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TheEldritchGod

Birch Bark Tea: RUNNING THE NUMBERS

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Posted (edited)

Having given it a great deal more testing, as far as Birch Bark Tea is concerned, I have my updated assessment of the new addition to the game.

It is the only renewable source of plant calories in the game. This might seem like it is overpowering. Having done a number of play throughs where I set it on Super Tourist and power slept through 50 days to make an effort to collect from various sites,  By the third time though I have come to the conclusion that the drop rate of Birch Bark is so low that It may take up to a year to equal the amount of Rose hips alone that the game gives you. And this is based on me running from map to map to gather up as much as I can, not just limiting myself to one map.

Furthermore, I know that when a certain limit of Birch is reached, no more birch will drop until that which has dropped is gathered. On any other difficulty where you aren't on God-Mode, I see no way to actually reach the maximum level of available Birch bark.

So, while yes, the Birch Bark is unlimited, the drop rate, accessibility, and other limiting factors mean that it is a lot less of a benefit, than at first glance.

And for those who claim we don't need more plant calories because we have so much in the way of Cattails, I would point out I collected every cattail in the game once on super tourist mode. The Maximum number of cattails that can be collected is 1087. There is a MAXIMUM amount of 217 days that you can live on cattails, assuming you use starvation sleeping and get by on 750 cal/day

I estimate there are enough rose hips to make 129 rose hip teas and 294 Reishi Mushroom tea. compare that to, at most, 1.2 Cups of Birch Park tea per day.

So, it would take about 352 days to equal the amount of calories you can get from Reish and Rose hip tea UNDER IDEAL CONDITIONS.

And assuming I made some mistakes, that there are more Reishi and Rose hip available, and considering that in Voyager, Stalker, and Interloper you CAN'T devote yourself 24/7 to collecting Birch Bark, I would conclude that under real game play conditions, the maximum amount of calories you can collect from plants prior to Birch Bark tea is 215,925.

Assuming that real game conditions, we have the rate you can collect Birch Bark of at MOST .6 cups per day, that results, Under ideal conditions, that we have only increased the over all amount of Plant calories in the game 12.6%. IF YOU PLAY FOR 365 DAYS.

So it takes a full IN GAME YEAR to reach +12.6% calories that you would NOT have without Birch Bark tea, IF you bust your ass doing nothing but gathering Birch Bark.

Considering most players stop playing somewhere between 100 to 200 days, It's closer to a real game bonus of +5% calories that you didn't have previously. It is hard to judge this, because play style and length of game play make up a HUGE part of the variability, but I stand by my estimation.

Conclusion:  On Average the REAL additional plant calories added to the game world is +5% from Birch Bark Tea.

Honestly, a pathetic amount. Now, Some have suggested that the Birch Bark tea is OP.

In My Opinion, It is hardly game breaking and I would in no way shape or form, having run the statistical analysis on Birch Bark Tea, recommend Nerfing the tea in any way. It's a nice addition and even at the far end of the bell curve it adds +12.6% Under ideal Birch Bark hunting conditions. Even if we make it +10% for the average, we are only speaking about the same bonus you get from the Badge that reduces your caloric intake by 10%.

Let that sink in, that weak ass Badge that adds +10% calories is a superior benefit when compared to the Birch Bark Tea.

Now that I have run the numbers, we compare it to the other brewable teas.

It cooks as fast as the other fast brewing teas, It provides a weak bonus that last two hours. (I cannot prove it, but I suspect it only bumps up your awake healing rate by +0.5/+1/+1.5 percent depending on your at walking around healing rate.) While not something to sneeze at, as every point of condition recovery matters, but it is HARDLY an overwhelming benefit.

It grants 30% rehydration, which means given how long it lasts, only in games where the thirst rate is at Very High will you be able to chug more than 4 in a row from being bottomed out. Herbal Tea is a much better benefit, even with walking around healing rate maxed out.

The regeneration only works while all four meters are in the white. So while it does add to health and grants water and food, One must be rested and warm to take advantage of it.

