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About the food system


eXSe

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Is it just me, or is it silly that the more you progress and learn better stuff & things to cook and you can harvest more and more, the less and less you need it? :upset:

 

I feel that the food should be something you need once or twice a day even at high levels and the quality of the food you eat should govern your overall "well-being" (greater buffs for good diet that last while you maintain it, debuffs for eating crap until you rectify it).

 

Maybe then cooking shouldn't be locked by perks, 'cause I really do know how to make bacon & eggs without being a Master Chef and instead cooking should be just like throwing stuff in a pan or a pot and getting nutrition from it (basic sum of its parts for someone who doesn't know a correct recipe maybe and 10-20% more for someone who has learned it... maybe even custom recipes, I don't know) :)

 

I'm just throwing stuff at the wall to see what, if anything, sticks. I love that aspect of the game and I feel that now, you go from praying for a pig and a pot, to almost a day or two fast.

 

Please, share your thoughts on this.

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I liked the concept of wellness we had in A16 - unfortunately only the concept was worth, the actual implementation worked terribly. I don't have an opinion about how you must get the recipes - I just know that they increase your food efficiency, especially if you have more ways at acquiring food later in the game.

 

But let's not kid ourselves - after M.Chef lvl 1/5, with bacon and eggs and 25% loot abundance, you will never feel hungry again. Progression is supposed to make your life easier, when it comes to basic needs, *progressively*. Spoilage should be added and food availability through progression has to be better balanced.

 

Also funny that many people were ranting about how "unrealistic" it was for someone to lose stamina that fast (because most of the forum members apparently are olympic runners) - yet very few complaints about the character living off one "bacon and eggs" per day.

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Good point OP. My hubby does the cooking and such in our game, and I frequently open up the food box to a plethora of different foods ... but none of them matter: I just get the stew and a a red tea drink and everything else can just be ignored.

 

I liked the previous systems where some drinks had actual buffs (for heat/cold etc), but the pimps removed all of that for some reason, and now everything is basically the same ... it's a bland sea of various food and drinks that all do the same thing to slightly less degrees.

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Even every single iteration of the game- somebody comes on this forum and complains there isn't enough food (even me at one time I think?)

THEY ARE ALWAYS WRONG!!!!!

So I agree, that food is just too easy.

 

Though and I know I might be in the minority on this- I do like that we can hardly cook anything at the start and have to skill up. I know it isn't realistic but I like that, bad progression is still good progression when it comes to an rpg. Unless you just hate progression... then yer screwed.

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Is it just me, or is it silly that the more you progress and learn better stuff & things to cook and you can harvest more and more, the less and less you need it? :upset:

 

I feel that the food should be something you need once or twice a day even at high levels and the quality of the food you eat should govern your overall "well-being" (greater buffs for good diet that last while you maintain it, debuffs for eating crap until you rectify it).

 

Maybe then cooking shouldn't be locked by perks, 'cause I really do know how to make bacon & eggs without being a Master Chef and instead cooking should be just like throwing stuff in a pan or a pot and getting nutrition from it (basic sum of its parts for someone who doesn't know a correct recipe maybe and 10-20% more for someone who has learned it... maybe even custom recipes, I don't know) :)

 

I'm just throwing stuff at the wall to see what, if anything, sticks. I love that aspect of the game and I feel that now, you go from praying for a pig and a pot, to almost a day or two fast.

 

Please, share your thoughts on this.

 

@ OP - I get where you're coming from. I think you're on to something in the 40-80 level range, but I actually have had trouble keeping enough good food around. But maybe that's because I am playing multiplayer and can't afford to have a garden out in the open, so I had to delay my farming until I could afford to dig out a proper hidden one. I can see how that may not be the case in point for balancing. I agree that the quality of food should govern your well-being (ahem wellness). Eat like crap and you'll feel like crap/have less energy. You would think Madmole would champion this concept given that he spends a lot of time in the gym.

