Timefall Degradation in DS

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What isn't affected by timefall

  • The contents of anything containerized: Orders, Materials, or containerized Equipment (on the Fabricate / Equipment tab).
    • The container is quickly eroded - the fastest in the game - but the contents are never touched by timefall. Not even if the container is long gone.
    • So don't worry about timefall ruining your Orders ... just don't take a bad fall if the container is gone! They are now unprotected from kinetic damage (falls, etc.).
    • Wearable Equipment does take timefall damage when it's being worn (and isn't in its container).
  • Boots don't take timefall damage when worn or on boot clip, and are otherwise in containers. Thus, boots themselves don't ever take timefall damage. They only take damage from moving while wearing them.
  • Much like boots, Thermal Pads and Armor Plate doesn't take timefall when worn, and otherwise only its container can be damaged. So these two items are only affected by kinetic damage, not timefall.
  • Sam's backpack cover doesn't take timefall damage if he's on a trike. Don't ask me why. Maybe a bug or oversight?

And of course, these aren't affected by timefall:

  • Anything in a Bridges truck.
  • Grenades and blood in pouches.
  • Anything in a covered backpack.
    • Unless you're in a Mule Truck. Look closely: you put your backpack contents in the shotgun seat, and anything on top of your backpack goes into the truck bed.

Most everything else takes timefall damage.

Sensitivity to timefall

Containers

All containers are the most sensitive:

  • Containers for Orders go the fastest. It differs depending on the specific Order; the containers of a particular Order always have the same rate, but different Orders have slightly different rates. They all take about 3½ – 7½ minutes to go from 100% to 0% container.
  • Containers for Materials and containers for Sam's Equipment (when not worn) take about 7½ minutes to go. There are a few exceptions that erode faster (see below).

In what follows, I will use the terms boxed and unboxed for equipment that has a container. Boxed means it's in its container (not being worn), and unboxed means it's being worn (and not in its container).

  • Boxed equipment doesn't get timefall damage (but its container does).
  • Equipment does get timefall damage when unboxed and being worn (except Boots and Thermal Pads).

Box types are easy to summarize via the tabs of the Fabricate menu:

  • All Equipment is boxed. All boots, skeletons, armor plate, gloves, O2 mask, thermal pads, etc.
  • Everything else is boxless. That's all Tools (including blood), Weapons, and (for Vehicles) Carriers.
    • Except under Tools, the smoke and vog decoy cargo are boxed.

Lastly, I'll call equipment that does not have a container boxless. It always gets timefall (unless in a covered backpack or a Bridges truck).

Boxless equipment has three dashes (---) for Container Damage, because it has no container.

Materials

This one is super easy: Material containers always erode at 7½ minutes (450 s). (Not counting heavy timefall - see below.) This is faster than anything except Order containers.

The size of the container and the type of material doesn't matter. Materials containers always take 7.5 minutes. Consider them a "standard candle" for how much timefall you've had:

Container damage (as a percent) x 7.5 = minutes of timefall

You can even carry a Small materials container around as a gauge to check how much timefall you've experienced.

Vehicles also make good standard candles; they last ~2.5 times as long as materials containers.

Orders

They're always in containers, and Order containers erode faster than any others.

They ranged from 3.5 to 7.5 minutes, with an average of ~5.5 minutes. I got data on 54 tests of 16 types of Orders; just ones I could easily grab. I wouldn't dream of trying to test them all. Nineteen results were for Order 506, a Small I could easily grab at South KC. So I'm sure my conclusions are influenced by the small sample size. But who cares. Order containers erode the fastest, and that's that.

If a particular Order erodes faster than others, it will always do that. It's 3.5 minutes, or 5.0, or whatever. The erosion rate for a particular Order is pretty fixed.

If the Order comes in containers with two different sizes, the two sizes have their own rate, different from the other. But for a given Order of a particular size, it's always the same.

Vehicles

All vehicles (trucks, bikes) are hardy and erode at the same rate: 20 minutes from 0% to 100% (if they could), BUT...

