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Posts posted by LucidFugue

  1. 1 hour ago, Admin said:

    Without getting into too much detail at the moment, we’re introducing a few new gear items, tools, and systems that should help make late-game survival a little more viable for most players. You might get a hint from the piece of concept art included in this dev diary.

    I'm eyeing off that drill press next to the workbench and wondering.. Aurora-only crafting options? 

    Interested to see the new challenge. I haven't been around to see Deadman grow as a community thing, but I'll be interested to try it. 

    Love live Fluffy (until I need to loot the dam) 🐺

    • Upvote 2

  2. It would actually be pretty neat if they added in an asynchronous multiplayer element where you could find the graves of other players and get some random items they had on them when they slipped into the long dark. I know it is a very solitary game and it would be a big change to introduce something like that, but it's an interesting idea. 

    If it is a new challenge, I wouldn't rule out that it might be inspired by forum-goers. The "Sea to Summit" run pre-dated the initial release of the official challenges. The lonely lighthouse challenge was fairly similar in concept to what we were doing in Sea to Summit. I like the challenges, even if they tend to be a one and done thing.  

    But it is a Survival update, and so I don't think it would be limited to just new challenges. Whether it's another experience mode or some kind of added feature that affects all experience modes, I'm intrigued. 

    • Like 2

  3. 4 hours ago, diggity said:

    I would have liked to seen a little moral complexity added, such as when Father announces the oncoming blizzard,
    you have a certain amount of days or hours to rescue the survivors, indicated by a snowy hourglass perhaps.

    I thought about this as well. I assumed the game would give me infinite time to visit the plane crash, despite the sense of urgency it implied. I made a similar assumption around rescuing survivors and collecting supplies. I figured the game would magically produce a blizzard once I turned in the quest and it would either be infinite, or last until another quest trigger down the line. I guessed right (at least as far as my experience went), but I couldn't see how this sequence could be implemented any other way easily.

    One of the aspects of quest design in this game that I imagine makes things difficult is the huge variance in potential player states. You can be reasonably sure that players leaving Molly's basement will all be in a fairly similar state. Beyond that, note so much. The player is nudged towards the town, but can technically go anywhere* and complete or ignore side quests at their leisure. I think the game consciously avoids judging the player on the basis of how they spend their time in the world. 

    If Father Thomas' quests were time limited or had some penalty for being left for too long (which I agree seems like a logical consequence), that would constrain the player by asking them to prioritise those quests whether or not they are reasonably prepared for them. This would result in delaying side quests and exploration until the blizzard had set in. But once that happens, both those activities become prohibitively difficult. Does that result in a better experience?  

    *Now I think on it, has anyone tried going to the plane crash immediately from Molly's house? I might give that a go and see what happens. 

  4. Interesting thoughts on reversing EP 2 & 3. I tend to see the blizzard as the climactic challenge of EP 3, not the timberwolves. They are definitely a central element, but both bringing survivors to the community centre and making sure it is well stocked sets up the incoming blizzard that the player is then forced to contend with through the final objectives. 

    The blizzard is also a reason to retain the player indicator on the map. PV blizzards have always been deadly. As soon as you lose visibility, it is easy to become disoriented. The rivers and roads are almost always the longest route between destinations, but the direct paths are nearly featureless. I can't imagine expecting a player without intimate knowledge of PV to navigate to the radio tower and the coal mine (both locations the story does not direct the player to beforehand, one of which has no road to it) in a blizzard without the benefit of the map indicator. 

    I'm not up on my Greek mythology, but there are some interesting thoughts here. Off to do some reading and pondering!  


  5. I've seen a few people musing that there seems to be a lot more "story" than what could fit into 2 more episodes. Another way to think about it is to say that all the worldbuilding that has gone into The Long Dark has value well beyond the 5 episodes that the original kickstarter proposed. The idea of Great Bear, the Collapse, the Aurora. All the work that has been done to breathe life into the world. It presents a wealth of opportunity for stories that fans of the game could connect with. 

