What are your thoughts on how the game has developed over the years?

Take this with a grain of salt, but I seem to recall there being talks about adding “do soon-ish” queue for calculations that don’t need to resolve within the span of a single turn or action, but could be processed whenever there was spare CPU and/or the player stopped to think about something or navigating a menu. It’s not multithreading but it sounded neat. I don’t think anyone is actually working on that though.

Anything that improves performance is more than welcomed, especially for those running on lower end computers - I’d say that throughout the years the system requirements have changed drastically enough that my PC went from performing just fine to a “Yeah sleeping can take you bout 5 minutes in this [insert_building_here]” kind of thing. I don’t know the intricacies of what changes do what or would improve what in a practical sense, so there really isn’t much I could say or suggest. Best I can tell, is that the majority of the performance issues I have are either in cities, on top of “busy” underground structures, inside the parking lot of a research facility/lab/Trans Coast Logistics (and boy are those places sluggish), near a Necropolis or a Military Base, or just generally anywhere that has high density of mobs, items and things like that. Not sure if that is the exact reason as to why that happens.

And looking at the above posted thread (thank you Zhilkin) it’s just as I thought, Multithreading would be a big no and with good reason.

I have played this game since the like early 00s, and mainly I’m tired of seeing gamey-stuff from other games being added - Fallout games being an egregious example where things are stolen directly, and I regularly see people asking that factions identical to BoS or the Legion etc, be added. Necropolis? Yes it’s a greek word but they’re basically a dupe of the same thing from Fallout. 10mm cartridges were only introduces in 1985 but Fallout made them a mainstay, and I constantly run across them now in cdda and basically nowhere else.

The other thing that annoys me is realism in lieu of fun - often this “realism” comes from a wikipedia article and not someone who’s actually used the thing in question, which tends to end up with it being neither funner, or more realistic overall. Archery has been a long-time victim of this sort of thing, and athletics skill being totally useless except for swimming after ten+ years is another, when it could be pretty logical to have it just give a basic gain in the ability to sprint for longer periods, recover from exhaustion quicker, etc.


I’ve been playing since 0.C with large breaks between stables. I don’t want to sound like I’m ranting for the sake of being contrarian and I want to point out that, all things considered, this open-source project has had a lot of time and work put into, and I want to acknowledge that. This is also all my own disorganized opinion and experience.

I don’t like how overtime, the game has become much more micro-managey. I find myself having to worry about dozens of micro-things, such as how many pockets I have and the different weight and volumes of them, vitamins and diets, added proficiency ontop of skills to make crafting more grindy, etc. I need to spend more time dragging large things back and forth now, because “that’s how you’d do things in real life.” Weariness was added ontop of Stamina, and is basically just there to force the player into a slower pace of development and limit them from doing too many things at once because…it’s more real?

It feels to me like this game has moved away from being a game and more like being a simulator. I spend more time managing my own character than actually exploring the world and fighting zombies. When I spend more time in the UI and inventory menu than exploring the world, I think something has gone wrong.

Modern CDDA has been taking away more tools from the player and also restricting them further without really replacing it with something equivalently fun, or giving them enough new tools to overcome all the new obstacles. Unrealistic weapons/tools are removed, with nothing as interesting to replace them. Robots are just gone now. CBMs have become much more rarer now, so they could add an alien faction.

Faction bases remain an unrealistic investment, especially now that the new inventory and vehicle welding system was implemented. I can never really get one going in a normal game, because the amount of materials required to make one just isn’t feasible.

I’ve heard people say that I could always play the older versions if I liked them better, but it’s not like the newer versions are without important improvements either. Things such as the Mall location overhaul, the addition of flying vehicles, Z-Level development, updates to the behavior physics, etc aren’t something I can experience in the older versions. It’s just a shame that I find myself needing to mod the newer versions more and more just to get rid of the excessive micromanagey aspects of the game.

