Praise and A Few Suggestions (XB1)


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I recently bought this title on XB1 after the 60min. preview got me hooked... I have to say that I love this game, and I'd like to offer a few items of praise (as well as a few suggestions):


- I love the pacing of the game - the frantic opening struggle to survive off of scraps and find shelter, the pervading sense of creeping dread over the next few days as hunger, scarcity of materials and wolf attacks start to become an issue, the mid-game rhythm of maintaining a home base and keeping supplies in good order, and the slow and measured exploration once you get the courage (or the need based on foresight of waning supplies) to venture out and explore or look for that one item you need to make your base self-sufficient.

- I love the atmosphere (and the atmospheric music)

- I love the difficulty (including the permadeath, though I agree with others that the wolf presence is, perhaps, a bit over-done, or could be implemented with more behavioral complexity to better effect)

- I love the wide range of items and processes that can be used (or must be monitored) in order to survive. Things like finding my first rifle or happening upon a cupboard full of cans of tomato soup when I'm near starvation are just gaming magic at its best.

- I find the UI to be intuitive, the functions to be accessible, and the little animations already included to be excellent (such as loading the rifle or lighting the lamp... I know that more are probably coming).


I don't really want to offer criticism, per se, but I also know that there's a section in the forum titled "wishlist", so I'm going to try to thread the needle between these two modes of feedback (probably unsuccessfully).

- Map-making of some kind would really help the game experience, I think (even if it required finding materials like paper and pencil to accomplish, and was nothing more than a rough sketch of major landmarks). The lack of a map function tempts me to look for maps on the web, which, though it's kind of cool for the community aspect, certainly runs counter to much of the experience of exploration and uncertainty that makes the game great. I could add lots of requests to the wishlist (binoculars, bear traps, etc.), but almost everything has already been suggested)

- The CQC "minigame" for wolf fighting is a bit hard to understand in terms of what's going on. I figured it out, but as a game system it's not as solid or as clear as it could be. This has been said before, but I want to add my voice to be counted.

- The incredible frequency of blizzards is shocking to me (as well as the fact that they seem to occur instantly whenever I go to light a fire... is this programmed?) Maybe I am just too unfamiliar with Canadian weather patterns or geomagnetic catastrophes (most of my backpacking has been done in California, for Pete's sake), but quite a few of my deaths have felt a little cheap rather than harrowing because of the drastic and rapid weather shifts. Maybe there are signs built into the environment that I will get better at reading (as has been the case with several other mechanics in the game), but if I'm not missing something, I feel that this could be tweaked a bit.

- For what it's worth, I love the crafting system. It really sparks my imagination about building up a base, and it motivates me to explore in order to search for that one rare material I need. I would love to see this system expanded, though I agree that it should avoid "jumping the shark" with things like craftable bear traps, working generators, or fully enclosed structures (things that need too much time, too much specialized skill, or too much specialized machinery to make).

Finally, I just want to thank the developers for making such an amazing game. To look at the forums and see how much of the feedback makes it directly into the game in some form is really, really encouraging as a gamer, and I have to stand a bit in awe of the developers as artists. It's pretty crazy that they're willing to work so closely with a community, elegantly balancing their own vision and the passion of the players. I know, as an artist, that can't be easy. I really, really appreciate their work.

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Thanks for the kind words and feedback. As you mentioned, we have seen a good portion of it before. I am curious to know how frequently you're experiencing blizzards, since that (in my mind) is a crucial missing piece of that particular bit of feedback. The weather does vary between different experience modes (Pilgrim, Voyager, Stalker), so it'd also be useful to know which of those you were playing. That said, it is true we likely have to make allowances for mechanics of the game we don't yet fully understand. Mostly, I'm just looking to better understand your opinion =)

Thanks again, and welcome to the forums!

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Ah yes, I can see how that would be helpful!

I go back and forth between voyager and stalker as far as difficulty goes, but even on the "medium" difficulty setting, I seem to log a blizzard every day in the late morning to early afternoon for four or five days, followed by a day or two of clear weather. I have fewer than 100 real time hours logged at this point, so I admit that that could be a matter of bad luck. The crazy thing to me seems to be the uncanny timing of said blizzards, in that they pretty much instantly arise any time I try to light a fire outside. Again... I'm thinking Murphy's law, but I figured it was worth asking if this was actually a built-in mechanic.

Many things that frustrate me about the game directly after a death are the very things that motivate me to go back to it the next day... so I'm not even sure I would change anything. My longest survival has been 31 days so far, and even in that case I can point to decisions I made that made me vulnerable (so it's never JUST the uncanny viciousness of the wolves and the weather).

I would love to make my feedback meaningful and helpful... what kind of feedback are you mostly looking for?

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Your weather pattern seemed a bit weird to me, but after asking around, it sounds like that was just a run of bad luck. If you're stuck inside for the majority of a 30 day playthrough, that might be something else.

Feedback can be valuable regardless of its nature, but if there's something a player feels needs to be tweaked or evaluated, it's very helpful to know how they're playing so we know why they feel their suggestion(s) would help improve the experience. Does that make sense? I hope so!

We're always happy to hear from the community, and I'll definitely look forward to hearing more from you as you start to discover more of the game. Thanks again!

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