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Taran Shiro

Left 4 Dead would have been better if...

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Valve had stuck with their original level design. On their latest dev blog, they revealed how their original design was much darker, making it much scarier but also more frustrating for players who got attacked without realizing it.
Quote:
While sudden zombie attacks were inarguably scary, they were also frustrating players weren't being given the information they needed to react. They wanted that "Here they come!" moment, and we weren't giving it to them. The solution? Light-colored fog
Now, I can understand the cases for both sides, but why couldn't valve have made the much more darker environment an option, say, for Expert mode? Or just to enable or disable. The biggest disappointment I have with the game is that it isn't as scary as I was hoping for it to be. Being able to see zombies till the end of the horizon doesn't do that for me. It's all about the element of "surprise! I'm a fucking zombie who is going to eat your face off!" Is it just me, or should they have kept the darker environment? Just looking at it makes me more anxious to play. VS.

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It would have made sense to have a "from the dark" game mode, or even just the option to have lit fog on or off... That's an easy, cheap way to throw in some spare content, and it would have made everyone happy.

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No doubt, I would have kept it dark.
Makes for a better atmosphere, especially in a horror-game like this. It helps bring out that claustrophobic feeling, and the tenseness of not knowing when and from where the next attack will come.

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Meh. I don't know. I'm all for making the game creepy, but there are several thoughts against it.

1) only YOUR flashlight lights up a dark area, and YOUR flashlight 'turns off' when you reload or melee, making the few really dark areas in the game very hard to play in. If EVERYONE's flashlight worked for each screen, the dark areas would work a lot better, as person A covering person B would be a tad more obvious (and each individual would feel a tad less screwed, and thus less likely to panic and back into someone else's gunfire)

2) I agree with valve, this was a mass market, co-op teamwork centric game. The idea I think was to make the game hard / tense for a TEAM and not for the single person. The scare being "HELP I'm SMOKERED!" and you being boomered unable to help out. Not, oh crap we are all dead because Zoey got hit by a zombie she didn't see. The current setup is far more forgiving of adhoc teams that don't have rock solid tactics. People can spread out more, and go to their favorite spots as long as they stay reasonablly close to everyone else, instead of enforcing everyone to huddle together into a tight group (risking shooting someone in the back all the time) and always losing if someone was a dick and ran off.

3) I loved that Doom 3 made the flashlight a seperate item, but I hated that EVERY F*** dark corner or piece of ammo or door or etc was home to a lurking zombie. It wasn't scary, it was crap. Contrast with DeadSpace. It was well lit most the time, but it was far more creepy just because, while the same scares were used over and over, they mixed it up enough that you didn't know if it was THIS ammo box or THAT corner that would house the lurking horror.

To some extent, L4D manages the same thing. It is less about the normal zombies, and more about when the horde will show up, or where the tank will show up at. Or knowing that there is a smoker/boomer/hunter but your not 100% sure you can get him before he gets you.

4) But my own though is that I could go for more mob-mentality like agro on the zombies. The new DawnOfTheDead was scary not just because of single zombies, but because of "oh crap one saw us, now they are ALL alerted and running at us!". In a sense this just means that guns should agro a larger area when you shoot. and killing zombie A standing right next to zombie B using the sniper riffle should atleast grab his attention that you just shot his buddy.

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Before L4D was released, I heard that you could get infected and change at any moment, which gave the game more of a twist, since you didn't know if you could trust your teammates.

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Original post by KulSeran
1) only YOUR flashlight lights up a dark area, and YOUR flashlight 'turns off' when you reload or melee, making the few really dark areas in the game very hard to play in. If EVERYONE's flashlight worked for each screen, the dark areas would work a lot better, as person A covering person B would be a tad more obvious (and each individual would feel a tad less screwed, and thus less likely to panic and back into someone else's gunfire)


Good point, why did they make it so that a player can only see there own flash light?

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Original post by Taran Shiro
Now, I can understand the cases for both sides, but why couldn't valve have made the much more darker environment an option, say, for Expert mode? Or just to enable or disable.

Maybe you could modify the shaders yourself? Here's a tool that should allow you to pack and unpack the game's files: http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php.

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Quote:
Original post by KulSeran

2) I agree with valve, this was a mass market, co-op teamwork centric game. The idea I think was to make the game hard / tense for a TEAM and not for the single person. The scare being "HELP I'm SMOKERED!" and you being boomered unable to help out. Not, oh crap we are all dead because Zoey got hit by a zombie she didn't see. The current setup is far more forgiving of adhoc teams that don't have rock solid tactics. People can spread out more, and go to their favorite spots as long as they stay reasonablly close to everyone else, instead of enforcing everyone to huddle together into a tight group (risking shooting someone in the back all the time) and always losing if someone was a dick and ran off.


That's it exactly. And I think the reason they didn't use it in a harder mode was because increasing difficulty by cutting off your player's peripheral view is not a difficulty that players will appreciate, imo. They valued other types of difficulty, types that don't fall under the category of "making it hard for the player to find enemies".

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Quote:
Original post by CodaKiller
Good point, why did they make it so that a player can only see there own flash light?
Possibly for performance reasons - four spotlights is 4x the shadow and lighting complexity of one spotlight.

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