What Role Should Food and Drink Take?


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

Especially in an Sandbox MMO it is an issue that needs to be addressed. In a realistic world supplying people with enough food and drink to live is a massive industry.

In MMO's this tends not to be the case and all of them have different ways to handle it.

1. Ignore it, Food and Drink are non-issues. Players don't prepare stuff to eat and drink and no industry for them exists. Easiest model, though it adds the least to the game.

2. Food and Drink are required for survival. The character slowly gets hungry and thirty and slowly suffers debuffs the longer they go without food or water in extreme cases the character may even die of deprivation. In these games food and drink become something a tax on the player, draining their resources. It's usually more of a hassle than anything else, and because the players get nothing out of it. Also because it is so critical NPC food/drink merchants are readily available removing any hope of a Player based food industry.

3. Food and Drink serve strictly as a buff. Higher quality foods tend to give bigger and longer buffs. This does create a player industry, but it tends to be small as it is a non-essential part of the game.

4. Combine 2 and 3. I don't recall ever seeing this model used, but it could in theory create quite the industry because everybody will need it, and a well fed character would be getting buffs. But you still get the situation where a player forgot to stock up on food and suddenly sucks because of all of the debuffs. It's still a hassle just now you get a reward for dealing with it.

Are there any other models out there that I missed? What model do you like best? Personally I think model 4 probably sounds the best to me so long as I'm not constantly hunting for good.

Goblin Squad Member

To add, there was some good discussion in this thread: Eating and Drinking in Pathfinder Online

I could see some form of system being involved, perhaps esp. for settlements and taking it from there?

Goblin Squad Member

In my experience, food and drink (besides ale) go largely ignored at the table. Players will readily assume they have rations in their packs at all times if you let them. However, in special scenarios, it can be really interesting to include food/drink and hunger/thirst as a mechanic, such as long travel. Maybe they ran out of rations and haven't seen a town in weeks so they need to spend time hunting/scavenging to maintain a good clip. It forces the characters to alter their play style just for a little bit, mixing it up can be fun.

But generally, I don't think food or drink need to have large role in PfO. They should certainly be made available if possible for RP purposes, but maybe only under certain circumstances (travel) should they be required.

I think ale should definitely have a function in the game, even if it is cosmetic like having a player character say *hic* sporadically or change the walking animation after too many. Maybe it gives a penalty to hit as well for a non-cosmetic effect. It just feels like ale has too prominent a place in fantasy based tabletop culture not to do anything.

Goblin Squad Member

This is more likely to apply to Spell Components, but it's also an issue with Food & Drink if they are auto-consumed over time.

There needs to be a way to "save" consumables from being consumed, perhaps by putting them in a special container from which they can't be auto-consumed, or perhaps only allowing them to be auto-consumed from a special container.

The problem I worry about is running yourself completely out of the consumable without realizing it. If I stock my Spell Component Pouch with Ruby Shards to cast Fireball, and then run myself out of Ruby Shards, I'd like to have a backup supply in another bag that I can then move into my Spell Component Pouch. Having to manually move them will ensure I'm aware that I've used up my regular supply and need to purchase more at the next opportunity.

Goblin Squad Member

I like food/drink in my games. I can't say why really. I think it adds to the immersion.

Plus its a good reason to take Survival

Goblin Squad Member

For me, it's not really a question about whether or not food/drink should be in the game. I think PFO would be a lesser game without it.

The question is how should it be handled?

A debuff if you don't use it?

A Buff if you use it?

or a combination of the two?

Goblin Squad Member

It seems in early EQ you didn't regen as fast if you had no food/drink. Then later in EQ food/drink had significant buffs.

I remember summing the heck out of water on my mage.

Goblin Squad Member

I would like to see a forage ability, probably tied to Survival. But without a high Survival skill or Purify Food/Drink spell you have a chance to get sick.

The more consumables the happier the crafters will be

Goblin Squad Member

Riffing off of Beilian's idea, what if you started becoming hungry/thirst when you moved some distance away from a settlement or tavern? Perhaps 3 hexes would do it. If you plan on traveling that distance from civilization, plan on bringing some food and drink or somebody that can provide that for you (mage/ranger).

You wouldn't need it immediately, but after a time you will start to get scaling debuffs (eg movespeed or combat efficiency).

The timer would be reset by eating and drinking, maybe requiring more food and drink if you have been hungry and thirsty for awhile. You could also reset it by entering a settlement/tavern hex.

