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myke

a few suggestions

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The biggest thing so far - is the "balance" / pace seems to be a bit odd.

There's not enough to craft, and it's very easy to jump up to the top tier gear/weapons very quickly.

There are very few intermediate steps required, and so few materials - that it all becomes a formality. An axe will get you 300-400 wood in a matter of minutes, but finding ore and sulfur you have to run all over the place, and a handful of hits with a pickaxe and the node is gone.

You can make a hunting rifle extremely quickly, and once you kill an animal - you'll have everything you need. A single bear will get you tons of meat, a bunch of leather and bone, and even some cloth(? don't even need to refine it?) Immediately craft some leather clothes, and you can go to the mountains and get all the ore and sulfur you need too. But really you don't even need the leather to protect from the cold, since cold does so little damage, you'll likely run out of pickaxes and axes before you even have to worry about it. Set up 2 furnaces, one for metal, one for sulfur - and you can crank out ammo. There isn't much else to do in the game at that point? Just build storage boxes and stash resources....

The food and water meters are kind of irrelevant. The meters decrease so slowly they don't even matter. The only food source in the game is animals, and again once you kill one or two - you have more food than you'll need for weeks. Water is just an annoyance, since there's no way to collect it or store it, other than water bottles from the gas station. Easier just to stash your stuff and suicide if you get dehydrated.

Introduce a tiered system for materials that need refinement.
Sticks and Metal frags will get you spears and bows. Metal frags can be refined into Iron, which you can use to craft better tools. Iron can be refined to steel to make high-tier guns, or used to craft components needed to craft guns. Being able to go from some wood, cloth, and metal frags to an assault rifle, just doesn't make sense.
Introduce items that can only be collected, and stash them in the loot boxes at the gas stations/town - make them required for building the top-tier equipment.

Obviously, this is a mobile game and will likely never be as extensive as rust, and that's okay - but more of that games balance of grinding/crafting/etc would definitely help. It feels like you run out of things to do very VERY quickly in this version. There's no real purpose or sense of achievement or progression in doing anything right now.

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Here's how I would change things to make it immediately more engaging and strategic.

Basic Resources can be refined into basic materials.

Wood can be crafted into sticks.
Metal Ore -> Metal Frags
Sulfur Ore -> Sulfur
For this - you use basic crafting and the existing basic furnace.
For weapons - sticks can be made into Spears and Bows - nothing more. Arrows require metal frags (arrowheads). A "metal spear" requires metal frags (basically a giant arrow).
Sticks can be made into a basic hatchet, but not advanced axes or pickaxes.

For anything more advanced, you need an advanced furnace, which can take multiple input resources.
2 Metal Frags -> Iron
1 Iron + 1 Charcoal -> Steel
2 Charcoal + 1 Sulfur -> Gunpowder
Introduce new materials - Copper and Zinc. Get them randomly while mining any stone or ore, and as a byproduct refining basic materials ores. Introduce scrap that can be refined in an advanced furnace and get different metals out of.
1 Copper + 1 Zinc -> 2 Brass.
brass + gunpowder -> bullets. (what would be REALLY cool, is as you fire your bullets, you keep half your brass)

Now you also have two more elements that you can combine with basic items to make all kinds of other stuff.
I would also split the weapons a little bit. Take the current shotgun and make it a sawed off. Very short range, very high damage, 2 shots. Slow to reload. Becomes a great defensive weapon, or for hunting.
Make "rifle barrel" something you can craft from say 3 steel. If you want to make a basic hunting rifle out of it, throw some planks in there, and it's the same thing you have now. Or even make it single-shot, but you automatically "load" it with a bolt/reload animation. Allow it to take a scope, and at the very least zoom 1.5x when you aim without a scope. High damage, high distance, low rate of fire.
Assault rifle requires some additional parts - maybe stuff you scavenge but can't craft. Medium Damage, medium range, higher rate of fire.
I would get rid of rocket launcher all together at the moment - but maybe make some kind of improvised explosive for raiding?
Maybe a pipe bomb that requires a bunch of gunpowder and some kind of advanced crafted item (like, i don't know, a pipe?), and another that's more for people - like a frag grenade. Less gunpowder, lots of metal frags. Does little damage to structures, but lots to people in an area.

