More Brutal Mode?


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I enjoyed this game immensely the moment I found out it existed, but with every updates, the game seems to be heading towards "hold your hands" kind of game. Some people might be complaining that Stalker is too hard, heck even Voyeur is too hard, but the truth is, they are pretty easy.

I always play survival games at it sheer brutality because surviving another day in an environment that tries to kill you at every turn is very rewarding! As long as you don't get kill by some stupid bugs/glitches, then even dying is an experience!

- Don't walk over thin ice

- Don't pick a fight with a pack of wolves

- Don't wander about in the dark

- Don't sleep outside

- Don't forage during a blizzard

- Always make sure the sun is in the sky

etc... those are experience gained through exploration. Which makes the game great! Learning what to do and what not to do (as long as it realistic) is very rewarding.

Stalker mode was very fun at the beginning because you are dropped off in a random location without any means to really defend yourself. Surrounded by hungry wolves and disorientated (not sure where you are on the map), makes it a exhilarating experience.

Your first thought is: "How do I survive?"

Your second thought is: "How long will I survive in this place?"

After 30 days or so once you got over the initial hurdle, Stalker mode becomes a grind-fest. Wolves are way too numerous and not really that dangerous. They are more or less walking food supplies, readying to run to you so you can shoot them in the head. The surviving aspect completely gone at that point, and the entire drive to survive was merely out of boredom.

Survival games should not be easy as more time passes! It should be more brutally hard as each new day arrives!

Using the background story about some geomagnetic storm that wiped out humanity...? Yeah, that didn't make sense, but I'll go with it. Some changes should be implement or becomes active in "BRUTAL" mode!

Let's call it "End of the World" scenario, where you try to survive for as long as you can under harsher and harsher condition due to the Earth no longer able to sustain any life. Surviving games' addictions comes directly from how long you can survive from overwhelming odds. There always a need to best your own score and be the best among other players. It seems that hinderland beginning forget that and becomes more and more like every survival games out there.

I love survival games, but I'm still waiting for that true survival game. Project Zomboid was very enjoyable when resource are limited. Starbound was extremely challenge just to survive the extreme climate since hunger and the cold would kill you very quickly. Don't Starve was a lot of fun until they added random stuff in. More and more updates, Games that stared as survival become more and more of a generic mess, and the survival aspect was simply gone just because little kids say "it's too hard!" - "Can you make it easier?"

"Hold my hand please!" - Why the hell are you playing survival games then?

I'm getting off topic here. What I desperately want is a true survival mode where each new days makes the game even more challenging, where your strategy must be constantly changing just so you could survive another day.

Day/Night Cycle

As the game progresses, the climate should become more severe. Days becomes shorter while Night gets longer and longer until the upper limit. The temperature different between the two becomes more vast, making walking around at night on day 500 a one way ticket to the afterlife.

For example, at days 100: Day could be 0 degree, 8 hours long while Night could be negative 80 at its peak and is 16 hours long. At days 500, Day could be -10 degree, 6 hours long while Night could be negative 120 at its peak and is 18 hours long. You will instantly freeze if you step outside during such time.


Deers should be limited. The more you hunt, the more scarcer they becomes. There is no need to have a number limit on how much deers should be on the map, simply the probability of them spawning near you dropped drastically the more you hunt them.

Starting: 10% spawn (that is 1 out of 10 days, they might spawn)

Killing too many: It could be 1% (that is 1 out of 100 days, they might spawn) - this makes finding a deer is very exciting, and losing it would be devastating.

Right now, there way too much deers. A disaster that wipe out humanity should wipe out the animal kingdom as well.

Rabbits is a joke. They should not be wandering around during the cold. If you can find a rabbit hole, you could farm them until they are all gone. This way, making them a limited resource!

Wolves should be starving, making the editable meat on them very little. That way you cannot survive on killing wolves alone. 5kg of meat on a wolves is way way too much. 1-2kg is much more better.

And as more days passes, the lack of food should drive their aggressive exponentially to the point that we might able to see them fighting each other for scraps.

Watching two wolves attacking one another over a deer carcass is something that worth watching and waiting for a good chance to steal the meat or kill them both. This add dynamics to their behaviors. They should also move around in packs, thus meeting a pack, your only option is run away as fast as you can because torches and baits will not work. Packs should be able to take down a bear as well.