I’m starting to get a Skyrim/Oblivion vibes, where I had to keep modding the game to have any fun.

tl;dr too many nerfs and micromanagement without giving the player enough new tools/content to overcome or have fun experiencing them


imho, the game already auto manages many of those micro managing tasks for you. The interface could be easier, that is for sure.

And I do agree that sometimes stuff is removed without looking through all alternatives properly, mostly because there is an absolutely insane amount of contributors with varying amounts of time, skill and thoroughness. An example impacting me, was 0.F where stuff has been rebalanced, making wilderness survival hard to impossible to achieve. This is something me and several other people are working on though and we already made good progress, making wilderness survival feasible in experimental again with just JSON changes.

Please do report those issues if you find them and be as detailed as possible, since good playtesters who provide constructive criticism are something we really need.

Don’t worry about these things then? You can micromanage inventory, but you don’t have to. You can control your character diet, but you don’t have to. You can try to grind proficiencies, but you don’t have to.

1 Like

Well, if you mean i should mod them out, I do if i can find mods for them. Inventory management mods aren’t really a thing right now tho.

But otherwise, I don’t think that’s really fair to say I can just ignore them, when they’re core aspects of the game. This is basically the same thing as telling me to play older versions.
Vitamins directly impact the health and survivability of a character and so I have to go out of my way to remember everything I eat outside of just calories. Inventory is integral to your preparedness, and with nested inventories many weapons are usually too long for most strapped backpacks. Crafting is one of the core aspects of the game to be able to deal with ever increasingly difficult encounters as the monsters evolve and proficiencies will hold you back if you don’t get the right ones.

The introduction of vitamins, inventory volume, item length and proficiency have overall slowed a lot of things down, gameplay wise. I suppose that’s on purpose, and i don’t necessarily mind slowing progress down in games, but there has to be something inbetween to fill the slower pace, which I’m not finding. I just feel like I’ve been spending more time doing the same things i did before, but at a much slower pace.

For example, getting to the stage where you can modify vehicles takes a lot longer to achieve now. But that just means you have to spend more time grinding mechanics, lugging car parts around, and getting the right welding proficiencies. A side effect of weariness also means you’ll tire yourself out much quicker after modifying just a few parts of a vehicle, further slowing progress.
Players also now need to craft specialized rods for welding in recent experimentals, before they can even start real vehicular modifications. Not to mention that vehicle parts now take permanent damage, which is another resource hog for the newly implemented welding rods. Creating said welding rods is a journey in and of itself, requiring metals or chemicals and even crafting using forges and kilns.
All of this has made getting into vehicle modifications take several times longer than it used to, with nothing added to ease players (especially new players) into the otherwise cool vehicle modification system. I still have to find tools with enough jacking/lift properties, like the old days, and removing or adding parts to vehicles still takes the same amount of time as it used to.

Reading over some of these observations make me kind of glad I started playing with 0.F.
I really like this game, but if I were to compare it to an earlier version I might dislike the changes. This game seems to evolve fast.
FWIW - I don’t find it at all micro-managey but then my longest play-through is only about two weeks in-game so I am still just getting started. Also I don’t play tiles (topaz 8 square for me), which means I spend time visualising the details, which might fill in some gaps.

This reminds me of how my favourite version of dwarf-fortress is 40d - even though that was released in 2008. Because I played it so much I really got to know it and even though the game has improved loads since then - I pine for those days.

I have a feeling I might find myself in a few years time pining for CDDA v0.F

I did not say to mod anything out or play an older version, I said you don’t need to micromanage inventory - the game is totally playable w/o taking care which items go to which exact pockets.

If you don’t mind me “backseating” I can offer some insight. But if you prefer not to read it, i can fully understand.

  • Re: Vitamins - You can 100% ignore them, regardless of what you eat. Gummy vitamins/multivitamins are aplenty (to the point where you can easily get about 100 or 200 of them with just a handful of houses on default settings. Eat whatever you want, have 1 vitamins when you wake up and one before you fall asleep. You’ll never have issues with that part of the game.

