Hardcore mode: so frustrating!

OsydiusOsydius FranceMembers Join Date: 2015-09-19 Member: 208031Posts: 56 Fully active user
I really believe the game is meant to be played on Hardcore mode. It creates a tension that you are not even close to feeling in other game mode, and this tension adds a LOT to the game.

For instance, in survival mode, you may feel at some point like swimming next to a reaper to scan it. As long as your inventory is empty, it's the easiest thing in the world. In Hardcore, if you're not in a Cyclops, as soon as you hear his scream, you turn around and swim as fast as you can while taking evasion maneuvers (whether it works or not is not the point, you're just not taking any chance!). Going cave diving in hardcore is entirely different.

Once you start playing in hardcore and you feel that tension, it's hard to go back to other modes. So you want that punishing death to keep that tension up, but at the same time, losing everything is too much because accidental / unavoidable death can happen in the world of Subnautica.

STORY TIME: in my last Hardcore game, I had played about 8-9 hours. I had just built my MoonPool and had installed a couple updates on my Seamoth. I needed some Lithium to make Plasteel Ingots. I knew there was a Crab Snakes cave not far and I went there. Just before going too deep in the cave with my Seamoth, I got out to mark the entrance with a Beacon. I checked around, no hostile. So I deployed the Beacon and started renaming it and precisely at that moment, I was attacked by a Sand Shark from behind (I never saw it, just recognized the scream). Since I was not even holding my mouse, the time it took me to get back control and swim away, I was dead (so what, 2-3 seconds). It took 3 bites exactly to kill me. The last bite came as I was swimming away (with speed fins). I assume the shark was hiding in the sand but (i) he made no noise, (ii) I saw no trail in the sand and (iii) I was not even above the sand but like 10m in the cave, surrounded by hard walls.

So there was nothing I could have done differently that would have saved me. There was no sign of it being next to me and once he attacked, I couldn't do anything to get out in time.

Losing 9 hours of game over that is incredibly frustrating. Something should be done to avoid this:
  • The obvious thing would be to allow us to renamed the beacons from the inventory, so we don't have to do it in the water.
  • It could also be possible to craft, like a few hours into the game, some form of electrically charged swimsuit that would not prevent bites, but surprise hostiles so they would shortly swim away after one bite, and then come back after a few seconds.
  • Adding a shortcut to First aid kits also could be useful, so that we can spam it, giving us time to go away.
  • how about a proximity sensor ? That would be cool and sooo helpful.

Anyway, the point is not to remove the tension, on the contrary, but to find a way to avoid those type of random deaths which can occur even if the player is playing perfectly (i.e. like a paranoid freak).
eastofdeathChimpXBobythebeeRainstormSidchickenKouji_SanDAOX

Comments

  • ChimpXChimpX Members Join Date: 2015-07-25 Member: 206391Posts: 36 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    I agree with your sentiment, and would like to add that Hardcore mode should also have O2/nutrition/hydration warnings.

    I believe the goal of a Hardcore mode in a survival game should be to ratchet up the realism, and how realistic is it that you aren't aware that you're getting hungry? :p
  • BobythebeeBobythebee FranceMembers Join Date: 2016-03-09 Member: 214045Posts: 192 Advanced user
    I agree with some points, definitly we need a shortcut for medkits :D

    Maybe beacons will be displayed in scanner room later :/
  • zetachronzetachron GermanyMembers Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    Normally the hardcore mode is for the dive hard fans, not standart mode, which is survival.

    If you play a little longer you'll learn to avoid beginner mistakes like you did and soon you'll be feared by the reapers of Subnautica. Then you'll realize how predictable the predators are and how to get rid of them in no time. You'll gently drive over some lesser predators and clean sweep your targets with mass shock, exit and tease your reaper with a stasis.
    ChimpX wrote: »
    I agree with your sentiment, and would like to add that Hardcore mode should also have O2/nutrition/hydration warnings.

    I believe the goal of a Hardcore mode in a survival game should be to ratchet up the realism, and how realistic is it that you aren't aware that you're getting hungry? :p

    +1, I agree. It's as if you would remove the bars themselves to make it harder to meet the deadlines. What is hard? To make things fuzzy, to fight against user controls or increased micromanagement hell?

    I always thought hardcore would include immersive reality like permadeath or handling more difficult physics, like decompression, temperature shocks, current dangers or physical correct submarine navigation.

    PS: Forgot that hardcore should include harder farming.
    Bobythebee
  • zetachronzetachron GermanyMembers Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    How about your health which slowly regenerates after taking a hit?

