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Brian9824

Apparently we are all playing the game wrong

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Powergaming - Min-maxing stats, exploiting the AI, managing your gamestage - becomes the only way to feel like you're getting stronger. Essentially, you stop playing in a natural, organic way and start looking at it like a video game.

 

a) There's a certain amount of video-gaming bs that just has to be there. I keep pointing out that combat can't ever be realistic, no game does joint and muscle mechanics, so far as I know the closest any game has ever gotten to wrong-footing opponents has been animation timing (well, there's one possible exception, if you want to see a "realistic" fighting simulator try to play toribash). So they try to recreate the _feel_ of things they can't actually model. Everybody just agrees that certain kinds of audiovisual distortions represent odors, certain other kinds of audiovisual distortions represent impact damage, numbers represent some kinds of pain and damage. Everybody agrees to utterly overlook balance and momentum. You're (we're) looking at almost all of it like a video game and are rarely even a little bit aware of it, because it has to be that way. We all help out by agreeing to buy in to the illusion, to live in it, because otherwise the fun is gone.

 

b) Making unavoidable allowances (see above, games are gamey by necessity), I haven't been reduced to any of those tactics yet in the recent alphas (tell the truth I might as well have started in A17, I barely even remember my time in A...9? back when you had to chop a tree all the way down to get much wood out of it, I didn't like the switch away from that but the gameplay changes have made up for it). I bump the difficulty one (about to try another bump, to Warrior), play dead-is-dead, don't do trader quests or much trading at all, spread perk points around, my defenses would work IRL (the basic defended-weak-point bunker design works great, real attackers couldn't damage blocks that fast so I don't mind being able to repair them that fast) and the reason I'm about to try another bump is I get way ahead of the game and then the next alpha point drops. I'm in another thread talking about the gamestage math, but that's only a way of talking about it. I got to my benchmark 1.5 levels / day by trying to find some metric for the runs that felt right, where I wasn't falling behind the curve and wasn't grinding. Why exactly that works for me, all I've got is ideas, but it does work.

 

c) I feel like I'm getting stronger because when the stronger zombies show up, I'm ready for them, and because I can go more places with less worry about weather or distance or enemies, because some things that would have been fatal mistakes earlier are just minor annoyances now. But month 2, when the rads start showing up, they're faster, they're stronger, I have to be quicker to run away and smarter about having an escape plan, I have to be smarter about how I use my weapons and my surroundings. The game's harder, but I'm better at it and I've got equipment I know how to use. I can plan out a melee, who to hit first, who to stagger-and-dart-away, who to stagger-and-splat, where to run to to get the enemies all strung out, watch me make 'em bow one by, one by, one. And I have to do that, because even though the first few weeks are just zombie slaughter with a bit of caution, don't wade in without padded armor and some kind of antibiotic on tap is about the only inviolable rule, and the world just keeps getting more dangerous, my own _personal_ skill keeps ramping up. It's only when there's no personal skill involved that I start feeling detached and the game mechanics start feeling arbitrary. Numbers-go-up is a complete failure if that's all there is, but if they go up more-or-less in tandem with personal skill, well, okay, then. I'm in.

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Since I'm in this conversation now I might as well contribute. :p

 

As a counterpoint to ktr, there is a potential problem with the challenge increasing at the same pace as the player. To quote the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" Sure you get all kinds of neat new toys and abilities and your weapons get stronger and you can mine faster and easier, but because the challenge increases at the same rate you need to employ all of those new abilities and numbers just to avoid losing ground. Powergaming - Min-maxing stats, exploiting the AI, managing your gamestage - becomes the only way to feel like you're getting stronger. Essentially, you stop playing in a natural, organic way and start looking at it like a video game.

 

More variety, which ktr suggested, is the best way to avoid this. Have big challenges the player can test their luck against, but also keep the smaller ones around so the player can feel like they're strong sometimes too. Older alphas had a bit of this, with certain areas having greater concentrations of zombies and higher spawn rates. Hoping the new random encounter system adds a bit of this back in.

 

I don't disagree that it could be a problem for people or even in general! It's just one of those things I already expect a game to do, so its presence - in your face or hidden - never matters for me nor does it inform how I play the game. Whether or not the player feels effectively stronger certainly could be a problem. No one wants to feel like they're stuck on a treadmill vs. taking the journey they expected. Thankfully, 7d2d has never given me that feeling. In fact most of the challenges can be resolved through better gameplay as opposed to powergaming or the rest.