It can be drunk hot, to help it keep your temp up and gain the healing benefits. Clearly it is best used in conjunction with a cup of coffee. When getting up from a long sleep before a long planned hike. You should have these on your fire, let them get cooked, then have the fire go out before they boil away.

Sleep your maximum amount of time, wake up, then drink the coffee and the Birch Bark Tea in quick succession, assuming you didn't heal fully in your sleep. This one two combo will grant you the maximum warmth and energy, slow regeneration, while granting you up to 250 calories and 60% water.

Frankly, it's overkill, but that is the optimal use, not the most efficient use. It can be used without the coffee of course.


SUMMARY:

Birch Bark Tea is a sensible addition to the game. It gives the players something else to go "Ooo! Shiney!" over and helps to make the game a little more enjoyable. The benefits are worth using, while at the same time, mild enough as to not be game unbalancing. It only adds an effective +5% extra "easy to get" calories, and that is spread out over time. Depending on game play, unlike Reishi or Rose hips, you may LOSE potential Birch Bark Tea, thus greatly reducing your potential extra calories, if you take too long to gather it. It may be renewable, but it has its' limits.

In My Opinion, The tea is an excellent addition to the game. There are no known flaws, nor any bizarre interactions with other game mechanics that could be exploited. Finally, in comparison to the other teas, it fits perfectly with the world as it has been constructed. It fills in a minor gap in the game and completes the set of Brewable drinks.

No improvements or nerfing is recommended at this time.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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Did you confirm that there is no added condition regeneration effect if the Custom Mode "Condition Regain" (awake) setting is at "None"?

That being the case, I'll still find them useful as extra heat boosts. I like heat boosts.

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On 5/8/2019 at 6:41 PM, Pillock said:

Did you confirm that there is no added condition regeneration effect if the Custom Mode "Condition Regain" (awake) setting is at "None"?

That being the case, I'll still find them useful as extra heat boosts. I like heat boosts.

Yes. Tested the tea in all settings of Condition Regain (awake). It does not work when set to None, like the Herbal Tea does not function when Condition Regain (sleep) is set to None.

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16 minutes ago, TheEldritchGod said:

Yes. Tested the tea in all settings of Condition Regain (awake). It does not work when set to None, like the Herbal Tea does not function when Condition Regain (sleep) is set to None.

oh, thanks for the input. I play custom with awaken condition regain to none, I thought it could balance a bit, after a struggle for example. Good to know !

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3 hours ago, TheEldritchGod said:

Yes. Tested the tea in all settings of Condition Regain (awake). It does not work when set to None, like the Herbal Tea does not function when Condition Regain (sleep) is set to None.

Thanks. That's as I expected.

But of a pity from my point of view: would've been nice to get a small regain while awake from drinking the tea. I guess now I have to decide whether to enable low level regain while awake, or just use the birch bark for heat and calories.

My Custom settings revolve around the principle of having them tricky as possible while not excluding any items or features altogether - so I have Medium base loot so as to enable hatchets, knives, prepper caches and high-tier clothing, but all the spawn chances on minimum; animal detection and scent settings on the furthest distances and struggle damages on maximum, but minimal populations and respawns so it's harder to farm meat and pelts; etc. Part of this was having the minimum possible condition regain while not eliminating it entirely: I chose sleeping regain only, partly because that's what the whole game used to be like, and partly because I wanted to maintain the useful function of Herbal Tea.

Now I have dilemma, I suppose. The healing rate at is lowest setting is +1 per hour, is that right? And +1.5/hr if you have birch bark effect?

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On 5/10/2019 at 10:41 AM, Pillock said:

Now I have dilemma, I suppose. The healing rate at is lowest setting is +1 per hour, is that right? And +1.5/hr if you have birch bark effect?

Not sure. That seems to be the case.

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE: I have been running about and figured that the top two locations for Birch Bark are Ravine and The Birch Forest that surrounds the Lonely homestead on Pleasant Valley Map.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I've watched a lot of playthroughs and almost everyone completely ignores the Cattails that are due east (if you are lonely homestead, look to where the closest waterfall is. THAT IS WEST. Go the opposit direction between two rock outcroppings.) of Lonely Homestead. Over there is a marsh area that is rich in cattails. It's fairly isolated and since I started visiting it, I have yet to get jumped by wolves.

