Strong + Hiding - Too powerful?

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Strong + Hiding - Too powerful?

So, I've been playing the game on and off for quite a while now. After the latest update where the loot tables got adjusted (read: nerfed the everloving snot out of) the game became brutally harder. I like this! The game wasn't terribly challenging; I hardly ever died.

That said, at some point I tried a new build that lacked my usual pair: Strong and Hiding. I've never managed to be successful without it.

While I'm sure I could eventually manage to do well without it, I'm wondering if anyone else shares my concerns. The synergy isn't obvious; Strong is sort of a fighting skill, while Hiding is oriented around avoiding combat. But there's a hidden, ridiculously powerful synergy here: by looting and combining Strong and Hiding, you cancel out the loot penalty from scavenging discretely but still gain the sneaking benefit. The only cost is slightly decreased Safety, which just results in some scrapes that ultimately mean nothing.

This combination seems overpowered, as you almost never attract attention but you get tons of loot. When you find a crowbar, you'll almost always find what you need within a moment's notice. But is the game balanced for it? Is it okay to have this pair as an easier pair for players who don't want a challenge, or should we save extra challenge for people who do things like take extra disadvantages with no beneficial traits?

If we did something like make them cancel each other out, or just plain unusable together (how do you scavenge brutishly and discretely at the same time, anyway?), would we have to make the game overall easier? Are there other unintentional skill synergies I don't know about, or was this skill synergy intentional in the first place?


I actually know how one can scavenge brutishly and discretely at the same time: kick some doors and break some windows making a lot of noise and then hide and wait to check is someones coming. Ant that showed me a possible way out of the "overpowered hiding" situation - make scavenging using hiding take twice (or even thrice) as much time. Scavenging slowly and quietly should in theory take way more time than breaking everything up and grabbing few things of worth before running away.

That's my solution at least.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
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I am not overly fond of this idea. Implementing it like this may decrease supposed 'overpowered' factor of strng + hiding but it also will drop the penalty on every other character using just hiding.

I'd rather just adjust safety risk rating and make it a bit higher or simply - have combination of those skills cancel out lot of the bonus, giving only reasonable but balanced addition to both stealth and effectiveness.

This idea was actually mostly considered from realism standpoint (doing things carefully take more time usually) but I do not think it hinders, from mechanics side of things, other builds too much. as one fifth of a turn more (12 minutes for healthy individual) spent per scavenge run is not that a big deal. Also, it only affects character that chooses to use Hiding, so it still leaves room for faster, less considerate searches.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Some trait combos just complement each other very well if it fits with how you like to play your character.

For instance, I'm very straight forward and maybe a bit heavy-handed when it comes to my characters so I end up in combat more often that I probably should, so I built a setup around that. Currently, my favored set up is Metabolism, Athletic, Trapping, Melee, Tough, and Strong. Insomniac is my negative.

This is a very combat-focused set up. It allows me the largest set of disabling moves available, makes me extremely hardy, and allows me a greater chance to severely injure my opponent in combat. At the same time, Strong, Trapping, and Athletic also give me multiple ways in which I can retreat if I find a situation to be too dangerous, or I can use them to keep my enemy at a distance as I pelt them with stones to soften them up.

Most of these traits are also very useful out of combat, as well. Trapping allows me to find food in areas it may otherwise be inaccessible or risky(poisonous berries/mushrooms) and allows me to craft clothing from the animals I find. It also provides free clothing in the beginning of the game if I can find something sharp to skin the first Dogman with (since I took the Strong trait I can immediately kill it while sustaining minor wounds). This cloak also makes enemies more hesitant to engage me, that's a huge bonus.

Strong allows me to carry more loot without being encumbered and aids in scavenging.

Melee allows me access to more formidable weapons that I wouldn't be able to make otherwise.

Athletic allows me to traverse terrain faster than I would normally be able to.

It all fits perfectly for a typical survivalist type character. I may not be the smartest or most inventive of the bunch, but I'll live a lot longer than just about anyone else in a harsh environment like the Michigan Wastes.

All that being said, some traits do need a boost. Mechanical and Electrical in particular are in a pretty rough spot at the moment, being dangerously close to useless. Eagle Eye also isn't worth all that much, considering you can get the same benefit from a pair of binoculars or a scope with a strap. Botany doesn't feel terribly versatile, although I can see it helping if your survivor doesn't have Metabolism.

Honestly, I could never make hiding work. The only practical use I could find for it was for scavenging and keeping myself from getting detected while I slept, otherwise I felt like there were options that would benefit my character much more.

*Waits patiently for the addition of Carroltron*

The practical use of Hiding is that you don't need Melee, Strong and Tough since you almost never encounter any enemies.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

I like botany since it automatically tells you what is good and bad. Also, you don't need to cook a berry or mushroom.

Proud member of the International Federation of Looters, Bandits, and Raiders. "Divided, we stand. Together, you better have athletic skill!"

With Crowbar, will travel