[Dev Blog] Worker Defense Mode!



so this is our “town bell” option… but in reverse! :smile: :+1:

looks like its works as advertised, which is to say, it looks great and should prove very useful…

I also really just noticed the “health bars”, and how they function (slowly breaking down with each subsequent hit)… love the visual!


looks lovely!!!

I am slowly getting scared of my villagers. I don’t want to see them dying by a horde of goblins T_T


How is it “in reverse”? Hit button, villagers become militiamen… sounds like the town bell to me :stuck_out_tongue: .

As for the health bars (health hearts?)… hmm, think they need some more work personally. Having them disappear is a pain (“was Bob the injured one, or was it Tom there?”), but then that leads to the whole issue with having permanently visible health bars in the first place, which the devs said they wanted to avoid.

Hmm. I’m wondering about whether a DF-style injury system might not work in its place. It might be complex (tracking injuries, displaying injuries, and finally altered animations etc for crutches & one-armed farming etc), but it would offer a nice alternative to the HP system.

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well, typically in this scenario, you ring the “town bell” so your citizens will run from danger (into some structure, etc.), as opposed to grabbing weapons and running towards the enemy… :wink:


Nice little tool, I do agree that it should be delegated to non-class workers. (So carpenters, farmers… etc won’t help in battle) Only those that are just plain old workers are affected by the militia bell.

On the topic of health bars and hearts… i think those are placeholder from everything i’ve heard as I remember the devs talking about showing damage through limping… crawling… pulling themselves back to base using only bloody stumps… Stuff like that.


My big concerns for this tactic are the area of effect and targeting ability. Once we start having massive cities or have numerous little camps dotting the land, I’d hope that the entire world doesn’t have to go up in arms just because one goblin got a little too close for your comfort. I’d prefer being able to select a specific area or highlight the enemies that your are trying to repel, and either by your choice or the game would the closest and best-suited settlers be called to defend the area.

Additionally, I would also like to see the Town Bell function be offered as well, with the point of retreat able to be defined by the player (be it an area or inside a particular building).

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Dwarf fortress does “Burrows” so when you sound the alarm they will run to a designated burrow until the alarm is over. I think it’s a good idea, it’s not micro-managey, and it gets the “QUICK HIDE!” job done nice and tidy.


Ah yeah, I was thinking more like Warcraft 3, Age of Empires 3 etc, where doing it turns your workers into Militiamen or somesuch.

Seconding the idea of having both though - ie attack and retreat town bells :slight_smile: .


I think Age of Empires III actually had the militia as a separate, temporary unit you could create (Minuteman). The health would deplete over time, acting as the timer for the troop. It wasn’t a bad addition in a serious pinch, but I hardly used it when I played.

Might’ve been like that, yes. Been a long time since I last played that :slight_smile: .

So, I had a few thoughts about how the defense mode could be balanced and controlled, as well as retain importance later in the game.

Currently, with the ability to simply switch all settlers to militia, the system seems like it will be too overpowered and unspecific–with only low-level mobs going to be in for a while, having a mob of settlers will likely be more than necessary to defeat them. But since they lack military training and organization, it might be more realistic to start the defense mode as a small, area-of-effect call to arms. Overall morale could determine the timer of this effect for the affected settlers, which could be slightly increased with each mob defeated in the ability’s range. Each mob beaten will refill the timer less and less, reflecting battle exhaustion and weariness of combat. Restricting the ability to restore the timer in the affected area will deter players from using the settlers as an early war machine–they’re just trying to protect their homes, not purge the area of enemies!

As the game progresses, perhaps the defense mode–along with other possible tactics in the future–can be upgraded to have longer duration, more defense area, etc., to make them still viable in the later game when your city is bigger and you’ll face larger groups of tougher enemies. Since Stonehearth is meant to focus on the macrocosmic gameplay, I feel that being able to upgrade and improve your tactics/commands as the leader of your people and soldiers would fit the style well, and could be a very interesting and unique mode of gameplay if the units are not to be manually controlled.

I’ve always liked looking at the selection of tactics offered in real-time strategy games like Age of Empires, but they never seem to fulfill everything I would like to see. Creating a tech tree for commands and such in Stonehearth would certainly flesh out combat for me as an integral part of the game.

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Hope Tom and Tony enjoyed EVO, it definitely made me feel pretty secure in my backing on KS when I first heard they were involved! :godmode: :space_invader: :slight_smile:

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