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The Hunting Experience

tony Liberatto

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Sometimes the tribe would get lucky and kill big prey close by. That's when you would have that common scene in movies of the hunters on the way back to the tribe with the animal tied to lances and carried by 2 hunters.

Most of the times that would not be the case. Going around in the forest with a bleeding dead animal is not wise. 

Primitive hunters actually immediately carry the prey to the nearest body of water.

In order that's what they would do:

  • Make some fires around to help scary predators.
  • Open the animal and separate the parts they need.
  • remove the hide and roll it for future use.
  • Wash the stomach, intestines, and tripes.
  • If they were farther than one day traveling they would build some makeshift support to dry the meat. this quick-drying is not the same as the result of actually smoking and salting the meat, but it preserves the meat enough to get back home.
  • Lastly, they would wash themselves of all the blood, so they do not attract dangerous predators. 

Some of the things that would need the implementation to make this work.

  1. Use bladder to make the Water Skin. Of course, it would be cool if thirst gets implemented at the same time.
  2. Use tripes to make Sausage. (It's a very old way of preserving meat).
  3. Have wolves attracted by blood ( Or if we don't want to make the game so graphical, just a dead animal?)
  4. Have wolves and other mobs afraid of fire. It could work in such a way that the player can make ( Or has to make) a circle of fires.
  5. Make animals drop an actual body upon death.
  6. pretty sure there are other steps that I am forgetting. 
  7. No meat or fat from wolves just hide, no fat from goat, no hide from pigs, pigskin is OK, but a lot of fat.


Edited by tony Liberatto
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Ya, making hunting and killing more of an event would probably help balance the food situation.  In the current state of the game, I much prefer meat to crops, because meat gives so much more satiation.  Of course we also used to be drowning in animals, that's getting less and less so, but wolves are still a great source of meat and I actively seek them out for that, preferring them over sheep and boar.  I do think the hunting experience could used improvement in several ways.

I think it would be a good idea if there were at least two kinds of meat: 'meat', and 'bush meat'.  Bush meat would be gotten from any animal that's not an 'intended' meat source.  So wolves for instance, would just drop bush meat.  This meat might not be as filling as normal meat.  Or, it would not be a valid ingredient in any cooking recipes (at least, none of the good ones).  Now, maybe there could even be one or two further kinds of meat.  'choice' and 'excellent' or something like that.  Those might be meats gotten from rare non-farmable animals, or, animals that have been bred to have meat above and beyond the norm.  That would depend on having a compelling food system though, with quality that matters.

Another suggestion I would make, is that the manner of killing the animal affects the meat drop.  So if you kill the animal with a sword, you get very little meat.  You tore it all to pieces and contaminated it with hair and viscera.  Similarly, a blunt weapon reduces the meat yield due to massive bruising and trauma to the muscle.   If we can get organs from animals, then the chance of getting various organs would also be reduced by these kill methods, as the organs are sliced or smashed.  Piercing weapons should be the preferred method of getting good amounts of meat.  This would encourage spear and arrow use, as opposed to right now where I just run after chickens and everything else madly hacking with my sword.  I could even see poultry having a special execution method involving a log and an axe, but maybe that's a bit much...

Eventually I feel like it'd be good if wild animals would run away from the player, so that it's not so easy to get at them with a melee weapon.  This would also encourage spear and arrow use.  I don't even use arrows currently - there's just no need.  It might be interesting if the player could make camouflage clothing for themselves, to help them get a little bit closer.  Also moving slower would help.

I had been planning to make a butchering suggestion at some point, so I won't go too much into that here, but suffice to say I would love to see corpse drops, and the player actually having to dress the animal.  I would make meat a more involved process, and if it required specialty tools, it might make the 'incidental' accumulation of meat not so easy, and raise the profile of crops for food. 

As far as fires to scare animals, it could be interesting, but I don't see it as a vital part of the hunting experience.  Predators attracted by blood makes sense, but if all you have to do is go click on some water, I guess i'm not that excited about the mechanic.  And especially in the current system it'd be more a feature than a deterrent, since the wolves will drop even more meat!  What I do like about predators attracted by blood is it might encourage domestication of animals for food, so that they could be slaughtered in a safe environment.  But I think it requires making wolf and other predator meat a third-rate food source.

