My friend and me grinded 2 days now to get to the same level as last weekend. We had no fun, since there were no new things to discover and the (sparse) motivation we had during BW2 came from unlocking and trying out new tools/stations/weapons. Nevertheless, we pulled through and went to the arctic.
Once there, we were overrun with wolves. Polar bears were spawning regularly at a balanced rate, but wolf pack numbers were absurd. We were well-equipped, so we could fend them off quite easily. My friend had a recurve bow and I used a recurve bow + hunting rifle. We progressed further into the arctic, since I figured that the mammoth would probably spawn near the end. At night, we built a small shelter, deployed bedrolls, slept and packed everything up again at morning.
After our last sleeping break, our bedrolls just disappeared at morning. I thought about crafting new ones, but came to the conclusion that I could also do this just when we needed them, to save inventory space. We continued further and found a mammoth at the far end of the arctic. At this time, we hadn't seen any animals since 5-10 minutes. Before we started blasting, I suggested that we should build a shelter, to respawn if anything goes wrong. I tried to craft the bedrolls, but saw, that I didn't have any fur in my inventory, because I had not checked which ingredients the bedrolls actually needed. I thought it was pretty much just plant fibre. My bad.
We deemed it too risky to shoot the mammoth without bedrolls, so I went looking for animals and my friend stayed there to watch the mammoth and upgrade the shelter. Long story short: I had to travel back 6 (!!!) grid squares, before encountering any (!!!) animal again. When I finally did, I was back in 20 wolves/minute territory. In the meantime, my friend got himself killed while trying to hunt a polar bear he had found somewhere else with his bow. I did not go to revive him, because I wanted to grab the materials for the bedrolls first. I collected the furs, but when I had enough, I had to hunker down in a rock, because a blizzard came up. After I came out, I was rapidly surrounded by some wolves, which tore me apart. From my death cam, I counted 6 wolf bodies, 1 polar bear body and 7 alive wolves in aggro range.
I pressed "Respawn". I respawned in the wrong base. Probably my bad for setting the wrong spawn point. At this point, my friend had disconnected about 10 minutes ago. When he wanted to reconnect, he received error messages. I disconnected, to allow him to host. When I reconnected and found my death spot again, there was no loot. Either because of the disconnect or because of the time it took me to get there (10 +-3 minutes). Without hunting rifle, oxygen bottle and water there was no possibility to get back to or kill the mammoth. Grinding new equipment would take several hours.
We both refunded.
It was a nasty chain of bugs and balance issues (bedrolls disappearing, animals not spawning, too many animals spawning, inventory contents despawning) which led me there. Not to say that we couldn't have done things better. We split up, which was fatal. We could have placed bedrolls along the way to have respawn points. But if it wasn't for the bugs, I would not have died.
So who cares, it's a beta, right? I would take it, if I saw the game was heading in the right direction and getting better. But I played for 2 beta weekends now and things just got worse. There was an absurd grind last weekend. But instead of acting against the grind, they fixed the exploits (bandages, sticks, etc.). I liked that they fixed stuff, but they went even further: tree chopping gives less XP and flatbread does not give an XP bonus any more. So in sum, they f*cked up the grind even more instead of doing something against it.
And the vision of the game? I don't see it working out. It is not even fun to go through the same grind twice, so I don't even want to imagine doing it once every 3 days or how long a drop would last after beta. And the progression feels awful. At least they have seemingly nerfed stone, which was the only good building material before. Which was ridiculous. 4 tech tiers and you get the best material in tier 2. But still, interior wood is expensive and useless. We didn't test aluminium again, but presumably it's useless too. Glass is ugly as hell, don't know about the stats. And you must be out of your mind to craft anything better than bone arrows. My mate grinded for 20 minutes to get 14 carbon arrows. Every missed shot would make your soul scream. For what? 40% more damage, or something along the lines? I can put 3 bone arrows into a target in the same time, because I can just spam them instead of wasting precious time at perfect aiming. Crossbow ammo was also overpriced BS in BW2, I did not try it again. And repair cost make everything worse. Maybe not even the recurve bow is a good idea in the arctic, because an improvised bow is a lot easier to repair and also 1-shots wolves. In sum, with every tech tier, we just get an exponential increase in grind and resource costs and a marginal linear increase in efficacy. I don't see this being fun and the changes of the last 2 weeks did not reinforce my belief that it could eventually work out.
PS: Which changes of the last 2 weeks? Well, I mean the things I vaguely remember to be different in BW2. Not that I saw a changelog. No, please don't link me the "patch notes", I have seen those, but they are a prime example of the sparse documentation of this game.External link →