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Elusive creatures - a hunting experience


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It's been awhile since I've had a well thought out suggestion to post here, but here we go. Who likes the idea of following the clues and tracking something down?

In Vintage Story when you are out and about you'll often come across the wildlife. Those are great. The goats are scenic, the chickens and foxes are fun, and the wolves... provide a form of excitement. However the entire experience is reactionary. No planning goes into it. Elusive mobs would be a new game mechanic. One that adds purposeful tracking down of elusive creatures.

The basic mechanics is when a player wanders a sign will get generated. Could be a track, scratches on a tree, or even some poo. If the player inspects the clue it begins a hunt. A hunt will generate another clue nearby with a time limit. If inspected within the time limit, it will generate another clue. The player will keep following the clues until an elusive creature spawns.

If the mechanic stopped there, that alone sounds pretty fun. Like this post if you agree. It can go deeper. So I will now cover the variability that can be added to this mechanic to keep it even more fun and engaging.

  • Different creatures can have different sets of tracks to follow. So tracks from one creature might be obvious while tracks from another might be more difficult to find.
  • The spawn conditions for the initial clue can vary. Some clues only spawn in snow. Bait may be needed to get the initial clue to spawn. Depending on how elusive the creature might be it may only spawn at midnight, during fall, where a pumpkin was placed 13 days ago.
  • If hunting a very intelligent elusive creature, it may try to distract you with a false trail or the trail of another creature and you'll have decide which path of clues to follow.
  •  Each time you successfully track down a creature, the clues for that creature may be easier to find. There could be one or more pointers to the next clue or the footprint could be more distinct, etc. This means a more experienced hunter for whom the clues are more obvious, could point out the clues to a less experienced hunter, leading to a successful hunt which would make the clues easier for the less experienced hunter to find the next time around.
  • A progression system could be devised where certain initial creature clues will only spawn and can only be seen by experienced hunters.

As you can there is plenty of room for adding more depth into the mechanic. Thank you for reading and again, please don't forget to like this post.

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I very much like this idea, Hunting right now is... not really worth the time honestly but if those creatures can only be encountered that way, i think this would be a very fun experience.

I would like to supplement to the idea that those creatures should yield Trophys sometimes, maybe even rare ingredients for Potions once the "Herbalism / Brewing System and Potion Effects" System on the roadmap gets implemented.
At least concerning the Trophys, there is already a mod that makes pelts placeable i think, so that could be incorporated at that time, getting some horns and crafting a wall-trophy would also be nice.

Another possible mechanic could be training an hunting dog. At first he would bark sometimes leading to a failed hunt, but with more experience he would help finding clues, maybe even find some that the player alone wouldn't have found.

Another point from the Roadmap: "Player Progression System (Leveling,  Gear Attributes, Skills)" is something that could work very well with this idea. I've always been more a friend of "learning by doing" systems like in TES games instead of distributing skillpoints like in 7d2d, and the way you described the progression system would mesh very well with an
proficiency system.

Afterthought: a trapping system could also be enabled once the proficiency is advanced enough, lures for smaller prey, a pitfall for bigger prey and so on.

Edited by Kaelty
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A very exiting and interesting future feature indeed. The potential complexity and dependencies on other planned features (like seasons) or current game improvements (like food decay on servers), may make this specifically fit for a modding effort in this stage of development though?

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I've been playing "theHunter: Call of the Wild" a bit recently, which is as the name suggests a hunting game. I think a simplified version of its hunting experience could really fit VS.

However, for allowing hunting to be more fleshed out, it needs to be more rewarding. Alchemy ingredients are one thing, like Kealty already suggested, another could be bigger meat and hide drops. I however think trophies don't fit, as I see it being rather unfit for a survival game thematically.

Hunting should also imo be required for hunting down any creature, not just some "elusive creature" which only spawns if you have been following tracks for long enough. Creatures in general would be much more shy, running away at seeing the player. A simple stealth mechanic would be required, which would be effected by the players stance, immediate surroundings (i.e. is he hidden behind a tree or in a bush) and the sounds he makes, different ground types producing differently loud step sounds.

I think the best use for a tracking mechanic would actually be for tracking down damaged animals who flee a great distance. Rather than just regenerating health over time, they would have an bleeding effect that causes them to loose health over time till they die. While doing so they loose blood, allowing for easy tracking. This tracking is especially rewarding because there will be a price at the end of the track, but the track might also lure in predators if not followed immediately.

Full tracking of undamaged animals would probably be a lot harder to implement (How to generate animal tracks in newly loaded chunks, i.e. players would only come across tracks of animals they scared away, because they would have no tracks prior to spawning) and a lot less useful as a gameplay mechanic, even if animals are very shy. Some need zone system for finding animals without only sneaking when hunting would be a much better fit in my opinion, where animals return to certain areas, like their sleeping place or drinking spot. Animals just returning to their spawn position would probably be enough though.

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