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Timberwolves are relentless hunters. You must break their resolve by reducing Pack Morale. You can also try and take refuge indoors, if you have no other way to defend yourself. Timberwolves can be scared off using a variety of actions -- flares, gunfire, torches, even stones. Break their morale and the Pack will retreat...for a while.
In-game description

Timberwolves are the tougher and more intelligent counterpart to the wolf. Unlike wolves, timberwolves always hunt in packs and are not frightened by common anti-wolf tactics such as lit flares or distracted with decoys.

Overview

Timberwolves are silver-gray and larger, than their smaller and flat gray-black wolf cousins. They are native to Bleak Inlet and Blackrock regions (in Survival mode) and Episode 3 and Episode 4 of Story mode, roaming and attacking in packs of 2 to 5. Each pack has morale, which appears at the start of confrontations: reducing a pack's morale complete will cause it to flee.

Morale is reduced by shooting or throwing items at a timberwolf; direct hits are more effective but 'near misses' may deplete some morale (all weapons, stones, lit torches, and lit blue Marine Flares (not common red Flares). Winning a struggle against a Timberwolf will reduce a large amount of Morale. Once a pack's morale is fully depleted the entire pack will flee for approximately 12 hours. If a pack is reduced to a single member (all others are killed), the remaining timberwolf will always flee.

Drops

  1. If carcass is harvested
  2. If carcass is quartered.

Behaviour

Unlike common Wolves, Timberwolves do not 'stalk' the player, instead howling upon detection and attacking as a pack. Timberwolves will attempt to encircle the player to take turns diving in for attacks, either as a struggle or as a "drive-by" attack where they damage the player and briefly retreat. In Wintermute, timberwolves will also attack rescued survivors lying on the ground.

  • Timberwolves ignore bait with decoys, but are drawn to scent of meat or bloody injuries.
  • Lone timberwolves (when the rest of its pack has been killed) always flee.
  • Only one Timberwolf will attack the player a time. Aiming a weapon at a hostile timberwolf which is not currently attacking may cause it to briefly pause.
  • Like other wildlife, timberwolves flee from nearby gunshots and bullet/arrows/stone impacts if they have not detected the player.

Morale

Timberwolves continue to attack until the morale of their pack is depleted, if the player moves far enough from the pack's home territory, or if a separate timberwolf pack is closer to the player. Morale can be lowered by shooting or throwing objects at the timberwolves. Striking a timberwolf with a shot (or thrown object) lowers morale more than a near miss. Killing a pack member decreases morale twice as much as when a member is hit. Passing time will cause packs to give up, but may take upwards of 12 hours.

Marine flares are effective at stopping a charging timberwolf, although normal flares are not. Both types of flare are effective at deterring timberwolves just outside their lunge distance. Once a pack's morale is depleted, surviving members flee and will not attack again until their morale regenerates (~1 hour in-game). A single lit Marine flare can be used to fully deplete a pack's morale by repeatedly throwing it at the ground between the player and a timberwolf, and then retrieving the flare.

During an Aurora the flashlight's high beam is effective at scaring aurora timberwolves and depleting their morale; however, even marine flares have no effect on aurora timberwolves.

Campfires have limited deterrence value against Timberwolves, as they will not attack through them, but instead encircle it and 'hold ground'. Torches pulled from a lit campfire may be thrown at timberwolves to deplete their morale.

Injured timberwolves do not participate in attacks (though it takes a few seconds for them to realize they are injured), and they flee from the player even if the pack has higher morale. If every timberwolf in the pack is injured, then the player is safe from attack, though the morale bar will only disappear once enough of the timberwolves have bled to death.

Interface

When a timberwolf detects the player, they will howl, followed by a chord stab sounds and the morale bar appearing. Shooting or throwing objects at the timberwolves will decrease the bar. When fully depleted, the pack will flee.

Evasion Strategies

Timberwolves are competent in fights which makes detecting, avoiding, or escaping them preferable to combat.

