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GM Ethos

Today we released a major overhaul to scrounging as part of our crusade against "stand in one spot and mash skill button" gameplay. Here's the changelog from Discord:

  • Scrounge spots are distributed throughout the map. Each scroungeable tile (which I'll be referring to as scrounge spots) now has an item associated with it which is the only item you'll get from that spot.
  • Like before, the scroungeable items on a tile are based on its surroundings. Scroungeable tiles must have an adjacent empty spot.
  • Scrounge spots last for a certain amount of time before expiring and being replaced, but each spot can only be scrounged from by a character once.
  • When it expires, a new scrounge spot will be chosen from a random tile in the world.
  • Scrounge spots are not normally visible. Using the Scrounging action will attempt to reveal and highlight nearby spots based on the scrounger's skill level and their Perception (your Perception gently affects the maximum tile distance away you can reveal spots, but you won't get much benefit from minmaxing it, only harm from dumping it).
  • If you're a scrounger and you dumped Perception... get some topaz jewelry?
  • The Scrounging action will also attempt to scrounge from any adjacent spots, whether revealed or not.
  • Scrounging items is exactly as easy as it used to be; revealing spots is much more difficult, so if you're not that skilled in Scrounging, you'll probably need someone who is to scout for you. - Revealed spots you've scrounged from will no longer be highlighted, but you can still see them until they expire.
  • Zone resource exhaustion no longer exists since it has been supplanted by the distribution of scrounge spots.
  • Personal resource exhaustion is still in effect for now while this system is evaluated, so there's still a cap on how much of a certain item you can scrounge in a day. Personal resource exhaustion will impact both your ability to reveal spots for that item and your ability to scrounge them.
  • Maybe we'll replace this with a blanket Scrounging exhaustion in the future and let you spend all your Scrounge Energy™️ on logs if you want to? I dunno.
  • In short, scroungers will now have to stay on the move and scout areas out, rather than sitting in one familiar spot and mashing their scrounge button, and it will be much easier to scrounge for a specific thing rather than filling your bag with random stuff (though you can still scrounge everything you find if you want to).
  • The full makeup of a zone will also be much more important for where you choose to scrounge and what you find there, rather than just the best 3x3 areas for a given item.
  • Obviously, the system will be subject to further tweaks to see how it interacts with stuff, e.g. skill book availability in the library.

My testing has suggested so far that this is a great change for high-level scroungers, who have much more dynamic gameplay and can get just as much or more scrounge as they used to, and easily focus on the things they actually want to scrounge. Low-level scroungers most likely will struggle a bit solo because they're scrounging blind, but will benefit greatly from grouping up with other scroungers. I also foresee a lot of critters trading scrounging tips on the good spots they found in the wilderness.

Please post your thoughts on the new system here as you explore it.


Personally, I really like it. It's a much more engaging gameplay loop, wandering the woods and tapping the scrounge button every so often, getting rewarded with sparkles. It also makes the game world feel more alive wandering back through areas I've searched and seeing all the bushes and plants and stuff everywhere; I kind of pity the people who can't reveal all the spots because their game is gonna look much less visually interesting. Here's my haul after an hour or two of scrounging (25 Luck, 50 Scrounging, 7 Perception):

This feels like a pretty decent haul of stuff, if possibly less than I could have pulled in before the overhaul, but also I could have brought along another scrounger and pulled quite a bit, which seems fair. And I can always keep walking around looking for stuff, there's no hard "come back later" message like before. I didn't have any trouble spotting things a good few tiles away, even at night.

Some things, like seaweed and brewable plants and such that presumably had low spawn rates before, feel much more common now, and it's a nice dopamine hit when the plants for those get revealed. Fieldnuts feel like they're everywhere now and the situation you had before where you got way more berries than fieldnuts is just not going to be a thing anymore, I think. Finding good stuff right next to each other, e.g. two tangle blossom spots adjacent, is very cool. You have much more control over what you're gathering, aside from when you scrounge next to a spot you haven't revealed yet and get a bunch of woodnuts dumped into your inventory. But that's not really a big deal.

Other things, like logs, bark, and sap, feel much rarer and harder to get now that you can't just pop down to The Best Spots for them and grind out a few dozen of them. They probably need to spawn a lot more than they do currently, otherwise furniture is about to get real expensive. I walked through the Darkwoods and only saw 1 log spot. That feels not great. At least maybe ironwood armor will have a bit more value relative to copper if logs aren't practically free?

Not sure how this is going to work out for low-Scrounging characters. It was a nice early way to contribute and get paid to wander into good spots and farm high-value materials like tangleblossoms and logs to pay for basic stuff you need to get started out. I don't think it was particularly easy to do this, so maybe it's better to have the temptation removed, and I guess you still could do it if you had a guide, but I can't imagine you'd get very much by bumbling around blindly.

Finally, there's still some extended downtime in the loop where you're sitting around waiting for your Mind to regen. Maybe it could not cost Mind unless you actually scrounge something? That way you can stay mostly on the move, revealing spots for free and then spending Mind to scrounge them. But that might also make scroungers too mobile and encourage them to run around spamming rather than doing it methodically and thoughtfully, which would both let them clear out maps more quickly and also make it less likely for them to run into bandits. I don't personally have a problem with tabbing out for a few minutes to let my Mind regen since I've been doing it for years now, but it's worth noting that you still spend a little time sitting around.


The herb spawn rates might need a little tuning still.

GM Ethos

I've updated the spot generation algorithm to try and maintain a roughly 60/40 food/resources ratio in spots for Scrounging (with a much lower chance of generating pebbles) and a far more sensible spread of spots for Herbalism.


Scoured most of the east side of the map and here's what I got. This took about three hours or so I believe. By the end of it I couldn't scrounge tangleblossoms anymore.