    While a lot of work has been done on the technical front to bring in more mechanics and improve interactions and animations and so forth, there's also been a big investment in setting the scene, so to speak. I don't know what mysteries will be left unanswered at the end of this season, but I am not at all surprised that there would be an intention to tell more stories in this world, in more formats than games alone. 

    • Like 1

  6. On 11/1/2019 at 10:36 PM, MueckE said:

    I somehow have the feeling, this thread gets hijacked 😟

    Let me summarise and put it under a question:

    Is it (from a player perspective) good, enjoyful, meaningful to repeat a task for no reason, wthout any explanation , wthout beeing rewarded, not knowing why (the bigger picture-story) and in the same way as before?

    PS: If you say yes, then you get the assambly-line worker of the year medal. 😀 Although, he at least knows the bigger picture and gets rewarded, a little bit.

    I think the way you've worded this question really speaks to a value judgement on the survivor rescue mechanic. You have to repeat the task because you always repeat the task in games. There is never just one lock to pick, or only one enemy to shoot, or only one conversation with a lone NPC. Normally, if you don't like the lock picking minigame, you don't have to engage with it. The survivor rescue is central to this episode and cannot be skipped. It's interesting that you don't seem to find it meaningful, good, or enjoyable.  

    There is an explanation. A passenger liner crashed. Survivors have been making their way to the town for days. Astrid is a doctor and her motivations and outlook are that of compassion for those in need. Father Tom stresses that she can provide help. Even beyond medical care, people need closure. Molly stands in stark contrast to this and makes the same point you do here - why do this when you get no recognition, no reward? Would these people go out of their way for you? This is especially interesting coming from Molly, who went out of her way to rescue Astrid at the start of the episode. At any rate, Astrid answers that she doesn't do it for recognition. This is part of her character development. 

    The survivors are given names. Maybe that's not enough for you. Maybe you need something more for them to feel like real people. Maybe lugging bodies in the snow feels like assembly line work once you are doing it for the second or third time. My line of work is process management - which literally has its origins in developing assembly lines. To be any good at process management you *need* to be able to see the bigger picture and connect even the smallest step to it. That's how you work out what steps are valuable and what steps aren't. 

    It's not true that the worker always knows the bigger picture. Quite often people don't understand how their efforts contribute to a larger goal, and that can leave them feeling unfulfilled. I found rescuing survivors to be meaningful. 

    • Upvote 1

  7. Finished up the episode last night. Super impressed! 

    I loved the survivor rescue mechanics both from a story and gameplay side. A really unique challenge, different than anything we've seen before. It worked superbly to reinforce Astrid's motivations and character as a doctor. Contrasting Astrid's outlook on the situation with Molly was also great. It's a really interesting choice to imbue Molly with that spirit of somebody who sees the collapse as a breaking of the shackles of society. I feel like this is a perspective that's normally attributed to disaffected men who feel like modern society removes them of agency - of masculinity. Centering Molly's position on one of regaining a sense of lost agency in this new world while remaining critical of her choices was nuanced. Particularly as she appears to be taking out a lot of her anger on the convicts, who are led themselves by someone who sees the Collapse as the start of a new world ruled through strength. I thought of Misanthropes hut in Coastal Highway, and I wonder who might be in there and what perspective they will have about the Collapse. Looking forward to it. 

    The wolf packs are also finally here! This wasn't a feature I had been anticipating, but I enjoyed the way it was implemented in the story experience. I've played so much survival sandbox and I have been accustomed to evading combat with wolves in almost all circumstances. That meant I barely used the rifle in Episodes 1 and 2 because food was abundant and I didn't need to hunt outside of side objectives. Old habits die hard. Suddenly realising I really needed to have a weapon on me on every outing was an adjustment. The plentiful ammo made me feel more comfortable letting loose. It was a nice way to spice up the journeys between objectives and I enjoyed the episode more because of it. 