Of course, I just jinxed myself.

Of the two, the Ravine Map is superior to Pleasant valley birch forest, both because of the lack of predators, and because of the close proximity to shelter. However, numerically, PV seems to beat out Ravine in NUMBER of birch bark harvested. (But not by much).

Just another reason why Ravine is my Cabin Fever recovery/must-see vacation home-away-from-home/tourist trap.

Oh. And now that I have been playing Interloper more, My estimates of "Effective" Harvest numbers of Birch Bark tea have dropped. I'm lucky to get enough birch bark on average to equal one cup every three days. I dunno if it's a Interloper thing. or what.

Frankly, I am using BirchBark tea as "Compressed Fluid" not really as a healing agent.

For example. Birch Bark is .22 water, but .1 weight. AND it can have up to 125 calories a cup. The 2? points recovered (I'm sorry. Since they took away the EXACT condition percentages, I'm having a hard time determining the EXACT amount of healing) is not much, but I have figured out something:

If I'm going to be traveling, and I drink a hot cup of Birch Bark right before I go, and the weather allows me to remain above freezing, and maybe I eat a Cattail before hand, I believe I recover 3 points total? 3-Ish? Which seems to translate into 3 hours of starvation, I can get away with. In the beginning of Interloper, before I get situated, I tend to see-saw between Starvation living and Well Fed, depending on my plans. Well Fed for shipping and long distance traveling, Starvation when settling down in an area to get crafting done. That sort of thing.

I recommend hording Birch Bark tea, until it is time to travel long distances. With the low weight to water ratio, the token calories, the fact it can be heated, and the minor amount of healing, means it is vastly superior to any other fluid, including water and soda.

Since you can drink one every 2 hours for full effect, I recommend it mostly for Interloper, where the higher thirst rate makes it, ironically, much more useful.

Effectively 3 cups of birch bark replace .66 liters of water. And 2.5 cattails. So, in theory, you could drink one every 2 hours while traveling. So it is possible to JUST take BBT with you and save on the weight. However, I don't think that's the best way.

I suggest instead to carry .5 liters of water for every 1 BBT. Upon waking up sleep, drink 1 cup and max out with the water, if you aren't at max condition. If you are at max, save the cup and starve for a bit, drinking it as the day goes on to remain hydrated. Figure on using it around 2 hours, ten minutes after waking up on interloper. The thirst rate seems to out pace the BBT by ten minutes, so you should carry SOME water around.

Although, I am experimenting with 2 BBT for every .5 liters of water. Drink one waiting up, max out thirst, a second cup at 2 hours 10 minutes.

Soda MIGHT be a substitute for water, IF you are trying to maintain Well Fed. Soda weighs .25 for .22 of fluids. So from a strictly fluid perspective, soda is the worst. However, if you are TRYING to maintain your calories, then it is a candidate for Water replacement.

Not everyone uses my play style (which is, first thing, power level cooking), but if you do as I do, then use BBT alone for long trips, and combine BBT and Soda for long trips when you are trying to keep the Well Fed Bonus.  Which means, save up your BBT and Soda for the right time.

 

YES, I know, popular wisdom is that Soda never causes food poisoning. Well, I'm here to tell you I finally got food poisoning from a can of 6% soda. It doesn't happen often, but it does. Because soda spoils so quickly outdoors, I recommend, if you are stock piling soda, to wait until you have cooking 5, just in case.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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Thanks for the research @TheEldritchGod! I'm really pleased tea is here as not being able to drink a hot drink unless it was medicinal just felt wrong. I'm looking forward to the temp bonus in travel but if the supply is so limited (Loper) I may be disappointed. I'd rather seem more tea for warmth than the recovery bonus. But still! Better some than none. 

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Anyone who thinks birch bark tea is OP can just avoid it, same as they always did before when it was only tinder.