 

What I mean be variety in this game are things like - maybe a horde night comes hard, maybe it doesn't. Maybe demo zombies show up when I expect them..... maybe they don't. One thing I like with the sleeper volume retweak is that I actually get surprised more now than I did in A17 when I expected to find a zombie every other square or expected every shed to have zombies pouring out. All that was missing was the 'here comes the clowns' music. Sleepers also seem to have variable wakeups, which I like as well. Some will start clanking around from rooms away while others don't. This too can lead to surprises when I focus on the ones who are awake, trying to pinpoint them and perhaps miss one that wasn't awake but sure is now.

 

I love that I can set variable run speeds and that ferals and spider zombies can show up outside at night. The option to have horde be more random? Love it (but only in SP because my 7d2d group hates it lol). My favorite thing about the demo zombie is that one stray bullet can turn your cake walk of a horde night into an 'oh crap, where did I park my motorcycle again' moment.

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The thing is the difficulty rises, but i've never felt that it rises at the same pace as I do.

 

It doesn't. It's nowhere near. It's not as bad as A16 where the zombie strength was always absolutely MILES behind the player's strength, but it's behind. No matter the difficulty the zombies are always on the losing side of balance.

 

The only time A18 is remotely challenging is week #1, and the spike when Demolishers come into play (GS 153).

 

A16 was worse. It was only challenging when your GS was way over 4000 which was typically day 120 or later! Having said that, once the zombie caught up with the player in sheer power in A16 it actually became VERY challenging indeed. I've never seen the horde the likes of which came at day 150 end-game A16. It was amazing. Great days.

Edited by Ghostlight (see edit history)

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The only time A18 is remotely challenging

 

I think your posts would be much fairer if you'd qualify those: ~the only time A18 is remotely challenging for a player who''s got thousands of hours of experience with the game~. Please stop whining about how easy it is. If you wish TFP would add challenges for people who've got the equivallent of a solid year's full-time professional experience at the game, say so. It's a legitimate request. Maybe just say it once or twice and then let it rest?

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The problem with gamestage is not that it is too difficult or too easy. It is that it is a direct reflection and result of player activity. Gamestage is supposed to be the state of the universe in which we live. It is the force that delivers the adversity that we overcome as well as the blessings we receive.

 

When the cosmic hand of fate can so directly be tied to player actions it causes weird incentives and strange metas that shouldn't really exist. The player has to believe that fate will happen the way it is supposed to happen whether that is by random chance, divine intervention, karma, or pre-destination etc.... In this way the universe feels as it should feel: following its course independent of the choices of the player.

 

The way the game is right now goes against normal causality and so it is jarring to those who notice it. You pick up your umbrella because it is raining. It isn't raining because you picked up your umbrella. But the game right now feels like the second causal flow.

 

Probability of meeting stronger enemies, coming up against tougher challenges, and getting better loot should all happen independently of what the player chooses to do. It is wrong that you know that by killing more zombies and mining more ore and upgrading more blocks you are going to get a tougher world and better loot as a direct consequence of that.

 

The algorithm needs to have some wax and wane to it, some randomness to it, be location based, and honestly...obfuscated from our view. Only then will we feel like we are a small part of the universe and that the actions we take can work to lift ourselves out of bad situations but not change the nature of the global reality of the universe itself.

 

Alternatively, they could go back to time based general ramping up of difficulty day by day like they used to which was simple but still better because we knew that the world would move on with or without us. This isn't ideal because it puts a contrived urgency on the player-- but at least we know that the nature of our world is not the consequence of our actions.

 

This is one of the great appeals of my 0XP mod. Gamestage is advanced daily and the player earns no xp for any actions. Skillpoints come after each day of survival and gamestage advances regardless of whether you sit in your base all day or go out and participate in the world. There is no disincentive that tempts players to avoid actions nor can the player artificially ramp up the gamestage by spamming crap. It is just the steady churn of the universe and it couldn't care less about you.

 

I never looked at it like this, but it makes a lot of sense. Maybe gamestage should not affect the sleeper spawns or loot, but the type of quests you get, and how bad horde night is. Maybe a high game stage should also summon bandit raids to where you sleeping bag is on the map, and if you are not there they just break in and steal stuff?

