TLD needs a new difficulty mode: Hardcore


bikingviking

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There's been a lot of talk recently about how Stalker is too easy. I loved it when I was just starting, but now that I know where all the loot + buildings are, it's pretty boring.

There's been some discussion about making Stalker more challenging -- but that would be a big jump for newer players who are graduating from Voyageur.

Instead, I think you should experiment with adding a new difficulty mode: Hardcore (although with a different name, maybe Coureur des Bois?)

Hardcore mode should be targeted towards experienced players who can survive 100+ Stalker days with little effort. It should be tuned so you are ALWAYS desperate to find a bit of food or medicine just to stay alive a few more hours. Should never get to the point where you're stockpiling food or supplies.

Some tuning ideas for Hardcore mode:

  • Only 6 hours of daylight
  • Storms that last for days
  • Colder interiors of buildings
  • Some changes to animal range/respawning as discussed in this topic
  • Significantly less loot, especially game-changer items (knife, hatchet, rifle, simple tools, sewing kit)

These are just simple tuning changes, but would totally alter the flow of gameplay. Maybe you don't even find a knife for the first 15-20 days, while you're ducking storms, scrambling for food and exploring the maps during those fleeting moments of daylight. That sounds like a crazy thrill ride to me.

Does anyone else think a Hardcore difficulty mode would be insanely fun?

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Well I would have no problem if they chose the route of creating a new difficulty mode as appose to altering Stalker. Not gonna list a crap ton of ideas since I posted most in the other thread... However one thing I will say is, I don't like the idea of only 6 hours of daytime. I would however be open to the idea of removing the time displays in game so we never knew exactly how much time was left in a day.

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I would however be open to the idea of removing the time displays in game so we never knew exactly how much time was left in a day.

Thats another good idea right there.

To the op: I fully agree on less gamechanger items to loot. Just a sidenote though, in my current playthrough in pleasant valley (which was really too easy in stalker) i never found a knife until day 30 or so. In fact, i searched the whole map and found the knife @~day 30 at the pond.

Before i had to do everything with the hatchet. And i only had this one. I had to repair it like 5 times from low to full health. It was really the first time something like this happened to me, but it was nice. Maybe i was just unlucky, but it was for sure more fun.

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I'd be really happy about a Hardcore/Nightmare mode as well, but I don't see that happening, unfortunately.

(The Devs already stated that they're quite happy with the current three modes and I guess they're right that these cover a difficulty range that pleases most players. Those who ask for a Pilgrim+ or Stalker+ mode are presumably a rather small minority. Thus, it's imo somehow comprehensible that the Devs cannot spend too much of their time on these wishes.)

Nevertheless, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a Hardcore mode - It would be incredible much fun for me to have shorter, way difficulter runs full of desperation and struggle for survival! :D

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I'd be really happy about a Hardcore/Nightmare mode as well, but I don't see that happening, unfortunately.

Yes, just make Stalker the hardcore mode. Its not like we have not enough difficulty levels, stalker is just not hardcore enough. :twisted:

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Another great suggestion for more difficulty is to require light for any activities, like harvesting, repairing, and crafting.

I can't find who originally suggested it, but this would be a great addition for requiring extra resources!

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Another great suggestion for more difficulty is to require light for any activities, like harvesting, repairing, and crafting.

I can't find who originally suggested it, but this would be a great addition for requiring extra resources!

I actually wouldn't mind that. Always found it odd how I can do everything in the dark.

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(The Devs already stated that they're quite happy with the current three modes and I guess they're right that these cover a difficulty range that pleases most players. Those who ask for a Pilgrim+ or Stalker+ mode are presumably a rather small minority. Thus, it's imo somehow comprehensible that the Devs cannot spend too much of their time on these wishes.)

I know there has been some resistance to this idea before.

However TLD is a young game, and many players have outgrown it. If they don't add some challenge back into the game, then this is the end of the road for me. It's not fun anymore. And that would be sad because it's brilliant.

I also intentionally suggested that a Hardcore mode could be made up entirely of tuning changes. No actual programming updates or new mechanics. So if the devs felt like throwing it in there for an experiment, it really wouldn't be much work ;)

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Another great suggestion for more difficulty is to require light for any activities, like harvesting, repairing, and crafting.

I can't find who originally suggested it, but this would be a great addition for requiring extra resources!

I actually wouldn't mind that. Always found it odd how I can do everything in the dark.

I guess this would require some new light sources, like selfmade candles out of animalfat or something, otherwise you run out of light pretty soon. Or you have to craft outdoors.

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Another great suggestion for more difficulty is to require light for any activities, like harvesting, repairing, and crafting.

I can't find who originally suggested it, but this would be a great addition for requiring extra resources!

I actually wouldn't mind that. Always found it odd how I can do everything in the dark.

I guess this would require some new light sources, like selfmade candles out of animalfat or something, otherwise you run out of light pretty soon. Or you have to craft outdoors.

Most the locations with crafting tables have a fair amount of light during daylight hours which I think wouldn't need a light source. There are a few exceptions of course, like the Pleasant Valley Cellar Workbench, or the Workbench in the Dam and Mine. But yes you are right, we'd either need something new like candle crafting to aid in this, or for lanterns to burn fuel slower, but slower fuel burn wouldn't make much sense so... It would become more work for the devs.

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I think adding in one new component would change to direction of the game, getting wet. Water can pull heat out of your body up to 30 times faster than air. Players would have to strip off the wet clothing (unequip it) and dry off (which you can use snow for, but it is a bit brisk). Then they would have to dry out their clothes before putting them back on.

