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My full feedback after playing and analyzing the game for more than a week


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OVERALL EXPERIENCE

 

(This part won't be really elaborate, this is just my raw experience with the game, felt like it could also be useful but you can skip to "BUGS" for the "real" feedback)

 

When I first tried the game my first impression was really positive, as soon as I entered the world it felt really immersive and every little detail I saw gave me even more desire to explore Grounded's wrorl. The start fel quite relaxing, which was very appreciated since I was still learning the basics of the game, then the first night came. The first encounter with a spider was terryfing: I started hearing some very scary noises coming from behind me so I turned around and saw this massive wolf spider. I tried to run away but it obviusly got me. Had quite harsh first encounters with the stink bugs and the bombardier beetles too, as well as the orb weavers, in fact these first encounters were so traumatizing that I feared these mobs for a long time. I finally started building a base, but during exploration I found an interesting rock with a flat surface, it was really inviting me to build there, especially since after I found it some ants decided to destroy my walls, that made me decide to move and so I started building my new base. Many in game days have passed by now: I've a base with sustainable food and water sources, the main activity is exploring to get higher tier tools but at some point fighting my fears became inevitable. I needed spider chunks, since the area close to my house was often patrolled by orb weavers I decided to start with them, so I prepared myself with an ant club, a bow and acorn armor. My first idea was to shoot arrows form above some grass ,but the spider was getting away, so I went face to face with it. It was scary, evey hit was dealing me quite a lot of damage, but the problem was solved pretty quickly. I realized how important perfect block is in this game so I started playing very patiently: hit, wait for the spider attack animation, perfect block, repeat. Quickly orb weavers weren't to be feared anymore. Bombardier beetles were next. I tried to use the same tactic but the acid was quite problematic. Went back with a plan: turn around it until it shoots the acid, then attack. This worked even better than expected since, if you turn around it, it misses most attacks on its own. Stink bugs were next. With all this knowledge it very easy to plan a tactic: combine perfect blocks with calculated attacks and run away when the "gas animation" starts, done. Lady bug was easy too at that point, I even discovered there was no need to perfect block its attacks: attack, move backwords a bit, lady bug misses its attack, get closer, repeat. I succeeded in all these fights but I needed the spider fangs for the spider hat, the wolf spider was next. My biggest fear... one mistake and I'd be dead. I went to a wolf spider nest and started the fight with some arrows. It leaps on me, I fail the perfect block and get poisoned... PANIC. I recognize the orb weaver attack animation, perfect block. Calm. I tried to attack but I was out of range... PANIC. I died. Not gonna lie, it took me some attempts to understand how it works, but in the end I found a strategy that works fine for the wolf spider: get as close as possible so he doesn't leap (probably the hardest attack to perfect block in the game), attack, perfect block, move forward to stay in range and attack, repeat. I had crafted almost all craftable items, overcame all my fears, built a cool and safe base with all the stuffed insects exposed, explored most of the map and discovered many secrets. It was quite a journey, but once my fears were defeated it felt less engaging to explore or gather resources. The way you defeat mobs in this game isn't very challenging once you understand the trick. It doesn't even feel dangerous because of the high damage big insects deal because their attack animations are very forgiving and easy to manage. 

Now, let's go into more laborate feedback that I hope can help this game to become the next big suvival game! 😄

BUGS

Before talking about bugs I just wanna say that I think we need sparate folders for saves so we can have different survivals at the same time witohut messing with the saves or mistakenly delete them.

Let's start with the most problematic bugs:
Small mobs often get stuck in or under things like terrain and rocks. For example: whenever I've entered the anthill most of the ants were stuck.
Big mobs, especially lady bugs and stink bugs, have a hard time finding a path to the player when he's above them. I'm not talking of grass or rock but of surfaces that they should be able to reach just by going around an obstacle, liek the oak tree roots for example. This makes killing them with the bow very easy since they can't react, which is a quite boring, but safe, way to kill them (I instantly stopped doing this as soos as I discovered how to perfect block). Obviusly spiders can't be killed like this since they flee as soon as you hit them with an arrow while being in a position they can't reach.  But, if they have a wall behind them, they usually get stuck, making this strategy work against them too. Wolf spiders can sometimes reach you with their leap, it is very inconsistent tho and most of the time they get through stuff they shouldn't be going through.

 

Another very annoying bug happens when you get stuck on a spiderweb and remain stuck even after destroying it. If you are playing with friends and you are not the host it's easy to solve, you just need to exit the game and log back, but while playing solo or hoting the game it can be quite problematic.

 

Mobs tend to miss most of their attacks if you turn around them while being very close to them. This make some fight exploitable.

