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Insanity

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Idea behind Insanity/Madness

- by John Carver (Sun May 31, 2015)

I imagine this patch (["Insanity!"]) to be quite controversial so I do believe I owe y'all an explanation with this patch, why it is here, what we intend for it to do and not do and all the pitfalls and positives that we imagine to come with it. For those who don't care about the "Why" we did it feel free to breeze over this section. Basically, ever since taking over we have been doing our best to minimize the 'chores' of Salem. Since MM's acquisition Pilgrims now chop trees faster, get more coal from piles, get more boards from logs, get more lime from lime pits, stamp mills are faster, tree chopping is faster, inventories are larger etc. etc. etc. We have done this because we largely considered Salem to be a game of "Chores" and we did not consider the 'chore' of watching a progress meter above your heads for 2 minutes to be 'fun' or 'engaging'. Instead we decided it would be more fun if the players were simply given more time to maneuver and actually control their characters and less time watching actions take place. We feel this has dramatically changed Salem for the better.

However, we were very large fans of the game "Don't Starve" and always felt that Salem was and should always have been a game about survival. Adding some permakilling darkness mobs was one step towards achieving said survival but we still did not feel it was enough. Players of Providence, and especially "veterans" largely had little to fear or little to worry about aside from simply other players. The act of "Surviving" was quite frankly too easy and not engaging outside of other players. We also felt that since we had finally and largely eliminated a large part of the 'chores' in Salem that it was time we added a new CORE feature to the game we always longed for. A core feature which places your character in a perpetual state of Dying thus all your actions can centralize around the very real act of 'surviving'.

This is the premise of insanity. Your character, while being played, is simply always becoming more and more insane as he braves the harsh realities of the new world. Various things you do throughout the game will accelerate this process. Other things you do will cause your character to calm down, regardless though, with the passage of play-time your character will slowly lose his sanity and once he has lost ALL shreds of humanity he will PERMADIE. Now this does come with a few nice little bonus. Players who leave themselves online simply to avoid being stocked, will of course return to their computer to most likely find themselves dead, along with players who try to run bots for days on end etc. etc. AS A WHOLE we consider this change to be a very nice thing that essentially adds a tax and a cost for simply being logged on to Salem. Something in almost any other MMO would be a death sentence, but here, something we feel fits right in. With this mechanic now implemented we will be much more open to adjusting various tasks in Salem that feel grindy or unfun because the cost of playing Salem now has an additional counterweight, one of managing your sanity and keeping your character from all the horrible things that happen when you begin losing your mind.


Since this mechanic CAN and probably WILL permakill many of you. Let me be very clear on a few basics.

Staying online for 30-50 hours without dealing with your sanity in some way shape or form has a 100% chance to kill you.

It is possible that if you continue to do things that lower your insanity at regular intervals (Whittling, Fishing, Butterfly Catching etc.) that you could stay online for 200 hours straight. Remember, you only lose your sanity when you stay online doing NOTHING or stay online doing insane things. Doing things that naturally calm you down will prohibit you from ever gaining a madness level.

Insanity Rebalances ([Patch 1.1]) - Thu Oct 22, 2015
His Majesty has heard your pitiful cries for mercy and has sent aid:
Madness has been rebalanced slightly.
The PEs that cause your shovels, axes, and pickaxes to become questionably effective are now 1/10 as likely to happen at all Madness levels.
Additionally, characters must be 48 hours old before they will begin to passively gain insanity.
HOWEVER characters will still gain insanity for doing ACTIVE insane things like licking boards.


Insanity

All Pilgrims will gain Insanity over time.

Various actions will increase or decrease your Insanity level:

Wearing a Cthulhu Masque will slowly raise your cloak and dagger as well as increase the rate in which you gather insanity by 400%.

