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Wolves: What's Wrong, and What Can Be Done


Machaeus
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I'd like to preface this post by stating I've probably died 100 times to wolf attacks, and less than 20 times to all other causes combined, just on this one save.

This isn't survival horror, this is "survive the trip to the hospital because your blood pressure somehow hit 2000 psi."  It's not funny, and at this point, it's not even fun anymore.

========

Alright, there's a lot of things wrong with the way wolves are handled, things that make it insanely obvious that there's some desperate patching needed.

  1. Wolves don't go out of their way to hunt humans in real life...and yet in Vintage Story, they seem to be incapable of getting rid of their heat, which has plagued them for the past three years straight, without tearing out your throat and humping the new hole.  Further, they will not only hunt you for 20 chunks of running straight away, but will begin pursuit if you're within a 1-chunk radius, and will continue their pursuit if you're any less than 5 chunks away.  This isn't a wolf, this is a Khornate Berserker.
  2. Wolves take a lot of damage compared to the player, even with copper weaponry.
  3. Wolves deal a lot of damage compared to the player, and shields seem to be completely worthless against them.

So with all that said, here are some potential fixes, based on real-world wolves, biology in general, and an idea for how to make this a proper survival horror game.

  1. Put a timer on wolf pursuit.  If they pursue a player for more than a minute, they say "Too much effort" and stop.
  2. Lower their damage tier, or raise the effectiveness of shields against them.
  3. Have them fear fire.  You got a torch out and lit?  They don't want to deal with you, period.
  4. Go whole hog: upgrade player health drastically and upgrade drifter health and damage drastically.  This way, the drifters are actually a threat on their own, which is fitting for a monster, and you can potentially survive a wolf attack without having to be the kind of guy who wins every time he goes to the slot machine.
  5. My personal suggestion: Go with 3 and 4 both, but also make it so drifters seek fire-based light.  This would make it a constant battle for the player: "Do I want to risk a wolf attack as the sun's almost done setting, or do I want to risk having to dodge a drifter?"
Edited by Sam Billington
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In general I agree that wolves shouldn't be so aggressive; they should defend themselves, and they should try to keep you away from their cubs, and maybe their "den" area (although I'm not sure they have any such thing in the game currently), but they shouldn't randomly attack when you are nowhere near them. Also I think that enemies in general could stand a clearer and more consistent use of aggro and pursuit notification sounds; it's hard to tell whether something is actively chasing you if you can't see it.

However, there are some steps you can make to make wolves less lethal. Make the most basic wood armor (I forget what it's called, but it's just firewood and dry grass); it will let you take a couple of extra hits. Once you have a farm up, grow as much linen as you can; the gambeson is pretty decent armor (and you will also need linen for a lot of other stuff too).

If a wolf (or any animal) starts chasing you, try to lead them into water; they have a bigger speed debuff in water than the player so it's easier to keep distance. Have a bunch of spears and throw them rather than engaging at melee range, or use a bow and arrow. (If you have good block-placing reflexes, you can pillar up instead of going to water.)

If you are OK with mods, there is one that takes players off the wolves' "hunt when hungry" list, which makes them a bit more reasonable.

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I'm not sure how much the animals behavior in game is supposed to reflect behavior of real animals but generally most of animals will flee from human and attack only when sick or being attacked or provoked by us first. This is why I always play with setting "passive" because default setting makes animals in game act like they have rabies and this is ureasonable. We have monsters in game so imho we don't need animals also acting like monsters xD

Edited by Sinda
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I don't have any problem with wolves because I don't ever settle near them and their spawn points seem to never change.  They also aren't very difficult to run from and they are easily killed with spears in water.  That said, the existing hyena behavior would be perfect as a realistic change to wolf behavior.

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Its pain in the ass when you go somewhere in early game, without armor and one and more wolfs jump over you and kill you almost instantly. You can run to water with walk Speed 120% little server lag and you are done, or wolfs with you. Im experiencing this many times in single or SMP server. Over all goodies in this game  I more likes wolfs in Minecraft.

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6 hours ago, Pestilence said:

Why would you go without armor in the early game?  It's literally firewood and grass.

The problem with that is it only serves as an "emergency" armor and it won't last in one engagement with one wolf. Let alone a dozen.