    The human body actually can regenerate slowly to a degree and it's not that big in the game. What's more important in my eyes are hotkeying medkits, but the med itself should need a little time to work and not work instantly.
    Darwin-Evolution
  • OsydiusOsydius FranceMembers Join Date: 2015-09-19 Member: 208031Posts: 56 Fully active user
    If you play a little longer you'll learn to avoid beginner mistakes like you did and soon you'll be feared by the reapers of Subnautica. Then you'll realize how predictable the predators are and how to get rid of them in no time. You'll gently drive over some lesser predators and clean sweep your targets with mass shock, exit and tease your reaper with a stasis.

    Well, considering I've been playing for about a year, I would say I'm pretty familiar with the way predators move and behave :smile: In this case however, that death was totally unpredictable. There was nothing around me when I stopped and it didn't even allow me time to react. I would hate to play for 20 hours in hardcore on release, and die without even having screwed up. And while I usually don't play games on hardcore (as with most games hardcore doesn't make the game harder, just artificially longer), as explained in my OP, I really feel that in subnautica it's actually the best way to play.

    I feel that playing Subnautica on anything other than Hardcore is like playing poker without money. The risk of losing something valuable adds a lot to the fun.

    +1, I agree. It's as if you would remove the bars themselves to make it harder to meet the deadlines. What is hard? To make things fuzzy, to fight against user controls or increased micromanagement hell?

    I always thought hardcore would include immersive reality like permadeath or handling more difficult physics, like decompression, temperature shocks, current dangers or physical correct submarine navigation.

    PS: Forgot that hardcore should include harder farming.

    I don't think that the lack of warning is really an issue, especially since once you've hit your stride, you tend to instictively know when you have spent too long underwater and look at your O2 reading. Food and water have never been an issue in my experience (fruits help with that).

    But I agree that we should deal with way more factors like heat, pressure, currents, weather effects, etc. That would be really cool. I'm actually even in favor of making the game harder in hardecore, just no random deaths.
  • BobythebeeBobythebee FranceMembers Join Date: 2016-03-09 Member: 214045Posts: 192 Advanced user
    @Osydius one time, a sandshark have moved out of a rock cliff, and bited me near a wreck. Reapers too have glitches, report has a bug :)
  • zetachronzetachron GermanyMembers Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    Osydius wrote: »
    Well, considering I've been playing for about a year, I would say I'm pretty familiar with the way predators move and behave :smile: In this case however, that death was totally unpredictable. There was nothing around me when I stopped and it didn't even allow me time to react. I would hate to play for 20 hours in hardcore on release, and die without even having screwed up ...

    Okay, looked like beginner mistake to me. Normally I never open menus in games at uncontrollable areas and yours was not a safe area outside the seamoth. At night you should not operate there as sand sharks aim directly to you from long distance silently in your back and you must use a long distance shock before exiting for a short time. At day you can observe a while, then shock ping and do your job. And better not position a beacon too close to predator pathes. Come on it's hardcore, permadeath should give you the extrathrill to be really careful where you were careless.

    It's different if you die from gamebugs. Like a reaper spawning out of air, because the loading lags. Could have happened with your sandshark. Or bugs that destroy your safe game. For that reason I usually avoid experimental in hardcore.

    Osydius wrote: »
    I don't think that the lack of warning is really an issue, especially since once you've hit your stride, you tend to instictively know when you have spent too long underwater and look at your O2 reading ...

    You can get used to no warning that's sure. It just doesn't make sense to have a sophisticated hud with an exact O2 bar, but no simple warning mechanism. Some hardcore games disallow any health bar and you can get used to it too. But the visual and accoustic feedback of a barless system usually is more significant and more immersive. In real life you feel your lungs air going out significantly and it's more painful than any alarm. And with tech you need displays and alarms, because you have no pain-feedback. An alarm is just a cheap replacement for pain-feedback.

    No, hard should never mean making the interface weaker. Maybe a little more forgiving in mistakes, like automatically kicking you out of menus to let you react or freeze the game as you get attacked. Some games can do so.

    Other hardcore things that come to my mind are:
    • make it harder to find fragments
    • make the creatures more aggresive and roam wider
  • OsydiusOsydius FranceMembers Join Date: 2015-09-19 Member: 208031Posts: 56 Fully active user
    It's different if you die from gamebugs. Like a reaper spawning out of air, because the loading lags. Could have happened with your sandshark. Or bugs that destroy your safe game. For that reason I usually avoid experimental in hardcore.

    I don't think it was a bug, just a very silent and deadly sand shark that was hidden somewhere I guess. Usually they make so much noise, it's hard not to know they are there. But here the issue was that not only was I sure the place was safe (I hadn't seen or heard anything) but that I was of course away from my mouse typing to name the beacon which made me lose 1-2 seconds of precious time when the attack occured.

