Interloper: Start with Flare


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Title says it all. Reasons:

  • To give the player a bit more time on Day 1 to find matches/shelter.
  • So that players new to interloper can have a bit more excitement before dying on day 1 - most obviously starting a fire for heat/water, but could also be scaring off a wolf or trekking through the night if they have the misfortune to spawn then. Hopefully making them more likely to try again.

Why the Flare and not some other item.

  • It's a highly flexible tool which the player is very likely to be able to make use of before dying.
  • Being a single-use consumable minimizes the impact on difficulty past the first couple of days.
  • Using a flare creates an atmosphere of distress and urgency.
  • Keeps Interloper starting gear as a subset of starting gear on easier levels.
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I rarely stumbled upon matches when I first started on interloper, but it does happen and is an important part of the experience IMO. I like the versatile use of the flares and think that they should amp up the drops on interloper, but I don't think you should start with one. Being totally barebones or as barebones as possible is a huge selling point. I also think that 'new players to interloper' is kind of an oxymoron. Its the most challenging difficulty and shouldn't be so straight forward that new players are comfortable in the first few days. It can be discouraging to die on day 1 but wolf spawns and blizzards are necessary hurdles that make experience more rewarding when you do navigate them. Chance is also huge factor in general and repeated attempts are the only real way to adjust to the constraints.

  I personally have had to readjust my goals for interloper because I have gotten very committed to getting 50+ then 100+ days but then you'll die to glitchy wolves or for some other silly reason and it leaves a sour affect. Its really just about taking 1 day at a time and trying to enjoy the punishing reality as best as possible. The first few days are the hardest. But it gets easier. And then it gets really difficult again. 

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Note that I didn't say "new players", I said "players new to interloper". Everyone who plays interloper at all has their first run at some point, and at that point they are new to the experience.

I agree that the current experience can be discouraging, which is part of what this suggestion aims to address - as well as to lessen the impact of chance. I don't think starting with a flare will make the experience in any way comfortable. Instead, it gives you an extra chance, so to speak, if things don't go your way at first.

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1 hour ago, philthechamp said:

Being totally barebones or as barebones as possible is a huge selling point.

I understand that the OP has a suggestion for one fire and/or one avoided wolf struggle...an interesting idea for sure.

In keeping with this suggestion, the topic of starting-gear for Interloper should be "bare bones" IMHO...it should be a realistic sample of a person's EDC items from their  pants-pockets and jacket-pockets.

How would it be if an item with a very limited "shelf-life" such as a "new zippo lighter" with a small fuel supply that will evaporate until empty whether or not it is utilized by the player. This would avoid the tendency to carry the flare around and saving it because it is a much too valuable item to use.

Stay safe my friends. :coffee:

zippo.jpg

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I mean, I'm not opposed to the lighter idea, but it would require a whole new item to be created just for this specific purpose. Whereas the original suggestion is trivial to implement.

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1 hour ago, Ragwort said:

I mean, I'm not opposed to the lighter idea, but it would require a whole new item to be created just for this specific purpose. Whereas the original suggestion is trivial to implement.

That is a good point...how about a "used book of cardboard matches" to keep it realistic in terms of the everyday carry items found in pockets.

Stay safe my friends. :coffee:

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If they make the move to eliminate all guaranteed spawns in the game... such that finding matches, bedroll and even all the "choice" gear like crampons, moosehide satchel, no longer can be "memorized" by the players on any level; then I think adding some means to light a fire into the starting inventory would be almost mandatory even in standard interloper mode.  I would love it if they did this.

As it is, current interloper level players can toggle matches into their inventory by changing the "Starting Gear Allocation"  setting in the custom menu from "low" (as it is set in standard interloper) to "medium."  This does not change the Baseline Resource Availability or any other settings.  It only affects the starting gear inventory, so if the other Custom memu settings are all the same as the standard interloper mode, the only difference would be that the player would start with matches and a bedroll and, potentially, slightly better clothing.  I like playing this way as it eliminates the dependence at the start on Will somehow magically just knowing where to dash to find matches and a bedroll... and I can then decide to "forget" about the other items on the loot tables and play the run more about finding what I need to survive based on chance rather than map memorization.

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1 hour ago, s7mar7in said:

That is a good point...how about a "used book of cardboard matches" to keep it realistic in terms of the everyday carry items found in pockets.

