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The amount of drifters spawning in caves is WAY too much


Gonzo
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Hi,

Is there a way to reduce the amount of mobs spawning? I honestly think the amount of drifters spawning, and the rules that apply to it are a bit overtuned. Often when i go to the cave I can't proceed just because drifters keep spawning in places, where logically they shouldnt (in my line of sight, in places lit by torches, or in places where I have been few seconds ago). I know that enemies should exist, that i am exploring their nest (the cave), but there should be a finite amount of them. Today i was playing, and for over an hour i couldnt proceed even for a single block further, because difters were spawning so fast and in so many numbers that it was just overwhelming (see picrel, that isnt even the biggest battlefield, just the last one because i got frustrated). I destroyed two swords, two knives, got 3 whole stacks of flax and a half, and so many temporal gears that i dont have a place to store them.

So my question is: Is there a way to reduce the amount of mobs spawning? Or my suggestion is to reduce this amount, or change rules of spawn. Few examples: 

- Mobs cant spawn in player's line of sight

- Reduce the level of light required for mobs to spawn

- Mobs cant spawn in a radius around player (so they can't spawn behind our backs in places, where we were looking a second ago)

- Apply a limit for how many mobs can spawn in an area, or in a specific period of time

I hope you can understand me clearly, english is not my first language.

drifters.png

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You gotta pump those numbers up, those are rookie numbers.

On a more serious note, use fences for spelunking. Make fence pit traps and fence off sections so drifters cannot "peacefully assemble". With the drifters hanging out in pit traps (where they belong cannot get you) the game will not spawn more in the immediate area since there are plenty there anyway. Fence off tunnels to prevent them from pouring in like the nexus you found there. If you have a tunnel system you want to develop for mining, wood slabs are a cheap option for preventing them spawning in your main through-ways or for building over the crowd while you place the fences.

I don't really know if you can lower the spawn rate or not, but since this situation is a bit on the extreme side, lowering the spawn rate may cause drifters to be too rare in most other situations.

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The spawning logic is definitely one of the weakest points of this game. There's no way to make a safe building in wolf spawning areas, for instance. Wolves will spawn right into your little hovel, sometimes very close to you. It causes players to avoid wooded areas altogether.

And yeah, the constant spawning in caves is an irritant as well as being immersion-breaking.

Those kind of factors caused my group to abandon survival mode and only play in exploration mode. At least this way the mobs have low agressivity and don't swarm you as much - though we still die to high-level drifters when wearing primitive armor 

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Pit traps work, and it looks kinda hilarious when 20+ drifters are in a 2x2x2 hole. It is a solution, but the problem still exists, sometimes game just spawns waay too many mobs, and it's just irritating. I think this system should be changed, or slightly tuned - to be more "realistic" (maybe big wave of mobs when first entering a caved area, and after that sporadic spawns? At first to clear the most of inhabitants, and after that just finish off survivors?).

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  • 3 weeks later...

To be fair I think reducing the light level at which drifters can spawn to 0 and include a safe radius of 32 blocks around the player would fix a lot of these problems.

I literally never explore caves, it feels to dangerous, uses to many torches to cover every nook and cranny and after 3 days I would need to make another massive amount of torches to replace them because they would have burned out. It's not worth it.

I would love to explore ruins, search for ores but the risk just feels to big for me. Drifters in large numbers are no joke. And the way spawning works as it does means there is no "good" and safe solution with copious resource use and fighting a bunch.

Except for cheese mechanics, which are likely not intended.

Edited by Elias Heyndrickx
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I haven't found drifters spawning in well-lit bases (though my bigger fenced in bases that weren't spammed with fat lamps did spawn a fair few inside the fence). But the wolf spawn thing is a constant irritant. They'll spawn in my bases no matter what I do, and they frequently kill me in early game before I've got any decent armor. I'd really love for some kind of minecraft-like mechanic where hostile mobs won't spawn close to you, and they need a certain light level to do so. Otherwise, why even bother putting a door on your base or making a base at all, if hostile mobs can spawn two blocks away and start attacking at any time ?

