[WIP] Realism Expert Overhaul (REO) - Rebalancing Mod

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[WIP] Realism Expert Overhaul (REO) - Rebalancing Mod

Hey guys,

a few days ago I've started working on a mod I've dubbed Realism Expert Overhaul or REO in short.

This mod aims to make Neo Scavenger harder and more fun not necessarily more realistic, especially around the late- and endgame. You could call it the missing "Hardcore mode".


It's unfinished, I've barely begun. I'm currently working on the rebalancing of item degradation values, with a focus on clothing/wearables and essential survival items. I hope to have the first version of REO ready in early January.


Download link will follow, for now take a look here if you want a sneak peek: https://github.com/ryz/neoscav-reo


TL;DR: Neo Scavenger is too easy and becomes Neo Sedentary in the late-game.

Neo Scavenger is a great game, one of the best this year. With REO I want to make it even better and increase it's longterm replay value.

While the early-game of Neo Scavenger is nicely balanced, it tends to get too easy too quickly later in the game. A lot of the items are actually too realistic, some last for weeks or months. Especially so when certain ability combinations are selected and after DMC Sprawl/inner DMC is accessible. At this point (with a few essential items) indefinite survival is almost a given; without too much struggle even.

Sure, most random encounters are designed to kill you, but once all the mechanics and systems are known, the thrill is gone very quickly.

This boils down to a few (game balance) factors. The major ones are:

  • Once a few quality items are acquired, they tend to last "forever" (aka a very long time).

    • For example, a Canvas Backpack in perfect condition lasts for 1.429 turns (two in-game months!) when equipped, and indefinitely when unequipped in the vanilla game
  • Crucial survival items don't or decay too slowly
    • Sleeping bags, Sauce Pans, Small Parts, Rags.. none of these items degrades, albeit being used heavily
    • A lot of equippable items degrade so slowly that it would take several in-game months (+1.000 turns!) for them to fully break down
    • Some items like the patchwork tunic degrade, but can be dis- and then re-assembled to circumvent degradation
  • DMC (and the sprawl) gives the player easy, safe and cheap access to all possible needs
    • Junk Mart's assortment is anything but junk; Some of the best items can be easily acquired here in perfect condition and it restocks every night
    • The Last Chance Canteen offers cheap, nutrient-rich and safe meals that make scavenging for food obsolete
    • Electricity is free and infinite
  • Water is precious but abundant
  • Most actions are free, fail-proof and bear no risk
  • Money is easily acquired and can't be lost by any means
  • Major NPC action is (way too much so) centered around the outskirts of DMC
    • NPCs regularily die at the hands of DMC guards and leave very valuable loot right at Junk Mart's footsteps
  • Lots of other minor things


I want that every decision made in the late-game of REO matters just as much as in the beginning. That no situation feels truly safe. That no acquired item, no matter how precious, lasts forever.

To accomplish this in REO, tasks I want to achieve are listed here, roughly ordered by priority. I'm not sure if all of them are even possible with the modding tools at hand, I'll look into them as I make progress.

  • Item rebalancing: Major Overhaul of all the vanilla items

    • Natural Decay: Make (almost) all items degrade naturally
    • Equip Degradation: Increased decay of equipped items
    • Weight: Heavier load of items
    • Tweak monetary values: Some things are just too cheap at Junk Mart
    • Less stacking: Lower max stacks for items that do so
  • Fix "exploitable" items and crafting recipes
  • Rebalance encounters that cost money
  • Modify Terrain Resources
  • Rework the money system
  • Rework electric charges/energy
  • Relocate the Junk Mart/Last Canteen out DMC to complicate a "sedentary playstyle"
  • Add more services in inner DMC/the sprawl
  • Adding new items (Low priority, as most of the folks that mod Neo Scavenger add cool new items)
  • Be able to identify bottle contents (liquids, parts) at a glance Not possible currently. Would require major rework due to the nature of the game engine's architecture
  • Other unformulated tweaks and improvements


Feedback is very welcome! Thanks!

-- ryz