I remember when I started to play stonehearth and I first got a mason. This was back on alpha 10.5 when there was still this legacy object in the mason inventory called stone bricks. I know that in the streams Tom/Tom (cant remember which one sorry guys!) said the the original plan was to have them as an intermediary need for construction, but the devs decided against using because it caused to much micromanagement and was not intuitive. (Even though most of the lets play I viewed at the time assumed that you needed them to be able to build stone buildings, and this was something that I myself assumed for a while)
Basically what i’m getting at is that seeing as we now have that very mechanic in the construction of clay bricks, which is working fine and people understand how to use it and it hasn’t caused a mass outcry over how difficult they are to use, can stone bricks be reimplemented, please?
It would give so much more utility to the mason, with just a single object being needed. It would also give them something useful to level up the apprentices, and keep masons relevant through out the game rather than just a stop gap until you can get a blacksmith.
I’ll also second the notion. There was a huge discussion on this topic ages ago, and I still feel that it makes sense to refine the stone before usage in construction. Plus, this can also help avoid accidentally using too much stone for building structures can having none left for items and furniture.
I feel SH is a compromise between reality and practicality, and stone and wood was always shaped in situ at a building site, so I’m happy without bricks/planks. It makes no sense to use raw clay however…
One of the other things to keep in mind is that structures will eventually be destructible. So have an extra step(s) to create higher-quality and more durable materials makes sense to me from a gameplay perspective (as well as a realistic one).
I think the biggest problem to be faced though is what colors of voxels the player can have available while still differentiating the various types. I’m already getting confused with the tan/cream colors offered between wood, stone, and clay.
I have no problem with wood being used raw as is it feels right for Ascendency to build cobbled together log cabins. But masons were used for big building projects for shaping the stone first before it was used in the building. It essentially a half/half kinda thing. Small buildings were constructed with found stone but bigger buildings would have the stone worked first.
I just feel like it would encourage Ascendency to use wood (their primary material) more and reserve working with stone until a slightly further level of technology has been reached.
It also would feel right for Rayyas Children to continue using more refined products that come from crafters in their buildings. The wood being possible but pretty wasteful in the desert but still accessible if they wanted.
To add to this I would like a sandstone colour for the patterned stone walls and castle roofs just so stone can be used in my Rayyas children’s settlements with out huge grey buildings disrupting the aesthetic.
One way to balance out between the extra time of producing planks/bricks would be to have planks and bricks essentially be worth more resources. If a wood log could be used to build 5 blocks of your wood house, have a wooden plank be used to build 8 blocks. Same can be said for bricks.
I’d honestly prefer a more realistic approach where each material is required for a certain style. Logs could be used only for building log cabin style walls, while plastered wood walls would require planks and plaster. Same goes for stone; you could have cobblestone walls with stone, but require bricks for stone brick textured walls. Other more advanced building materials could include plaster and cement, coming from clay and stone respectively.
Another way to add a bit of depth to the crafting system would be to have special workbenches that make resources like planks or bricks much faster (and in bulk) than a regular workbench. In ancient and medieval times, water-powered sawmills were very common and bricks were usually made in huge brickworks that churned out hundreds of bricks an hour.
Another possibility (once object damage is added) would be to have planks/bricks be stronger than raw materials. That way instead of our current 3 building materials (wood, stone, and clay bricks) we would have 5, with wood planks and stone bricks being stronger than wood and stone respectfully.
One more thing to consider (that just came to my mind reading through the discussion here) is also availability in the building process. Ascendency currently simply cannot start with clay buildings, since they have to go through a few tools and crafters before they can process clay at all. They start with the carpenter and can instantly build wooden houses, though, but what will you do if you start a game with Ascendency in the desert? RC on the other hand starts with the potter, they can immediately produce bricks, and can therefore start with clay houses and furniture. But due to the lack of “wooden planks”, nothing stops them from building wooden houses from day 1, too. Sure, it would be a stupid move in the desert, but start a game with RC in the temperate forests, and you probably won’t see a difference in the villages between RC and Asc.
That’s why I would say buildings should always require a crafter before them: RC has potters for the clay bricks, Asc would have the carpenter for the wooden planks, and maybe the “Dwarves as playable race” would start with the mason to have access to stone bricks from the get-go.
I like that idea very much. Maybe they could make wooden blocks flammable, while stone and clay are not? In forest areas, the fear of fire could encourage players to use more expensive materials such as clay and stone for building over wood.
Based on this idea I played a game like this yesterday: Ascendency in the desert. ^^ To keep things simple, I made it peaceful, but I also didn’t really pay attention to my starting settlers. The most important thing was me starting with the farmers hoe, and the first thing I actually did was assigning a crop field to saplings.
So yes, Ascendency works exactly the same in the desert at the moment, it just takes a little longer to take off. So on a side note, I would like to suggest two things additionally:
Make the farming options depend on the biome, not the faction you’re playing.
b) also make the traders depend on the biome, not the faction; with RC I regularly got traders who sold some wood, but for something like 25g per piece (which was reliable and reasonably expensive), with Asc I got their usual traders with either no wood, or quite some wood for 2g per piece (which doesn’t seem right in the desert).
Playing my first game ever with RC, and I was shocked at how fast a Potter can make it to level 5 just because they have to continually churn out clay bricks for building.
One of the most frustrating things about current gameplay for me is how artificially long it takes to get a Blacksmith. You need a level 3 (?) Mason to get a blacksmith, and the only real way to get a Mason that high is to churn out dozens of birdhouses and benches to grind enough XP to level up that far.
Having Stone Blocks would enable Masons to do something useful and not too resource-intensive to build up the XP to access the Blacksmith.