The Forest v0.13

It came out sometime late last week, but another round of patch notes have gone live for The Forest, which is in its 8th or so month of early access. The developers have been hard at work adding in new features, squashing bugs and adding Steam integration, and the game is quite a bit different from the time it released last year. As has been habit to this point, I’m still covering the patch notes as they release, with some commentary. First, the notes:

Version 0.13 Changelog:
Armsy combat improvements – can now turn around quickly, attack to left and right and attack from further away. Will swipe at trees more often. Will react to explosions by staggering backwards.
Armsy will knock down walls and other structures near player, and will now interact better with dynamic logs/props pushing them away
Lowered throw force on bomb timed and added friction to rigidbody to reduce hockey puck feel
Added distance based camera shake when bombs explode!
Improved look of wood plank barriers – better textures, better break apart chunks
Wooden planks now have a health value and will take longer to be broken down by a stick versus an axe
(multiplayer)Added two new player character model variations
(optimization) Improved Experimental Foundations & Walls memory footprint
(building) Removed Manual Foundations 4 edges limit, improved visual feedback
(building) Added closure snapping to manual foundations
Improved log sled pushing – less jitter and glitches when pushing sled close to other objects
Changed gazebo floor collider so items can be built on top of it.
Player can no longer jump while pushing the sled
Lowered damage from un-upgraded rock weapon
Added extra checks to stop player falling through world when climbing ropes
Lowered damage amount molotovs do to Armsy. Setting Armsy on fire will cause him to become enraged, running around or attacking the player
New dying sound distortion added when player is in grey-zone state
(audio)rope climbing sound effects added
(audio)Falling Leaves sound effects added and tuned
(audio)Fixed bug where bush rustle sound effect would sometimes not play if player was running full speed and at an angle
Fixed a rare bug that caused the game to get stuck halfway in the loading process
Fixed trees initializing after black screen removal when loading a saved game
Slightly larger hit colliders on birds and stick weapon, makes it easier to kill grounded birds with a stick
Enemy bodies no longer explode when you hit the body after killing them! You can now chop off individual limbs!
Tree houses now require rope to build
Cave 2 crayon map drawing with shiny sticker stars on it added as a collectible item. (hint: try and find locations of stars)
(audio) Music sting added when player is woken up by enemies
(audio) New music sting added when an important item or location is discovered
(audio)First pass at Skinny enemy audio added
Fixed log wall breaking apart rotated incorrectly
Cave 1- major design re-work. More interesting areas, easier to navigate, more secret areas and items, improved collision.
Player is no longer able to pick up logs while jumping, swimming, sailing raft or pushing sled
Equipped logs are now dropped when beginning to swim, sail a raft or push a sled
Standard enemies can now attack built player walls
(hopefully) Fixed bug where enemies would sometime appear in t-pose in multiplayer games
Improved cave 2 entrance visuals
Random hint texts added to dead screen!
Removed starfish from caves and other strange places. Will now only appear on beach.
(multiplayer) New voice chat system! Using microphones/walkie talkies will no longer cause memory allocation and framerate stutters as memory is attempted to be cleaned out.
(multiplayer)Performance improvements!
(multiplayer)Fixed delay where log would remain visible for a short period of time even after being picked up by clients
(multiplayer)Fixed delay between tree falling and breaking into logs for clients
(multiplayer)Craft audio now plays for each player, you should no longer hear other players craft sfx play from far away
(multiplayer) fix a bunch more 2d sounds that could be heard by both players at wrong time
(multiplayer)Major lag improvements for enemies! Enemies will now visually update more often when close to a player
(multiplayer)Fixed fires not replicating
(multiplayer)All enemy types now show up in multiplayer games (distorted, pale creatures etc)
Fixed missing collision on orange tents
Fixed issues where after climbing rope, it would slightly reposition player making it very easy to fall back into hole or off ledge
New buildable item: Weapon Rack! Store up to 4 non projectile equipment items
New buildable item: Snack holder
New buildable item: Explosives/molotov holder
New buildable item: Medicine cabinet
Fixed flare gun not setting enemies on fire
Getting hit while blocking now drains more stamina
Block will fail now when hit if you have very low stamina
Birds are no longer active while inside a cave
Optimized all animal animators to save cpu performance
(single player only)New buildable item: Climbing Rope (needs to be hooked to a single Structure Anchor, a minimum distance with floor is required)
Added Structure Anchors to: Gazebo (2), Log Cabin (2), Platform (2), Extensible Platform (4), StairCase (2) and Wall (2) [retro-active] (you can now attach bridges or rope to these items) (Single player only)
New cheat code added: ‘vegetarianmode’ enemies only come out at night.
New cheat code added: ‘meatmode’ cancels the other cheats
Active cheats now saved locally (Hint: Type meatmode on title screen to cancel active cheats)
(single player only)New buildable item: (experimental)Procedural Floor (snap on top of foundations, or to procedural walls that are on foundation + floors)
Can now rotate tree structures while placing them !
Improved building placement near structures that can be built upon