I'd also love a "drifter spawn frequency" setting. I don't feel like drifters make the game any more enjoyable for me, and if I could play without them I absolutely would.

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At least taking a look at the API and whatnot, if wolves are spawning right next to you then that is a bug- they should, at a minimum, spawn at least 18 blocks away. Additionally, they are blocked from spawning too close to block light sources- anything brighter than light level 7, and they should not spawn. If they are spawning regardless, this is a bug.

 

These restrictions also apply to drifters, though drifters are barred from spawning due to any light brighter than light level 7, not just block lighting. A torch has light level 14, meaning that no drifters should be spawning within roughly 7 blocks (by Manhattan distance, presumably) of a torch. If they are, this is a bug.

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56 minutes ago, LuuBluum said:

At least taking a look at the API and whatnot, if wolves are spawning right next to you then that is a bug- they should, at a minimum, spawn at least 18 blocks away. Additionally, they are blocked from spawning too close to block light sources- anything brighter than light level 7, and they should not spawn. If they are spawning regardless, this is a bug.

 

These restrictions also apply to drifters, though drifters are barred from spawning due to any light brighter than light level 7, not just block lighting. A torch has light level 14, meaning that no drifters should be spawning within roughly 7 blocks (by Manhattan distance, presumably) of a torch. If they are, this is a bug.

Hm, may well have been a bug. I've been either settling away from forests or putting mobs at passive since the save where wolves kept spawning inside my base (which was during 1.14 where I had a bunch of bugs regardless). I have had drifters spawn right next to me in the current version, but I didn't realize that was a bug, I thought it was just the current mechanics. Thanks for letting me know.

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You can also make a tiny mod to reduce the spawn rate, open the file assets/survival/entities/land/drifter.json and in line 347, replace "chance: 0.1," with e.g "chance: 0.03,"

If you run the Modmaker.exe it should generate a shareable mod .zip that also persists when you install new updates of the game.

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17 hours ago, Elias Heyndrickx said:

To be fair I think reducing the light level at which drifters can spawn to 0 and include a safe radius of 32 blocks around the player would fix a lot of these problems.

I literally never explore caves, it feels to dangerous, uses to many torches to cover every nook and cranny and after 3 days I would need to make another massive amount of torches to replace them because they would have burned out. It's not worth it.

I would love to explore ruins, search for ores but the risk just feels to big for me. Drifters in large numbers are no joke. And the way spawning works as it does means there is no "good" and safe solution with copious resource use and fighting a bunch.

Except for cheese mechanics, which are likely not intended.

Personally I enjoy the underground being so dangerous as it remains one of the last dangerous places to go later in the game. Wolves are not a big threat anymore (usually) so the only place I really feel the need to prepare to enter is deep underground. Everywhere else I don't need good armor or weapons, medical supplies, torches, ladders, fences, etc. and if I don't need all that stuff then I would probably skip building a base and collecting all the tools and materials to survive down there. This challenge gives a nice mid game where I am better than a caveman but I lack high end gear and have to be careful delving while relying on my base more.

There are challenges, but you just need to get creative. Maybe a pit trap to lure them into (build above them, then allow them access) and then weaken/kill with a gravel/sand trap before killing them all or ignoring them.

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14 hours ago, LuuBluum said:

At least taking a look at the API and whatnot, if wolves are spawning right next to you then that is a bug- they should, at a minimum, spawn at least 18 blocks away. Additionally, they are blocked from spawning too close to block light sources- anything brighter than light level 7, and they should not spawn. If they are spawning regardless, this is a bug.

 

These restrictions also apply to drifters, though drifters are barred from spawning due to any light brighter than light level 7, not just block lighting. A torch has light level 14, meaning that no drifters should be spawning within roughly 7 blocks (by Manhattan distance, presumably) of a torch. If they are, this is a bug.

I do believe there is a bug, that might be similar to the problems fixed in 1.15.2 with the foliage decay queue not being processed fast enough. I'm under the impression that there is a spawn queue that can take quite a while to process. So what probably happens is that the wolf/drifter spawn gets requested at the correct distance from the player, but by the time the spawn request is processed the player might've moved to the exact spot of the spawn, resulting in the often-experienced "spawn on top of your head".