When vehicles go below 10% Durability, they will NOT take any more timefall damage. (But they can still take kinetic damage, of course.) This explains a couple of things:

  • Why you see lots of rusty sparking hulks in timefall zones with exactly 9% Durability. (Check them on the Map.)
  • Why Mule trucks seem to go bad fast, but then keep working a long time when rusty and sparking. (I noticed this before I started testing, but I wasn't quantifying it, so it was just damned curious.) It's harder to notice this stealth longevity with Bridges vehicles since they're easy to repair, but they're the same way.

Vehicles lose 5% Durability per minute from timefall. But instead of poofing at 20 minutes, they get to 9% in 19 minutes, and stay there. At that point, they can only be destroyed by kinetic damage, not timefall.

If your Mule Truck is sparking a lot, you'll be fine as long as you drive carefully. Avoid rocks and falls.

How to see your vehicle's damage level

In the game, you can't look at a vehicle and see it's numerical Durability value; all you see is corrosion and sparks. To see it as a number, go into the Map and select the vehicle.

But the Map cursor snaps to Sam, which can make it impossible to select his vehicle when he's riding it or near it.

The solution is easy: When the map cursor is on Sam, you can use Up and Down to select other things near him. Usually his vehicle is one Up from him. (Thanks, /u/NightTarot!)

Tip: If the Map cursor is far from Sam, use the Shift key to snap back to him.

But there's a wrinkle here: If you zoom out, you still see vehicle icons, but not detail tags. Zoom has to be 0.9 or lower (zoom in) to get details. (Your Mag level is shown in the upper right of the Map in faint lettering under "Online".)

And of course, don't Filter out your vehicle on the Map. Or others' vehicles, if you're in somebody else's.

Also FWIW: Mule trucks don't show Durability via the Map until you claim them (sit in it).

Tools, Worn Equipment, and Weapons

These are among the hardiest of items. None of them have containers except boxed Equipment.

A summary of all the details below is:

  • Exposed items (boxless, or unboxed worn items) typically last 40 to 60 minutes, but it could be anywhere from 20 to 120, depending.
  • It's quite variable, even for the same items in the same timefall test. Weapons seem to have the most variability, but this might only be because I tested them more. (If I only tested something once, there's no variability.)
  • Being on the Tool Rack seemed to cause more damage, perhaps 10 to 25% more. But all these results had a lot of variability. A few times, being on the Rack meant less damage.
  • Being on the ground (offloaded) always meant less timefall damage. Usually a small amount less, but sometimes items lasted twice as long.

Timefall degradation rates are somewhat variable in the sense that, if you test a bunch of Assault Rifle Lv.3 (AR3s) in the very same test, they will erode at slightly different rates, almost regardless of where they are on Sam (or the ground). Each individual gun exhibits smooth linear degradation, but the rates are slightly different.

Still, they're all in the same ballpark. Exposed items (unboxed or boxless) last the longest of all, even longer than vehicles.

Honestly, it's hard to list degradation times for these, because they're all over the place. Here goes nuthin:

Equipment

  • Worn skeletons last a very long time, 40 to 75 minutes; quite a few results were ~70. A high outlier was 130 minutes! This was from a total of 13 tests of ATS3, PS3, and SS3. Didn't look like there was a difference based on type of skel, but the data was quite varied (and sparse for all but SS3).
  • Worn gloves last about 40 to 60 minutes; one lasted 90. Not enough data to say any of the three are better (Power, Gravity, and Silver Hand).
  • A worn O2 Mask lasted 70 or 75 minutes in two tests.
  • For Boots, Thermal Pads, and Armor Plate, see Exceptions, below.

