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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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That many physics objects bouncing around would swiftly send the frame-rate into single digits, if not fractions.

 

Maybe, we'll have to see how the game shapes up.

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Maybe, we'll have to see how the game shapes up.

 

I appreciate your optimism but there ain't no maybe about it without some form of NASA supercomputer or a secondary (primitive) physics engine running on a separate thread or five.

 

You're looking at around 30 physics objects per clip per person in a multiplayer environment, worse if they have SMG's, and that's not counting turrets or bandits pumping out rounds.

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I appreciate your optimism but there ain't no maybe about it without some form of NASA supercomputer or a secondary (primitive) physics engine running on a separate thread or five.

 

You're looking at around 30 physics objects per clip per person in a multiplayer environment, worse if they have SMG's, and that's not counting turrets or bandits pumping out rounds.

 

I don't know, some low-poly casings could do the trick. I mean we already have items that kind of have physics, they don't lag out the game. Maybe @faatal could give some insight if this is a realistic idea.

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Losing your gun isn't a thing AFAIK.

Well, some players have been known to hurl their only bow over their base wall, during horde night, and get it on video. Does that count? :pound:

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I don't think building supplies matter that much. Its fun to build and making that tedious would just ruin that aspect. The main thing is healing items like food and medicine that should be limited.

 

If building supplies were just used for building your base, then the huge stack sizes would be fine. However, they take away from the game for adventuring or looting.

More specifically, it takes away from the emergent gameplay of using the environment to your advantage. Let's say there's a house where one room has 20 zombies, and there's a large wood pile outside. A cool solution would be to use the wood outside to make spikes and use those to ensnare the zombies.

 

With insane stack sizes however, I already have 1000 wood on me at all times. Maybe I'd use spikes, but it would be because I considered the time spent whaling on a tree to recoup the loss to be more valuable than the potential ammo/hitpoints I'd lose going solo. Maybe I'd also harvest the wood pile, but it would because they yield more material per hit than a tree, saving me time in the long run, not because of any strategic decision based on my unique circumstances.

 

I would much rather the moment-to-moment decisions be "how can I make use of the limited resources available" rather than "Is this going to be worth the grind I'll have to do to make it up?".

 

I do have a few rough ideas on how to fix it, but player feedback is probably more important

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Well, some players have been known to hurl their only bow over their base wall, during horde night, and get it on video. Does that count? :pound:

 

It was dropped, deliberately, to get the zombies overconfident and henceforth, make mistakes.

 

GENIUS is rarely understood in its own time...

 

 

 

MM, can I get early access to A18 now?

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On that I definitely agree - that's why spoilage is needed on top of everything. Farming still just needs an additional small cost to it, but without spoilage nothing is solved. I don't see another way to balance supply VS demand like one could do in a currency-driven economy, because in the case of food supply must always be greater than demand. And if supply is greater than demand the player's food surplus will always keep getting bigger.

 

Yes, supply can exceed demand, which means you get a surplus that grows over time. That also goes for meat and iron and nearly every resource. But the rate of growth is what makes farming the worst. Only farming yields grow exponentially. At least, I can't think of any other resource that grows exponentially (water blocks, but an individual water block is inexhaustible anyway). That's why farming, unlike hunting or mining or other things, leads to runaway growth that can't be balanced without changing the system, like crops that get damaged or seeds you can't craft, as has been suggested.

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Just some suggestions for little things.

 

Perhaps you should make the bottom section of the nest spherical, so that the nest looked better when it appear the slope.

i0vO67S.jpg

 

just the thing i always think about when i see :)

...yes, there are some people who care :D

 

If the nest were up in a tree, sure. But ground nests are shaped differently than that and most the nests in the game are ground nests.

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Not sure. Sounds like we need to nerf feathers big time :)

 

NO don't nerf feather, I love arrows. And do whatever you want, but arrows are not enough ever. :)

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But the rate of growth is what makes farming the worst. Only farming yields grow exponentially.

 

No, it doesn't grow exponentially. At least not in A17 until you have invested a lot of points. In A17 you need 4 items to create a seed. To get 4 items from each plant you have to be level 4 in "Living of the Land". But you have to be at level 7 at Fortitude. In total you have to invest 14 points and get to this point that you have exponential growth. In addition you need a hoe to be able to create a garden. You have to find one or to create it yourself you have to be at least level 20, with "Hammer and Forge" at level 2 and with intellect at level 5.

