How are decoy drops determined?


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I love Decoys. But what I haven't been able to figure out is: How is what actually gets dropped determined? I get that raw meat usually goes before cooked meat, but what I have noticed, and what I wish would be changed or at least clarified is: Why is it that a full piece of fully cooked meat gets dropped before a mostly eaten piece of meat?

I've had partial portions of meat which is at low condition in my inventory at the same time as I've had full portions of meat with high condition. When I hit the decoy button, the full portion with high condition is dropped, and the undesirable partial piece of low condition meat stays in my inventory. Since 200% of the time I drop a decoy it is so a wolf won't attack me, I would prefer to not lose a perfectly good piece of meat when I could just as easily lose a piece of essentially garbage meat to accomplish the same purpose. I'm not sure if the Devs have addressed this issue at all, but since I don't get the choice of which item gets used as a decoy, it would seem to me that the default coding for a decoy should be the smallest piece of meat in the worst condition rather than the best piece of meat in my inventory. Just my two cents.

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It would be easy to implement you would think however the quick drop is a quick drop in panic mode so maybe that's the penalty for not being prepared. If you don't panic; go into inventory and it's presorted by condition you can select and drop fairly rapidly. If you anticipate the possibility of a wolf, you can get your torch going in time. Practice selecting the meat you want to drop, then press the I key to open inventory and if its presorted you can manually drop it.

The best strategy is to know where to expect your wolves when you're traveling and arrive with a  lit torch. If you are hunting wolves, you can usually find them when you aren't looking for them so I'm always prepared whenever I head outdoors. You can also hear them. Headphones really help to orient using left and right turns. Often you have time to set up a decoy lure to bring them in range and then use the torch to halt them and shoot them in the face. Decoys work on both bears and wolves to draw them in. The wolf consumes the meat but the bear does not. See the wikia on baiting and wolf behaviour and hunting

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The Devs once explained that each piece of meat is associated with a certain "smell" factor. The bigger the chunk of meat, the more it smells (raw meat>cooked meat>canned food). And the drop decoy option always drops the most smelliest piece of meat first.

You're right that the current system is a bit pointless as both a 0,05kg and a 1kg piece of meat will never fail to distract wolves.

At the end of the day its probably a mere balancing decision. Dropping decoys gives you the possibility to avoid handfights 100% of the time, you're thus at least supposed to pay a fair amount of kcal for your security. It's a system easy to circumvent ofc (if you carry around nothing but tiny meat scraps), but the majority of people will probably never realize this option.

I personally would love to see two changes to the current decoy system:

- Condition should influence the smell factor. A 0,5kg piece of cooked meat at 10% condition should be dropped before a 0,6kg piece of meat at 80% condition.

- A general possibility that dropping decoys does NOT distract the wolf. Maybe 10% for high smell factors (big piece of raw meat at low condition) and up to 50% for really low smell factors (small pieces of cooked meat).

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Maybe it's just a matter of the Dev's sneakily pre-empting my strategy of avoiding wolf fights by carrying around a lot of small scraps of meat, while also carrying the chunks I intend to eat.

SteveP's answer makes a whole lot of sense to me. In fact, even if that's not what the Dev's had in mind, they should adopt it as their own and pretend it was the plan all along.

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10 hours ago, SteveP said:

The wikia says it drops the smallest piece first. But trust your own tests and report back if the wiki is wrong or if there is a "bug"

Umm.., no.  What the Wikia says is "smelliest".  I know, 'cuz I wrote it :geek:

Each type of food has a "smell" rating.  That smell determines how far away from it it is detectable by wildlife.

And when you hit the drop-bait button, the game places on the ground the first item in your inventory from the highest smell rating carried.

But what I guess I failed to write was the arbitrary sort method used to determine which of multiple items with the same smell is dropped.

So here it is: "Smell rating is an integer; quality has no impact on smell rating.  If you are carrying multiple items that all have the same smell rating, they will be dropped in the same order to that in which they were obtained.  That is - FIFO(First In, First Out)."

I think I left that out 'cuz I never actually tested for different ages or qualities of meats.  I gave up when I saw FIFO sorting.  It amazes me how arbitrary many of the programming elements of the game system are.  Like when starting a fire, matches are sorted in alphabetical order..?

Try it for yourself if you like.  Gather a bunch of different foods.  Go outside and walk a straight line, dropping bait once every few steps.  Now turn around and retrace your steps picking it all back up but record what order you pick things up in, including the quality of each item.  Immediately repeat.  The order you pick things up in the second run will still be in reverse order of smell rating (smelliest last), but inverted within each smell rating.  So if you picked up peaches, cattail, soda, candy, crackers the first time; you'll pick soda, cattail, peaches, candy, crackers the second. The crackers are always last 'cuz you always drop them first 'cuz their smell is strongest in this list of items. Order of peach, cattail, soda reverses because they all smell the same (actually they all smell zero) and the pickup is done in reverse of drop.



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