monsieur_cronky

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Everything posted by monsieur_cronky

  1. Hi there, Apologies if this is not forum etiquette - I believe the current Timberwolf interaction is pretty jarring / immersion-destroying. I've made a detailed post, including suggested alternatives, under the 'Wintermute' forum, and wanted to make sure it's also considered for Survival Mode. https://hinterlandforums.com/forums/topic/35763-timberwolves-proposed-alternatives-to-the-jarring-‘morale-meter’-and-tense-music/ Kind regards, monsieur_cronky
  2. SUMMARY In general I think Timberwolves are a great inclusion, but I can’t understate how disappointing and immersion-destroying I find the morale-meter (including pack-number indication) and the tense music that accompany them. It’s just so at-odds with the natural/seamless interactions the game manages to achieve with all other wildlife. I’ve provided a rationale, and detailed suggestions for improving the Timberwolf interaction below. (FYI – I’m 39yo male, played apx 200 hours TLD so far, which is double the playtime of any other game I’ve played in my 30+ years of gaming. I started at Wintermute Redux 1&2, and absolutely love the game. I evangelise about it. It’s truly an awesome piece of art. I play almost every day, and it’s become a part of my life. This post is an attempt to help make it better!). WHY IS IT SUCH A PROBLEM? One of the things I love most about TLD is the immersive, seamless, and ‘natural-feeling’ interactions around wildlife (pre-Timberwolves). I absolutely love it when I catch myself stopping to check – are those bear footfalls I can hear? How close is that wolf howl? And then if/when you do engage, you can never be sure what will happen. I love that there’s no aiming crosshair on the screen. I love that when you hit the animal, it may fall or run depending where you hit it plus an element of chance. And I really REALLY love that you can be unsure of whether you hit the animal, until you go and look for blood-spatter. Overall, it leads to superbly natural and satisfying interactions. And so, I (and I suspect others, who, like me, love TLD for its immersion) find it an immense disappointment when suddenly the game flashes up the tense music and morale meter for Timberwolves. None of the other wildlife has a visible ‘health bar’, nor can you tell how many are nearby unless you physically count them. It really feels like cheating, and I don’t want that. However – just providing an option to turn it off is not what I’d suggest – please read on. WHAT WOULD I SUGGEST? The following suggestion applies to both Wintermute and Survival modes: - If you do feel that players need an audio cue when they’re spotted by Timberwolves, then use only a distinctive howl and/or growl instead. - Make their ‘engage-attack’ behaviour to be less ‘on/off’. If they spot you, they could start walking towards you. You then have a (small) chance to run away, but if they get close enough, then they will harry you until you deal with them. - If you feel that the morale-meter and tense music are needed for accessibility reasons (ie. to help newer/less confident players feel less frustrated/more aware of what’s happening), then I have a couple of alternative suggestions: o Instead of the morale-meter and tense music, pre-arm players with the key aspects of Timberwolf behaviour via a natural interaction. MINOR SPOILER ALERT: Perhaps via extending the phone conversation with Molly in Molly’s barn, where Molly describes the key aspects of Timberwolf behaviour in a little more detail. I feel this could probably be achieved without sounding forced, since it could be in the context of Molly talking about her close escape. EG. “Not much on Great Bear scares me anymore, but those Timberwolves… well they get worse, the bigger the pack. Once I got swamped by five of them, and I had to shoot three before the rest finally fled.” Key concepts concerning their behaviour could be further reinforced in the conversation with Father Thomas, right after the scripted Timberwolf-fight outside the hall. EG. “How many were there? Two? Well thank goodness there weren’t more. They’re even harder to get rid of in larger packs.” o If you really still feel the morale-meter and tense music are required to avoid frustration/confusion in players, then please consider only having them ‘on’ by default on the easiest game mode, and perhaps only for the first two interactions as 'training wheels' - and also give players an option to turn the meter & music on/off. I would guess that the majority of ‘normal-difficulty’ players – even newer ones - will value the immersion more highly than having the ‘jarring training-wheels’ of the morale meter and tense music. If you’re still with me, thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Kind regards, S