The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't currently useful

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The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't currently useful

Postby strpk0 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:24 am

In response to the Cattle Roster menu added in this update, I wanted to point out a few basic but glaring flaws that, at best make this feature completely unusuable for what it was intended for (managing any decent sized herd of animals), and at worst just add a frustrating, exhausting and confusing chore to the list for people that want to make use of it.

A). The key aspects of it that make it broken/unusuable for its intended purpose:

1. The animals have to be memorized one by one (and you have to physically walk up to them, too).
2. The animals that are slaughtered/moved elsewhere aren't removed from the list (and dont reflect said situations in the list, unless you click on them individually and get a message informing you of this.)
3. The animals that are born/added into your herd aren't added to the list automatically.

In order to show why said points are an issue, consider the following hyphothetical (but realistic) scenario:

1. Player A has around 50 animals (a rather low number by the average endgame player's standards, mind you), and he wants to make use of the feature so he doesn't have to spend hours inspecting each one of his animals individually. He also lives with Players B and C, which both share access to the animals in question.
2. Player A memorizes all of the animals, kills off a few lower quality males and goes happily on with his gameplay.
3. A few days pass by, player A decides it is time to cull off the lower quality animals, except he now realizes he needs to (making sure not to miss a single animal!), right click every animal in his pens to make sure none have been added/have been born/have been moved into them which he currently doesn't have memoed, which would all lead him to making wrong decisions when killing off stuff/assuming everything is in order.
4. More time passes (lets say a week), and player A decides it is time to once again cull off the lower quality animals. Except, unbeknownst to him, players B and C have been slaughtering/removing/adding animals to said pens. Quickly, his carefully managed "Cattle Roster" has turned into a cattle fuck nightmare that he constantly has to feverishly log in daily to manage, to make sure it stays up to date and reflects correct information. Add on top of that, that he now has to carefully remember each time he slaughters an animal to both locate it in the list and remove it himself from it in order to not introduce errors or wrong/outdated information to it.

B). Suggested solutions that would turn the feature from a management nightmare to a nice QoL feature:

Honestly, there's many strange bandaids that could be applied to how it currently works, but all of them would likely not solve the problems I mentioned. Instead, I suggest that:

1. The list is removed from the adventure menu, and reworked into a user-defineable zone very similar to land surveys, without the 31x31 tile size limitation those currently have. There's no need for anyone to keep a global list of memoed animals as if they were kinned hearthlings anyway, and arguably global lists don't make sense/are confusing if you manage animals in more than one place in the world.
2. Said defined zone would then require you to place an object of some sort (lets say a billboard/book on a pedestal/what have you), from which you could access the animal management menu, which would stay open as long as you stay within reasonable distance of the zone itself.
3. Any animal currently standing within the zone is viewable from the menu, thus any newborns are also automagically added into it, and any animals that are slaughtered or dragged off the zone are also automagically removed. No headaches!

C). "Would-be-nice"s or optional things that would make this feature even more helpful and QoL:

Just make the flower menu options on animals usable from a distance as long as the person using it keeps the menu open. There's 0 reason to require players to clumsily bump their way around their herds in order to slaughter/castrate them. None of the "shoo away" or "whistle to call the animal to you" features have made this aspect of keeping animals tolerable. It's certainly better now, but still a nuisance nonetheless when you have to wait or hearth out when your animals decide to box you in randomly.

Alternatively, if ending your animal's lives from a distance is deemed too unreasonable, being able to "mark" animals in some noticeable fashion (by applying a recolour to them or any sort of indicator, a coloured collar, etc) would be very helpful when actually carrying out the slaughtering process.

And as a final thing, being able to see your animals' names while having the menu open would be helpful, so you can actually identify without having to click on it in the list where it is.
Last edited by strpk0 on Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby WowGain » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:14 am

+1, Cattle Roster is a very useful tool at its core but it needs tweaks to really have it be widely applicable to most players and not another logistical nightmare of its own to take care of.
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby Enjoyment_2 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:02 am

strpk0 wrote:A). The key aspects of it that make it broken/unusuable for its intended purpose:

1. The animals have to be memorized one by one (and you have to physically walk up to them, too).
2. The animals that are slaughtered/moved elsewhere aren't removed from the list (and dont reflect said situations in the list, unless you click on them individually and get a message informing you of this.)
3. The animals that are born/added into your herd aren't added to the list automatically.

