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Detailed Analysis - Suggestions for Completion - [Additional ideas are welcome]


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This post will cover the below areas and will be updated from time-to-time.
Big props to the devs thus far, I absolutely love this game and cannot wait for full release.

  1. Creatures
  2. Base Building
  3. Armor/Weapons/Gear
  4. Gameplay Balancing
  5. UI Adjustments
  6. Misc.
  7. Bug Fixes

 

1. Creatures
First and foremost, I believe all creatures should have 3 items each within their drops (barring aphids, and the other tiny critters), and the drops should be random for most (similar to ladybugs not always dropping a head). This makes it more challenging to farm for the parts you want and prolongs gameplay. Bosses (if added) should have more, to promote taking on multiple times for rarer drops.

  • Mantis [New]
    A high tier enemy with the intended purpose of being a very late game enemy. May not need to be hostile, but packs a punch if provoked.
    The main appeal to taking on a Mantis, would be to obtain its arms, allowing the creation of the Tier 3 sword.
    • Mantis Head - Wall Mount | Helmet
    • Mantis Arm - Mantis Blade (Tier 3)
    • Mantis Parts - Misc. incl. repairs
  • Butterfly [New]
    Non-hostile creature, similar to bees. Main purpose of provoking is for their wings, providing a repairable glider (Tier 2) with significantly better horizontal movement than the tuft.
    • Butterfly Wing - Butterfly Glider (Tier 2) | Wall decoration | Curtains | Rugs
    • Butterfly Antenna - Base items | Misc.
    • Butterfly Parts - Base items | Misc. incl. repairs
  • Wasp [New]
    As soon as we saw bees, we wanted wasps too. A more hostile variant of the bee, similar to mosquitoes but more active during the day rather than dusk.
    The main appeal to taking on a Wasp, would be to obtain the parts required to create the Wasp Javelin, a Tier 3 Spear.
    • Wasp Head - Wall mount
    • Wasp Stinger - Wasp Javelin (Tier 3) | Base Ballista spear (see section 2)
    • Wasp Parts - Misc. incl. repairs
  • Dragonfly [New]
    Non-hostile creature, but incredibly hard to hit as they're very agile. Only killable by the best archers, also promotes the use of stronger tier arrows as less shots required. Main purpose is for their wings, providing a repairable glider (Tier 3) with better all-round movement than the Butterfly glider (mentioned above).
    • Dragonfly Wing - Dragonfly Glider (Tier 3)
    • Dragonfly Abdomen - Misc.
    • Dragonfly Parts - Misc. incl. repairs
  • Beetles [New]
    Would be the main source of a new tier of armor/shields (Tier 2), and with there being such a wide variety of beetles in the real world, different variants could exist in the game besides just bombardier, the bigger being stronger and more rewarding. (Have to use only hammers on a stronger variant (or boss variant) to break their armor perhaps? This would also make the insect hammer more of a necessity, which is otherwise not that useful currently, barring mint mining).
    • Beetle Head - Wall Mount | Helmet
    • Beetle Shell - Beetle Armors (Tier 2) | Beetle Shield (Tier 2)
    • Beetle Parts - Misc. incl. repairs
  • Moths [New]
    The main purpose for killing moths would be to obtain their eyes (yum), to enable the create of moth goggles, allowing increased vision in the dark. Although, this could be implemented as a perk, thus moths would probably be obsolete.
    • Moth Eye - Moth Goggles
    • Moth Parts - Misc.
  • Centipedes [Shudders] [New]
    A creature that would really test my nerve. Would make spiders not the only creature in the garden to fear. Centipedes are natural predators and quite frankly, terrifying when seen up close. A creature that's venomous, can regrow its limbs, is fast... What's not to love. Due to the probable difficulty of getting these to work in the game due to their length, would be good to have them mostly under the surface, free from grass or in very open outdoor areas. Centipedes would be a very late game enemy, hostile and deadly. They would provide the parts to create a Tier 3 shield and armor, surpassing the defensive capabilities of the Ladybug armor (which needs a nerf - covered later).
    • Centipede Head - Centipede Helmet (Tier 3) | Wall Mount
    • Centipede Exoskeleton - Centipede Armor (Tier 3) | Centipede Shield (Tier 3)
    • Centipede Antenna - Misc. incl. repairs
    • Centipede Parts - Misc. incl. repairs
  • Wolf Spider [Rework]
    Wolf Spider should become a Tier 3 enemy (so to speak), due to it's difficulty. Wolf Spider should, in my opinion, provide access to a Tier 3 bow, Tier 3 dagger and potentially top end Tier 2 armor.  They're currently the kings of the garden, and the rewards for defeating them, needs to feel very worth it. At least until a stronger enemy is added to the game.

 

2. Base Building

  • Issues to be resolved:
    • The ability to place a stair railing AND a diagonal wall beneath it.
      Currently there is no ability to have a triangle wall at the base of your stairs (to hide the gap below) and also have a railing on the stairs to prevent falling off. It's one or the other and it makes stairs look off. Hoping this gets resolved in a future update.
    • Sometimes I cannot place a fence on the edge of flooring (scaffolding below).
      There does not appear to be any obstruction and is just in a few spots - not sure what the cause is but could not workaround.
       
