Starvation and Dehydration and Health as a Resource


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When you are freezing your health bar depletes rapidly and you risk catching hypothermia which will put you out for an entire day. The cold and staying warm is a serious concern.

You start out with 30kg comfortable weight limit before you start to get slowed down. This limit slips down to 15 when exhausted. When exhausted you also lose your ability to run and slowly take health damage. This is a manageable, balanced and mostly non lethal player resource.

Starvation and dehydration however need some work. Once depleted you start to lose health very slowly. This begs the question of how necessary it is to keep your food and water resources topped off while exploring. Since the only concern in regards to our nutrition is health, lets look at health regeneration.

Your health does not regenerate whilst you're awake. It also only regenerates if you go to sleep in a warm place (above 0% after factoring in your clothing and bedding) and well fed. For the exact rates of recovery you can check out beowolfen's excellent game mechanics guide here: ... =558517894[1]

This creates a situation where the player can manipulate their health as a resource. Whilst starving you can perform your regular activities or even heavy labour like chopping wood or destroying furniture until your health falls too low. Say 35%. Then, just before going to sleep for 10 hours you eat 600 calories worth of food and drink .67 liters of water. You wake up feeling fully restored and rejuvenated.

Playing this way allows the player to perform tasks that consume ludicrous amounts of calories without ever needing to eat more than 600 calories a day.

A simple solution would be to make any additional calorie or hydration consuming activities drain your health bar in addition to the amount the player loses on a timed basis. There could also be a carry weight penalty for being malnurished or even medical conditions that arise from being in such a state.

I wouldn't create a negative calorie mechanic but I'm not the one making this game either. Could be a good idea.

All opinions valid, I appreciate your input.

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I see where you're coming from and I'd like to see starvation less beneficial for long term survival, but I'd do it another way.

It's not necessarily negative calories, but I think it might work to make improving condition require resting on a full stomach (or at least above 50%). That way instead of eating 600 calories before sleeping, it's more like 1800-2200. You might still be able to abuse it to starve yourself for a day and a half, then eat, but it'll be far less beneficial than at the moment.

That makes sense for recovering from most injuries - your body needs energy to heal, so whether it's a wolf bite, frost bite, or your body wasting away, a good meal and a good night's sleep will solve it!

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This is a point that I have raised here before and I do agree that health as a resource is bad design.

I feel, however, that a negative calorie mechanism is the way to go. I don't know how realistic this is, as I have no experience with starvation, but from a game perspective it would very simply remove this exploit. Also, not sure if it does currently, starvation should cause exhaustion.

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This particular way to exploit the game (which is known as hibernation-starvation) has been criticized by various players (including myself) for more than a year now.

Last april the user Hotzn created a thread here on the forums (viewtopic.php?f=57&t=5043) in which he collected various suggestions from dozens of different players how this exploit might be fixed.

Even though his very thorough collection included eleven different feasible approaches and even though the post got a whole lot of positive user feedback (it's six pages long), hibernation-starvation has not been addressed by the devs yet. I for one have given up any hope that it ever will be.

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