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Alpha 18 feedback and balancing thread

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Some feedback after playing A18 every Friday night with my gaming group:

 

Praise

  1. Horde nights feel amazing compared to how they felt in the past. We had so many zombies spawned in attacking us at once it was intense, and while the game certainly ran worse than normal during the horde nights, it was a huge step up from the past. Still needs polish. But massive step forward. Haven't had so much fun with horde night... probably ever.
  2. Quantity of zombies in PoIs feels much better. Haven't noticed any silly clown cars yet in A18.
  3. Leveling speeds between miners, looters, etc. feels much better. (Miners still have the edge early game. But it flip flops later and becomes much slower than questers/looters. So it balances out imo.)
  4. A million other things. Seriously, this alpha is a huge success in my eyes.

 

Potential Improvements

  1. Biggest complaint across the board is that base stat level ups feel really bad. Particularly the higher rank ones where you might have to spend 8 or so levels getting a stat to 10 so you can pick up the final ranks of the skills that actually feel meaningful and interesting. Feels real bad knowing your next 8 level ups are basically meaningless.
  2. Cooking skill needs a look. We found so many food recipes in loot that I will be ignoring the cooking skill outright next time we restart. I got 4 ranks in it, and the farmer wound up doing all the cooking anyways with 0 ranks in the skill because it was just easier for him to take his harvest right to the cooking pot. And having the cooking skill doesn't actually DO anything if you know the recipes. Reduced cook time is useless. Make 1 more campfire and voila, you've doubled your cooking speed. Cooking skill should reduce the food poisoning chance of the food you've cooked at the very least.
  3. As the mining guy of the team, I found it silly that I needed to ask the Int guy to que up the iron bars, steel bars, etc. since they crafted way faster for him than for me. It was just really inconvenient. Let me craft that kind of stuff faster too. Would also be nice if I somehow improved the meltdown time of the raw resources in the forge.

Edited by Minandreas (see edit history)

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Military Stealth Boots are not on the trader or loot tables, can only be crafted and crafting is artificially capped at quality 5.

 

It is impossible to get Military Stealth Boots at Quality 6.

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Military Stealth Boots are not on the trader or loot tables, can only be crafted and crafting is artificially capped at quality 5.

 

It is impossible to get Military Stealth Boots at Quality 6.

 

Same for Fireman's Helmet. I reported both as bugs, got a reply dismissing the issue on the second one.

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Same for Fireman's Helmet. I reported both as bugs, got a reply dismissing the issue on the second one.

 

Well its a tinted mining helmet so that should show how much they care about it

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Bricks are useless.

 

I've been playing A18 off and on and am finally ready to leave feedback. I'll try to avoid a giant wall of text and stick to one issue at at time.

 

There is never a time when it's logical to use bricks. They're straight up inferior to cobblestone. Let's do a cost/benefit comparison, with numbers I just tested in A18.2.

 

[table=width: 100%, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td][/td]

[td]Brick (1 block)[/td]

[td]Cobblestone (1 block)[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: prerequisites[/td]

[td]forge, anvil*, adv bellows*[/td]

[td]stone axe[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: material[/td]

[td]15 clay

2.4 stone[/td]

[td]14 clay

14 stone[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: time[/td]

[td]51 s to smelt 75 clay

+ 22 s to forge 1 brick block

= 73 s[/td]

[td]14 s to craft 14 cobblestone rocks

+ 1 s to craft 1 flagstone block

+ ~2 s to upgrade flagstone block to cobblestone

= 17 s[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Benefit: HP[/td]

[td]1200 HP[/td]

[td]1500 HP[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Benefit: XP[/td]

[td]0 XP[/td]

[td]120 XP for upgrading flagstone block[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

* these are optional, but used to show the best conditions for brick

 

Brick wins on required stone, but the acquisition cost of stone is super low. It's literally the most common block in the game besides possibly air. In every other category, cobblestone wins. So what am I missing? What is the use case for bricks? Their cost should come down, or their benefit should come up, or both.

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I've been playing A18 off and on and am finally ready to leave feedback. I'll try to avoid a giant wall of text and stick to one issue at at time.

 

There is never a time when it's logical to use bricks. They're straight up inferior to cobblestone. Let's do a cost/benefit comparison, with numbers I just tested in A18.2.

