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Soap (a minor utility?)


LadyWYT

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Probably a somewhat goofy and rather situational idea, but here's how I could see it working:

1. Basic Soap

Craftable in a cookpot with two slots animal fat and two slots wood ash. Wood ash could be obtained by cooking firewood in the firepit or as a potential by-product of charcoal production, and could also serve as a very basic fertilizer in addition to being a soap ingredient.

What does basic soap do? It could let the player wash things like dirty cooking pots and oil lamps to turn them back into clean dishes, for one(although why you'd want to do this, I'm not really sure). While standing in water, a player could also use it to wash themselves, granting a temporary buff for a few hours that makes hostile creatures less likely to detect you(ie, shortens the detection radius, similar to the Malefactor trait "Furtive", but not as good). This could be useful in the early stages of the game, when bears and wolves tend to be more of a problem, without removing the hazard entirely. As for why it could also work on drifters--if they can't smell you, they can't find you as easily(and they don't seem to have eyes).

Basic soap does not work on automatons(they can't smell), or on prey animals(they're going to either fight or flee a potential threat).

2. Stinky Soap

Craftable in a cookpot with two slots fat, one slot wood ash, and one slot sulfur(potentially). This soap is applied the same way as basic soap, but makes you a rather stinky seraph for several hours. While stinky, all wild animals will prefer to avoid you--predators will be deterred by the scent and prey will be able to detect you from much further away. This could be an attractive option for those wishing to explore the wilds or otherwise get things done without dealing with predator ambushes.

What are the drawbacks? Aside from making hunting much harder, being a stinky seraph makes it easier for drifters to notice you. Getting swamped with drifters generally is not ideal, though it could perhaps have its benefits in a multiplayer setting if someone is trying to be a tank. Another potential drawback is that traders(or other future NPCs) might refuse to deal with you until you wash the stink off.

The stink effect could be washed off at any time simply by bathing with basic soap.

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And there you have it--two items that are a bit niche, but that could provide some potential early-mid game utility. The only other thing I can think of to add to the uses is that washing with either soap could provide a small boost to health regen for a short time. It's certainly not as good as bandages, but it could be useful in circumstances where horsetails and cattails(or other healing items) aren't readily available.

 

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I love playing Tailor and always seem to find clutter washboards in ruins, so I always build little areas to "wash" clothes in.
I think it could be really cool if soap allowed you to actually wash clothes, which would not do anything to most clothes, but could be used to visually clean up things like the rotwalker set and dirty linen trousers.
Just a fun idea that could give soap an extra use!

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A few ideas that come to mind other than the ones mentioned already, are:
- If wool is implemented, it could be used to clean the raw fleece fibers before turning them into cloth.
- It could also be sold to Luxuries traders and some of the others since (at least I think), they are still stinky humans. 

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16 hours ago, ifoz said:

I think it could be really cool if soap allowed you to actually wash clothes, which would not do anything to most clothes, but could be used to visually clean up things like the rotwalker set and dirty linen trousers.

Clothes washing has crossed my mind too, but I can't quite figure out how it could function as a gameplay loop without being annoying. Cleaning up the clothes found in ruins before wearing them sounds logical though! Initially, I thought maybe soap could function as a poor man's sewing kit, but it doesn't make sense to fix tattered by washing them(not to mention, it detracts from the Tailor's role). The other option I thought of is having some sort of attribute similar to the wear mechanic, but for dirt instead. Clean clothes could wear out more slowly than dirty ones, with there being a somewhat generous delay between stages of dirtiness(it taking a few days to become dirty enough to warrant a wash). It gives an option to preserve the longevity of clothes you can't just craft more of, while preserving the niche that Tailors have with the sewing kit. In theory, it encourages players to take care of clothing that they intend to wear regularly, without being too intrusive(players could safely ignore the mechanic without much punishment).

8 hours ago, ArtiKs said:

- If wool is implemented, it could be used to clean the raw fleece fibers before turning them into cloth.

I didn't even think of this! I love it! You could probably borrow from the leather tanning process and seal the raw fibers in a barrel with soap for a few hours, and thus utilize existing code rather than have to write something entirely new.

8 hours ago, ArtiKs said:

- It could also be sold to Luxuries traders and some of the others since (at least I think), they are still stinky humans. 