Building : Absolutely need a way to demolish parts of your own base, and ability to move items (like a furnace, sleeping bag, campfire, etc) that you've already crafted. It's extremely frustrating to build a small base, need to expand - and there's no easy way to build off what you have if you haven't thought it out ahead of time.

Require upgrading to stone to require not just farmed "stone" but make stone refinable to "blocks".
Raw stone can be used to craft fences/barriers - but if you want to upgrade your base - you need refined/cut blocks.

If you want to upgrade to metal - you don't just need metal frags - you need steel, and the steel plates/walls have to be crafted.

Oh, and absolutely create some sort of water catcher, more clothing options, and options for getting food. Speed the hunger/dehydration counters up so  they actually mean something.


Yes, there's more of a "grind" aspect to this, but there's also a lot more strategy, and options for how people can approach the game. The resources are all fairly easy to come by, and by adding different options for how materials are refined and what you turn them into - you have to think ahead a little bit more, and there's more a sense of achievement. It's not just "make a bunch of guns and go after people". You CAN do that still, but it will require a little more work and a little more skill. There's built-in levels of progress based on how you use your resources and how you plan/approach the game. All without changing any mechanics - just adding crafting recipies and a few new items.

Places like the gas stations and towns, where "rare items" get dropped become hot spots for PVP. If you're trying to play a more low-profile game, you can still avoid those places - craft the more defensive weapons, and try to fly under the radar.... but you'll lack the firepower of people who go that route. Everything becomes a tradeoff/balance based on how you approach it.

And again, with virtually no major reprogramming or rethinking game mechanics.

 

That makes for a FAR more interesting game to play. It doesn't need to have the size/scope of Rust to be something really fun. But there does need to be some options and different routes to take to keep it interesting, and make people feel like they're progressing.

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22 hours ago, myke said:

The biggest thing so far - is the "balance" / pace seems to be a bit odd.

There's not enough to craft, and it's very easy to jump up to the top tier gear/weapons very quickly.

There are very few intermediate steps required, and so few materials - that it all becomes a formality. An axe will get you 300-400 wood in a matter of minutes, but finding ore and sulfur you have to run all over the place, and a handful of hits with a pickaxe and the node is gone.

You can make a hunting rifle extremely quickly, and once you kill an animal - you'll have everything you need. A single bear will get you tons of meat, a bunch of leather and bone, and even some cloth(? don't even need to refine it?) Immediately craft some leather clothes, and you can go to the mountains and get all the ore and sulfur you need too. But really you don't even need the leather to protect from the cold, since cold does so little damage, you'll likely run out of pickaxes and axes before you even have to worry about it. Set up 2 furnaces, one for metal, one for sulfur - and you can crank out ammo. There isn't much else to do in the game at that point? Just build storage boxes and stash resources....

The food and water meters are kind of irrelevant. The meters decrease so slowly they don't even matter. The only food source in the game is animals, and again once you kill one or two - you have more food than you'll need for weeks. Water is just an annoyance, since there's no way to collect it or store it, other than water bottles from the gas station. Easier just to stash your stuff and suicide if you get dehydrated.

Introduce a tiered system for materials that need refinement.
Sticks and Metal frags will get you spears and bows. Metal frags can be refined into Iron, which you can use to craft better tools. Iron can be refined to steel to make high-tier guns, or used to craft components needed to craft guns. Being able to go from some wood, cloth, and metal frags to an assault rifle, just doesn't make sense.
Introduce items that can only be collected, and stash them in the loot boxes at the gas stations/town - make them required for building the top-tier equipment.

Obviously, this is a mobile game and will likely never be as extensive as rust, and that's okay - but more of that games balance of grinding/crafting/etc would definitely help. It feels like you run out of things to do very VERY quickly in this version. There's no real purpose or sense of achievement or progression in doing anything right now.

Thank you so much for your writing! You refered to a very important issue. 

You are right, the balance in the game is a bit broken, it's easy to get everything you want, what makes the game not so exciting and strategic. 

We came up to another way, you will see in the next updates. 

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