Here is just some general impressions/feedback after playing with some of the changes in the testlive:
Overall, I’m a fan of the gameplay tweaks and vision. Below I’ll gush more on my impressions of major changes, and because of these I won’t switch back to basic mode. However, I don’t believe this is stable enough. The item highlighting bug that I think is mentioned elsewhere I think would be a deal breaker to many players, it makes the UI pretty confusing. I’ve also had issues taking single items out of chests every now and then, I’m not sure if it’s related or not. I also posted another separate thread about fighter thralls - this would be pretty critical if a player’s playstyle is to rely on their fighter thrall.
Anyway, on to things I like:
Holy potatoes beasts and human NPCs are so much harder! I’ve just played in the Nordheimer area on the testlive so far, but the wolves are now kicking my butt hard. In general, multiple NPCs attacking me I’m finding very difficult to deal with and may need to relearn my approach or try a different weapon. I’m using a steel heater shield, medium vanir armor, and cutlass and more than one mod will tear right into me, knock me over, knock me off kilter so much that I can hardly get ground to get swings in. I’ll keep playing with this, I kind of like the challenge and there are enough camps near my base that it’s not too much trouble to experiment and die a few times until I figure it out.
I love that wood, stone, branches, and other common things can stack to 1000. One thought I had is that for low level players or those just focusing on a small base and basic things you no longer need to be as concerned with encumbrance or bearers if you have any pet. A pet has 9 spaces for things (excluding one to put food in), so you could easily have them carry all the wood, stone, branches, and plant fiber you’ll need from one trip before making a nice base. This has been kind of nice for me, as I can take a greater wolf with me while I’m fairly vulnerable, instead of a bearer. I could also simply keep my normal armor and just offload what I have onto my pet as I get full.
However, stone and wood are key for higher tier pieces. You could collect all you need for hardened brick or shaped wood in a single sitting, and stuff much more into the furnace and carpenter’s bench and leave it to cook while you’re offline. This may be a really nice thing, you can get it done at once and won’t have to keep running back and forth. People may build farther from wood and stone resources to more scenic locales. But, you may also get bigger megaforts, and faster ones. Just something to consider, I think this could be a powerful change that’s great for casual players but could make hard core players even more powerful.
I noticed the EXP change as well. I think my private server just has normal experience, and I’ve noticed around 41 she’s been really crawling. But, after regular play, and I tend to collect and build a lot, I’m about half way to level 42.
I love the NPC drops! They’re very rewarding, as hard as these camps are now. I found a thing of incense off a named archer, and I love decorating so I was pleased to set it up in my house. The supply boxes from bearers are so cool, I got 100 feathers! I do not have map rooms setup yet and don’t use mods, so these will be amazing to have another way to get far off items - not consistently, but if I had a choice to fight some camps or take a long trek to visit the ostrich farm, it’s a lot more fun to ravage the camps.
Anyways, keep on keeping on! I think these tweaks breathe a lot of life into a game than can feel “solved” to a lot of people.