A bit disappointed by the wildlife in the game.

#1 Posted by MeAuntieNora (446 posts) -

I'm a bit of a biology enthusiast so I understand that most of what bothers me or sticks out like a sore thumb wouldn't bother most people.

Something that immediately struck me is that tapirs are depicted as shy and flighty (accurate) but even when pressed remain completely passive in trying to flee. Tapirs command considerable respect from people who live around them, and many cultures see them as archetypes for "bravery" or "steadfastness" due to their willingness to fight, even to the death, if such a scenario confronts them... While any tapir will run or hide if the option presents itself, a cornered or surprised one will charge defensively, using their low center of gravity and quick acceleration to bowl you over, analogous to a behavior in boars. They lack the visible tusks of boars, perhaps affecting how people visually assess their threat. What you can't see however is they possess a remarkably strong jaw and surprisingly sharp teeth for their specific fibrous marshy herbivorous diet (IIRC).

To see the very detailed, accurately modeled creatures in-game, it's clear that quite a bit of attention was paid to get certain aspects "right" but to miss what I see as a major and fairly well-known aspect of their behavior is kind of absurd. It's depriving the player of a more nuanced dynamic of learning tolerance levels. They probably wanted a big game target that could be readily attempted by new players with early game gear, but they already had several which fit the bill...

On the other end of the spectrum, cassowaries are hitbirds or something, and want nothing more than to gang up, coordinated almost. Why?. I don't need to kill any more of you, just eat yoru grass and I'll mind my own business too. II've had bull sharks not react in any way to me swimming 5 feet behind them, letting me swim a long distance safely to shore. I've walked into a field 500 feet from 4 cassowaries and immediately had them all charge me like a wolf pack or some shit. Make no mistake, they are formidable land creatures--to such an extent that they have few natural predators. Their kick is capable of killing a human quite readily by brute force alone, and they have knife like talons to make it that much easier. It's not uncommon to find predatory animals disemboweled by those very claws. But his is a defensive strike strictly... A wolf chasing or biting the bird would trigger such a response, or perhaps catching one very off guard where they feel cornered. They are like shock troopers in-game though, it's kind of awesome. The first time I encountered them there were like dozens in a fairly small space, and they tore me apart before I could even really try to defend. I'm telling you, it almost seemed like an organized hit...

Leopards are said to be the most dangerous predators to humans here, despite komodo dens galore, and, TIGERS which are a prime candidate for most dangerous predator to humans the world over. in certain sparsely populated rural spaces in India and elsewhere in SE Asia, up to HUNDREDS of humans are killed and often eaten by tigers. They're one of the few animals that will in general opportunistically stalk and hunt humans in a deliberate, learned manner, developing unique strategies so as to avoid firearms for instance, with some individuals developing such adaptive behaviors that they in in fact preferentially target, and in still more rare, but well-documented individual cases EXCLUSIVELY EAT HUMANS :-O Locally they become woven into folklore and become viewed as or demonic. Not that hard to imagine when everyone in town knows the 20 people who disappeared this season, and every night like clockwork you see a large male with bloodstained muzzle just sit on the outskirts, waiting for his chance. Shark researchers are always on about how "sharks only attack humans by accident, and in fact most sharks actively reject human prey once they realize it is not prefferred prey. Tiger researchers have nothing similar to argue. In fact it's perhaps one of the tantalizing and terrifying aspects of the animal. And so, again, to sap tigers of a well=known trait, and have them outmatched by fairly lethargic, mouse-eating predators all things considered... who writes this shit?

Leopards lounge in a tree and often steal rather than hunt. How did they become the most feared within the fiction? They don't even seem to have any different AI than the other big cats, again a bit of a disappointment but that's asking a lot at that point. They're complex animals that learn how you behave so they can deceive you... Doesn't really work in an action game, but there's only so much zerg-rush style wildlife attacks I can take before it seems really ridiculous.. I suppose the character is due some comeuppance for the killings of many, many animals... but honestly, most of the time they started it.

