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Earn the Hotbar


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Being able to carry a dozen things from the beginning is overpowered! I wanna earn it! So, mod idea:

At the start of the game, there should be two inventory slots: main hand and off hand.  The bag slots and the rest of the hotbar shouldn't be available.  However, I would say that you should be able to carry a loaded bag in either hand, though you must have one hand empty to access its contents (carry two, set one down to rummage through the other).

This will make crafting difficult in the early game, as one assembles parts close together in the world before trying to assemble them in the crafting grid.  The first basic tool is easy enough, but you might have to set that down to make the next one - once you're carrying a tool, either stone or sticks has to be left behind.  If you want to use that tool to go get another resource, you'll have to leave both behind.

Progress can start easy, though!  It begins with rope - eight rope in a ring to make a simple belt.  Once you have a simple belt, your hotbar grows... by two ('main hand' is now whichever hotbar slot is selected, and a loaded bag is dropped when no longer selected).  Still no bag slots.  A ring of rope around a simple belt gets you a simple belt-and-sling - one more hotbar slot, and your first bag slot.  A ring of rope around a simple belt-and-sling gets you a simple harness - another hotbar slot and another bag slot.  So, for just 24 rope (72 vines or 144 reeds), you can have five hotbar slots and two bag slots.

This will drastically nerf the progress attainable in the first two days.  After that, progress on this track is just another QoL improvement to work towards.  Nevertheless, further progress is attainable in the early game, and some of the rope products are plausibly skippable - the next tier is made from rawhide.  Work up to leather for the full inventory.

I'm fairly certain that the hotbar is hard-coded, so this mod is infeasible for now.

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If I'm understanding this, you could pick up flint and a stick (at present, you can't put either in "off" hand, but with your vision, either hand is usable?), then knap a knife blade, assemble the knife, put it in the slot you were previously holding the stick. Throw away the flint, because you need the space for reeds. Now gather 40 reeds, make your baskets so you can carry something else, gather another 24 reeds to give you a total of 4 hotbar slots? Well, 3 plus an offhand slot?

I'd tweak the numbers a bit. The core game uses roughly 3 reeds per storage slot. 10 reeds gets you 3 slots, a smidge over 3 per, and 24 reeds gets you 8, exactly 3. To remain consistent, your belt, with 2 storage slots should cost somewhere around 6 reeds, which is 2 ropes. The hunter's backpack suggests maybe 3 slots if you used 2 ropes and 1 pelt. The linen sack suggests 4 twine gets you 4 slots. Assuming the old belt is an ingredient for the new, including the original hand slot, that brings you up to the current 10.

How about if you are doing a cold weather start? You will die because reeds are not present, and you only ever have 2 slots. Unless you add ground stacking of items, even clothes will be darned near impossible, as you need to somehow kill hares and foxes with just 2 spears, and to be usable, each kill must have both fat and hide, or you can't turn them into pelts. And never being able to carry more than 2 items, you can't even bring food with you.

Dunno. In a default start, depending on how you earn the extra slots, it may not be that much different, other than a major hassle with early game inventory management, which has never struck me as the enjoyable part of the game. But you would absolutely lose the new players.

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13 minutes ago, Thorfinn said:

Dunno. In a default start, depending on how you earn the extra slots, it may not be that much different, other than a major hassle with early game inventory management, which has never struck me as the enjoyable part of the game. But you would absolutely lose the new players.

This exactly. It's one of those things that may sound fun in theory, because videogames don't typically go for this level of realistic immersion. But when it comes to actually playing it...absolutely not. The hotbar that we have is fine--it offers enough slots to work with initially, but not so many that you won't need to quickly find a way to carry more things.

I also agree that making a change this drastic would absolutely make most new players drop the game entirely, if they even bothered to purchase it in the first place. I daresay you'd probably lose a lot of the veteran players as well.

