Build additional TLD mechanics into storymode (Wintermute)


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There are many topics and misinformation surrounding the "mechanics" of the world posted online because TLD has gone through so many different iterations over the years, and what was once true before may not be now. Things like: changes to how wolves behave, how cooking works (both for items on the slots and nearby), outer vs inner clothing, and so on. Wintermute somewhat tells the player about these mechanics now, such as with crafting the rabbitskin hat/mittens, or for making teas from the prepared ingredients, but I find the lack of information (especially about how to deal with wolves), even at a basic level, a missed opportunity and incredibly frustrating - it would help to teach players a little about how things work on Great Bear Island (a.k.a., in the game world).

One of my gripes with the way TLD was developed is that major game behavior was changed after the 1.0 release and it's not obvious to the players even after playing the game for many hours. People coming back to the game after a hiatus or those who don't play very often (like myself) would probably have no idea that the behavior of wolves has changed so drastically, and in a game without manual saves it could mean the difference between life or death (in-game). In my particular example, I remember that I used to be able scare wolves with an open fire, or luring them with some bait to get a decent shot off, but that doesn't appear to be enough anymore and they charge anyway.

While on just on the topic of wolves, there are many questions that I've once had and that I'm sure others do as well:

- when do wolves charge and when do they run away? how does bating work now? how do wolves react to fires, and what are strategies to get them off your tail / to back-off? will a fire keep them at bay? how do they react to stones, fires, flares, marine flares - both in-hand and thrown?  how do the scent markers work?

These things are left up to the player to guess at through play, which I can understand at a certain level because you - being an untrained person trying to survive in a harsh landscape - aren't used to that type of scenario in your daily life. But the NPCs, especially in Wintermute, don't communicate any of this information or even suggest strategies for dealing with the harsh realities of Great Bear Island, even after they depend on McKenzie/Astrid to help them! Wouldn't you want to have your only hope of survival have as much information as possible? The old woman in Milton, Jeremiah in Trapper's Homestead, the priest in Thomson's Crossing, the woman in the Pleasant Valley farm - these people all, at one point, need the player's help but they don't offer much of anything to aid or assist.

Veteran players who know the mechanics based on online references or a lot of experience might not care about this sort of thing. I get that. However, I feel that Hinterland could throw in some side-quests where an "expert" NPC in the world shows the player some of these things, or players could find some old notes/books on the topic throughout the game world, which might help teach the player about the game mechanics. These would get the player better prepared for sandbox mode or dealing with the intricacies of animal behavior, since there are many mechanics that are not at all related to the real world or "common sense". It would also flesh out the characters and help with the suspension of disbelief required for the scenarios presented in story-mode.

Some pieces of dialog here and there, hinting at some aspect of the game, would be helpful. Jeremiah might say something like: "The wolves are especially hungry for meat these days. Avoid them if you can, but if they're on your tail, a lit flare will keep them at bay, while an open fire followed by a show of strength may scare them off." It's in-character, it's helpful, and it's easy to squeeze into the context of the situation, or have as a dialog option that players can inquire about. It also tells players a little bit about how to survive in this unfamiliar realm, which to anyone coming across McKenzie or Astrid, is something they would recognize that these survivors desperately need.

Edited by ToAsT
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