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Intimidation and Wandering Mothers



I haven't been able to really play Niche outside of the demo, but I have been watching a lot of videos on youtube. I hope to get it soon so I can play it myself, but in the many videos I've watched I noticed something; wanderers are just sort of there until you add them to your tribe. Even attacking them doesn't do much. They completely ignore your nichlings. Even rogue males, as annoying as they can be, are more realistic.

So here's a few ideas to help out with that. They can be added individually, but can also work well together(and a couple features are dependent on one another);


Intimidation is a new stat that will effect nichlings and other creatures. For every point in strength, distasteful appearance/scent, poisonous and strong voice, a nicheling will have +1 point in intimidation. This can be used to chase away wanderers from your food source without a fight. However, it won't always work. Trying to intimidate a nichling with a higher intimidation than your own will almost always fail. In certain circumstances(such as defending a packmate or food source), even if your intimidation is greater to that of a wanderer's, they still may refuse to flee.

If you attack a nichling and their intimidation is greater to or equal to your own, they may fight back. If multiple nichlings attack them, however, they will flee. A nichling will not fight if it is outnumbered. Additionally, every time you hit a wanderer, it will have a chance to flee. Again, this is dependent on the intimidation stat and how much health they have left. A nichling with low health fighting one with a lot probably won't stick around, no matter the difference in intimidation.

A nichling who has been intimidated will actively avoid your tribe if possible. It will always try to keep out of your range of senses. As for banished nichlings, they will flee until they reach just outside your senses as well and will act like an intimidated nichling. A banished nichling or one that has been intimidated may attempt to return later if it survives, but will be easier to chase away provided it hasn't found itself a group. Attacking them will make them keep away a little longer, however they may fight back in self defense, so this is risky.

A wanderer who has found a food source(a berry bush for example), will stick around and defend it. These wanderers will be more difficult to intimidate, and will likely not give up without a fight. If you really want that berry bush, it's a good idea to send multiple nichlings over if you don't welcome the wanderer into your tribe. You could always just welcome it into your tribe and find a way to kill it or banish it, but in doing so you would be wasting energy and food. To prevent this from being abused, you may need to wait a day or so in game before you can banish a nichling you have welcomed into the tribe.

Safety in numbers

Wanderers, when stumbling across one another, may interact in a few ways. They could ignore each other and continue on their way. Or, if one has found a food source, they may attempt to intimidate and even fight each other over it if there isn't an unclaimed one within their sense range. Of course, they could always be stubborn and decide they want this berry bush and not the one a couple tiles away. 

Or, they could form a pack. Packs are small groups of wanderers ranging from two to five members. To prevent too many nichlings being on an island at once, these pack members will not breed with one another. Packs will only get bigger than five members if you adjust it in sandbox settings or breed with one of the females in the pack. Baby or child wanderers will automatically form packs when they bump into one another. Once they have grown up, however, they may choose to leave. At any point in time, a teenage or adult wanderer may choose to leave their pack and become a lone wanderer again. Baby or child nichlings will not leave their pack unless forced to though being attacked or their pack dying/all leaving.

Packs will generally avoid each other and will usually try to keep out of your scent range. Unlike banished or intimidated nichlings, if there is a food source within your scent range the pack may lay claim to it so long as none of your nichlings are within three tiles of it. Pack members can be welcomed into the tribe individually; if you only want one member you won't have to invite the whole pack. However, the pack will treat its former member as it would any other member in your tribe. They will not be more likely to join or leave if you want to add them to your pack or try to intimidate them.

A nichling who is sick will never be welcomed into a pack. Additionally, the pack will outright abandon sickly nichlings. Blind nichlings and those who cannot gather food are not included in this, as herd/pack animals have been seen caring for the injured or weaker members. There will be an option in sandbox that allows people to include them, however, if you want to.

Sometimes, a wanderer may become curious and decide they want to join your pack. When this happens, they will act a bit more like they do now; they will remain in your scent range and wander around your tribe, but will not go after food sources if a tribe member is already next to it. These wanderers will always flee when you intimidate them, though after a few days they may return and try again. Attacking them will make them avoid you even longer, though they may fight back to defend themselves, so this is risky. These wanderers may take slightly less food to welcome into the tribe, but are very rare. Sickly, blind or nichlings who cannot feed themselves will be more likely to try to join you than a nichling who can do fine on their own. There can be a toggle in sandbox settings to disable curious nichlings.

If you help a nichling(licking termites or wounds, pulling off leeches, defending it when it is attacked, allowing it to huddle with you in the cold weather etc. etc) may turn it into a curious wanderer. This isn't guaranteed, however, and is fairly rare so it may just wander off again once the danger has passed. 

