A way to (possibly) make vehicles less easy?

I’ve been noticing that every playthrough I do of cataclysm that’s successful, I just go straight for the best car I can find and turn it into a mobile base, quickly founding it into an all-in-one storage and living in luxury crafting hub horde on wheels. Add in some curtains and practice smart parking with automated turrets and the biggest threat you’ll face is your own dumb self.

It’s understandable that being mobile in cataDDA has its severe advantages vs settling down, and there’s even story involving moving west, so I can definitely see vehicles and mobile bases being a mid-high to end-game thing. My concern is more that I often mid-early game find an intact good vehicle like a humvee or a cop car or something, and with the help of a few tools and books and a little luck with night raids, end up bypassing large swaths of the crafting tree and living low-risk.

So, a few ideas I can think of to propose as an optional mod, to attempt to push them up a bit, so things like soda can stoves and lamp oil cookers and etc can see more usefulness, and survival can be a little bit more difficult.

  1. Car A/C heating. - A mod that attaches to the engine, that you can turn on/off via controls. Would work as it does now, but not for free. You’d have to sacrifice battery power to gain the temp stabilizing benefits, and it would cost more battery the more extreme the outside temperature is. Some alternate low-tech and even non-vehicle requiring methods for cooling down/heating up would be great too.

  2. Remove or nerf the ability to put alternators on foot pedals. - The idea of a generator bike isn’t that outlandish, and is pretty cool a concept especially in a postmodern era that catadda is set in. Unfortunately you can duct tape a truck and car alternator to a foot pedal currently, and in the span of a few days, charge up extraordinary amounts of battery at just the cost of more food/drink resources and sleeping downtime.

I could see maybe a special small alternator that could be put on foot pedals that could produce enough charge to run a floodlight or recharging station trunk, maybe at best a mini fridge, possibly augmented/detriment by character strength and size mutations…

  1. Change to vehicle rigs -

This is a big one, cause of the ability to eventually consolidate all your crafting tool needs to one battery source. Also that changing this would require you alter the existing vehicles that use them.

Really, I have a few options how this might be done:

First idea is that the current recipies could be replaced with “folding carts”, and the individual rigs crafting and installation pushed up to much higher skill levels. With this, vehicles that already have the rigs installed would suddenly become more valuable, and making a single base vehicle with all of the crafting stations would be pushed to later game.

In it’s place would be craftable ‘carts’. Like folding bicycles, basically, but higher volume and for crafting stations. They’d have bigger material requirements. You’d unfold them and they’d be like a welding rig; with a storage battery and some casters and the rig itself. That way, it would encourage either carrying them around in a bunch of cargo carriers and stopping to deploy them, or building a stationary base where you can set them and your salvage storage up at. Some jumper cables or heavy duty cables and some creativity could go a long way.

Second idea is the same as above, but remove the non-crafting station rigs entirely. Not sure how well this’d play with the vehicles that have rigs installed.

Third idea might just be to not do the carts at all, and just move the requirements way up.

Either way, it’d change the dynamics at least a little bit, and might make alternate solutions more attractive.

In closing, anyone have two or three cents to contribute? If I’m just being dumb, then that’s probably relevant too.

Another thing might be maybe removing the duct tape from being a valid attachment method, though not from everything. There are certainly vehicle frame recipes that make sense with duct tape, but being to attach basically an entire vehicle together with only duct tape?

Also might be a possible vector to removing the hacksaw from being a valid detachment method from a lot of stuff. Basic metal stuff sure, but requiring a lot of charges from a circular saw or similar would go a long way. Maybe make a few recipies/items for alternative energy sources if you’re lucky enough to get the books or skill or find them, like gasoline powered cutters or misc. Making hacksaws take a lot longer than powered cutters would probably also make things more difficult.

Somehow adding noise to detaching parts with the hacksaw and powered variants would make night raids for parts also much more difficult.

If the above two were implemented as a mod, I could see wood-based vehicle crafting being a lot more viable due to just the hammer and nail requirements.

