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Hunting Rebalance

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  • #6040

    First of all – hello, nice to be a (new) part od this forum :)

    Right now hunting is exceptionally better than all other sources of food. Hunting spots can be used as “an end marker of hunters’ route” instead of “hunt in this general area” tool, so by placing them on other side of the map, your hunters will always catch something along the way without any micomanagement. That way you don’t even have to build hunting cabin!

    Here are some ideas:

    • Deer can escape: hunters shouldn’t always succeed in their task – sometimes the yield of “working” on deer should be 0. Yes, the deer will magically “disappear” without leaving any resources, but we can interpret this as their running away. This will also solve potential problem of deer overpopulation (as seen on some maps).
    • Carcasses and butchering: deer should leave only a single carcass, which then would have to be butchered (for example in the new Hunters Camp). This will allow the hunter to take back the whole carcass back to the storage (right now most of the time they either take meat or hive or fat, not all at once). Butchering would also make hunting more laborous, so even with hunting-spot-trick it wouldn’t be so exploitable. Also, there could be many “modes” of butchering: ‘butcher for meat’ (fast but destroys the skin), ‘remove the skin & butcher’ (saves the skin, but is more laborous), ‘remove the skin, gather the fat & butcher’ (most laborous, but gives hide & meat + fat for tallow)
    • Hunting Spot requires Traps/Tools: Hunting Spot wouldn’t be a “hunt in this area” order anymore, but more of a “hunt on this route using these tools” order. It could use traps and tools (representing bow & arrows) to be built. Also its max workers would be 1 (the person using provided tools). That way it wouldn’t be so easy to swap them around, and their placement would have to be more strategic.
    • Trap Fences: idea totally stolen from the excellent Unreal World (which I think can be a great source of inspiration for this mod). In short: you build fences with trapped holes to force deer to certain routes, along which you hunt them.

    Also, there is the “hunting in the beginning” case, especially on Survivor + Ironman mode. You need the overpowered hunting to survive in the beginning, by catching all the deer in vincinity of your camp. I would resolve it by adding a hunting area&work to, for example, Goahtee, making it a cornerstone of hunter-gatherer playstyle and allowing organization of mass hunts for nearby animals. Unofrtunately I don’t remember if you can mix home and hunting building (been a while since I modded Banished), so not sure if it’s moddable. If not, there could be some altered-starting-hunting-camp spawned in the beginning, which would work as unmovable high-range multi-worker hunting spot.

    Tom Sawyer

    Hello and welcome on board, Thorik!

    That’s a clever way of using the hunting tool and I don’t think it abuses the idea. It’s just like setting up a route to patrol for animals, still limited by walkways and deer population.

    Hunting is strong as you say, but it has to be since it’s the main source of food in early game and becomes much weaker in mid and late game. Not only because a map has a limited deer population and reproduction but also because herds decrease or even vanish due to human land use. Since I reduced deer numbers and venison output in version 7, I don’t see a need to further nerf hunting. But to make it more interesting would be always great of course. Your ideas could be nice for that. Unfortunately the game/modkit is very limited in these points..

    Randomizing yield of animals is not possible. Any way to make them miss a deer or to make this action more like a hunt is not possible. The only effect of escaping deer is if you place a spot and they move on before hunters arrive. They can even “freak out” because the spot itself counts as a land use that disables the local grazing cell. But that’s not what you were looking for and can be countered with the “patrolling use” of the tool.

    To introduce butchering would mean to add such resources for every animal that also appear in townhall statistics and trading docks (not really a problem) but no way to get more than one resource out of different carcasses in a butchery object. The game has this mechanic only if a living animal is slaughtered dropping a bunch of different stuff like meat, fat and hide. I played around with this idea some time ago as other modders did and as far as I know, we all canceled it.

    Bow and arrow as a requirement for hunting would be nice. Discrepancy played with this idea and called it hunting gear. But it would be a building requirement and someone has to carry it to the spot far away wich has to be hammered into the ground then by a builder (if we want to see this requirement in the UI) before a hunter can start. It would take away the flexibility of the hunting tool and create odd gameplay. I think for this idea any more sophisticated tool using mechanic would be necessary in core game.

    To fence wild animals for a more strategical hunting sounds interesting and should work in theory. Needs some testing. I guess they will just walk through those objects if placed along their already calculated path. Also, this idea would be more interesting if we could make hunting more tricky.

    Sorry to have to write so disappointing about your hunting ideas. That’s often the destiny of good ideas in Banished modding, especially when it comes to game mechanics.


    I modded Banished’ files a long time ago and forgot about how restrictive it was. :( Oh well, maybe Ostriv will be more moddable.

    In this light, I’m curious how did you manage to make Tar Kiln produce both tar and charcoal?

    With fences you wouldn’t have to trap/encircle them, only change their routes so that they would have to travel mostly through your hunters’ work area.

    I’ve read the article about deer on the site – what are the parameters’ values in the mod? Can you actually kill off entire herds (no magic offspring from no parents)? Is it possible to further enlarge grazing/avoidance zones, so that deer don’t go near settlement at all?

    BTW – I’m currently playing on Harsh-Ironman-Seafarer map and loving the balance without the overpowered early hunting. :)

    Tom Sawyer

    I was told that Seafarer on harsh plus Ironman is impossible to solve. Seems it was not right.^^

    The tar kiln switches automatically and randomly between firewood->tar and firewood-charcoal. Linen weavers do the same to get linseed as by-product. That’s the only workaround I know to solve this issue. Such a building can not have a drop down menu with production options as it would be necessary in a butcher.

    It might be possible to avoid spawning deer from nothing after the herd was completely killed, by minimum herd size = 0 because this parameter seems to be used to spawn in this case. But I did not test it yet. In the North, we have 2 types of herds, small groups of 2-7 and big herds of 3 – 30 animals.

    What do you mean with “further enlarge grazing/avoidance zones”? Making these grazing cells bigger than 8 tiles to let them vanish faster if human activity is there? This might work. But it probably has to be done in a fitting ratio like the 8 tiles small cells inside 64 tiles big cells. I did not change this vanilla cell system because I found it suitable. You are welcome to play around with it. :)


    Well, the strategy isn’t very wholesome – I “strategically” starved the starting population (by deconstructing their sacks, making their content unobtainable), leaving only 2 adults and one oldest child. They survived the first year by eating the starting grain and mutton (butchered all but 2 sheep).
    From then on it was fishing (in a spot) + turnips/barley. Just built a trade post, seems they gonna make it. :)

    Hmm, so byproducts-by-accident are moddable, good idea!

    Ok, I’m gonna test it. I think it would be better if deer wouldn’t accidentaly stumble upon your village, it’s pretty immersion-breaking for me.

    Tom Sawyer

    Sounds brutal but it’s solved then. Congratulation! =)

    I can send you the North population files for reindeer and grouse if you like to test exactly this. I guess making the grazing cells bigger will just make populations decrease and vanish faster but they will still wander through your village from one grazing area to another.


    I haven´t seen this either, and yes; your strategy might work Thorik. Great if you succeed! I haven´t dared to try ironman with seafarer, not even on “mild” but maybe I should give it a try, now when you´ve proved it possible.

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