Decay of tools and buildings

So now that rotting food’s gonna be a thing, how about the decay of buildings and tools? Mother nature is famous for not letting go of her land so easily, so houses slowly being over taken by vines, tools chipping and wearing down through continued use, and weapons and armor being sullied by the blood and strikes of our enemies seems like a possible next step. Of course, hearthlings will know to mitigate this through repair and maintenance. Perhaps the blacksmith must resharpen the carpenter’s saw, or a group of workers must cut away weeds encroaching on the roads of the village.

Just a little food for thought, perhaps I’ll expand on this suggestion later today after I get to my computer.


Great idea! I’d love to see this apply to everything, though I would want it to be at least semi-random (random within a range would work).

For buildings/walls, perhaps each voxel has a chance (quite small, say about 1/100K or 1/1M) of decaying every hour. Once the decay has started, a Hearthling would have to “repair” each decayed voxel of a building within a time frame (a pretty generous one, say one month, but can happen faster if there are multiple decayed voxels). When we click on a building, there could be an option saying “Needs X repairs. Will collapse in Y days if not repaired”. Then, a Hearthling could build scaffolding to reach the affected voxel(s) and repair them using fresh wood/stone.


I like this suggestion, however I have a few questions regarding it…

In terms of building decay how exactly would it occur? You touched on the idea of vines, but would this only be the case if the building is situated in or around a forest for example? Also, I feel the timings would need to be somewhat realistic/fair and it would be a really cool idea if for example, I didn’t play my Stonehearth world for a month or so, upon returning, my village would be in a state of decay and the buildings would probably be in a derelict state as well as dead and or damaged crops and stock piles (perhaps pillaged?).

The idea of weapon, tool and armour decay is logical, for example it makes sense that a stone weapon would deteriorate much quicker in combat than say for example a steel weapon and would be the case for armour and tools after excessive use. Also, to extrapolate on this idea, although I am not sure on how the damage system works, I assume it works on the basis of health and hit damage and in which case it would make sense that more deteriorated/damaged weapons/armour would be less efficient at their job i.e. weapons would inflict less damage and armour would defend against less damage based on it’s current state. Overall, a very good idea in my opinion!

This brings me to another suggestion, if the above is implemented it could be worth while having some form of ‘recycling’ system to complement it i.e. a deteriorated iron sword can be used in the place of an ore to reproduce an iron bar (at a fraction of the original crafting cost e.g. if an iron sword costs 3 bars to make, recycling would output 1 bar).

Referring back to the idea of building decay, to what extend would the decay need to occur in order to permit the building as being ‘uninhabitable’ for example and how expensive would the repairs be in relation to the current damage? Also, would this take into consideration the building material used to construct the building e.g. a wooden building would likely deteriorate much faster than a stone building.

I think this is a really cool suggestion and I think it would help create a new dimension to the game as on top of building and expanding a city you also need to take measures to maintain and restore it.


I’ll add onto it once home, which’ll be in about 30 minutes.

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Looking forward to the extra thoughts.

Not sure what I think about offline decay, though. Plenty of other games have enough offline decay of some sort, and I don’t think it fits in Stonehearth. Maybe an exception, though, if we have competitive multiplayer? Perhaps if player X hasn’t logged on in a month, it’s easier for player Y to attack player X’s base? Just a thought.

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I understand it may seem slightly harsh, it might be something worth incorporating into the difficultly settings e.g. peaceful worlds will not experience offline decay, but harder difficulties will.

EDIT: Or perhaps it could be a toggle-able feature for those who want a more ‘hardcore’ style of gameplay.


Given the mod-able nature of Stonehearth, I think almost everything that could increase gameplay difficulty (such as decay, online or offine), would be better as an option. I would support having it as an option.


I’m home now (awful traffic), gonna freshen up then I’ll get on meh puter.

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Aright, back to business!

The decay of buildings would be a very slow process for stone buildings, and somewhat quicker for wood buildings. Vines and small plants would attempt to grow near the edges of the building, growing up the sides perhaps one voxel per day, though the first voxel of the plants wouldn’t appear until after 10 days of no creature walking on the grass voxel (this can also occur in the wild, with small patches of silkweed and such growing slowly over time until it becomes an entire field if left to its own devices).

