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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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But we forgot that, this micromanagement - was interesting, and this is the main thing.

It doesn't matter that it's - micromanagement.

Why do you think micromanagement has to be boring just because it's "micromanagement"?

No need to think in patterns :)

 

Indeed, micromanagement is always used as a negative term, while many enjoyable features in the game like crafting or player needs are literally built on it. Surely some kinds of micromanagement are more engaging than others and some are bloated or useless.

 

Imo this is an example of scrapping a system instead of trying to improve it, only to replace it with something more bland. Weapons were chase items and finding a weapon or assembling one was way more gratifying, especially with the current extravagant drop rate.

 

I agree with Gazz when he says that "weapon parts offered zero choice" etc but if they didn't, you could easily have made them offer a ton of choices by just (random example from the top of my head) enabling multiple weapon part combinations for "custom" weapons (without needing new models or anything that required much work).

 

Imo an example of micromanagement which DOES offer something to gameplay, but is bloated, is the inventory slot system, which could be improved to offer the exact same things to the gameplay while becoming less bloated (e.g. the player not having to open his inventory every time he picks something by mistake, belt slots counting towards the max number of slots etc).

Edited by RestInPieces (see edit history)
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Every high end weapon or tool that you can craft has parts.

Simple and consistent. Baseball bats are no special snowflakes. They are weapons.

 

Very much unlike the previous weapon parts system, low level weapons or their parts are not frustratingly useless and scrapping them to bring the parts home and maybe craft something better with them saves inventory space.

 

The previous weapon parts were also in no way comparable to mods. They offered zero choice and gameplay, only micromanagement.

 

And yet another thing where TFP disregard consistency, logic and immersion for gameplay. But hey... the rest looks good so I'm not losing hope yet... I will use the Steel Sledgehammer anyways :D

Also what n2n1 said.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

I agree with Gazz when he says that "weapon parts offered zero choice" etc but if they didn't, you could easily have made them offer a ton of choices by just (random example from the top of my head) enabling multiple weapon part combinations for "custom" weapons (without needing new models or anything that required much work).

Ever since the introduction of weapon parts I asked them to give items random stats (like they will in A18) based on their level. And certain things like accuracy, chance of a faulty chamber and so on could be affected. Now there is a choice between a gun that deals more damage and is more accurate and a pistol that doesn't break and is more silent.

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If they are doing actual weapon parts using the attachment system, then it could work if the parts to upgrade the basic bat are added later. But needing parts of broken down bat to CRAFT a new higher tier bat just does not make any sense.

 

Even having to read a schematic for being able to craft a baseball bat feels somehow out of place. I mean, you are able to craft perfectly cube shaped frames from a raw chunk of wood with your bare hands (using no nails or similar).

And what more is a bat than a smoothly curved/shaped and therefore nicely weighed/balanced wooden club? You should have an idea how to

craft one "out of the box" (or backpack in this case :smile-new:)

 

 

Not the realism argument again. Where were you in the previous alphas when you needed a recipe to make a club with nails in it? Or a boiled egg.

 

Just accept that there are adjustment for game balances sake that resemble reality only if you squint. Otherwise I have to invoke Godwin's law and mention the number of concrete blocks in the backpack? :cocksure:

 

PS: If you build a baseball bat in A18 just with a carving knife and no knowledge, guess what you get? A club.

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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Every high end weapon or tool that you can craft has parts.

Simple and consistent. Baseball bats are no special snowflakes. They are weapons.

 

This consistency isn't inherently good. Sometimes diversity is interesting and enjoyable. On the other hand, having different things working the same way may feel forced sometimes. But maybe this weapon system will be good :)

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"Hey guys we are adding baseball bat parts to make things more interesting"

 

I'm pretty sure they didn't add weapon parts to make things more interesting. It is simply a crafting gate, otherwise you would put 2 perk points into the weapon you want and craft it instead of hoping to scavenge it or selecting a weapon on basis of what you find.

 

I liked the old weapon parts too, but it was a love-hate relationship, exactly because of the micro-management. I'll see in A18 if the random stats system of the new weapons is a better replacement, it at least promises to have the same effect with less micro-m.

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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@faatal needs a unique avatar too! For people like me, who casually browse through this thread in search of dev responses.

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Not the realism argument again. Where were you in the previous alphas when you needed a recipe to make a club with nails in it? Or a boiled egg.

