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Sifting Table


3RS
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Imagine with for a bit.  You just settled down, made a nice little dirt hut, in a little forested area surrounded by limestone.  Sand, gravel, stones, rocks, the works.  So you're ready to get to leatherworkin'.  But there's one tiny problem...  You need a saw to make planks, which are needed for them barrels.  So you go out to find you some copper, but after several hours of searchin' you come back with nothin'.  No vanes, no surface copper, zilch.  So panning it is.

That's where I am currently.(If you couldn't already tell.)  And let me tell ya, panning is pretty good.  You get some really nice stuff from that wooden elongated bowl.  But there's just one little thing about panning.  It's about as fun as...  Well, panning for copper in real life.  A long arduous task, that takes a whole lot of standing in water, doin' nothin' else but slingin' sand and grindin' through gravel.  Doin' that for roughly one thousand units of copper, 100 for the saw 900 for the anvil, makes for a rather soul-crushing chore.  Then it hit me.  What if we had an object to speed up the process just a wee bit.  And thus the 'Sifting Table' idea was born!

So, how's it made?  Simple!  It takes seven cobblestone of any kind, similar to a furnace.  Difference is that the cobblestone is place in a H, instead of a U.  At the top space of the H you put a Linen sheet, and a reed basket in the bottom and Boom!  There's your 'Sifting Table'! 

Cool, how's it work?  Even more simple!  Just grab some sand or gravel, have it in hand, then Shift+Right click it on the table.  The block will appear in the table's "mouth" and slowly shrink through the 8 layers just like it would if you were to pan it normally.  Unlike panning however, you can stack sand on top of the Sifting Table.  Probably about two or three blocks.(Too many and it'll just look goofy.)  Once the sand or gravel is all gone, just Right click it to open the tables inventory and grab your goods.  That way you can do other productive things while the table hunts for the goods, eliminating the whole standing still doin' one thing only deal.

Any limitations?  Yes.  You can only have one type of sand or gravel going into one individual Sifting Table at a time.  So if you want multiple different types of sand or gravel sifting at once, you'll just have to make more tables.  There should also probably be a significant decrease in finding special things like arrow heads and such, to help balance it out.  Not to mention, it will only have and inventory of eight spaces.(What with the reed basket in all.)  If the inventory is full, you can still sift, but anything new will just be lost and only that which can be still stacked will survive.  So you need to empty it out regularly.  Don't want to go about your business only come back to a table full of stacks of stones now do ya?

Whew!  Sorry for short story, but whatcha ya'll think?  Yay or nay? 

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yay.

 I like immersive things like this. Add a little shaky shake action requiring holding the right mouse button.  Besides early game use some other later game uses could be added. separating sand and gravel from cobblestone, sieving grain, mixing two materials together. Mechanical power with hoppers etc.

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1 hour ago, 3RS said:

It takes seven cobblestone of any kind, similar to a furnace.  Difference is that the cobblestone is place in a H, instead of a U.  At the top space of the H you put a Linen sheet, and a reed basket in the bottom and Boom!

🌸  I'd rather see sticks used in the sides to represent the frame. Otherwise, Wouldn't you need some way to cut the cobble to get the right shapes you would need for such a devise.I'd also like to see rope used.

a couple possible recipes could be:

RSR          RSR

SLS    or   SLS

CRC          SRS

R=rope S=stick L=linen C=cobble

If you wanted it to be cheaper you could make it string instead of rope. Or have both options and the rope one has better durability.

Don'y expect to see this in the base game anytime soon though since Tyron has a LOT of more major things to do before getting to duplication already existing mechanics. Maybe I'll look into making a mod  for it. 💖

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Okay I gotcha.  Let me roll with what you guys said and go further.

