So I have seen a couple good posts already about hunting (I will link two below I like). But this post is more about a feature that makes hunting something to do more than just stumbling across a deer in the woods by chance like in 3.0. I still think having animals spawn and walk freely around the map should be a thing but I think this new feature will be quite interesting.
This feature kind of borrows from Read Dead Redemption 2’s Legendary Animal Hunts. I will explain rdr2’s hunting system for people who haven’t played it. Animals just spawn all around the map and you can go and hunt them. You need the right gun for the right animal to get the best pelt/meat yield. The animals are ranked by 3 stars. 1 being poor and 3 being perfect. To keep the animal perfect you must hit it with a clean kill shot with the correct gun.
(tracking a normal animal in Rdr2)
Deer/elk/moose = Rifle
coyote/fox = carbine repeaters
rabbit/possum/badger = varmint rifle (.22 ammo)
squirrel = Arrow with small game arrow
I love hunting in the game but I find the most effective thing is just running deer down on my horse and shooting them from horseback with kind of takes the fun tracking element out of the game. You can track there trails using eagle eye (feature that slows down time and allows to see animal trails) but only useful for when an animal runs from you and you have to chase it. You can’t really find a trail and have it lead to an animal. Cause the animals stay really close to there spawn point until spooked.
This is why I love legendary hunting so much. You get a map that has 16 animals of legendary status posted vaguely on the map. You must search those areas (big areas kind of hard) for a glowing gold trail starter. The trail starter is usually a track of some sort (animal droppings/fur/remains of prey/antler markings on trees). Once discovered the trail leads on and then ends and then starts again to the next track to be investigated. Finally leading to the beast who you have to slay. Returning the pelt allows for you to make cool cosmetic hats and coats.
The one problem I have with this is its kinda hard to fail. You can run from track to track like an animal breaking sticks and running through bushes. Doesn’t really reward being sneaky, being a hunter.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpSQEDwegdw&t=281s) Heres a link to a video of all the legendary hunts (6:40 timestamp is a good one)
How U2 could adopt this feature for normal hunting
I got this idea first playing DayZ and finding some .22 Lr ammo on a counter, and thinking to myself I will never use that ever (DayZ is more of a carry what you can game) I had better guns and have no need for small caliber. I remember reading the other hunting posts and playing Rdr2. Got me thinking but what if I needed that ammo to hunt small game wouldn’t that be cool.
Having different rifles used for hunting could give guns like the HawkHound and Sportshot a utility beyond early game combat. A reason to keep these things in your base after upgrading to an assault rifle. Like an an axe or a fishing pole this item would have a utility.
The feature discussed would work like so.
In certain parts of the map, wooded areas between towns and city’s or vast forest’s. A item or I would like to call a “switch” would have a chance of spawning. This item/switch is an animal track, be it a footprint, scat, fur, markings on trees, or eaten food. It is RNG and can spawn in several places in the woods. Map knowledge of an area will result in knowing familiar hunting grounds. Any player can see it and interact with it like 3.0’s quest items. Once activated it leads with clues to the next “track” to interact with. I think having a chance for the animal to spawn at the next track location keeps the player on there toes. Once you find the animal obviously take your shot and hope you don’t miss.
My idea for calling it a switch is because the animal will not exist in the world before activating the track or event. Once activated the hunt is on. I think having this “mini-game” of hunting and tracking would be a lot cooler than going to the woods just looking for a deer spawn and it leaving tracks.
The other reason is it would be something to do, a content filler. Instead of lets go loot mili or go loot town lets go hunting (or have the chance). No one has ever set out in 3.0 to look for animals rifle in hand and found one. But having the ability to go out on a hunting trip to a familiar hunting ground and HUNT for tracks would be so cool.
(obviously the player woulnd’t see the glowing dust in U2, they would have to look for the tracks on the ground)
I think having tracks potentially spawn in specific locations and at certain server times would make for interesting game play, requiring map and game knowledge to be an avid hunter. I think animals should still spawn around the map so players can still hunt animals out and around. But having this “mini-game” feature with in the open world would be awesome.
(Red could be squirrel and rabbit track spawns and blue could be deer, the player would have to figure this out)
Picture this scenario: It’s dawn, the sun is rising. You have been in your base for the night preparing your storage and crafting some items. As the sun is rising the night terrors (zombies) start to fade away. You take your .22 Long rifle with scope and can suppressor off the wall. You open your base door and go off into the woods next to your base. You know squirrel tracks spawn in the morning sometimes in these woods, and hope to find some tracks. You find some tracks and stalk your prey silently through the forest. After finding some more tracks you are met with a squirrel in between two trees. Your stealth has been rewarded and you slowly aim down sites. Breathing in and taking the shot. Walking back to base with squirrel in hand and rifle on your back, you are ready to prepare the meat for a future meal.
I know Nelson wants U2 to have more world events to interact with. Like excursions and Bandit AI. Would be cool to see hunting be an event you can partake in. Actually going on a hunting trip. I mean hunters always go to the same hunter spots in real life each year. Having this knowledge in game would reward you with extra food supplies. The ability to live off the land.
In short tracks spawn in the woods that trigger an animal spawn. There could be 1-4 tracks that potentially lead to an animal. Sneaking and having the correct hunting weapon will result in a successful hunt. Spooking the animal would result in it fleeing and despawning. Something that would feel rewarding and fun. Something players could get invested in learning the track spawns, time of day the tracks spawn, animal knowledge, and hunting weapon knowledge. Something survival games really haven’t seen, a quality hunting experience, within the open world.
I think having a feature would decrease confusion of balancing animal spawns and how long there tracks stay on the server. Having a placeholder item like dung would create less clutter on the server.
(this could be a hunter looking for tracks and stumbling across some roaming zombies)(picture made by The Monkey Man)
I feel like activities like these be it hunting, excursions, and bandit AI patrols/camps would really make the map feel alive, even when players are not on. Something I think a lot of survival games fail at, relying on pvp as the crutch content of the game. This allows for the game to become stale after a while when players are not online the server.
I recently picked up DeadSide. Survival game that has no zombies but AI bandits. And I will tell ya you really can’t tell the difference between the players and bandits until it pops up in the kill feed. Keeps the game otherwise another boring looting empty survival game fun, and on your toes. These bandits are difficult too and wiped me and my team of 4 once. An AI threat that demands your respect makes for a really exciting game and rewarding when you defeat them. An underwhelming AI will always make for stale repetitive game play.