I jumped into the game the day this patch went live, with the intentions of finally trying out the co-op, as now you don’t need IP addresses or any of that junk, you can just start up a game and leave it open for people to join, or invite friends directly from Steam. Unfortunately, I only know a couple of people with the game and none of them are really playing it so I just started a game leaving it open for random people to join. Apparently no one was playing (or wanting to join a random game) when I was playing. Maybe it was the hour of the day or the day of the week, or perhaps there aren’t as many people playing right now due to the early access, but people are obviously finding bugs in the multiplayer component, so someone out there is playing the game. Either way, I didn’t get to check out co-op so I just played around for a while with some of the new stuff I hadn’t seen, and then logged off. I know this game would be fantastic for people who enjoy a PvE sandboxy building experience, but I guess the horror aspects scare some people away. Who knows. One day I’ll get to try the mode out.

#theforest #patchnotes #earlyaccess

The Forest v0.12

The other Early Access game I’ve been following for a long time had another set of patch notes come out. It’s funny because I had a few discussions (we’ll call them that, yeah) about H1Z1 on Twitter recently, mainly with how it’s Early Access and not finished and how I’m stupid for buying into games like that. The Forest came up at the tail end of one of those discussions, and the other participant in the conversation said something along the lines of “you just don’t like to buy finished games do you?” I have to say it now, buying The Forest in Early Access was one of the best decisions I have made. I don’t usually buy into it. Sure you get into a game before people who wait for the finished product, but, like an MMO, it is constantly evolving and changing and I love seeing what comes next. Of course you’d have all of the changes all at once if you waited for the finished product, but you do get something that those who wait do not: the ability to send feedback and help to shape the game.

I’ll be getting that same benefit from playing H1Z1 in Early Access, and if you have been following it on Twitter and Reddit, you’ll see that the devs are actually listening to player feedback and looking at improving things that the players want changed. The same deal happens with The Forest. Early Access isn’t a bad thing, that is unless the devs are shady. I have been choosy in the EA games that I want to support, and thus far haven’t been burned. It’s been a great experience and one that I will continue to enjoy. With all that said, on to the new version of The Forest:

Hey Everyone,

This patch introduces proper Steam multiplayer support. You no longer need to open ports or give people your ip address. Simply click and invite friends or make a public server. Hint: make games private if you don’t want anyone who you haven’t invited to join.

We’ve also improved crafting, added paint, a craftable berry pouch, fixed a bunch of bugs and lots more, all listed below.

Old save games should continue to work, however if you notice anything weird start from a new game to ensure everything is up to date.

