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Topics - Petike

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I've read quite a few articles about whistling arrows already years back, when I was reading about historical archery, including the various forms of hunting archery in different cultures around the world. Having recently watched Sami's video from his separate archery channel - on making and testing a Siberian-style whistling arrow - the idea immediately struck me. This could be a potential addon, official or by the modders, for the game. Specialised for waterfowl hunting. Not useful as an actual hunting projectile, but shot as an initial decoy to scare the birds into landing, thus becoming easier targets for conventional arrows.

* * *

On the off-chance someone tries to develop whistling arrows as a mod/addon idea:

I think they wouldn't be too sophisticated to necessitate being a barter item. Unlike broadheads, they don't need a metal arrowhead, so the player should be able to craft them, much like the standard arrows (with lithic arrowheads) or the blunt arrows. In fact, I see the hypothetical in-game whistling arrows as something of a cousin to the blunt arrows - fulfilling a more specialised role in ranged hunting. Blunts don't damage the outside of small prey and birds that much, or just knock them unconscious, while whistling arrows are an indirect tactical utensil.

I could imagine the hollow wooden arrowhead with the openings being manufactured from a block of wood (given the size, maybe a single block could yield material for even 2 or 3 whistling arrowheads). Crafting-wise, the player would have to:
1.) carve out or split the raw version of the arrowhead from a block of wood
2.) split the arrowhead (or several, depending on the yield) with a knife or handaxe
3.) hollow out the halves of the arrowhead(s) with the use of a carving knife while next to a burning fire (either a campfire or a fire in the stove)
4.) put the pieces together with tying material or whatever is already used for gluing purposes

The remaining part of the whistling arrow (shaft, fletching, arrowhead attachment, etc.) would be crafted in the same manner as the standard (lithic) arrows, and the blunt arrows.

While hunting, the whistling arrow's flight over a particular area could generate some sort of trigger in that location, causing any bird in a particular radius to stop flying and land on the ground or a water surface. This would be especially effective with waterfowl, marginally or occassionally effective with the various grouse species, and completely ineffective with predatory birds.

I suppose some secondary uses (besides the primary one, waterfowl hunting) could include:
- startling a land animal (e.g. scaring away a predator without fighting it)
- startling a human adversary NPC at a distance (possibly as a temporary distraction)
- a signal for any human companion NPCs (rallying signal, warning signal, attack signal, etc.)

* * *

Concerning a historical realism perspective, I honestly don't know if there is any surviving material evidence of whistling arrows from Scandinavia from the pre-gunpowder era. I know a general problem in Finnish archaeology is that a lot of the soils in Finland are not too conductive to artefact preservation. Wood is an obvious material that can easily rot away and decompose over the course of several years, decades and particularly centuries. So it wouldn't be any wonder if no traditional Finnish hunting arrows from antiquity or the early Middle Ages survive today. Whistling arrows included.

It might be a stretch introducing them into the game, but you have the excuse of their usage among the wider group of Finno-Ugric language nationalities. Then there's the fact the game has the rare hand-and-a-half swords as a minor permitted anachronism. Personally, I think whistling arrows wouldn't be too weird in the existing setting.  ;)

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General Discussion / A Christmas present to the community by me
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:50:56 PM »
Sorry if the title sounds a little grandiose. ;D

Since late November, I've been updating the official wiki, on and off.

Mostly just adding categories and structure to the whole thing (though a lot of it was good to begin with, so I had my work cut out for me, in a sense), occassionally uploading some new images for the still missing ones in articles (there are still many), expanding several articles with more detailed information and improved formatting (sections with headings, instead of unbroken paragraphs), and occassionally creating a few new articles (I did one on NPC conversations, a few short ones on terrain types (this I still want to extend), and one article on the types of "pets" the player receives at the start when they select the last starting scenario). Images are now neatly sorted into their own subcategories within an image category, so you'll be able to make sense of the images uploaded to the wiki much, much more easily than before. There's a Healing and medicine subcategory in the equally new Gameplay category, and so on and so forth.

Hope you like the category work in particular. I tried to be as rigorous and logical as possible while expanding upon the already existing categories and adding new ones. Hopefully you'll find the additions useful and quick to work with (making it easier to find inter-related stuff quickly on the wiki). I'm still working on improving some articles or finishing a few of the newer ones, but much of the planned work is done by this point.

Feedback is very welcome !

And if anyone wants to help the visual side of the wiki by providing screenshots of still missing content from the latest release of the game, that would be very welcome. For certain objects and concepts, we still only have images from pre-3.30 versions, and even though those have their historical value, we also need more up-to-date images (3.52 and higher).

As Christmas is nearly here, I'd like to wish everyone a peaceful, healthy and relaxing holiday season. :)

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Gameplay questions / Best way to preserve berries long-term ?
« on: December 06, 2018, 05:14:23 PM »
What's the best method of preserving berries for a long time, e.g. the autumn and winter until spring, other than just chucking them inside a cellar ? Can berries start to spoil or rot in a cellar ?

Thank you kindly for any and all advice.

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Suggestions / Craftable punts ? And what should the limitations be ?
« on: November 30, 2018, 10:23:20 PM »
I've noticed that punts are only acquirable by quests or by buying them for adequate barter material in a village. This wouldn't be bad in terms of game balance, but from a realism perspective, it has me scratching my head a bit...

Unless I'm mistakened (and feel free to correct me), the punts in URW are basically dugout boats (monoxylons). They're a single tree trunk carved into the shape of a small, usable boat, and often propelled by a sesta (punt pole), or a paddle. At least that's the impression I've had from some of the photographic illustrations provided for these simple vehicles.

If they're made from a single tree trunk and are dugouts, wouldn't it make some degree of sense that the player could manufacture one ? At least a smaller, one-man version, perhaps ?

Not without limitations, of course. I think a natural potential limitation could be the type of axes (e.g. a carving axe) and other tools (e.g. knives) at the player's disposal. Unless the player acquires a small array of very specific tools, he/she can't hollow out the tree trunk on a whim, as if it was no hard work and no effort at all.

I just find it strange that you have to go to a lot of trouble finding material for a raft - three separate tree trunks, then tying equipment you have to manufacture over a long time - when it's a simple vehicle only at first glance, but requires a lot more material investment. The punt looks far simpler in comparison. Granted, I think that if craftable punts were to be included, another limitation for them would be the length of time needed for manufacturing,

For rafts, you'd need to gather a lot of materials, but the assembly time would be short, while for punts, you'd only need a tree trunk as material, but it might a good long while until you hollow it out into a suitable punt shape. At least as long as it takes to build three or four segments of a log cabin ("Wooden Building") wall in the game, with an average character. This would help prevent the crafting of punts become easily abusable, and make it into something more of a long-term goal.

Additionally, maybe another way to make punt crafting a bit harder is the need to gather information on the process first from particular villages. You go to a village, meet the local who sells fishing and watercraft related goods, and you have to be on good terms with him/her and sell them something before they decide to tell you how to properly build a punt. Only then, and with the right tools for the jobs, could you start hollowing out a tree trunk. In essence, you could still craft a punt, but it would require some effort to become skillful at this sort of task, and this would in turn guarantee that people wouldn't avoid crafting rafts. Rafts would still be useful and necessary until the player learns how to build his or her own punt.

Just some thoughts on the subject. I'd love to hear others' opinions on this, the pros and cons. :)

I know there are already some good mods out there or in development that add more craftable watercraft, especially of the simple variety, but I was wondering whether punts could be given a similar treatment. One that wouldn't make the game much easier, but would still give the player slightly more options when trying to fish or travel across water.

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