20 minutes ago, Thorfinn said:

How about if you are doing a cold weather start? You will die because reeds are not present, and you only ever have 2 slots. Unless you add ground stacking of items, even clothes will be darned near impossible, as you need to somehow kill hares and foxes with just 2 spears, and to be usable, each kill must have both fat and hide, or you can't turn them into pelts. And never being able to carry more than 2 items, you can't even bring food with you.

It'd actually be one spear that you could bring with you, because you'd need a knife to process the kill(unless it's a case like the Butcher mod that makes you haul the carcass back to camp). But even then you're still stuck with being unable to take the spoils of the hunt with you.

2 hours ago, Steel General said:

I'm fairly certain that the hotbar is hard-coded, so this mod is infeasible for now.

I'm by no means an expert on coding, but I'm guessing that you could probably figure out a way to lock the hotbar slots instead of removing them entirely. Though technically, you don't really need a mod to play this way either--you can just impose your own limits and only use the first two slots of your hotbar until you acquire some sort of portable storage.

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2 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

It'd actually be one spear that you could bring with you, because you'd need a knife to process the kill(unless it's a case like the Butcher mod that makes you haul the carcass back to camp). But even then you're still stuck with being unable to take the spoils of the hunt with you.

I was thinking you would hunt several critters using two spears, then go back to "base" and leave the spears, grab your knife, make the rounds collecting meat, go back to "base" and start cooking, leave the knife at home, then do the rounds again collecting furs and fat until you have enough to make some clothes. You would do something similar with firewood, but just leave the axe leaning against a tree, and carry home the sticks and firewood. Mining, assuming you found enough clay to make the tools, likely you would have to take a hammer with you so you could crush the ore down to something uniform -- you can't stack medium and low ore, or crystals, but you can stack the nuggets. Then leave the tools behind. 

Not the slightest bit enjoyable. 

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18 hours ago, Thorfinn said:

I was thinking you would hunt several critters using two spears, then go back to "base" and leave the spears, grab your knife, make the rounds collecting meat, go back to "base" and start cooking, leave the knife at home, then do the rounds again collecting furs and fat until you have enough to make some clothes. You would do something similar with firewood, but just leave the axe leaning against a tree, and carry home the sticks and firewood. Mining, assuming you found enough clay to make the tools, likely you would have to take a hammer with you so you could crush the ore down to something uniform -- you can't stack medium and low ore, or crystals, but you can stack the nuggets. Then leave the tools behind. 

Not the slightest bit enjoyable. 

If the next tier of storage is made of rawhide (and does not necessarily require the previous tier as an ingredient), making a knife and a spear is a great way to start.  Make a knife; have reeds or vines? Yes: cut them.  No: make a spear.  That said, the lowest tier could be grass instead of rope, making it slightly more accessible, but I'd want that nerfed - no bag slots from grass belts.  Still, in an arctic start, you'd have to skip straight to rawhide.

Expanded ground storage would certainly help - it's not necessary, though, for you have taught us well the utility of firepits :P

I currently find the early game lacking in enjoyment because I blow past it too fast.  I enjoy it very much...  for a couple hours.  A single evening of getting your feet under you before you set out to conquer the world is a little brief for the Early Stone Age.  I don't want my first real goal to be finding copper, and I definitely don't want it to be plausible to enter the Late Stone Age on the first day.  I want the hassle of becoming not-useless before I engage in the hassle of becoming more useful.

It is plausibly more appropriate to the Homo Sapiens game style, but I wouldn't want it only there.

Of course, we should reasonably be able to make a sled we can load up and drag around - that's Early Stone Age tech, and it'd be useful in the late game, too.

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21 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

I also agree that making a change this drastic would absolutely make most new players drop the game entirely, if they even bothered to purchase it in the first place. I daresay you'd probably lose a lot of the veteran players as well.

I think this is exactly the kind of challenge that appeals to the people who buy this game (I know some do it for the chisel), and that this meets expectations for new players.  I think it's precisely the veterans who'll balk at it, just like they did when the devs wanted to slow the mining speed, because their expectations are already informed.  The veterans will come around after the new players mock them for taking the easy way :D

That said, what I'm saying here is that I want this.  I am not implying that it'll make the sales take off, nor even that I think other people want this.  That's a discussion that would need to happen after this one, wherein we find out what this idea can be.

