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Food and drink

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Everyone is aware one has to eat and drink to stay in good shape. This little guide will explain how food and drink works in P99. Please note that most of the time I will speak about food. The same applies to drinks. Just copy/paste the following text in your favorite editor, search/replace "food" with "drink" and "eat" with "drink". (forum ref thread ref2)

Contents

Basics

One of the realistic aspects of EverQuest is the need for food and drink. Although you can never actually starve to death, nor die of thirst, failing to keep yourself nourished does have some serious consequences. But the details of eating and drinking, like many other specifics of EverQuest’s inner-workings, can be hard to determine without a serious investigation. Here are the results of a recent study on the effects of going without food and drink.

Your stomach

Everyone has a stomach, not only trolls and ogres. It can be empty (when you got messages saying you are hungry / thirsty) or full (saying you would explode if you eat any more), or even in between. When your stomach is empty, the game automatically checks whether there is a piece of food in your inventory, takes it out of your bag/box/whatever and put it in your stomach. When you right-click a piece of food it also goes in your stomach. If it's full, you cannot eat anymore. You can also eat successive pieces of food, going right-click frenzy on a stack of food, until it's full. That way, you can have several pieces of food in your stomach, and they will be consumed one after the other till it's empty.

Food and drink categories

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NOTE: As of March 2015, all food/drink categories seem to have the same duration, so feel free to stock up on milk and muffins to save yourself some cash.

There are seven categories describing how long a piece of food/drink will last in your stomach before it is consumed:

  • snack/whistle wetter: lasts for 1-5 minutes;
  • meal/drink: lasts for 6-20 minutes;
  • hearty meal/refreshing drink: lasts for 21-30 minutes;
  • banquet size meal/lasting drink: lasts for 31-40 minutes;
  • feast/flowing drink: lasts for 41-50 minutes;
  • enduring meal/enduring drink: lasts for 51-60 minutes;
  • miraculous meal/miraculous drink: lasts for 61-240 minutes.

Why intervals and not precise amount of minutes? Because every piece of food has it's own digestive timer. A Bear Sandwich is 20 minutes. A Beer Braised Mammoth is 35 minutes. Starting from an empty stomach, you can force-eat (right-click) more snacks than hearty meals, for example.

Food and drink timers

First, you should be aware of two timers that appear to be used to control eating and drinking. The first is the one I’ve labeled the Food/Drink Status Timer. For a Halfling, it expires every 45 seconds real-time (18 minutes Norrath time) resulting in a check of your food and drink supplies. A Humans Food/Drink Status Timer expires every 90 seconds real-time. If you only have one food item remaining at the expiration of the timer, you’ll get the message “You are low on food.” An equivalent message shows when you have only one drink item remaining.

If you have no food items, then you’ll see the message: “You are out of food.” Again, there is an equivalent message for being out of drink items. Also, when this timer expires, you will get the message that you are hungry and/or thirsty if you have reached Stage 1 which will be described below.

The other timer is the Meal Timer. It expires every 30 minutes real-time (12 hours Norrath time) for a Halfling and 60 minutes real-time for a Human. When it does, you actually consume one of your food and one of your drink items. Therefore, Halflings have two meals a day within the EverQuest world, while Humans have only one.

As far as other races are concerned, their exact timer values haven’t been tested, however, since the two timers are proportional, you can quickly determine your character’s values. Simply place all your food and drink into the bank and then time the delay between “You are out of food and drink” messages. 45-second Food/Drink Status Timers equate to a 30-minute Meal Timer, so simply scale accordingly from there.

Stages of Hunger and Thirst

(Note: All of the times mentioned in this section are for Halflings unless otherwise indicated. See the previous paragraph to determine applicable times for your character)

If the Meal Timer expires and you have no food or drink, then you will enter Stage 1 of Hunger/Thirst. The only impact during this stage is the constant reminder every 45 seconds that you are hungry and/or thirsty.

If 30 more minutes real-time goes by and you still haven’t solved your food/drink shortage problem, then you will reach Stage 2. There is nothing that will actually show this status change and there is still no detriment to your abilities, but you’re one step closer to the dreaded Stage 3.

Stage 3 begins after 30 more minutes of no food and/or drink. If you reach this stage, it means you’ve gone one-and-a-half Norrathian days without food and/or drink (see the table below). Sometime during this stage (usually in about 15 to 20 minutes), hit-points and mana will no longer regenerate and your fatigue bar will slowly drop to zero, taking about 10 minutes (regardless of race) to bottom-out unless you help it along by jumping or engaging in other vigorous activities. When there is only about 1 bubble of fatigue showing, your Strength, Agility, and Dexterity will all start dropping and eventually each face a 10 point reduction.

Engaging in battle during Stage 3 is suicide; not only because of the penalty to your three primary combat abilities, but also since you won’t regain Hit Points or Mana without the help of magic.

The only silver-lining to all of this is that you can’t go beyond Stage 3, no matter how much you continue to deny yourself food and/or drink. Although it’s also important to realize that it doesn’t matter whether you are lacking food or drink, both are just as important and having an excess of one while being out of the other provides no benefit.

STAGE TIME SINCE LAST MEAL/DRINK (Halfling) TIME SINCE LAST MEAL/DRINK (Human) Consequences
1 30 to 60 minutes 1 to 2 hours Hunger/thirst reminder every 45 seconds
2 60 to 90 minutes 2 to 3 hours
3 90 minutes or more 3 hours or more Regeneration halted

Recovering from hunger and thirst

To recover from the negative effects of Stage 3, simply place the missing food and/or drink into your inventory. When the Food/Drink Status Timer expires (within 45 seconds real-time), you will consume whichever of the two types of items you need. At this point, your Hit Points, Mana, and Fatigue bars will all begin to recharge at their normal rates. However, if you were in Stage 3 of hunger/thirst and you only provide yourself with one food/drink item to achieve the recovery, you’ll find yourself back into Stage 3 in 30 minutes. You have to eat/drink enough to bring yourself back out through all 3 stages. Therefore, you’ll need to buy 3 items of food and/or drink. In fact, if you purchase 3 items and watch your inventory, you’ll see that one item gets consumed every 45 seconds.

Next piece of food

As said before, the game will locate the next piece of food as soon as your stomach is empty. If you only have one stack of food in your whole inventory, say a full stack (20) of bear sandwiches, it's easy to understand that the game will automatically take one and put it in your stomach, and that your stack will only have 19 pieces left. Something very important is how the game determines what will go in your stomach next time it's empty, aka "the next food slot". It's easy: he will scan your inventory, starting from the top left slot and going to the bottom right slot. If a slot is filled with a container (box, bag, ...) the game will look into it and scan it left right and top-down. Following is a more precise and visual description of the slot scan order. In the personnal inventory (main level where you can put bags):

1 5
2 6
3 7
4 8

In the bags (not the same order!):

1 2
3 4
5 6
7 8
9 10

Crafted food

Food and drink can be created via tradeskills. The advantages of player-made food are mainly:

  • Usually weighs only 0.1WT and can have long duration. If you go raiding for hours, just a stack of Misty Thicket Picnic, weighing 0.1, will last for 40 hours;
  • May grant stat bonuses to you. Blackened Teir'Dal gives you DEX+1, INT+2, AGI+1, for example.

The benefits of crafted food are obvious: it's like having an extra equipment slot where you can put stat enhancing food. If we take the example of a single piece of Bear Steaks (STR+1), the game will add 1 to your strength if you put it in "the next food slot" (as described before). And it will only eat it if your stomach is empty. So, if you are careful enough and right-click some food now and then to keep your stomach busy, that single piece of Bear Sandwich will last forever.