  • Re: Weapons & inventory
    Most weapons now fit in, on or strapped to some specific backpacks. It’s just a matter of reading which backpacks offer what. This includes guns too. Of course if you restrict yourself to messenger bags or leather backpacks, you’re hindering yourself. but on the otherhand, finding weapon storage clothing isn’t hard. Webbing belts, firefighter belts, police belts can store a lot of bashing weapons (batons, some axes, some maces/morning stars). Sheathes are very easy to find too, and most of the time they come with a knife in it. Holsters also work very well, and they can also hold some batons. Baldrics can be found too, which work for longer blades. Spear straps and shoulder straps are easy, fast and cheap to craft when it comes to stuff like “long” guns or spears/pikes/halberds/staves.

  • Re: Crafting and proficiencies and weariness + Vehicles;
    I agree with you here in some regards. I still don’t “enjoy” the proficiencies, but they’re very easy to attain via the training menu within the crafting menu. What bothers me is that the game actively incentivises the player to hoard things, which heavily damages the game performance the more items you have around you - especially if you are using a “less-than-ideal” computer. It also imbues a weird “grinding” mentality that can, at times, be frustrating and very, very draining. And the welding rods&co are a good example of this. Crafting them is a huge waste of time, both in game and your real time as a player. Especially when they are not easy to find and they aren’t spawning in quantities they should spawn as in places that would (thematically) have vast amounts of them. On one hand I appreciate that it forces you to think economically, as in, what’s the best thing to plan for, but on the other hand, I feel that it is one of those things where the “fun” side of things was completely taken away for the sake of being realistic (more on this later).
    As for the vehicles, I also partly agree: I don’t like that many things were changed to the point where it’s essentially telling you that it’s better to wait for a part to reach “xx” status so you can fully replace it. I do appreciate how it works and, as an experienced player, it doesn’t bother me anymore because I kind of already know where to source what and I already have my own “routine” for early game where with 3 military vehicles and a cube van I can essentially have my unbreakable mobile base done within a month IGT. Although I think these changes were yet another one of those instances where “fun” was sacrificed in lieu of someone’s perception of realism - but then, there are tons of other things that surely wouldn’t pass a realism test, yet they’re still in the game, some are fun, others aren’t.

  • Re: Inventory (micro)Management.
    In my opinion it’s one of those things where the more you play and the more locations you visit, you start taking mental notes of what’s where, and instead of crafting certain things, you just try to find the places where they spawn - I don’t craft any tools anymore, most of my equipment is also looted, except for the Faraday Chainmail Suit. I don’t craft ammo unless I decide to play as a bowman. I don’t craft melee weapons either except for the Ironshod Quarterstaff early game, because I know where most of the ones I like to use are - personally, I rate the PR-24, the Mace/Morning Star and the Wakizashi to be the best melee weapons in terms of Average Damage vs Stamina Spent vs number of attacks. Clothing? Every house has leather gear, I just wear as much leather equipment as I can until I find Chainmail pieces and then use a full chainmail set until I can craft the Faraday Suit.


There are many things that need improvement, of course. But there also are tons of things that are absolutely, amazingly implement into the game that, in many ways, make up for those that are still “in trial” or “absolutely kind of broken.” There are many things that are fun, but there are also many things that aren’t fun. There are things that make sense to be in this game, just as there are just as many things that probably put people off from playing it because it strays away from the realism premise this game used to have towards a more “unnatural”, “otherworldly”, “multidimensional” centric lore that some like, others dislike. The game is very micromanagement oriented because it is a roguelike after all, but it doesn’t mean you have to partake in that micromanagement once you know the popular workarounds (I’d recommend watching Vormithrax’s streams, he’s always got some tips or some fantastic cheese you can take from his strategies and implement yourself!)