 

[table=width: 100%, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td][/td]

[td]Brick (1 block)[/td]

[td]Cobblestone (1 block)[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: prerequisites[/td]

[td]forge, anvil*, adv bellows*[/td]

[td]stone axe[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: material[/td]

[td]15 clay

2.4 stone[/td]

[td]14 clay

14 stone[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: time[/td]

[td]51 s to smelt 75 clay

+ 22 s to forge 1 brick block

= 73 s[/td]

[td]14 s to craft 14 cobblestone rocks

+ 1 s to craft 1 flagstone block

+ ~2 s to upgrade flagstone block to cobblestone

= 17 s[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Benefit: HP[/td]

[td]1200 HP[/td]

[td]1500 HP[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Benefit: XP[/td]

[td]0 XP[/td]

[td]120 XP for upgrading flagstone block[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

* these are optional, but used to show the best conditions for brick

 

Brick wins on required stone, but the acquisition cost of stone is super low. It's literally the most common block in the game besides possibly air. In every other category, cobblestone wins. So what am I missing? What is the use case for bricks? Their cost should come down, or their benefit should come up, or both.

 

 

 

 

you would think that bricks made from a forge would be better then ones made by just shaping rocks together. but OK!

 

 

still like scrap blocks...

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I've been playing A18 off and on and am finally ready to leave feedback. I'll try to avoid a giant wall of text and stick to one issue at at time.

 

There is never a time when it's logical to use bricks. They're straight up inferior to cobblestone. Let's do a cost/benefit comparison, with numbers I just tested in A18.2.

 

[table=width: 100%, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td][/td]

[td]Brick (1 block)[/td]

[td]Cobblestone (1 block)[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: prerequisites[/td]

[td]forge, anvil*, adv bellows*[/td]

[td]stone axe[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: material[/td]

[td]15 clay

2.4 stone[/td]

[td]14 clay

14 stone[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Cost: time[/td]

[td]51 s to smelt 75 clay

+ 22 s to forge 1 brick block

= 73 s[/td]

[td]14 s to craft 14 cobblestone rocks

+ 1 s to craft 1 flagstone block

+ ~2 s to upgrade flagstone block to cobblestone

= 17 s[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Benefit: HP[/td]

[td]1200 HP[/td]

[td]1500 HP[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Benefit: XP[/td]

[td]0 XP[/td]

[td]120 XP for upgrading flagstone block[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

* these are optional, but used to show the best conditions for brick

 

Brick wins on required stone, but the acquisition cost of stone is super low. It's literally the most common block in the game besides possibly air. In every other category, cobblestone wins. So what am I missing? What is the use case for bricks? Their cost should come down, or their benefit should come up, or both.

 

Not that I dispute that bricks could get some further benefit. But time used in one or more forges is different to time used while building in the backpack. For both materials the most time **for the player himself** seems to be used in aquiring the materials. And hasn't clay a comfortable lead there compared to stone ?

 

I always thought brick was an alternative for people who want to build good looking buildings, not for defense. Is there even a big enough gap between wood and cobblestone OR cobbelstone and concrete to put brick in?

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Not that I dispute that bricks could get some further benefit. But time used in one or more forges is different to time used while building in the backpack. For both materials the most time **for the player himself** seems to be used in aquiring the materials. And hasn't clay a comfortable lead there compared to stone ?

 

I always thought brick was an alternative for people who want to build good looking buildings, not for defense. Is there even a big enough gap between wood and cobblestone OR cobbelstone and concrete to put brick in?

 

i just make my home into a Makeshift looking Town or settlement like one of those white river bases

 

and uses everything from food for walkways , scrap , rock etc

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Some feedback after playing A18 every Friday night with my gaming group:

 

Praise

  1. Horde nights feel amazing compared to how they felt in the past. We had so many zombies spawned in attacking us at once it was intense, and while the game certainly ran worse than normal during the horde nights, it was a huge step up from the past. Still needs polish. But massive step forward. Haven't had so much fun with horde night... probably ever.
  2. Quantity of zombies in PoIs feels much better. Haven't noticed any silly clown cars yet in A18.
  3. Leveling speeds between miners, looters, etc. feels much better. (Miners still have the edge early game. But it flip flops later and becomes much slower than questers/looters. So it balances out imo.)
  4. A million other things. Seriously, this alpha is a huge success in my eyes.

