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Thread: Game balancing.

  1. #1
    Senior Member DaFuzz's Avatar
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    Game balancing.

    Hiya guys.

    I haven't been playing Planet nomads for a couple of months now and decided to pick up a new game and play survival on hard.
    I must say that i'm rather disappointed with the result.

    I do notice that building is a lot easier now, so I'm glad that's fixed and that it is harder to find tech 2 equipment from the salvage place.
    But finding food and the threat level that's surrounding me is still laughable at best.

    I've also played the game the long dark a couple of times and I must admit that concerning survival games, this game is the best.
    I also notice that now that I play Planet Nomads again, I feel none of these threats that I had in the long dark
    As a matter of fact, Planet Nomad feels like doing groceries and cleaning the house compared to The long dark, even on difficulty hard.
    I know I can adjust the difficulty setting with a custom game, but I'm lazy and I have trust in the developer that if they can set up a hard difficulty level, it will in deed be very hard.

    So how do I compare the Long dark with Planet Nomads.

    First off, the scarcity of everything.
    The problem with The long dark is that you need to build or find everything with very simple equipment.
    Planet Nomads can get you very easily the basics you need to survive and you're done for life.

    So it might be an idea to put wear and tear on everything you have, like your equipment, and vehicles, buildings.
    This way there is a maintenance issue you have with everything you posses, which increases the survival feeling of the game.

    Then there is the amount of resources that drop, that makes it very easy to build a lot of things real fast.
    I would suggest to lower the amount of harvest-able plants so players really feel like dropping an beacon to highlight it as important.
    To compensate, increase the amount of nests, which have a lot more resources, but make it more dangerous in the world.

    Concerning the rocks, I would suggest one material per rock instead of two.
    There are already lots of places to find minerals if someone knows where to look, so it could be made a lot more complicated, so the player really starts looking.

    I hope these suggestions help
    Why on earth would someone spent all his time in life being a little bit creative, when you can go all the way?

  2. #2
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    This will not actually make PN more dangerous, but the “f.lux” app will make it look darker, creepier, and more alien.

    I play before I can to sleep, and use f.lux to reduce blue-light to help sleep, and it giving PN a cool new look was a nice surprise.

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    I donít entirely agree or disagree here. An admission of laziness is no excuse for laziness. :-)

    Setting custom world values is neither hard nor time consuming. However... I wouldnít mind an option to save a custom default. Let us tinker with the values and save those so we can generate Custom worlds based on these easier.

    It would also be great to see interactions between the planetís life forms and environments. Carnivorous creatures attacking other creatures, herbivores eating the fruit trees and bushes we would otherwise harvest. Those bee-things sucking the moisture out of anything getting too close. All these kinds of little things to make the ecosystem feel more alive.

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    Senior Member DaFuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indigo View Post
    It would also be great to see interactions between the planet’s life forms and environments. Carnivorous creatures attacking other creatures, herbivores eating the fruit trees and bushes we would otherwise harvest. Those bee-things sucking the moisture out of anything getting too close. All these kinds of little things to make the ecosystem feel more alive.
    I have suggested something about the wildlife as well and there seems to be a problem with the predators eating everything.
    You can read about it here
    Why on earth would someone spent all his time in life being a little bit creative, when you can go all the way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaFuzz View Post
    I have suggested something about the wildlife as well and there seems to be a problem with the predators eating everything.
    You can read about it here

    Iím familiar with that thread and the Terrasque too. There is another game I play, Eden Star, which does have at least some predation - which makes for some nice environmental effects. Would certainly be worth a revisit here, but definitely low on the priority list.

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    Welcome back DaFuzz!

    I would like a better survival too.
    For those who like building, the current style is ok.
    But for those who are survival oriented, the game should be balanced differently.

    I think should have 3 options when we start the game:
    • creative mode
    • builder mode: like we have now. Additionally it should be possible to disable some survival elements. Without survival, this mode would be like a creative mode where we have access to inventory but with limited resources.
    • survival mode: where the tech tree can be unlocked gradually (in a customized way) and where vehicles will be adjusted somehow. Things which destroy survival are: flying over ground enemies, invulnerable vehicles, little impact on health if a block is above our head, low quality of the AI, no events (attacks or disasters) ...

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    Senior Member DaFuzz's Avatar
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    Thanks Menzagitat.

    After seeing the release version go up one more number (8 to 9) I hoped they would balance the game a lot more.
    However I don't see any changes yet in the difficulty, so to be more precise in the steam store, I would recommend removing the survival tag for the time being and don't get peoples hope up for a survival game.

    Otherwise it might be asking for negative reviews on the steam store
    Why on earth would someone spent all his time in life being a little bit creative, when you can go all the way?

