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Thread: Feedback: Difficulty curve...

  1. #1
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    Feedback: Difficulty curve...

    DISCLAIMER: I love the game. Don't take this to mean I dislike it. Hopefully something is yet to be implemented for the overall difficulty curve.

    Game starts out challenging, not bad if you are careful. You can get over your head and be forced to run, you have to be mindful of resources. Pretty good feel.

    Somewhere between day 7 and 14 survival becomes much easier very quickly. You have weapons (guns and ammo) that can finish a fight much more quickly, food and water sources become steady, crafting infrastructure becomes established.

    After day 14 and before day 21, the game becomes trivial. You can march in to most POIs and crush all who oppose you (endgame factories are still a challenge due solely to special zombies). Weapons resolve fights fast, with armor giving much increased survival. You start avoiding looting food and water, as you just can't be bothered spending the space on it.

    The one and only (ONLY!) long term resource management is bones to make glue for duct tape.
    POIs rapidly become targeted almost exclusively for books and schematics.
    Game becomes very easy and routine very fast. Progression beyond day 21 seems like something you do when you get around to it. There is no feeling of being constantly under pressure by an increasing threat level, forcing you to rise to the challenge.

    I would say the largest factor is that POIs give too much return for their danger level. However, I think it is more complicated than just this one thing. I can say game was much harder when you had to treasure guns and carefully manage ammo.

    NOTE: I play on a local host server with two friends co-op. Warrior difficulty. Maybe our teamwork is making it too easy? Early on, one of us goes stealth (point on clearing POI), one of us goes crafting (food and transportation being priority) and one of us goes heavy (heavy armor, melee, close combat spec for emergencies and to back up the other two). Big POIs and horde attacks we work together, otherwise we split up with no problems.

  2. #2
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    Decrease your loot abundance and make air drops rarer. The difficulty only really effects zombie health and their new charge mechanic. If you want that early challenge to last longer turn off the shared XP distance, Cut loot down by alot also shut off respawning loot. And limit airdrops. The nice thing about this game it is very scale able. also setting variance to blood moons and no warnings till the lightning starts is another tactic to increase difficulty

    Ultimately your supposed to feel like a badass by the end but its also learning how to play and build without cheesing the system is a greater reward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidmo31 View Post
    Decrease your loot abundance and make air drops rarer. The difficulty only really effects zombie health and their new charge mechanic. If you want that early challenge to last longer turn off the shared XP distance, Cut loot down by alot also shut off respawning loot. And limit airdrops. The nice thing about this game it is very scale able. also setting variance to blood moons and no warnings till the lightning starts is another tactic to increase difficulty

    Ultimately your supposed to feel like a badass by the end but its also learning how to play and build without cheesing the system is a greater reward.
    Good tips, some of which I will definitely consider the next time I start a new game.

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    Everytime a new Alpha comes out my groups starts at base settings and then we restart once there is no challenge with much harder settings. I like the amount of options given to actually increase difficulty. Another option is the modded community when it starts rolling out A18 mod packs. Starvation, and Ravenhearst along with a few others are really hard versions

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    Also cutting down XP gained is a way to slow down growth

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    Colony Founder Viktoriusiii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidmo31 View Post
    Also cutting down XP gained is a way to slow down growth
    no. It really isn't
    Threats stay even smaller, and you are there wil lvl 10 (exxagerated for effect) and a lvl 6 M60.
    The game isn't balanced around messing with the options. Less loot? Well guess what not enough ammo for hordenight. Less xp? Smaller threat making the climb even slower and even more boring.


    Your tips are well meant but in reality, they need to balance the game, not the players.
    Sure balance is subjective to a degree, but not to what they have right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidmo31 View Post
    Decrease your loot abundance and make air drops rarer. The difficulty only really effects zombie health and their new charge mechanic. If you want that early challenge to last longer turn off the shared XP distance, Cut loot down by alot also shut off respawning loot. And limit airdrops. The nice thing about this game it is very scale able. also setting variance to blood moons and no warnings till the lightning starts is another tactic to increase difficulty

    Ultimately your supposed to feel like a badass by the end but its also learning how to play and build without cheesing the system is a greater reward.
    Reducing loot drops is a good idea. We will give this a whirl on our next restart.

  8. #8
    Colony Founder Ghostlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
    After day 14 and before day 21, the game becomes trivial......Progression beyond day 21 seems like something you do when you get around to it. There is no feeling of being constantly under pressure by an increasing threat level, forcing you to rise to the challenge.
    Seriously? You are aware of gamestage right? Firstly, there is a massive spike in difficulty at gamestage 158 when Demolishers begin to appear. They are absolute game changers. Solo play, that will be about day 30 - 35 on middling difficulty like Warrior, slightly earlier in co-op. However gamestage can reach into the hundreds thereafter and you will find difficulty just keeps rising. You have basically declared the game easy while being nowhere near endgame.