Wandering Mothers

It's odd how a pregnant wanderer won't really try to seek out a nest to have her baby in if you don't add her to the tribe. Perhaps there could be a very rare chance a female to spawn in pregnant(only if she has enough life left to have the baby). She will seek out a nest to have her young when it is time and she will stick close to the nest until the baby is old enough to walk around. The baby will follow her around like a baby bearyena does its mother until it is a teenager. When the baby becomes a teenager, it may choose to stay with its mother and form a pack or wander off on its own.

Wandering mothers will also adopt orphaned babies or children, however she will only adopt up to two if she is still pregnant. If she has already given birth and has two babies following her, she will not adopt anymore. As a result, a wandering mother will only ever have four babies following her at a time. If one becomes sickly, however, she will abandon it. She will also abandon any babies who are unable to feed themselves if she has more than just one to care for.

Wandering mothers will defend their young to the death. If a predator attacks, she will fight it. If another nichling attacks, she will fight it. As a result, wandering mothers are fairly dangerous. Attempting to intimidate them may make them attack, unlike other wanderers who will only fight in self defense or to defend their food sources. If you wish to welcome a wandering mother or her young into the tribe, you must welcome them all unless the young are teenagers. So, say it takes five food to welcome a nichling into the tribe and the wandering mother has two young. It will take fifteen to welcome them in as they all join together. If you want one of the babies and not the mother or its siblings, you'll need to wait until it is a teenager.

If you breed with a wanderer before welcoming her into the tribe, she will become a wandering mother. A wandering mother will also refuse to breed with any males in your tribe if she is still caring for a baby or child. If you want to breed with her, you'll have to welcome her into the tribe or get rid of the young. A wanderer who has been made pregnant by a member of the tribe may stick around or be more likely to want to join. Her offspring may also be a bit more likely to wish to join. Or, they may both run off and never be seen again. It's also possible she may only stick around until her child is a teenager and then she'll leave. Mating with a wanderer is risky business.

Wandering Orphans

Wandering orphans spawn in naturally and are the result of the death of their wandering mother or are a baby or child that has been banished from the tribe. When they come across another nichling, they may try to follow them around. The wanderer may allow them to, but there is a chance every day that they may chase the young one off. Wandering mothers will never chase away an orphaned nichling unless she already has two or more young to care for, the orphan is sickly, or if it is unable to care for itself and she has more young to care for.

These orphans may also choose to follow your nichlings around. However, they are very skittish. The more nichlings in their sense range, the less likely they are to approach. Wandering orphans will always flee when intimidated, though they may return later on. If you attack them, they will avoid your tribe for a long time, perhaps their entire lives if it is possible. A wandering orphan who grows up while following your tribe may be a bit more likely to want to join your tribe. However, like with everything else, it's not guaranteed and is fairly rare.

If a young nichling is following another, they will flee upon the other being attacked and try to hide. If the other is killed or the attacker is chased off and they are not found by the end of the day, they will begin to cry at random points the following day until they are found or the day ends. If they still are not found by the next day, they will become a wandering orphan. The orphan's mother will always try to find her young unless she has adopted others or it dies/has become a teenager. A young nichling that has been banished from the tribe will flee out of your sense range and will act like a lost orphan.

Be careful when following the cries of an orphan! Their cries may attract predators as well as other nichlings. Adult wanderers may not approach a crying orphan, however a wandering mother will always try to find it if she hears it if she can care for another baby/child. If a predator or other nichling has found it, she may just choose to leave it be and go on her way if it isn't hers. If it is hers, she will defend it until she or the young dies or the predator/other nichling is dead or flees. She will only attack another nichling if it attacks her or her young.

If two wandering orphans hear each other, they will try to find one another and form a small pack together. If a group of young nichlings start following an adult, the adult will be more likely to chase them off. It will be a chance each day for each one to be chased away, and if one orphan gets chased away, they all do, so it's not likely that you'll stumble across a nichling with a lot of orphans following it.

If you welcome a wandering orphan into your tribe and the mother turns up later, she will not try to take her child back. If you banish the orphan, however, it will go back to its mother if she is still within the range of its senses.

General Notes

A wanderer will seek out healing fruits or a purring nichling if they are injured.

Additionally, if they find a pile of bones, they may avoid that spot in the future.

Wanderers will also avoid sickly nichlings, even ones who are members of a tribe.

They will actively try to avoid going into water too deep to breathe in unless they have no other choice, such as if they are being chased.

Wanderers will also avoid fires and places that have recently had them and places where they have seen other nichlings be eaten by carnivorous plants.

Wanderers may chase down bunnels and attack them for food if they can. Some wanderers may remain close to the bunnel burrow.

While curious wanderers are a thing, this does not mean other wanderers will not join your tribe. All wanderers will still join your tribe no matter what, even those who already in packs. Curious wanderers will just be easier to find/may take slightly less food to join.

