Seems like a lot of new player posts are in General Discussion, but primarily this is going to be feedback. I understand some of these may already be in the works for the June update (part of my comments will be on difficulty), and some of them may just be me not realizing something’s already in the game, but heeere goes.
So my brother and I have been playing for about a month now together, and just to start with some high praise, I’m loving the visuals and especially sound design for this game. The way weapons reverberate differently when they in the countryside vs when they’re in a tunnel, the way ran splatters on metal with a ring, the way even walking on a broken relay beacon dish changes your foot steps compared to the grass, there’s clearly a lot of attention to detail in the sound design, so massive props to Peter Hajba!
I’m sure the forests, fields and lighting in general has been praised to the end of the world and back, so something I really like to focus on visually are the machine explosions. The yellowish-green fire when they die is wonderfully animation and is always satisfying to see.
Over all we’ve been having a lot of fun with the game, but time to get into a bit of my criticisms and suggestions. Again, if any of this is just outright wrong because I missed something while playing or is already in the plans to be fixed, please let me know, this is based on about 1 month of gameplay, and we hadn’t even fully explored the farmlands before moving to the Ski resort where we are now.
We started playing on the Skirmish difficulty because we wanted a reasonable challenge, and while it wasn’t easy at the beginning (I kept running out of ammo early on fighting dogs and ran screaming from hunter gangs), it felt pretty balanced. Once the Tanks started coming, some of the flaws started showing up. Unless you were holed up in a house with a high enough ceiling, their rockets and machine guns were almost impossible to avoid even from across the field.
You could drop completely out of sight behind a hill, have your ally shooting at the tank, and the tank would still be tracking you and launching rockets at you, which arc over the hill. You can’t get up behind the tank because of their melee attack, and it takes so long to take out their guns while trying to avoid their fire that some of these fights can be extremely drawn out and boring.
To start with, I think stealth needs to be improved on. The machines ability to track after you break Line of Sight should not be so strong, or perhaps require you to take out a specific component so that you can more easily break away from combat. We’re soft fleshy humans, I think our ability to think quick and move through forests and squeeze into smaller spaces should be our advantage. Maybe different components should be designed to have higher priority to take out This leads me in to my second point. In Adventure mode, the fights are just a bit too easy. Enemies die at a much more reasonable pace, but you take so much less damage that it loses the terror to the point where you just walk up behind a tank when he’s not looking and unload your 200-round KVM 89 into his backside. Skirmish on the other hand has hunters and harvesters sniping you halfway across the field through a bunch of trees and almost instantly killing you, while it takes 5 rounds of high-explosives to take out the hunter itself. Combine that with the inability to break away, and the complete ineffectiveness of surprise attacks to take out any of their components before they turn around and unload hell into your face just feels cheap.
Maybe you could also make it so that certain components behave differently as they take damage. Like Machine guns increase their spread as they take damage, or rocket launchers/mine layers have a chance to misfire dealing damage to the machine.
Ideally, the difficulty slider would allow you to adjust damage you take and the damage they take separately, so that you can balance it to the way you want to play. I’d love to take near instant death from Tank guns, but also be able to set traps and strategically take down the right components in the right moment for the best results.
Other things you could do with this is make it where tanks won’t run onto landmines if their visual sensors are still working. You could even add more visual sensors that require you to take them out if you want to take advantage of their blind sides.
Maybe we’re missing something, but we’ve found VERY few crafting recipes. We have massive amounts of resources from recycling, but it’s come to the point in just the short amount of time we’ve been playing, I don’t even bother with materials anymore. We’ve only found something like 4 schematics so far. I’d love to see a lot more things to create, including there being less ammo just lying around, and instead we have to create it on our own for the large part. Maybe have most of the things we loot be essentially broken and not working, and we have to recycle those non-working components to make working weapons/tools/etc. That would also make things like Readiness Storages more amazing to find.
Making ammo more difficult to come by would also tie in to my ideas above about fighting robots. Make ammo precious so that when you get that 200 round KVM89, it feels meaningful to finally get a chance to unload into a tank or harvester with it. Also, high-explosives can be more effective against hunters, and more meaningful to use, instead of stacking 82 of them in your box and never using them because your other guns are more useful.
I think those are my biggest thoughts to the game. Been really enjoying it over all the last month, and looking forward to future updates. Love to hear all of the veterans thoughts, and possibly find out that some of the things I’m missing that might improve my experience.