  • Future additions I'd like to see added:
    • Weed Stem: Stairs & Floor
    • Stone: Walls
    • Clay: Walls
    • Defensive items: Ballista (spears created using wasp stingers - see above)
    • Curtains/Rugs: Created using Webs/Petals/Butterfly Wings (see above)
    • Aphid running wheel (once pets added), could also produce a small amount of power once powered buildings are added in the future.
    • Decor items that can be placed on top of tables (i.e. flower pot, small torch)
    • Additional chair/table/bed options
    • More random stuff similar to the basketball hoop

 

3. Armor/Weapons/Gear

  • Armor Abilities - Descriptions
    More of a description is needed in game to show what each piece of armor does, as well as an explanation on the 'set bonus' ability.  Shouldn't need to Google this stuff.
  • Ladybug Armor - Nerf
    Needs a nerf once higher tier armor is added into the game (see Gameplay Balancing notes below). Currently is far too strong and too easy to obtain for it to be the best available armor in the game. Instantly makes all other armor obsolete and ruins the feeling of 'progression'. Personally, I'd like to 'need' to obtain the Koi scale armor etc. in order to eventually obtain the next best.
  • Spider Armor - Buff
    Wolf spiders are the main enemy in the game, but currently aren't super rewarding to defeat (see Gameplay Balancing notes below). Ladybug armor is far easier to obtain than spider armor, and nobody in the right mind is taking on a wolf spider without ladybug armor, especially on hard difficulty. Therefore, the spider armor becomes essentially obsolete immediately. I've played hundreds of hours and never once felt the need to craft spider armor over my ladybug armor. It looks cool, but there's no appeal to choose it over ladybug.
  • Ant Club - Nerf
    Needs a nerf once higher tier armor is added into the game (see Gameplay Balancing notes below). It's both too easily obtained and too powerful. I think the damage output is fine, but it makes other weapons in the game feel immediately obsolete.  Harder enemies should grant better items. That's not true here.
     

4. Gameplay Balancing

  • The main issue currently, is the 'journey of progression', which I have touched upon slightly in section 3 above. But will dive much deeper into here, starting with a general overview and then highlighting some specific examples which negatively impact every playthrough I have on Grounded.

    Within survival games where gathering and upgrading is an essential part of the game, there needs to be a so called 'journey of progression'.
    What I mean by this journey is:
    (1) you start with nothing
    (2) you gather enough very basic resources to conjure up some basic weapons and armor
    (3) you take on lower leveled enemies to obtain slightly better weapons and armor
    (4) you venture to more dangerous areas to obtain different basic resources (i.e. Koi scales) for slightly better armor/weapons
    (5) you then use this new gear to take on stronger enemies for even better armor/weapons [Step 4 and 5 can cycle]
    (6) eventually, after time and effort, you obtain the best armor and weapons in the game

    This journey simply does not exist in the current state of the game.  The journey goes awry after step 3... Whereby you grab an ant club by killing a couple soldier ants, kill a ladybug with your club and acorn armor, shoot a few berries, and make ladybug armor.  Suddenly, after a couple of hours, you have the best armor in the entire game and one of the best weapons, and all other armor and most weapons are immediately obsolete and will never be crafted or used by you.  I've used all weapons to test them out, but I've never willingly sought out a spider fang dagger, or larva blade, because my ant club is superior and much more obtainable and the mint mallet is exceptionally easy to obtain with the protection offered by a very easily obtained ladybug armor.

    A POTENTIAL FIX:
    We have already seen things locked behind BURGL chips, which is good and prolongs gameplay. But I believe there should be some sort of 'wall' in place for armor and weapon progression too. Not one that is linked to the story progression though... Currently we gain immediately access to weapons and armor from simply analyzing the relevant parts, which I do like the idea of, but there needs to be another 'step' in my opinion. Something that stops players from simply skipping past everything to immediately seek out the best of the best (ladybug armor in the current state of the game), and in a game where insects can often become stuck and unable to fight back, it's very easy to exploit and obtain overpowered gear without the appropriate effort being put in. A 'wall' would prevent this, and force players into a 'journey' before gaining access to tier 2, tier 3 etc. weapons and armor blueprints.
     
  • Further specific examples of where the 'Journey of progression' doesn't exist:
    • Sunken Treasure BURGL Chip
      Obtaining the sunken treasure BURGL chip requires the best diving gear, and by the time you obtain it, you have very little need for the BURGL upgrades the chip unlocks. It seems a bit backwards and the rewards are something that have never tempted me, as I'm done with the pond before I obtain the chip and raw science required for the upgrades.
       
    • Wolf Spiders
      These are the strongest creatures in the yard, but the rewards do not scream the same story. You can obtain a spider fang dagger, which is barely stronger than the larva blade and sits within the same Tier as the ant club, albeit, it's a faster weapon. It's just not worth it and becomes significantly obsolete once the mint mallet is acquired. And far less desirable to obtain once the ant club is very easily obtained. Once I've got my ladybug armor and mint mallet, I have no need to take on wolf spiders or much reason to even try as they offer me very little. Yep they do offer access to a better bow as well, but it's not enough. Killing wolf spiders should be the pinnacle achievement, and the rewards for doing so should scream the same story, but they do not. 
       
