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A17 review from two different play styles.


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Disclaimer: Wall of text!

If your attention span is shorter that this sentence.. Don’t bother or scroll down to the summery!


There has been a lot of reviews of this experimental already but i still wanted to share my opinion good and bad about this update.


For starters i have been playing 7dtd since we had block shaped terrain (and digging zombies)

And i have played for more hours than i would like to admit! 7dtd is hands down the best game i have ever played. And i think we will keep on having a great relationship. BUT! There are a few things we need to talk about, I’ll get to that later!


I have many play styles when i play 7dtd, and that's what I love about this game, that i can have a few different save games going with different stories to choose from.

Usually I play:

Cave dweller with a big underground base and underground farm.


Nomadic, no farming, no digging except for clay (Only stay in one POI for one week then move on to the next town)


Since I have had limited with time to play I choose to play two different games til day 8.


Playthrough 1: “Basebuilding”


I started up a game on Navezgane I spawned right by an abandoned house close to the farm so I decided to fortify it and stay there. Since I had a good amount of food and water resources around.

First thing that struck me was how good the game looks. The details, the poi’s amazing. Finally the world feels more immersive than ever, Great job!

I had a bit lower FPS but after lowering my resolution i got it back to 60fps without feeling it interfered with textures too much.

From the forum and streams I had heard that mining felt slow and tedious, so I had to see for myself. Unfortunately I share that view.

It’s more of a grind than i wish it to be. Having to wait for stamina to regain, gaining almost none to 0 xp from rocks and clay. Which is the foundation of early game base building.


The amount of resources you get and the damage stone axe gives feels appropriate for early game. But it is the drainage of stamina that gets to me. I noticed that if i have my food to 100% it stamina generates almost as fast as it drains so i could keep banging for a while, but since the hunger drains so fast i quickly went back to waiting game. Food is too precious to spend on maxing out stamina especially when xp gain is so low on mining.



On day two while digging for clay I got jumped by dogs. As a veteran my reflexes were quick enough to save me from a quick death but having them howl from further away than 2m would be nice. Especially when digging is draining stamina so fast it's hard to outrun them or even fight them.

I was lucky and had plenty of animals to kill so good wasn't really a problem. But having to put a point in cocking for basic boiling is just stupid. If you can set up a camp fire you can do some basic cooking.

I tried a trader treasure quest in hope of getting a home or at least enough money to buy one.

The treasure was located in winter biome which almost killed me. The new overlay is great and cold feels even more dangerous than in a16. I love it. Had to put up 3 campfires so I wouldn't freeze to death while digging for the treasure.


By the 7th day I was level 12 just from mining resources. I only killed 135 zombies by then.

I had fortified the walls with a second layer of flagstone and two rows of spikes outside. And was scared and excited for the BM horde!


Defending against the BM horde wasn't a problem. As long as I moved around I'm my base they didn't focus on one single block. It wasn't until I was certain that there where only a few left I stood still and let them punch through the wall. Which took under a minute.

But I lived to see another day!


Playthrough 2: “nomadic base building”

This playthrough was more focused on looting and killing zombies. And God damn those pois look good. I looted only a handful but as I walked down the street I stopped and looked at a few building intrigued by what was hiding behind those walls.


I found a poi with a forge on day one so I was lucky with that. On the other hand food was much harder to find in city area. And desperate as I was I picked a fight with a wolf. Which i lost the first round. The second round he ended up in my belly!

Somehow I didn't get death penalty. (Bug?)

I enjoyed the new melee attack I quickly abandoned my bow and when I found a sledge hammer I was very pleased. Stamina drainage is ok on power attack but as I mentioned earlier the connection between hunger and stamina seems a bit to much. I'll get back to that later.

Finding guns, ammo and tools was easy and since I had a forge in my base quality wasn't a problem. But I didn't fancy the iron pickaxe. The extra stamina drainage isn't worth it for the extra 10hp damage it deals. The steel pickaxe falls better but now where beer as good as I would hope!


By day 7 I was level 26 and had killed around 360 zombies.

