Dying Light 2--DELAYED--Wishlist & Suggestions

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(**NOTE: to skip directly to wishlist/suggestion coverage, see paragraph [5]**) 

Greetings Dying Light 2 Community!!!

To the Techland Team, and specifically, the Dying Light 2 Developers. I am composing this post, for whatever value it may yet have in the current wake of the games indefinite launch delay, because I feel quite strongly about the creative potential that exists for Dying Light 2. Like the many millions of fans and players of the Dying Light community, I hold a very brightly lit torch for Dying Light 2, and have my own ideas that I would like to share. I realize that I am about a few years to 8 months late to this table, but seeing as how the development and release date for Dying Light 2 was recently delayed indefinitely, it is my hope that my thoughts may yet have an impact. At the very least, perhaps my suggestions will offer Techland ideas for Dying Light 2 dlc expansions. It is my understanding that Techland has five years of post-launch updates/content planned for Dying Light 2, so as I said, perhaps this post will amount to something. 

Now, while I am currently going to school for a degree in Computer Science w/con. in Software Engineering, I do not know everything that goes into transforming creative graphic and narrative ideas into a video game. In other words, I mean to suggest that some ideas may logically sound or work better on paper, compared to the results after actually attempting to integrate the idea into a project (the project in this case, being Dying Light 2). I think as a society, especially in the United States, consumers are more and more prone to forgetting just how complex the technology they demand a market for actually is. Particularly, as the world continues to make such great advances towards improving technology. The reason I am pointing this out, is to address the set-backs and limitations in Techland's development of Dying Light 2, as it relates to the demand and evolution of the market in 2020. Also, I wanted to acknowledge that there are a multitude of factors that may or may not play a hand in how close the developers manage to meet the communities expectations. I hope that Dying Light 2 is released alongside the Xbox Series X & PS5 holiday launch in December of this year, but I would happily wait even longer, if there is a chance that the ideas I mean to discuss in this thread are implemented into Dying Light 2 as a result.

Moreover, before I finally get down to my thoughts on Dying Light 2, I want to mention why I feel so strongly that my ideas should carry significant weight compared to so many others' ideas. Especially, those who might find that they disagree with my ideas and suggestions, which I will soon go on to discuss. Techland has been quite vocal about even their own expectations for Dying Light 2, remarking that it is their most ambitious project to-date. Particularly, they have emphasized that their goal for Dying Light 2, is to provide players the best and most immersive narrative and engaging world interaction that they possibly can. So, the first justification for why my ideas are worth a glance from the developers, starts with the premise that they will actually help Techland succeed in its mission for Dying Light 2. First notable point, is that I firmly believe it is actually harder to come up with good ideas, or notice short-comings in a project (any project, of, any kind), when mental energy is being expended to address a great deal of things at once. Second notable point, when that level of multitasking is coupled with a constant demand to pitch quality creative ideas (we must not forget this is a competitive BUSINESS industry), even though the tasks may be divided things are still impacted by the general buzz of project anxiety.

In short, their is a reason why the industry reaches out to fans for ideas, and it is not solely for the purpose of pleasing fans as a marketing strategy. I have been playing console & hand-held console video game devices since I was four years old, so, almost 18 years now as I am nearly 22 years old. I have only just recently begun to step back from my habit, becoming a more casual gamer, due to adult responsibilities and demands in my life. However, in those 18 years, I played some countless upon countless number of video games. And so, my ideas come from 18 years of contemplative creative analysis and thinking, which I have never really had to share with the world (unlike those designing a game, or, even multiple games for a living). That kind of perspective friends, is hardly even close to the same as what is offered by hundreds of thousands of very casual players, who's ideas are often derived from simple desires and/or commonly mentioned by the entire community. Example (for Dying Light 2): the very general suggestion and desire to see "better weapons" added to the game, compared to Dying Light. Ummmmm...close guys...but, WRONG ANSWER!!! Why? Because a million people asking for better weapons does not help the developers, effectively, develop the best next generation video game experience. So, I fully intend to elaborate on other peoples suggestions, while also suggesting some ideas that I have not seen mentioned by anyone else as well.

(1) Addressing the Decision Making Mechanics: 

I am 100% for what Techland is doing for the narrative experience, but, I think that there needs to be a way for a character to traverse between different locations they unlocked over multiple different playthroughs (including rank, weapons, etc). A simple way to do this would be allowing a start menu option to choose a saved character, then, follow that option with the option to select a saved game. If the exploratory value and potential rewards specific to different zones is not excellent enough to give a player a reason to want to carry a single character between two entirely different playthroughs for zone purposes, then already, there is no value in even adding this decision based geographic feature to the game. To follow, a simple question that addresses my point. What if I want to go back and explore an area I unlocked during my first playthrough, but on my second playthrough, I made the opposite critical decision unlocking an alternate area while permanently locking the zone I wanted on that playthrough? If you think that players will be understanding when they have to spam cooperative lobbies hoping to find a lobby hosted by a player who has that zone unlocked, or worse, completely playthrough the game again and again needlessly everytime they want to return to alternate zones. Well, guys, we won't be. We are hardly able to hold ourselves together patiently in response to the Dying Light 2 delay, let alone, deal with that potential issue. That is, assuming Techland has not already accounted for this.