Goblin Squad Member

I lean towards requiring Food & Drink that is automatically consumed over time, and at a much higher rate when using Fast Travel options. I also think this would be a net positive for the economy.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon

+1 I agree with this statement

Goblin Squad Member

I dont know about autoconsume, but a meter to tell you how hungry/thirsty you are would be good, or some other indicator. I think starving should be a debuff myself, and you eat to keep yourself at optimum. Perhaps there could be magical ingredients and special foods that also give buffs, foods of different quality giving different efficiencies (it takes a lot more raw food to satisfy you than a professionally cooked meal, which could be produced in reasonable quantities and so last you a lot longer, because you consume less.

I liked that in UO when you drank alcohol you'd start hiccupping.

Goblin Squad Member

Automatically consumed that debuffs you if you are starving goes way back to EverQuest 1 possibly farther, and certainly did nothing the enhance the games economy. It served as an annoying player tax.

Star Wars Galaxies was in a much better state in that it actually had a food/drink economy. Food served as a buff, but the food and drink economy was never very big. You didn't actually need the food or drink and because it was really a specialized profession with demand only in from the wealthy players food and drink were generally expensive.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I lean towards requiring Food & Drink that is automatically consumed over time, and at a much higher rate when using Fast Travel options. I also think this would be a net positive for the economy.

I tend to like this idea, but as with all systems I would like the benefit/drawback to be incorporated into the player economy somehow, not sure how exactly.

Goblin Squad Member

Hark wrote:


4. Combine 2 and 3. I don't recall ever seeing this model used, but it could in theory create quite the industry because everybody will need it, and a well fed character would be getting buffs. But you still get the situation where a player forgot to stock up on food and suddenly sucks because of all of the debuffs. It's still a hassle just now you get a reward for dealing with it.

It was almost this way in EQ (at least when I played) except you could force eat crappy food and get the buffs from the good food without consuming any (whatever food/drink was in the top most inventory slot was considered your current food). It was nice to have the food but you typically didn't have to replenish it often, given that you didn't have to actually eat it (normally it was only lost when you forgot/weren't paying attention).

Goblin Squad Member

I like food and drink being there as buffs/healing for characters. Would also like to see some of these purely as RP support items (along with the hiccuping and random stumbling). I've never been a huge fan of having to eat to sate your hunger and actually stay alive though.

Goblin Squad Member

Whether food works like in 2, 3, or 2&3 the duration between eating and any significant loss in performance vs. having just eaten should be very long. It shouldn't be like a 5-30 minute food buff. More like 3-6 hours in game.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I just hope it has some play in game. Not that I want to be a baker... but someone should be able to be one.

Goblin Squad Member

The two replies from Rafkin are two great examples of what a requirement for food and drink can bring to the table in a MMO: player-interaction and class pride.

Mages summoning water for other players: playerinteraction and some player interdependence. I certainly remember asking a mage for this.

Desert Madman in the South Ro desert in Everquest: these dropped a lot of waterbottles and that was very convenient if you ran low on drink. Also a nice touch (npc's in a desert carrying water).

Druids being able to forage food and water of the land: having this skill made the druid a little more independent, not having to lug around lots of food and drink or having to go back to civilization to buy some. Class-pride. Especially in a game like PFO, where others could loot your drink and food (the druid can lug around much less or none).

I never found the dependence on water and food in EQ tiresome or cumbersome, it made perfect sense to me. I noticed not regaining any mana anymore: yup, drink was gone. So back to an Inn.

A sandbox MMO needs all the incentive for players to mix it up, with the world itself and eachother.

Goblin Squad Member

Speaking of druids feeding themselves. Think about druids in animal form. Wouldn't it be cool if your animal could eat things appropriate to their creature type? Like a bear of a wolf can devour animals they kill raw, or a bull could graze on grass.

Goblin Squad Member

Druids actually getting to play as the animals they shift into? It would be amazing!

Goblin Squad Member

I love the idea of food and drink that is not only necessary (ie debuffs if not consumed), but that depending on the quality add buffs. I don't think you should be able to die from lack of food or water though but the debuffs should be significant enough that you notice the lack of food and water.

Druids and/or rangers being able to forage for basic sustenance would be awesome. A nice class perk.

Mages summoning basic food and water is also a nice class perk. I remember paying for such things in EQ.

The best food and drink should be crafted though. I totally agree that the more consumables crafters can craft, the happier we'll be!

In UO, I was one of those people who played a baker. Sold a lot of ribs as I recall, I'd love to be able to have a baker again - been a long time since UO!

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Lady of the LadyLeopards

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Whether food works like in 2, 3, or 2&3 the duration between eating and any significant loss in performance vs. having just eaten should be very long. It shouldn't be like a 5-30 minute food buff. More like 3-6 hours in game.