And I had to log out to gain some courage before I logged in again.

I had fortified my base with two rows of spikes and one row of bar wire on top.

The POI's walls were made of flagstone so I only adds another layer to that.

Bm wasn't a problem either I had two cops but that was about it.

I lived to see another day!



From my two playthrough you can easily see that killing zombies is more profitable than mining for resources. This will hopefully be balanced.


Forge: The way I see it is that the Forge is as much an endgame item as an AK-47 or Assault rifle. On playthrough 2 i got an AK and assault rifle on day 3. Those will definitely help me thrive in a more offensive play style. But as a builder your main item for thriving and progressing is gated by level. That would need to be balanced better!


Stamina: Its very immersive breaking to have it so tied to hunger. If the stamina had as much impact as it has now when hunger is below 50% i could live with it. Feeling that a full stomach actually gave you better stamina would feel more fulfilling.


Death penalty: I didn’t get death penalty when i died so i wasn't affected by it but i wouldn't mind having it lowered to 30 min or 15 and not affect intellect. My playtime is limited so 1 hour of penalty is a bit much for my taste.


Zombies: I like the new AI but some serious tweeking is needed, more diversity in path to player would be nice, tank goes straight through everything to the player, businessman finds the easiest path, the rest have more random calculations on what's the best path.

The deal way to much damage to blocks.

Digging not a problem for me but lower the block damage and it would be better balanced.


Hoe: Is basically just flipping dirt, don't understand why i need a forge to do that.


All in all I am found of A17 with some balancing I might LOVE it!

Also looking forward to those 300 mods!

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Your test proves pretty well that "base building occupation" is a non-starter for A17. In 7 days you progressed less than half the levels (meaning less than half the perk points to spend when so many of the base building skills are gate-locked) I would imagine if you continue the play-through the discrepancies would be even worse after 14 days.


Does this matter? If you have a friend who wants to be the base builder/cook/home body... they won't help you much unless they go kill a bunch of Zs to level and get the skillz they need.


Now, this can be fixed by throwing [some] XP when you place or upgrade a block, right now I think you only get XP for upgrading a frame. Maybe a perk to give you extra XP for striking the earth. Fixable, but worth fixing because it is limiting of not broken.

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"Hoe: Is basically just flipping dirt, don't understand why i need a forge to do that."


Not entirely. Ground that has a sat for a long time and been exposed to period of rain then baking heat can take hours of effort to properly till. I've spend half a day on a medium sized flower bed because the ground was rock hard. Technically, yes, it's just flipping dirt, but it's not generally that easy. You also have clean up (roots, rocks, debris, etc). I look at needed a solid iron hoe to till up that ground as partly a reflection of the fact that most of the 'ground' we run into in game is probably not going to be that well tended and thus would require hours of work to churn up. I'd rather build a forge then build a hoe that somewhat gated vs. having to spend 4-5 days in game working the ground into a usable state.


I know we have shovels which let us dig through the same dirt and should, in theory, be able to accomplish the same task as the hoe, but shoveled dirt doesn't yield nearly the same benefits either. It may not be the most logical tradeoff, but I'm not sure that I want digging to get even slower in order to bring digging/farming in line with reality.

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I know we have shovels which let us dig through the same dirt and should, in theory, be able to accomplish the same task as the hoe, but shoveled dirt doesn't yield nearly the same benefits either. It may not be the most logical tradeoff, but I'm not sure that I want digging to get even slower in order to bring digging/farming in line with reality.


Let's not get in to the discussion of reality. We all know where that leads to.

What I propose is something before iron hoe like a scrap iron hoe that gives maybe longer grothtime. Think iron hoe = fertilized ground, scrap ironed hoe = 4-5 days grow rate.

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Let's not get in to the discussion of reality. We all know where that leads to.

What I propose is something before iron hoe like a scrap iron hoe that gives maybe longer grothtime. Think iron hoe = fertilized ground, scrap ironed hoe = 4-5 days grow rate.


