Troxism

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  1. I agree that in theory the Hacksaw being the best for quartering would be 'realistic' but frankly this game has never taken realism very seriously (it takes immersion seriously, and while that looks like realism on the surface it isn't the same thing). Gameplay has generally and should generally come first, and I outlined a case for why it should be a weak tool for gameplay balance reasons. I also don't really understand talking about realism and then saying something else is just 'creative use of game mechanics'. If you want to talk realism, I'm not really sure why cancel harvesting should give you experience about 5 times faster then just harvesting normally in a 'realistic' world. Or why using a hacksaw/hatchet suddenly becomes less effective on frozen bodies once you reach a certain skill level. Or why tools don't degrade if you cancel quarter rather then just doing it normally. My point is that arguing that the Hacksaw being fast would be more realistic, but then being okay with other completely unrealistic mechanics outlined in the exact same post (and as everyone knows there is a list a mile long of unrealistic mechanics in this game, I'm just bringing up the ones discussed here specifically), seems contradictory.
  2. I've been compiling various feedback/observations on the game recently, and the section related to Quartering and Harvesting has gotten so long, I figured i'd just post it on it's own. I am aware none of the issues this thread brings up are new (I made a post VERY similar to this but with less numbers back when quartering was first added to the game well over a year ago, although nothing actually came of it), and I'm aware that there have been other threads on this subject before (that haven't really gone anywhere), but I've tried to be as specific and accurate as possible in order to provide as complete and accurate of an overview as possible for various issues. Hopefully it is of some use. The reason I posted in this section is because pretty much all of these issues are related to Carcass Harvesting Skill in some way either directly or indirectly, and that only exists in Survival Mode. Quartering Balance Issues I think that the following changes to quartering should happen: Allow quartering with the Hacksaw (or remove it completely from the quartering menu, as currently it's just a red herring) Make quartering times scale with the hide/gut harvesting bonus of Carcass Harvesting skill (just add it in, same %s) Make quartering with a Hacksaw (if it is enabled as a valid tool for quartering), Improvised Knife, or Improvised Hatchet take 40% longer then with a Hunting Knife or Hatchet, so that there isn't a difference between difficulty modes on quartering effectiveness Make it take 2.5 hours baseline (150 minutes) to quarter a Bear or Moose so that it's at least break even with the drawback of having to harvest all the gut. Keep in mind this would be sped up by Carcass Harvesting skill, so this would actually be faster then before at higher skill levels with a Hunting Knife/Hatchet, although still slower with Improvised Tools/Hacksaw. The reasoning for the first bullet point should be obvious; right now the Hacksaw shows as an option in the quartering menu when selecting tools, but it gives an error message when you attempt to use it. It's an inconsistency in the game, and it should either not be on that menu at all (Heavy Hammers aren't for example), or you should be able to quarter with a Hacksaw. The reasoning for the following 3 bullet points is more complicated to explain (as they are all connected), but it is as follows: Baseline it takes 40 mins to harvest a hide by hand (but can only be done while not frozen), 40 mins to harvest a hide with an Improvised Knife, and 30 mins with a Hunting Knife. All other tools are slower, so they aren't really relevant in this case. So it takes 30 mins on Stalker and below, or 40 mins on Interloper, to harvest a hide at Carcass Harvesting Skill 1. Baseline it takes 10 mins to harvest Gut with a Hunting Knife, 15 with an Improvised Knife, all other methods are much slower so aren't really relevant to the discussion. So it takes 10 mins to harvest 1 gut on Stalker and Below, and 15 on Interloper. Note that a corpse being frozen or not has NO effect on harvesting hide or gut, unlike meat. The only difference is you can't hand harvest frozen corpses until higher skill levels of Carcass Harvesting. These values are scaled directly by the Carcass Harvesting skill bonus, 10/20/30% off for skill 3/4/5, so skill level makes all methods faster at an equal rate. Now, quartering a Bear/Moose always takes 2 hours. Quartering a Wolf or Deer always takes 1 hour. However, you can't quarter frozen corpses until higher skill levels of Carcass Harvesting. So if you had lvl 1 Carcass Harvesting, harvesting a Bear Hide + 10 guts takes 130 minutes with a Hunting Knife, or 190 with an Improvised Knife. These values drop to 91 and 133 minutes respectively with Carcass Harvesting 5. As mentioned before, it takes 120 minutes to quarter a Bear. Lets look at the numbers for Deer/Wolf: 1 hide and 2 gut each, so 50 mins baseline with a Hunting Knife, 70 minutes with an Improvised Knife, reduced to 35 and 49 respectively at Carcass Harvesting 5. It takes 60 minutes to quarter, so again, you have inconsistency where it's sometimes faster to quarter, and sometimes not based on skill and tools. So looking at those numbers, it becomes clear why I think quartering should receive the Carcass Harvesting hide/gut