ChillPlayer

Poll: Get rid of Cabin Fever

Get rid of Cabin Fever  

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Browsing through the forum I think Cabin Fever is the most hated mechanic in the game for various reasons. Being on the forfront of people who asked for a mechanic to stop endless hibernation in one and the same place I understand why it was implemented, but the way it works it misses it's goal and leads to very questionable choices we have to make.

First of all, we can still camp in the same place for ever. All you need to do is plan ahead and have enough wood to stay for 12h outside once you get the CF warning. Yes 12h because caves are usually warm enough during the day to stay in them without a fire. Fisherman who like to spend their days fishing don't have the problem at all, on my last Interloper run which lasted over 100 days I've spend about 50 days on my beloved hut on Jackrabbit's Island and never got feverish.

Secondly, who in his clear mind would go outside when he/she is already freezing and near hypothermic? On earlier runs I had Hypothermia and Cabin Fever simultaniously which truly showed how arbitrary this mechanic is. No matter how much I hate seeing the same room every day I would always prefere warming up and healing there instead of going to camp outside when I'm already near death.

And lastly, the reason I hate it is, that it punishes playing with a survival mind. On Interloper temperatures are so low that no matter how good your clothing is you will begin freezing within an hour or two on most days. In a "real" situation I would go hunt some game or fish for a few hours, then go back inside and read books or craft cloths. If you play like this in TLD you will get feverish sooner or later. Sure there is an easy fix as I wrote in my first point but every time I get the CF warning I ask myself why, oh why why why...

There are better ways to keep you not too comfortable in your room, various systems have been proposed in earlier discussions about endless hibernation and to some extend they are already implemented, at least on Interloper, like scarcity of resources forcing you to take longer and regular hikes around the maps. Or my suggestion, a Vitamine mechanic which forces you to search for specific plants and animals which are only found in certain places to keep you healthy over longer periods of time. Whatever the solution to prevent hibernation might be, Cabin Fever isn't in my book and should be replaced with something that feels less arbitrary. Thoughts?

Edited by ChillPlayer
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8 minutes ago, ChillPlayer said:

On earlier runs I had Hypothermia and Cabin Fever simultaniously which truly showed how arbitrary this mechanic is. No matter how much I hate seeing the same room every day I would always prefere warming up and healing there instead of going to camp outside when I'm already near death.

I wonder how much the new first aid alerts have done to help people avoid this situation.   It was easy to miss the "hey, you have cabin fever risk" alert before.  Now you get an entire game day of yellow symbol nagging before developing actual cabin fever to figure out how to spend some time outdoors.  And it seems like the forum chatter about cabin fever (including reddit and steam) is way down, despite a lot of posts from new players.

IMO the biggest flaw with Cabin Fever is the penalty: can't sleep indoors.   It works to get people outside but it causes many players to guess wrong about when they must be outside.  They think must sleep outside.  And that's rarely the case if you deal with the risk instead of waiting for the full blown cabin fever to develop. 

But even if you fix that cabin fever still an all-downside system.  I'd prefer one that's more carrot and less stick.   

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To be honest, I never had problems with cabin fever. And still, I would like to see it removed. Why? Because it is always in the back of my head when I am staying indoors. Before the cabin fever times, I could totally relax indoors (exception: first visit to the dam in a new run). A moment of respite which let me turn to things like preparing water, mending clothes, reading books, crafting at the workbench and so on. Going outside meant cautious movement, looking out for wolves and bears, watching the weather, a certain stress level. Reaching an indoor destination meant relaxing. Ever since cabin fever threatens I have to monitor my indoor times. I can't relax the way I could before.

On another note, I don't think cabin fever was a good solution to the hibernation problem. Considering that they removed Steam's online list with survival time records at the same time, introducing cabin fever was moot from a "levelling the playing field" point of view. It is now nothing but an artificial boundary.

And I second all arguments brought forward by ChillPlayer and Ruruwawa.

Anyway, the game is nearing its release. And I doubt that cabin fever will be removed in R1.0.

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Cabin Fever is a feature that creates numerous completely absurd problems and scenarios without adding anything of value to the game.

Original issue of amassing huge amounts of days by hibernating could have been solved by simply changing way how those scores are being calculated.

