Edit: removed one item in the list since I noticed its already in the game, yup I’m still learning
Edit 2: I forgot to mention weapon-balancing. See last point in list below.
Hi there Avalanche!
First off, let me just thank you for a true masterpiece of a game! Being from Sweden, and being a kid in the 80s, I’m amazed and stunned by the level of detail, by the immersion of the story, and the credibility of the environment of the game. I have about 100 hours of gameplay logged right now, and finished the main story, even though I might have some collectibles left on the map still. I also wish to thank you for you presence in these fora, for your twitch livestreams and for being active in answering questions and continuing to promote, patch and develop the game. Its really awesome!
In light of this, I wanted to share some of my own humble impressions with you. These are inspired by my own gameplay of course, but also by other people’s questions and concerns on this forum and on your live-streams. Feel free to use it as feedback, and as suggestions for improved gameplay if you feel its relevant. It would also be interesting to hear what others think of the suggested improvements listed here below.
ok so here goes:
1. Cumbersome to change weapon or bind health to quick-slot during fights
The issue is that you have to go into your inventory to change weapon, and to bind medkits and throwables, in the middle of firefights. This is crucial when in combat since one is quite seldom perfectly prepared for a specific fight beforehand (with for example the correct weapons equipped). This issue breaks up the heat of the moment imo, forcing the player to temporarily flee the scene of battle, and occasionally causing unneccesary deaths, use of adrenaline shots and/or medkits.
Example: Let’s say I spot a runner somewhere. I have a sniper rifle and a shotgun equipped, and one simple medkit in a quick-slot. No big deal right? I engage the runner, but all of a sudden four hunters that I didn’t see are alerted and start to run toward me. This is a different fight now. I should equip grenades, rocket launcher, assault rifle. And one medkit does not suffice any more, I need to change to a standard or advanced medkit. But how can I do this when they are charging? There is virtually no space/time to do anything of this sort and I am seriously underpowered - but not in a fun/challenging way, rather in an annoying way. Why? Because I have all the equpiment I need, I just don’t have access to it. I need to run away for some time so that I can change my loadout.
Suggestion: Have a weapon wheel system (like GTA5) instead of emoji-dances, to enable quick-choice of weapons. Have all medkits be a part of this wheel as well, freeing up space for the quick-choice buttons. Additionally (if possible, not sure if it can be done): Change the way quick-choices function by grouping certain items. Red and White gas canisters should be grouped so that when I run out of one type of canister, the same quick-slot is automatically equipping the other canister. Same with flares and fireworks; radios, boomboxes and seeker-horns; small and medium EMPs; large EMPs and car-batteries; small, medium and large fuel cells, etc.
2. XP is too time dependent and does not measure skill
Let’s say I spot a runner. I engage the runner but miss my clumsy sniper-shots so that it approaches closer to me. I swap weapons to an SMG or an assault rifle while taking damage. After a clumsy cat-and-mouse game I finally manage to kill the runner after some time has passed by. I get +30 XP for the kill. For multiple enemies during which I play equally clumsy, I can easily be awarded +100 or more XP when the fight is finally over.
Let’s assume then, that I become better at the game and start using actual skill and tactics to take down my enemies. For example, I spot a tank. The tank is next to a road, just behind some bushes. I wait until it starts to walk towards the road while sneak past it unnoticed. I approach from behind and notice there is a clear line-of-sight between myself and the tank. While still undetected, I crouch walk towards it and from a distance throw an EMP at it. During the 2 crucial seconds that the tank is out, I quickly sprint towards it! I equip an explosive, plant it right at its feet and as the tank is waking up again, I am already at a safe distance. I pick up my sniper-rifle, aim down the scope and fire at the explosive and boom! The tank is down. One of the most satisfying one-shot kills across many games right now.
Here is the problem: I only get +10 XP for all that work. The game doesn’t reward me for risky kills, or stealthy kills. Rather, the more a clumsy firefight is prolonged in time, the higher will my XP become. Quick-and-awesome kills are not rewarded at all. In fact, I get more XP from straight up shooting down a seeker, than risking my life against a tank. So why should I bother?