 

Potential Improvements

  1. Biggest complaint across the board is that base stat level ups feel really bad. Particularly the higher rank ones where you might have to spend 8 or so levels getting a stat to 10 so you can pick up the final ranks of the skills that actually feel meaningful and interesting. Feels real bad knowing your next 8 level ups are basically meaningless.
  2. Cooking skill needs a look. We found so many food recipes in loot that I will be ignoring the cooking skill outright next time we restart. I got 4 ranks in it, and the farmer wound up doing all the cooking anyways with 0 ranks in the skill because it was just easier for him to take his harvest right to the cooking pot. And having the cooking skill doesn't actually DO anything if you know the recipes. Reduced cook time is useless. Make 1 more campfire and voila, you've doubled your cooking speed. Cooking skill should reduce the food poisoning chance of the food you've cooked at the very least.
  3. As the mining guy of the team, I found it silly that I needed to ask the Int guy to que up the iron bars, steel bars, etc. since they crafted way faster for him than for me. It was just really inconvenient. Let me craft that kind of stuff faster too. Would also be nice if I somehow improved the meltdown time of the raw resources in the forge.

 

Really high quality feedback.

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Really high quality feedback.

 

Agreed. In regards to stat balance feedback, hopefully the incoming perk level reduction will help that feel better.

 

In regards to number 3, I know that's a balance thing for INT skills/perks. Perhaps there is another way to balance instead crafting time. However, being an INT build in my current playthrough, I do appreciate the bonus...😎👍

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

Not that I dispute that bricks could get some further benefit. But time used in one or more forges is different to time used while building in the backpack. For both materials the most time **for the player himself** seems to be used in aquiring the materials. And hasn't clay a comfortable lead there compared to stone ?

 

I always thought brick was an alternative for people who want to build good looking buildings, not for defense. Is there even a big enough gap between wood and cobblestone OR cobbelstone and concrete to put brick in?

 

Good point. However, if there really is no benefit other than aesthetics, then it might as well be a paint option instead. Personally, I would rather have an alternate use case (pro/con vs cobble). For example, brick plating (if not already a thing 😂) that you can layer over for added defense.

 

With the current balance of A18, cobble feels like the route to go. Early game I was even buying cobble from the trader to save time. It's relatively inexpensive (A18.1)

Edited by Laz Man (see edit history)

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2. Cooking skill needs a look. We found so many food recipes in loot that I will be ignoring the cooking skill outright next time we restart. I got 4 ranks in it, and the farmer wound up doing all the cooking anyways with 0 ranks in the skill because it was just easier for him to take his harvest right to the cooking pot. And having the cooking skill doesn't actually DO anything if you know the recipes. Reduced cook time is useless. Make 1 more campfire and voila, you've doubled your cooking speed. Cooking skill should reduce the food poisoning chance of the food you've cooked at the very least.

3. As the mining guy of the team, I found it silly that I needed to ask the Int guy to que up the iron bars, steel bars, etc. since they crafted way faster for him than for me. It was just really inconvenient. Let me craft that kind of stuff faster too. Would also be nice if I somehow improved the meltdown time of the raw resources in the forge.

 

Master Chef should also allow you to feed other players IMO, so any benefits from the skill also help other players.

 

Idea for the Advanced Engineering problem: instead of having forge/workbench perk crafting bonuses apply to the player, have them apply to the crafting stations that the player builds. The items don't stack, so you could make them have Quality tiers based on the Advanced Engineering level. Could do the same with Yeah Science! and chem stations too.

Edited by ginc (see edit history)

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[*]Leveling speeds between miners, looters, etc. feels much better. (Miners still have the edge early game. But it flip flops later

I completely disagree. The leveling speeds are completely messed up in A18.

Not just between miners and looters. Now the most OP leveling is building stuff.

 

I assume with "looting" you mean getting XP from killing zombies. The fastest way to level up is now building (especially upgrading blocks). From time to time i get even more XP from placing new (reinforced concrete) blocks where they have been destroyed during bloodmoin than from killing Zs during the bloodmoon even with shared XP from my mates.

We already switched the building activity because of level differences. Our builder just places rebar frames and then another player upgrades them just to farm XP. If our builder would do that all himself, he would be at least 20 level ahead of the rest.

 

The other difference with mininig is, zombies are limited, with mining you can dig just one tunnel until you puke, just for leveling purposes. And without any risk, too.

 

I'm not sure how to do it properly, but imho killing Zs should be the best source of XP. Other things should still give XP, but in a matter of risk and reward and how repatable the aktion is.

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I completely disagree. The leveling speeds are completely messed up in A18.

Not just between miners and looters. Now the most OP leveling is building stuff.

 

I assume with "looting" you mean getting XP from killing zombies. The fastest way to level up is now building (especially upgrading blocks). From time to time i get even more XP from placing new (reinforced concrete) blocks where they have been destroyed during bloodmoin than from killing Zs during the bloodmoon even with shared XP from my mates.

We already switched the building activity because of level differences. Our builder just places rebar frames and then another player upgrades them just to farm XP. If our builder would do that all himself, he would be at least 20 level ahead of the rest.

