Running out of breath constantly

As the latest experimentals seemed to drift too much from my save (started getting errors about batteries among other things) and I read that the recommended way now is with the Z-levels enabled, I started a new character.

I had quite a bit of luck with my lab escape, spawning next to a exo-skeleton frame that made short work of the robots, but when I got to the surface and started my usual scavenging I’ve noticed that my character tires… a lot.

I’m running with stats through skills enabled, so right now it has 13-14 on all stats plus 3 or 4 in the relevant combat skills (melee/dodging/cutting/bashing etc), and military attire (combat boots, military pants, jacket), except for head (i found no helmet in the armory so it is wearing a kippah and a bike helmet plus a dust mask).

My go to scavenging weapon is a fire axe and I’ve noticed I cannot fend myself from a single zombie without getting extremely tired in the process. I almost died when I couldn’t disengage from a feral hunter and run out of breath in the middle of the combat (that I started with 4 1/2 bars of stamina) - I managed to kill him with two well placed bullets from my handgun before he managed to break my arm.

This is weird because usually my other characters did not have much problem with this engagement with similar stats and equipment. The only differences I noticed is that my character has the trait “overweight”, and this time I chose Krav Maga instead of Tae kwondo for the starting run, and of course the z-level thing, but I don’t think this will be a factor.

Have they been any recent tweaks to stamina management?

As there’s no way for me to know what version you were on and what version you’re on now, I’ll just say that yes, stamina was reworked a few weeks ago.

The jist of it is that you should be more careful when spending stamina. It’s a resource that needs to be managed.

Also, because I can, here’s a plug for a video in which I talked about the healing rate/stamina changes. Links to relevant PRs are in the description.

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I update every time I start the game, but I’ve noticed on the new character, as the previous one was too far off the humanity scale to notice the changes.

After reading the PR and the reports associated
Uhm… so yes, it seems melee has been inadvertently nerfed with the stamina change. Well, it’s time to train my bow skills until is rebalanced.
I also now see why it takes me longer to butcher piles of zombies.

Intentionally nerfed.

I don’t think a 12 str 3 dodge/melee/cutting/bashing with no significant encumbrance should go from 85% stamina to winded battling a single feral hunter with a fire axe. And getting almost killed from the winded effects (and only getting away because I got two lucky shots with my handgun).

I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt and think this will be rebalanced, because this, plus the slow healing, plus the nerfed stamina regen makes impossible to fend (or run off) any significantly sized zombie horde if you don’t have any long-range weapon.

It’s not unusual to find feral runners or feral hunters, even in early days, a week after starting (maybe evolution is too accelerated?), creatures you cannot run away of, and once winded, even normal zombies will catch up with you.

While I agree stamina needed a refactoring, unless the plan is to make any melee engagement inviable except for hypermutated bionic martial artists, this needs a rebalance.

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Intended - except for the “run off” bit - making your character unencumbered enough to run off from zombie groups is still very possible.

But if you engage, get winded and try and run away, that may not work, its a risk vs reward situation.

When there is a boxing match, do you see how tired they get in 3 minutes of striking and dodging? and these are trained athletes, now imagine they are doing that with clothing on, with a heavy fire axe.

Realistically melee is just a poor choice for battling zombie groups, and that is fine. Guns are meant to be better, otherwise they wouldnt be as popular as they are for killing things irl.

This game favours realism, if that means melee is a poor choice, then thats fine, there are other choices.

The plan is not to make melee non-viable, its to make it a risky choice for groups of zombies, you will get overwhelmed and killed, thats probably what would happen in real life, this is why the zombies took over the world and killed everyone, we want hordes to be dangerous.

part of this project https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/projects/13

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As I stated earlier… seven days after game start is possible to find feral runners and feral hunters which you can not run away of with the current mechanics (I was wearing combat pants, boots and jacket, plus a single backpack).

I was not fighting a group, I was fighting a single monster, and it was not even a brute or an armored one.

It may be because the Ferals are fast and they dodge better?

I think there should be less emphasis on stamina and maybe more maluses when surrounded/flanked? That would make fighting a group of zombie a need for strategic position.

The game strives to be realistic, but also to be a game. That’s the reason it doesn’t take our characters several years to master the skills, because it wouldn’t be fun. With the change to 1s turns the zombies are much faster, and the fast zombies even more. Evolution is way amped up. Fungal blooms override cities in weeks if not days.

I think an average starting character should have a moderate chance of fending off a single zombie, and a moderately prepared character even more so. I’m not saying a character should be tackling a skeleton brute one-to-one and have a chance to win, but a normal-sized zombie?

Again let me emphasize you cannot outrun a feral currently. They are too fast and they catch up with you even if you run too. I think that’s intended and that’s fine with me. It’s more or less easy to escape the zombies but this one you have to face it.

But now, they are basically PK-Machines. Worse than brutes. If you don’t have ranged weapons you are dead, at least in my experience. They don’t deal much damage, but because they can avoid most of your hits (maybe I had bad luck with the dice rolls?) it’s only a matter of you getting without stamina.

If this is intended… I hope there will be a way to tweak stamina regeneration via options or mods, because I don’t see myself playing with this “level of realism” :slight_smile:

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When I did the rebalance I actually tested it using a fire axe and it was absolutely possible to kill normal zombies. If I remember correctly it took around 50 swings of fire axe to deplete the stamina pool.