harvesting time bonus as well, since quartering is effectively harvesting the hide + gut from an animal, plus it has the added bonus of giving you meat bags you can carry (keep in mind, you CAN still harvest meat bags in place if you don't want to haul them, so there isn't really much drawback to quartering, or you could just harvest the meat first if you can do it fast enough to avoid the corpse freezing/have carcass harvesting 5 anyways and then quarter to quickly harvest hide/gut in cases where it is optimal. Also, since it takes about 40-45% longer to harvest hide and gut (problem is the scaling is different for gut vs hide, so the ratios vary a bit) with an Improvised Knife, which is the best tool you can use for this purpose on Interloper, it becomes clear why I think the tools available on Interloper should be 40% slower at quartering. Otherwise you will always have a fundamental mechanical imbalance between difficulty levels because one thing (hide and gut harvesting time) scales, but quartering time doesn't. Ultimately the point of quartering should be to cut up the body to transport the meat to harvest it in a warmer place, not to just 'speed harvest' hide and gut from a corpse you have already harvested the meat from, or are just going to cut the bags up in place from. So what would the numbers look like if the suggested changes were made? At Carcass Harvesting 5 it would take 105 minutes (1.75 hours) to quarter a bear with a Hunting Knife or Hatchet, or 91 minutes to harvest all the gut and hide with a Hunting Knife instead, making there be some actual trade-off for the advantage of making the meat transportable. At Carcass Harvesting 5 with an Improvised Knife, it would take 147 minutes (about 2.5 hours) to quarter a bear (150*1.4*0.7), or 133 minutes to harvest the hide/gut. Again having an actual trade-off rather then just being a clearly superior option. For a Deer/Wolf, the revised numbers would look like this: For a Hunting Knife at Carcass Harvesting 5, it would be 42 minutes to quarter, or 35 minutes to harvest hide/gut directly. For Improvised Knife at Carcass Harvesting 5, 58.8 minutes to quarter and 49 to harvest directly. Since quartering and harvesting hide/gut would scale equally with skill level, Carcass Harvesting 1 numbers would retain the same ratios (this is why making quartering time scale is important), just it would take longer for both. In general this would nerf quartering for Interloper except at high skill levels where it would be almost the same (very slightly faster), and buff it for Stalker and below, which makes sense, because quartering is already very weak on lower difficulties as it's easy to stay warm on them and harvesting is generally faster due to superior tools, while on Interloper it's currently a faster way to harvest a corpse then actually directly harvesting a corpse in most cases, which is really backwards and presumably not the intended purpose of the mechanic. Keep in mind you would still be able to use for example a Hacksaw to quarter and then hand harvest the meat bags indoors to save on durability on your Knife, so there would still be a reason to quarter to save durability, as Hacksaws are cheaper to repair in terms of Scrap Metal, then it is to re-craft new Improvised Knives. And just in general, if you didn't actually have a knife (for example only a Hatchet or Hacksaw), quartering would be better than trying to harvest hide/gut off the corpse directly, so again, quartering would still be very useful in some cases if you had sub-optimal tools. These changes would not make quartering useless on Interloper by any means, even with the severe 40% time increase, just a bit more balanced and consistent. Issues with meat harvesting times/mechanics at higher skill levels Since at higher skills, the threshold for a corpse being 'frozen' goes up, and at lvl 5, a corpse is never considered 'frozen', this actually creates a situation where levelling up Carcass Harvesting is detrimental on Interloper difficulty. Here is why: A Hunting Knife on an unfrozen corpse takes 8 minutes to harvest 1kg of meat at skill 1. It takes I think 15 or 20 mins to harvest 1kg of frozen meat (exact value is not relevant), so it's absolutely terrible at it and the hatchet/saw is much better for frozen bodies. A Hatchet/Hacksaw takes 10 minutes to harvest 1kg of frozen meat at skill 1. Or 16 minutes for 1kg of unfrozen meat. An Improvised Knife takes 12 minutes to harvest 1kg of meat at skill 1. I think you can see the problem pretty quickly here. Since on Interloper your best harvesting tools are an Improvised Knife for unfrozen, and a Hacksaw for frozen (Improvised Hatchet is just a slower Hacksaw for harvesting meat), this means that: -You actually want to wait for corpses to freeze if possible on Interloper to optimise meat harvesting times, although with quartering usually being the best choice on Interloper with existing mechanics as described above it usually doesn't matter anyways. This is pretty logically backwards. -Carcass Harvesting 5 actually penalises you in some situations, as at that level corpses are never considered frozen for the purposes of harvesting, meaning your choice becomes between an Improvised Knife at 12 minutes base, or a Hacksaw at 16 minutes base per 1kg of unfrozen meat, instead of the faster 10 minutes base per kg of frozen meat you could achieve earlier with a Hacksaw. Now it's more complex than that, because going from Carcass Harvesting 4 to 5 means going from 70% meat harvesting times to 50%, so in reality you still get faster, as 70% of 