Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #17

65 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

 

* There's a pretty good chance of getting a Sprain when Falling. Falling = a drop that is over 5 meters.

* You can get a Sprained Wrist or Sprained Ankle from Wolf Struggles.

Hopefully that helps clarify things a bit.

100% definitely had many wrist sprains from walking activities (i.e. not struggles or falling) they're easy to remember happening because you're usually taking a highline around a wolf, sprain your wrist and have to panic eat some painkillers before you can do any throw or shoot defense.

Or am I misreading the explanation of how sprains happen and these are expected?

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Hey @Raphael van Lierop, got a couple of question here that I finally remembered myself about asking:

  1. This is a pretty small thing albeit it was also one of the (many) reasons I loved TLD. The question is "Do you guys plan on adding the old 'search bar' mechanic back?" I'll elaborate more on this.
    Firstly and before though, I've already made a thread on the wishlist some time ago after you guys updated the UI - although I won't ask you to read it now (unless you want to :D) http://www.hinterlandforums.com/forums/topic/18764-toggle-old-search-bar-mechanic-back - but just note that quite some people also agree and shared the same feeling with me as showed by the replies.
    Basically - before the UI update - the [container/drawer/etc] searching process was a bit different. Instead of you receiving all the items by the end of the searching process like you do now (choosing only after the search what to take and what to leave) you used to receive the items, if any, while the the searching process was going on. Because of this there was a sense of despair when the searching bar was reaching the end and you hadn't get that can of beans or box of matches you so desperately need.
    If this short rambling didn't convice you about how important this seaching system was, I'd really really love you to read this article by PCGamer: https://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-the-long-darks-painstaking-search-mechanic/.  He sums it up pretty well with this quote: "as that once innocuous 'Searching' bar takes on a whole new level of urgency and importance: whereby the closer it gets to completion without spoils, the further your heart generally sinks."
     
  2. "Do you personally think one should start a new survival save after December's update?" You guys have been saying that only Wintermute saves will be deleted but Survival runs won't be wiped. I've asked a similar question on Facebook already and one of the devs already gave a pretty good response - saying that new items, if added, shouldn't require a new survival save so they spawn in the game (as long as there have been unexplored locations in that save).
    But without necessarily getting into details on what's going on under the hood of the game, what if some values in the game are also changed with the new update - for example cooking timing, damage or even if a new disease or feature is added, wouldn't it require a new survival save for them to be properly applied? I'm thinking about starting a new long term survival run now, but I'm wondering if it's better to wait until the update comes out in case I end up having to delete it and start a new one so I can enjoy the new update fully.
     
  3. "Any chance we can have the Brands back in the future?" I'm not sure of the reason they have been taken out of the game, although I believe there should have been one, yet I also think they were one of the coolest items added into the game and was really hoping you guys would have found a way to bring them back. Taking a torch out of the flames seems to me a bit too elaborate for me, as torches seem more like an item that has to be crafted instead of just pulled out of a fireplace - although what do I know about wilderness survival? Besides, the brand actually had that primitive and desperate feeling to it.
    You're minutes away from shelter, flames are dying out, wolves are howling nearby but you'll freeze if you stay in place. You decide in despair to take a flaming brand out of the fire in the hopes of scaring the wildlife away so you can get to shelter. Running in the dark with a bright flaming brand was awesome and terrifying, but it felt like the perfect item for such a situation.


    Well, I suppose this is it, not sure if 3 questions are too much.
    Anyhow,
    Thanks!
Edited by ArcherAC3

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35 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Everything is fine with the design of Sprains, but that doesn't mean they are working correctly in the game. The more bugs we get the more effectively we can diagnose the issues. If anyone is predisposed to helping out with this, please report some bugs to the Public Bug Database, along with screenshots (coordinates are very helpful): https://hinterlandgames.atlassian.net/projects/TLDP

And here I thought I was done working with JIRA :D

I actually thought those were more or less intended. Basically simulated stumbling, which sprains your wrist in catching the fall - just the actual animation for it not in the game yet. But if wrist sprains really should only come from falls or struggles I just might have a few reports coming your way in the future. Especially my new "home" (TWM) has a few corners that'll get you your shooting hand ruined in no time.

