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7 Days To Die Has A Serious Loot and Difficulty Progression Problem


JesterL
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Hello, 

 

I'll do my best to write this review in a condensed manner because I understand that reading a long winded review might not be a way that most developers would want to spend their valuable time, but I'd like to start with a brief overview of my thoughts. For each section I will include a summery for easy reading.

 

I'm a long time fan of 7dtd I've owned and enjoyed the game all the way since alpha 15. It wasn't until alpha 17 that I stopped playing. The main reason I stopped playing was due to the core changes in the looting system; particularly when looting corpses was eliminated, the changes to the looting system really crippled the game in terms of what made it fun and addicting in the first place, and since returning to the game in alpha 19 I've come to develop a more rounded opinion of the issues currently facing this game in terms of balance. One of the key features of any survival horror is the looting and crafting. Part of the brilliance in the games early development was the ability to turn worthless scrap into powerful weapons and new ways to survive. 

 

Positives

Summery: The developers have improved many parts of the game, excluding the most important ones, looting, sound, balance and progression. 

 

I want to be fair and say that this game has come a long way since alpha 15. In terms of the amount of content, buildings, quests, graphics, zombies, music, atmosphere, items, blocks, performance, controls, user interface, systems. All of these things have improved to a huge degree and I would be doing the developers a huge disservice if I didn't recognize the huge amount of effort and care that went into each of these things. While all of these have contributed positively to the over all quality of the game I think that there are key elements in the game itself that have taken a hit and ended up on the back burner while these other things were being improved, these things being most important over all of them. 

 

 

 

Looting

Summery: Zombie looting gives players a reward for fighting zombies everywhere and surviving day 7's, it keeps players engaged. Realism in the locations of loot make the world feel alive and creates a more engaging world. 

 

The first thing I want to start with is the elimination of looting zombies except during rare loot drop occurrences. I think that it is imperative to give players an incentive to engaging with the enemies in the game, especially in a survival horror game. I've seen a dramatic shift in the way zombies are used by the developers in relation to this concept. The switch to houses being more akin to dungeon crawling and zombies acting as more of a barrier in-between loot stashes. I think this approach is flawed for a number of reasons. The first being that it completely negates the desire to engage with zombies outside of homes, which leaves the entire outside world void of anything tangible save for XP and raw materials, which again can be obtained indoors. This is an even more severe issue that it conflicts with the very name of the game, that day 7's no longer hold any tangible reward outside of XP.

 

The second issue with this looting system is realism, this game is very realism oriented at its core despite the fantasy concept. I think that it's essential that this same level of realism is applied to the loot aspect of this game. It is not realistic to find hordes of enemies conveniently placed in front of stashes of loot acting as barriers. It is not realistic to find large stashes of ammunition in nearly every single coffin in a funeral home. It would be common to find ammunition in places like, a defeated military zombie for instance, while finding bones in coffins. This can also create more addicting play when searching for specific locations for specific items. Even finding scrap on zombies is better than nothing at all.

 

Balance and Progression

Summery: The current loot distribution of late game mods, ammunition, weapons and tools, completely eliminates the need for any skill progression and makes early game schematics difficult to find, hindering progression and filling up a new players inventory with worthless junk. 

 

In the games current state you can find blunderbusses and shot gun ammunition, complex armor and weapons right out of the gate. This also goes against all manner of realism that in a survival situation in a world stripped of resources in a zombie apocalypse you would not find valuable books, weapons and tools at the drop of a hat. Coupled with the fact that many of these items you would not find at all in society. Primitive axes, tools and blunderbusses are something that are to be created, not found. The same goes for many pieces of armor currently found around the world. The easy gathering of these items at any quality level completely eliminates the need to put an effort into XP gain because if players loot a few houses they're likely to find what the skills would give them. This further devalues engagement with enemies and day 7s. Similarly, offering late game mods eliminates the need for late game skills and fills a new players inventory with stuff they don't understand and needlessly cart around. Late game systems and ideas should be introduced gradually along with progression so not to confuse new players. The over abundance of loot options makes certain essential early game techs difficult to find, such as the forge. Introduction of late game items early also makes the enemies comparably weak. I would highly recommend the elimination of craft-able early game tools in the loot pool and make high level mods and items extremely rare, in specific locations/zombies tied to a players level in order to avoid over encumbering and confusing new players.

