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Everything posted by LucidFugue

  1. Awesome thread, thanks for linking. So many diligent survivors around here!
  2. Didn't want to derail this thread . But I was going to say that I am not comfortable summiting Timberwolf Mountain without either a bedroll or coffee. I currently have 2 tins of coffee and a hacksaw so I should be fine to make the run once I get over there... But for other interlopers, what's your approach? Will you race for the summit if you spawn on TMW? Do you have any prerequisites for making a run?
  3. I'm not let down. I had good fun chasing down the objectives and finally drinking in the story that has been teased for so long. Story mode was always Raphael and the team's vision. It was their goal, and Raphael seemed especially cautious about releasing too soon. The bugs are unfortunate. That's not how they would have wanted launch to go. But they've turned around quickly to resolve them. That's unplanned stuff. But taking the perspective that this is what Hinterland has been so keen to keep secret, to nurture and build, so it can be released into the wild... The main plot surrounding Will and Astrid seems to have a sense of urgency that doesn't match the game's flow. The world building and side quests reward exploration and taking your time. But the main plot has this urgency about it that the game doesn't respect. I'm just sort of wondering why a team that built such a fully realised simulation that encourages focusing on day to day survival did so to tell this specific story.
  4. I wonder why they didn't at least put soft targets on some of these events? Even if you had 30 days to collect firewood, or a week to get meds... Or alternatively, acknowledge that players are going to be rewarded for proceeding at their own pace and avoiding narrative elements that suggest time pressures.
  5. I wasn't standing my ground. As I said, I was backing away. The wolf began stalking me from the far trailer outside Carter Hydro Dam. I had come through the dam gate and began crossing the bridge. With the wolf following me, I progressed all the way across the bridge, walking backwards. He probably hit the beginning of the bridge as I was 2/3 of the way across. No aurora in the sky or anything. I was contemplating whether to use the bridge as an easy spot to use the torch trick. But I figured it wasn't actually necessary since I was trekking to the camp office via the frozen river. It would be fairly straightforward to lose him on that journey. I turned to check the height of the snow bank in that direction. Cutting corners by hopping off the side of the bridge puts additional distance between yourself and wildlife that will always path around obstacles. I had glanced away for a brief moment. He had sped up, and was suddenly getting within aggro range. He pounced within seconds. I tossed the torch because when I saw how close he had got I immediately went for the torch trick. I have long suspected wolves speed up when you take your eyes off them, but since it's anecdotal I'm not convinced this actual behaviour. It could just be my perception of how they act. I've seen them change pace to catch up as I'm watching them as well. But the way that encounter played out is something I had not really witnessed before.
  6. I've often wondered if this would happen as I've seen some stuff really squirreled away, but I have always been able to get the cursor on it. Do you have a screenshot? That'd be a bug post for sure. Rifle bullets are tiny and if the spawn location is fixed but the item pool semi random it might just be that rifle bullets are inaccessible in that location.
  7. On predator meat - what if from a story perspective Will has always been at risk of contracting parasites but wasn't aware of it until a certain point where he or someone else is scripted to get sick from it. After that point, the mechanic is introduced properly. Until that point, it's just assumed he's been getting lucky.
  8. LucidFugue


    I agree that this is happening, but I'm not so sure it's a huge success. In my write up. I talk about the conflict between the two. Ludonarrative dissonance isn't unique to TLD. There are many ways other games have sought to make their way around it. But I can't help feeling that tension between the mechanics of the world that Hinterland has built and the story they are trying to tell within it. Still really enjoying myself, but I'm not invested in the main plot line. That seems like an issue.
  9. LucidFugue


    I had much the same experience. I could feel the author's attempts to guide the experience, but they are wrestling with a survival simulation. I feel like it's out of their control and that hasn't been reconciled. The attempts to drive tension or urgency come off as disingenuous and manufactured. They run against the day by day survival that is the basic rhythm of the game. It's weird. I went back and looked at the original pitch and it's all there. They always wanted a survival simulation just like what they have built. They always wanted to tell a compelling story within that world. The success of the game has allowed their vision to expand through its development... But I'm wondering what aspects expanded and what hasn't kept pace. Raphael was always so keen that the story was the goal and the sandbox was originally a test bed for mechanics. But the story just doesn't feel like it works with the game they have built. The world building works. The lore, the story lines that are about the island itself and its inhabitants. But the main plot line feels like it belongs in a 2 hour movie, not a 15 hour slow, epic journey.
