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Feedback: Repairing it till it's broken


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after having the time to test A17 quite a while I want to talk about some aspects that felt important to me and keep things as short as possible yet detailed enough. Still, wall of text incoming. I hope it's the right place, if not please let me know Roland.





1.1 - level gating

While the skill based system per se is not bad, the gating behind player levels on the other hand limits/narrows the playstyle in an imho worrying way. Was it introduced to stretch out the playtime? I can just say more grind isn't a replacement for more content. Especially if it means a lot of said content is a mere jump-pad before the actual fully facettet gameplay can start.

The worst part of this is it creates a "too good to use" trope kind of situation. When you need something you are not allowed to get it, and once you can it's mostly obsolete because you need to find ways to deal with the problem way before.

For example: What is the truck good for when, if I can finally craft it, the map is already cleared, or at least most parts of it, several BMs done, etc...? And it's similar with defenses and other things.

Nothing is worse than getting something that was needed but isn't anymore.

Please reconsider these dynamics and allow players do decide for themselves of when and what to do!


1.2 - perk balance

I really like a perk system where perk choices matter and influence the gameplay. But most perks are crazily strong. Please consider to even out the odds between with and without. For example "boom, headshot!"...

0% bonus damage unskilled but 150% full perk feels way to heavy. 50% bonusdamage unskilled to 125% fullyskilled (5x 15%) would feel more reasonable. Maybe 50%/0 -> 150%/5.

Similar situation for similar perks like "run n gun", etc.

In additon some perks like archery have no special mechanics while others like heavy melee and pistols/rifles have immense advantages. Feels off too.

Also... a perk for cooking eggs...? C'mon...


1.3 - XP distribution

As of A17 pretty much all XP comes from killing zeds. While I would agree that this gives the most/fastest XP (slightly), it should not be the only way. And right now everything else is not worth it anymore, especially as selling and quest XP is also bound to zed kills. Played with some pals and one stayed in our base to build. While we almost made 8 levels he barely made 1.

This feels horribly off, especially in a game that is partially meant to be a kind of tower defense.


1.4 - clownlike zombie amounts and situations

Even in the tightest of spaces, like a single cabinet suddenly 3-4 zeds pop out... every ceiling, every crossbeam, they sit on like pigeons...

Add in the still existing sleeper spawn bugs and it's beyond hilarious. Finest atmo killer. Well, in a different setting it could be hilarious... maybe.

Also this actually PREVENTS jumpscare moments. Because you simply KNOW it will happen, and all the time so actually...

It totally fries the element of surprise.

One of the worst additions in A17 for me, tbh. Now and then would be ok, like the floor break situations, but please get rid of those clownish "out of the box"-zed spawners and those clowncar-like amount in every room...

You know... it's zombies... ZOMBIES... zombies still to dumb to find the door 2 foot away from their location... and then they try to ambush you from the ceilings all the time... Really?


1.5 - quest design

I hoped for at least slightly meaningful quests, instead it's MMO kind of stuff, if not worse.

I really, REALLY hope this is just the humble start of what's to come.

How about adding in more characteristic ones, for example to unlock some of the perks. Similar to the master quests in Skyrim? They weren't too complex yet characteristingly diversive.


1.6 - harvesting zeds

No idea why that was removed and instead roadkill was added...

Why not simply toning it down to fit the needs? It feels awkward that the player can't make use of at least the bones laying right in front of you... Please enable that again!

It could also offer a great way to make zeds more different: tone down bones and give fat only to, well, the fat zeds.


1.7 - misc. aspects

- AI is still not able to find their way, bulldozing even small obstacles like trees instead of running around it...

- sneak attack seems to work just once, even if the zeds can't find you, feels wrong

- "pogo-zeds"... Nothing to add, looks crappy and is useless. spider-zed leap jumps have a purpose and are fine!

- NVG was reverted back to it's useless old self? Why? Got the properly green look again, that's a plus, but is a waste of a gearslot now

- armor value need tweaking: armor offers heavy downsides but barely any protection

- enemy despawn after death, as if the reason of the death never existed, kind of dev joke/mockery? gets old fast...

- also... bears/wolves in bathrooms n whatever? Yeah... nuff said.


2. - POSITIVE - Everything is bad..? Well, no. Some of the new stuff is imho quite nice!


2.1 - vehicles

Loving the new ones so far! Especially the gyrocopter is great! Whoever decided to go for it the way it is... kudos!

