6 Maps and the challanges... and now?

You misunderstand Unster, I'm actually totally with you on this.

My point is that the map environment has potential for creating many interesting challenges BEYOND the basic 'Move 4 logs from A to B'. Many people in the past complained that the game was boring because they completed it in a couple of hours. They missed the point. Casual mode goal completion alone should not result in the end of the fun.

There could be a bunch of interesting developer created challenges that would make the player have to create new goal completion strategies. Yes, you can still look for the most efficient way, but something other than one delivery challenge per map and you're done (e.g. adding a 'crane operator' type challenge per map, adding a 'get to grannies house on only half a tank of fuel' mission, have a 'recover broken down vehicles first and use to complete' mission etc.). You could even have community leader boards for e.g. shortest time to complete, least amount of fuel, least distance travelled etc. That would give players who've completed the maps already to have new goals to reach for.

I suspect that given the right game engine design, creating new challenges post launch would be relatively easy and significantly less overhead than additional maps and vehicles. If Focus were to regularly release challenges (say a couple per month as part of their standard update and bug fix release strategy, people would be super happy because the game wouldn't get stale for those people who already completed. It's all about looking for ways to mix things up and increase gameplay longevity. Down the line (with the right tools) you could even consider having community created challenges that could be shared. It would be relatively easy to have a tool in game to allow you to place (or randomise) spawn points for the different in game assets.

@sodoma Any thoughts on this?

last edited by zoglet

@zoglet I can see that being helpful for console players (the additional challenges and such). Us PC player have an endless supply of maps and vehicles. And I do like having to do stuff on a map, like rescuing a vehicle, repairing a bridge, etc. before being able to haul logs, as long as it's required and not optional (which to me would feel like a waste of time).

@Unster @zoglet
I don't hink, that Devs should do such things as "releasing challenges". I love game as it is, a sandbox where I can make my own challenges. When I play MP, I do it for the sake of cooperation, not for competition. There is plenty of competitive titles around, I don't want to see racing sneaks into MR, regardless of number.
On the other hand, I want more sand, more buckets and the rest of the set.
I mentioned this already somewhere else in here: bring me more lego bricks! That is what Devs should (by me) be delivering. New game mechanics, those we can use at editor to create a tons of content. Maybe there should be a map with them, as a "tutorial". Look at Portal 2. Whole game is basically a tutorial and look at its workshop. Tons of testing chambers those will take ages for one to finish.
That is the way I love to see this game going.
And I think that I am not alone on this.
As far as I do like setting my own challenges, I don't like to create unreasonable ones. Earlier i had to say "Ok, now I will deliver this just with short/medium/long logs" and that was it. I am not a friend of "I will ram it through this dense forest and over that cliff and through that lake because I want it more hardcore!". That seems ridiculous to me. But I've said that I am not alone on this. "Why?" do you ask? Because of WS maps. Basically all of them (speaking of those I've subscribed from WS) are about things the game allows us to do.

  • explore the map, reveal cloackings (sorry, Watchpoints now ๐Ÿ˜ƒ )
  • locate garage points, deliver them and open garage
  • hit the scavenge site with whatever is there and do your best

No need to say, that for delivering garage point I ussually have to repair the truck, refuel it (AKA locate utility truck, refuel it (AKA locafe fuel cistern, fill it (luckilly, fuel is at fuel station for free ๐Ÿ˜ƒ )))
Time by time, you can hit a map from some very active MODder. In that case you can find additional challenge of "put some logs at very specific place to create a bridge over unpassable river (you have to repair and refuel truck with crane, AKA... ๐Ÿ˜‰ )" or even a drawbridge ( https://forums.focus-home.com/topic/5247/moments-in-the-mud/154?page=8 ).
I love scavenge sites since that feature was released, because that is EXACTLY the type of things, I want in the game. Something that makes a map more difficult to finish, but by reasonable way. Now I have more planning to do, I can't spawn logs as I wish, I have to swap truck or at least their addons. In that case I have to visit garage, that brings additional dostance to travel, that brings more fuel consumed that brings fuel cistern in the field being necessary and probably even more logistical challenges I just can't recall right now. Maybe I'll try to find my older post about this topic...
But short verion of what I want in game? More lego bricks to play with...

@sodoma The problem with scavenge sites is that you can easily get around the scavenge nature of them by moving undesired logs out of the way to get the ones you need. I admit I've done that, though I wasn't necessarily throwing the undesired logs away. I was putting them to the side and I was going to transport them eventually, but at the end I didn't transport all of them because there were too many of that type. So I like the idea of scavenging, but the game IMO allows too many workarounds in general which may be difficult to resist.

Personally I prefer a set number of logs on the ground, with no log kiosks, as some mod maps provide. Then I really have to plan on delivering all of them, unless there are too many extras.

@unster i would agree to a set number of logs, but there are times when a rolled vehicle sometimes loses a log or two. then those extras come in handy. lol

@8up-local Absolutely, just a few extra logs, at least until that bug is fixed.

last edited by Unster

Well, that's an exploit. Obviously you can use it, but I rather play with the game, then against it.
I am afraid that such thing is natural flaw of sandbox game and it can't be helped...

@sodoma I'm not so sure it's an exploit. Same goes for transporting logs unpacked. It could be a feature, an alternate way of doing things. If it's an exploit, it implies the developers didn't know about it.