What seems to reinforce this theory is that I've recently experienced animals taking several days to appear in some locations. Coincidentally, the server was working pretty hard because all three of us had cranked our view distance to maximum to take screenshots and were exploring separate areas of the map.

2 hours ago, Silent Shadow said:

Personally I enjoy the underground being so dangerous

I think it's great to have mid-game and end-game challenge areas, but not so great to completely block players from serious spelunking until they are fully decked out. Exploring caves is one of my favorite activities in Minecraft (and doubly so since the magnificent Caves and Cliffs snapshots have landed), not so much in Vintage Story because of the endless hordes of drifters. Even with switching to Exploration mode to make them less aggressive and making them spawn only on light level zero blocks, they can be quite an annoyance.

The best idea would likely be to have corrupted biomes like Terraria, which are a lot more dangerous, but also have areas with much lighter challenges where you can explore pretty deep.

Edited by BearWrestler
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1 hour ago, BearWrestler said:

I think it's great to have mid-game and end-game challenge areas, but not so great to completely block players from serious spelunking until they are fully decked out.

They aren't blocked though. You can get away with a stack of dirt and some torches (with one or more separated and sitting in the inventory) if all you want to do is explore.

To exploit a cave you can slowly tame the cave with pit traps and half blocks before you can "safely" operate it or you can try to quickly "raid" it for the ore/minerals you want and hope your gear is good enough (fear the sawblade locusts).

Players do not have to be super geared to go spelunking for ore either. Wood lamellar armor is easy enough to assemble (no metal required) and gives adequate protection for the first raid for tin ore. After that you can exploit your surface deposits of copper to get enough for a bronze suit of armor so you can "safely" delve deeper for the other ores. If you are having trouble with too many drifters then use fences to control their entry from their spawn. If there is a huge crowd you cannot deal with then just leave and come back after they despawn and then fence the area up to prevent another crowd from forming where they can get to you.

There also is not much point exploring caves until you get a pickaxe as you cannot extract anything but flint until you get a pickaxe. You could go tunnel diving in sedimentary and basalt layers in the hope of finding limestone or chalk so you can settle near a source but it is very unlikely that you will find either of those, especially without a propick to look for the ores they host (malachite or lapis lazuli for example).

As for challenges, if the underground would no longer be dangerous then what area would be? Hill/mountainous forests at night?

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I also like the idea of the underground being dangerous but it feels a tad to much. And solving this by (ab)using spawn mechanics and bad pathfinding just seems so strange to me.

I'd like a structural way to conquer caves while being exposed to risk and not be swarmed by hordes of drifters.

So I can discover ruins and find cool ore veins. And since there is no recipe for sticks I am bit reluctant to just go ham with spamming torches everywhere. If I discover nothing of interest on said cave it would feel like a huge investment for no tangible benifits. A big disappointment as such.

I think rifts which spawns drifters in which you can destroy to stop them from coming in would be cool. And perhaps storms would open up new rifts instead of just spawning drifters everywhere.

Regardless I hope the cave exploring gets tweaked a bit to make it (more) enjoyable.

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7 hours ago, Elias Heyndrickx said:

I'd like a structural way to conquer caves while being exposed to risk and not be swarmed by hordes of drifters.

Like what?

7 hours ago, Elias Heyndrickx said:

no recipe for sticks

Just use clippers on leaves and you will have more than enough, it also saves the durability of your axe too.

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On 7/28/2021 at 2:09 AM, Silent Shadow said:

As for challenges, if the underground would no longer be dangerous then what area would be? Hill/mountainous forests at night?

I never said that the underground should no longer be dangerous. I said that it shouldn't be dangerous everywhere, just in certain easy to identify regions of the map. Again, just like Terraria which has corrupted biomes which are way more dangerous than the rest of the map, and are even more dangerous the further down you get.

On 7/28/2021 at 3:49 AM, Elias Heyndrickx said:

I also like the idea of the underground being dangerous but it feels a tad to much. And solving this by (ab)using spawn mechanics and bad pathfinding just seems so strange to me.

I'd like a structural way to conquer caves while being exposed to risk and not be swarmed by hordes of drifters.

