GarlicPops

Water transportation in The Long Dark. An unrealistic mechanic and what should be changed in the next survival update.

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As we all know, The Long Dark’s goal is to be as realistic as possible when it comes to survival mechanics, the Vigilante Flame update introduced us to a more realistic cooking system, making the already challenging food mechanic more engaging to players.

However, while the food mechanic in the game have a descent degree of complexity and challenge to it, the same can’t really be said about water. In it’s current state, the way the game handles water gathering and transportation is pretty unrealistic and easy to say the least.

As long as we can keep a fire lit we have access to a nearly endless supply of water, that remains stored in our inventory inside a large water bottle with seemingly endless capacity, and whenever we want to drop water, a plastic water bottle will appear out of nowhere on the ground for each liter of water we dropped, seems pretty unrealistic right?

It’s worth mentioning how the game handles food and hunting and how complex it actually is, we need to craft or find weapons and ammunition to hunt animals, we need to harvest the animal and transport it’s meat, hide and guts, which can be challenging depending on the weather and the amount of predators around, we need to cook the food we gathered and still deal with the risk of parasites in some situations. The whole process of gathering food involves at least 3 skills, weapons, carcass harvesting and cooking, it requires planning, timing and you get better at it as time goes by.

The same can’t really be said about water, there are no skills or challenge involved and very little planning to it, normally being directly related to when and where to light a fire, not to mention the horrible unrealistic way we transport water in the game.

So my intention with this post is to give suggestions on how we can make water a more realistic and challenging feature in The Long Dark.

 

Mechanics and Features:

-       Plastic water bottles can be looted and reused as liquid containers.

-       Peanut Butter jars and GO! Energy Drink bottles can be reused as liquid containers after their contents are consumed.

-       Mugs must now be found and looted in order to use them for tea or coffee.

-       Tea and coffee can now be drank directly from a mug after being heated on a campfire or kept in a small protected container.

-       New selection menu where players can refill water from recycled cans and cooking pots into containers in the player’s inventory.

-       New selection menu where players can put water from one container to another.

-       Liquid containers now have their own weight value (Calculated: Regular weight + Water weight)

-       Water in the player’s inventory can now freeze if the players is not well protected against the cold, represented by a meter in the players inventory.

-       Water can be heated up to take more time to freeze.

 

New Items:

-       Large water bottles, heavy containers with very high capacity for liquids, useful to keep them at base and use them to refill smaller containers, but bad for carrying around (can be found and looted)

-       Empty water bottles, compact containers with low insulation (can be found and looted)

-       Water flasks can now be crafted from Deer and Moose hide, can either prevent water from becoming frozen or delay the process depending on the devs preference.

-       Glass jars, useful for storing tea and coffee (can be found and looted)

-       Empty Peanut Butter jars and GO! Energy Drink bottles.

 

This new mechanics and items will give a whole new depth, challenge and realism to water in The Long Dark, there will be planning involved, difficulty in the early game and more options in the late game as we find/craft more container, there will be decision making regarding what type of container to bring depending on our expeditions, we will have to keep and eye for extra weight as we carry more containers and we must be careful to not let our water freeze.

In general I think this is a good approach to make water more realistic and engaging in The Long Dark, let me know what you guys think about it.

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i wouldnt mind an upgraded water system but i dont know that they are looking to get crazy complex with it.  we suspend belief all the time in long dark and water is no exception.  

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“Water in the player’s inventory can now freeze if the players is not well protected against the cold, represented by a meter in the players inventory”

nice idea. I don’t think your clothing would protect something in your backpack though. 


Glass jars, useful for storing tea and coffee (can be found and looted)

I like this too. It doesn’t make sense to have a bunch of mugs of hot beverages in your backpack.

”Water can be heated up to take more time to freeze”

hot water freezes faster than cold water. I can’t explain it but it’s true.

 

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31 minutes ago, Aurimas said:

Try me

I don’t understand, sorry 🙂

 

How about adding a mess tin as a rare item:

used can - cooking pot - mess tin

Lighter with the same bonuses to cooking time but 1ltr.

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2 hours ago, Daymo said:

 

hot water freezes faster than cold water. I can’t explain it but it’s true.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

This kind of thing has been touched on more than a couple of times in the past.
(search function :))
 

It's an interesting idea, but I don't see a need for water to get to the point of being convoluted, overly complex, or "micromanage-y." 

On 11/10/2019 at 11:46 PM, ManicManiac said:

I feel there comes a point where there is only so much micromanaging that can be done before it stops being fun and starts just feeling like a slog...

I think the current mechanic works fine.  Since I'm playing a video game... I'm not really bothered by whether or not we "generate plastic bottles."  I mean, I don't think anyone complains that coal re-spawns.  I think it's kind of in the same ball park, sometimes a video game just has to video game.  Could the "drinking water" aspect use some retooling?  Maybe, but in it's current state, I really don't think it's an issue.

