Dissecting in 0.E+

Requires a CLEAN surface, which I’m not seeing on the item browser at all…and it just went 500 internal server error, so I can’t try looking again.

What qualifies as a clean surface? Argh!

tarps, plastic sheet, workbench have surface level of 3

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I’m not a fan of this change. Dissection was already something I barely bothered to do since it takes so much time (wouldn’t mind if Autonomous scalpels had an upkeep cost so long as they sped this up). Unlike standard butchering, where your yield increases relative to your tools/time investment, dissection is just a roll of the die (on top of the substantial time/stamina investment). Moreover the most desirable corpses (bio-operators) are few and far between, not something that can be sought out like big game. I think recent updates have significantly reduced their spawn rates too.

Anyways, I don’t mind jumping through a few hoops to sterilize CBMs, I think that was absolutely a change for the better. Actually getting them out of corpses (and ones you actually want, to boot) is just more annoying than it needs to be (imo). I think this change bogs down what is otherwise a novel gameplay loop.

Sooooo…we are required to have a clean surface to dig through a rotting cesspit of filth? Complete logic failure or did this not occur to whoever programmed it? Seriously. If I got my hands in a guys rotting guts. The CBM comes out filthy for a reason. Why would I even consider the platform in which I dig through this disgusting mess to be clean?? :thinking:

Why would anything besides as an option for speed, would I care if a zombie has any platform at all besides the ground to work on? A tarp won’t make anything different. A table perhaps. But that seems kind of pointless too.

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The funny part is that counter tops are only surface 2 so you can’t even drag a corpse to a nearby counter. It needs to be like a leather tarp (plastic tarp doesn’t count, but a plastic sheet might, according to item browser?) or a workbench. And yeah, repeating myself here but this basically ruins dissection for me. Now I don’t even bother.

I don’t see how multiple ranks of “clean surface” is a sensible design decision. How exactly is a player expected to ascertain which surfaces are good enough? Most of the items are furniture (at least I assume, I don’t know for sure) and don’t show up in item browser. Do surfaces 1 & 2 even serve any purpose?

Edit: In fact, all of the surface items (not furniture) in the item browser have rank 3. Really starting to look like mechanics just for the sake of mechanics.


Oh gosh I really was hoping I misinterpreted this thread. Because I don’t have constant access to a machine to test stuff as often I like.

Somehow the ground is not good enough for rotting corpses then, as I understand it?

I cannot be the only one that thinks this is as useful as a glass hammer or a chocolate teapot? Cause when I need to hammer nails or boil water I cannot get one of either fast enough in my kitchen or tool box lol

So 42372 appears to be the pr, and looking through it seems to confirm that surface ranks 1 & 2 are confusing (and basically pointless) bloat. You can technically butcher medium-sized animals on medium surfaces, but who even cares? How am I supposed to know what constitutes a “medium” animal anyways? So human corpses are “large”, what about a boar or a deer? This just isn’t intuitive to me at all. And there’s still the issue of differentiating between surface sizes.

“type”: “tool_quality”,
“id”: “SURFACE”,
“//”: “A flat surface, like a table or a mat. 1 would be the size of a cutting board.”,
“name”: { “str”: “surface” }

In the code, a size 1 surface is equivalent to a cutting board. Is that… is that even worth simulating? Wouldn’t that mean a ton of different items can technically qualify as clean surface 1? Is someone planning to designate what I assume are dozens upon dozens of viable items as such? How does this improve the game?

IMO paragraph: We don’t need multiple ranks of clean surface. Medium surfaces are both rare (more accurately - not ubiquitous) and undesirable (or at least, excessively niche), and this current implementation will only confuse players. It would honestly be better to take them out entirely so people aren’t running in circles trying to figure out why they can’t butcher/dissect (not the best option, but preferable to status quo). Small surfaces are just a bad idea, flat out (no pun intended). They’re the kind of abstraction that will only complicate the game without contributing anything compelling.


I wouldn’t eat that one if I were you! Sounds like it’s been sitting too long.

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(Morgan Freeman voice)

It was at this point. He knew. He F*cked Up!
--------^^ joking back of course :plate_with_cutlery:

Mostly referring to mobs over butchering food critters. I don’t remember any reason to dissect anything else. Not sure why that would be a thing either.

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I don’t know that there is a reason to dissect anything other than getting CBMs?

If there is, I’m not aware of it. But there’s no reason that can’t change in the future. Especially now that the lore is moving towards CBM’s not being of this earth.

