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bikingviking

Too many wolves in Stalker

41 posts in this topic

This has been my biggest complaint since the early days of The Long Dark. There are way too many wolves (increasingly so in recent updates) and they're killing the fun.

Don't get me wrong, I think wolves are an important part of the game. Their AI is incredible, stalking mechanics are outstanding, bow hunting them is super exciting, and they're generally easy to avoid.

I just think there are way too many of them. They dominate the gameplay, they're the leading cause of death (by a long shot) and they detract from the wilderness survival elements. This is highly frustrating, especially for a game that advertises "There are no zombies". Respawn rates are way too fast; in Stalker you can clear out a whole area of the map, and it's crawling with wolves again within 4-5 days. If it was easy to win wolf fights I might feel differently, but a recent attack took my heavily clothed and armed character from 100% to 35% condition in one go and I barely survived.

I wish The Long Dark was more of a wilderness survival game, and less of a wolf survival game.

Thoughts?

Edited by bikingviking
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Update: since writing this post, I've gone on a couple of Interloper runs. I think the wolf frequency in Interloper is perfect. They're out there, and they'll get you if you're not careful, but you can actually move around the world a bit without constant wolf encounters. 

So I've edited this post title and made it specific to Stalker. My current Stalker run is getting super boring. I'm holed up at the Pleasant Valley Farmstead and don't want to leave; it's no fun exploring with so many wolves to avoid, and I'd probably just get killed.

As a result I'm just not having much fun with The Long Dark and have been playing other games instead.

Wondering if anyone else feels the same?

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I say this with 100s of hours of gameplay and having experienced them in each update from the beginning:

I feel the same about wolves outside of Interloper difficulty; they're numbers make them more of an annoyance than an exciting gameplay mechanic and make them borderline "the zombies" of the game.

The wolves make it really hard to introduce my friends to the game because they just dont understand them and they dont want to be stuck in pilgrim difficulty.

Individually, the wolves are perfrect, and they have great potential to be fun, but their sheer numbers make it hard to travel anywhere.

Even a little tick box upon sandbox creation to lower numbers, or reduced respawn rates even by a day or two would make me happy. Anything in the other direction than where they're heading.

I want to play a game mode with interloper wolves, and stalker loot (rifles, hatchets, etc.)

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Well I have hundreds of hours too and it is really varied by game. My latest stalker I can't find too many. I'm in ml and the closest ones to Trappers are at the railroad by the cabin! Few deer and those have been by clear out and bear cave. Nearly starved til I went on a long hunt up the creek. Never had it that bad

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Honestly as someone who played a ton of Stalker before the Interloper update, and has played a lot of Interloper since it was added, I have never seen the whole 'there are less wolves on Interloper'. It seemed like the exact same amount as on Stalker, they just did way more damage. Just today I killed SIX wolves right next to Quonset (on Interloper), literally all 6 bodies almost next to each other, killed within a 1 ingame hour time span. 3 of them literally rushed me one after the other as I gunned them down with an arrow to the eye each. I have NEVER seen more then 4 wolves at once in the town site before.

Also note that since a few builds ago earlier in the year, each 'pack' of wolves moves between two areas, so that is why you will sometimes have some areas be really empty.

I'm not sure what I think about wolf frequency to be honest. I don't really think it's super over the top (other then that one anecdote I described above), and honestly if there are few wolves things become a lot less interesting; wolves add a really good 'random' element to doing stuff. Of course the flip side is some areas are so infested sometimes you have to literally just clear it out if you want to do anything there.

 

 

Edited by Troxism
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@Troxism, Ive seen a maximum of seven at the coastal Townsite (counting the one at the small dock), in voyageur difficulty... That all just seems a bit off considering its the next higher difficulty from pilgrim!

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In stalker the number of wolf could be reduced if the number of tools (especially knife/rifle) food and clothes is reduced as well. Could be done.