Edited by Steel General
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4 hours ago, Steel General said:

I currently find the early game lacking in enjoyment because I blow past it too fast.  I enjoy it very much...  for a couple hours.  A single evening of getting your feet under you before you set out to conquer the world is a little brief for the Early Stone Age.  I don't want my first real goal to be finding copper, and I definitely don't want it to be plausible to enter the Late Stone Age on the first day.  I want the hassle of becoming not-useless before I engage in the hassle of becoming more useful.

Out of curiosity, have you tried a Cool or Polar start instead of the standard Temperate? I've found that these starting zones tend to slow down the early game quite a bit, mostly due to the fact that there's a distinct lack of reeds to make baskets with, or flax for linen bags. Inventory space will most likely be at a premium for a while.

If the early game is still too easy, the next thing I'd potentially try is turning down the availability of ore nodes and/or the growing speeds of trees. Other options include increasing the temperature at which you will start to suffer from the cold, increasing hunger rate, or increasing food spoilage rate. It's not the same as restricting inventory space, but it will certainly make surviving and finding materials a lot harder.

4 hours ago, Steel General said:

That said, what I'm saying here is that I want this.  I am not implying that it'll make the sales take off, nor even that I think other people want this.  That's a discussion that would need to happen after this one, wherein we find out what this idea can be.

And that's fine. I think it's an idea best suited for the realm of mods, or perhaps a very niche gameplay option in the world settings, depending on where the devs want to take the game. I don't think making it the default because the game is "too easy" is the right answer. Based on what I've experienced from Vintage Story, it's a game with a very steep learning curve that doesn't pull its punches, which makes it very challenging for brand new players. Once you learn how to properly progress and figure out some good strategies, the game becomes a lot easier, to the point that a veteran player can be easily acquiring steel and raiding the Resonance Archive with around 20 hours of gameplay. It's a factor that can't really be avoided and is a natural byproduct of becoming better at the game(and it's a reason that challenges like Hardcore mode and Snowball Earth exist).

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4 hours ago, Steel General said:

Expanded ground storage would certainly help - it's not necessary, though, for you have taught us well the utility of firepits :P

Yeah, but grass is rare in polar starts. There are a few ruins where you can find some, and the occasional arctic supplies, but you will need every bit of dry grass you can scratch up for the pit kilns. My last polar playthrough I had a dozen ancient crates and 2 owl chests. Could not have done that with just 2 inventory spaces. You need one space for blocks so you can get back out of caves, fight off the drifters with just one spear, not have a knife to gather flax, and still have to leave everything behind to bring stuff to the surface.

I think if pines would drop pine needles, and these were usable instead of grass in the pit kilns, and even making firepits, the arctic playthrough would not be nearly the disaster it is. 

 

4 hours ago, Steel General said:

making a knife and a spear is a great way to start.

Maybe. Having to take out a wounded arctic fox with just a dagger, and without sprinting? When there is no healing unless you somehow keep the food bar filled? And you are still left in the same situation -- no inventory or hotbar slots to bring anything more than just the spear and knife.

I vastly prefer to find challenge in permadeath, not that whole "take the goose across, take the fox across and bring the goose back, take the corn across, take the goose across" thing on steroids.

Now, granted, you might get lucky and find a dozen arctic caches, all of which are teeming with reeds, so you get your hand baskets, but barring RNG being nice to you, there is very little chance for an arctic playthrough to ever expand beyond the two slots. Finding a ruins with a forage(?) vessel that has a linen sack. Maybe a trader who has a sack for sale.

 

4 hours ago, Steel General said:

I currently find the early game lacking in enjoyment because I blow past it too fast.  I enjoy it very much...  for a couple hours.

I agree. I think there must be a better way of extending that than turning it into a game of Klotski.

