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madmole

Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!

Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!  

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  1. 1. Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!

    • A18 Stable is Out!
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Until they fix zombie speed it really is simple if you die during horde night.

 

1) Select spawn near bedroll

 

2) Run over close to your base and wait for the horde to run out of it to chase you.

 

3) Run 20-30 meters away from your base and wait. (They'll catch up)

 

4) Run 20-30 meters parallel to your base and wait.

 

5) Run to your backpack and re-equip and get back in your base.

 

6) Continue.

 

 

 

 

We. Are. Significantly. Faster. Than. The. Zombies.

 

Oh, in case you are playing Nightmare speed.... Run 40 meters instead but same routine.

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Until they fix zombie speed it really is simple if you die during horde night.

 

1) Select spawn near bedroll

 

2) Run over close to your base and wait for the horde to run out of it to chase you.

 

3) Run 20-30 meters away from your base and wait. (They'll catch up)

 

4) Run 20-30 meters parallel to your base and wait.

 

5) Run to your backpack and re-equip and get back in your base.

 

6) Continue.

 

 

 

 

We. Are. Significantly. Faster. Than. The. Zombies.

 

Oh, in case you are playing Nightmare speed.... Run 40 meters instead but same routine.

 

Mod Idea: On horde night you take damage if your not moving at a certain speed. So you have to drive a vehicle but zombies are only a fraction slower than a motorcycle. So you better not crash. Could be scary as all hell.

 

I think zombies are faster in 17.3 now. Haven't tested but I think it's the case from reading the patch notes.

 

A18 should make nightmare faster than the player. At least faster than if they are wearing any kind of armor.

Edited by Odetta (see edit history)

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Until they fix zombie speed it really is simple if you die during horde night.

 

1) Select spawn near bedroll

 

2) Run over close to your base and wait for the horde to run out of it to chase you.

 

3) Run 20-30 meters away from your base and wait. (They'll catch up)

 

4) Run 20-30 meters parallel to your base and wait.

 

5) Run to your backpack and re-equip and get back in your base.

 

6) Continue.

 

 

 

 

We. Are. Significantly. Faster. Than. The. Zombies.

 

Oh, in case you are playing Nightmare speed.... Run 40 meters instead but same routine.

 

My way is more fun (for me). ;-)

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Aww, that's easy.

 

Kill a dinosaur. Bury it in mud. Wait 65 million years. Voila - hydrocarbons! :-)

 

On Titan, it'd be even easier too.

 

Somebody called a petroleum geologist?

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Somebody called a petroleum geologist?

Ah, the “dirt people” (according to Sheldon)

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Regarding farming, I believe it can’t be balanced by just changing some numbers. The math doesn’t work out.

 

Under the current system, crops grow exponentially. That’s in opposition to a progressive learning curve, where things start easier and get harder over time. No matter how you adjust that exponential curve, it’s going to be too hard for players at the low end of the curve or too easy for players at the high end of the curve. You'll never find values for vegetables per stew or yield per plant that accommodate both ends of the spectrum.

 

We don't need every threat/challenge in the game to follow the same difficulty curve.

 

There's nothing wrong with a model of:

 

  • In the early game, the zombies are weak and getting enough food is the main challenge.
  • In the mid game, you've "solved" the issue of food by farming; but now the zombies are much tougher and they are the main challenge.
  • In the late game, food is no issue and you can fight off even a maximum strength zombie horde without a problem; but now you've come to the attention of bandits and they're the main challenge.

 

You can still have the overall difficulty increase as the game goes on, without trying to force things that were a challenge on day 1-3 to still be a challenge on day 101-103.

 

In fact, that's more interesting than simply trying to make everything get harder in parallel because it means that the game experience changes over the course of the game.

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Why do we want to crap on farmers? I only farm to make meat stews. I get 500 eggs by looting nests and have hundreds of meat just killing every animal I see. There is tons of food at traders if I want it. I don't see the desire to crap on farmers, food is easy to get in every other way.