This 100%. My group doesn't like using exploits either, or running around like crazy kiting drifters like you see some poeople on Youtube do. They don't make exploring the underground feel any better. Also some of them involve turning dirt physics off.

Honestly almost anything spawning system you can think of would be better than the current situation with cave exploration. Doing enemy spawn exactly like Minecraft (especially now that it only spawns enemies on 0-light blocks and in spawners) would be a huge improvement, for instance. Even when playing a challenge where torches were forbidden and surrounded by multiple pitch-black areas, enemy spawns were rare enough that a creeper silently dropping next to you was a huge surprise, and infinitely more scary than drifter spam.

Vintage Story is a slow, almost meditative game (see: crafting pottery). It's so weird that it turns into some kind of frantic tower defense as soon as you head underground. Spamming enemies is totally not "Lovecraftian" as the game claims to be. Something much more appropriate would be to make cave exploration a lonely, wondrous experience with hints of danger and dread, and the occasional encounter with something scary and dangerous. Making the world go deeper and having caves be much larger systems that you can really get lost and travel in (think Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth) would help in this regard.

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3 hours ago, BearWrestler said:

I never said that the underground should no longer be dangerous. I said that it shouldn't be dangerous everywhere, just in certain easy to identify regions of the map. Again, just like Terraria which has corrupted biomes which are way more dangerous than the rest of the map, and are even more dangerous the further down you get.

On 7/28/2021 at 2:49 AM, Elias Heyndrickx said:

I also like the idea of the underground being dangerous but it feels a tad to much. And solving this by (ab)using spawn mechanics and bad pathfinding just seems so strange to me.

I'd like a structural way to conquer caves while being exposed to risk and not be swarmed by hordes of drifters.

This 100%. My group doesn't like using exploits either, or running around like crazy kiting drifters like you see some poeople on Youtube do. They don't make exploring the underground feel any better. Also some of them involve turning dirt physics off.

Okay, so what kind of danger? The game scales danger fairly well in my opinion as some of the most valuable stuff to acquire (metal ores, artifacts, gears) is in the area that is most dangerous and thus requires the most preparation to successfully exploit. In less dangerous areas there is less to obtain but still good stuff (lot of wood, mushrooms, horsetail, bees, etc. in the woods, but there are wolves). The safest areas like plains have some stuff like crop plants and berries but that's about it. If they do want to remove groups of drifters underground then they should be replaced by different mobs (that people will undoubtedly complain about) to preserve that.

Without a big update to the game I don't see a lot more environmental risks for caves that are not already in the game like losing all your light sources in water, falling down a shaft, or cave ins from gravel/dirt near the surface. If they add something like mushrooms that give off a poisonous gas then players will just have to "conquer" it similar to the drifter problem via building infrastructure or tunneling around it. 

The spawn mechanics could use some work, but there are only a few challenges in fighting. Above ground is generally a joke as there are plenty of ponds you can use to lure mobs into and kill them easily as you move faster than them underwater and have weapons with more reach than them, even wolves are easy to kill this way. Drifters are only a problem if you lack the space to deal with their number. The only real challenges left are mobs of drifters underground, sawblade locusts, and maybe wolves in mountainous areas with heavy foliage at night. They are the reason to invest the time and resources into making good armor and weapons.

I don't really understand why people would like exploring caves if not for finding metal ores or limestone/chalk. The glow worm fungus and the stalactites/stalagmites are a good step in making the underground look more interesting, but they are not enough to make caves interesting to explore beyond the first few. Once you have seen a few caves/tunnels, you have more or less seen them all.

4 hours ago, BearWrestler said:

Vintage Story is a slow, almost meditative game (see: crafting pottery). It's so weird that it turns into some kind of frantic tower defense as soon as you head underground. Spamming enemies is totally not "Lovecraftian" as the game claims to be. Something much more appropriate would be to make cave exploration a lonely, wondrous experience with hints of danger and dread, and the occasional encounter with something scary and dangerous. Making the world go deeper and having caves be much larger systems that you can really get lost and travel in (think Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth) would help in this regard.