 

During my whole playthrough I couldn't craft one item: bombs. This is because I couldn't find ant eggs in the anthill. I even looked on youtube and tried some solutions but i couldn't get them to spawn.

 

It can also happen that the game crashes while loading saves.

 

You can easely exploit the building system: if you set the project of any building and then place something else on top of it you can start building this second project even if the first isn't complete. This means you can make a column of unbuilt projects and the build a flying base on top of it. Mobs can't destroy it because they can't damage projects or reach the base.

 

Minor bugs:

When your armor is broken you can't equip it by pressing left click on it and hen "equip", however you can still equip it by draggin it over its slots.

 

If your dandelion tulft breaks while in mid air, your camera locks in 3rd person untill you open and close a menu.

 

Stink bugs gas AoE ability still deals damage to the player for like 1 or 2 seconds after the VFX has ended.

 

MOB/COMBAT SYSTEM

 

I'm not sure if this is a feature or a bug: when you get damaged by a mob your armor obviusly gets damaged, the problem is it still gets damaged if you perfect block an attack. As I said I'm not sure if this is meant to be like this or not, but I'm really against it: if you perform a perfect block your armor should NOT break.

 

Stink bugs and lady bugs have a big problem in common: they can easely be killed by exploiting their AI. As I said before, these mobs aren't very good at finding a path to the player, which makes getting them stuck easy. This should be fixed, but I'd also make these two mobs immune to arrow damage, it makes sense to me because of their thicc exoskeleton but it could also be an easy fix for this issue untill the AI gets fixed. (maybe this change could be done to bombardier beetles too).

 

Another big problem with this game's PvE in my opinion is the too much similar kits "big mobs" have. They all have the same main headbutt attack plus one additional ability but with different stats. Having the same main attack makes learning to deal with the various mobs not as interesting as it could be, since once you've learned how to defeat one of them you basically know 50% of how the other mobs work. I think these mobs should have more personality, both in attacks and behaviour.

Bobmardier beetle: it should try to stay away from the player and shoot acid, but once it reaches 50% HP or it has a wall behind it that prevents it from going back, it should try to go melee with a more aggressive playstyle.

Stink bug: right after using the gas ability it should stay inside of the AoE instead of going for the player, this way the player is forced to stay inside the gas if he wants to go melee, but if he try to use the bow then the stink bug would close up and go melee.

Lady bug: its charge attack should instantly destroy grass/clovers etc... so it can easely go through the environment and hit the player (stuff destroyed this way may drop a lower quantity of resources to avoid farming grass planks or weed logs by abusing lady bugs).

 

Orb weaver: in additions to its main attack it should have a different attack with different animations and timing, maybe a poisonous 2 hit combo? Also, the spiderweb ability should be faster, he never got me with that. The fact that it's smaller than the wolf spider makes me think it could get scared by the player if he deals enough damage to it, once he reaches 25% hp it should flee and try to shoot its spiderweb to stop you from killing it. (Maybe also change his sounds to something that feels like its scared?)

 

Wolf spider: I really think this game needs a frightening alpha predator, this is how I've seen the wolf spider until I realised how simple defeating it was. I really think the game benefits from having a major threat that is dangerous regardless of your gear tier. Unfortunately the wolf spider needs a bit of rework and a ltitle buff to maintain this role. In the future we'll probably get higher tier items, I expect the higher tier to reach at least 5 before the game officially launches, and I also hope that if these items make wolf spider easely killable we can have a new big threat, like a hornet maybe? Anyway, its main attack should have a slightly different timing from the orb weaver's main attack. The leap is fine but it needs at least a third attack in its kit, a bigger leap maybe? Wolf spider should decide to either jump at the player (like it does now) or to jump over the the player to get behind him so it can immidiately charge its main attack. The animations, the sound, the damage it deals, everything makes it look like a very aggressive spider so what if once it reaches 25% hp it goes berserk? Its eyes open up a bit more, the sounds get worse. Instead of doing its main attack it does a combo of 3 faster main attacks that you need to individually perfect block, every single of these hits oneshot the player. Also, after it attacks, instead of going 2 steps backwords it quickly moves to either your left or right and you need to keep up with his speed in order to hit him and perfect block.

 

Little note on spiderlings: their sounds are way too loud and scary for their size, it feels off.

 

Spider fang dagger is bad. There's no point in building it: not only the poison dmg and dps of the weapon itself are bad, but on top of it it breaks super fast: killing an orb weaver with it makes the durability bar go down to 50%. Also its raw stats are overall worse than the larva blade, I mean the stun is a bit higher but the damage is lower, not worth it in my opinion, especially since we have the ant club that is easier to make and works way better.