 

At higher levels I am consuming more food, because I'm spending significant time building, exploring for mods & mining. Getting the better quality food that yields more calories is required. I'm also taking more damage from zombies, because they are hitting harder at elevated game stages. The food is a nice way to increase HP when meds aren't readily available.

 

I enjoyed the fact that some foods gave you different buffs in previous versions. Sad to see that go.

 

I loathe the implementation of beer and alcohol now, which were my go-to stamina drinks. The drunken effect is physically nauseating and makes these items worse than cat food. I throw all beer on the ground, and only take grain alcohol for making med kits.

 

Coffee as a stamina drink doesn't last nearly long enough or yield enough stamina regen to make it worth the effort in making.

 

Food should not be locked by perks. The recipes should be found in, ya know, cook books. If there was ever a case for recipes to be in a book, hidden by the random number jesus, it should be a cookbook found in an ordinary cupboard in just about any POI.

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I hate the idea of spoilage. I have never seen it implemented well, and even many of the half-baked implementations seem to over tax the system; probably the result of bad timer implementation.

 

I second the notion of cookbooks being the source of recipe knowledge. It just makes sense.

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I like the idea that Project Zomboid has about cooking or rather crafting in general. You need to read a magazine for anything special you want to craft to learn how to do it, no matter if it's a fence, baking bread or making some more finesse food. Surely you don't need any recipies to make a sandwich using sliced bread and adding meat/cheese/vegetable slices.

 

Going by this example, i'd love to have access to basic cooking skills (because anyone can put meat onto a grill or into an oven to have it cooked), but some things require more or less knowledge about them. Some people stated around here that boiling an egg is easy, but you can check how good meat is and if you don't know how long to cook it, you'll leave it in the oven until it's done.

 

You cannot check how well the egg is cooked. You need instructions to make a stew. You need instructions to bake bread. You need instructions to make a pie.

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Also, remember that once the smell system is here, it might balance cooked foods naturally.

 

as with the previous alphas, the smell will be only interesting in the night and you only have to think then what to take with you. On day, who cares if you attract the zombies that you would anyway?

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I don't know, I was just hoping for something "more" from food (and I am coming from a PvE standpoint, so that might not be ideal in PvP). Tough to brainstorm when you don't know what could even be possible to implement :)

 

But, I do know that between A17 and A16 food implementation, wellness was a better choice for me (just because of the "reward" you got for eating good).

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I don't know, I was just hoping for something "more" from food (and I am coming from a PvE standpoint, so that might not be ideal in PvP). Tough to brainstorm when you don't know what could even be possible to implement :)

 

But, I do know that between A17 and A16 food implementation, wellness was a better choice for me (just because of the "reward" you got for eating good).

 

Well the potential is much better now than it was. TFP just haven't mined it enough. Under the old system all food did was increase the health and stamina maximums as "wellness".

 

Now with the new buff system food could do so much more-- especially if they would differentiate between chicken, pork, venison, snake, rabbit, and bear. Each could have a different effect and recipes could do all sorts of things beyond the one thing it used to do. There is a little bit of that now but it could have a lot more depth. Maybe when Madmole turns his attention back to food dishes he will do to them what he is doing with all of his books.

 

What's possible?

 

Chicken Soup- Cures a cold.

Rabbit on a Stick- Increases movement speed for a time

Bear Stew- Warmth in the snow biome

Blueberry Pie- Speeds up the Near Death Trauma timer

Snake Bites- Increase swing speed with melee weapons

etc.

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I would be more than happy with a food system that allowed me to make a number of basic foods and as I gained skills it allowed me to gain more servings from the same amount of ingredients (from less waste and more accurate measuring) and later the ability to learn more complex Buff foods as I become more skilled. Maybe the "Shamway Secret Recipe" can be for one of the Tier 5 drinks.

 

I can't wait to see what "the Mole" comes up with if it's anything like his new Book system.