I see Vintage Story more as a fight against nature and the corruption that killed (mostly) civilization off. I know that there are a lot of people who like making beautiful buildings and using the chisel to make sculptures and engravings, but the core mechanics of the game are about survival and progression of player capabilities (make better stuff which allows you to do better things or do things better). 

Honestly I read what you two wrote and it seems that you don't really care for the fighting so much as the exploration (and maybe exploitation of the resources within?). If you have light, caves are really not that dangerous except for enemies, so I am not sure how one would "conquer it" otherwise. If that's so, just play on peaceful settings and we should all be happy right?

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I would like to say I do care for fighting, but holding off the drifters is quite hard since they spawn at light level 7. And a lot of them spawn. So I need a lot torches which are not so easy to make and they go out quickly.

But perhaps what is making this entire thing hard for me is that I play on hardcore style difficulty. If I die it's over, so having no safe way to explore caves is a bit of a pickle.

Prob since torches go out after 3 days, so there is no real way to explore said cave safely and without dying especially for far off caves would humoungus amounts of preperations.

I think the biggest difference between other similar vowel games and this one is that torches only last 3 days. Now I am not saying that this needs to change but it does make it more difficult to strategically light up a cave and creep forward while building walls and safe spots.

I have been trying to think about other ways to accomplish this same thing but nothing really seems to come up. Unless of course bees and candles, perhaps if bees where a bit more common it would be more attainable to apply a similar strategy to rummage through caves safely.

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Fences my friend, they are the key.

Isolate the tunnel in sections so no more than a few can spawn inside a section and you don't have to kill the entire tunnel population in one go. Build pit traps to corral those that do spawn so you can just walk past them without fighting. If you separate the caves so they cannot mob up, exploring and exploiting the cave/mine gets a lot safer, and if you cannot deal with the numbers, you can just fall back to your last fence barricade and grind them down from (relative) safety. To quickly kill large groups, dig a 1 wide drift with a 1 block deep, 3 block long hole line and put fences at either drop. Dig a shaft above the hole between the fences and you can drop anvils on large groups to kill tons of them at once. You can even set this up just outside of a large nexus and then dig out the wall to connect to it and entrap them.

Using light is a bit inefficient IMO, but you can use oil lamps early on if you want to knock down the spawn rate or to mark the main tunnel path (they never go out and are great for marking the tight turns thanks to their glow.) Later on, you can make brass (and only brass) torch holders to have torches burning forever, or you can make lanterns out of non-brass metals (best use for lead in the form of Molybdochalkos). If you want a safe room you can make it safe with these sources.

The key to safely exploring caves is preparation in the form of armor, meds, a decent weapon, some torches, and lots of fences. You can also abuse the spawn mechanic by just leaving and letting enemies reset. Once you get metal, you can make plank fences fairly easily with a saw. Sticks can be generated with shears fairly easily.

You can do it safely, but it will take some time to prepare and execute. Good Luck!

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:43 AM, Silent Shadow said:

Fences my friend, they are the key.

Isolate the tunnel in sections so no more than a few can spawn inside a section and you don't have to kill the entire tunnel population in one go. Build pit traps to corral those that do spawn so you can just walk past them without fighting. If you separate the caves so they cannot mob up, exploring and exploiting the cave/mine gets a lot safer, and if you cannot deal with the numbers, you can just fall back to your last fence barricade and grind them down from (relative) safety. To quickly kill large groups, dig a 1 wide drift with a 1 block deep, 3 block long hole line and put fences at either drop. Dig a shaft above the hole between the fences and you can drop anvils on large groups to kill tons of them at once. You can even set this up just outside of a large nexus and then dig out the wall to connect to it and entrap them.

Using light is a bit inefficient IMO, but you can use oil lamps early on if you want to knock down the spawn rate or to mark the main tunnel path (they never go out and are great for marking the tight turns thanks to their glow.) Later on, you can make brass (and only brass) torch holders to have torches burning forever, or you can make lanterns out of non-brass metals (best use for lead in the form of Molybdochalkos). If you want a safe room you can make it safe with these sources.

