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Posted (edited)

Ok, I’ll make this a straightforward feedback and opinion post...

Played now for 40+ hours between the demo and this pre-release. I’m a veteran of larger survival games, so my views are based on that experience.

This game has so much potential, but it seems even in it’s early state, there are core design decisions that lend itself to a entry level (easy) survival game and that’s all.

- There isn’t much here. The story literally takes you 15 minutes to complete if you follow the queues. Then you do dailies to waste your time on building components that shouldn’t require this much effort to get. You don’t get grass floors by default? Cmon...  Even as early access, I would have expected at least a full quest line that takes you through the Initial story, at least 10 hours of content for the $30 price tag. You don’t need community feedback from early access to tell the story YOU want to tell.

- Where is the threat? Playing on Whoa difficulty, the only pressing thing is the annoying eat/drink cycle. You can outrun or dodge most insects, and spiders path the same routes if you watch them from high up, easily avoided if farming resources. Tunnels and caves? What do I need there to enhance my base or self after one visit? And even if I make my own dangers...I can just Load a prior Save and be fine again....what? (Covered more below)

- Bases have zero risk if you place them anywhere above the ground. It doesn’t even need to be high up, a root of the oak tree or on the soda cans is good enough to avoid all danger. What’s the point of the game past the story if your bases have no threat? Why build re-enforced walls?  The game has no longevity if it’s not about protecting your base and your possessions.

- Retrieving your dead body backpack is far too easy. If you even die In the hardest difficulty, I would expect your backpack to be guarded or even looted by territorial insects. Why did they care to confront or kill you in the first place if they didn’t find you a threat to their territory? And wouldn’t they be interested in your stuff? Food, drink, components for their own nests/homes...all in your backpack.


- A survival game with a manual save system? Again...where is the danger or consequences of your survival decisions if you can just load up a past save? The Save option in the menu should be removed and Auto- Save should trigger internally off system events, including death. That way you can’t go back to avoid a bad result or decision. Save and Load = no threat or consequences for your actions. 

- The enemies. How is it that with all the great AI you have for these insects, all I have to do to avoid their attack is jump on a rock and watch them leave or spear them to death at the right angles? And how is it that I can kill a Spider by spearing them through my partially completed grass wall and yet the spider doesn’t damage the wall at all? Simply build a small hut, 2x2 and leave some of the walls partially done. Then spear through the translucent blue parts...dead spider. Again, I thought these insects were supposed to pose a threat to your base? If there is no threat in a survival game, there is no longevity and it turns into a creative base building lego game.

- Dev, please play with a controller and tell me what the purpose of the hotbar is at the bottom of the screen? You can’t quick swap or interact with any of the slots on the fly. The action bar should be removed imo. Also, control flow in the menus and crafting is just off. I spent a lot of time remapping most my controller buttons through the options to try and get to something close to other survival crafting game interfaces that do it correctly. Managing inventory by moving single items(No stack move or pull), no split stacks, armor that stays in your backpack even when its equipped, tools mixed in with weapons in crafting, crafting station that has no storage of it’s own or that can pull from a chest connected to it, etc etc.

- Great looking game, nice visuals...until you look into the distance...well, i guess it’s distant. Why is the house and any structure over 20yds away fuzzy and blurry on console? Are we saying we can’t render these assets on Xbox One X? Find that hard to believe given there are plenty of larger survival games on the Unreal Engine render far more.

- The HUD needs options to turn off elements. Too much clutter with constant ‘hand popups’ on every environment item.  But I already posted A full detail on that In a separate thread.

   Harsh post somewhat, sure. But all too often game preview or ‘early access’ often becomes an excuse to deliver subpar, inferior games and still charge a significant price for a game that isn’t worth in it’s current state. Early access seems to somehow give a ‘pass’ for developers to deliver no story, broken systems, and bad design....all with the excuse of ‘it’s still early access’.
   I wouldn’t say Grounded falls in most these categories, but first impressions mean alot. We play early access games, and most the time we play the game through the early access development cycle, become bored or frustrated and never come back to the actual release of the game because of the bad taste the game left us during early access. Just hope a MS 1st party, AAA dev like Obsidian doesn’t end up with the same result.