 

INVETORY SYSTEM

One thing I didn't like in this game is managing the inventory, it NEEDS improvements. Take example from minecraft, just play with its inventory system fon 15 minutes and you'll have all the information you need.

 

I understand having such limited resources in the inventory, but you could make stacks go up to 15 or make chests have more slots, or at least the stack cap is doubled when inside a chest. Hauling resources is quite annoying with such limited stacks.

 

This may be very personal but I hate how the equipped items and armor occupy inventory slots. It not only make you lose a lot of inventory slots and it also makes managing the inventory more annoying.

 

BUILDING SYSTEM

 

First of all I want to say that I really like the building system, having the ability to "pre-build" your base so you can have a look at the final result before starting to put time and effort into building is very nice. The only 2 problem I've encountered with building a base were:

1) it felt like gathering resources and moving logs and plank took too much time. I'd lower the resources needed to build and/or higher the maximum amount of planks you can carry at the same time. I'd also change the desing of pellets so they can store more grass pllanks and weed logs.

2) while trying to place a project down it clips through stuff and glitches more than not.

 

An interesting part of this game is that it has a kind of tower defence mechanic since mobs will try to destroy your base and you'll have to defend it. This mechanic gives the player one more thing to keep in mind while building the base and I love it. I mean.... I'd love it if it wasn't enough building on a rock to avoid any type of danger. I don't think the building system should be restricted to avoid player from doing so, I think you guys should add some more threats that can reach your base regardless of its location. For example: why can't spiders climb walls? is this a technical limitation? because if it's not you should immediately give spiders the ability to climb walls so they can reach your base even if it's on a rock, log or wathever. For bases built in extremely good spots, flying threats like bees, wasps or hornets should fo the trick.

Thinking about how to defend your base is cool, but we need more tools to do so.

 

RESOURCES

"Farms" are way to good right now, they need a nerf. As soon as you build 2 mushroom garden and 2 dew collectors you won't ever feel the need to look for food or water again. The problem isn't even how good these farms are, at some point in a survival game it is completely normal to have automated farms for basics resources for various reasons, the problem is that you are able to build these items too early imo. To balance the mushroom garden you just need to lower the "grow rate" of the mushrooms to a maximum of 4 per day AND add a mechanic that requires the player to add spoiled meat to it every now and then to keep it working. For the dew collector I think the solution is making so it needs a higher tier resource to be built (like lady bug parts for example?). Farming water by collecting it with a canteen form dew or juice boxes and storing it in the water container is a quite unique and interesting mechanic, giving players a way too have a sustainable source of water too early wastes it.

 

Meat spoils way too quickly, it just makes no sense trying to get it when 2 mushroom gardens are enough. I know you can dry it so it doesn't spoil, but at that point you get the negative side of getting more thirsty, mushroom/nectar/acorn bits are still the best choice. I think meat should spoil after 3 days, not less, if you rellay want to keep it that way at least give cooked meat a reason to be prepared, like a slow hp regen after eating it.

 

Acorns are pretty annoying to farm since each of them gives you acorn bits, 1 acorn top (which isn't used in many things) and 1 acorn shell (which is used for crafting many usefull things like acorn armor and chests) which makes farming acorn unbalanced since you'll end up having stacks of acorn tops that you'll never use. Cane we make it so acorns drop 2 or more acorn shells?

 

Not sure if this is intended or not but resources do not depsawn. This can get quite annoying even if you can just pick stuff up and trash it in the inventory. If this is intended... change it, make droppped items despawn after a day or two, maybe more for planks and logs.

 

I don't really like using just quartzite to repair stuff, I think using some of the resources used to craft the item would work better. For example: in order to repair an ant club you'd need 1 quartzite and 1 ant mandible.

 

BIOMES

 

I don't reall see the pont of having so many spiders BEHIND the oak tree, there's nothing there, move them to the other side were acorns are situated to make farming them more dangerous.

 

Fungal growth and mite fuzz are the only reasons to go to the haze biome, I think it needs some more interesting reasons to go there.

 


EXTRA

 

I'm not going to say anything about exploration because it's perfect.

 

I just want to add that making spiderweb more transparent and harder to see may make the player be more alert when exploring spider areas.

 

SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW CONTENT

 

I'll talk more deeply about the se suggestions in future posts:

New anthills with different ant species (like leafcutter ants)

New spiders like: some sort of stalker spider that will follow you, hiding everytime you look back, once close anough to your back it will attack dealing high damage; or smaller spiders hanging from grass or ceiling that drop and bit the player when he walks under them to make the player work on his awareness when walking in their biomes.

 

Ability to tame and/or ride certain mobs.

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