Treading Water

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.

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I agree with what you are saying, and also…

Slightly off the topic of the post, but still…
I agree that there should be some work done on the current creatures, both in making their AIs more intelligent, but with the example of the hopper:

I think it’s the simple things like making in invulnerable in its Ball state that would make it make much more sense.

I agree that something should be done about water too, creatures should either be able to swim, or should avoid water like the plague, as they should with lava.

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u want to find a soul in a critter, a spark of life and unpredictability. im all for linking google alpha zero to their brains, but combat balance would tilt to mobs immediatly. Look at the poor oort, who are fighting them. Few are they in numbers, against an endless wave of planet bio infestation ready to kill u if u step in their sight. There is no one forcing u to kill wildstock, plenty of aggressive beast around. And when u fight larger hordes of elemental mighty wildstock, while ducking bomb carpets and laser beams on serp while fighting meteorites, combat gets another quality.

Oh, I completely understand what you’re saying. But, let me offer you this counterpoint; you do need to kill Wildstock to get their trophies and eyes for forging. Not only that, but I understand that our brothers and sisters and others in arms would likely appreciate a more docile opponent in the wild, however, the soul is exactly what I am looking for. Not just a different shade of pink with the same creatures doing the same humdrum activities every day.

Also, even if you’re meteor hunting, there’s no order in the fight. No strategy to speak of. Unless you are in a highly organized group, (and even then, probably not) you stand to fight in the same way every time. Most people build a tower out of one block and stand on it or grapple from it, to keep bombs and lasers manageable. Then you just shoot in the pit of mobs, in the same basic direction.

Look at this.

That should be a standard, not an outlier. It’s a great example of knowing your prey and using what little you have against it.

u ever were in a fight where u fought for ur life?
Everyone has a plan, until they got punched in the mouth - Mike Tyson

i started to build bunkers to survive meteorites that were actually to high lvl to beat normally by me at that point. U gather in groups to combine strength. u have several options to attack and defend yourself with a variety of weapons, forge effects, foods, brews, skill, movement speed and lastly ur unwavering determination not to fall to something that is so far dumber than u…

in this game u have the ability to form the combat terrain to ur advantage… use this
only in our competitive sport system u have 2 opponents with nearly same strength. Struggle for survival is different. right now i hunt on serp, doing meteorites or sometimes cephonex to get oort stones quickly.

The level of chaos that unfolds during a meteortite fight is manageable and u can prepare for it by terraforming the terrain.

In all actuality, yes, I have been in situations where my life was on the line. In the military. But, you have a valid opinion on this. The variety of foods and buffs do provide flavor, but you can’t season away bad meat. I’ve played Ark, and other games similar to this where you create traps and use terrain, but in this situation, I can detail how the combat is lack luster. The shot times, or Action Speed, are a direct fault in the design. Combine that with flight times of projectiles, and your ever depleting stamina, and you’re ending up with situations where you are either having to stare at one target, long enough to line up a shot, or you’re having to hope that the AI doesn’t bug out due to connection issues. There’s many, many, many, flaws in the combat system as it is.

  • Knockback is not reduced by armor or resist. You could get flung miles away by bombs (which do no damage to you) then end up dying to death because of whatever you hit in flight.
  • Distance measurement is hard when looking up to the sky to fight Cuddles. Often times, Cuddles are flanked by Wildstock and Spitters, both having knockback. See the first point.
  • Once you acquire a weapon that does sufficient damage, the combat ends in one shot, yet the front loaded animations still allow the enemy to fire at you. Often using what appears to be an instant hit attack.
  • Unavoidable damage. This one speaks for itself. There’s no window for avoiding damage. This isn’t about finesse. It’s about overwhelming force and a bulwark of molten steel.
  • The enemies in a meteor even just zerg you, there’s no buildup or momentum in the fight, and it can stall if one mob falls into a pitfall, or on a tree and can’t get out. The rhythm of battle is moot at this point.

All that said, I do love your points and your spirit in this conversation. It’s given me something to think about.

  • u can avoid knockback damage with falling armour and grapple
  • ur target pointer indicates if u have range enough to shoot something. it turns red if u aim correctly
  • u can avoid like nearly every hit with enough agility for movement speed. also u can place blocks in line of sight are u aware of this?
  • damage can be avoided on multiple levels: resistances, armour, evading, placing blocks, cover, not walking into line of sight, stealth (if u do no meteorites, and even then u face a smaller amount of them), and lastly to kill them faster than they come at u. Also u can have ridiculous amounts of hp in this game. u can have armour that is so high that even all mobs with most attacks only get armour repel.
  • yes meteorite mobs charge at u. be prepared and act fast.

it looks like u didnt delve much into the combat system right now… tell me if u got some other problems, always happy to help

I would hate this. Considering how slow they can roll down a really long slope, I would prefer if they just didn’t ball up at all in that case.

if they dont ball up u dont get enough time to kill the bigger hopper considering they come in groups. For t5+ hunter i use armour epic, so without damage epic it would be a pain, trying to farm them before they reach u and explode, leaving no loot

I one shot them. All of them. I do 21k a hit.

on lvl 4+ u will encounter increasingly more elemental mobs which resist half of your blows anyway. u cant rely on killing them on ur first shot when u hunt there. Also u might need amour epic there to survive most of the stuff, if u want to solo meteorites. this will decrease ur damage considerable because u cant have damage epic anymore… or u need rage brews

I live on Cardass. I fight elites all day as the day is long. I don’t use the armor epic, because there is no need.

How to tread water (a bug):

  1. Get in water and hold space until you stop bobbing in the water.
  2. While still holding space, use a tool on some nearby block.
  3. Release space. You are now treading water.

You can spin around and fire/use any tools and you won’t fall in the water; just don’t move anywhere. Being knocked back is also likely to cause you to stop treading water.