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2 hours ago, setne550 said:

The problem with that is it only serves as an "emergency" armor and it won't last in one engagement with one wolf. Let alone a dozen.

Why are you going around picking fights with a dozen wolves if you only have emergency armor?  It's supposed to help you get away from wolves, not massacre entire packs of them.

Edited by Pestilence
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1 hour ago, Pestilence said:

Why are you going around picking fights with a dozen wolves if you only have emergency armor?  It's supposed to help you get away from wolves, not massacre entire packs of them.

that was the case scenario lol

And there will be times someone is just have a really bad day.

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On 3/4/2022 at 1:05 PM, Sam Billington said:

 

  1. Wolves don't go out of their way to hunt humans in real life...and yet in Vintage Story, they seem to be incapable of getting rid of their heat, which has plagued them for the past three years straight, without tearing out your throat and humping the new hole.  Further, they will not only hunt you for 20 chunks of running straight away, but will begin pursuit if you're within a 1-chunk radius, and will continue their pursuit if you're any less than 5 chunks away.  This isn't a wolf, this is a Khornate Berserker.

Oddly enough, if you ever go treasure hunting in underground ruins or get into buying stuff from traders you can pretty much figure out why wolves are so aggressive, considering that they survived the cataclysm that happened before Seraphs came into play.

Spoiler

There's a tapestry of wolves fighting drifters with a journal entry questioning why they're so aggressive!

 

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There is a mod that reduces their aggressiveness (https://mods.vintagestory.at/show/mod/1627) and one that removes them entirely (https://mods.vintagestory.at/show/mod/2020) but I'd really recommend that until you learn how to deal with them. you just reduce their damage. Improvised Armor gets you only one more hit before death. Big deal. When you run from one, you are probably going to encounter another and it's death anyway. Tanking it or running away is not going to cut it. You have to learn to deal with them without taking more than the one surprise hit, killing it or making it flee, then healing up, which, thankfully is probably available right there. Maybe the best way is to reduce their damage from 8 to maybe 1 or 2 or whatever it takes until you learn? They are not that bad, but like any skill, it takes some practice and it's a pretty nasty critter to have to have to practice on.

It's a pretty simple change, and a common enough request that maybe a configurable mod would be worth it?

[EDIT]

Another option is, of course, just burning the forest to the ground. Makes it much easier to scout around for copper anyway. Just scrounge enough food or find enough reed roots to get by for a couple days and channel your inner pyro. If you find some seeds and make a rabbit trap, so much the better.

[/EDIT]

[EDIT2]

I'd forgotten that you can also turn up your HP to slightly more than double, and turn down the damage critters do to a quarter, IIRC. That should be enough there, I think. If the wolf's damage is only 2, and you have 35 HP, that's kind of like picking a fight with chickens.

[/EDIT]

 

Edited by Thorfinn
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On 3/9/2022 at 9:54 AM, Thorfinn said:

I'd forgotten that you can also turn up your HP to slightly more than double, and turn down the damage critters do to a quarter, IIRC. That should be enough there, I think. If the wolf's damage is only 2, and you have 35 HP, that's kind of like picking a fight with chickens.

Personally, I find the best practice is to use the same combat settings you're using in your primary game and create a second survival/creative world where you disable dropping loot on death, use creative mode to give yourself food, bandages, and basic stone age gear (Or whatever gear you want to practice with), and then just run around forests to practice wolf engagements.

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20 hours ago, Ashery said:

Personally, I find the best practice is to use the same combat settings you're using in your primary game and create a second survival/creative world where you disable dropping loot on death, use creative mode to give yourself food, bandages, and basic stone age gear (Or whatever gear you want to practice with), and then just run around forests to practice wolf engagements.

Good to know.  I may have to do that.

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On 3/9/2022 at 6:54 PM, Thorfinn said:

There is a mod that reduces their aggressiveness (https://mods.vintagestory.at/show/mod/1627) and one that removes them entirely (https://mods.vintagestory.at/show/mod/2020) but I'd really recommend that until you learn how to deal with them. you just reduce their damage. Improvised Armor gets you only one more hit before death. Big deal. When you run from one, you are probably going to encounter another and it's death anyway. Tanking it or running away is not going to cut it. You have to learn to deal with them without taking more than the one surprise hit, killing it or making it flee, then healing up, which, thankfully is probably available right there. Maybe the best way is to reduce their damage from 8 to maybe 1 or 2 or whatever it takes until you learn? They are not that bad, but like any skill, it takes some practice and it's a pretty nasty critter to have to have to practice on.