As always, please continue to post your bug reports and feedback in the Discussions area of the Community Hub or send them in to support@endnightgame.com
Version 0.12 Changelog:
Steam multiplayer! No more manual ip entering or having to open ports! You can now invite friends to play and they can easily join your game through steam!
MP Client loading added – will now keep client player stats and inventory when client continues a multiplayer game (buildings are still saved on server)
Improved craft item multiview placement on crafting mat
New item added: Rabbit skin
New item added: Rabbit Pouch (can be crafted with 2 rabbit skins)
New items added: Collectable blueberries, snowberries and twinberries (approach bushes whilst holding rabbit pouch to collect)
New item added: Blue Paint (can be crafted by combining 2x blueberries with tree sap)
New item added: Orange Paint (can be crafted by combining 2x Marigold with tree sap)
New upgrade recipes: Stick/Upgraded Stick + Blue/Orange paint
New upgrade recipes: Rock/Upgraded Rock + Blue/Orange paint
New upgrade recipes: Plane Axe + Blue/Orange paint
New upgrade recipe: LizardSkin + tree sap + 15 Leaves = Stealth armour!
(audio)New leaf wind rustle and ambient wind sounds zones added
(performance) Optimized collision on cave wall chunks
(performance) Added some optimizations to distant enemies, disabling physics checks etc
(performance) Improved material memory usage in inventory
(performance)Improved memory usage over time
Added some small streams to world
Entering water in caves will now make player cold. (Hint: Build a fire to warm up)
Entering water at night will also make players cold
(audio)New cave 2 waterfall sounds added
Fixed cassette player overlapping pedometer in inventory making it unselectable
Fixed tree houses not falling when tree is cut down after loading
Fixed bug where you could build structures in trees which already have something built
Fixed crash clearing not removing trees on loading a save game (fixing issue where trees would sometimes block exit from plane or from home you’ve built near crash site)
Fixed bug that caused inventory to stay up when dying while in inventory
Fixed bug that allowed players to craft items for free after closing inventory while having a valid recipe ready on the crafting mat
Fixed missing material cave dead ground
Fixed energy mix inventory info
Fixed generic meat floating above fire
Fixed some a.i. issues where enemies would find players almost instantly
Fixed bug where building would sometimes break near standing fires
Rock and stick pickups added to caves, along with some new body parts
Crafting progress bar! You can now see if the items you are adding to the crafting mat are building towards something.
Crafting recipe output images! You can now see what item you are building towards on crafting mat
Fixed overbright moon
Enemies will now attempt to jump over small player built items (benches etc) instead of getting stuck
Cave 2 – added sky opening to big lake room letting some light in
Tree attack animations added to armsy
Mid and close trees can now be torn up by armsy
(multiplayer)After being downed in a multiplayer game, player will enter an injured state. In this state they can choose to restart, or wait to be revived by another player. A kind player with medicine can approach downed player and heal them, or a mean player can hit them with a stick.
(multiplayer) Days survived screen will appear for a few seconds after players are killed and before they can respawn.
Balanced enemy amounts at night to limit players being swarmed by 15 enemies at a time
(multiplayer) First bash at performance improvements.
Increased range animals will spawn from player to avoid pop-in
Fixed some bugs with enemy pathfinding
Added a repeat delay for enemies spotting player and screaming
Increased vision range on enemies slightly
Fixed bug where placing a building near a fallen log could break the placement orientation
(multiplayer) Fixed bug where fire would appear overbright for other players who didn’t start fire
(multiplayer) Increased chat log visibility length and history
WalkyTalky locking feature removed (can now equip another utility item without stashing it first)
(audio) Fixed missing underwater sounds
(audio) Fixed bunch of 2d sounds which could be heard in multiplayer by both players (hammer audio, enter water etc)
(Multiplayer) Can no longer have more than one set of corpse items waiting to be retrieved. Dying will cause your current items and location to be the corpse items.
(audio) cave rock sound will now correctly play when walking in caves
Added more stick, rock and cash pickups to caves
Fixed bug where opening inventory would sometimes give you a black screen!!!
(audio)Player jump breath and land sound effects added
Fixed bug where killing leader of a group could sometimes cause the other members to stand around corpse doing nothing
Toy robot added to sleeping Timmy hand
Broken toy pickups added to world, along with new examine item animation
Paper money can now be used in place of leaves to start fires
Paper money can now be found in some suitcases
You can now build structures inside caves (although fires are most practical)

Obviously the big news here is the Steam multiplayer integration, which I had a feeling (and I believe I mentioned needing to happen) would come soon enough. Now you don’t have to know someone with a copy of the game, you can get matched up with people via Steam. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I love all of the systems this game has to offer thus far, and I know that eventually I’ll get some co-op going. It’s not massive like H1Z1, but it’s still different enough to keep me interested in both. This game keeps getting better and better.

