Challenge progression in survival games

To me, the sand storms of this game are a perfect example of challenge progression in a survival game.

I still remember that first sand storm when I was a clueless newbie. Watching things get a little darker, thinking it was becoming night earlier than expected, I was not prepared. I thought it was just cool weather…then the storm hit and I was toast.

As I progressed in the game, my feelings for the storm and challenge they created changed. By the 2nd storm I had shelter, and made it back inside just in time. 3rd and 4th were similar. 5th, I got caught in the open and remember being lucky to find shelter in the landscape,but I kept learning more. Eventually i would not use a helmet so I could see the first hints of the wind stirring. Later clanmates would call out incoming storms if they were west of our main base as we all worked to grow.

Eventually we unlocked sandstorm masks and the challenge shifted to farming the 30 steel to replace those masks lost to bad deaths.

By the time I created my own side base hideaway, the 30 steel was nothing and sand storms went from being dreaded to a nuisance, to something I built my base to watch from the waterfalls as they rolled across the land admiring the beauty, the challenge having been replaced with other aspects of the game (like killing dragons).

To me, this is the perfect progression of a challenge in a survival game. It starts out hard, but eventually becomes nothing as you progress to new challenges.

The same could be said of the gators in this game. Terrifying at level 1, able to solo 3 at once come level 35 or so. Even little things like plant fiber, hard to get at first but after the sickle, no longer a worry. That works.

I say all this because I am worried about the feeding thrall system, changes to fish traps, and other proposed changes. The changes seem to turn challenges that you over come so you can handle easily while facing layer challenges into constant chores.

Take ichor… At first it’s hard to get. You struggle to find a source. Then you get fish traps and bonfires and ichor becomes a 2ndary consideration to other needed materials. But with the suggested changes to fish traps, you gain the chore of collecting insects and what was a path to freeing up time to explore later game content becomes a chore you constantly do to survive.

Feeding thralls, I get the need for the mechanic but the differing tastes… So as I progress, needing stronger thralls, I have to gather more stuff and make more food of a variety just to keep old thralls and feed new stronger ones? It, again, seems more like a constant chore instead of a challenge I over come.

So do others feel this way? Is there a way where maybe we could have a progression that moves some of these chores back into the realm of challenge progressions?

For example… An antfarm I can unlock that renders the insect gathering into a minor activity? Maybe to get it active I habe to kill a hive queen but eventually when I am facing the volcano, I’m not still farmimg plant fibers just for the insects.

Same with thrall feeding… Maybe add named farmer thralls that could be placed in the feeding stations that reduce the burden to some degree?

Thoughts or am i just insane, go back to battletech?


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