So if I understood correctly you want them to decompose for the aesthetic purpose of realism but at the same time if they decompose pro scouts are done for and the upgrade would be useless.
Let me take it one by one so we understand the whole situation:
DARK → FEUDAL 6 villagers is 180 food/min
Pro scouts → 75 W & 275 G
Scouts → 70 F
1 sheep = 250 F
1 deer = 350 F
Now we apply decomposition (let’s make a hypothetical scenario) so if in 1 minute 180 food is collected from the sheep, the time by which the sheep is consumed is 1:11.
Noting: 1 sheep done in 1minutes and 11 seconds
Meaning in those 1 minute, the carcass has to decompose and so we need the hypothetical upgrade for carcass preservation otherwise we might end up not collecting the full food amount. If that’s happening it cuts the food income as chances for each player to gather sheep is really relative and unknown, it slows down ageing up or progression afterwards as it would cost as I assume wood or gold. Sometimes I end up with 16 sheep other times with 5 at best. But that’s a generation of resource issue.
How much would be too much or too less in this situation? Sheep and berries are primary food resources. Some would switch to berries and abandon Pro scouts as you said.
But we’ll talk the price of it later as I’m not sure myself, we’re analyzing situations now.
FEUDAL: we got some 4 scouts, get the upgrade, that’s 280 F 75 W and 275 G consumed, we go hunt deer that come in packs of 7. We hunt 4 or all of them and after they die, they are considered carcasses even while being carried to base. Let’s add some 10 seconds between base and deer camp.
1 deer → 350 F → gathered by 6 villagers = 1 minutes and 40 seconds
1 deer gathered by 12 villagers is cutting that time by half considering they don’t split to other carcasses
The problem now is that with decomposition we have to wait for one to disappear or get consumed and then go for another so we don’t end up with collecting only 1 or 2 of the carcasses entirely and let the others 5 or 2 disappear. Meaning pro scouts would be useful but not as useful as before. Why? Because now with 2 scouts you can do the work while slowly cutting down seconds of food income. So scouts are ok, the food income is not ok.
If 1 minutes and almost 2 minutes (1.40) is timer for 1 carcass we have to take into consideration how much time would it be for decomposition before and after the upgrade, as well as the time between camp and base or mill. Should sheep carcasses disappear faster to block players from gathering from multiple ones as they are closer to base and can be gathered? But they switch teams also if captured or something happens to them, would that mean that their decomposition timer is buffed by all player’s upgrades? We might end up with complains like ‘‘sheep carcasses don’t decompose as fast as intended, please fix’’.
But now what about deer? They never get captured and carcasses are also neutral, the player cannot change the status of a neutral unit or resource, just its gathering efficiency of it. So that means that despite all this trouble, we would still get a global timer for decomposition and no upgrade would be useful other than faster gathering, which improves how fast the game unfolds.
What do you think about this?