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Alpha 17 - Early game balance - varied opinions welcome!


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Is it too hard for beginners?


So I'm still suffering form some FPS issues making the full game experience a little unstable. Guess I must be playing unstable, or something. Rather than going back to Alpha 16 I'm trying to play what I can, explore different settings and see what I can see. So far I got some thoughts about the early game, and would appreciate some discussion. To be clear, I really don't care how awesome anyone is at this game or how terrible I am at it; any and all intelligent or even semi intelligent discussion welcome; but can I ask that if you comment you make some comment on the following?


Obviously, there's a lot of new stuff, and to a great extend we just have to give it some time and get used to it. Lots of players are looking for more of a challenge and more of a lasting challenge that doesn't just go; Forge: Shotgun: GG. I see how the new health, stamina and levelling systems are designed to start exploring that and I See they have tremendous potential




I'm a little concerned they make the early game a little too much - especially for beginners. Specifically...




Early on it is proving very hard to keep fed. Not a massive problem on it's own, but when you tie food to stamina - which is vital for harvesting, fighting, shooting the bow (?!) and running away it seems a little too much difficulty to something a little too vital for beginners and early game. It's too easy to hit a vicious cycle. (my opinion, obvs)


Canned food % chance of food poisoning.

Okay, I get it; canned food shouldn't be the answer to everything but I think at least SOME of it ought to be safe to eat without risk. You can nerf it to high heavens - but canned food is ONLY ever something players are eating in the early game. Rotten and dodgy food is an act of desperation, and ought to have risks, and established player will get a farm or hunt; it's only the newby's who are eating from Cans. SOME canned food ought to be safe. Maybe not all of it; but in my opinion (OMG!) It's a bit shoddy for a player to start with a tin of Chilli, eat it (because stamina is so vital) get food poisoning and lose max health and then stamina right off the bat.


My Experience: I have found myself after taking one hit with a bleed, and eating one can of chilli reduced to insufficient stamina to run, harvest, hit or aim my bow on day 1. Hard, yes? Fun, no.


My suggestion: Make SOME kind of tinned food safe and let the player start with that. Tinned food should allow you to survive, but not prosper; but should either not have a risk of food poisoning or have a risk of something less damning - at LEAST day 1. or below a certain threshold.




Stamina should not by tied so directly to fullness. Stamina is vital. Established players can make beer, coffee, max health improving food, and buy things to help em out; but it's the newby's in early game who are most likely to lose max stamina that most need it. In my opinion (Obvs) a player shouldn't end out devoid of stamina, healing options and ability to do the basics on day 1 - either an extended amnesty, a tutorial how to or trader re-charge station with time limited use might be solutions?


Summary: I LIKE the notion of stamina / food - but in my experience it is making the early game disproportionally harder without affecting the mid to late game. I'm all for making the game harder; but make the later stuff harder than the day 1 stuff; and canned food and stamina loss for hunger is a day 1 issue; and I think new players need some insulation from it.


So do you agree? Why? AM I missing something? What? I look forward to hearing from you all :)




Again: I see the new system for max / health and actual healing, and I see the potential, but again it feels like it's MUCH more difficult in the early game than the mid - late game, and it seems like some kind of early game healing ought to be available that becomes unavailable later.


The best comparison I can give from alpha 16 is the heat map with torches, candles and electric lights. Torches attracted screamers more then candles, which attracted them more than electric lights; but the players most likely to USE the torches were in the early game; and electricity was a late game thing; so the lighting without attracting screamers became easier as the game went on.


Sorry for rambling and thanks for listening!

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My biggest issue with stamina, health and food/water changes is that none of it will have any effect on mid/late game. You *will* have a steady supply of high end food items due to farming, reduced food demand and higher stamina regen due to perks, so this whole stamina fiasco is only there to greatly annoy you for the first twenty or thirty levels. All it does is make you stand there waiting for that bar to fill. How exciting.


Right now it seems there is a single meaningful survival path left for you - harvest all the bird nests, cook eggs, find a pot, gather some flowers, make tea. So instead of doing something fun, like building or mining or exploring or killing zombies, you are scavenging for bird nests. How very challenging. Survival at its finest.

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