The key to safely exploring caves is preparation in the form of armor, meds, a decent weapon, some torches, and lots of fences. You can also abuse the spawn mechanic by just leaving and letting enemies reset. Once you get metal, you can make plank fences fairly easily with a saw. Sticks can be generated with shears fairly easily.

You can do it safely, but it will take some time to prepare and execute. Good Luck!

Honestly what you describe sounds horrendously boring to me and the complete antithesis of immersive gameplay, not to mention that you've ruined any enticing natural appearance the cave might've had after you're done "redecorating" to control drifter spawn. I really hope the devs are planning to cut down on insta-placing of blocks down the line, given how at odds it is with the more realistic crafting processes. At least during combat - I'm not as bothered by abstracting time away when everything is peaceful.

Once they've taken away map-altering mechanics like fences and dirt spam, devs can actually focus on quality fighting mechanics, for instance modeled after King's Field/Demon Souls/Dark Souls where single enemies can be very challenging.

There are a million more ways to make combat more interesting, which is why I'm so surprised to see you defend the status quo so desperately. For instance having territorial monsters that defend their abode, instead of charging you on sight. The game might need a massive redesign in some areas to make them work, but without such ambitions it will forever feel mediocre (in the fighting area, it obviously has superior crafting mechanics).

As far as the resource gating goes, caves don't really gate anything useful except teleporters, which would gain from being accessible much earlier to encourage map exploration. Ore can be found more efficiently by systematically prospecting a zone to identify the best chunks, and then digging multiple vertical shafts which often don't run into a cave at all.

The main challenges in cave exploration should be similar to real-life: darkness and treacherous, perhaps slippery terrain, the cold, getting lost, starving. A weight system limiting how much you can carry in such an expedition, especially when climbing ladders (and future ropes) and swimming in eventual flooded passages would go a long way in adding challenge. Dissociating enemy spawns from the dark and preventing the player from unrealistically spamming the whole place with torches would also improve the exploration mood a lot.

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10 hours ago, BearWrestler said:

I really hope the devs are planning to cut down on insta-placing of blocks down the line, given how at odds it is with the more realistic crafting processes. At least during combat - I'm not as bothered by abstracting time away when everything is peaceful.

This is how this problem solved (kinda) in a 2D sandbox game with a similar problem. Blocks takes some time to build and the build process can be stopped by an attack.

I totally agree that the current minecraft-ish mechanic of building inside dungeons breaks immersion. Unfortunately, this is only one of many dungeon-related problems. The unreasonable amount of drifters and their dumbness are other notable mentions.

sol.gif

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:43 AM, Silent Shadow said:

Fences my friend, they are the key.

Isolate the tunnel in sections so no more than a few can spawn inside a section and you don't have to kill the entire tunnel population in one go. Build pit traps to corral those that do spawn so you can just walk past them without fighting. If you separate the caves so they cannot mob up, exploring and exploiting the cave/mine gets a lot safer, and if you cannot deal with the numbers, you can just fall back to your last fence barricade and grind them down from (relative) safety. To quickly kill large groups, dig a 1 wide drift with a 1 block deep, 3 block long hole line and put fences at either drop. Dig a shaft above the hole between the fences and you can drop anvils on large groups to kill tons of them at once. You can even set this up just outside of a large nexus and then dig out the wall to connect to it and entrap them.

Using light is a bit inefficient IMO, but you can use oil lamps early on if you want to knock down the spawn rate or to mark the main tunnel path (they never go out and are great for marking the tight turns thanks to their glow.) Later on, you can make brass (and only brass) torch holders to have torches burning forever, or you can make lanterns out of non-brass metals (best use for lead in the form of Molybdochalkos). If you want a safe room you can make it safe with these sources.

The key to safely exploring caves is preparation in the form of armor, meds, a decent weapon, some torches, and lots of fences. You can also abuse the spawn mechanic by just leaving and letting enemies reset. Once you get metal, you can make plank fences fairly easily with a saw. Sticks can be generated with shears fairly easily.

You can do it safely, but it will take some time to prepare and execute. Good Luck!

I mean yeah you can do that, but it's just not fun.

Players shouldn't be expected to use cheese strats like spamming fences and digging pits for the braindead AI to fall into and get stuck.