  10. I got pounced on by a wolf at the bridge to carter dam last night. Backpedalling with torch in hand. It was a really weird and random encounter. I'm not sure they've ironed out all the kinks. Damn lucky the wolf was a wuss and ran about a second into the struggle. I was bare handed with about 70% condition on interloper. Don't know what set the little guy off, but I tossed the torch just before the struggle so maybe that's what scared him? It's just that I haven't had a wolf decide to have a go at me while I'm holding a lit torch and walking away from it.
  11. 98 locations and 56% world discovery seems fairly low for 200 days. Did you stick to the same bases in the same regions?
  12. I hated FM at first. Weak ice, maddening pathways, terrible weather, minimal loot. Like many, I would rather take the hike to Coastal Highway, then move to Desolation Point and forge there. But discounting an entire region is being near-sighted. Even true transition zones are worth spending some time in. There are some fantastic places around. I've learned to appreciate FM. Rolled a new Interloper sandbox just yesterday. After finding almost 10 scrap metal and a hacksaw in Mystery Lake (but no knife, prybar hammer or hatchet) I'm thinking of rushing a forge run to FM.
  13. LucidFugue


    Sad to hear that permadeath is a deal breaker for you. There is a lot more for you to explore and discover. I hope after a break you'll find a reason to come back and try again. It really is worth starting over.
  14. Pretty sure it has always been analgesics OR four hours rest, now two. While the rest time is realistic, it would be pretty harsh considering you cannot climb or wield weapons with a sprained wrist. If you don't have access to a bedroll you might be stuck somewhere because of a random sprain.
  15. I'm fairly certain the original intention was for the player not to have a bedroll on day 1. There are plenty of beds in Milton. This first journey to get there is a difficulty spike, no doubt. But get past it and the game opens up really well.
  16. I hope so. I hope there is a clear narrative turning point that resolves the initial motivations. I was cringing as Will expressed frustration and impatience with Jeremiah not helping him unless he killed the Old Bear. There are all these indications that something much larger is going on. I feel like if their reasons for going to Great Bear weren't fuelled with so much importance, it would make more narrative sense for him to start off focused on his own recovery, and then becoming intrigued by the mystery of Great Bear Island and hardened through his experiences. But because his core motivation has remained reconnecting with Astrid, it just clashes. That is fuelled by his sense of guilt over not seeking her out earlier (established in the intro). That is fuelled by the clear indication that the hardcase is vital for her reasons for wanting to be on Great Bear. It's fuelled by her hurry to get on with things,and the desperation indicated by the events of episode 1. It just feels like the writers loaded up the narrative with an urgency that isn't properly resolved over a dozen hours of play and weeks of in-game time passing. Imagine if instead the opening was that Will had been flying out to Great Bear because Astrid was already there and needed to get out? Obviously the story is already written and this would likely clash with where it was going. But then the motivation is Will wants to get to Astrid and get off the island. He's not bound by this hardcase and the responsibility of ensuring Astrid can finish what she was doing. So it makes more sense that he'd take all these detours to work out what's going on. At this point it's not even clear if Astrid's original intentions have anything to do with the Aurora mystery or the struggles going on. I guess I'll have to wait to see where they take it and how this tension gets resolved.
  17. It's fine to travel while exhausted. I was surprised at the length of the journey the game puts between your start location and a safe bed, but it's doable. Don't waste time mending clothes, hunting rabbits or harvesting carcasses. Gather cat tails and sticks if you like, and loot the cars. Otherwise, stick to the road. Don't stress about hypothermia or exhaustion. They drain your condition but you can make it back without difficulty. Just so long as you can avoid getting into a wolf struggle (and daylight is your friend here, which is another reason you want to hurry before night falls) then you should be able to make it to shelter with a bed in good time. I think the thing that screws over a lot of players is getting distracted/spending time on things other than getting to safety. Basically you want to follow the road and not stop until you've found shelter. You're in no position to survive in the wilderness yet,even though the game has been trying to teach you how to.
  18. Skill progression exists, but it's not implemented the same way. For example, I'm pretty sure if you complete the survival skills quest for Jeremiah suddenly you're getting 10% bonus calories from harvested meat. If it was done exactly as in survival, players might be tempted to just grind them out early, which would trivialise the challenge of future episodes. This way the difficulty can be better managed. Right now starting fires is dead simple with loads of books and accelerant around. Being able to sleep when not tired is likely so players can regain condition. In survival mode it becomes an interesting challenge because your recovery can take a few days. In story mode it would probably just punish players who are already struggling. Story mode isn't necessarily trying to kill players. My money is on parasites and cabin fever to be introduced in future episodes. They're ways to constrain the player's options. Before you can do that you've got to make sure people understand the options before them. It isn't hard to think of narrative means to introduce them, either.
