Spudbar Posted November 27, 2018 Share Posted November 27, 2018 Heads Up: This post is going to pretty long. As in - I need to separate it into three posts. (I'm probably not the best at giving concise info). A17 brings a lot of changes and additions, and so there's a lot to examine. I'll be trying to look at most of the major systems that were changed in this update - and other general gameplay elements that currently exist, even if they weren't specifically changed - and see how they affect the overall experience, for better or worse. There will be a summary at the end. Some background info so you know where my experience comes from (don't take this as an invitation to use the "you don't have 10,000 hours so you can't have an opinion" argument). I have played Alpha 16 for 100+ hours, both unmodded and modded. (You won't see this playtime on my main account; don't ask why )I have played Alpha 17 for ~50 hours, both modded and unmodded.My entire experience with the game is in singleplayer. In the rest of this post I'll be looking at most aspects I can think of, starting from major to minor, and if they were [+]improvements, [=]sidegrades, or [-]downgrades - as well as why they are those things and what my own thoughts are. I'll try to avoid anything that clearly isn't intended to the experience, meaning things like bugs or minor errors. I'm mostly trying to give an opinion on things that are intentionally designed or part of the game's structure. There's no particular order to this - but to start... Graphics/Performance I'm tying these two together because for me, they seem fairly related. I don't have too much to say here, but one thing is important to bring up. [+]Many textures have sharper details. [+]Lighting has definitely improved. [++]It's now humanly possible to track a rabbit in the grass. This is my favorite thing. Revenge. Is. Sweet. [---]Performance has dropped by a huge margin. GPU usage has spiked tremendously between A16 and A17. Previously I could run the game at medium settings and native resolution and still have stable 60+ FPS, even in large environments. Now in order to reach 60 FPS stable in the middle of nowhere, I have to play at a significantly lower resolution (native resolution with everything at lowest still has big FPS issues) with most options turned down to lowest/low. As such, despite all the graphical improvements, the game ends up looking considerably worse. This isn't a gamebreaking problem for me personally, but I imagine this performance drop will ruin the game for many and turn the game unplayable for others. Low/Unstable FPS in 7DTD also does much more than just make the game unpleasant to look at as well - see Combat for more on that. Conclusion: [+/-] If your system can handle it, you'll enjoy the graphical improvements. If you can't, you'll have to choose to suffer with low framerates, or a small window/blurry graphics. You might not be able to play it at all, depending. If the performance drop wasn't so significant I wouldn't mark the game down for it, and maybe this'll be optimized more in the future - but for now it's too big to ignore. "Integrated Survival System" AKA: ISS. This is the new system that replaces the Wellness mechanic. Hunger now determines your max stamina capacity, while thirst determines your HP/Stamina recovery rate. Injuries may now also reduce your max HP. "Damaged" Stamina/HP bars can be restored via medical items, food, and drinks. [+++]Survival is key. Neglecting your health has consequences. Previously it really only mattered if you were above 0% in any category. The worse thing you would suffer is having to listen to your character's audible complaints when they were hungry/thirsty - which would attract zombies. All that still happens ofc, but now you really feel the effects of neglecting your character's status. This is a very nice change in direction. [--]Micromanagement. Ironically, the survival system doesn't feel very well integrated into the game. What starts as an interesting thought quickly turns into a chore while playing. Stamina is an incredibly crucial part of the game, more so than ever. It drains incredibly quickly, skill points are so limited that you can hardly afford to spend them on lowering the drain rate (more on that later), and now you have to maintain your hunger/thirst meters to avoid penalties. In A17 the moment either your hunger or thirst drops below 100% - you are being penalized. For each % you are missing in hunger, your stamina cap is lowered by 1 point. For thirst, your recovery rate is lowered. This necessitates bringing food and water on every journey otherwise you will suffer increasingly annoying penalties. Though technically you're already being penalized by having to carry more items with you at all times, seeing as you now also have to deal with the encumbrance system. The only saving grace is that with B208 you are now able to "overeat a little" once more. This doesn't seem to affect thirst however, the far more important stat to maintain, and since it's not specified how much "a little" actually is, nor can you see how close you are to dropping below 100% again, you aren't able to plan around it. Conclusion: [=] It's almost an improvement? But in the end it's really just a sidegrade that's sitting close to the edge of being a downgrade. In fact I don't see many people actually enjoying it either way - and I wouldn't expect them to. It's hard to enjoy a system that has you constantly babysitting your character. The penalties need to be delayed until you are at least below 80% in either food/water. It's obnoxious to play a survival game which penalizes you for not being in absolute perfect condition. Overfilling in food/water I think should also exist as buffs for high quality foods like meat stew. Otherwise, why use them? You have to be near half-stamina to get the full value out of them, which I doubt many people would choose to do. NPCs There have been a number of changes to the NPCs in the game. Some have new functionality, others new purpose - etc. A number of various things to look at here. [+++]More animals. Hearing that zombies could no longer be harvested had me very worried coming into A17. Thankfully, the animal spawns rates have been increased by quite a lot. Animals are now rather common, whereas in A16 I was left wondering a lot of the time if my game was bugged because there were so few of them. [++]Enemy AI has been improved a lot. Not so much zig-zagging anymore - though there is still a bit of that. It's quite a bit harder to cheese them during the blood moon though, which was definitely needed. [+]Trader quests. [+]More enemy functions; spider zombies will leap onto your base. [--]Vultures. And I thought these things were annoying in A16. Now they're even worse. They'll stalk you over long distances. If you look at them, they'll fly higher so you can't hit them unless you use a gun. If you look away for too long, they'll rush you and immediately start pecking your scalp off. By the time you hear their wings flapping, you only have a second or two to react to them. There's also sleeper versions of these, as well as wandering hordes, and apparently some vultures will puke. They might not be "overpowered", but they are very annoying to deal with. They feel cheap and uninteresting. [--]The loot rework has derived the sense of individuality from zombies. So, loot is now at a 2% drop rate according to some sources. When loot does drop, it doesn't matter from whom - you'll just get some generic gear. Which isn't even guaranteed to be good, despite being a 1/50 chance. In my most recent playthrough, I've gotten 5 bags of loot - and the best thing I got was a nearly broken handgun from just one of them. I do like the idea of there being less drops from zombies. But the direction it's being taken is pretty bad. Zombies no longer have any unique characteristics about them. They're just worth more/less XP and have more/less HP. Getting money/suits from businessmen, and medical items from nurses, made them feel unique and fit their character. Getting a rocket launcher and ammo from some random crawler in the desert really breaks the immersion and really just feels dumb. Or you can be like me and get a candlestick and some water from a zombie - the same exact kind of crap you'd get in A16. Extremely rare junk is still junk. Also - I don't know if lowering the amount of loot from zombies was supposed to make you seek them out less, but if it was, then they shouldn't have made it so difficult to level up. Running around killing zombies is the fastest, and really the only efficient way of leveling. Since leveling is so slow and necessary, you're going to be seeking them out more than ever. Conclusion: [+] A17 improves a lot of the enemy functions, which is the most important thing. Unfortunately it also removed most of the charm in the process. Nothing that can't be changed - either officially or through mods, but still. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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