Haven't played for over 1 year because of work. Saw friends playing on steam so I gave it a try... Here's my raw feedback after a year of absence.
I have played way too many hours and way too many alphas so I'll be direct.
1.1 Spawned in during the night, couldn't see ♥♥♥♥ cause the automatic gamma setting was set so low.
1.2 Immediately had running zombies on me, clubbed the zombie but aftr getting 1 and only 1 hit got infected + bleeding
1.3 Zombie dies, but getting another hit + bleeding (1st death).
1.4 Melee feels a bit weird. But it has been a year, no worries yet.
1.5 Ok lets try again, grab some stones, some sticks. Spider zombie 5 yards away from me (2nd death)
At this point I'm like, what the fuq. I had previously done games with over 3000 zombie kills and 0 deaths. (clubbing was real easy)
I'm reflecting at my actions, like what is going wrong? Why is this game so bad suddenly at zombie spawning?
Combat It feels strange, slow, unresponsive and laggy on both sides. Zombies attack speed bonus is still insane compared to their walking speed. But is it the combat change what's killing me? Perhaps, it feels new, maybe I have to get used to it. It seems zombies shrug of melee hits to the head way more easily then what they used to. While attacking more ferociously.
The "enrage" thing feels really ♥♥♥♥ty, at least for now. It's totally random and the speed % which zombies are running at isgoing up and down. Like, every single fight could turn bad on a simple enrage if you're not playing serious for a second.
movement Moving feels slow as well. There's a delay in when you run and it feels like I have less control over my character then what I used to have.
Stamina At this point I survived a bit longer, killed some zombies, explored a bit. Now I'm looking at my stamina bar.
Jesus man it's already down to 60. My mind starts calculating. I've basically collected ♥♥♥♥, only killed a few zombies and explored 2 town areas. I'm finding some food but not enough to constantly start munching on things.
- quick math, I just start suiciding when stamina reaches too low. Stacking all the food I can find for that one time when I stop suiciding.
At this point I'm basically laughing at the game mechanics. What kind of crazy mechanic would stimulate food hoarding and suiciding? Whatever, I'll move on.
After finding my 3rd city I've ran into 3 random radiation zones already. The first one caught me by suprise and killed me. The other 2 I immediately ran back the other direction. It makes no sense for them to be there and it's purely annoying me if anything else.
Loot I'm finding a lot of stuff, playing on 200% loot. But there is so much crap in the world now, compared to previous alphas.
I feel like the devs stripped 90% of the buildings turning 2/3 of every loot container in the world into a mindless decorative piece of ... something. Hated this about fallout 4 and I hate it even more in this game. Why build such a huge game if you add so many non lootable // non- interactive stuff? Some new ones are added like water bottles or clothes sacks which add a nice touch but after a year I would have expected different.
Skills As I continue I slowly start getting some skill points. I browse the skills in a SP map and decide where to spend them. I feel like the usual ones are neccesary for the game like, better loot, better tools, better weapon skills etc. But there's so many skills! I couldn't even cook the simplest thing without taking the chef perk. As I realise how little I can actually do without buying massive amounts of perks or finding books I'm actually getting more annoyed instead of more intrigued.
Time to summarize after playing a few hours.
- Combat got slightly better once you get the hang of it. But it feels massively gimped compared to A16/A17. I have to exploit the swing time in order to hit and to avoid getting hit. Zombies enraging / lag or running zombies counter this and make the melee physics real bad. At one point in my life time I hope to see Developers reducing the attack speed from 300% to 100% when zombies are in melee range. Zombies are dieing but don't ask how, it's real messy.
- Stamina, still going down way way way too fast. I keep suiciding in order to reset after reaching ~30 stamina. Jumping and swinging feels like it uses a lot more now. Regeneration is not too bad actually but because of the max stamina reduction it's a tad useless.
- Loot, getting a quite big variety of loot so far, but immensely saddened by all those useless decorative items in the world now. If I'd play at 100% this would even be worse because if not getting anything from the remaining loot containers. (playing at 200%, which is fine).
Where are my log spikes at Devs?
- Movement feels sluggish, gimped and unresponsive so far. Feels like I want to hit the PWR button on my character so it reacts better.
- Skills, It feels like there's too many skills and the amount needed to function properly is a lot higher than what it used to be. You now need so many different skills in order to just cook, build, craft, run, attack properly. Without em it gets ♥♥♥♥ty real fast. I can't even make regular seeds.
I hope it get's better over time, but for now it feels like an rehauled game adding a lot of different stuff, changing things. But in the end it's a more complicated but worse game than what it used to be. I feel many changes are a waste on the game. Adding forced artificial difficulties to the game. Still can't see hunger and thirst on the UI??? And what about the stealth eye??? Worked perfect.
I feel like mods already added a lot of things 1 year ago that weren't in the vanilla game. And I feel like those mods' difficulty felt better and way more natural than the artificial difficulty I keep feeling from this A18. As I said, I haven't played for a year, didn't read up on the plans or directions the devs are heading. But this is my opinion for now.