Tools

Were not tested much:

  • A Climbing Anchor 1 lasted 78 minutes and a Climbing Anchor 2 lasted 83. This is when on Sam; they probably last much longer when planted (see Ladders).
  • Container Repair Spray lasted ~65 minutes (2 tests).
  • A Custom Chiral (CC) Ladder lasted 65 minutes on Sam, but 163 minutes offloaded onto the ground (not deployed). A regular Ladder on the ground (undeployed) lasted 143 minutes. These are the only items I saw with such a stark difference between being on Sam or on the ground. (It would be good to have more Tools data!)
  • PCC1s lasted 30 to 60 minutes (7 tests) and PCC2s lasted ~65 minutes (3 tests). This was when on Sam.

Guns (not Grenades)

  • I tested high-end Assault Rifles a lot because I use them a lot (AR3, NLAR3, AR HGC):
    • On Sam (except Tool Rack), they last about 40 minutes (range 25 to 65 in 14 tests). Not enough data to say whether HG Customs last longer; they seemed to be in the same ballpark.
    • On the Tool Rack, Assault Rifles degrade a little faster (average ~33 minutes, range 22 to 38 in 8 tests).
    • Ones on the ground last 60 to 90 minutes (N=6).
  • Bola v. 2 tested twice, lasted 54 and 58 minutes.
  • Level 2 and HGC handguns (inc. ABT) lasted 55 to 60 minutes (N=4); a regular handgun L1 lasted 30 or 50 minutes (N=2).
  • For Shotguns, L2 Riot and Regular shotguns lasted an hour (N=1 each); on a Tool Rack, 51 minutes (N=1).
  • A Quad Rocket Launcher on Sam's back lasted two hours, and on Tool Rack, 112 minutes.
Guns on the Tool Rack

Being on the Tool Rack appeared to cause more timefall damage, perhaps 10 to 25% more. But a few times, being on the Rack meant less damage.

This aspect was very hard to test because, given all the variability, you need "matched pairs" within a given test for best results. For example, if I had an Assault Rifle 3 (AR3) on the Rack, I should also have at least one more AR3 on top of my backpack (and hopefully more, including on the ground) in the very same trial. This is because there's variability for individual items of the same type in a given test and variability across tests (in different bouts of timefall).

Essentially this means you can only get one good datapoint for the rack per trial (you only have one rack!). And even that, only if you also have a matched pair. I didn't realize the importance of this until writing this up, at which point I have:

  • 8 true matched pairs (exact same item on Tool Rack and above backpack)
  • 2 that are close (e.g., AR3 on Rack and AR HGC on backpack)
  • 6 where there is nothing on the Rack
  • 3 where there is something on the Rack, but nothing matched elsewhere in inventory

So only about half of my 19 tests to date have usable info for comparing Tool Rack results.

There's another oddity about the Tool Rack:

  • Any weapon on it will only go to 99% damage from timefall, then stop there. It can't be 100% Destroyed, unlike weapons elsewhere (on top of backpack, etc.).
  • Related: Any weapon you wield is on your Tool Rack. (Try it: Pick any weapon out of your backpack via the weapon wheel. Now it's on your Tool Rack.)
  • Relevant: Firing a weapon does not cause any damage to the weapon. (Good to know if your Tool Rack weapon's at 99% damage from timefall and you get in a fight!)
  • But of course, any kinetic damage can easily destroy a weapon at 99%. Like a BT slamming you.

Grenades

Nomenclature: HG1 = Heme Grenade 1, HG2 = H. G. 2, CHG = Craftsman's Custom Heme Grenade
  • Lasted 30 to 60 minutes.
  • I tested, but couldn't see a clear difference, between HG1 (N=4), HG2 (2), CHG (1), and regular grenade (1).
  • On the ground, they lasted 78 minutes (1 HG2 and 1 CHG).
  • I didn't test these much because you can put them in their protective pouch (and can even make more pouches). Each "grenade" is actually 5, and the basic pouch holds 4, so that's 20 grenades already. How many more do you need?

Blood Bags

  • Are about 40 to 60 minutes, though sometimes lower.
  • High-Capacity Bags seem higher (60 to 80) in very limited testing.
  • Of course, you usually have them in a pouch, with zero exposure.