Honestly this would not be an easy dev task. Add a "Wet" meter to the game, which does not reduce until the clothing is dried out (needs air time or by a fire) and/or the player is dried off. The larger the wet meter then more it amplifies the cold. Imaging a 50% wet player turning a >>> cold into a >>>>>> cold modifier! Now players will have to balance running all over the place vs the sweat activity can bring. Players can also get wet in other types of snowfall, falling through the ice or activity.

Falling through the ice in a creek might not be to bad, besides soaking your boots and maybe your pants. Falling into a pond would be really bad. Falling into a river or larger body of water in the game would probably be a death sentence as the player is swept under the ice.

Put some thin ice areas into the game first. The sound is already in the game, so I would give a warning for a bit unless the player runs, slides or falls into the center of the ice. Once the player falls in the game assumes the player gets out. Maybe take a shock hit 5% to your condition per body part that got wet (feet 5%, feet + legs 10%, and so on). This means a weakened player falling into the ice could just succumb to the cold on the spot and drown). Falling into a pond might soak the player to the bone hitting them for 25% damage and making them 100% wet on the spot. Test out the thin ice and see how it works out. To make things fun, make thin ice random for each game. So while the game is populating it picks all the thin ice locations. Say 20 locations out of 60 possible on the map. I would also add some running water to the game. Great locations would be any place there is an existing waterfall.

If the wet meter works, then add in activity. This would be taking the air/wind chill into account vs the amount of clothing you are wearing + activity levels. One of the reason why we don't wear sweaters in the summer :P Having to much heavy clothing on can cause the player to simply sweat in place. Some activity levels have a set warmth bonus (like foraging for wood) while other not so much (skinning a rabbit). Running would be how much of it you do in a set period of time. Sweating would just impact your underclothing. This basically comes down to a < modifier on the cold scale that we don't see. To make things easier, change the bar so right in the middle in normal. < is a heat modifier (as in the game) and > is a cold modifier (also in the game). Kind of odd where heat becomes the negative on the scale and cold becomes positive ;)

Lastly I would add weather, with certain types of weather getting the outer clothing wet (jacket, hat, gloves, scarf and pants).

I would have getting wet feet add 50% to the wet meter instantly. I would have inner clothing add up to 50% to the wet meter and outer clothing add up to 50% on the wet meter. I know this does not add up to 100%, but we are looking at the maximum one type could do. Falling through the ice in a creek could soak your socks, boots, underpants and pants. The player then runs back to base and slowly adding to the 50% as their upper body starts to sweat. Or the player could get the other side of the creek, build a fire and take off the soaked clothing. A blizzard drops on the player and snuffs out the fire. The player has dried off but the clothing is only partially dry. There is a cave nearby but they think they can make it back to base. They then huff it back to base, sweating through exertion of walking against in wind and trudging through the snow. The 20% left from their wet feet, +30% more from sweating and +15 for the blizzard bring their total up to 65% before the can make it over the last bend. The end up freezing to death with their salvation just out of sight.

Changing the Cold Meter to a temperature scale and adding in a metric for becoming wet would completely change how the game is played. The player must balance another risk vs reward, dramatically increasing the risk for just walking out into the cold.

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My original intent was that crafting would be possible only during daylight hours, unless you had an alternate light source. At the camp office, where there is a stove nearby, a fire would be sufficient. Otherwise, you would need to light a lantern, or to craft candles.

+1 for adding a wet mechanic to the game, I think that would add a lot of depth.

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I think adding in one new component would change to direction of the game, getting wet. Water can pull heat out of your body up to 30 times faster than air. Players would have to strip off the wet clothing (unequip it) and dry off (which you can use snow for, but it is a bit brisk). Then they would have to dry out their clothes before putting them back on.

I totally agree, getting wet would be a fun and challenging mechanic.

The only reason I think it's a bad idea is because it would be a massive programming change. This would need new mechanics and new tunings that require a total overhaul of all difficulty levels.

It's probably not realistic at this point.

I think the Hinterland devs could pull off a really good Hardcore/Nightmare mode with tuning changes only. This would be an easy, low-cost experiment to see if there's appetite.

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I think adding in one new component would change to direction of the game, getting wet. Water can pull heat out of your body up to 30 times faster than air. Players would have to strip off the wet clothing (unequip it) and dry off (which you can use snow for, but it is a bit brisk). Then they would have to dry out their clothes before putting them back on.

I totally agree, getting wet would be a fun and challenging mechanic.

The only reason I think it's a bad idea is because it would be a massive programming change. This would need new mechanics and new tunings that require a total overhaul of all difficulty levels.

It's probably not realistic at this point.

I think the Hinterland devs could pull off a really good Hardcore/Nightmare mode with tuning changes only. This would be an easy, low-cost experiment to see if there's appetite.

If they wanted to make getting wet binary, then it could turn into tuning changes. For simplicities sake lets just say getting wet can only happen by falling through the ice to start with. A player that is wet would have the cold meter multiplied by 3 (which I think would be sufficiently deadly). All of the clothing currently worn would also become "wet". They only way to dry clothing would be 2 hours in front of a fire. To make things easy, once all the wet clothing was off then player would no longer be wet. So if the player had an alternate set of clothes, they could just shuck what they had and don a new set. Done.

A player could either have clothing in their inventory to dry them out (in front of a fire) or drop them in front of a fire to dry.

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I find my self missing the earlier versions that I played. With calories count going in to the negative 2600, only finding 5-10 rounds of ammo. I could not be happier then when I survived 166 days on v.138. It could be a good testing ground for new Ideas. A game mode that veterans of TLD cant get past 90 days would dive me nutz and I would thank you for it.

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