I have never been more frustrated with this game than I have been lately.
The last patch on experimental was pushed out a week ago – and let me tell you, I have been wide-eyed in wonder at what I’ve seen so far.
First of all, there are now animals. Real, live (hah!), breathing (double hah!) animals, that can be chased, by both you and the zombies. They can be killed in all the regular ways, yielding raw meat and pelts. (Aside: don’t eat raw meat. For all the obvious reasons. I know this from experience.) Pelts can be combined with sticks and rope to create the hottest fashion trend in Chernarus: to the jealousy of your peers, you now can sport a leather courier bag. It’s hip, cool, and fantastically not animal friendly at all.
As expected, you can also eat the raw meat from dead animals. (Again, do not eat them raw. Even if you think it might be funny. Because you will get all geared up and then half an hour die a painful death when you could have just not eaten raw meat to begin with.) Which brings the next addition to this patch: cooking! You will need rocks, logs, and a pot or pan. Rocks stack now (as do wooden sticks), saving you precious inventory space for all that raw meat you’ll get from your kills. In addition to cooking meat, you can cook anything that comes in a can, plus the assorted vegetables. Can you say boar stew, with savory bell peppers and potatoes?
I can’t, because I haven’t been able to accrue all the items you need to cook with. Alas.
Which brings me to my frustration with this patch. This game is in alpha, as I quickly point out to all my other friends that get frustrated with the game. Things break or simply don’t work. I can work with that. What I can’t work with is the constant rubber banding. What I can’t stand more is that there’s a new, huge world out there, and I can’t see any of it because I’ll play for about half an hour before I’m trapped in a house for the indeterminate future.
Rubber banding is simply a term for snapping back to a place you were recently at. To try and sum up the development post about why this happens, an error occurs between the game and the servers concerning where a player is located in the game; the server wins this particular war, meaning you snap back to where you were a few moments ago. Which means I am constantly warping between the street in front of a house back to the top room of a house. I run back downstairs and out onto the street again. I get a few feet, and then I’m warped back. Run downstairs, warp again. Run, warp. Run, warp. Run, warp.
What I notice between my imprisonments is that it seems to happen when you’re around buildings and especially when you’re in large towns like Svetlo. If I walk a little more slowly, sometimes I can escape. If I change directions, sometimes I can escape. If I run out a different door, sometimes I can escape. Sometimes it’ll happen once or twice and then I’ll be free to continue about my journey.
But most times I end my play sessions frustrated because I can’t escape a house after having tried for nearly ten minutes. In addition, there are only a handful of experimental servers up right now and they are always almost as full capacity. I could switch servers, which sometimes fixes the problem, but in addition to being punished with the server hopping timer, chances of me getting into a new server are not optimal.
It’s extremely frustrating and as such, I’ve not been playing as much as I normally do. That’s not to say this isn’t an amazing patch, because it’s the patch a lot of players have been jittery waiting for – it’s introduced survival elements with the animals and campfires, new clothes, new guns, new items, and (praise be) fixed up the melee weapons back to their usual state of efficiency (no more uselessly whaling away at zombies). It’s all amazing content that I wish I could play. When it rolls out to stable, or a smaller patch for the rubber banding is fixed, I will be back in full force, ready to go.
For now, I leave you with some pictures of the adventures I’ve been able to have, plus some new gear I gathered and then lost.