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I think the idea would be for an animal to yield more meat than currently, but at the same time for the process to take longer and be more immersive and actually more involved.

As much as I know people would only eat carnivores if they were starving to death. Carnivores were always hunted for their pelts, not their meat.

Another thing that gets me odd is the size of the wild boar, in the game they are too small and should be bigger than the wolves.

I would like for a Boar/Hog to give a lot of meat, but killing the animal is just the start of the process. I want to make the hunting an event.

The player would have to plan in advance, prepare for it and maybe even make some traps and or ways to have the animal go in a specific direction.

Hitting a moving animal with an arrow should be hard, but it should also be fatal. Especially if the arrow pierced the head. 

Gotta remember that animals do not wear armor, so there is no sense in having to hit the same pig with 10 arrows to kill it. 

Again, as long as we stop with the automatic dropping of leather, meat and fat, the player will have no incentive in killing everything that he sees. In addition, wild animals should flee from the player and hunting would be just memorable.

7 hours ago, redram said:


As far as fires to scare animals, it could be interesting, but I don't see it as a vital part of the hunting experience.  Predators attracted by blood makes sense, but if all you have to do is go click on some water, I guess i'm not that excited about the mechanic.  And especially in the current system it'd be more a feature than a deterrent, since the wolves will drop even more meat!  What I do like about predators attracted by blood is it might encourage domestication of animals for food, so that they could be slaughtered in a safe environment.  But I think it requires making wolf and other predator meat a third-rate food source.


The point is that the player is almost always alone and he/she will be inside some kind of gui or minigame, and completely unaware of the wolves approaching. He needs some protection, as the butchering should take some time. Afterward, he/she needs to wash the insides and that would be done by clicking in water, yes but piece by piece, again Time. Them is time to dry the meat as trying to travel with the bloody meat would be dangerous. Right now if 2 wolves attack the player at the same he/she is as good as dead.

The circle of fire ( just a few campfires spread around the player, is historically acurate and adds one more thing to be a part of the hunting experience, as now the player needs to have some firepit already in the inventory.

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I like the idea of firepit repelling animals a lot, like cats repel creepers in MC.
I would gladly sacrifice some wood (therefore additional use for tree farms) to be able to mine or chop trees or work in safety.

In early game until I have a closed lighted house, I always spend the night on a dirt column, working my flint or clay. Embarassing :D

E.g. a lighted firepit  would repel all agressive mobs in some radius.

Circle of fires would be too expensive. Even 2 firepits might be too expensive.

Also - please improve bow somehow. It eats a lot of arrows and the shooting is not satisfactory, arrows behave like stones, very affected by gravity and randomness.

I tried flint arrows and copper arrows and gave up - killing few mobs wastes all my long work of making arrows. Maybe they should not always disappear when hitting target (iirc)?
If it is hard to program getting arrows back from corpse, maybe just let them "break" with like 15% chance when hitting animal, and 5% when missing?

And I don't get a good feeling of firing the bow. Somehow Tinker's Construct weapons and TFC one gives more solid and powerful feeling.
Maybe another sound and make flying arrow 50% less gravity affected and simply more visible, thicker?

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@heptagonrusI disagree with firepits repealing mobs. I don't think you should be safe just because you have the night light turned on. I do agree with mobs avoiding things that can light them on fire. I agree the mobs are too powerful for bows currently. The bow should probably do a lot more damage. The fact you can only get one or two shots off on a wolf before it gets to you (if it can),  and takes around 5+ shots means it sucks for actually hunting. My view on weapon damage is unchanged. You can get decent with the bow with practice. 

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In general, I still can make some area safe by carrying 2 stacks of fence and spending time on placing it.
So why not allowing it with more elegant solution, without spoiling landscape. Btw also requiring wood (but burning it) :DDD
Maybe some special more expensive fire, with addition of herbs, berries or something.

BTW! This special fire can be colored, because of herbs. A good application for colored light sources!