Haha, true! Though now I wonder if Luxury traders might sell scented soaps, and what effects that could have... 🤔

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48 minutes ago, LadyWYT said:

You could probably borrow from the leather tanning process and seal the raw fibers in a barrel with soap for a few hours, and thus utilize existing code rather than have to write something entirely new.

This is a thought I've had for a very long time, but unlike borax, I couldn't figure out more uses to justify introducing soap to the game, so I never posted it.

- Another use is that it could remove dyes from cloth as a way to undo mistakes... but that would never make sense as the fibers have already been mordanted, so...
- How about those hides you oiled so that they wouldn't rot, and now they can't be turned into leather? Maybe washing the pelts in a soap mixture make it so that pelts can be used in the leather making process again as if they were perishable hides. 

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1 hour ago, LadyWYT said:

Though now I wonder if Luxury traders might sell scented soaps, and what effects that could have... 🤔

Well... In my world, I live in an area where about 7 moose roam around and annoyingly stand in your face everytime they get the chance. One misclick and the fight is on (They are a great protein source, but gosh what a nuissance). IRL they seem not to like fragrant smells like sage, mint, rosemary, dill and oregano, because they are pungent herbs. In addition, sunflowers also work to keep deer away and they are often used in orchards by farmers.

Maybe washing your stuff with scented soap helps to, at least, keep them away from you. Maybe other weak animals can be repelled this way?
Maybe this idea can turn into something else, and now we could use plants like squash to prevent racoons from eating your bushes planted nearby. 

Due to the fact that a "hare burrowing mechanic" is in the roadmap, I get the feeling that moles could be implemented too to give a possible farmer class some work to do. Turns out that garlic and onions could also be used to deter them from ruining your soil. So, if not scented soap, the plants themselves could be used for similar effects.

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2 hours ago, ArtiKs said:

- How about those hides you oiled so that they wouldn't rot, and now they can't be turned into leather? Maybe washing the pelts in a soap mixture make it so that pelts can be used in the leather making process again as if they were perishable hides. 

Yes please! This would be a great way to use all the animal fat I end up accumulating in my playthroughs. I really enjoy hunting, so there's always an excess supply for all my needs, hence one of the reasons I got the notion for soap to begin with.

I like the idea that fragrant soap could be used to repel angry herbivores; moose are tasty but it gets annoying when there's several spawn points for them right outside your buildings. Plus herbs could also be used somehow in cooking, I'm sure.

Speaking of classes, I've got an idea for one, but I need more time to finish hammering out the details. So far, I started with a concept of how to make alcohol more useful, and it's somehow turned into a whole tangent on combat that I'll probably end up doing a whole write-up on later. Soap was the one idea that didn't really connect with everything else I had cooking, lol.

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On 5/6/2024 at 6:50 PM, LadyWYT said:

Clothes washing has crossed my mind too, but I can't quite figure out how it could function as a gameplay loop without being annoying. Cleaning up the clothes found in ruins before wearing them sounds logical though! Initially, I thought maybe soap could function as a poor man's sewing kit, but it doesn't make sense to fix tattered by washing them(not to mention, it detracts from the Tailor's role). The other option I thought of is having some sort of attribute similar to the wear mechanic, but for dirt instead. Clean clothes could wear out more slowly than dirty ones, with there being a somewhat generous delay between stages of dirtiness(it taking a few days to become dirty enough to warrant a wash). It gives an option to preserve the longevity of clothes you can't just craft more of, while preserving the niche that Tailors have with the sewing kit. In theory, it encourages players to take care of clothing that they intend to wear regularly, without being too intrusive(players could safely ignore the mechanic without much punishment).

Gonna piggyback off of this. I'd say rather than stages, which can just complicate things.  It's just a temporary reduction to Durability loss, durability is something that's already in the game and working with that could hopefully be easier than adding new mechanics.  Such as lets say for the first two to three days after washing your clothes their durability decreases by 50% of what it normally does.  At this point you're not restoring them, but preserving them.  And you could include the need to craft a Clothesline to let them hang out and dry.  This could incentivize players to actually keep more than one set of clothes on hand instead of staying all the way through the game with their Class Starter gear. 

As it is, you really only see someone keep extra clothes as either a flex or to sell later to a trader.  If they had a need to keep extra clothes while one pair dries out, you could have a reason for them to do it. Though, at that point getting soap would need to be easier to create than cloth/sewing kits otherwise many players will just stubbornly not bother until their clothes rot off and then reach for a sewing kit.

Edited by Oscilation
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