jeffpeng

Going back to Vigilant Flame (1.37)

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Hello fellow survivors,

as I've hinted at multiple times over the past few weeks I am leaving Errant Pilgrim behind and return to a point in time I agreed with the game much more than I do now, in fact so much I personally still regard it as the best state The Long Dark was in ever, and - and that pains me to say - as things look now the best state it will ever be in. I'm talking about Vigilant flame.

Now you might ask: why Vigilant Flame? Why not Faithful Cartographer, why not Steadfast Ranger, why not Redux? The answer is relatively simple: Vigilant Flame has all the things I would miss if I went back further, but none of the updates that came after Vigilant Flame added something I was particularly fond of - at least nothing I would actually miss.

A big caveat I have to point out here: I'm not really doing this using the Time Capsule branches as the Version of Vigilant Flame that is up there is actually 1.35, not - as advertised - 1.37. 1.37 had a few crucial fixes and additions, most notably the popup windows that warned you when attempting to eat raw meat. If you actually want to play 1.37 on Steam you will need to use the Steam Console to download the appropriate Version. If you can live with the raw-meat-mechanic and/or don't want to get into the nitty and gritty of downloading specific versions on steam... go the Time Capsule way: https://www.thelongdark.com/time-capsule/vigilant-flame/

[Removed by Admin. See Admin note below.]

Key reasons I go back:

  • Crazy Psycho Wolf AI
    Yeah. Read the forums.
  • Bugs
    Also yeah. Even more on the forums.
  • Linux Client broken since Redux
    Yes, VF was the last Version that could be run on native Linux. Also has at least one entire thread about it.

Key reasons I won't go father back than VF:

  • "New" Cooking System
    Best change ever
  • Hushed River Valley
    Tied for best region ever

Things I will miss from Updates since VF:

  • New Sprain System
    This indeed made a lot of things much more consistent.
  • Improved Lighting
    While definitively better in recent TLD, it didn't add anything crucial to the game... so I'm k
  • New Pleasant Valley
    Very good region update that made a very bleak region so much better. 😢 
  • The new Survival Soundtrack
    Some of those are among the best scores I've heard in video games. 😢 

Things I won't miss:

  • The Revolver
    A lackluster weapon with no actual use other than to fight ....
  • Timberwolves
    Which were a great addition to the load&save gameplay of Story Mode, but just aren't working in Survival
  • Birch Bark Tea
    Yeah, I didn't like that. Killed off deadman, didn't really make a huge impact on normal game modes. Superfluous addition to the game.
  • Bleak Inlet
    The region is a great design, but you can't really go there on Interloper, so ... bummer.
  • Ammunition Crafting
    Again... not relevant for Interloper
  • Well Fed
    A lackluster mechanic that doesn't do what it was intended to do - disincentivize starvation
  • New Milton
    I liked the old Milton better
  • The improved Fire/Cooking UI that came with Redux
    Old one is much more consistent, fewer clicks, faster, clearer.

So, with all that being said and another wall of text later.... farewell Errant Pilgrim. You will not be missed.

screen_3360ac13-80f3-4ab5-9d9b-11dfe39a56d7_hi.thumb.png.ddb2ae790c856c960e609c437fe683ce.png
Yes, it also has the old theme.

And as always: Thank you for reading.

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Godspeed.  I respect your wishes, but personally disagree.  I vow to continue to evolve and adapt.  Best of luck to you!

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We've edited the opening post by @jeffpeng to remove some details about how to download earlier builds outside of Time Capsule.

We will look into the claim that it's v1.35 rather than v1.37 uploaded to Time Capsule and rectify it if that is the case.

Thank you.

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17 hours ago, ajb1978 said:

Godspeed.  I respect your wishes, but personally disagree.  I vow to continue to evolve and adapt.  Best of luck to you!

