MP3 morale is only +1?

I never bothered with MP3s before today, since I mostly saw them as battery-wasting devices. Yesterday though I converted one to run off of my UPS bionic and started using it. However it only seems to give me +1 morale, compared to a car stereo which gives you up to +30. Can someone explain/fix?

The morale bonus you’ll get from the mp3 player takes time to build up. It also is the same for playing instruments. If you want to see if it’s working, just activate the mp3 player and pass 30 minutes of time using the shift+\ keys.

So I just tried to listen to my stereo to compare and now it too is only giving me +1 morale even over time. I don’t know what’s changed, whether it’s my character or the game. I listened for 30 minutes and it never went above +1, for either the stereo or the MP3 player.

Ahh, looks like they changed morale stacking. Look here…


Wow, I have crappy timing, it seems. But at least that answers that. Thank you.

That change literally killed optimist and stylish as sane trait picks.

I think this has got to be a bug introduced by the new stacking morale. Hopefully it changes.

  • Shane

Maybe I’m not the best at math, but how would this play out if I had three servings of cold, delicious alcohol to put my morale to say +100 from that one source? Would it be better for me not to consume something else of a lower morale value because it would actually bum me out

3 servings of alcohol at +33 morale each:
first one: morale is square root of ( 33 * 33 ), or 33.
second one: morale is square root of ( 33 * 33 + 33 * 33 ), or 47
third one: morale is square root of ( 33 * 33 + 33 * 33 + 33 * 33 ), or 57.

decide to have some +10 morale lemonade instead of the third serving of alcohol:
morale is square root of ( 33 * 33 + 33 * 33 + 10 * 10 ), or 48.

if you say that this makes it a lot harder to get the Elated morale status, then yes, you have figured out the purpose of the change.

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Ah that’s my mistake, I mistook the equation in the PR as including some averaging. I’m fine with elated being harder to obtain but it would have been weird to me if I would be incentivized not to use lower morale bonuses at all.

It does, however, make music totally ineffective. I’m all for elated to be hard to get, but this change has really nerfed music to an unreasonable degree. It’s bonus is +1 per time period, so it’ll pretty much always be +1.

I don’t know about you, but music helps my mood more than that. :grinning:

  • Shane

I’m actually one of the rare few who dislikes or isn’t entertained by music. So I rarely use it in CDDA except to RP some characters. Because in my mind I don’t think of it as a source of extensive enjoyment like most people do. It was pretty hilariously overpowered before anyways.

Maybe it can be changed to around 5 or 10 morale over time.

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That sounds like a few good new traits actually: Music Lover/Musically uninspired. I know people that are hugely affected by music and there are people like you who are not.

  • Shane

That would actually be pretty neat. Basically the musical equivalent of bookworm/hates reading.


It would be reasonable to adjust the way music works with the new formula. That was definitely one I don’t think we thought of when we put it in.

Optimist still works perfectly fine with the new formula. Stylish should too, depending a bit on how the separate item boosts are calculated. There’s a lot of the time in the early game especially it’s still going to be nice to have a decent +5 bonus, where you don’t have anything else going on to boost your morale. In the later game it still does stack with whatever else you’ve got going on, just not as much as it did before.

Remember this also heavily buffs the early game when you’d be suffering stacking penalties from “killed a zombie child”, “wet”, and “ate something yucky” making you near-suicidal.


I was thinking about this earlier at work. For all the low impact/high stacking buffs (like music that give +1 at a time for 20 times) the workaround for the new system is to cut the maximum buff in half and have it stack 4 times or to divide the max by 4 and stack 16 times. Both of these result in the buff reaching it’s previous maximum as long as it’s the only buff you are currently using.

This would allow the multiple stack bonuses to have the same net benefit that the single stack bonuses do. They would scale the same way, with multiple other buffs only adding the same amount they do now.

Just for clarity - say music is +1 stacking 20 times. The max is 20. So you cut that in half (10) and allow 4 stacks winding up with (10 * 10 + 10 * 10 + 10 * 10 + 10 * 10) which is 400, the square root of which is 20.

  • Shane

Yeah. Seems a lot of the low stuff does nothing now. Cold water doesn’t give any morale bonus either and near as I can tell no matter the source of music you can’t get any bonus. Dandelion tea either doesn’t give a bonus or the bonus is so small that it degrades after a couple of steps.

The basic formulae behind the system kinda makes sense, but I think it’s a bit too heavy handed. It dramatically over-emphasizes single large bonuses, and renders smaller bonuses entirely moot by comparison. They might as well not be there in most cases.

Basically the curve of reducing returns is extremely sharp for each additional value, which heavily emphasizes large values.

This is easy to fix however by tweaking the exponents as desired.
Some values that might work decently are:

SUM(A^1.5, B^1.5, …)^0.666

or for an even gentler curve of reducing returns:

SUM(A^1.33, B^1.33, … )^0.75

These all still penalize stacking, but not as sharply, and not as much in favor of singular large bonuses. I find that in game design I rarely use straight up SQRT functions because they are so steep that they produce unsatisfying results.

V3 V2 V1
Values 1.333 1.5 2 Initial Exponents
30 93.11135 164.3168 900
10 21.52782 31.62278 100
10 21.52782 31.62278 100
5 8.545294 11.18034 25
144.7123 238.7427 1125 SUM
0.75 0.666 0.5 Sum Exponent
41.72 38.34 33.54 Final Value
30 26.84 26.39 26.83 Effective Contributions
10 6.21 5.08 2.98
10 6.21 5.08 2.98
5 2.46 1.80 0.75

As you can see, in the original version (V1), the contributions of small factors are essentially meaningless unless they are the only factors, whereas in V2 and V3 these factors remain relatively meaningful.


As a side note, one unfortunate byproduct of systems of reducing return is that they tend to be hard to represent effectively in a UI without confusing the hell out of people and generating bug reports.

Because the math is complex enough that it generally isn’t displayed, this kind of thing often looks weird to players unless you can come up with a particularly clever way to depict it.