Analysis of new sand shark aggression

iSmartManiSmartMan Join Date: 2016-04-17 Member: 215884Members Posts: 36 Advanced user
I'm sure we've all noticed that the Machinery update has made the sand sharks more aggressive, but I thought I might give my impressions and observations after starting a new survival game, because there seems to be more going on than meets the eye.

My first encounter with the new sand shark behavior was almost certainly the same as yours. After glancing at the forum threads about it, I had expected perhaps a wider aggro range, or a better method of concealment. What I didn't expect was for the shark to chase me 40 meters vertically, bite me, and then continue chasing me the other 40 vertical meters and only giving up once I had broke the surface of the water. I mean, these were SAND sharks, and if there was one thing I felt I could rely on, it was that they would stay near the SAND.

For the next few hours, I tried to keep as much distance between myself and any sand sharks as I could, and the few encounters I had during that time reinforced my impression that these guys would chase you to hell and back to get a taste of you. I assumed that once I acquired a Seamoth, the problem would be solved and I would have some amount of safety from them. Then I remembered that the only place to get Seamoth fragments anymore was in the Grassy Plateau, which of course is crawling with sand sharks. I decided that the benefit would be worth it, so I dropped off all my equipment, took a couple of first aid kits, and went on a suicide mission to grind out some Seamoth fragments, no matter how many respawns it took.

The most surprising thing was that I never needed to respawn.

I admit, I used both my first aid kits, but there were a LOT of sand sharks around, and I kept expecting to aggro them at any moment and get killed at least once. Instead, I passed surprisingly close to several sand sharks that never chased me while I was scanning fragments, and some that did start chasing me were somehow distracted before they ever bit me. When it got too dark to see anymore, I returned home with 3/5 Seamoth fragments, plus about 10 other fragments towards things that would be greatly helpful down the line, and with 90% health (remember, I still had to use both my health kits). This leads me to only one conclusion: the sand shark behavior change is more sophisticated than simply cranking up the aggression meter. There's some other variable that catches their attention, perhaps if you start actively fleeing them or move around too much. This warrants further study, but if anyone else has ideas about what this X factor might be, I'd love to hear them.

Comments

  • LeonDOGELeonDOGE France Join Date: 2016-01-16 Member: 211525Members Posts: 175 Advanced user
    Not only Sand Sharks, but also Stalkers.
    However, I find it interesting, as it makes the Repulsion Gun more relevant AND the Stasis Rifle much more important now.
    Icewave
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec) Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Members Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    When it comes to Sand sharks/Stalkers, my preferred tactic to break offf their interest in me is to swim to other fish in order to make them loose interest in me. i wouldnt say it works 100% of the time but it does work often

  • Yama1291Yama1291 Switzerland Join Date: 2015-04-19 Member: 203630Members Posts: 11 Fully active user
    I have yet to encounter a sandshark that continued to fllow me past 40ish meters away from the sea floor. Might have been a glitch.
    In any case, I like that the fauna is more aggressive.

    The player has to deal with them now. There was no reason to make the defensive tools we were given up until this update.
    Color me surprised when I found myself building the Seamoth bug-zapper. It helps a lot!

    LeonDOGEFreeman79
  • Enderguy059Enderguy059 Australia Join Date: 2015-10-15 Member: 208486Members Posts: 626 Advanced user
    Yama1291 wrote: »
    I have yet to encounter a sandshark that continued to fllow me past 40ish meters away from the sea floor. Might have been a glitch.
    In any case, I like that the fauna is more aggressive.

    The player has to deal with them now. There was no reason to make the defensive tools we were given up until this update.
    Color me surprised when I found myself building the Seamoth bug-zapper. It helps a lot!

