Mudrunner Dev Feedback

So I've put some hours into MR and would like to give some feedback on my experience so far. I enjoyed the original Spintires (although not nearly as much as some people on this forum), so much of my feedback is based on my experience with the original game.

So, first off I want to say that I really want to see this game succeed. Unfortunately, while MR does improve some things over ST like the graphics and some of the physics, the game still feels very rough and unfinished, and not at all like a 1.0 product. There's also been a lot of regressions and cut content, and some pretty nasty new gamebreaking bugs. Kind of disappointing honestly since this re-release was the same price as the original game (and actually more expensive for me since I got a better sale on ST and bought MR based on how much I enjoyed ST in spite of all its many issues).

My first bit of feedback would be to continue fixing the game-breaking bugs. The first patch is a step in the right direction, although it is really discouraging that multiplayer was broken at launch. That doesn't leave a good first impression at all. Additionally, I lost all progress on the Seashore map when I alt-tabbed out and will have to start over due to the game crashing and corrupting the save (and then steam cloud syncing the corrupt save).

Next, restore the cut content. Especially the missing addons and tires. The E-7310 utility addon with the crane was one of my favorite attachments, and I'm really disappointed that it's no longer in the game. The beacons and cabin protection for the trucks were neat as well and I would like to see them added back to the game. Some of the reworked content is also pretty bad. I really don't like the new garage trailer at all and the B-130 desperately needs diff-lock and chained wheels back to be at all useable.

The new features also need to be fixed and finished properly. I like the concept of the cockpit view, but the current implementation is pretty bad. The side view mirrors need to work, especially if you have a challenge specifically based around using the view. Not to mention how tacky and unfinished the current cockpit UI is right now. Cockpit view also desperately need a keyboard binding (not just a controller button) instead of clicking on the truck. Many times while trying to do other things I end up accidentally clicking on that annoying cockpit camera thing hovering over the cab. Please remove this and just give us a simple keybinding.

On the topic of new features, I have a few thoughts on the progression system. I like that we're encouraged to actually complete the maps now instead of just messing around, but at the same time it feels too restrictive. Maybe instead of awarding all the progression points only upon completely finishing a map, they could be awarded for each task on a map. For example, unlocking a garage would provide a progression point, revealing the full map would also give a point, and each completed objective would also give a point. Additionally, maybe have a system where unlocking a garage lets you spawn a truck of your choice there (with some limits). Maybe if you don't use all the stars at the start, each unlocked garage gives you another star and if you save your stars up, you can get a bigger truck than normal once all the garages have been unlocked. I'm not sure how to balance it, but maybe there could even be some limits on attachments on a per-map basis so an entire truck class doesn't have to be nerfed and have a very useful attachment completely cut just because it's OP on one map.

Randomized truck spawns are a neat idea, but they need some limits on the randomness. Some maps really need the 8x8 trucks, so there should be some guarantee that at least one will spawn somewhere on the map. Maybe maps can have global rules on what trucks will always spawn somewhere on the map, which trucks will sometimes spawn, and which trucks will never spawn. Additionally, each spawn point can have its own list of which of the trucks for the map can potentially spawn at that point and a range of damage/fuel levels for the trucks. Maybe even have the option for a spawn point to not spawn a truck at all so you could have a map with lots and lots of spawn points, but in a given playthrough only a portion of them will have trucks so you have to explore a lot more.

There's also some features I would really like to see added. Maps on the Steam workshop is a really big one. It's one of the things that IMO saved ST. There's honestly not much content in the game as it stands right now, but making it easy for players to use community maps will add immensely to the replay value. More first-party maps would be great as well, especially if we could get some winter-themed maps.

More load variety would also be nice to see as well. I've seen mods with ore trailers and containers, and I've thought it would make for some really interesting map design. That way you don't have to worry about the placement of each log station with respect to each objective, since you could have one place to get logs with an interesting path to the logs objective, but at the same time also have an ore objective that could be right next to the log station, but since you need to get ore, the ore station could be placed somewhere interesting with respect to the ore objective.

In terms of game polish and balance, there's a few major things from ST that ST Plus was able to fix that haven't been addressed in MR. The camera is still really rough. Even just adding the ability to zoom out more would help immensely, although I would also like to see more options to move the camera more freely to "walk around" the truck and survey the terrain.

The fallen trees also need to not be immovable objects. They should be things that could be used as winch points for the UAZ, but the large trucks should be able to drag them without noticing or lift them with the crane. Same thing goes with the small stumps, the large trucks should be able to pull them out with the winch.

The winch also needs a lot of love. Having to click on that little X to release it is really, really annoying. Having a keybinding for this like ST Plus did would be very useful. There's also the little thing of the winch cable not having a texture. That just looks tacky and unprofessional. I wouldn't mind a longer winch either and once that works when the engine is off (at least for trucks where it makes sense like the UAZ), but that's more of a game balance issue than polish.