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How far into your run are you? They increase in quantity and difficulty as you progress. I'm playing my first Stalker run where I've survived >100 days. Currently 140 days in. And I agree that it's getting a little ridiculous. There are six wolves in the field in front of the Farmhouse, and four in the field behind. If I was able to stand on top of the farmhouse I would be able to see ten wolves at the same time.

Just last night I returned to TWM for the first time in 25 in-game days and Crystal lake is suddenly crawling with them. Two at the river head across from the dock, two on the far side, and one on the hill where the rabbits spawn. I suffered my first attack in a long time (generally avoid them or can push them away with decoys and flares). A single wolf took my fully layered character, defending myself with a 91% hunting knife, from 100% down to 21%. Had there been another nearby, I would be dead.

I generally like the increasing difficulty with time spent. I like decreasing temperatures, and more vicious individual wolves. It gives the immersion feeling of a world decaying and wildlife becoming more desperate. I shouldn't have survived the event, after all. It works to make long runs less boring. But the sheer quantities of wolves out there (and the knowledge that facing more than one means instadeath) makes it tough to want to leave the safety of a secure home base. It also goes against my own rationale of a world decaying due to the event - that wouldn't result in more wolves, but less wolves that are more vicious. I like the 'they have become the zombies we were promised wouldn't exist' POV. It seems a little gamey - the equivalent of making levels 'harder' on shooting games by just adding more enemies who can absorb more bullets. 

Tonight I want to climb TWM for the first time, but I feel like since I left it so long into my playthrough that it's inevitable that I'll run into a pack of 4-6 wolves somewhere along the way and be chomped to death.

Edited by GorillaDust
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I saw the seven wolves around day 30 to get a perspective on how fast they accumulated. 

Id say it could work both ways, they could increase in numbers mid game to simulate them desperately hunting for food to keep warm, and then drop back down to "normal-fewer" levels after the weather decay really starts kicking in to simulate them dying out too. Those that are left would be the strongest and most desperate.

 

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On 12/25/2016 at 2:09 PM, bikingviking said:

There are way too many wolves (increasingly so in recent updates) and they're killing the fun.

I completely disagree.  I have been playing since there was only ML and at no point have I felt there are too many wolves.  Regardless of difficulty level, I consider them a mild nuisance at worst.  They can be avoided almost entirely if you know the maps and plan ahead.  If anything, I'd like to see more of them.  And more aggressive, with unexpected behavior and showing up in unexpected places.

I have gone over 100 days on TWM playing The Hunted Part One and never got in a single fight with a wolf, while the Old Bear hunted me and I had no rifle or bow.  One time, I even spent an in-game month based out of the gas station in CH among many wolves and that moany, groany beast.  None of them ever got me, because I was careful.

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On 12/28/2016 at 10:05 AM, GorillaDust said:

I generally like the increasing difficulty with time spent. I like decreasing temperatures, and more vicious individual wolves. It gives the immersion feeling of a world decaying and wildlife becoming more desperate. I shouldn't have survived the event, after all. It works to make long runs less boring. But the sheer quantities of wolves out there (and the knowledge that facing more than one means instadeath) makes it tough to want to leave the safety of a secure home base. It also goes against my own rationale of a world decaying due to the event - that wouldn't result in more wolves, but less wolves that are more vicious. I like the 'they have become the zombies we were promised wouldn't exist' POV. It seems a little gamey - the equivalent of making levels 'harder' on shooting games by just adding more enemies who can absorb more bullets. 

This sums up how I feel the best.

The devs seem to feel the best way to make The Long Dark more difficult is to throw more wolves at us. This definitely works, but it's annoying and less fun.

It's supposed to be a wilderness survival game. There are many simple ways to make the game more challenging with a harsher environment. Colder weather (indoors and outdoors). Storms that last for days. Fewer hours of daylight. 

I think Interloper has the perfect balance between wolf vs. wilderness danger. However the sheer brutality of Interloper means that less advanced players (ie. myself) rarely last more than a few days.

So I'm playing in Stalker, trying to learn the maps better, trying to learn where the wolves are, trying to improve my avoidance tactics. Instead, I'm holed up at the Farmhouse, well aware that an exploratory hike will likely end in death. Not much fun.