 

To me the appeal of exploring are the disasters that can befall you while your exploring. Falling through a hole, encountering an irradiated cop, a random dog horde showing up from outside; all those things are fun. So maybe the difficulty in the poi's should be based on the tier + rng? Maybe some pois have a chance to spawn as death houses, full of only irradiated zombies, and others will have a good loot stash?

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I think your posts would be much fairer if you'd qualify those: ~the only time A18 is remotely challenging for a player who''s got thousands of hours of experience with the game~. Please stop whining about how easy it is. If you wish TFP would add challenges for people who've got the equivallent of a solid year's full-time professional experience at the game, say so. It's a legitimate request. Maybe just say it once or twice and then let it rest?

 

I have news for you. If you wish the 1000 plus hour players to stop giving any type of feedback then this forum may as well be dead.

 

Are you trying to say the only people allowed to stress their point of views are 100 hour players and below? Because that frame of mind is what tanked the fun in this game and brought us to a place where we need demolishers and artificial perks to present a challenge, whereas at LEAST his point was that in A16 there was a time where he felt overwhelmed and swarmed.

 

You're tired of the veteran posts asking for difficulty. Fine. Im tired of the new player posts asking for things to be easier. What makes you right and him wrong?

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I think your posts would be much fairer if you'd qualify those: ~the only time A18 is remotely challenging for a player who''s got thousands of hours of experience with the game~. Please stop whining about how easy it is. If you wish TFP would add challenges for people who've got the equivallent of a solid year's full-time professional experience at the game, say so. It's a legitimate request. Maybe just say it once or twice and then let it rest?

 

So feedback from a player with 1000s of hours is not valid?

 

Newsflash, I had 1000+ hours when I was playing A16 and it WAS challenging.

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So feedback from a player with 1000s of hours is not valid?

 

Newsflash, I had 1000+ hours when I was playing A16 and it WAS challenging.

 

......Maybe just say it once or twice and then let it rest?.....

 

I think thats more the point. You keep saying it over and over and over again in almost every thread you visit. Thats not feedback anymore, thats on the border of whining imo.

 

Cheers

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Why would I assume that the person I am responding to reads those other threads or even knows who I am?

 

whining

 

Yes?

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I wonder if anyone has noticed that all you guys ever do is argue so your post count goes up....

 

However.... gamestage is not very well explained for newer players. Even players who have owned the game for some time may not completely understand the changes made for a18. Many of the older players still refer to everything by Gameday, after all. I know that the Journal explains it, somewhat, and the .xml file has a really good explanation, but, this is NOT bleeding out into genpop, and it's causing issues, even among the 'elderly' multi-thousand hour players. How about having a brainstorm about a way to EXPLAIN it to newer players from within the game rather than arguing inanely?! I have zero issue with the way it's calculated and find it very reasonable for a game that has both solo and MP capability, but that's because I've studied the .xml files and understand how it works. Most players do NOT do that.

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Personally, I don't think it needs to be explained at all to anyone. It is supposed to be a hidden force. There is already too much information about it and that is part of the problem. It is our own fault if we seek out how exactly it works and then meta off of it and then wonder why it feels so souless.

 

Not trying to be argumentative but.....post count +1

 

:)

Edited by Roland (see edit history)

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I wonder if anyone has noticed that all you guys ever do is argue so your post count goes up....

 

I disagree with everyone and everything that has ever been said.....post count +1

 

:-P

Edited by ZombieSurvivor (see edit history)

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Personally, I don't think it needs to be explained at all to anyone. It is supposed to be a hidden force. There is already too much information about it and that is part of the problem. It is our own fault if we seek out how exactly it works and then meta off of it and then wonder why it feels so shallow.

 

Not trying to be argumentative but.....post count +1

 

:)

 

+2 on this topic.

 

I think this is the baseline of why some people cant just enjoy the game because you are not allowing yourself to enjoy it.

 

Meta Gaming is the worst thing to happen to gaming overall and this game in particular. People sit there with spreadsheets and charts, trying to figure out the equations to how every single thing works so they can meta it, build the best base, defeat the demolisher, eat the best food and then when they figure it out come back weeks later and say they want a challenge, we need better AI, things need to be less predictable.

 

Want to know how you can accomplish those things today? Stop trying to figure out how it works. This game is run on numbers and percent with a dash of RNG. As a modder once I figured all of that out I admit it became less fun. Because I know the expectations and the outcomes.