seems a bit odd to me. These issues don't make the feature broken/unusable at all (the missing "sex" column is what makes it broken), but rather seems like "I want work less", and here is why:
1. yes, you have to, why should you be able to get all the info about animal without properly inspecting it?
2.1. slaughtered - maybe should be removed, but there could be cases current state is prefered, so it's a case of favor, not broken-stuff (since you still can remove them manually)
2.2. moved - why should animals be removed from the list if they moved elsewhere? what is "moved elsewhere"? moved from where? from designated pasture area? well, it is not implemented (and don't think it will be, because of obvious flaws, discussed in dedicated topics), so it is a bit off-topic here.
3.1. born - mostly as #1 - why should you magically get the info about animal you didn't ever seen?
3.2. added - mostly as #2.2. - there is no "herd" in the game, so dunno what are you talking about? another non-implemented feature, that should be added to make Cattle Roster less broken?
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby EnderWiggin » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:19 am

Another way to manage herds would be adding Shepherd role to the village - any person with this role would automatically get updates on all cattle on the village territory. If animal dies or leaves village - it is removed, if new one are born or enters village borders - they are added. But this may be a bit too magical for jorbtar, so your proposal with marking territory and special herd book to open said interface is really good. Plus it allows for better partitioning of animals.
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby Fostik » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:01 am

Enjoyment_2 wrote:2.1. slaughtered - maybe should be removed, but there could be cases current state is prefered, so it's a case of favor, not broken-stuff (since you still can remove them manually)
2.2. moved - why should animals be removed from the list if they moved elsewhere? what is "moved elsewhere"? moved from where? from designated pasture area? well, it is not implemented (and don't think it will be, because of obvious flaws, discussed in dedicated topics), so it is a bit off-topic here.
3.1. born - mostly as #1 - why should you magically get the info about animal you didn't ever seen?
3.2. added - mostly as #2.2. - there is no "herd" in the game, so dunno what are you talking about? another non-implemented feature, that should be added to make Cattle Roster less broken?


You guys discussing two totally different systems.
Old previous system was a band aid feature over UI, and the problem is that devs reimplemented client tweak officially, rather than create a new mechanic.
From what I understood from topicstarter, is that new feature - pasture zones will be much better way to handle your animals, e.g. you selecting zones, where your animals lives in, and this zone collects all info to the list of animals belong for that zone, just like in Dwarf Fortress.
This will allow "magically" receive info about newborns, slaughtered or stolen animals.
So I think asking "why should you magically get the info about animal you didn't ever seen" should not be a question for players, but must be a planned feature for devs, to make animal management convenient.
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby Enjoyment_2 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:22 am

Fostik wrote:You guys discussing two totally different systems.

strpk0 wrote:In response to the Cattle Roster menu added in this update, I wanted to point out a few basic but glaring flaws that, at best make this feature completely unusuable

do we?)
the problem is OP saying about an implemented feature but wants a completely new system. And I'm not sure that only one, 'cause he's saying about some "herd" instance too
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby EnderWiggin » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:50 am

Enjoyment_2 wrote:the problem is OP saying about an implemented feature but wants a completely new system. And I'm not sure that only one, 'cause he's saying about some "herd" instance too

OP is saying that current system is not suited to the needs of players who would actually need such system (players with lots cattle). Then he proposes new system (which uses current system's interface to display data, but new way to get that data) which would fix those issues. And don't get hung up on 'herd' - in new system herd would be all animals in one designated 'animal pen zone'. In current system 'herd' means all animals inside specific fenced area, which is not defined by game rules and thus is a source of current system's problems.
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby Enjoyment_2 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:04 pm

EnderWiggin wrote:
Enjoyment_2 wrote:the problem is OP saying about an implemented feature but wants a completely new system. And I'm not sure that only one, 'cause he's saying about some "herd" instance too

OP is saying that current system is not suited to the needs of players who would actually need such system (players with lots cattle). Then he proposes new system (which uses current system's interface to display data, but new way to get that data) which would fix those issues. And don't get hung up on 'herd' - in new system herd would be all animals in one designated 'animal pen zone'. In current system 'herd' means all animals inside specific fenced area, which is not defined by game rules and thus is a source of current system's problems.

so you just double my statement, that OP is proposing a new system, but saying he's criticized the current one?
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby DDDsDD999 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:40 pm

Friendly reminder that enjoyment is a troll and should be ignored.
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Re: The "Cattle Roster" menu, and why it isn't actually usef

Postby iamahh » Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:10 pm

the main feature is being able to see numbers in a table, instead of multiple windows

now the 3 extra features OP requested didn't exist in Amber's original idea either
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