 

Just accept that there are adjustment for game balances sake that resemble reality only if you squint. Otherwise I have to invoke Godwin's law and mention the number of concrete blocks in the backpack? :cocksure:

 

PS: If you build a baseball bat in A18 just with a carving knife and no knowledge, guess what you get? A club.

 

Yes the realism argument, hence I modded those things you mentioned in the previous alphas and will do again this time around if they keep being silly about it. But the baseball bat being able to be crafted from broken baseball bats is just one step to far where it is no longer gameplay convenience anymore but just plain on ridicule.

 

Anyway it seems they have a system they want to introduce and cram everything into it for the sake of streamlining, I get that part. Just sometimes you also need some exceptions to keep things believable.

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...

 

Anyway it seems they have a system they want to introduce and cram everything into it for the sake of streamlining, I get that part. Just sometimes you also need some exceptions to keep things believable.

 

Aye. Even just 2 parts for bats, axes, hammers, etc. and 5 or whatever it'll be for firearms, chainsaws, vehicles, etc.

 

I can suspend belief...but there comes a certain point where the ropes start to snap. I think sometimes MM or whoever makes these decisions gets too hyper focused on making one catch all system that works across the board.

 

Also, I don't want to see the systems in the game get ridiculed in Steam reviews and discussions as sometimes happens.

 

I guess we'll have to wait and see...if it really is that silly, maybe they'll change it...again...

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Every rule has an exception.

 

Rule : Building custom weapons is good as they can be made from different quality parts and some parts have different abilities.

 

Exception : Baseball bats.

 

Unless you're counting different types of material to make the bat with. You can't fashion a great baseball bat from any old stick and you can't panel beat an aluminium computer case into one either. If you want a tenuous grasp at logic that's the best I've got. :-)

Edited by The Gronk (see edit history)

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Yes the realism argument, hence I modded those things you mentioned in the previous alphas and will do again this time around if they keep being silly about it. But the baseball bat being able to be crafted from broken baseball bats is just one step to far where it is no longer gameplay convenience anymore but just plain on ridicule.

 

Anyway it seems they have a system they want to introduce and cram everything into it for the sake of streamlining, I get that part. Just sometimes you also need some exceptions to keep things believable.

 

Ok. But you draw the line at baseball bat parts. Someone else at 500 conrete blocks in one solt of your inventory. I talked with friends about this today and a picture formed in my mind: A guy with an 8x8x8 meter block of concrete on his head? Great food for a cartoon

 

AND if you make baseball bats craftable from the start you also have to reduce the damage it does to that of a club (after all it is just a club with a polished surface. You know because of realism). Will you do that as well and practically play with no tier3 club at all?

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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Ok. But you draw the line at baseball bat parts. Someone else at 500 conrete blocks in one solt of your inventory. I talked with friends about this today and a picture formed in my mind: A guy with an 8x8x8 meter block of concrete on his head? Great food for a cartoon

 

AND if you make baseball bats craftable from the start you also have to reduce the damage it does to that of a club (after all it is just a club with a polished surface. You know because of realism). Will you do that as well and practically play with no tier3 club at all?

 

How about, making it a simple schematic and a rarer find?

Its more complex, needs special equipment (sawtable or workbench) and needs a recipe.

No need for "special parts". Also the real T3 Baseballbat is made out of steel, so you already need that first. So T2 Baseball bat is out of wood.

 

Easy, convenient, not stupid.

Realism is not the be all end all. But if it can easily be avoided to break it, you should try.

Have you ever played Eco? Then you know how much work it is to build stuff there, where it is more realistic.

I still built a whole castle, but that is not what this game is going for, since its a TD game.

 

There. Please stop with the "omg but inventory is unrealistic so everything else can be stupid as well!" argument <3

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@faatal needs a unique avatar too! For people like me, who casually browse through this thread in search of dev responses.

 

mate, the devs names are in a yellow/orange colour.. its easy to spot as you scroll through the pages.

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You all are missing what MM is planning for baseball bats.

 

Just think: What would a pro baseball player think if he had a bat during the Zombie Apocalypse?

 

That's right, Bat weights!! You could put several bat weights (Read mods) on a bat, slowly turning into a zombie head exploder! Of course you would need some serious strength to swing a bat with three weights.

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@RestInPieces

Yes, in short, i just wanted to say that I'm worried that micromanagement is only seen as a negative phenomenon here.

Some prejudice against him.

Edited by n2n1 (see edit history)

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Every high end weapon or tool that you can craft has parts.

Simple and consistent. Baseball bats are no special snowflakes. They are weapons.