Loots and Spawns

As many mentioned before on the forum. Item degradation is completely out of whack. They degraded way too fast to be realistic, and the spawn chances are completely wrong. How is it that can opener is more frequent than hatchet or knives? If anything, hatches and knives should be more because it is the Canadian wildness.

Some food stock like can food should last basically forever - They are emergency food supplies. They could spoil, but only after an incredibly long time - isn't that the whole point of Pepper's Bunker? The game contradict itself by having easily spoilable food in the bunker! Frozen meat should be not degrade that quickly, and should last much longer than cooked meat. Matches shouldn't degrade at all when kept in a dry place. And why can't I use Kerosine as lighter fluid?

The whetstone and cleaning kit are new right now, but they are kind of a joke. Whetstone getting worn out? Unless you are sharpening thousands of knives per day, I doubt they get worn out. I have been sharpening my kitchen knives with the same whetsone for years. The blade remained sharp for years! That brought me to my point about efficiency of things.

I think hinderland is going wrong about degradation. There should be something call efficiency and durability for tools while Spoilage for foods. Cloths can have Degradation stats.

First, let's talk about Durability since Tools is important to survival.

Durability is for tools such as hatchet, knives, bow, rifles. The more you use them, their more of their durability decreases, but the decrease should not be linear. It should be more like probability, depending on what you are using it on. The lower the durability, the higher chance of them inflicting damage on you or failing during critical moment.

For a hatchet, if the durability is 30%, the chance of it breaking during hatching is high. If it break, you will receive the hatchet's head and the handle as well some bleeding wounds because you injured yourself, prompting you to carve new handle out of hard wood as replacement. This way you should maintain your tool's durability. You would never use a hatchet where its handle is cracked in real life, would you?

For rifles, you can only replace its part by cannibalizing another rifle. Rifles are rare, and finding another would should immediately be exciting. Rifles can be dismantle into gun parts, which can be used to repair another gun and bring it durability up to good standards. This is the same as Knives, with dismantling into handles and blades.

In other word, durability is basically how frequent tools break and injure yourself. Keeping tools in good shape is a good way to survive for a long time.

Let's move on to Efficiency.

Efficiency is a secondary stats for tools. Blades do not really have durability because they technically do not break unless you purposely used them on hard rocks. They could crack, chipped, etc... which bring down their efficiency. The lower the efficiency meant the longer you need to complete a task.

At 100% efficiency, 1 kg meat could be harvest with a knife in 4 minutes.

At 50% efficiency, 1kg meat could be harvest in 8 minutes.

At 0% efficiency, 1kg meat could be harvest in 2 hours or more. At which point, it might be faster to use your hand instead.

For edged tools, efficiency is related to the sharpness of the tool. Maintaining their edge means jobs get done much faster, but when running out of item to maintain them, you can still use them. They would get you killed due to their slowness.

Spoilage (food) and Degradation (attires) is explanatory.

Metal scraps right now so generalize that it's not funny. A hammer should be in the game as soon as possible. Not the heavy hammer, just a normal hammer. It is needed to create arrows and hooks on the bench. Hammering strips of metal into pointing things doesn't need the forge. Nails would be nice if File (metal file) is available.

Toolbox is way too generalize. What is exactly in a tool box anyway? They should be like cases that you can open and store stuff in. Instead of carrying hammer, hatchet, knives individually, you can put them in the tool box for neatness.

Nails - Hammer + Scrap Metals + File

Hooks - Hammer + Scrap Metals + File

Simple Arrowhead - Hammer + Scrap Metals + File

Improvised Arrowhead - Bone/Stone + File + Knife + Hammer

The workbench need to be rework because at the moment, everything is on one page. Why is everything on one page? You could make it like the inventory menu with tabs on top.

Below are something that the game should eventually have.

Proper emotions and moods - this add realism to the game. It could be added to the affliction panel, triggering like Hypothermia. However, they should have their own stat bar, increasing and decreasing depends on the situation.

Depression increased if you stay in door for too long. You should go out and explore the world as well as taking in fresh air. Depression makes every task you do much slower because you felt "what is the point?"