Stay safe my friends. :coffee:

While the cardboard matchbooks are full in game (contianing 20 matches), these are irrelevant to the standard interloper difficulty since there are no cardboard matches in interloper.  The wooden matchboxes are clearly already mostly used up since a matchbox usually contains more than 12 matches (even the small boxes one would carry around in one's pocket).  The fewest number of wooden matches in a box I could find reference to online was 25.

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4 hours ago, UpUpAway95 said:

I like playing this way as it eliminates the dependence at the start on Will somehow magically just knowing where to dash to find matches and a bedroll... and I can then decide to "forget" about the other items on the loot tables and play the run more about finding what I need to survive based on chance rather than map memorization.

 

I think this is a good point in addition to what OP was getting at. I don't know if I'm sold on a guaranteed Firestarter from the beginning but it is very silly how you have to have this like omniscient mindset in order to get through loper. Randomly spawning all of the items would be a serious overhaul and hard to balance but it gets at a good point. I would rather see more campsites/ snow shelters and things like that in the game. Memorizing indoor structures is tedious and indoor structures, aside from base building, are really not that fun to spend time in. If they had a few potential spawns for snow shelters, smoking/ lit fires near dead bodies, and other individual evidence of recent survival it would give us more to look for initially without handing us bedrolls and matches. The only mechanical change here would be to extend the "embers" effect for the first few hours of a random fire to give us a chance to save it and have a light...If there's a blizzard I think that also means you'd just have to deal and go at it the current way. 

 

 

9 hours ago, Ragwort said:

Note that I didn't say "new players", I said "players new to interloper". Everyone who plays interloper at all has their first run at some point, and at that point they are new to the experience.

I agree that the current experience can be discouraging, which is part of what this suggestion aims to address - as well as to lessen the impact of chance. I don't think starting with a flare will make the experience in any way comfortable. Instead, it gives you an extra chance, so to speak, if things don't go your way at first.

 

Its good to make that distinction but to me it doesn't feel like "players new to interloper" is the target player group. On my first interloper run I died in a blizzard and couldn't find anything. I feel like thats supposed to happen. Its incentive to master the the easier difficulties and learn the maps. That being said I get bored of the other difficulties so I quickly had to learn how not to feel new to interloper in order to make it passed the first few days and actually get on with the game. I really like using torches in blizzards for the survival story aspect of it but it just feels a little too useful to give to everybody who is playing interloper. There might be some changes needed to make to placate the initiation experience but personally I enjoy being given as little chance as possible lol. 

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As of now, there are easily over 300 matches (25 boxes) in an Interloper save file, and almost all of them have guaranteed spawn locations which do not change at all across different runs. Even without relying on Interloper loot tables - which I highly recommend not to look at them if you truly want to challenge yourself by playing Interloper in the first place - it's not that hard to find the first box of matches IMO. Just hit up the main buildings/structures in each region and you'll be guaranteed to find at least one.

If they changed the guaranteed match spawns in Interloper to random, then starting a run with a firestarter in your backpack might make some sense. But in the current state of Interloper, I don't think you should start with a flare in your backpack, will make the first few days way too easy. Heck, I'm thankful enough that we even start with a recycled can in our inventory.

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7 hours ago, philthechamp said:

 

 

I think this is a good point in addition to what OP was getting at. I don't know if I'm sold on a guaranteed Firestarter from the beginning but it is very silly how you have to have this like omniscient mindset in order to get through loper. Randomly spawning all of the items would be a serious overhaul and hard to balance but it gets at a good point. I would rather see more campsites/ snow shelters and things like that in the game. Memorizing indoor structures is tedious and indoor structures, aside from base building, are really not that fun to spend time in. If they had a few potential spawns for snow shelters, smoking/ lit fires near dead bodies, and other individual evidence of recent survival it would give us more to look for initially without handing us bedrolls and matches. The only mechanical change here would be to extend the "embers" effect for the first few hours of a random fire to give us a chance to save it and have a light...If there's a blizzard I think that also means you'd just have to deal and go at it the current way. 

 

You know though that as long as there are guaranteed spawns on the map, that is exactly where Interloper players will plan their runs to go... not just for the matches and bedroll, but for the crampons, backpack, and moosehide satchel... and regardless of looking at an actual loot table or not, they'll memorize patterns such that they'll just know that when they started at X spot and found their bedroll at Y then the nearest heavy hammer is likely to be at Z... and they won't actually look for it anywhere else.  Unless they are new players to the game, they don't really have to struggle to survive without tools for very long.  Most Twitchers and Youtubers I've seen playing Loper make their forge run within a couple of in-game days of starting their run based on knowing where to find the heavy hammer... or alternatively, they run right for the Ravine after getting a bedroll and grab the Distress Pistol.