As I've never ever seen other symptoms of 5+ meters falls (bruises, torn clothing, vocal feedback) associated with these double sprains I am fairly certain it's not that the game falsely registers a fall at a specific location. But it really is quite common on "mild" slopes that might just qualify for said 20%, and if it is just for a fraction of them. So if you'd ask me for an educated guess: There really is a certain condition in the code where a valid ankle sprain just fires a wrist sprain as well. Actually random wrist sprains without the accompanying ankle sprain really are basically unheard of - so that would make sense.

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46 minutes ago, ArcherAC3 said:

Hey @Raphael van Lierop, got a couple of question here that I finally remembered myself about asking:

  1. This is a pretty small thing albeit it was also one of the (many) reasons I loved TLD. The question is "Do you guys plan on adding the old 'search bar' mechanic back?" I'll elaborate more on this.
    Firstly and before though, I've already made a thread on the wishlist some time ago after you guys updated the UI - although I won't ask you to read it now (unless you want to :D) http://www.hinterlandforums.com/forums/topic/18764-toggle-old-search-bar-mechanic-back - but just note that quite some people also agree and shared the same feeling with me as showed by the replies.
    Basically - before the UI update - the [container/drawer/etc] searching process was a bit different. Instead of you receiving all the items by the end of the searching process like you do now (choosing only after the search what to take and what to leave) you used to receive the items, if any, while the the searching process was going on. Because of this there was a sense of despair when the searching bar was reaching the end and you hadn't get that can of beans or box of matches you so desperately need.
    If this short rambling didn't convice you about how important this seaching system was, I'd really really love you to read this article by PCGamer: https://www.pcgamer.com/why-i-love-the-long-darks-painstaking-search-mechanic/.  He sums it up pretty well with this quote: "as that once innocuous 'Searching' bar takes on a whole new level of urgency and importance: whereby the closer it gets to completion without spoils, the further your heart generally sinks."
     
  2. "Do you personally think one should start a new survival save after December's update?" You guys have been saying that only Wintermute saves will be deleted but Survival runs won't be wiped. I've asked a similar question on Facebook already and one of the devs already gave a pretty good response - saying that new items, if added, shouldn't require a new survival save so they spawn in the game (as long as there have been unexplored locations in that save).
    But without necessarily getting into details on what's going on under the hood of the game, what if some values in the game are also changed with the new update - for example cooking timing, damage or even if a new disease or feature is added, wouldn't it require a new survival save for them to be properly applied? I'm thinking about starting a new long term survival run now, but I'm wondering if it's better to wait until the update comes out in case I end up having to delete it and start a new one so I can enjoy the new update fully.
     
  3. "Any chance we can have the Brands back in the future?" I'm not sure of the reason they have been taken out of the game, although I believe there should have been one, yet I also think they were one of the coolest items added into the game and was really hoping you guys would have found a way to bring them back. Taking a torch out of the flames seems to me a bit too elaborate for me, as torches seem more like an item that has to be crafted instead of just pulled out of a fireplace - although what do I know about wilderness survival? Besides, the brand actually had that primitive and desperate feeling to it.
    You're minutes away from shelter, flames are dying out, wolves are howling nearby but you'll freeze if you stay in place. You decide in despair to take a flaming brand out of the fire in the hopes of scaring the wildlife away so you can get to shelter. Running in the dark with a bright flaming brand was awesome and terrifying, but it felt like the perfect item for such a situation.


    Well, I suppose this is it, not sure if 3 questions are too much.
    Anyhow,
    Thanks!

Ask these in the next mailbag. And please keep them short. :) 

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On ‎11‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 4:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

As for more feedback for the event that "triggers" the sprain -- this is almost always the result of something like a Fall (for which there is both audio and visual feedback -- the screen goes red and you hear a voice line reacting to the impact), or a Struggle (so, wolf in your face, etc.) There are very few instances I can think of where you would sprain your wrist or ankle where those events are not tied to a really obvious cause.

 

 

Oh, the number of times I've sprained my ankle while mountain-goating….

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4 hours ago, CalNieDaGtarGuy said:

Oh, the number of times I've sprained my ankle while mountain-goating….