1 Like

Yeah this is my plan but It suffers from a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem because we need something that is both impacting performance but also doesn’t matter whether it gets updated on a turn-by-turn basis.
I realized just yesterday that the EOC system might be a good candidate for this.

But in general optimization is just generically making things run faster there’s tons and tons and tons of waste in the game and it’s just a matter of applying effort in the right areas of the code to make things faster.


I’ve been playing since 0.A (since 2012/2013-ish) and I can confidently say that this game has come a long way. Seriously, I played before cars worked properly and were basically gigantic mobile houses and you can find joke items called granades that had a chance to buff your stats to 90. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go but still I’m super proud that I’ve been a part of a close-knit community that can bond over how ridiculous and difficult this game can be. Not to mention the storytelling that can come from each unique experience.

Honestly, the only two things that I’ve disliked was the rebalancing aspect for skills (the cap not being 20 anymore) and the removal of martial arts autoattacks. Me being a veteran player (I’ve been playing this game for almost 10 years) I pretty much know the ins-and-outs of how to survive even in the most dismal of circumstances most of the time, and I’m a casual gamer type of guy. If I go through the effort of making a demi-god, I wanna damn well feel like an invincible demigod.
Of course I understand that the game isn’t meant to be played like that, or it has issues that held back the main game, but I just have a personal preference to steamroll through games if possible.

Of course I don’t gripe too hard about these removals, I accept them pretty much all in stride and I’m personally all for game changing changes, like vitamins, smarter npc’s or the exodii. The development team really kept me on my toes these years and I honestly can’t thank Kevin and the rest of the devs enough that have been here since day 1 for their continued dedication.


Honestly, pretty mixed, I like the added features, but the move away from more sci-fi lore has made cdda lose a lot of its appeal for me. I started playing this game because it was a realistic survival game in an interesting setting, but now that the setting is just a slightly different version of earth, it has really lost a lot of its magic. I feel like the game is sacrificing a fun and interesting setting for a bland alt-history with some area 51 stuff hidden in the background


I’ve been playing off and on for a very long time. I feel like it’s been a case of one step forward one step back overall.

Some examples in different areas:

Being able to craft in batches, craft with nearby objects, craft recipes directly from books without the required skill to learn the recipe. All great stuff that makes the previously tedious user experience better.

Crafting even low effort things like sewing or boiling pasta making you tired very quickly, hiding many obvious and useful recipes in rare books, books becoming far worse at raising skill levels. All awful changes that make the user experience just as tedious as it used to be, but in a different way.

Inventory got some nice realism improvements like not being able to stow a quarterstaff in a fannypack. Cool.

Inventory got some terrible realism hurdles like needing to open the wallets of dozens upon dozens of zombies and scroll past individual paper bills to look for important ID cards.

Hunger got changed so now you can ward off the feeling of hunger by drinking a lot of water or eating popcorn but need real calories to avoid starving. Great changes!

Hunger got changed so that you now need to eat like a sumo wrestler just to function like a normal human being, and items now have ridiculous health or vitamin properties that make nutrition management a tedious hassle when you should be fine eating piles of fish, meat, and berries.

Stamina got added in, then broken up into short term stamina and a longer term weariness mechanic. Great in principle. Fighting zombies for 4 hours should be different than fighting them for 4 minutes.

In practice? A normal character will be winded to the point of complete exhaustion and unable to even walk at normal speeds after running a distance of… 21 meters. At a speed of about 9 kilometers per hour. This ‘improvement’ was termed as ‘gritty.’ Melee combat is harder to quantify, but feels just as silly imo.

TLDR; the game has made great improvements over the years, but also created many awful problems in the name of realism or balance that often don’t add to either element.

1 Like

Quick note about vitamins: they don’t matter and never have. Here’s the only PR making them do things vitamins do things by dissociativity · Pull Request #50273 · CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA · GitHub and the results is that only a lack of vitC can give you scurvy. In the end only iron and vitC matter and anything else does nothing and has never been doing anything ever.