 

Maybe if everyone stopped worrying about how to beat the system, and when to do what and how all of us can sit down and just enjoy the experience for what it is.

 

Put the meta away and have some fun.

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I strongely disagree with some of this. The group of players that I have been playing with for 3+ years all have a lot of fun and we have dissected the crap out this game...down to how long a wooden door burns for in the forge VS normal wood, by the way go test that. :)

 

I think people just get burnt out like any other game, it's just now there is this trend going around the world where people just want to bitch and complain about anything and everything. 7 Days to Die is just another excuse for these pathetic people to bitch and fight with one another. If not 7D2D then it would be another game..in my opinion.

 

statement retracted -zombiesurvivor

Edited by ZombieSurvivor (see edit history)

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It is our own fault if we seek out how exactly it works and then meta off of it and then wonder why it feels so souless.

 

I disagree. The formula becomes obvious after a few playthroughs, because it's too linear and predictable. And since the game allows the player to have that degree of agency over GS manipulation, you can't really blame them for trying to manipulate it.

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I disagree. The formula becomes obvious after a few playthroughs, because it's too linear and predictable. And since the game allows the player to have that degree of agency over GS manipulation, you can't really blame them for trying to manipulate it.

 

Yes, but the principle is still true. Even if they improve it to be out of the direct control of the player, make it more complex, and add random bits to it there will still be a formula and those who seek out the formula will feel much the same way as they do now. It would be great if it was random enough and complex enough that nobody could tell how it was operating simply through playing and observing and the only way to know would be to dig into the code.

 

What I am saying is that digging into the code is going to come with spoilers for your gameplay and may change how you play in way that someone who never looked at that code would do. But I am all for a better gamestages formula.

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The problem with gamestage is not that it is too difficult or too easy. It is that it is a direct reflection and result of player activity. Gamestage is supposed to be the state of the universe in which we live. It is the force that delivers the adversity that we overcome as well as the blessings we receive.

 

[...]

Probability of meeting stronger enemies, coming up against tougher challenges, and getting better loot should all happen independently of what the player chooses to do. It is wrong that you know that by killing more zombies and mining more ore and upgrading more blocks you are going to get a tougher world and better loot as a direct consequence of that.

 

[...]

 

The algorithm needs to have some wax and wane to it, some randomness to it, be location based, and honestly...obfuscated from our view. Only then will we feel like we are a small part of the universe and that the actions we take can work to lift ourselves out of bad situations but not change the nature of the global reality of the universe itself.

 

Fully agree. Randomizing across days, across location, across various factors would maybe help make it feel more organic and less of a "level * days alive" setup.

 

For quite a while now I've been saying similar, to give us higher challenge ratings in some areas and times, with more xp, more loot, but also more danger... wasteland? Much harder. Wasteland at night? Even more so! Stay in a quiet forest? Maybe less overall. Maybe the day after blood moon is safer. Maybe the days before blood moon are harder.

 

Maybe a radiated wind blew in reducing player attributes and increasing danger rating from zombies due to being "energized" or some such.

 

Not always easy to code in a straight forward fashion, but I hope it increasingly goes this direction too :)

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Yes, but the principle is still true. Even if they improve it to be out of the direct control of the player, make it more complex, and add random bits to it there will still be a formula and those who seek out the formula will feel much the same way as they do now. It would be great if it was random enough and complex enough that nobody could tell how it was operating simply through playing and observing and the only way to know would be to dig into the code.

 

What I am saying is that digging into the code is going to come with spoilers for your gameplay and may change how you play in way that someone who never looked at that code would do. But I am all for a better gamestages formula.

 

 

 

I'll go a step further and say that people don't even need to dig into the code. "min-maxing"/beating "the system" is as old as gaming itself. People didn't have access to the 'code' in the original Devil May Cry game, but they practiced and perfected the best combination of moves to get the optimal result. There is, certainly, a thrill in that accomplishment, but the downside is that those who experiment that heavily with a game or 'dig into the code' sometimes do no realize that those very activities provide a short term victory and sacrifice long term enjoyment.

