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Easy Knapping


City Builder
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My son hates the knapping function, he seems to complain quite loudly when he's playing (okay, yeah he's young) but I do get the whole knocking out one tiny block after another and the whole lack of hand eye coordination at his age but still.

Would be nice to be able to just double click on the knapping item and have it remove all of the kniblets so that he doesn't have to sit there and remove them one by one even if it promoted a timer to get the job done.

Obviously I'm talking about making it an option for those that wish to use it and not force it on the general playing population.

Edited by City Builder
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I'm with your son on that one. I don't enjoy the knapping, smithing, or clay working parts. They're not terribly 'realistic' as such and are just busywork. The knapping is probably the least annoying among them in that at least it doesn't let you make a mistake - you just have to hold the button down and move the mouse around.

But they're such a part of the VS identity I can't see them going anywhere so your suggestion is a good one.

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The reason for the "mini-games" is to avoid the activities begin instant. It's a problem in a lot of games. Craft a new diamond sword in Minecraft: one second. You can fill up your inventory with swords as fast as you can click them over. Skryim you can make swords as fast as you can click until you run out of materials. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Obviously, the clicking on all the bits is boring. But replacing it with an animation of you removing all the bits just makes it passive. The balance is to make it be an activity that takes time. Knapping seems to be it right now, but something else would be fine by me if it was an activity and it took time. Otherwise it's just Minecraft impossible speed crafting. Which is fine for a different style of game, but doesn't fit this one.

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As I said, I and he would be fine if it was set on a timer and not just busy work (as I like to put it), it requires a certain hand eye coordination as David insinuated above with regards to smithing or clay working parts and that can put at a disadvantage some players, so having options in the settings would be great, even if the crafting of the item simply took a timer or count-down to create.

 

This reminds me of another game that I played recently that couldn't be played one handed (I'm often stuck in bed and can only play one handed games) until a modder came along and made the game one handed friendl(ier) by creating a mod that did a whole point and click to move the character (but it was a strategy top down view game, not like this), but point being that it would be nice to have options for those people that aren't perfect in body.

In Minecraft... Yeah, it's passive but you put iron in the oven and it comes out iron bars but it takes time for that to happen, I'd really like to see something similar to that (not the oven but rather the timer) for knapping, and whatever comes beyond that, that which is like Knapping in the game.

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Wouldn't change a thing. This game seems to be just the thing for the players that want to play what's there. Hopefully knapping will never go away. 

I would maybe suggest an easy mode for servers that want it. But not removing it from the game for those who do.. Just like another option in server setup. 

I myself want the challenge of having to sit and knap out a new tool and wonder if I'm about to be attacked by a wolf or something.

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The beauty of VS is how moddable it is. I'm sure someone could make a mod that provided recipes to make tool heads so you could do it MC style if you wanted.

We don't all want the same game, but VS is interesting enough that a lot of us want a really similar one and we've been given a lot of tools to help make it :)

I'm a vanilla MC player... optifine is the only mod I use. I like sticking to the rules for the most part. But I don't have the time or desire to play VS quite the way it wants to be played. I switched off all the temporal stuff, and I wish all the tools lasted about 4 times longer than they do (esp the scythe). I use the carry mod (used it once or twice so far), the give back dirt from farmland mod (not actually used it yet but will when I re-locate), ProspectorInfo - I don't think that changes the way the game is played, and I've installed better crates but not used it yet and am not sure about it, it does seem to be overpowered for storing the endless stacks of sticks and stones you accumulate. I *am* basically playing a really cool MC clone/extension. I'm honestly considering getting rid of Drifters! They're just getting in the way of my fun when caving.

There's no point talking about realism when there is an automap, minimap, compass, coords, etc. If you don't want to be attacked by a wolf while knapping then tower up and do it 3 blocks up. Then kill the wolf from there :)

Having said all that I agree VS needs to keep its identity in the default state.

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10 hours ago, David Taylor said:

The beauty of VS is how moddable it is.

Some of us don't want to mod our games. Some of us want to play the same game everyone else is. The same game described on the box. The same game the wiki covers. At least while we are learning it.

