Poll

How often have you witnessed wild animals falling/drowning into thin ice?

Very often. (Which is far  too often, in my opinion.)
0 (0%)
Often. (Which is a little too often, in my opinion.)
3 (15.8%)
Rarely - or not too often. (Which seems okay in my opinion.)
13 (68.4%)
Very rarely.
2 (10.5%)
Never.
1 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Topic: Wild animals suiciding on melting ice?  (Read 2056 times)


Mata Hari

« on: September 27, 2019, 09:46:17 PM »
So I was fishing by a lake when I suddenly saw a dead lynx across the water.

As you can see in the image attached it is spring and the ice is very thin now (it takes 6 minutes to break with a javelin at the edge, I guess it's thinner in the middle where the lynx died). I was in the area for a few days and had seen the lynx a few times, but I had not hunted it in any way.

I wonder if animals should be avoiding the ice at this point when roaming about. That is why I'm reporting it in the bug section.

This is the second time I profit from this behaviour, earlier I was able to hunt a bull elk on a lake. When it ran away, it broke in as well, an easy kill.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 10:29:39 AM by Sami »

Tom H

« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2019, 11:44:26 PM »
That's a feature, not a bug. Maybe it was chasing a rabbit? Maybe the elk was panicked?

PALU

« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2019, 10:58:51 AM »
It's fairly common. I've found elks and reindeer in particular on thin ice repeatedly falling through, held back until they drowned, and then slowly and carefully crawled out on the ice (after dropping everything carried, although I think a knife actually is useful if you fall through) to pull the carcasses back towards the shore one tile at a time to skin and butcher it (with branches prepared for a fire should the character fall into the water.
I've also actively scared large animals out onto thin ice and scared them away from the shore to get them to drown.

Mata Hari

« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2019, 07:42:36 AM »
I guess what I mean is exactly this: should it be fairly common or should it be adjusted a little bit? So that it will still happen, for reasons like the ones mentioned by Tom H or when you manage to scare the animal to go on the ice, but more rarely if you don't do anything like in my case?

Plotinus

« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2019, 09:52:58 AM »
I've seen it happen even when I'm not chasing them. There's a period of time in autumn and spring when it is worthwhile to take a walk around the circumference of the lake I live near with the screen zoomed out all the way because I might find a carcass - but they rot at normal speed in the water, not preserved by the cold like they would on dry land, so often by the time i see the carcass it is rotten.

I guess what happens is: there's that time of the year when the ice is thick enough that the player character can mostly walk on it but if they go out too far they might hear a cracking sound or they might fall in without warning. For animals this is happening too. if the ice is way too thin for their weight then just like the player gets the "are you sure?" message, the animal definitely doesn't risk it, but if the ice is almost thick enough to hold them, the animal can make the wrong decision.

in my experience it happens to about 0-1 animals by my lake per risky-ice season and sometimes it is just a hare or fox earlier in the season, sometimes an elk later on.

Sami

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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2019, 10:29:27 AM »
The mechanism and possibility of animals falling through thin ice is not a bug, but a tasty feature.
From the news (and stories) we hear in Finland, it's quite common for elks to fall though thin ice.

This is news image from few years back, where five bull elks had fallen into ice.
 

Elks have great trouble getting back on the ice they fall through, and that's why it's often fatal for them.

Naturally this can happen to smaller critters as well. Think of dogs, for example. Given all the wits they have, thin ice isn't something they can't reason all too well - especially if running after a hare.

In my opinion animals drowning in thin ice is not too common in the game, although it's tricky to say as we often hear only a few case examples.
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PALU

« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2019, 11:28:50 AM »
The frequency with which it "should" happen has to be a judgement call. My personal gut feeling is that it happens a little too often and that the rate could easily be cut in half without becoming exceedingly rare. However, it's in the right ballpark as it is currently, at least in my opinion.

Sami

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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2019, 12:53:50 PM »
The frequency with which it "should" happen has to be a judgement call. My personal gut feeling is that it happens a little too often and that the rate could easily be cut in half without becoming exceedingly rare. However, it's in the right ballpark as it is currently, at least in my opinion.

It's just that no-one has really decided that "should happen" frequency. Animals have given their wits and possibilities, and the artificial life goes on. We could arrange a poll, which gives some idea of the frequency if many (preferably hundreds) players voted. This is also a matter of playstyle. If player characters keep on harrassing elks, they tend to escape (also on the ice) more often than if they just roam freely.

As polls are fun I'll set up one here. It shows at the top of the thread.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 12:58:16 PM by Sami »
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PALU

« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2019, 03:44:18 PM »
I've answered the poll, of course, but here's a somewhat more extensive description.

I'd say my characters tend to encounter recoverable carcasses of drowned elks and reindeer around once per game year, possibly up to twice per year. It helped my last character that two traps were close to the water, so those areas were visited essentially daily. My characters tend to settle beside rapids for the easy access to water in addition to the defensive value of having one side safe from attacks, which means at least some travel along the (ice covered) water happens.

