Topic: Some new player's feedback  (Read 17526 times)


flibbo

« on: July 23, 2018, 10:54:17 AM »
Hi guys.

I discovered URW two weeks ago after someone told be about it on Reddit. Never heard of it before despite it being ancient and me loving survival games. I thought a new player's feedback could be valuable so I thought I'd give some. This is gonna be long, just ignore if you don't care :)

First of all I do love the realism of this game, the full seasonal changes, the realistic time progression, the skills and general mechanics of the game - getting food, injuries, encumbrance etc. I always appreciate realism especially in survival games. I also found the game to be quite addictive and even immersive despite its dated graphics, then again I'm not the kind of games who always needs the hottest high end shit. I really like the setting too, iron age finland creates a naturally fitting theme for a survival game rather than having to invent a more artificial one like the post-apocalyptic setting of The Long Dark for example.

There are also some things I didn't like and some features I miss and would like to see added. I did take a look at what is planned for the future so I'm not going to mention the things already on that list. One of my first deaths was rather infuriating - it was early spring and I was walking across a still frozen river or small lake while zoomed out in the wilderness map. The first couple of tiles I could just walk normally but then once I reached the center I suddenly got the message that "Hey surprise, you can't trust the ice after all! Gotta zoom in!" so I did since I had no choice, being in the middle of a big frozen body of water and sure enough after a couple of steps I broke in. Couldn't pull myself back out and drowned. A death that I think was complete BS, if I can't trust the ice please tell me from the start in the wilderness map, like it usually happens, and not after I'm halfway across just to death-troll me.
Another case of bad communication is when you forget to put your clothes on an then travel in the wilderness map. You know those messages you sometimes get that you have to confirm by hitting space? Why don't they happen when you travel why freezing? Instead you just find yourself suddenly dead if you don't constantly stare at the message window, your cold indicator AND of course on the map to avoid robbers. This makes travelling very tedious.

Then there's clothing - anything ordinary like nettle, linen or wool for which I get the strange message "It's impossible for you to repair this item of clothing" (paraphrased) when I want to repair it, but it's no problem at all to fix up fur or leather items. I suppose that's because the corresponding raw materials in the former case don't exist in the game (yet?). Same thing for the good iron-based armors. What does this mean for the player? Even the tiniest tear or scratch to any of those items is permanent, you can never get it back to the state it was before. Maybe you've searched and traded a long time for a full set of fine clothing - it's all pretty much ruined once you meet a hostile NPC, an angry animal or even just fall a couple of meters when trying to climb. Only way to avoid this would be to stick to fur or leather items only, which completely rules out any of the good armors. Very frustratring.

A few things are also just plain wrong in terms of realism, which this game otherwise does put great importance on. Most obvious to me is the ability to drink seawater. Everyone knows you can't quench your thirst with that, it would only make it worse. Also swampwater and any other water is 100% safe to drink, always. Water in this game is basically as pure as modern day bottled water, no matter where it comes from. In reality you'd have to worry about bacterial infections (especially in swamps) and boil any water before drinking to make sure it's safe, seawater would be out of the question of course.  On the other hand, you can't melt snow or ice down for drinking water in the winter.
Then there's rope: can only be made from leather, even though hemp does exist in the game. Hemp ropes would be the first thing that come to mind for me in this case. Other plant fibres should work too, maybe at a lower quality depending on what exactly you use.
Tying equipment used for smoking or drying meat should not be lost when done. It doesn't become part of the food, it's just used for hanging it...
Some fire mechanincs I find a bit odd also: The buildable fireplace generates so much heat, you only need to put 3 branches and maybe some firewood in there every couple of days and your cabin will be a sauna even long after those puny branches are burned out. You don't need to keep a fire going for a cooking job that takes hours, or even a smoking job that takes weeks. The actual burning time for the amount of firewood added is too short. When preparing soil for planting, it takes way too long for the ground to "cool down".

That's it from me for now!

caethan

« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 08:12:54 PM »
> Most obvious to me is the ability to drink seawater. Everyone knows you can't quench your thirst with that, it would only make it worse.