Edited by Uberkull
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I have never read something more accurate and telling. This person thoroughly understands the genre you've entered into as a developer and has hit every nail on the head. I sincerely hope this post is taken seriously because it has advice in it that could make this game infinitely more successful. 

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nice post, I read title wanted to add, need HELL MODE. something with weather conditions, harsh penalties and up the bug AI a little so they go around water or jump onto rocks your standing on.

as posted the potential for this game is huge and I assume there is a lot to come. Hoping for bees, wasps, water creatures, slugs and snails.

Thanks original poster there is a lot of very good feedback there.

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A couple of things I would like to add to the above post;

Regarding armor, +1 for the fact it definitely should be removed from your inventory when you equip it. Also, can you please develop shields crafted from insect parts too? The shields can be held in your other hand similar to the torch for more efficient blocking.

Regarding weather, I think Rain should definitely be introduced, with it's own terrifying results of flooding areas for a short period of time, potentially bringing in new underwater threats to areas that didn't have them before. 

Lastly, the below comment;

"- The enemies. How is it that with all the great AI you have for these insects, all I have to do to avoid their attack is jump on a rock and watch them leave or spear them to death at the right angles? And how is it that I can kill a Spider by spearing them through my partially completed grass wall and yet the spider doesn’t damage the wall at all? Simply build a small hut, 2x2 and leave some of the walls partially done. Then spear through the translucent blue parts...dead spider. Again, I thought these insects were supposed to pose a threat to your base? If there is no threat in a survival game, there is no longevity and it turns into a creative base building lego game." - This didn't happen to me when I played on the Xbox, a Wolf Spider terrorized me for around 20 minutes and broke through everything I built to rip my face off. Maybe there's a knack to it that you found that I couldn't, in my panicked state :)

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Great post and excellent posts.

I 2nd, 3rd or 4th it. :)

 

The blurry distance is on pc aswell.

Although nice for a min or 2 it gets old fast.  Not to mention tiring to my eyes.

Please give us an option to switch that off.

 

That said I like the game alot and I can see it's potential.

Devs, please listen to your community as we have a passion for this game and would like to see it succeed aswell.

Keep up the great job.

 

Kind regards,

Q

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I don't think manual saves should be removed, you can just avoid saving, this way the game is more accessible for everyone. Regarding the threats in the game i think you had a rather peculiar experience, i'm also playing on Woah difficulty and more often than not the only chance you have is to run. Thank god we can do that. It's also a matter of "realism", since we are self-conscious and more self-aware than animals it makes sense for us to be able to outsmart them. It's in early access so is still a work in progress.

 

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I think a lot of good points are made—weather like early morning fog, rain and it’s consequences should be added. If a character dies at the very least ants would totally dig around and take some things if it took too long to recover the backpack. While I personally like the fuzzy house and surroundings in the distance(my character’s eye strength is proportionate to their size) I understand how that could mess with other people’s eyes and there should be a feature to unblur them. Armor shouldn’t remain in backpack when equipped.
But I don’t think we should assume this is supposed to be a hardcore or even a heavy survival game like Ark or Subnautica. It feels like an interesting survival game through the filter of a story rpg-lite game. A game that falls between Genres in a niche that hasn’t really been explored yet by developers. I could be wrong but that’s the vibe given off to me and my friends. 
Also the OP must be a lot better than me cus I still haven’t managed to kill enemies from high ground with a spear, gnats being the lone exception 😂 

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I just wanted to take a moment to definitely agree with the controls/hotbar mentioned. The hotbar is pretty useless currently. How is there no way to scroll through the pouch items? You can assign a button to each slot individually but no way to hop back and forth besides hitting an inventory button? On XBox, even with an Elite controller, we only have so many buttons. Would definitely like to see this option added. If you can't do that or don't want to, then at least change the current system to a single button press for inventory selection. By years and years of gaming, I hold in the inventory button, select what I want and release the button. That doesn't work here. I have to press the button again.... What? Why? Anyways, just my two cents on my only complaint thus far. Game has massive potential!! Thanks Obsidian!!