 

Sound

Summery: Sound is a key feature in any horror game, hearing zombies very far way or even deep underground takes out the suspense and horror and makes the game less immersive.

 

There are many issues with sound in the game, but I first want to mention that the developers have done a great job with the new music and sound track in the game. The music adds a fantastic layer of fear as well as a feeling of isolation when crafting alone at your home base. The issues with sound have been obvious and pervasive ever since I first started playing in alpha 15 and I'm disappointed that my friends can still hear me hunting rabbits two houses down when they're in our shelter underground. Zombie's can be heard and sound as if they're moaning in your ear even though they may not even be in house at all. There is seemingly no sound direction for the player to seek out said zombie and will be forced to patrol aimlessly until it is located and defeated. Similarly footsteps may be heard on the floor above you, but zombies will be completely silent on their approach when directly behind you. The sound issues in this game over shadow the excellent atmosphere the new music adds to the game. Ensuring the sound of the game is on point will make the zombies much more terrifying and less of a noisy hassle. I also have a recommendation that when the player is underground, rather than have zombies senselessly beating on walls and raising a ruckus above the player, annoying them to death, simply have zombies follow the player's scent and stake out the surface quietly so they have to deal with them in the morning. 

 

I hope that my feedback will be taken and be used to benefit the game. I'm a long time fan of 7 Days to Die and I have an immense amount of respect for the team and everything you have all created. Thank you so much for all you do and I'm looking forward to the future updates this game has to offer. 

 

 

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I signed up a few days ago with the intention of making this very post.  I logged on just now to make it only to find I was four hours too late. 😅

Suffice it to say I agree with more than I disagree with here  (for instance, I can see looting stone tools off a zombie because that zombie might've been a survivor who got infected).  I would add only a few things:

- The fact that you can only craft up to level 5 items but find up to level 6 items is completely ass-backwards.  There's a whole post-5-tier skill level sitting right there.  That should be for crafting level 6 items.  Give us a reason to spend the points on a level 10 attribute and putting points into that last tier.

- Steel tools are implemented in such a way that they are completely skippable.  By the time you find enough parts to start making them, you will have likely already found an auger.  (You might find a level 5 or 6 auger before you ever see the schematic, however.)

- The way the game will make the last book in a series extra-difficult to find shows that the devs do indeed know how to restrict what items you can find until certain requirements are met, but this is the least realistic and most annoying implementation of that mechanic possible.  I would like to see books decoupled entirely from gamestage and have looting them be truly random.

- Eventually, one will accumulate skill points and have nothing to spend them on.  Granted, this is far into the game, but we should be able to do something with those extra points.

- When a story is eventually added to the game, it would probably be best if it progressed in such a manner that we hit all of the gamestage achievements.

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4 hours ago, nostalginator said:


- The fact that you can only craft up to level 5 items but find up to level 6 items is completely ass-backwards.  There's a whole post-5-tier skill level sitting right there.  That should be for crafting level 6 items.  Give us a reason to spend the points on a level 10 attribute and putting points into that last tier.
 

Thank you for your response!

 

I think this is extremely important also and something I wasn't aware of. I think my perspective can be valuable because I very much got the "new player experience" when picking up the game again after 4 years or so. I've played alpha 19 for probably a total of 12 hours at this point and all of what I mentioned was self evident from about the 8 hour point. Unfortunately I've already lost interest as a result and will continue to wait for updates. I certainly hope that more long term veterans of alpha 19 will come forth to share their more in-depth perspective. I'd recommend the devs switch to less of a content focus and more of a balance, immersion and player engagement focus. I think loot scarcity is also needed to make the looting perks worthwhile.

Edited by JesterL (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, nostalginator said:

The way the game will make the last book in a series extra-difficult to find shows that the devs do indeed know how to restrict what items you can find until certain requirements are met, 

 

This is not a thing. Finding a book is 100% random from the perkBooks lootgroup in loot.xml.

 

4 hours ago, nostalginator said:

I would like to see books decoupled entirely from gamestage and have looting them be truly random.