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On 12/29/2016 at 6:13 PM, Timber Wolf said:

I completely disagree.  I have been playing since there was only ML and at no point have I felt there are too many wolves.  Regardless of difficulty level, I consider them a mild nuisance at worst.  They can be avoided almost entirely if you know the maps and plan ahead.  If anything, I'd like to see more of them.  And more aggressive, with unexpected behavior and showing up in unexpected places.

I have gone over 100 days on TWM playing The Hunted Part One and never got in a single fight with a wolf, while the Old Bear hunted me and I had no rifle or bow.  One time, I even spent an in-game month based out of the gas station in CH among many wolves and that moany, groany beast.  None of them ever got me, because I was careful.

Oh boy, I'm getting really pissed at you. The hell do you mean mild nuisance ? You literally HAVE to think about them every time you go out. If you are forced to kill 6 wolves in a single day, then it's not normal and far from a mild nuisance. No planning ahead will stop their attack. I don't know what magical spot you found, where you were safe, but I get ambushed every time when I'm near snowdunes. You can't see over them and when they spot you, you HAVE to drop you entire plan and run or WASTE precious bullets/arrows. And all of this is when everything is 100% and you have food and good weather. Sometimes you don't have these luxuries. Not to mention most of the time you will be carrying around smelly food, that'll make any plan worthless.

I'd be fine if there were like 2 instances of this in 10 days maybe, but not every day and every time I want to gather sticks or enter a building. This isn't suppose to be wolf attack simulator, at least not by judging everything else in the game. Or should it ?

Makes me stop playing the game for another 6 months, every time I forget...

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wolves ruin the game.. they are not fun.. they are just an irritation. That become super easy once you have the bow and arrow. I have so many dead wolves that I didnt even touch on my current interloper run. Wolves need a complete overhaul 

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4 hours ago, pulkmees said:

Oh boy, I'm getting really pissed at you. The hell do you mean mild nuisance ? You literally HAVE to think about them every time you go out. If you are forced to kill 6 wolves in a single day, then it's not normal and far from a mild nuisance. No planning ahead will stop their attack. I don't know what magical spot you found, where you were safe, but I get ambushed every time when I'm near snowdunes. You can't see over them and when they spot you, you HAVE to drop you entire plan and run or WASTE precious bullets/arrows. And all of this is when everything is 100% and you have food and good weather. Sometimes you don't have these luxuries. Not to mention most of the time you will be carrying around smelly food, that'll make any plan worthless.

I'd be fine if there were like 2 instances of this in 10 days maybe, but not every day and every time I want to gather sticks or enter a building. This isn't suppose to be wolf attack simulator, at least not by judging everything else in the game. Or should it ?

Makes me stop playing the game for another 6 months, every time I forget...

I think maybe you don't know how to deal with wolves. Wolf behavior is completely predictable. When a wolf spots you DON'T run. You can back away at walking speed for a long long time without them attacking. Usually plenty long to get to a building unless there's a wolf coming from another direction. Also make use of sneaking, when you don't have good visibility you should sneak and STOP for a few seconds. If there is a wolf on the other side you will be able to hear them walking. I have played for in game weeks without either getting into a wolf fight nor killing them with bow or gun. You just need to be careful and patient. Plus if you want to cheese it you can always just start making a fire, it's like a wolf repelling forcefield.

That said I do often find the number of wolves in stalker to be a little bit excessive. I would prefer that it were a bit closer to interloper but also have the loot levels closer to interloper to compensate.

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11 hours ago, pulkmees said:

Not to mention most of the time you will be carrying around smelly food, that'll make any plan worthless.

Apart from the very valuable advices @sarudak gave you, I would also like to point out that you could drop some of this smelly food as a decoy to avoid an attack. 

Or light a torch - those can be crafted in great numbers without a problem (you could go fishing for the oil, the rest of the materials is abundant anyway). 