(2) Weapons/Attachments/Customization/Realism: 

There are a lot of things in the weapons department that need to be improved so bare with me, and if my suggestions prove to be too great a change to the game at this point, then implement them in Dying Light 3 (and yes, you should make a Dying Light 3). There is the whole entirety of Planet Earth that is infected with the Haran virus now, which means, you can franchise the game by continuing to improve mechanics, features, narrative, and geography. I shouldn't have to point this out, but there is little fun in ending a good zombie narrative using the all too bland and traditional zombie cure, don't do it Techland its too early for one. If that is your long-term goal for the narrative, then please, scrap that idea because it will end as badly as the last few minutes of the final episode of Game of Thrones. Hint: it will be 100 times worse, but, that is still a good comparison with respect to how the fans will respond to such a traditional ending. In fact, you could build upon the Dying Light 2 considerations regarding the evolution of the virus, and consequently the resulting variations of the virals left to now prowl the in-game world. Dying Light 3 could take on the horror effect established by the games focus regarding day/night gameplay differences, and by that, I mean tackle it directly with the inclusion of a narrative set in a world where humanity has been out evolved by the virals. In this way, the game could keep all of the fans on the edge of their seats in a heart pounding sweat, as [insert main character] struggles to survive and outrun and outsmart a world that now hunts him/her. If that idea should be considered at all, then also know, I recommend taking away the easy sleep option that allows players to avoid playing at night. Even in Dying Light 2, placing some minor restrictions on the ability to sleep would prevent players like myself from completely avoiding the night experience at all costs. It should carry a heavy price to use sleep, and like the fast travel boards in "Forza Horizon" the only way to reduce the cost should be collecting a series of artifacts only available at night, forcing the player to face the darkness if they wish to always play during the day. 

-Night Time: Techland, if you really want players to play more at night, add some restrictions that make it far more difficult to avoid playing at night. Disperse volatile encounters to specific locations and areas (like high reward target locations), and limit their spawn rate outside of those areas to a very manageable amount of distance between them "unless you make noise."  The problem with Dying Light night-play was partially how terrifying it could be, but it was mostly only excessively terrifying because between trying to see your environment, maintain awareness of any regular zombies in the surrounding area, and maintain a quiet level of noise all while avoiding a way overpowered/overpopulated concentration of volatiles was just too much. In horror games, I would argue that in general, most of what creates that sense of terror one might feel is a fear of dying in the game. In Dying Light, playing at night was so un-moderated for exploration because of the ease in which a volatile could kill you, and the fact that there was always so many of them you could almost always see one in range on you mini-map. So, playing at night in my opinion, was never worth it outside of missions. I understand that Techland is supposedly addressing this, given remarks made about making night-play more worth while and rewarding, however I am strongly against the algorithms used for volatiles in Dying Light. Similar, again to another game, the "Heat" or "Wanted" system used in Grand Theft Auto games would be a much better type of system for night-play in Dying Light 2 with respect to just open world traversal/exploration. It is much more fair to base the concentration of virals/volatiles according to how much sound the player produces, thereby turning successful gameplay at night into a stealth mission. When all is said and done, Dying Light was much more dominant as a "hack-and-slash" experience, because night-play and dark locations are really the only true opportunities for stealth and it was done so poorly that just avoiding night entirely was generally more fun. Which, finally brings us around to focusing on weapons and other weapon based ideas.