 

Hence the need to introduce food spoilage as a mechanic.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

If its so trivial, how come everyone was crying about it when we release A17? It wasn't trivial when you first started playing either. Its something you learn. We can't balance the game around your 2000 hours experience archtypes.

 

Lol dude, I have never in A16 or A17 made a farm. Like, at all.

I think a lot of crying was because you made a big oops-oops with max stamina degradation, not because of food.

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Maybe some kind of "food variation morale bonus", that is calculated by the game, and indicated in the UI before eating the food, like

"Stew: +10 morale", "Bacon & Eggs: +0 morale", "Water: +0morale", "Beer: +20 morale"

 

If the player repeats eating the same food, the morale bonus drops to zero for that type. A timer will reset the morale bonus over time.

 

The morale could be acting similar to the old wellness system (boosting a stat), but degrading slowly over time.

 

Its increase by:

-food

-using luxory items at the players home (you could get a boost once a day by sitting on a sofa + drinking a beer)

-killing 10 zombies within 1 minute

-finding a high-value loot crate

-finishing a trader-quest

 

Yes, I agree to all of those. I know it's not going to be on the radar for this game, but perhaps TFP's can take note for next game?

 

Other increases in morale:

-Being around your pet (if they are still going in), having a 'pat' function.

-Not being too hot or too cold for 24 hours

-Having comfortable things surrounding your land claim, like TV, couch, paintings, etc

-Not dying for a while

-Having a bed (and being around it for at least a while) instead of a sleeping bag

-Good hygiene (washing, not having rubbish piles or gore blocks (if they come back) around the house)

 

Decreases:

-Pet dies

-Sickness

-Horrible house

-Horrible weather

-Being underground too long

-Dying

-Doing the same thing too long (eg. grinding)

 

Functions of morale:

-Better aim

-Sickness cured faster

-Better immune system

-Slightly more stamina

-Better XP

-Slightly increased loot chances

-Better stealth

-Can detect traps easier

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Eventually I'd like to do dead is dead, and a version with lives. Maybe lives are bought with perks. So you waste perk points buying a spare life but its costing you valuable progression to have a spare life or two sitting there. Dead is Dead is pretty hardcore, I'd like some way to keep going but pay a steep price for it. 50k dukes, or lose 10 levels, etc.

 

Maybe at some point, we are tying hit points to your level now, so the death penalty might need some work.

 

I really do like this idea, having to spend points for a spare life would be brutal but would bring back the dread of dying into the game

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Ah, the “dirt people” (according to Sheldon)

 

Don't mention his name!!

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The morale meter could then have a range from -100 to +100, with 3 ranges (to keep it simple)

 

-100 to -40 : negative morale effects

-40 to 40 : no morale effects

40 to 100 : positive morale effects

 

Morale is moving toward the zero value over time slowly (50 points per day or so)

 

Positive effects increase it negative decrease it.

Its important to have a same-effect range on the positive end, so after the player boosts it over 40, he has enough time to stay in a high morale state for a while without having to constantly push it up.

 

Morale could be similar to crafting, be pushed up when the player is spending time at his base.

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Lol dude, I have never in A16 or A17 made a farm. Like, at all.

I think a lot of crying was because you made a big oops-oops with max stamina degradation, not because of food.

You mean that the max stamina degradation is now so low?

 

Well, there were rivers of tears about it being as high as it was...

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You mean that the max stamina degradation is now so low?

 

Well, there were rivers of tears about it being as high as it was...

 

No I meant that there was a version of A17e where you would be drained of maximum stamina within half a day, doing menial things. Thus you had to eat like crazy. But that's not related to the overabundance of food of course.

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Add a drop nothing on pve death and make it default? would solve the problem, currently you need to do it via mods unless running a server, as its currently not in the options. Could even set it to only apply during horde night hours 22:00 till 4:00 am, if having it always active is too much.

