So I have been liking wilderness starts with rural mapgen only and city size = 0 (see Living off the land - rural only) but the start is really rough, mostly because it is not possible to obtain a tool with cutting 1 without an enormous amount of luck, which is mostly bone shivs by finding bones in the bushes randomly since you can not butcher corpses without a cutting tool. This assumes of course that you choose a role which spawns without a cutting tool, such as naked and afraid.
A stone chopper (which requires fabrication 2 and survival 3, which is kind of hard to get early on) has an equal cutting quality to e.g a butcher knife.
It should be possible to get the basic tools, such as a digging stick and cudgel with simple equipment but require better cutting tools for more advanced things.
It is also nearly impossible to train fabrication without a cutting tool, so it makes getting a cutting tool even harder.
The change I am proposing would even be possible via JSON: Modify the cutting quality of existing tools and tweak recipes.
So e.g a flaking rock or flint could have cutting 1, a stone knife cutting 2 and a butcher knife cutting 3. A flint would be enough to create a digging stick. This is just an example of what I am planning to do, this does not have to be the end result.
I’d like to hear what you think of this before I work on it so it is not all for nothing in the end since this is will take some time.
Crafting system modification for tool speeds · Issue #49525 · CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA · GitHub and Feature request: Bluntness for cutting weapon · Issue #49712 · CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA · GitHub are vaguely relevant.
Unfortunately I can not help out with those since I am not a C++ dev.