I'm not interested in having farming sim, just for the record. It's more that based on what you get out of farming with relative ease (hoe the ground once and quickly, plant seeds, punch them when grown), I can understand it having a gate like that. Especially since iron hoes can be found or bought from the trader, by passing that gate almost entirely since it only take 1 pt to make seeds - and they can still be found. After that you have a guaranteed yield that only increases if you take perks.


If keeping food scarce/harder to get to food sustainability is a goal (and with this Alpha that does seem to be a goal), then I think an intermediary step that's much easier to obtain would around a 7 day grow time. Or farming in general will need to made less a sure thing (crop failure rate, or something a long those lines.)

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If they wanted us to have hoes earlier, they'd let us have a stone hoe (which pre-A17 I would have liked). As always nothing to do with reality. But seriously, before you're settled down with a forge you've got more important things to do with your time anyway, and with the farming perk being what it is I couldn't see it as viable before level 20 anyway.


What level were you when you died? I think they give you a free pass for the same time you've got elemental protection. I started doing a similar write up of a fresh start, and I died 5x getting settled down for the 1st night but didn't get the penalty. I was lvl 3 or 4 at the time.

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@skullpoker: that explains it.


Regarding hoe or not to hoe.

You both have god point @Ldog and @ktr. But I think I have to elaborate a bit more (a lot.. wall of text coming up!) on the topic of gates to make my self clear.


The reason I say "Is basically just flipping dirt" is to point out where i believe the devs should put the progression gate to keep the game as immersive and open to different playstyles as possible. (Which i hope is TFP intention)

And here comes a bit of a rant!


I have never been a fan of perk trees and been against it since it was introduced in 7dtd. The reason for that are two things. Firstly it breaks immersion that you magically can become a master gunsman without even touching a gun.

Secondly I think it's a bit boring and lazy for TFP to use perks to gate progress. And here's why!


The core basics of this game are built on gates, to make an axe you need to gather stone, plantfiber and wood, the game might tell you what ingredients, but the player has to figure out where to find the materials for the item.

In early early alpha we didn't even have recipes, just a grid that you had to figure out where to put the ingredients in. Now that's gating based on the actual players skills not character progression.

But if you knew all the recipes by head you became a god pretty fast.


So then we got books and schematics gates. Which in my opinion is a good mix between player skills and character skills.

Somethings your character might not know, like how to build a hunting knife from scratch. But you as a player might know places where you might find information about that aka books. Problem with that was RNG, you could basically be stuck in stone age for ever if you where unlucky.


Then we got skills based on what we did. Im also fine with that. If im trying to do a stone axe IRL it will probably suck, but if I do a 100 more ill probably wont suck that much and after 1000 i might be doing some quality stone axes. Problem with that was.. i dont know? some one probably didn't like that players would spend their first day crafting axes instead of killing zombies.


And here is where I personally think TFP took the wrong turn. Instead of looking at what possibilities do we have to make more creative and dynamic gates to slow progress, they took in my opinion the easy way out and rebuilt the system to a artificial, more narrow perk tree.


There are numerous was to make dynamic gates. Lets take Minibike as an example.


1. You break apart X amount of engines/cars to learn mechanics. (time & rng gate)

2. RNG schematics (super rare rng gate)

3. Schematics that can be bought from trader (Money gate)

4. schematics that can be tought/rewarded from quests (Quest line gate)

5. schematics that drops often from one type of high level zombie or are found in certain high level POI's (Player skill / progress gate)

6. Give player ability to build the bike directly but chances of succeeding is minimal, but with perseverance you gain skill and increases chase of success. (Time & rng gate)


Combine all of these options and you give player freedom and immersion. And at the same time GATES players progress.

I understand that having so many options and balancing it is way more complex than perk trees. Hence me being harsh and calling them lazy.


But I truly believe that if TFP would like to do it they could!


Puh! So back to the hoe.

We can make seeds from lvl 1 with "live of the land" perk. But you cant plant them, not even in a poi farm.

Does the concept of farming really need to be gated behind a iron hoe? or can it be divided like @ktr suggested?

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