How much duffel bags you are running with weigh?

Crafting even low effort things like sewing or boiling pasta making you tired very quickly, hiding many obvious and useful recipes in rare books, books becoming far worse at raising skill levels. All awful changes that make the user experience just as tedious as it used to be, but in a different way.

Sewing isn’t low effort. Boiling pasta made you tired very quickly? Did you cook 50 of them for half a day? Or did you wait to cook them after your character was awake for most of the day?
Books shouldn’t be raising your skills either; you don’t become a pro-hacker just by reading 2 or 3 books. You don’t become a professional Tailor by spending a week reading 3 books about clothes. And you definitely do not become a Professional Chemist by reading books about how to make soapy water.

Inventory got some terrible realism hurdles like needing to open the wallets of dozens upon dozens of zombies and scroll past individual paper bills to look for important ID cards.

Not really? If you put all the wallets on one tile you can just select one of your backpacks and choose “insert”, then filter [/] search for “id card, cash card” and select all of them at once. This has been a thing for a while.

Hunger got changed so that you now need to eat like a sumo wrestler just to function like a normal human being, and items now have ridiculous health or vitamin properties that make nutrition management a tedious hassle when you should be fine eating piles of fish, meat, and berries.

Not really? If you eat between 2500 and 3000 calories a day, you will never be in a calorie deficit unless you’re literally running around and fighting zombies or doing construction all day. Then that’s on you. The only vitamins that do anything are Iron (Blood Loss) and Vitamin C (Scurvy). If you get yourself to “Normal” or “underweight” status, that’s when you start having issues with eating food and “needing to eat like a sumo wrestler”.

In practice? A normal character will be winded to the point of complete exhaustion and unable to even walk at normal speeds after running a distance of… 21 meters. At a speed of about 9 kilometers per hour. This ‘improvement’ was termed as ‘gritty.’ Melee combat is harder to quantify, but feels just as silly imo.

As mentioned above: what are you carrying? are you swinging heavy things at zombies? Because the heavier your wielded weapon (and the higher your encumbrance), the more stamina you use per swing. Long Weapons also suffer from this, and it is kind of logical? Have you ever held a baseball bat vs a crowbar for example? Or a Zweihander which is also not a light weapon?

Plus, as for the “running 21 meters” thing: You shouldn’t be running all the time - stamina has always been a thing and the less stamina you have, the slower you will run and walk. You get winded the moment you run out of stamina, so that means you probably experienced that while happily swinging at zombies until you noticed you ran out of stamina. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you were wearing 5 different backpacks, 7 jackets, 3 pairs of pants and using a Crowbar or a Halligan Bar or a Long Stick as a weapon - all of these drain your stamina very quickly normally.

It’s a thing many people still don’t understand about CDDA. but a habit that’s brought in from other games: you don’t have to kill zombies, you don’t have to fight zombies. And most importantly, you won’t be killing all of the zombies. You won’t even be able to hurt a good amount of them with melee weapons.

1 Like

“21 meters” is also distorted by the distance compression used for the reality bubble.

You don’t have to run all the time, true. But you DO have to run in order to get away from many zombies so you don’t have to fight them (unfortunately, companions don’t know how to run…). You also have to run to get away from zombies you HAVE been fighting in order to hide and huff and puff for 15 minutes to recover the stamina lost when you realized you couldn’t kill the zombie in one sitting.

Sure, you don’t have to fight zombies if you can find what you need in the woods (which gets increasingly filled with monstrosities anyway). You can try to sneak in and loot stuff by avoiding zombies, but if you do you will have to fight them when you fail to hide or when you run into one when you turn a corner/investigate a basement, and since you haven’t culled them the rest of them will come and finish you off as a result of that scuffle. You can try to run, of course, and will probably succeed several times before you get a situation where your escape is blocked off.