Also, I seem to recall that this section is called "suggestions". I don't see how the top post is not a valid suggestion. It's nto a demand, it's a suggestion.

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Well, my son gave up on the game (can't blame him) maybe he was a bit too young for a game that seems more grindy than Minecraft (which he loves playing) so I took over his home to see if I would like it, as I've always wanted a more difficult Minecraft game.  However, once I got to smithing, that';s where I gave in.  Trying to form ingots into a useful item was nothing less than infuriating for me.  There really should be an "easy" mode for Knapping for those that dislike knapping to begin with or an improvement to smithing and what comes beyond that.  Put it int he options so that those that like Knapping can keep doing so, and those that dislike it can use an easy mode.

 

I'd down with clay knapping, that seems okay after 10 to 15 hours of doing it, but then comes smithing and needing to move around molten metal, that's just awful (*to me*) and could use some improvement.

If this game is to become a success, then it needs to appeal not only to those that are hardcore fans but those that are beginner types but want a more detailed game of Minecraft.

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I would suggest a better approach: "Helping-Hand"-mode
as with many newer games we should think about a "helping hand"-mode for people with dissabilities and also those who want to turn it on! Also red-green blindness and the like. This would make this option very valid - and it is pretty much only a simple recipe mod. People who have trouble controlling a mouse can easily choose to just use the regular crafting system. Someone just needs to make the mod. If the devs choose to have the mod implemented as a full feature like in a "helping-hand" mode is up to them ofc.

However, I will also stress that I do find these modes very well implemented and in a very good way a mechanic that resembles the real life process. It teaches many things: patience, hand eye coordination without a stress factor (unless you are impatient) and how it was and is done in reality. It is still an abstraction so that it doesnt nearly take as much effort, time and skill as it would in reality to craft something like a knife blade out of rocks. I have done smithing and clay work and those were for a very good reason MASTER professions of their time.
After panning and having copper tools you hardly ever use knapping - at least I dont need to - and clay working is super fast as I almost only ever use 3x3 (dont forget about F and think "invers"). Smithing is even faster, doesnt even take 30s to make a plate or chain.
Also, if this is already "too much" for you, than I do not know how you want to find alloy minerals! That is much much more work than those three elements...

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I can see the problem with the grindy voxel mechanics, though I think they are part of the games identity, so removing them completely is out of question. For an accessibility mode, I recommend Skru's suggestion:

Minus the skills that is. The idea is simple, just hold right click and the voxels will be placed/removed automatically. This perserves the visual identity of the crafting, as well as the balancing for material, tools and time. This should however not be the default mode but as I said just an accessibility mode for those players who need it. I think it belongs in the world configuration screen, but as this feature would work seamlessly in Multiplayer, the option could maybe be in the options menu instead, but then I fear the majority of the playerbase using it because it being slightly more comfortable. Maybe some chat command to enable it in multiplayer instead?

While this accessibility option would "fix" the voxel crafting for those who need it, the mechanic in general could also use some upgrades to make it less tedious, because especially the clay working can get tedious. Knapping, personally, I don't find that tedious, since it is only early game anyway and is really quick compared to the other processes. Did you know that when you disconnect a piece of voxels from the recipe, that piece gets automatically removed so you don't have to knap every voxel, just the ones around the tool? This small change has made knapping even more comfortable, but not everybody may know it exists.

The clayforming can be unbelievably annoying when the player doesn't know about tool modes. Just press 'F' and you can select 2 by 2 or 3 by 3 placement or an option to automatically copy the previous layer. I personally have a grudge against tool modes, because they are hidden to newer players, are unimmersive and annoying to switch. The 2 by 2 placement has the additional problem of only being centered on one of the 4 voxels it covers, could be "fixed" by 3 additional tool modes for every other corner, but that would probably make it even more confusing and hard to use than it already is. I feel like the tool modes for kapping could be easily replaced by a more powerful and slightly more intuitive mechanic: Click and drag. The player clicks on a voxel and drags a rectangle to another voxel and all voxels within that drawn rectangle get a preview while dragging and will be removed/placed upon stopping draggin. The size of the rectangle could be limited to make it not too simple, I think 9 voxels of content as a maximum would probably feel right. This especially makes drawing lines easier, as the player can easily place a long line of 9 voxels with just one click and drag. As some players don't can or like holding down their mouse to click and drag, an accessibility more could be implemented to make it two clicks, one to start dragging one to end it. The accessibility mode may be considerable as a default option, as it prevents the player from missing the feature, like tool modes, as he can't simply place a voxel by just right clicking once. For the mid game I could very well see a turntable for automated clayworking being implemented, like how there is a mechanical hammer for smithing right now.

