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octavian

On Tinder

24 posts in this topic

Coming back to TLD after a year-long hiatus, to see what's changed, what's new and what's not, I felt a need to ask myself some questions; questions which also touch on the matter of, you guessed it, tinder. After this year-long break I've mentioned, I come back, I want start a fire - I'll need tinder. I know this, because I've played this game before a bit. Then, after a while, level 3 fire starting happens - tinder is no longer required to start a fire. So I never need tinder, never again. "Ha", I said, "that's; interesting." Being terribly confused - and stealing a rating system from some guy on the Internet - I asked myself, how do I rate the need for tinder - which I just lost - using this guy's rating system that I borrowed. How do I feel about the game's requirement that I needed tinder to start a fire. 

Me needing tinder to start a fire is something, either consistently inconsequential, or situationally weak.

It's of no consequence to me I need tinder to start a fire. Whatever, I'll just break a stick - which I already need and not specifically for tinder, meaning I already have them. Having said this, there might be some obscure situation where I experience, a weak inconvenience, due to the fact that I need tinder to start a fire. I could never die - even be in mild peril - because I need tinder to start a fire - and presumably I don't have it, or enough of it. Because I'm thinking ahead, knowing it's a requirement for fire.

Fire starting level 3 says - ignoring other bonuses, we're talking tinder now - you know that consistently inconsequential thing, where you need tinder to start a fire. You no longer need it. The reason I'm so confused is, tinder is everywhere. Not only that, you can get it from more than one thing. Newspapers, sticks, cat tails, cardboard boxes, cedar limbs, birch bark, or just found lying around places. All these are time-gated as "optional".

What is of particular interest to me is that this is a doubly weird position. Tinder as it is now when you start with fire starting level 1 is of no real consequence - since it can be simply removed - hence making the bonus itself to remove the need for tinder, inconsequential.

If we time-gate remove a requirement for fire; what can be said about how required is the requirement itself. And there's also the feat of starting with fire starting level 3, and implicitly not needing tinder; at all. So there's these things in the world that exist but which have no purpose now.

So then why do we have so much tinder, from so many sources?

Perhaps, another way to look at this skill would be the added chance of staring a fire to be because of the different types of tinder - which already exist - and just need to be differentiated. Wrap the fire starting bonus in the type of tinder you use.

At level 2, stick-tinder gives +15% bonus chance to starting a fire - because there's so many of them that it basically mirrors the blanket +15% bonus you now get.

At level 3, cat tail tinder ( or whichever ) gives +25 % bonus chance to starting a fire. You can start fires without tinder at 40% base chance.

And so on until the rarest tinder - no idea which - gives +50% bonus chance to starting a fire.

This would time-gate tinder to become more useful as times goes on, not optional and purposeless.

Thoughts?

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16 minutes ago, octavian said:

Thoughts?

Mainly that your line of thought is still as complicated as it was one year ago. ;p

Welcome back, though!

And I btw agree that it's a bit annoying to accumulate tinder accidentally once you've reached firemaking 3. I have to drop cattail heads and tinder plugs (that I pick up unintendedly while collecting cattail stalks & fuel) almost every day and it's a pretty annoying micromanagement for sure. After a while it becomes kind of a reflex, but it's definitely not enjoyable or fun. Hope we'll see a change regarding this issue in the near future once the firemaking and cooking mechanics get overhauled.

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30 minutes ago, octavian said:

and purposeless.

Unneeded tinder does not have to be purposeless.  I'm sure I have seen this mentioned before, but you can use your tinder as markers in the snow.

Some times when I plan on staying in one area for an extended period of time, I will create "tinder paths" I can follow between places even when the weather is at it's worst.  Or create arrows pointing in particular directions to help me navigate.  I also like to line up tinder plugs around the fireplaces, simply for decorative reasons.

I realize you are more interested in the underlying mechanics, but I thought I'd throw this out there any way. :)

 

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I too use tinder arrows for guides and to mark kills to go back to or snow forts. 

I have the resources so I use them

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Excellent point. If I were to make paths and guides, I'd use tinder too. Wildly abundant, costs practically nothing.

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Even if tinder can be still used for markers and such, eliminating the need for it in its base mechanic is wildly peculiar. Its sheer abundance suggests it is needed in abundance, but it simply turns into a junk item after a few fires.

I agree with @octavian that perhaps instead of eliminating the need for tinder, make it optional, but advantageous to still use it. A fire without tinder could have a flat success rate of 40 percent and a 25% longer start time, but one with tinder gets all its bonuses.

