A Nice Cup of Tea Posted November 26, 2018 Share Posted November 26, 2018 (Sorry for the somewhat click-baity title, but all the obvious permutations of "here's what I think of A17" had been used.) My preferred playstyle is a little bit of a minority one, in that I prefer to hide from zombies than to kill them. That doesn't mean that I would prefer to play without zombies, just that I see fighting zombies as something you do out of necessity when you can't avoid them; not something you go out and seek to do. I normally like to go with the natural rhythm of the game, out and about during the day looting, scavenging, and building; and spending nights safely indoors - with the exception of blood moon nights, during which I'll defend myself from a second "horde-night" structure rather than my main base. I don't mind building a basic base, but I'm not one for big extensive fortresses, and I really don't like having to keep doing repairs because that gets boring (as does gathering the resources for repair work) so I normally make a base that the zombies don't break - a stilt base or an underground base. I find mining tedious and don't do it, and I dislike the traders and (after fulfilling the starter quest) completely ignore their existence. I also rarely bother with guns or electricity - I'll play until about day 40 or so and then I tend to consider the game "done" and will re-start with a new map and a new character. So - given my playstyle, what do I think of Alpha 17? Leveling and Perks I'm loving the new level-gated perk system. The fact that it stretches out the early game is ideal for me, since that's my favourite part of the game anyway. The way the perk tree works forces a nice decision point between spending points immediately on generally useful things or saving them till you get higher level and can spend them or more specialised things. That's the sort of decision forcing that makes the game more interesting, and lets you experiment with different styles of character. It's much better than the "learn by doing" mechanics the game used to have which either encouraged spam-crafting or meant every character was the same as they generically levelled up in the same things that everyone does. My Rating: 9/10 - Excellent, needs only minor tweaks for balance Zombie AI and Block Damage This was one of the things that I was worried about in the run-up to A17 coming out. The hype about it was that no base would be safe and so - as someone who likes there to be danger but also likes to have a safe base to retreat to - this was rather concerning to say the least. As it happens, I'm mostly happy with it. When it comes to horde night, it has meant I have had to learn new ways to do an effective horde-night structure that I can defend - but that's been a fun learning curve. In some ways, it's actually been an improvement because the more direct AI means that if I make the zombies run a gauntlet to get to me rather than just swarming in from all directions I actually need less in the way of repair work afterwards. However, when it's not a horde night I'm less keen. Some of the AI changes (digging and raging against supports) have specifically been put in to prevent my normal styles of non-horde base from working, and I'm not terribly happy about this. I can no longer make a base that the zombies will ignore on non-horde nights. Instead, the wandering groups and individuals will make a bee-line for it and me. Since these are much less fierce than horde night attacks, I could use passive defences such as spike fields, but then that means repairing and replacing each morning which is really boring. So currently, I find that the only way to prevent this is to make no heat/noise at all at night. This means that instead of being able to cook and sort loot and craft at night I have to spend the nights with my character crouched in the dark doing nothing for six in-game hours while I go AFK and read a book or something. Obviously this is hardly ideal, but perhaps I'll be able to find a repair-free strategy for non-horde nights that lets me do a bit more when I'm more familiar with things. But currently it definitely feels that the zombies senses could do with toning down. They see and hear you from much too far away, even when you're indoors and they have no direct line of sight and your sound should be muffled by walls! My Rating: 5/10 - Better in general, but "having" to go AFK each night to not be found sucks. This score will increase if I can find a solution to that problem. Loot Changes I'm fine with the zombies dropping far fewer things but those things being generally better, and I'm fine with weapon damage not getting any better with increased quality but depending on your perks instead (yes, I know that increased quality weapons have more mod slots - but I've not yet found a weapon mod so that's a moot point). Loot bags (and dropped backpacks) despawn a bit too quickly, though. My Rating: 7/10 - less trash is good Dungeon POIs and Quests The whole idea of Dungeon POIs with "boss" zombies leaves me cold, but luckily it's a part of the game that I can completely ignore. I can simply not take that kind of quest from the traders and I'm fine. When it comes to day-to-day scavenging, I can mostly stick to the non-Dungeon ones. Having said that, I think there are too many sleepers - but apparently that's already being addressed. Speaking of the quest system, that's another thing that I wasn't looking forward to because I don't really feel that traders giving out quests fits the zombie genre. Having said that, I suppose I might do one or two treasure-finding quests (I've only accepted one so far, but the game bugged out before I got to the treasure location and I had to start a new game!) They destroy my feeling of immersion in the game, but I can deal with that and just treat them as disassociated game mechanics. My Rating: 4/10 - I don't like it, but it's relatively easy to ignore for the most part RWG I always play random worlds rather than Navezgane. The pre-generation of worlds is good for performance. I'd rather have a big wait for it to be generated all at once than slower perfomance while it keeps making bits as it goes along. The new RWG algorithm needs work, though. I'm fine with the fewer biomes, but at the moment the worlds are a bit flat and samey. They need more varied terrain. The snow-in-the-north-and-desert-in-the-south thing is overdone too. They should tend that way but it would be nice to get the occasional patch of one or the other rather than such regular stripes. My Rating: 7/10 - It's okay, but nothing to write home about Overall Feel Combat feels a lot better, and arrows sticking in zombies is particularly nice for someone like me who prefers bows to guns. In general, the game seems to feel a lot better than the sum of its parts. My Rating: 8/10 - Overall it's definitely a step forward rather than a step back, and while there are things I don't like I'm not likely to go back to A16 or flounce off in a huff any time soon. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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