With food being adjusted in future patches to work with the morale system, I would like to put forward a suggestion that would allow the player to have control over how we affect the morale of our hearthlings with the types of food they eat, along with how many meals they have each day. I have provided a few examples in a recent post over the concern of meals now being twice a day but I would like that decision to be of the players so I will present a mechanic from a game I played growing up.
In the game Stronghold there is a building called The Granary that serves for storing large quantities of food. It also provided a system when clicked that presented a UI with a tab of what food the peasants were allowed to eat and a tab for how many rations they would receive each day. You could give the peasants half rations which would decrease their happiness, but overall save food if you was short on supply, or you could provide full rations for normal happiness. Or you could double the amount of rations, boosting their happiness, increasing movement. Even if the Granary building isn’t added to the game, although it would be nice to have food storage separate to chests (that could maybe reduce amount of rotten food). I would like to see some sort of UI interface to control this, so we have the choice to affect our hearthlings morale.
The Granary, as also mentioned, allowed you to select which food peasants could and couldn’t eat. This was useful because if you have a cook that requires raw food to make soup, you wouldn’t want the peasants eating the raw food, so you could prevent them from eating carrots/turnips and only eat the soup. If quality of food is going to affect morale, I would also want to be able to choose what food my hearthlings can and cannot eat as I progress into the game so I have control of how the food is managed.
When I click on the Granary you can see I can select the amount of food they receive each day and the - or + in happiness they will recieve. Then I can select what food they can and cannot eat. I think something like this will allow the player to have more interaction with how we affect our hearthlings. We could choose to give our hearthlings half rations, lowering morale, but increase morale in other ways, like decorations and spacious housing to weigh out the lack of food. Or just to lower when we are struggling to create enough food as the population increases.