Love the game, but a little bit worried about the game-stage introduced; it has kind of ruined the replayability of the game for me and my friends 😞 I will try to explain.
There used to be more randomness in the game, which made each new game very different from the last game; which made the replayability of the game really high (We have probably started more than 100 new games together). There were several mechanics that made each game unique:
- Loot Dependencies: Some things could not be built if you did not find the right thing (component or recipes). While this was frustrating for some, it was also a mechanic that made the progress of the game very varied. This caused games to develop very different, and it forced you on some serious loot runs, where you could spend weeks looking for that specific components, and building forward camps, closer to cities - just to be able to sleep close to large loot areas. I get that this might be very frustrating for some people, but for us it provided interesting challenges, and boy there were some massive high-fives when someone actually found that component unlocking some awesome progress!
- Random loot drops: The new game stage development, where loot drops is determined by game development turned looting into a grind for us. There is really nothing fun in looting, because you keep finding very much the same thing, and it is almost never better than what you can craft anyway. Again, the magic of finding a really high-level good thing is gone; and I even stopped doing looting in close easy access perimeters to the base - because it is simply better to wait until later; you know you are not going to find anything proper until the next game stage anyway. (Gunsafes etc, is pretty useless to open early as an example, compared to the time it takes to open them with simple tools)
- Mining: We just to have to build large mining labyrinths, just to find the right ore; and now it is simply too easy. Again, it has removed one of the game dependencies, so now you can always get what you want when you need it, causing each game to play out the same. (And yes it was grindy!!)
It does seem like the game it getting streamlined into "the right way to play it", and I get that it can be important from a story telling perspective; but it really has removed a lot of the replayability. We used to have highly diverged characters where we needed to swap skill-books between ourselves; some needed to focus on specific areas of the character development - and handing over sweet loot to each other, because another character could make use of that high-level item you found. This almost never happens anymore. Our charcters are much more similar, our games play out the same way, with the same progression both in the game and on character level. Any diversity is more of "taste" and habit, rather a practical need for the team.
Now, I get that you devs are just in the early stages of the rebuild of the game stages; but I really wanted to highlight this as a real concern for us who like to start new games. We used to start a couple of new games each month - not it is one every 3 months, basically just trying out the new versions. And it is not because we don't like the game, we love it; but it has become very stale - and very "been there done that". New missions and POI are of course good, but for us it does not work if it is at the expense of the core gameplay experience, sadly 😞
So are there any thoughts about maybe having some option, for "override game-stage loot drop" at least? (I understand that the skill dependencies and build progress might be harder to randomize as it is a deeper mechanic). Also, it would be fun to hear how the rest of you fans feel about this new gamestage progression system -hit or miss? Are we just whiny or do you feel the same?!
Thanks for a great game and many fantastic hours in it 🙂