10 from the frozen Hacksaw is 7, which is still slower than 50% of 12 from unfrozen Improvised Knife, which is 6. But the gain isn't as much as it should be, or is on Stalker and below where you have access to the much faster Hunting Knife. But it's still kind of an inconsistency and a weird mechanic. The way the 'carcasses aren't considered frozen' from Carcass Harvesting 5 should really work, is just allowing you to hand harvest/quarter from 'frozen' bodies, not simply flagging the entire carcass as 'not frozen'. This would remove all these inconsistencies. Yes this would mean it would be slower to harvest a 'frozen' body with a Hunting Knife/Improvised Knife at skill 5 then before, but it would be faster with a Hatchet/Hacksaw, so I think that is a fair trade. Or alternatively, the ideal system would basically give you the best of both worlds, where a 'frozen' body at skill 5 would take the fastest time of either frozen or unfrozen for any tool used, ie 4 mins for a hunting knife, 5 for the hatchet/hacksaw, 6 for the improvised knife, instead of using the unfrozen values across the board. Issues with hide harvesting times As I mentioned above, at skill level 1, it takes 40 minutes to harvest a hide by hand, 30 minutes with a Hunting Knife, 40 minutes with an Improvised Knife, 45 minutes with a Hatchet and 60 minutes with a Hacksaw (Don't remember with Improvised Hatchet but it's absolutely awful at it so lets just ignore it). While obviously you can't hand harvest frozen bodies, you can at lvl 5, meaning on Interloper tools become useless for harvesting hides after lvl 5 (as you are just paying durability for no reason), which makes little sense. Also even on unfrozen bodies, it is silly that it actually takes longer to harvest a hide with a hatchet then by hand. You would think using a tool would help you, not slow you down in this situation. Hand harvesting hides probably needs a nerf, as it's very effective for some reason, while for example harvesting gut by hand is worse then harvesting gut with ANY tool, even a hacksaw or hatchet which are pretty bad at it as well (40 minutes per gut by hand, 30 with hacksaw, 20 with a hatchet, 15 with Improvised Knife, 10 with Hunting Knife), and obviously hand harvesting meat is far worse than any tool as well. Solution: This obviously isn't a major problem, but I think the Hatchet should be a little better at harvesting hides (40 mins instead of 45), and bare hands should be a bit worse (maybe 50 mins instead of 40). Currently it doesn't make much sense. Power-leveling exploit for Carcass Harvesting Currently if you 'cancel harvest' tiny slivers of meat from a quarter of meat or carcass you will get far more skill points then just harvesting the same amount of meat normally off the quarter/carcass. There seems to either be some kind of 'floor' that causes you to get skill points even for small slivers of meat, or maybe it's counting cancelled actions as if they spent the full amount of time and giving skill points based off that, but either way it's quite obvious you get many times more skill points cancel harvesting this way then is intended (like 4-5 times more). This also seems to actually degrade the tool used faster then normal, lending credence to my theory that it's acting like you never cancelled the action, but I haven't exhaustively tested this as it's quite difficult to track skill point gains as there is no hard value in the game just a vague bar. Tool durability exploit with quartering If you keep cancelling your quarter action, doing only about 4-5 minutes at a time and just restarting it over and over until you are eventually done, you never lose any durability off your tool you use to quarter a carcass, compared to actually losing durability if you just let the action continue. Anyways, if anything is unclear (as I kind of tossed out numbers without always explaining much), I'll be happy to clarify, but I hope this post clearly illustrates some of the issues that currently exist with the harvesting system and carcass harvesting skill.
  3. My 2 cents: For me, mods have basically been the only way I can play the game (somewhat of an exaggeration, but honestly not that much of one), ever since the new breath effect was added shortly before 'release'. The 'fix' for it a few updates ago hasn't changed anything in that regard (I honestly couldn't tell any difference post update). It's so obnoxiously bright/contrasts so much with everything else indoors/in darkness I basically can't play with it on anymore (it actually gives me a headache after a while). Mods allow me to get rid of it (ideally I'd just dampen it's brightness by about 90% when it's dark so that it's not any brighter then the surroundings, but outright removal is close enough). My point isn't really about that specific gripe (while it is a deal-breaker for me personally, it obviously isn't for everyone), but to show that in some cases mods are basically the only way some people are able to enjoy the game, and not always because of game play changes but simply by adding what amount to extra configuration options. It's just not realistic for the devs to add configuration options for every possible player demand, and mods allow that demand to be filled. It worries me that soon enough (once there is a new update that breaks mods again) there will be no way for me to address this problem, and the game will be come essentially unplayable for me (as I don't feel like getting headaches constantly) until mod support is added (and at this rate it looks like that will be years in the future).
