Yet another topic about wolves


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I've been giving wolves a closer thought these past few days and the ongoing issue they are.

I think the fighting mechanic is at fault.

Suppose you couldn’t kill a wolf in hand to paw combat, it simply wouldn’t stay around enough for you to kill it or gravely injure it but instead would flee after you inflict a certain amount of damage.

Combine this with making its bite more dangerous in terms of infection, reworking that, which in almost 700 hours of gameplay never happened to me once. Just some disinfectant or lichen would no longer instantly prevent it from happening. Also, having to reapply bandages from time to time, simulating the need to change them and keep the wound clean.

Resting wouldn’t be so quick to recover your condition either.

This way, death by wolf would no longer be immediate but imminent at a later point in the future if left untreated or treated badly. So while a wolf killing you directly would be impossible unless you don’t fight back, or your condition is in the single digits, it would be a war of attrition. Instead of getting bitten and sleeping it over, you’d have to deal with it for a week. During that week, other wolves could bite you, or the same one, who knows, which would just mean a small drop in condition in each instance, but more wounds requiring attention, more medical resources, and a constant, albeit slow, drop in condition, putting you at a higher risk of death from other causes.

This would also partly solve the problem of the first aid system lacking in depth and it would put more pressure on medical supplies and cloth, with the former probably needing a rebalance.

I don’t think a wolf should be able to openly kill you but I think you should be worried enough that one has bitten you to rip your clothes and make bandages if that’s what it takes to not die.

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Your lichens and antiseptic will only last that long - if you decide or are constantly forced into brawls with wolves.

In my current playthrough I found 3 antiseptics and 8 lichens (enough to make 2 antiseptic bandages with them since you need 3 for 1) on ML. So I have to move soon to check out transition areas and other 2 maps if I want to be able to withstand a future wolf attack.

Having to constantly nurture a wound via bandaging every couple hours and clean it up / disinfect it is not viable with current game systems (Given the no regrowth / no respawn / limited supply of items, both natural and left behind by extinct civilization).

The game is not a real life simulation in many aspects, it's a survival game. And back to your idea, you shouldn't be brawling wolves until all other options can't be applied, first and foremost - avoidance. If you stop running all the time carrying raw meat on you, you will notice you won't get attacked as much.

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Sure, it's unlikely for this to work with the current first aid system, that's why I said it would probably need a rebalance.

I'm speaking from the other end of the spectrum, wolves are a non-issue to me, and they pretty much never were, even when I started to play the game. It all comes down to everybody's play style I guess.

But after 700 hours of gameplay I have the luxury, at least I see it as such, to not be tied down to a save, I no longer have any goals as of .244 and every time I read somebody’s feedback on wolves, or anything else for that matter, I start a new game and try to mimic their play style or what I perceive to be their play style, or simply try and figure out what is it they’re experiencing exactly.

I can think of at least one ban that happened because a player let wolves get the better of them, and I can honestly see why, I can see the frustration, especially for a new player and the associated first wolf attack, probably certain, gratuitous, death. And, in some rare cases, the following fifty.

The three wolves at derailment, an insurmountable, contrived obstacle. Can you simply, not go through there? Yes. Can you go around? Yes. Can you sneak through? Yes. Can you rush into the railcar and sleep there until they go away? Yes. Can you glitch them out on purpose in the level geometry? Yes.

Of course you can make the point of how players in general choose to address opposition in video games and what presumptions they bring with them from their video gaming background, but that’s not the issue here, that’s already said and done, you can’t change that. Frustration will happen regardless for a good fraction of new players.

But I can also relate to the other side, that wolves are not an issue. Probably a bit too well, since I can glitch Fluffly and run to the dam transition unscathed, pretty much glitch out every wolf in the level geometry if I put my mind to it, exploit their AI, whatever.

Even playing the game as intended, pure, honest, hundreds of days long survival, wolves are not an issue, if you know how to avoid and handle them.