I feel for smithing it is kinda harder to make it less tedious and get rid of the tool modes. Since there is a way to partially automate it (mechanical hammer), I don't view it as such a huge problem. Especially forming ingots from bloom is kinda meant to be tedious, to make the mechanical hammer a more worthwile upgrade. I imagine steel, which will be added in 1.14, will be somewhat easier to produce in larger quantities, as it doesn't require working a bloom, so it would eliviate the problem even more. An additional tool mode to upset (the one voxel move) a line of three voxels (so it'd be like moving each of the three voxels individually one voxel forward) would be helpful in many recipes, making smithing a bit less tedious. I personally tested (modded) this mode as a replacement for the normal upset, which would also work fine and make smithing require a bit more thinking. For selecting tool modes I have some ideas, but they would generally make smithing a bit harder/skillful and thus may not fix the problem of being tedious and are not something for this thread. A simple way to make a lot of smithing less tedious is allowing starting a recipe from a plate, additionally to starting from an ingot. I have also easily modded this into the game. As the plate can be automated with a mechanical hammer, smithing things like chainmail becomes a lot easier.

Additionally to changes to single voxel crafting processes, there are also two general solutions to make any/all of them less tedious. One thing that could be done would be to lower the resolution of the voxel grid, essentially meaning both fewer voxels to manipulate and bigger voxels that are easier to interact with. The drawback of this is needing to redo the recipes and losing detail and thus making it slightly less visually appealing. I feel like this could make especially knapping easier, but for clayforming I feel it would disconnect the finished models from the ones created in the recipe too much and for smithing I feel setting the voxel resolution any lower would produce some gameplay issues (3 wide/2 high ingots is already present and I feel like it is already the smallest the ingot should be). Another easy option to make knapping and smithing less tedious is increasing the tool/armor durability, meaning the player would just have to engage with the systems far less. There is already a world configuration setting for this, but I feel like setting the default higher would be a good decision.

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I do feel like tho some people dont "get" clay working: You start with a lot and take clay off. That is how you do it in real life. As with many handcraft professions you work "invers". The - studpendious - idea of going "on top like legos" is a mindset problem and does not in any way resemlbe reality: even with modern tools (cnc, extrusion etc. ) we always work invers. And once you understand this and learn to apply it clay working here is really simple and fast. Only the anvil takes a lot of time, but how often does one do that one? Exactly: once.

Still think a "helping hand mode" would be good for reasons mentioned, but other than that I wouldnt change much.

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On 10/7/2020 at 5:02 PM, City Builder said:

As I said, I and he would be fine if it was set on a timer and not just busy work (as I like to put it), it requires a certain hand eye coordination as David insinuated above with regards to smithing or clay working parts and that can put at a disadvantage some players, so having options in the settings would be great, even if the crafting of the item simply took a timer or count-down to create.

 

This reminds me of another game that I played recently that couldn't be played one handed (I'm often stuck in bed and can only play one handed games) until a modder came along and made the game one handed friendl(ier) by creating a mod that did a whole point and click to move the character (but it was a strategy top down view game, not like this), but point being that it would be nice to have options for those people that aren't perfect in body.

In Minecraft... Yeah, it's passive but you put iron in the oven and it comes out iron bars but it takes time for that to happen, I'd really like to see something similar to that (not the oven but rather the timer) for knapping, and whatever comes beyond that, that which is like Knapping in the game.

ok...

 

On 10/7/2020 at 7:50 AM, City Builder said:

My son hates the knapping function, he seems to complain quite loudly when he's playing (okay, yeah he's young) but I do get the whole knocking out one tiny block after another and the whole lack of hand eye coordination at his age but still.