    Overall, I'm impressed with the quality level achieved across the episode. The pacing feels great, and the time and care taken with the NPCs is so far beyond what we saw in the initial release of Episodes 1 and 2. I can see how going back to redo those was necessary to bring them up to the standard that the team have hit on this one. Congratulations! 

  8. I remember the game being very harsh initially. I've always sort of assumed that voyageur is still hard for new players because not knowing the maps is a major disadvantage, let alone all the other game knowledge you get from playing. But yeah, because the Sandbox was just for testing mechanics, indefinite survival wasn't a thing.

    As I recall you pretty much wanted to hit all the possible rifle spawns within the first days. I think it was Trappers, the Lookout tower, and one of the possible bunkers. Maybe also camp office? If you wanted to survive more than a week or two you'd need to learn to chase deer into wolves and use a single bullet to get the most meat. You'd time that with making a huge fire because matches were also a limited resource. The magnifying glass wasn't a guaranteed spawn so every fire counted. 

    Once you were out of ammo and flares the only way to continue getting meat was to chase a deer into a wolf, then win the wolf struggle. That usually resulted in injuries that needed bandages, so folks were slowly sacrificing their clothing to make bandages, until finally ending it - starving and naked, fighting a wolf over a deer carcass. 

    I never lasted that long. But it was fun to read everyone's stories. 

    • Upvote 1

  9. Chiming in as I also just finished Redux Ep 2 and while the new Bear fight is a big improvement on the previous one, I found the sequence of recovering the spear through the cave to be particularly frustrating. The voice clips and text give an indication that I should be trying to stealth through. But crouched movement speed is slower than all wildlife and there is no grace period or indicator for detection. That's fine when you are the predator, but it is frustrating when you are the prey. Once detected, your only option is to run. The rear up and roar animation of the Bear is long enough that I eventually found myself better off just sprinting from cover to cover through this section. 

    I felt misled by the 2nd cave section because the dead body is a clear point of interest as one enters the section. Icy running water is not something you want to expose yourself to under normal cicumstances. It was only in desperation after observing its patrols and looping back to the first section that I wound up risking the river cave entry. At this point the linear level design with one path for the Bear between sections and one path for the player became clear. 

    I probably died 3-5 times through this level and it was the first time in redux where I felt frustrated by the design. The world was linear with only one route that meant success, every alternative resulted in death. 

  10. I think you misunderstood me. I was suggesting that the pre-existing behaviour (i.e. wolves never attacked a player during time compression) was preferable. I wasn't against animal movement during time compression, particularly to resolve the exploit of waiting to force a bleed out on wounded animals. But I thought any sort of warning/cancel behaviour was counter to the design as I understood it, and a band-aid solution. My suggestion was, if possible, to prevent all attacks during time compression, as was the behaviour previously. 

    Latest hotfix appears to do just that, so I'm quite pleased: 

    *[All] Wildlife will no longer attack players during accelerated time, unless they were already detected prior to beginning an activity. This addresses an issue where players were being ambushed by predators during accelerated time actions.


  11. I remember. I actually got the starry night achievement because I was cornered by a wolf in the ruined house in Deadfall area, Mystery lake. That was when you could harvest wood from a menu option, so I was basically gathering fuel for the stove in that ruined house, keeping the fire going, and sleeping in my bedroll, while the wolf kept failing to path towards me. 

    But that was a long time ago, and I'm almost certain we haven't been able to go from time compression to wolf struggle for a long time. Hence why I bring it up... I don't believe we have adequate tools to mitigate this risk. It's already sensible to harvest in small increments, because of weather shifts and the speed at which one can freeze. But the smallest increment in some instances is 45 minutes, which is a long time for wildlife movement. 

    6 hours ago, TerribleSurvivor said:

    Maybe by not doing anything with time-compressing while predators are close without an active counter-measure? Predators do not actively seek out for you over longer distances than a stone´s throw. Clearing the area from predators is the only strategy that comes to my mind and kind of makes sense, does it?