 

The other difference with mininig is, zombies are limited, with mining you can dig just one tunnel until you puke, just for leveling purposes. And without any risk, too.

 

I'm not sure how to do it properly, but imho killing Zs should be the best source of XP. Other things should still give XP, but in a matter of risk and reward and how repatable the aktion is.

 

Don't really know anything about the building thing. I wasn't building stuff. So I can't speak to that at all.

 

Mining was way faster at first. I was outleveling everyone pretty easily. But that was me doing nothing but mining almost non stop. (I'm weird and find that mind numbing activity relaxing after a long week.) But once people got geared up and clearing huge POIs filled with higher level enemies, they started leveling faster than me. Not by an enormous margin. But they did.

 

It's not perfect. But it felt better than prior alphas to my group. I've left the mines now to join the looters in our group at this point and only go mining if we need the resources. I'm level 40ish.

 

As for the part about zombie killing should give more exp because it has risk, I'm pretty neutral to that statement. I made a post that kind of makes commentary on that a while ago that I'll link. It was during early A17 when killing zombies was far far better for leveling, at least early game. So much so that it felt like THE way to go if you wanted exp. https://7daystodie.com/forums/showthread.php?111778-Alpha-18-Dev-Diary!!&p=973060&viewfull=1#post973060

 

Master Chef should also allow you to feed other players IMO, so any benefits from the skill also help other players.

 

Not quite sure what you mean. But ya, I'd definitely like to feel like someone with ranks in cooking has a distinct edge over someone that doesn't. A reason they should be cooking the food and not someone else that just so happened to read recipes from loot. But atm that's not how it is.

Edited by Minandreas (see edit history)

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Just so engrossed in A18 its been a great ride so far.

 

I beg to wonder if TFP will maybe release a new juicy experimental build before Christmas hits us ?

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Hoping for a Christmas update with a Christmas Tree you can get/make or some other Christmas decorations you can make

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Does it drive anyone else crazy that railings do not protect against falling? In fact, they make it somewhat _easier_ to fall, particularly on narrow staircases. I wish a class was added for it, similar to the ladder's, but making it so players get stuck to the ground next to a railing.

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Does it drive anyone else crazy that railings do not protect against falling? In fact, they make it somewhat _easier_ to fall, particularly on narrow staircases. I wish a class was added for it, similar to the ladder's, but making it so players get stuck to the ground next to a railing.

 

I do agree. It's pretty minor - but the catwalks and stairs with railings are sort of pointless, since you can accidentally just walk right over them.

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I do agree. It's pretty minor - but the catwalks and stairs with railings are sort of pointless, since you can accidentally just walk right over them.

 

I find it pretty frustrating in, for example, the Shamway factory near the top. There's an area one level below the big final zombie room where a walkway Y's off to a little food crate/munitions cache with 2 zombies and the other branch goes to a room with 3 zombies, a crate, a wall safe, and a gun bag. A number of times now I've been walking on the walkways and I pop up onto the railing but since I'm moving forward I fall because there's a pipe that runs above the walkway. It's high enough that when on the walkway itself it's fine, but it's not enough room if a player is standing on the railing itself. A player should have to jump to pop up on top the rails.

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There are several lights that already cast far enough away, but none are player craftable without a mod.

 

The big lit shamway signs, and all the building open and exit signs. Maybe those could be limited and one of the player craftable light's ranges can be extended?

 

We really just need something like a runway light possibility. I was going to add a mod and just drop a bunch of exit signs on the road on each side as runway lights, but figured I'd point out the issue here. (I'm forcing myself to use the gyro for runs instead of the motorcycle to see how it feels.)

 

Night flying in pitch black is a bitch....lol!

 

The problem is player craftable lights can be spammed. You could place a hundred close to each other. We are not trying to spam place POI lights. Yes, you try to add some limits, but then it gets complicated, which takes time, so not a priority now.

 

Also, I was thinking a front light on the gyro might help.

Edited by faatal (see edit history)

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There is never a time when it's logical to use bricks. They're straight up inferior to cobblestone.

 

I've thought about this myself, and the only thing that comes to mind is that brick blocks can be thrown down instantly, while cobblestones must be upgraded from flagstone, which requires time. Bricks are the highest-HP block that can just be tossed down freely, which gives them a nice niche of effectively patching holes on horde night. That being said, that's still not much of a niche due to their high time/resource cost and inferior showing in every other regard compared to cobbles. You can probably grief folks pretty good if you wall them in in an instant though.