 

This is already how it is done. See the above lootgroup - there are no GS tiers associated with it.

 

The reason why you perceive that "the last book" is so hard to find is that finding any particular book, assuming your loot roll lands on "perkBooks", is 1 in 133, or 0.75%. So when you only have a few books left to find, the odds are very much in favor of finding duplicate books instead. The game doesn't remember what you've already found - it always picks one book from the list of 133.

 

For a roughly equivalent thought experiment, imagine you take two decks of cards, one red and one blue, and shuffle them all together thoroughly. Then you pick one card and you only "win" if you get the Four of Clubs from the red deck. That is what trying to find "the last book" is like, only it's actually a bit harder for the books.

Edited by Boidster (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, nostalginator said:

Eventually, one will accumulate skill points and have nothing to spend them on.  Granted, this is far into the game, but we should be able to do something with those extra points.

 

So I guess this is technically true, but only by the slimmest of margins. It's not just far into the game, it only happens at the literal end of player progression. If my math is correct, anyhow. Details are in progression.xml.

 

Max level is 300 and you start at 1, so you get 299 points through level advancement. You get 4 points for the starter quest, so 303 total points available in the game. It takes 90 points to max out all of the attributes and another 212 points to max out the perks = 302 points to get everything.

 

Leaving you, when you finally make level 300, with 1 point you can't spend.

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35 minutes ago, Boidster said:

 

This is not a thing. Finding a book is 100% random from the perkBooks lootgroup in loot.xml.

 

This makes sense considering I've probably discovered the bike chassis book at least 4 times in only 8 days of play, but not even a hint of the forge schematic. More evidence that a smarter system needs to be implemented. Perhaps a system where every duplicate found decreases the odds of that book being available to the player again? Also making some books more common than others. 

 

When it comes too the point system, the question comes into play of whether we need those points at all with how the current loot distribution is being implemented.

Edited by JesterL (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, JesterL said:

Perhaps a system where every duplicate found decreases the odds of that book being available to the player again?

 

I like this idea, if it is gentle enough. Like a nudge, not a shove towards the needed books. We're level 90-ish in our co-op game and we're down to our last couple of books each. It's a paradox of the RNG system - it's "hard" to find the books we need, but at the same time it's exactly as hard as it has always been to find those specific books. We just found all of the other hard-to-find books first! :-)

 

I appreciate your thoughtful feedback in the OP. I don't share quite the same impressions, but I like when players give reasoned feedback.

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The issue I see is how you check to see if a book has already been found.  Does it check the person looting the container or the entire party?  Not sure if you could do entire party, and then you have cases where you got Person 1 with all but one shotgun book looting.  He might then find copies of the pistol perk books which another member of your team already has (but wasn't looting).

 

Heck, I am not sure how they would be able to do it just with one person.

 

Right now the perk book lootgroup has 133 books in it.  Once the game rolls that loot group, then it has 133 options to randomly choose from.

 

Maybe split up the perk books into more groups and then change the bookshelves to have more "picks" in lootgroups.  Though that will also increase the number of books you will receive from bookshelves and might unbalance those books.

 

When I play, I try to find as many traders and start looking for perk books on sale there.  I tend to finish the series I want in that playthrough that way, but yeah, trying to find that one last book is always a chore (though I probably forget the times I complete the series easily and only remember the ones I struggle with  😉  )

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On 11/17/2021 at 8:07 AM, JesterL said:

Looting

Summery: Zombie looting gives players a reward for fighting zombies everywhere and surviving day 7's, it keeps players engaged. Realism in the locations of loot make the world feel alive and creates a more engaging world. 

 

The first thing I want to start with is the elimination of looting zombies except during rare loot drop occurrences. I think that it is imperative to give players an incentive to engaging with the enemies in the game, especially in a survival horror game. I've seen a dramatic shift in the way zombies are used by the developers in relation to this concept. The switch to houses being more akin to dungeon crawling and zombies acting as more of a barrier in-between loot stashes. I think this approach is flawed for a number of reasons. The first being that it completely negates the desire to engage with zombies outside of homes, which leaves the entire outside world void of anything tangible save for XP and raw materials, which again can be obtained indoors. This is an even more severe issue that it conflicts with the very name of the game, that day 7's no longer hold any tangible reward outside of XP.

