The Dream of the Dumb

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The Dream of the Dumb

Hullo to the people.

I started playing this game last night and I couldn't get over how wonderful it was. The game is actually so wonderfully thought out that I almost feel relieved at having finally played a game with substance again. God damnit - thank you!

But, of course, people don't usually post on a forum unless something is bothering them.

I only have one teeny tiny, even pathetic, thing bothering me. Something that could be ignored... but would be left with that feeling of contrived self-gimping which breaks immersion if I did:

All I want is to disable in the crafting menu the ability to simply click on a recipe to fill in the required items to craft (if you have them ofc).

God help me

Always nice to see new people enjoying the game, welcome to the club!

And colour me surprised at your request. ;) We usually get complaints about the GUI being too difficult, but as I understand you feel like it makes the game too easy? :)

To the best of my knowledge, this shouldn't be possible to manually do. The GUI is hard-coded, so it isn't something you could mod for example. That said, like you mention, it is possible to completely ignore the recipes and only look at your ingredients every time you craft.

And btw, since not all recipes are known to the player when starting a new game, and since different skills affect the recipes you start off knowing every time, and since your knowledge always resets at every death, I honestly don't think this game is making our lives all that easy when it comes to crafting (and especially when batch crafting, arrows or water for example). And while I actually understand exactly why you are asking for what you are asking, I promise, after a certain number of deaths, not having this small convenience would get old fast. ;)

NEO Scavenger: FAQ
10 Ways (not) to Die - A beginner's guide

Hey, thank you friend :D

I'm not surprised that the usual complaint is to that tune. I recently read a forum post on a game not half as complex as this where a person complained that '...there aren't even any waypoints or anything'. This is the era of everything being dumbed down, it's dumbing us down too.

But yeah, it is a small convenience, but I think that if the option was not there, we would have to work out the recipe for it through the mini-challenge of actually reading the recipe. It makes it so that you are that bit more the survivor, rather than playing one. When there's concessions to convenience like this one thing, it takes that extra element of gameplay and challenge and relegates it to the character who is assumed to be infinitely smarter than you.

Is a small thing, but that exact kinda... concession I guess, has chipped away at too many of my loved games. O woe.

Perhaps somebody here could recommend to me a mod that is deemed neccessary? Not one that adds more content (unless it is totally balanced) but one that perhaps makes the game itself more balanced (with a tendency towards the difficult).

Am I a masochist?

Probably, which isn't uncommon around these forums. ;)

I wouldn't call any mods necessary per se. The game has longevity enough on its own as far as I'm concerned, provided one doesn't keep playing the same build, taking the same paths through the map and the story and making the same choices. There's a lot of story content hidden behind skills/items/choices combinations that may not be apparent at first glance but rewards players who don't stick to a pattern.

And yes, there are many good mods, doing different things, though like you said, many are aimed towards item additions or convenience alone, which may not be your cup of tea. The two oldest and most extensively worked on mods are Extended NeoScav and the MmoD (with its add-ons), and they are both pretty well balanced imo, rebalancing several aspects of the vanilla game as well as attempting to be balanced in their additions. They're just very different in their scopes. Extended is more content orientated, allowing for extensive crafting and at times favouring "base building" a bit more than the vanilla game. It adds enough new items to maybe feel a bit easier at times, but it also does interesting things with combat and includes new skills that can make the game significantly harder if chosen. Mmod is orientated a bit more towards adding to the story and the world building. It adds new story locations and "quests", and asks the player to travel much further on the map than the vanilla game ever does. Usable content aside, it adds a lot of flavour items, and is much more unforgiving in its balancing.

So in a sense, my personal impressions are that Extended is a bit more content and combat oriented where Mmod is a bit more story and world oriented. I'd try them both if I were you, they're both excellent. You could also just take a look at the modding forums and see what else strikes your fancy.

NEO Scavenger: FAQ
10 Ways (not) to Die - A beginner's guide

Assuming I understand correctly, there may be a way to mod what you're describing. Basically, you wish that the game started with a blank list of known recipes, and you have to uncover them manually?

