Do I understand the current state correctly?

Thurman Merman

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Until this week, I hadn't played in about 8 months.  I notice food seems to decay more slowly (Except maybe crackers?  No decay yet, but only on day 45 or so), while most (all) non-food items no longer decay.  But, as I understand it, once my sandbox started, everything in the world (so on every map) that can decay (other than pre-existing deer carcasses) started to decay - so, if I wait another 50 days in CH before heading to ML or PV, I'm not going to find any peanut butter, milk, energy bars, etc. there, correct?  On the other hand, I don't see that wooden matches or tools decay, so those will all be fine, correct?

Thanks for the help.  Amazing that I can take 8 months off this game and jump right back in to an enormous time-suck. :D

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5 hours ago, Thurman Merman said:

so, if I wait another 50 days in CH before heading to ML or PV, I'm not going to find any peanut butter, milk, energy bars, etc. there, correct?  

Don't worry, the decay mechanics aren't that unforgiving. The vast majority of food items will still be edible even if you leave your first map only on day 150 after you start a game. If you leave on day 50, you might come across single spoiled items, but only on very rare occasions.:winky:

Apart from that, you're right. Tools only decay on use, not over time. The same is true for matches - unless you use them, they keep forever. Clothes on the other hand do decay over time, but at an extremely slow speed, like e.g. 2% every 50 days for the wolfskin coat or something. I don't even recall the exact rate any more because I found it totally negligible.^^

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Something is odd here.  I ran a few 50+ day tests (on Stalker) and found results consistent with Drifter Man's: 

I started a new game in CH (on Stalker).  Hung out there and DP until day 50.  Then went to Mystery Lake.  In the first few days, I found that the majority of canned goods in and around the lake were at 0% (red X ruined).  Yet, when I went into the Dam, I found a peanut butter (in a locker) at 95% (when my prior tests showed it spoiling in a locker at around .775/day) - yet to be 95% after day 50, it obviously can't be spoiling at more than .1 (a bit less, since I'm in the low 50s).  I also found a milk at 93% (when I had previously found milk to have a similar decay rate.  It's almost like the Dam is treating items differently than the rest of ML.  Weird - gonna need to run some more tests.  At least I'm not going to starve. :D


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thurman your not alone. Items were said to have their decay rates set more slowly. (Tuned for 1000ish days). However everything begins to expire the moment the game begins. In all zones, inside fishing huts, caves, and cottages, everywhere. So we have to rush around collecting and storing things as fast as possible. We were also told storing items outside would be better. However this is not entirely true.... Certain items like:   Canned Peaches, Pork and Beans, Canned Tomato Soup, Cans of soda (all types) do better INSIDE. However not all "canned goods" keep better indoors. Two exceptions: Condensed Milk, and Dog Food, seem to do better outdoors.... Its also worth mentioning certain types of food degrade faster then others too. Beef Jerky kept outside is amazing should last you a very long time indeed.

I have no data on Boxes of Tea or Tins of Coffee. They do degrade but I don't know which type of place to stash them. I do know its either indoors / outdoors and containers and temperature do not seem to matter.  I suspect... Coffee may need to be kept indoors because I did see a considerable durability loss, similar to leaving soda outdoors when I revisited my stash during the last playthrough... Box of Tea on the otherhand seemed "okay" outside. When I found out about this mechanic... I wasn't too happy having a large portion of my stockpile become dangerous to eat / if not spoiled. 

Salty Crackers and Cat tails , Matches, and Antiseptic for cleaning wounds do not degrade.

Painkillers, and Antibiotics do degrade. They should be kept outside.  Also be aware of bugs which combine stacks of pills and take on the lowest durability. Do not enter inside any loading screens carrying more then one stack of pills or the might combine and loose durability. The same thing can happen if you place two tools : Objects like knives very close to each other. The higher durability object takes on the lower durability objects percentage. So you would have two knives at 77% instead of one at 77% and one at 84%. Keep a little distance between tool placements to avoid this problem. 


I should also mention clothing does decay, but outdoors / indoors doesn't matter. Only when wearing items do they decay faster because of weather conditions, wind, ect. If you intend to leave backup clothes in a corner of the map, be sure they are high durability if you intend to visit 100's of days later. Also consider the decay rates. Not all items are equal.

Example I would sooner wear my wool hats first down to the bare threads, rather then maintain them. This is because toques degrade less quickly over time. Put your cloth resource into repairing toques, or as backups in a safehouse since its less draining to maintain them. It won't make a huge savings but it does add up over time depending on how many spare gear sets you intend to keep at various locations.


Honestly the entire decay system needs a hug. I personally would like to see instructions like:  "Store in warm and dry place" on the can description so we know. Or "keep refrigerated"  So we as players don't have to guess. For example Peanut Butter (unless home made / organic) does not need to be refrigerated and can last a year in a pantry without a problem. (You need to store Peanut Butter outside in game)

I am hopeful that during the cooking revamp issues like these can be addressed. Adding a few words into the description to better help players determine proper storage. Its funny too because in todays society it stands to reason the younger generation may not know basic food safety skills. Education systems cutting home economics classes: The Long Dark might be able to teach young gamers a thing or two about how to properly store food.

Anyway I wish you luck with food storage. I'll link you to the guide I was directed to on steam:

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