Motivated increased when you are fully fed, fully watered, fully rested. All the task get a efficiency bonus because you are contended with your current situations.

Frustration increased when the tool you are using keep breaking. It also occurred when you have to constantly heal yourself. This affliction caused the durability of tools you're using to plummet much faster because you are no longer careful at using them. It also increased the likelihood of you injuring yourself, leading to more frustration. Best way to deal with is rest and calm down.

Frightful increased when you are constantly assaulted by wolves. Near death experience will make you more frightful. Staying out in the dark without any light makes this bar go up.

There are more emotions and moods such as Loneliness (the need for companion). I know it's a survival games, but people need a companion. The ability to tame creatures would be nice. Rabbits as pet, Wolves or dogs are companion. Or even another survivor if the model for human body is available. Unable to see my legs while sitting in the car creeps me out!

Furthermore, these emotions could be tuned into your character's trait. Is he/she more prone to anger? Is he/she more calm and collective? Forceful traits makes everyone done faster, but damaging the tools used much more severely. Strong traits allowed carry more items, but required high maintenance.

It would give a greater variety to game play. Right now, everyone started equality, which makes it less of your avatar.

I'm at days 800 or so, and there isn't really anything else to do. Surviving isn't difficult. One arrow to the head of a charging wolves feeds me for 4 days. If I stretched it (hibernate), it could last me for 2 weeks. And I have plenty of arrows. Plenty of bullets. Plenty of fishing tackle. I could last indefinitely if I think hard on how to go about it. It's boring. The fear of dying is not there.

With more updates, this is no longer a surviving game anymore. It feels more and more like "Deadly Vacation in Canadian Wildness".

Having things to do would be great during the great boredom. Heck, I would like to create my own little pot farm in the basement of my base if possible. I'm sure there are plants that grows during cold climate. Since there as internal clock running, it would be nice to spend some of the day taking care of plants, and harvest them 20 weeks later. The cold had never stop Russia from making booze in cold climate before. I would like to get drunk. It keeps the blue away.

If the game ever becomes more realistic, nutrient values of food should come in play. Surviving only on a diet of meat wouldn't be very healthy or comfortable at all. That would force hardcore player (like me) of seeking out other food source such as fishes and vegetables! Again, it is something to do rather than stuck in one spot forever.


The game need brutal mode where each sequent day becomes harsher and harsher. A lot of managing is enabled in this mode such as Moods and Emotions. I'm not asking adding zombies or stupid supernatural shit. Mother nature is a harsh mistress all by herself.

To be honest, I think it would best if there is one mode in the entire game.

Tutorial Mode (Pilgrim) occurred on day 1 to 7 (you can skip it if you are not a new player). Stranded Mode (Voyeur) occur on day 7 to 30. If you survived that long, you should have a good understanding of the game mode.

Survival Mode (Stalker) occurred from days 30 to 180 (half a year), giving you chance to basically laid out the entire landscape, loot everything usable, setting up a good base and maybe production line (farm? pets?). By this point, you probably have explored the entire map, knows where everything is, and do pretty much all the events etc etc...

The game should asked if you want to join the leader board in Last Stand afterwards, where the world will try its best to kill you with brutal climate and deadly encounters, and only your wit can keep you alive through the long dark.

Do you know what is more scary than dying? Not knowing when you will die! Please be true survival games.

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I think you miss on the two big factors that make the game "easy" once you are familiar with the game mechanics.

- Condition recovery. If you get mauled by a bear you can sleep for 12 hours and be just fine the next day. This should not be.

- Warm interiors. It can be -30C outside, but it'll always be relatively warm inside. Completely negates the cold, harsh environment. Timberwolf mountain seems to be a step in the right direction on this issue.

Try a self-imposed challenge.

- Do not sleep/craft/warm up in constant temperature areas. Do not enter any building with a loading screen.

- Sleep only in 1 hour increments when your condition is less than 85%. This limits your condition recovery to 1% per hour.

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I concur with practically everything written here, save one thing: The different difficulty levels should remain. I have learned there are a lot of players out there who do not seek hardship and challenge in the game but something else. That is legitimate and these players should remain included.