Many of the descriptions are strange as well due to the "codex" being clearly written in the voice of a character (no spoilers please, if that even turns up)!. In real life, an amalgam of lifetime experience, taboos, religion, misinformation, preconceptions, urban legends, and primal fears play critical roles in peoples' view of animals. The concept of something like "Urban Dictionary: Birds and Shit Edition" strikes me as potentially awesome. It' s just largely unsatisfying so far. I'd hope a well-curated book on such a topic would not repeat the same "ex wife" joke for just about any explanatory description, even shoehorning it into such awkward contexts that it seems deliberately un-funny or something... it's bizarre. It might as well be a worthless waste of time if it's neither funny NOR informative, but I appreciate that they tried...

Anyway, I wrote my fair share, just wanted to get it out there, see if others might have noticed things I didn't, or maybe I can be corrected, which I honestly always appreciate. Overall it seems just like a dissonance between the realistic rendering of real lfie creatures and the rather simplistic AIs they stuck them with, in some cases seeming to reverse what would be apprpriate and other weird shit. This is a very interesting game and I'm glad it made me think about something I enjoy in real life as much as the great biodiversity of the world. Lemme know if you manage to engage one!.

#2 Edited by jsnyder82 (725 posts) -

I find myself constantly having to put out fires on my body. It's irritating, especially when you're trying to fight a heavy.

I don't know exactly how I came to post on this topic. It was not my intention. I was aiming for an entirely different thread.

#3 Posted by Demoskinos (14510 posts) -

I got all them White Tigers DLC son.

#4 Posted by Spoonman671 (4523 posts) -

There's really only two animal AI routines. They're either "herbivores" that run away from you, or they're "predators" that run towards you.
 
I'm a big fan of simulated ecology in games. I feel that a variety of different actors interacting with each other in an environment can create a very attractive game experience. Whenever a designer utters the word "ecology" my ears automatically perk up. The problem is that creating even one high-quality, complex AI system is very difficult, but these goals require many such systems. Perhaps the next generation of consoles, with greater processing potential, will allow for such an experience.
 
Still, it's way better than Far Cry 2 in this regard.

#5 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

I kinda stopped caring about the wildlife once I got the flamethrower and did it to do all my hunting. And then the grenade arrows came into play and the poor little Dingos had no chance. 

#6 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (464 posts) -

Do you mean you're a fan of Zoology in particular, or does anything made out of living cell arrangements turn your fancy? Cause that's a lot of shit to be enthused about.

#7 Edited by mordukai (7125 posts) -

I wish the hunting system was more robust. Actually studying your animal and either stalking them or setting traps for them. It would have been cool if they also implemented some sort of wind system that you could use when it comes to smells. I also wish you could make smells that would attract certain types of animals so you could secretly rub them on enemies and such.

Still Video Games...you know.

#8 Posted by MeAuntieNora (446 posts) -

@DetectiveSpecial: It's a broad interest and it's not very convenient no... It hasn't gotten me anything but some fairly good experience in some cases. Doing an experiment at Cold Spring Lab was pretty surreal for instance. Microbiology was among my favorite classes. But then you inevitably stray into organic chemistry, and I just don't have it in me... Friends who have taken it relate how painful it is... Memorize hundreds of complex proteins, be able to label each amino acid's place in the chain, identify said protein, and then construct a 3D model and label each square with in the chain with the appropriate amino acid... It just seems like hell. to me, so I guess you could say that's one of the lines I draw.