Overall, MR, like ST before it, has a ton of potential to be an amazing offroad game. It's still (mostly) fun to play right now as long as I don't run into any game-breaking bugs, although I'm kind of taking a break from it at the moment after losing several hours of progress due to that crash and waiting to see how things go with future patches. Hopefully this game will get the love and attention it needs to really shine.

Edit:
I've gone back and finished all the maps on casual. One other thought that came to mind is the lack of balance with the different log loads. Right now, small logs are almost always the way to go (unless you have the E-7310). A single load of medium logs is significantly more difficult to move than using the same truck with two loads of small logs (log carriage and log trailer), yet is worth less load points. As far as long logs go, there's so few trucks that even have an option for a long logs trailer anymore that they're generally not even an option. They're also more difficult to move than two loads of small logs and not worth any more points, so unless you're trying to get the achievement they're not worth the hassle either.

I think ST did this better with having small logs be worth 2 points. Many times I actually used ST Plus to increase the objective points to 12, so I could either do two loads of long logs, three loads of medium logs (or double short logs) or six loads of short logs. Additionally, the weight of medium/long logs need to be proportional to their point value. If short logs are worth two points, then medium logs need to be exactly twice the weight. If they're worth three points, then medium logs should only be 33% heavier. Same idea goes for long logs.

Another thought is the map layouts themselves. This isn't really a new thing, but other than the Deluge/Flood map, the rest of the maps don't feel like a realistic part of a larger world. From a challenge standpoint they're fine and generally provide a nice choice of paths between the logs and the objectives, but otherwise they don't really make any sense.

The roads, garages and fuel depots many times seem to be placed more or less randomly with lots of roads to nowhere and roads not connected to anything else. Maps with tarmac have a loop that doesn't actually connect to the outside world. In short, they don't feel like real-world maps at all.

Thankfully Deluge/Flood is the exception. I really like that map design (for the most part, it doesn't have as much variety as the other maps) since it actually makes sense in the context of a larger world. All of the roads have a purpose and make logical sense in the context of the world. The garage and fuel depot are in logical locations. If we get more first-party maps, I would like to see them follow those design ideas rather than what we have for the other maps.

last edited by gamer1000k

Well written, sir. I cannot but mostly agree with your thoughts.

Community Moderator - Spintires

Despite I am not interested in progression system, I have to agree with the rest. I think I already mentioned most of those points somewhere, but it is really nice to have them all togehter in one place. Feedback well done.

If you feel the map "needs" an 8x8, you should bring one in your initial loadout.

Other than that, you made some good points.

Community Manager

Hi there!

Thanks for such a comprehensive feedback post, it's much appreciated.

We obviously can't promise that we will implement it all, but we'll take your feedback on-board and certainly discuss it internally.

Thank you again!

Community Manager

I'd like to add that fixing the remaining technical issues is the current priority. We're working on a big bug fix update to be released as soon as possible. It might bring some features requested by players as well. We'll keep you updated about that.

@mendel That's only an option once you've already finished nearly all of the maps.

Also, many people are already commenting about restarting maps based on the randomly chosen trucks not being to their liking, so I was trying to think of a way to avoid encouraging this behavior. It would also give the map making community some neat tools to play with when making their maps.

last edited by gamer1000k

@netheos Good to know.

@gamer1000k said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

@mendel That's only an option once you've already finished nearly all of the maps.

Also, many people are already commenting about restarting maps based on the randomly chosen trucks not being to their liking, so I was trying to think of a way to avoid encouraging this behavior. It would also give the map making community some neat tools to play with when making their maps.

or if we could just play a map with more than the given balance points would be nice as well. right now if you exceed the balance points you can not play the map at all.

Yeah I agree with pretty much everything the OP said, especially the winches needing work, and maps on the workshop would be fantastic. I also think mud chunks need to be worked on. They don't have to be removed entirely, I like the idea of tires getting clogged up with mud, but currently they are just odd looking. Too big and it kinda looks like someone stuck a bunch of brown chunks of gum on your tires. They also clip through vehicle fenders, it's especially noticeable on the K-700.
It would also be nice if rock collisions were improved so this doesn't happen.

last edited by MotherTrucker02

@gamer1000k said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

@mendel That's only an option once you've already finished nearly all of the maps.

Sure. But then Deluge is the last map.

@mendel said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

Sure. But then Deluge is the last map.

Deluge isn't the only map that benefits greatly from an 8x8 truck. The river in Crossing comes to mind. Also, on Deluge if you choose to start with an 8x8, you'll lose out on the garage carriages and have to deal with the trailers. You won't be able to get two decent trucks with the balance point limits, and might not even have enough fuel to make it to the garage.