  4. AFAIK it's Container Loot Density that is 'backwards'. Empty Chance should be working fine, the reason you still see empty containers on 'None' is because the Empty Chance is simply the chance to not even check the loot table; the loot table itself can still roll nothing, esp depending on other settings (Low overall loot removes many items from the tables as an example). High should be 87.5% chance to not check the loot table at all. It's possible it was flipped ofc, but the amount of loot on custom interloper by default seems way too similar to previously for it to be a coincidence. At least the way it worked previously is Container Loot Density reduced the maximum amount (ie it couldn't go below 1) of items you could get from a container (1 on Stalker, 2 on Interloper), which should correspond to the current Low/High. Which is why custom Interloper starts at 'High'. Having said that, some of the default custom settings actually are straight up incorrect compared to the standard difficulties (some of these are very easy to see for yourself unlike loot which is obviously pretty random and hard to test).
  5. There are many spawns with 3 wolves on Interloper (and with the new 'custom' Interloper having Very High wolves for some reason, those locations have 4 instead and it doesn't line up with regular Interloper at all). Some have less as you and I both mentioned, but no, they most definitely do move around. This is pretty obvious since I have for example killed all 3 wolves on the lake near Camp Office, then literally the next day (ie way less then the normal wolf respawn time) there is a new pack of 3 on the far side of the lake (not behind the cabins which is a separate spawn, but on the actual lake, just the other side far from Camp Office), and I have never seen those two groups active at the same time, so it's not a case of 'X wolves can be up at once and they are just randomly distributed all over all the possible spawns'. In addition it's always 3 in each group of those. On the other hand there is the lone wolf in 3 possible locations along the track from Camp Office to FM on Interloper. And the pack of 3 in 3 different location along the rails from Camp Office towards Train Bridge. And the thing about it is these shifts all happen on the same day. One day I see wolves close to Camp Office both on the lake and between Camp Office and Derailment (ie literally 6 wolves within relatively close distance to Camp Office), then the next day both packs have relocated to behind the wagons at Derailment, and the far side of the lake respectively. And me killing them doesn't influence this as when the shift happens it's all new ones, even if I killed the old ones at the original spot. And this is the same for many other places like Quonset. You can actually have zero wolves around Quonset if you arrive there at the right time (however it is random where they start out so you just have to observe from a distance to see where that pod is at the moment). And if it was a case of 'it's just spawning new wolves after you kill them', well this happens even when I haven't killed any wolves for weeks, they still move around. I mean I can't rule out the possibility that my game is just functioning differently, or is bugged, but I keep it up to date and have never messed with the game files, and my experience with this has been consistent through many versions, and even literally as recently as yesterday, so it's not a case of bad memory from a long time ago. I've spent literally hundreds of in game days across many games in some locations like Camp Office/Fishing Camp, and 50-100+ total days in many other locations like The Riken/Mountaineer's Hut/PV Farmstead, so my sample for this is quite significant at least for Interloper mode; I am not simply basing it off 1-2 experiences across a few days. Even yesterday I had almost this exact experience I describe on ML in Milton proper; Very High Wolf spawns, I first end up killing 4 wolves on the side of Milton that is towards the gas station, and then not 2 days later, there are 4 fresh wolves on the side that is closer to the farmstead. Too short of a time for standard respawns, and the wolf locations/patrols were different (and I observed them from a distance with nothing smelly on me first, so it wasn't a case of them coming over to investigate smell, which obviously they do from a huge distance in some cases). Then the same thing around the farmstead; 4 wolves in the 'field' towards the ruined barn thing, and then 4 wolves pretty much exactly around the actual farmhouse a short while later after I killed them. And then again when I just dodged them all for a while, they still eventually flipped positions between those locations. It also may be the case that it seems like they are just patrolling further afield to you, but if that were the case, I wouldn't be getting this 'kill 4 wolves', then they all 'respawn' in a shifted spot 1-2 days later, while if I kill them right after a 'shift' the area stays clear for a while until the next swap. Or like I said, maybe my game files are just corrupt or something, but that is unlikely. But I have seen this way too many times in way too many locations and both a long time ago and very recently. Or maybe I just suck at explaining what I mean and I should just make videos of it instead.
  6. Yeah this is 100% not true on Interloper (or even on Stalker since the animal location revamp) and I can confirm that in every single version of the game since Interloper came out over a year ago including 1.16 and 1.17. The wolves sometimes are there at Derailment and then they move after a few days, and then they move back. That is what I mean about pods moving around. The pod that spawns at derailment cycles every few days between the area between Camp Office and Derailment, and the area between Derailment and the Train Bridge. Maybe it is true on lower modes that the pods never move around. Same with various other pods on other maps. When I said I don't walk in remote areas, I mean I don't check the pod locations in them every few days, I do know where the spawns are. It would just be too tedious and annoying to constantly check them.