 

That would be an improvement to my mind. The penalties for death may have to be raised in other areas to compensate. Basically, you can penalize the player as much as necessary if the effects aren't felt until morning. Just please don't punish the player for dying by throwing them back into battle - the same battle they didn't survive the first time - with even less chance to survive the remainder of that battle, over and over again. Death loops are hellish in principle. If you're knocked out early in a boxing match, they don't take out your mouth guard and make you keep fighting through twelve rounds. They call the match complete, and you accept defeat.

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Experience points can also be taken away if the player fails the traider quest )))

Yes! the basic idea is that experience points can not only get but also lose.

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Eventually I'd like to do dead is dead, and a version with lives. Maybe lives are bought with perks. So you waste perk points buying a spare life but its costing you valuable progression to have a spare life or two sitting there. Dead is Dead is pretty hardcore, I'd like some way to keep going but pay a steep price for it. 50k dukes, or lose 10 levels, etc.

 

Maybe at some point, we are tying hit points to your level now, so the death penalty might need some work.

 

Dead is dead is not hardcore in my eyes. These players avoid the higher gamestages and start over with the easy zombies.

 

When I met my first radioactive zombie in A17 he immediately killed me. When I wanted to get my backpack he killed me again. A dead is dead player would have started over and for the next 2-3 weeks no more radioactive zombies seen. I adjusted my tactics, set up rules for looting POIs and improved my equipment. I have learned.

 

A limited number of lives would only benefit those who start all over again after 3 weeks of play anyway.

 

Death in the game should be something that gives you the opportunity to learn and develop.

 

Ever played one of the Dark Souls games or one of the other games from FromSoftware ? You die extremely often in these games. But you learn more with every death. You learn to recognize the attacks of your opponents and how to counter them best. Which attacks are successful with which opponents and which ones the opponent can simply block. This is how you develop as a player. And if you have finally defeated a boss after 50 attempts, that is a sense of achievement.

Edited by RipClaw (see edit history)

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<snipped for space>

 

It's not the difficulty, it's the fear.

 

If you can do it with multiple lives you _should_ be able to do it with a single life and a lot of prior preparation.

 

There's a huge difference between knocking on a door, hearing a dog bark and thinking "damn, I might have to respawn" and thinking "Damn, this is how it ends".

 

I sometimes have a short period of mourning for some longer-lived characters.

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A game with an ironman type permadeath should make 100% sure that the death was not caused by a glitch, bug or unfair gamemechanic.

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A game with an ironman type permadeath should make 100% sure that the death was not caused by a glitch, bug or unfair gamemechanic.

 

Entirely true.

 

That's the only reason I'd consider respawning a dead-is-dead character. There have been some brutal insta-death bugs over the years :-)

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but if there’s only one recipe shown in the UI, how does the player know what the alternative ingredients are? The last thing we want is to further hide how to do things.

 

It would require a UI change to make it clear, especially if you want to be able to specify how many of which alternate items you want to use in a recipe. For the vanilla game, there are only a couple of places where it would really help - like glue for instance. Right now, we can only make glue with murky water. We could have a second recipe to make glue with clean water but then there are two "identical" recipes in the list and you have to make sure you get the right one. It's not a big deal but it would be a nice QoL improvement as well as giving the game a bit of polish.

 

Where it would really change the game is in modders' hands because new items and recipes are a huge part of what modders bring to the table. Creating a more powerful framework for them to work with would open up a lot of possibilities for mods.

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It would require a UI change to make it clear, especially if you want to be able to specify how many of which alternate items you want to use in a recipe. For the vanilla game, there are only a couple of places where it would really help - like glue for instance. Right now, we can only make glue with murky water. We could have a second recipe to make glue with clean water but then there are two "identical" recipes in the list and you have to make sure you get the right one. It's not a big deal but it would be a nice QoL improvement as well as giving the game a bit of polish.

 

Where it would really change the game is in modders' hands because new items and recipes are a huge part of what modders bring to the table. Creating a more powerful framework for them to work with would open up a lot of possibilities for mods.

