TL/DR: I'm drunk... ish. Not drunk enough to English. But not sober enough to not comment.
My first achievement is from 2016. I say this because apparently how long one has being playing matters. (Aside: It does... And it doesn't. Old customers fit into a nice convenient metric bucket for Marketing majors to determine how much of a sucker... I mean dedicated supporter you are). I also have 886 hours in the game... I guess isn't as hardcore as my Payday 2 hours, but frankly... I've experienced players with 3k hours in a game that make go.... Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh?
I voted the second option.
Annnnnnd.... I echo some of the sentiment posted here in the forums. I dislike the Stone Tools in higher tier loot containers... regardless of quality. (Mostly because tier level is more important for Mods, and finding useful mods at a early game state is rare. Althougth... I guess you could balance this out with an inventory check and make drops relative and useful to person 'searching' the loot box.) I also dislike... the current tool variety, and progression. Stone tools become practically useless after discovering Iron Tools, but this isn't Civilization... you can't just easily upgrade your units to the new technology level. As mentioned before... I'm a Payday 2 veteran... and that game has a HUGE variety of weapons and weapon customization (AND... it still get requests for more). Most of the weapons in Payday 2 are essentially the same, because unlike real life where Marketing and Profit are the goal... in games FUN is the goal so systems have to be balanced (Real Life doesn't give a F about fairness or balance).
I also have concerns about the skill system. But this topic isn't about that. It's about 'Progression'. And that's tied to 'Pacing'. And whenever Fun Pimps decides to hire a Narrative Designer to build a story with this chaotic mess of a system... they will have to a good serious discussion about this. Which why it's good that they've been having discussion with the community for past few years (it means that they're not going into that discussion ignorant... they know what doesn't work).
But... I have faith in Fun Pimps. Game development isn't easy. Hell, most professional stuff isn't easy... Youtube only shows when it goes right under perfect circumstances. And while I feel like FP has made mistakes... they've also learned from them in ways you the player may not have realized. Every Alpha is snapshot into their Mind's Eye of what they want 7DtD to be, and like everything organic it changes as new things come into focus. So I understand if an Alpha isn't to my appeal... things change and they can't appeal to everyone (although that's the goal, or at least as many as possible).
I guess this is the real TL/DR.
I like the zone specific game stage modifiers. I feel like zones should also have minimum and maximum, so that your level designer(s) have a greater control of the pacing of the game, and allow the player agency on how fast they want to progress... but that's just me.
I feel like there should be more dynamic loot tables, based not just on game state, but on a number of factors (like how close to death a player is, critical effects, thematic zoning, Trader progression level, what level of technology the tools/weapon are, etc.) BUUUUUuuuttt..... I understand how much more work this is... balancing loot tables can be fairly involved.
I dislike the trend towards a loot shooter like Borderlands, where the incentive is constantly kill/loot/grind for the next best loot and discard the current. I feel like primitive Tier 1 tools/weapons should always be relevant even as a disposable emergency tools/weapons. I am opinion that looting should be sustainable for the nomad/scavenger lifestyle but ultimately be a system to support the crafter playstyle. And that you can't truly separate the two. So looting is important early game to get above the progression curve, but ultimately becomes a necessity to maintain at the end game. I dislike the idea of Legandary Items because it ultimately adds in a tier that makes all other progress and work redundant, making a slots-style RNG to win the best strategy. And yes... I know slots styled RNG is popular and profitable... Vegas has easily proved that.
I dislike the trend to MOAR weapons, without real consideration on how the weapons are actively different. People especially players need to separate 'REALITY' from how game systems are developed and balanced. From a mechanic perspective there is very little separating the different firearms (other than base stats). Really... we have 'Projectile Firearms' like bows and grenades, 'Raycast Semiautomatics.' like rifles and pistols, 'Raycast Full-Automatics' for SMGs and MGs, and Shotguns (Multi-Raycast Firearms). Personally, I feel like simpler is better... so really 7DtD should have 2 tiers of weapons: Primitive/Consumable/Disposable and Progessive/Static. The Primitive level is determined by a Player skill level as a base quality, and the Progressive level is determined by the 'Learned by Doing' mechanic. This way a player can focus maintaining a weapon playstyle, but have a easy fall back in case of breakage. Early tools don't become redundant because they now have use as a fallback emergency.
I dislike the current skill breakdown between attributes. But mostly I blame Pen&Paper RPGs for this, and our conditioning that things need to be tied to base statistics. I DO like skill and magazine perk system though, and feel like this is a good approach to a balanced progression between looting (magazines) and self-learning (skills/experience). I think an ideal setup would be that combat-related skills are governed by a 'Learn by Doing' and all others by 'XP blanket/Socialized Learning'. This way actions that a player are actively doing that make sense grow, and actions that are more long term and are under burst conditions are not disadvantaged.
All this matters... because it's about "Player Progression".
... I dislike a lot things, I'm realizing. And yet. ... I'm not really that unhappy with the current state of things.
<Insert Comedic Dancing Routine of Zombie Cops and Boars>
Anways.... There are things that I dislike in the current Alpha, but not enough that I'm willing play with mods or not play at all. (I've never played with mods, but I'm not against them. I just want to see what the developer's vision is all.)
I do want a End Game though... whether that comes from a Narrative or just a Minecraft, "Look we made an dimension called 'the End' where you fight a boss and it ends." Hopefully, MadMole will have written some down that he is happy with and we can all share in it.