  7. I have literally never even heard anyone mention the breath effect before Faithful Cartographer on this forum, but maybe I missed a thread somewhere. Again, if you watch some old videos it's just a totally different order of magnitude. I have already explained over and over that I have actually tried to use the breath as a UI indicator. I legitimately cannot tell the difference in most cases. I don't see how it fufills that function because of this, making it simply an annoying 'feature' to me. Maybe the reason for it is my specific video settings, my monitor, my brightness, maybe I'm just blind or an idiot, who knows. I have already explained why it doesn't make realistic sense (not that I personally think realism should rule the game) to have it work how it does (it's too bright and sticks to your face, neither of which makes sense). I have explained how I don't believe it makes design sense to have it be a 'punishment', because it doesn't really fufill that goal either. I have also already mentioned how it can be fixed, either tone it down at night even more (or give a slider to do so), because the patch doesn't seem to have changed it at all, or just allow it to be toggled (like character voices, or the entire UI currently can be) off if desired. I have posted plenty of screenshots before in other threads and I'm sure they have been seen. It has been months since it was changed to this, and there has been basically non stop complaining about it since then. It certainly isn't the 'first try'. I don't even see the point of saying 'devs are more like me'. Feedback is supposed to be about pointing things out, esp things that were overlooked or missed. I'd say more on this topic/argument, but I would have to bring up some private conversations with devs for other games (not talking about TLD, or Hinterland devs) and I don't wish to violate people's confidence. There has been plenty of constructive conversation. At this point it's just going in circles, and I think every relevant point has been made. I've tried to address every point in good faith. I do agree I rant on this issue a lot, but this really is a deal breaker for me. This is the single feature that I dislike the most. This isn't some minor annoyance for me, and I do not exaggerate at all that it basically caused me to take a very long break from the game. I say that not to dramaticize the issue, but to point out that yes it really matters, and it's not some minor annoyance. I wouldn't waste my time posting about it so much if it was. To use a friends words, 'are you willing to die on this hill?', and for me on this issue the answer is most definitely yes.
  8. To be honest no idea specifically, because I rarely go to the remote locations on each map (there is just no reason to go to half the places other then once to collect plants/loot). I know where the pods are, but it's hard to list every location in words, and I don't exactly sweep the entire map every few days to see how many are spawned each time, I just keep track of all the stuff nearby where I am living at the time. Also some spawn areas overlap with each other, and scent mechanics can sometimes drag wolves from really far away places, further complicating identification of where every wolf is from. I think it's something like 14 or 15 wolf spawn locations on Mystery Lake, where not all are occupied at once (slightly less then half at a time, some pods cycle between two locations some between three, some are almost always occupied but take 'time off' every few swapping cycles, some are almost always empty but occasionally have a wolf, and as I said the swapping cycle is separate from the animal respawn which is linked to the animal itself and not it's current spawn location) as an example. Its I think 14 possible locations on Coastal Highway, 5 on Desolation point, ect. If I had to give a rough guess, about 40-50% of all the spawn locations for Wolves and Deer (it's about 50% for wolves, less for Deer on average) were occupied at once on Interloper unless you killed some animals off (I have way too many hours there so this is a pretty educated guess). I have less experience on other settings, but as I said I don't think the amount of active pods actually changes for Wolves (from what I have seen), just the amount of animals in each one. For Deer it does seem to change slightly, but it also seems to influence the number of animals in the pod as well, just less then wolves. And as I said, some locations are more active then others (some pods cycle like clockwork between 2-3 locations every few days, but some pods are almost always present in a certain spawn location and are only rarely absent unless the animals are on respawn timer from being killed, and some locations are almost always empty and rarely contain animals). But honestly I know my understanding of animal spawns isn't perfect, at the end of the day it's just based on observation and some speculation based on what I see. It could be more complex or less complex under the hood then I am making it out to be. But the general assertions are accurate, at least for Interloper mode. As for the Moose, I gave my best guess in the post. Hard to tell as I have been focused on testing other things rather then playing globe trotter to study Moose spawn patterns (I have hunted some but that isn't enough data).
  9. The farm key is in a random spot, it can be in the car, on the body in the barn, on the shelves/area behind the house, or I think near the tractor or inside the tractor. Yeah I've been waiting for conformation that this achievement actually functions before I bother going through the tedium of it. I've already mapped most of the world once on Interloper and didn't get it and I am never doing it again because it's just a massive pain since every time you map it's just -5% condition from freezing which means you can only map a little every day. To be honest, even if it was actually fixed already (it's possible, as AFAIK most people talking about it not working are using old saves from previous versions), it is likely you have to start a new game anyways and old games won't work. So I'm just waiting for confirmation that it actually works so I can start a new Pilgrim game and just hammer it out because as far as I'm concerned I've 'earned' the achievement 10 times over with my Interloper mapping project that I did post launch.