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38 minutes ago, gotmilkanot said:

If they changed the guaranteed match spawns in Interloper to random, then starting a run with a firestarter in your backpack might make some sense. But in the current state of Interloper, I don't think you should start with a flare in your backpack, will make the first few days way too easy. Heck, I'm thankful enough that we even start with a recycled can in our inventory.

Could not agree more. Matches and flares guaranteed spawns are plenty. 

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1 minute ago, UpUpAway95 said:

You know though that as long as there are guaranteed spawns on the map, that is exactly where Interloper players will plan their runs to go... not just for the matches and bedroll, but for the crampons, backpack, and moosehide satchel... and regardless of looking at an actual loot table or not, they'll memorize patterns such that they'll just know that when they started at X spot and found their bedroll at Y then the nearest heavy hammer is likely to be at Z... and they won't actually look for it anywhere else.  Unless they are new players to the game, they don't really have to struggle to survive without tools for very long.  Most Twitchers and Youtubers I've seen playing Loper make their forge run within a couple of in-game days of starting their run based on knowing where to find the heavy hammer... or alternatively, they run right for the Ravine after getting a bedroll and grab the Distress Pistol.

correct. One runs a given route for the stuff and summit early while weather is forgivable. 

F.I. my current run was Forlorn muskeg evening with high wind. Went to poachers got the guaranteed flare made water/hated up. Then ML where there is a Firestriker chance two places and bedroll chance three places. Theres a flare spawn in the fishing hut and the dam. Plus hammer and saw chance at trappers, dam and overlook. Got hammer and bedroll sadly no saw or striker. Then its to PV and TWM within 6 days. From there bag to FM to craft. 

Really some speed is name of the game since detours will affect your supplies.  

The saw is a key early item for preparing saplings and eating carcasses on the way. 

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1 minute ago, Looper said:

correct. One runs a given route for the stuff and summit early while weather is forgivable. 

F.I. my current run was Forlorn muskeg evening with high wind. Went to poachers got the guaranteed flare made water/hated up. Then ML where there is a Firestriker chance two places and bedroll chance three places. Theres a flare spawn in the fishing hut and the dam. Plus hammer and saw chance at trappers, dam and overlook. Got hammer and bedroll sadly no saw or striker. Then its to PV and TWM within 6 days. From there bag to FM to craft. 

Really some speed is name of the game since detours will affect your supplies.  

The saw is a key early item for preparing saplings and eating carcasses on the way. 

... and if it was an equal chance to find those same items anywhere on the map, you'd have a much harder time of it, correct?  Then there are the statements I hear from those Lopers that they're following the same paths through the world time and time again.... and that there's nothing for them in Bleak Inlet... and more recently, many of them said the same thing about Ash Canyon.  IMO, they've become too complacent... too dependent on their memorization of the older maps.  Randomizing everything would reintroduce the "it's a new game" into each run.  If they did that... I don't think it would be too long before the Loper crowd would be screaming to be given a match or a flare at the start.  Will they randomize everything, though?... I doubt it.

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1 minute ago, UpUpAway95 said:

  IMO, they've become too complacent... too dependent on their memorization of the older maps.  Randomizing everything would reintroduce the "it's a new game" into each run.  If they did that... I don't think it would be too long before the Loper crowd would be screaming to be given a match or a flare at the start.  Will they randomize everything, though?... I doubt it.

You have some good points - however complacent is maybe a little - rude 😀 Bleak inlet doesn't offer interlopers much since no guns are present. It seems irrationel to go a place where there is high risk and no reward. Ash Canyon is another case. I haven't checked it out yet but I understand there is some good loot. 

The game has a issue with loper midgame since its IMO to easy to reach the "I have the bow, the clothes"-stage. Fully randomised could certainly be away to mix things up. I promise you; I will not beg for a flare. To be creative and enjoy finding a soda, a toilet or even feel the thirst pressure - I would love it 🙂

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10 minutes ago, Looper said:

You have some good points - however complacent is maybe a little - rude 😀 Bleak inlet doesn't offer interlopers much since no guns are present. It seems irrationel to go a place where there is high risk and no reward. Ash Canyon is another case. I haven't checked it out yet but I understand there is some good loot. 