What if there were different tiers of Sifting Tables.  You have a cheaper one made out of sticks and such for early game.  It would have a smaller inventory space, something like say 4?  And it yields more stone and a modest mount of ores and quartz.  Special drops will either not appear in this one or be really rare.(This is to make it so the tables aren't super broken early game.)  Next table could be like the one I mentioned before with better drop rates.  And final tier can be an Industrial Sifting Table made out of some kind of metal.  It'd be two blocks in length, therefor doubling the sifting out put and increasing drop rates further.(But not so much that mining for vanes becomes obsolete.)  Or something like that.

But let's focus on one thing.  The first cheaper one.  Let's call it the 'Shoddy Sifting Table'.  Basically my idea of what a sifting table is, comprises of a table like frame, a mesh to place the sand or gravel in to shake it through, and a container for the sand to fall into underneath.(The last part is just for cosmetic.  Being able to recycle sand would also contribute to brokenness.)  So my crafting recipe idea is as follows.  I'm still keeping the H design, but sticks will be used instead.  In the bottom two spots, two sticks will be needed in each to make up the table legs.  Two more sets of sticks will be put at the top to represent the top of the table frame and the mesh's handles.(For the shakin'.)  The mesh, which goes in the top spot, can be 4 or 6 pieces of reed rope.  And instead of a reed basket, it'd be one or two reed hand-baskets.(less material, to go with the cheap/quick/easy motif.)  Or something like that.

Let's see if I get come up with some good mechanics here...  Right click and hold one of the handles, or top part of the table could definitely work for the shakin' motion.  We could still use Shift+Right click the top to load it up.  Then I guess right click the bottom to access the inventory.

Yeah, I think that sound's pretty good.  Think it still needs anymore adjustments?(Also, I'm pretty well aware priority for this would be low on the list, but a mod to test it out would be more than appreciated.)

Edited by 3RS
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My interpretation would be much more like Ex Nihilo:

  • Flax Fibre in a 3x3 gives a "Fine Mesh" that can be used to sift sand.
  • Flax Twine in a 3x3 give a "Coarse Mesh" that can be used to sift gravel.
  • Sticks in a "H" with a hand basket on top creates a "Sifting Table Frame".
  • These meshes can then be Shift-RightClicked into the frame.
  • Hold RMB with sand/gravel in hand to sift, like operating a Quern. A single block from your hand is placed on the table, and slowly gets chewed up as you keep holding RMB down.
  • All items get deposited on the floor.

I say that last bit so that it can later be used with a hopper and chute, and into a chest, allowing sifting to be used as a legitimate method later in the game.

Edited by ApacheTech
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Hmm, yeah I see where you're comin' from AT. 

How about this? The meshes are kinda like logs, and different kinds of meshes will take longer or shorter to "burn" through.(Kinda like what Sparkle suggested in their first post.)  Like each type has a certain number of "sifts" before it wears out.  Each mesh could also have different yields.  Like a cheap mesh mainly yields stones and a few ores, while better meshes yield obviously better things.(Or somethin' like that.)  I know that might be less immersive, but I do think it should be a little more simple.  At least for an early Sifting table.(But now that I've thought about I think there should really only be one type of table.)  I also think it should be just ever so slightly faster than panning.  It is technically the upgrade progression from that, so slow, but not as slow.(If that makes since.)

So let me see if I've got the interactions correct.  Shift+RMB to place meshes.  RMB once to place a single block of sand/gravel.  RMB hold to sift.  That right?

I do like your recipe better, and stuff falling out on the floor is a good idea too.

Edited by 3RS
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Yes, the meshes would have the durability, but the differences between them is mainly about the density of the mesh. Think of the fine mesh as Muslin... you could even call it that. And the Coarse mesh as Sackcloth or Hessian. If you wanted to make this a bit more generic, you have Muslin and Hessian as base crafting components in Tailoring, and one of their multi-purpose uses is that you can sift through them. The granularity of the two materials is different enough to mean that Muslin is too fine a material to allow gravel to be sifted, but will be ok with sand.

