Something I see a lot is complaints about bases being torn down because a player logged off for a few weeks. As most of us know, the decay system will remove your base if you don’t return for a certain period of time. However, someone completely new to the game will probably not be aware of this system, especially if they’re new to the survival genre as a whole. As far as I know, there is nothing in the game that directly warns you about building decay. There is no incentive to make a repair hammer either–there’s no journey step for it. Someone might read the description and think to make one to repair their structures, of course, but the repair hammer’s description only hints at buildings taking damage. Someone could easily misunderstand and think they only need to make repairs, not actively be present before a timer expires.
My suggestion is to put something in place to warn new players about decay. Perhaps make an early journey step dedicated to making a repair hammer, and put a description in that step that warns about decay in very literal terms, not just canonical story telling. That way a player will be aware of the system without breaking the game immersion too much. I think this is a reasonable idea based on another item–the Keystone. Its in-game description has a very bold, literal warning about the usage of this item: "WARNING: REMOVING THE BRACELET WILL END THE GAME AND DELETE YOUR CHARACTER " which is necessary because it’s a very crucial move to use it. Perhaps the repair hammer can also have a similar note in its description.
I don’t necessarily think the decay system needs to be improved, I just think it needs more visibility. Thank you for your time.
Well it’s a lot better than nothing, but I find the early journey steps happen semi-randomly and with a high frequency, so putting very important information in there is no guarantee it’ll get picked up.
Finding out about the decay system the hard way is likely to turn a player off from the game entirely though.
I’d suggest putting it on the loading screens, too, but that’s not sufficient in itself either.
Of course this game barely has tutorial information of any kind, but some concepts like combat are relatively forgiving in the beginning, and failing them is usually not a “start from nothing” kinda deal.
Yeah, good points. I kept trying to think of a way to effectively warn the player without being immersion-breaking. A journey step (the closest thing this game has to a tutorial) can easily be ignored too.The loading screen hints are informative, but that’s not where vital information should be presented. Maybe since building decay is so important and unforgiving, there can be a warning screen about it right before the character creation section. And you have to press X to get past it, which will at least guarantee that the info will be presented plainly and clearly to every player.
Yeah I think you have to forget the idea of avoiding immersion breaking - better have it crystal clear IMO.
My idea would be to present it to the player in the form of a short, concise pop-up when you place your first foundation*. Then possibly have a journey step that involves inspecting your building using the repair hammer, which mentions the issue again. And the loading screen tip.
*while pretty horrible from a UX point of view, some things are too important to be tucked away in aesthetically pleasing and/or lore-compliant corners
Yes, I like this tactic. Put the warning EVERYWHERE we can think of. A loading screen tip, a journey step, a warning after the first foundation, an intro screen. As far as I’m concerned, I can deal with dying and getting raided, but my base decaying after a set timer that I wasn’t aware of is unfair.