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I really like the solution of wrapping the chance% in with the tinder. This is already true for the fuel and source right?  

Great post @octavian , WB. 

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46 minutes ago, MarrowStone said:

Even if tinder can be still used for markers and such, eliminating the need for it in its base mechanic is wildly peculiar. Its sheer abundance suggests it is needed in abundance, but it simply turns into a junk item after a few fires.

I agree with @octavian that perhaps instead of eliminating the need for tinder, make it optional, but advantageous to still use it. A fire without tinder could have a flat success rate of 40 percent and a 25% longer start time, but one with tinder gets all its bonuses.

I'll just quote this, because it matches my thoughts exactly. It's the most common item in the entire game, yet it becomes obsolete mid-game, which makes no sense.

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Just now, ElvisHunter said:

This is already true for the fuel and source right?

Yes indeed it is.

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I agree with @octavian as well. Having different kinds of tinder give different bonuses for firestarting could result in an interesting gameplay mechanics. Right now I keep wood matches and a book for when I go exploring, since they give the best chances to start a fire: it would be nice to add a special kind of tinder to the mix, instead of having a generic bonus that makes all tinder obsolete.

 

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Agree. Tinder feels like a place-holder now in many respects. It really needs fleshing out. Different tinder should have different bonuses, making some types highly desirable. Sure, you -could- make tinder from a stick, but maybe it really doesn't give you any bonus at all. Newspaper meanwhile could be super valuable. This would really be a nice addition. And yeah, I really can't understand why tinder is suddenly not a requirement when you get better at starting a fire. It doesn't matter in real life how good you are. Tinder is not optional.

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I believe cat tail is already better than wooden, but paper somehow transforms into wooden when you harvest it

 

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From level 3+ tinder should be optional but reduce the time required to start a fire if used.  Not accelerant fast, but fast enough to make some folks consider the tradeoff of keeping it around.

At least that's what I tell myself every time I throw more tinder on the ground.  If this were real life, a faster start is the benefit an expert fire starter would get from optional tinder.

Edited by Ruruwawa
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Yes, definitely better than removing the use of an abundant material forever

Edited by MarrowStone
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It's not just an abundant in-game material; tinder is an important component of fire starting in real life.  I like having tinder in game, and I like the immersion of needing to gather and use it.   I just wish I felt some benefit from it as I got better at fire starting.

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@Ruruwawa, yes, thats spot on also. No matter how skilled you are, you just cant skip that step, unless you're burning a book or a split up cedar log with accellerant.

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I too experienced this game/reality disconnect when I reached level 3 fire starting skill.

I don't care how good you are at starting fires. Using tinder will make it easier and faster to start a fire. When I reached level three I thought I would have the "option" to not need tinder, but what really happens is that tinder no longer offers a bonus. 

Why have so many different types of tinder if they're obsolete at level 3? Why have can openers in the game if their single reason for existing becomes obsolete at cooking level 3? It doesn't feel good to have the new ability because you are retroactively being punished for caring about items because they are now a burden instead of a boon.

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There is clearly benefits from different types of tinder. I think we can all agree that they should have individual ratings and contribute to fire starting after level 3. 

The only other thing that surprises me is why the firesteel striker gives a better percentage than matches? I always take one with me but it's mostly just for emergencies. Give me good quality matches any day!

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2 hours ago, Goggs said:

The only other thing that surprises me is why the firesteel striker gives a better percentage than matches? I always take one with me but it's mostly just for emergencies. Give me good quality matches any day!

No kidding.  Every time I use the firesteel in game I think "if only I was this talented with a firesteel in real life!"

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I heard you brother! I always carry cotton wool soaked in petroleum jelly, it's the easiest way to use the bloody thing in an emergency.

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Tinder should be required while lighting campfires no matter what level. It just makes sense. I defy anybody to light a camp fire outdoors without it

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On 6-1-2017 at 4:05 PM, Goggs said:

I heard you brother! I always carry cotton wool soaked in petroleum jelly, it's the easiest way to use the bloody thing in an emergency.

I carry a couple of petroleum jelly cotton balls for emergency use as well, but I find that birch bark or fatwood will light readily with a good firesteel as well.

But I have also tried quite a few different firesteels and there is a big difference in quality! Some firesteels are a pain to use, they throw few and or small sparks that die out quickly. With such a firesteel it can be hard to even light a petroleum jelly cotton ball. Other firesteels produce a lot and large sparks that burn much longer, making it much much easier to start a fire. You can easily light dry grasses or shredded paper with a good quality firesteel.

So judging by how easy it is to use the firesteel in TLD, I'd say it's a good quality one :)

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