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Aira

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About Aira

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    Wolf Bait
  1. Aira

    Metal progress branching

    I don't have much to say regarding the details, but to give my opinion as a casual player, I'd be totally fine with more complex metalworking - IF and only if the stone age tools were made more durable and useful, so it wouldn't be a nightmare of constantly remaking tools every few minutes until you finally get a metal one. I'm all for more immersion. But if the copper age is more difficult to enter, the stone age needs to be more fun and less of a slog. (In fact, as I've said before, I think the stone age needs to be more fun and less of a slog even as things are now.)
  2. I see. I did my best to research prospecting picks and the only ones I could find any reference to were ones used with modern technology. But if it's to just pry up little stones here and there, surely they should only indicate surface ore deposits and not deep underground stuff. That's the part that bothers me. The way they are used in this game (and were used in TFC) is video game magic, and I really believe there are better ways to do it.
  3. Oh, I'm all in favor of a more complex (and realistic) mining system. Banging away at rocks with a pick is just video game magic. I was just trying not to introduce too many mechanics ideas at once. Generally, though, I don't consider it a problem that needs to be solved, that we're not forced to create mining infrastructure. For the sake of gameplay, I'm fine with the unrealistic use of a hand pick, though I'd also be delighted with a more complex system. I'm very much against the prospecting pick. If you want to know what's down deep in the ground, you should have to go look. Even with modern technology, it's still necessary to bore holes in the ground for samples. But it should be possible to find ore based on environmental clues, as was done in the real world, historically - I certainly don't think it should be necessary to dig aimlessly for hours and hours just hoping to find ore. As for the knowledge-based system of progression, that is just a suggested alternative way to break up progression. It does have several advantages: It gives the player more of a reason to hunt drifters (at the moment, there's not much of a reason once you've set your spawn). The information can also serve as a tutorial. The player can choose to either explore for the information or hunt drifters for it, which makes several play styles equally viable. As I mentioned in my descriptions, to keep the progression, either the information can be coded to drop in order, or if a player finds an advanced one, they can just get a message like "you do not understand this information yet" when they try to use it. It's not specifically a necessary addition, but it would have benefits if we went in that direction. Thanks for the thoughts so far. Looking forward to your thoughts on tools as well.
  4. Aira

    Balance Survey

    Is there anything you find frustrating? Fire pits resetting the temperature between items is probably the most frustrating thing. Stone and copper tools break much too quickly. Metal tools disintegrate when they break instead of giving you something back. Wolves are totally unrealistic. The prospecting pick is absurdly unrealistic and tedious to use, and yet finding metals for bronze feels very difficult and solely based on luck. (I mod several of these things for single player, but that prevents me from playing multiplayer.) How often do you find dungeons/lore? While exploring, I go long periods of time finding nothing, then I seem to find several in a row. So I guess it's fairly balanced. How do you feel about food? I'm really looking forward to cooking. I love the immersion of having more variety of food. As long as it's not too difficult to survive, I'm not bothered by whether food is abundant or relatively scarce. I just enjoy in-game cooking and food. Wolves still got you down? I have to mod them, or I wouldn't be able to play. I dislike the unrealistic "wolves are monsters that will hunt you down from 20 blocks away" system. A single wolf would never attack a larger creature like a human unless desperate. I mod it so they only attack if "cornered" (you're within 3 blocks of them). I'm fine with them being dangerous when they do attack though. At what point do you feel like you no longer have to worry about surviving?  When I have a saw. Then I can make chests for storage, wooden houses, fences, a door, etc. Before that, it's a constant slog of inventory management and cowering in dirt huts all night. Any other complaints? I've put up a suggestions thread for progression, metals/ore, and prospecting. I also laid out a suggested system for the fire pits on Discord - might make a thread for that so it's easier to find. Mostly I love the game to bits, and I love how easy it is to adjust things by tweaking the game files. I'm looking forward to when there are more game modes to choose from, so that such extensive tweaks won't be necessary. Oh, and survival mode chisel please! PLEEEEEAAAASE!!! We builders could do so much with it, and I prefer not to have to cheat it in or use a mod to add a recipe.
  5. So there's been some discussion about the prospecting mechanic. It seems most people are dissatisfied with it, but there hasn't been any consensus on how to change it, and it doesn't seem to be a development priority. On the other hand, to my surprise, it seems the most desired change to the game is different world generation. I have some ideas for how to overhaul the prospecting and ore system which might require some changes to world generation, so maybe this is a good time to get into it. Drawbacks to the current system: First off, the progression itself: Stone tools wear out incredibly fast and knapping new ones is tedious. Medium-long-term survival is not possible at the stone age level because farming is impossible. The copper age isn't terribly fun because the tools wear out so fast the player has to spend tons of time mining more copper and making more tools. Essentially, gameplay doesn't stop being tedious until at least the bronze level – but the ores to make bronze are infamously difficult to find. Then there's prospecting: Prospecting is overly complex and confusing for new players, and takes a lot of time. Even success at prospecting is no guarantee of finding ore. It's absurdly unrealistic – there is no such thing as a tool that magically tells you the mineral makeup of the ground deep below you. Real "prospecting pickaxes" do exist, but they are a modern invention requiring modern technology. One type is just a small pick which scrapes minerals off of rocks which are then analyzed to try to find trace amounts of desired minerals. The other is a magnetized tool used for finding bits of ore in the water. Neither are realistic for the level of technology represented in the game. I understand why the fictional magical prospecting pick exists. Players want to know where ore is before they spend lots of time and resources mining for it. But in my opinion, the problem isn't that ore is hard to find, it's that it's so necessary so early on. Gameplay could be improved and extended by extending the viable length of each technological era. And then prospecting can be made more realistic by having it rely entirely on environmental clues and real historical prospecting methods, rather than swinging the special tool that calls the ore fairies to whisper percentages in your ear. MAKING EARLY AGES MORE FUN ORE GENERATION AND PROSPECTING PROGRESSION SYSTEM I'm well aware that all of this is very complicated and would require overhauls of several different aspects of the game as it currently is. But I do think it would be worth it. Advantages of this system: More immersive and interesting prospecting and metalworking. Can get rid of the magic wand prospecting pick entirely. The bits of knowledge found or dropped by drifters can serve as tutorial for the different metals. Extended gameplay – the stone and copper ages can be longer instead of a mad dash towards bronze and iron. Greater realism. Distances the game a bit more from its Minecraft-inspired origins and makes it a more unique and original experience. Thank you for reading. I hope at least some of these ideas have a chance of being implemented. A game that works the way I've laid out here would be a dream come true for me. Obviously there would be other factors to consider and some things might have to be reworked, but at least as a starting point, I hope this is helpful. Here are some of the sources I found while researching that others might find interesting. There's a lot of inspiration to be found here! Viking iron processing. Some interesting ancient mining techniques. Primitive Technology guy getting iron from bacteria. (Make sure subtitles are enabled, as they describe what he's doing.) British mining page with details about lead, zinc, iron, and coal. Copper mining in ancient America.
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