just imo was a choice and I didn't use it all that much before the change but I liked having the option, oh well.

A last note on that:

Decoy baiting meant you had to have smellies on you to begin with. I personally avoid that whenever I can on Interloper. Having smellies on me means I can get surprised by wolves from really weird angles, and as we all know the wolf that's almost never there is the deadliest. But it also might get you other, much heavier and much more dangerous friends that you simply won't escape no matter how fast and precise you shoot: bears. At least not sustainably as flare shells are a rare commodity on Interloper (20 shells per game max?) So the tradeoff was rather straight forward:

Either make yourself a potential target for half the map but be able to hunt wolves rather conveniently, or simply avoid them.

Now however ..... I can have the best of both worlds. Not being smelly, meaning I can pretty reliably predict where wolves are and where not (experience does that for you), but also being able to reliably hunt them if I so choose, with minimal risk to myself.

Before I wouldn't chance charge-sniping a wolf unless I really had to, like when I really, really needed the food or when I was unable to light a fire, or some other rare circumstance that made this the least bad choice. I'm far from 3000 days Interloper, but I claim to be able to salvage almost any spawn into a +100 days game (at which point I usually lose interest 😜 ) except for a few HRV spawns and the ones where you spawn at night in a snow storm with zero visibility and fall down a cliff you never saw. Part of that is that I really don't mess with wolves more than I have to. So when I hunted wolves it was usually with some careful planning, a freshly caught rabbit and in a region I was reasonably sure I didn't have to expect a bear messing up my plans - plus usually a fire in sprinting distance if things went sideways.

Now .... well now I just walk up to a wolf and whabam. Profit.

16 minutes ago, stay puft said:

One thing you can still do is to light a fire and stand out in an open area with a bunch of raw meat on you and just wait for the wolves to come to you and even if you miss your shot the fire should keep you safe. Guess that's the only way to bait now..

Well yeah smell baiting still works. If you can afford the arrows. Also probably hiding out on a tree trunk or some other location wolves cannot pathfind to. But I for one don't do that since I prefer not to exploit my way to victory. Same reason I don't cut my meat into tiny little pieces to become a master chef on day 5 :D

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