If you really have to kill six wolves a day in self-defense, that very much sounds as if you wouldn't use the different options the game offers you to either avoid detection (crouching, climbing rocks or hills to see wolves from far away, thorough choice of travelling paths), deterrence (campfires, torches, flares, flare guns, decoys) and escape (sprinting, climbing rocks or fallen trees, escape into buildings / fishing huts / hunting blinds / whatever). Oh, and if truely nothing else works, there's still the hunting rifle as a very reliable last resort of self-defence on Stalker. 

So yeah, it's very plausible (to me, at least) that some of the people who use all these different techniques truely consider wolves only to be a mild nuisance regardless of their numbers. No reason to be impolite towards them for their opinion. Rather an incentive to learn the different wolf avoidance and deterrence techniques the game offers you. ;) 

Edited by Scyzara
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9 hours ago, sarudak said:

Also make use of sneaking, when you don't have good visibility you should sneak and STOP for a few seconds. If there is a wolf on the other side you will be able to hear them walking. I have played for in game weeks without either getting into a wolf fight nor killing them with bow or gun. You just need to be careful and patient.

I've done that. That wasn't the point. The point is there are way too many of these instances where I even have to think about them. I'm pissed because he was suggesting adding more wolves.

2 hours ago, Scyzara said:

Apart from the very valuable advices @sarudak gave you, I would also like to point out that you could drop some of this smelly food as a decoy to avoid an attack. 

Or light a torch - those can be crafted in great numbers without a problem (you could go fishing for the oil, the rest of the materials is abundant anyway). 

If you really have to kill six wolves a day in self-defense, that very much sounds as if you wouldn't use the different options the game offers you to either avoid detection (crouching, climbing rocks or hills to see wolves from far away, thorough choice of travelling paths), deterrence (campfires, torches, flares, flare guns, decoys) and escape (sprinting, climbing rocks or fallen trees, escape into buildings / fishing huts / hunting blinds / whatever). Oh, and if truely nothing else works, there's still the hunting rifle as a very reliable last resort of self-defence on Stalker. 

So yeah, it's very plausible (to me, at least) that some of the people who use all these different techniques truely consider wolves only to be a mild nuisance regardless of their numbers. No reason to be impolite towards them for their opinion. Rather an incentive to learn the different wolf avoidance and deterrence techniques the game offers you. ;) 

Again, I know all of these ways to deal with them, nothing new here. It's good that they added all of these, but they added them because there were too many wolves to begin with .Having to constantly think about avoiding wolves, killing wolves, decoying wolves and scaring off wolves is still a lot of dealing with wolves.

I don't kill 6 wolves a day. That was someone else's experience to show you yes there are way too many of them. I did however kill 4 wolves in 2 days one time, because I was just tired of CONSTANTLY having to watch my back every time I went out of my base. I couldn't even get to a spot to gather wood.

Now since they've had so many of them from the start I think they REALLY must like the idea and not want to change it. Maybe it goes along with the whole ''we like to see players experience emotions(paraphrasing)'' Even so, for me it is still frustrating.

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31 minutes ago, pulkmees said:

It's good that they added all of these, but they added them because there were too many wolves to begin with .

Well, actually those options were added because most players find it fun if they have different options how to deal with wolves (apart from just fighting them). It's a very  far shot to claim the Devs only added all these means to compensate too high wolf numbers.

I get that you dislike dealing with wolves in general (no matter by which means exactly), at least on a daily basis. That's fine, but maybe you should simply consider not playing Stalker but another mode in this case. Voyageur has less wolves than Stalker and so does Interloper.  Both modes will confront you with wolves, but you definitely won't have to "think about them all the time". Especially in late-game it's likely that there will be some days where you won't see a single wolf in these two modes.

And if you don't want to care about wolves at all, you can also play Pilgrim. There's no dishonor in that.

The different modes are not only difficulty levels, but are also meant to deliver different experiences. And Stalker is currently characterized by both a lot of loot (including the hunting rifle) and a lot of wolves. That's just what this mode is about: High risk, high gain and a pretty forgiving weather. Other modes have other focuses, that's what distinguishes the different experiences they're meant to offer. 

