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Ultimateauthority

Sharpening your knife and hatchet - when?

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Hi gang -

I have made it a practice of keeping my knife and hatchet sharp, but I was wondering when is it actually really needed.  If you try to keep your knife (for example) over 90% sharp all the time, you are going to burn through your stone pretty quickly.  So, if you want to keep your knife sharp to fight off wolves for example, does it really make any difference whether or not your knife is at 50% or 90% sharp?  Or, would the better plan be to only start sharpening your knife when it drops to say 30%?

Thanks -

Edited by Ultimateauthority
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6 hours ago, cekivi said:

If you really want to show whether there is any meaningful correlation between condition and struggle result you can average your 10 experiments and plot them as a bar graph with +/- one standard deviation.

I hadn't done this before, so I had to look it up. :)
 

avg_SD.JPG.a316fef87ef46104f6a8c4e7b97d67e9.JPG

 

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I try to keep mine around 60s, but that's just me.  I don't know about wood cutting or use with the hatchet but 60s does great against wolves using the knife.  

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Interestingly, I personally haven't noticed any change in tool effectiveness for different conditions although I haven't extensively tested this.

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2 hours ago, Ultimateauthority said:

So, if you want to keep your knife sharp to fight off wolves for example, does it really make any difference whether or not your knife is at 50% or 90% sharp?

It seems like I do better in the fights if my knife is in top condition.  As such, I always make a point to keep it above 90%.

I wonder if there is a good way to test this.  @cekivi, any thoughts?

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A 100% stalker character who sprints naked at wolves :D

Measure injuries and condition losses for 5 struggles for 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% condition knives.

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2 hours ago, cekivi said:

A 100% stalker character who sprints naked at wolves :D

Measure injuries and condition losses for 5 struggles for 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% condition knives.

That sounds good to me, except let's do 10 struggles for each.  I was also able to set the speed of the mouse clicks at 8.3 per second, which felt about as fast as I normally click (maybe just a little faster). 
 

Results.thumb.JPG.d82f3ed27e1fbbc215d85ffa188e83f1.JPG

L = Laceration, BL = Blood Loss, SA = Sprained Ankle, SW = Sprained Wrist, MIB = Minor Bruising, MAB = Major Bruising

 

Graph.JPG.5e604f0d1bc571d8c20889b9b0f9773a.JPG


I'm disappointed - it doesn't seem to make any difference at all.

 

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That's some awesome charting Timber Wolf.  And I'd agree it seems totally random.  I haven't looked to see if it is used in the struggle calculations, but it looks like it doesn't.

 

In my opinion, optimal strategy, is to sharpen any tool that sharpening will not make 100%.  If sharpening an item will net 4% max repair then I sharpen when the tool is below 96%.  The only waste seems to be when your max repair is greater than the amount of wear on the item.

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In a real life scenario, the major impetus to sharpen a hatchet or knife is that you A) burn more energy and B) have an increased risk of injuring yourself when working with dull tools. But neither of these appears to happen in-game, at least in my experience.

Edited by mattyboi
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Amazing (and Fast! :o) work @Timber Wolf! :D

If you really want to show whether there is any meaningful correlation between condition and struggle result you can average your 10 experiments and plot them as a bar graph with +/- one standard deviation. Judging solely by eye I'd guess every knife condition would result in 25% condition loss +/- 10% after a wolf struggle.

On the bright side, this would be an interesting area to address in a future update or in a post-release mod ;) 

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Wow - A lot of intelligent discussion on this topic.  It looks like other folks have thought about this too.

Thanks for the input gang...

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In answer to the part of the original question, I sharpen things differently based on difficulty level.  On Stalker, I sharpen things only when I'm leaving a place for good and I need to trim weight.  Or I need to "wait" somewhere to warm up and don't have any other tasks.  Other than that, on other lower difficulty levels I sharpen things only when all of my horde of axes and knives gets below 40%.  Maybe someday I'll get the point where I can sharpen things in Interloper. :)  Though I do tend to repair the hacksaw when I run across a tool kit.  

