Windhund Posted December 15, 2018 Share Posted December 15, 2018 Overall, A17 is a huge improvement. AI, interface, difficulty, looks, vehicles etc... all great. Caveat, I've only played up to Day 10 in A17 in Warrior mode, but here's my thoughts so far. A17 has one glaring exception, and we all know what that is. It's so big it'll be its own post. ⛔The Level 20 Skill Gate I hate it. I hate it because it brings fundamental joys of the game to a screeching halt. Looting, crafting, building, and even exploring all become tiresome when you know you can't use it until after hours of mandatory grinding zombies or you can't carry it home. I hit this about level 3 on the first or second day. The next few hours of the game becomes a slog of doing the same thing over and over. Harvesting with the same ineffectual stone axe. Jogging along overburdened with no vehicle. I didn't get past it until Day 9. ❓What Its For The gate has a purpose. It slowed my progression and forced me to look into other options and other skills. This is noble. For example, I usually ignore the trader early game. I never seem to have enough money for good stuff, and there's so much basic stuff to loot rather than buy. The level gate forces me to interact with the new quest system, something I probably wouldn't have otherwise. The problem is there isn't enough other stuff to do. Trader quests. Explore POIs looking for weapons and tools (while mournfully collecting items you can't use yet). What else? It's a survival crafting game that won't let you craft! The level gate feels like a ham fisted way to slow and control how the player progresses. I don't want that. I want to progress as I like and as the situation demands. And I don't want to have to grind zombies to do it. But the desire is good. In A16 I too often ignore most of the game and plow straight for a forge. 💡Add more non-crafting stuff to do. This would be very welcome, but I doubt it can be added to A17. 💡Expand the initial quest chain. The first 8 quests guide you through the very, very basics of the game. A lot of games do this to keep you in a tutorial area and limit what you can do while you're still learning basic skills. And then you're on your own! But now you're not. The tutorial quests are done but the level gate still holds you from a fundamental progression: the forge. What is the game teaching me by forcing me to grind zombies for 15 levels? If this were a bit more explicit with the game offering more explicit teaching goals it might not be so bad. While expanded tutorial quests might help new players, this is not my preferred option to control progression. You're only a newbie once. After that the tutorial quests become at best a ritual, at worst a grind. And I don't see this happening in A17. 💡Lower the level gate. The simplest fix. Bring it down to level 5 or 10? Something to make the player pause and consider other options, but not so high that they're grinding zombies for the next 7 days. 💡Put the forge before the gate. Getting a forge is a major feat bringing you out of the stone age. It opens up a variety of crafting options, diversifies what they can do, broadens the number of items they can work with, and eases the player into crafting. If the forge were before the gate, it wouldn't be so frustrating. 💡Rely on skills and attribute requirements. Making requirements solely based on other skills slows and directs the player's progression while still giving them agency in how they progress. This system already exists, it might need to be tweaked a bit to get the desired effect. With the changes to stamina, encumbrance, and the harsher environment, I'm finding I need to spread my skill points out more early game than in A16. While I might want to race for a forge, then maybe I can't cross a desert with a pack full of loot. 💡Smooth out the crafting progression. The forge skill is a major feat. At a stroke all your tools, armor, weapons, and building materials are improved and more varied. If this were spread out a bit more, progression would feel more smooth, and new players wouldn't be immediately overwhelmed with so many options. That's my thoughts after an admittedly short, solo run. It was a particularly brutal game. Solo, surrounded by wasteland and desert, learning all the new mechanics and enemies. What do you all think? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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