It imho offers a great mix between limitation and possibilities. Also that it is slightly harder to control is actually GREAT! It makes flying less boring. An aspect that for example highly affects ARK's aerial dinos, sadly. Great job!


2.2 - item mod system

Lovin it large! Almost plain ripped from FO, but heck with that! Gives a way better form of customization. Sadly way to late... as already said.

Also quite some recipes feel needlessly complicated... for example: the weapon flashlight. Electrics? Metal ingots? What?

A flashlight... a duct tape... and done!

If there is just one reasonable recipe in this game it would probably be that one!

And don't gate it behind a perk, again... ;)


2.3 - POI design

There are some neat ones, no question. While many are too maze-like since A17, some are imho really great, like the church in Perishton for example. That thing is awesome! The factory near gravestowne looks also good, and was so before already, imho.

Sadly the biggest problem of POIs remain... THE IN BETWEEN!

Most of the time they are sprayed randomly over the map, no reasonable placement. "What?" and "Where?" has rarely any meaning...

The only slight exception is imho the canyon with the burial grounds and mine connected by what is pretty much a POI in itself: the canyon. The ruined highway near departure is the second example.

Add more of that please!




Well, I'm torn about A17. The title describes quite nicely how I feel about A17. There's is quite a bit of interesting new stuff, but also a lot that hampers it. Also a lot of changes feel like an end in itself. For example the perpetual change of menu/music/sounds/UI etc., often detoriating the functionality.


But of all... the game doesn't feel like a survial game anymore, more like a shoot em up with zeds chain spawning all the time. No survival like deciding of what to do and how.

A zombie horde? Yay! Takeaway XP! By any means... gameplay that creates these thoughts for players is absolutely anticlimactic for any survival game.

Then there is this abysmal level gating... "Hey, I should learn how to assemble a bike... but nahhh, let me risk my life a few more times by killing another 100 enemies before just to be shure..." Anti climactic again.

(Mist Survival handles on of these aspects in an imho really nice way, by letting you restore found cars for example)

All the latest changes for me make the game feel less in tune. Instead of fighting the zombies ist just feels like battling the mechanics per se instead. Imho, that's a horrible feeling.

This includes the characteristics. From environmental design, to loot, most things feel disposable. With every alpha new POIs are added, something that's actually great, but so many of them work the same way... no difference in mechanic or dynamic/pace. (but there are good looking ones, as said)

A good bunch of them actually looks quite special, but in the end almost all of them are desecrated with the ever-same boring maze-design. Why reducing them ALL to the SAME thing...?

Maybe special quest related ones that do not just offer the ever same random spawn in gameplay, but also more tactical approach. Something that would really make the use of mines as an offensive preparation usefull, or a well place turret as support. Something that breaks the monotony, a fresh breeze now and then.


Also I really hope to see the level gating gone, or at least reduced to less grindy values. Let the player decide how to build their characters! If they want to build a super smart survivor that can't lift his/her own arms... let them!

Also a lot of gated aspects are relevant well before the set levels, for example defenses/traps or vehicles like the truck.

At least introduce a lower tier of those earlier on (if it's only a direct upgrade, and nothing new in itself), for example "pneumatic bolt turret" or whatever.

Until blade traps are available building a defendable base is not really viable, with how easily zeds chew through walls/blocks now, and the old spikes gone.

So yeah, the game lost a lot of appeal for me I can just say, but not all, so I still hope that with some reasonable tweaks in AI-detection (zeds shouldn't always sense the player through half a dozen block thick walls), spawns, level gating and environment/quest layout/interaction more of the potential of this still very promosing game is awakened (and to some degree revived).



Even with the new AI as said zeds chew down anything the walk towards... Why not giving their AI-attack-routine a "cooldown" that stops them from attacking and destroying stuff causelessly, unless they get roused again?

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So you hate level gating but want some perks to be hidden behind quests?


They are working on balancing EXP from all sources so crafting doesnt put you behind killing zombies, people are still complaining abotu these even though its been said a dozen times that they are working onit....


Armor is worth it. A full suit of level 4 iron armor means you take sometihng like 4 dmg from a zombie hit

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Agree with everything u said.


Must highlight sleeper respawn bug, my most hated thing in the game. Clearing a room/basement only for more to respawn is not fun. Bordering on game breaking, very close to rage quitting on many occasions. Totally agree on toning down the silly jump scares in every poi.