Later on, you  could have a metal mesh recipe, which would be cast, or forged, which would be much more coarse, and have much more durability, allowing it to be used in semi-automated or fully-automated environments. I don't know if it would need a piston-like mechanical component to push slowly down on the top of it, or whether you could use the components already there. Then you could add sand into a chest, through a hopper, into the sifting table, and the results flow through a hopper, and into an output chest. While loaded, and powered, the contraption should just work.

Durability wise, I think the Muslin and Hessian would need at least enough durability to allow a full stack of sand/gravel to pass through before breaking. Any less than that, and you'd lose the entire point of the project.

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The reason I brought up the "simple but less immersive" idea is mainly just to get a base plan for getting the table up and running.  So for now I was thinking we(I say we, but it's really Sparkle Kitti don' all the work.  Thank you again by the way!) can use what the base game has, then develop into the more complex stuff.  For instance instead of working on the two separate meshes for gravel and sand, just work on one  that does both currently.

On that note, I've been brain-storming about how the table will progress forward and I think I got it.  Instead of different tables being the upgrades, it'll be the meshes themselves.  Here's a quick idea list.

Grass mesh(or Reed mesh) - made from Dry grass(or Cattails) - Sifts 20 blocks do to the availability of the crafting materials.

Rope mesh - sifts 40 blocks

Flax Fiber mesh - 60

Flax Twine mesh - 80

Etc.  These will just be place holder meshes until the base work gets done.  Then you can have it to where you have two meshes for gravel or sand.  You could probably introduce new plants, or use existing plants to craft different qualities of Muslin or Hessian.  Lower quality plants being more common then the Higher ones.  Then of course heading into metals which can also be split between the two as well.

I was also thinking the recipes for making them should be a "+", since meshes are just several intersecting lines.  Obviously you'd need more than just one in each slot, so maybe 4 or 6 of each material?

Anyway, that's what I was thinking.  Feel free to add to, or take away, or whatever you think works better.

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Just remember that if you don't have flax growing where you start, getting fibre in that quantity will be a real pain, due to the poor mob drop rates. If the point of this is that you don't have to travel hundreds of blocks, that may be a limiting factor. Nine, for a 3x3 is doable, over time, while still collecting for a bed, and for sacks. For yours, you'd need 20-30 fibre per muslin sheet. That's pretty steep, when a sheet of linen is only 16, and muslin is a finer fabric than linen.

Edited by ApacheTech
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My thought process when I first had the idea was that the Sifting Table would be a late stone age/early copper age tool.  By this time you're probably looking for lime to get to leather-working and possibly some surface copper, so you've probably done a bit of traveling.  So I don't think that finding flax would be that much harder then the other two at that time.  Early game, I completely agree.(Suppose we could brain-storm a some plants similar to flax that grow in different regions to help with that.)  But my idea is that you'll still have to pan, but you can work towards the table as a personal goal.  Still, nine or ten for a 3x3 is better.  (Last reply for now, since I'm at work.  Shhh!  Don't tell anybody!)

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I like the general idea, but instead of a sifting table, a sluice would be a better thematic fit, being a bit more realistic (sifting tables filter by size, not weight like panning or sluices). Mechanics could remain roughly the same, but it would also need flowing water.

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I'd say it's easier to find 20 nuggets of surface copper for a pickaxe than it is to find 30 flax fibre in a number of regions. Or at least, you'd have to travel just as far for either.

To make this as intuitive as possible, I'd stick closely to Ex Nihilo, and not try to re-invent the wheel. Ex Nihilo works, and is scalable to the mid-game, and early late game. The loot tables for various items could be tweaked to allow for more scalable uses, and as the hopper network items in the game expand, more automation will be possible.

A sluice would be an interesting way to do it, but that would be later on, I think. I'd set that up as a block that is placed in the water, with an internal inventory, underneath a water-wheel. The water wheel could then power the shaking mechanism within the sluice. That would work better for sifting soil, and the by-product would be Silt. Silt could be added to Low Fertility Soil to create Medium Fertility Soil, or to Barren Soil, to create Low Fertility Soil.

