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Lighting and Temporal Lanterns


Brynn Bernstein
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Just now I was thinking about the role of light as the player's mostly unique ability in the game and the primary way of defining and claiming spaces, and I thought it might be interesting to dive into that more with lighting that ties into the temporal aspects of the game. Having animals that die in the dark spawn a hostile mob would encourage players to keep caves permanently lit for fear of the vengeful ghosts of the rabbits driven in to die in the dark. The move from torches to permanent light sources should be an incredibly exciting change that keeps the player safer all the time. Having more ways of permanent lighting would be great--oil lamps are great, and it would be great to have traders sell full skeps to make it easier for the move to beeswax candles, but maybe a primitive candle and lantern could be made with animal fat, as tallow? These could even be locked to a single class like the primitive bow to encourage a lackluster class like the clockmaker. A way to improve torches with pitch or oil-soaked rags would be another welcome step, bridging the gap between a player who hasn't found bees yet and one who is ready to produce lanterns. These options, while they would necessarily be worse than our existing candles and lanterns, would help players be able to enjoy a fight to survive in a dark, monstrous, world.

Later, there could be a temporal lantern that stabilized areas and reduced drifter spawns even during temporal storms, that required steel, lead cames, glass, gemstones, carved bone, string, candles, artifacts found in ruins, and temporal gears to bring together lots of different types of progression. This would be a capstone piece like minecraft's beacon--to make one, you would need to produce steel ingots and turn them to lantern parts on the anvil and turn lead (currently essentially unused!) into cames (maybe with a special technique?), both of which would require a robust forge and metalworking facilities; produce high-quality or even colored glass (which currently requires using colored quartz if I remember correctly) and prospect or pan to find gemstones, both of which require exploration and competent prospecting or hours of patient panning; carve bones harvested from wild animals with an a knife or specialized tools to make charms that would be tied on with flax twine or cotton string if that ends up in the game, which takes a decent animal and crop farms; find and farm bees for wax to make candles and raid ruins for their artifacts, which takes hours of patient exploration; and kill thousands of surface drifters or hundreds of more dangerous ones to get enough temporal gears to power it up. Once finished, it would complete a high-level base with temporal stability even at low y-levels, reduced temporal storm severity, and severely nerfed hostile mob spawns (probably just temporal mobs, wolves are on you still). What to do after you finish it? Well, guess it's time to complete that multiblock chiseled survival-only base with a massive stained-glass hall of mirrors. You've earned the peace to work on it through the night without interruptions!

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