Morale is a huge part of the survival of your group, and little is understood about the full effects it has on all of the game's mechanics. Speculation, and logic, dictates that morale would touch everything. A depressed survivor would lose the will to get better, lose the will to fight, making them more susceptible to disease, less effective in combat... and a whole slew of other things. Keep this in mind when handling matters of morale, keep your spirits up whenever possible. Bringing a character to exhaustion might be worth it to help a neighbor and bolster morale.
There are three negative morale states, one neutral, and one positive.
- Content (Positive) - Often received after completing virtuous actions when not already demoralized. Content characters can help raise the moods of other survivors through conversation, and have a good buffer against future morale-lowering actions. Note that this state is difficult to maintain even without negative stimuli, since survivors gravitate towards the default state.
- None (Default) - The default state that survivors will gravitate towards in the absence of morale-changing events or statuses. This does not show up as a status effect.
- Sad - Character is a bit slower and less responsive.
- Depressed - Character will stop in the middle of tasks to complain, as well as moving lethargically.
- Broken - Character is unable to take any action, even for self-preservation, and must be attended to by other survivors. Should they stay broken for an extended period of time (2-5 days) they may leave the party, commit suicide, or attack other party members(in the case of Roman).
Some actions will cause characters to become saddened with how the group is handling survival, examples include:
- Stealing from other victims, such as the elderly, or unarmed.
- Leaving people with almost nothing on a scavenging hunt.
- Turning away neighbors when they could have been helped.
- Watching other survivors around them fall ill or wounded.
- Get injured or stolen from raids.
- Any negative status effects, including hunger, sickness, and wounds, will lower morale.
Some actions will cause a severe morale drop, some examples include:
- Killing someone, especially unarmed victims.
- One of your group dying
- Being raided several nights in a row
There are many ways to improve the mood and morale of survivors. Examples include:
- Assisting neighbors with problems
- Listening to classical music on the radio
- Having a smoke or coffee (For smokers or coffee drinkers)
- Reading a book in a chair or armchair (This is not select-able, but if the chair and book are available, survivors may do this on their idle time.)
- Getting a full night sleep
- Talking with a survivor of better morale (Usually on depressed or broken characters only. If both characters are of similar mood, this accomplishes nothing)
- Playing the guitar (Especially effective with Zlata)
- Having Zlata in the group, as well as a good supply of books, provides a general passive boost to morale.
Additional notes on morale
It's good to note that some characters react differently to each stimuli, for example Boris does not seem to enjoy reading, and Bruno doesn't seem to care if you do not help your neighbors. Its best to try to do everything possible for morale all the time, rather than homing in on just one area, because you never know just who might be immune.
Another good note, is that drinking moonshine does not help with morale immediately, characters who become drunk will stay broken or depressed, but their whining will be replaced with bad singing and even worse jokes. After the end of day sleep drunk characters morale will have been boosted(if the scavenging hunt did not result in a further drop in morale). If you wish to boost a party members morale by drinking moonshine, it is best to do it near the end of your days work, so you can drink it and end day immediately to avoid drunken behavior.
It's worth noting that keeping characters Well Fed for 2+ days results in a great morale boost, if you have enough food it should be easy to keep characters Content or at the very least help them avoid becoming depressed.
Also, unconfirmed, but a higher temperature seems to keep spirits up.
Survivors Moral Compass
- Emilia and Anton are least affected by morale, only caring if it directly impacts their chances at survival (ie: being raided) they also get saddened by deaths, suicides, and survivors leaving, Emilia for selfish reasons and Anton for both altruistic and selfish reasons. Both are significantly less impacted by even the worst acts of violence against unarmed, non-violent NPCs. Anton will support altruistic acts despite being fully aware of their cost, Emilia will oppose them for the same reason.
- Roman receives reduced negative impacts for acts of murder, usually justifying it with "Us or them". Becomes aggressive when depressed and fights with fellow survivors, resulting in wounds on one or both of them and a negative morale for other survivors. Yet he seems to feel responsible for the safety of the survivors and is impacted by successful raids which result in stolen supplies and/or wounded survivor(s). Roman is also more affected by the deaths of bandits.
- Cveta is deeply affected by acts of theft or murder or seeing other survivors hungry, sick, or wounded. If she commits murder against an innocent it can often end with a noose and no note.
- Marko shows an unusual soft spot for thugs, deserters, and those whose deaths usually bring a morale boost to other survivors. He is especially impacted If he is the murderer and can be tricky to predict.
- Bruno does not appear overly fazed by acts of theft, but is highly concerned for his stomach, often dropping a morale stage at the same time that he becomes Very Hungry. Fortunately, his ability to make food more cheaply means that he can often keep himself out of those lower stages.
- Arica can usually justify stealing from the less fortunate, and enjoys a healthy morale boost from backstabbing thugs. She has an annoying habit of leaving with most of the survivors' supplies when broken beyond repair.
- Pavle likes to be the one to help neighbours and receives a morale bonus If he is the one sent to help.