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I agree with points 1,3,4,7,8 and 9.

Speaking of the hot bar, I think it would be great to have one slot that you could instantly go to by pressing the hotbar button (instead of holding it to change.) That way you can put a weapon into that slot and be able to quickly change to it. Right now, when an enemy approaches, i sometimes fumble around with the controls in order to find the weapon i want. 

 

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1 hour ago, Preston Meyer said:

I agree with points 1,3,4,7,8 and 9.

Speaking of the hot bar, I think it would be great to have one slot that you could instantly go to by pressing the hotbar button (instead of holding it to change.) That way you can put a weapon into that slot and be able to quickly change to it. Right now, when an enemy approaches, i sometimes fumble around with the controls in order to find the weapon i want. 

 

I have a solution for you that I figured out remapping most of my binds in Options on console. There is a Unmapped bind there that is ‘swap to previous tool’ or something to that effect. I mapped It to Y since Y was mapped to a rather pointless ‘show hide icons’.

Now if you equip say a axe first then using the wheel, then select your spear and equip it. Now hit Y and you toggle between axe and spear. Replace any two ‘tools’ you want and you have your swap between the two. Just fyi, it doesn’t remember the swap tools after a load or certain other events, so you may have to reselect the two tools you want for swap to work

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  1. I agree with 
  2. I do not think the save system is the issue here, I believe they wanted to make survival games more accessible. I think this is just fine
  3. Seems to be self inflicted. I think its good you can build a base high up away from danger. If you truly wanted the risk why not just build on the ground where a swarm of weevils can destroy your structure in a few hits. (bases are destroyed to easily when swarms attack)
  4. I agree with, but only depending on the difficulty you are playing in. Any thing above medium (or whatever that level is) should have these features.
  5. I agree with, but only depending on the difficulty you are playing in. Any thing above medium (or whatever that level is) should have these features.
  6. I find it interesting how in everyone's comments around this there are inconsistencies. I have had spiders follow me up a log or jump at me on a rock. 
  7. I agree with 
  8. Please for the love of all that is good and righteous get rid of the distance blur. 

All in all good post I think the OP is spot on with every assessment I would approach some of it differently as you can see not to say i think the OP is right or wrong just my take. 

I think all of these should be addressed in first patch out as well as many bug/glitches/crashes.

  • Losing items upon use that shouldn't disappear
  • Attempting to retrieve your back pack that shows up at a location you didn't die at or not show up at all or contain items you didn't have.
  • base destruction happens way to quickly during a swarm no matter the materials.
  • Graphics that pop in 
  • not being able to open a door when you have a blueprint in your hand.
  • not being able to invite folks for multiplayer

Game has tons of potential cant wait to see whats in store. Price tag is too steep currently, peel back the price until core mechs are ironed out. The game needs to quickly figure out if it wants to be a serious survival game or an entry to folks that normally wouldn't play that genre. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Zero_Daye said:
  1. Seems to be self inflicted. I think its good you can build a base high up away from danger. If you truly wanted the risk why not just build on the ground where a swarm of weevils can destroy your structure in a few hits. (bases are destroyed to easily when swarms attack.. 

Any smart survival game player builds off the ground or in caves. Using the environment to your advantage against pve AI or in pvp is always the best way to insure against item loss, progression loss, and least waste of time invested. It’s up to the game designer to counter smart builds.  As stated, my build is hardly high up. Im on a soda can thats on the ground. Please...😁
 

I assume bees, wasps (anti-elevated builds) and goldfish, frogs (anti-water builds)will be a thing in Grounded’s backyard. That then will challenge the players smart survival builds.