 

Very much unlike the previous weapon parts system, low level weapons or their parts are not frustratingly useless and scrapping them to bring the parts home and maybe craft something better with them saves inventory space.

 

The previous weapon parts were also in no way comparable to mods. They offered zero choice and gameplay, only micromanagement.

 

OH Geezus..

You know I was not even mad or trashing anything, but since you want to do a nanana deal for some reason..

It is comparable to the old parts system.

You are adding things [Parts] to make it better. <- linear upgrades

You are adding things [Mods] to make it better. <- More robust choices

Parts is parts, no matter what you want to call them.

You all just slightly changed it up to make it less of a micromanage game -> which is good <-

but changing the system slightly, to be less of a micromanage, and more robust in choices doesn't make it any less comparable.

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The more I hear about this alpha the more concerned I become.

 

TFPs seem to be indecisive about everything. A few alphas ago we got gun parts, TFPs were singing from the roofs about how cool this system was. This worked well and gave a sense of progression as you and your weapons got stronger. I was a great feeling to finally get a purple gun by combining two parts together, you always had a reason to go out and get new parts.

 

Then, TFPs hate it and it gets replaced by a more simple system where guns are everywhere. Then we now go back to gun parts but a more inferior version. We are told "but mods!" why not both?

 

Dangerous hub cities with spooky scary atmosphere were fine, (I honestly don't know why large random generation cities can't generate their own enhanced wasteland biome) these cities has (or should have) the best and highest tier loot. It gave you something to work towards and added a real fear factor, something that a zombie game really benefits from. These were replaced with loot-em-up cities that even the lowest level can waltz into and instantly get everything they need.

 

Wandering zombies were replaced completely by sleepers who if you just sneak pose no real threat. We are told we cannot have both because of performance issues but this game has been horribly un-optimized for a while now.

 

Learn by doing, which worked fine was scrapped in favor of an inferior system as well.

 

So much time was spent on these systems only for TFP to suddenly dislike them and replace them when no-one really had an issue with them. It screams of wasted time and resources.

 

Whenever concerns are raised TFPs just dismiss it or you are heckled by the mega fans. For example, most people are saying that having it so you eventfully just get cop zombies on the seven day horde is a terrible idea, but this is ignored.

 

The argument of "we are trying to be realistic" falls flat on its face because.... This game in general is not nor never will be realistic. Rotting corpses coming back to life is not realistic, carrying a 4x4 truck in your backpack is not realistic, upgrading a door into a vault door using a stone axe is not realistic and etc. Why can't fun and realism be balanced?

 

This game is continually being dumbed down.

 

Also... Gun parts isn't exactly that horrific in terms of micro-managing. Find new part, either replace old part or use it to repair better part and/or upgrade old part.

Edited by Moldy Bread (see edit history)
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And here we see the fundamental flaw. Certain weapons should be more powerful! [...]

 

I think you and CC explained it pretty well already.

 

In general I think that if we take what Roland said literally, that "every weapon you don't spec into is garbage", besides that sounding very artificial and game-y, this would essentially make the game's lootlist weapon variety mostly meaningless, since the only thing that would be useful to you would depend on your 1-2 choices. In other words looting anything other than the weapon you have specialized into, would be of no interest. Why not make every weapon find gratifying instead, but make the player choose to use and specialize into a specific one because of different utility needs?

 

There already is some differentiation of utility in weapons that is mostly unlocked with perks - like the club vs sledge perks, stamina usage, hit arc (in A18) etc. And for guns, different ammo prices, different recoil, reload times, noise etc. They could expand on that and enlarge these differences and make each weapon more unique with inherent utility that is boosted by specialization.

 

And in the end, forcing the player to "marry" a weapon or two for his whole playthrough, through specialization that dramatically increases damage and makes it useful vs other mostly useless choices, might not be the best idea.

Edited by RestInPieces (see edit history)

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By being in alpha stage we see lots of systems and stuff in and out.

 

It is normal to remove something not so effective at some point and bring it back in much better state when it is properly balanced.

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I think you and CC explained it pretty well already.

 

In general I think that if we take what Roland said literally, that "every weapon you don't spec into is garbage", besides that sounding very artificial and game-y, this would essentially make the game's lootlist weapon variety mostly meaningless, since the only thing that would be useful to you would depend on your 1-2 choices. In other words looting anything other than the weapon you have specialized into, would be of no interest. Why not make every weapon find gratifying instead, but make the player choose to use and specialize into a specific one because of different utility needs?