That being said, I can somewhat see where this is coming from. Trying to trace down the tiny components of a CBM inside a half decayed corpse is hard enough as is, trying to do it to a corpse thats also just chilling in the dirt is gonna make it harder, not easier. Good results require a good tool and a good workspace.

No. Similar to the butchering of meat. You don’t need a surface as a requirement. As a requirement for dissecting zeds, it is ridiculous because what you expect to pull out is already f*cked up, being inside a rotting meat loaf. As for making it easier. No, it doesn’t. It makes more sense to leave a bloated rotting corpse on the ground and in the dirt because you and 99% of the population would be repulsed at even the thought of dissecting it. Actually doing so does not need a surface beyond the ground where it dropped.

This guy is what you are tearing into:

If you stop and think of this guy being real and you actually digging through him. You will NOT want to move him anywhere at all. When he spills all over the ground. Your feet being the worst of the mess. You would be so thankful you didn’t attempt to drag that thing anywhere, let alone high enough to dump his guts all over you from a table. As for a tarp or anything on the ground?..seriously? Why? It is already there. Clean surface…seriously??

I’m not upset Barb. I just don’t know what people are thinking when it comes to digging through dead things. I’m guessing most don’t know what it is like.


I understand what you mean, but the very concept of harvesting, sterilizing, and installing corpse-bound CBMs is in no way realistic, especially when you consider how elaborate they can be. Realism is not a sufficient guiding principle for this feature, or for CBMs in general (at least, not by itself). I like the way sterilization works because it’s a nontrivial set up of steps. You have to wipe the CBM down, factory reset it, package it, and then supply water & power to an autoclave. This isn’t that much more realistic than ripping out clean CBMs, but it is much more grounded and certainly conveys a sense of (artificial) realism. I don’t think this is unreasonable and it’s something players can pursue on their own terms, you have complete control over this aspect of CBM acquisition.

However, in the current build CBM dissection just… sucks, in my opinion. I’ll list out why I think so.

  • You are sinking 40+ minutes (plus stamina) into a heavily randomized outcome. Moreover, you have very little control over the circumstances. For example, you don’t really know when you’ll run in to a shocker brute, and unlike most wild game you can’t easily disengage and come back later with a butchering kit. If you don’t pull a CBM you want it’s a complete waste of time.

  • Unlike butchering, dissection outcomes are inflexible (not suggesting this needs to be fixed, but it should factor into balancing). Since you’re not after meat/fat, you don’t have a volumetric yield that can scale relative to tool quality & effort invested. And again, the outcome is roll of the die. The most you can do is prioritize corpses with preferable CBM drop tables.

  • You can’t do anything to control your dissection environment (field dressing, etc) outside of dragging zombified corpses around and/or leaving them unattended (both of which completely contradict in-game logic).

  • Now, on top of this, you need to carry around a large surface on the off chance you’ll encounter desirable dissection targets. Players now must make a conscious effort to prepare in advance for a random drop (since large surfaces are almost never readily available). Extensive prep makes sense for butchering, since you have to make the effort to track down wild game and preserve yield in some way (and it’s not random, and you always get something for your trouble). But demanding prep in advance for dissection (in combination with above points) makes for a very tedious grind that doesn’t complement cdda’s roguelike pacing. The best dissection opportunities emerge somewhat unpredictably during exploration, and you have to make a decision on the spot.

I personally prefer more elaborate tasks over grindy time wasters. I don’t mind having to make more extensive preparations for dissection if I can seek a guaranteed (or at least, somewhat less random) outcome. I can’t really choose when and where I get to dissect. I can’t do anything to influence the outcome. Stacking new requirements on to dissection without addressing these issues is a recipe for a defunct feature. I don’t see anyone why anyone would bother with dissection anymore unless they’re save-scumming. Save-scumming should not be preferable to actual gameplay, but that’s exactly the condition CBM dissection is in.

I wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t think so highly of the CBM sterilization system. It think it’s immersive and it complements a variety of game features. I assume it took a decent amount of effort to implement. However, the fruits of that labor are completely overshadowed by the dissection grind.


I fail to see how its that big of a deal. The player has to make an active choice to carry some equipment around with them (Scalpel and Tarp) on the off chance that they encounter a specific enemy type, you have to act to secure the area because looting it is an involved process, there is a risk of being ambushed if you didn’t secure the area well, and there’s a risk that you’ll get something crap instead of something desirable.