Hinterland has just given us hardcore survivalists a new level to chew on, so I think we are not forgotten. The question is: How will the game move forward from here? This is exciting... :)

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I think many of the more hardcore players with more than 50-100 hours in this game would agree with many of your suggestions., as has been demonstrated many times before on this forum.

I think the only way hinterland could supply such drastic changes so close to official release is by providing more modding support.

Modding could do so much for this game, it would allow us all to play how we like, whether that be more of a hardcore mode or a miscellaneous kind of mode where there's no animals or something.

I honestly think that with the accessibility and knowledge of c+ language you get these days it could be implemented without insurmountable effort from the devs, who would benefit from much more extended popularity in the game.

I think many people feel like I do with the long dark, in that the game comes so close to being the best survival game ever, but falls just short in a few respects, especially after day 30. I suspect the story mode will remedy this with actual objectives, but given that they want the sandbox to be a key part of the game, and sandbox will live on much longer than the story mode, hinterland must do something about long term survival of they want the game to fulfil it's potential imo


Modding would provide the devs with increased popularity and sales, while providing us with the game we dream about

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Yes! Hinderland should allow modding. This way the Long Dark could have thousands of variations. Modding will propel this game into a greater sphere of influence. The environment and atmosphere is already there, now only need game play and storyline. Both could be provided by modding community.

Don't underestimate fans, who willing to spend thousands of hours for free to build a unique experience. I would definitely love to play someone's storyline.

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Thank you very much for sharing your detailed thoughts and feedback. I'm attaching a post from our Creative Director from a similar discussion in our Steam forums:

This is actually something we've been discussing internally -- not just a harder mode, but "challenge modes" so people can set light objectives for themselves. The the new region provides a clear goal that we find quite satisfying!

Additionally, we've mentioned that we're not opposed to modding at all, but that we're not considering opening the game to official mod support until after it is fully completed.

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This is actually something we've been discussing internally -- not just a harder mode, but "challenge modes" so people can set light objectives for themselves. The the new region provides a clear goal that we find quite satisfying!

That sounds awesome! I really hope you guys find the time to include challenge modes. :D

Apart from that I very much support the modding suggestion for a player-made hardcore difficulty mode once the game is finished.

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Thank you very much for sharing your detailed thoughts and feedback. I'm attaching a post from our Creative Director from a similar discussion in our Steam forums:

This is actually something we've been discussing internally -- not just a harder mode, but "challenge modes" so people can set light objectives for themselves. The the new region provides a clear goal that we find quite satisfying!

Additionally, we've mentioned that we're not opposed to modding at all, but that we're not considering opening the game to official mod support until after it is fully completed.

That sounds very promising especially the modding aspect! Thanks for the response :)

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I think asking for an 18 hour long night with -120°C actually is some stupid supernatural shit, but that's not the biggest gripe I have with this.

Lots of these suggestions sound good and adding those would probably make the overall experience much better (depends on how it is actually done), but I think the biggest problem is not the missing game mechanics but the ones that are already in place.

The out of control degradation of items is just the tip of the iceberg.

Heat management is completely insane:

I should not be fine running around without boots and socks during -15°C because I have a coat made from wolf pelt on my back.

I should not be able to pick up a can of soda from a frozen corpse and drink it immediately.

Water, meat and basically every type of food and drink should start to freeze when stored below 0°C and require heat to thaw again.

+1°C should not be sufficent to warm up when I'm not wearing any clothes at all.

On the other hand I should not be fine with a felt temperature above 40°C, like you can easily get when wearing all your gear while standing next to a fire.

Sweating is completely missing - including all the effects this should have on your hydration and gear.

Heat should also have an impact on the durability of food. The meat that should turn into a rock when stored in the trunk of a car should also basically stop degrading (unless you want to introduce freezer burn).

Freezing liquids alone would introduce a tremendous difficulty in staying hydrated and would not be unrealistic at all. Introducing a mental state is a great idea, but I'd rather see the concepts already in place done properly instead of adding more oversimplified and gamey concepts that merely try to add back the difficulty that was eliminated elsewhere.

Looking at the game mechanics that have been introduced over the last 12 months makes me think that introducing everything the OP suggested would probably take more time than TLD has been in early access so far. Having modding support that would allow addressing these things seems even more unlikely.

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