Exceptions

These items don't take timefall when worn:

  • Boots never take timefall damage when worn. They're damaged by walking/running.
  • Thermal Pads and Armor Plate never take timefall damage when worn (mounted on suit). When worn, they take kinetic damage (falls, bullets).
These statements only apply when worn. When not worn, they have containers that take timefall damage, like all containers. And as usual, the contents are never hurt by timefall damage, even if the container is gone. But presumably they take more kinetic damage when the container is damaged or gone.
  • All other wearables (skels, gloves, mask) do take timefall damage when worn. (When not worn, they're in containers.)
  • All tools and weapons (they're all boxless) also take damage, whether on suit mounts, tool rack, or elsewhere.

Backpack Cover

A level 2 Backpack Cover appears to last an hour in timefall. I didn't test Level 1.

This was hard to quantify because there's only a few ways to know its precise percent damage level:

  • In a Private Room, if you Customize Backpack, move the cursor to the Backpack Cover section. It's remaining Durability percent is shown in the upper right.
  • When the backpack cover icons (little umbrellas) in Inventory go from white to flashing yellow, it just dropped below 33% (happens at 32%). You have less than 20 minutes left.
  • When you get the yellow text "Backpack cover almost ruined", it just dropped below 20% (it's at 19%). So you have less than 12 minutes left.

I've also seen at least one instance where a Catcher fight caused it to drop precipitously, much more than ordinary timefall would've caused. I don't know if it was because of kinetic damage (I did get slammed) or some kind of extra timefall that comes with a fight. Possibly this happens in most every Catcher fight (maybe if you get slammed). I wasn't keeping a close eye on it back then, and I don't feel like doing a lot more "test fights" just to gauge this.

Timefall variability

Some concepts relative to variability in timefall erosion rates:

  • Items without containers (unboxed and boxless) have slightly different rates, even for two of the exact same item in the exact same timefall test. It's very rare for them to be wildly different (like twice the rate). Most commonly they'll be at or close to the same value (often almost identical, and less often, within 10 to 20%). I'll call this individual variability, since it seems based on each individual item in a given test.
Timefall damage across two episodes (rain stops then starts again) (Exp. 6)
  • A new timefall episode (rainfall stopping then starting again) can cause the individual variability to be reset to a new, slightly different value.
    • The two times (out of 19 tests, as of 9/7/21) that I saw timefall stop and then start again while I waited (continuing that particular trial at the same place), rates usually went up slightly for exposed equipment. (All containers were long gone in the first bout of timefall.)
Compare the brown line for an NLAR3 (Non-Lethal Assault rifle Lv. 3) on the ground in one trial. The two ARs on the ground have the same (lower) rate as other four AR3s on top of Sam's backpack in the first episode (~1.1% damage per minute). In the second storm, the ones on the ground keep that low rate while the others increase to ~3.0%.
  • This was seen across both instances where timefall stopped and started again. Items on the ground kept their same steady (low) rate. Most everything else got an increase (but not always the same increase) from the new episode of timefall.
  • I'm not sure what you can do with that; who deliberately leaves stuff laying around much? But there it is.
  • Individual-item variability does NOT apply to containers and vehicles. They always erode at their same particular high rate, no matter where they are on Sam or ground, and regardless of which experiment (i.e., timefall episode). Apparently, they don't have any randomness to how much they'll erode. This is what makes any Materials container or Vehicle a great "standard candle" for gauging the amount of timefall. Material containers take 7.5 minutes, and Vehicles take 19 minutes to get to 9%.
  • Through all the testing, all items (equipment, containers, vehicles) will have a linear erosion rate. IOW it's never "bouncing around" in any given test.
This is true even across a temporary cessation of timefall. These very same items - a continuation of the same test - all now had a new rate of erosion. All the new lines picked up where they left off before the interlude and were still linear (no bouncing around), but with different slopes than before. (Except if on the ground.)