Surprisingly enough, this is not actually true.  The Baltic Sea, particularly in the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia (i.e., coastal Finland) is much less salty than the rest of the ocean.  There's so much river water flowing into the sea that it dilutes out the seawater substantially.  So you get freshwater fish living happily, and it is in fact drinkable.

MigrantWorker

« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 08:49:11 PM »
Yes, the inability to repair fabric clothes is annoying. But on the other hand, it only takes 20 spruce twigs to build a rainproof shelter... ;)

Erkka

« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2018, 10:56:46 AM »
Welcome aboard, and thanks for the feedback Flibbo!

Quote
  A death that I think was complete BS, if I can't trust the ice please tell me from the start in the wilderness map, like it usually happens, and not after I'm halfway across just to death-troll me.

Well, things went like that because when you started crossing the lake the ice was still thick enough to be trusted. And only got weaker when you got that message telling so. That means that the game had no way of warning you the moment you stepped on the ice - at that very moment the ice was ok, and the game can't predict how many hours you are going to spend walking on the ice and how the weather will be during those hours.

The ice thickness is tracked hour by hour, millimetre by millimetre. And in real life it also is so that after a freezing cold night the ice can be safe early in the morning, but becomes dangerous after noon, as they day gets warmer. These are things that the game can't so easily tell you beforehand, so we just have to assume that players pay special attention always when moving on ice, especially in autumn and springtime.

Also, when crossing thin ice the same rules apply in the game as in real life; go crawling, as your weight gets spread on larger surface and you won't fall through that easily. And have a knife wielded, for in case the ice breaks you have greater changes of pulling yourself back to solid ice if you can trust your knife into the ice instead of desperately trying to grab slippery ice with your bare hands.

In real life Finland a few people drown because of this kind of reasons, every year. Sure, we can call it complete BS, but then I think it is more like a way the world works, and the game simulates the same BS  :)
UnReal World co-designer, also working on a small side project called Ancient Savo

flibbo

« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2018, 06:14:57 PM »
> Most obvious to me is the ability to drink seawater. Everyone knows you can't quench your thirst with that, it would only make it worse.

Surprisingly enough, this is not actually true.  The Baltic Sea, particularly in the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia (i.e., coastal Finland) is much less salty than the rest of the ocean.  There's so much river water flowing into the sea that it dilutes out the seawater substantially.  So you get freshwater fish living happily, and it is in fact drinkable.

Wow, I did not know that! Thanks for clarifying.

Welcome aboard, and thanks for the feedback Flibbo!

Quote
  A death that I think was complete BS, if I can't trust the ice please tell me from the start in the wilderness map, like it usually happens, and not after I'm halfway across just to death-troll me.

Well, things went like that because when you started crossing the lake the ice was still thick enough to be trusted. And only got weaker when you got that message telling so. That means that the game had no way of warning you the moment you stepped on the ice - at that very moment the ice was ok, and the game can't predict how many hours you are going to spend walking on the ice and how the weather will be during those hours.

The ice thickness is tracked hour by hour, millimetre by millimetre. And in real life it also is so that after a freezing cold night the ice can be safe early in the morning, but becomes dangerous after noon, as they day gets warmer. These are things that the game can't so easily tell you beforehand, so we just have to assume that players pay special attention always when moving on ice, especially in autumn and springtime.

Also, when crossing thin ice the same rules apply in the game as in real life; go crawling, as your weight gets spread on larger surface and you won't fall through that easily. And have a knife wielded, for in case the ice breaks you have greater changes of pulling yourself back to solid ice if you can trust your knife into the ice instead of desperately trying to grab slippery ice with your bare hands.

In real life Finland a few people drown because of this kind of reasons, every year. Sure, we can call it complete BS, but then I think it is more like a way the world works, and the game simulates the same BS  :)

I understand and of course I do not take issue with the realism part, but with the game's communication to the player. The point is, that when crossing ice is risky, the game doesn't let you do it in the wilderness map, which is good but it means that when the game does let you do it, of course you think that it's perfectly safe. I'm not convinced that there's no way to prevent it suddenly changing half-way across. You could for example do a check of how the situation would develop in the next 24 hours (or longer) and if during any of that time it would become risky, the game would stop you even if it's safe right now. Maybe communicate with a message like "you don't believe the season is safe for travelling on ice" or something like that. Of course this wouldn't prevent anything if the player runs in circles on the ice but you'd catch like 99% of the cases.
Of course now I know how the game works and will be more careful, but I'm pretty sure almost all new players would fall for this trap and you can imagine how frustrating this is.