I love difficult games, thousands of hours in soulslike games and I play roguelikes all the time. What VS has currently isn't difficult it's just tedious. I'd much rather fight 3-4 extremely dangerous enemies at a time than fight a neverending flood of mindless AI that you either have the choice of spamming fences so they get stuck or spamming holes so they get stuck.

First time I descended down into a cave I was immediately greeted with no joke a bell a swarm of locust and about ten drifters of various types. I hadn't even been there for 5 seconds and it was already impossible to proceed in a **fun** way.

Everytime after that if I went away and came back later the results were similar.

If the play system actively encourages the player to just turn off creep spawn to have fun then the design of the spawning is fundamentally flawed.

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On 8/7/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

Honestly what you describe sounds horrendously boring to me and the complete antithesis of immersive gameplay, not to mention that you've ruined any enticing natural appearance the cave might've had after you're done "redecorating" to control drifter spawn.

 

On 8/8/2021 at 9:33 AM, Omnifarious said:

mean yeah you can do that, but it's just not fun.

Why? You only need to fence the nexus up or bypass it and then the rest of the cave can be left alone if you want the "excitement" of facing the drifters (but only in the few numbers you can handle easily), and again caves are not that pretty, especially after seeing a few of them. I would also say they look more like a mine "naturally" than caves look IRL so there is nothing really to ruin.

On 8/8/2021 at 9:33 AM, Omnifarious said:

I love difficult games, thousands of hours in soulslike games and I play roguelikes all the time. What VS has currently isn't difficult it's just tedious. I'd much rather fight 3-4 extremely dangerous enemies at a time than fight a neverending flood of mindless AI that you either have the choice of spamming fences so they get stuck or spamming holes so they get stuck.

On 8/7/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

There are a million more ways to make combat more interesting, which is why I'm so surprised to see you defend the status quo so desperately. For instance having territorial monsters that defend their abode, instead of charging you on sight. The game might need a massive redesign in some areas to make them work, but without such ambitions it will forever feel mediocre (in the fighting area, it obviously has superior crafting mechanics).

Then go play Demon's Souls or a rogue like. This game started as a minecraft mod, I doubt the Devs are trying to emulate those types of games and combat is clearly not the focus. Drifter mobs are just another obstacle in the game and one that can be solved with ingenuity and crafting, why take that away? If you like dark souls games, then why not treat this as a challenge? Lighting up the surrounding area while dodging and fighting drifters then slaying them all sounds like a dark souls / rogue like feat to me.

I'll be the first to admit that the combat could use some improvements and that some more/better enemies would be appreciated underground, but for now there is not anything better and there is already a territorial monster, the locust. Without some major updates to the combat system, the changes you would suggest would not add anything meaningful to the game but instead reduce the types of encounters and make the valuable underground resources easier to get which would negate a lot of the mid game. I would say that the game just needs a few more methods of dealing damage or control to multiple enemies, preferably in the form of cleaving/aoe attacks or pushing or something to combat hordes. The beenades are interesting, but a little under powered and ore bombs are not effective for fighting, but maybe a grenade could be easily programmed in for a high damage, high resource cost, anti-group weapon?

On 8/7/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

Once they've taken away map-altering mechanics like fences and dirt spam, devs can actually focus on quality fighting mechanics, for instance modeled after King's Field/Demon Souls/Dark Souls where single enemies can be very challenging

There are already very challenging enemies in the game that hit and take hits like a truck, like the Saw blade locust. It deals 16hp damage (unmitigated) per hit with a long reach, takes hits from bronze weapons like a champ, and cannot be fenced off easily. Easily the most dangerous enemy and it can spawn anywhere underground at anytime. This is also not a fighting game but a crafting game and the mechanics reflect that.

On 8/7/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

As far as the resource gating goes, caves don't really gate anything useful except teleporters, which would gain from being accessible much earlier to encourage map exploration. Ore can be found more efficiently by systematically prospecting a zone to identify the best chunks, and then digging multiple vertical shafts which often don't run into a cave at all.

Not true. Some quite useful things can only be found in caves like the best food seeds, saltpeter, and artifacts (free money -> free stuff you want from traders).

