The Long Dark’s Tireless Menace

The Long Dark’s Tireless Menace

Hinterland Studios have put an absolutely massive update Pre-PAX East 2016. Dubbed the “Tireless Menace” Update, major UI systems are being overhauled, new challenges and enemies are being added, as well as various tweaks to survival mechanics.

The addition of a radial menu is very welcome, as The Long Dark‘s various crafting and inventory screens could feel bulky and take you out of the immersion at times. Additionally, though we’re not sure we actually like this, the addition of the Cabin Fever afflicition, which will stop you from simply hibernating your way through winter

Most exciting, however, is the addition of Challenge Modes. The Long Dark has been a sandbox survival game ( a very good survival game mind you) up until this point, but by adding challenge modes, be it an impossible timetable to meet for rescue or a hungry bear stalking you through the wilderness, takes the game to an interesting new level I am eager to experience.

 

 

There are a lot more fixes and additions, so take a look at the full changelog below

THE LONG DARK™ — SANDBOX UPDATED TO v.321, “TIRELESS MENACE” — FULL CHANGELIST

 

Gameplay, Tuning & User Interface

* New! Radial Menu and streamlined Status Screens.
* New! Sandbox Challenge Modes: “Hunted, Part One”, and “Hopeless Rescue”.
* New! Emergency Stim gear item. Emergency stims added into various locations (also made available in older saves) and also available in some containers.
* New! Brands can now be taken from a burning fire (replacing Torches taken from fires; Torches are still craftable).
* New! There is now a chance of getting Cabin Fever from spending too many continuous hours inside.
* New! There is now a chance of contracting Intestinal Parasites from eating too much meat from carnivores (i.e. Wolves and Bears).
* New! Added a Curiosity state to Wolf AI. There is now a chance that Wolves will hang back and follow the player from a distance, before deciding to either leave, or stalk the player.
* Refreshed wildlife spawning in all major regions (except bears).
* Overhauled item degradation behaviour and retuned all decay rates for 1000+ day timescale. Gear decay now begins at game start for all items in the world. All Clothing items decay based on a daily rate modified for interior/exterior storage, and player use. All food decay is based on storage (interior vs. exterior) and, for fish and meat, whether an item is raw or cooked. All tools continue to decay based on use only.
* Removed decay from Matches.
* Added various rope climbs and climbing anchor points across all regions (including access to a couple of previously inaccessible areas).
* Added rope gear spawns into a few locations (also made available in older saves).
* Journals can now be saved on the death screen. Saved journals can be viewed from the main menu. A maximum of 10 journals can be saved at any given time.
* Updated the gear naming system to reflect item condition (applies to Food and Clothing items, currently).
* Complete overhaul to Rest system. Player cannot Rest if there is no fatigue. Added a Passing Time mechanic to allow advancement of time.
* Added slow Condition gain while awake and healthy (i.e. no Afflictions, and not Starving, Exhausted, Dehydrated, or Freezing).
* Added Hypothermia Risk affliction, as an early warning system to help avoid “surprise” Hypothermia.
* Added more stats tracking including: Intestinal Parasites, Cabin Fever.
* Differentiated all light sources more clearly, by tuning burn times, Brandishing effectiveness, and item “cost”. This applies to Torches, Flares, Brands, and Lanterns.
* Flares are now Brandished and not thrown.
* AI will now ignore dropped Torches and Flares.
* Harvesting Branches now produces 3 Sticks (increased from 2).
* Harvesting Sticks now produces 2 Tinder Plugs (increased from 1).
* Hatchets now modify Branch harvesting time correctly.
* Brandishing now only works if an item is lit.
* Items that decay to 0% Condition will now be marked Ruined, but persist in the world.
* Increased the Wind speed required to blow out existing fires, as well as which prevents fires from being started. This should reduce instances of strong fires being blown out suddenly due to wind changes.
* Delay condition-loss from Bear struggle until the struggle animation is complete. (This does not apply to Wolf struggles.)
* Combined Stats with Journal. Made accessible from Main Menu and Deathscreen as well as in game.
* Simple Crafting now accessible directly from Radial Menu (see above for more details).
* Updated art for Feed Fire screen.
* In the Options screen, Key Bindings will now display a mouseover effect.
* Show sheltered icon when in caves and other large enclosed spaces outdoors.