PALU

« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2018, 11:01:20 PM »
I completely agree with the safe travel over ice issue, as I've had it happen to me as well, although it's probably not very common, as you'd need to travel over substantial stretches of ice at precisely the right (wrong?) time for it to happen.
I definitely think there should be more of a margin in the refusal to travel over ice on the overland map, as the player is unable to do any of the things a reasonably ice savvy individual would. The player can't probe the ice or look at the ice quality, for instance. The things the player can do are:
- Look at the calendar and estimate when it might be unsafe.
- Look at the air temperature and guess at what the ice melting rate might be.
- Look at the snow cover and guess how that might relate to ice thickness.
- The player (the character has no influence on this, which is poor, as it should be based on character knowledge, not whether the player knows anything about ice or not) can then game the system by loading up e.g. max load and see of the refusal to travel overland appears. If it does, it's in the danger zone. It's rather tedious, though. I'd rather have the refusal being based on the max load, rather than the current one.

As Erkka mentioned, the system takes stance into consideration, as well as load carried and whether skis are worn or not (and I'm not sure going prone is better than wearing skis, although it ought to be).
When out on thin ice and it starts making cracking noises, go prone and dump all non essential items carried (in particular a mound of meat from a fresh kill). It can be noted that items generally don't sink in UrW (with thrown rocks being among items that are an exception) so you can recover the items using a water craft a month or so later. If you lightened the load sufficiently, you actually ought to be able to zoom out again, although I've never been in a situation where that was an option.

When it comes to the sea water potability, yes, the Baltic water is brackish, but the arctic sea carries "real" salt water in real life (and the Baltic and the arctic sea is separated in real life, as Finland is joined to Scandinavia by a substantial land bridge).

caethan

« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2018, 12:00:12 AM »
> the Baltic water is brackish, but the arctic sea carries "real" salt water in real life (and the Baltic and the arctic sea is separated in real life, as Finland is joined to Scandinavia by a substantial land bridge).

I've always interpreted the "north" side of the UrW map as being cognate to the Gulf of Bothnia rather than the Arctic Sea, but I guess the interpretation isn't exactly clear.

PALU

« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2018, 10:30:22 AM »
Finland was robbed of access to the arctic sea (and and other substantial land areas lost) by the Soviet Union's assaults on the country in World Wars 1 and 2. Obviously, borders weren't much of a thing during the Iron Age, and the Saami peoples are spread over areas that today belong to Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

Erkka

« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2018, 03:06:35 PM »
Quote
I've always interpreted the "north" side of the UrW map as being cognate to the Gulf of Bothnia rather than the Arctic Sea, but I guess the interpretation isn't exactly clear. 

Correct  :)
That is about what I thought when coding the random map generator. That the map loosely resembles Finnish geography but is not 1:1 equivalent. And that the sea is modelled by real life Baltic Sea, although in UrW map we don't see anything resembling Sweden and Norway. So the interpretation isn't exactly clear - I never thought of a accurate explanation of how the land masses are formed beoynd the UrW map.

Also, the basic philosophy is that the game world doesn't actually simulate the world as such, but the way the people at that time experienced the world they are living in. So, it might be that there are some land masses behind the sea, but they just aren't drawn on the map as the peoples of UnReal World might not know exactlty where and how those lands are.
UnReal World co-designer, also working on a small side project called Ancient Savo

Andre

« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2018, 08:51:13 PM »
Personally I don't mind that some items can't be repaired, certainly it would be nice to be able to repair wool clothing (especially the rare ones like socks) but I think it's also somewhat nice that you have to keep looking for these things and get some spares. And ofcourse metal armor might be a bit beyond the possibilities of a lone wanderer to repair, especially since the tribes don't seem to actually make it themselves as far as I'm aware.

And either way, a small scratch from falling off a tree won't affect the clothings stats, atleast not noticeably. I also find that if you have good armor that blocks the damage you take, the armor actually doesn't really get damaged at all, so once you get metal armor it's actually pretty tough to lose durability on it, much less any wool or linen clothing underneath. And really, full fur clothing is the best clothing :P, with some extra additions like wool/linen mittens/socks/cowls and leather boots, and a leather belt for style.