 

They already is some differentiation of utility in weapons that is mostly unlocked with perks - like the club vs sledge perks, stamina usage, hit arc (in A18) etc. And for guns, different ammo prices, different recoil, reload times, noise etc. They could expand on that and enlarge these differences and make each weapon more unique with inherent utility that is boosted by specialization.

 

And in the end, forcing the player to "marry" a weapon or two for his whole playthrough, through specialization that dramatically increases damage and makes it useful vs other mostly useless choices, might not be the best idea.

 

I agree, but this will be ignored.

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But we forgot that, this micromanagement - was interesting, and this is the main thing.

It doesn't matter that it's - micromanagement.

Why do you think micromanagement has to be boring just because it's "micromanagement"?

No need to think in patterns :)

 

True. That is also why a lot of people thhink there is too many guns out there.

 

Getting THE unique gun, finally finding a gun at all, these moments feel so rewarding, no matter if they are by definition "micro" or "macro".

 

Make all guns have the same stat or make guns available in every POI and they will quickly loose lots of their fascination. I also am a proponent of scarcity and diversity when it comes to that. We arguably have a lot of non gun weapons to get by for quite a while, so there is no need to find a gun in the first house I come across. Finding a gun and some ammo for it on day 2 or 3 feels a lot more rewarding then.

 

Even better, if I can find a supergun outclassing number one some days later. That's why I also think it would be good to have loot not strictly bound to gamestage (if I visit a hardware store NOT being a plumber myself doesn't make me only stumble upon bad wrenches) ... having a higher probability of bad loot being in a low gamestage is okay, only having crappy loot at a low gamestage again feels like everything is standardised.

 

Give some randomness, give some achievment, give some luck a chance. It is so rewarding to players, if they CAN find a good quality AK47 on day 1. It should be a very small chance, but having the option gives looting a thrill. Definitely more of a thrill than "okay, let's loot the level 1 crap now"...

 

At the end of the day very much looking forward to A18, though, many changes are pointing in the right direction

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TFPs seem to be indecisive about everything. A few alphas ago we got gun parts, TFPs were singing from the roofs about how cool this system was. This worked well and gave a sense of progression as you and your weapons got stronger. I was a great feeling to finally get a purple gun by combining two parts together, you always had a reason to go out and get new parts.

 

Then, TFPs hate it and it gets replaced by a more simple system where guns are everywhere. Then we now go back to gun parts but a more inferior version. We are told "but mods!" why not both?

 

True, but they reversed the decision and I think it is widely accepted that this endless flow of identical weapons was a major flaw in A17. A18 will have individual stats again, so I am positive on that one. Now if the over abundance (especially of firearms) will stop as well, that would give weapons the rewarding feeling again.

 

Generally it doesn't take many guts to make a good decision, but it really takes balls to admit to making a bad decision and reverse it - that actually made me take my virtual hat off more than once. TFP DO listen, even if they might not (and cannot) address each and every player wish.

 

 

Dangerous hub cities with spooky scary atmosphere were fine, (I honestly don't know why large random generation cities can't generate their own enhanced wasteland biome) these cities has (or should have) the best and highest tier loot. It gave you something to work towards and added a real fear factor, something that a zombie game really benefits from. These were replaced with loot-em-up cities that even the lowest level can waltz into and instantly get everything they need.

 

Wandering zombies were replaced completely by sleepers who if you just sneak pose no real threat. We are told we cannot have both because of performance issues but this game has been horribly un-optimized for a while now.

 

Learn by doing, which worked fine was scrapped in favor of an inferior system as well.

 

In contrast to your previously mentioned point about weapons, these are all a matter of personal preference, not necessarily good or bad game design. Actually the "just get all you need with zero risk" was mitigated by digging zeds more than hub cities and wandering hordes ever could. Of course you will never satisfy everyone and of course things can be improved. But marking these points as bad game design is unfair in my book.

 

Yes, "dumbing down" is not necessarily a good idea, but this has been mentioned by a lot of people on here. Overcomplicating things for ths sake of it or for 20,000 hour players isn't the idea from heaven either, though. Not trying to offend, just trying to present another pov

 

Regards

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That is also why a lot of people thhink there is too many guns out there.

 

Variety of situations needs variety of solutions.

Experience it first, then critique.

 

I love how many people have so many ways of gameplay, that at some point we will have to accept that some stuff that we love in the game is gone, but it is development. Means it goes further and better.

 

Nothing to worry about is my point.

 

P.S. the amount of guns is gonna be different as told recently, balance is better than now, don`t know why you guys compare A17 and A18..who told it recently ? :)

Edited by beerfly (see edit history)

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True. That is also why a lot of people thhink there is too many guns out there.

