Few balancing issues
Recently I have been wondering about the few balancing issues in the game and after reading some of the posts on the forums, I've compiled a list. Those are not bugs per see, and might not be important enough for Dan to invest time in those, but are having, in my opinion, a negative impact on the balancing of the game. So for the sake of hearing what others think about those, here we go:
Flaws- two especially are not doing their work:
- Myopia - right now it's negative influence on character is so minor that many players actually consider it as a positive trait because it allows to choose another skill, almost for free - can be basically "cured" by finding binoculars/scope.
Suggestion - should give a massive (-80% ?) penalty to hitting with the ranged attacks and a medium one (-25%) for attacks in melee over 0 range.
Optional - could instead make enemies auto-hidden during combat, without the chance of finding them via Search move, if they are more than 10-15 units away making "Shot in the dark" (the random one) only range attack available in that situation (as well as making correct enemy identification a problem).
- Insomnia - similar to the Myopia problem, right now can be easily ignored by simply spamming the Sleep button, sleeping pills serving more for the player's convenience rather that for character survival.
Suggestion - if the character does not have a full, uninterrupted 6 hour sleep session per every 24 hours/turns, he will suffer from "had a bad night/didn't slept well/slightly confused" condition, giving him a small but persistent penalty to both combat (to hit, more likely to trip on terrain) and scavenging (all bars lower than usual - less concentrated and more prone to accidents) until he finally sleeps well again.
Skills - there is much that can be done with almost all of them, but one obviously works not as people expect it should.
- Hiding - this should be one of the most useful skills, next to Trapping. Instead it's has a problem with mechanics - even if player hid successfully on the map (which should happen a bit more often), there is a chance that enemy will stumble across him by accident. Or player can stumble upon enemy by accident himself. Once that happens, all the enemy has to choose from (if he does not see the player) is to try and escape or Search. Search needs to be nerfed a great deal, as it almost always works on the first turn.
But there is another problem - enemy who does not know that player is in the same hex, should neither try to run nor search for a fight. He should continue to do what he did, unaware.
Suggestion - a "unaware of player's presence" combat status for enemies that do not know that player is near when combat encounter starts. It could make them use different set of moves instead of standard aggressive manoeuvres:
- Travel Further (just like Retreat, only non combative, not always available),
- Walk around the Camp (moves randomly 1-2 either towards or away from player, low chance to detect player - he simply walks around his camp),
- Do Something (stands still preoccupied, very low chance to detect player, chance to become vulnerable - he is taking care of something: eating, boiling water, repairing gear, watching stars, etc.)
- Stay watch (observes the surroundings, high chance of detecting player, not always available - dude is not complete idiot, he sometimes looks around, just to be sure)
- Go Sleep (lies down to sleep, only when tired (?), not always available, becomes fallen, chance to become unconscious - dude goes to sleep).
Anything other than Sneak Closer, Sneak Away and Hidden Retreat form player would have a great chance to alert the enemy, but Sneaking close enough would allow a attack with greater damage and to hit chance.
A.I. post-retreat silliness
- Enemies often escape combat, only to move around like nothing had happened, walking to and fro or even returning and engage again on their next move (and run away yet again).
Suggestion - NPCs could stay "afraid" of player and keep on running away for another 1-3 turns after Retreating from combat (players being chased by enemy they don't want to fight do exactly that after all). Exception could be made for Dogmen - just assume they "circle around the prey" like a pack of wild dogs/wolves would do.
Dogman Fur Coat
a.k.a. the "ultimate" clothing - it lasts forever (decaying 0.1% every 10 turns - 416 days from 100%), is worth a lot ($225), is relatively light (only 2kg), scares the enemies and wearing it means you don't have to wear any other clothes to stay warm. And all of this right of the bat. While it needs a specific skill to be acquired, it is one of the most (if not the most) useful skill in the game, so player does not really sacrifice anything. It simply is too good item.
Suggestion - re-styling it into the "Crudely Treated Dogman Fur" (you make it in a very short time with a glass shard or a pocket knife only, after all): weight up to 4kg and the temperature isolation should be a little less (it does cover only part of upper torso and back) - so player would need at least pants to stay warm at evenings and still got a little cold at nights. Even while wearing a modern-day, winter coat a person would still get cold if having nothing else on himself.
Optional - wearing it could give a small chance to become sick (it is crude un-tanned fur that smells and most likely has fleas/ticks/flies, not to mention the rotting parts of the dogman's last victims).
Pack-mule combat style
Carrying a weapon in one hand + Backpack in the other, allowing player to carry a lot of gear without any consequences (also making ranged hit'n'run tactic a bit too powerful).
Suggestion - additional "both hands occupied" status when both hand slots are filled by a big enough non-single-handed-weapon items, giving a penalty for hitting in melee and also making player unable to use bows, sling, rifle or shotgun (but not affecting pistols, giving them more purpose and sense).
There is also a problem with over-abundance of meat, but other than implementing a sickness simulating the rabbit starvation, I have nothing else here.