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Some thoughts on balance.


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So love the game so far and I know its in very early stages but I just wanted to point out some things that me and my friend group feel are off.

1. Fish. catching flattening and cooking fish seems off. once cooked you get less saturation from a flattened fish filet than you do from a berry. Fish is a very healthy meal and IMO fish should take longer to catch and reflect that its very healthy and good to eat XD

2. Weapon durability specificaly but really durability of all tools. I feel like the use you get out of tools and weapons is far less than the effort that goes in to making them.

3. Armor crafting. 100 copper to make 1 lamellae? then it takes 29 of these to make a set of armor? so 580 copper nuggets for one set of armor now i havent been able to make this yet because of the excessive cost but i read that you cant repair armor so...why? i feel like id go through an entire set of this armor just to gather enough copper to make it and it would leave me with little left over for tools and weapons.

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Welcome to the forums :)

How far did you progress? If you're using copper tools and copper armor, ten yeah, the durability will be low. It goes up dramatically with every new metal tier. A copper pickaxe is 350 durability, I believe; wrought iron is already 1000. Steel is >2000 I think.

Copper tools are not something to rest on. The metal is soft and corrodes rapidly. You only use it because you need it to get the better stuff.

This also means that, yes, a full suit of copper armor isn't really all that great for the investment it took. But: it is armor. It keeps you alive. If you don't mind dying a few times, you can deprioritize armor. But if you play the Wilderness Survival preset, which randomizes your spawn point everytime you die and throws you many kilometers away from your established base, you really kinda want to avoid that. Copper lamellar is already a 75% damage reduction - you only take one quarter of the damage you ordinarily would. It takes four times as many hits to kill you. That's a very substantial survivability bonus.

And as you progress, you'll eventually notice that copper is absolutely everywhere. You'll keep coming past surface deposits that you missed the first twenty times you walked through that area. You'll randomly hit copper veins when searching for literally any other ore. And if you happen to have an ultra high reading for copper on your prospecting pick? Digging down there might well see you pierce through four or more deposits in a single shaft. Really, I have personally found that copper isn't even the resource that makes lamellar armor expensive. For me, it's the fat lumps used for curing the pelts. Between that, and making lamps, and conserving food for the winter, and building a proper windmill-powered workshop, I am always chronically short on those even after 80+ hours in the same world and ranching my own livestock.

All that said, I did my own comparison of armor cost and crafting effort progression in a spreadsheet a while ago, and came away with the feeling that lamellar may be just a tad bit too expensive on the metal side for its place in the progression. I decided to make my own mini-modlet that tweaks the recipes of the three pieces, making the full set somewhat cheaper. I don't feel this buff is affecting game balance all that much, since lamellar in general is only a stopgap solution until you get to better armor. You don't want to keep making it once you have the ability to tan leather.

 

And finally? Fish is not (yet) a thing in the base game. :P You're playing modded. Depending on which mods you play with, you might even have some that modify the durability and/or cost of tools and/or armor. So it's not really all that useful to give feedback on game balance based on experiences in a modded playthrough.

 

Edited by Streetwind
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oh wow i knew he had modded the server (there are only a few) but i just assumed fish were a base thing. that makes so much more sense lol and yeah i get copper is everywhere but its kind of hard to get unless 3-4 of us go together because we dont have armor because its not viable for us to make . It may also be bad luck because we have spent days running in all directions and the only stone we find is basalt lol no lime anywhere so we cant make leather either.

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What? Basalt is fantastic! It's the best top-layer stone you can have for three reasons. One, it's black, baby. Two, it is the only stone that can host obsidian, which makes the best stone tools, better than flint even. Three, basalt has special world generation, in that it is an igneous stone type, but it can have sedimentary below it. Usually, sedimentary stone can only generate on top of, and never below, igneous types. So if you are walking along a top layer of granite, you immediately know that there won't be any sedimentary anywhere. But if you get lucky with basalt, you can have both an igneous top layer and a sedimentary middle layer, with all the advantages in ore diversity (and the chance for it to be chalk or limestone) that it brings.

...Which of course does not help you at all :D But I loved that one world in v1.13 where I scored basalt->chalk->granite in my staring area. Easiest world I ever had.

I guess one thing to take away from this is to always check what's below the basalt if you explore looking for lime/chalk. Anytime you come across a cave, see if you can hop in just to check the transition from top to middle layer. Another indicator that there's sedimentary below the basalt is if you get readings on your prospecting pick that can only exist in sedimentary, like borax or halite. (Waypoint any borax areas you find, by the way. Not only can it replace lime/chalk for leatherworking, but it is progression critical in later metalworking.)