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Cabin Fever is a mostly trivial mechanic, since you already are encouraged to do all your cooking/boiling outdoors to gain the fire duration bonus (it isn't a 'duration bonus' per say, but your fire time drops slower if it is considered an outdoor fire... and that means you for example want to make fires in the outdoor parts of caves or in fishing huts), and if you do this semi regularly (I mean, you need to boil/cook a certain amount just to stay alive, so...) you will never get cabin fever.

Cabin Fever is a lot more aggressive on Interloper (if you get risk you will quickly get cabin fever if you don't go outside), so the solution is to do the above and never get risk at all.

The one complaint I have about Cabin Fever is this: crafting Wolfskin/Bearskin Coats will often give you Cabin Fever if you don't take 'breaks' to boil stuff outdoors (which can be annoying if the weather doesn't cooperate and give you clear weather to use the lens, forcing you to just run out, run back in to warm up, run out to try to prevent Cabin Fever risk before it strikes, or head to a cave and chill out there). Doesn't really make sense to get Cabin Fever while actively doing something, but no simple solution either.

As for 'hibernation' I mean tbh I have no idea why Cabin Fever was actually put into the game (it's mostly a mechanic that catches beginners off guard, but is trivial for experienced players to avoid). Because if it was to solve hibernation then tbh the devs should have first fixed the whole starving exploitation which was and is FAR more of an issue (literally can't believe an actual exploit is allowed to stay in the game when the fix is trivial), yet absolutely nothing has been done to fix that for years. And the threat of Cabin Fever has certainly never made me feel like I should move on from an area; I always end up doing that for other reasons (boredom, loot cataloguing ect).

I mean it is what it is. This game has a bunch of mechanics that don't really make sense or actively encourage exploitation. Heck, even the recent change to make you unable to climb while encumbered once again punishes you for not starving (because meat weighs a lot and by starving you can cut your food requirement to between about 1/3 to 1/5 of what it is supposed to be saving you a good bit of weight if you are going on an extended trip). So does the 'can't rest while not tired mechanic', since starving players can bypass it (because starving lowers your max fatigue after a while, letting you sleep as much as you like at that point), while non starving players are forced to use the far less efficient pass time (that consumes extra calories and water, while again, a starving player doesn't even have to pay that extra calorie cost anyways). Anyways, I could go on in much further detail about how broken some mechanics are in this game/explain more of what I mean above, but I don't think anyone cares to read an essay and it's wayyyy off topic.

As for a 'vitamin mechanic'; this would basically just arbitrarily cap survival times (when currently the game doesn't really put a cap on those at all if you play carefully), unless there was some form of respawn implemented for it (which wouldn't really make much sense).

But to bring all this back around to the original topic: my feelings on Cabin Fever are a resounding 'meh'. I don't care too much about the mechanic either way as it has almost no effect on my gameplay for all the above reasons.

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On Interloper, I "fought" the inevitable cabin fever risk by passing time outside of Mountaineer's Hut back wall where the fire could still be felt. Yes, it was absurd.

54 minutes ago, Troxism said:

but I don't think anyone cares to read an essay and it's wayyyy off topic

It was off topic, but I did care to read and learned quite a bit from your insights.

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Without reading everyone's comments I just want to state that though I like the premise of Cabin Fever, I don't think the implementation in TLD is correct way. 

Except for blizzards I spend every moment I am awake, healthy, and full of energy outside.

But because of the strange way CF is implemented in TLD I spend an uncanny amount of time cooking and melting snow outside--on the outside wall of the cabin which there's sometimes a stove or fireplace. In pleasant valley farmhouse I would go outside to the nearby stable and melt snow & cook there -- in a blizzard! Whenever I need to harvest cloth or break down sticks into tinder...I step outside to do it. I've even done this with a wolf lurking nearby...saw it and instead of thinking "maybe I should do this indoors," I thought, "hmmm, guess I better crouch here when doing this. Be stealthy!" :P

Now ... who's more insane, the guy with cabin fever, or the guy who is afraid of catching cabin fever? :$

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That's what I ment by "questionable choices" CF forces us to make @Wasteland Watcher, that's the most bugging part to me too. I don't mind the increased difficulty it provides because that's not a big issue, but the "solutions" to not get CF have not much todo with common sense.

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I'm not a fan of cabin fever because it tends to break game immersion for me.  This is because it forces me to do things that are counter-intuitive to a survival situation (for example ... wasting a match and building a fire to craft at an outdoor workbench in a snowstorm where wolves and bears could easily kill me ... versus saving a match and crafting indoors with total protection from the weather and predators).

