Disable electric devices

Had this idea when I was designing the low tech area of my latest ride (here).
Basically during my games I usually skip the charcoal stage (although “stage” might be a misnomer since you could view it as an alternate path) and go immediately to the electricity powered stuff (electric forge vs charcoal forge, food dehydrator vs charcoal smoker).
For example, after the first day the only reason I make an actual fire is to craft wooden barrels.
So as an incentive to actually making, using and keeping the non electric variety and other low tech stuff, I thought maybe some world event to make electronics and bionics temporarily non functional would be nice.
Ion storms or dimensional rifts (or whatever could be easier implemented into the lore) would occur once every season or so and last 4-5 days (for the default season length) and prevent the use of any electric devices. Hotplates would stay cold, cars wouldn’t start because the battery doesn’t work and you would have to use gas powered welders. After the storm is over your mp3 player will start playing your favorite songs again.
These storms/rifts would be independent of the actual weather so you can still have sunny days or thunderstorms.

Sounds nice, however I’d imagine microwaves and such from the netherworld would cause this.

At this moment, i have NEVER used charcoal stuff before. Even though i found it, i didn’t used it at all.

Ion storms in your description aren’t realistic at all.
Hotplate is just a switch, a battery and a wire with high resistance thus, by using 2 formula (Q=I^2Rt and I=R/U) we can calculate heat it gives.
Welder and soldering iron is the same, but in different sizes.

Some complex stuff like mp3 player, gameboy, laptop, microwave won’t work, but all the rest - will.

Wasn’t aiming for realism. This is a Zombie survival game right? I was suggesting a new game mechanic with the lore explanation coming afterwards.
For example, CDDA is set in the near future, would it be that much of a stretch to say that all the battery powered gizmos come with microcontrollers to improve what they are doing? Hotplates with a digital touch display to control how hot you want it to be? Not that they necessarily need them but that they have them.
Or another explanation entirely that has the effect of disabling high tech tools.

I don’t like this idea at all. It sounds incredibly obnoxious. Randomly having to ditch your car somewhere because of an “ion storm” out of nowhere? Flashlights suddenly not working? And for an entire week long stretch each time? No. It gives the RNG too much power to make your game 500% more of a pain in the ass for no reason.

There are times when halberdsturgeon and I agree: this is one of them.

Losing one’s electrical devices (to include your bionics? sounds Painful) for 33% of each season would be a pain at best and could kill characters. Worse in that there’s no explanation, no warning, and no way to mitigate it (for instance, get underground? use more power for lighting and such, but your gear still runs). Basically just a slap to anyone who doesn’t use low-tech gear.

Let’s dial it back:

I could accept electricity-disrupting Ion Storms as a freak, short-term development of Lightning Storms. Probably no more than 10-15 minutes at a time, and the storm blows itself out: back to Cloudy or even Clear afterward. The ion storm actually brightens the area somewhat thanks to the ambient electrical discharges (in the sky), so light-reduction equal to Cloudy. If you’re on z-1, your gear still runs. (Maybe draws X% more charge, whatever; z-2 and below should give complete immunity.)

Were we to have geographically-restricted weather, I’d tie these to a 5-10 tile radius of X% portals and have them marked “electrical”. Increased chance for shockers, maybe electrified artifacts nearby, and so on.

Vehicles shouldn’t get fucked, the batteries should get drained to half on everything.

That’s the idea. Don’t have a lighter to make fire because you’ve got a RV kitchen anyway? Well, here’s the bill.

My intent was to make non electrical means more vital. Players aren’t going to keep charcoal forges because their forge rig won’t work for a quarter of an hour.

Didn’t even think of escaping underground but sounds good. Instead of having a larger cost penalty have the crafting fail 50% of the time for z-1, 25% for z-2 and work normal for z-3 and under.
As for randomness and no warning: How about making it a more timed event? From day 8 to 11 every summer and winter there’s a 80% chance every day that the event will trigger for 3-4 days. You will get a warning an hour or two before it starts (“You feel like sparks are traveling down your spine”) which should be enough time to park your ride in a less awkward position (not diagonally for example).

I would have thought the opposite would happen. On the flipside of the event it would mean that any enemy relying on large amounts of electricity would be stunned for the duration. Turrets, shockers and manhacks would just be sitting there, doing nothing.
“Shoot, my UPS isn’t charging my rifle anymore! But wait! That means the shockers at that public works won’t be able to do anything too! Now is the time to raid military outposts and break into shops wired with an alarm.”

The idea was to punish players who ignore the low tech tools rather than punishing them for using high tech stuff. Spending a few days and precious gasoline to charge your car batteries only to have them zapped away by half is a bit harsh.

I’m sorry, but this simply seems like a hamfisted way of forcing players to use both high and low tech options without any reason given for why they should do so in the first place. High vs low tech are choices, in much the same way as guns vs bows, living off the land vs scavenging, etc. Why should players be muscled into using both, again?