I'd like to briefly reference community reactions that were common between the launch periods of Black Ops 4 Modern Warfare (Warzone). Specifically, how much dispute occurred over BO4's unrealistic weapon & operator skins, and other random or strange cosmetics. And now, how much happier the Call of Duty community is with Modern Warfare because of the ridiculously fantastic realism of the game for all of the modes (Campaign, Multiplayer/Coop, Warzone, and Special Operations). Look Techland, or whosoever happens to kindly be taking the time to read through all I am writing, I have played a decent spectrum of zombie games in the last few years. I've played BO4 zombies to Master Prestige 180'ish+nearly all the easter-eggs, Dead Rising 3 & Dead Rising 4, and Dead Island & Dead Island: Riptide. Also World War Z, State of Decay 2, and Dying Light. The only one I stuck-out and beat because it was quite fun was Dying Light. However, I want to talk about the loot system for the three that were developed by Techland: Dead Island, Riptide, and Dying Light. The loot system for Dead Island seemed to feel much closer to realistic compared to Dying Light, but other than that the series once you got to the original "Old Town" was insanely challenging (it sucked without mods). Personally, I think a part of Techland's mission for Dying Light 2 should be to move away from the games dependency on finding in game looted weapons that have a limited life span. Now I don't mean to say they should get rid of it entirely, but rather, an immersive experience requires a level of realism not provided by the unrealistic spawning of weapons (which don't always seem like they fit their location). For example: constantly finding Scythe's in chests, like such a weapon is even remotely common in a place like "Slums." NOOOOOOO, instead, such weapons should be limited to environment interactions with realistic objects. Or, found and/or earned under believable circumstances. For example, (and I will come back to this) if your customized/built weapons are all broken and need repair, then you may find yourself in need of an emergency weapon to substitute your GO-TO inventory selections. A realistic solution, yes, might be snapping off a nearby piece of pipe or pulling up a weak metal sign to quickly defend yourself in combat. This, is what a true immersive experience would be like for those kinds of weapons, because they call on the player to react in a fight/flight manner just as they would if it were really happening to them. Before I explain my notion of their being customized weapons, other instances for base weapon finds might include baseball bats, crowbars, tools, short-knives, long-knives, guns, and other weak operable weapon items that are realistic (picking up a tire, a traffic cone, etc.., stuff like that). For unique and legendary base weapon finds such as maybe an antique spear, swords, maces, and weapons of a similar unique/uncommon nature they should be included as finds specific to different unlocked zones. And, those zones should resemble a realistic justification for the base weapon find, such as the ruins of what used to be a museum. Generally, swords and maces and battleaxes are not just lying around in any random location. You can find them in many places, but in the case of Dying Light 2, the best fit is going to be some kind of run down ruin of a museum. Unless, they add a smelt and anvil with a blacksmith trade as a visible part of a more populated community sized safe zone. The instance of such weapons should be more special, and I am about to get into the reason why.

You may have noticed that I referred to the weapons as "base" weapons, by that, I am suggesting Dying Light 2 couple the aforementioned realistic interactions with operable environment objects suggested earlier with a dominant focus on player customization of weapons. For realism in the game's combat mechanics and loot system to provide a truly immersive and addicting experience, frankly, Dying Light 2 needs to severely balance the games weapons. Parkour is fun, but, it would be much more fun if the game actually felt like a survival-based horror experience. Different scenarios should call for the use of different weapons, as well as, careful consideration for what personal modifications have been made to a weapon. Categories: ranged, blunt, and sharp. Tactical: stealthy or aggressive (or using both together such as setting a series of traps). The option to knockout rather than kill a human NPC would be an important feature required to make this all work, because of course, you would want to use a blunt weapon to knock someone out. Dying Light 2 should really promote the need to having and applying the right tools for different situations, because in Dying Light, it really doesn't matter at all what weapons you are using so long as each has the highest DPS levels possible in the game. That fact, takes so very much away from the end-game experience, because the looting just becomes a game of sifting through inventory for highest weapon stats. Or, just grinding for orange and gold tier weapons, which is still pointless for a lot of reasons unrelated to the poor weapon system. 

