Crafting focus drop

I have been finding some recipies - especially those with higher level crafting requirments (fabrication 6 usually) - seem to crater my focus almost immediately. Like, from 120 to about 6 in 10 minutes worth of crafting in some cases. While some recipes taking longer makes sense, this seems excessive. glass pipe as an example. broadhead arrows as another.

What sort of calcs are going on to determine how much focus is lost per time-period crafting something? Are higher level crafting recipes just inherently more focus draining? Does not having proficiency increase focus loss massively? Is there something else going on that is intended behavior, that I am just unaware of? Or is focus drop during crafting not working properly right now.

I’ve seen this mentioned on Reddit; apparently this is supposed to eventually be balanced by having a much bigger focus pool but for now it’s pretty much completely borked.

It seems a little strange to me seeing as so many complaints over the development of this game have been about how unrealistic it is for people to be able to just read their way to mid/late game level by bunkering down for a few days or weeks with a stack of reading material rather than actually having to learn by using the skill. This change seems to reinforce that.

I haven’t updated though so I don’t have actual experience of how unbalanced it is. I might end up staying on my latest update (already several weeks old) for a long time :slight_smile:

I just assumed it was the “People learn too fast in this game” crowd nerfing focus when crafting

As far as I can tell, most crafting recipes will currently tank your focus in a matter of just a few IG minutes - you DO learn a fair amount in this time, maybe about what you would have learned before from the same amount of focus burn, so basically the learning time is dramatically compressed. Executing a single on-level crafting recipe that would take a single in game hour is sufficient to advance a skill level - except that you’re going to have to keep stopping the crafting process to re-up your focus several times during the process.

Problem is this process is very inefficient because unlike crafting before where you could pause when your focus dropped below 50-60 to re-up it to 80 or so, now your focus instantly drops to 20, so a lot of your learning time is burned at low focus multipliers, making it far harder to raise skills through practice as most of your time is functionally wasted.

Anyway, the learn-by-doing system is currently fuxxored because its so badly imbalanced. Book learning times also seem to have been made slower. Basically it’s just a lot harder to learn skills right now, for the most part - which is fine in the abstract, but the way the focus system works at the moment makes it suuuuper aggravating.

Honestly, the skill gain system has always kind of sucked. The fundamental problem is focus itself - it makes you sit around doing nothing 90% of the time in order to gain skills. Neither realistic nor fun.

Having a concept like focus that affects skill gain by reflecting morale/comfort is fine, but it should not be burned by gaining skills. It should be burned by being unhappy, uncomfortable, or otherwise screwed up. In other words it should just be morale.

As for learning skills, they should raise primarily through practice, because that’s generally more FUN. You have to run around collecting materials, making stuff, hitting zombies and doing things. Skill books should be required to unlock higher levels and recipes, and can act to accelerate skill gain from practice if you have them available while performing actions that otherwise raise skill. Skill gains should be moderated by the time it takes to actually learn them - not by focus.

As long as focus is burned to gain skill, then skill gain will be moderated by twiddling thumbs in basements and deathmobiles, reading comic books by atomic nightlight - because that’s the only thing that ACTUALLY increases your skill currently.

I do like that proposition:
Have the books only be able to get you from 0 to 1 or 0 to 2 (tops), as if they were just the very basic theory for a skill, and all the others (the ones we can call “advanced skill books”) should just have recipes. That will “solve” the “problem” that is reading your way to God Status. Books should also teach you proficiencies. I know a handful of books do, but more wouldn’t hurt. They could also give you a few buffs to crafting speed if you have them next to you while crafting said item.

And I also agree: crafting shouldn’t drop your “focus”, it should be strictly a matter of health, comfort, hunger, morale, thirst and fatigue. For instance, listening to music while sitting on a chair for 6 days crafting a Survivor Suit should give you constant buffs to your happiness as long as you are doing them. In current conditions, the “Enjoyed Music” and “Got Comfy” buffs do literally nothing, as they only last for a handful of in-game turns and the “Focus” trend for whatever reason seems to go down instead of up whether you’re crafting, walking or just…waiting, even if you are at pristine health, no negative morale modifiers - same thing with “joy food”/“joy drinks.” Morale Penalties last forever, morale gains are “blink-and-miss” and it feels like it’s heavily punishing players that want a hands-on approach instead of the common bookworm-way-to-heaven.

Eh, after playing with the new balance some more I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s just no point to most focus raising activities any more - they take far too long for a very short period of minor benefit now.

You do want some permanent morale bonuses (optimist, stylish maybe, bookwork, constant music) because that will help put a floor under your focus for some slower burn activities such as book learning. But its no longer worth it to actually bump focus for anything but combat, and even then only in the very early low-skill stages of the game where you can expect to get the crap kicked out of you by basic zeds, so you need to make the gains from every swing count - at this phase your injuries will limit your training far more than focus loss.

In most other circumstances, temporary morale/focus gain activities can’t remotely keep up from the focus burn from most skill developing activities. Your real ‘base’ focus in this system hovers around 20-30 depending on what kind of stuff you’re doing, and getting up above 50 is an extravagant waste of time.

Unfortunately the UI doesn’t reflect this new reality yet and still represents lower focus as a penalty, which is overtly misleading to anyone trying to learn how it works now - its more like the WoW rest XP bar where if you haven’t done any skill gain for a while, you get a short burst of increased gain before dropping down to the standard slow rate - but unlike WoW its functionally coached in entirely negative (penalty) terms.