 

All it would really take is having a description key added for a recipe, rather than always using the output material as name. Even better if an alternative icon could be set, or overlay for the icon. But this probably is not in scope at all, though not sure what will happen with the icon overhaul they are doing.

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A lot of farming games simply have it where each plant matures at a different rate and also goes to waste at different rates after reaching maturity. The difficulty comes from trying to grow multiple crops and timing things out appropriately for an efficient harvest.

 

Other farming games will have it so that fertilizer is a requirement, not an enhancement. The fertilizer has different levels of nutrients such as nitrate, phosphorous, potassium, etc. You formulate your fertilizer based on the needs of the plant.

 

Choosing one, or both, and also including the need for hydration could make farming a real experience... though it wouldn't bother me either way if farming was made more engaging or if it were completely removed for this game. Some people like it and want more... so I suppose I am more for enhancing it. It can't hurt and c'mon... it's not that complex of a thing to provide. It's not a huge feature that's going to delay gold.

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Regarding farming, I believe it can’t be balanced by just changing some numbers. The math doesn’t work out.

 

Under the current system, crops grow exponentially. That’s in opposition to a progressive learning curve, where things start easier and get harder over time. No matter how you adjust that exponential curve, it’s going to be too hard for players at the low end of the curve or too easy for players at the high end of the curve. You'll never find values for vegetables per stew or yield per plant that accommodate both ends of the spectrum.

 

Now, you can dismiss the problem by concluding that you shouldn't bother fixing it because food isn't a big part of the game, or that experienced players are just too good to be worth balancing the game for them. But I would point out that other parts of the game do have a balanced progression curve, namely the game stage and heat systems. These systems already accommodate all kinds of players well, from the 10 hour player to the 1,000 hour player, by scaling the zombie threat based on how successful you’ve been.

 

Farming could draw inspiration from these systems to have its own progression curve. What's critical is that there be some mechanism whereby the more plants on your farm, the more challenge you're given. This could take many forms. I would favor a system directly analogous to the above, where rabbits and deer attack your crops, and their number and frequency is related to the number of plants making 'heat' in a chunk.

 

Most of the pieces for that, both art and code, you already have. And that's good in part because it means there's gameplay there you already have, too. I.e. there would already be different ways to counter animals attacking your crops. Whereas if crops randomly die for no reason, what does the player do about these random failures? Buy a perk? Engage in some new farm-specific gameplay you have to code? Nah. Just lean on the tower defense, traps, gunplay etc. you already have.

 

But again, I'm not attached to animals eating crops in particular. I'm just looking for some way that a bigger farm is harder than a smaller farm.

 

My only concern with having animals eat crops is that it could turn a garden into a meat delivery service rather than a control on farming output.

 

I proposed using temperature to control plant growth and therefore farming output. If crops can't grow at both the low and high ends of the temperature spectrum, then farms would either not grow at all or be much slower in the "hard" biomes (desert, snow). And if you add in a seasonal temperature cycle so that crops can only grow for a portion of the cycle, then it makes it necessary to stockpile food to get you through the cold season.

 

This could be a tough challenge for players joining a persistent server if they arrive in the non-growing time, but they can also log in for the first time at 2100 on a horde night so there's really no way to totally protect new players joining a persistent world.

 

We have so many cool food sources in the game, it's really a shame food isn't a bigger part of the gameplay. Canned goods are nearly useless now because food is so plentiful and they have the food poisoning chance that makes them a last resort item only. But what if surviving on canned goods was a normal part of the game? Then those airdrops become something you wait impatiently for and that Shamway Foods sign in the distance is like a beacon because now food is something you can't take for granted. Finding a deer or a pig or a cornfield would be reason to celebrate, especially if "fresh" food gave you a bonus of some kind (doesn't have to be wellness, but maybe infection resistance?)

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Chickens and rabbits are useless entities anyway, might as well give them SOMETHING to do.

 

Starvation Mod had rats, and it was a nice additional challenge to keep them away from your plants...

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