Agree. I want to stay with the game and see how it gets better over time and how it grows. @jeffpeng Yeah, the bugs can be kind of a dealbreaker, but Hinterland have already said that they are currently working on patching issues and bugs. As for the Wolf AI... Yeah, it's kind of a mess. Game devs improve stuff based on feedback, so given the amount of posts and criticism on the new AI I would be surprised if they didn't tweak it. I've yet to encounter Timberwolves in Survival yet, but like I preeviously said, Game devs tweak stuff based on feedback. As for Linux support... I don't run Linux, and I dunno if HL will go back to supporting it at all. I can respect your decision though, and I hope you enjoy your VF!

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We have pushed v1.37 builds out to Time Capsule just in case there was an error. You should now be able to play the last updated version of Vigilant Flame.

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2 hours ago, Admin said:

We've edited the opening post by @jeffpeng to remove some details about how to download earlier builds outside of Time Capsule.

While I respect that decision I would like to know why. Genuine curiosity. It's not like it's hacking or anything malicious. But apologies if this violated forum policies I was and am not aware of.

1 hour ago, EjectedCasings said:

Yeah, the bugs can be kind of a dealbreaker, but Hinterland have already said that they are currently working on patching issues and bugs.

While that's fine and fair, at this point I just want to play a game that actually works. If "Live" returns to a state it's playable I'm the first playing that.

1 hour ago, EjectedCasings said:

As for the Wolf AI... Yeah, it's kind of a mess. Game devs improve stuff based on feedback, so given the amount of posts and criticism on the new AI I would be surprised if they didn't tweak it. I've yet to encounter Timberwolves in Survival yet, but like I preeviously said, Game devs tweak stuff based on feedback.

I have really posted more than enough on these forums about the new wolf AI. I just don't have a lot of faith things returning to sane levels in quite some time. But I'm the last person to complain if proven wrong.

38 minutes ago, Admin said:

We have pushed v1.37 builds out to Time Capsule just in case there was an error. You should now be able to play the last updated version of Vigilant Flame.

Thank you and yes, it is indeed 1.37 39488.

1 hour ago, EjectedCasings said:

As for Linux support... I don't run Linux, and I dunno if HL will go back to supporting it at all.

While I could even respect HL telling me "Sorry bud, but supporting Linux has become to difficult for us because of [insert reason]" .... just leaving the game in an unplayable state for over a year without further comment or reasoning is not okay. I know it's a Unity thing, I know Hinterland's measures to fix this are limited to the point they maybe cannot even do it, but acknowledging this would have been a blast.

18 hours ago, ajb1978 said:

Best of luck to you!

 

1 hour ago, EjectedCasings said:

I can respect your decision though, and I hope you enjoy your VF!

Thank you, and yes I do. And I hope I may rejoin the ranks of people playing actual release TLD at some point.

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I have been going through similar lines of thought as jeffpeng.   (Although I do not run Linux and I like BI.)

My main reason is that the new wolf behaviour has taken away the enjoyment of the game.

I haven't quite worked out which version I liked best, so I am delaying.  Instead I am playing another game, but intend to return to TLD in due course.  I am delaying in the hope that HTL will produce an update which has a full revision of all wolf behaviour, which would save me the hassle of going back to an earlier version.

 

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22 minutes ago, peteloud said:

Although I do not run Linux and I like BI

I didn't say I don't like Bleak Inlet. In fact the level design is - as always - top notch and up there with the best the industry has to offer. Who ever designs levels at Hinterland has some amazing insight and talent. It's just that on Interloper with Timerberwolves there ..... there is no amount of reward that can compensate for the risk.

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A few impressions from playing Vigilant Flame compared to Live TLD

  • New Pleasant Valley really is so much better.
  • Not being able to just throw coal in right after making fire makes travel much harder compared to Live. (Stealth-Buff with Crossroad Elegy)
  • Apparently there was a Stealth-Nerf to movement speed when overloaded sometime between now and then. I suspect it came with Redux and Well Fed. You are moving notably faster overloaded in VF than you are now. Which actually makes Well Fed more viable than I was aware. But still not sold on it - I guess?
  • It's amazing how rarely you used to sprain back then. However when you do, it really feels very random.
  • Wolves are really a bit meek. I understand why measures to give them more bite were in order. Not saying the current state is the right approach, but I see where the devs are coming from and why changes had to be made.
  • The performance of the game really used to be much better, even on a system more than capable of running it (R5 2600, 390X, 32 GiB)
  • Probably down to preference, but I really like the status display in the middle of the screen much better than on the left hand side. The new icons, however, are much clearer in displaying the current state of the severeal subconditions.
  • I still feel more comfortable with the old crafting UI.
  • Not having to meddle with the new fire/cooking UI really saves a lot of clicks and feels .... more intuitive - at least to me.
  • It's impressive how much better lighting has got over time.
  • Sound scenes feel ... clearer, less ... crowded in VF. If that makes any sense.
  • Without Reishi and Rose Hip tea having the double-warmth-bug travel, again, is much harder.
Edited by jeffpeng