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I'm not sure just getting rid of it is a good idea. Cabin fever is there for a good reason. To keep you from just hanging out in one place for a long period, at least in Sandbox.  I feel that the real meat and potatoes of The Long Dark is surviving while exploring.  And if you are feeling comfortable in one place for more than 48 hours, it would seem you have managed to "win the game."

But from what I have read here, it would seem the way it works might need a bit of work done to it.

Now I have yet to experience CF, and I've spent an entire day indoors after every expedition out from the place I am currently holing up in.  From what I have read, that's seems to have been enough for them to hit CF while it's never hit me.

Maybe I should actually try to get it, just to get a feel for when it can hit and how it affects me so I can contribute more to this.

While maybe its mechanics might need work, I don't want it removed. Cabin fever is a real mental condition, and can really affect a person's survival in the wilderness.  Let's not be looking at ways that can potentially nerf the entire survival aspect of the game.

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 Are there still leader boards? If so, then I guess that getting to the top of them in this manner upset the devs, but past this, I can't see any real reason for it.

 If you are indeed the last person alive, then you're going to lose your mind anyways, inside or out. With a -50c raging storm outside, nobody would go out, especially one who is under-dressed and undernourished, regardless of how long they have been holed up. Heck, we have books to read and charcoal to draw with; we could get busy writing our epic saga.

 But really, if someone wants to hunker down indoors for days on end, who cares? I'd personally get bored playing that kind of game, but to each their own.

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Cabin fever is good its just that i think there should be mental instabilities such as boilling water and then u lose concentration and then you stop before you are finished, or you get blurry vision, then dark vision then you wake up finding yourself to be nearby outside and have been outside for 15 minutes or you begin to walk diagonally instead of straight etc etc etc - instead we get this "cant sleep while inside" ... eeeh what?

 

Quote

When experiencing cabin fever, a person may tend to sleep

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabin_fever

Lets repeat that one more time:
 

Quote

may tend to sleep

 

Edited by exeexe
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Like most of the mechanics, the problem is tuning and balancing that nobody at Hinterland wants to do (or just no time). It's not necessary to change or remove mechanics or features. I'm more for adding and tweaking than removing. More options just give the player more freedom and allow diffrent playstyles.

I think the timer for cabin fever could be more random and it could be happen less often. But again, this would also lead to a lot of needed tuning for other things like the resting mechanic, wolv behavior and so on. For the time beeing, cabin fever does what it's supposed to do, it prevents players from hibernating. Is it a bad design and inbalanced? Yes, but it works for now.

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2 hours ago, KD7BCH said:

What is the better suggestion for a better mechanic?

Vitamine/Mineral System as proposed by me two years ago:

Quote

The only method I can think of that would prevent you from eat/sleeping for days and still alow a prepared stay would be some sort of vitamine/minerals system that requires you to not only eat meat but also have variety in your food to not get scorvy due to low vitamine C levels and so on. The system could be drastically simplified, e.g. you have 3 bars representing 3 different groups of vitamines, red, blue, green colored and different food would be either red, blue or green, you eat meat and your red bar goes up, you eat any form of fruit/vegetable and green goes up and blue for everything else. They deplete slower than your calories reserves, say over a week or so but one bar down will cause your condition to slowly drop like when you are hungry and with 3 bars down as if you'd were freezing. Condition does not improve by sleeping obviously, only be replenishing the bars with the right food.

Scatter the needed resources across the maps and you won't need an arbitrary system to keep us on the move.

Edited by ChillPlayer
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11 hours ago, ChillPlayer said:

Vitamine/Mineral System as proposed by me two years ago:

Scatter the needed resources across the maps and you won't need an arbitrary system to keep us on the move.

I don't mind cabin fever, but I'm down for more foragable resources than cattails. Like berries, nuts, maybe some other edible shrooms.....maybe poison shrooms, or even psychedelic shrooms, lol. Yeah I know there are two other plants I can make tea out of, but I don't count those. I know they provide a little nourishment, but I consider them more medicinal than food.

Interloper could benefit from a couple more forage options than just cattails....I think....

Edited by JoE Smash
Can't spel gud....
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The shrooms already claim to be edible. So how about making it possible to bake them instead of cooking them?