Ferals might be different due to what you’ve said about their ability to dodge. In that case you’d need to kill it in that number of swings, else you might get in trouble. And if they can outrun you, you need to apply different strategy. It’s logically impossible to fight untill stamina depletion and then run away afterwards, as running deplete stamina, while the pool is empty at this moment. So you either run or fight. Mixing both is a way to die. You may want to take a breath between zombies, even few turns can give you a some stamina back. In most cases you can also walk away (you regain stamina while walking) instead of running away, but perhaps not from a feral. Vormithrax uses that strategy all the time.

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I did not try to run away from the feral, for the reasons you stated: Either you run or you fight, but not both. It was a single one (luckily, as ferals tend to run in packs), and I did not had a fallback base to hide, being fresh out of the lab.

Maybe the rebalance should be applied to the ferals, instead of the fighting system… make them less though? Make less possible that they come in packs?

I still think is too much of a nerf, but I need further testing to see if my gripe only applies to fighting ferals. Disengaging from a zombie probably would be easier but my session ended last night with the character almost healed from the encounter (broken arm, the other limb at 10/99, torso bleeding, luckily stopped at 1-maybe intended?-, it took a good week to heal), so I cannot attest how my character fares with normal zombies (not that with Cata++ there is much “normal”, but that is not the game’s fault :laughing:)

Are you sure it’s not Cata++ mod fault? Maybe it has modded ferals or something?

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Good point. I will try to run a vanilla game and check back. Maybe Cata++ has not caught wind of the stamina changes, so I won’t have any other recourse to wait with bated breath for an update to occur.

(I can tell you, though, that I totally hate the failed biofungal weapon… as if we hadn’t enough with fungal towers)

Vanilla, all stats 8, no skill, no traits, out of the box character, fire axe.
Killed 2 feral hunters, one after another, and had 1 stamina bar left afterwards.
After that I killed another and was left with 376/10000 stamina according to debug menu.

image

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Then the most probable cause is a mod fault. When I am back home I will try to trace which mod is amping up the feral hunter in my game (probably Cata++, as my other creature mods have to do with robots) and check if the stats differ much.

Your experiment is more in line of what I though the game was going to have, judging the PR…

Just one comment… having krav maga (even though fire axe is not a valid weapon) active when wielding the fire axe should have an impact on the stamina consumption? It seems when I switched from Krav maga to Ninjitsu the stamina impact was lower.

Thanks a lot!

Two crucial things jump out at me here:

  1. You never said how long the fight was. If you’re flailing away with a fire axe for five minutes, obviously you would be exhausted.
  2. You say you were unencumbered, but you also say you’re wearing a backpack and a mask. Melee performance is vastly degraded by both mouth and torso encumbrance. It very much sounds like you got used to fighting while encumbered with a previous character and didn’t re-adjust when switching to a new character.
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Yep, given mr_sep explanation, That’s basically what happened.

Dust mask, with an encumbrance of 1, tended to be a nuisance only on very long fights or when running. Given my previous character tendency to get the flu (it got flu/cold thrice?) I automatically equipped the mask, unbeknownst of the changes to stamina (I also did it because it was cold outside and was looking for something to cover my mouth… I had a character die apparently because the head was too cold in spring?). Obviously now is a major issue and I guess my character ran out of breath much, much faster because it was wearing a mask.

I think the other factor is that there is a strong possibility it wasn’t a vanilla feral, but a cata++ one. But yes, wearing a dust mask is now a no-no when engaging melee :slight_smile:

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I don’t know about tweaks to stamina management but I often get the error message “stamina may not be recovering” in the latest experimental

I, too, received the messages sometimes. I think it has to do with mouth encumbrance.

Right now you cannot wear nothing that encumbers your mouth for extended periods of time. I think it was intended to be that way, but still is a bit of a pain in the rear :slight_smile:

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BTW: I checked that save and I think it was a combination of the pain caused by the feral and the speed of the same. As wounds accumulated my stats dropped and so my ability to hit the beast and cause it damage.

Also I’ve notice you cannot use Krav Maga if you wield a weapon, which makes this a very useless martial art now. Switching to Ninjitsu (there was a book in the lab) automatically increased that character’s chance of survival enormously, specially if you’re going one-to-one against a zombie: you disengage (gaining the evade bonus), hit, and repeat.

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I very much like the new balance of stamina and healing rates. You can still become a very powerful melee character in the mid-late game, though going toe to toe with a zombie hulk may never again be a wise option, given that you could easily end up with multiple days of convalescence from a single hit.

Nor is it wise to try to hack your way through a truly large horde, given the way your stamina pool depletes - I even have taken to pre-emptively using emergency oxygen masks before fights I fear may run long.

For my part I am finding the parkour trait to be a hugely beneficial one now, as it gives me lots of options to either disengage or fight from highly advantageous terrain without suffering any penalties myself - fighting from inside the wreckage of a smashed vehicle can make it far easier to handle a mid-sized group of enemies in melee.

I’m also fond of starting with a military background so I get something like an M1 rifle to deal with unlucky early encounters with nasty things, or when I get cornered with poor stamina.

I’ve found heavy armour to be a lot more useful too, since you can’t dodge or block when winded now. Running out of stamina on a character that relies soley on dodge can and will get very bad very quickly, unlike before when dodge was basically the best general combat skill.