    Enter the console with F1 and type the 'gamestage' command to see what your GS currently is. If it's 400+ you are approaching endgame.

    There is no point reporting your experience at day 21, or day 30 or whatever day. That could mean anything in terms of the enemy difficulty you are facing as it depends on so many factors. You need to report your gamestage. Only then can we put what you are saying in context.

    As far as I am concerned day 21 is very early game in terms of challenge. I'd hazard a guess your gamestage will be about 100 on day 21. That's nothing.
    Last edited by Ghostlight; 11-26-2019 at 11:53 PM.

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    Colony Founder Ghostlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidmo31 View Post
    The difficulty only really effects zombie health and their new charge mechanic.
    Nope; it also applies a multiplier to the gamestage calculation, which is extremely significant. Higher gamestage means much more dangerous hordes on blood moon night and much higher chance of the most dangerous zombies in POIs. Example, around GS 300 you will almost never see grunt zombies in POIs. Almost everything will be Feral / Irradiated / High Armour types coming at you a dozen at a time.
    Last edited by Ghostlight; 11-26-2019 at 11:51 PM.

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    Survivor White-Gandalf's Avatar
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    POI difficulty somewhat low, but overall well balanced to loot quantity

    At the moment, i am at late game questing/looting. This comment is about THAT stuff, NOT the horde night as such.

    In A17, the POI's were crammed with countless zombies, which lead to the fact that riding POI's did by far not match up with return from grinding wood and ore. In A17, that was combined with the circumstance that every vital resource was craftable. Now, in A18, POI's are in comparison - to what i was used to in A17 - nearly empty of enemies. Looting as such, on the other hand, keeps being useful because of limited recipes. That's a good thing.

    In late game in A17, the mobs in POI's were mostly composed of radiated feral versions. Now, in A18, despite being in late game (day 63 now), i still meet mostly (> 50%) normal walking Zs (that give only around 500 XP). Radiateds are exceptions (< 10%).

    I could imagine that this difference is mostly correlated with the abysmal big exponential factor in progression, respectively the abysmal slow leveling in mid and late game. I fed some criticism back earlier on this matter; this is only a new instance were it shows it's drawbacks. BUT: The difficulty is easily mitigated by increasing the difficulty option on the start screen. So, maybe there is no need to change anything, i just have not jet tried the higher difficulty levels. It's just less challenging than in A17, but this could well be a good thing, I only was adapted to the much higher difficulty in A17 and noticed that to drop in A18. Maybe this reduced difficulty just matches what a player choosing one of the lower difficulty settings is expecting.

    The loot quantity in POIs i perceive as appropriate for the current (easy) difficulty. Thus i perceive it as useful to go looting POIs (in contrary to A17).

    I just would suggest to make its content specific to POI themes. Maybe there could be implemented a tag system for loot to make it easier for the funpimps to create loot containers fitting those POI themes. I would not, for example, expect a weapons stash at a construction side, but well something like a cement mixer or workbench schematic. Special loot boxes with food i would not expect in factories (except in cooking areas), but well in food stores; there i would expect those to contain approximately THAT what the funpimps did put in the weekly airdrops in A17. Which i perceived as completely inappropriate for air drops and as spam by quantity, but for the master loot box in a food store, it would fit perfectly.

    So, the quantity i think is somewhat OK, but the types of loot seem to be with little difference over different POIs. This matches with feedback i read from other players. We can, of course, modify that ourselves. Would be nice to already be built in.

    Overall i perceive the looting in A18 as better balanced than in A17. Which is a good direction at least.

  11. #11
    Inventor Kalarro's Avatar
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    Instead of working on endgame content after a16.4 which was in a good place, they decided to invest their time in changing stuff, some things a bit for the better, some things for the worse, but never anything better than if they would have focused on adding endgame content.
    Only my opinion of course

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostlight View Post
    Seriously? You are aware of gamestage right? Firstly, there is a massive spike in difficulty at gamestage 158 when Demolishers begin to appear. They are absolute game changers. Solo play, that will be about day 30 - 35 on middling difficulty like Warrior, slightly earlier in co-op. However gamestage can reach into the hundreds thereafter and you will find difficulty just keeps rising. You have basically declared the game easy while being nowhere near endgame.

    Enter the console with F1 and type the 'gamestage' command to see what your GS currently is. If it's 400+ you are approaching endgame.

