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Ingame help menu and discovery


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First of all I want to say this is my first time posting, and this is one of my favorite games ever, having played close to 1000 games.
This game is what I always dreamed minecraft could be and it still surprises me everyday a little bit. From the feeling of being poor and discovering little things and crafting with molds or smithing stuff to the little handcrafted ruins spread across the map.

One thing that I think slightly detracts from the feeling of discovering something new is how the help menu lets you see all the items in the game instantly thus spoiling a bit what you can do.
Although I highly praise this menu for it's detailed information on everything thus removing the need to look stuff up in external wikies, I do think that you should only be able to see an item on the wiki once you have discovered all the components for it (by hovering your cursor over an item component)
For example you want to craft some reeds bandage, if you hover over reeds and horsetail, a new pop-up should appear saying "New recipe unlocked: bandage"

I think this would greatly help retain the sense of wonder before discovering things.

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Welcome!

I vacillate on a progressive mode. While I love the idea, I'm afraid it would be a little clunky. For example, think about making steel. Or even the various level of bricks. Why would one even think to look for the unusual olivine or downright scarce ilmenite, let alone running them through a pulverizer? Why would anyone think to use a chest or a chute to automate it, or even bother looking for limestone to make leather?

While slowly adding things as you find the ingredients appeals to me, in such a vastly involved game as VS, I can't see how it could be done well. 

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It depends on how you want to look at it, are you a knowledgeable person who comes from a world that had these items? If so, then why not have knowledge of what you need and how to make it. 

But a nice middle ground might be to have recipes unlock based on the "age" that you are in. Everyone can start with all the privative stuff. Find 20 copper bits? Welcome to the start of the copper age, here are some new recipes. Something like that. Maybe temporal gears and other world specific items could be brought to a trader to unlock recipes. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A way I've seen something like this handled in other games is if you get one piece of what you need, you'll unlock recipes. For example, if you pick up copper ore from the surface, you could get a notification saying, "You've unlocked knowledge about copper!", which would enable the parts of the guide about smelting and finish with a hint, "Surely other such metals exist in this world. Maybe there is more you can do yet.". A list of recipes could show question marks over some items and clicking on those could show that copper is used in a crucible with something else (also shown as a question mark) to make something else to clue you into alloys.

So in OP's case, picking up a cattail could provide a message, "You've unlocked knowledge about cattails!" and looking in the guide would all the recipes you can make right away with cattails and also show that there are further recipes for other things not yet discovered.

Just an idea.

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OK, so does crafting or buying a square of linen reveal the alcohol-soaked bandage, even if you have never produced alcohol? Does picking up a piece of bauxite reveal that if you pulverize it, and you pulverize quartz, you can create refractory bricks? Does picking a cranberry reveal meals with fruit, jam, juice, wine, bait for basket traps, etc.?

Devil's in the details.

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I feel like you missed a large portion of my comment and should read it again to see if you can answer your own question.

> A list of recipes could show question marks over some items and clicking on those could show that copper is used in a crucible with something else (also shown as a question mark) to make something else to clue you into alloys.

Expand this into linen. A list of recipes with question marks to show that other things can be made with it despite not knowing what they are. Picking a cranberry should show what you can make directly with that cranberry. Anything else involving stuff you haven't discovered yet shouldn't be revealed or just shown as question marks to show that there is extra stuff that can be done, but not necessarily what it is.

So asking about alcohol is moot (and frankly super annoying) because, if you haven't ever produced alcohol, then you shouldn't know about it. However if you have produced juice, then there might be a hint leading you to wonder what happens to the juice after it expires? It's just an idea. You don't have to go so hard on it.

Edited by traugdor
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Sorry that was the impression you got. I didn't think I was being so hard. I was just bringing up examples of why that might not work as well as it does in some other games.

I selected one reasonably easy (the alcohol-soaked bandage) and a much more difficult, the tier 3 refractory brick.

All the base ingredients are easy to come by for the bandage, and the name itself suggests you need something fermented. You get primary fermentation figured out and get a recipe for distilling into spirits, then distilling that into aqua vitae. Great. I can even see a rewrite of that part of the guide might make that a lot easier.

How about with refractory bricks? You pick up some fire clay and get several recipes opened, including 3 types of refractory bricks, one with 2 ???, one with 3 ??? and one with 4 ??? Quartz is all over the place, and bauxite is easy to come  by in the right place, so I'll spot you those. You picked them up and for whatever reason decided to hold onto them until you could make a crusher just to see what you can do with them. Olivine can be found lying around, though it's pretty rare, and since you don't know you are looking for it, I'll spot you a chunk only every few games and assume you didn't sell it at the trader. But how are you ever supposed to figure out ilmenite is the last ingredient? I've never encountered loose bits in hundreds of games. No idea if they even exist, or if you have to notice the brown splotches in a cave somewhere and have at least an iron, maybe a steel pick. The more likely answer is, of course, look it up on Wiki. At which point, why bother making it difficult in-game?

 

 

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Well here is an idea that might work with the unlocking of recipes as you find items. Have some unlocked based on your class. Sure a commoner might not know about refractory bricks 3, but what about the clockmaker? Also it might be nice to have "trainers" in game (or maybe just something new for merchants) and you could visit once a year and pay to switch your class. Maybe a fee based on the class, commoner being free. SO over 5 years or so you could switch to each class and unlock all the recipes.

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