Edited by Uberkull

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16 hours ago, Qistnix said:

The blurry distance is on pc aswell.

Although nice for a min or 2 it gets old fast.  Not to mention tiring to my eyes.

Please give us an option to switch that off.

I was thinking this one over tonight while playing and thought of a game mechanic from another game that might solve this for the player and keep devs happy with dealing with draw distance(blurry).

Let our character craft a spyglass, like a pirates ‘telescope’. Looking through it gives you a small, round magnified view of the distance you are looking at. Much like The one used in Sea of Thieves(another MS 1st party dev), you would pull this ‘tool’ out to get a better look at the objects in the distance.

I still think the blurry has to be toned down a bunch, but for a compromise, a spyglass would be a cool added tool.

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21 hours ago, Uberkull said:

I have a solution for you that I figured out remapping most of my binds in Options on console. There is a Unmapped bind there that is ‘swap to previous tool’ or something to that effect. I mapped It to Y since Y was mapped to a rather pointless ‘show hide icons’.

Now if you equip say a axe first then using the wheel, then select your spear and equip it. Now hit Y and you toggle between axe and spear. Replace any two ‘tools’ you want and you have your swap between the two. Just fyi, it doesn’t remember the swap tools after a load or certain other events, so you may have to reselect the two tools you want for swap to work

That is awesome! I will have to give it a try. Thank you so much!

I thought about the spyglass too. I hope it would be able to identify landmarks or enemies because otherwise you will just see grass.

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm...does Obsidian even read these forums? I mean with Discord and Twitter being the norm now for communication...

Edited by Uberkull
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20 hours ago, Uberkull said:

Hmmm...does Obsidian even read these forums? I mean with Discord and Twitter being the norm now for communication...

Well, I guess devs will be updating the game at the end of the month, August 27th. Had to find this information elsewhere...

https://www.pcgamer.com/over-a-million-players-have-tried-grounded-and-the-first-update-is-coming/

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I do agree with the problems here, for players that love a more challenging game this early acces mode is of course not there yet. But as an early acces game this is also really understandeble. 

I also experience the same thing OP has met and can see a lot of players frustrating themselves over it. I see these as bugs/prerelease problems in the game and not the end product vision of the developers.

  1. AI
    1. Pathfinding of Bugs. can be abused by players. ( the stone example)
    2. Bugs nog seeing walls correctly and just standing opposite of the wall, "somtimes hitting a wall and damaging it but not that aggrasive and can be abused by players)
  2. Enemy variety
    1. Flying enemies should in final release (bee/wasp). (buildings above ground are without danger.

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I agree with some of the issues, but the saves and building your home on safe high ground I don't agree with. Let the possibility be there, it's optional for you to use.

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On 8/3/2020 at 3:50 PM, palpie1980 said:

I agree with some of the issues, but the saves and building your home on safe high ground I don't agree with. Let the possibility be there, it's optional for you to use.

You want to take away the ability for players to build anywhere they want, including on safe, high ground?

I never made the request to restrict where a player can build, I said the game has no threat to your base if you build in a smart location like higher ground. All insects should be able to target your base regardless of it’s location.

Edited by Uberkull

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On the subject of a survival game that has manual AND auto-saves. This just isn’t a good mechanic for a survival experience. Again, as I outlined in my OP above, you completely bypass any consequences of your decisions with a manual save system. Going in that cave to potentially fight the wolf spider? Oh...let me hit ‘save’ here before I go in, and if I die I can just ‘load’ my last save and I’m good as new.
 

That’s not survival. It’s kinda...well...casual carebear. 😏

The auto-save system in other survival games implements the survival experience correctly. Auto-saves are not triggered on time intervals, but on system events in the game. You deposit something in your stash, auto-save. You add a wall to your base, auto-save. You pickup a pebble, auto-save. Here is the important one...you DIE, AUTO-SAVE.