 

The second issue with this looting system is realism, this game is very realism oriented at its core despite the fantasy concept. I think that it's essential that this same level of realism is applied to the loot aspect of this game. It is not realistic to find hordes of enemies conveniently placed in front of stashes of loot acting as barriers. It is not realistic to find large stashes of ammunition in nearly every single coffin in a funeral home. It would be common to find ammunition in places like, a defeated military zombie for instance, while finding bones in coffins. This can also create more addicting play when searching for specific locations for specific items. Even finding scrap on zombies is better than nothing at all.

 

Eloquently put.  I completely agree. When the pimps introduced the yellow bag instead of being able to loot every zombie, the game lost a lot of charm for me.  Fortunately there is a mod that makes them lootable again, like how they were before (where the nurse typically has bandages, etc).  As soon as I started using that, the game improved 30%.

 

My only worry now is that it won't updated as soon as A20 is playable.  I want to play A20, but not without being able to loot zombies, so I might have to wait.

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I think it would have been cool to have book specific quests from the trader. For example it could be something like "Go and exterminate 100 zeds using your fists and I'll give you a Bar Brawler book of your choice." Some criteria could be made for accepting the quest, like having a couple of points put into a certain skill or having 6/7 in that book series.

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5 hours ago, elektrohund said:

I think it would have been cool to have book specific quests from the trader. For example it could be something like "Go and exterminate 100 zeds using your fists and I'll give you a Bar Brawler book of your choice." Some criteria could be made for accepting the quest, like having a couple of points put into a certain skill or having 6/7 in that book series.

 

Not a bad idea though the reward may be too good.

 

Maybe each trader should have a quest "Looking for book X. Would give book Y for it". Would make even already read books potentially valuable, waiting for the right quest

 

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55 minutes ago, meganoth said:

 

Not a bad idea though the reward may be too good.

 

Maybe each trader should have a quest "Looking for book X. Would give book Y for it". Would make even already read books potentially valuable, waiting for the right quest

 

 

I tried that today through a small mod.  I got it so the trader would offer a special mission (kill one zombie with fists) and then had the bar brawling books as rewards.  It worked, but only offered 2 books to choose from.  It is tied to the code that limits rewards to 2 choices (better barter perk that increases those).

 

I think it could be scaled appropriately, say a T5 quest and not an easy task to do

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20 hours ago, BFT2020 said:

The issue I see is how you check to see if a book has already been found.  ... Heck, I am not sure how they would be able to do it just with one person.

 

One way would be to add a tag to the perkBooks group like "duplicateAdjust=0.1" and a tweak to the RNG algorithm so that any group with that tag reads the player's stats and applies the adjustment to the otherwise equal chances on each as-yet-not-found item. So using 0.1 as the example, needed books would be adjusted upward from 1.0 (the default) to 1.1, slightly increasing their chances of being found relative to the other books. That same XML tag could be used on the schematics list. If a player wants to strengthen the "honing in" on needed books, change it to 0.2 or 0.5 or whatever.

 

For multi-player games I'd say it only applies to the player opening the container. Otherwise it becomes much more complex. If a party attacks a Crack-A-Book, they ought to split up the bookshelves amongst the party, or if they're really cooperative let the least-well-read player loot most of 'em.

 

The above technique can be done today, of course, for anybody wanting to keep some RNG but with a nudge towards needed books/schematics. You have to manually set the needed books to prob=1.1 (go higher for a stronger nudge). Of course you can also just comment out the already-found books, but at that point just use 'cm' and poptart whatever you need into inventory.

Edited by Boidster (see edit history)
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On 11/16/2021 at 10:07 PM, JesterL said:

I think that it is imperative to give players an incentive to engaging with the enemies in the game, especially in a survival horror game.

 

In my opinion, this is the flaw in your argument for loot on zombies. I think this philosophy is probably shared by those who don't really care if they die and respawning infinite times is just part of the game. For those of us who really strive to never die, the reward for engaging with a zombie is that you are still alive at the end of the encounter. Incentivizing players to run around hunting for zombies to kill for their loot is actually not reminiscent of survival horror gameplay at all. It is more like a classic shooter arcade game where you want to kill all enemies and dying is just a respawn so no big deal. In survival horror, sneaking past or evading is just as valid as killing.