I'm not saying that wolf numbers couldn't be decreased a little in Stalker mode, but it would make the experience more similar to Voyageur and Interloper for sure. So other changes would be necessary to compensate this experience shift. And I somehow doubt less loot or lower temperatures would be sufficient - that would only make Stalker an easier version of Interloper, nothing more.

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1 hour ago, pulkmees said:

I'm pissed because he was suggesting adding more wolves.

Well, I certainly didn't intend to upset you @pulkmees.  I was just offering my opinion on the matter.  You are probably going to struggle a bit with these forums too, if you are going to get pissed off when someone takes an opposing point of view. 

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when I felt the same way as you do about the wolves.  I remember checking out the forums and hearing about other player's being able to survive many 100's of days on Stalker and couldn't understand how they were doing that, while I could barely make it through a few weeks.  So, I kept practicing, and studying the wolf behavior and above all - I kept coming here to gather tips on how to deal with them.  I played Voyageur for quite some time until I improved enough to start playing Stalker.

@Scyzara and @sarudak have offered you some excellent advice and armed with that information you should be able to handle the presence of the wolves.  Hopefully at some point you will become the Stalker of the wolves, instead of the other way around!  :)

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I always play Stalker nowadays. In my most recent game I started on Mystery Lake and didn't even see a wolf for the first week; I was starting to think there was something wrong with the game (not that I was complaining).

I think it varies game to game and place to place to an extent. But I take the attitude that wolves don't live in the same place as my character: that is, either they die or I leave (usually it's the latter, due to limited rifle ammo and poor bow-and-arrow skills). The other main rule of thumb I use is that if I'm planning to go to a specific location on a specific day, but I find wolves in the way en route, I change my plans - either take a different path, or abandon the objective until the wolves have moved somewhere else (which they do quite frequently).

Wolves are a nuisance, they do get in your way and force you into doing things you hadn't intended. But they are supposed to do that; that's what they are in the game for. You have to make your choices of homestead location and daily activities based on where the food is, where the shelter is, where the resources are and where the dangerous wildlife is. If your ideal base (Townsite, Farmstead, wherever) is infested with wolves and/or bears and this is causing you grief, the solution is simple: don't live there.

I have never ever thought there were too many wolves in any of the Experience Modes. In fact, I'd much prefer it if the fixed location patterns were totally abolished in favour of entirely free-roaming wildlife, because once you know where their usual hangout spots are you can guarantee 100% avoidance.

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23 hours ago, Scyzara said:

Well, actually those options were added because most players find it fun if they have different options how to deal with wolves (apart from just fighting them). It's a very  far shot to claim the Devs only added all these means to compensate too high wolf numbers.

And if you don't want to care about wolves at all, you can also play Pilgrim. There's no dishonor in that.

Pilgrim is too easy with everything else, I'm only bitching here because the current options are too simplistic. If they had stalker difficulty with scared wolves/less wolves/whatever solution I'd play that.

Why are you defending everything they do ?

You never get annoyed at something in the game ?

I only care about this because everything else in the game is very well made. I'm only aggressive because that is literally the only thing in the game that should be worked on some more.

22 hours ago, Timber Wolf said:

Well, I certainly didn't intend to upset you @pulkmees.  I was just offering my opinion on the matter.  You are probably going to struggle a bit with these forums too, if you are going to get pissed off when someone takes an opposing point of view. 

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when I felt the same way as you do about the wolves.  I remember checking out the forums and hearing about other player's being able to survive many 100's of days on Stalker and couldn't understand how they were doing that, while I could barely make it through a few weeks.  So, I kept practicing, and studying the wolf behavior and above all - I kept coming here to gather tips on how to deal with them.  I played Voyageur for quite some time until I improved enough to start playing Stalker.