  • Lit torches, Flares and especially Marine Flares are effective deterrents. A charging timberwolf will stop and growl/hold ground a short distance away. Approaching a Wolf/Timberwolf holding ground will likely result in an attack.
  • Marine Flares are effective at frightening Timberwolf packs by igniting and repeatedly throwing/retrieving it.
  • Noisemakers are effective at frightening Timberwolves and Aurora Timberwolves.
  • Timberwolves are territorial; simply avoiding their areas is effective. The edges of regions are usually safe. Timberwolves avoid bear and moose territory.
  • Timberwolves must see the player to alert their pack, so crouching or hiding behind terrain is effective, though scent or noise can attract them. If un-alerted, timberwolves can be lured by thrown stones or waiting until they move away.
  • Like Wolves, Timberwolves may be frightened by a worn Wolfskin Coat, Bearskin Coat, or Bear Skin Bedroll, but only before the pack howls/engages.
  • Upon detection, timberwolves take several seconds to howl before beginning their assault. This provides a short window of opportunity to sprint, start a fire, or ready a weapon.
  • It is possible to outrun a pack, especially with a lit Flare/Marine Flare, as packs are optimized to fight stationary or slow players. Leaving their territory (entering the territory of a different pack or a bear/moose) will cause them to disengage.
  • Timberwolves run at the same speed as a player. Being overburdened, carrying a Mobility penalty (from worn clothing), steep terrain, or headwinds can allow Timberwolves to catch up.
  • Passing time inside will cause a pack to disengage. This does not work in pseudo-indoor areas like Pensive Lookout (but quitting and reloading the game (such as after sleeping) will also typically reset).
  • During an Aurora the flashlight, streetlights, and vehicle headlights are effective against aurora timberwolves.

Fight Strategies

Timberwolves can be fought with the right tools or tactics.

  • Assassination from stealth is often the best strategy for destroying a pack. This generally requires a Rifle, or a Bow with Archery 5, as they will detect a non-crouching player. Timberwolves generally do not react to their pack mates being killed allowing the entire pack to be eliminated from stealth.
  • Thrown marine flares are very effective at depleting a pack's morale; even one can be enough to deter the pack by throwing and retrieving it.
  • Terrain such as cliffs, ledges, boulders, or fallen trees are useful as chokepoints or for protecting from attacks entirely.
  • Standing next to a campfire or on top of a lit torch also provides considerable protection from attack.
  • Snow shelters can provide protection from attack, but may require leaving the shelter to continue a fight. Field of view is also limited, so the direction of a shelter is crucial since timberwolves can gather behind the snow shelter (in blind spots).
  • The Distress Pistol is effective at depleting morale. A well placed shot can deplete up to 1/4 of a pack's morale.
  • As with other predators, it is possible to sneak up close to timberwolves while crouched and redirect them with thrown stones or by picking up/dropping smelly items. This allows them to be hunted more effectively without starting an attack. A mastered survival bow (level 5 skill) is well suited for this method.

Gallery

Update history

  • update 27 June 2020 (Update):
    • [Gameplay] Fixed an issue that prevented Timberwolves Pack Morale from being drained when using the Flashlight’s high beam.
    • [WINTERMUTE] Timberwolves will now react to the Flashlight when appearing in WINTERMUTE.
  • hotfix 20 January 2020 (Update):
    • [EP3] Players can no longer skip the Timberwolf Tutorial, by placing a survivor at the same time the tutorial triggers.
    • [AI] Fixed an issue that allowed Timberwolves to become hostile, regardless of game mode settings.
    • [AI] Fixed issue that prevented Timberwolves from attacking the Player, if they have entered and exited a vehicle.
    • [AI] Timberwolves will now only pick valid locations to wander to, preventing them from becoming stuck.
  • hotfix 18 December 2019 (Update):
    • [AI] Timberwolves will no longer freeze in place if they try to attack a target they can’t pathfind to.
    • [Animation] Pass on Timberwolves to fix numerous animation pops and hitches.
    • [Audio] When joining a pack, Timberwolf howls are no longer cut off or repeated.
  • hotfix 14 December 2019 (Update):
    • [WINTERMUTE] Timberwolf carcasses no longer disappear if the Player saves, then reloads.
    • [Survival] Timberwolves will now hunt prey, as intended.
    • [AI] Added additional line of sight check to Timberwolves, to prevent attacks through walls and out of reach locations.
    • [AI] Timberwolves will now break-off their attack if a Marine Flare is lit, before the struggle occurs.
    • [AI] Timberwolves can no longer flee to excessive distances.
  • update 10 December 2019 (Update):
    • [WINTERMUTE] Male survivor vocalization no longer plays when Astrid is attacked by Timberwolves.
    • [WINTERMUTE] Timberwolves now react properly to Marine Flares.
  • hotfix 1 November 2019 (Update):
    • Fixed issue that caused players to be forced out of aim when attacked by a Timberwolf.
    • Adjusted the distance which Timberwolves will hold ground when the player is holding a lit Marine Flare.
    • Fixed Timberwolves howling more than intended.
    • Fixed Timberwolf corpses resetting after transitioning indoors.
  • hotfix 29 October 2019 (Update):
    • Fixed Timber Wolves Morale bar resetting if they fled during the Tutorial.
    • Fixed issue preventing Timber Wolves from transitioning to and from Aurora state.
  • update 22 October 2019 (Update):
    • Added to game
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