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Well, this has been visited many times now. But yes some basic recipes would be nice without perks would be nice. I mean if 'we' are survivors of the apocalypse, that would mean we were taught to know the basics of survival. But higher things like Alaskan deer meat stew, I couldn't make until grandma gave me the recipe and showed me twice. Creamy deer meat stew where the meat melts in your mouth! The juice of the stew thick with gamy deer flavor! Talk about comfort food! :)

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Well the potential is much better now than it was. TFP just haven't mined it enough. Under the old system all food did was increase the health and stamina maximums as "wellness".

 

Now with the new buff system food could do so much more-- especially if they would differentiate between chicken, pork, venison, snake, rabbit, and bear. Each could have a different effect and recipes could do all sorts of things beyond the one thing it used to do. There is a little bit of that now but it could have a lot more depth. Maybe when Madmole turns his attention back to food dishes he will do to them what he is doing with all of his books.

 

What's possible?

 

Chicken Soup- Cures a cold.

Rabbit on a Stick- Increases movement speed for a time

Bear Stew- Warmth in the snow biome

Blueberry Pie- Speeds up the Near Death Trauma timer

Snake Bites- Increase swing speed with melee weapons

etc.

 

Therein lies the problem, at least for me, how the food is viewed in the game now. For me it seems like it's a potion, quick fix, type of thing, and I feel that it should be more than that, considering that you have to hunt/forage/grow stuff to get to more complex food... not to mention invest points in relevant skills and perks to get to it.

 

I would think that Occam's razor approach to food would be the best solution... the better you eat, the healthier you get. Permanent effects to your health/stamina/immunity that grow gradually each day you eat healthy food, and decrease (even into negatives) the same way if you stuff yourself with crappy food (just throwing numbers here: 5% increase/decrease each day to a certain % cap).

 

But, sadly, I do know that this would be forcing players to play a certain way and I'm not holding my breath for it :)

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Therein lies the problem, at least for me, how the food is viewed in the game now. For me it seems like it's a potion, quick fix, type of thing, and I feel that it should be more than that, considering that you have to hunt/forage/grow stuff to get to more complex food... not to mention invest points in relevant skills and perks to get to it.

 

I would think that Occam's razor approach to food would be the best solution... the better you eat, the healthier you get. Permanent effects to your health/stamina/immunity that grow gradually each day you eat healthy food, and decrease (even into negatives) the same way if you stuff yourself with crappy food (just throwing numbers here: 5% increase/decrease each day to a certain % cap).

 

But, sadly, I do know that this would be forcing players to play a certain way and I'm not holding my breath for it :)

 

This would force players to a certain play style more than simply constantly eating Rabbits on a Stick (higher move speed) and Snake Bites (better melee)?

 

I've seen in a few games mods that add nutrition counters for different types of food and that is more than a chore. A small number of people would like to maintain artificial numbers high enough to "stay healthy". What you're suggesting is a mild maintenance you have to keep up compared to that, especially later in the game when you have a lot more resources to experiment with. It would help a lot to have a few different foods give the best increases, as having one would definitely make people eat only one thing. Or if crafting one food would be way easier then the others, it would also introduce the same problem.

 

EDIT: BTW, i checked the mods recently and there are quite a few interesting ones, among them JSS by mjrice. Amongst other interesting changes he put into his modlet, there is differentiation of meat types, as well as some new plants, enabling an expanded cooking. I find his ideas superb.

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Why waste time on silly ideas like eating rabbit makes you move faster? It makes the game more difficult to balance, its just silly, adds nothing to the game itself other than annoyance. Meat is meat, it doesn't have different effects.

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Why waste time on silly ideas like eating rabbit makes you move faster? It makes the game more difficult to balance, its just silly, adds nothing to the game itself other than annoyance. Meat is meat, it doesn't have different effects.

 

Agreed.

 

Also, when adding stuff like this in general, I personally prefer rare but game-changing effects rather than tons of frequent small nickle and dime upgrades \ buffs. The whole game has already had a ton of it's systems changed from Powerful-But-Rare to Plentiful-But-Weak, so I'd hate to see yet more of it added.

