Different Approach To Falls


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I'm so utterly over falls in this game. It seems I can't look cockeyed up a low hill without spraining both a wrist and ankle. And you can't spend the game on flat surfaces. You can't. You just can't. You have to avoid the murder machine of wolves. You have to get high-ground for sighting opportunities and to gain situational intelligence. Shortcutting is the difference between getting where you're going and dying in a sudden blizzard. You must ascend a slope, and when you do… crack! Every. Effing. Time. All of them.

Are the characters supposedly prone to clumsiness? Are they suffering from some inner ear imbalance that throws off their equilibrium? We already have ascent/descent physics that slows their climbing and makes their descending dangerous with potential, unintentional "jumps." We already have unscalable angles. Why must we break every limb on a random roll? It's neither sensible nor fun.

At present, the game gives insufficient consideration to how often the player must spend on inclines. It takes so much effort just to arrange an outing: gear must be maintained, we must await the right weather opportunities, we must have ample supplies prepared, we must be thoroughly fed and rested. To have all that preparation - weeks, in some cases - go south the minute we step out the door and climb some small swale that we know like the back of our hands, is just game-killing.

I propose we change the approach to the current bald RNG roll. Perhaps the game is doing some of this already, but if not, I'd like to map out an idea and at least modifies the current odds.

1) First, reduce the occurrence of falls. Drastically. They make no sense. They just don't. If I suffered as many falls on modest terrain in real life as I do in this game, I'd not only give up hiking…I'd be seriously consulting a neurologist. :(

2) Next, apply a slowly increasing chance to suffer a fall. Imagine a base rate (much lower then present) based on circumstance, and a multiplier based on forced movement. This multiplier should build very gradually, the more you ride the movement keys. This will allow the player to control, to some degree, through effort and sacrifice, how much they are risking a fall.

3) Allow the player to reduce the aggregating fall chances by taking a break. If you ride the keys, the chances slowly build (and I'm talking much lower chances here, regardless). If the player takes a break by releasing the movement keys, then the aggregated chance should decrease at a slow rate, but much faster than the chance accumulates by moving. This is to simulate the care that the player is taking with difficult surfaces.

4) Running should increase the rate of accumulation of falling chances.

5) Overweight should increase only the intensity of the fall, though not the chances. The player is already slowed by their pack, and this speed makes "care" somewhat mandatory in moving, so there's not logic to falling more often with a full pack. But if you do fall with a full pack, spraining two limbs becomes more likely.

6) Severe overweight might increase the base chance of falling, though not the rate of accumulation.

7) The angle of terrain, obviously, should also increase the base chance, though not the rate of accumulation.

8) The angle of attack - directly up or down vs. traversing a steep slope laterally - should modify base chance, as well - not accumulation.

9) Crouching should drastically decrease the base chance and accumulation rate. It's a major investment of time, and simulates taking care in movement.

10) Finally, both the rate of Fatigue and the rate of Tiredness should affect the base rolls, a little and a lot, respectively.

11) Also, the stakes of falling should be expanded, to control the roll table a little better. After a falling animation, you should add involuntarily dropping something as a penalty (as happens after a predator's attack). Anything held is like to drop, and in a bad fall, perhaps something from your pack as well. It's up to you to notice and to recover what's fallen. It's a smaller - and potentially lethal - penalty for this mechanic.

In any case, these falls should be much rarer (who sprains a joint every single time they leave the house?). In order to properly accredit the player with improving experience, perhaps a "Climbing Skill" should be added to the game as well. This skill will slowly improve each time the character achieves, say, a km of movement in situations where falling rolls are being made, and should reduce the rate of accumulation of falling chances slightly with each percent. Perhaps they should also gain climbing skill every few times they fall and sprain something. At present, they'd become climbing experts in about a week at that rate. :shock: :lol:

It's really bizarre at present how often you sprain things. Which makes how easily these injuries are shaken off equally weird. Perhaps, in exchange for the above adjustments, the penalties for sprains should increase. Working with limbs that are sprained after applying base treatment (pills, Reishi tea) should cause them to "re-sprain" often if rest is not sought, and that rest should be increased to 3 hours for wrists and 6 hours for ankles, respectively.

