If The Development Team Sees This Post
I love you guys and your work, don't get me wrong, I just think it could be improved. Should you decide to do any of this, a roadmap would be nice. Just saying.
A Hub World
Instead of a bunch of menus, I as a player find it more enjoyable and more immersive to have an in-game world where you can do everything the menus can. Since we can see what seems to be the Homebase building North from the Stonewood shield (screenshot below), I think it would be a great idea to have the mountain it sits on and the building itself be the hub world.
What I mean when I say "the Homebase building":
When you first gain access to the hub, it should just be Ray and her gang of bots, maybe even Lars and a few other survivor NPCs that you can talk to. As you progress through the game, more people show up and join the base (like Clip, the Director, Dennis, Desire, more NPC survivors, etc.). The locker can function like the blue phone booths in Party Royale, where you enter it, change what you want, and jump out.
Different World System
While the current world map is perfectly fine, in order to fit in with the hub world idea, I'd like to see something like the observatory domes from Super Mario Galaxy, where they're part of the hub world. You unlock the first one by basically completing a tutorial, and you can go farther out the more stars you claim. In Fortnite's case, you can travel farther based on your current power level.
SMG also has a boss level when you complete an observatory dome, so this could be an opportunity to create a boss for every major area, and I don't mean just buffed versions of the normal husks/mist monsters. A dragon for one, a shadow clone of yourself for another, or maybe even an NPC that thinks you're a husk in disguise, get creative.
Every observatory dome after the first one should be accessible only after killing the boss for the previous one and reaching a power level requirement. For things like ventures, you could add a separate observatory dome or a plane/boat/van that'll have it's driver show you a map of the area, where you can then select the mission.
As for the party system, everybody would join the party leader's hub. If a member hasn't unlocked a feature, simply add a piece of text on-screen that says they haven't unlocked that yet. If it's an area like an observatory dome that they haven't unlocked, let them walk inside but put black highlighter or a heavy glitch effect over anything that says what major area that observatory dome takes you to. Or just take out the spoilers entirely and make it feel empty and unused, its up to the devs.
They don't have to be literal observatory domes, they could be rooms with teleporters that are connected to the satellite we know exists based off the first few cutscenes. And speaking of cutscenes…
After the first few missions, the majority of the storytelling has basically no visual element whatsoever as it's all told through dialogue lines on the main menu screen. I'm sure that most of the players can agree with me when I say I want to see Ray give us that pep talk right before we go fight the Storm King for the first time, I want to see what Homebase and Desire were doing right before she set off that bomb, I want to see a special intro cutscene that's relevant to the story played when we first load into a new area like Plankerton, Canny Valley, Twine Peaks, or even a new Zone type. I want to see these things, not just hear them.
However, don't make them pre-rendered videos, make them happen in real-time so we can see our hero or locker outfit in it, even if they're completely silent. Of course, not everything involves our character, so it's okay to use things like pre-rendered videos where it wouldn't include the player's character.
As for animations, I still remember the first time I played and saw the way the camera set up behind Ramirez and how the weapons and building systems loaded in. Something like this before every mission would be nice to see:
Of course, I just cut some video together because I suck at animating, but I think you get what I mean, a quick, simple, and clean camera animation before the mission begins.
Updated Visuals and More Gameplay Features like Battle Royale got for Chapter 2
The lighting system, the swimming feature, the trees, the rocks, the water, the way that anything made of wood and the player themselves can catch fire, and even the terrain textures from BR could be added to STW. Maybe it's just me that wants all of these features and updated graphics, but I remember the memes about BR getting a new map, vehicles, and even storyline while STW got an updated dumpster and health bar update. A weather system would also be sick. The ability to un-equip traps would be very useful as well for those of us that mis-click a lot. Oh and one more thing; please let me crouch and build into the terrain. Please. That's it for this one, I think it's pretty self-explanatory.
Changes to Zones, How They Connect With The World, And More Types
The zones always felt wrong to me. It always feels like we're stuck on a plateau that we can't go off of or we die, and the same goes for even the Tropical zones. Tropical zones could be remade as islands that are made from legit terrain and the terrain pieces like we see in BR, with a barrier around the island instead of a kill-zone. As for everything else, I'd still like to see a combination of a terrain mesh, terrain pieces, and water like we see in BR, but they're not isolated islands, so hear me out.
For all of these, make a full world surrounding it, but make it inaccessible. Do the same, where it's a barrier instead of a kill-zone around the zone. Say you have a base environment that's seen on each of the zones that have grass, maybe just a couple of mountains in the distance with some hills and places where it connects to the area we can explore. If it's a city or industrial park zone, add a couple off-limits suburbs or a highway to sell the idea that we're in a city or industrial park. If it's a suburbs zone, add an off-limits city or highway to sell the idea that we're in some suburbs. If it's a forest or grassland, add some trees, rocks, and other plant life to the base mesh so it sells the idea that we're in a forest or grassland and not some elevated chunk of land. Since there's autumn versions of each of these, just assign different textures and it should be fine.
Desert zones don't need much, it's a desert. But, to keep with what I was saying, Route 99 zones could have an actual highway seen going through the zone and continuing on past it with a gas station in the distance, while Desert and Ghost Town zones could just have a vast expanse of desert, with added nature to make it blend with the zone. None of these environment ideas need to be very detailed, just detailed enough for the part near the zone to look good, anything past a certain distance should be low-poly and optimized so our frame rates don't tank.
I'd also like to see a couple new zones: the Mountains, Mountain Village/Cabins, Mountain Lakeside, Volcanic, and some other mountain zones for those of us that are in Twine Peaks, so it actually feels like Twine Peaks. For the backdrop, you could make a couple higher mountains on one side and lower mountains on the other, with a volcano worked into the higher mountains as well, all while remembering to connect it with the area we can access so it feels like a part of the world. There could also be a secondary backdrop that completely surrounds the zone with mountains. This could also be the place where ziplines are introduced into STW. The zone's appearance could also change based on the current season, where they all slowly get covered in snow as winter comes and the snow melts away as spring comes. Should a weather system be added, snowfall would replace rain when the transition from fall to winter starts, and rain would return when the transition from winter to spring starts. Again, I'd like to see the zones done with legit terrain, terrain pieces, and water like we see in BR.
As for the Storm King, I think you could remake the map with legit terrain and not terrain pieces so it feels smoother, add 2 or 3 more destroyed structures, and leave it flat or slightly hill-like for a decent ways outward. For the backdrop, I'd like to see storm clouds covering the sky and the storm we saw in the Device event in BR, where it's just a wall of swirling clouds surrounding the combat area like this:
This time, make the storm delete your HP in seconds, and insta-kill if you go far enough into it to prevent anybody going out of bounds. Of course, people could get dizzy if it swirled as fast as it did in the event, so maybe slow that down a bit, but I liked the feel it gave, and combined with the King, it could be one very good experience.
For Storm Shields, I'd also like to see their areas remade with terrain and terrain pieces, with a surrounding, off-limits environment that's just nature. ex. for Stonewood and Plankerton, surround it with a forest. For Canny, surround it with more desert. For Twine, have 5/8 of it be surrounded with mountains and have the other 3/8 be a beach. Of course, blend it into the area under the shield so it feels like part of the world, and keep it low-poly at a certain distance. To keep players inside the shield, make the shield wall visible and a solid barrier when you get near it, since it seems to disappear after your last defense is completed. Just to make it feel more like it's holding back the storm, make the sky above the shielded area clear, with some normal clouds instead of the storm clouds.
That's it, feel free to add onto the idea list in the comments. I hope they see this one though :'(
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