Today I was hanging out in my Cataclysm world, when I realized, my oh my, I haven’t drank anything in days! Being a responsible human being, I quickly went back home to quench my thirst…by drinking roughly two gallons of water in less than half an hour, and didn’t immediately die. That seems a bit silly, doesn’t it?
So, here’s my proposal.
The hunger and thirst system as we know it is stripped down a bit - instead of hunger, very hungry, famished, thirsty, very thirsty, dehydrated, etc, there is only Full/Hungry/Very Hungry and Slaked/Thirsty/Very Thirsty. In addition, the ‘weight’ to these is a lot lower; two or three sips of clean water will get you to slaked no matter how thirsty you are, and a well-prepared meal always can get you to full, maybe even with some leftovers.
However, two new hidden stats are added: nutrition and hydration. The two stats work similarly to health, in that they’re hidden and change depending on your actions in the world. Having your character at full/slaked will gradually bring your nutrition/hydration up, while subjecting them to long periods of thirst and famine brings it down. Low nutrition starts bringing down your strength and speed, while low thirst starts to bring down your dexterity, speed, strength and intelligence, both of them eventually leading to death.
So, what’s this actually do to gameplay? A few things; first, it makes it so that you can’t go a week without eating, stuff your face full of 70 pies and pancakes and walk away just fine - it now takes a while of good eating and drinking to fully recover from famine. This also punishes your character for regularly skipping meals and treating hunger and thirst lightly, as long periods of fasting and binging will slowly bring your nutrition down (as it should!). However, this also rewards characters who keep a steady stock of food; keeping yourself well-fed is easier to manage and less “stuff-yourself” than it used to be, and all you need to get through the day is a few light meals.
It may need some thought put into how it’d work with mutations or bionics, as certain bionics or mutations let you eat without filling yourself, turning it directly into energy or health.[/quote]
you don’t feed the ninja either.
This is, in fact, a nice idea. It needs an indicator of how high in nutrition and hydration the character is, though.
What are usual symptoms of very low hydration other than paper-like skin?
P.S. Also, characters should probably be unable to get obese. That would be just an annoyance for players and a new headache to track.
P.P.S. Also, roughly the same can be applied to fatigue/sleep. it’s kinda annoying to wake up, spend four hours doing something, “YOU ARE TIRED STOP EVERYTHING?!”. Instead move that message to “dead tired” and have fatigue build up - so if you’ve slept well recently, you can spend a few days awake, but if you didn’t, you’ll be really drowsy (stat-penalted) and prone to falling asleep on any comfortable surface.
It’s definitely planned to split what hunger/thirst you are feeling and what your body actually needs (which allows fun things, like drugs not making you feel hungry when you really are) as well as eventually splitting sleep and rest (which would allow coffee to do something similar, albeit these two are more closely tied together than hunger/satiation and thirst/dehydration). It’s just that nobody has gotten around to it.
I don’t like the idea of more hidden stats. Don’t make it health 2.0 where a hidden stats stays imbalanced because no one sees how it changes (vitamins make food and drug health values not matter at all).
Keep it visible, at least to sober and sane survivors. Maybe rename or recolor “hungry” depending on how hungry you feel/are.
For example: you’re so starved you eat grass, so you get a red-colored “full” as a hunger status.
The best hunger system I’ve seen was UnReal World’s one. In fact, I mentioned it on IRC, although I’ve been, for the most part, completely ignored.
It splits hunger into three separate metrics - hunger, nutrition, and starvation. Hunger is measure of how hungry you are, nutrition is a measure of how well-fed you are, and starvation is self-explanatory. You become hungry on the order of few hours, you become famished gradually on the order of days, a week or so without substantial food, and finally, you start to starve at a gradual pace when famished.
Now, food and drinks have three properties - how filling they are, how nutritious they are, and how much they quench your thirst. As you become more famished, your hunger grows much faster, allowing you to catch up on nutrition, by eating more. On its own, being hungry alone incurs no penalties.
Personally I would suggest something like this for CDDA, possibly with the starvation component stripped out and simply replaced by the nutrition scale going further down. The benefits would be short-term hunger being much less annoying, more realism, and more leeway in managing it. As well as a way to make junk food more filling.
Nutrition should take into account food variety as well (even though the “they” can’t agree on it anyway). And they should all tie in to healthiness as well. That guy who eats his meats and his veg shouldn’t get sick as often as the one who lives on candy and cola and necowafers.
Honestly, it wouldn’t be very hard to model the different nutrients, but it would be a huge, huge pain for the player to manage. Also, this would make people with the food intolerance traits/mutations somewhat screwed. I think that URW’s split is a very reasonable one.
Yep, it might be considered bad form to suggest entirely copying another game’s system but the UnReal World way of handling hunger is pretty great, it’s realistic enough without being overly complex and it gets across enough information to the player to know where they stand. I know I frequently play Cataclysm and totally ignore my character’s hunger for sometimes a whole day, but playing URW I’m always sure to fill my tummy if I have the food available.
