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Fire as a resource


Erik
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Currently in VS, fire is something that just happens when you throw fuel into the campfire. Torches need to be lit and will burn infinitely long in your hand or burn out a while after placing them, without any way to relight them, they just have to be replaced by new burning torches. In VS 1.12 we will have a fire starter to light the campfire and relight torches and campfires extinguished by rain, but not burned out torches.

I think there are a lot of gameplay and immersion opportunities regarding fire, by making it actually a resource you need to manage. Instead of making starting and maintaining fires easy, it could require some skill, like described in the firepit overhaul thread:

With world setting we now also have a way to make the feature difficulty configurable, so more casual players won't be effected.

But not only the campfire would be changed, also torches would be:

  • Unignited torches can be crafted with a stick and some tinder.
  • The torches can be improved by crafting them together with tree resin.
  • A stack of torches can be ignited by holding right click on a burning campfire.
  • Ignited torches decay/burn out even in the inventory, similar to food rotting, and have a durability bar to indicate their burn progress.
  • Ignited torches can be used to ignite campfires, but will be consumed in the process.

From here, two systems are possible, either unifying in-inventory and placed burn time:

  • Unignited and ignited torches can be placed.
  • Placing ignited torches will inherit their burn time (if the torch would last two minutes in your inventory, it will also last two minutes placed).
  • Unignited and burned out torches can be reignited by right clicking with an ignited torch, but inherit the burn time of the torch used to ignite them.
  • Placed ignited torches will drop ignited torches when destroyed, inheriting their burn time into item form.
  • Burnt out torches (placed and in inventory) revert to being unignited ones.
  • Right clicking a campfire with ignited torches will reset their burn time.

Or separating them:

  • Unignited and ignited torches can be placed.
  • Placing ignited torches will reset their burn time.
  • The burn time of placed torches can be reset by right clicking them with an ignited torch.
  • Placed ignited torches will drop unignited torches when destroyed.
  • Burnt out torches (placed and in inventory) revert to being unignited ones.
  • Right clicking a campfire with ignited torches will reset their burn time.

These changes makes managing torches and therefore fire much more interesting. As they now always have a set burn duration, even when in your inventory, players have to plan ahead when for example exploring caves, maybe bringing wood and tinder to start a campfire in the cave to get fresh ignited torches. This also makes caves much more scary, as there is a real chance that your light will go out and you'll succumb the darkness. 

In addition the feature makes using torches also much more convenient, as they can be quite easily reignited in your home or already explored cave segments.

Edited by Erik
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I like all your points, apart from this one

13 minutes ago, Erik said:
  • (Maybe) Placed torches ignited by other torches get the burn time left of the torch that was used to ignite them.

I feel like this would make it unnecessarily difficult. There should be nothing stopping a player from taking a stack of unlit torches, and lighting them as needed

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18 minutes ago, LordJameh said:

I feel like this would make it unnecessarily difficult. There should be nothing stopping a player from taking a stack of unlit torches, and lighting them as needed

I'm also a bit on the fence on this point, but without it, it would be encouraged for players to light their torches as late as possible when exploring caves. just before the torch used to light them burns out. With the tweak however, it's irrelevant when the player lights the torches, they will all extinguish at the same time, when the torch used to light them extinguishes. It also makes light a bit easier to manage, as the the time left till the torches on your cave diving extinguish is even indicated on the torch used to light them.

It would probably just be best to make it a world configuration point, so the player can choose and everybody will be happy.

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I'm not really a huge fan of the having to light torches after placed thing.  To me their primary use is while caving, and having to light each torch as you place it feels like it'd slow down things a lot.  I'd rather have them be crafted with stick and grass, with optional improvements such as resin and other substances down the road to increase burn time.  Fiddling about with lighting them doesn't sound all that fun to me.  I think I'd be ok with them being unignited when crafting them, and you do have to light an initial one - such as in a campfire - but if I have a lit torch or other fire source in inventory, just have any newly placed ones be lit when I place them.   And don't inherit burn times.   That just makes every subsequent torch less efficient than the  last, besides not making any sense.

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41 minutes ago, redram said:

I'm not really a huge fan of the having to light torches after placed thing.

You can still place ignited torches, they also stack like food, I didn't say anything otherwise. If igniting placed torches with a torch from your inventory would not inherit the burn time, it would make placing already ignited torches less effective, as they would suffer from the burn time, otherwise that would ofc cause your problem, so placing unlit torches and lighting them would be more effective. that's another reason why igniting torches should inherit the burn time.