 

You can hunt immediately on day 1 and only one bone and no skills are needed to make a bone knife.

 

The following changes have been announced for A18:

 

* The production of a seed costs 5 items and no longer 4 items

* You need 50 nitrates to make a seed.

 

In order to achieve exponential growth here, much more is needed than was the case in A17. I hope you are satisfied with that.

 

For A19 or later it was also said that zombies and animals can trample plants.

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Statistically, farm yields can grow exponentially but people tend to gloss over the time and commitment that it takes.

 

Specialising in fortitude is not a favourite early game strategy. Unless you find a large farm POI it will take game weeks for that farm to kick into gear if you are actually using part of it to feed yourself.

If you don't use your farm for food then the whole argument is a straw man because that farm is only a hobby.

 

Should a farm eventually guarantee that you won't starve?

I would think so. Humans have been using this exploit for thousands of years and nowadays many consider it a legit strategy.

 

What really makes farms so powerful is that baked potatoes or similar simple foods do have the same effect as high quality dishes if the stack size is high. Just eat 5 or 10 times as many...

Inventory space is a major balancing factor and so far the policy has been to err on the side of generosity until we get to balancing this part for real.

 

The way I see it, A18 is going to be the biggest content update ever and a lot more time and energy is going into balancing rather than replacing entire frameworks and while farming is an issue, it's not in the top 5. This is not Farmville: Zombie Edition.

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What are the top 5 issues?

 

1. Performance

2. Performance

3. Performance

4. Performance

5. Performance

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Not sure. Sounds like we need to nerf feathers big time :)

 

Definitely. Bow and arrow is the go to weapon in every single of my groups playthroughs. Craftable on day 1, 100% reliable, unlimited ammunition, surprisingly accurate even at its lowest quality/tier, totally stealthy and basically fits every single situation, even indoors. I'm forcing myself to go melee early game because I feel like playing 100% bow & arrow is way too easy, at least melee forces you to have a little bit of finger sync and messing up your timing has an actual consequence.

 

Oh, and the makeshift bow is way too powerful. I mean, WAY too powerful. With 1 or 2 points in the perception tree (like Boom! Headshot) you can very quickly 1-shot basic zombies if you crouch, even on Warrior difficulty. It should do less damage, be less precise and have a way shorter range (with some technique you can snipe zombies from a very long distance since it has "arrow-drop" but no damage fall-off). Honestly it's so good that I don't even play with guns other than using them as a backup plan if ♥♥♥♥ gets mad crazy, just because gun usage comes with so many disadvantages (repair cost, ammunition cost/craft time, noise) while you don't really need the extra damage in a lot of situations.

 

That being said i'm TOTALLY convinced higher-end bows (compound, crossbow) should be a very viable playstyle so probably don't nerf those. The real issue is coming from the makeshift bow.

 

Also yeah, feathers. If feathers were (way) less abundant it would make you think twice about using your bow when you have other, more risky solutions available.

 

Since you're talking a lot about stack sizes these days, have you thought about having a max stack-size of like 20 arrows per slot but adding quivers to the game ? Quivers could work nicely with your new 3-tier system, along the lines of having stack-sizes of respectively 50, 100 and 200, and possibly improving reload time.

Edited by beHypE (see edit history)

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I'm kind of sad that TFP seem to focus only on the survival aspect of this game. Let's nerf this, let's make this harder to get, let's make it more punishing to die, or else the players will get bored. Let's reduce stack sizes, otherwise it's too easy..

 

What happened to the sandbox part of this game? That was in the Kickstarter too, but nobody seems to mention it anymore..

 

Survival for me is boring. What I like is building awesome structures and contraptions, crafting, killing bosses, doing quests, pvp.. worrying about food is not for me sadly :(

Edited by KingSlayerGM (see edit history)

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I'm kind of sad that TFP seem to focus only on the survival aspect of this game. Let's nerf this, let's make this harder to get, let's make it more punishing to die, or else the players will get bored. Let's reduce stack sizes, otherwise it's too easy..

 

What happened to the sandbox part of this game? That was in the Kickstarter too, but nobody seems to mention it anymore..

 

Sandbox means you can do whatever you want in the game at any given time, which is the case. It doesn't mean the game doesn't force you to deal with some mechanics. You can always godmode and spawn every single item you need at the very moment you need it, to get back that 100% sandbox/freedom experience.