This will increase insanity:

  • Pulling the stinger on a Drone Bee adds a tiny bit of insanity.
  • Pulling the stinger on a Queen Bee adds a tiny bit of insanity
  • Pulling the stinger on a Delphic Bee adds a tiny bit of insanity.
  • Checking Mr. Puggles Leaderboard adds a tiny bit of insanity.
  • Seeing a Wishpoosh adds a tiny bit of insanity.
  • Seeing a Quetzalcoatl adds a tiny bit of Insanity.
  • Seeing a Hydrukey adds a tiny bit of Insanity.
  • Seeing a Furfur adds a small amount of insanity.
  • Spawning a LumberLord adds a huge amount of insanity.
  • Wringing the Neck of a Squirrel adds a small amount of insanity.
  • Wringing the neck of a Turkey adds a small amount of insanity.
  • Pulling the tail off a Salamander adds a good bit of insanity.
  • Dissecting a Frog adds a small bit of insanity.
  • Cutting a Caterpillar from his Cocoon early adds a good bit of insanity.
  • Feeding Royal Jelly to dead creatures adds a small amount of insanity.
  • Butchering and skinning Animals with your bare hands adds insanity.
  • Sniffing Smelling Salts adds a small amount of insanity.
  • Sniffing Satan Salts adds a great deal of Insanity.
  • When a Daisy terminates on 'she loves me not' a small amount of insanity is added.
  • Finding a Traces of the Lost Colony adds a good bit of insanity.
  • Drinking Snake Oil adds a good bit of insanity.
  • Eating Rotten Fruit adds a good bit of insanity.
  • Witnessing a Mischievious Gnome adds a good bit of insanity.
  • Players may lick Moldy Board clean to fresh boards again. Doing so will add a huge amount of insanity. Don't lick mold.
  • KOing will add a great deal of insanity.
  • Finding a Thumbnail in your pie adds a great deal of insanity.
  • Becoming whipped in the Stocks adds a small amount of insanity.
  • Robbing a grave adds a huge amount of insanity.
  • Scalping a player adds a huge amount of insanity.
  • Being online when a Blood Moon occurs adds a TREMENDOUS amount of insanity. Players may gain 1-2 Level of Madness then.


This will remove your Insanity:

  • When a Daisy terminates on 'she loves me' a small amount of insanity is removed.
  • Whittling removes a small amount of insanity.
  • Rolling Dough removes a small amount of insanity.
  • Cooking things over the gentle crackling of a Fire now lowers a bit of insanity.
  • Planting things in your Gardening Pots lowers your insanity.
  • Picking Flowers from the wild lowers insanity.
  • Finding a gem while sifting reduces a bit of insanity.
  • Casting your fishing pole removes a small amount of insanity.
  • Catching a butterfly removes a small amount of insanity.
  • Playing a single note on a musical instrument removes a good bit of insanity.
  • Players who are listening to music played by other players that would change a biome will find that it soothes them and lowers their insanity as well.
  • Taking a draw from a Hookah removes a great deal of insanity. Player may also reduce 1 Madness Level with a Hookah.
  • Studying Items reduces a fair bit of insanity. (As a metric, a player who studies an item once every 4-8 minutes of playtime would never gain a madness level).

Psychotic Episodes icon.png Madness

WARNING! Reaching a Madness level of 10 will cause permanent death!


Pilgrims who reach a certain level of Insanity will gain a Madness level.

Madness levels may be reduced by:

  • Smoking Tobacco
  • Taking a draw from a Hookah
  • Players who sleep for a full 8 hours in a bed holding a Teddybear will find themselves waking up with 1 lesser Madness level.

Be Careful!

  • Witches may curse a Teddybear.
  • A cursed Teddybear will cause a player to wake up with more madness than when they went to bed.

Pilgrims will hear voices in their heads while Mad, higher madness means more voices.

Psychotic Episodes

Your character will experience a Psychotic Episode more frequently depending on what Madness level they are currently dealing with.

  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they are entirely positive that they are a turkey.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode known as Meow Meow.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they decide to adopt a pet Termite in their inventory. His name is Steve.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they feel the need to get naked, put on some poison ivy underwear, and party.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they invent the world greatest digging tool and cannot understand how it was never invented sooner.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they find the world's largest Salami.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where their own blood is found all over the cloth produced from a loom.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they meet The Precious.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where they create a TimberTerror.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode while planing boards.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where an all-consuming flame washes over their inventory.
  • Bats spawn while mining tiles in a mine as a result of a Psychotic Episode. This means bat spawning on the whole should be less.
  • Players may experience a Psychotic Episode where their goods become covered in slime.
  • Players will sometimes create Questionably Effective Nails.


Insanity Rebalances ([Patch 1.1]:
The PEs that cause your shovels, axes, and pickaxes to become questionably effective are now 1/10 as likely to happen at all Madness levels.

You can find more information about Psychotic Episodes on this page: Psychotic Episodes - Details.

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