-Safehouses/Armories: Its hard to discuss the concept behind "base" weapons without mentioning suggestions for safehouses and the addition of an armory as part of each safehouse location. But outside of weapons, suggestions for safehouse improvements are quite simple. The community wants the ability to customize safehouses, but, that to me implies that we all really want to see a great deal more end-game incentive. Which, is commonly provided via in-game cosmetics. So yes, safehouse/armory decorative cosmetic options are desired. But, also actual upgrade and improvement based customization options that actually interact with the world. Back to the "base" weapons. These would include the categorization of weapons: baseball bat, machete, swords, maces, axes, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, snipers, assault rifles, RPG's, daggers/short-blades, and there may be a few others. Environment objects that can be used as weapons, but, are not "base" weapons would not be allowed any player modification. So, unlike Dying Light, Dying Light 2 should include all categories of the gun family (that means adding sniper rifles, a real bummer for my friend in the first one). And, deciding upon a categorization for subcategories regarding blunt and bladed weapon types, within reason. There doesn't need to be ten different types of blunt weapons for example: baseball bats, maces, one-handed hammers, two-handed hammers, and those four basically cover the relevant "base" blunt weapons. So, do that for guns (AR, Sub, Launchers, Snipers, Pistols, Revolvers, Shotguns, and LMG's) and then bladed weapons (Machete, One-handed axes, Two-handed axes, short swords, long swords, spears/lances, and daggers). Then, make it so that each one of those base weapon categories can be leveled up individually (in addition to, not replacing, the skill trees for survival/combat/agility), which will then unlock Armory Workbench options for modifications to the base weapons belonging to that category. A basic example: we have a baseball bat (belonging to the bats category under the blunt weapons tab), we level the bats category up to level two (unlocks camo/sticker customization) and the ability to wrap tape around the bat (also use tape for future modifications), lastly we go to the Armory Workbench and use it to wrap the bat-head with duck-tape (which of course we had to have found through exploration). Do you see where I am going with this idea for weapons, and, how it should impact the loot system cycle for Dying Light 2? This adds so much more playability to the game, just, period. FACT. It also allows players to actually seek out instances for different unique base weapons, which after leveling up that weapons category enough and finding the right materials, the player can then upgrade/modify/personalize the way that they want. How does this impact the idea of blueprints? Well, instead of blueprints being a bunch of rarity based features where there are too many options, also again where the choice hardly matters at all (especially in the end game). Blueprints can unlock unique weapon cosmetics, special/unique/secret(even) Armory Workbench modification options (so basically list of ingredients to build a particular attachment modification, that is what the leveling of a weapon category would contribute to unlocking, recipes'), and tactical equipment recipes (types of throwables, explosives, etc.). Also, another good idea could be to provide challenges for each weapon category, which will unlock various cosmetics upon completion of the given challenge. Lastly, to refer back to my mention of these modifications impacting the need to consider different tools for different situations. If a bat is modified with tape/glue/nails to form a spiked bat, obviously, without going to a workbench in the armory and removing the modifications from the bat you will not be able to knock a human NPC out using that bat. There is a basic example regarding those mechanic relationships. Also, at a workbench, all customizable weapons would be able to undergo refurbishment. Only applies to weapons belonging to the blunt, gun, and blade categories (NOT TEMPORARY WEAPON OBJECTS IN THE OPEN WORLD).

(3) Zombie Invasions & Multiplayer:

If zombie invasion is re-used in Dying Light 2, then it should not be the only mini-game feature, and the ability to keep track of and combat the hunting player should greatly be improved. My friend and I had a first impression that said, "THIS IS UNFAIR, NEVER DOING IT AGAIN, DISABLE!" My recommendation would be to do something like a gladiator arena/sandpit game mode that is similar to the wave based system offered by BO4 Zombies. AND NO, THAT DOESN'T MEAN REPEAT BOZAK HORDE CONCEPT. I literally mean quite specifically, a wave based system, that takes place in an arena where you can compete against yourself and other players for a chance to earn rewards.

(4) Fast Travel:

I am not fully against fast travel, but as I mentioned before about putting a price-tag on excessive sleeping to avoid playing at night, fast travel should also cost money. I say this, because regardless of some players complaints about the inability to fast travel, such a feature severely takes away from the experience of this type of game. Frankly, having the ability to use the waystation poster to travel between the Slums & Old Town was enough. If playing more at night was more forced, then having safehouse fast travel would really diminish the intended game experience. It is a survival game guys, not, a skip past all of the potential zombie threats with loading screens game.


I am sure I could come up with more, but, this post covers the areas closest to my heart that I would love to see implemented in Dying Light 2.

In Conclusion, the campaign and a need for multiple playthroughs to experience all of the narrative/geographical content, it isn't enough Techland. There has to be a level of addictive features that target the human pleasure center, releasing dopamine, that creates a sense of emotional investment in the game. The end game for Dying Light was and still is complete garbage. It is so fruitless to play beyond the completion of the campaign/sidequests. There is not enough to do, that is fun enough to do, even close to worthwhile enough to waste further time doing. Quite simply, there are really no addictive features in Dying Light, which sucks. It was fun, until we beat it, and then it was just "hack-and-slash" for really no reason. Dying Light 2 could become the first top-charts best open-world/cooperative zombie game experience ever made, but, only if you guys put in the work to accomplish such a production. It really is the difference between your fans playing the game for 1-6 months, and playing the game for longer than a year. I love the idea behind Dying Light so much, that I have spent a great deal of my time articulating this thread, because I want Dying Light 2 to be worth playing longer than a year. My suggestions, that is what to add/change, in order to make the game experience have that extent of an impact. Of 13 million people who purchased Dying Light, for there to be just over 500 thousand still playing, is really not a whole lot. These suggestions could get that number held at above 1.5 million people still playing Dying Light 2 years after its release. I played practically just BO4 Zombies for almost an entire year before I got bored due to the lack of content drops (new maps), and I still didn't achieve all of the weapons camo challenges & I was still just over 800 Master Prestige ranks from obtaining the max level. Almost A Year TECHLAND!!! And I could still go back now and play for the rest of the achievements/challenges/ranks probably another 6-7 months. Addictive content and features makes a HUGE HUGE difference in how long a game is fun to play! 




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