 

I played several modded games where zombies gave no loot and no xp and you only earned levels for staying alive for a full 24 hour period. I often hit zombies simply to knock them down and then ran on leaving them behind. If I died, I knew my timer would start over towards earning a skill point so I really did not want to die and so I did a lot of avoiding and alternatives to flat out killing in order to minimize my risks and it felt a lot more like survival horror than ever before. IMO, the zombies still carry too much reward for killing them and there is no reward for avoiding them which (if this were not a game where you can just respawn) is what most people would be doing whenever possible.

 

Awarding the player loot and xp for killing zombies turns the game into an arcade shooter. Removing those incentives so that the only incentive left is simply staying alive is much better if what you want is survival horror. Since you brought up realism, if a zombie apocalypse could actually occur, you would be unlikely to seek out zombies just to kill them for what might be in their pockets. Maybe if there was a bounty placed on them by whatever government was in power I could see people seeking out opportunities to kill them for the bounty. But that isn't how it is represented so it really is a jarring feeling to feel excited about seeing a wandering horde because of what goodies I might get out of killing them if I'm trying to realistically play a survival horror game. Now if I just finished a session of Doom and I'm still feeling it then, sure, lets go kill all those zombies and get their stuff.

 

Finally, when looting zombies was in the game there were OFTEN bodies that had nothing.... but you still had to check all the bodies just in case. It was incredibly tedious checking empty body after empty body and then get a jar of water and then a bandage and then nothing nothing nothing etc.  Personally, the best reward for no loot is to not have to check bodies any longer. As soon as you survive the encounter you move on if no bag dropped.

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38 minutes ago, Roland said:

[...]sneaking past or evading is just as valid as killing.[...]

 

You are right...for 6 days.

On bloodmoon night it's a bad idea to actively choose to just sit there and poop my pants.

(in fact, even if I choose to not poop my pants, most of the time it still happens...but that's another story).

Sneaking past aggro GPS Zeds...nope...and evading (e.g. driving around all night) is cheesy, isn't it?

...but well, it's called 7D2D, and not "live forever in the zombie apocalypse", right?

so I'm not really saying your argument also has a little flaw there 😉

 

edit:

nevermind. Just remembered that after hordenight, there's always a whole lot of lootbags piling up against my fort. It's just a completely different game that night.

Edited by meilodasreh (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Roland said:

 

 

I played several modded games where zombies gave no loot and no xp and you only earned levels for staying alive for a full 24 hour period. I often hit zombies simply to knock them down and then ran on leaving them behind. If I died, I knew my timer would start over towards earning a skill point so I really did not want to die and so I did a lot of avoiding and alternatives to flat out killing in order to minimize my risks and it felt a lot more like survival horror than ever before. IMO, the zombies still carry too much reward for killing them and there is no reward for avoiding them which (if this were not a game where you can just respawn) is what most people would be doing whenever possible.

 

Awarding the player loot and xp for killing zombies turns the game into an arcade shooter. Removing those incentives so that the only incentive left is simply staying alive is much better if what you want is survival horror. Since you brought up realism, if a zombie apocalypse could actually occur, you would be unlikely to seek out zombies just to kill them for what might be in their pockets. Maybe if there was a bounty placed on them by whatever government was in power I could see people seeking out opportunities to kill them for the bounty. But that isn't how it is represented so it really is a jarring feeling to feel excited about seeing a wandering horde because of what goodies I might get out of killing them if I'm trying to realistically play a survival horror game. Now if I just finished a session of Doom and I'm still feeling it then, sure, lets go kill all those zombies and get their stuff.

 

Finally, when looting zombies was in the game there were OFTEN bodies that had nothing.... but you still had to check all the bodies just in case. It was incredibly tedious checking empty body after empty body and then get a jar of water and then a bandage and then nothing nothing nothing etc.  Personally, the best reward for no loot is to not have to check bodies any longer. As soon as you survive the encounter you move on if no bag dropped.

 

Thank you for your response! I appreciate your perspective, though I disagree with some things.  