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Now that you mention it Erik, a Sluice box could totally work.

Just find a pond and dig a three step dirt block stair.  Place the Sluice box on top next to the pond lip and leave the others open for unobstructed flow.  Break the dirt lip then put sand or gravel in it's place to feed the Sluice.(Not sure how this would work in game, but I'm not a code-jockey so it may be easier than I think.)  Then clean out the Sluice's inventory.  That's a rough breakdown, but I could see it working pretty well.  You could even put Sluices on every step, so when one's inventory gets full one of the others will pick it up instead.  You'd just have to have the ability to make at least one out of wood materials.(Since my whole goal of suggesting the Sifting Table is just to get copper nuggets easier if you can't find a vane nearby.)  Still want to see what Sparkle Kitti comes up with, but I'm pretty on board for your idea too.(Yeah I know I said that would be the last reply for a while, but I'm on lunch-break so sue me!)

Edited by 3RS
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I agree that a sluice would be more thematically appopriate than a sifting table, and I think the level of user interaction and potential for automation suits better too. So +1 for sluice. (The sifting table isn't a bad idea though, by any means)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/4/2020 at 2:43 AM, The_Lazy_Warlock said:

Here's my take, could be incorporated into a mechanical system, using hoppers, bellows and a toggle (similar to the helvehammer). They're twice as effective as water driven sluices, but they'll require a lot more mechanical building. 

Feed it with gravel/sand and watch it go!

This sounds great and well within the feel of the game.

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A sifting table for the purpose of sieving hard materials like stone would be an iron age device, not something available in early game. Same for a sluice box or similar sieving unit operation. Crafting a proper sieve is quite the challenge. And it's a different separation process than panning anyway, so I don't see the logic.

Late game sifting would require both decent (small) sieves and either manual, wind or water powered actuation for the sifting movement. Such a feature could give a huge boost to ore refining, maybe. So, I'd not consider it in relation to early game convenience boosting, but only for late game refining purposes if that would befit related features.

A way to reduce the annoyance of gathering copper for an anvil with only panning is to first craft a propick and pick and use those to get access to larger quantities of ores for an anvil.

Edited by AlteOgre
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I'll give you the Sifting Table being a different form of separation, but a Sluice box is only ever so slightly different than panning.  And just so where all on the same page, this is the kind of Sluice Box I was thinking about.

A, maybe three foot ribbed box you stick in a river and pour sand, gravel, and dirt into, or just let the river naturally push stuff into it.  Sure, this one's got a bit of metal in it, but I've seen a few completely wooden ones too.  Since they come in so many different sizes and are all called the same thing, I get where you're coming from.  But as you can see, this particular one isn't exactly end game and could definitely work for early to mid copper age.  You could easily craft it with some logs and a couple of ladders.

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Sure, you can scale-up the panning equipment and process, make it a tad smarter and more efficient, and add some coarse sieve functionality to separate pebbles, flint and quartz chunks from ore rich sand for instane. All that could be possible with crude timber, sticks, rope and resin. And that may make the work a little less time consuming and laborious, assuming medieval realism is kinda a leading gameplay constraint. So, yeah, if that is the core of the proposal you got my big ogre 👍.

Imagine selecting a large number of small diameter sticks that you bind in a densely packed sheet together clamped between larger sticks or thin logs, and place that on a slope. Think bamboo stick mat. That would make for a very basic, primitive sluice box. It will be inefficient as part of the smaller high density particles will easily pass through the non-closed slits in the bottom, but that efficiency loss could be countered by filling up any holes with resin or be partially countered by placing another one underneath, possibly with smaller diameter sticks (and narrower slits), and so on. A coarse sieve function could be added by placing addtional sticks at the inlet at the top of the device. In any case, the operator will have to manually feed sand and gravel and also manually remove any potentially valuable high density particles left in the small troughs formed between the sticks (and possibly valuable chunks caught in the coarse entry sieve part). Flowing water is required to provide the motive force for particles moving top-down the sloped bottom and removing any lower density solid particles.

