I'm with Roland about loot system. In that the loot system is unfinished. But game was in development for YEARs and development is supported by feedback of users... Right now it hangs by thread that game is moddable (unless player is one of those religious freaks who say that one never should use mods, devs always know what you want exactly, what game meant to be- and I met those). Making a boring early access game is a path to failure.
One of main features of loot based games, of RPG-based games, of survival games.. is RANDOMNESS. Being somewhat unpredictable. And Randomness defines replay value. Even in minecraft it is so, by highly random world plus creative building. A19 so far killed the former while A18 demolisher really curbed the latter in MP (they are ultimate griefer tool).
Highly unfinished. But it is not balanced. At all right now. Maybe linearity could work if this was a single player game with adventure elements: e.g. easier quests, some event that gives you (level1) shotgun, etc. But it's boring as SP now because of your race with time. Higher difficulty becomes unplayable. Loot also seems to show bias to chosen attribute, so with GS12 I started to get parts for turrets. Or shotguns if I leveled strength. But turrets are now broken in A19 and should be disabled for MP (if someone experiences odd slowdowns and crashes that happen periodically with vanilla game, it's likely dozens forgotten\lost\self-duped turrets stuck in the sky thousands meters above ground). Oh and in MP server administration usually forbid to build anywhere near city, trader or quest areas because it creates a lot of grief and help request (it's in claim zone!).
Suggested low level survival by holeing up somewhere is not possible. you have to build your house from level 1. Surviving
7th, even 14th night with lvl 1 shotgun or pistol in wilderness is possible. Surviving 1st night with blunderbuss and wooden bow (which barely does damage) is not. Trying do it POI in city usually results in catastrophe.. spawning zombies far beyond your GS.
You can get an empty treasure chest. Or empty sealed crate. Whole POI of empty sealed crates happens because loot system thinks that level 1-10 player is "not worthy" (and that's roughly 2-4 hours of play with large scale online map). Single water can in quest's chest "Buried supplies" (and 4 zombies you barely can kill, while random enrage of two of them at same time may one-shot you). To reach higher GS without killing anything impossible because food is gated behind levels and need to have lucky looter. This gating makes game un-enjoyable, forcing to throw away time just on grinding , dying, starving and being unable to reach appropriate GS because food is.. ALSO based on GS, tata! ANd for sale it is in such low supply that 1-2 high level players totally drain map traders and vending machines, because they need that food to make better food.
In MP players race with real time and against each other. And their progresses is stopped by zombies from higher GS 9+10+50 higher) than they are just because someone online in same region. Non-random loot stays boring. Current loot system may give an empty treasure chest.
About those who says this is unfinished product. I'll be frank. It was more finished 3 years ago. Then it became different game with adding quest and new RPG system. A lot of things that were logical or made sense were broken. We had zombies reacting for smell once. We had properly behaving animals. Using omelette metaphor, this omelette is done after re-stuffing eggs into bigger shells along with fragments of older shell.