When mining for ores you have to make a choice. To descend deep you can either mine a shaft down and hope you approach the deposit within range of the propick, possibly mining drifts to search more area or you can tame or raid a cave. Mining a shaft down is safer, but slower, and requires more metal to be used for picks, whereas taming a cave consumes renewable resources for the most part with torches, fences, and wood slabs while metal loss from swords and armor is much less since you can roll damaged armor into the next tier (say chain mail into scale mail) for no loss of armor hp or quality. Caves can cover a lot of ground and can quickly descend quite far which is quite efficient for mining out a region surveyed with the propick, and on top of that you can also find artifacts, special seeds, and saltpeter.

On 8/7/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

The main challenges in cave exploration should be similar to real-life: darkness and treacherous, perhaps slippery terrain, the cold, getting lost, starving. A weight system limiting how much you can carry in such an expedition, especially when climbing ladders (and future ropes) and swimming in eventual flooded passages would go a long way in adding challenge.

Again, the game already does all of that (except cold which generally doesn't make sense underground given the heat in the earth. Even cold water would saturate the cave with moisture to make it muggy and thus your character cannot sweat to cool off. At least there is magma). If you lose your meager light sources you are screwed and will probably die, if you don't watch your step you'll probably fall to your death or get trapped in a pit with mobs, you can starve anywhere including underground (especially underground where there is almost no food), you can get lost underground easily with some caves (the sponge like ones or the tunnels galore ones) and the coordinate system will not help you much, players inventories are already limited by slots (not that all the items they would need to explore would require much weight anyway), a weight restriction would not make sense on ladders if you could jump up a whole block anyway and can just build a sturdy ladder, and there are already flooded sections you can swim in.

On 8/7/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

I really hope the devs are planning to cut down on insta-placing of blocks down the line, given how at odds it is with the more realistic crafting processes. At least during combat - I'm not as bothered by abstracting time away when everything is peaceful.

Please no, there is enough tedium in the game already, and I suspect that coding it only for combat would be tricky given how often you are around enemies. Go check out the Game Eco (which is fun, but in a different way) if you want severe block placing limitations (like only being able to move one block of dirt at a time, to mention one.)

If you really cannot handle a swarm, or the methods bore you, then just do as Tyron said:

On 7/27/2021 at 11:29 AM, Tyron said:

You can also make a tiny mod to reduce the spawn rate, open the file assets/survival/entities/land/drifter.json and in line 347, replace "chance: 0.1," with e.g "chance: 0.03,"

If you run the Modmaker.exe it should generate a shareable mod .zip that also persists when you install new updates of the game.

At least until the spawning is adjusted or combat updated.

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On 8/7/2021 at 10:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

Honestly what you describe sounds horrendously boring to me

 

On 8/7/2021 at 10:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

I really hope the devs are planning to cut down on insta-placing of blocks down the line

 

On 8/7/2021 at 10:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

Once they've taken away map-altering mechanics like fences and dirt spam

Honestly what you describe sounds like something that would ruin the game for me. I love being able to quickly set up some stuff. Crafting and gathering material takes long, compared to some other games, but that's normally the preparation and planning phase where you can take your time. But once you get to building things, a huge home or just a small shelter or a trap for animals or monsters or a safe space in a cave or wherever, placing blocks needs to be quick! Taking that away would completely ruin it.

 

On 8/7/2021 at 10:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

I'm so surprised to see you defend the status quo so desperately

Because people love this game.

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On 7/8/2021 at 3:50 PM, BearWrestler said:

The spawning logic is definitely one of the weakest points of this game. There's no way to make a safe building in wolf spawning areas, for instance. Wolves will spawn right into your little hovel, sometimes very close to you. It causes players to avoid wooded areas altogether.

And yeah, the constant spawning in caves is an irritant as well as being immersion-breaking.

Those kind of factors caused my group to abandon survival mode and only play in exploration mode. At least this way the mobs have low agressivity and don't swarm you as much - though we still die to high-level drifters when wearing primitive armor 

dig 2x2 pit, get them to peruse you, then jump over the and watch them get stuck forever

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