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I dont think the condition affects performance.  The knife is just like the sewing kit/clothes/food/etc.  The condition is only indicating the closeness to being broken/unusable.  Thats pretty much indicative of all items with a condition percentage. (I think)

With that said, I have noticed that YOUR condition affects fighting with a wolf...no matter what condition the knife is in.  You can have a 100% knife and dependent upon you tiredness level or your condition level, it will take more stabs to kill a wolf.  Not sure if @Timber Wolf wants to do another test (that one you charted out was amazing, by the way.  THANK YOU so much for that type of effort and input and providing the community with it.)

To answer the question you asked @Ultimateauthority, I dont worry with the condition of the tools until 60%ish.  There are times where I am waiting for something (sun to rise a bit more, a blizzard to let up, getting closer to darkness so I can maximize sleep, etc.) where I will just start sharpening to pass the time.  Same goes for repairing almost anything (clothes/lantern/can opener/etc), if I need to pass time then I just look for something to do.

The argument could be discussed about how clothing loses performance (warmth provided/wind chill protection/etc.) based upon its condition and THAT might be what people correlate to knife performance.  But, I think thats just programmed in for clothing. 

To caveat...everything I just said may be completely wrong.  Its just my opinion and observations of playing.

Great discussion.  I love this community.

Ten

 

Edited by Tenasi Vol
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2 hours ago, Tenasi Vol said:

I have noticed that YOUR condition affects fighting with a wolf...no matter what condition the knife is in.  You can have a 100% knife and dependent upon you tiredness level or your condition level, it will take more stabs to kill a wolf.  Not sure if @Timber Wolf wants to do another test

You've got me curious.  Let's find out!

58ced51608e21_ConditionLossSheet.thumb.JPG.9ec378ef20e970efc2933d8db261e895.JPG

58ced51891b5a_ConditionLoss.JPG.5f3c8b5146c655d8725c5e373a904e82.JPG

58ced51b6b1a3_ConiditonLossAvgSD.JPG.da7ab9b66623b7c66eddee0574a1b706.JPG

 

Other than being very fatigued, it doesn't look like it makes much of a difference.  Thoughts?

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Amazing @Timber Wolf!!  Thank you so much.  Now that I think about it (that is...I asked my wife) it did in fact happen a few times and when I was pretty much fully fatigued.

There is a little difference...I play on XBox.  My button mashing varies depending upon the level of my alcohol intake.  lol

But, there was one time that I was fully fatigued and it didnt matter how fast I pushed the button, I just wasnt going to win the fight. The wolf eventually fled but the completion bar was only half way and I was doing my best to get it toward the end.

Thank you so much for the efforts and input.  You are an asset to help keep many from fading into the long dark.

I salute you.

Ten

 

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Neat @Timber Wolf ^_^

That's a very abrupt change going from partially to fully fatigued though. That has caught me by surprise a few times while playing.

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@Timber Wolf should be given a medal for this; wrestling 100 wolves in the pursuit of science - amazing!!

If I have a whetstone, I sharpen as many tools as possible to 100% condition (prioritising my active knife and axe). A whetstone is knife/axe condition with a weight attached - rather it be on the knife/axe and weigh nothing, than be something else to carry.

 

 

 

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@Timber Wolf you're a legend, mate.

As I always suspected, sharpness and tool quality have no effect on the tasks, unfortunately. Personally, I let tools degrade quite a bit as I notice no difference in task efficiency. Then I have something to do during blizzards, when fully rested in the dark, and in snow shelters while avoiding cabin fever. Would much rather better tools complete tasks faster/better, including hatchets, knives, rifles, hacksaws, lanterns, hammers, and even can openers. That's hopefully something they'll fix in the future.

Cool findings on the wolf fights too, seems pretty random except for exhausted. @Patrick Carlson can Hinterland confirm that exhaustion has an effect on wolf fights?

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It would be nice if tasks took longer with degrading tool condition, with a small possibility of a laceration injury with very low condition tools and/or fatigue. 

Edited by Dug
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Thanks guys!  I'm happy to add to the knowledge base.