    The problem here is I don't know how I could have played it differently. If I restart a hardcore game, I will still want to place beacons. The way I'll do it, as everybody I guess, is to look around me and, if there's nothing, place it and name it fast. But if whatever predator is there is hidden, then all I am really hoping for is to be lucky and that's the issue. It should never be about luck. Losing because you screwed up is fine. Losing because you were unlucky isn't.

    Now maybe it was just a combination of unlucky events that has an incredibly small chance of ever occuring again, but if we can avoid it with a simple solution such as allowing us to name the beacons in the PDA, then I think we all win there.
  • BobythebeeBobythebee FranceMembers Join Date: 2016-03-09 Member: 214045Posts: 192 Advanced user
    always place beacons 10 meters over seabed, this sort of sandshark embush always scared me ^^
  • SidchickenSidchicken Plumbing the subnautican depthsMembers Join Date: 2016-02-16 Member: 213125Posts: 1,005 Advanced user
    ChimpX wrote: »
    would like to add that Hardcore mode should also have O2/nutrition/hydration warnings.

    I believe the goal of a Hardcore mode in a survival game should be to ratchet up the realism, and how realistic is it that you aren't aware that you're getting hungry? :p
    Hardcore DOES have food/water warnings. It's just O2 it doesn't tell you about.
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • ChimpXChimpX Members Join Date: 2015-07-25 Member: 206391Posts: 36 Advanced user
    Does it really? My apologies if so; it's been a while since I played Hardcore mode in this game.
    Even in that case, I still think Hardcore should include O2 warnings. Seemed challenging enough to me already, and a highly advanced survival dive suit that doesn't monitor your oxygen actually seems less believable to me.
    Anyway, just my .02.
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec)Members Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    The only difference between a Survival game and a Hardcore game is the 2 following things: No O2 warning and Death means endgame. Personally, i like the thrill of having to monitor my O2 while doing something else, it adds to the challenge.

    I know that everyone has right to their own opinion, personally i like hardcore the way it is right now :p In fact, if i had to change something, id make the Medkits much less efficient in Hardcore, like restore only 20-25% life instead of 50%

    eastofdeathBobythebee
  • eastofdeatheastofdeath usaMembers Join Date: 2016-02-28 Member: 213559Posts: 250 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    I love hardcore mode, it shows me my shortcoming's, I avoid risk like the plague.
    And weight my decision on, is the risk worth my life, some times it is and some times it is not IMHO.
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    RainstormBobythebee
  • SidchickenSidchicken Plumbing the subnautican depthsMembers Join Date: 2016-02-16 Member: 213125Posts: 1,005 Advanced user
    I only play hardcore now - once you've done it, survival feels lame. The game really needs that sense of OMG I MIGHT DIE to keep it exciting IMO.
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • DinkelsenDinkelsen GrazMembers Join Date: 2015-10-05 Member: 208309Posts: 155 Advanced user
    You can name a beacon at a safe place and then pick it up to put it somewhere else, the name stays.

    @Hardcore: I play "Softcore", which is normal survival, but if I die I reload my last save. This is how games were whan I started playing and I like it that way. Allowing myself where to save and where not somewhat adjusts difficulty.
    Bobythebee
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec)Members Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    Dinkelsen wrote: »
    You can name a beacon at a safe place and then pick it up to put it somewhere else, the name stays.

    I didnt knew that heh, you learn something everyday :smiley:

  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The NetherlandsMembers, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 15,781 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    At first I was like, but isn't Hardcore mode supposed to be frustrating? But then I saw and read and thought WTF man, fix these annoyances naw pl0x


    Good show!

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  • OsydiusOsydius FranceMembers Join Date: 2015-09-19 Member: 208031Posts: 56 Fully active user
    Sidchicken wrote: »
    I only play hardcore now - once you've done it, survival feels lame. The game really needs that sense of OMG I MIGHT DIE to keep it exciting IMO.

    Exactly. Hardcore really feels like it is the way the game is supposed to be played. Once you go hardcore, you never go back.
  • OsydiusOsydius FranceMembers Join Date: 2015-09-19 Member: 208031Posts: 56 Fully active user
    Dinkelsen wrote: »
    You can name a beacon at a safe place and then pick it up to put it somewhere else, the name stays.