Would be nice to be able to just double click on the knapping item and have it remove all of the kniblets so that he doesn't have to sit there and remove them one by one even if it promoted a timer to get the job done.

Obviously I'm talking about making it an option for those that wish to use it and not force it on the general playing population.

the fuck?!? the knapping is easier but y0u can just break a row (or up to a micro block) and break a peace next to it (works for axes, shovels, and spears, and hopefully arrow heads) that makes it a lot of the hell easier so please experiment before posting that (oh.. I needed to read more ._.)

Edited by Blue (battle berry)
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There is already a copy function to speed up clay voxels. Copy the rows until you get to the top and then do the top by hand. It's already a part of the game. Already there, and no one is screaming that it's dumbing down.

So...

Just extend that to make the whole piece. Hold down magic button and click until the whole item is formed. Now everyone is happy and no one need call the other a baby. And extend that to smithing as well. Hold down the magic button and click to smith. Makes the game possible for those with accessibility issues. It's not dumbing down, it's accessibility.

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18 minutes ago, Brandybuck said:

There is already a copy function to speed up clay voxels. Copy the rows until you get to the top and then do the top by hand. It's already a part of the game. Already there, and no one is screaming that it's dumbing down.

So...

Just extend that to make the whole piece. Hold down magic button and click until the whole item is formed. Now everyone is happy and no one need call the other a baby. And extend that to smithing as well. Hold down the magic button and click to smith. Makes the game possible for those with accessibility issues. It's not dumbing down, it's accessibility.

+1

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I would also prefer to keep foul language outside of this forum.

In any case, the game is advertised as "an uncompromising wilderness survival sandbox game". If we were to make knapping easier, we would compromise our mission. It sure is tempting to make the game accessible for everyone, but we'd end up with a lower fidelity product, in believe.

I did however spend a lot of extra effort in making sure that inteprid players can at least adjust the game to their needs with lots of configuration options and easy modding. You could create 3x3 grid crafting recipes - minecraft style - for all the tools and weapons in the game. Go to %appdata%/VintageStory/assets/survival/recipes/grid and e.g. copy bed.json over to flintaxe.json and adjust the input and output parameters as needed. You can find the item codes in the creative inventory by hovering over items and with debug info enabled (type .edi in chat). Any mistakes you make during recipe creation should be logged in server-main.txt so you can find out what you did wrong.

I've attached an (untested) example that you could drop into that folder

flintaxe.json

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I like the napping a little bit it was interesting the first few times I did it but after breaking tools several times and constantly remaking them it has become a bit of a hassle for me a little bit. 

I agree. I don't think they should get rid of it at all. that being said.

how about when pressing F you have an extra option "auto mode" or something. basically the same as the "copy previous layer" option but instead of copying the previous layer it does whatever is needed for the current layer.

I feel this would work for everyone. I think it would keep knapping in the game let people do it 1 dot at a time if they want but also give the option to just have it done automatically but not instantly much like the "copy" mode but this would be available not just on multi tier objects like clay Knapping but would be available for all knapping so it takes the same time and still requires some interaction rather than a timer mode but gets rid of the tidium of moving each thing yourself especially after youve done it about a million times before.

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59 minutes ago, Sukotto82 said:

I feel this would work for everyone. I think it would keep knapping in the game let people do it 1 dot at a time if they want but also give the option to just have it done automatically but not instantly much like the "copy" mode but this would be available not just on multi tier objects like clay Knapping but would be available for all knapping so it takes the same time and still requires some interaction rather than a timer mode but gets rid of the tidium of moving each thing yourself especially after youve done it about a million times before.

The problem with an "auto mode" is just that it turns a visually appealing repetitive task with low player engagement into a visually appealing repetitive task with even less player engagement. It turns knapping into holding down a button and watching a glorified progress bar. Furthermore, everyone would use this feature if it was faster or equally fast, making manual knapping redundant or when it would be slower, people would complain about how annoying it is to having to hold down your mouse for so long. For it please everyone, both manual and automatic have to be equally tedious, which ends up pleasing no one.