#theforest #patchnotes

The Forest 0.10 and 0.11

So I haven’t really been paying attention as I haven’t touched The Forest in a while. Part of this is because as the game is in early access, I’ve been waiting for it to be more fleshed out before I really dove in, and I was really looking forward to the multiplayer patch that came in a while back. Unfortunately I don’t know many people with the game, so I haven’t really been able to try out the multiplayer yet, so now I’m just kind of waiting for it to get closer to, or actually release to really dig deep. I figure at some point there will be matchmaking or perhaps lobbies so that you can join up with other people to play. Plus there is supposed to be a story of sorts added as well, so I might as well wait for that. I still want to keep up the habit of chronicling the changes though, and perhaps I’ll get another round in sometime soon. For now, I have patch notes to share, the last one that I missed, and the one that just recently came out. Plenty of changes here.

Alpha Version 0.10

  • Platforms! Place the log cabin on a slope and procedural platform will be constructed underneath to give it support. No more cabins on side of hills.
  • New buildable item: Tree platforms!
  • Building height system added Look up to place structures higher (using procedural foundation system) or downwards to place on ground (as in old system)
  • Climbing system! Player can now climb rope
  • Removed steps from tree houses! Replaced with climbable hanging ropes.
  • Added clamp to tonemapper to stop it sometimes turning screen completely black if seeing a very bright pixel. Fixed related issue where bloom would sometimes cause screen to turn black if it found overbright pixels.
  • Fixed issue with plastic torch spamming errors, causing a performance drain when using torch light source
  • Tweaks to world lighting and fog/ambient colors. Lighter and plastic torch now cast shadows.
  • Tweaked enemy density in caves
  • Added option to turn off all hud elements in options menu (not recommended!)
  • Increased size of rabbit on fire to match world scale
  • Small performance optimization on cpu by removing OnGui calls
  • Meds will now be auto consumed if health below 20 when picked up
  • (single player only bug)Fix for pine tree top heavy not being cuttable
  • Fixed missing marigold and chicory plants
  • Improved ambient audio zones and fixed outside sounds continuing to play when inside a cave
  • Improved cave audio ambience
  • Lizards can now be caught in cages along with rabbits (and raccoons)
  • Fire Arrows! Press L with bow equipped and at least 1 piece of cloth in inventory
  • New falling leaf particles (3x) added and improved look of leaf burst (less bright/unlit)
  • New fluff particles added and using a new dust shader (bright in light, dark in shadow particle shader)
  • Improved look of torch light – now two tone
  • Fixed overbright lights on mutant creepy’s fires and all bombs/held bombs and better balance on bomb explosion particles
  • Balance pass on all mutant textures, improved look of skin and put all into same texture value space
  • New improved blood particles!
  • Fixed issues with sticky bombs
  • Fixed enemy skin and player arms sometimes losing ability to receive shadow and appearing overbright
  • Fixed molotovs not exploding on impacting enemies
  • Improved transition from cannibal village hole to caves using new generic rock chunks
  • Log holder is now pushable using push and hold animations
  • Fixed audio issue where some sounds would fade out instantly/abruptly
  • New suitcase art (6 textures variations, 2 model variations) added!
  • Fixed missing mesh renderer at front of plane crash(animated forward hull)
  • Animated passengers added to plane crash! – Don’t skip crash!
  • Fixed dead lizard normals flipped causing ragdoll to look different than regular model
  • Improved look of small shelter (better rocks, better log renders etc)
  • Lighter will always light after a limited amount of attempts (was previously possible to attempt to light 20 plus times if unlucky)
  • Fixed lighter animation playing continuously when stashing lighter quickly after getting it out
  • Improved held item switching sequence (better use of existing animations)
  • Pale enemies no longer attack each other or the distorted creatures
  • Removed cave beach entrances -replaced with rope climb out areas in lower caves fixing issues with entering caves near ocean
  • New molotov weapon art
  • Fixed lighter flame being too small visually
  • Fixed flare gun making shooting sound when fired without flares (will now make an empty click sound)
  • Improved tree falling sound settings
  • Swimming sound effects added!
  • Tuned/balanced pick up sound effects, eating sound effects etc
  • Enemies will now always prioritize visible players over other enemies in combat
  • Improved instances of small items pushing player and added max velocity to attempt to stop player flying up into sky
  • (multiplayer) fixed bug where some shadows would break/change after respawning
  • Improved some environment art, started implementing better cliffs in some areas and higher detail rocks. Added new lake zone.
  • New art for (some) cave stalagmites and stalactites
    (hopeful fix) for players sometimes swimming even when not in water area
  • Player will now stash weapon when swimming!
  • New creature added! – Check the caves.
  • Delay added to combat music so it won’t continuously trigger when entering in/out of combat
  • (multiplayer)Walkie talkies added! Press Q to communicate in multiplayer games.
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where items needed would sometimes stay on screen depending on if client/server destroyed a blueprint
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where returning to start menu would break game and turned back option in menu
  • (multiplayer) Fixed Enemies not showing blood particle fx on clients when they are hit.
  • (multiplayer) default player cap increased to 8 along with option to go up to 128 players (for adventurous players only! not recommended)
  • (multiplayer)Fixed Suitcases not being replicated over the network and existing only locally for each player
  • (multiplayer) Fixed Mutant ragdolls not replicated properly on client
  • (multiplayer) Fixed Wall built in MP vanishing instead of turning into logs when destroyed
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where remote players would not alert enemies via sound detection
  • (multiplayer) Lizard skin player armor now visible by both client/host
  • (multiplayer)Fix for overlapping chat text
  • (multiplayer)Fixed some Log duplication bugs
  • (multiplayer)Fixed Logs invisible for client in certain spots on the map
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where only newly built effigies would only be seen by host
  • (multiplayer) Fixed client/host sometimes having differently positioned yacht location
  • New art added for some of the cave entrances
  • Re-worked save game system so future updates will (likely) not erase save games to work!
  • Fixed issue with weapon upgrades have no or very little effect
  • Improved animal spawning in world- less chance of dead zones where no animals ever show up.