- Zlata has a sensitive morality, and is greatly impacted by acts of theft and murder and refusal to provide aid. Fortunately, her morale boosting nature can make up for this sensitivity.
There are four categories of wounds.
- Slightly wounded - Character appears to run and walk a little slower, complains occasionally about a trickle of blood, or a small wound.
- Wounded - Character will visibly limp when walking or running, and will ask for medical supplies when possible. When idle, they search for a bed or chair to sit or lie down in.
- Severely wounded - Character is unable to run, and walks with an almost comical limp. If left idle for mere seconds, will start heading to a bed or chair, complains of bleeding out.
- Lethally wounded - Character can barely walk, complains constantly, should not be removed from bed-rest.
Causes and Treatment
The causes should be fairly straightforward, a character becomes injured either from fighting while scavenging, or being injured while defending. Building the defenses up on the home itself will reduce the risk of injury to survivors.
Once injured, however, if not given proper treatment, survivors will get worse until they eventually expire. Wounds must be healed a level at a time, a lethally wounded survivor, given bandages and a bed, will not miraculously become un-wounded the next morning. The path will be lethally->severely->wounded->slightly->No description (healed).
For wounds, there are no variations of medication, there are bandages, and bed-rest. Ideally, if you take a lethally wounded survivor with no other ailments, bandage them, and let them sleep in a bed in a warm environment, uninterrupted by raid, they will step down to severely wounded. And if given all the same again, they will step down to just wounded the next night. However, that requires many bandages, and lots of luck to not be raided. A warm bed and a full belly usually will get the job done in 1-3 days, so its usually best to either use bandages to solve problems before they happen (heal that one slightly wounded survivor so they are all in good health.) Or save bandages for lethally and severely wounded to bring them back to at least functioning levels.
An unconfirmed note, it has been speculated that talking with bed-ridden wounded survivors will help them heal, although if this is simply due to morale or an actual mechanic is uncertain.
Taking a wounded survivor to the Hospital and talking to a Nurse can prompt a brief event in which the survivor's wound is bandaged for free. it is not known if there is a limit as to how many times this can occur. the downside to this is that there is little to salvage in the Hospital without stealing and angering the guards, recommend bringing moonshine, pure alcohol, or other spare medical supplies with you to trade to the Doctor for small scraps of Materials, Lumber, Cigarettes, and other supplies.
It has been tested and confirmed that a bandaged and Well Fed wounded survivor will be healed for one level over night (sleeping on bed in a warm environment,) from lethally to severely for example, guaranteed. While simply being not hungry won't guarantee this effect, and the second day status could vary randomly - getting better, staying the same, or getting worse. So for lethally / severely cases, it's always worthwhile to give additional meal(s) to the wounded one, when you could afford it.
There are also four categories of sickness.
- Slightly sick - Character appears to run and walk a little slower, complains occasionally about a a little cough or a headache.
- Sick - Character will cough and move at a sluggish pace, and will ask for medical supplies when possible. When idle, they search for a bed or chair to sit or lie down in.
- Severely sick - Character is unable to run, and walks with an almost comical limp. If left idle for mere seconds, will start heading to a bed or chair, complains of symptoms getting worse.
- Terminally sick - Character can barely move, complains constantly, should not be removed from bed-rest.
Causes and Treatment
Characters become sick seemingly at random. One of the biggest controllable causes of sickness is when you allow the house to get too cold. It is important to pay attention to the survivors when the mention the temperature dropping, as this is a signal that sickness is coming if you don't keep it warm.
Another controllable cause of sickness is keeping characters too hungry for too long, this is also one of the best treatments, to keep an injured survivor well fed (Not hungry)
Once ill, however, if not given proper treatment, survivors will get worse until they eventually expire. Sickness must be healed a level at a time, a terminally ill survivor, given medicine and a bed, will not miraculously become healthy the next morning. The path will be terminally->severely->sick->slightly->healthy.
With illness, there are two different types of medications. The Herbal Medication is good for a cheap fix if you have nothing else, its also craftable with herbs, sugar, and water; its not guaranteed to be effective, but it is better than nothing. Real Medicine will always work and help reduce the level of sickness, with proper bed rest, in the same way wound healing works.
The most ideal setting for healing illness is a bed, temperatures above 20C, real medicine, a full belly, and a full night's rest.
Unconfirmed, but common sense would seem to indicate that taking a sick character out in rain, snow, or scavenging will lead them to become more ill.
Also unconfirmed, but there seems to be no correlation that would indicate survivors can spread illness to one another.
It has been tested and confirmed that a medication (Real Medication) applied and Well Fed sick / ill survivor will be healed for one level over night (sleeping on bed in a warm environment,) from terminally to severely for example, guaranteed. While simply being not hungry won't guarantee this effect, and the second day status could vary randomly - getting better, staying the same, or getting worse. So for terminally / severely cases, it's always worthwhile to give additional meal(s) to the sick one, when you could afford it.