Here’s the core issue: very little/none of the mechanics are tied to a metaphorical unit of time. There’s been arguments on the github/discussion boards before, we can’t even start midway through a season and have things work properly. If 91 days becomes the norm, there’s going to be an even bigger ire out of people who would rather start in the middle of the season. Then there will be people complaining the game isn’t fun spending hours just to end up barely making progress. Sure, the experts will be “it’s not that long, it only takes me an hour”, Okay, you know exactly the best things to do, and want the game to be more tedious because… well let’s not be rude to them. Instead of changing their settings and understanding not everyone wants a boring game that requires literally more than a day of playtime per year.
I notice a lot of people in here are like “well I can shut myself in and read”. Actually reading in the game can be done within the first winter and/or next spring. Even with stacks of books. “well make it take longer if it’s too fast”, great, now my game is stupidly slow, and I have to spend a year of time reading those books. What was accomplished? I just spent 10-20x longer real-world time to achieve the same goal. If the game does have enough resource for me to be self-sufficient for a year, then it’s tedium to jack up the time it takes. If it doesn’t, then at best, I’m slowed in progress. Okay, that’s a balance change. Wait, you want to make almost the ENTIRE game be more tedious? Not just 1-2x, but six times?!?!
The heart of it is two fold: bad tying of rates to a consistent time scale, and Cataclysm getting boring for some players. 1) That’s a programming problem, not a game play problem. If values are rebalanced later, that’s more palatable than changing things for everyone while still not fixing the problem that the timescales are inconsistent. That will ALWAYS be a problem unless they’re run-time selectable and exposed to the player, which has always been fought against. 2) Cataclysm can’t be everything. Even if more and more content is added (which of course I’d like to see). Cataclysm can’t be perfect. Right now the focus is on adding more gameplay mechanics on broken styles that keep making bigger and bigger problems, instead of refactoring or fixing something basic like font rendering in the experimentals. Font rendering is inaccurate by default and broken on other settings is broken in an ASCII game, but changing game mechanics (and Kevin has even said he’s not against making 91 days mandatory) is important right now.