bloom_meister Posted September 1, 2018 Share Posted September 1, 2018 I wanted to start by talking about dynamic player driven gameplay experiences and should probably define what I mean by that as i will be referring back to it a few times. With dynamic gameplay the world around you reacts to the players actions, I will use online MMO's as an example which I am sure many of you will have played, something like WoW, just so you get the concept. Now with MMO's, generally speaking, you can wander where you want in the world but this freedom comes at a price. In the starter areas the enemies are lower level, the loot is low quality and the danger is generally of your own making, the developers tend not to suprise you with dangerous encounters and everything is about learning the game. Of course you can wander out of those starter areas into the low to mid levels areas of the world and this is where the risk v reward aspects really start to kick in. Most games have some form of system where you can assess how tough the enemies are by either visual clues, sound or specifically noting their levels/toughness. If you and your friends want to take on something much tougher than you then the risk of defeat is high, but, so is the reward, because these enemies will have equipment/rewards that are of a better quality than you could find in those easy starter areas. This type of progression is well tested over hundreds of games, works well to incentivise players and is excellent in rewarding players who play well together and cooperate no matter if its a pve or pvp environment. Now lets imagine applying this to 7DTD, I played a very good mod recently where you viewed the world as a ring (yes I know the world is now square, thanks TFP..) and this ring had concentric circles that radiated outwards. The inner ring was zombies never run, PvP was off and as you moved outwards the zombie strength increased until you got to the final ring and it had new boss type zombies with high HP, much better damage, who hunted you actively and there were better POI's to be found with better loot. This was of course just an A16 mod so there was a limit to what the very talented modder could do but imagine a world where rather than the enemies you meet being determined on your level/gamestage they were, just like in life (and MMO's), determined by where you where. Imagine that the radiated wastelands required full rad gear, were populated by swarms of crazed bandits (think mad max) and held both dungeons and NPC bases holding equipment that you could find nowhere else. And even to get to this area you had to travel through multiple other areas of increasing difficulty so that the journey itself was challenging, hard and rewarding. Now imagine taking all that on at level 10 with a couple of friends, sure its possible, more likely though that you would create staging areas on the way to it and build supply bases etc but, if you really wanted to, you could go for it on day 1. Thats a player driven dynamic world, YOU choose the risk v reward youre comfortable with, YOU encounter enemies not based upon your level, an arbitrary number at best but instead on how difficult the bit of the world you inhabit is. To give you a real world example, if you are a Special forces member of the armed forces and live in New York you dont meet armed insurgents wanting to kill you around every street corner (example does not apply to Chicago...) but if you deploy to Afghanistan then yes, you are gonna meet a lot of scary and heavily armed enemies, it doesnt matter how tough and well trained you are, the world reacts to your location, not your skills. The above is meant to illustrate the fact that TFP continue to remove player choices, to take away the freedom that is implicit in a sandbox game and force you into design culdesacs that remove player choice and freedom. If we were given a true dynamic player choice driven world we could write our own game stories and make our own fun but repeatedly we are given meaningless roadblocks such as being level X to learn how to make a chemistry station, i mean seriously, what about that geek guy who doesnt want to fight or build or explore but gets a kick out of playing with his chemistry set all day? why does he have to spend a load of points on stuff he doesnt need AND get to level 60 before building it? the answer my friends is to block your progress with arbitrary timesinks, but thats a different topic... TFP already have the technology to spawn different entities based on conditions, using my example location could be a condition (eg distance from centre) and could then give you encounters of a difficulty based on your risk v reward choices rather than just ''oh you're level 100 here have 2 radiated cops'' even when you're in that player driven hub in the middle of the map where it makes no sense at all. POI spawns can be handled in the same way when doing map generation, just add rarity and type based on distance from centre so that sure you MIGHT get that bandit camp of doom 5k out but its unlikely, however when youre 10k out you best be damn sure youre ready cause they are all over the place. Let the player make their own story, if they want to spend every bit of experience/perk points on being the most amazing builder ever, let them! if they want to specialise on hunting and tracking to the exclusion of all else, let them.. These kind of choice do not impact anyone else at all, ever, in any way. So what if your whole team skills up like rambo and starves to death because no-one can light a fire? its a learning curve right, next time one of them is going to spread those skills around a bit. Grind..grind.....grind... TFP have done everything in their power for the last 2 years to slow your game down, crafting, harvesting, making mats, making end game equipment, finding end game equipment, the list goes on. Every aspect of the game has been slowed down to add more grind because they have no end game content and they continue down this blinkered path trying to solve a problem that does not exist. Yeah that's right, the problem doesn't exist. Back in the early Alphas people got their axe, shovel, sniper etc pretty fast, there were no quality levels, everything was green, everything did the same damage and had the same usability (tools and weapons and amour, though armour didnt work..). And yet, for all this lack of progression and end game content, people loved the game and played it to death! Why? because they made their own entertainment and the longevity of their gameplay did not depend on getting the next tier of shovel but instead they played because they made their own fun, they built epic bases, gardens, towers, they terraformed, they cooperated, they raided they made pretty forests and captured deer to put in their gardens. None of this required endgame content, none of it needed tiers of weapons and or level locked perks. TFP worried about something that the players generally didnt notice because they were too busy, having fun. Rather than slow the players down to stop them reaching the end game in terms of tools, weapons and building they SHOULD be giving players more freedom in their journey and not focus on the destination. Now sure, I like new toys same as anyone else and have asked for them over the years but that doesnt drive me to play, a lot of my friends would say that once you get to purple Q600 everything THEN the real game begins because you can explore, build fight or whatever without having to worry about that stuff anymore, you can write your own story at that point. When you create grind and lock things behind levels you force players into doing UNfun things so that they can have the tools to start creating their own fun, much better to not worry about how they get those things and let them get to the point of creating their own fun earlier! In todays game you will never know the sheer excitement and thrill of opening a loot container and pulling out a high end rifle or axe on day 1 because TFP insist you spend 56 points on QJ3 before that becomes a realistic probability and by that time, guess what, you dont need the damn purple things because you can MAKE them yourself, see? you are taking away fun and excitement and replacing it with pointless grind aimed at fixing a problem that is not there. If you want to make this game the best it could be and in line with your 'original' vision then the best thing you and the rest of the team at TFP could do would be to stop all dev work for the next month and have everyone go and play the game for that month with other people on both pve and pvp servers, live and breath it, understand what people like and what they dont like, see the frustrations yourself, see what works and THEN come back and make your list for the next release, i guarantee that would be your most popular release ever. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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