 

As for armor: the rule of the thumb is "wear armor, any armor". If all you can make is the improvised chestpiece from grass and firewood, then wear that. It already gives you 55% damage reduction on half the hits you take. It's also one of only two armor types in the game that has absolutely zero downsides for having it equipped, so there is no reason to ever not wear one. Even if you have better armor that you choose to take off because you don't expect combat right now and you want to get rid of the slowdown - put on some improvised armor instead. You can supplement it with wood lamellar on head and legs if you really cannot spare the copper, but I wouldn't waste too many pelts that way.

 

And as for finding copper being difficult even in a group due to not having armor - are you referring to cave exploration? The solution here is: don't explore caves for copper. It can work, and with rare, huge vein types like iron ore it can even be a fairly decent method if done intelligently, but it is very dangerous. For something as common as copper that shows up nearly anywhere you dig? You should really be prospecting for that. There is no combat needed when you simply stay on the surface in daylight until you have found a high yield area, then dig a vertical shaft down to see what's there.

Using the prospecting pick is often considered one of the steepest learning curves of the game, because learning the use of the tool alone isn't the whole story - you also need to learn to interpretate the results it gives you (or the absence thereof), and full mastery even requires that you plan how and where to search ahead of time based on the ore you're looking for. But don't let that discourage you. If anything, take it as a reason to start practising with it as early as possible. If you have literally never held one before, it may be worth it to read up on its basic use first. Otherwise, for your copper mining needs, here's a training exercise for you:

 

Grab a prospecting pick, and choose a coordinate near your base that's divisible by 40 on both horizontal axes. Like, 200/y/-120 or anything like that. Using the primary mode (density search) of the prospecting pick, sample precisely that block at that coordinate. It may say something like: "native copper: very poor (1.5)". Or, it might not show any reading at all for native copper. Note down the words "very poor", or "nothing", or whatever, for these coordinates on a piece of paper, and forget everything else. Now, walk 160 blocks along either east/west or north/south. For example, you go from 200/y/-120 to 200/y/40. Sample this exact block. Write down the descriptive word for the yield. Walk another 160 blocks. Rinse, repeat five or six times. You now have a line of results running across your map.

If none of them is "decent" or better, go back to the start, and move 80 blocks north/south and 80 blocks east/west. For example from 200/y/-120 to 280/y/-200. Now, you start a second line in parallel to the first. Do another five or six along that line, and if you don't get a "decent" or better, come back and start a third line that's offset by another 80/80 blocks. And so on.

Once you find a "decent" or better reading, go one more sample forwards. Is it getting better still? If yes, go another sample, and so on, until it stays the same or gets worse again. Then stop.

You'll notice that I had you follow a grid pattern with very large gaps in between. That was for covering ground quickly. Now that you have at least one good reading, you can narrow your search down. Starting from the best reading you found, go 80 blocks in each of the four cardinal directions (you can skip a direction if you're sure from previous data points that it'll be worse there). Then pick the best one again, and go 40 in each direction from it. Chances are, you will now have moved very near to the highest density spot in the whole area. And you will have enough data on your sheet of notes to hazard an educated guess as to where you need to sample next.

Once you have a "very high" reading, or perhaps even that juicy "ultra high", fetch two stacks of ladders and start digging vertically down. Make it two blocks wide while standing in the middle, so you don't fall through the ceiling if you hit a cave. Protip: ladders can be lowered through air if you keep applying more pieces to the bottom part of an already placed piece.

Copper starts generating after roughly a third of the way down below sea level, generates in every major stone type in the game except for bauxite, and can spawn many times per chunk. With a good density reading, you should pierce through multiple deposits on your way down to the bottom of the world. Additionally, if your server has the secondary propick mode (node search) active, you can use that every dozen or so blocks along the way down to check if you just narrowly missed something with your shaft.

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4 hours ago, Aanika VII said:

2. Weapon durability specificaly but really durability of all tools. I feel like the use you get out of tools and weapons is far less than the effort that goes in to making them.

If you're playing singleplayer, that's easy to fix by creating a world with a different tool durability or changing that later. In Standard Mode the default is 100%, in Exploration Mode it's 200%, and you have some more options between 50% and 400% if you customize the settings.

Armor... Well, again depends on your settings whether you even need them or how much. ;)

I normally play Exploration Mode and change some settings. Right now I'm testing the "Standard" settings again, because I wonder if those should be the standard in my opinion, and if the name doesn't lead too many newbies to start that way and then struggle a bit too much and unnecessarily and like the game a bit less than they could, if they chose other settings and were more aware of that option. Or people start multiplayer servers with standard settings or with whatever changes and it's hard to tell for players what the settings are on that server and especially newbies might think they don't like the game and its balancing, while it's the individual settings of the server...or the standard settings that might not be the best option.

