I usually do my posts more to report bugs than commentary on the game but this time I am more wondering about intentions, balance, and mechanics so that going forward I know whether my concerns are something that need to be addressed or if I can just not worry about them, as things are working as intended. That being said, there are some concerns that may be bugs themselves.
This is Lake Town. It is, by far, the biggest Stonehearth town I have ever tried to build. Like, hands down. Nothing else has ever come close. Though not without a cost.
I seem to be running back into a bug where hearthlings don’t like placing things. It has taken much, MUCH longer to get to this point, by try as I might, that last grave just won’t get placed.
Nor will they finish building Lake Keep. They will build other buildings, but finishing the fort doesn’t seem to be in their power. It’s been in this state of construction since about the goblin invasion.
I also notice that if you try to multiple pens that the AI for animals completely breaks down, and they just wander despite having fenced in pens. I was attempting to max out the population to 50, but to do that obviously my food production needed to ramp a bit, so I made some farm land and new animal pens. I find that the scaling for animal to area does not seem to work very well. an 11x11 area will give 2 of any animal, but 22x22 still only gives 2 animals. One more out to 23x23 give 3 animals, but it would be far more efficient to spend the same area on 4 11x11 areas with spaces for fence and net yourself 8 animals instead. I think this should be looked at. Though I will admit it is a little adorable to see my Shepard surrounded by bunnies when he sleeps.
In fact, it really seems that having multiple of some things in general just doesn’t work. I thought that with the increase in food production I should make a second cook so that they can both cook the massive influx of ingredients. What I noticed instead was that the newly minted apprentice cook wouldn’t cook. He would leave all of that to my master chef and just stick to the farms. Maybe he was generally more interested in farm work and not culinary pursuits? I don’t know, but it proved fruitless to try and double up on a crafter.
I want to open this next bit with saying that I enjoy the new combat mechanics very much, but I find some things extremely out of balance, and I GREATLY dislike the extreme level of micromanagement that some of the new combat in hard mode entails. I am unsure if this is intended, but if it is, I am not so sure that I like it. I expected hard mode to be harder, but more in a “You need a good balance of troops and to outfit them very well.” and less of a “execute combat perfectly or die.” I like encounters with the Red Kiln. Targeting healers, then DPS, and the finally tanks in a general way is fine and is quite balanced. I generally find kobolds to be the most unbalanced enemy unit. They can and will decimate armies twice their size unless very carefully engaged. And I don’t just mean in a general sense I mean in a I have to chose a specific kobold because my archers can tag him before he begins to kite and I’ll never catch him and my knight will die. Ok that one died, pause, ok now this one, repeat. It’s tedious and generally not fun. All of my archers keep on the spikey quivers specifically to protect my monitor, as the kiting action of the kobolds will make me want to punch it. I get that as archers they do not want to have enemies in their face, it makes total sense. it’s also infuriating.
I love stonehearth, and as someone coming from the kickstarter and playing since the first alpha that would crash if you tried to build anything, it’s grown so much. If the above combat intricacies are intended I would like to know so that going forward, I can temper my expectations better or play on normal mode. If they are not, this post serves as my feedback on combat as it is currently.
As always, great work Radiant, the game really is great and has come a LONG way.