Curious wanders are pretty rare and can only be a lone nichling. A nichling in a pack will not become a curious wanderer. This includes wandering mothers who have given birth or have adopted orphans, as they are considered a pack. More often than not, a curious wanderer will be one who is sickly, blind or cannot care for themselves.

Rogue males can be effected by intimidation, however they can only be intimidated by other males and will only avoid the males of the tribe if the intimidation works. A female on her own away from the rest of the tribe will not be avoided by an intimidated rogue.

The genes of father of the wandering mother's offspring will be randomized or perhaps an already existing wanderer(including rogues) may be chosen to be the father if there are any available at the time the wandering mother spawns in.

It's nothing huge like a new biome or prey source, but the wanderers will be a bit more realistic and it will add a little extra challenge to the game, as well as a bunch of roleplay opportunities for those who like to make stories with their nichlings.

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A quick little bump with an extra little idea for this; there's different scent types for the different Nichlings. I believe normal wanderers are yellow and rogues are red. Curious wanderers could be green to set them apart and so you know whether that Nichling hanging around the edges of your group is a curious wanderer or just a normal one looking for a meal.

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Thank you all for the comments and upvotes! I haven't been able to check in for a while due to things happening in life, but I finally got a chance to hop on.

On 8/27/2019 at 1:35 PM, magnolia said:

love this! upvoted!

maybe nichelings in a wanderer pack can have a baby with each other if one of their pack dies/runs off

also rogue males should be able to make wanderers pregnant because right now they only annoy our own tribe.

Thank you again for the upvote! And yeah, Nichlings breeding within their own pack sounds like a good idea, too! I'm thinking the max for a pack might be somewhere around eight normally, but could be edited to be larger or smaller within sandbox. I think as long as the pack doesn't reach that max number they could breed with one another just fine! Any sickly nichlings born would be abandoned and chased away so others won't get ill, but since they're in a pack the nichlings that can't take care of themselves otherwise would be allowed to stay.

As for the rogue males, it's a good suggestion, but I worry it could lead to there being too many nichlings on the map. A lot of players often struggle to find food with the bunnels stealing berries from them all the time, and having a lot of nichlings to also compete against would make things even more difficult. I think the best way to go around balancing this would be for a female nichling to have a very small(perhaps 10%?) chance of mating with a male wanderer if she happens to bump into one, which would include the rogue males, as long as she isn't already pregnant or isn't still caring for any of her own young. This way, rogue males can still breed with wanderers, but not in a way that would end up running the risk of overpopulating the entire island and make surviving too difficult for the player's group.

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This is an amazing idea! I think that you should also say that each type of wanderer is a different entity in the creature list in sandbox, so that you can enable/disable specific ones and leave others! I really hope the developers look into this and add at least some of it, because it's awesome! Also, I think there should be some way to tell what a specific creature is, like an icon or a gem color or something that marks it as "in a tribe" or "wandering mother" or for baby Nichelings, "orphan" or "being cared for by a wandering mother/a tribe". Anyways, I really love the ideas you have!

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On 11/2/2019 at 6:30 PM, Thrae said:

A quick little bump with an extra little idea for this; there's different scent types for the different Nichlings. I believe normal wanderers are yellow and rogues are red. Curious wanderers could be green to set them apart and so you know whether that Nichling hanging around the edges of your group is a curious wanderer or just a normal one looking for a meal.

I thought of another one; pink for wandering mothers! I mean, it would make sense to me. If you wanted to be really extra, they could have different gem colors too. We could say rogues have red gems, wandering mothers have pink, normal wanderers have the usual green, curious wanderers have light blue, wandering orphans  have yellow. Just some random ideas that came to mind!

On 1/21/2020 at 10:23 AM, Vulture said:

i think this is a great idea!! however it might be a little hard and some might find it annoying if it gets to difficult so what about adding game-mode or button in setting that's called 'realistic' and activate this on feature?

I said this in my previous comment, but the different wanderer types could be set as different entities in Sandbox, so we could enable/disable whichever ones we want to. I think that would solve the problem of it being too hard/annoying. I personally would probably only have wandering mothers, wandering orphans, and curious wanderers enabled :’D

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Does sound interesting.. I definitely love wandering nichelings, they make the game exciting. It could be really cool for the wandering packs to be friendly, or unfriendly. You could have certain actions to take that could turn an unfriendly pack friendly, and vice versa. An unfriendly pack could purposely steal food, attack your members, or even kidnap unattended babies!

My only concern is this does sound a little complicated to have all of this stuff going on in the background of the game, maybe they could figure out how to simplify it somewhat? I don't know a whole lot about game creation..

Anyway, upvoted!

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i think this is a great idea!! however it might be a little hard and some might find it annoying if it gets to difficult so what about adding game-mode or button in setting that's called 'realistic' and activate this on feature?

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