However, Raph has spoken about liquids before and I think that what he discussed would be a more valuable addition:

On 11/14/2019 at 1:45 AM, ManicManiac said:

over in Mailbag Dispatch #34 Raph mentions, "Yeah, we do need not just a "fuel management" but a "liquid management" system/interface. We've discussed it a fair bit. Not sure where it sits in our internal roadmap but we'll get to it eventually."

 

As for the opening statement...

4 hours ago, GarlicPops said:

As we all know, The Long Dark’s goal is to be as realistic as possible when it comes to survival mechanics

I don't think the assumption that's been made is correct.  The text in the "disclaimer" reads: "...The Long Dark is a survival experience, and we strive for realism in many areas...It is not a wilderness survival training simulation."

Raph also clarified this kind of thing when it's come up in the past:
"Wait wait -- please don't use "realism" as an argument for or against a game mechanic (or any tuning around it)...[text removed for brevity]...We don't design for realism, and we don't use it as a metric to determine how something should or should not work in the game..."


:coffee::fire:
I see what GarlicPops is getting at... but I don't think it needs to "be changed with the next survival update."  I just don't think it's really an issue.
However if Hinterland want's to expand on it... or they feel this kind of think would be a value add for their game, then fine.
I'm just saying I'm fine with it the way it is.  :)
 

Edited by ManicManiac
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Thanks Odizzido, I didn’t know that it had been disproven.

As for the changes in freezing dependent of the location of the thermocouple this may be relevant:

 

Cheers 😀

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I'm just saying I'm fine with it the way it is.  :)
 

I wholeheartedly agree. There isn’t really anything that needs “fixed” in my opinion. The game is great as it is.

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Drinking direct from the toilet is the only immersion breaker for me

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interesting thread, and highlights how subjective 'realism' and 'immersion' are- a mechanic that completes jars for one person is irrelevant to another.

Personally, a couple of tweaks rather than a major overhaul would be fine.  Water from the toilet being unpotable when collected, some sort of flask to store hot drinks, and maybe the need to actually harvest snow to boil up (which could also impact on the whole cabin fever issue) would be interesting for me.  maybe the option to bring indoors a bucket of snow that will melt to unpotted water over time?  I'd also like to see more harvestable unpotted water (I almost never use the purification tablets at the moment), perhaps harvestable from freezers, kettles or even a bucket/ pot placed under a dripping pipe? more likely to create a situation where you decide whether to risk dysentery, or head out into the blizzard for fuel...

and as we know the game is all about those 'interesting choices', how about the option to suck on a piece of snow, for a small hydration boost but with a trade off due to a hit to core temp?

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Posted (edited)

The re-freezing water is tricky thing in my opinion. If you introduce freezing water, the container could be damaged or even destroyed by freezing. Plus the water would freeze in almost all inside locations. 

I do like the fact the water does not freeze in the game. And I am searching for empty bottles since I would like to use them to create coat or something from them. The thermo insulation capabilities of ingame plastic bottles must be great when it prevents water from freezing even in -30°C.

But I can agree with "potable" water from toilets. I think there was a poster or note in the town, the water pipes has been infected by something thus the water is not safe. Suddenly player comes to the town and he can drink from toilet reservoirs?

The field flask containing tea is good idea. If it is hot, it could provide temporary temperature bonus.

Edited by acada

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40 minutes ago, acada said:

And I am searching for empty bottles since I would like to use them to create coat or something from them

No need to search for them just make water and, like magic, poof you have a water bottle.  Just do not ask where the empties go.

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Use the clothing accessory slot.  Have water freeze when left out or stored in your pack, but if you opt to "wear" a bottle (or two) of water in your accessory slot, that indicates you have that bottle stored under your clothes.  In this state it will thaw if frozen, or remain liquid if already melted.  So in this way you would be able to have up to 2L water ready to drink at all times, but would have to strategize how you want to use your two slots.  Satchel and ear wrap?  Satchel and water?  Water and ear wrap?  Two bottles of water?

As for making plastic bottles appear out of thin air...meh.  I can overlook that, same way I can overlook the messy disaster that attempting to refuel a hurricane lantern out of a jerry can would be.  I mean without a funnel?  There's no way you wouldn't have a huge puddle of fire hazard on the floor.

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On 3/21/2020 at 4:49 AM, Corso said:

Drinking direct from the toilet is the only immersion breaker for me

toilet water is in fact very clean most of the time 

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On 3/21/2020 at 9:58 AM, ajb1978 said:

but if you opt to "wear" a bottle

prod_12167475512??hei=64&wid=64&qlt=50

Wearable Hot Water Bottle

The ultimate in The Long Dark fashion accessories. 

