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I could understand if they want it more difficult than A20/current but still easier than A18/19, however they're reversing the old changes AND making new changes in order to make it more challenging than previous versions instead of a balance between them.
It's like saying "74degrees is too warm, so I'll turn down to 70degrees...but now it's too cold, so I'll crank it to 80degrees...warmer than it originally was when I had previously complained about it being too warm in the first place! What?
Then they're adding a new DewCollector for the player to craft within the first few days that completely gets rid of thirst altogether. As soon as you can collect/sell $1500 worth of stuff (aka, a little more than a single book...something experienced players can do by day1-3) you can craft a magical drink station that completely negates thirst as a problem.
The devs are sending mixed messages here.
Do they want water to be easy or hard, and for whom?
The changes are making things about the same or a little easier for some players, but harder for some brand-new players, but less intuitive for all players.
I can see where a lot of it ends up...superfluous.? But it could also be fun as alternatives or just additional bits of realism to engage with.
I've personally had some bad luck finding a wrench, but I've also had some bad luck in spawn-location and cooking-pot-finding.
It also magically creates new jars, so it's effectively an infinite jar machine at a speed of 3X/dayXDewCollector for glue crafting if you're near a frozen-biome or wasteland (for infinite aggressive animal spawns for bones). Because jars will now appear whenever you need to carry water...unless you're trying to carry water from a lake or river or water-tower or pool. :(
Okay, so it's not going to be very consistent.
Sometimes you'll be able to see water there but you can't have it. Well, you'll be able to carry it in your hand to drink, but not anything else. Not to drink I mean...because you CAN carry it in a bucket, but that doesn't let you use it for drinking..or crafting.
I'm also pretty sure the bucket doesn't disappear after you dump out the water like jars do, so that's not super consistent either.
This change is a bit of a mess.
You've got this all solved and minimized in theory and decided it is completely trivial. I'm excited for you to actually play it and see whether it really is as trivial as you seem to think it is. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised-- unless you want it to be trivial.
You're only confused because you insist on being single-minded about the reason for the change. They want water to be be a surmountable challenge that is more involved than simply filling empty jars. They aren't trying to make water a day-35-horde-night-and-I-forgot-to-repair-my-defenses-but-I'm-still-going-to-defend-my-base level of challenge.
Instead, it makes murky water a more relevant part of the game as most players will find themselves needing to actually drink murky water for the first time ever. It creates an additional task/quest to get a dew collector built. Doing so isn't difficult like a T5 quest in a wasteland downtown area but it does add to the other tasks the player needs to do in the beginning.
Finally, the process of getting a dew collector factory going is a lot more fun than collecting a stack of empty jars. At least I've found it fun and I've restarted dozens of times now. I don't like the tutorial quest anymore but I do still like building the dew collector.
Perhaps a better word than "challenge" is "depth". The A21 changes add some depth of gameplay for a player wanting to square away their thirst needs and I believe they are targeting new, intermediate, and experienced players. No matter how easily you are able to get your dew collectors up and running it still isn't as easy and simplistic as the current method.
In all of my restarts I've never found a wrench in the first couple of days in A21. I'm sure some people will but then again some people may get a lucky water filter mod for their hat and then have zero thirst concerns ever for that particular game. What I do find pretty quickly are the magazines needed to craft a wrench. So you'll be hunting down mats to craft a wrench so you can harvest cars so you can buy a filter and build a dew collector. There just is no way to fully understand A21 when all you know are the loot tables of A20. I find myself crafting a lot more in A21 because often I can craft a thing before I actually find the thing. Of course, its random so it is always possible that wrench will drop day one. Even pots seem a bit more uncommon. I wouldn't call them rare but it isn't guaranteed that you will know the dew collector recipe, own a pot, and a wrench, and have all the mats for the dew collector all on Day One-- and even if you do, that is a very full Day one all dedicated to that one quest which puts you behind on everything else.
See? fun and engaging and much more to it than simply open cupboards in a few houses and come away with 12 empty jars that can be filled forever and water is solved.
It worked well for what it was. The changes are something much more engaging and fun (imo). Hope you find it fun when you can get your hands on it! I definitely appreciate your willingness to give it a good try. :)
Change for the sake of change is never a good thing. This looks tedious and annoying, running back to a base to check a dozen or two dew collectors regularly is not my idea of fun.
Unless it's severely different than the videos and explanations, this will be something I mod within a week of its' release.
I agree that change for the sake of change is rarely a good thing. Its a good thing that wasn't the reason for the change. When you are developing a creative work whether that is a video game or a piece of art or a literary work or a music composition it always requires changes over time.
None of these changes were made simply for the sake of change. They were made to deepen gameplay or streamline gameplay or evoke an atmosphere or feeling or to bring balance to something that wasn't. That is what development is. This currently is the phase of development. You purchased a game still in this phase and that means there will be changes.
Not everyone is going to find these changes fun. I acknowledge that. All I can give is my experience based on play. You will have to find out your experience based on play. But....I will say that if you don't like running back and forth between locations to do repetitive tasks involving clicking your mouse button....why do you play in the first place....?
No matter...mod away if you so choose. Modability is one of the key features of this game. TFP doesn't see it as a threat but as a gift from them to the community. BTW, TFP has left the empty jars commented out in the code just to make it that much easier for ya if you decide to go that route.
Not that I won't play A21 as-is/vanilla, but I'll probably want to at least offer reusable jars in my server and a simple XML tweak won't force the players into requiring mods or anything to join/play.