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Yeah, that sounds good. One other thing that would be nice (as a configurable option) would be to replace the currently held torch with a new one when it dies, and automatically light the new one. That way, you don't have to worry about placing to light or whatever, but the duration of torches still matters as does your inventory space for keeping them

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19 hours ago, Erik said:

You can still place ignited torches, they also stack like food, I didn't say anything otherwise.

You can light an entire stack in inventory and place them one by one as now?  That's not clear in your OP.   How are torches in inventory ignited?  You did mention " Unignited and burned out torches can be reignited by right clicking with an ignited torch. ", but I took that to mean in-world, one by one.  And why would the player want to ignite a stack at once anyway?  The whole stack would immediately start decaying, right?: " Ignited torches decay/burn out even in the inventory, similar to food rotting "

19 hours ago, Erik said:

If igniting placed torches with a torch from your inventory would not inherit the burn time, it would make placing already ignited torches less effective, as they would suffer from the burn time, otherwise that would ofc cause your problem, so placing unlit torches and lighting them would be more effective. that's another reason why igniting torches should inherit the burn time.

Inheriting burn time makes them inferior, especially if you're not micro-managing your primary torch to keep the burn time as fresh as possible, because your 'lighting' torch is constantly decreasing in effectiveness. If you're not micro-managing then they're inheriting a less-than-max burn time.  As opposed to just letting the player place them and assume the player lit them while placing (but it is hand-waved), giving them max burn time (no burn time inheritance), which is what I was suggesting. 

Relighting them in-world refreshing their burn time to max would, I think, be more intuitive from a player standpoint vs them inheriting the burn time of the lighting torch, which makes no sense.

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2 hours ago, redram said:

You can light an entire stack in inventory and place them one by one as now?  That's not clear in your OP.   How are torches in inventory ignited?  You did mention " Unignited and burned out torches can be reignited by right clicking with an ignited torch. ", but I took that to mean in-world, one by one.

Sorry if it wasn't clear enough. I'll change the thread a bit later to make it a bit more clear. Torches are basically ignited by right clicking a (stack) of torches on the campfire. The player can only reignite/ignite placed torches with other torches and torches in his inventory with a campfire. Ignited torches stay ignited when placed. Hope this clear up things a bit.

2 hours ago, redram said:

And why would the player want to ignite a stack at once anyway?  The whole stack would immediately start decaying, right?: " Ignited torches decay/burn out even in the inventory, similar to food rotting "

If burn time is inherited, this would be the case, players would be encouraged to light their placed torches manually and only bring one burning torch. When burn time is inherited however, then it's irrelevant if the player lights all torches at the campfire or lights placed torches later, the burn time would be consistent between inventory and placed form.

2 hours ago, redram said:

Inheriting burn time makes them inferior, especially if you're not micro-managing your primary torch to keep the burn time as fresh as possible, because your 'lighting' torch is constantly decreasing in effectiveness. If you're not micro-managing then they're inheriting a less-than-max burn time.  As opposed to just letting the player place them and assume the player lit them while placing (but it is hand-waved), giving them max burn time (no burn time inheritance), which is what I was suggesting. 

Without the inheritance, it would separate the burn time of placed torches and in-inventory torches.  This system would of course work, but it would lead to the exploits I described, with players being encouraged to place their torches as late as possible.

2 hours ago, redram said:

Relighting them in-world refreshing their burn time to max would, I think, be more intuitive from a player standpoint vs them inheriting the burn time of the lighting torch, which makes no sense.

The ability to "refresh" already burning torches with other torches (not sure if you mean placed or inventory or both) would make fire not a resource, but just a timer the player has to refresh every now and then. The campfire should imo be the only place to refresh torches, it represents the source of fire and new fire, meaning burn time, should not be allowed to be created without it. It's not realistic, but it makes sense from a game design view.

16 hours ago, LordJameh said:

Yeah, that sounds good. One other thing that would be nice (as a configurable option) would be to replace the currently held torch with a new one when it dies, and automatically light the new one. That way, you don't have to worry about placing to light or whatever, but the duration of torches still matters as does your inventory space for keeping them

That would not make fire the resource and make the whole system obsolete: When a torch in your inventory dies out, it is turned into an unignited one. So two torches, one ignited one unignited, in your inventory would make an infinite loop of reigniting.

When however torches would be removed from your inventory when burned out, the system would essentially be "the more torches you carry the more light you have" and as players can easily carry two stacks of torches, which would yield enough light for an eternity, the whole system would also be irrelevant.

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