As with many of my posts, this one aims to address a specific issue that effects our game life in a negative way but with some observation and care could turn around the course of the game and make our world a better and richer place to live.
To tread water is a means of survival instinctual and innate. Keeping your head above the surface is something that goes without saying, and the millions of creatures on our planet that rely on oxygen to survive do it without thought or conscious reasoning. It just happens. You fall in water, and you flail to try to keep yourself afloat. Some critters can’t do that simple task and will often times drown to their death, but they try. Do they ever try.
So we have Wildstock, doing their thing grazing and acting generally like wildstock do, then they go to mosey. Well, there’s a bit of water there. The intelligence of these creatures is outstanding. They know they can’t swim, silly wildstock. So they drown. On their own. Not even trying to get out of the water. Not even struggling or flailing as they take ticking damage from their gentle asphyxiation. They just… keep grazing.
I get that the AI is dumb. I get that the devs have a million of other things to work on, and don’t concern themselves with their generic enemy mobs drowning themselves by the hundreds every minute or so (assuming that the ‘citizens’ walk around and spawn them ten feet in front of themselves. Seamless.) And I also understand that it’s a legit tactic to lure creatures into the water to get themselves trapped in a pseudo-suicide situation, but here’s the thing; the player themselves would succumb to the same fate if they didn’t jam on the space bar. So, the AI is stupid, great. Exploit it. But the simple fact that your character can’t keep their head above water when they are just staying put? That’s really silly.
Anytime you’re trying to explore a world, and pull out your atlas, if you have it equipped, you still have to hold the space bar. Worse over, if you are trying to loot something and need to open your inventory to chuck something, you have precious few seconds to do so before you sink to a watery grave.
After all, Hoppers float. They do a great job of that. Like bobbing apples just waiting to be plucked up for easy XP, since their determined behavior renders them completely defenseless in any situation involving a small amount of water. Let’s not get into the real reason that they are so frustrated at their own existence, because I already wrote a post explaining why they are Hopping Mad.
So, out of our five (5) enemy types, The Spitters, Hoppers, Wildstock, Cuttletrunks and Roadrunners, three of them are rendered into a challenge with the only leverage being able to hold the space bar longer than they can. (Narrator voice: they can’t.) The other two, one that flies, and the other that can run-swim (still not ever touching that one.) basically hold the player at the same mentioned disadvantage. Water seems to be a game changer. The ultimate hurdle for our brilliant AI and the player themselves.
There’s ways around this for the player, like avoiding water like it was lava, by building bridges and using grapples, but the idea that it’s not an enjoyable experience, in general, make me question how it is even a good idea to continue this current implementation. There’s no items like flippers or air tanks that allow passage through it or prolonged exposure to the great aquatic foe, however we can learn to just “endure” other effects through the talent system.
Through sheer force of will, my character can survive the harshest of inclimate weather. Literally, I slam four points into it and somehow, with no external coverings aside from my stylish loincloth, I can ford though atmospheres that are primarily composed of lightning. Or poison. Or fire. However, throughout the course of my advancement, and skill adjustments, there is no aid to be found against our watery foe. The Great Moist is just something that will always be an annoying obstruction, hindering our motions and haunting the dreams of our wildstock buddies. Wait. They don’t sleep. None of them sleep. Their action set is so incomplete and partially thought out that they just constantly eat. All the time. If you sit and watch one (which I recommend, it’s actually hilarious to just follow one around and watch them end their own lives in a comically moronic way) you’ll see that they just move, munch, then die to something.
Even with all my pointed arguments that the worlds are completely homogenized, just different shades of Pink Bismuth, the idea that the creatures all follow the most unrewarding pathways of life and combat makes me rather disinterested. It kills me to go hunting because the combat is predictable and unimaginative. There’s really no point to engage unless you need to get animal parts, which, by the way, you need if you want to advance, so you end up forced in stale, repetitive combat that could put even an insomniac to sleep. Seriously.
Now, I’ve said before, and feel I need to reaffirm that I love this game. I am invested in this game. I’m even building something that i’m proud of. But there are things in this world that make me feel like I’m on a treadmill just going nowhere. Just trying to keep my head above water, and no amount of pressing space can get me above the surface.