Two hour buff makes perfect sense to me, especially since it corresponds to 8 hours real time.


Andius wrote:
Speaking of druids feeding themselves. Think about druids in animal form. Wouldn't it be cool if your animal could eat things appropriate to their creature type? Like a bear of a wolf can devour animals they kill raw, or a bull could graze on grass.

I love this idea!

Goblin Squad Member

for the Crowdforger Tavern Owners I sure hope food and drink plays enough of a role that the taverns will be self supporting, as far as upkeep coin is concerned.

Goblin Squad Member

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I remember when Douglas Adams died EQ put in a recipe for a version on the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Goblin Squad Member

Maybe have a buff slot for food and one for drink. If you choose not to drink or eat something it is a debuf when you eat a food or drink it becomes a buff. That way you don't auto consume your expensive food and drinks during fast travel. You could then link being hungry and thirsty to skill progression as well. Ie a character who keeps there character fed and hydrated will learn skills faster.

It's not game changing if you don't have food and drink but you will be less effective in game and will learn skills slower.

Goblin Squad Member

The skill training time being affected is absolutely a bad idea. The game is designed around the idea that everybody progresses at the same rate.

Goblin Squad Member

Well with corpse looting in the pvp aspect all food is going to b lost almost every time you die unless you recover your corpse. It will either be looted by your assailant or destroyed. The biggest threat to running out of food will be when your deep in the wild. I like the concept of it but unless food is stored differently or auto threaded to your character no one will want to invest in high end food if it is destroyed taken when there killed. Maybe have a rations bag threaded to you that you can set food up so when u die you still have food and water.

Goblin Squad Member

Caean wrote:
Well with corpse looting in the pvp aspect all food is going to b lost almost every time you die unless you recover your corpse. It will either be looted by your assailant or destroyed. The biggest threat to running out of food will be when your deep in the wild. I like the concept of it but unless food is stored differently or auto threaded to your character no one will want to invest in high end food if it is destroyed taken when there killed. Maybe have a rations bag threaded to you that you can set food up so when u die you still have food and water.

The nice part about food is it is a consumable by nature. I think when you die the least of your concerns will be the loss of some premium trial rations. You would have come back without most of them either way unless you severely overstocked for your journey which would violate two principles of my basic Open World PVP survival

1. Don't stay out longer than needed to accomplish your task. Visit a resource stash every 10-30 minutes if practical, or every time you find something of great value.

2. Carry nothing on you that you are unwilling to lose. Take only as much gear as you feel is required to accomplish your task and account for the unexpected. ( Within reason. You can't prepare for every scenario.)

Goblin Squad Member

Chiassa wrote:
Andius wrote:
Speaking of druids feeding themselves. Think about druids in animal form. Wouldn't it be cool if your animal could eat things appropriate to their creature type? Like a bear of a wolf can devour animals they kill raw, or a bull could graze on grass.

I love this idea!

Same here. I would also like to see all creatures have some meat as part of their 'treasure'. Small creatures could be looted for (say) 1 piece of meat, whereas a wild boar or cow would provide 6 or more. It makes those wandering animals make more sense, and allows a PC to top-up their rations by hunting.


I tend to like food and drink as buffs and health regeneration for player characters. As far as food and drink being a need for characters to perform I could see that more coming into play if you have NPCs such as guards or city occupants that have upkeep food being one of them. But that's maybe a bit too in depth so mostly just my first statement.


Have food as basic rations that have no buffs but can be auto consumed and specially prepared food that require more resource to create but grant minor buff?

Hunger level can be used to determine the regen of spells(since the game isn't using x spells per day)/etc. Too full stomach may hinder character abilities however.

Goblin Squad Member

Auto-consuming sounds a great idea, maybe with an animation just to remind you that it is happening.

I think I'd prefer to see food as a necessary upkeep tool linked to CON/recovery rather than as a buff as such. I always struggle to see how eating a six-course meal with wine can make you fitter and faster....

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:
I always struggle to see how eating a six-course meal with wine can make you fitter and faster....

Indeed!

I've said this elsewhere, but don't mind repeating myself: I would love there to be an extensive State system that allowed for things like good meals making you feel better, even if they didn't make you work better in the short term.

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:
I think I'd prefer to see food as a necessary upkeep tool linked to CON/recovery rather than as a buff as such.

I think I agree. I think food/drink should not be a substitute for potions and spells, but a requirement of its own. Having it affect longer term recovery rates might be a way to work it.

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