Well I think spraining things while goating is more than fair. :D

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I think the confusion is more... the wrist or ankle sprains while walking across what appears to be flat ice. Like on Mystery Lake, Coastal Highway, Desolation Point. Not while you are at the edges, with snow or rocks or ice floes. But out in the middle, no snow, no visible bumps or slopes... just flat ice from one fishing hut to the next, or similar. Just flat ice. Is that ice actually bumpy, or have invisible slopes and snow piles? A slip & fall with a sprain or two as a result makes perfect sense. But that means any fall, even under 5m can trigger a sprain. 

 

I know @Raphael van Lierop and his team are super busy right now, and he may have misspoken or forgotten to mention if that is part of the way it works. Or are we seeing a bug with sprains while walking on flat ice? I think that is what may be confusing many folks. I just accept them as slip & fall injuries. Should I not be accepting them?

Edited by ThePancakeLady
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32 minutes ago, ThePancakeLady said:

... I just accept them as slip & fall injuries. Should I not be accepting them?

This is exactly how I always viewed the sprains, I've noticed that encumbrance, slope angle and fatigue levels were related to sprain rate but I always assumed there was a random component of tripping or slipping that would trigger the sprain events. 

Also, the concomitant wrist and ankle sprains happen to me when I'm usually with a weapon drawn, not sure if this has any relation but I always assumed it was a function of spraining an ankle and trying to soften the fall with the unused hand, thus ending with a sore wrist on that arm. 

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On 24.11.2018 at 5:47 AM, Raphael van Lierop said:

'd prefer that other people in the community suggest books they think are similar to the game!

For me, there are a few that were inspirations when I was coming up with the idea for the game and world, but they are not necessarily *like* the game: THE ROAD (Cormac McCarthy), EARTH ABIDES (George R. Stewart), DOG STARS (Peter Heller). I read one recently called STATION 11 (Emily St. John Mandel) which I think comes pretty close to how I see THE LONG DARK, tone-wise and whatnot. There are lots of other books as well. Interestingly, I've been more influenced by post-ap novels than by wilderness survival novels. Not sure what that means. :) 

Interesting question and interesting answer. Thanks.
I have already read the two books. Be sure to read the others. Anyone tell me if there's a theme with the books on the forum?

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1 hour ago, k0s0ff said:

Interesting question and interesting answer. Thanks.
I have already read the two books. Be sure to read the others. Anyone tell me if there's a theme with the books on the forum?

No idea if there is a thread yet about this, I haven't dome a search yet. 

But, I have a book to add. It is not fiction, it is non-fiction, the story of one man's life in the Arctic North. A life he chose, and pretty darn close to how our characters have to live in the game. A really good read, if you can find a copy. They aren't rare, but they aren't common (or cheap usually).

The Year long Day
A.E Maxwell & Ivar Ruud 

5bfaab75cccd0_20180517_1801371.thumb.jpg.10c876cc04f1dccf026a53e6a7df8a90.jpg

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3 hours ago, ThePancakeLady said:

I just accept them as slip & fall injuries. Should I not be accepting them?

They are annoying, but that's how i take the "seemingly random" sprains as well.

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I know there are rules about sprains, but the way they work in practice can seem arbitrary. I've run down slopes so steep that you can't walk up them while being encumbered many times and didn't get sprains. But I've had far more instances (and seen them in YT videos) where you cut across a tiny slope and suddenly you get sprains.

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2 minutes ago, Serenity said:

I know there are rules about sprains, but the way they work in practice can seem arbitrary. I've run down slopes so steep that you can't walk up them while being encumbered many times and didn't get sprains. But I've had far more instances (and seen them in YT videos) where you cut across a tiny slope and suddenly you get sprains.

Well generally that's okay. I've been boxing for years and never broke my nose. Then I slipped carrying down some laundry down a stair - planted my face and there it went :D 

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First, I'd to say thanks to @Raphael van Lierop for the amount of feedback in this thread - it's great to hear detailed descriptions of the mechanics like this, and it's great that you're taking the time to follow-up specific queries beyond the weekly Q&A format.

