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Generalbonobo

Some General Feedback

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I'm not entirely sure if this is the right subforum to post this at, but I'd like to give some general feedback after playing the game for several hours, this will mostly be things that I have gripes with in the game and might very well just be personal preferences.

The game over all looks like it has a great deal of potential, especially since it seems to be a more in depth experience than say, Minecraft, which I suppose I'll be comparing this game too since it's the closet it can be compared to. 

However there are quite a few things that have been bothering me on my play through. The first thing that I've noticed is that animals in this game seem to have a substantial amount of health, or rather, take very little damage, especially from the starting flint spear. This makes killing animals in the game time consuming and tedious, and most importantly, very dangerous since it seems like most animals can kill you in roughly four hits. For example, a sheep can take roughly 8 to 10 hits to kill while it takes it about 4 to kill you, and a boar can take up to 12 hits while it definitely can kill you in four. Coupled with the fact that these animals often come in packs makes this even more difficult to hunt animals.

There is also the problem of food, in that it seems the only ways to get food is by picking berries, killing animals, or farming, however in my experience, none of these are reliable sources of food. Berries can take an in game week just to replenish themselves, farming doesn't seem to work for me as the seeds mysteriously disappear after a minute of being in moist medium fertile soil for no reason (most likely a bug), and coupled with the issue of killing animals that I stated before, cooked meat doesn't restore enough hunger for how dangerous it is it get said meat. In the hours I've played, I've struggled to not die of starvation simply because the meat rots within a day, the berries dont regrow before I start to starve, and farming either doesnt work either because of a glitch or because it also takes too long to grow before I start starving again. The issue of starvation means that I spend every in game day hunting for more meat, which stops me from doing other things like gathering the resources I need.

This actually leads to my next issue, in that it takes far too long and too much grind to get into the game. In games such as Minecraft, or even Conan Exiles, I can get tools and build a house within an hour. After four hours, I'm still living in a mud hut because I can't make wooden planks or make cobblestone to make a house due to requiring a pick, which you can't make until you've gathered everything you need for smelting, but even then you get so little copper from above ground that it takes a fair amount of grind, which is again interrupted by the food shortage, that makes it last even longer. As far as I can tell, ores also barely spawn underground, as when I started mining, I could barely find any ores, and caves seemed barren.

Progression in general in this game seems to be very slow, due to a mixture of what I stated above, and I've seen a few posts here where people claim they've been stuck in the copper age anywhere from 8 hours to 20 hours, which I find very disconcerting and disheartening, and is indicative of the grind necessary in this game to progress.

Some other minors points. You can't place markers on the map, nor does the map get marked where you died. Sleeping in beds doesnt set your spawn point to it which I understand is a design decision, although it makes exploring further from spawn discouraging as you cant set a spawn point in your base or in the direction you're exploring. Sleeping also doesn't progress you through the entirety of night which causes me to just stand around and wait for longer than is needed. Knapping and Clay forming is a cool concept but in practice is gets very tedious very quickly, especially when you're forming larger clay items such as anvils. Also I'm not sure if this is a glitch but you can't open your inventory while in the firepit menu.

 

I do quite enjoy chopping trees down at the base rather than having to cut down each block like in minecraft, and being able to do things like stack fire wood in the physical game world, and holding torches in your off hand lights up areas around you. The Smelting system with the molds is also fun and more immersive.

Overall I think this game is trying to be too hardcore to the point where it's unfun to play. I don't know if any of these complaints are bugs, design decisions or just me being new to the game, but I do see a great deal of potential for Vintage Story, and will definitely play it in the future again, but for now I feel like these points might need reworking as it feels like there is a lot of grind.

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1 hour ago, Generalbonobo said:

farming doesn't seem to work for me as the seeds mysteriously disappear after a minute of being in moist medium fertile soil for no reason (most likely a bug)

I bet hares are getting into your crops. You need to protect your crops from rabbits.

 

1 hour ago, Generalbonobo said:

The issue of starvation means that I spend every in game day hunting for more meat, which stops me from doing other things like gathering the resources I need.

This can be solved with cooking. Two grains, and a berry makes some porridge that will last you about a day. Add in a mushroom or tripling the amount of ingredients can feed you for multiple days.
 

1 hour ago, Generalbonobo said:

As far as I can tell, ores also barely spawn underground, as when I started mining, I could barely find any ores, and caves seemed barren.

This can happen if you are not utilizing the propick to find a good area to start searching for ore. Learning what rocktypes you'll find ore in also helps.
 

