Survivor Morale and more !!


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Being in the frozen wilds of Canada would not only test your physical limits, but also your mental fortitude and the capability to handle the crushing loneliness that comes with it. This is a factor which I believe would be an interesting and apropriate addition to the game. Sometimes I think what the actual survivor we play must feel, I mean his constantly being ambushed by wolves, plagued with frigid temperatures, sorrounded by the frozen bodies of others and his reaction to this is, respectively, mindlessly killing, walking and looting. Seriously this guy`s first reaction to a dead corpse is seeing if it has a chocolate bar in its pocket, I mean he must be some sort of psychopath to do this.

So how would this "morale" system work, well it would ultimetly fall in the hands of the devs, but Ill just share my idea of how it would go.

There wouldnt be a "morale bar" just a display of your psychological status, like: "the survivor is bored" or "the survivor is frightened" so on and so forth (not saying there should be a bored or frightened status, just an example). With this there would obviously come positive and negative afflictions such as a depressed affliction or a happy affliction(not a very good name I know). These would affect your fatigue, the effeciency of crafting and the behaviour of your character, and by behaviour I mean, for example, the survivor refusing to eat because of depression.

I would also like to see a psychological evolution in the survivor as the game progresses, such as a fear system, I mean anyone would be terrefied if they saw a growling black wolf coming their way, but once more our psychopathic killing machine of a survivor proceeds to either shoot it, stab it or smash its head with a heavy hammer. This fear would include trembling and maybe a fatigue hit when the danger has passed, as the game evolves and you become more experienced the character stops fearing so much, and becomes much more efficient at doing the dirty work.

Of course, all these little things are unimportant, I just think adding a little to the character instead of adding more items would be a good idea. So please, be sure to post your own ideas on this, even if you disagree with it, so that a good discussion can be made. :)

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  • 2 months later...

There is already cabin fever that activates after sleeping indoors for a while, and I agree that a lot of the moral is the player. Having items give you confidence (like carrying a rifle over a bow) to reduce fear for example could be interesting, like higher fear causes things like sprains and aiming accuracy to change, but that would be a pretty sizable update.

I was thinking of some kind of isolation anxiety that would grow over time would be something similar that could be interesting. Loneliness can be huge over long periods so this could add difficulty in the longer/late games. Hallucinations like wolves that aren’t there, or fishing huts/buildings, etc. to throw you off. Would say seeing people but that would be an obvious one to know is fake. Could still add to the environment though.

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10 hours ago, one_shurbbery said:

To me the actual player serves as the morale mechanic. I feel like adding an in-game morale or emotion system would make the game way too tedious and that the emotions of the player would outdo any implemented system. 

great point.  In theory I'm with the OP in that a development of the psychological impact of survival would be really cool (as often is the case with suggestions, for me more likely to work in a sequel).  However, you rightly highlight the need to balance the experiences of the character and the player.

As an example, I started off very worried about crossing the raven falls bridge, eventually becoming very cocky and almost taking it at full speed after many months of game play.  Pride before a fall etc., and after losing a long run due to falling off it, I had to then build up my confidence again, and even now it is a factor when I'm choosing routes.  I wouldn't have had this if I'd just 'maxed bridge walking to level 5'.

Even things like boredom can be player led- 'yeah, I could wait for these skins to cure so I can craft that better coat I need, or I could EXPLORE THE NEW REGION NOW!'.

People have mentioned things like vitamin deficiency before, and I think the mental side of things could work well like this, in that it is a 'macro' survival goal, rather than the 'micro' goals of hunger, warmth etc. (much as cabin fever is already).  The kind of thing where you could put off or forget about looking after your character in this way, with sudden consequences that could make you reconsider your immediate plans.

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On 3/5/2021 at 8:32 AM, Syraith said:

Hallucinations like wolves that aren’t there, or fishing huts/buildings, etc. to throw you off. Would say seeing people but that would be an obvious one to know is fake. Could still add to the environment though.

Hallucinations were an idea I’m sort of open to, regarding the topic of added mental health effects. However I don’t want to see a sanity meter in the game. To me it’s a mechanic I think would detract from my immersion, but I digress. I’d be down for something like auditory hallucinations or simulated tunnel vision for long term starvation, dehydration, or cabin fever. Subtle things like the survivor breathing heavier from anxiety or the growling of the survivor’s stomach sounding more like the growling of wolves. Tunnel vision where the peripheral vision on screen becomes more blurred overtime. Motion blur could simulate visual hallucinations. All these things will be unannounced and be just little cues to the mental health of the survivor. I definitely don’t want a sanity system like in green hell where shit gets ratcheted up to 11.

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On 6/7/2019 at 4:09 AM, ManicManiac said:

I mentioned this in another thread, but it I think it bears repeating: I'm not sure how well I would like something like that in this game.

I mean for a Lovecraftian / horror type game, a sanity/mental health/morale meter works fine as a core gameplay mechanic...  I know for a while there was an idea about having something like a photograph or some kind of personal belonging that was meant to give kind of a "will to live" buff or something to that effect.  That the more you used it the quicker it would get worn out... but I think that idea went to the wayside a few years ago.

We do have the cabin fever affliction, but that is an arbitrary condition dependent solely on time spent inside vs. outside (the specifics are not important so I'm skipping them here).  Even with that, there are no other mitigating factors really... it's just a firm metric. 

My bottom line here is: Something like a "mental health" or "morale" mechanic would take a lot of nuance to keep it from just feeling like a negative consequence, instead of just a part of the human condition that it truly is... (also, I'm not wild about the idea of having to deal with a depression simulator)


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@one_shurbberyI agree. I can see how the mechanic could be added but I get nervous enough that I don’t need a game reminding me lol

I still jump a little when I leave my inventory because the zipper sound sounds a bit too much like a wolf growl.

Long term psych effects though I think could add some elements as mentioned. Something togglable if you don’t want it obviously, but someone living alone for let’s say a good milestone of 2 years would start losing it a little in most cases. Imagining a cabin or fishing shack in the distance to see it fade away for example, thinking as the player “wait... I don’t remember that being there...” to see you being correct when you closed in.

Again, would just be a fun twist I think 😁

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