Definitely agree on quest design, I'm glad they've added into game but they're a bit bland.


- Buried supplies isn't really interesting, maybe we're stealing someone's supplies and it's full of traps we have to work through, think Indiana Jones :)


- Clear zombies and fetch quests feels the same to me. Maybe Clear Zombies is a quest where the trader is testing new weapons and gives us a fixed set of supplies to clear a poi/area (we can't use our own items). For example:


clear quest #1, heavy armor, knuckle duster, 3 FA bandages, 3 molotovs,

#2, NVG (fixed), slienced pistol, hunting knife, 1 medkit

#3, 1 shotgun turret, generator, 2 blade traps, 5 land mines,



- maybe fetch quests could be a timed thing just to mix things up a bit, at the moment they feel a bit bland.


Overall I'm enjoying A17, some annoying things sure but I'm glad TFP are trying different things, bugs and balancing will come later.

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I really like the mod system to, definitely one of the best new features.


I *really* like the POI mini dungeon type places, mad props to the folks that built all of those, and please keep up the good work.


And whoever thinks of all the puns, should definitely get some kind of pun Grammy award. Love em!


- P

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The it comes to late part is an issue with the current progression system for sure. Like before they buffed tire/acid drop rates it took my friend and I so long to find enough parts to make minibikes for both of us that we had the truck unlocked and just built that instead.


Many perks are also too strong which means the early gameplay is heavily nerfed. Resource gathering is a perfect example of this. Tools do very pitiful block damage because you're supposed to have mods and lots of perk to boost the speeds. Instead of the perks being something you put points in to make mining better, they're absolutely required to do anything meaningful with the activity. Another important thing to note in terms of tool usage is that tools in Alpha 17 do less damage with power attacks, which are slow, than normal hits in Alpha 16.


Quality levels aren't exciting either because of how long it takes to get mods. A quality 1 tool is the same as a quality 5 tool except for not having to repair it as often.

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Overall I'm enjoying A17, some annoying things sure but I'm glad TFP are trying different things, bugs and balancing will come later.


This sentence right here sums up my experiences so far with A17. For the most part, I like it. Most of the things I don't like are balance issues that can be easily fixed in the XMLs and almost certainly will be by A17 stable.


At the moment the only aspect of A17 that just straight up aggravates me are the POI hidden zombies that pop out of closets, rafters, whatever. Like many others have pointed out, what the hell were they doing up there? They're zombies, not vampires: they're not hiding away in secluded dark places waiting for the sun to go down (and if they are, why are they roaming around outside?).


I understand that the point there is to prevent the player from simply creeping through a POI headshotting them all. But dropping them out of the ceiling is ridiculous to the point of comical.


Other than that, I don't really have any showstopping issues with A17b208. Just balance concerns that are fairly easily remedied.

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So you hate level gating but want some perks to be hidden behind quests?


They are working on balancing EXP from all sources so crafting doesnt put you behind killing zombies, people are still complaining abotu these even though its been said a dozen times that they are working onit....


Armor is worth it. A full suit of level 4 iron armor means you take sometihng like 4 dmg from a zombie hit


1 armor rating is 1% physical dmg reduction up to whatever the cap is the devs have set, I'm going to guess maybe 80% max. Even a 5 piece set of scrap armor of any tier is going to give you about 50% dmg reduction. I'm not a fan of the insane amount of penalties though, I mean if mod drops were much more common i'd probally not care as much, but currently I mostly run around armoirless as I'd rather speed. Earlier I was looting a hospital and ran into like 6 ferals on the roof at once, if I would have been wearing heavy armor i'd have been dead because I would have ran so slow i'd be unable to get away, I ended up leaping off the roof braking my leg to get away, but hey I lived!


It does need balancing though, helm/gloves/boots should not encumber the player as much as body or leg does, not in speed or stam regen. Adding those 3 pieces together probally equils just the weight of the chest.


This is experemental though, so I expect a full balance pass eventually, right now it's had a very rough pass at best. A recent victim was the sledgehammer having its power attack block damage lowered from 150 to 99. I felt it was fine at 150 as its not a harvesting tool, its much louder than the pickaxes as well when hitting things. Mind you its still great as it is now for breaking into things, but it was better before, gave it a real niche as a break and enter tool, but not one you'd ever use for harvesting materials as you get bascally 0 from it.

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