 

4 hours ago, Steel General said:

I definitely don't want it to be plausible to enter the Late Stone Age on the first day.

My best ever was legitimately entering Bronze before midnight of the first day. That's going to be tough to beat.

I think the fly in the ointment is that arctic playthroughs are impossible if they are that seriously nerfed.

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Incidentally, it's not the idea itself I'm objecting to. Rather that in a temperate start, it would only add maybe a half day to the Stone Age for people who know what they are doing, and make it really frustrating on those who do not.

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    3      |   n dur  |      3
 sticks |    knife  |  sticks
---------|-----------|----------
    2     |  med     |     2
 rope   | rawhide|  rope
---------|-----------|----------
    3      |      2      |      3
 sticks |    rope   |  sticks

The basic travois!  When placed, this object lays on 3x1 meters.  On one end there are sticks along the edges of the block; on the other end the sticks meet at the centerline.  In the middle is a platform, on which can be placed ground storage up to 0.5 meter tall or a reed chest.  If the player stands on the sticks that meet and right-clicks with empty hands, it is attached to the player and travels with them (at no greater speed than a walk).  You will slide further on ice.

    2     |       3     |      2
 rope   |     fat     |  rope
---------|-----------|----------
 n dur  |      2      | n dur
 axe    |     log    |  knife
---------|-----------|----------
    3     |      3      |      3
f.wood |   resin  | f.wood

The sled! Another 3x1, the front end only takes part of its block, and features the ropes.  The other two meters are ground storage, up to 1.5 meters tall, or whatever containers you want to place there, up to a full trunk.  Stand in the front meter, right-click the ropes with empty hands, and the sled is attached to the character.  Walk at half speed, or up to a run on snow or ice.

These should get even better when there are animals to pull them for us (and an interface for it).  Eventually we'll use those shield hoops for cart wheels, but I bet these'd stay useful until then. 

Now, I must admit these will look exceptionally ugly when traversing the 45 degree slopes produced by a player hopping up blocks.  It is ridiculous for the player to have to bring dirt path slabs (both hands are used for the contraption, so that's just awful aside from lack of inventory).  So, clearly world generation must change to include ubiquitous dirt slabs so our contraptions can have their traversable slope constrained, so they can be only appropriately burdensome :D

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Don't take this the wrong way, but you have not played a lot of polar starts, have you? Finding enough cracked vessels (forage?) with reeds is hard enough to get a single handbasket. You are proposing to use 6 rope = 18 reeds, plus 24 reeds for the basket, = 42 reeds, just to be able to take less than the current hotbar slots with you? (Oh, wait. Put a firepit on the one freebie and you get 2 slots, so break even, although don't get surprised by wolves or you will have to leave everything behind. So that's just 16 reeds. You could have built a handbasket and had 5 slots, including 2 convenient ones, instead of 2 awkward slots.)

If you need that many reeds to make a usable travois, why not just create the four handbaskets and have 14 slots in lieu of your proposed 8? And, of course, the reason is you can't. There are not that many reeds available for the first couple months. By the time you populate all 4, usually it's 2 handbasket and 2 linen sacks. Maybe 3 and 1. But I've never filled all 4 before finding a linen sack.

And maybe that's the answer. We just disable cold starts, as with that it would be unplayable without at least one lucky early drop of a linen sack.

Or this could simply be a mod. Should be relatively easy once multi-block wagons and the like arrive on he scene. Don't know about how hard it would be to nerf the hotbar. I've never wanted to do that, so never looked into it.

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Incidentally, it would be really easy to see how much fun that would be. Gather no resources apart from flint and what you find in ruins, plus wood and sticks. Limit yourself to just 2 slots, and no food except what you find in ruins plus rabbits, wolves, bears and foxes. You can spot yourself all the glacier ice you like, because you must build a greenhouse before you can plant anything, and you must limit yourself to low fertility soil. No crop gathering, only seeds from ruins. Every time you eat something, throw away another of the same thing to emulate the extra hunger from the cold.