Edited by AlabasterW (see edit history)

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The problem is player craftable lights can be spammed. You could place a hundred close to each other. We are not trying to spam place POI lights. Yes, you try to add some limits, but then it gets complicated, which takes time, so not a priority now.

 

Also, I was thinking a front light on the gyro might help.

 

If someone chooses to kill their FPS by spamming lights, let them. It's not a problem people will randomly come up against without serious effort on their part, and therefore not TFP's problem.

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I do agree. It's pretty minor - but the catwalks and stairs with railings are sort of pointless, since you can accidentally just walk right over them.

 

I noticed the same thing when coming down the water tower of the water works POI...😂

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Not that I dispute that bricks could get some further benefit. But time used in one or more forges is different to time used while building in the backpack. For both materials the most time **for the player himself** seems to be used in aquiring the materials. And hasn't clay a comfortable lead there compared to stone ?

 

I always thought brick was an alternative for people who want to build good looking buildings, not for defense. Is there even a big enough gap between wood and cobblestone OR cobbelstone and concrete to put brick in?

 

Thanks; it's good to get other people's perspectives.

 

On the argument that you can have a bank of forges running in parallel and make bricks without tying up your backpack, the same could be said for cobblestone, using a bank of workbenches.

 

On the argument that bricks offer an aesthetic alternative, all the brick textures have long been available to paint on whatever block you want.

 

On the argument that clay beats stone on acquisition time, I did another test. I had no skill points spent, and used an unmodded steel shovel and pickaxe.

One, 250 HP dirt block yielded 22 units of clay soil.

One, 500 HP stone block yielded 55 units of small stone.

That's 0.11 units of product for each 1 HP of damage in both cases. The clay yield per unit of HP is even worse for ground (the topsoil that's embedded with plant fibers) and sand. Also, dirt is not available in the desert, while stone is available in all biomes. So, other than having to dig through a few dirt blocks to reach the stone, if anything stone has the edge over clay in acquisition time.

 

On AlbasterW's argument that bricks provide more instant HP without the need to upgrade... well that's true, but that convenience comes at the cost of over four times as long to make the brick block in the first place.

 

TL;DR: fix bricks, Gazz! :D

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The problem is player craftable lights can be spammed. You could place a hundred close to each other. We are not trying to spam place POI lights. Yes, you try to add some limits, but then it gets complicated, which takes time, so not a priority now.

 

I would point out that nobody says, "These light bulbs are dim; guess I'll just live in the dark!" They add more lights until they can see well in their bases, however many lights that takes. Nor are players likely to use many more lights than necessary since, you know, it'd be unpleasantly over-bright, and they'd have to go out of their way to make, place, and maintain them. So rather than design this around a number of lights or a maximum range, it'd make the most sense in my opinion to first assume a 'reasonable' level of illumination, and then work backwards for the most efficient per-light values to achieve that level.

 

With that said, I think there's a performant solution to Gareee's problem.

 

I notice the "Industrial Light" model disappears once you get about 20 blocks away, while the "Basic Light Bulb" model stays visible up to ~150 blocks away, right up until player placed blocks disappear. Now, what Gareee's looking for isn't illumination, per se - he just wants a bright dot he can see in the distance. So the dynamic light isn't even necessary for this. Make the Industrial Light model draw as far away as the Basic Light Bulb does, and the rest should take care of itself. Because it looks like when they're on and rendering, lights have a glow texture that makes them look bright regardless of actual lighting calculations. The Basic Light Bulb is too small to see this at its max render distance, but the Industrial Light isn't.

 

Also, I was thinking a front light on the gyro might help.

 

How does the gyrocopter not have a light?? Between all other powered vehicles having lights, and the gyrocopter accessories requiring 8 headlights in the recipe, the game really sets up an expectation that it'll have a light.

Edited by Crater Creator (see edit history)

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The problem is player craftable lights can be spammed. You could place a hundred close to each other. We are not trying to spam place POI lights. Yes, you try to add some limits, but then it gets complicated, which takes time, so not a priority now.

 

Also, I was thinking a front light on the gyro might help.

 

That might be the most cost efficient solution, as long as it casts far enough away. I'm not sure of the range, but the lcb bounding box distance might work... I see it before deco lights and have to use it to navigate at night.

 

Maybe a "hi beam" mod could also be made for it to cast further away?

 

I hate having t turn up the gamma to navigte at night, but most of the night I'm looking at a black screen with an occasional ground deco light.

 

BTW, while I'm thinking about it, could an altimeter be added below the compass when in flight? That might help as well to avoid hard night impacts. I don't think we can access player altitude in the xml to mod the hud with it.

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