Maybe different colors/fire types per mob type. Maybe you can mix them, e.g. usually carrying 2 herbs against wolves and drifters.
And create quite a range of colors mixing different herbs for decorative purposes.

Edited by heptagonrus
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So as far as hunting goes, from a practical standpoint, and my own personal playstyle, I'm not going to use a fire for mob safety.  That requires me to carry fire components, or the tools, which is two inventory slots, and I have to maintain the fire.  Instead,  I can just carry 1 stack of cobble (as I always do anyway) and completely enclose myself and the kill.  Unless the scavengers start appearing basically immediately.  As long as cobble is as fast to take down as it is currently, it'll be easier, and cobble is also useful for caving and getting places, unlike fire components or the tools.  So I'm just kind of saying, I'm not sure it'll be the best solution.  But I guess that depends on playstyle.

Also, not all mobs are going to be of a nature that they would be afraid of fire, so that mechanic should only be a thing for *animal* mobs.

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To be honest I dislike the idea and concept of mystical mobs. I would prefer to have natural predators that are active and dangerous at night. There are dozens of other animals that could be added to the game that usually hunt at night, without the need to add zombies.

As for the fire, right now it is unbalanced. When did you hear of someone cutting down a tree just to cook dinner? campfires burn wood too fast, it should last a lot longer. If for some gameplay/balance reason the devs want to keep the current values, maybe we could have something like a Bonfire, it would use logs instead of firewood, but it would create a bigger structure and burn for a long time.

I understand you can use fences or cobble to protect yourself against predators and that's ok, Nomad tribes use makeshift fences every night, but fire has a historic and intuitive way for human beings. It really works as wild animals are all afraid of fire.

The fire would not scare the animals completely away, it would just keep them at a certain distance so you could do your work without getting maw from behind. I would probably also use the fence just to feel safer.

The fire serves more functions, it is a light source, gives heat, the smoke keeps the flies away, a good idea when drying meat. 

The main point is that it should take time to process the animal, and you would need to protect yourself while doing that.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

New ideas:

  • Wolf whistle.
    A whistle made from cow skull and knife. On use makes a howl very similar to wolves. All wolves in area reply with howls, but with a small random delay.
    Useful for pranking players and for finding wolves when hunting them.
    Later may have several modes, e.g. for calling a tamed wolf/dog.
    Or may have a dynamic pitch, controlled kinda like throwing stones/spears/arrows - holding right click raises the pitch, releasing lowers.
  • Wolf repellent.
    A (rare) flower, when hold in hand, wolves dont notice you / run for you twice as slowly / run away.
    Maybe you need to have at least 10 or 60 flowers in hand.
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  • 2 years later...

A lot of good ideas in this old thread. I hope hunting does get some more attention so that it does feel more rewarding- more of an event and a process rather than just standing on a dirt pillar hurling spears and/or arrows at animals then whacking them with longswords when they get close, then running back to base with a pile of meat and such.

The actual killing of the animal is not the hard part, if you can hit it. One arrow could do the job easily if a critical hit is made. Most animals would flee at that point and bleed out over time. They would bed down at some point, due to injuries, and the hunter would have to track them down and maybe put another arrow or spear into them if they had managed to survive the previous blow.  Of course it would be very likely that the animal could just go to sleep where they lay and pass quietly, and the hunter collect their kill there where they find it.

The hard part should be getting close enough to get a shot off with a bow or arrow., and then tracking your prey once hit if they don't die right off from a critical hit.  This might mean that there should be tracks a player can follow that temporarily show up on a dirt block, or possibly a small, discrete sign of a blood trail along the path they took.

Knowing how to stealthily approach the animal in the first place and being accurate with ranged weapons from a distance would be the keys to success, as they should be.

Some animals should become enraged and charge, when hit. Boars and wild pigs are a good example of this. Bears/polar bears and hyenas and such might be another example. Bears should be a great challenge with great rewards in furs/hides, meat and fat. I truly hope we get bears and polar bears some day.  Rams and ewes, deer, and smaller prey should always run when injured, if not long before hand if approached too carelessly.

I'm a bit torn on a detailed butchering process. Harvesting bladders and such and washing animal organ parts might be a bit much for some players to engage in.  