It's a pretty simple change, and a common enough request that maybe a configurable mod would be worth it?

[EDIT]

Another option is, of course, just burning the forest to the ground. Makes it much easier to scout around for copper anyway. Just scrounge enough food or find enough reed roots to get by for a couple days and channel your inner pyro. If you find some seeds and make a rabbit trap, so much the better.

[/EDIT]

[EDIT2]

I'd forgotten that you can also turn up your HP to slightly more than double, and turn down the damage critters do to a quarter, IIRC. That should be enough there, I think. If the wolf's damage is only 2, and you have 35 HP, that's kind of like picking a fight with chickens.

[/EDIT]

 

I do find that a problem. If your not suppose to run away from wolfes, but instead attack and kill them, it doesn't feel very Lovecraft to me? Sure, wolfes aren't from "the other side", but it still takes away from the game. Sure, it could be nice with something from IRL where wolfes (and other predators) are more likely to hunt you if you run away - but stop running does nothing to their aggressiveness. Like i mentioned before in another thread, i would prefer if wolfes where smarter. Followed the player from safe distance out of spear and bow range, called for other wolfes, and prehaps attacked when you lower your weapon or if you seem wounded. But i guess that would be a hard thing to build the AI for.

 

By the way, about drifters and wolfes, seems wolfes don't attack drifters at all, i got them together in some pits, they seem to get along fine. Perhaps the tapestry show some trained wolfes?

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Well, you hope to kill them, but unless you are ready to chase them or are fighting in deep water, they will just run away once you take them down some amount. 2/3 maybe? Don't know. You don't have to get more than a few hits into them before they run.

You can outrun them. You are faster. I just find that if I try to run away in the forest, I either end up in thicker woods that I can't sprint through, or I step on another wolf.

Personally, I think I'd prefer it if you could "scrape" them off you by running past chickens or sheep or something.

Yeah, @Ashery, that's a good way too. Probably don't even need to invoke creative for that -- just keep your stuff on death should do it.

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Sure, i mean, i don't like throwing spears - it didn't feel intuitional when i started playing the game and never learned it - so then you have to learn to run, and it work if the ground is reasonable flat or water is not too far away. I play with gravity on dirt, and then you have to be careful when running. But i would prefer if wolfes worked another way. 

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On 3/5/2022 at 5:12 AM, Straille said:

my problem with wolves (since deciding also to play on passive) is that they very quickly outnumber any other animals :T

I am on very flat creative world with literally nothing on it except what I have built so far no bushes, no wolves, no animals of any kind. I might have accidentally made some caves in world edit that Drifters could spawn in but so far nothing shown up.

But I have watched a whole lot of hard core Vintage story YouTubers battling wolves and talking about in game wolf behavior vs real life wolf behavior so I am interested in the subject even if I rather not focus on being attacked by animals.

Edited by DX65
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On 3/6/2022 at 1:52 AM, Pestilence said:

I don't have any problem with wolves because I don't ever settle near them and their spawn points seem to never change.  They also aren't very difficult to run from and they are easily killed with spears in water.  That said, the existing hyena behavior would be perfect as a realistic change to wolf behavior.

Exactly. Minus the part about the Hyena behavior adaption. 

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On 3/4/2022 at 7:05 PM, Sam Billington said:

I'd like to preface this post by stating I've probably died 100 times to wolf attacks, and less than 20 times to all other causes combined, just on this one save.

This isn't survival horror, this is "survive the trip to the hospital because your blood pressure somehow hit 2000 psi."  It's not funny, and at this point, it's not even fun anymore.

A ratio of 1:1 i could understand but 5:1 with deaths in the three digits? Are you seeking them out or don't you employ any tactic when fighting them?