Edited by junawood
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7 hours ago, Aanika VII said:

3. Armor crafting.

Just as an fyi, armor is extremely unfinished right now.  It was rather quickly put in as the same time as the tiered drifters, because *something* was needed to protect against them.  Crafting of armor will changed entirely, eventually, at all levels.  But it'll be a ton of work to code and make assets for - probably just about an update all it's own.  So until the time is deemed right for that, we'll just be sort of stuck where we are.    And one more fyi, copper and bronze tiers were intentionally designed to be sub-optimal, especially for upper tier armors.  And *especially* copper, as there's almost no historical precedent for it's use as armor.  But it was felt that metals should not be excluded from any given armor type, because there's physically no reason you couldn't make it ( Also...other reasons...🤐), even though it might not be your best bang for your buck.  So even in the final version, armor probably won't be the most efficient use of copper. 

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19 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Using the primary mode (density search) of the prospecting pick, sample precisely that block at that coordinate

how do i do precisely that block if i have to prospect 3 blocks? and they have to be 3 away not exactly sure lol

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37 minutes ago, Aanika VII said:

how do i do precisely that block if i have to prospect 3 blocks?

The first block you break is the one that actually generates results. Then you need to break two others nearby. This is meant to represent you going around the area and collecting different samples to determine what might be here.

You can confirm this by doing one sample, walk five blocks east, second sample, five blocks east, third sample. Then, start again with the last block you sampled and walk west. Both times, you'll have broken the exact same three blocks (ignoring y-level); but the final result will be different, because it is always centered on the first block you broke.

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Posted (edited)

so i tried this method and i just dont know. first it takes days in game to get enough sticks to make 2 stacks of ladders which is bad enough but then when i try to prospect a specific block the prospecting pick just seems to want to randomly reset between blocks so i never end up prospecting the one i want =/

 

i even tried digging down and using dirt to get back up figuring if i fell into a pit and die then id use the ladders to get my body back but even on a block that reads decent tin i found nothing even tried a 2nd shaft near by still no tin.

 

between this and nights in winter being so long that we end up just sitting in the house watching out the windows (even after sleeping) the game is becoming pretty tedious =/

Edited by Aanika VII
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On 3/22/2021 at 12:14 PM, Streetwind said:

Make it two blocks wide while standing in the middle, so you don't fall through the ceiling if you hit a cave. Protip: ladders can be lowered through air if you keep applying more pieces to the bottom part of an already placed piece.

few more protips: you can space ladders out 1 block (as long as you don't hit a cave, just use a ladder every other block); and as long as you stay on a ladder you can just dig straight down, without falling into caves... in basalt areas, you might want to have a bucket of water ready though, you could hit lava and that stuff might burn the ladders.

 

2 hours ago, Aanika VII said:

first it takes days in game to get enough sticks to make 2 stacks of ladders

Don't you use shears, or at least a knife? or are you that far away from any bushes and trees?

 

On 3/22/2021 at 9:02 AM, Aanika VII said:

he had modded the server

you might want to take a look into the world settings and mods you use too, maybe deposits were set to be way less common as in the default game? Which will create problems especially if not playing alone. depending on the mods eventually less sticks will drop or you have the possibility to craft sticks from boards or firewood?

Edited by Hal13
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14 minutes ago, Hal13 said:

Don't you use shears, or at least a knife? or are you that far away from any bushes and trees?

To be fair, when you're looking for copper because you've only barely just made your first pickaxe, spending what little metal you have on shears may not be on the forefront of your mind ;)

Also, don't use knifes on leaf blocks as a fallback solution. Use axes. They get a far higher speed modifier for specifically that. If you're running with stone tools, replacing them frequently is not really an issue.

 

2 hours ago, Aanika VII said:

the prospecting pick just seems to want to randomly reset between blocks

The rule governing this is as follows:

You break the first block, which is the one that reports results for its ownspecific location. It now expects two additional samples nearby. "Nearby" in this case means "no more than 16 blocks away from the initial sample, but at least 3 blocks in between any sample and the new one". So going four blocks forward -> sample -> another four blocks -> sample works. That is the system i personally use. You could also move left or right instead of forward, if the terrain there is more accessible. But your third sample must never be within three blocks of the first or the second sample, and may never be more than 16 blocks away from the first sample.

If you break a block that is not valid - too close or too far away, as per the above rule - then it resets to being a first sample again. It will again expect two nearby samples, and it will report results for its own specific location.

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4 hours ago, Aanika VII said:

between this and nights in winter being so long that we end up just sitting in the house watching out the windows (even after sleeping) the game is becoming pretty tedious =/

Why is this such a thing? I've seen so many people come to the forums and complain about sitting around in their houses at night doing nothing... why are you doing nothing? 😟
The first night, maybe, but beyond that? I don't understand.