That is the example of a  proper save mechanic for survival and is whats done in all server based survival games and even No Mans Sky to an extent, which is very similar single player/mp survival game using a auto-save system. The only difference in NMS is that you can create a Save structure, say a beacon, that you can interact with to force a auto-save. Not that simple considering the situation you might be in during the game, you may not have fhe materials to build the save beacon, or you may be in a place you can’t build like a hostile space station or your ship being chased by pirates. You die, you get a auto-save triggered and have to face the consequences of retrieving your stuff. 
 

In Grounded being able to Save just requires you to go to the main menu system. Way to easy and convenient, no consequences for your survival actions.

Edited by Uberkull

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I feel the OP is a tad more hardcore than the target demographic of this game. Its promoted as co-op, starring kids, in a backyard.  That screams casual fun. Just sayin. 
i someone who hates survival games in general and doesnt play them, my friend and i are having an absolute BLAST playing this. 
i hope this remains accessible as it is for us carebears

Edited by Highclass
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On 8/4/2020 at 3:43 PM, Uberkull said:

You want to take away the ability for players to build anywhere they want, including on safe, high ground?

I never made the request to restrict where a player can build, I said the game has no threat to your base if you build in a smart location like higher ground. All insects should be able to target your base regardless of it’s location.

Sorry, I thought you were against bulding on high ground. I'm sure there will be threats from the air in the future. There are already hints of bees in the game and there are commands to summon both bees and mosquitos.

I am more of a casual player and I hope they keep the possibility to have a safe zone.

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This is not a Resident Evil mixed with hardcore Diablo.

Many newer games are eliminating the "one life" feature.  The player base will not continue to play a game where you have to start from 0/scratch upon death. 

Games in which players build bases for protection, the average player builds high up, underground or in the less dangerous starting area.  

Ask for a separate mode. One where you get one life and all bugs can climb to the highest points.  Where they spot you from 100cm away.  Let you try and survive 3 wolf spiders with a pebble axe.  Soon as you disengage,  they regain fill health.  Constantly destroying you camp and taking your stored items.

Lmao. 

Everything you stated is like a mash up of features from 5 different games.  Again, if any game had all the things you complain about, no one would play.

OP ranting on a "game preview".

Wait until the final product is released.

 

 

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The save feature isn't an issue, keep it as just like subnautica. However it would be nice to have one saved game instead of 500 over time.

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7 hours ago, Truth said:

This is not a Resident Evil mixed with hardcore Diablo.

Many newer games are eliminating the "one life" feature.  The player base will not continue to play a game where you have to start from 0/scratch upon death. 

Games in which players build bases for protection, the average player builds high up, underground or in the less dangerous starting area.  

Ask for a separate mode. One where you get one life and all bugs can climb to the highest points.  Where they spot you from 100cm away.  Let you try and survive 3 wolf spiders with a pebble axe.  Soon as you disengage,  they regain fill health.  Constantly destroying you camp and taking your stored items.

Lmao. 

Everything you stated is like a mash up of features from 5 different games.  Again, if any game had all the things you complain about, no one would play.

OP ranting on a "game preview".

Wait until the final product is released.

 

 

You obviously never played a server based survival game...like ever. What I outlined is today’s basic survival games that have been out for some time. Some for a decade. So, what I provided feedback for is not ‘5 different games’, it’s one game genre. Survival games.

Adding a hardcore mode is fine for me, if thats what it would take to make this game more challenging. There will be zero longevity to this game for actual survival game players, it just isn’t challenging survival.

And don’t throw ‘game preview’ excuses around, like I stated in my OP, core game design usually won’t change drastically so what you see is pretty much what you will get plus some added features. And early access shouldn’t be excuse for delivering a 15 minute story and no further content other than a robot giving 3 daily quests...all for $30? Yea...no.

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