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On 5/10/2019 at 9:11 PM, TheEldritchGod said:

Yes. Tested the tea in all settings of Condition Regain (awake). It does not work when set to None, like the Herbal Tea does not function when Condition Regain (sleep) is set to None.

Strange - I have all condition recovery set to none (asleep or awake) and BB tea works, I get 5% condition after every dose.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Strange - I have all condition recovery set to none (asleep or awake) and BB tea works, I get 5% condition after every dose.

Really? Be more specific so I can test the exact conditions. We are talking about Birch Bark tree, yes? You know, I never tested it with BOTH off. Would that really make a difference?

Edited by TheEldritchGod

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11 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Strange - I have all condition recovery set to none (asleep or awake) and BB tea works, I get 5% condition after every dose.

confirmed

recovery at rest : low
recovery awake : none

screen_1689e30d-75ff-46d2-8887-9c686f452612_hi.thumb.png.b22226c81f78ffe026def1dd8e79cab9.png

screen_28814b69-818f-4ef1-bccf-83505bc2e480_hi.thumb.png.cb81f3586d19e371e2616eaa63e5639f.pngscreen_97b94a9c-b658-4cdc-a5c6-17071e3d82a8_hi.thumb.png.b1a5fbd42ec37f3306b53f92f17d3825.pngscreen_ea995054-fe77-4d5b-841d-2248a345e14e_hi.thumb.png.5e4aeca1ed3f5493cbd2a6c7927d978a.png

screen_673419eb-31e8-47ef-86e4-4d2af4a7469e_hi.thumb.png.b43bef8ec647100ce981640842e45f39.png

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14 hours ago, TheEldritchGod said:

Really? Be more specific so I can test the exact conditions. We are talking about Birch Bark tree, yes? You know, I never tested it with BOTH off. Would that really make a difference?

It's a nerfed down deadman I started for test purposes: 8tnA-/h8P-Dw+r-wZhG-eAAA

Because of low weather variability and high blizzard frequency, an eternal blizzard engulfed PV and I was forced to cross it. I kept drinking birch bark tea along the way to keep my condition up, checking the % in the journal in a similar way as @LkP shows.

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Good work here, rep earned.

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I finally got around to testing it and... yes. Apparently it does heal you when you are playing Deadman. Holy crap. I think I could actually play dead man long term now. I'm going to have to farm the ravine like no body;s business, but still.

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On 5/19/2019 at 6:36 PM, LkP said:

confirmed

recovery at rest : low
recovery awake : none

screen_1689e30d-75ff-46d2-8887-9c686f452612_hi.thumb.png.b22226c81f78ffe026def1dd8e79cab9.png

screen_28814b69-818f-4ef1-bccf-83505bc2e480_hi.thumb.png.cb81f3586d19e371e2616eaa63e5639f.pngscreen_97b94a9c-b658-4cdc-a5c6-17071e3d82a8_hi.thumb.png.b1a5fbd42ec37f3306b53f92f17d3825.pngscreen_ea995054-fe77-4d5b-841d-2248a345e14e_hi.thumb.png.5e4aeca1ed3f5493cbd2a6c7927d978a.png

screen_673419eb-31e8-47ef-86e4-4d2af4a7469e_hi.thumb.png.b43bef8ec647100ce981640842e45f39.png

This is excellent news! Thanks for confirming this.

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On 5/13/2019 at 10:31 AM, TheEldritchGod said:

UPDATE: I have been running about and figured that the top two locations for Birch Bark are Ravine and The Birch Forest that surrounds the Lonely homestead on Pleasant Valley Map.

 

4 hours ago, TheEldritchGod said:

I finally got around to testing it and... yes. Apparently it does heal you when you are playing Deadman. Holy crap. I think I could actually play dead man long term now. I'm going to have to farm the ravine like no body;s business, but still.

I've been passing by another area and I thought about your post. Have you consider Milton Basin + [Forlorn]Marsh RIdge ? That's two huge spots for barks, separate by only small climbings. If you have low HP but a bedroll, that seems to be a nice recovery area.

 

14 minutes ago, Pillock said:

This is excellent news! Thanks for confirming this.

My pleasure.

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