Now there are two other types of decay that can occur. The first type is wind, which is more apparent in mountains and causes mild to severe forms of decay in infrequent, short periods (aka a sudden powerful wind gust can shear off a section of roof). The second type is water; if a building is situated close to a body of water (say within 50 voxels, for example) the wood on a building will slowly rot, taking anywhere between 20 to 30 ingame days to occur, and stone would form cracks which would take somewhat longer.

Decorations, mainly the Lanterns, would have another form of decay: fire. Wooden lanterns would decay much faster than their stone counterparts, taking perhaps 15 in game days to “burn out.” Fire can also spread to other flammable structures, so wooden lanterns on wooden buildings must always be kept maintained or the entire building could burn down.

Crops already decay naturally, as does food when Alpha 11 is released, so other than fire spreading to it, it should be fine now.


Thank you for sharing your idea!

One thing that I am concerned about is that, for me, maintenance is the least fun part of games. Having to constantly check on something actively, or passively duties sucking up the energies of my hearthlings sounds like it would drain and slow the game.

If something like this did go in, I would prefer the “decay” come from something visible and obvious, like rare terrible weather, or giant monsters that bash at buildings.

Or it would have to be something I could strategically mitigate. IE, in Harvest Moon Cute, you can construct buildings from straw (fall down sometimes in rain), wood (fall down sometimes during storms) or stone (basically invincible).

Overall, maintenance is not fun. Some things to consider.


Well it would be obvious in the sense that for buildings in grassy areas, you would see plants spouting up around it, simply selecting those plants with the “destroy” task will have a hearthling go out and destroy them. Then it’s done. The wind decay is something like weather, and as I said, will only do mild to severe damage in infrequent periods (aka a bad wind storm one day). Water decay may end up being the one you’d least like, as the only way I can imagine having it visually appear is the walls of a wooden house slowly turning a dark or green color and stone houses forming small cracks.

There could also be an way to have decay appear in the notifications. Such as when a vine has grown two voxels high on your dining hall, a notification will appear that says “The Dining Hall is decaying!” or something similar. You click the notification, and it zooms into the decaying area, even rotating the camera in case you’re looking at the wrong angle. You can then select the vine and order it to be destroyed by your hearthlings.

Also, another thing that would decay differently would be roads. Yes I’m looking at those of you who would simply surround a house in a one-voxel wide road to fight off plants growing on it. They’re not safe either, and actually would decay faster with your Hearthlings running on them. Cracks and holes would appear on a single voxel of road after a certain amount of time (let’s say 60 in game days) or a certain number of steps (let’s say 700) occur on it is reached. If one does occur, both are reset (so the decay doesn’t double in severity if both requirements happen to be met within a very short time frame).

Above I had mentioned “mild” and “severe” decay. This doesn’t just apply to the amount of space in decay, but to each voxel as well. Let’s say you have a single voxel of wooden wall set up in a forest. After about a week or so of just sitting there with no one messing with it, a little vine sprouts next to it. The vine grows naturally, taking about 5 or 6 in game days to grow up into a mature vine and begins clinging to the voxel. The current decay level of the voxel is at “1.” The voxel took 13 days to reach this decay level. However, instead of taking another 13 days to reach the next level, it only takes 9. The vine grows thicker, wrapping it self around the voxel and pressing down on it, and the Voxel has reached decay level “2.” The vine continues to grow thicker around the voxel, surrounding it in more and more of the vine as 7 more days go by. The voxel is now in decay level “3,” and is considered severe. This is when the decay level takes much longer to occur due to how severe it is. It took a total of 29 in game days to reach this level of decay. The vine thickens, surrounding the voxel more and more until finally nothing but the vine is left. This is decay level “4,” and the original voxel cannot be recovered, it can only be replaced. After this the decay level will not go up any further. The vine itself will no longer grow, and will rot so long as another new voxel is placed next to it for it to attach to.

Vines can also grow up cliffs and act as natural ladders, as an added bonus. So they’re not all bad, just don’t let them grow on your buildings.

Now if there are multiple voxels, the decay would have to reach decay level “2” for it to spread to the next voxel.

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I agree, I think if it were to be implemented it would need to be a toggle-able feature.

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Well I love my gamemodes, so deay could be an added feature of a hardcore mode.