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Well, I'm not one to not admit when being wrong. I guess this is a case - partially.

VF has it's own problems. For example you can - I just remembered that - circumvent the encumbered movement penalty if you know how. Lighting really is problematic, and it makes you appreciate the work Hinterland has done of the past few updates to improve the situation so much without making the player actually notice it. And a few other issues I glossed over in glorifying hindsight. So if anything I must retract my opinion that VF was the best state TLD was in ever.

I still stand by a lot of things that have progressed ... suboptimally since then. The fire/cooking UI, the broken Linux support, the messy sound scenes. I'm still no fan of the revolver, but it's one of the things you don't need to use if you don't want to - and it isn't a thing in Interloper anyways. I'm still not a fan of how Well Fed works, but I have to conceed it was a step in the right direction, albeit probably not a brave enough step. But without Well Fed eating more than you absolutely must isn't even a consideration, and it practically removes the calorie mechanic from the game.

I'm still torn on the coal change now that I have a side-by-side comparison forth and back. Yes, it makes things easier (which isn't automatically good or bad), and it makes you also experience more of the game as you get around faster. This might be desireable. On the other hand the frequent stops to warm up, getting caught in blizzards more often, the overall hardship of it .... makes the game much more tense. But if I had to cast a vote in either direction.... I'd probably vote that the change was for the better.

That wolves really feel meek I already conceeded. I really hope the devs find the appropriate middle ground between the old and the new. How I imagine this to work I have laid out in the "Rebalancing The Long Dark" thread in the Wishlist Forum, and I still stand by that.

I'll take a look at what exactly is the state of CE on the Time Capsule. I must admit going through the old Pleasant Valley really hurt. Not because the old map is bad, but because the changes they made to it made it so much better.

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So, I'm a few days in on a 1.62 (Crossroads Elegy) Interloper. Which is actually pretty close to live, basically minus new Wolf AI, minus Bleak Inlet and ammunition crafting, and minus bugs. It doesn't run on Linux, which is still a bummer, but don't really ask me to put a finger on why, but it feels more "complete" than Vigilant Flame. I still don't agree with the new Cooking/Fire UI, I'm still no fan of the revolver (but again: it's not even in Interloper), and most other things I won't miss hold true as well. But the weight of positive things in CE surprisingly seems to outhweigh the weight of negative things in CE in comparison to Vigilant Flame, even if I can't really fully explain why.

I mean nobody is going to get me to play Errant Pilgrim until it's fixed. But I really have to concede that the game really got better overall, even if not everything took directions I agree with. But if I really were asked what changes to revert that were made between Vigilant Flame and Crossroads Elegy, it would probably be the Fire/Cooking UI, moving the subconditions to the left side of the screen, and whatever screwed up sound around waterfalls and storms. The rest .... probably really is for the better.

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7 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

... But the weight of positive things in CE surprisingly seems to outhweigh the weight of negative things in CE in comparison to Vigilant Flame, even if I can't really fully explain why.

Yeah, that's my train of thought in regards to the latest updates. I really feel like the game has been steadily improving even though we do not notice improvement right away, we're creatures of habit, after all. But EP really has left a lot of loose ends and it detracts from the overall TLD'ing experience, I really hope Hinterland takes threads like these seriously given it's full of well-thought and constructive criticism and feedback. 

Ah yes, lest I forget. I'm really considering rolling back towards the older builds as well, I'm just a bit reticent about losing my long-term saves if I do. 