Regarding sprains, I'd always assumed they were random and could be triggered anywhere, based on my personal experience of them, but it's good to have a clearer idea of the nuts and bolts behind it now. I'd honestly never seen them as a big problem, either in terms of their practical effect on my character's overall survival chances, or in terms of how they're triggered 'feels' as gameplay feature. From where I'm looking at it, my character is walking around on ice or on snow-covered railway tracks and other uneven ground, often in very unsuitable shoes - so it's not that surprising that he sometimes falls over, and if he falls over it's not that surprising that he might land heavily on his wrist, or turn his ankle. It doesn't bother me that this happens, however random it is; and furthermore, it isn't at all difficult to fix the ailment, as the game gives you so many curative possibilities anyway. I'd even advocate making it more of a danger in this regard, not less, especially when it comes to amount of rest required if you're not using drugs (or even if you are using them!).

I'm glad to hear the system is working as intended, because generally I think it's fine as it is!

Edited by Pillock
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8 hours ago, ThePancakeLady said:

I think the confusion is more... the wrist or ankle sprains while walking across what appears to be flat ice. Like on Mystery Lake, Coastal Highway, Desolation Point. Not while you are at the edges, with snow or rocks or ice floes. But out in the middle, no snow, no visible bumps or slopes... just flat ice from one fishing hut to the next, or similar. Just flat ice. Is that ice actually bumpy, or have invisible slopes and snow piles? A slip & fall with a sprain or two as a result makes perfect sense. But that means any fall, even under 5m can trigger a sprain. 

 

I know @Raphael van Lierop and his team are super busy right now, and he may have misspoken or forgotten to mention if that is part of the way it works. Or are we seeing a bug with sprains while walking on flat ice? I think that is what may be confusing many folks. I just accept them as slip & fall injuries. Should I not be accepting them?

Outside of the behaviour I described, you shouldn't really see Sprains. I'll have to see what might be causing these on flatter surfaces, if that is indeed happening.

This whole discussion is a great example of the difference in quality, for us devs, in feedback like "I get sprains way too often, it sucks!" vs. "I'm getting sprains in places I don't expect to, like when walking along flat surfaces". The first can be easily dismissed as grousing or issues with tuning. The latter can identify real issues with the game and unintended behaviours (bugs) that are causing the system to not work as intended.

Thanks to all for taking the time to clarify what you are seeing!

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3 hours ago, Serenity said:

 I've run down slopes so steep that you can't walk up them while being encumbered many times and didn't get sprains. 

There is still a random element in the sense that just because you may be in a situation where you CAN get a sprain, doesn't mean you always WILL get a sprain. 

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29 minutes ago, Pillock said:

First, I'd to say thanks to @Raphael van Lierop for the amount of feedback in this thread - it's great to hear detailed descriptions of the mechanics like this, and it's great that you're taking the time to follow-up specific queries beyond the weekly Q&A format.

I tend to avoid it, but I'm glad it's appreciated here. :) In general though, as @admin helpfully points out, I won't usually do follow-ups just because (a) it's super time consuming and (b) it can devolve into unhelpful arguments which makes (a) even more frustrating.

That said, I will always provide as much engagement as I can afford. Only in these forums though, TBH. They are special to us. :) 

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You can partially eat an MRE, can’t you? Just like partially eating anything else. It takes time to eat and you just ESC out before you’re done. Right?

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11 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Outside of the behaviour I described, you shouldn't really see Sprains. I'll have to see what might be causing these on flatter surfaces, if that is indeed happening.

This whole discussion is a great example of the difference in quality, for us devs, in feedback like "I get sprains way too often, it sucks!" vs. "I'm getting sprains in places I don't expect to, like when walking along flat surfaces". The first can be easily dismissed as grousing or issues with tuning. The latter can identify real issues with the game and unintended behaviours (bugs) that are causing the system to not work as intended.

Thanks to all for taking the time to clarify what you are seeing!

This almost sounds like these complaints have not been investigated at all and instead discounted as complaining about intended behaviour or "bad/incomplete" bug reports.
This makes me wonder if other long standing issues have not been fixed because of the same attitude.