Another thing that seems a little silly currently is how you can repair basically everything with a welder. There’s definitely stuff that makes sense, but I wonder if there’s a way to add extra part requirements if it’s sufficiently damaged? Metal for patching up metal components, copper wire and circuits for repairing electric engines, solar cells for repairing solar panels, plastic chunks for patching holes in tires and a pump for filling them back up (metal also if armored). Etc.

  1. A/C
    Doable. We could even have an A/C part and check more strictly for it.
    It wouldn’t change much, though. While certainly convenient, A/C probably wouldn’t drain enough power to really matter.

  2. Pedal + alternator
    No need to single out the pedal. You can charge a car battery to full with like, a glass bottle of gasoline.
    If this is a problem, then the problem isn’t with foot pedals but with alternators alone.
    Alternatively (heh), the problem is with low crafting costs, which are balanced against “item forges” rather than rigs. Changing the costs to tens of thousands of batteries would make crafting katanas with a foot-pedal-powered forge less appealing.

  3. Carts instead of rigs
    I don’t see the point.
    If the point is making an inconvenient variant of rigs that requires way more keypresses to use but doesn’t actually consume any more resources, then I’m strongly against. Tedium must not be used to balance things.

  4. Duct tape
    Duct tape is a bit of a bridge between just wooden vehicles and welding stuff. Once you can weld, you no longer use tape.
    I’d keep duct tape installation, but maybe remove duct tape repairs.

  5. Circular saw to speed up deconstruction
    Currently the crafting/building system isn’t well suited to tradeoffs like costly tool vs. longer crafting time. Once it is, sure.

  6. Noise
    Noise currently doesn’t work at too long of a range with hordes turned off. Hordes are scheduled to be reworked. Once they are updated, crafting noise would make sense.

  7. Higher repair costs
    That would be rather hard to make sensible. First off, for most parts you’d do it once - when finding that part. Second, that would require marking vehicle parts as non-repairable with soldering iron/welder, only after having them installed on a frame (kinda tedious).
    For vehicle armoring and frames, welding is enough. That makes sense because it gets damaged all the time and collecting stuff to repair it would be tedious.
    For electric engines, cheap cost would not matter (copper wire is easy to find), high cost would just mean you’d find another electric car (those are common). Electric sports car would be a bit of an exception here, those could have high repair cost.
    For solar panels, this would only really mean that you need to disassemble some of the cells you find to repair the others. They always appear in bulk.
    Plastic chunks and metal chunks are common enough that this wouldn’t really be a cost if tires required them to be repaired.

Hmm. I’ve always found it weird we can weld tires back together.

That reminds me, tires might be another good example of the radiator-style idea I’ve mentioned before. Basically, a part that holds some sort of fuel required to serve its primary function, but isn’t consumed by use. Instead it only affects functionality when the fuel starts leaking due to damage. Though in the case of both radiators and tires, gradual use/leakage could still be added.

And in the case of wheels and tires, this could be supplemented by armored wheels or other types being runflats. These could be modeled as simply having reduced function in some way when out or low on air, but not affected as severely as a normal tire would.

Though to further expand on tire functioning, we’d need air compressors (even a cheap 10-dollar compressor like the one I keep in the car would work) as well as separate the concept of a wheel from that of a tire, allowing for spares and such to be implemented logically.

Also? Seriously. A jack in every car. Or at least in 80-90% of cars. These things are stupidly rare. I can’t recall ever encountering a car in reality that didn’t come with a jack in the trunk, even old used cars from less-than-reputable dealers.

I think with the repairing tires it’s more a matter of you melt/duck tape rubber over the damaged area. Think of a bicycle repair kit on steriods, they make use them IRL but infrequently because it’s usually easier to get a new tire.
Demitri of fetunchinni

Dunno really. Vehicles are great but I feel like you can survive off them way too early game and eliminate a lot of the challenge. No idea how to address that.

[quote=“Coolthulhu, post:3, topic:10641”]4. Duct tape
Duct tape is a bit of a bridge between just wooden vehicles and welding stuff. Once you can weld, you no longer use tape.
I’d keep duct tape installation, but maybe remove duct tape repairs.[/quote]

Nooo! Not duct tape repairs!

I think this gentleman would agree with me when I say that duct tape engineering is the superior method.