    ... Ok I feel like an idiot now, I never even tried that... Damn, that would have been good to know yesterday, before I lost my hard earned save :'(

    Though, I still feel renaming beacons in the PDA should be possible because I'm sure at least a few new players will make the mistake I made and it's a crappy way to lose.
  • HaliosHalios OzMembers Join Date: 2015-11-27 Member: 209514Posts: 260 Advanced user
    I've never actually played in hardcore mode. But I also almost never die and the few times I have I've felt like I "lost" the game and started again. Apart from genuine bugs like when sandsharks swim through walls into your base - I have fish doing that presently - I don't think there's a problem.

    For starters, I believe it's still the case that every resource can be gathered in areas free of predators. You just need to explore more. There seem to be unpopulated areas by design for safe gathering. I know there are completely safe spots to gather lithium. Mushroom forest springs to mind.

    Secondly, there are plenty of quite powerful tools at our disposal. If you're using them properly then the risk of death almost disappears.
    • The propulsion cannon lets you remotely grab things, including nodes.
    • The grav sphere and current generator can be used to keep away small and big fish respectively.
    • The stasis rifle works a treat on predators you can see and those you suspect (like hidden crab snakes).
    • There is an armored dive suit to boost your survivability.
    Osydius wrote: »
    So there was nothing I could have done differently that would have saved me.

    Are you sure?

    It sounds like a current generator could have saved your life. You were in a confined space so should have only have needed one. If you need to do something time consuming like naming a beacon which leaves you exposed to attack from behind, dropping a few properly aimed current generators effectively creates a shield.

    I'd advise you to try them out. Plus all the other little gadgets. You may not need them often and yes it's a bit more effort to carry them around and deploy them. But if you're going to play in hardcore mode and really don't want to die then that's how you do it.
  • andrewwayandrewway Adelaide, SAMembers Join Date: 2016-03-19 Member: 214482Posts: 23 Fully active user
    Dinkelsen wrote: »
    You can name a beacon at a safe place and then pick it up to put it somewhere else, the name stays.

    @Hardcore: I play "Softcore", which is normal survival, but if I die I reload my last save. This is how games were whan I started playing and I like it that way. Allowing myself where to save and where not somewhat adjusts difficulty.

    That's a crack up - that's what I just tested (shhhh don't tell the boss) - and that works. So my answer was going to be "name the beacon first so you're not stuffing around with keyboards while in a dangerous spot".

    I've done a bit of actual cave diving in Mt Gambier in South Australia (a few years back) and man oh man - the training is all about having everything prepared and at the ready when you're at depth.

    Even if you just popped the beacon and said to yourself "right B3 is my way out, now get back in the moth"... hehe.
  • potatoman1376potatoman1376 United StatesMembers Join Date: 2020-01-15 Member: 257193Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    To be fair, I just lost my hardcore world myself. Bit of note on the progress as i do not have a good guess on how long i had played on it, but i had the seamoth, the prawn (with drill arm and grapple arm) and the cyclops. Also i did scan a reaper through the use of a stasis rifle, (trust me, it's your best friend in hardcore. Another small note, I had had a reefback spawn under my prawn at some point near the surface and it had launched me into the stratosphere. Anyway, back to what happened. I had taken the prawn down to the lava zone to get some kyanite, which was all fine and dandy, the prawn took a few hits but was fine in general. The problem arose on the way back. I had just landed on an outcropping from the wall, mind you the Prawn was at 86% and I was full health, I was letting the jump jets recharge when a warper warped in next to me, so, naturally, I drilled it a little, then, out of nowhere I suddenly had the "You died. Game Over" screen. Obviously i was quite confused, and still am, as to how i died. I hit "ok" and then some noise played afterwards. All i heard from the small chunk of noise was the warper warping away, no explosion, no yell of pain. I have no idea what happened, if anyone knows that would be cool.
  • joost1706joost1706 Members Join Date: 2020-01-10 Member: 257085Posts: 3 Fully active user
    It's a shame to die so suddenly. However, fighting should always be done carefully. I don't think it is a good idea to 'drilled it a little' on a warper, because they are actually the most powerful beings in the game. I killed a Sea Dragon on hardcore, but not a Warper. Warpers are indestructable and messing with it might have triggered perhaps multiple ultra-fast (glitching) counter strikes from the warper.
    What happened to you reminds me of being near multiple hostile creatures, they sometimes do a kind of combo attack, where you get repeatedly struck very quick, in fact, too quick too notice, and you seem to die instantly.

    Moral of the story: don't mess with the Warper.
  • galenbdgalenbd Members Join Date: 2020-01-24 Member: 257372Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    I play Survival mode so I get the O2 warnings, but I start a new game when I die...voluntarily. From personal experience swimming, I feel like my body would warn me about O2 needs. However, if I'm too casual, I get dead and have to start over.
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