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21 hours ago, odium said:

toilet water is in fact very clean most of the time 

Yes normally. But I recall there was a note on the water tower in the Mountain Town, that the water has been infected in the water pipes. It is possible it was in the story mode. But I dont distinguish these two modes much. If it was in the story mode, it is like it was in the sandbox for me.

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If something like this were done then I would like to be able to put meat into peanut butter jars and such to reduce wolf scent.

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Guest kristaok

I'm pretty cool with the way it is, if they change it that's okay too.

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On 3/20/2020 at 11:10 AM, GarlicPops said:

a plastic water bottle will appear out of nowhere on the ground for each liter of water we dropped

If one is near civilization, it would be very easy to find themselves a water bottle, it can be assumed the player has been picking them up off-screen during thier jouneys. Do you really want the maps to be covered in plastic litter only for you to have the "immersion" and extra time spent looting them? Every couple seconds is like a whole minute in game so walking over to pick up a water bottle and time spent managing them could potentially take up even more crucial time in a day. 

On 3/21/2020 at 3:49 AM, Corso said:

Drinking direct from the toilet is the only immersion breaker for me

They pull from the reservoir and not the basin. So it is no different than stagnant tap water. 

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I think adding too much detail in handling water would just make more mess in the equipment. There is always too much to carry anyway. For the same reason I'd hardly ever carry more than 3L... perhaps up to 5L if I find a lot of bottled water to top off my supply. It makes sense to assume the character keeps one big bottle at hand.

On the other hand I think it would be great to have new ways to obtain unsafe water (like from waterfalls, fishing holes or from wet clothes), so the water purification tablets actually become useful. Just for now I feel like skipping them entirely, since I always have fire when I have unsafe water anyway.

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Im ok with the bottle of holding but I think a freezing mechanic might be interesting.

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16 hours ago, Amazed said:

On the other hand I think it would be great to have new ways to obtain unsafe water (like from waterfalls, fishing holes or from wet clothes), so the water purification tablets actually become useful. Just for now I feel like skipping them entirely, since I always have fire when I have unsafe water anyway.

Yes to this. I have never found purification tabs to be of any use, but if you could get water without a fire it might change. At least sometimes.

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It all seems a bit too fiddly for me - I don't really see the benefit in terms of what it brings to the game.

In terms of new content, what I'd like to see is something I could actually usefully do in those "empty" hours of the game. By which I mean those hours between sunset and when I go to sleep when it is too dark to read or craft without an artificial light source - or those hours before dawn when the same is true. I know I can harvest surplus clothing for cloth etc. when there's no light, but there's only a certain amount of cloth a person needs. And I know I can use a storm lantern to make it light enough to read or craft - but why would I, when lantern fuel is a precious resource and there will be plenty of days when I can do those things because I need to stay inside because of the weather?

As it is, for me at least, there's a bit too much of the "pass time without sleeping" at dawn and/or dusk - i.e. a bit too much filler where I'm not actually doing anything. And before anyone suggests it, I doubt very much it was Hinterland's intention to add to immersion by allowing us to experience what would be the inevitable periods of boredom involved in surviving on our own.

The trouble is, I don't really know what to suggest for filling those gaps....

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I don't think it's their intention for us to just hit the pass time button either, otherwise we wouldn't eat an entire deer in just a couple days.

I think if we had another renewable source of light that we could do indoors that might help. Typically I find I have cook days. The sun it out, I start a fire with the magnifying glass, and cook the pile of meat I have. Like 20hrs of cooking straight because I also want a pile of water too.

Now throw in a bow drill(two sticks+cured gut+rock). You could use that to start fires inside in the dark to break up cooking and give more to do in the times where it's too dark and cold for anything else. Obviously the drill would have to be worse than a magnifying lens, use more calories and take more time, plus you need to craft it. But when your other option is to pass time it could be worth it.

I think it would also be neat if they give the option to practice skills too. Reduced use of resources to gain skill but you don't get anything useful out of it. I could see myself doing that on occasion.

 

 

I mean another thing they could do, but I don't think they will, is add the ability to insulate homes. This would of course require them to create a temperature system for houses and also allow houses to get cold enough that you would want to insulate them in the first place. I think it would encourage "camping" though, which as far as I know is against what they want. Something to see from the modding community I guess.

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On 3/20/2020 at 2:46 PM, odizzido said:

 

It may not actually freeze faster... But I can tell you this:

 

As a person that deals with frozen piped in my home nearly every winter, I can attest with full sincerity that it is ALWAYS the hot water pipe that freezes first. Both hot and cold water lines in my home are identical and in size amd material. And where both lines got to the same sink or shower, they are about 4 inches apart and only a few inches different in length. But the hot water pipe is always the one that freezes first. Hot water line will be frozen enough to completely stop flow, cold water flow however is barely reduced at all.

 

So there is something that does cause this phenomenon to occur where hot water freezes faster... But why or how is completely a mystery to me.

Edited by Cattleman

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