The best I can figure is that when you enter timefall, all vulnerable items have an erosion factor that gets a random roll that sticks with it for the duration of that particular timefall episode.

Containers, vehicles, and Orders don't get this roll. They have a fixed rate of erosion. It differs for different Orders (usually somewhere between 4-5 minutes), but it's the same for materials containers (7.5 minutes) and most (but not all) boxed equipment.

The 2X Timefall Storm

Two times in my 19 timefall tests, I saw instances where timefall erosion was about double for some, but not all, things.

What It Affects

The page is already god-awful long, so I didn't want to sprinkle "twice the rate in a 2X storm" throughout the above. Consider this to apply to everything on this page, except:

These items are NOT affected by 2X storms; they have the normal erosion rate when everything else gets eroded twice as fast:

  • Vehicles
  • Guns (regardless of location on Sam, but I didn't test versus ground)
  • Skeletons you are wearing
  • Backpack cover

Everything else gets twice the timefall damage, including gloves, tools, all containers, even things on the ground.

I'm making some big generalities here; I don't have a lot of data. I couldn't plan or reproduce 2X, so all I have is data from what I happened to be testing when it happened. So there are only two instances of wearing skeletons during it, etc. I only happened to test one tool (the ladder). Still, the effect on anything in containers is crystal clear.

Because it affects materials containers but doesn't affect vehicles, both of which are "standard candles", you can easily use these to gauge both overall length of timefall regardless of intensity (vehicle), and amount of 2X damage (materials containers).

  • Materials containers will erode in 3.75 minutes instead of the usual 7.5 if timefall is 2X.
  • But a vehicle takes 19 minutes to get to 10%, 2X or no.

Timefall and BT "Indicators"

There are numerous indications of timefall and BTs:

  • When you first enter timefall, there will be a touch of slow motion (or you could call it a brief zoom in or focus), and it starts raining. I call this the outer ring. The odradek has not reacted to anything yet. It looks like a light rain, with visibility of ~400m.
    • Use your Compass to see distances. I define visibility as the point where you stop seeing details on distant items and can only see vague outlines or shapes. A little farther than that and you don't even see any more shapes, just grey void.
  • When you get in the general vicinity of BTs (~50m), there's a sharp, loud refocus (the second shocker), and the rain gets notably heavier. I call this the inner ring. Visibility is now ~200m, but you don't see BTs just yet. Somewhere in this ring, BB will start looking around with a white odradek doing a slow blink, but usually not when you first enter it.
  • When you are within (less than) 25m of a BT, the odradek does a faster white blink, pointing at the closest BT. BB has not freaked out yet.
Tip: You can use the Compass to see distance to BTs. You can only see them within ~35m.
  • When you get danger close (10m), BB freaks out and the odradek turns orange, blinking furiously at the closest BT.
  • You'll get the hint to hold your breath when super close.

Okay, there's that. Also see my section on Levels of Warning as you near BTs.

When does a 2X storm happen?

I did timefall testing in different locations so I could catch any nuances due to this. (Is timefall different in different parts of the map, or parts of a given storm? I'd never know if I did all my testing in the same place.)

When you consider the timefall indicators and inner vs. outer ring (see preceding section), an obvious thought is that you get 2X timefall when you're past the second shocker, close to BTs and there's heavy rain.

But this was NOT found to be the case.

Of my two episodes, one was in the outer ring of light rain (just NW of entrance to South KC). The other one was in the inner ring, but not close enough to see any BTs, and the odradek stayed down (this was near the Ruined Factory, west of Craftsman).

And I did lots of other testing in the inner and outer rings, including quite a few tests closer to BTs (I could see them 21 to 28m away, with my odradek white and slowly blinking).

So, from my very limited findings, I can't see any correlation with timefall or BT indicators. Sometimes timefall is 2X (maybe ten percent of the time), but most of the time it isn't. I don't know any way to predict it or cause it (or stay away from it), and the only way I even know it happened is by tracking timefall erosion. (IOW I didn't realize it until later, when I did the calculations.)

