Starvation Tactics and its Overhaul


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This has been mentioned before but I wanted to throw a nickel into the mix.


Starvation tactics have their use. It's needed to survive. I want/need it in the game. It's critical. However, I should not be able to permanently survive on 750-900 calories per day using this method over an incredibly extended period of time. That's 5 cat tails, or two granola and a cat tail per day before bed - it is a very simple threshold to hit, and it being simple is okay! The point I am making is that it is trivializing an aspect of your needs in relation to the others. On Interloper I can have over a hundred cat tails easily, restoring lost condition all on 750-900 calories per day. I don't need to worry about an entire need throughout and the cost of maintenance is very inexpensive in relation to the other needs.


Some have made the argument that the "Well Fed" buff mitigates this gap. I disagree. The Well Fed bonus is an incentive, for sure, in that I want it to make my life easier, but it is not a necessity to survive. Working around carry weight is something every player learns, which is why it makes the buff not as valuable as extending my food supply as long as possible. Hunger, as it stands, is not as necessary to survive as other needs due to the low amount of effort you'd need to be at condition recovery parity with what you lose during the day.


As I said - Starvation tactics needs to be in the game, but I disagree that it can, and should, have such a lasting permanency in a playthrough if I so choose. I hesitate throwing around the words "not realistic" - but this is a dimension to explore that can give us an idea of an in-game solution. 1200 calories is needed for the body to not starve, and with all the moving and travelling our characters do, more calories are needed, on average, than 750-900.


A possible idea for a solution is that there would be a debuff that triggers in a similar fashion to Cabin Fever. Meaning, that "starvation tactics" suffer a penalty the longer it is used, and it is calculated by the X average of calories over Y days. For gameplay purposes, 1200 might be a happy medium for average calories, but you're the experts :). The debuff that occurs once the condition fully develops is one where you simply cannot regain any condition. Period. Emergency stim still works, but if you're starving, you're lethargic. You're weak. You won't recover quickly or easily from condition hits. This makes everything more deadly and it creates a unique condition that you'll want to avoid. It means that I would need to weigh dangerous situations with my food supply. It also keeps this debuff in range with the other food related debuff: parasites. I recognize not everyone would want to play with this, but I am excited at the prospect of forcing myself to sacrifice time and temperature need to scavenge that deer carcass because I am incredibly close to a starvation penalty. As of right now, on Interloper, stopping to harvest a carcass does not even cross my mind unless I want to craft some boots or snares. I know the maps well enough to find the cat tails I need until I secure a bow. This changes the strategic calculations the player has to make, and I think that's part of the magic that this game presents in such a compelling way.


This solution means that starvation tactics can continue to exist, but NOT into perpetuity. I also understand that, just because I find cat tails easily on Interloper, that not everyone else does. That's okay! However, Interloper is something you work toward, it is hard to just drop into and, because of that, I don't think this solution adds any undue difficult that wouldn't already exist for someone unaccustomed to Interloper already. The debate, and challenge, I guess, is whether this is applicable to all difficulties and I am unsure of what that answer is. Anyway, I am not an expert at game dev, just a thought I had and wanted to be clear about.


To conclude, an area that I think can be improved is how starvation and the utilization of starvation tactics are handled in the game. Starvation tactics is needed to survive interloper. However, there should be a balance between needing 750-900 calories per day with the consequences of eating that few calories per day. Well Fed is a buff that, while useful, is not necessary for survival and so, if you're forced to choose between keeping said buff and surviving, the choice is painfully obvious and it therefore fails solve the core problem at hand. I've offered some amateur solution ideas, but I would love to enrich my experience a bit more by improving this area of the game.

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Well, i must start by saying, That was WELL thought out. This is one of those tweaks to the game that could shake up the "OG' play style, and offer a more realistic approach to survival. Having just recently completed the "surviving off the land achievement" I can say I found it simple, given that all i need to do was travel, eat a few cat tails, be hungry for a while, and then regain condition while resting. I felt like I was cheating the system. 

I imagine one could not climb a rope from the ravine while carry 35kg of weight, also while having just spent 25 days starving.  

This is a good suggestion/addition, and one that I hope gets noticed. 

Edited by SirSharper
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Personally I think the mechanics are fine as they are.  I trust Hinterland to keep true to their vision for their game.  If Hinterland wants to change it, then fine... but I don't see any real need to change how the mechanics work.

We already have an affliction for starving... and it's the fatigue/rest cap that grows the longer we don't eat.  Also the condition loss from starvation is also a present factor.  Just because it doesn't have it's own pretty affliction icon doesn't mean the negative effects aren't there. 

I do appreciate how well thought out the idea is... but honestly, I just don't really see a need for it considering that there are important consequences for that style of play already.  Besides, I'm fairly certain that if it wasn't working the way Hinterland intended... then they would have changed it.  :)

Edited by ManicManiac
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There was a mod, back in the modding days, that added body fat as a long term energy store. I think you will have to wait for modding to open up to require more than 700 calories. Or, make a custom game where you don't regen life while sleeping. That's what I am doing for now.

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I do like the idea of extreme starvation leading to particularly nasty side effects.  Using the Cabin Fever analogy, if you spend too much time starving, you acquire the Malnourished debuff, which prohibits condition recovery from any source that isn't an e-stim until you spend 3 days without starvation.  At that point you don't acquire Well Fed, you simply lose the Malnourished debuff and can once again recover condition.

Maybe even two levels of malnourishment.  The first one halves your condition recovery, the second one halts it.  Or just leave it as is I don't really care, I just think it'd be neat.

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