 

Had this game been designed in such a way where we were combating smarter and deadlier enemies I'd be inclined to agree with you. But 7 Days to Die simply isn't built like this.

 

I think in a survival situation everything should have its risk vs reward analysis. Keeping zombies purely as a risk in this game doesn't really fly when they're already so easily dealt with. They're also incredibly easy to avoid with the exception of Day 7. Not only that, but they're also incredibly predictable based on the current dungeon crawling like way they are being used. As the game currently is you're highly likely to survive most encounters, there is also little to no reward for staying alive for extended periods of time. Back in earlier builds dying used to be much more punishing than it is now. In earlier builds your over all stamina and health could drop as low as 50, including losing experience. We're only taking away engagement from the player when taking away the rewards for winning encounters and taking away punishments for losing them. 

 

 Over all I also think death in the game should be much much more punishing than it currently is, and loot should be much more scarce. I also don't think its fair to say that giving loot the players turns this game into a basic arcade shooter, there is waaay more content at play in this game for it to even come close to that description.

 

If you're concerned about the time wasted searching bodies, simple make the loot carrying body glow and the empty bodies un-lootable, don't entirely remove engagement. 

 

If the developers intend to make a game like you mentioned, I think they have a much steeper hill to climb when it comes to adding new systems that reward the player for avoiding zombies, rewards for surviving Day 7s, making zombies infinitely more terrifying, threatening, smarter and less predictable. Even if they were to implement these systems, the current loot balance is still set up in such a way that these more difficult enemies would be at a huge disadvantage with how much loot they keep piling on new players. I think over all its a much more efficient fix to simply adjust the scarcity, loot rewards and punishments for dying.

Edited by JesterL (see edit history)
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On 11/17/2021 at 9:41 AM, Boidster said:

 

This is not a thing. Finding a book is 100% random from the perkBooks lootgroup in loot.xml.

 

 

This is already how it is done. See the above lootgroup - there are no GS tiers associated with it.

 

The reason why you perceive that "the last book" is so hard to find is that finding any particular book, assuming your loot roll lands on "perkBooks", is 1 in 133, or 0.75%. So when you only have a few books left to find, the odds are very much in favor of finding duplicate books instead. The game doesn't remember what you've already found - it always picks one book from the list of 133.

 

For a roughly equivalent thought experiment, imagine you take two decks of cards, one red and one blue, and shuffle them all together thoroughly. Then you pick one card and you only "win" if you get the Four of Clubs from the red deck. That is what trying to find "the last book" is like, only it's actually a bit harder for the books.

Thank you!  I did not know this.  Your explanation feels correct to me, so I won't be checking the files. 😝

 

On 11/17/2021 at 10:02 AM, Boidster said:

 

So I guess this is technically true, but only by the slimmest of margins. It's not just far into the game, it only happens at the literal end of player progression. If my math is correct, anyhow. Details are in progression.xml.

 

Max level is 300 and you start at 1, so you get 299 points through level advancement. You get 4 points for the starter quest, so 303 total points available in the game. It takes 90 points to max out all of the attributes and another 212 points to max out the perks = 302 points to get everything.

 

Leaving you, when you finally make level 300, with 1 point you can't spend.

I was unaware that there was a level cap.  On my achievement-hunting save I'm up to level 233, so I was predicting something I didn't know was impossible.  Thank you for this information too.

 

10 hours ago, elektrohund said:

I think it would have been cool to have book specific quests from the trader. For example it could be something like "Go and exterminate 100 zeds using your fists and I'll give you a Bar Brawler book of your choice." Some criteria could be made for accepting the quest, like having a couple of points put into a certain skill or having 6/7 in that book series.

I like this idea A LOT.

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40 minutes ago, JesterL said:

 

Thank you for your response! I appreciate your perspective, though I disagree with some things.  

 

Had this game been designed in such a way where we were combating smarter and deadlier enemies I'd be inclined to agree with you. But 7 Days to Die simply isn't built like this.