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Oh, and the makeshift bow is way too powerful. I mean, WAY too powerful.

I agree to an extent.

The harsh truth is that a lot of players are not very good at the game. Watch some noob or "returning from a12" streamers for a reality check. I make it a point to do that once in a while. Hehe

 

If you want more bullet-spongy enemies, increase the difficulty.

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Empyrion kind of suffers from the problem of its (commenting) players wanting more and more creative sandbox elements and overpowered gadgets. (Automatic mining, automatic crafting, drone can mine - no need to do that manually, building a base by just activating a blueprint, way overpowered weapons on ships and bases vs ai)

 

That leads to the survival elements being almost irrelevant shortly after the very early gamestart.

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I'm kind of sad that TFP seem to focus only on the survival aspect of this game. Let's nerf this, let's make this harder to get, let's make it more punishing to die, or else the players will get bored. Let's reduce stack sizes, otherwise it's too easy..

 

What happened to the sandbox part of this game?

I think you are confusing sandbox with creative mode.

 

Does the game allow you to go/do whatever you want and build whatever you want or build no base at all? Absolutely.

There is no story you are forced to follow in order to advance in the game.

That's what sandbox means.

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NO don't nerf feather, I love arrows. And do whatever you want, but arrows are not enough ever. :)

 

There is an unreal amount of nests. I play with 25% loot and i'm drowning in feathers. Always. And eggs are much rarer but I never fail to find eggs for more than enough bacon and eggs. All that with 25% loot... You know you can set it as high as 200% right?

 

This is not Farmville: Zombie Edition.

 

It's not, but it is not Serious Sam: Planet Badass either, right? Don't you guys want to make sure that the player engages in a variety of activities? I am not saying that the player should farm ad infinitum, but you could at least progressively increase the player's QOL at finding food, as opposed to it and all food gathering activities becoming obsolete right off the bat. Unfortunately not only farming is the culprit.

Edited by RestInPieces (see edit history)
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I'm kind of sad that TFP seem to focus only on the survival aspect of this game. Let's nerf this, let's make this harder to get, let's make it more punishing to die, or else the players will get bored. Let's reduce stack sizes, otherwise it's too easy..

 

What happened to the sandbox part of this game? That was in the Kickstarter too, but nobody seems to mention it anymore..

 

Survival for me is boring. What I like is building awesome structures and contraptions, crafting, killing bosses, doing quests, pvp.. worrying about food is not for me sadly :(

 

I watch Z-Nation on youtube. If you've seen his streams, you'd know that I enjoy the sandbox aspect aswell.

So mods for massively increasing stack size is a must for me.

Though I tend to hold off with it, untill Im nearing endgame...

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I watch Z-Nation on youtube. If you've seen his streams, you'd know that I enjoy the sandbox aspect aswell.

So mods for massively increasing stack size is a must for me.

Though I tend to hold off with it, untill Im nearing endgame...

 

Its the classic usecase for mods to make thing easier, more overpowered, convenient and have bigger boobs.

 

The developers of the vanilla version need to have other priorities than the mod authors.

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If the nest were up in a tree, sure. But ground nests are shaped differently than that and most the nests in the game are ground nests.

when it is on a flat surface - the bottom will be cut off and the model will look as always.

I. e. the rounded bottom be shown only when the nest is not on a flat surface.

Edited by n2n1 (see edit history)

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when it is on a flat surface - the bottom will be cut off and the model will look as always.

I. e. the rounded bottom be shown only when the nest is not on a flat surface.

 

I can see both the pedantic and practical sides of this discussion.

 

The main problem is that a ground nesting bird will generally choose a flat area to make a nest, eggs and hills are not a great combination.

 

Perhaps another option would be to raise/lower surrounding ground to the level of the nest.

 

I'd be happy with either option, my inner pedant has far bigger things to worry about than the precise geometry of a bird nest. Especially when I don't know what species of bird it is that nests in such vast numbers in such a stupid place. It does explain why the wolves are so well fed and I can't find an egg to (literally) save my life though :-)

Edited by The Gronk (see edit history)

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I think you are confusing sandbox with creative mode.

 

Does the game allow you to go/do whatever you want and build whatever you want or build no base at all? Absolutely.

There is no story you are forced to follow in order to advance in the game.

That's what sandbox means.

 

 

but you are forced to to some things in order to survive, instead of doing what you like. so it's not 100% sandbox. Im not arguing that it should be 100%, i just think it should be more.

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