A crafting recipe for this could for instance be: 4 logs in the corners + 2x2 resin on the sides + sticks middle top and bottom + 1 'stick mat' in the center. The stick mat could be made with: a load of small sticks in the center (preferrably bamboo for instane) + 4 ropes in the corners + 2 resin on the sides. The resulting device would be one block and have a diagonal orientation. To be operational it would have to be placed with the upper side facing flowing water coming down (... hmm, which may indeed not be that easy to find). It will have one input and 3 output slots: input for sand or gravel and outputs for coarse product, high density particles and sand or gravel. Entering a couple of blocks per charge leads to the desired reduction of time spent. The output slot for sand or gravel would require a new block (sub-)type for those blocks, like 'panned' or something as currently the game doesn't yet produce leftover sand and gravel after panning, which is a bit of a pity imo as that would encourage players to think about doing something with those sideproducts. Just like with the quern, the outputs slots could overflow and spew out their surplus.

Edited by AlteOgre
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Yeah, that's basically what I was thinking about.  Just a slightly better way to pan.  Not too over-powered though.  That's why I suggested that it not have as many special yields or none at all to help balance it out.

Running water can be tough to find, but if you can find a pond or water source at least 4 dirt blocks(or easy to break blocks) high it should work.  You'd be making a block stair case from the pond's lip down toward a reservoir.  Two blocks down from the lip will be the middle block, which is where the Sluice Box or Panning Box or whatever would sit.  One more down will be a free block for increased flow, that leads into the reservoir.  Break the dirt block at the top to release the water down the steps.  You obviously need to make some block guides so the water doesn't just spill out all over.  And that's the setup I had it mind.  That make sense?  It's a little hard to explain.  If needed I can come up with a mock up in paint or something to help explain it better.(Though I'll have to  wait till I get back home from work.)

When it comes to interactions with the Box, I had these 2 ideas.  

#1  Place a block of sand or gravel where you broke the lip.  I'm not going to pretend I know how code works, but basically the game registers the pan-able block being adjacent to the Box and doesn't stop the water flow.  The sand or gravel block will shrink over time, just as it does when you grab it with the panning bowl.  Every time an item is "panned" the Box will shake, that is until the inventory is full.  If full the rest will dump out into the reservoir.  This one's probably unrealistic, not in the concept but in execution through the game.  I can foresee a quite few glitches it could cause.

#2  This idea is more along the lines of what you were saying.  Right click to enter the inventory and place some blocks of sand in the "input" slot.  Then Shift + Right click to give a good shakin'.  Inventory will fill up and dump the rest.  You could even stand in the reservoir and have the overflow plop right into your inventory.

At least that's what I was thinking.  Feel free to spitball!

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  • 5 months later...

The oldest automated alternative to gold panning is the golden fleece of Greek legend. It was a course sheep or goat hide pegged down in the stream. Heavy grains would be trapped in the wool for later washing out, clay etc is carried through.   In game: Two large hides + 4 sticks. Place in flowing water near sand & gravel. Over time it changes colour and saturates. The gravel & sand de spawns in a 3 x3 area. Puck up the fleece and shake out for stacks of loot. It should not catch clay or cogs. 

Edited by wesley Bruce
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In order to do any automated panning we will more complex water mechanics. So far I can't find a way to move a water source block or fill a deleted water block that's generating a flow. Can I suggest putty or grout? Clay plus oil or fat. It should make 10 units. Place in/ on flowing water to fill get a water source block where placed. This is less useful to trolls wanting to flood your house but allows you to manipulate water were it already exists and fix glitches. I have a great talent for unintentionally putting the watering can down in water creating a flow.  

  

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2 hours ago, wesley Bruce said:

So far I can't find a way to move a water source block or fill a deleted water block that's generating a flow.  

With the bucket, hold sprint and right click, I think it is.   You have to target a solid side that is adjacent to the block to be filled.  And sometimes it can be a bit finicky.

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