To start with, I hate Carrion Birds and love the hunting.
They add an RNG construct to the Hunt that, in my opinion, is more frustrating to the Monster than it is fun for the Hunters.
It serves a game-play purpose that may or may not be positive of giving Hunters clues that help when the trail goes cold.
I feel that this cheapens and dumbs down the information gathering and guesswork that comprises the hunt for both sides of the conflict.
Thus, I suggest changes to rework Carrion Birds with mechanics that will still aid Hunters with a cold trail, but will do so in a way that presents strategy-promoting options rather than a lucky gamble.
On the Monster side of things I would also like to promote more decision-making in fleeing and feeding with changes to wildlife.
- Carrion Bird rework.
Carrion Birds will only appear after precisely one minute of creature death.
Carrion Birds will always appear on uneaten dead wildlife after a minute, with the current chance for those that were consumed.
Carrion Birds appearing on uneaten wildlife will begin to eat it, gradually lowering its meat bars until they are depleted.
- Wildlife AI changes
Trapjaws, Blitzleopards, and Dune Beetles will now move gradually travel towards uneaten corpses to eat them, moving all over the map as needed. The closest roaming predator pack will move to each kill.
Reactive large wildlife - Nomads, Crowbills, and Armadons - will chase Hunters less, but fight roaming predators that come near them. To the death, for both sides.
- Number of Glaciapods on each map greatly increased. Friend to Monsters, quickly killed target for Hunters.
Wildlife will no longer respawn.
Large Wildlife meat count greatly increased. Crowbill Sloths grant 10 meat and Tyrants 8, for example.
Feeding time increased by 50%. Faster feeding perk removed due to this meat change.
- Armor and Evolution bar gain per meat bar adjusted for balance. Most likely I think armor and evolution per nourishment would need to go down with these changes given the meat in large wildlife, but it would need testing and could go the other way.
- Sneak Changes.
Using Traversal abilities or clmbing while sneaking will now leave tracks.
5 second delay added after using a traversal ability before the Monster can sneak again.
Sneak speed reduced by 25%.
With these changes, killing wildlife to force a decay will be a more viable strategy for the Hunters: though it will take time that will aid the Monster in escaping.
Carrion Birds no longer provide on-time information on the Monster’s location, but they can still somewhat clue in Hunters on their movements.
Additionally, Carrion Birds can alert the Monster on the Hunter’s strategy: if they are denying wildlife, the Monster will know it has more time to hunt on its side of the map.
Taking down big game as the Monster is now more rewarding, offering a better meat to time ratio at the cost of potentially giving Hunters the time they need to catch up.
Hunters and Monsters both will need to keep their eyes out for Glaciapods, to kill them or to get easy meals.
Finally, wildlife will more dynamically move and react to what happens on the map with roaming predators and the reactive creatures that will attack them.