That’s why they seem imbalanced to me, either they’re a constant problem-nightmare about to happen, either they’re not a problem at all. I’ve never heard somebody say wolves are perfect the way they are now. They might have said it, but I never saw it. I may be wrong but I don’t think anyone can say they’re the best they can be. Even Hinterland said they are constantly working on them, and changes will definitely happen, for example concerning the newly implemented sneak mechanic.

Not to mention NPCs, survival AIs, whatever, I’ve always said that if they won’t be only on the other side of the radio, but also on the other side of your doorstep, they will pretty much have to interact with at least wolves in terms of wildlife. So while they may get modifiers for fighting them, they will have to share the same basic wolf AI with you.

So nobody knows at this point, but if you were to ask me I’d tell you I think they’re definitely not going to remain the same. Mine was just one of the infinite possibilities it could happen. I think TLD needs events that have long term effects to introduce some variation in the gameplay because as it stands everything is manageable overnight, if you know how. And with time, new players will know how too. And they’ll ask themselves “now what” just like I’m asking myself now.

And just because I’ve mentioned variation, I don’t think hibernation should be “fixed” like a bug, I think embracing it as a feature and adapting it into something you can do for short periods of time, like a day or two, with certain benefits and drawbacks, would be best. But as changes to discourage or make it impossible are about to happen I saw no point in expanding on this view of mine.

Because if it’s something the game needs, that thing is is dissimilarity in gameplay from in-game day to day, week to week, and a more drawn out experience, at least this is my interpretation of my understanding of 700 hours of gameplay.

I believed it needed this when I made my first post on these forums, proposing a system that proved to be a dud, but essentially addressing the lack of distinction between days. And this is still what, to this day, I believe the game needs, today being different than yesterday, with no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring. I don’t feel it has that now.

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I would prefer for TLD to be more of a game of attrition, rather than bursts of activity following stretches of mundane time. Crafting is a ton of fun for me, because you have to plan ahead for your materials, then stockpile resources while they cure, and finally use some of your stockpile while you spend hours crafting rather than on more direct survival.

Similarly, I would be a huge proponent of a system where wolves (and wounds) had longer consequences. Even a sprained ankle can be potentially deadly in TLD's conditions, but it gets glossed over as long as you have a pair of aspirin.

I would love to see more variability in wolves' behavior. A starving wolf might still fight to the death to try to eat me, while a more intelligent beast might try to bite and run away before I can even strike back, only to keep harassing me until I can kill it at range, or it hunts me down. On higher difficulties, I would love to see wolves stalk and howl, stalk and howl, trying to bring buddies in to take down prey as a pack.

A quick and easy fix to the bandage problem is simply to allow the player to harvest soiled bandages and simply boil them. The water used to boil them would undoubtedly be undrinkable, but the bandage would be sterilized, and could be used again.

I would love to see the human represented in the first aid screen to convey way more information about the character than simply hurt / healthy. Notes like:

Sprained the left ankle a week ago (still weak, movement reduced 6%)

Sprained the right ankle two weeks ago (fully healed) and one hour ago (on pain meds, carry capacity reduced 20%)

Wolf bite to the left arm 2 days ago (slight infection chance, bandaged, needs changing and disinfectant in another 12 hours, aiming speed and accuracy reduced, max condition reduced 8%)

Wolf bite to the left calf 11 days ago (healing well, movement reduced 4%, max condition reduced by 2%)

All get tracked and managed just like every other resource, each injury modifying relevant aspects of the game. This way I know that 90% is my max condition while my wounds heal, that I will walk 10% slower, be able to carry a maximum of 24 kg before becoming encumbered, and my reaction times with a rifle or bow will not at maximum. Now there may be a real decision to be made: do I risk leaving my house before my wounds heal? Can I afford not to? Perhaps if I do, I know I should stay off steep slopes, my ankles sure seem to be taking a beating!

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