  10. The way spawn points and spawn settings have worked for a while (since the update after the Timberwolf Mountain update, Penitent Scholar I think?) is that there are 'pods' of animals on the map, that move between preset spawn areas (at least on Interloper). As an example, Quonset has a 'pod' of wolves that moves between Quonset, and the ice out front of Quonset every few days. Mystery Lake has a pod location near to Camp Office, and then a pod location on the far side, closer to the bear. There are numerous pod locations for Deer and Wolves that work like this. Note that they all seem to shift all at the same time on the same map, ie one day they just all shuffle over randomly at once, although sometimes a pod stays in the same place while others move, so I'm not 100% on the exact mechanics. *Note that the reason I call them 'pods' instead of 'packs' is that A: they don't have any sort of pack AI or anything like that, they just patrol the same general area, and B: because some 'pods' are only 1 or even 0 animals depending on the settings). So what does setting Deer/Wolf spawns to be higher actually do? Well, while I haven't done extensive testing of higher settings, at a glance it seems to make the 'pods' bigger. For example, on Very High, you get 4 wolves in the pod on the lake close to Camp Office. On High you get 3. On Medium you get 2, ect. This is however a bit more complex then that since as I said some pods are small (0-1 animals). For example, on the other side of Camp Office on the path to Trappers, there is a pod of 1-2 wolves depending on the settings, that also moves around to various places on the track. So it's not always the case that changing the setting changes a specific pod's size. *Note that the custom mode's Interloper preset is actually incorrect. Interloper is supposed to have less wolves then Stalker, yet in the presets for Custom mode Interloper is on 'Very High' and Stalker is on 'High'. This is further proven by the fact that I have never seen 4 wolves at once in places like on the lake near Camp Office until playing 'Custom' Interloper, I have always for literally dozens of Interloper playthroughs always seen only 3 there. And it was stated by the devs when Interloper came out that it is supposed to have less wolves then Stalker, so this isn't a case of 'this was bugged before and was fixed this patch'. It becomes even more complex, because in a few places pods can overlap, or you can have a situation where you kill the entire wolf pack just before the pods all 'shift' across the map, and you can sometimes get another pod spawning nearby and it seems like the population came back. For Deer, it works similarly, but Deer pods tend to be even bigger. Even on 'Low', deer pods are 1-3 Deer. On Very High you can sometimes have 5 Deer in a single spot or even more with overlapping pods. Setting the setting higher for Deer also seems to cause more possible deer locations to be occupied at once. In general Deer tend to be more prolific then Wolves on similar settings. For Rabbits, they don't move around, instead all 'rabbit groves' are always occupied (unless you killed all the rabbits and are waiting on respawns), and the setting simply affects how many there are (but again, even on 'Low' there are 2-4 rabbits in every grove so quite a few). It might also affect respawn times, to be honest I don't exactly bother with tracking rabbit respawn timers because it doesn't really matter. For Bears, the setting seems to affect how many bear caves are 'active' at once. On lower settings AFAIK what happens is not every bear cave is occupied at the same time and it shuffles around periodically. On the highest setting, more of them are occupied and they don't really shift around. Also, there are only 3 bear spawns on TWM, not 4. It's just the one in the far north (on the way to the summit) patrols in both directions randomly (in a huge range), both towards the river area in the west, and the path from Deer Clearing in the east, so it sometimes can seem like there are 2 seperate bear spawns there, but there is only a single bear cave there, in the middle of the narrow north path between those areas (near the rope that leads right next to the rope directly to the summit that starts out empty). The other two spawns are ofc the cave to the east of the cabin (this bear patrols around that area and comes around Crystal Lake), and the one to the far west of Crystal Lake up the river that patrols that region. Other maps have varying amounts of Bears (1-4). For Moose, I don't know exactly what the setting does, because I haven't been able to pin down the exact mechanics of Moose spawning yet. This is almost entirely speculation, but I think the way Moose spawning works is there are a few Moose at a time, and they move around the various maps (each map except I think DP has a Moose location). That or there is a Moose at every location, but it only shows up periodically until killed (and then I presume it has a longer respawn time). If one of my two guesses is correct, then the higher Moose spawn setting would presumably make the Moose more active in those spots, or have more of them moving around the game world at the same time (so more spots are occupied at once). For Fish, this setting is really weird, because it doesn't actually make any sense. Prior to this update, the way Fish worked is that fishing gave you a fish on average every X hours on Stalker/Voyageur/Pilgrim (skill, time of day, RNG, and a few other factors like overfishing also influenced this time ofc), and on Interloper it started out as the same as those modes, but steadily increased the average time it took to catch a fish up to 2X by day 50, meaning you got about half the fish on Interloper post day 50 per the same amount of time spent fishing. This btw is why fishing in longer sessions and cancelling right after you catch a fish gives more fish per hour on average then fishing 1 hour at a time, or at least that is how it worked before this update, maybe it has changed now. Which brings me to the Fish spawn setting post update: it makes no reference to scaling with game days, so IDK if they changed it to Interloper just giving you less fish from Day 1 then other modes (ie the Medium setting just increasing average time to catch a fish from day 1), or if it still works the same way with scaling with time survived, but it's not properly explained? Fishing is very tedious and time consuming to test as you need a huge sample size to draw useful conclusions, so I think it will be a while before anyone bothers actually testing this.