The game has a issue with loper midgame since its IMO to easy to reach the "I have the bow, the clothes"-stage. Fully randomised could certainly be away to mix things up. I promise you; I will not beg for a flare. To be creative and enjoy finding a soda, a toilet or even feel the thirst pressure - I would love it 🙂

The game has more than a problem with the "Loper midgame."  The "it's getting too easy/boring" is a common expression from players of all levels.

Right now, the thought someone expressed above is to run to populated areas for matches, but if the random chance of corpse X lying out in the snow is exactly the same as the random chance of Grey Mother's house having matches, that player's bet could very easily be wrong... especially if, say, only 30 packs of matches are spread over ALL the possible spawn points in the game world without any tinkering/adjustments to the odds... each spawn point having an equal chance to spawn one or more of those 30 packs of matches.  You could get 30 packs of matches all in one zone and none in any of the others... and the player would have no way to tell what call is his/her best shot at finding them.  Were that the way the game was... I would bet you'd be screaming for a match in your inventory... along with everyone else.

In short, it's a tough thing to balance and still make the player feel like they're "in need"... and the more loot that is added to the game and the more zones it gets spread over only makes the job tougher.

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They could do something similar like the semi-randomised spawns of Polaroids. Have a guaranteed number of boxes (2-3) per major region, but make the spawns randomised. So for example in PV, you could find one in the Farmhouse in this run but in another run, that "same" box might be in a random corpse/container out in the snow.

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5 minutes ago, gotmilkanot said:

They could do something similar like the semi-randomised spawns of Polaroids. Have a guaranteed number of boxes (2-3) per major region, but make the spawns randomised. So for example in PV, you could find one in the Farmhouse in this run but in another run, that "same" box might be in a random corpse/container out in the snow.

The same thing could be accomplishes using a "zone-based" minimum for each item.  E.g. 1 minimum spawn of, say, a bedroll in each zone; but that bedroll could spawn in any of the spawn locations for that entire zone.  So, let's say there are 150 containers in that zone... that would give it a 1 in 150 chance of spawning in any given location and, of course, more than one could spawn as a totally random item.  The player then would perhaps know they are guaranteed a bedroll somewhere in that zone, but would be compelled to look everywhere until they found it. 

Of course, there would have to be items where the zone minimum could be overridden with a 0.  For example, to ensure that the heavy hammer did not spawn in the same zone as the player on Loper difficulty.

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1 minute ago, Ragwort said:

Just FYI, there is now a separate thread in this forum for loot randomisation.

Sorry, I posted this last bit before reading your post.  I'll leave the above where it is, but continue the discussion there (but I think I've said about everything I want to anyways).  To repeat my initital - I would support your suggestion of putting a flare in the starting inventory absolutely if they randomize loot.  If not, then I think it would be best to leave it as is... which is, as I said, adjustable in custom anyways.

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2 hours ago, UpUpAway95 said:

The game has more than a problem with the "Loper midgame."  The "it's getting too easy/boring" is a common expression from players of all levels.

2 hours ago, Looper said:

The game has a issue with loper midgame since its IMO to easy to reach the "I have the bow, the clothes"-stage. Fully randomised could certainly be away to mix things up. I promise you; I will not beg for a flare. To be creative and enjoy finding a soda, a toilet or even feel the thirst pressure - I would love it 🙂

1 hour ago, gotmilkanot said:

They could do something similar like the semi-randomised spawns of Polaroids. Have a guaranteed number of boxes (2-3) per major region, but make the spawns randomised. So for example in PV, you could find one in the Farmhouse in this run but in another run, that "same" box might be in a random corpse/container out in the snow.

 

 

What's wrong with the mid game as is? I definitely see more stability from when you get the bow to when your supplies really start to wear thin, but for me that's the window to distribute supplies and explore cool 'irrational' areas. I even feel like I forge fairly quickly (within 10 days) and it'll still take me dozens of hours to get to a point of real exploration. I also would say that is evidence that we shouldn't have Firestarters at the start. They should be extending the early game feel for as long as possible... I've seen craft-able candles suggested on other threads and although that might change the cinematography it would free up the devs to give us less matches and force us to extend what we have with them during the midgame. I would agree that the total matches could be tweaked but I don't think they should be randomized. There needs to be a lot of consistency with a resource like that so that total days survived are comparable. 