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 Back to topic, I'm not sure that its being inside too long that would drive the character nuts. I mean, last person alive, doomed, ravenous predators everywhere, corpses littering the land, always starving, freezing, scraping out a meager existence in ever-worsening weather conditions...I think that'll do it, in or outside.

 But seriously, until a better system to get players moving is introduced, cabin fever remains an effective means to that end.

 What I frankly don't understand is why there needs to be a mechanic in the game to force players to go out at all. The problem isn't that it's arbitrary (it isn't; it has a clear and reasonable rationale), the problem is that its counter-intuitive within the parameters of the game (not talking RL here). Going out in certain weather conditions is certain suicide for the character and in a survival game, inviting certain death by forcing a particular action...ay, there's the rub; the game is apparently contradicting itself.

 Beyond that, let players play it their way. Let the character die of boredom. This invites a very dark idea which I won't elaborate on, but an interesting, if not somewhat morbid way for a long indoor stretch to end. Think pain killers and rifles. :o

 On the upside (sorry for that dark turn), CF makes my 385 day game even more impressive in that it forces a much more rough and rugged play style. No hibernating here! :P

Edited by Carbon

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1 hour ago, Carbon said:

 Back to topic, I'm not sure that its being inside too long that would drive the character nuts. I mean, last person alive, doomed, ravenous predators everywhere, corpses littering the land, always starving, freezing, scraping out a meager existence in ever-worsening weather conditions...I think that'll do it, in or outside.

 But seriously, until a better system to get players moving is introduced, cabin fever remains an effective means to that end.

 What I frankly don't understand is why there needs to be a mechanic in the game to force players to go out at all. The problem isn't that it's arbitrary (it isn't; it has a clear and reasonable rationale), the problem is that its counter-intuitive within the parameters of the game (not talking RL here). Going out in certain weather conditions is certain suicide for the character and in a survival game, inviting certain death by forcing a particular action...ay, there's the rub; the game is apparently contradicting itself.

 Beyond that, let players play it their way. Let the character die of boredom. This invites a very dark idea which I won't elaborate on, but an interesting, if not somewhat morbid way for a long indoor stretch to end. Think pain killers and rifles. :o

 On the upside (sorry for that dark turn), CF makes my 385 day game even more impressive in that it forces a much more rough and rugged play style. No hibernating here! :P

Well if you read about the real life condition that is cabin fever, it does specifically state that the urge to get outside becomes so great that it doesn't matter to the person that the condition outdoors is deleterious to their health...

It's a psychological condition that occurs in real life to people in solitary situations cooped up in the same place probably due to extreme conditions....the person simply just can't handle another moment in there. It's irrelevant what is happening outside....they going out there.

Think of claustrophobia....it doesn't make sense to people who don't have an issue with being in an elevator or a coffin, but some people just can't handle that and they freak the hell out. 

It's kinda like developed claustrophobia over time, on a positive at least it's curable by sleeping in a car one night or something. Imagine how terrible the game would be if you developed permanent cabin fever or claustrophobia, and couldn't handle going inside anything including caves or a car. Then you would really be FUBAR...

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 Thanks for the info JoE.

 I'm aware of the actual condition to an extent, but I always make efforts to avoid bringing real life or any ideas about 'reality' into a discussion about the game.

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The thing is, the best way to cure the risk of Cabin Fever when you stay too long in the big two-storey Camp-Office is to leave it and spend 24h in a 3 square meter fishing hut nearby o.O It just doesn't make sense other than accepting it as a pure gameplay mechanic. But it feels so contradicting in many aspects that I have a hard time doing so, might as well have zombies knocking on my door when I stay too long inside, the level of arbitration would've been the same.

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1 hour ago, ChillPlayer said:

It just doesn't make sense other than accepting it as a pure gameplay mechanic.

 Thinking of it as anything but a gameplay mechanic wouldn't make sense. ;)

 There is a cave up high behind the Camp Office which works well in this situation. No predators, lots of sticks but no wildlife, so bring some food. You can either take the rope or walk the ridge to get there.

 I have never had CF...hard to believe it is an issue actually. Do more outside I suppose: mending, cooking, reading...heck, just walk around. In bad weather, take the Lake Trial to Dave's Quiet Clearing and hang out. No predators, no wind...nice place.

Edited by Carbon

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38 minutes ago, Carbon said:

  There is a cave up high behind the Camp Office which works well in this situation. No predators, lots of sticks but no wildlife, so bring some food. You can either take the rope or walk the ridge to get there.