    You know what isn't aggressive? Bleeders. Not in the slightest bit interested in me.
    Politics are... pretty terrible.
    I mean, they always seem to get people into fights and encourage irrational behaviour.
    I'm fine with making a compromise and sticking to the middle road, thanks.
  • project_mercyproject_mercy Aurora Engine Room Join Date: 2016-03-27 Member: 214884Members Posts: 40 Fully active user
    I'm still hoping it's a bug. Either that, or they really want Steam to fill up with reviews consisting of:

    "Started a new game,
    Was chased by a long string of sharks and giant fish,
    Realized I can't build a weapon
    0/10"
  • TenebrousNovaTenebrousNova England Join Date: 2015-12-23 Member: 210206Members Posts: 641 Advanced user
    Yama1291 wrote: »
    I have yet to encounter a sandshark that continued to fllow me past 40ish meters away from the sea floor. Might have been a glitch.
    In any case, I like that the fauna is more aggressive.

    The player has to deal with them now. There was no reason to make the defensive tools we were given up until this update.
    Color me surprised when I found myself building the Seamoth bug-zapper. It helps a lot!

    You know what isn't aggressive? Bleeders. Not in the slightest bit interested in me.

    That's what I thought but they will latch on if you get too close.
  • IcewaveIcewave Canada Join Date: 2015-11-02 Member: 208906Members Posts: 80 Advanced user
    Yama1291 wrote: »
    I have yet to encounter a sandshark that continued to fllow me past 40ish meters away from the sea floor. Might have been a glitch.
    In any case, I like that the fauna is more aggressive.

    The player has to deal with them now. There was no reason to make the defensive tools we were given up until this update.
    Color me surprised when I found myself building the Seamoth bug-zapper. It helps a lot!

    You know what isn't aggressive? Bleeders. Not in the slightest bit interested in me.

    yeah,
    I can swim right past one... it won't even bite me
  • zetachronzetachron Germany Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Members Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    Not a single bleeder in the Aurora tried to suck me, what a shame!

    But back to the sharks. The tactic is to outrun them and stay fast. In the safe shallows and creepvines you don't equip a tank and fins are a must. You watch for the right moment and if unlucky, you escape if possible swimming through obstacles and other prey. But never with a tank until you get the seaglide. With the mod station you equip plasteel tanks and ultraglide fins and with the seamoth you simply kill most of them.

    Quick swimming has a lot of advantages over using the rifle or cannon. I usually just play with the guns for fun, but don't use them, because I keep my inventory maxed. It also allows me to get faster out of trouble or back to air. 10secs left isn't bad if you can swim like ironman. Rushing through a swarm of bonesharks isn't impossible with speed.

    Most predators have all their weaknesses. Sandsharks are stupid enough to hunt biters and bonesharks play with each other. Stalkers commit suicide on gasopods. ...
  • Freeman79Freeman79 Sweden Join Date: 2015-09-22 Member: 208093Members Posts: 59 Advanced user
    Have to agree Yama1291, the sandsharks are just fine as they are now.
    In recent patches the Grassy Plateaus has been way to much cakewalk then it should be, at least now we see some action and movements.

    And for you that complains about them, I really cant see the issues, they are easy to kill with a knife, they often turn away from you after one strike with the knife, giving you enough time to pick up / scan whatever you had in front of you and then swim away. If you have a seamoth close its even easier.

    But most of the time its better to confront the sandshark then to swim away from it, as I said its easy to kill with a knife, but if you turn and burn the chances are bigger they bite you in the ass while doing it.

    If you think Grassy Plateaus are hard now, wait until you arrive in Dunes, or perhaps you'll complain about the Leviathans then to? :wink:
    You better stay in the Safe Shallows if you want a peaceful staying in Subnautica.
    GM for Swedish World of Warcraft Guild Medvind
    http://www.medvindgaming.se
  • CoranthCoranth Join Date: 2015-06-02 Member: 205160Members Posts: 719 Advanced user
    Damn pair of stalkers kept eating me but I'm bunkered in now with a base and glass on the Creepvine Forest; I'm watching 'em! Yep, they'll never get me no--*gurgle*
  • Yama1291Yama1291 Switzerland Join Date: 2015-04-19 Member: 203630Members Posts: 11 Fully active user
    Yama1291 wrote: »
    I have yet to encounter a sandshark that continued to fllow me past 40ish meters away from the sea floor. Might have been a glitch.
    In any case, I like that the fauna is more aggressive.