Anyway, there it is.

Deterioration Messages

And related observations. Not just for timefall, but for any type of degradation or reduction (batteries) for everything I kept notes on.

In most cases, Death Stranding warns you when you drop below a level that's easy to remember. For example, you get warned about your vehicle's health the instant it drops below 50%, to 49%. Which is fine except that it means that any time you check things because you got a warning, they're always right below a point that's easy to remember.

Vehicles show Durability, which goes from 100% to 0% as it is damaged. You get a:

  • Yellow text warning of "Damaged: [vehicle]" when it drops below 50%,
  • Trucks start sparking just below 40% Durability, and a
  • Red text warning of "Almost Ruined: [vehicle]" just below 20%.
  • Timefall stops degrading vehicles just below 10%. This is why you often see them in timefall areas at 9%.

All other items show Damage, going from 0% to 100%:

  • Equipment gets a yellow text warning just below 20%: "Materials almost ruined by timefall: All-Terrain Skeleton (Lv. 3)."
  • Containers (including equipment currently boxed up in a container!) give a white text warning when they get below 20% health, then a red text warning when it's gone (but the contents will be fine).
  • The moment containers are ruined (100% damage), you see a little poof of rust.

Related observations:

  • If you barely enter a timefall zone and walk back a few paces, timefall will end after 30s. (Not counting scripted timefall or a weather front that just moved in.) It's not about distance, it's about time. More precisely, it's about 30 seconds (ha ha ha).
  • Container spray restores containers exactly like you'd think. If a container is at 0% and repaired to 100%, the newly-repaired item takes exactly as long to go from 100 to 0% in timefall as a newly-minted item does.
    • This probably applies to containers repaired by Timefall Shelters as well, but I haven't tested it.
  • A level 1 Timefall Shelter doesn't fully repair containers. For example, a particular type of container was only repaired by 42%. I had to exit the shelter and come back to get another 42%, and do it a third time to top off the final 16%. Conversely, a level 2 or 3 Timefall Shelter completely restores containers in one go (0 to 100%).

Test Setup

If you want to know what I did, or test it yourself, here's the scoop. I've done:

  • 16 experiments (so far)
  • 287 rows (items tested)
  • 4 to 14 columns of data per experiment, at specific times relative to game time (see the screen cap of Exp. 6, above).
  • 2365 data points

Almost all the time, I would get in a Bridges Truck, plus put stuff in the truck. Mostly outside South KC because of the timefall area that's pretty close and easy (load up stuff to test at the KC and go down the road).

I'd pop out of the truck, freeze time (hit Tab), and:

  • Write down the game time.
  • Arrange everything how I like it via Inventory (without going out of the Map yet). This sometimes included putting stuff from the truck on the ground, a great way to test even more at the same time.
  • I made a spreadsheet to collect data.
    • The columns are timepoints and the rows are all the items I'm getting data on.
    • The rows are arranged in the exact order that they appear in Inventory so that each time I collect data, I can just cursor down through my inventory, and copy damage status to the spreadsheet. Otherwise it'd be a mess to keep the 10 to 20 things straight in each test.
  • Then I'd get out of the Map and let the clock run a while. Maybe every 1 minute initially (when fragile things like Orders ruin fast), then every 2 minutes, then longer toward the end (when only vehicles and unboxed equipment are left).
    • At each timepoint, I'd copy down damage status for everything (if it wasn't rusted out yet).

Also, I'd usually top off my backpack cover to 100% in a Private Room before heading out, then check it again when the test was done. Being able to pop in and out of a Bridges Truck (and recording the time out of it) meant I had a good handle on how much total exposure the backpack cover got, even though I could only get one damage-status reading on it (back at the Private Room). The Bridges Truck shields you from the variable amount (of time) you spend driving into and back out of timefall. Popping out of it and then back into the truck means the cover got as much total exposure as I recorded on the spreadsheet for other items (when I was actually out in the timefall doing the experiment).