  19. Strange. I find whenever I take my eyes off them is when they suddenly get much much closer. Like this:
  20. I think it has promise as a quest. I'm a little forgiving of the bugs because they will get ironed out in time. But Jeremiah's advice on hunting the bear is terrible. If you wait for him to approach and shoot at the last second... Sure, you hit. But you get mauled anyway. If the Bear is supposed to run when it gets hit, that's not what is happening. It's much better to shoot from a distance, up on a hill, and escape the Bear's wrath. You actually don't kill the Bear with your heart. Not using your head gets you killed, just like any other threat in the game. I wouldn't want to be forced into completing the quest immediately, but I agree that the game tries to make it seem like time is an issue. The game works best when you can play at your own pace and I have been surprised to see so much of the story fall into this "No time to explain, it's too important, just do the thing!" pattern when it's counter to the game's strength.
  21. Overall, I’m really happy with the experience. Much like the challenge modes, story mode provides a great reason to keep exploring and going out day after day for adventures. The lore surrounding the world is wonderful and the setting is well realized. I have two criticisms that I want to give some feedback on. Spoiler warning! Don't read unless you've finished the story so far. Wintermute’s Story One of the things that struck me initially about The Long Dark was in the vision articulated in the Development Diary . It is described as filling a gap where there is no game today that is a “survival simulation”. Being concerned about day to day survival is what really clicks in this game. You might have long term goals. But unless it can be completed in a day, you’re thinking about what you are going to achieve today to get closer to it. Nothing more. Now playing the story written for this world, the urgency in the narrative seems unnatural. Astrid is so desperate to get to Great Bear, she won’t even wait for Will to make up his mind before going on without him. Will is left with a hardcase and a load of questions he’s not supposed to ask. If the hardcase was so important, how could Astrid leave it behind? How could she leave him behind? The long term goal is quite clear, and so off we go. The game then puts 5 days narrative distance between its opening sequence and letting the player loose. This is necessary to get across the dizzying amount of moving parts ticking behind this survival simulation. References to days quickly disappear, because the story can’t predict when things will happen. The game doesn’t track how long you’ve survived in this mode. That isn’t the point. But this pushes against the urgency in the narrative. The story encourages the player to hurry. The rules of the game force the player to slow down. There’s a term for this. Ludonarrative Dissonance. It’s hard to inhabit Will as a character, because his motivation is at odds with much of what he’s doing. As the tutorial ends and the player is given full control, you might run straight to Milton. I suspect the intent is that you run straight to Milton. Why else would you leave the player without a bedroll, at midday, with no knowledge of shelter in the area. Why have the path stay linear just long enough to hit a road. Any player who understood their situation would follow that road. But the game’s systems teach the player to be careful, search your environment thoroughly, gather resources. It had to break the rules around sleep temporarily to do that. I thought that might have been confusing for a lot of players, who might not have understood just how dire their circumstances were having survived 5 days in a ravine with little trouble. The inclusion of a bedroll now is a sign of Hinterland’s responsiveness to these issues. I think The Long Dark wrote itself a little just then. It seems like there’s a strong desire to have these conflicting emotions work. A core message is for the player to ask themselves what they’re willing to do to survive. The player’s first major decision comes as they are offered the choice to rob a gas station for food. The easy choice is frowned upon. The urgency of moving on, versus the diligence to maintain your values. Milton is a great example of Hinterland’s care to construct a picture that tells a story. You are given indications of who worked where, and who lived where. But the trust system and the game’s sidequests encourage you to take the time to exist in this simulation, rather than press on with the task at hand.I couldn’t hold on to a sense of urgency for finding Astrid. Not one that is appropriate given the opening, or seeing a message written in blood. So Will’s motivation for helping the people he encounters starts to fade. Mine becomes about the reward. Tell me more about Milton, and give me that sweet pair of mountain boots. Astrid can wait. The Aurora is a much better element. It’s a mystery to be solved. Mysteries require exploration and clue finding. The narrative shines the most as you explore the struggles between the Forest Talkers and the industrialization represented by Carter Hydro Energy. The setup of having the Aurora provide the benefit of technology becoming active, alongside the elevated dangers represented by the