  11. Talking about how long you have or haven't played the game in terms of the breath effect is completely pointless. The current breath effect didn't exist until the Faithful Cartographer update which is fairly recently (and don't even get me started on the UI revamp btw with all the clicking you have to do now through various menus now for things like medicine). Before that for years the breath effect was very very low key and nearly invisible (and was basically just for a small amount of immersion). So ofc nobody complained about it (or even mentioned it) before, it was totally different if you look at old videos/screenshots. When the Faithful Cartographer update came out I legitimately thought it was a bug (that it was so bright and blinding) and would be hotfixed in a week like most major issues are. Heck the reason I basically didn't play from that update leaving the test branch to launch was almost entirely the breath effect just being too annoying for me to bother when I could just go play other games that didn't seem intent on frustrating me. Also I really don't see what the breath indicates that you can't see another way. All of the information it is supposed to inform you on is available in more direct ways through the UI on demand. And as I said, I can barely tell a difference, esp at a glance. If you wanted to tell how tired you are from the breath, you would have to check the timing between breaths (and the difference is very small so you might just get it wrong in a hurry), which actually takes longer then tapping tab or shift to check your fatigue/sprint bar (and is less accurate). If you wanted to tell air temp, well like I said it seems to be identical at -1C ambient temp and -37C at a glance. I don't even know how you would tell the difference there in practice, esp on the fly. The character voices (if you notice, your character will audibly shiver/complain at 50% freezing, plus I think at 75%/25%/10% as well) are a lot more useful in that regard in terms of giving actual reliable information (lets say you totally turned the UI off otherwise and had to rely only on the breath and voice ques), and you can actually turn those off if you want (thank god for that too because hearing for the 100th day in a row that 'I've never been so cold in my life' is silly). Yet you can't toggle the breath which is far more irritating (because even before you could disable the character voice in this update, you could just turn voice volume to 0%, although after Faithful Cartographer you would still be able to hear the echo in caves ect when doing that due to some audio bug or other). It's just confusing to me why this works the way it does. Idk, I was really hoping when I saw the patch note about 'breath effect is more transparent at night', that it was finally being addressed. Instead as far as I can tell basically nothing changed (or if it did, it's so subtle I can't tell the difference).
  12. The problem is the settings on 'default' Interloper are already the most sparse possible for game (except Bears and Wolves, and even Wolves are a bit lower, and yes the Custom Game Interloper defaults are WRONG and have wolves higher then they actually should be, as Stalker and Interloper are actually flipped). I understand what you are trying to do, but the problem is the Interloper late game curve was already as unforgiving as the game allows. There are only a few settings that were added that actually make the game harder then Interloper was before (Lower condition gain/disable it completely, lower plant amounts, 1 notch higher thirst, and you can make fatigue much faster, although you can argue that getting tired faster = more condition regain from sleeping so it's a bit of a wash in that case). And you can totally turn off Deer for example now. There just isn't that much leeway in the existing options in most areas, and in most cases Interloper already had everything at the hardest available setting*. Wildlife spawns for everything but Wolves/Bears was already the lowest possible, and respawn rates were already the lowest possible as well. *There is some added room for some super hardcore modes where almost everything is off and it's a legitimate struggle to even make it a few weeks, but those are by design short term challenges since they would involve making it effectively impossible to play long term (turning wildlife off, turning off all condition gain). I have some ideas on proposed challenges in this vein, but this is fundamentally different then 'normal gameplay'. Rambling about customization: It's kind of something I wanted to write more about while talking about customisation options; the custom game system currently is good for mixing and matching between modes, but completely lacks '*extremes' (outside of simply disabling things entirely which isn't generally a good thing as it leads to very 1 dimensional games that are only interesting in the short term). It also lacks a bunch of options that (IMHO) should exist, such as tweaking indoor temps, for example by making them scale with world temperature drop (so -20C to -25C indoors late game Interloper, meaning you actually need clothes and in some cases a fire even indoors). And some settings completely lack granularity. Right now for world temperature drop you can either have it drop by 5 degrees over 200 days, 10 degrees over 200 days, or 20 degrees over 50 days (well they all have floors so this isn't exact, but it's pretty close). There is no in between as the first two are barely noticeable (by the time they take effect, you have clothes good enough to not care outside of blizzards/early morning, and -10 just isn't enough to matter by then), and the last one is almost oppressive (to the point where some players just ignore clothing other then for frostbite protection) and makes you feel very rushed in the early game. Loot is similar. You can either have hatchets and knives scattered almost everywhere with multiples on most maps, or none at all. No option for '2-3 hatchets/knives in the whole game world' as an example. Rifle? Again, same thing, either rifles everywhere, or no rifles at all. You also have no influence over base temperatures, or temperature differences between maps. And so on and so on. Note that I