I'm weird, I'm like a dullard polymath. I worked a bit doing research for a polymath inventor, whose day job is neurosurgeon. Fundamentally he knew and could do so much more than I, but I found myself able to keep up fairly well, and I soon found myself comparing novel mosquito traps in Israel and a drastically different design in South Africa, and blending the ideas together and the legal stuff and most logistics he had it all figured out, he pinpionted a ratio that hadn't been patented, a blend of chemicals that are harmless to humans, and it resulted in a patent... It's obvious he's the creative force of the entire project, yet he frequently gave me praise for doing what he didn't have the time or patience to do... I was literally helping him see some of his dream projects made, which is probably the coolest thing I'll every achieve...The next thing he had me research was for some innovative diaper. I didn't do any more research for him....

#9 Posted by Empirepaintball (1389 posts) -

I agree that lots of this isn't technically accurate. I do, however, love the interaction in the world between the animals, and even the animals and people.

#10 Posted by HistoryInRust (6267 posts) -

Related to the post, but only indirectly: It seems like every time I die taking an outpost a tiger spawns right behind where I do. Every. Time.

#11 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

i was disappointed once by something in a game. its not nice

#12 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -

@MeAuntieNora: 1. This is a video game and 2. everything is fucking insane in this game.

Who needs logic and reality when I've got crazy dumb fun?

#13 Posted by Andorski (5173 posts) -

Shark hunting/fighting is really disappointing. The only way I was able to kill sharks was to shoot at them from the shore or on a boat. They should have made the knife usable underwater.

#14 Posted by warxsnake (2634 posts) -

What's in FC3 in terms of AI, number of animals (textures, AI, geo, anims) is the absolute maximum the PS3 can handle in an open world environment. FC3's memory footprint literally uses everything available on the PS3. If the game focused more on animals and wildlife, some other major element of the game would have been cut.  
But hey good news, next gen is around the corner. 

#15 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

I got all them White Tigers DLC son.

Wait, what?

#16 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

Two words....komodo dragons. I hate komodo dragons. Those things blend in with the foliage, and next thing you know, you are getting gang raped by four or five of them. Nasty things.

#17 Posted by Demoskinos (14510 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@Demoskinos said:

I got all them White Tigers DLC son.

Wait, what?

If you bought the game at Wal-mart it came with a token to download a pack that included a Signature M-700 Sniper Rifle and a bunch of additional animals including Pumas,White Tigers,Thylacines and Red-Headed Vultures

#18 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@Napalm said:

@Demoskinos said:

I got all them White Tigers DLC son.

Wait, what?

If you bought the game at Wal-mart it came with a token to download a pack that included a Signature M-700 Sniper Rifle and a bunch of additional animals including Pumas,White Tigers,Thylacines and Red-Headed Vultures

Motherf-.

#19 Posted by RedRavN (397 posts) -

I was a biology major, worked as a naturalist and am a hunter. So believe me when I say I can relate to your very interesting writeup on the ecology of farcry 3. I just dont think doing anything more robust than either having animals run away or charge you is even possible within the confines of the current generation of consoles. As another poster mentioned; hopefully, we will see more complicated AI routines put into games once we move into the next generation.

I think that ubisoft could have at least managed to code in some sort of damage model for wild game that rewards clean 1 shot kills instead of blowing up your prey or destroying them with a heavy machinegun. They also should have included the need to track animals after they are shot. They could have had quality grades for pelts ranging from destroyed, poor, second rate, decent and perfect with the best ones much more valuable and useful for crafting. Its true that they get a bit of a pass because of the technology they needed to work with, but there are ways to improve the hunting that are purely design based.

At the very least they should have gotten the animal behaviors correct. I'm with you on the shock troop casuary and the somewhat non-threatening tigers. In real life even a well armed person has little chance against a tiger once it has closed distance. Also the bear behavior is quite a bit off from reality. The way they stand up when you shoot them is just stupid. Also, the asiatic black bear would probably run away from you on sight and especially if you started shooting. A polar or grizzly bear on the other hand will literally charge you if you happen to shoot at it. Moreover, in the real world if you shoot a deer and either miss or knick it then you can be sure you are not going to be seeing that same deer anytime soon.