It looks like besides some general quality of life fixes, this patch added in the ability to build in the trees and climb rope, both things that add some extra dynamics to what you can build and tricks/traps you can pull on the cannibals. This patch looks to have added some cool stuff for sure. I’ll definitely have to get in game and check some of this stuff out. On to the most recent patch:

Alpha Version 0.11

  • New buildable item: Experimental walls! (single player)
  • New buildable item: Custom foundations!(single player)
  • Multiplayer save/load added Note: Currently limited to server being able to load the savegame, clients will start game fresh each time but still be able to enter a previously saved hosts game. Server/host will be able to save state of game world/structures.
  • Steamworks saving to cloud added – Regular save/load still works however it will now try and load from cloud first and pick most recent file (We’ve just hit the checkbox to enable this, it should be available soon)
  • Improved bridge snapping to be more responsive and less chance of it snapping to wrong position and improved visual feedback
  • Fixed wooden path blueprint not saving
  • You can now use the walkman as a distraction device. Stick it to a tree, confuse your enemies! Attach to a trap and lure them to it.
  • Re-worked title screen and cleaned up button animations
  • New options menu, with more organized layout
  • Added grass density slider to options menu – newer graphics cards can turn this up for better looking grass.
  • Player can now attack whilst crouched improving stealth kills
  • New animal added: Squirrells
  • Fixed bug where some animals wouldn’t show up
  • Improved look of ponds
  • Deer now have more health and will attempt to flee if you hit them
  • Killing deer will now attract skinny mutants who may attempt to feed on the carcass
  • Skin from deer can now be collected and worn
  • Deer skin will keep players warm if worn, can mix/match lizard skin and deer skin
  • New item added: Generic meat (can be sourced from deer or raccoons)
  • New item added : Wrist watch (can be found in luggage, or on some dead passengers) – use as crafting ingredient (such as on timed explosive)
  • Changed recipe for timed explosive to include watch
  • Audio – new cave sound effects added
  • Audio – Improved cave ambient audio fade out zones
  • Audio – Fixed audio slider in options menu not working correctly
  • Audio – Reverb added to cave sound effects
  • Audio – All sound effects now fade out on player death
  • Audio – Tuned levels of weapons, footsteps
  • Audio – Made frog sounds quieter,less frequent and less annoying
  • Audio – Lowered chance to cave combat music playing
  • Audio-Fixed suitcase open sound using flesh hit sound effect
  • Skinny enemies – increased speed, added in some missing animations. Increased health
  • slightly. Will now travel in groups of up to 3 making them more of a threat.
  • Pale cave enemies faster, more health and increased hit damage
  • Improved geese lake layout, new rocks and details
  • New ground textures! – improved parallax mapping, and better blending – switch to relief or lower if there’s any slow down with this (via options menu)
  • New rock detail textures added to most rocks
  • New pine tree and pine tree moss textures and improved look of (some) dead trees
  • Major re-work of cave2 environment, more interesting rooms, better layout of rocks, new rock types and better flow through areas. Added small water falls
  • Armsy will now sometimes tear down trees
  • Reduced chance that regular cannibals will flee after player kills one of their group
  • Fixed skinny cannibals sometimes having leader props on dead body
  • Fixed some instances of enemies stuck not doing anything
  • Fixed bug where player would have issues climbing rope if cold and shaking