 

I understand how the gamestage forumla works, but I personally refuse to care about it or let it dictate how I wish to play a particular map. I've seen a lot on the forums about how Agility builds are terrible and sub-optimal, but I love it and will continue to play it. :D

 

That said, there are those truly dedicated (or masochistic) who choose to learn the inner workings solely to figure out how to make the next playthrough more difficult for themselves.

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I strongely disagree with some of this. The group of players that I have been playing with for 3+ years all have a lot of fun and we have dissected the crap out this game...down to how long a wooden door burns for in the forge VS normal wood, by the way go test that. :)

 

I think people just get burnt out like any other game, it's just now there is this trend going around the world where people just want to bitch and complain about anything and everything. 7 Days to Die is just another excuse for these pathetic people to bitch and fight with one another. If not 7D2D then it would be another game..in my opinion.

 

I definitely do not disagree. I know some min maxers who analyze everything and enjoy that aspect. I was pointing to a specific subset of of players with my opinion.

 

"I think this is the baseline of why some people cant just enjoy the game"

 

Ghostlight for example had an entire thread about base design and defeating Demolishers and was throwing his hands up he couldnt, yet in this very thread says 16 was more challenging.

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I definitely do not disagree. I know some min maxers who analyze everything and enjoy that aspect. I was pointing to a specific subset of of players with my opinion.

 

"I think this is the baseline of why some people cant just enjoy the game"

 

Ghostlight for example had an entire thread about base design and defeating Demolishers and was throwing his hands up he couldnt, yet in this very thread says 16 was more challenging.

 

Ohhh.... I was so tired last night that must have not processed in my head correctely. In this case yes I agree.

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Yes, but the principle is still true. Even if they improve it to be out of the direct control of the player, make it more complex, and add random bits to it there will still be a formula and those who seek out the formula will feel much the same way as they do now. It would be great if it was random enough and complex enough that nobody could tell how it was operating simply through playing and observing and the only way to know would be to dig into the code.

 

What I am saying is that digging into the code is going to come with spoilers for your gameplay and may change how you play in way that someone who never looked at that code would do. But I am all for a better gamestages formula.

 

Yes, the principle is true, it's just that in this case, the game could be doing a lot more to deter that, as you have already said yourself. Being pedantic here because it's easy to dismiss a complaint by saying "you are playing the game wrong" (which is nonchalantly being said for a lot of things), instead of examining that complaint and looking for ways to improve the game.

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Yes, but the principle is still true. Even if they improve it to be out of the direct control of the player, make it more complex, and add random bits to it there will still be a formula and those who seek out the formula will feel much the same way as they do now. It would be great if it was random enough and complex enough that nobody could tell how it was operating simply through playing and observing and the only way to know would be to dig into the code.

 

What I am saying is that digging into the code is going to come with spoilers for your gameplay and may change how you play in way that someone who never looked at that code would do. But I am all for a better gamestages formula.

 

hmmm... that actually does make a lot of sense. Now I'm getting where you guys are coming from. I retract my previous statement disagreeing.

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Personally, I don't think it needs to be explained at all to anyone. It is supposed to be a hidden force.

 

Maybe don't display it in the Multiplayer tab then?

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Ghostlight for example had an entire thread about base design and defeating Demolishers and was throwing his hands up he couldnt, yet in this very thread says 16 was more challenging.

 

Generalisation for the win? Let me clarify a few points.

 

1) I never, ever said Demos could not be defeated. I simply said the bill for defeating them was extremely high, and depending on your settings and number of players meant that one poor sod (always me!) was spending 6 days in every 7 mining to keep everyone in ammo, and base repairs.

 

2) I was right since Demos got nerfed after that thread. Had they not, then A18 would have remained the more challenging - though challenging in all the wrong ways.

 

3) I specifically stated that A16 was more challenging after GS 4000 (day 150+). A16 had a challenge spike at that point that A18 does not have anywhere (other then Demolishers at GS 153, I guess?) which made A16 awesome. Awesome because the challenge was the horde became so strong they could actually overrun a Steel base by sheer attrition. I loved that. It was the right kind of challenge for this game. No horde I have ever seen in A17 or A18 comes anywhere near the GS 4000+ hordes I saw in A16.

 

And yes I do concede that part of the diminishing challenge is due to more familiarity with game mechanics, and my group getting better and better at working together and designing the perfect base. Not a huge amount though, just a little, because we still had 1000+ hours at A16 (which is easily the alpha we played most), and also a lot of those mechanics changed.

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