Would you consider using item browser cheating or scumming?

Like it says on the title. I’ve back again after a break and since there are new monsters and I don’t remember the old ones, I’ve picked up the habit of reading their stat blocks the first time I spot them. And it does help a lot. My death rate has gone down dramatically since I started doing it =)

The DM in one of my D&D games said tho, that players shouldn’t have monster stats. Actually they shouldn’t have any information about them, unless the particular character has actually met them before.

So any opinions? Cheating or not in CDDA and would you do it? Or should I rather pretend not to know even the danger level of the mobs I know by heart, when starting a new game to play it “fair”. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


The first part is harder to answer, but the second part is easy: Absolutely yes. It’s a single player game and the whole point of it is having fun, so doing whatever makes the game deliver exactly that is fine.

As for the first part - if it’s cheating to check the stats - there are quite a few points to consider:
First, the game already gives a lot of information that “should not be known” under normal circumstances (like: “The creature is much faster than you.”, “It’s extremly dangerous.”… even if you just spotted them the first time). They also have (cryptic) names, although I - as a survivor - would probably not care to name them untill I meet another survivor, and even then it’s hard to just “see” what they are (difference between running Zombies, normal Zombies and survivor Zombies, as an example).
Then, - and that’s an important point - at the same time, the game misses to give you information you’d otherwise would be able to spot easily (in a real life situation).
This “inbalance” can be corrected by checking the stats directly, giving you a better idea how to deal with the creature in question. This seems fair, since - while you can make a better guess on how dangerous it will be - you’ll still have to deal with it in the end… or make the decision to run away.

So, to sum it up:
Is it “cheating” to gather knowledge by checking the item browser, the source files or learn from other characters and test worlds? Probably.
Does anyone has to care about it aside from yourself? Definitely not.


Saying approximately the same thing as Valase (who posted while I was writing):

It’s a single player game, so you ought to play it the way that provides you with the most enjoyment. If that is “full” role playing where you pretend to know only what your character knows, then go for it. If you find it tedious to restart with new characters all the time because the old ones behaved like the billions of people that died shortly after the cataclysm, make use of as much meta information as you find reasonable.

If your D&D DM has that opinion, there’s also an onus on the DM to give enough (very repetitive) feedback to the the newbie characters to indicate what monsters they see providing something that can guide the players to make an assessment of the threat. You can’t just say “You encounter 3 goblins” on the one hand and “you’re not allowed to know anything about goblin properties apart from what your characters have experienced” on the other.

no, not all. especially with how complicated some later crafting trees can become later.
if anything i;d say it would be unfair to never be able to look at what you’re doing or why you can’t craft an item you should be able to

Definitely not scumming, as that’s a specific thing.
Cheating doesn’t really seem to fit, though I get your argument.

The main reason it’s so iffy is the converse, that the game does not give you information that you should have within the bounds of the scenario. We’re getting better about exposing the “rigt information” in the monster stat block, but it’s still fairly incomplete, so until it is I’d have trouble characterizing it as cheating.

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on the D&D example, sure, your character may not specifically know about an enemy… but they SHOULD know at a glance if its something they should tussel with, which is why a good DM usually gives you a perception check. (i.e. pressing ’ to scroll over to the enemy in question and then reading its description… if it sounds dangerous, it likely is!)

but a D&D session is diffrent from a game like cataclysm… in D&D, the entire adventure is hand tailored by your DM to make sure you have at least the slightest chance of success… in cataclysm, a mi-go could go ‘hey fresh meat’ and tear your face off before you get a chance to understand what’s going on.

… as far as item browser is concerned… i think of it like this: i COULD painstakingly grab every single item i have and keep it in giant piles close together in order to make sure i have exactly what i need to craft what i want… ooor… i could have a bunch of well organized piles of stuff and only grab what i need when i need it. and sometimes i learn about stuff through item browser i would have never even known existed otherwise. also, just because i have the knowledge of how to get/make something doesnt mean i now have to spend zero effort, you still have to get/make that thing.
its like playing minecraft with JEI on… once you know you have the option of knowing how to make everything in a nice neat organized menu, its kinda hard to go back.