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FloomRide    207

As of the Outbreak Upgrade, there are a number of problems caused by the new agriculture system with regards to the balancing of food, effectively establishing a "mealwood meta", in which players are pressured to and rewarded for growing mealwood, and only mealwood, for the entire game. This is undesirable in a game like ONI, because it means that an entire aspect of the game - agriculture and food - requires almost no player choice or any sort of "management". Let's look at why this is, and how it can be fixed.

Reasons for the Mealwood Meta:

  1. (un)reliance on water: In ONI, water is a valuable and useful resource. While the amount of it is unlimited, The rate at which it enters the world is. Technically, a colony can increase its net gain of water through the steam purification of PW from NatGas gens, but this is a very expensive, extremely late-game method of supplementing one's supply of water. Currently, Mealwood is the only food source that requires no water to grow, barring Dusk Caps. Because of the value of water, it is a beneficial economic decision for the player to always take mealwood and mushrooms over wheat or berries.
  2. Food quality expectations are irrelevant: Because of the way stress is handled in ONI, virtually all stress change in ordinary gameplay occurs because of decor expectations. Like food, stress management has become a binary decision: "Do I have enough decor to satisfy stress levels? If not, build more". Because of this, food expectations mean almost nothing in terms of affecting duplicant stress. This means that there is no practical reason to move from meal lice to another form of food with higher quality (Dusk Caps for example).
  3. Resource requirements for other foods are too high: Simply put, there is no reason a player would want to grow sleet wheat when mealwood exists. Wheat and berries require an obscene amount of water to grow for their outputs. Wheat especially has a rather illogical requirement; it needs liquid water irrigation despite also requiring a sub-zero growing environment. Fertilization requirements for non-mealwood plants are also oddly specific and differ greatly from one another. Mushrooms require slime (creates a rather interesting management decision - how are you going to handle disease if you choose to grow mushrooms?) and peppers require phosphorite (this gives a use for the mineral, which is good). The problem is that only wheat requires "fertilizer" as fertilizer, and because wheat is a poor economic choice to grow, this makes fertilizer nearly useless. For a material so seemingly important to agriculture, it really has no uses in ONI.

Proposed Solutions:

  1. Replace the water requirement of Sleet Wheat with a polluted water requirement, and increase the yield from 25 to 50. As a counterbalance, tighten the temperature range necessary for growth. This change would make Sleet Wheat a viable endgame option for both low and high quality food, but requiring advanced temperature infrastructure to make sure the plants are properly growing. By replacing the water requirement with PW, we make it possible to chill the water to an ideal temperature for irrigation without freezing it (as PW has a lower freezing temperature). It will also give players another option for reducing the quantity of PW in their world without spamming fertilizer makers.
  2. Berries should have their water requirements halved, with a counterbalance of required fertilization (using basic fertilizer). This will increase the utility of fertilizer and increase the ability to feed larger populations using irrigated berries (since the g/s of water needed is less)
  3. Increase the severity of stress gain from eating low-quality food, and have this effect scale with expectation (for example, a dupe with 0 quality expectation eating meal lice will gain significantly more stress than one eating a frost bun). To counterbalance this, foods that meet or exceed expectation will significantly impact stress change as well, also scaling with quality (finally, stuffed berries might be useful!). The main drawback of growing mealwood, as of OU, is that it takes up a lot of space (~4 plants to feed one dupe) and has a low food quality. Only the quality really matters, though, as any player can just expand their farm after obtaining wheezeworts (to cool surrounding biomes into growth range).

 

What do you think of my proposed solutions?

Edited by FloomRide

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Botaxalim    45

4. Food quality affect quality of dupe for a cycle, reducing all stat up to 50% if they eat low level food, or buff all stat up to 50% depen on which food quality they eat for a cycle. This make immunity buff from food is good incentive to moving from mealwood level

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chemie    12
51 minutes ago, Botaxalim said:

4. Food quality affect quality of dupe for a cycle, reducing all stat up to 50% if they eat low level food, or buff all stat up to 50% depen on which food quality they eat for a cycle. This make immunity buff from food is good incentive to moving from mealwood level

This will help.  Right now, -10% debuff for the 10 seconds while they eat is silly when your dup has +20% deco from snazzysuit and a portrait above the mess table.

4. Make quality last until the next meal and have the debuff matter.  A level 15+ dup eating lice should be on the message table most of the day.

 

5. Also, bring back good/excellent yield.  Good should be equal to "wild" while excellent should be where things are now and have 2 levels in between.  This will allow players to get into food source and then improve with engineering designs that add a level of complexity.  This binary "you get the food or not" provides no levels of skill as they have to balance for new players.  This avoids OP's #3 problem.  Lowering other foods just makes the game too easy for many players.  Instead add a gradient that rewards complex degins (temperature) or proving more things (water, fertilizer, etc)

 

6. Add food variety to stress too.  You should not be able to feed just one food source to level 15+ dups.

Edited by chemie

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NanoD    22

My take on the water on plants is way to high even if you halve the amount it would be ridiculous still. 10 dupes eating bristle berries uncooked would require 1000 kg water per cycle. More if you want to cook it. I think 1/4 of the current requirement is minimum.

I am on the softer side on the effect on bad food.

I think a cumulative debuff .

-3 under dupes food quality expectation  -2% for every meal up to -10% for -3 food should be fine.

-2 under dupes food quality expectation -1% for every meal up to -5% or maybe -10%. 

or if you want to make it simple -10% for -3  until next meal.  and -5% for -2. 

 

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