Unpacked logs have basically no weight and you can haul whole objective even with C-class without trailer. I doubt that could be a feature, I consider it as an exploit. Same for dragging logs from scavenge kiosk and throwing them off a cliff untile they fit on my truck.
It is a sandbox game, play it however you want, however, this is not my way...

@sodoma Unpacked logs do have weight. I've seen the suspension of a truck or trailer bounce as I drop logs onto it. But yes, they weigh much less than a packed load.

I used to think a lot like you, i.e. do everything "by the book". But then as I started playing mod maps with 5-7 lumber mills, I started thinking more outside the box. I think it's fine as long as you don't overdo it and you're having fun. In my case, I try to do things the "right" way, but I will also take shortcuts to save time.

@unster I understand you.
I just have no problem with playing a single map for three evenings, simply because I play the game because I actually want to spend some time.
If you want to save it, turn off your computer and do something usefull. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Wash a dishes or something, if you don't have any, I can offer a plenty of those ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

@sodoma LOL. No thanks. Even with my shortcuts I still spend many hours on each map and I don't mind. But if I have to drive to the same lumber mill using the same road many times, I may get bored a little.

@sodoma Yes, I see your point and I agree that (well put) more sand and more buckets is the ideal. Iโ€™m just wondering if there are hard limits with regard to delivering to consoles that may make this less simple than ot would be for PC. With regards to dev generated challenges, my thinking behind that as the devs built the maps, they probably could think up some cool scenarios to stretch people, or force them to use parts of the map otherwise neglected, that wouldnโ€™t be so obvious to a player who hasnโ€™t gone to the effort of exploring everything themselves. Yes, I guess you could just say โ€˜hmm, wonder if I can do thatโ€™, but I personally like to be given a challenge rather than just free roam without a specific goal, I guess this is down to personal preference.

Also (as unster picked upon) yes, I play console, so I guess that might change, or limit the options available to me vs a PC player. I could believe that even in the future, modding on consoles may still not be feasible or practical, or not as โ€˜openโ€™ as on PC, so I was thinking about ways of adding new game content without excessive overhead, or having to go to the effort of creating new maps etc. I have to admit, I forgot the challenges on the american wilds DLC until very recently, the crane operator challenge was a good example of how a little bit of change in the mix is refreshing. I hope we will see more of this (and other) style of challenge or game mode in MR2

Anyway, I guess weโ€™ll know soon enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks again for your comments

Ok, so you are saying, that you want to have challenges given by game for increase replayability, right?
Let's think about it.
You have mentined, that you are on console (regardless of type), so let's asume, that you are (and will stay) without any community content.

As long as I presume that Devs don't want to spend rest of their lives with creating additional challenges, there should be system solution. In that case, I think that proper answer is randomness.
Game actually already took some steps in that direction. Random trucks spawned on each map is a new feature ( I mean it wasn't like that at ST). Randomly spawned logs at scavenge sites is the same story. So what about other things? You can have several garages on each map (let's say 8 ) but only 1-2 will be active (appearing as garage area, locked in best case, as I already mentioned above). Same for Objectives. With a smart "level design" you can put even blockposts under such solution. Fuel station also.
So far that is pretty much it, because there is no more "active objects" in the game, but you see my point (hopefully).
If we will receive more features to play with, number of possible combinations will grow. It is not endless source of challenges, but to me it looks like pretty solid solution even on rather limited number of maps at stock game...

@Sodoma, just to start off, I want to say that I came onto the scene at Xbox release so I'm not entirely sure of what changes occurred as part of the ST-MR evolution and apologise if my understanding (or lack of) occassionally reflects that. I'd also add that I speak from perspective of console player. I'm not expecting to see modding on consoles any time soon so my thoughts are specifically thinking about what possibilities do exist to enrich the console experience with the assets available.

I totally agree with you on this randomisation point and in fact I remember posting a suggestion way back when I first bought the game that the maps could be re-developed in such a way as to allow for more asset spawn points and that randomising them on a new game, would add a lot of replayability (apologies in advance for mistakes later, my pc keeps 'correcting' this to 'deployability') .

Also I'd like to be clear on my thinking around challenges (let's also add the 'achievements' list into this group, not sure this is something you PC guys have but it's actually quite relevant on consoles). I totally understand the amount of effort required dev teams must put in and I wasn't suggesting they waste their lives grinding out challenge after challenge. What I was trying to suggest was more in line with what you were saying about smart level design. As the developers are already expert in their knowledge of the maps they have built (and have designed them in advance around the idea of how they would/could be navigated), creating additional challenges on these maps (or holding back some for later release) is a significantly lower effort way of delivering new content than building entirely new maps. Don't get me wrong, we all love and want new map releases, but I think the occasional drip feed of challenges would keep people more engaged between DLC releases (it would for me), which is of course where the majority of development effort would still go.

I totally agree with you that looking to solve the problem at a system level is the best approach and and of course would reduce dev effort. The use of randomisation is one of the best ways to achieve this. If as you suggest, we will possibly see additional features/assets and the option to randomise these in the future, I reckon that would certainly result in much more replayability. It still doesn't necessarily come up with those cute ideas like "Climb a hill" and "Visit Grandma", which I really think add fun. My point is they don't necessarily have to be on custom built maps either.

As a final point, I'd also like to say thanks for your feedback on this and a couple of my other posts elsewhere. It's nice to get into some meaningful discussion on the topic and interesting to hear other people's views that you may not have initially considered from your own experience or viewpoint. ๐Ÿ‘

last edited by zoglet