If that's the case, I think it's possible by editing out the "AddRecipe" benefits from all conditions in conditions.xml. E.g. condition id 819 is for "Basic Recipes 1" which has a series of "AddRecipe" entries (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 18, 19, etc.). It looks like this by default:

<column name="aFieldNames">AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe,AddRecipe</column> <column name="aModifiers">1,2,3,4,6,8,18,19,21,23</column>

and would be edited down to this:

<column name="aFieldNames"></column> <column name="aModifiers"></column>

You'd have to do that for all basic and skill-based conditions, but it'd remove the bonus known recipes from the starting character, and you'd then have to learn them by either manually trying them or obtaining recipe hint scraps.

I wouldn't say it's a quick task, as there are several places in conditions.xml that would need editing. But it's probably more tedious than challenging.

Hope this helps!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Hello my friend. I was requesting a way to disable the ability to click on a recipe and have it fill in the items, as I felt that having to read the recipe and deduce what was needed yourself was added gameplay (even though the idea was that your character already knew what he was making.

What you suggest is actually pretty alright as an alternative. Thanks! :D

BAWAM, I just had a new thought. Perhaps I could edit something to completely eliminate the 'learned recipes' from ever being technically 'learned', so that I may manually write down a recipe when I actually, humanly learn it myself. Hot damn, I'm so hardcore. ;P

And to respond to you linibot old pal, I think those two mods sound pretty good. In every game (with modding) there's always at least one large mod, a passion project, which was not fueled simply by the desire for 'more stuff'. Ill keep em in mind, but I won't go scrolling through the mod forum just yet. I'll spoil too much. My only real condition on a mod is that it doesnt feel like a mod (which in turn infers that it is of the exact quality of the original game that it cant be distinguished <:D)

I'm still at that stage of wide-eyedness. When I found out how detailed this game was, as hinted to me by the fact that I could wear a left-fitting shoe on my right foot, I squealed I think. A very manly squeal, of course.

*I eddited the .xml and even spoiled a thing or two. From here on out I will game! Game! (thanks to you both)

lol, after a bit of playing I started to consider the found recipes more of a nuisance. :) I just delete them, along with the other thousands of junk items. Most recipes are rather straightforward, and you can figure them out without the need for recipes.

There's also the problem of character vs. player knowledge. What is a useful game mechanic for a player playing his first character may become a nuisance for a player playing his 2nd or 10th character ...

Question of the stoops 2:

Hullo to the people, I have more strange requests. This time I am wondering if there's an edit I can make to disable the option to delete items. This one is probably not possible, because it's well part of the ui, but maybe to make the buttons simply not work? Pretty much for the same reason as auto-completing recipes, I feel like this was only added for convenience.

I like the idea of having to haul a body out of my hex if I don't like the look of it being there, or extinguishing a campfire instead of making it disappear. Everything else in the game feels totally un-gamey - the world is actually convincingly realistic somehow, (which I didn't know was possible with this kind of gameplay) but a mechanic such as making a thing disappear with no investment of any sort (action points/energy) feels inconsistent with the rest of this thoughtful game.

I know, I know there would be riots if the game shipped without something like this, that's the age we live in where player-feedback is more likely to ruin a game than improve it because not even the players know what they want (what they really, really want ;P).

Least I ain't beggin for laser weapons or rideable dogmen ;D

Unfortunately, the delete button behavior is hard-coded by item GroupID. So there's no way to control what it works on through modding.

However, you might be able to edit the button's image (btn_context_delete_*.png) to be 1x1 and transparent, so it doesn't appear and is near-impossible to click. And you could probably edit the cursor selector image (btn_cursors_*.png) to make it less tempting, though it'd still function as it does now. I suppose you could even change the destroy cursor itself (CurDelete*.png), though that could make the game hard to use if the cursor was hard to see.

Also, it occurred to me that there may be a way to do the first thing you requested via modding. I.e. prevent quick recipes from working.