    The player has to deal with them now. There was no reason to make the defensive tools we were given up until this update.
    Color me surprised when I found myself building the Seamoth bug-zapper. It helps a lot!

    You know what isn't aggressive? Bleeders. Not in the slightest bit interested in me.

    Yeah, bleeders don't come at you from quite as far away anymore, But somehow they still get to me every time I don't pay attention. Usually in a cave or outside in the dark of night.
  • KaruuKaruu Join Date: 2016-05-10 Member: 216583Members Posts: 11 Fully active user
    I've noticed a lot more problems with Stalkers since the Machine update is out, which personally I actually like.

    Sand Sharks however, I think should ambush players more. Lying still in the sand, jumping out when something swims close, that kind of thing.
    At the moment I only really see them swimming around, occasionally digging leaving sand clouds behind. I think they should spend most of their time under the ground, only making clouds when they move.
    It would add an element of caution to exploring the Grassy Plains biome.
    I like to talk in a way that makes me sound smart, but I'm really not.
    Sigil_ThaneLeonDOGEDefectiveDelfin
  • nekozjinekozji uk Join Date: 2016-04-29 Member: 216121Members Posts: 23 Fully active user
    I'm relatively sure that if the sand shark is already chasing a fish, it ignores the player - unless it catches the fish...
  • AvimimusAvimimus Join Date: 2016-03-28 Member: 214968Members Posts: 401 Advanced user
    It'd be nice to have some kind of craftable shark repellant. I also found the density of bone sharks to be a bit too high - predators should be frightening, not a motivation to always use a seaglide and never stop.
  • ResolutionBlazeResolutionBlaze The Dunes Join Date: 2016-04-06 Member: 215392Members Posts: 410 Advanced user
    There's a fine line between making a predator challenging to the player and just damn annoying. Sandsharks are low-ground hunters, so it doesn't make sense that they would chase pray their size all the way up to the surface (and past the dang Creepvine Forest) to get some nom noms.

    I think Stalkers should do just that; stalk. They don't attack you right on sight, instead they keep their distance and kinda swim around in some Creepvines, then when you look away, go right for you while you're vulnerable.

    Sandsharks should be different; they should be low-ground hunters and focus on attacking those who are low to the ground, and surprise attack fish and humans alike. But it just doesn't make sense to me that a predator would try to eat something it's size unless it feels threatened or feels it is competition. And it doesn't make it justified to swim from Hell and back to get some leg meat.
    Deus Vult, Infidels.

    Reapers have a 125% chance of stealing yo Aurora Crash Zone.
    Karuu
  • Enderguy059Enderguy059 Australia Join Date: 2015-10-15 Member: 208486Members Posts: 626 Advanced user
    There's a fine line between making a predator challenging to the player and just damn annoying. Sandsharks are low-ground hunters, so it doesn't make sense that they would chase pray their size all the way up to the surface (and past the dang Creepvine Forest) to get some nom noms.

    I think Stalkers should do just that; stalk. They don't attack you right on sight, instead they keep their distance and kinda swim around in some Creepvines, then when you look away, go right for you while you're vulnerable.

    Sandsharks should be different; they should be low-ground hunters and focus on attacking those who are low to the ground, and surprise attack fish and humans alike. But it just doesn't make sense to me that a predator would try to eat something it's size unless it feels threatened or feels it is competition. And it doesn't make it justified to swim from Hell and back to get some leg meat.

    Continuing the name thing, would bone sharks act more like scavengers?
    Politics are... pretty terrible.
    I mean, they always seem to get people into fights and encourage irrational behaviour.
    I'm fine with making a compromise and sticking to the middle road, thanks.
  • KaruuKaruu Join Date: 2016-05-10 Member: 216583Members Posts: 11 Fully active user
    Continuing the name thing, would bone sharks act more like scavengers?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Bone Sharks are called that because of their bony appearance, almost like the skeleton of a dolphin or a mosasaur.
    I like to talk in a way that makes me sound smart, but I'm really not.
  • coldsnapcoldsnap Join Date: 2015-12-26 Member: 210395Members Posts: 60 Advanced user
    Avimimus wrote: »
    It'd be nice to have some kind of craftable shark repellant. I also found the density of bone sharks to be a bit too high - predators should be frightening, not a motivation to always use a seaglide and never stop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJlHjf_E--4
    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    AvimimusKyman201zetachron
  • Enderguy059Enderguy059 Australia Join Date: 2015-10-15 Member: 208486Members Posts: 626 Advanced user
    Karuu wrote: »
    Continuing the name thing, would bone sharks act more like scavengers?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Bone Sharks are called that because of their bony appearance, almost like the skeleton of a dolphin or a mosasaur.