Quote

Wolves don't go out of their way to hunt humans in real life...and yet in Vintage Story, they seem to be incapable of getting rid of their heat, which has plagued them for the past three years straight, without tearing out your throat and humping the new hole.  Further, they will not only hunt you for 20 chunks of running straight away, but will begin pursuit if you're within a 1-chunk radius, and will continue their pursuit if you're any less than 5 chunks away.  This isn't a wolf, this is a Khornate Berserker.

Correct and incorrect, yes wolves do not actively hunt humans in fact they actively avoid them. But apart from the fact that player characters are not human, if they started to hunt something they won't just stop, they do follow their prey and attack when the prey shows signs of getting weaker. Like early human hunters they are in it for the long game. following their prey for days, totally something they would do.

Quote
  1. Wolves take a lot of damage compared to the player, even with copper weaponry.
  2. Wolves deal a lot of damage compared to the player, and shields seem to be completely worthless against them.

Wolves are tier 2 mobs, copper weaponry is tier 1 and shields wouldn't help much irl against an enemy jumping onto you either (from the size of those wolves they should weigh about the same as the player character) sure irl you would be able to keep one at bay with a shield between you and it, but irl an opponent of that size and weigh would throw you to the ground even with a shield, hence that not happening is a big advantage you have in VS, especially as you are faster than wolves, can climb ladders, can jump further and can pillar up.

Quote

Have them fear fire.  You got a torch out and lit?  They don't want to deal with you, period.

That would be a neat thing to do and mostly correct, as long as the source of fire does not stay stationary for long their natural instinct should induce fear when facing fire. but it should apply to every animal.

Quote
  1. Lower their damage tier, or raise the effectiveness of shields against them.
  2. [...]
  3. Go whole hog: upgrade player health drastically and upgrade drifter health and damage drastically.  This way, the drifters are actually a threat on their own, which is fitting for a monster, and you can potentially survive a wolf attack without having to be the kind of guy who wins every time he goes to the slot machine.

So the apex predator of VS should be only as dangerous as a pig or sheep? And drifters which come in tier too btw. should be way stronger? basically naked and malnourished player characters too? A well fed seraph can take i think 2-3 hits from a wolf even without any armour, throw on the improvised armour and you can take another bite or two. You don't need to be lucky to survive a wolf attack you need tactics: make sure your escape routes always are free of branches else you could get catched on them, do not run through thick forests without preparation, have a few blocks (ladders seem to be best as they can be deployed really fast and you don't need to jump place them) to pillar up on your hotbar or stay near bigger bodies of water, if they're suddenly started spawning around your base trap a few in a lit trench which prevents new spawns around them...

 

On 3/5/2022 at 1:05 AM, Philtre said:

In general I agree that wolves shouldn't be so aggressive; they should defend themselves, and they should try to keep you away from their cubs, and maybe their "den" area (although I'm not sure they have any such thing in the game currently), but they shouldn't randomly attack when you are nowhere near them

Yes, as long as wolves aren't starving they shouldn't go for that blueish bipedal thing running through their territory faster them they could, when looking for prey.

 

On 3/12/2022 at 7:36 PM, Fredrik Blomquist said:

I do find that a problem. If your not suppose to run away from wolfes, but instead attack and kill them, it doesn't feel very Lovecraft to me? Sure, wolfes aren't from "the other side", but it still takes away from the game. Sure, it could be nice with something from IRL where wolfes (and other predators) are more likely to hunt you if you run away - but stop running does nothing to their aggressiveness. Like i mentioned before in another thread, i would prefer if wolfes where smarter. Followed the player from safe distance out of spear and bow range, called for other wolfes, and prehaps attacked when you lower your weapon or if you seem wounded. But i guess that would be a hard thing to build the AI for.

I'd like that smarter AI and it would go very well with the slightly less aggressive behaviour.

Quote

By the way, about drifters and wolfes, seems wolfes don't attack drifters at all, i got them together in some pits, they seem to get along fine. Perhaps the tapestry show some trained wolfes?

Or the drifters we face in VS are only figments of the imagination of the player character... Memories of the time before the great cataclysm, they only spawn in the dark or when a seraph has a mental breakdown (temporal storm)...

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Wolves are annoying and really hard, especially in early game. When I played in 1.14.10 wolves where hard and was killing me fast frequently, but with a pond of water it was pretty easy to kill them. But right now in my new game in 1.16.4 wolves seam to spawn a lot more frequently and in bigger group. Killing one wolf is possible, but when you have 2 or 3 attacking you at the same time it is totally impossible to do anything, and good luck if you want to get back your stuff after that, because wolf will still be around.