And even though we have moved away from the original question and because I was already prepared, why not do a few more to find out how much of a difference each tool makes in a fight?  My operating assumption has been the hatchet is best, knife a close second, and then hammer and prybar the worst.

58d053cd50e7a_ByToolSheet.thumb.JPG.cc713b7b1ad6f04a1b0382f14a3eb94a.JPG

58d053cb85143_ByToolConditionLoss.JPG.0122e82697ce3895476c3b6b225109c2.JPG

58d055ed5d70f_ByToolAvgSD.JPG.934e98168dfab65d948dc144adf985ce.JPG

 

The hatchet definitely wins.  I'm surprised to see the hammer as effective as the knife!

Edited by Timber Wolf
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Weird findings @Timber Wolf.

Originally the game was designed so that the order would be knife > hatchet > pry bar > fists. I wonder if something got changed when the hammer was added?  

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@cekivi I was under the same impression. It seems likely that the knife was at least intended to be the most effective for struggles, since it is prioritized when carrying multiple tools. You're probably right about the balancing being thrown off unintentionally with the addition of the hammer, but the only way to confirm that would be to run the same tests in a previous build of the game.

@Timber Wolf Now all we're missing is exhaustive charting of how wolf struggles are affected by the various protection %s from clothing. With 14 clothing slots and however many available clothing items per slot, that should only take you the next year or so, right? lol

Seriously though, to address the issue of sharpening, I have a very simple method. One knife and one hatchet are designated as my "mains" and receive all the sharpening. All other knives and hatchets get used first, and I just allow them to break and then harvest them. As for "when", I typically just wait until they are close to their breaking threshold. For knives and hatchets, I believe this is 15%, then sharpen as much as I can with the whetstone(s) I have. Like others have suggested, if I find myself idling with no other tasks to perform, I will pull out a stone and sharpen whatever, as long as sharpening wouldn't raise it over 100%, I hate the thought of wasting my whetstone's durability, no matter how slight.

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12 hours ago, DragonXIII said:

@Timber Wolf Now all we're missing is exhaustive charting of how wolf struggles are affected by the various protection %s from clothing. With 14 clothing slots and however many available clothing items per slot, that should only take you the next year or so, right? lol

Yeah, that's a bit more testing than I care to do.

 

12 hours ago, cekivi said:

Originally the game was designed so that the order would be knife > hatchet > pry bar > fists. I wonder if something got changed when the hammer was added?

 

12 hours ago, DragonXIII said:

@cekivi I was under the same impression. It seems likely that the knife was at least intended to be the most effective for struggles, since it is prioritized when carrying multiple tools. You're probably right about the balancing being thrown off unintentionally with the addition of the hammer, but the only way to confirm that would be to run the same tests in a previous build of the game.

I also think this is how it was intended to be, but I don't think it has ever actually played out that way.  I can find posts on Steam about this as far back as November 2014.

This comment in particular caught my attention - "For the record, the hatchet is a better weapon than the knife, and the prybar is better than either of them."

Well, what the heck!  Let's jump in the way back machine to version .256 (Hammer was introduced.in .265).

58d188e70e72e_ConditionLossSheet.thumb.JPG.0b0393859efce8b6272b5efe21f085e5.JPG

58d188e9b0740_ConditionLoss.JPG.b47ffc309c4122281ab4dc5f9b59f32f.JPG

58d188e497543_ConditionLossAvgSD.JPG.78a9998d70033cbe7aaf94891a54fd60.JPG


I could probably keep going back in versions and find similar results.  I'm not sure the knife has ever been the best.

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Thanks @Timber Wolf

Amazing work! The level of detail and analysis of the data brings @Drifter Man back! 

By the way, maybe we should point @admin to this direction? Sounds like interesting data to present to the QA team. Could be worth a review :) 

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I wonder if maybe there's something else going on. @Timber Wolf, did you happen to note the condition loss from the tools themselves during your extensive testing? Maybe the knife is meant to be the "best" not because it is significantly better than other tools during the struggles, but because it is made for the purpose and therefore degrades less through this use? I don't know, just thinking out loud maybe. Anyways, excellent work! :) 

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