Food Balance suggestion: The food Triangle

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At the moment one of the biggest problems in don't starve is that it is incredibly easy to pick one "good" survival strategy and stick with it forever. You can plant 30 berry bushes by a herd of beefolo and just camp there, you can camp beside a rabbit town and trap them forever, you can harvest a pig village, or hunt monsters forever . . .

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this but it seems like there should be some penalty for a lack in variety. To address this issue I suggest a food triangle of Meat, Fruit, and Vegetables. As you eat one kind of food too much it becomes less nourishing while other types of food go up in value.

So if all your eating is rabbit meat all meat slowly becomes less nourishing by a growing percentage. A tasty morsel still feeds you less than cooked meat, but all of them are less nourishing then they started as. If you switch over to farming berries then all fruit slowly starts becoming less nourishing while meat starts slowly going up in value again. Eventually it's veggies from your garden that are the "best" food, at least for a while.

To really make this idea shine more types of food should be added with different tiers like what meat has now. Perhaps berries get nerfed down to be less filling, and we add in apple trees which are slower to regenerate but feed you the way berries do now, and wild cherries which lay somewhere in the middle.

Vegetables could also come in tiers with wild carrots being joined by peas, tomatoes, and farmed vegetables from your farms at the top of the list. Each of the tree basic food groups would then be more fully fleshed out and you'd have incentive to either mix up your strategy or become more efficient at farming, hunting, and orchard management over time.

Obviously I wouldn't want to decrease the value of a food completely at any point, as that would result in FORCING the player to change their style rather than having to simply decide whether to become more efficient or change their strategy. A good medium might be to reduce a food types value by a maximum of 60 percent. That makes it really beneficial to mix up your strategy, or have a balanced play style, but it also allows you to "survive" using just one strategy if you get especially good at it.

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You would have to ask yourself one question: Is Don't Starve supposed to obey common sense, or is the island you on subject to some strange and outlandish laws...

If the former, then it's absolutely irrational to make the nutritional value of an item be diminished over time, for whatever reason. What you could do is make some kind of debuffs. Imagine having 2 counters: Meat, Vegetables. If you keep eating meat all the time, the counter on meat bar goes up, once it reaches maybe 15, then 30, 50, 75, 100 << that would be some thresholds for a weakening debuff. Once you eat an item from the other food group, the dominant counter goes down by one. But more realistic, isnt it?

Anyway, I doubt Klei will go into such nonsence, no offense.

In my opinion this would be sorted out by making it harder to get food altogether, but that's just my delusion :D

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I have two thoughts on this.

First it seems like each of our characters has been damned to the island by a demon-like entity called Maxwell. So far I've played the amoral animal experimenting mad scientist, the pyromaniac arsonist, and I've unlocked a girl who seems to be a mass murderer, who may have killed her own twin sister. On that level this land seems like a hell dimension that is supposed to follow crazy rules that make things more difficult over time.

On the other hand it seems to be common sense that different types of food provide different vitamins, minerals, proteins, acids, and bases. A body needs a well balanced mix of these to function properly so if you are eating just one type of food and missing the others then you wind up malnourished, hungry, and potentially sick with diseases like scurvey. On that level in a realistic world you should be penalized for eating the same food all the time. Even the eskimos, who are the most carnivorous people on earth, don't rely entirely on meat for their diet, they supplement it with various plants lest they eventually die.

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Then things would even out and remain at normal levels. There is a reward to taking that extra time and energy. A crock pot recipe takes a lot more food than a normal recipe. I can survive on a couple rabbits a day if I don't fill my belly completely and I won't starve, but if I put a stack of four into the pot and cook it I get a meaty stew later in the evening. I've used up more resources in a single use and I wasn't able to simply ration out a few rabbits over the course of the day.

Also in the case I just mentioned the meaty stew is all meat so it wouldn't apply. Balanced crock pot meals would be more like eating a meat, then a vegetable, and then a fruit. A crock pot full of just monster meat is also much more useful than uncooked monster meat, so it all balances out. Your investing in the larger stack, in building the crock pot, in planning your meal ahead, and now in making sure you use balanced recipes for the best effect. :)

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I like the initial idea, not too sure about the gameplay implementation of it. Only down side is that, you'r kind of a bit forced intot what you'r going to eat next.

I get it's supposed to focus the player on variety, but isn't choice of each player to do as he pleases better ?

I'd keep this idea in the back of our minds and wait for more content to come along, so if that can balance something else or disappear altogether.

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I had an idea of this variety as well. I find I tend to basically eat one or two things because they're easy to get. I Don't have any particular suggestions for how to implement it in the game aside from the one windbourne made - eat one thing and it decreases in value.

For those of you trapping rabbits forever:

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