Suggestion: Have a unique base-XP awarded for the kill of each enemy-type, in addition to other factors already present in the game. It’s laughable that a tank and a seeker gives you the same XP to be honest. Something like XP for seekers = (existing XP calculator-10 XP) + 10 XP while a FNIX-tank = (existing XP calculator-10XP) + 60 XP, or something of the sorts. XP HAS TO SCALE WITH ENEMY DIFFICULTY!
3. Adrenaline shot super-nerf
In the last patch, A-shots had a slightly increased spawn rate, but I still think it’s not enough. I’m lucky if I get 1 or 2 after looting extensively. When in more difficult fights, I sometimes need to respawn a long way away and run all the way back to finish off my enemies. Sort of kills the heat of the moment when you’re in a fight. This is aggravated by the fact that it promotes a “safer” gameplay, meaning more tactics and stealth - which in turn is not rewarded as per described in the XP issue here above. Too few A-shots means that you will not engage in those type of fights that give you XP, while safer one-shot kills for example - which are promoted in a game with so few A-shots - do not feel rewarding at +10XP per encounter. Does this make sense?
Suggestion: Increase the chance of receiving A-shots.
4. Safehouses have enemies in them or very close to them
Self-explanatory. I think one of the bunker-safe houses has an automatic respawn of ticks and hunters right outside the safehouse itself, which forces you to engage in a fight each time you spawn there. It becomes annyoing the fourth time you are forced to do it.
Suggestion: Increase the radius of the safe-zone outside a safehouse. Define it to be at the range a seeker can detect you + 10 meters.
5. Enemies detect you vertically
Most noticable when inside or above bunkers. When you are inside the bunker, you tend to alert enemies that are several meters above you on the surface. Also vice-versa: your enemy indicator is turned yellow when you are walking on the surface above a bunker, detecting enemies that are separated from you through meters of soil and concrete. Sounds from said enemies are not shielded: you can hear the noises of the enemies through this vertical distance and it makes the whole thing lose credibility. It’s quite annoying to hear the thump of a tank as if it was standing next to you, for the 20 minutes you are exploring the bunker (for example).
Suggestion: Shield noise vertically. Make the AI not detect you when you are in a bunker and the AI is on the surface, and vice-versa.
6. Hunters melee jump is over-powered
On top of powerful weapons and an aggressive AI, Hunters have a melee jump attack that is pretty much unavoidable. I write “pretty much” since its mostly down to luck if you manage to avoid taking damage. Even if you can tell when they are about to start jumping, no matter how much you sprint to the sides or away from them, they pretty much always get you. I’ve seen hunters change direction mid-air when I have moved out of the way - and this is immersion breaking since it takes away the skill from the player.
Suggestion: Make it easier to avoid the hunter jump-attack if you sprint to the sides or backward from where they’re originally jumping to.
7. Problems with full inventory
When the inventory is full you cannot loot certain items that you already possess.
Example: Let’s say you have your inventory full and 2 grenades in a quick-slot. You cannot pick-up another grenade since it is not within the general inventory. You have to first drop an item on the ground, freeing up one slot, move the 2 existing grenades from the quick-slot to a general inventory slot, and then pick up the grenade from the loot, making in total 3 grenades. Then you have to move these 3 grenades back to the quick-slot and finally pick up the dropped item from the floor again.
This applies to equipped ammo as well: you need to do the same inventory-dance with items before being able to pick up the ammo.
Suggestion: Auto-stack picked up items with the same item-type if this is already in the inventory - REGARDLESS if the item is 1) placed in a quick-slot or not and 2) is ammo of an already equppied type in a current weapon.
8. Weapons need balancing
This refers specifically to the .50 cal. Usually, the .50 cal is one of the most powerful weapons, but in this game it really feels like a pea-shooter sometimes. It should tear some weaker enemies to pieces with one shot quite fast, and skilled/aimed shots at weak-points on hunters and tanks should also do more damage/shot. For example, I currently need to fire 3 x .50 cal shots at a Hunters rifle to make it fall off. For a .50 cal, this is really too much.
Suggestion: Make the .50 cal more powerful in the game. To balance it off, make it harder to use it. Reload time/clip size/spawn-rate of ammo and of the weapon itself etc. All of this can be adjusted and would actually make it feel even more special to handle this powerful weapon once you have it.