    There is no point reporting your experience at day 21, or day 30 or whatever day. That could mean anything in terms of the enemy difficulty you are facing as it depends on so many factors. You need to report your gamestage. Only then can we put what you are saying in context.

    As far as I am concerned day 21 is very early game in terms of challenge. I'd hazard a guess your gamestage will be about 100 on day 21. That's nothing.
    You'll get 'endgame equipment' even with decreasing loot abundance far before reaching endgame gamestages. At this point it's mostly a struggle to get enough ammo - with that brass boost not that much anymore in A18, IMO.
    I think it's hard to speak about a learning curve when you reach GS 200, 300 or 500. There's really not that much of a change in fighting 8 or 10 radiated cops or whites. There might be some struggle while reaching endgame (if the definition of endgame is 'glowing zombies') but once you've got what you need there's, at least for me, no point in continuing a game just for the sake of GS.

  13. #13
    Inventor playlessNamer's Avatar
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    I remember times when setting a the first field for steady food supply was a epic milestone moment. Actually i set up a field for fun, technically you can complete ignore it.

    2. Way to many guns in this game. Survival is about survive with what you can find and not tons of ammo and professional millitary equipment. This game gets more and more a Egoshooter, road to Serious Sam.

  14. #14
    Colony Founder Ghostlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by White-Gandalf View Post
    At the moment, i am at late game questing/looting. This comment is about THAT stuff, NOT the horde night as such.
    Gamestage still affects POI questing and looting. As I said you need to report what it is. You are not near end-game in terms of POI enemy strength, I suspect, even if you feel you are in terms of questing and equipment (which I totally understand).

    In A17, the POI's were crammed with countless zombies, which lead to the fact that riding POI's did by far not match up with return from grinding wood and ore. In A17, that was combined with the circumstance that every vital resource was craftable. Now, in A18, POI's are in comparison - to what i was used to in A17 - nearly empty of enemies. Looting as such, on the other hand, keeps being useful because of limited recipes. That's a good thing.
    Yeah they got badly nerfed in A18 due to very vocal whiners that should have l2p instead. To me this was a terrible decsion as I was doing tier 5 quests for FUN, not for cost-efficiency.

    In late game in A17, the mobs in POI's were mostly composed of radiated feral versions. Now, in A18, despite being in late game (day 63 now), i still meet mostly (> 50%) normal walking Zs (that give only around 500 XP). Radiateds are exceptions (< 10%).
    You are not at late-game. You need to tell us that magic gamestage number, not the day. I've looted tier 5 quests at GS in excess of 400 and it takes a whole day and hundreds of rounds (AP type mostly) to do it. Most zombies are Feral or Irradiated and high armour big guys. And those goddam irradiated Spiders....hardest enemy in the game in POIs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalarro View Post
    Instead of working on endgame content after a16.4 which was in a good place, they decided to invest their time in changing stuff, some things a bit for the better, some things for the worse, but never anything better than if they would have focused on adding endgame content.
    Only my opinion of course
    Could not agree more.



    Quote Originally Posted by Birkenhoff View Post
    You'll get 'endgame equipment' even with decreasing loot abundance far before reaching endgame gamestages. At this point it's mostly a struggle to get enough ammo - with that brass boost not that much anymore in A18, IMO.
    I think it's hard to speak about a learning curve when you reach GS 200, 300 or 500. There's really not that much of a change in fighting 8 or 10 radiated cops or whites. There might be some struggle while reaching endgame (if the definition of endgame is 'glowing zombies') but once you've got what you need there's, at least for me, no point in continuing a game just for the sake of GS.
    Understandable, and a major flaw in game balance if you ask me. We on the other hand enjoy continuing well past that point. I learned way back in A15 that even when you feel you are maxed out in terms of end-game equipment and firepower, the real challenge is many many days ahead. We stick with it. We build multiple bases all over the map to keep us occupied and see how far we can take gamestage. The struggle becomes one for the resources needed for ammo, not for new items. It's fun when you do this, for us at least, but I totally understand why people quit maps earlier than this.
    Last edited by Ghostlight; 11-27-2019 at 12:08 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostlight View Post
    Yeah they got badly nerfed in A18 due to very vocal whiners that should have l2p instead. To me this was a terrible decsion as I was doing tier 5 quests for FUN, not for cost-efficiency.
    The amount of zombies in POIs was reduced by about 20%. But this was also necessary. Often the small buildings were clown cars.
    I once had the case where 9 zombies came out of a 3x3 room. If they wanted to squeeze in more zombies they would have had to stack them.

    The number of zombies should always be determined by the type of building. You would expect hundreds of zombies in a factory but only a few in a small gas station.

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