I only support the "auto mode" as a optional accessibility feature that has to be configured in the world settings or enabled via command on a server, which replaces manual knapping (and other voxel minigames) completely and once turned on can't be turned off. It shouldn't be a convenience feature or a solution to the problems of the system, but a way to allow more people to play the game.

I've outlined real solutions to reduce the tedium of the crafting systems a bit further up, the easiest solution is just to increase the default weapon and armor durability.

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4 minutes ago, Erik said:

The problem with an "auto mode" is just that it turns a visually appealing repetitive task with low player engagement into a visually appealing repetitive task with even less player engagement. It turns knapping into holding down a button and watching a glorified progress bar. Furthermore, everyone would use this feature if it was faster or equally fast, making manual knapping redundant or when it would be slower, people would complain about how annoying it is to having to hold down your mouse for so long. For it please everyone, both manual and automatic have to be equally tedious, which ends up pleasing no one.

I only support the "auto mode" as a optional accessibility feature that has to be configured in the world settings or enabled via command on a server, which replaces manual knapping (and other voxel minigames) completely and once turned on can't be turned off. It shouldn't be a convenience feature or a solution to the problems of the system, but a way to allow more people to play the game.

I've outlined real solutions to reduce the tedium of the crafting systems a bit further up, the easiest solution is just to increase the default weapon and armor durability.

an increase in durability (if Significant based on the current durability) might work if your talking about the base Durability in the settings menu I already have durability set to 400% and it seems more reasonable but still low quality tools like flint are breaking quite frequently so perhaps and increase in Default Durability could suffice while still keeping the option to increase or decrease it as you like in settings like you can now. just make the default 100% be better I'd like 400% but that might be a bit much for some people but I could see a good compromise heading in this direction.

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22 hours ago, Sukotto82 said:

I think it would keep knapping in the game let people do it 1 dot at a time

Who does that? You press the mouse button and follow the form. You only click on single voxels if you somehow missed one.

If you don't like the durability of flint, then get obsidian, or copper, bronze or iron. And knapping is so easy, you just press the button and follow the form and it just takes 3 mouse clicks and maybe 5 seconds for knapping a new tool head. I actually rarely ever switch to metal axes or shovels, because it is so easy to just make them with flint and sticks when you need them and it's no problem to throw them away if you need more inventory space, because it is so easy to make a new one.

 

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On 10/28/2020 at 6:47 AM, junawood said:

Who does that? You press the mouse button and follow the form. You only click on single voxels if you somehow missed one.

If you don't like the durability of flint, then get obsidian, or copper, bronze or iron. And knapping is so easy, you just press the button and follow the form and it just takes 3 mouse clicks and maybe 5 seconds for knapping a new tool head. I actually rarely ever switch to metal axes or shovels, because it is so easy to just make them with flint and sticks when you need them and it's no problem to throw them away if you need more inventory space, because it is so easy to make a new one.

 

yeah but breaking and going through 9 axes just to cut down 1 oak tree is stupid ridiculous. 2 maybe even 3 but 9 come on. I'm not going to run around with 10+ axes wasting all that valuable inventory space if inventory wasn't so limited or tools with max durability stacked like food when you haven't eaten any then fine that would work but that is a bit insane in my opinion just to chop down 1 2x2 tree.

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1 minute ago, Sukotto82 said:

breaking and going through 9 axes just to cut down 1 oak tree is stupid ridiculous.

 

4 minutes ago, Sukotto82 said:

1 2x2 tree

You mean one of those giant trees? I always keep them, because they don't regrow. Not sure how many flint axes you'd need for them. Probably just one, because one flint axe is for 120 wood blocks and I'm not sure if the giants get bigger than that.

For a normal tree, you definitely don't need 9 axes.

26 minutes ago, Sukotto82 said:

I'm not going to run around with 10+ axes wasting all that valuable inventory space

The good thing about flint tools is that you just need 3 inventory spaces - one for flint, one for sticks and one for the tool you use.

And if you break 10+ flint axes chopping down trees, I don't think all the wood, sticks and saplings would fit in your inventory. One flint axe is enough for 120 wood blocks, 10 axes would mean 1200 wood blocks or almost 19 full stacks of wood. Add to that all the sticks and saplings you get if you break all the leaves, and the time needed to do all of that.....

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