I do think that there is room for something though, to make the process more rewarding.  Maybe make it so that meat freshly cut off of your prey yields raw red meat, and carrying that draws wolves, hyenas, and (if and when we get them), bears and large cats or any other large, meat eating hostile critters from a much larger distance. 

Allow the player to make a fire and put up a crude rack made from sticks that allows for the raw meat to be placed on it to be dried for a time. During this process the raw meat would attract hostiles, and the player would have to be on guard against them.  Building a few campfires around where they are working would suffice for repelling hostile critters from attacking while you work.  Once the meat is dried, it could be carried more safely. You would, however, have to be wary of any other prey that was drawn to the location while you were working. Once you leave the protection of your fire circle, you would be fair game to any that were still close enough to aggro on you.

Dry meat would not be the same as smoked or cured meat, it would simply be a way of drying up and removing access blood, and lightly smoking the outside of the meat for minor preservation while traveling and odor reduction.  It would still rot at current rates once dried, and would need to be cured or cooked in some fashion as it should be currently before it can be consumed properly.

I'd enjoy an experience that felt more like actually hunting, and I'd not mind the extra work, time, and effort if one large animal dropped more meat and fat for our efforts.

For those that would not really enjoy such a hunting experience, there is animal husbandry. Also, hopefully soon, mechanics that allow for the use of snares and other traps that stand a chance of netting meat without having to go on the hunt.


11 hours ago, Little john said:

I think having pelts like fox and raccoon pelts would be cool. Then maybe we could sell them .

And then there is this. Yes, please. Animal specific pelts. Preferably ones that can be prepared and places as cool looking rugs or furs to hang on walls to show off or to remind us of a particularly memorable hunt.  I know there are some mods that do this already, but it would be nice to have it in the core game. 

Full blown taxidermy would be nice too, one day. ;)


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Oh, and it should only make complete sense that if you are killed by a meat eating hostile while you yourself are carrying any meat based food item, the animal should eat the food you drop.

Yes, it will suck, but it should be part of the death punishment.

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12 hours ago, Thalius said:

I'm a bit torn on a detailed butchering process. Harvesting bladders and such and washing animal organ parts might be a bit much for some players to engage in. 

In fact, it's a bit much for some members of the dev team.  And so detailed butchering will likely not ever be in vanilla.   Meaning it'd be good mod territory, not likely to ever be superseded by vanilla mechanics.

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tbh. the differenciation between bushmeat and red meat doesn't really make much sense (at least the way it's in atm). wolf, dog, cat, racoon, rat, rabbit,... it's more or less the same meat, way less fatty than that from sheep, pig or cow and therefore should have less saturation, but apart from that you can cook with it like with any other meat. I mean we don't differentiate between meat tastes else boars would often taste different than sows, same with rams, ewes and lambs... i wouldn't mind some general intestine meat type that would make for great predator bait and would have high saturation too, but spoils at a really high rate.

And i'd love to see wolves depicted more realistically. They don't hunt humanoids, as long as there is enough other prey and they aren't starving to death or are provoked and of course they live and hunt in packs not alone or in pairs.

Way more dangerous for the player character would be bears as they get provoked from standing on hindlegs, they aren't able to see the difference to bipedal walking. but even a bear as long as not protecting their cubs or starving, won't fight to the death. That strongly depends on the spezies though, as polar bears evolutionary never developed fear, while black bears would flee way more early, but might just break into your house and steal your food, you might not want to have windows and doors leading to it and might want to protect it from someone who can dig too...

Would be nice to see big birds too, maybe emus for the more savannah type biomes? Of course because they are terrifying, i mean they even have won a war against modern military... ^_^ Just the right animal for a horror survival game, right?

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And did i mention black bears are able to smell you had food somewhere up to weeks ago? They are known to break into cars (without even actually breaking anything! at least while entering) and rummage through everything (even the insides of the seats)... You think racoons are mischievious? You haven't seen a bear entering a locked vehicle on their search for a chocolate bar... You could say they are landsharks, just they don't care for blood (afterall they are omnivores) but any food item.

Edited by Hal13
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