The Long Dark has been moving along steadily for quite some time now, with this July update bringing some changes to core mechanics in the game, as well as some visual and sound updates.
The change that has the biggest impact to gameplay is the updated Foraging. No longer do you choose it as an option and just wait to see what you find in X amount of time. Now you take direct action to forage from the world. Instead an RNG-based search, there will be sticks, branches, and limbs scattered near trees you can pick up from the ground. You’ll also be able to break down tables, chairs, curtains, and more for resources like reclaimed wood, cloth, and other basic resources. It will take some tuning, so expect changes in the future.
The campfire has also received an update in that you will need to continually fuel it to increase both burn time and heat output. In all modes you won’t actually warm up until the fire temperature exceeds the temperature outside, but in the hardest difficulty Stalker, fire won’t automatically stop condition loss like in the other two modes.
Anyone who has played The Long Dark has likely had an encounter, or several, with a wolf that ended in your death. Struggling to so survive a wolf attack has been overhauled in that afflictions will add up over time. The video below also mentions that wolf attacks are much more survivable, but you will still walk away with a lot of wounds. The amount you fight back, what mode you are on, and whether or not you have a weapon will play a role in determining how bad of an outcome you end up with. The UI and controls for fighting back have been simplified as well.
Related to that, First Aid has been changed slightly, adding a few new afflictions like hypothermia and lacerations as well. The UI has been replaced and now First Aid can handle multiple similar afflictions at once, like multiple injuries dealing with blood loss.
The only other gameplay change comes in the removal of running. Instead of running, you can now walk or sprint with a stamina bar. Stamina returns slowly and sprinting will increase your fatigue at a higher rate than walking.
Aside from the gameplay mechanics, the other part of the update most worthy of note is the addition of 1500 ambient sound effects. Now players should be able to identify structures from a distance depending on the sound carried on the wind, like metal rattling.
There are a lot of other updates like the look of snow, fire, ambient sounds, bug fixes, and more, all of which you can read the specifics about in their post.
Below you can also see the video they created showing off the new gameplay mechanics in action.
I have actually had a chance to play this some already, and so far all of these changes definitely make the experience much better. My only criticism with the new foraging/breaking down mechanic is that when you break something down, the items just end up on the ground. The first few times I did it, I went to look in my inventory for what I broke down to not find it there. Only on returning to where I broke down some curtains did I find the cloth on the ground.
If The Long Dark is unfamiliar to you, I’d encourage you to check out a preview I did on it back in October. While outdated, the feel of the game is the same. Expect a new preview soon.