There's an itemprop called "81 - ignore in quick recipes" which prevents an item from being used by quick recipe buttons. It's primarily used to protect critical items like the amulet from being used accidentally. Adding this to other items would void them from the quick recipe system, and you could theoretically add 81 to all items.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

hahaha! my good friend, this amount of beautiful information was a surprise to see. Man, I seriously appreciate your thoughtful solutions :) I saw that little Founder title next to your name down there. I suppose that's why you know what's the what. I don't know what portion of NEO Scavenger is your creation, but I can just as surely give you all my respect and appreciation I have left in my heart for this game that feels like what games should be. I hope that didn't sound too flattery. I don't like flattery. ;)

I shall do these editings now, but I wonder, you are saying that in itemprops.xml I replace every nID beside every single item with '81'? That simply removes anything connecting that item with the quick recipe system?

Is there anything else I could modify that perhaps you would have done for yourself if you had made the game for yourself, or for those who can appreciate the benefits of taking the inconvenient route (masochists) like myself, and didn't have to make those damned concessions to Convenience for the sake of keeping a wider target-audience? I had a look at the mini mod of doom and saw, for example, that he had made scavenging a tile exhaust the player. Is there a reason I should see that change as unnecessary or unbalancing? (I'm not asking that rhetorically there!)


p.s. I haven't found anything of substance that I'm dissatisfied with in this despite my modifying things about, by the way.

Thanks! That "Founder" title is indeed my ticket to knowing many of the dark secrets of NEO Scavenger. Though these days, I suspect modders like Kaaven and layarion know almost more than me!

Regarding itemprop 81, not exactly. And unfortunately, it's a lot more tedious than that :)

You would need to add 81 to every items' "vProperties" list in itemtypes.xml (ideally in a mod, so the original data doesn't overwrite your work next game update). And with 537 items in that file, it's going to be a long haul.

That said, there are some items you can ignore. Any item with nGroupIDs 12, 25, 26, 49, 90, 91, 96, and 103 are already hard-coded to be ignored. These are things like skills, encounter items, plot items, etc.

And if you're handy with a text editor that has regular expressions (a.k.a. regex), you can probably concoct a regex to add 81 into the vProperties element of each item. You'd just have to do one replacement for empty vProperties (just add "81"), while a second replacement would need to add a comma-delimeted "81," before all other existing vProperties values. (Alternately, tack it onto the end of the list with ",81".)

Doable, for sure. But not trivial.

As for what I would add if I didn't have customers to worry about? Hard to say. I think a lot of what I didn't add was purely for lack of time, rather than trying to make the game accessible. Though the quick recipes are a definite example of the latter.

Kaaven's scavenge fatigue is a good example of something I wished I had done.

Bureaucracy is another thing I wanted to toy with. Like getting an apartment in the DMC wouldn't be "here take my money, give me the key, and now I have an apartment for one month." It'd be a manager asking Philip for a credit history, personal recommendations, background check, financial proof, having a social security number, date of birth...basically, satirizing both how unrealistically simple a typical RPG makes this and how complicated life makes it.

I also wanted a more graphical campsite and scavenging experience. Not necessarily prettier, just more spatial. Things like the position of noise traps, sleeping bag, shelter, and camouflage. Or using a flashlight on a specific cabinet in a dark room when scavenging, maybe using a grid. It was just too hard to build in the limited time.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

I was not aware there were so many items, and I'm sure if I attempted this I would spoil half of them for me; I would do it but for that reason. I think I will be satisfied with your first solution on this one ;P

And if time was something I could give you in a shipped container I would do it, because I think you would make the perfect game (again, not flattery, you just have a good mind, my friend). The apartment idea excited me, that's the sort of detail that I love about this game. It's funny how the worst things in real life are quite enjoyable in a video game... killing, conflict, loss of a loved character, bureaucracy. heh... though I'm sure there's a little more to it than that.

Thanks for taking the time to type all that out about 81 n' all that.

edit: I almost forgot to mention: I destroyed the curdelete/deletestack.pngs (edited the cursor out and left it all transparent) and when I switch to the cursor I get a black square instead of a nothing!. Maybe I could try putting one tiny pixel in there that isn't transparent.