Some reflections on STW after 82 days of playing and making PL100

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Bought STW 82 days ago and just made PL100 today. A) My thoughts on STW as a game, B) things I’d think would improve gameplay, and C) ideas to increase the longevity and replayability for both new and old players

Thoughts on STW as a game

1. Early game is incredibly fun

  • I can’t think of another game where I enjoyed early game as much as STW. Even though I was incredibly clueless for most of it, I had so much fun discovering new zones, trying figure out what did heroes did, trying to figure out how to craft weapons/traps, and learning how to build defenses.

2. That being said, the game doesn’t do a very good job of teaching new players how to play

  • I spent most of stonewood completely clueless. It took me a while to figure out how to craft weapons/ammo. During one of the first missions, my basic assault rifle broke (the level 1 rifle you get to start the game), and then my grey pistol ran out of light ammo, and I was stuck using a level 1 sword trying to fight off husks while my atlas defense consisted of those short walls that the tutorial taught you to place. I also didn’t have teammates because my party settings were private for most of early stonewood, because I didn’t know it had to be public to be able to play missions with others. Even when I did eventually figure out how to craft weapons/ammo/traps, there was still a lot of things that the game didn’t really teach new players. Things like survivor squads (mine were on autofill for a very long time), what different hero classes did, what Evo mats were for, how to level up schematics, or how to actually build effective trap tunnels (although to be fair, effective trap use wasn’t really a necessity in stonewood and plankerton).

3. The STW community (past and present) has done a decent job in filling in the gaps

  • Tons of decent guides on this subreddit, helpful redditors that answered questions, YouTube creators (eg. Daviddean, A1, etc). Together, all of these resources taught me almost all I know about survivor squads, hero loadouts, how to level schematics up, how to create decent trap tunnels, things like elemental husks, etc. Thanks guys 🙂

4. Stonewood isn’t actually that bad (at least in my experience)

  • I know the meme is that sCaMwOOd is a horrible place to be, but my experience in Stonewood was actually rather enjoyable. When I started STW, I met traders maybe 1 out of every 10 matches in stonewood, and that’s not nearly enough to disincentivize me from playing in stonewood on public. The majority of the random stonewood players I played with were helpful – or at least as helpful as stonewood players could be. We all sucked and didn’t really know how to build good defenses, but that’s the natural progression of any game (especially one with such a poor tutorial). I think that eventually, players that keep playing the game through plankerton/canny end up learning how to build/trap effectively and other nuances of the game sooner or later.

5. Canny quest line was a major grind, but the storyline made it almost bearable

  • Ghost town missions were horrible, especially since there are so few people playing in Canny Valley. Luckily for anyone still in Canny right now, Ventures missions count towards the Canny quest missions, so they can double-dip. The Canny storyline however, did help keep my motivation going, as the storyline was part of what made STW so enjoyable and unique.

6. Twine peaks is okay

  • Well, actually it’s incredibly underwhelming, but I was already prepared for that because of everyone complaining about Twine in this subreddit. I will say I met more beggers/traders/leechers in early twine (eg. Level 70-80 zones) than I did in stonewood, which was kind of annoying. But now that I’m in mid-twine (and can also access some late-twine missions now), most players usually are competent and help out with the missions.

7. Ventures is an even worse grind that Canny was……

  • But I actually kind of like it. Rewards definitely need a buff for ventures to be worth it, but I am enjoying the unique aspect of ventures that are different from normal game. Rage modifier has forced me to experiment with different loadouts and I find it interesting to try out different weapons that I would normally not use. Traps become really important, since it feels like I’m always underpowered in ventures. I definitely feel like some end-game players underestimate the importance of traps in ventures because they’re use to spamming abilities and using high-power/well-perked weapons, but I feel like people like this quickly learn that placing 1×1 walls around a RtD objective without any traps doesn’t cut it in ventures. I will say I am kind out tired of the fact that certain loadouts are clearly meta in ventures (Teddy outlanders and Base constructors) – hopefully the hero meta changes next venture season, because I’d like to explore with different Heros as well.

IF epic were inclined to give STW the world more attention (lol), these would a befew things I think would improve gameplay:

1. A better tutorial system in the beginning

  • I know that a lot of people on here have proposed various improvements for the tutorial/early game, and any one of them would probably be better than what is in the game now. Out of the ones I’ve seen, I really like u/TheGhostBossMaterial idea of a “tutorial island” (so to speak), that would teach early game players how to build trap tunnels, how to defend different objectives, info about survivors/hero classes, etc. Also, u/Malouff once commented an interesting suggestion of having an early-game hero, that would outline husk spawns/pathing to teach players how to properly build for an objective. I think it would’ve been super useful for me when I first started, because even after watching/reading a bunch of advice on trap tunnels and how to build different defenses, I still sometimes didn’t quite get how the husks would path early on, which made some of my trap placements useless. All the other tutorial suggestions I’ve seen on here have been great too!

2. Better venture rewards to make ventures relevant to all players (new and old)

  • I really like the recruitment/weapons vouchers because I just started playing and there are a ton of heros/weapons I don’t have. However, I can see how many of the venture rewards would be useless for other endgame players who have been playing for a long time (and also not useful for early game players who don’t really need superchargers right now). Ventures feels like a huge grind -I’m currently on Lvl 35 in ventures and I don’t even know if I want to go on until I reach level 50.
  • My suggestion for next venture season would be to buff the existing venture rewards (more vouchers/superchargers), buff the mission rewards (eg. More evo mats so it is worth playing ventures over twine peak missions), and add new rewards that would incentivize player to play ventures more. For example, perhaps in the ventures progression/“battle pass,” one of the rewards for completely ventures could be some sort of cosmetic – a skin would be nice, but even if epic is too stingy for that, an emote/backbling/pickaxe/banner that could be used in both STW/BR would incentivize a lot more people to play ventures. This would also have the added benefit of incentivizing players from BR to try out STW (and they would have to actually play the game for a significant amount of time to reach a certain venture level).

3. Fixing the bugs would be nice (lol)

Ideas to keep existing players in the game and to attract new players

1. Keep doing BR skins bundled with STW (like the metal team leader pack)

  • This seems to have attracted a fair amount of BR players (from what I can tell). Since they need to login for 10 days and complete 10 daily quests to earn their 1000 bucks, hopefully some new players will fall in love with STW like I did and keep playing.

2. Have more cosmetic rewards that can be used in both modes for all players

  • For example, I loved unlocking all the STW pickaxes (which are still available to non-founders I believe), and I also love the “Stand and Fight” lobby music that can be used in both modes. I also like collecting banners. I think more cosmetics would incentivize people to play the questline (even if they’re small cosmetics like pickaxes, backblings, or music packs). We wouldn’t need too many cosmetics – maybe just something for the end of each zone (at the end of the stonewood questline, plankerton questline, and canny questline) as well as for reaching lvl 50 in ventures every season. It would give both non-founders (who can’t earn bucks), and endgame players (who already have everything in the game) something to work towards and look forward to earning

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