Harvesting Wood Hatchet vs. Hands


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During my recent play session I spent some time just harvesting wood. Went to several different locations in a moderately large area around the Trapper's Homestead. I switched off between using a hatchet and using my hands and noticed a couple of things:

1. My hands were more successful at harvesting wood (particularly fir) than my hatchet. Maybe that is by design, but it doesn't seem logical to me. I performed 10 harvesting tests, 5 hands, 5 hatchet. The hands came up with wood (fir and cedar) 3 out of 5 times, 1 time came up reclaimed wood, and 1 time came up empty. The hatchet came up with wood (fir) 1 out of 5 times. I yielded only tinder plugs the other 4 times with the hatchet.

Note, my hatchet was at 51% when I started these tests, so until I can repair a hatchet to 100% (or close) I won't be able to know if hatchets in better repair yield better results. Still, in my opinion, a hatchet at even 5% should generally do better than bare hands. Which brings me to my second observation ...

2. I noticed during these tests that the hatchet took a tremendous amount of damage with each use - almost 10% every time, no matter what was yielded. Again, perhaps by design, but to my mind it would make more sense that a yield of 4 fir wood should do significantly more damage than a yield of 1 tinder plug. Perhaps the devs have already worked out the balance here, but it just seemed strange to me that a yield of 4 fir logs would take my hatchet from 51% to 42% and then the 1 tinder plug from 42% to 31%. And each of the other 3 tests with the hatchet took the condition down by close to 10%. In the end, the hatchet was at 6%.

In any case, perhaps these aren't bugs, per se, but I thought it worth mentioning them.

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Could you explain a little bit more or recheck, because as far as I know, degradation has only to do with the amount of time that you foraged for wood, regardless of what you actually get at the end.

Additionally, you did not specify in what conditions you went to forage for wood. If you went foraging with your hands 5x in splendid wether, the result will be significantly better than going out for the same amount of time in a blizzard.

It may be that you're right, and I'll certainly test that a bit myself, but honestly, it hasn't been obvious to me so far that hands are better when compared to a hatchet. Of course you are right about the amount of degradation, which should be closer to 2-3%, not 10% per hour.

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Sorry - should have clarified more. I only ever forage 1 hour at a time.

I tested again just now and will post my very unscientific numbers below - never mind how impossible it is to duplicate conditions for each foraging session :) Note that I have no idea if the game uses "cells" or "nodes" that determine where wood can be foraged, so I stuck to areas where there are trees. For all I know, it could just be a roll of the dice as to whether you get any wood or not. Also note that I walked about 25 audible "steps" in random directions for each forage session, again sticking around trees. I did this just in case there are, in fact, "nodes" that can be emptied if you forage repeatedly in the same spot. BTW, the hatchet degraded 10% (exactly) with every use.

My results were quite a bit different than from my original post, with an asterisk that I'll explain at the end. Okay, now onto the numbers (Fatigue, Cold, Hunger, Thirst are rough estimates):


Now, for the asterisk: After running these tests, I later went out to forge more wood, using a hatchet again at about 70% condition. Again, the condition degraded by 10% after each use, but the yields were not as good as during the recorded tests. Once I came up empty handed, twice with tinder plugs, once with 2 cedar, and once with 1 fir. I foraged after that with empty hands again and immediately came up with 2 fir, 2 reclaimed, nothing, nothing, and 1 cedar.

So ... again, not highly scientific, but it certainly *feels* as though your bare hands are almost as good, maybe even better, than a hatchet.

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From what I know, is that

1. it does depend on where you are, as too what you can get in your foraging.

2. Its all random when it does come to foraging.

3. with hands for 1hr, you will only get a Maximum 2 Fuel Units/hr and with a Hatchet it is 3 full Units with 25% chance more of success.

4. Im pretty sure it doesn't matter at what % the hatchet is when foraging, as long as its not broken, it will give the same results, and the condition % is just a visual cue as to how much longer you can use it.

5. I haven't been here for 10days, so unless they have changed things, it ought the hatchet degraded at 2% each use ?? (will have to play to confirm this)

6. It still all random, so foraging with hands and getting more than a hatchet is luck IMHO . . . . .

7. ******* This isn't a bug so I am going to move it to a more appropriate forum to keep the discussion going.*********

Moved to the Alpha Playtest Feedback forum

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I finally got my hands on a hatchet yesterday. And yes, it degrades about 10% with every hour of use which seems way to high to me. I actually decided not to use the hatchet because of this.

Also, the hatchet raises the max wood foraged per hour by 2, so that's a max of 4 for 1 hour using the hatchet.

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from my experience

hands: per hour: 0-2 tinder, all kinds of wood. Often foraging for 3 hours + give a very respectably amount of firewood.

hatchet: per hour: 0-4 tinder/wood, repair = -0.4 metal and -0.4 fir wood

We also all know that in one hour you can only harvest one type of wood.

My theory is also that harvest is a floating number and that harvesting for 3-4 hours is perhaps a bit better.-

It means that 0.4 in 1h is 0, whereas 0.8 in two hours is 1.

Pure speculation:)

But I never use a hatchet, unless it's an emergency and I need a lot of wood in 1 hour. Happened to me 1 times in a 50 day run, and one was after I killed Fluffy. I got 4 cedar wood outside the dam and could cook all of Fluffy, so I think it was a good decision to save the hatchet for this. Also keep in mind that every 25% costs 1 scrap metal and that's a limited resource, whereas time is not.

Because of this I have never made a repair to the hatchet so far, and use all my metal+firewood for the knife and the rifle.

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......................Because of this I have never made a repair to the hatchet so far, and use all my metal+firewood for the knife and the rifle.

I never use my hatchet for wood foraging, as you. And I'm pretty sure that we're not the only ones. It's because the item degradation issue, imho.

The hatchet can be used as a knife. And that's the only purpose I use it. For me the hatchet is another knife.

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I've never used the hatchet for foraging wood either, except for that one time when I forgot I was carrying the hatchet and forgot to deselect it before clicking the forage button. After that, I stopped carrying the hatchet just leaving it stored at my base. I started a new game this weekend and have found two hatchets so far. I left them both where I found them, so they don't degrade. Can always go pick them up if I have a need for them, although that would probably be to use them as a knife like @madrepityu said.

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I think another problem is that there is only a chance that you forage 4 / hour, but the average will be just 2 and if you subtract 0.4 for repair => 1.6

That means the bonus you get from the hatchet is just 60%, minus the time you spend repairing, minus scrap metal you could use for other things.

In my current game scrap metal is so plentiful that I use the hatchet a few times when I want to save time. If I have no use for the hatchet there is no point to put it in some storage container and let it fall apart, either.

After 54 days, I have now begun to "use up" my 2 hatchets, and the next time I play this game I will get hatchets down to 20-30% as soon as possible and then store them, the additional firewood helps greatly during the first week when you need 10h firewood fast.

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Btw, one of dads lessons learned .. my late father was a bit like that, he hoarded all kind of valuable stuff and never used it.

He saved the best paper he had for the future (we found literally cubic feet of white paper) and wrote his stuff on the backsides of scrap paper, I will be faced with the task of deciphering a huge family tree he made because time runs out, he wrote it on cheap paper from the garbage and it bleached out in a few years :) I also found several packages super high quality pencils he bought as a young man from which he had used between 1 or 0, during ca 60 years.

The hoarding aspect must have struck something personal with me. But whenever I play this game and I pick up another bottle of water, and I hear that sloshing sound, I imagine my father hear it too and scorn me for it: "you're taking yet another one?" "don't use so much water!" :) If he played this game his hut would be filled with 200 litres of water while he is dying from thirst.

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