So we have a topic discussing what weapons and items should be re balanced to make the game more challenging, but we didnt had a very solid plan of action or goals. So I am proposing these two:
Lengthening of the Early game, as the game stands now, early game is possibly the most fun and challenging part of the game, you could also argue that its the only game play stage to be currently balanced. It however ends pretty quickly, and every new version seems to make it considerably shorter. For example, few versions ago, lets say 0.5, i often kept my nail board for at least a week, now I seem to dich it for a firearm/katana/combat-knife/machete at day 2, day 3 if I am extremely unlucky, things that push me into the lategame even with negligible skills.
The Mid game: I am unsure as to what happened to the Mid-game, it seems completely gone from the game, I switch from carefully nailboarding zombies from windows on day 3 to carelessly submachingoing zombies on my awesome suit of armor from day 4 onwards. The sudden and fast switch into the late game has made several improvised weapons and bows useless, and has the side effect of looting runs becoming very monotonous and boring.
Now as it seems that removing stuff is a never do it thing, so the best possible course of action is the the tweaking of spawn list, stats and recipes. Basing myself on that, I have thought of those actions to achieve the aftermentioned goals
-Reduction of mutagen spawns: It seems that with the addition of more categories of targeted mutagens and serums the amount of them to be found inside labs has increased to ridiculous levels, yesterday I managed to find 23 targeted serums just in the first level of a lab, I dont think that should be the case
-Increased difficulty for crafting survivor gear: They have pretty low crafting requirements, and the materials needed are not exactly rare. Yet they seem to be late game gear or behave like other pieces of late game gear, also, they have a very strong S.T.A.L.K.E.R feeling to them and it seems odd for a survivor that has only been out for a week to be wearing them.
-Military gear! Military gear everywhere! Right now finding military gear is laughably easy, finding a single MBR an army jacket and a pair of army pants from a dead patrol pushes you straight into the late game, you simply become invulnerable to the average zombie. Not to mention the fact that you often also find firearms and other very usefull gear like MOLLE packs and knives.
-What happened to Specials? Is it me or the addition of things like fat and though zombies seems to have reduced their spawns significantly? Tweaking of monster spawnlists seems necessary.
-Every zombie is fat in america. Fat zombies are considerably easier to take down that their normal counterparts, and they outnumber normal zombies by a wide margin, this should change. I am of the opinion that they should be outright removed, or otherwise moved to Classic mode only
-Zombie soldiers are piñatas: Kill a pair of zombie soldiers; obtain enough loot to kill anything.
-Out of period and good melee weapons in general are too common, i think we should spend a week in game before we stumble upon one of the, with the first week mostly dominated by things like improvised weapons and misused tools.
-Firearms everywhere, pretty much the same problem as above
Thats what come to my mind first, but certainly, there are more things that need revising and re balancing.