You mentioned a badly worded description for one of the custom mode settings further up. Seems like you know about that one, and it sounds like it would take only a minute or two to address, but somehow the decision was to keep it as it is.

My impression is that bug fixing has still a very low priority and I don't think that's helping with the perceived quality of the product.

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7 hours ago, Kazmeister said:

You can partially eat an MRE, can’t you? Just like partially eating anything else. It takes time to eat and you just ESC out before you’re done. Right?

Yep. I nibble away at MRE's quite often, to make them last longer. 300 calories of it here, 300 calories of it there, ect. You can do the same with most foods. The low calorie stuff, not really. You eat it instantly, no time to [Esc]. But big pieces of meat or fish, you can nibble down to small pieces that are perfect for wolf decoys. Lots of players use this technique to ration food and make decoys.

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32 minutes ago, ThePancakeLady said:

Yep. I nibble away at MRE's quite often, to make them last longer. 300 calories of it here, 300 calories of it there, ect. You can do the same with most foods. The low calorie stuff, not really. You eat it instantly, no time to [Esc]. But big pieces of meat or fish, you can nibble down to small pieces that are perfect for wolf decoys. Lots of players use this technique to ration food and make decoys.

Also for beverages

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Am I the only one to notice that the image of the post office is different? I mean, I'm not talking about the angle. Look to that trees in the corner, if I'm not mistaken it wasn't there before, there was a locked house there.

@Raphael van Lierop Is this a Redux image?

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6 hours ago, Wulf Marius said:

This almost sounds like these complaints have not been investigated at all and instead discounted as complaining about intended behaviour or "bad/incomplete" bug reports.

Developers cannot fix a bug report that says, "X is broken".  It doesn't give enough information to even look into what the problem might be.

  Since the sprain mechanic was/is hidden, it would easily prompt complaints from people who do not realize they are encouraging sprains through their gameplay.  The assertion that "I get sprains too often," is entirely subjective.  Even if the mechanic is working perfectly, I'm sure HL would receive this complaint.

I would imagine these kids of reports don't so much get dismissed as triaged.  

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7 hours ago, Wulf Marius said:

This almost sounds like these complaints have not been investigated at all and instead discounted as complaining about intended behaviour or "bad/incomplete" bug reports.
This makes me wonder if other long standing issues have not been fixed because of the same attitude.

Given the way Hinterland run their ship, if there is a sufficient amount of some kind of complaint, even if it was not descriptive, you can be sure they will be looking into it. It works the same way with wishlist here on forums. If something is requested by the community sufficiently enough, Hinterland works very hard on making that request as balanced as possible and introduce it into the game, even if otherwise they might be discouraged to do so, as it was not their intention in the first place. Unlike many studios out there, they take community insight VERY seriously.

That being said, it is not the fault of Hinterland if the people who report these issues don't follow instructions - which clearly state "provide a description of the problem you are experiencing" - meaning that you need to share DETAILS about the issue so that they can fix it. This is not the fault of developers, this is the fault of players.

Hinterland tried to fix this by creating the custom difficulty setting where you can turn the sprains off. Sprains are an annoying RNG mechanic and they do sometimes trigger at flat grounds, too. I am not sure if this is something that can even be fixed to begin with.

7 hours ago, Wulf Marius said:

You mentioned a badly worded description for one of the custom mode settings further up. Seems like you know about that one, and it sounds like it would take only a minute or two to address, but somehow the decision was to keep it as it is.

You think this would take only 2 minutes to fix, because it is just a matter of rewriting the name of it, right? You are dead wrong. I may not have experience with coding but many of my friends are programmists - it is NOT that easy. The name itself is some value and if it is renamed, it has to be renamed in all lines of the code where it comes up - then it has to be meticulously tested and fixed before it is actually fixed. It is actually an issue that can take hundreds of hours to fix. 

Edit: I come off a bit rude in this post - did not mean to appear that way, so please don't take it personally, Just wanted to be descriptive.

Edited by Mroz4k
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We do take in player feedback and reports of technical issues with the game.  We are looking at ways of making the process more unified, but we do appreciate the community's help in reporting issues they experience. It is, however, less helpful to speculate and estimate how long addressing an issue would take.

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