  • (multiplayer) Fixed log duplication bug, where it was possible to spawn multiple logs when picking up up a log
  • Fixed issue where you couldn’t pick up rabbits. You can now take rabbits out of traps or out of cages.

The integration to Steamworks when it comes to cloud saves leads me to believe that future multiplayer matchmaking could come soonish. Otherwise it looks like more fixes and additions that will round out the overall experience. I like that they keep layering on new features and that these devs are consistently updating the game. The money I spent on it long ago has already gone to good use. I am surprised at all of the new ideas that keep popping up, and hope that the finished project is as awesome as it seems it will be. The game is already vastly different than it was when it first came to early access, and that’s great to see. Keep an eye out for a post coming soonish where I check out some of the new features!

#theforest #patchnotes

H1Z1 Coming to Steam Early Access

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It’s no secret that H1Z1 has finally been announced for Early Access Alpha, starting on January 15th of next year. Also, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m whole heartedly behind this game and hope for its success. I’ve been talking about this game since we’ve learned about it earlier this year, be it on this blog, on my podcast, or on Twitter. Not only am I a fan of zombies and that sort of post-apocalyptic storyline, but I’m a fan of SOE and what they’ve done in some cases with previous MMOs. I know, there has been some mismanagement in people’s eyes, particularly with SWG, but as a whole they haven’t let me down with the Everquest games. This is a whole new direction for them, and though we have a market flooded with open world PvP survival games (or just survival/building sims without the PvP elements), many of those games were simply cash grabs. Games like DayZ were a mod for an existing game, and have been in a perpetual state of Alpha for so long it doesn’t seem like they will ever come out. Others like Rust or The Stomping Grounds have similar problems, where they are a buggy mess and made by small companies that might not have the corporate backing or funds to really see their dreams come to fruition. I don’t foresee H1Z1 having these problems for a multitude of reasons.

Sure, going into Early Access Alpha can be a risk for the developer, in that the game isn’t finished and people tend to forget that when they are overly critical of something. It’s risky for the player as they have to give some money out before actually getting the finished product. Personally, I have been rather picky when it comes to the games that I purchase which are in Early Access, because I don’t want to get burned. It has to be something that really appeals to me, and some of the games that I have dived into have given me a great return on investment (The Forest and Nuclear Throne come to mind). I haven’t felt burned by SOE in the past. I didn’t play the games which had the stigma, nor did I feel put off by any changes they made to games that I loved to play. I also know that they have that corporate backing to make this game come to life, to see their dreams fulfilled. Just listening to the guys in streams/videos and how Smedley talks about H1Z1, I can’t see them not giving anything but 100%, and they really do seem to care about the players. The open communication used throughout the development process to this point has been phenomenal, and they already have most of the features that I cared about integrated into the game. There’s more to work on before the January release date, and they already have some of groundwork laid for more that they plan to add. I see this as an optimal time to get involved, where my feedback could help shape the game to come. Plus, it’s Zombies. And PvP. What could possibly go wrong?