In any case, the current paradigm sucks. I can scarcely step over a dead dear carcass or train rail without going ass-over-tea-kettle like some kind of elderly infirm. Just when I need my weapon, I lose my wrist. Just when I need to move across terrain, I lose the ability to run. I actually spend more time sleeping to heal than I do to reduce tiredness! It's neither fun nor interesting at this point…just frustrating.

I hope you all will consider modifying the current approach to falling to give the player more control over how often they risk sprains in the game.

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Agree with this. I don't think I've had sprains quite as frequently, but one run I had enough that I was considering the possibility my character was addicted to painkillers and spraining her ankles deliberately.

I think the concept of the sprains is good; it's forced me into taking longer routes to avoid wolves, seeking beds to recover, has me carrying extra meds just in case, etc. However, as stated best by Grymm, the sheer volume of sprains is "crippling".

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The occurrence of sprains has definitely increased, and it's usually wrist AND ankle for me. This is the first time I've actually run out of painkillers and had to start seriously stockpiling rose hips. That said, it's not the worst malady to fix and most of the time I'm sleeping for 2 hours at my next destination anyway. I think the fall chance could be toned down just a smidge, but I like it overall. It is a bit ridiculous when you peer over the edge of a cliff to check out the view or get your bearings, and just stepping on a rock busts half your limbs.

I suspect the game has gone from players ignoring terrain and trudging along 70 degree inclines with almost no issue to the current model because spending a lot of time developing an in-depth fall system is a lot of effort for little gain. While I think the proposed system is sensible, I'd worry that it simply gives the player too many ways to control the fall chance. Otherwise I generally support making the fall system a little more detailed.

Right now you CAN minimise falls by sticking to the flat ground. As you say, you can't always do that, but that's kind of the point. If you could play in a way that meant a fall happened only when you were sprinting over uneven ground in a blizzard to get home, that would just be one more reason why you should always play conservatively and avoid getting stuck in a blizzard far from shelter. I don't want falls to become a non-issue again.

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The problem is that some mechanics just become preposterous if falling is just a bald RNG chance. Hunting, for example, becomes meaningless. Why even bother shooting prey when it's just going to bound like a ballet dancer - and wounded no less - over terrain that is guaranteed to cripple you if you make a serious attempt to follow it? What good is chasing a deer up a hill if, once you catch it, you're not longer able to finish it off because you're incapable of holding your weapon? Or what good is it to stockpile meat and hide when the extra load causes you a perfect chance of losing your ability to run, cheating you of what little speed and mobility you have left to avoid things like wolves and blizzards?

The point is that it's one thing to have difficult challenges. That's why we play these games. It's another entirely to be subject to a random dice roll that just jacks everything you've spent all the rest of this careful time working on.

No, I think giving the player more control - in any form, and especially through a greater risk/reward, conservation/preservation paradigm - is all that can turn this irritation into a proper game challenge. Though I do like the HUD idea!

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I still like the concept of random falls, as you can be as careful as possible but still have something unexpected happen, like stepping on loose rocks, ice, tree root, etc. It just seems the current system is awarding falls a little too frequently, especially on mild grades.

I'd prefer to have a better chance of getting a sprain when I'm running full speed down a hill because a wolf is after me.

I believe Hinterland folks have said they are trying for a very minimal HUD, so I don't know if they'll want to add HUD features for falling. I think it was mentioned a long time ago that there were audio cues that a fall was imminent, but I don't know if that's still in effect or not. I do hear the character panting when climbing steep terrain, but on Xbox v.283 it didn't seem to coincide with falls. I'd even taking to pausing frequently on hills, but wouldn't tend to get sprains on long stretches of movement, but rather when beginning to move again.