@Scyzara and @sarudak have offered you some excellent advice and armed with that information you should be able to handle the presence of the wolves.  Hopefully at some point you will become the Stalker of the wolves, instead of the other way around!  :)

Your problem was surviving longer. My problem is dealing with them constantly. It's time dealing with them that I don't like. I KNOW ALL the ways how to deal with them.

I'm not that upset, it's just your solution to the problem was adding more wolves, which is in stark contrast to what I want. I don't want a wolf simulator. It's fine if that was an option, but currently it isn't(Pilgrim doesn't count).

If you felt the wolves were the problem at the beginning, why did you just settle then ? I feel when a game is in alpha and the developers listen, you can give them feedback about the issues. They could change it.

OR not IF they have a valid reason. I'm OK with that. But so far the reason is unknown to me or it's something too abstract.

 

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Posted (edited)

I play mostly Voyageur, plus a little Interloper.  But rarely Stalker any more, because of the number of wolves.  I know all the tricks and can avoid or kill them as needed.  But, like Pulkmees, I find it tedious.   

I keep hoping for "sliders" for 3 big knobs for difficulty (weather, wildlife and loot), although I know the devs have not encouraged this hope at all.  Stalker weather + stalker loot (but less of it) + voyageur wildlife is my "dream" difficulty.

Edited by Ruruwawa
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I'm on day 30 of a Stalker playthrough.
I haven't been attacked by anything.

This isn't because there aren't enough Wolves - it's because I have learnt how to avoid them.

You will find that if you patiently navigate around the zones with abundant stamina, sprinting away from a pack is an ideal way to avoid being attacked. IE: Don't sprint unless you need to. It should be used as evasion, not as convenience.

Have a flare ready. Drop a decoy if you have to. I find that walking backwards steadily when a Wolf is pacing you seems to make it hesitate in sprinting after you also.

The fight isn't when the Wolf is on top of you - it is when you start evading their hunt.

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I recently started my first stalker sandbox and it wasn't the number or frequency of wolves that bothered me, it was the respawn rate. I painstakingly avoided wolves for weeks. Finally with weapons I started to hunt them down and cleared out the area which too me another 4-5 days. The wolves were back in less than a week. I was so frustrated I just left the area because I'd expended so much time, effort, and emotional energy to cleanse the place of dangers and they just came back in less time than it took to purge the area in the first place.

Would the game be boring without wolves? Sure. But you can't eat them or you get parasites and you can't get rid of them so all methods of dealing with them other than evasion seem like a waste of time. This wasn't something I was prepared for.

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Posted (edited)

I was expecting to get some disagreement on this topic :) Here are few responses.

@Timber Wolf suggested that wolves can "be avoided almost entirely if you know the maps and plan ahead". This is true. But the maps are huge and complex. I know a few safe corridors between the main bases and that's it. I know some locations are wolf heavy (ie. Quonset Hut, Mystery Lake, etc.) and prepare accordingly. But despite playing hundreds of hours, I don't know the maps that well. When I try exploring off the beaten track, I usually get killed (by wolf attack).

A couple people have suggested they're easy to avoid if you're careful. Also true. If I constantly stayed crouched, moved forward at a snail pace, scouted every open area thoroughly before moving in, I'd surely live longer. The problem is, I want to have fun. The TLD devs have made a huge, beautiful world that I want to run around in and explore. Every time I try exploring, I die (by wolf attack).

Curious question for people in this thread: how many long (say 50+ days) Stalker games have you died from anything other than a wolf attack?

To reiterate an early point, I think wolves are an important, exciting and essential part of the game. Pilgrim is boring. The wolves keep it interesting. I just want fewer of them and a harsher environment. Randomized locations would be great. A less insane respawn rate would also be great. 

I want The Long Dark to be about wilderness survival, not the zombie apocalypse.

For now, I've figured out a good solution to this problem. I'm going to play The Flame in the Flood.

Edited by bikingviking
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I had a stalker game over 100 days that killed me. Blizzard with falling thru ice twice and with low condition I got a little lost and found...A bear....Yeah...Dead man.

 

On another I fell off TWM trying to navigate the cliffs at night...

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