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Starvation Method

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Hello there, i watched an old youtube video and they talked about the 'starvation method'. What is it and how does it work? 

Thank you.

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So basically you starve your self during the day while you do your stuff and then in the night you regenerate every thing so instead of consuming 1200+750 you consume 750 calories 

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750 is a ballpark estimate.  The amount of calories you need to sleep through the night depends on how many hours you can actually sleep before you're fully rested, the experience mode you're playing, and whether or not you have the Efficient Machine feat active for that game.  When you set the number of hours you plan to sleep, the game will straight up tell you how many calories you will burn while sleeping, so just close the menu, eat that many calories, then go to sleep.

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To explain just a bit further why this is done, and some caveats of it:

You simply take less % damage in 14-16 hours being awake starving than you regain in 8-10 hours of sleep being sustained. That's the entire idea behind it. And since hunger has no negative effects other than losing condition - unlike sleep deprivation or freezing, which can and eventually will have detrimental side effects - it is safe to hunger the entire day, accepting mild condition loss, and then recover that loss during sleep.

That being said: If you already are on low condition - for example after an animal attack or having experienced severe condition loss due to freezing - it usually is beneficial to stay sustained during the day so you can sleep off the condition you already lost instead of the condition you'll lose to starvation. You also have to keep in mind that starving not only means taking a bit of damage, but also means that you don't recover while doing so. So while you only take 1% damage per hour from starvation you are also not getting 1% damage recovered.

As an example: You got attacked by a wolf, the struggle went not so well, you sustained blood loss and after you patched up you are at 30%. Starving the next 10 hours will take another 10% from you. But it will also prevent you from getting 10%. So in the end the sustained player ends up with 40% health - and the starved player with 20%. Sleeping enough this means the sustained player will fully recover in 2 days, while the starving player will fully recover in 4 to 5 or even more days, depending on the bed and difficulty.

Personally I go by the rule of thumb that I don't starve below 50% condition unless my food resources are really limited.

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P@jeffpeng That is a great explanation of the mechanics and is useful for any player to understand. The fact that starvation means both condition loss and missing out on condition gain is often overlooked. 

Personally, I find that on Stalker and lower difficulties that I rarely need to go hungry. When I first learned about the starvation method I was using it when I didn’t really need to and found myself building unnecessary stockpiles of deteriorating food. I’ve come to realise that, the majority of the time, the benefits of staying well fed far outweigh the benefits of saving those calories for future use. I understand the playing on Interloper and custom higher difficulty settings can change that balance. For any easier settings the starvation method is only worth using early game, if food supplies are low, and later in emergency situations like being stranded by blizzards. And even if I do need to restrict calories it is unusual that I would need to cut it back to full starvation, just enough for sleep recovery, levels. If I must cut some calories from my daily budget then I leave it for later in the day when the risks of additional condition loss from cold, animal attack etc. have diminished.

Edited by Czhilli
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Just now, Czhilli said:

I didn’t really need to and found myself building unnecessary stockpiles of deteriorating food.

Very good point. Especially on Stalker ... you kill so many wolves that you are drowning in them at some point and getting Cooking V really is easily done this way. Plus ... well yeah.... Stalker still has very lush loot tables.

It's an entirely different thing on Interloper, I agree, but Interloper is an entirely different thing in itself. ^_^ But doing it on Stalker or even Voyageur basically just makes you haul a lot of stuff that will rot eventually anyways. Live a little :D

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I found out the hard way that if you're starving AND cold you drop condition much more quickly (on Stalker).  The condition loss seems to be tied into how many calories you are burning.  The cold affects calorie burn rate.  I watched my condition start dropping like a rock during a stick gathering journey because I started starving when I was also freezing.  

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On 11/19/2018 at 10:39 AM, jeffpeng said:

I didn’t really need to and found myself building unnecessary stockpiles of deteriorating food.

I did find this a little necessary when i started in PV on Stalker but by the time i did the Don't Starve achievement in ML (50+ days in), i too found it unnecessary especially after i killed a moose.

Edited by codfish107

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4 hours ago, Jolan said:

The condition loss seems to be tied into how many calories you are burning. 

It is not. It's 1% flat per hour.

4 hours ago, Jolan said:

The cold affects calorie burn rate.

 It does. I don't recall exactly, but it should be 30%

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15 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

It is not. It's 1% flat per hour.

Then perhaps its the cold drop that gets accelerated.  What I have observed repeatedly in my games is as soon as you flip to starving while freezing your condition rate drop accelerates beyond just freezing or just starving.  Or what you'd expect to be freezing plus 1%.  Realistically - you're not going to notice a 1% bump in the condition loss.  You can test this easy by harvesting something.  Has a built in timer.  Though, perhaps the problem lies in whether the harvest mechanic is properly recording time.  Hm... I need to go poke at this.  If its the timer then I can simply schedule non-timed task for when I'm freezing and timed tasks for when I'm not.  Off I go!

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Thanks for explaining that.  I have seen past references to the subject but had no fully understood it.  I think I do now.

I prefer not to use such a technique, although if I was desperate, I'm sure that my moral standards probably would be prepared to compromise.

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I decided to try out this starvation technique on a new Nomad Challenge. It was interesting,

Perhaps my test wasn't as scientific as it might be.  The Nomad Challenge is easy and I was drinking wine copiously.

It seemed that one could almost do without eating.  Not eating seemed to have such a small effect on my overall condition, which is re-storable overnight, so that one might be able to survive with negligible food.  I have played this challenge for 13 days, and apart from the first few days when I played normally, I have hardly eaten any food.

This might sound good, but no, it isn't.  It makes the game much less challenging.  With very little need for food, I have very little need for cooking, very little need for collecting wood, very little need for hunting.  The game becomes very easy, and I suspect, too easy, and boring, for the sort of people who contribute to this forum.

This added to the great respect that I have for Hinterland.  There is a very delicate balance of difficulties, easiness, and realism required to produce a game which is satisfactorily challenging and can appeal to a wide enough market to make it sell and be profitable.  I first tried this game almost a year ago and have been completely hooked by it.  Sadly, I find it hard to get my friends interested in the game.

This brings up another positive aspect of the game.  The level of comments in this forum is extremely high.   Instead of the offensive, abusive comments from American school kids, I feel that 50% of the comments come from serious IT professionals.

I did say that I was drinking copiously :).

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