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A Simple Modular Tool System


Nootman
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(As per usual, models aren't final and mostly just exist to demonstrate ideas. I will be using axes to demonstrate my points throughout this post but this applies to all tools.)

Tools are in a bit of an odd place right now, I usually find myself turning the durability up x2-x4 because the basic in game tools just seem so weak. A well forged iron axe will break after felling 40 soft pine trees whereas in real life the same axe would keep on working for generations with good maintenance, sharpening, and replacement of the shaft it is mounted on. Because of this, I think the best way forward for the VS tools system would be to implement a modular tool construction system, nothing complex as you'd see in Tinker's Construct or Tetra in Minecraft with many possible materials and modifiers, just a very simple system with simple improvements.

Each individual part of the tool can break on its own and has its own durability, with the binding and handle being much weaker than the head which itself can outlast many handles. The tool will also lose sharpness over time but can be restored by grinding it back to an edge.

In line with a more in world approach to tool construction as is planned in the future, this system should primarily be expressed in world through a new block called the workbench which acts as a one stop shop for all tool creation and modification functions.

Workbench.png.e8a732ce4f9945e3b4eba99cf57a5087.png

It would be upgraded throughout the game to reflect the player's current level of tech and would be used for a variety of other specialized functions.

Handles
Currently, the only type of tool handle available in game is made out of a stick you find on the ground in a forest that has been lying there for many, many years which somehow manages to form a stable, solid, straight, and very usable wooden handle. I think it would be a lot more accurate to have a more complex system of handles, sticks would still exist for sure but would exist as a flint-tier handle that you quickly toss into the fire pit upon first creating a saw and becoming capable of producing quality handles.

These handles would be separated into 3 categories:

  1. Softwood
  2. Hardwood
  3. Dense Hardwood

Softwood includes woods such as pine and redwood, they are the softest of handle types and are most likely to break. Also included in this durability tier would be forest floor sticks to reflect the ease with which they can be obtained.

Hardwood includes woods such as oak, walnut, and birch, they are reasonably dense and hard handle materials and are relatively common within temperate areas.

Dense Hardwoods include woods such as ebony purpleheart, they are the most dense possible woods and are rare in the typical regions that players spawn in, making their use more restricted.

xes.thumb.png.f9c8a5fa67c11c1b52a40761f99abd1f.png

Additionally, handles can be wrapped for an extra durability and efficiency bonus

hanlde.thumb.png.f5b2e4385968af5254293a4ff494a46e.png

Bindings
In a way, bindings already exist in this game in the form of lashings around copper tools and the bolts in an iron axe, but this binding system would extend these options to all tools.

Bindings would primarily consist of:

  1. Lashings
  2. Wedges
  3. Metal Pins

Lashings would consist of flexible rope materials like reeds, linen, and leather. They are not particularly effective at holding a head on the handle and are primarily used to bind flint to sticks for early game tools, but they can work in a pinch if your tool breaks in the field and you need a quick repair to get you through a mining session.

lashed.thumb.png.59df300d20279eaed39718c29c981fa6.png

Wedges would consist of wood or metal wedges that can be hammered into the tops of tools such as pickaxes, axes, and prospecting picks. They are quite durable and cheap but require the workbench to replace.

wedged.thumb.png.0f7ffa63ca0ecb74ac2b297ac7d405d2.png

Metal pins would consist of sturdy metal pins that can be inserted into the tool head to bind them to the handle. They are incredibly durable but require a more advanced workbench to use.

Pins.thumb.png.d9be59ffc808f8587c546a0ec789de28.pngpiners.thumb.png.65ba27b519bb309eae7658bf6b2ea22b.png

 

 

 


 

 

Heads
These would mostly stay the same but with one primary difference in that most tools require sharpening after being cast or forged. Early game sharpening can be done on raw exposed rock and later game sharpening can be done on whetstones or mechanically driven grindstones. A sharp tool will be effective for a reasonably long period of time before rapidly declining in effectiveness as it loses its edge with field sharpening being easily accomplished with a portable whetstone.

Grindstone.png.fd818bd36fe5df9932dfc4f6c4635d8a.pngstone.png.762d58a34a0f6ef3120b861dccbfced1.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples
A few fully constructed tools.

Left to right:

  1. Forest floor stick handle, reed lashings, iron axe head.
  2. Pine handle, pine wedge, iron axe head.
  3. Oak handle with linen wrapping, iron pins, iron axe head.
  4. Ebony handle with leather wrapping, iron pins, heavy iron axe head.

535749336_FlimsyAxe.thumb.png.01b306e5fa2c7f75065d978af7423bab.png451527953_LowAxe.thumb.png.6a0e7e2973a83ef305f4d45bf47523ac.png1909802511_MediumAxe.thumb.png.dc7e91c229e6487e3c15052f7b0b231c.png1631774703_ChadAxe.thumb.png.42f5bbb28334d935a3bdc600110db4d3.png

Edited by Nootman
  • Like 13
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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow you put alot of effort into this!

Personaly think this is a great idea. Currently the only personalization a tool has is its metal type.

Maybe softer wood types could have a small benefit such as 10% mining speed.

 

I also got some ideas that could fit into your suggestion:

1.  Sharpening minigame and visuals if a tool is sharp or not.

2.  Leaving tools in the rain damages them and gives them a rusty look. Maybe bloody blade when fighting.

3.  Tool durability can be seen on the model and not just its durability meter. (cracks in the grip or blade)

4.  Bow string, stave and wrapping types like the ones you suggested.

 

 

Sorry for my bad english. I realy love your idea tho.

 

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  • 3 months later...

I really like the modularity of Tinker's Construct tools, among its other features. The fact that you can craft certain stone age tools with bone in VS gives me hope that we'll see more of such modularity in the future. 

Edited by LJim
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