There aren't many ways to significantly attract other players, the best one as of now (the loudest and with the most range) is the truck, and firing shots (but that's unpractical player-wise, because you're wasting ammo, and saying that you're hostile).
The noise the truck makes, and the fact it is a high value object in the game, definitly make it a target, but being in the truck as the driver is a pain in the ass if you need to defend yourself, the animation to get down from it is just so long.
So we now have a fireplace, which is great for getting rid of that "cold" status (thanks for that).
The fireplace makes light, which can attract players that have a direct line of view to it. But it doesn't make any smoke, only the visual whisper of heat coming from the pit.
My suggestion is that players could add an object to the fire to add an actual smoke collumn to it. It would be a way for players to attract each other, and create more interactions. Adding such a mechanic would increase the number of possibilities for players to look for other players, the first of them all right now being: going to the coast.
Survivors would have a way of finding each other, heroes could host easy to find campfires for sharing, bandits could set traps, or pose as heroes for more bloodshed and theft. More roleplay for everyone.
Survivors would have a way of finding each other, heroes could host easy to find campfires for sharing, bandits could pose as heroes for ambushes, even someone with broken legs and no way of getting back up could try and get help from this. If find myself thinking of many occurences where this would be useful.
The object to be added for dense white smoke would be leaves, easy to find, Clothing items would produce dark smoke as they are made with chemical fabric.
In my idea, the smoke collumn could be interrupted, or could be given a rythm to, using a burlap sack and the F1-F12 keys, basically you would be doing native american smoke signals.
There could be other things to add in the fire to change the color of the smoke, chemlights for colored smoke for example.
I believe one of the key aspects with this is that the smoke needs to be able to be seen from far away. Making a fire in a hostile environment is a risky business and shouldn't be taken lightly.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you will consider this suggestion and tell me what you think about it!
Also please vote if you like it!