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Agreed.

 

Also, when adding stuff like this in general, I personally prefer rare but game-changing effects rather than tons of frequent small nickle and dime upgrades \ buffs. The whole game has already had a ton of it's systems changed from Powerful-But-Rare to Plentiful-But-Weak, so I'd hate to see yet more of it added.

 

Precisely. That's why I was thinking about a progressive long lasting effect (positive or negative, depending on the quality of food) rather than what we have now.

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We've already got people writing elite 'guides' where they give such advice as "only drink red tea, never drink anything but red tea" - I mean, seriously... I guess red tea is the new yucca juice, but I'm not sure that such concepts improve gameplay at all.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

Yah, I absolutely hate stuff like "wear these glasses for +10% exp gain, and wear these when cooking, and wear this hat when shooting, and this coat will make you run faster" - let's be honest, it's stupid. It's a waste of time for the developers to implement, and it's a hassle for the players to micromanage.

 

I'm all for variety and different effects, but only within the basis of common sense and basic principles of reality. For starters, the devs might want to better distinguish WOOD from STEEL.

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Yah, I absolutely hate stuff like "wear these glasses for +10% exp gain, and wear these when cooking, and wear this hat when shooting, and this coat will make you run faster" - let's be honest, it's stupid. It's a waste of time for the developers to implement, and it's a hassle for the players to micromanage.

 

I'm all for variety and different effects, but only within the basis of common sense and basic principles of reality. For starters, the devs might want to better distinguish WOOD from STEEL.

Agreed with not liking micro-managing of gear. When adding something it should fix a specific problem, and not add more to deal with.

I wouldn’t mind a simple nutrition system, something like Protein/Carbs/Fats/Vitamins. Most foods would provide a little of each (so it’s not a big chore trying to find one specific benefit). Certain easy to get things (like meat and eggs) could be high in protein and fat - which could be bad as overfilling on fat could have detrimental effects. Tie stamina to nutrition, and now players don’t eat non-stop bacon&eggs, but mix a crop in there or make stews. It shouldn’t be designed to cripple players that are running around, but instead to give them something to think about during the night. It would make eating canned food a decent option as well, so long as sickness isn’t a problem.

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Whatever funny effects the game assign to food recipes, it will not matter in the long run. The player will after some time have collected more than enough items to have no shortage of it. -> item-inflation, as with many other resources.

 

With foodspoilage, collecting food would be at least an ongoing activity. It also would give more reasons to properly build and maintain a diversified farm. Or make dedicated hunting a recurring activity in the players daily/weekly routine.

 

The player could choose to make lower quality food that spoils slowly (and not have to invest much time into farming/hunting), or higher quality (buffs) food, that spoils faster.

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Whatever funny effects the game assign to food recipes, it will not matter in the long run. The player will after some time have collected more than enough items to have no shortage of it. -> item-inflation, as with many other resources.

 

With foodspoilage, collecting food would be at least an ongoing activity. It also would give more reasons to properly build and maintain a diversified farm. Or make dedicated hunting a recurring activity in the players daily/weekly routine.

 

The player could choose to make lower quality food that spoils slowly (and not have to invest much time into farming/hunting), or higher quality (buffs) food, that spoils faster.

 

Why waste time on silly ideas like eating rabbit makes you move faster? It makes the game more difficult to balance, its just silly, adds nothing to the game itself other than annoyance. Meat is meat, it doesn't have different effects.

 

Pretty much these two posts.

-Spoilage is just a must if hunger is ever going to be meaningful in the long term.

-There's no reason to add magic effects to it.

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Pretty much these two posts.

-Spoilage is just a must if hunger is ever going to be meaningful in the long term.

-There's no reason to add magic effects to it.