 

Getting THE unique gun, finally finding a gun at all, these moments feel so rewarding, no matter if they are by definition "micro" or "macro".

 

Yeah, best way I can describe it is that it has become an mmo style... where you don't find THAT weapon, but you find hundrets and need to check each and every one for stats... and they tell me that gunparts were micromanaging :D

 

Like... I do like the idea of randomized stats. It gives excitement to the next gunfind.

But ONLY if that gunfind is far away and not right next to me.

 

 

To me, this is TFPs not knowing what their game is supposed to be..:

 

On the one hand, they say that they want people to "stay in the stone age" for longer. On the other they say that every playstyle needs to be catered to and given their weapon of choice, even if that means you have to literally make every gun the same rarity.

 

I remember <=A16 how excited I got about my first lvl 120 sniper rifle! I already had a 500 pistol, but it felt like I was finally progressing to the endgame.

In A17 I found an AK on day 1. Fully build lvl 2. Not in a quest or anything. Just dropped by a zombie.

 

Weapon parts were the ideal mechanic for what they are trying to do now. To spread out the chance, to give every single lootcontainer value and to be able to keep players from getting OP guns early.

Because if the chance for a full AK is 1% and you get that 1% the game gets boring quickly.

If it is 4 parts with 1% for every part, this makes it stretch out so much more and gives a feeling of satisfaction no mod has yet given me.

 

I was always like "oh neat +2 damage" that wont change if I kill a Z or not... but now I have slightly higher accuracy. Didnt know I want tit... but its neat."

With weapon parts I was like "OH MY GOD FINALLY!!! THE FOURTH PART!!! HERE TRADER! TAKE MY 20000 DUKES!! I WANT THIS SO BADLY!!! FINALLY!!"

 

see the difference? One is more or less meaningless, while the other balances gameplay, introduces more reasons to go out looting and is rewarding once you finally find it.

 

I know they aren't coming back.

 

I only write this because I do not want guns to be everywhere. Yes its america... but those guns lie in the dirt... probably have been used 100 times (apocalypse you know) or even broken apart by zombies.

 

 

YOU WANT A SOLUTION?

 

make it how you want it. Guns everywhere.

But make guns that you find totally broken. Some unrepairably(or take 2x the ressources) so, some repairable via repairkit.

Meanwhile make Repairkits more expensive. Use steel instead of iron and use 5 oil instead of one. Oil can be easily gotten lategame (in the desert shale + empty can. But early game it is extremely rare and repairing a weapon should be really hard. (also adjust prices for repairkits since they are 10x more valuable now and decrease chances of finding one by a factor of 10 or more)

also don't make them repair completely anymore. That was a bad change to begin with. Maybe keep the cost how it is now but only repair 50-100 quality/hp)

Scrapping a broken gun should only give 1/2 the materials and it already decreases sale value (then you can up prices for guns again because selling an AK for 40 dukes is laughable)

 

There. Fixed it for ya. You can keep the "cater to every playstyle" idea without showering the player with guns and keeping finding useful guns more rewarding.

Edited by Viktoriusiii (see edit history)

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Variety of situations needs variety of solutions.

Experience it first, then critique.

 

I love how many people have so many ways of gameplay, that at some point we will have to accept that some stuff that we love in the game is gone, but it is development. Means it goes further and better.

 

If that was always the case every game would be a masterpiece. And you don't always need to experience something to critique if the concept is simple enough.

 

But critique aside, A18 is one of the most anticipated versions for me, since the balance pass and some of the changes it will bring is something the game was in dire need of. Can't wait to play with zombies which will actually be a threat and you will not be able to just walk away from for instance. Now, if they decide to also throw a death penalty option in the menu I would be ecstatic.

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If that was always the case every game would be a masterpiece. And you don't always need to experience something to critique if the concept is simple enough.

 

But critique aside, A18 is one of the most anticipated versions for me, since the balance pass and some of the changes it will bring is something the game was in dire need of. Can't wait to play with zombies which will actually be a threat and you will not be able to just walk away from for instance. Now, if they decide to also throw a death penalty option in the menu I would be ecstatic.

 

Many of us really miss the genuine feeling of being scared and helpless (and eventually wacked) in our first hours ingame. Devs are back to that in a proper way so far, ya critiques are a need, we provide good feedback here, no doubt.

 

Though a masterpiece is not made by eveyone`s opinion, but by it`s creator`s one.

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