Ill advised MRE change

In the new experimental version MRD calorie content has been roughly divided by 3, on the sake of ‘realism’.

Really? You would think that after all this time, devs have learned that realism should take the backseat compared to game balance and fun. There are already so many things not consistent in CDDA that ‘realism’ should never be considered on its own!

You just can’t divide by 3 calorie content of an important item if you don’t balance that with increased spawn rate or something else. Sorry, that’s half the job done, and when you do half of a job, you better not do it.
Not happy.

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Though neither there are issues with getting food, nor MREs are important items you can go to relevant PR and raise your concerns there.

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Realistic mechanics is one of the design goals for the game.

Food is already pretty easy to find in CDDA.

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Food really is easy to find; I play innawoods characters all the time and even with the wild vegetables calories nerf (and those were a genuinely important food) due to realism there is still enough food around to choke a moose. MRE 's are gross anyway…

It’s pointless complaining tbh; the devs are consistent in their drive towards more realism unless it genuinely is a game breaker (MRE’s arent).

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I didn’t even notice MREs were cut in thirds. Beside very early game, I usually pass them over. Even then, I only grab them if they happen to be there on a kill or whatever. I’ve never actively searched them out.

Well, I play with winter start and 25% loot and things are a bit tense!

You’re having trouble with food and the MRE changes are a problem but not your winter start or huge reduction in item spawn rate? Am I understanding your position correctly?

I ask because I’m really lost, here. Couldn’t you just copy the current MRE values into a mod and then this change wouldn’t even effect you anyway? Sorry for all the questions but it just seems like you have so many ways to make things work the way you want them to that it is mind boggling to me why you would come to the discourse and rant about the dev team trying to increase realism when that is a stated goal of the project rather than just simply edit some files or increase the item spawn rate in your worlds to compensate.

Then don’t?
Or accept it as part of the challenge you are clearly looking for?

I play with winter starts a lot too :-). Not with lower loot though. I like the challenge of trying to feed myself in those initial days personally but everyone has a different playing style.

Pine trees are great for food btw especially now that they don’t ‘die’ after harvesting (another realism change which I’m very happy about). They are quick to cook and high in calories. Plus they don’t taste foul like MRE’s do.

I don’t understand where the idea that MREs are bad came from. From the few I’ve eaten in real life to watching SteveMRE on youtube (and this guy has eaten MREs from the 1920s so you know he knows his MREs) they’re usually bland at worst and actually pretty good at best.

You get any ration from the last 5 years and give it to somebody post-cataclysm and I’m sure they’d drop their nuts and dirt they found on the forest floor in an instant.


Yup, I quite agree. On certain hard tramping days when I’m wet, cold and hungry, we’ve huddled under a tree and cooked up on a primus some of those pasta from a packet meals that I wouldn’t touch under normal circumstances. Food of the Gods!

Although my various innawoods characters would take issue with your belief that they’d be desperate for something more than nuts and dirt! A few months in and they are usually dining pretty well. And once they make it through spring and summer they have a plethora of delicious meals to choose from. I only use MRE’s for the cheese spreads as they didn’t have any way to get hold of a regular supply of milk.

When I was in the Army, we didn’t have MREs, we had C-Rations. And we were happy to have them. Ok, so they came in cardboard boxes full of cans, which made them a pain to pack. So we’d empty them out and put the cans in socks and hang them from our web-gear. And they were heavy, because they came in cans. But we were still happy to have them. Because they were better than starving.

And no box actually had a really good meal. You had to know what to trade from one meal to get stuff from another to put together something that worked. The ham slices didn’t come in the same meal as the cheese spread. But trade for it, and combine them, and it wasn’t half bad. The trick was knowing what to trade for (and not to trade for the yucky pineapple jam). I remember when I went to the Air Force Academy one summer to attend their SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school (I was a cadet at West Point). During a field exercise, they brought out cases of C-Rats. The zoomies had never had them before, but us USMA folk were quite familiar with them, and knew exactly what trades to make. I suspect the zoomies didn’t get as good of a first impression as they might have if they’d known what was worth having and what wasn’t.

BTW, there are no MREs from the 20s, they only came out in the 80s or so. So I’m guessing you’ve seen SteveMRE eating something that predates MREs (and I suspect predates c-rations since I think they only came out around WWII).

I only had MREs once while I was in the Army, and they were pretty good in comparison. They’d still be my last resort in a post-cataclysm situation though, just because they keep for years.


Maybe MREs just need a new branding manager. People pay big money to eat what they’d otherwise consider disgusting (insects, various wild game, etc) or dangerous (fugu, aka puffer or blowfish).

If someone is willing to pay large sums of money for candied scorpion (not horrible by the way) or a cut of fish potentially more poisonous than cyanide, maybe the MRE makers can rebrand them for the adventurous eater and jack the prices way up. A pouch of spaghetti, aged for decades on a metal shelf. A cutlet left to develop its flavors since 1984 in a wooden box in a non-temperature controlled warehouse. Wash it all down with drink mix that’s been around since your parents were in grade school. :smile:

Most all other foods have realistic calorie values. I guess MREs were brought in line with that as well. Coupled with the fact that the average soldier zombie now drops 1-3, so I’d say that

is precisely the right thing to do for

If I could downvote your post, I would.


I was exaggerating a little bit when I said 20s. I know he’s had C Rations and some REALLY old stuff too but I dunno what you’d call it. It was probably just better for the youtube algorithm to label them “MRE” since that’s what people search for when they find his channel.

What we’ve learned so far from using realism as one of the guiding factors in determining what gets added to the game…

…is that despite pissing certain people off to an impressive degree, it actually generally makes for a pretty good game.


Please keep doing what you’re doing! Game is getting better every day.

I agree, and thanks! I have no plans to change any of what I’m up to, because I play the game and enjoy the things I’ve changed.

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As it turns out, we’ve learned the opposite, that defaulting to realism gives us a pretty well grounded game that provides a decent challenge.

The funny thing is, I’ve literally never seen anyone make this statement and then follow it up with any supporting arguments for how the change is anti-fun or anti-balance. In this case, making MREs have even more calories reduces challenge, we want to make surviving harder, so balance and realism are aligned.

Non sequitor

That’s not how balance works, you’re assuming the balance was ideal before the change, it wasn’t. If anything we need to reduce foodvavailabilityva great deal, and this is a drop in the bucket.

Realism and MRE it is then.

The game now wrongly assume that a single meal ration should provide one third of 2000 calories. Because, indeed, 2000 calories is what is the intake of an adult man.
When not in combat operation.

Except that the current MRE as of March 2019 should be providing 4200 Kcal, according to the Institute of Medecine. In practice, they provide 1200 kcal. Again, according to reference 13 (, provided by Wikipedia in this article,_Ready-to-Eat

If the sources and references are not correct, please ignore my comments. I admittedly did not search further.
If they are, lets have realism be prevalent, as this is all what you want.