Perhaps a change to those cues? I'm thinking of Indiana Jones stepping on the letters to spell "Jehovah", as in "O-whoa-ohhh!".

All that being said, v.298 seemed a bit better regarding falls, but I only had a couple days to play before leaving for the holidays.

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It does not seem to be random. Rather it is chance.

Certain activities or regions or attributes seem to effect that chance. What is frustrating is that "what" that affects the chance is masked by the fact that failure happens so rarely. If every time you walked on the wrong terrain for long enough with a certain amount of burden you failed, then we could learn exactly what was going on just by playing. But with chance, especially low chance, we tend to be surprised when after 9 successful tries at the same activity only the 10th draws a failure. So we players, unable to see exactly where the risk is, become frustrated by how extremely difficult it is to avoid it, and many may determine it is beyond their control, and dub it "random".

But we know it isn't. We just can't see where it actually is.

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I think you guys are trying to move too quickly on steep terrain. People who live in the North and travel about in winter are used to falling all the time. Seldom would we suffer injury however if there is ice involved, the probability of injury goes up. It's a lot like skiing; you can expect to fall. Now if you are loaded down with a heavy pack weighing in the vicinity of 30 to 40 kg (a seriously heavy pack. 20kg is about what a grown man can be expected to tote long distances) you should anticipate sprained wrists or ankles when you fall. The max recommended FSO (including clothing and pack weight) is about 20% of body weight. A one hundred kilo man (large fellow) could therefore carry about 20 kg if fit. He could probably manage 30 kg toting out meat or firewood for short distances. 40 kg or 88 pounds is an incredibly heavy weight.

Back Pack weight...how much should a person carry?

Sprains are entirely avoidable by slowing down on the slopes & stairs. If you are traveling laterally on a slope at full walking speed in the game, you are asking for a fall and injury especially when the fatigue level hits 50% or you try to carry over 30kg. This map is SUPPOSED to be harder than the others. I like that Timberwolf Mountain takes you guys way outside your comfort zone and forces you to re-evaluate all of your previous assumptions about what is reasonable in the game. Survival is not a romp in the woods; this is not a game about camping, fishing and hunting!

Besides, there is plenty of Reishi mushrooms and rose hips so stop complaining and start foraging!

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I have been in game for only 30 hours so far, all in Pilgrim mode, with maybe 5 sprains, The overall chances are 30-50% every time I climb steep hills. I keep my backpack at about 25 kilos and move carefully if I need to go onto the slopes. It really seems to have little to do with speed, I think there just is some probability of sprain per each step you make on a dangerous surface.

Apart from the frequency of sprains I was also surprised by the way they are "treated". Painkillers and that's it, your ankle is fixed. You should be forced to rest for a few hours in any case (I realize that resting for a few days, as it should be, is not an option, although it might be interesting). Without painkillers the required resting time may be longer.

By the way, the game Miasmata handles movement nicely, including falls. It factors in inertia and when you exceed some speed threshold (slope-dependent), you fall. But you don't fall there while going uphill, only downhill.

Overall, I'd like to see less frequent sprains with more serious consequences.

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While I noticed a spike in sprains right after recent update, they have dropped off since then. Possibilities: devs dropped probability after initial feedback; I've stopped engaging in risky behaviors like sprinting on steep slopes, at night, and in blizzards; or random clustering.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the balance as it is today.

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Maybe I have learned to walk, I get fewer sprains now, too. I have also learned the places that are dangerous to go to and simply avoid them.

Still, I am not happy with the consequences part. I harvested a deer corpse and hacked apart a cedar limb with an untreated wrist sprain. The only thing I could not do was holding a bow or rifle. As for ankle sprain, I could not run but my normal walking speed was not affected. I only had to endure the character's complaints and a limp was introduced (nice touch by the way). I still completed the transit from Coastal Highway to Mystery Lake without any trouble. I do not think any sane person would attempt the Ravine with a sprained ankle in real life :)

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