As an example, during the character's last autumn an elk was seen wandering around the area of the traps, and one day, on a hunch, the character decided to take a closer look after having seen the elk in the distance on the river tile, and sure enough, the elk was found drowned (although that's the only time I've actively looked for a specific animal, but I've walked along the shore a number of times to check for signs of elk/reindeer straying out onto the thin ice, and have found such victims several times, as well as ones that are still alive and struggling, with my character just sitting back and watching for the struggle to end so recovery can be commenced).
This comes in addition to actively scaring animals out onto thin ice as a form of active hunting, which I think works about as it ought to (maybe a bit on the easy side, as the animals might be a bit more reluctant to move out onto thin ice rather than moving along the shore).

Tom H

« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2019, 08:16:18 PM »
Having read some cool stories here about finding drowned hunters or Njerp, or elk and such, I actively searched a lot of lakes when the ice was thin. I never found a thing WHEN ACTIVELY SEARCHING. Otoh, I've seen bones sitting on ice a few times, rotted carcasses a few times, and, perhaps twice I've scavenged drowned animals.

I've also been tempted by hares, squirrels, and lynx to follow them out on the ice a few times. Once burned (or drowned as the case may be...heh), twice learned.

The ice is tricky, to me at least. When it's very thin, I have little difficulty discerning this. But later in the season, there's a point where the ice LOOKS safe to walk upon but, when I look back on my tracks, I see that my animals have been breaking through the ice. At that point, I just decide to wait a few more weeks before putting my trust in the ice.

PALU

« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2019, 08:29:41 PM »
Ice is indeed tricky to judge. A trick I haven't used often (instead erring on the side of caution, staying away from ice during autumn/spring) is to load up the character with the maximum carrying load and take off the skis. If you don't get a warning when moving out onto the ice on the overland map you ought to be safe with skis and reasonable loads (assuming you're not going to travel significant distances over the ice, in which case melting during your travel can be an issue).

Brygun

« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2019, 02:20:38 PM »
If the player can do it why not the animals?  ;)

Consider also...

If a bear is gonna eat me so Id be surely dead and might slim chance survive by doing something X well... X it is.

Though Im sure its frustrating, which is part of the charm of survival games.

It also calls to memory the story posted by one player how in a long ice time hunt they slept on the ice...
... at dawn the game computer ice season over and turned it into water...
...in full gear and wilderness tiles from shore...
... they drowned.


They presented it to the forum as an old wisdom not to follow blood trails onto frozen lakes in spring time.

Cool story!

Mata Hari

« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2019, 11:23:44 PM »
So I want to thank everybody for sharing their stories  :) I also loved Sami's post with real life references  :) very nice, I had no idea this happens today. I must admit though that where I live we only have frozen lakes every 5-10 years so I never thought about it more...

I have come to the conclusion that my scenario was (unintentionally) more likely to result in drowned animals, because with the hurt helpless and afraid start in spring time I spent nearly all my time in the first 5 (?) weeks at the shore or in the middle of frozen lakes trying to catch some fish with a rock or a crude javelin. If I understand the game correctly, only parts of the map where you already zoomed in are simulated in detail (at least the save games get much bigger when I have visited more places) so the fact that I was there all the time may be the most important factor.

Can anybody offer some insight if this assumption is correct? After all I feel less cheesy now for profiting from these poor animals with so little effort  ;D

Brygun

« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2019, 01:48:55 AM »
Only having the local area in detail processing is a known necessity to the game.

It also came up in discussing if I could go on a long journey leaving a limited amount of food for dogs. While away (for like weeks) the dogs were fine and the meat stocks were all there.

I can't say exactly the distance that the game switches off the detail, and prefer to not know really as it keeps me more in role-play vs mechanics mindset when playing.


Tom H

« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2019, 08:02:52 PM »
So I want to thank everybody for sharing their stories  :) I also loved Sami's post with real life references  :) very nice, I had no idea this happens today. I must admit though that where I live we only have frozen lakes every 5-10 years so I never thought about it more...

I have come to the conclusion that my scenario was (unintentionally) more likely to result in drowned animals, because with the hurt helpless and afraid start in spring time I spent nearly all my time in the first 5 (?) weeks at the shore or in the middle of frozen lakes trying to catch some fish with a rock or a crude javelin. If I understand the game correctly, only parts of the map where you already zoomed in are simulated in detail (at least the save games get much bigger when I have visited more places) so the fact that I was there all the time may be the most important factor.

Can anybody offer some insight if this assumption is correct? After all I feel less cheesy now for profiting from these poor animals with so little effort  ;D

The La Brea Tarpits is replete with the bones of predators that dined on trapped beasts, only to find themselves trapped, as well. Wolves, hyenas, dingos, all will happily scavenge. Across the world and across time nature has fed upon misfortune. Don't feel cheesy. Feel lucky...lol.