    If by clearing the area from predators you mean hunting them out, that seems an extreme action to be able to harvest tree limbs or extract gut safely from carcasses. There is a great deal of skill involved with avoiding wolf struggles, but I've never seen any player able to avoid being detected/tracked by wolves. The problem time compression brings is that the player has no opportunity to engage any active countermeasures. 

    It's a bit like now we have a new fail state for cooking - burning food. It is within the player's control and responsibility to manage their time and collect cooked food before it burns. Prior to this update there was no way to "Fail" cooking and burn your food. This new failure state brings a richness to the task that did not exist, but it would have felt arbitrary and dis-empowering for a player to lose resources to what felt like random chance. 

    I'm wondering if it's feasible, and preferable to retain wildlife movement during time compression, but prevent aggression/attack. I think I'd prefer that over simply cancelling out of compression activities when danger is near. Cancelling amounts to a failure for most activities, and having success exist at the whims of wildlife movement patterns would feel like random chance.

  12. I also like the fact that the ability to force a bleed out through exploiting the behaviour of time compression is going away. But I don't like attacks occurring during time compression. Here is where my thinking takes me:

    Harvesting carcasses is a risk/reward activity. To date, the risk has been primarily one of exposure. Harvesting on site exposes the player to outdoor temperatures, blizzards, and the like. The alternative is quartering, which allows the player to transfer the carcass to an indoor or otherwise sheltered location for processing. Importantly, whether you quarter or not does not protect you from predators. The scent mechanism means the threat of predators occurs because you are carrying uncooked meat. Quartering protects you from exposure, at the cost of some resources lost in the process. 

    It is worth considering another alternative food source - fishing. The player is also completely protected from predators while fishing, as no predators can breach the fishing huts. The player has some protection from windchill, but air temperatures are still a factor. Scent remains an issue for transferring meat to more permanent shelter. Fishing is somewhat balanced in the sense that it is heavier per calories, and has a greater amount of scent associated.  

    The use of fire while processing a carcass has not been to protect against wolves, although this is one effect. The utility of fire is generally

    • to thaw carcass if you do not have tools for processing
    • to keep the player from freezing during harvesting
    • to cook processed meat and reduce scent from carrying

    It is resource intensive to maintain a fire during harvesting, and fuel can be wasted in the event of a blizzard. With the correct tools, the benefit of thawing carcasses is questionable. Also worth noting, fires do not deter bears. 

    Other time-compression activities to consider: 

    • Chopping Tree Limbs
    • Repairing equipment/clothing
    • Harvesting equipment/clothing
    • Crafting gear
    • Sleeping
    • Waiting

    My question would be - is it a design intention that all time-compressed activities undertaken outdoors include a threat of wildlife attacks? If so, what strategies can the player employ to mitigate these risks? A warning system, or the ability to simply break from activities because wildlife threats are detected is not a strategy. It may make sense, particularly in the circumstance where simply waiting outdoors may result in a sudden wolf attack (not yet tested). But I'm not sure it makes for compelling gameplay if I am interrupted chopping a tree limb because a wolf approaches. I'm not going to light a fire to harvest wood in case of wolf attack, and interrupting the action is basically failing it.  

  13. I'm loving the challenge of adapting my play to the new system. I was herding a deer ahead of me and a wolf got to it just outside the barn in Pleasant Valley. Nice, might as well take advantage of that, I thought. But with only 2 cooking spots on the barrel fire, I was there for over a day just to cook everything! I was wishing I was back at the farmstead on that 6 slot stove, for sure! 

    That said, one thing I was disappointed with was that the time to cook didn't shift at all based on the amount you were cooking. 900 calories of deer? 1 hour, 20 minutes. 230 calories of deer? 1 hour, 20 minutes. I was really hoping this would change during this overhaul - is there any reason it has been ignored? I just seems so out of kilter considering the amount of snow/water you process affects the time. Heck, even the amount of raw/cooked food affects smell by weight/amount, not by number of items. It just seems like one very incongruous element. 

