Much of this has been said in other threads but with the update closing in, I wanted the subject to have a bit more attention.
What they would do:
- Provide a set amount of food for thralls and pets in an area so a reasonable number of thralls can be kept with less maintenance.
What they wouldn’t do:
- Provide infinite food thus putting us right back at huge numbers of thralls per base.
What they could do with a bit more work:
- Make bases a bit more lively with a few thralls that actually come and go.
- Allow for special events in which players aid/ rescue thralls in trouble
- Create a way for settlements to be attacked short of full scale assaults.
At the most basic implementation, a food gathering thrall would attached, like any other laborer thrall, to a food station that feeds the rest. The thrall would produce an amount of food per day based on its level. Only one food station and thus, one thrall would be allowed in a given area.
Expanding the idea, and the work involved, gatherer thralls could move about and have equipment that could be upgraded like that of combat thralls. In this case, better equipment would mean more food brought in.
Programming thralls to actually go and hunt is likely too far fetched but having them come and go from the base would create a sense of immersion. At a set distance from players they could just come and go from the ether.
Expanding even further, it would be great to occasionally see them running about in the wild. Thralls out on their own could get into trouble so rare events where they need to be rescued from slavers or wild animals could occur. They could even be targets for an enemy player fast enough to catch them before they run home.
Even if gatherers are not vulnerable, it could be fun to have more than one. In this case, a limit on food gathered could be created by saying there is only a set amount of each food resource in an area. Each gatherer thrall pulls a percentage of that resource based on their ability.
Again, much of this has been said in other threads. If you see an idea of yours here, please take credit.