    • Koi Scale Armor
      It's just a bit pointless? Fairly tedious to obtain, but not that rewarding. Whenever I go underwater, I'm taking my breathing gear and fin flops 100% of the time, not Koi Scale Armor (also, why don't they provide any swimming bonuses at all). And on the surface, it's no match at all for ladybug armor and is even similar to petty acorn armor.
       

5. UI Adjustments

Updates coming soon [WIP]

  • 2x quick access wheels for controller.
  • "Y" to switch between melee and range weapon, hold "Y" to sheath. (A ranged and melee weapon can be equipped at the same time in the inventory screen and toggled between easily)

 

6. Misc.

  • Upgradeable backpack
    • Find collectable items/backpacks around the garden allowing 1 additional inventory slot each for all characters. Maybe have each BURGL chip unlock a map with the locations on? (and make them only obtainable once the chips are handed in to prevent players quickly grabbing them all at the very start of the game).
  • Bosses
    • Fixed locations, can be fought multiple times, an appearance variation, implement some sort of 'drop table' on them, with the hopes of killing and obtaining their rare item.
  • Hard Mode+
    • Everything included within Whoa difficulty, but with the addition of:
      • Only 1 dropped backpack at a time, if you die retrieving, it's gone.
      • Armor fully breaks upon death, if you don't have the items to repair in storage, you may have trouble getting backpacks back, especially in places such as the hedge, the pond, ant hills etc.
      • No auto-saves, sleeping saves only.
      • Enemies have bigger health pools (not more Damage, nobody likes being 1 hit)
      • Enemies are faster (running and swimming)
      • Enemies have better visibility, harder to creep near to a spider without being seen. Do not think they should instantly spot you, but they should investigate your location from further and not give up as quickly.

 

7. Bug Fixes [WIP]
Intentionally left this section to last as probably fully aware of most.

  • Insects getting stuck, both inside objects such as logs (aware we have a way to reset them), and also during combat, making them easy prey.  Spiders, stinkbugs, bombardier beetles and ladybugs should all be able to force the terrain (grass, clovers etc.) out of the way in order to get to you. Ladybug charge attack should chop straight through grass and such, way too easy to exploit the ability to make it stun itself on the terrain.
  • Clovers!! There is very little more irritating in the game than trying to walk and getting stuck by a clover. They're meant to be weak a flimsy, but the human body can't brush them aside?
Edited by Da_Matteo
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  • Da_Matteo changed the title to Detailed Analysis - Suggestions for Completion - [Additional ideas are welcome]
  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

[10/04/2021] Updated to include the following:

  • Additional bug reports
    • Getting stuck in "Block" mode when using mouse and keyboard. Can switch to a ranged weapon and be fine, but switching back to any melee weapon is still stuck in a block position - Only seems to trigger during combat. Once it has triggered, using hotkeys to switch between tools is very unresponsive as well. End up stuck in block, unable to do anything during combat - Game breaking.
    • Insects have suddenly started to get 'stuck' a LOT more often since the most recent update. 0.8.1. Ladybugs, wolfs, ants, everything, in places they wouldn't previously.

 

  • Suggested updates
    • Movable zipline anchors (sometimes a zipline doesn't work as well as we thought, and want to move it slightly.
    • Setting up a zipline shows both (The direction of travel from your point of origin and the speed you would move/time to reach other side).
    • Placeable 'red' blueprints, to allow building from top down. They turn blue when supported.
    • Ladybug shield.
    • Sprinting auto-disables crouch.
    • New Insect boss: Queen Bee
    • Leaf boats (can be left as an object in the world, but can also be picked up to inventory
    • Update to my suggestion for a Dragonfly Glider (Tier 3) to add the ability to 'flap' for further distance (like a double jump).
    • Half walls
    • Spiders can climb vertically (I saw one doing this, I was certain it was a bug at first, but it kept returning back. It was up the lamp near the oak tree, and it was freaking amazing - I hope this is where this feature is currently being tested).
    • Significantly Improve AI, insects should know how to re-route themselves around the terrain to get to you.
    • An Acorn Lift/Elevator, running off of silk rope and an anchor (similar to zipline anchors but directly above the 1x1 space).
    • A telescope (inventory and base) (bugs life style, water droplet in the end, rolled up grass).
Edited by Da_Matteo
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Very well-thought out ideas & fixes -- I would esp. love to see half-walls, boats (even just being able to create a paddle or an oar to use with floating leaves) and an elevator (within reason, i.e., not going up hundreds of stories; even going to the top of the bird bath would be pushing it, IMO)

Butterflies/Moths, Mantis and Dragonflies all would be really neat (mantis are actually pretty vicious -  I watched one stalk a stink-bug on our window screen and when it got close enough, it pounced & ripped it in half in a flash!)

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