    I also echo other people's experiences regarding difficulty with item placement. Getting stuff placed correctly on hot plates sometimes feels harder than it should, and arranging items on shelves suddenly made me wish for the ability to rotate items in mid air to assist in placement. 

    Game feels much harder now, but I'm sure we'll adapt and uncover strategies for smart time-management. Feels like a fresh challenge. Good update!

    • Upvote 2

  14. On 5/6/2018 at 7:59 AM, jeffpeng said:

    Exactly. The immersion-break is the real argument here for me. I like to play stalker / stalker-ish (loper-esque wildlife and weather, but a tiny bit more resources than stalker to compensate) since I like those really long games I can play on for months while still having a challenge, but wanting to play the game the best way possible I usually am on low-cal / borderline starvation from day one just because I can. I don't say that some punishing starvation mechanic should be enabled by default (as TLD is rather punishing for new players already), but it would be a really neat trait for those seeking a challenge and/or improved realism. Also this change / option would thematically fit really well with the new cooking system. Make FOOD matter again :D

    I recommend making your custom sandbox with the minimum condition recovery values if that's what you're looking for. Not sure what your thirst values are set to, but at maximum, you will only be able to secure 9 hours sleep at a stretch without dehydrating. With zero condition recovery during the day and minimal at night, you'll only really be able to recover around 20% condition per day without herbal tea.

    This makes starvation difficult as a strategy, because the starvation damage you will take will really take a toll on your ability to maintain top condition, particularly while travelling. If you have a wolf struggle or for any other reason take yourself down below 50% condition, you're looking at 2-3 days of eating well and not pushing yourself too hard in order to recover. 

    It's not perfect, but it does make starvation less optimal as a strategy, because if you can get the calories it's better to consume them to keep you in top condition. 

    • Upvote 2

  15. On 16/04/2018 at 7:39 PM, Balamute said:

    Can someone help me out with Customs game?

    I created a Stalker-based sandbox with the intension to tone down wolves a bit and remove some other things that annoy me (like Cabin fever). 

    As far as we seem to have worked out, the Baseline Resource Availability has a bigger impact on the other settings, such that low wolves on the Stalker baseline is not the same as low wolves on other settings. 

    Depending on what you are looking for, it might be better to start from a Voyageur base and tune from there. You'd need to tone the container and loose item rate down but I don't know what it looks like if you do that, it might still be too much.

    Alternatively you can go from interloper and tune from there. I've got a low wolf pop/higher item find interloper run going, and so far I've counted 2 wolves on Mystery Lake, one near the rail tunnel to FM, one over the hill from Trapper's, and 2 along the rail line between the camp office and carter dam. There's probably another one or two around the river with the hunters blind and pensive pond, but it's definitely not stalker levels. 

  16. If you haven't seen Raphael's recent GDC talk it's available online and recommended as it touches upon all these issues. I'd agree that Subnautica managed to blend sandbox and story really well. That said, you can't discount that permadeath absolutely doesn't work for story mode, and is a vital component of sandbox. 

    Hinterland were going for something very different and trying to avoid story mode spoilers. The super linear narrative structure didn't land right for me and I'm glad they are revisiting to open it up a bit. A shame that takes a lot of rework but it'll be worth it I think. 

    • Upvote 1

  17. I drank in Story mode back in August when it released. Luckily I had a reasonably bug-free experience despite having 2 weeks off in August and jumping right in on release day. But my impressions were that it was a strangely linear, almost constrictive experience. I mean, I knew it was always intended to be authored, but I was left wondering why they wanted to blend that level of linear narrative with such an open world. The re-jigging they are doing makes me super excited to go back and try it again. 