am not blaming Hinterland for not having all those things I mention. Some of them would likely require a lot of work to implement (and we may never see them outside of mods, depending on how hard they are to add and competing development priorities). At the end of the day there will always be some option 'missing' to someone and at some point the developers are simply better off just focusing on other things like new content. But I bring it up, and I brought up making a little 'guide' to the settings, because it seems a lot of people don't understand exactly what you can and cannot change (and how much fine tuning you can and cannot do). *Extremes do not always need to be for the sake of 'super hard difficulty' either. As an example, I am sure there are many people who would love to play a mode where animals were extremely scarce overall to the point where you legitimately had to travel to hunt and not just sit around a 'base' in the late game. You could easily balance that out with easier settings in other areas. But you can't actually make wildlife that scarce currently, you can either turn it off completely, or you can have it be 'still fairly abundant' on the lowest possible setting. As another example, imagine a game mode where blizzards are very rare, but literally last for weeks at a time. The current options don't allow you to make something like that. Again, not saying Hinterland should spend forever trying to please every single person (honestly this is where mods should come in), but it's certainly interesting to consider the possibilities. Less Rambling and more On Topic: If you do want to make the early game more forgiving (while keeping Interloper loot ie no hatchets ect), the best way (and I agree this has problems) is probably increasing the amount of random loot, as this gives a lot more clothes/matches, which are very helpful in the early game (and not very useful in the late game, other then hats, but hey). Reducing freezing rate obviously makes it much easier too, but that affects the late game just as much if not even more.
  13. In response to LucidFugue: Increasing the day length makes you freeze/starve/dehydrate that many times slower when doing anything that isn't time accelerated (cooking, harvesting, breaking down, repairing), so it makes the game MUCH easier (as it makes collecting sticks, collecting plants like cattails, looting, exploring/traveling all come at far far less risk of freezing, starving or dehydrating. Since chopping limbs is usually a waste of time anyways, this basically means the only activity that isn't made 2/3/4 times less punishing in terms of calories/thirst/fatigue/freezing outdoors is harvesting a carcass and cooking (but being next to a fire makes cold not much of a concern). So if you are going to play with that setting, realise that it basically makes freezing a non factor if you turn it up (as you are effectively lowering the freezing rate massively) outside of harvesting a carcass. To be honest the settings you describe are really lenient overall (of course that may be what you are looking for, I have no idea if you play on Interloper a lot or no), as the only thing that is made harder is condition regain, but because of the slowed down time and slowed down starvation in general it barely makes a difference. And nearly removing wolves basically removes the only real threat of death remaining (freezing and wolves are by far the two most common causes of death, and as I said changing day length basically neuters freezing, so yeah). Also even the lowest wildlife settings (as long as you don't literally set it to 'none') are very very abundant for Deer and Rabbits. In fact I never even realised you actually get less Deer on higher difficulties (as I almost never played lower ones) until this update because the effective difference is so small (you still get herds of 3 deer on 'low', you just get more herds spawned at the same time on Very High). In response to JAFO: Another reason I am hesitant to do so is that I simply don't have enough information on some settings; I know what about half of them do pretty well (the only reason I brought it up at all is looking at various places it seems many players have literally no idea what any of the settings ACTUALLY do in terms of numbers/practical effect, so it seemed like even limited advice would be better then absolutely no information), and the rest I am more hazy on, and some of the testing that would be required to find out exactly what they all do would frankly just be way too much time.
  14. You can make containers have almost no loot like Interloper, and reduce the amount of food/clothes/matches lying around, but it won't reduce the number of hatchets/knives, which will still be plentiful (multiple per map of each with 100% spawns in some places, except for maps like DP/BR/FM which are small or explicitly have few tools). That might be close enough to what you want, but it depends on exactly what you want. You also cannot currently disentangle hatchets/knives from things like expedition parkas: if you have knives and hatchets in your games, you also have all the good clothes and food on the loot table (although as I said, you can actually reduce the AMOUNT of those, unlike the tools).
  15. Changes the loot distribution to be like Interloper (Hacksaw, Hammer, Bedroll, Mag Lens, Lantern distributed fairly evenly across all major locations, and Hatchet/Knife don't exist). Medium and above makes it like Stalker/Voyageur/Pilgrim, and TBH I'm not even sure what is actually different between the 3 as it doesn't seem to have any effect on how many tools you find or anything like that. I think it's mostly just slightly better odds of finding higher end clothing and food items instead of lower end ones. To be honest the settings for loot atm are pretty limited as it's very hard to fine tune most aspects (you can't really change how many hatchets/knives there are for example). Mostly you can control how much clothing/matches/medicine/sewing kits/food items there are, and if you want Interloper tool distribution or Stalker and below loot distribution. You also have a LITTLE CONTROL over how much rifle ammo there is, but it's tied to all the other things I mentioned previously as well.