Edited by Dan_
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1 hour ago, Dan_ said:

I'm just a bit reticent about losing my long-term saves if I do.

Well I will probably never get all my badges back if I keep flipping versions like this :D 

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It's been nice to get this journaling of past versions so we can see some of these other improvements.  My feeling has been that pre-EP there was a lot of tweaking and improving and that EP did some bigger changes.  Given it's almost like a new chapter there were new bugs, some old ones reappeared and there were still some of the unfinished ones.  So to a degree I know it's still sort of in process (though everything is always in process, but you know what I mean).  I know you said you'll return to EP if you feel better about it.

But pre-EP and pre-bigger changes, there was definitely a scaling and sharpening up of the previous iteration if you buy into that more seismic shift.  Good points were made in regards to some things like the lighting and UI.   Remember how awful it was in the PV farmhouse.  Some places were eerily bright, even during night, and some oddly dark, even during day.

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Well it appears the "underground predators" and sinking corpse bug is also in Crossroads Elegy.

I'm pretty sure both are the same bug. Corpses (real corpses, not deer carcasses, those are technically objects like cedar limps) are entities just as much as living mobs as far as Unity is concerned. Now something must have happened with Crossroads Elegy that made them spawn below terrain. The problem here is also two-pronged.

For once there is a chance that mobs spawn below terrain. That does happen (and always kinda happened, just much rarer). I can only cast conjecture on why this problem now is so much more common, but I believe it has to do with altered hitboxes of predators that was implemented to make them respect walls better.

But apparently there is also a problem of the placement algorithm that disregards frozen water as viable ground, and places the mobs on the actual terrain under the water. And yes, there is actual terrain under the water. The water surfaces are basically level flat surfaces that intersect with terrain, sometimes for very large parts of the map. There was also a video a few years back that showed that they can adjust the Y Axis of those water surfaces level-wide.

So, long story short, I'm kinda back where I started :D 

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On 1/16/2020 at 2:08 PM, jeffpeng said:
  • Sound scenes feel ... clearer, less ... crowded in VF. If that makes any sense.

You say the sound is better in VF? I gotta try it. Because I am playing TLD mainly by my ears. You know, you cannot see wolf, but you can hear it. Now when I can hear creaking of Quonset Gas station from half map, but almost cannot hear wolf barking near me... It is not right. When there is fog, the importance of sound is multiplied. The ominous raven sound when the big brown buddy who wants to manly hug me is important and nowadays this sound is drowned in, for example, child swing metal rattling, which BTW is more far from me.

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1 hour ago, acada said:

You say the sound is better in VF?

It's hard to describe why, but.... it feels less... crowded? If that makes any sense whatsoever.

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@jeffpeng I understand you. I feel/hear it same. TLD was nice quiet game with enough sound details. and now it is just noisy. Something like music nowadays. Everybody is producing loud "brick" I mean no pronounced bass, mids or trebles or whatever. Everything is to max and this makes my ears suffer.

I understand the blizzard is deafening. But so are my character footsteps. Or waterfall. It should not be when you are half kilometer away...

If I could get mix of TLD builds. Sound from pre-Errant Pilgrim and everything else from head build. Because I really like revolver, timberwolfs, reworked PV. The only thing I hate is the sound. And of course bugs like mole-bear.

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42 minutes ago, acada said:

@jeffpeng I understand you. I feel/hear it same. TLD was nice quiet game with enough sound details. and now it is just noisy. Something like music nowadays. Everybody is producing loud "brick" I mean no pronounced bass, mids or trebles or whatever. Everything is to max and this makes my ears suffer.

I understand the blizzard is deafening. But so are my character footsteps. Or waterfall. It should not be when you are half kilometer away...

If I could get mix of TLD builds. Sound from pre-Errant Pilgrim and everything else from head build. Because I really like revolver, timberwolfs, reworked PV. The only thing I hate is the sound. And of course bugs like mole-bear.

Well I guess with the update that dropped today they are on a good track I guess. Maybe sound gets a readjustment soon as well. Apparently someone is actually reading these forums for more than just policing foul language and bad manners😉 

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