    Here's the talk I was referring to earlier:

    I like that TLD is a unique experience. I've tried The Forest, or other survival sims but nothing really does what TLD does. I'm happy being patient. I know it's been years, but TLD feels like an old friend. I just hope Hinterland still love what they're doing and are happy and passionate to keep plugging away. It seems that way. After all, I can go off and play a bunch of other games. Thy have to stay focused on crafting this experience. 


    • Upvote 1
    • Like 1

  18. Watched the GDC talk recently, and loved the look of the new conversation system. Hoping we get another dev blog soon. I'll keep plugging away at my other games for the moment, but I'm getting the itch to come back to TLD and hoping that I can experience the revised ep1 and 2 soon. :x

  19. +1 for harvesting campfires. Once you've taken the charcoal, assume everything of value has been stripped from the site and the wind carries the ashes away. That makes them consistent with carcasses. 

    Also, I'd like to request a few new models/art assets for campfires. Stick fires should not have blocky hunks of wood making up their model. At some point when you have a 6+ hour fire it should move beyond just a larger flame and have a bulkier look to the fuelbase. Now that we're measuring charcoal amounts based on hours burned, we could also have maybe 2 more kinds of burned out fires. A small pile of charred twigs for a < 1hr fire, the default for everything else, except for perhaps 6+hr fires which get a slightly bulkier pile of coals around them. 

    It's all polish type stuff, but it'd be nice to give campfires a little more love from the art department. 

    • Upvote 2

  20. Played around with some more settings, but I've come to the same conclusion. What I'm looking for isn't likely available as animal spawn numbers are already at their lowest at interloper, so there is more or less the capability to "set up shop" in all the places you normally could, unless you turn respawning off, which makes areas kind of inhabitable after they've been depopulated.

    Which I might try, anyway. Given the number of deer/bears/moose/wolves on the lowest setting, that's probably more than I'd normally spend in a single sandbox instance anyway, and it'll give me at least a sensation of having to migrate for a reason other than seeking out more loot. I also turned the animal sensitivity to the highest level, which makes hunting require a lot more accuracy and/or patience. 

    It's good to tinker and see how all the different variables impact the experience. I've known the balance must be tricky to get right, and Raphael has hinted as much on a few occasions, but it's nice to run my own experiments. 

    • Upvote 1

  21. Thanks for the advice re: day length. I was in the midst of seeing how it interacted with sleep/thirst/hunger and hadn't noted the slowing down of freezing as well. I'll leave the day length as normal for future experiments,as I definitely want travel to be about trading condition to move to new areas. 

    I do play interloper. I'm trying to smooth out the curve so that you don't have that "it's deadly at first, but once you get a foothold you're okay" sense. My approach was trying to throttle wildlife population so you have to keep moving,  and punish the starvation cycle so it isn't a crutch. 

    I realise the difficulty curve may be baked into the design somewhat, but I personally abandon games when they get too comfortable. Most often this is because once you have clothes and tools, the respawn timers on deer are such that you can survive on just one or two that keep respawning outside your home of choice. 

    • Upvote 1

  22. I'll post up the experience code when I am convinced I have the settings correct, but I've been loving the low condition recovery.

    I'm trying to get a mode that revolves around long term condition trading.  Basically trying to have more deaths come gradually, rather than losing it all in an ill fated wolf struggle. 

    So far I am going for interloper level loot and the harshest, coldest weather. Then, decreasing wildlife spawns, decreasing item decay rates, lengthening the day/night, lowering thirst/hunger requirements, and minimising the impact of wolf struggles. Considering whether to do away with wolves altogether, but at the highest fear and lowest damage they're barely an issue. 

    The idea is that every meal is hard to come by, but lasts you longer. The low condition recovery means starvation and excessive time spent out in the cold will require a lot of recovery, but you will need to keep moving as you quickly depopulate a region.  So even though the moment to moment threats are lower, condition loss builds if you haven't had the opportunity to rest up for a few days. 

    • Upvote 3