Ahh well, at least they tried to create a living ecology and have animals but the attempt does fall quite a bit flat. I think its best to think of farcry as more of a rediculous action game and less of any kind of simulation of anything in the real world. I myself would have prefered a little more realism but still fun gameplay.

#20 Posted by Korolev (1694 posts) -

What you've written is very true - the Animal AI in Far Cry 3 is simplistic.

But it was always going to be. This isn't a deep or thoughtful game - this is a loud, brash game that does not care about genuine animal behaviour.

Here's a screenshot from Rock Paper Shotgun, which named Far Cry 3 as their "game of the year" (I disagree, but it's their opinion):

This is what Far Cry 3 is all about. It's about this, not about accurately depicting wildlife. The Devs wanted what was cool, not was was deep or realistic.

I too, look forward to the day when Animal AI can be accurately simulated. But I'm not expecting it any time soon.

#21 Posted by Kierkegaard (562 posts) -

@RedRavN said:

I think that ubisoft could have at least managed to code in some sort of damage model for wild game that rewards clean 1 shot kills instead of blowing up your prey or destroying them with a heavy machinegun. Assassin's Creed 3 did it

They also should have included the need to track animals after they are shot. AC3 did it

They could have had quality grades for pelts ranging from destroyed, poor, second rate, decent and perfect with the best ones much more valuable and useful for crafting. Okay, that's literally how AC3 works. Do you know that?

Its true that they get a bit of a pass because of the technology they needed to work with, but there are ways to improve the hunting that are purely design based.

At the very least they should have gotten the animal behaviors correct. I'm with you on the shock troop casuary and the somewhat non-threatening tigers. In real life even a well armed person has little chance against a tiger once it has closed distance. Also the bear behavior is quite a bit off from reality. The way they stand up when you shoot them is just stupid. Also, the asiatic black bear would probably run away from you on sight and especially if you started shooting. A polar or grizzly bear on the other hand will literally charge you if you happen to shoot at it. Think the bears and deer in AC3 are closer to this Moreover, in the real world if you shoot a deer and either miss or knick it then you can be sure you are not going to be seeing that same deer anytime soon.

This isn't to school you or anything, but reading through this I was shocked how much better another ubisoft open-world hunting simulator did all of this stuff. While simplified, the tracking, pelt gathering, and animal behaviors in AC3 are pretty boss.

#22 Posted by RedRavN (397 posts) -

@Kierkegaard: I was basing my post solely on farcry 3's mechanics and design and not other games. I did not discuss other games as a means to compare and contrast and I'm sure there are other games that do a better job with this kind of thing. As for AC3, I just recieved my copy over the holidays so I'm sure I will be enjoying the game quite a bit. If another game from the same company has the ecology element replicated to a more acceptable degree, such as AC3, then doesn't that reinforce the opinion that what is in farcry 3 is not up to standard and that the blame rests solely on the developers?

Either way, like I said, I'm not even sure if a more detailed system is even necessary bearing in mind the kind of game farcry 3 was. But I do think it would improve my specific enjoyment of it if things were dialed in closer to sanity when it comes to the hunting/ecology elements.

#23 Posted by pweidman (2282 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

Related to the post, but only indirectly: It seems like every time I die taking an outpost a tiger spawns right behind where I do. Every. Time.

Fuckin' A!!! Every time I shoot an alarm box(didn't do it early on), a Tiger growl is heard and I have to run immediately. And when I look he's really pretty damn close and usually from somewhere I just was at. And of course it's always when all hell breaks loose in the camp so shit is crazy everywhere. Obviously planned chaos spawns ...but come on, it does seem lately that it happens every time. :D

#24 Posted by Kierkegaard (562 posts) -

@RedRavN: Oh yeah, didn't mean that as an attack on you at all. Your ideas for improvement were just so specific to AC3 that I wondered if you were indirectly referencing it. I agree, that people within the same company did a better job with animal life in a game far less focused on hunting is pretty damning. Happy playing!

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