The polaroids are a waste in my opinion. They made them far too hidden to be fun to look for. They already basically offer a quest marker on a hard to reach part of the map and I honestly have no idea where I'm supposed to look for them initially. I check all the main and some hard to reach points of interest and they just rarely turn up. Idk I just don't want it to turn into another "look up the potential spawns on reddit and go from there" situation. They are definitely on the right track because mapping is a great mid game activity but these things should still be accessible IMO. There are so many corpses on interloper yet its almost irrelevant to search them. I also like the idea of other interactable features in the game. I think they could make better use of the radio towers or create similar semi-randomized item spawns etc. 

IMO, total randomization doesn't seem feasible from a design/balance pov but all they have to do is create other incentives to explore the map. It doesn't necessarily have to be through an in game necessity like matches although I wouldn't complain if that were tweaked. 

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54 minutes ago, philthechamp said:

What's wrong with the mid game as is?

Nothing per se. It a matter of perspective. To me - and many others - the game is about survival. Exploring maps is a way to better your situation thus giving reason and point in the danger. When you are too settled it seems illogical to travel away since the best you can find is a whetstone (non-renewable) or some saplings when you need after the first tour of the island. When you already have been to all the maps you sort of know, theres really little point.

Fi in my current run I've been to FM, ML, IC, PV. I have lots of saplings and skins curing. I have most of the important items in the game. I've killed one bear and know where the other is in ML. 10 days in. So why should a go all the way to HRV? I will, when I need more saplings. In 70 days or so. Thats the problem with the midgame. 

The best thing would be to add mechanics to the game requirering further exploration. F.i. some form of sanity-meter or such, which requires new ressources or travels. 

Randomisation couldn't be full but much more randomisation could be good. Why not give up the guaranteed spawns of matches and make hammer/hacksaws pr. map random. You could have classes - f.i. only buildings can yeld certain items.  

 

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6 minutes ago, Looper said:

Nothing per se. It a matter of perspective. To me - and many others - the game is about survival. Exploring maps is a way to better your situation thus giving reason and point in the danger. When you are too settled it seems illogical to travel away since the best you can find is a whetstone (non-renewable) or some saplings when you need after the first tour of the island. When you already have been to all the maps you sort of know, theres really little point.

Fi in my current run I've been to FM, ML, IC, PV. I have lots of saplings and skins curing. I have most of the important items in the game. I've killed one bear and know where the other is in ML. 10 days in. So why should a go all the way to HRV? I will, when I need more saplings. In 70 days or so. Thats the problem with the midgame. 

The best thing would be to add mechanics to the game requirering further exploration. F.i. some form of sanity-meter or such, which requires new ressources or travels. 

 

From my point of view, adding mechanics that force the player to do certain things is the worst Hinterland can do.

I think the genius of survival mode in TLD is that it puts the player in the same mental situation as the survivor. There is no guidance on what to do, where to go, or why. Just as if you were isolated on GBI in reality. So it's up to the player to generate their own motivation. Adding artificial external drivers would ruin that. One of the great things about survival mode, in my view, is that it asks the player to come up with their own long-term goals and reasons for surviving. So if "settling in" is boring, choose something else.

Whether the environment is rich enough is a different matter. I'd like to see some more things added, like a camera so we could document our runs (along with the existing journal), or a better way to interact with the cairns, or ...

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3 hours ago, Dr. S. said:

I think the genius of survival mode in TLD is that it puts the player in the same mental situation as the survivor. There is no guidance on what to do, where to go, or why. Just as if you were isolated on GBI in reality.

While I agree with not being forced surely you would agree the standard mechanics (hunger thirst cold etc. and conditions) are promoting the sense of survival while driving the players to find playstyles. To find a more easy experience one can just chose a custom game and switch them off. Some form of mental health or even a condition like scurvy could make certain items more valuable and thus encourage new play styles. 

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Isn't kind of the whole point of Interloper that we start out with virtually no advantage at all?
"The most difficult experience available. As the name implies, you are an unwelcome guest in this cold, hostile world. This experience is best suited for expert players looking for the ultimate survival challenge."

:coffee::fire::coffee:
I like that we don't get to start with a source of fire in our pockets (at least for interloper).  It puts pressure on the player to start scouring around immediately.  I don't think I would like having a safety net like a flare in my pocket if I was wanting to experience the most difficult and brutal of the "standard" modes of play.

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