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Sov3rei8n

Drying meat/smoking jerky/freezing meat

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Various methods of preserving meat for future use have always been on humanity's radar. In The Long Dark, as in real life, things spoil. It's an essential mechanic, so you cannot hoard 100kgs of bear steak under your bedroll and call it a day...or two months. The thing is, it would be great to have some method of meat preservation in place - spending some time to dry out/salt the meat, so it lowers the weight, but makes you thirstier after consumption.

Additionally, the weather never reaches above zero temperatures - therefore it should be possible to stack some steaks in an outside container and have it never deteriorate - as shelf life of raw meat is measured in months. The downside - for balancing reasons, obviously - you would have to thaw the meat before consumption/cooking, essentially providing the player with another challenge - the need to plan thawing your meat day the day before being able to use it in any way.

 

It's just an idea, what do you think, guys? Let's brainstorm.

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Veteran players of The Long Dark already know that the rate at which raw and cooked meat decays drastically slows when they're left outside. As unsanitary as it would be in the real world, stacking up a 100 kg pile of bear steak outdoors is in fact a viable means of preserving meat in-game. I like the idea about outdoor containers, but on the other hand I'd be a bit hesitant to place outdoor containers at some locations in game. Doing so would run the risk of the developers implying that certain locations are designed to be suitable "bases." Take Signal Hill in Pleasant Valley, for example. If the developers added a container to its exterior for the purpose of storing meat, that would subtly also imply that Signal Hill can be a suitable location to make a "home base."

 

That being said, there are some locations that already do this. Quincy's Quonset on the Coastal Highway is a good example. There are a handful of abandoned vehicles around it, and at least 3 of them have trunks. I have used those trunks to store meat in the exact manner you're describing!

 

Also, I love the idea of thawing meat out before cooking it. It's something I hope to see implemented at some point in the future. Cooked meat fresh off the oven > hot. Cooked meat off the oven for an hour or more > cold. Cooked meat stored outdoors after 2 hours > frozen, inedible without first being thawed out.

 

Your thread title also suggests jerking meat as a means of preservation. I certainly used to think so when I first started playing the game. But then I learned how to jerk my own meat MAKE MY OWN JERKY in real life. Making jerky takes significantly more time than just simply cooking it. For a kilogram of meat, you're easily looking at between 3 to 6 hours of submitting the meat to heat, depending on the meat's fat content. In terms of game mechanics, that's a significant investment of fire fuel. Additionally, there's no salt or soya sauce in the game to add with the preservation. Lastly, there's no need: A player can cook an entire bear/moose, and spend the next few days doing nothing but eating that cooked meat and it will not risk spoiling at all. The purpose of jerking meat was so that people had a store of it to rely on in the event that their normal food source migrated away for the season. We never have to worry about that in the Long Dark, as there's always SOMETHING to hunt and cook nearby. So, within the confines of the game mechanics, making jerky is a bad investment in terms of fuel spent for the returns one gets. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, GothSkunk said:

Also, I love the idea of thawing meat out before cooking it. It's something I hope to see implemented at some point in the future. Cooked meat fresh off the oven > hot. Cooked meat off the oven for an hour or more > cold. Cooked meat stored outdoors after 2 hours > frozen, inedible without first being thawed out.

 

Your thread title also suggests jerking meat as a means of preservation. I certainly used to think so when I first started playing the game. But then I learned how to jerk my own meat MAKE MY OWN JERKY in real life. Making jerky takes significantly more time than just simply cooking it. For a kilogram of meat, you're easily looking at between 3 to 6 hours of submitting the meat to heat, depending on the meat's fat content. In terms of game mechanics, that's a significant investment of fire fuel. Additionally, there's no salt or soya sauce in the game to add with the preservation. Lastly, there's no need: A player can cook an entire bear/moose, and spend the next few days doing nothing but eating that cooked meat and it will not risk spoiling at all. The purpose of jerking meat was so that people had a store of it to rely on in the event that their normal food source migrated away for the season. We never have to worry about that in the Long Dark, as there's always SOMETHING to hunt and cook nearby. So, within the confines of the game mechanics, making jerky is a bad investment in terms of fuel spent for the returns one gets. 

Frozen solid food would be a nice addition. As for making jerky or smoking meat, the benefits of it are questionable for the sake of storage, but if it made meat less smelly the advantage would become significant. At the moment meat and fish are a really bad choice as travel food. Smelly and HEAVY. The best meat (moose) at level 5 cooking gives 1200-something calories for 1kg. That's lower than cat tails, and slightly better than canned food. Smoked or salted it may become easily half as heavy and without smell, but with a heavy dehidration effect. But as the Quonset commercial says, "water is free". And by the way, salt is free as well, with two oceanside regions.

Edited by Doc Feral

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