Or easier yet, do a polar start, but limit yourself to just the 2 slots. Should be really easy to see how practical this is.

Edited by Thorfinn
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3 hours ago, Thorfinn said:

Incidentally, it would be really easy to see how much fun that would be. Gather no resources apart from flint and what you find in ruins, plus wood and sticks. Limit yourself to just 2 slots, and no food except what you find in ruins plus rabbits, wolves, bears and foxes. You can spot yourself all the glacier ice you like, because you must build a greenhouse before you can plant anything, and you must limit yourself to low fertility soil. No crop gathering, only seeds from ruins. Every time you eat something, throw away another of the same thing to emulate the extra hunger from the cold.

Or easier yet, do a polar start, but limit yourself to just the 2 slots. Should be really easy to see how practical this is.

I'd also add that if the suggestion isn't already something that one tries to emulate in most of their worlds(and thus, has fun with), then it's probably not a good idea to add it to standard gameplay settings(which is how I tend to read suggestions). As a niche setting it might work, but I would say the same logic still applies--if it's not something you're already emulating(or attempting to emulate) in your own gameplay, it's probably not a very fun feature.

A polar start on just two slots though...oof, there's no way that can end well! 🤣

9 hours ago, Steel General said:

Now, I must admit these will look exceptionally ugly when traversing the 45 degree slopes produced by a player hopping up blocks.  It is ridiculous for the player to have to bring dirt path slabs (both hands are used for the contraption, so that's just awful aside from lack of inventory).  So, clearly world generation must change to include ubiquitous dirt slabs so our contraptions can have their traversable slope constrained, so they can be only appropriately burdensome :D

I'll be honest...I'd like to see travois implemented in the game, as it would be a cool option to transport things, but putting it this way comes across as a bit trollish. Maybe I'm just misreading the statement, but if you make transport methods more burdensome/inconvenient than moving things on foot, the end result will be players ignoring that mechanic entirely as it's too much hassle for what it offers in return(case in point--alcohol bandages being ignored since it's a lot of effort for a very situational use item). In any case, I don't think it would warrant a rework of world generation--the player should be able to automatically traverse one-block height changes when leading a travois. The only difference I would really put is making travel slower if you're hauling the thing yourself, instead of letting an animal pull it.

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11 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

I'd also add that if the suggestion isn't already something that one tries to emulate in most of their worlds(and thus, has fun with), then it's probably not a good idea to add it to standard gameplay settings(which is how I tend to read suggestions).

This. Carry Capacity/CarryOn are popular enough that it seems unlikely that reduction of inventory slots is something many people will choose. And those who do wish that can already do it. This implementation of the travois doesn't even need a mod to test. Fill the remainder of your slots with something you don't use so you don't accidentally pick things up. This makes it possible to do what you could in this proposal, take 3 items with you; just keep throwing whatever is in your main hand in time to pick up what you last threw.  Juggling.

Just leave things in your two hands and pretend they are in a firepit on your travois. Throw them away if you encounter a wolf.

If this becomes popular, maybe someone will code a mod to do it.

 

11 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

'll be honest...I'd like to see travois implemented in the game, as it would be a cool option to transport things,

This!!! It just needs to be good enough that one chooses to use it on its own merits. The raft as implemented requires the sacrifice of a slot, two when not in use, but you still have at least 9 slots hotbar slots left, not including items in backpacks. And early game, even that's often too much of a sacrifice. Again, CarryOn might be a good guide. I disagree, but the consensus seems to be that an 8-item backpack boost should be at no penalty other than being a little time consuming. (I'd have even that slow movement and add to hunger rate.) A radical like me would think the travois should be treated as a combination raft/oar. As long as you have that in your main hand, you are pulling it. But I'd impose a hunger and movement penalty. So for my playstyle, I'd probably rarely use it. But the capacity must be larger to make it worthwhile, particularly cold weather. 4/8/12 for medium/large/huge hides, respectively? 

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