wildlife. I want to explore both the narrative implications of the Aurora and how it can change the gameplay as more options open up. It’s random and rare occurrence ensures the day to day survival remains in focus. Nobody can rely on their flashlight forever. Plus it makes it much more beautiful when it’s unexpected and your mind buzzes with the opportunities it opens up. The Wolf Struggle The Wolf Struggle has been a challenge throughout the development of The Long Dark. New players were frequently unsure about what they were supposed to do. Several iterations on the struggle mechanic worked to first simplify the interaction, then to make it as intuitive as possible. The ability to select weapons addresses a source of player confusion. But all this is a distraction. The smartest thing to do is avoid wolf struggles altogether. This is by design. The wolf struggle costs you condition. A struggle of any length risks a range of afflictions. In return you might kill the wolf. Wolves offer 4-6kg of meat that is barely more nourishing per pound than rabbit meat. It also risks giving you parasites at higher difficulties. Even if you’re hunting wolves, you don’t intend on it ending in hand to hand combat. The game offers you a broad range of options to avoid wolf struggles, and Hinterland stress the use of flares and torches. The mechanics of avoiding wolves are complex. It’s a skill that takes time to learn. But you can avoid wolf struggles almost entirely. Bear struggles don’t receive this much attention. Following Jeremiah’s advice on hunting bears will result in multiple maulings. Experienced players will employ better strategies. Still, hunting the Old Bear is considered a high point from both quest design and gameplay. I’ve suggested this before, but I don’t understand why the wolf struggle needs to involve the player at all. It is an interaction that is difficult to teach. It is an event that should be rare. The player’s attention shouldn’t be on what to do when they get into one. Looking forward to the continuation of the story. I’m hoping for some more complex narrative threads and loving the direction its going. All the best.
  22. Okay - now the lake cabin is completely bugged. Have caught it on video. Uploading to Youtube. Basically whenever I enter the Lone Lake Cabin, the door exits me at one of the three cabins on the other side of the lake. Does this happen to anyone else?
  23. Does anyone know what the quest trigger is for the side-quest "Lake Gunshots"? The journals entry reads "Jeremiah says he heard gunshots across Mystery Lake. Could it have something to do with the Forest Talkers?" Only I don't remember Jeremiah saying anything of the sort. I have maximum trust and have completed his quest line up to the point of visiting the dam during the Aurora. I had just picked up Lake cabin keys 1 & 2, and was visiting Lone Lake Cabin (the northernmost cabin sitting alone). I unlocked and entered the cabin. I basically looted the whole place in a minute or two. Didn't do anything to pass the time. Upon leaving the cabin, Will exclaimed "Shit, someone had a bad day" or something similar. There was a trail of blood from the steps of the cabin leading to a frozen body out on the lake. Except I wasn't outside Lone Lake Cabin anymore. Upon exiting that cabin I had been placed on the front step of the northern-most cabin from the middle set of cabins. So not only did a random body appear on the lake during the time I was in the cabin, I'd been magically teleported to a completely different cabin. I don't even recall hearing any gunshot sound from inside the cabin as the journal entry suggests. I was curious to hear how other people triggered this quest. Particularly the trail of blood/dead body aspect. Not sure whether you're supposed to be able to just come across it, or if you're supposed to enter/exit a specific cabin or any indoor interior within the Lake vicinity. I will post a bug about my experience, but I want to understand the expected behaviour and I can't reproduce it at all because I don't back up my saves.
  24. Not sure if anyone else noticed this, but you can take items/search drawers marked red (as in, owned by an NPC) for the cost of trust. I accidentally opened a drawer and discovered this. It's not really communicated in game, but it represents what amounts to a full blown trade system. Give resources the character wants, and you can take what you need from their owned shelter. I haven't tested taking an item that would put the player into negative trust. But if they have anything you need, you can help yourself and wear the cost. Which brings me to my line of thinking for future story mode updates. Hinterland have experimented with regions that have fewer structures, because this creates unique challenges. The more man-made structures you have, the more high quality loot you can expect. But what if the majority of the structures (and their contents) were already claimed by NPCs who weren't just abandoning Great Bear? Then the player might find themselves constrained in terms of resource availability, despite being on a map that has several suitable shelters. If the majority of resources were "claimed" as it were, you would have to scavenge and trade to get what you needed. In addition, it would allow for more complex narrative threads if NPCs had conflicting goals.