Because, Scanvenging and Living off the land are 2 different play styles. They both work, very well in fact.
Guns vs Bows, because again both work well in fact. However, the point is when low tech vs high tech, high tech is superior, and also, in an apocalypse, low tech should be serving a purpose too.
Honestly, I find this fits in well.

I think low-tech options simply should be made to run longer, and easier to acquire.

Take an electric cordless chainsaw, and a regular ICE chainsaw. The electric cordless version will not have anywhere near the power, or the longevity, of the combustion-engine chainsaw.

This, coupled with making it easier to create charcoal, should be pretty good, I think. As it is, charcoal is a scarce commodity. You need a charcoal kiln to make charcoal, and even though 3 levels of fabrication isn’t too high and a metal tank can be taken from a vehicle, the need for a welder instantly pushes this into not-entirely-likely territory.

Charcoal needs to be made more accessible. The wiki (that is, the Wiki) says that you can make charcoal inside basically a dirt-sealed chimney. Make it a basic (skill 1) Survival/Construction item, using a log or a pile of sticks/2x4s on a dirt pile to create a “wood charring pile” that one can use a source of fire on to turn it into a lump of charcoal. I think this will basically require that items/terrain tiles can, upon burning through, turn into some other item that is not on fire. Everything else is basically already covered by construction.

If low tech options aren’t attractive enough, then the obvious solution is to make them comparable to high tech options, not add a feature to the game that makes it a nightmare to try to use anything with a battery for one week in three.

Therefore rendering them not so low tech. The point is in an apocalypse, your are in a dangerous world with low tech equipment, and weapons. But when you get better equipment this is rendered useless. Now in most games scenarios this is fine. However, due to it being easy to get such good equipment in this, and being a post apocalypse themed game, I think it would be better if high tech stuff did have a huge downside.
Therefor there is the crappy slow, but more reliable method of doing things and then there is the really good but less reliable way. And of course, there should be scenarios when the really good stuff just doesn’t work, for it is too high tech.
And Ion Storm makes much sense here.

Ion Storms make sense, but they can’t happen all the time. If they are an intermittent replacement of/addition to a lightning storm (like acid rain is to rain), then they will be a nuisance at worst.

So they can be added I think, they just won’t do anything for making low-tech items more attractive.

Maybe make an ion storm like a cold that runs a check once a season?

What I’d definitely like is proper weather systems. If an “ion storm” is a physical entity that covers parts of the map and moves as time passes, perhaps attracted to anomalies or some specific locations like radio towers and laboratories, then this could actually be rather neat. You’d have this massive area of electronics disruption that you need to leave in order to have your electronics working again, and it can be hovering over places you want access to without going away, so you can both have your electric gear in normal circumstances, but you’d need to stock up on low-tech gear if you wanted to make an excursion in the ion storm area.

I’d like it to be implemented, but I do agree it needs to be rarer. Personally, I think we need a few more random events in game though to keep things happening, and this a good idea of one such event.
Of course, I don’t mean, it needs to make low tech equipment more important. It just means, there may be a time, where you need to actually make a fire and cook some meat on a stick, go hunting and live without driving for a day or 2 at the most, and not be able to use a fancy lazer gun.
Only for a short period of time. Sort of a way to keep things progressing, and majority of the time this isn’t a set back. But there might be that one time it sort of happens at the worst time possible, and well, thats just luck. Remember, Losing is Fun.

I vote for ion storm stuff. My opinion that cataclysm should feel like cataclys, not like “heeeey, I’ve found some uber good stuff in a few steps from my evac shelter. I’ll go and clear whole cities with it”. Hardships (including weather ones) are necesasary to distinguish dungeon crawler beat 'em up and take their loot style game from postapoc/survival one.

Roguelikes should make player think in advance about their choices, like "will I be able to reach some far away city on my electric car and low supplies? " Take the risk / make your car shielded somehow / take some alternate stuff that would help you in any condition ? Make a choice and face possibe risk/reward consequences.

P.S. Thought to consider - some creatures that appear only during ion storm, or maybe ion storm that spawns netherworld portals on rare occasion.

The point of what? Cataclysm takes place in a modern setting shortly after the apocalypse. High tech was in Cataclysm before low tech.

If this is implemented into the game, I’m excising it from my compile, period. Being forced to use dark ages technology in a modern setting by some ridiculously hackneyed game mechanic is not what Cataclysm is about to me.

The point of what? Cataclysm takes place in a modern setting shortly after the apocalypse. High tech was in Cataclysm before low tech.[/quote]

In that case, oh why don’t we just give everyone the best equipment and take the worst equipment out of the game because, before the cataclysm that stuff was redundant anyway.
This is the Post Apocalypse. The point is, the world has been set back a stage. It’s not forcing you to scavenge for both equipment.
The point is, to force a lot of good equipment to not work for a short period, during the rare occurrence after the storm.
Reason this would be good: It keeps the game going, in my opinion. Gives you an obstacle. This game needs a few more obstacles.