Anyway, press F when you have the propick out, it should open a menu. Do you have one selection here, or two? Your server might have node search mode activated, which makes looking for ore a lot more bearable. If you're a big baby like I am, then install VSProspectorInfo. Having each chunk I've registered with the propick appear on the map is very nice and helps me space my mine shafts more efficiently. 

Keep in mind that the propick does not triangulate anything, despite what its method of use may imply. You use it to break 3 blocks that are close to one another and the entire chunk you are in gets checked for resources. The height you're at doesn't matter at all, so there's little reason to NOT check every chunk around you, aside from durability concerns.

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27 minutes ago, l33tmaan said:

You use it to break 3 blocks that are close to one another and the entire chunk you are in gets checked for resources.

Common misconception! The Propick does not actually interact with the chunk grid. You get an data readout for each individual block you check, and if you prospect another block nearby while still in the same chunk, you get a (slightly) different result. That shouldn't be possible if the chunk as a whole is read out, but you can confirm for yourself ingame that it indeed happens.

The pick does internally interpolate the ore spawn probability over a chunk-sized area centered on the block you prospected. But not actually a specific chunk. Small but important difference. ;) It has to do that because the ore density map has a much coarser resolution than the world itself. Still, that's mere trivia at the end of the day - it doesn't change or affect the way you use the pick in the game at all.

I mean, you could if you wanted to make a grid search pattern based on the chunk grid - but, having tried it myself in practical application, I can tell you that it quickly gets annoying when you have to mentally count in multiples of 32 while you're at coordinates like -928/x/1312. That's why I always recommend a 40-block search grid. Way easier on the brain.

 

Edited by Streetwind
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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, l33tmaan said:

Why is this such a thing? I've seen so many people come to the forums and complain about sitting around in their houses at night doing nothing... why are you doing nothing? 😟
The first night, maybe, but beyond that? I don't understand.

well we stocked up food for winter and figured we would mine during the winter but beyond the first cave we found with a bunch of copper we have found a bunch of nothing and no there is only 1 option on the prospecting pick. so i guess the fact that we go out day after day and find nothing has kind of put us off, and again i tried using the prospecting pick and only found one result where it was decent and dug down and found nothing. even tried a few spots within a couple blocks and nothing. we probably got enough copper to make 15 or so picks plus swords and a few hammers and now our copper is almost gone those picks are mostly gone and we have found nothing for using al those picks. its pretty discouraging.

 

Basically it feels like 1 step forward and 2 back. like we havent progressed at all for our efforts.

Edited by Aanika VII
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5 minutes ago, Aanika VII said:

and no there is only 1 option on the prospecting pick

That's for some reason the default in Standard Mode, but there is another one in Exploration Mode or if you customize the settings for a standard world.

And yes, winters are... I dunno. I hate long dark winter days IRL and it's no different in the game. Snow can be really beautiful, and on a white map some things are more visible. And it's nice to have the goal to stock up enough food for the winter. But other than that...

I started playing this game last year when it was always spring, and I loved that. :) Then after the update I tried the winters and... I don't know if I can get used to them, and I play to have fun, right? So now I love a new world where I started in hot climate. :)Others might move to a different location down south for the winter. You could also customize a world and set seasons to "off, always spring". Others enjoy winters and snowy areas. So I guess in this game a significant part is to test differents settings and solutions and find out what you personally enjoy the most.

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The world settings are there for a very good reason. Personally, I play with double ore generation in my single player worlds specifically to make the initial process of getting started less tedious.

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6 hours ago, Aanika VII said:

there is only 1 option on the prospecting pick.

You can enable the second propick mode in an existing world.  The wiki has a list of server commands for a variety of configs, to apply after the world is made.  The command you want specifically is /worldConfig propickNodeSearchRadius [0-12].  Anything above 0 will enable it.  The number is the radius in which the propick will detect actually-existing ore.  I believe somewhere in the 6-8 range is the most common choice.  Some folks say that if the radius is too large, it makes it hard to zero in because you can detect separate deposits, and end up getting jerked around between them.

There's also a config on that page for increasing tin spawn rates specifically.  However in an existing world, it will only make a difference on newly generated chunks.  The thing to realize is that the verbal descriptor is relative for the ore in question.  Because tin spawns in rather small deposits, a "decent" chance for tin is much different from a "decent" chance for iron or coal, which spawn in much, much larger veins.  Blind mining for tin without the second propick mode enabled can be very difficult.  Without the second mode, I normally find a decent or better propick mode 1 result, and then try to find a cave in the area.   The cave will expose a lot more area a lot faster than digging your own mineshaft.  But it does help to keep the cave systematically lit, to avoid getting overwhelmed by drifters.

If you have the second mode enabled, it should be much easier to find tin while blind mining a shaft.  Just keep in mind the detection radius you've chosen, and sample accordingly.

Hope something there helps!

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