Edico

« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2018, 03:15:29 PM »
The inability to repair woven clothing and iron armors is to simulate the fact that this kind of work was extremely labor intensive and also generally limited to skilled individuals.  This means that to acquire clothes or armor in better repair you have to interact with people, simulating (in it's own way) that there are some things, even in iron age finland, that you can't reasonably be expected to do yourself.  Rather, some things are really only possible when society gets involved.

If you really want to repair linen/woolen stuff there are mods that address this I think.

Tervaskanto

« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2018, 09:34:20 PM »
This means that to acquire clothes or armor in better repair you have to interact with people, simulating (in it's own way) that there are some things, even in iron age finland, that you can't reasonably be expected to do yourself.
Continuing with this train of thought, it would be nice adition to have few rare people (mostly in driik territory, maybe) who are capable of fixing high-end armor and clothes so you would have more reasons to interact with villages even after you find your full set of best armor.

Dungeon Smash

« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2018, 05:31:33 PM »
I actually think the ice breaking, and the freezing without clothing, are good examples of the game working as intended.  You were the one who chose to walk out on the ice, despite the weather and time of year... do you think in real life, a message would pop up telling you not to do so?  As Erkka said, this sort of thing does happen in real life.  and as for wandering about nude... Just put your clothes on and pay attention to your coldness rating ;) this game does not hold your hand, and I like it that way.

As for repairing clothes and armor, I fully agree with you, and I hope that this will be implemented in the future.  For now, there are many mods which address these issues and which are worth your time to check out - one of the best things about Unreal World is its robust and active modding community.  As far as I know, the structure of the game does not allow you to repair cloth or armor (yet), but there are mods that allow you to create your own clothing and armor, which can ameliorate the frustration somewhat.  You can also make ropes from plant fibers, etc.  I do agree that cords should probably not be completely destroyed from smoking, and also I would like to see bandages be re-usable if you wash them, especially if only used on a minor cut or bruise.

I'm not sure about drinking bogwater in this time period.  For one thing, there were far less sources of pollution than now.  There weren't as many strains of bacteria in a place like Finland either.   An ancient iron age person would also be immune to giardia and many other forms of illness, from having drank unsterilized water their entire life.  However.... would it still be safe to drink from a bog?  I'm not sure. 

As far as ground cooling down... I'm not sure what your experience is with wildfires, but it actually does take quite a while for the ground to cool.  I think the game is more-or-less accurate in that regard.

Finally, I disagree with you about the heating/heat retention abilities of wood saunas, but I agree that I think you should have to keep the smoke going for the whole time of the meat-smoking process.  Of course, you are already perfectly able to do so if you wish to roleplay ;)... and I often do.

PALU

« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2018, 08:59:58 PM »
In real life I can look at the ice and probe it with a spear. I can also look at the temperature, weather, and snow cover as a UrW player, which shifts the knowledge from the character to the player, which is shooter behavior, not role playing behavior. I would expect the modern people that drown every winter to mostly fall into the categories of "city folk who don't know what they're doing" and "ah, it'll probably be fine", with the latter being those who received the overland travel warning and decided to risk it zoomed in. There probably weren't many of the city dweller category during the Iron Age...

When it comes to smoking/drying cords being reusable, I originally thought they should. However, when thinking a bit further about it, it's probably suitable for them to get destroyed, because they'll be soaked with blood that will dry and make the cord brittle, and smoke/sunlight isn't good for cords either. However, it works perfectly well to smoke herring using large twigs piercing their eyes, and I assume you could do the same with drying.

Dungeon Smash

« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2018, 11:51:39 PM »
In the game, you can also look at the ice, and you might not be able to probe it with a spear, but you can use your spear to make a hole in the ice, and judge the thickness based on how long it takes to knock the hole - basically the same thing.  I would argue that the system works more-or-less intended as it is.  I admit that the "Gotcha!" effect that the OP experienced is a little unfair though.  I had the same thing happen to be once, but luckily I was carrying my punt with me and was able to simply drop it and climb aboard ;P