So, I was minding my own business, playing experimental build #10934 version 0.E-5243-gf05c854 when I noticed something: Ammonia is not craftable.
This bugs me. I can’t actually imagine why ammonia would not be craftable. Many other things that were craftable are no longer craftable due to… “realism”, apparently.
To be fair, sometimes that’s reasonable. For example, even though I liked the all-metal arrows… they would indeed be horrific as actual arrows, and were kind of OP. I’ll miss them, but not so much that I’ll complain. Modern gunpowder meanwhile wouldn’t be too difficult to create per se, at least the ‘mixed’ variant, but I actually do appreciate the balance between craftable black powder and uncraftable smokeless; there wouldn’t be a point in black powder if you could make the good stuff. (I still would argue that it should be available gated behind an extreme long-term faction base, but that’s a digression).
Ammonia, however? That’s a very, very basic resource, with an extremely simple production process. The recipe has been known since antiquity, and you can do it at home with stuff you have at hand, right now. How do you make it, you might wonder?
Urine. In a bowl. Then you let it age. That’s how the ancients did their laundry.
I refuse to believe that our survivors are incapable of that. I will not stand by and meekly accept a limitation that stupid. Now, maybe the ‘ammonia’ item we’ve got in-game is meant to represent a particular quality and purity of ammonia that isn’t achievable with just your bladder, but that’s easily fixed by virtue of a thing called a “chemistry set”.
Now, I’m going to make that argument. You know the one, Kevin hates it, anothersimulacrum hates it, but I’m going to make it anyway because it is 100% valid in this case: “We can make bleach, so we should be able to make ammonia.”
Stop right there. I know what you’re writing, so I’ll save you the trouble:
- “Player can craft a X, so they should also be able to craft a Y”
This kind of argument is invalid for several reasons.
Just because there’s a contradiction i.e. “cordless drills and gunsmithing tools are equally hard to make, but we can only make cordless drills” doesn’t imply that the correct action is allowing crafting of gunsmithing tools, it’s equally likely that craftable cordless drills were a mistake.
This argument generally has a tenuous or non-existent relationship between the items in question. Frequently it’s an assertion that X is “complicated” and Y is either “simple” or “also complicated”, this is not sufficient for craftability of X to imply craftability of Y.
This is not the case here. The complexity of both bleach and ammonia are not in question: they are both simple and achievable with pre-industrial manufacturing methods. The relationship between both chemicals is equally beyond question: they are both simple chemicals that can be achieved with historical methods. The only thing that could possibly be at all relevant about the copypasta counterargument is that the manufacturing of bleach should also be discarded as a mistake. In truth, I wouldn’t really have much of an argument against that… other than to reiterate that both are already well established historically as simple domestic chemistry staples from the 18th century. Thus, I declare that my argument is entirely valid and has nothing to fear from the above rebuttal.
Now, I’ve also gone ahead and read another reason as to why this can’t ever be merged mainline:
"Poop and related bodily functions: NO
No, just no, not even in a mod."
Well, that definitely means my mod is out. As is “butchery refuse”, adobe, wattle-and-daub, fertilizer, all forms of manure, vomiting, sewage… Look, I get it: you don’t want immature potty humor. I don’t either. It would add nothing and cost everything if we opened the door to “hurr hurr I threw a jar of pee at a zombie hurr”, but this is serious historical chemistry. If the idea of using poop as a resource offends your sensibilities, then why did you implement it in the first place?
So, I would appreciate an answer as to what possible justification there could be for the removal of the recipe for ammonia.
Until then, I’ve created a simple mod that enables the crafting of ammonia: not out of urine, since that’s not actually a thing in the game, but from feces as a stand-in for other animal excreta. It’s difficult, it requires a college textbook and a chemistry set, but I want my renewable black powder and “realism” is not gonna stop me from having a realistic experience.
Here it is, it should be compatible with pretty much anything that doesn’t change something fundamental with the chemistry process: