So, I remember lightly touching this topic in previous threads, but I don’t believe we ever discussed this potential issue in depth. What sort of methods should there be for feeding soldiers, especially in the case of leaving your city and its stockpiles?
The issue first came up as I was watching videos of RimWorld: as units would be drafted into combat or leave the base for extended periods, they would inevitably get hungry. This is of course bad, as this severely limits how far from you base you can send troops as well as the actual amount of world you can safely explore. The reason I bring this particular case up is that I notice a close resemblance of gameplay between the two games (especially the hands-off orders with directing units), and I see this being an issue in the future once the game starts getting bigger and more diverse.
So, here’s a few remedies I wanted to bring forward for the discourse!
1. Sacks and Backpacks
I figure this is a request from many of us, and not just for away troops. Having a pack or some sort of inventory would be incredibly useful for workers such as miners, who will need to keep going deeper to find more resources the farther in the game you go. Being able to hold more than one item would both boost productivity in workers and allow soldiers more time in the field to operate, if they can carry food and basic bedding with them on journeys. Production of the sacks could be through the Weaver, much like the current armor is done (perhaps with a way to specify the unit or squad desired for the upgrade).
It’s on the border of becoming micromanagement, since units would start getting their own inventory you might have to look over. But I think some version of this ability would really help exploration and combat in the long run.
2. Supply Wagons
Another topic we’ve discussed at one point or another. Having a sort of cart or wagon that acts as a mobile stockpile would eliminate the micro- issue I mentioned in the first idea–the major downside is that the soldiers and workers are restricted to wherever the wagon can travel (no using ladders, for example). This might force the player to explore at a more controlled, calculated approach, instead of just rushing through the world to find all the best resource spots (the Radiant team has mentioned this issue a few times…), so I definitely hope it is considered for the game later on.
3. Soldier “Ration” Meals
This would work similar to the backpack, except it’s a preexisting slot in each soldier. Essentially, it would be a specific meal (or meal type) that are taken by soldiers automatically (like the current armor) and carried with them until necessary. While in your city, the soldiers won’t eat this provision, and instead consume a normal food item from your stockpiles. Once they leave, however, they can eat this item while out fighting or exploring. It might be less nourishing and filling then something from the town, but hey, it’s easy to carry.
So, that’s all I could think of for now. What do you guys think? Do these ideas sound practical, debatable, or a little unnecessary? I’m curious as to what other thoughts regarding exploring and unit needs people might have come up with as Stonehearth’s development has been progressing.