 

Art, Animation, FX

* New! Added experimental First-Person presence for Wolf Struggles with Knife, Hatchet, and Prybar.
* New! First pass on colour grading.
* New! Added rim lighting effect for night-time lighting. It should be more possible to see the “edges” of snow banks and things on clear, moonlit nights, enhancing night-time navigation.
* Improved the Bear model and texture.
* Improved the Bear animations.
* Improved the Wolf animations.
* Updated the visual effects for Torches, Flares, Lanterns, and Brands, so that flames begin to “sputter” when you are running low on burn time.
* Added new Footprints system, which improves the footprint visuals as well as respects weather conditions; footprints will persist for a longer period of time, unless filled in by snow or high winds. (Future improvements to this system will be focused on enhanced Tracking gameplay.)
* Improved draw distance for falling snow.
* Updated the “light shafts” window effect to improve performance.
* Increased the visibility of blood drops, to aid with tracking wounded animals.
* Added blood splatter effect when player is injured by blood loss event (ex. during wolf struggle), when wildlife is hit, and when a carcass is harvested. Also, when hit, the first blood drops from a bleeding animal will be larger, to help the player determine the direction of the animal’s movement.

Misc.

* New! The game now supports Steam Cloud Saves for Windows, Mac and Linux. This means that you can continue to play your saved games across multiple systems (provided you are using the same Steam account).
* New! More graceful handling of corrupt or incompatible save games. Saves will be shown as corrupt or incompatible in the UI, allowing players to remove them and avoiding system crashes due to corrupted save files.
* New! All game sessions are now saved upon start, not at first Rest or interior/exterior transition. This should result in fewer “mysterious” save losses when players abandon games before they have been auto-saved.
* Improved Steam Controller support. All in-game actions can now be rebound using the steam controller configuration screen.
* Particle optimization now active for Windows. This should result in better performance of heavy snow and blizzard conditions for some players.
* Mac and Linux rendering now uses OpenGL 4.1, which should result in some performance improvements for players on those platforms.
* Added error handling for updating to default key-bindings due to the addition of new controls (ex. the new radial menu is bound to the Space Bar by default). Note that this error will only be seen if a newly added binding was already in use.
* The save icon now appears when saving the player profile.
* Added save file compression which results in smaller save files and faster cloud-save uploads.

Audio

* New! Added master volume slider.
* Added more general ambient and exploration music, and fixed some issues that were preventing ambient music from playing in certain circumstances.
* Fixed issues that were preventing desired gameplay speech from playing. As a result, you should hear more gameplay-relevant voice feedback from the survivor personae.
* Overhauled struggle audio for both Wolves (to account for new first-person presence) and for the Bear struggle (to make it more impressive).
* Footstep audio now differentiates between shoes, boots, and bare feet.

Bug Fixes

* We now display an error message if user tries to use a stove to start a fire but are missing all of the required items.
* Fixed issue where you could get stuck in an infinite cooking loop when using gamepad/controller.
* Fixed issue where you could get stuck in an infinite crafting loop.
* Fixed issue where you could quit the game in the middle of a save, which would result in corrupted save files.
* Fixed issue where worn-out tools could be used one extra time.
* Fixed Distress Pistol using wrong ammo icon on inventory screen.
* Fixed issue where the First Aid screen would not update if an affliction healed itself while the screen was open.
* Fixed a bug causing the player to holster the held item while cancelling item placement.
* Fixed issue where blood trails were only being left when wildlife was fleeing.
* Bears are now spawned facing outwards from Dens. This helps fix some pathing issues when the bear attempts to leave the Den.
* Fix issue with items being left behind when transitioning scenes with item placement in progress
* Fixed issue with corpses getting re-oriented after loading a save.
* Fixed issue where players could add fuel to fires that had already blown out (the fire FX didn’t reflect this state).
* Fixed issue with camera sometimes crashing into geometry when placing a campfire.
* Fixed issue with being able to place snares too close to geometry, causing the snared rabbit to be inaccessible
* Fixed issue with Bear playing sleep animations after leaving the sleep AI state.

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Editor-in-Chief of IndieHangover.com. With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He's particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.