 

I think in a survival situation everything should have its risk vs reward analysis. Keeping zombies purely as a risk in this game doesn't really fly when they're already so easily dealt with. They're also incredibly easy to avoid with the exception of Day 7. Not only that, but they're also incredibly predictable based on the current dungeon crawling like way they are being used. As the game currently is you're highly likely to survive most encounters, there is also little to no reward for staying alive for extended periods of time. Back in earlier builds dying used to be much more punishing than it is now. In earlier builds your over all stamina and health could drop as low as 50, including losing experience. We're only taking away engagement from the player when taking away the rewards for winning encounters and taking away punishments for losing them. 

 

 Over all I also think death in the game should be much much more punishing than it currently is, and loot should be much more scarce. I also don't think its fair to say that giving loot the players turns this game into a basic arcade shooter, there is waaay more content at play in this game for it to even come close to that description.

 

If you're concerned about the time wasted searching bodies, simple make the loot carrying body glow and the empty bodies un-lootable, don't entirely remove engagement. 

 

If the developers intend to make a game like you mentioned, I think they have a much steeper hill to climb when it comes to adding new systems that reward the player for avoiding zombies, rewards for surviving Day 7s, making zombies infinitely more terrifying, threatening, smarter and less predictable. Even if they were to implement these systems, the current loot balance is still set up in such a way that these more difficult enemies would be at a huge disadvantage with how much loot they keep piling on new players. I think over all its a much more efficient fix to simply adjust the scarcity, loot rewards and punishments for dying.

 

And see? You stating that zombies are so simple to kill and don't even pose a threat is another reason to not also give them loot. By your own admission the individual zombies haven't really been built to be a risk so why then tie a reward to that non-risk? If we do a risk vs reward analysis against individual zombies then by this standard they should also have no loot. Their risk doesn't warrant it. 

 

Now on horde night there is more risk but you also get more loot bags dropping as reward.

 

Smarter and more deadlier enemies might warrant it and there may be loot on the bodies of the bandits we kill in the future for that reason.

 

I didn't mean to say that the whole game was turned into Turok the Zombie Killer. I meant to say that the relationship between the player and the enemies in the game changes more in the direction of Turok the Zombie Slayer when there are more direct rewards for killing in play. You're killing zombies to get loot rather than acting in your best interest to survive another day.

 

1) With no loot and no xp, if you see a horde of zombies passing nearby, you just hide until they move on-- just as you would probably do if it wasn't just a video game with respawning.

2) If you see a horde of zombies pass by and there is no loot but you do get xp then you might check your bar to see if you're close to leveling up and then go kill them to get your next skill point. That has no basis in how you would act if you were actually there and starts popping you into video gamey type thinking.

3) If you get loot and xp then you are killing every horde you see left and right and instead of survival horror it is horrific farming. You are basically unwrapping presents to yourself wrapped in zombie flesh.

 

Each steps brings you away from survival horror and more towards first person shooter and affects how you think about zombies.

 

In A20 feral mode brings outdoor zombies to you much more often so you get engagement galore. You can't finish hardly a single task without getting interrupted and engaging. You could probably change all respawn delay numbers to 0 so that you were always getting a stream of zombies harrying you and increasing engagement regardless of what loot they might or might not carry.

 

I fully agree that the death penalty is too light. Playing with the option destroy all items on death definitely helps and I recommend that setting to everyone. It is fantastic and when you die and lose your best gear and have to start over it is a struggle to return to where you were.

Edited by Roland (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, nostalginator said:

Your explanation feels correct to me, so I won't be checking the files. 😝

 

People have made this mistake before...and paid WITH THEIR LIVES!!! :D

 

1 hour ago, JesterL said:

Had this game been designed in such a way where we were combating smarter and deadlier enemies I'd be inclined to agree with you. But 7 Days to Die simply isn't built like this.

 

I think maybe an important point about Roland's post was that his game was modded to be more of a survival-horror game. So if you want to play more of that kind of game, you can mod out XP and loot for kills and mod in XP and/or skill points just for surviving 24 hours and Bob's-yer-uncle, it's more of a survival-horror game. In its vanilla state, it has strong zombie-shooter (or zombie-basher as the case may be) elements. Which is also fun.

 

I have always wanted to try Roland's skill-points-for-surviving mode one day. I often say, usually in the context of "cheesing", that survival is the only goal and whatever you can do to survive is legit. Roland's modded game really gets close to that idea, especially if biome spawns are increased and especially especially with the upcoming feral sense.