    Correct. Like the jellyrays: named by appearance
    Politics are... pretty terrible.
    I mean, they always seem to get people into fights and encourage irrational behaviour.
    I'm fine with making a compromise and sticking to the middle road, thanks.
  • AvimimusAvimimus Join Date: 2016-03-28 Member: 214968Members Posts: 401 Advanced user
    coldsnap wrote: »
    Avimimus wrote: »
    It'd be nice to have some kind of craftable shark repellant. I also found the density of bone sharks to be a bit too high - predators should be frightening, not a motivation to always use a seaglide and never stop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJlHjf_E--4
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Manta Ray repellant! I couldn't stop laughing! :dizzy:

    But seriously, I'd just like something more costly per use than the stun gun - yet easier to get early in the game - that'd allow me to go gasopod when attacked (and give me a one time chance to escape).

    Similarly, a hotkey for dumping gold in order to distract pursuing stalkers woudl be useful!
  • AvimimusAvimimus Join Date: 2016-03-28 Member: 214968Members Posts: 401 Advanced user
    IMHO, one of the big problems is that creatures *always* attack... IRL ocean predators are much less predictable - you're usually find around them... but othertimes...

    If the devs did this - You'd have an entire minigame for the player about trying to assess whether the creature was behaving using an aggressive AI or passive AI (or something in between)!
  • Enderguy059Enderguy059 Australia Join Date: 2015-10-15 Member: 208486Members Posts: 626 Advanced user
    Avimimus wrote: »
    coldsnap wrote: »
    Avimimus wrote: »
    It'd be nice to have some kind of craftable shark repellant. I also found the density of bone sharks to be a bit too high - predators should be frightening, not a motivation to always use a seaglide and never stop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJlHjf_E--4
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Manta Ray repellant! I couldn't stop laughing! :dizzy:

    But seriously, I'd just like something more costly per use than the stun gun - yet easier to get early in the game - that'd allow me to go gasopod when attacked (and give me a one time chance to escape).

    Similarly, a hotkey for dumping gold in order to distract pursuing stalkers woudl be useful!

    I found some concept art of a modified transfuser/propulsion cannon that could shoot stuff like crashes and gasopod grenades.
    Politics are... pretty terrible.
    I mean, they always seem to get people into fights and encourage irrational behaviour.
    I'm fine with making a compromise and sticking to the middle road, thanks.
  • majestycalebmajestycaleb indiana Join Date: 2015-12-25 Member: 210314Members Posts: 3
    I had the sand sharks chase me all the way to the surface too. Let him hit me once and popped a health lit like, I'll continue, to my suprise I got bit again. And again. And again and now I'm in safe shallows crying. And bleeders are ignoring me completely. Biters are more an annoyance. Wish they would travel and attack in packs. Are they a one hit now too? Also those crab things are useless now. They do 5 damage. I was exploring aurora and just ignoring them. Didn't bother even looking at them as they nibbled my toes.
  • AvimimusAvimimus Join Date: 2016-03-28 Member: 214968Members Posts: 401 Advanced user
    Btw. I just saw a sandshark being mobbed by five or six biters! After a few moments it took off for what looked like the other end of the map! I've never seen a sandshark move that fast!

    The animal-animal interactions are getting more complex!
    I found some concept art of a modified transfuser/propulsion cannon that could shoot stuff like crashes and gasopod grenades.

    I'm not sure that concept art was official. Repellant also needs to not injure the player :D
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