 I have never had CF...hard to believe it is an issue actually. Do more outside I suppose: mending, cooking, reading...heck, just walk around. In bad weather, take the Lake Trial to Dave's Quiet Clearing and hang out. No predators, no wind...nice place.

you're missing my point. What I tried to say is that the fix for feeling sick of being in a huge house is to stay inside a much smaller place, be it the cave or the fishing hut.

Also, if you say you never got CF I guess you haven't played Interloper for more than a hundred days? I get the warning very seldom too and haven't catched CF in a long time but when there's a blizzard going on for almost a week with the only clear weather being in the first 2 hours of the day, you know,  when "Feels like" is around -35C, it's very tempting to limit the outside hours to a minimum.

But again, I didn't start this topic because I didn't know how to deal with CF but because the solutions to the problem it provides have not much todo with common sense. Just read what I've said before and read your answer. You have a big cozy home with bed, stove and even a workbench but you prefer to stay in a cave where you need a fire going during the night and can get attacked by a wolf on the way there, not to mention that you only waste material without being productive, you burn through precious wood and loose matches/firestriker condition without even getting a single calorie of food just to not freeze to death. It goes against everything the game otherwise does right, you no longer play with a survival mindset but against the game mechanic.This was not the case before CF.

Edited by ChillPlayer
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1 hour ago, ChillPlayer said:

you're missing my point. What I tried to say is that the fix for feeling sick of being in a huge house is to stay inside a much smaller place, be it the cave or the fishing hut.

Also, if you say you never got CF I guess you haven't played Interloper for more than a hundred days? I get the warning very seldom too and haven't catched CF in a long time but when there's a blizzard going on for almost a week with the only clear weather being in the first 2 hours of the day, you know,  when "Feels like" is around -35C, it's very tempting to limit the outside hours to a minimum.

But again, I didn't start this topic because I didn't know how to deal with CF but because the solutions to the problem it provides have not much todo with common sense. Just read what I've said before and read your answer. You have a big cozy home with bed, stove and even a workbench but you prefer to stay in a cave where you need a fire going during the night and can get attacked by a wolf on the way there, not to mention that you only waste material without being productive, you burn through precious wood and loose matches/firestriker condition without even getting a single calorie of food just to not freeze to death. It goes against everything the game otherwise does right, you no longer play with a survival mindset but against the game mechanic.This was not the case before CF.

 I see your point and of course I read your words before replying, but you did say earlier that the only way to accept CF is as a game mechanic. Correct. But then your speak against it in the context of reality. Incorrect. My second reply assumed that you accepted your own words as true (hence my 'wink') and the complaining was done.

 Using the 'game vs. reality' context makes complaining simple (no game can match reality: games will always be inferior in terms of possibilities, potentials, etc), while 'game vs. do you have a better idea?' makes any complaining dependent upon the complainant having a better method to achieve the same goals (to make a fair apples-to-apples).

 Although that wasn't my point, perhaps that is something to think about; it's very difficult to suggest practical alternatives to the aspects specifically being criticized. Perhaps then we can better understand the complexities that HL faced when considering how to implement a mechanic that discourages sedentary gameplay.

 I only made suggestions on where you might go because your post seemed to indicate that you felt relegated to the fishing huts to cure CF. I was trying to help not condescend, and was unaware of the depth of your game experience.

 You're right in that I don't play Interloper, but Stalker, and my longest game was wiped at 385 days. Interloper is for masochists. ;)   I am not sure that the differences between the two would greatly differentiate the effects or demands of CF though, perhaps even less so when comparing 100 days in Interloper and 385 in Stalker. Both are nasty at these respective points.

Edited by Carbon

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In Stalker you have a rifle, hatched and knife right from the start if you find it - completely different gameplay. And Interloper is not for masochists but for people who want the most intense experience TLD has to offer. In part it feels like in the good old days where having a sewing kit or not would decide your fate and typical Stalker days survived were 50-100 days, anything above was already considered to be elite to some extend.

Believe me, I understand because I argued this point of view enough that TLD is a survival emulator, not simulator. I am not drawing conclusions solely based on RL, which is why it never bothered me for example that I could melt 5L of snow without going outside, I understand that this is a necessary shortcut the game needs to take to be playable. But every fibre of my body is screaming wrong wrong wrong when I do something only to not get Cabin Fever, it just feels wrong and arbitrary.

Edited by ChillPlayer
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