1 hour ago, Generalbonobo said:

Some other minors points. You can't place markers on the map, nor does the map get marked where you died. Sleeping in beds doesnt set your spawn point to it which I understand is a design decision, although it makes exploring further from spawn discouraging as you cant set a spawn point in your base or in the direction you're exploring. Sleeping also doesn't progress you through the entirety of night which causes me to just stand around and wait for longer than is needed. Knapping and Clay forming is a cool concept but in practice is gets very tedious very quickly, especially when you're forming larger clay items such as anvils. Also I'm not sure if this is a glitch but you can't open your inventory while in the firepit menu.

You can add markers with `/waypoint add color waypointName`. If you want that to happen automatically when you die, there is a mod for that that.
There are temporal gears you can rarely find in underground ruins, or rarely drop from drifters that you can use to set your spawn point.
Knapping is designed to be a temporary solution before you get metal.
More advanced clayforming techniques are being considered.
The last bit does sound like a glitch.

Try farming again but surround your farm with 2 deep pits. This will keep the hares from getting your crops and provided you with meat. Then master cooking and the propick. I think those things will drastically improve your game experience.

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5 hours ago, Generalbonobo said:

The first thing that I've noticed is that animals in this game seem to have a substantial amount of health, or rather, take very little damage, especially from the starting flint spear.

I agree with this, hunting is too dangerous and tedious and not rewarding enough on top. Animals should drop a lot more meat since it spoils so quickly and animals should take fewer hits to kill. To make hunting not too easy, I think some simple stealth mechanic and animals trying to run from the player would be enough and incorporate throwing spears and bows better in the early game.

5 hours ago, Generalbonobo said:

There is also the problem of food, in that it seems the only ways to get food is by picking berries, killing animals, or farming, however in my experience, none of these are reliable sources of food.

Farming is supposed to be the only reliable source of food, which I think is a good design decision. As it takes long for crops to grow, it's however not really viable early game. Picking berries and hunting chickens seems to be the best early game way of getting food, but to be effective you aren't allowed to settle down, you must be on the move to find new berries. Like Stroam stated, cooking also helps significantly. The normad playstyle has the additional advantage that you will be gathering copper nuggets the whole time, which eliminates a lot of grind.

Don't waste your copper on axes, they break far too quickly to be worth it, in fact, only use your copper for a pickaxe and an hammer, which allow you to mine and process ores from the underground. I personally think having to use two tools only to use ore is a bit too grindy, ore chunks should be smeltable without hammering them at lesser yield.

 

5 hours ago, Generalbonobo said:

As far as I can tell, ores also barely spawn underground, as when I started mining, I could barely find any ores, and caves seemed barren.

Never mine in VS like in Minecraft with the hope to hit an ore out of pure luck, or you will waste a lot of pickaxes. Stick to caves, maybe use a propick to get a sense of the resource density in the area. Getting to copper tools can be done in less than an hour, but finding the minerals for bronze, which only spawn underground can be quite time consuming and is very dependent on luck. I think the game could use an overhaul of the ore generation and the propick to make it less dependent on luck and more dependent on mechanical knowledge.

6 hours ago, Generalbonobo said:

Knapping and Clay forming is a cool concept but in practice is gets very tedious very quickly, especially when you're forming larger clay items such as anvils.

This is actually quite a common and valid critique. As the early game can take a long time, knapping should be faster, which could be rather easily archived with less but bigger voxels in the knapping process, maybe a 7 by 7 of voxels. 

For clay forming there are already "tool modes" which allow you to form a bit faster by selecting different tool modes by pressing 'F'. It's still very fiddly and many shapes don't benefit from them, I think a being able to draw a square by holding the mouse down would be a far better option.

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I also think that the hunting (read killing animal) mechanic should be rethought. 

If I have to tell the whole story, I'm an opposer of the classic "health point system". This is a mechanic which has been created for table top games and I think that in a computer game it's possible to do much better. 

In the real world, if you stab an animal you can either kill or wound it. It depends by the place that you hit. I think that in the game a wounded animal should die because of the blood loss after a while, maybe have a malus on its movement. The same thing should happen to the player.

At the present moment I've been able to play only with a video game which implemented such mechanics and it is "the long dark". (I say this only for comparison purpose. I'm not using this forum to advertise another game) 

About food preservation, I hope that in the next future it will be possible to preserve meat by fumigation or by drying. 

Edited by Yukihira_S

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