The trick of water pond doesn't seam to work as it did when I play in 1.14, since now wolves manage to jump on you even when they are on water, if it is only 1 block of water deep, but on your side you can't run and or jump really. Also, with the new sword animation, melee attack are lot slower so, attacking them in melee frequently finished by you taking a lot of damage. I personally always prefer melee attack than range attack, but In 1.16 the best way to deal with those is clearly to pillar up and using a lot of spears. or the sword if he is close enough for you to attack them with the sword.

I agree that some changes on the wolves AI would be nice to make them less annoying and maybe more realistic too. Like it is already said in the original post, just making the wolves fear the fire or maybe to be neutral on the night, so they not try to attack you in the middle of the night can help a little too.

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As a person who treats every run as if it was hardcore and tries very hard not to die at all ever, I feel like if you're dying literally hundreds of times per world, your problem is optimism, not enemies.  Without great armor, you don't stand a chance against a sheep, much less a wolf, without employing some kind of other strategy that negates your weaknesses.

Edited by Pestilence
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Alright, I guess I need to address some stuff.  First, Hal13:

Quote

A ratio of 1:1 i could understand but 5:1 with deaths in the three digits? Are you seeking them out or don't you employ any tactic when fighting them?

My tactic is run and use water and other methods to avoid getting ripped to shreds, because they're just fucking everywhere and I don't have the ability to just hunt them into oblivion.  Because my ability to aim in a game is shit, and my timing abilities are even worse.

I don't have half this much trouble in Minecraft with Creepers of all fucking things.

 

Quote

Wolves are tier 2 mobs, copper weaponry is tier 1 and shields wouldn't help much irl against an enemy jumping onto you either (from the size of those wolves they should weigh about the same as the player character) sure irl you would be able to keep one at bay with a shield between you and it, but irl an opponent of that size and weigh would throw you to the ground even with a shield, hence that not happening is a big advantage you have in VS, especially as you are faster than wolves, can climb ladders, can jump further and can pillar up.

Missing the point here.  The point is that I can bump my base health up to 30 and they still drag me over the coals every time they get a whiff of me.

 

Quote

So the apex predator of VS should be only as dangerous as a pig or sheep? And drifters which come in tier too btw. should be way stronger? basically naked and malnourished player characters too? A well fed seraph can take i think 2-3 hits from a wolf even without any armour, throw on the improvised armour and you can take another bite or two. You don't need to be lucky to survive a wolf attack you need tactics: make sure your escape routes always are free of branches else you could get catched on them, do not run through thick forests without preparation, have a few blocks (ladders seem to be best as they can be deployed really fast and you don't need to jump place them) to pillar up on your hotbar or stay near bigger bodies of water, if they're suddenly started spawning around your base trap a few in a lit trench which prevents new spawns around them...

Talk about missing the point entirely.  It's not survival horror if the wolves can kill you in two bites and the literal unnatural monsters take seven or eight.  It's survival, but not really survival horror.  And hey, guess what?  Improvised armor is A) fragile as fuck, and B) expensive as fuck when it comes to important early-game resources.

Also, "You don't need to be lucky"?  MY FAT ASS.  You have to be lucky to not find them.  And if you do find them, you don't have time to figure anything out to save your hide because you're too busy panicking and trying to find your way out of your current location back to your base.  Don't spew blatant horseshit at me, I don't appreciate being lied to.

It might help if I didn't lag like a motherfucker when I can see more than 2 chunks away from my current position.  And I'm pretty sure the computer I'm using to play is high-end with 16 GB of RAM.

 

9 hours ago, Pestilence said:

As a person who treats every run as if it was hardcore and tries very hard not to die at all ever, I feel like if you're dying literally hundreds of times per world, your problem is optimism, not enemies.  Without great armor, you don't stand a chance against a sheep, much less a wolf, without employing some kind of other strategy that negates your weaknesses.

Calling me optimistic is like calling a sperm whale small.  Unless you meant optimization, in which case I completely agree, but I haven't exactly mastered the mechanics yet..

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