Fanboy-ing aside, I honestly feel that this is the MMO I’ve been waiting for, for the longest time. People would probably point out that Landmark had a similar game plan, and they’re still in Beta and who knows when the game will actually release. For one, the Early Access for H1Z1 is only going to cost $20, so I don’t see that as a lot of money, nor do I think that’s too much to charge to let me see the game way before release. I’ve been hyped for this for so long I don’t want to wait any longer. It’s not as if they’re charging $150 for access (Landmark) or even for an expansion to an existing game (Rift). Even if H1Z1 was to stay in Early Access for a year or more, at least I could play it in the interim, and as it changes I’d have new things to check out and write about. I’ve been doing that with The Forest for most of this year, so I don’t see that as being an issue. It’s just like Smed himself has said:

“What you’ll be playing January 15th is a really fun game, but it’s early. It’s everything Early Access should be – a fun and compelling game that isn’t finished. Our goal is to have you help us finish it and have it be a game we can build a large community in over time.”

I’m going into it expecting this, so I don’t see how it won’t meet my expectations. He also addressed the naysayers who were asking whether or not this would compare to DayZ, or somehow surpass it as far as being “feature rich”:

“No it won’t. We’ll get asked that question a lot and I wanted to be up front about it. We’re not as feature rich and they have a lot of really cool stuff we just don’t have yet. That being said, we’re also a different game. We’re an MMO and our goals are to create a large scale world that gives you the incredible feeling of being a survivor in a zombie apocalypse.”

Seems to me that’s about as up front as you can be, and I applaud their decision to go ahead with this, even if people will draw the conclusion that it’s not finished, or not good enough just yet. I relish the idea of being able to get in on the ground floor of a new MMO — something I’ve never done before. I’ve not done this because there hasn’t been one that’s come out in a very long time that I felt this passionate about. So I’m going to be one of those people checking it out as soon as possible. Who wants to join me?

There’s a great FAQ on the official site that answers more questions about Early Access. You can check that out if you have more questions.

#h1z1 #zombies #pvp #soe

The Forest v0.08

Another new patch of The Forest dropped recently, and this time around there’s been more tweaks, plus more new features (as we should be accustomed to by now). First, the notes:

For this patch we’ve focused on improving our stealth gameplay. Enemies will now search for you and you can use the many bushes, rocks and trees to hide behind and evade them. (hint, use Crouch!) We’ve also introduced weapon upgrading, a new animal (deer) and a bunch of other tweaks and improvements. As always, please continue to post your bug reports and feedback in the Discussions area of the Community Hub or send them in to support@endnightgame.com