 

Agreed on spoilage but not on the second point. Call it magic or call it beneficial nutrition food should have a variety of effects and they shouldn't be permanent so in essence...yes they should be essentially potions. Here's the reasons:

 

It's fun for some. (I think it is fun)

 

It adds differentiation. When the only benefits are health gain and fullness gain then you get the one best food that everybody always cooks because for the ease, cost, and benefit it is simply the best. Hence most buy 1 level of cooking and make bacon and eggs forever. But if cooking cornbread gives some fulness and health AND you can dig with less stamina loss for a short time after eating it (carbs not magic!) then just maybe you will cook up some cornbread in addition to bacon and eggs.

 

Some of you say you hate lots of things that give temporary benefits but not everyone hates that and food that can be prepared and ingested multiple times can't really give permanent effects-- they would have to be temporary. I'm realistic enough to call it what it is. Yes, its potion making. However, depending on the presentation it doesn't have to be magical. It can have basis in nutrition and real world benefits even if it ends up being exagerated somewhat over actual real world results.

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If spoilage becomes part of the game it should have more content than just a lack of food. For example, cornbread may occasionally become moldy bread that can be used to craft antibiotica.

 

Rotted remains could generally be processed into compost in order to increase the yield in the garden or to allow the plants to grow faster.

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Agreed on spoilage but not on the second point. Call it magic or call it beneficial nutrition food should have a variety of effects and they shouldn't be permanent so in essence...yes they should be essentially potions. Here's the reasons:

 

It's fun for some. (I think it is fun)

 

It adds differentiation. When the only benefits are health gain and fullness gain then you get the one best food that everybody always cooks because for the ease, cost, and benefit it is simply the best. Hence most buy 1 level of cooking and make bacon and eggs forever. But if cooking cornbread gives some fulness and health AND you can dig with less stamina loss for a short time after eating it (carbs not magic!) then just maybe you will cook up some cornbread in addition to bacon and eggs.

 

Some of you say you hate lots of things that give temporary benefits but not everyone hates that and food that can be prepared and ingested multiple times can't really give permanent effects-- they would have to be temporary. I'm realistic enough to call it what it is. Yes, its potion making. However, depending on the presentation it doesn't have to be magical. It can have basis in nutrition and real world benefits even if it ends up being exagerated somewhat over actual real world results.

 

It's not that I wouldn't like differentiation of food and more than a few recipes being useful. That would be great. But you described it perfectly - doing it this way, would feel like having potions. And imagine how players will carry potions for different situations every time in their inventory, not paying much attention to whether they are hungry or not, but frantically chugging them according to the actions they are making. If bonuses are strong enough, the availability of food can even determine the actions they will be doing in some situations.

 

The reason most people don't bother to take more perks than M.Chef lvl 1 in the first place, is because of its cost/effectiveness. Cost or availability is AAA - even at 25% loot, you find enough eggs on the ground (nest every 3m) to feed more than one person and meat is not an issue most of the time - as long as you find an animal you will get plenty of it. Not much of a reason for someone to invest at producing food to make recipes. If we had spoilage in the game right now and everything was balanced around it, things would be drastically different. Eggs spoiling fast for example, would make bacon and eggs too time consuming, as you would have to continuously gather fresh eggs.

 

 

As for long-term effects, a variety of meals is more akin to proper nutrition:

 

They could add a hidden counter that will be increasing with high quality food, diminishing with time, adding a buff every time the hidden counter exceeds a threshold with a minimum duration. Like a mini-wellness "well fed" effect which can appear with weeks of highQ nutrition and can be sustained permanently. The counter could also increase ONLY when the player eats a variety of nutrients (food consumed should be different than the last one or two meals). Obviously, there have to be ways for the player to not be able to abuse the counter. Players will intrinsically know that if they want to be "well-fed", they will keep having to eat different high quality meals each day for some time, without having to track anything other than "what they ate yesterday" (even if they don't remember or track that, as long as their meal is HQ, the counter can remain stable instead of diminishing, making the counter a sure thing eventually, with HQ, sometimes varied, nutrition).

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