I can replace the loot target above with mechanical safes, and the scalpel and tarp with a stethoscope. You still have to make the active decision to be prepared for the potential opportunity in advance, you need to make sure its secure as its a time involved process, and there’s no guarantee there is even loot in the safe.

The games not trying to guarantee any sort of security or quality when your pulling guts from a zombie in the middle of a hotzone. If you want a more elaborate way to hunt down CBM’s, with a higher chance of getting quality loot, with a more gameplay involved process than press button, wait for character to do the thing, thats what labs and other dungeons are for. Dissecting for bionics is not the only source for bionics, and should not be treated as some great flaw because its not an excellent or consistent way to get them. Its just an extra opportunity when you pull down a particular rare enemy here or there.

You have much more control over when you crack safes. You can come back later without issue. You have a pretty good idea of where you’re going to find them so preparing accordingly is intuitive. The safe is not going to come back to life if you take too long, requiring you to possibly damage it further. It’s not going to walk off somewhere. In short, you’re not pushed to decide between cracking the safe or continuing exploration. Safes at least offer relatively unique drops. I don’t think this is an apt comparison.

Yeah but it’s really not more elaborate. Getting CBMs from labs is effortless in comparison, and you don’t have to sterilize them. If you can handle dissection targets you can probably handle labs. It is so much more straightforward that it completely eclipses dissection, and sterilization by extension.

Not asking for that, but if it’s going to be this tedious it strikes me as a waste of development resources. It’s not interesting, it’s not compelling. It doesn’t really enhance role-play or a sense of realism. If there were specific, very rare enemies that presented CBM acquisition opportunities that were in any way preferable to lab diving, I would be more inclined to agree. Not looking for any sort of quality guarantee, but the ability to influence quality would be nice.

All these upfront demands for an RNG roll make it wholly unappealing. Would it really be so much worse to roll for the CBM before dissection, so there’s at least a tangible goal? Maybe an option to survey a corpse, implying your character actually knows what they’re trying to yank out before they get started in earnest? I’d be very happy with just that change, and it would be more realistic than the CBM pinata that takes ~40 minutes to crack. It could compel players to do something crazy & fun like hauling an intact corpse around, since they’d have a compelling reason to do so.

You could make CBM un-installation a % success chance, like CBM installation (and base it on the type of CBM). I’d have no problem seeking additional tools/requirements to improve the odds of successfully extracting a CBM I actually want. Maybe harvested CBMs can get damaged and require repair (in addition to factory reset). Maybe you’d need specialized, autoclave-scale equipment to conduct repairs. Heck, make the rare CBM drops more rare, whatever it takes to make this feature not suck. I’m fine with numerous additional checks and obstacles in exchange for a more tangible goal.


it strikes me as a waste of development resources

No such thing. More accurately, contributors to the project only develop things they want to see developed, whether its by personal preference or recognition of a need. This wasn’t implemented because someone elsewhere in the project mandated it, it was implemented because a contributor felt it was appropriate, developed, proposed and justified the change, and had it accepted into the repo. The butchery changes have been underway for years now, but the rational has been around there somewhere to support this enough to get merged in the first place.

The whole discussion around predictive cbm harvesting and the like could have merit, could not, there’s not really grounds to discuss it in pure rational, as there’s no irl basis to discuss identifying cybernetics in a corpse in advance, and how useable they would be. Your best bet is to propose it on the github, or develop it yourself and propose it being merged.

Not trying to throw it into the “lol do it yourself” branch, but its going pretty far into the personal preference, personal debate and personal perspective around what the game design should encourage, do, support, and why, and thats just a discussion that ends whenever one party gets bored of checking the forum :stuck_out_tongue: At a certain point it does just come down to someone needs to stand up n make the proposal happen, and the implementation too.


Well, lol, you got me there. It’d be way more productive to propose a feature change and possibly implement myself (with feedback). Thanks for that lol, you’re absolutely right.

But… I think we’re in a feature freeze, danget.

Just means it won’t get merged for a while. But, it might help to head it off a bit. I knew roughly when this stuff came in, and went and found the merge that implemented this in the first place. Link to when the relevant conversation around dissection comes in

Effectively seems to come down to it being precise field surgey work, requiring a proper workspace, proper tools, and time, because you don’t know whats possibly in the person, beyond the most obvious physical changes.

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I had no idea you can field dress dissection corpses. That changes a lot. Can field-dressed zombies get back up? I guess I need to test this.

Edit: Ah, you cannot field dress them. That makes sense to me, it wouldn’t be lore-consistent anyways.

y’all don’t appear to be aware this is a PR so i’m linking it