Version 0.08 Changelog:
  • First pass at infinite weapon upgrading! use collected items to upgrade your weapons. Use teeth, feathers and glass shards to improve weapon speed and damage.
  • First pass at Cloth/fire upgrading system added – add cloth to your weapons and set them alight
  • Stealth gameplay! Lowered vision range on enemies and gave them a smaller cone of vision.
  • Bushes will now hide player from enemy vision when crouched!
  • Player now less visible to enemies at night – unless lighter is out, making him more visible.
  • Covered in Mud will now correctly conceal player making him harder to spot by enemies.
  • Lowered range that enemies can hear player when walking/running
  • Stealth kills added! If player attacks an enemy from behind with rock or axe type weapon and enemy is unaware of player it will be an instant kill
  • Enemies will bash away bushes looking for player when hidden from them
  • New cave explorer model added to cave (hanging)
  • New cave explorer model added (crushed)
  • Better death theme (less grating)
  • High detailed plane doors added
  • Better looking log held model
  • Improved building memory usage
  • Improved HUD memory usage
  • Heads can now be cooked on fires to create skulls
  • New pick up item added: Skull
  • New craftable item : Club (skull plus stick)
  • You can now pick up and use enemy clubs
  • Picking up items in quick succession will now display a number for how many were collected
  • All collected items now have message appear
  • Improved previous weapon switching system to be more reliable
  • New buildable item: Chalet Style Treehouse
  • New buildable item: Meat drying rack
  • New buildable item: Bonfire
  • New buildable item: WalkWay
  • New buildable item: Small animal trap!!
  • New buildable item: Gazebo
  • New buildable item: Defensive spike barrier
  • New art for body stumps (decapitated head, leg, arms)
  • Cannibals eating dead bodies now takes longer
  • Chicory and coneflower plants are now collectable
  • New Craftable item: Energy mix (chicory plus coneflower)
  • Eating Coneflower will restore a small amount of health
  • Eating Chicory will restore a small amount of energy
  • Raccoon group behaviours added
  • New raccoon animations added, walk, trot, improved idling, overall raccoon animation speed increased
  • New craftable item: Headbomb (head plus bomb)
  • Fixed door on medium cabin
  • New animal added: Deer! Deer will turn towards approaching player, eat grass, run away from player and more
  • New crafted axe model
  • Crafted axe now requires rope to build (Rock,Stick, Rope)
  • Improved motion blur quality,stability and memory usage
  • Fur! Raccoons and rabbits now have fur shading
  • Improved look of lizard armour
  • Improved bird reactions to player, should fly away when you approach
  • Increased fog ranges
  • Reduced clipping of player arm in body when looking down at self
  • Removed deeper cave dead positions. Waking up in cave will now always be reasonably close to surface
  • New detailed rope model added, along with new curled rope pick up prefab
  • Tweaked pacing of daytime enemies
  • Less blue enemies in upper parts of caves
  • New lizard skin inventory model (replacing scaled lizard mesh)
  • New inventory item : Tree sap! can be collected from trees, can be used in weapon upgrading/crafting
  • New tooth model and texture
  • Improved pickup system. Will now pick up closest item you are looking at
  • Increased chance of meds and torches in suitcases, lowered chance of tennis balls.
  • Improved look of alpha selected items in inventory(feather, herbs)
  • Torch now displays amount of charge left in inventory tooltip
  • Inventory herb models replaced with more realistic versions
  • Fixed issue where weapons would swing a second time if you clicked again during early part of swing
  • Randomized size of animals
  • Cave lakes, collision,lighting and layout improvements
  • Added more randomness to plane crash possible locations
  • Flashlight no longer auto equips on pick up, needs to be manually selected from inventory
  • You can no longer pick up rabbits, you need to catch them in trap first

I spent some time with this build and also tried to check out some of the things added in previous builds that I hadn’t seen. Here’s some shots of what I found:

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New Rabbit Trap
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Log cabin, new log-holding model, and lizard armor (yellow bar added to UI as well)
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Hard to see, but I’m hiding in bushes, and cannibals lost track of me (stealth mechanic)
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Noose Trap
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Spike Trap
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Burning Effigy (does seem to intimidate them)

It seems like the difficulty has gone down a bit. I literally hung out by the plane for the whole first day and it wasn’t until after night fall that I saw the first group of cannibals and tested out the stealth mechanic. I was also approached by singular cannibals as opposed to the groups I was used to. Having the lizard armor + block mechanic makes combat very survivable. The sheer number of lizards and rabbits hanging around the plane make survival quite easy too. The more I killed the cannibals and started building up my camp the more I started to see, so perhaps they have found a good balance of ramping up the difficulty rather than throwing everything at you at once. This was the first time I started a game and didn’t die really quickly though, so it’s a marked difference. I think building up a nice sized camp and getting a steady food supply can mean that you will be able to venture out and have a place to come back to recover. I have yet to see the super cannibal monster things, so maybe I’ll finally be able to get far enough along for that. Still want co-op though. Just saying.

#theforest #alpha #earlyaccess #patchnotes