The Long Dark Update Doubles Terrain Size Again

Survival games can offer thrilling anecdotes when their systems coalesce, and feel like searching for meaning in a random number generator when they don’t. When developed via Early Access, that’s both they’re strength and their weakness: they can feel empty on some playthroughs when incomplete, but each new addition can have exciting consequences that ripple through the entire design. Today’s ripple is to be found in The Long Dark [official site], which has just added a large new terrain, smartened up its animal AI, and added harvestable plants.

The new region is called Pleasant Valley and is a “rural mountain valley featuring abandoned fields, farms, caves, surrounded by a vast wilderness.” It’s accessed via the Coastal Highway region and is “unlocked in the Sandbox Menu after it has been discovered in the game.” It’s also almost 10 square kilometers of terrain, which doubles the overall terrain size again after last October’s update did the same.

Aside from new snow drifts to die in, the team have also improved wildlife AI to make it easier to read the behaviour of wolves. No more sticky situations where they ask you out for coffee and you’re not sure whether it’s a date or whether they meant it as just friends. There’s also new “Torch Brandishing gameplay”, which is a great way to say that you can hold torches now and wolves are scared of them.

Harvestable plants are used for crafting first aid items, but perhaps more useful is that the inventory system has been revamped so it’s easier to see what you’re carrying and to make use of it.

Can you yet train those wolves and use them like huskies to pull your sled across the frigid wastes? No, that’s Eternal Winter.

11 Comments

  1. Monkeh says:

    Today? You mean last Friday.

  2. Didden says:

    Despite backing this, I never seem to get any more updates on their progress. Developers really should continue to make use of the mailing list from their kickstarters.

  3. Cinek says:

    Apparently they also added bears and new area got several caves in it. It also seems like harvestable plants and bears are available only on the new area.

    From other fun things – it seems like they added some basic scent mechanics. So predators can smell fresh meat in your backpack.

    Overall it sounds like a very good update with plenty of content :)

  4. Sian says:

    “that’s both they’re strength and their weakness”

    Uh-huh.

    • defunct says:

      I was laughing at that, too. Pick one and stick with it! It stands out more when you use a different word in the same exact situation!

      Oh, and to comment on the game, I was playing it all weekend! Nice new update! Although the wind and scent thing may be bugged right now. I had two wolves downwind from me. I was watching the storm blow my scent right into them! But they were completely ignoring me.

      • aleander says:

        It’s generally less creepy when you just walk up to them and introduce yourself, y’know.

  5. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Why are they adding terrain when the game is fundamentally broken? The answer is because adding terrain is easy and making a game is hard and they’ve no clue what they’re doing.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Broken? Hmm, my copy ran just fine. Have you tried re-installing?

    • halfbaked says:

      My copy works perfectly. And the update is running smooth.

  6. halfbaked says:

    Ok.. My first time to comment on The Long Dark. This is a game I love to play. The challenges are many and some are just hard. But I do have a couple of things that bother me about it. Firstly.. when a wolf attacks and I have a hatchet (or knife).. I should not die after hitting it full power 2-3 times with a hatchet. One or two full hits should be enough to kill the wolf. Maybe I’m not doing this correctly but the wolves kill me almost every time despite a big fight on my part. Secondly is sleeping. If I go to sleep on a full stomach and thirst quenched, I should not have to wake up in 4-6 hours to feed and drink. I should feel very safe knowing I will wake up after 8-10 hours. After all, in real we can sleep that long without consequence. I realize the circumstances are different but if you are in a house and warm.. it should not be so extreme. But I will say that generally I love this game. It frustrates the hell out of me many times due to the wolf attacks and the limited ability to fight back.. but otherwise I really love playing and have gotten a few friends to play as well. Keep up the good work.. I’m excited to find and explore the new area!

    • CrowPath says:

      The hunger upon waking never struck me as off, but the thirst? The game considers me on the verge of dessication after a regular 8 hour kip!