Technically on both maps an 8x8 isn't required, but it sure makes a big difference in terms of difficulty. Enough so that I can totally understand why someone would restart the maps if they didn't get one of the big trucks.

last edited by gamer1000k

@gamer1000k said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

@mendel said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

Sure. But then Deluge is the last map.

Deluge isn't the only map that benefits greatly from an 8x8 truck. The river in Crossing comes to mind. Also, on Deluge if you choose to start with an 8x8, you'll lose out on the garage carriages and have to deal with the trailers. You won't be able to get two decent trucks with the balance point limits, and might not even have enough fuel to make it to the garage.

Technically on both maps an 8x8 isn't required, but it sure makes a big difference in terms of difficulty. Enough so that I can totally understand why someone would restart the maps if they didn't get one of the big trucks.

I think the random trucks are fine, if people want to restart their game, that's up to them and it's basically the same as save scumming which there isn't much you can do about it.

As far as the 8x8 on Deluge, I started with a 537 and it had the garage carriage and made it to the garage just fine. I did unlock a fuel truck and fuel it, but probably didn't have to.

On River/Crossing it's not hard at all if you know where to cross, and with the new depth indicator it's even easier.

I have also completed all the maps on hardcore starting only with the 256 which wasn't even that hard(and didn't take that long). If anything the game needs more of a challenge, not less. They won't ever be able to satisfy both the new players and the veterans, so as it stands I think they did a pretty good job of balancing the game for both.

Edit:
I do agree on the hotkeys though. That is my biggest need/want (hotkeys for cab camera and winch disconnect)

last edited by Justcallmeow

@justcallmeow said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

I think the random trucks are fine, if people want to restart their game, that's up to them and it's basically the same as save scumming which there isn't much you can do about it.

As far as the 8x8 on Deluge, I started with a 537 and it had the garage carriage and made it to the garage just fine. I did unlock a fuel truck and fuel it, but probably didn't have to.

On River/Crossing it's not hard at all if you know where to cross, and with the new depth indicator it's even easier.

I have also completed all the maps on hardcore starting only with the 256 which wasn't even that hard(and didn't take that long). If anything the game needs more of a challenge, not less. They won't ever be able to satisfy both the new players and the veterans, so as it stands I think they did a pretty good job of balancing the game for both.

On the topic of save scumming, in some ways a quicksave feature for casual would be great as well. If I remember correctly, it was a highly requested feature for the original ST and there was a helper program that even added the feature. I know that there's a certain amount of fun in a dramatic truck rescue and there's definitely a need to be careful when driving, but at the same time, I've had extremely frustrating moments where I've rolled a truck carrying a load right before getting to the objective. At that point, you've wasted a significant amount game time with having to either get a crane truck out to rescue the truck and reload the logs, or start the entire trip over again.

As for the trucks, note that I didn't say it was impossible to do any of the maps without an 8x8. Just that the difficulty is significantly higher, especially for a new player. The main point I was trying to get at is that right now too much of the difficulty on those maps is dependent on the RNG given how much of an advantage the 8x8 trucks have in deep water.

I agree that this game needs more challenge, but it needs to be done in a way to extend the game rather than raise the bar across the board. Honestly, this game just needs a lot more content and larger maps in general. None of the maps take very long to complete once you learn the map layout, and like you said, if you pick a decent 6x6 starting truck you can complete the entire map with just that fairly quickly.

Didn't know whether to add this here or start a new thread...

I always play hardcore in Spintires and have naturally carried on with Mudrunner, so the comments below may not apply in Casual mode.
Some of the comments may also be invalidated due to me misinterpreting features.

I have mostly played Spintires in single player mode and this will continue with Mudrunner. I find the games fascinating, as it is not just about the driving but also resource management and planning. I play Hardcore because it feels more realistic as I am required to recover damaged vehicles or plan routes to minimise fuel consumption (in Spintires this involved switching tyres). I also try to minimise the number or reduce the capability of the trucks I start with to increase the challenge. I also have self imposed restrictions - at least one long log load delivered, all unlocked vehicles driveable at game end, that sort of thing. You eventually learn all the strengths and weaknesses of the trucks in the game, and sometimes discover that you can beat a map more quickly and with much reduced fuel consumption with the B-130! There have been a few maps where I have been on the edge of disaster for almost the entire game and when the mission completed message pops up the sense of accomplishment is huge. This is a sign of a good game, and kudos to the developers and the map makers too.

