Howdy! This is by no means official, as i’ve only been playing a week. I wanted to start a discussion about other peoples’ opinions on how the game currently plays. Note that I understand this is still an alpha, and has a long way to go, however considering people are actually buying this game now (as did I), people may possibly want to read about what they are getting into before making the plunge, as well as stirring up conversation about what people are doing in game (and how they feel about it!).
Since we have moved to Steam, I am going to skip the technical aspects of the game that are related to Unity on the web, however i’ll be including technical details that will most likely still occur in the Steam version. However, as I can’t get the Steam version to work, I may accidentally include things already fixed.
***** The game is rather bland, visually. The animations can be awkward, and many times models can show up as a glob of random polygons. The technical bugs aside, the landscape really doesn’t offer much variety.
***** The UI is buggy. Depending on your window size simple things like clicking “accept” on the options menu become impossible. (this may be fixed in steam)
***** There is lag everywhere. People lag all over the place, and just like other FPS, your ping affects your ability to efficiently kill things in game.
** Object of the game: As Garry has hinted/stated, the game is supposed to be organic. This means that Garry does not want to give you an ultimate/artificial goal, but rather have players enjoy the sandbox and make their own game. However, as you will see, there are currently not enough tools to make this a viable option in the longterm. For simplicities’ sake, I am going to break down gameplay into four different areas: PvP, PvE, building, and gathering.
**PvE**: There are three mob types, two of which are aggressive. Zombies, which are one aggressive type, are one way to obtain good gear. Then there are the aggressive resource mobs, which when killed
drop resources used to create other objects. There are several of these mobs (wolves and bears), but they act pretty much the same. Then there are the non-aggro resources mobs (boars, deer). While limited, this aspect of the game is pretty standard and has no real issues.
**Building**: This is where you build your base. Currently it's rather limited. You can build metal/wood foundations, walls, windows, stairs, ceilings, and ramps. That's it. Structures are pretty bland looking, and depending on how they are placed can also look very post-apocalyptic (which definitely fits into the theme). This is because the seems of many of the walls attached to doors/stairs etc sometimes do not mesh well, and it creates obvious and weird gaps. The buildings decay over time, meaning that if you don't log on and repair them, they will disappear from the map. I love that we can create buildings, and really look forward to the enhancements Garry and his team will add. The buildings are one of the major areas of the game that have issues, however. Let's keep with the theme and make a list: ** *** Doors: Currently the only person that can open/close a door is the individual that placed it. Which means if you want to share a home with someone, you need to make multiple entrances (which is a good idea in the first place). However each entrance, again, is only interactable with the person that placed it, so if you want to have multiple entrances/exits for everyone, the doors multiply quickly. This is compounded with interior walls. Doors are also usually the "entry point" for raiders, and currently are much too easy to break into. More on this in the next point. A simple keys system needs to be implemented to fix this. ** *** As protection: Since sleepers (in pvp section), your home is supposed to be your safe spot to log off. However, it is much too easy for a raider to blow open your door(s) while you are logged off, loot everything you've worked on, and then destroy everything in your home. Or, even worse: ** *** Grief placement: Since nobody "owns the land" that you have placed a home on, it is possible for other players to then place walls within, or outside, your house, making rooms, or the entire house unaccessible. I have seen foundations placed in front of doors, which make them nearly impossible for newer (or even intermediate) players to fix. I have seen houses griefed where entire sections of the house was no longer accessible as walls were placed internally blocking everything off. ** *** Mistake placement: All of this comes down to the issue that destroying anything but doors is a major hassle, and even after a week I still had not found the schematic for C4 (which is what is used to destroy doors/walls/etc), so I could not fix walls that were not placed correctly. There is no other way to destroy these walls, so if you place something in the wrong spot. Oh well. Live with it, and wait for it to decay (days). Many of these issues related to C4 creates the "have" and "have nots". Those that don't have C4 are constantly raided (this is not to say that those that have C4 are immune, quite the opposite) and have no recourse for possibly fixing mistakes in their home, while those that have C4 can raid easily and quickly, and can fix things in their home.
Gathering: You gather wood, ores, and animal goods from resources nodes around the map. This is basic and not very interesting. The placement of these nodes is what makes them interesting, which is covered in the maps section.
**PvP: **This is arguably where a large portion of the meat is in this game. It works very similarly to other FPS'. You shoot, and hope you kill the other person before they kill you. However, unlike other games, there is a persistence element involved, and dying can mean much more than losing the gun you bought at the beginning of the round. You can lose all the gear you've worked on, as well as everything in your inventory. This adds an increased amount of excitement when fighting, and adds new tactics not seen in other FPS. I personally think this is one of the major draws to the game, and hope that they can make this aspect of the game really solid. One major aspect of PvP is the notion of "sleepers", where your body stays in the game after you have logged off (this includes all your gear/inventory). This means that anyone who happens on your body (out in the wild or in your home) can kill you and loot your corpse. I personally understand the concept/reason for this gameplay mechanic and support it, however it needs work, considering my complaints on building. I'm sure there are more issues here, but i'm moving on. I'm sure others will have thoughts on this area, and can better articulate it than me.
Maps:** The maps, as Garry has already stated, were made when the game was very different than it is now. Currently there is a huge percentage of the map which includes nothing useful (no resources, trees, animals, etc). There are areas where resources are gathered together, creating hotspots for PvP. This is fun and adds to the tension during gathering. However, the maps are much too small with not enough variety to allow for the possible different gameplay styles. Do you want to live out in an isolated area, with less resources, but less threat of being raided? This is currently nearly impossible since these isolated areas contain no resources. They don’t have less resources, but none whatsoever. Furthermore, all resources are only in hot spot areas, there are not random intermittent resource nodes anywhere on the map. This all but forces players to move their homes closer to others, which (although can be a fun part of the game), limits options for players. By no means is this a hard and fast rule, I have seen homes in the middle of nowhere, however they are very, very rare. Maybe this is intended, but I hope not.