The question is, does Cataclysm actually need such a system? Starvation is a game mechanic in URW because the world is punishingly hard to get food in at times, but let’s face it Cataclysm is overflowing with delicious food even with item spawns turned way down. It could end up just being bothersome without any real benefits. I suppose it could tie in to the health system, along with fitness and fatigue if those ever get added.
Well, the availability of food in cata tends to come in the form of meat from giant insects. Least in my games that’s the case, you’ll never go hungry living near an ant-infested swamp, but I don’t think a diet that’s nothing but swamp bug jerky is considered a balanced diet.
Then again, you have vitamins, so you won’t get scurvy, even if your survivor somehow lives long enough anyways. The only use they have IRL is for people with highly monotonous diets, so stands to reason.
I’m kinda ambivalent about a whole new nutrirition system. I think a DF-style ‘sick of the same old food’ morale penalty might be easier to code and provide some incentive for having a varied diet.
This all makes me think of my preferred ‘needs’ mod for Fallout New Vegas (and Fallout 3 and Skyrim): Imp’s More Complex Needs.
It’s certainly the most realistic and complex model I’ve ever seen for this sort of thing. It’s crazy and I love it. Safe to say it’s probably not for everyone, but I feel like people that enjoy CDDA would be more likely to appreciate it.
You’re mixing population level abstraction with individual level expectation. Results may vary.
On the subject of nutrition C:DDA already has the health system that is tied to your eating habits and IMO trying to make it more complex would make it a drag on gameplay. Water and thirst already are trivial enough after about a season that having to keep purifying the water is downright boring. The though that I would have to micromanage each bite of food and each sip of water to any degree higher that is currently needed in a game that is about kill or be killed in the apocalypse fills me with only one thought:
I like the basic suggestion, but I think the UnReal World version is overcomplicated. I like Stekcs’s and Coolthulhu’s ideas better.
…actually, I think I’d remix these into a 5-meter system.
[ol][li]Hunger - roughly like Stekcs’s Nutrition, but not hidden.[/li]
[li]Thirst - ditto, Hydration.[/li]
[li]Satiation - how physically full your stomach is. Both food and drink increase this.[/li]
[li]Nutrition - a mostly hidden stat that simply adds up the values for any food and drink that hasn’t been digested yet. Represented by an indicator on Hunger of whether it is growing or dropping.[/li]
[li]Quench - ditto, Thirst.[/li][/ol]
As time passes, Satiation, Nutrition, and Quench all decline towards zero, representing food being digested. As Nutrition and Quench are digested, they relieve (or intensify, if negative) Hunger and Thirst. This makes calorie-dense foods like meats and beans especially important if you don’t want to be eating ten meals a day (although maybe you should be).
Hunger and Thirst ought to be used up based on exertion. Also, being overheated should make Thirst drop faster, because sweat.
As for mechanical effects: if you have low Nutrition or Hydration, you ought to get winded more quickly but otherwise not suffer immediately (speaking as a very occasional runner, that matches my experience); as you start starving, you ought to take penalties to morale and to Strength (representing your body consuming its muscles to keep going).
To account for food nutrition why not just make food less effective if you consume the same type repeatedly? Mutations such as carnivore or herbivore would negate this, so you could eat cooked meat forever and it would not change, but as a regular omnivore eating the same thing more than 5 times in a row would start making your health stat go down like eating junk food.
I also propose to make the currently-hidden health trait visible. It’s really, really obvious when you’re malnourished (hair starts falling out, skin starts turning yellow and smelling like popcorn, start passing out randomly, etc).
[quote=“Packbat, post:16, topic:8902”]…actually, I think I’d remix these into a 5-meter system.
[ol][li]Satiation - how physically full your stomach is. Both food and drink increase this.[/li]
[li]Nutrition - a mostly hidden stat that simply adds up the values for any food and drink that hasn’t been digested yet. Represented by an indicator on Hunger of whether it is growing or dropping.[/li][/ol][/quote]
Which is how, roughly, hunger and thirst currently work: there’s numbers for what your character already has (=digested), numbers for what is in their stomach (and can be emptied forcefully), and they’re added up with result shown to player.
Not sure if limited stomach size would add anything (good) to the game. It certainly would add some micromanagement when re-feeding or gorging self before going to sleep.
Maybe we could have a soft cap on stomach content - instead of saying “you’re full, wait it out”, you get speed penalties for being engorged, a chance to vomit out of pain/shock if too full etc.
As long as this cap was high enough not to max out from going famished->full, it wouldn’t be annoying.
Digested vs. undigested food could be cool though - instead of food immediately erasing hunger, it could do so slowly, letting you waste less nutrition when doing strenuous activities, using metabolism CBM and the like. It shouldn’t be a hidden stat, though.
Favoring calorie-dense foods is a good idea. At the moment, there are only two kinds of foods: ones that taste good and ones that give nutrition. S’mores + a stack of boiled acorns (+ a single vitamin pill) is better than a complete dinner of some salad, meat soup and fried veggies.