The camera: I was quite surprised that the camera has not changed from the one in Spintires especially as it is by far the most complained about thing about the game. I was also a little disappointed to discover the in-cab view has supplanted the overhead view. When I heard it was being included I was expecting it to be an addition, not a replacement. In Spintires I prefer reversing using the overhead view swivelled round so I look down the side of the truck, but that involves a lot of time camera postioning in Mudrunner to get the same view.

Diff lock in Hardcore: I think the diff lock should be prototypical. If the vehicle the in-game truck is based on has/has not a diff lock on an axle in real life then it should be mirrored in game. Possibly a new game type with prototypical differentials? Or even DLC trucks which have different diff options. While I don't do any trailing, I imagine people who do are struggling. One logging driver I spoke to has the front wheel differential welded up for better traction in the mud. Clearly not possible in Hardcore and I feel the inflexibility of pinning how diff locks work to a game mode is unhelpful. More on this in the Controls section below.

Tyres: Tyre options is something I always used to tune the difficulty level of a map in Spintires. As there is no tyre selection available, could we have the different tyre options as DLC? I see people asking for the chained tyres on the B-130. I much prefer the B-130 without the chains (and diff!), so this is where the DLC could come in handy, giving options for start trucks.

Log loads: I am of the opinion the 3 points for a short log load discourages the use of the medium loads.

Visual: I am colourblind, so don't see red/green very well. The navigation marks (dull red on grass) and some of the instruments are effectively invisible at times. This is a carry over from Spintires, but Mudrunner seems worse somehow. Would it be possible to tweak the colours to improve visibility or provide a colourblind setting?

Controls: I use a Logitech G920 wheel with gear shift. As other people have mentioned, controlling wheel spin in Mudrunner is much harder than in Spintires when trying to crawl out at idle because there is too much power going to the wheels too quickly.
There is no diff lock overload with a wheel and gears, the same as in Spintires. I'm not sure whether this is an oversight. It would be nice (for me, anyway) to have to worry about blowing your diff up.

Interface: Again, can be difficult to read if you are colourblind. The waypoint marker is hidden behind the wheel in-cab. Does the distance to the next waypoint readout really need to float? Would it not be easier to have its position fixed below the time? It would help if this was in the in-cab view too.
When using the crane the keys help screen keeps popping up and obscuring both what you are doing and the chat window. I'm know what the keys are, I'm playing Hardcore. It would be nice if I could toggle it off.

Ideas for the future:
Give us selectable difficulty options, e.g. In Spintires Plus there was the option to have a differential overload cause 500 points of damage, effectively killing a twin axle vehicle and making all the others very sick indeed. Configurable winches; I like the power-take-off winches for the bigger C+ vehicles, but an electric winch for the smaller A & B classes could be useful, especially as more modern vehicles have them as standard. Some people may prefer adjusting the winch cable length.

You could have new configurable options for map making.
Points needed for a particular objective, e.g. Objective 2 only needs 4 points. Possibly an objective only takes a certain load type, e.g. medium logs. One log kiosk may only be able to provide short or long logs, another any size.

Allow users to configure how many points need to be delivered to an objective. Yes, I know this isn't compatible with the suggestion above.

Depletion of resources. e.g. A kiosk only has 6 points of logs available, and once depleted you are going to have to go elsewhere. That tricky to get to kiosk in the corner can provide an unlimited supply, however. A garage could have a limited quantity of repair/fuel points. Once one of the resources has been exhausted the garage locks and will need unlocking again.

I'm not sure whether the random trucks on a map is toggleable. While it increases replay value, some map makers rely on having you unlock specific trucks in specific places to build in a sense of progression, and this needs to be accounted for too.

One last comment... I love the new garage trailers in Mudrunner. I spent most of one journey looking backwards worried that the gypsy caravan I was towing was going to fall over. Well done 🙂

@lawndart said in Mudrunner Dev Feedback:

I always play hardcore in Spintires and have naturally carried on with Mudrunner, so the comments below may not apply in Casual mode.

When using the crane the keys help screen keeps popping up and obscuring both what you are doing and the chat window. I'm know what the keys are, I'm playing Hardcore. It would be nice if I could toggle it off.

+1 (It's really annoying when it blocks the chat; also the cruise ones are annoying too. Need a toggle)

One last comment... I love the new garage trailers in Mudrunner. I spent most of one journey looking backwards worried that the gypsy caravan I was towing was going to fall over. Well done 🙂

I keep seeing posts of people who hate the garage trailers, glad someone else likes them besides me 🙂

Those trailers used to be a common sight at building sights in eastern block countries in 80's and early 90's.

One with MR like wheels.

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Later the wheels were usually upgraded to something more convenient.

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Community Moderator - Spintires

@mistahk76 Yes, you're right.
BUT: all of these (inclusive those you've posted) steer. There suppose to be, in general, same type of suspension as it is on "carriage trailer".

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