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    The hard mode is very easy indeed. I don't know if it's by design or because this area was not deemed the most important to get right in pre-release.
    Arguably, tweaking difficulty is not the hardest thing to do. If I were a dev in this project, I would absolutely want to focus on the "cooler" stuff first :-)
    Survival should include making food much harder to grow, shelter that can be damaged, scarcity of resources. All that is not too hard to code, I think.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And I almost forgot : more punishing health-related effects. Fractures and concussions should have effects lasting days. Thirst and hunger should cripple you more (blurred vision? More time asleep?) And heat sources should be a thing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DaFuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LocoNeko73 View Post
    The hard mode is very easy indeed. I don't know if it's by design or because this area was not deemed the most important to get right in pre-release.
    Arguably, tweaking difficulty is not the hardest thing to do. If I were a dev in this project, I would absolutely want to focus on the "cooler" stuff first :-)
    Survival should include making food much harder to grow, shelter that can be damaged, scarcity of resources. All that is not too hard to code, I think.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And I almost forgot : more punishing health-related effects. Fractures and concussions should have effects lasting days. Thirst and hunger should cripple you more (blurred vision? More time asleep?) And heat sources should be a thing.
    And how about a dead is dead policy.
    If you die, it's game over.
    It was like that in the long dark and I can say with confidence, it makes your game a whole lot more valuable.
    Now, if you die, you just have to walk back and pick up your inventory plus some added bonus from the drop chest.
    So dying is somewhat rewarded, or not really a big deal.

    But that's exactly the point of survival games.
    Why on earth would someone spent all his time in life being a little bit creative, when you can go all the way?

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    I am disheartened at the moment.
    I noticed that last year developers promised "Improved Animals Will Take You by Surprise" which didn't happened.
    Before that, there was a concept in the game where animals were able to fight with each other, and that concept was removed instead of improving it.
    Two months ago, in a steam thread (which was deleted by the poster) developers said many players were concerned about weapons and they are thinking what to do.

    On the 2018 roadmap, the open survival points are:

    Some special music during those phenomena would also be a cool addition.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DaFuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menzagitat View Post
    less predictable animals, which can damage buildings.
    Well, I didn't expect this

    Why on earth would someone spent all his time in life being a little bit creative, when you can go all the way?

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    Devs make a new option for pain seekers call it "Insanity". Tweek it up difficult. One hit from a Godo is death that type of thing. Not everyone wants stressed out game experience. They won't stop dissing you until you do. Its not that you don't know how. Give them a taste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tp555 View Post
    Devs make a new option for pain seekers call it "Insanity". Tweek it up difficult. One hit from a Godo is death that type of thing. Not everyone wants stressed out game experience. They won't stop dissing you until you do. Its not that you don't know how. Give them a taste.
    It was the developers choice to add the weapon onto the roadmap.
    And "less predictable animals" does not necessarily means to attack you randomly. That would be a poor AI.
    Survival may also mean how you get help from the local life.

    A really good AI would be the one which would recognize that you choose to put the weapon away and would test you to see how determined you are to avoid fight. And in the end it could accept your presence and would start communicating with you somehow, not with words but with actions.
    An AI where different individuals have each moods and personality would be a way to make the animals "less predictable".
    But if I manage to befriend a Goddilo, I would hate to see him gone when I reload the game next day,

    If the player decides to be aggressive, I don't mind those Goddilos attacking him time to time, as mentioned on the steam store page:

    Day 26

    There was an unexpected turn of events today. The armored gorillas paid me a visit. I don't think they like the mining machines that much so they came to tell me. I thought I could hide inside the base and wait it out, but the beasts started throwing huge rocks at the walls and the walls were caving in with a screeching noise all around me. I fired up the one mining machine I have in my base to serve as a distraction. Luckily enough I scheduled a test run of my new mobile base for this day. It was standing by all powered up and ready. I made a run for it, quickly got into the cockpit and got away this time. But there's no going back now. I'm a Nomad.

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    The devs could make a game start for the "this is too easy" crowd and post it for DL. See what happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tp555 View Post
    The devs could make a game start for the "this is too easy" crowd and post it for DL. See what happens.
    Why would they do that?

  16. #16
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    I'm not sure how Craneballs use Unity and if they are doing everything from scratch, or that Craneballs is using some Unity addons to help them.
    But I would suggest this addon for Unity for their wildlife in planet nomads.

    This way, they can program an AI in the animals rather simple.
    It might make a huge difference.
    Why on earth would someone spent all his time in life being a little bit creative, when you can go all the way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaFuzz View Post
    I have suggested something about the wildlife as well and there seems to be a problem with the predators eating everything.
    You can read about it here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotka%...e_fixed_points

    Methinks that actually functional multi-species predator/prey dynamics would be extremely difficult to incorporate in a game like PN - especially since the environment is generated procedurally. Even the simplest differential equation systems for predator/prey populations display large areas in 'parameter space' that invariably lead to extinction of one or more species.


    Another solution might be to take a page from Subnautica's book and forget about simulating predator/prey dynamics and merely fake them - i.e. make one species attack members of another species with probability x given the set of environmetal parameters alpha, beta, gamma ... (proximity to 'enemy species', possible 'protected biomes' that aggressors enter only rarely, so they don't kill off all the 'faux-prey' animals, etc.) and then distribute spawn points in such a way that there's a non-zero probability of the two encountering each other while the player is looking. But I've got a feeling that even that is a non-trivial task to implement in a procedurally generated environment.
    Last edited by Case; 26-06-2018 at 03:28 PM.

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