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1 hour ago, Boidster said:

I have always wanted to try Roland's skill-points-for-surviving mode one day. I often say, usually in the context of "cheesing", that survival is the only goal and whatever you can do to survive is legit. Roland's modded game really gets close to that idea, especially if biome spawns are increased and especially especially with the upcoming feral sense.

Yes, but first we got to get him to update his mod.  I believed he teased us with a possible update when A20 drops.  Definitely one I will try out.

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I've seen a couple really brilliant suggestions that I like. 

I don't mind the lootbag drops over looting zombies, as if a bag drops it tells me there is guaranteed loot versus searching an empty zombie. I do wish I could hack up zombies for rotten flesh, but at least I get that with the undead bears, dogs and vultures.  Also random gore piles, so it isn't remotely a wash for me. I can't tell if I've just been lucky or an adjustment was made, but I feel like I see more loot bag drops during the normal 6 days than I used to. I don't need much more incentive to engage with them as in relatively small numbers, and especially alone they pose essentially zero threat to me at my current level of personal experience with this game. 

I really like the targeted quests with choice rewards like @elektrohund mentioned. I feel like that could be a cool way to improve quest rewards, or even opening another avenue. i.e. Keep the normal quests and have a quest like "punch 100 zombies for a choice Brawling book" or "break down 100 cars for a tool" type nature on the side. Even exchange quests like "Jen needs more first aid kits in exchange for a great weapon". Something you couldn't do in a day but would want to keep grinding at for the reward. We get something akin to this with the notes, but the only ones I bother with are the treasure maps because they actually give loot! Usually dang good loot too. My two cents.

 

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10 hours ago, Lenny Lettuce Lips said:

I really like the targeted quests with choice rewards like @elektrohund mentioned. I feel like that could be a cool way to improve quest rewards, or even opening another avenue. i.e. Keep the normal quests and have a quest like "punch 100 zombies for a choice Brawling book" or "break down 100 cars for a tool" type nature on the side. Even exchange quests like "Jen needs more first aid kits in exchange for a great weapon". Something you couldn't do in a day but would want to keep grinding at for the reward. We get something akin to this with the notes, but the only ones I bother with are the treasure maps because they actually give loot! Usually dang good loot too. My two cents.

 

 

This sounds like a fun mini project for me.  If you (or anyone else) had your choice, would it be a quest given only by Traders or by finding notes?

 

The notes option means you can find it in loot at any time and can be done like any other note (along with other quests).

 

Given by Traders would mean that once you accept it from Trader A, you can't do any more quests from Trader A until you cancel or turn in this quest.

 

Or maybe a combination of the two?  Depending on the type of the quest perhaps?

 

Figuring out how to do these things will just make my modding skills stronger.

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4 minutes ago, BFT2020 said:

 

This sounds like a fun mini project for me.  If you (or anyone else) had your choice, would it be a quest given only by Traders or by finding notes?

 

The notes option means you can find it in loot at any time and can be done like any other note (along with other quests).

 

Given by Traders would mean that once you accept it from Trader A, you can't do any more quests from Trader A until you cancel or turn in this quest.

 

Or maybe a combination of the two?  Depending on the type of the quest perhaps?

 

Figuring out how to do these things will just make my modding skills stronger.

I'd like it to be like the special quests from traders where I can have it and another separate quest on the side, personally. The idea being that you won't finish one of these "side quests" quickly necessarily. 

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I'd be down for a note-based quest which required you to cut down the mightiest tree in the forest WIIIIITH...a herring kill one of every type of non-zombie animal:

 

Rabbit, Chicken, Stag, Doe, Snake, Coyote, Wolf, Cougar*, Boar, Bear

 

And in exchange either:

 

a) you get ONE random book or schematic that you don't already know (extra choice if you have the perk)

--or if that's too difficult to mod--

b) you get your choice of any book from a set (indicated in the note)

--or if you want to be generous--

c) you get your choice of any book (one type of note) or any type of schematic (a different note)

 

*The one on the left, not the one on the right.

image.png.8060d05a2d851a313e0a55c6f5dfa1a1.png

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