Enemy Despawn Range Question (@devs)

Hey ya’ll - this one is mostly for the devs (though if you have any input feel free to respond!)

So here’s a picture of the entrance to my current project. It’s a small bridge to a single locked door, with this being the only point of access to my island stronghold. There are a few of the longer-range turrets up on the wall, which have limited range but can hit targets on the far side of the bridge.

My question is this: what controls where targets which cannot break down the door, but still insist on trying to attack (pajama-robbers, goblins that spawn at camps, basically the little early game enemies which can’t actually spawn alongside doorbreakers) poof away into smoke? I would like it if instead of them just vanishing I could actually use my turrets to fight them off; I understand that they couldn’t ever break down the door, but it would still be nicer than getting an “Invaders!” notification only to have the baddies vanish from existence before I actually get a chance to do something about it.

I’m familiar with the destktop Tuesday that talked about what controls where enemies will spawn, but I don’t recall that discussing how they despawn, which is what I’m curious about here. Maybe we could consider a more elegant solution to the poof zone?

From my understanding, invaders are removed after a set amount of time if they cannot path to the settlement banner.


yep, as @Avairian said, enemy’s despawn after a certain amount of time, but just in case something changed sneakily behind the scenes, i’ll page @yshan for you.


I could be wrong, but I thought @linda did the work on making enemies despawn after a time. I know in the past there were issues with 50+ goblins all around if you had a wall since they never disappeared!


Should locked doors and gates really block enemies’ pathing? I’ve had fairly ridiculous situations where ogres are walking to within a few feet of my hearthlings on the other side of a stone fence, only about 30 blocks away from the gate; but totally ignoring both the squishy farmers and the equally squishy gate that’s the only thing standing between my town and a serious threat.

A few more steps and the ogres would have come into LoS of the gates, and then it would have been a different story… but at the moment, unless the enemies physically get close enough to the gate/door to see it they won’t attack it.

One day, it would be “nice” (I’m sure the hearthlings won’t agree with me here, but from a purely gameplay perspective I’d enjoy it…) if enemies would make their own paths – breaking down walls, building ladders, launching themselves by catapault… whatever it takes to get to the shinies! We might see flying enemies, or perhaps Necromancers will summon undead minions right inside the town; or we could even face intangible/ethereal enemies (angry spirits, say) which can pass right through the walls. All those kinds of attacks would be more interesting than a simple wall-in.

However, for the meantime I can understand that those more advanced combat features aren’t a priority. At the same time though, there’s not much point having complex party-based combat if a simple 2-block-deep, 1-block-wide moat; or thin wall with a locked door; will stop any attack.

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Right now, despawn very simply destroys the raiding party after x hours (usually 12-24 hours). We realize that can be unsatisfying and confusing at times, especially when they disappear in the middle of finally finding a way into your town.

Right now enemies are not smart about getting to your town, with the exception being doorbreaking ogres that actively look for doors to break. We definitely want to revisit enemy raid mechanics and smarter enemy behavior. This is likely something we’ll need to take the time to create a design for. We’re currently hammering on performance issues and working on other features, so it isn’t prioritized quite yet, but it’ll be somewhere down the line.


Wow, thank you for the quick responses everyone! I appreciate the information you’re all bringing to the table, and I think I didn’t ask my question quite right. I’m familiar with enemies despawning after a certain amount of time, but my question had more to do with the range at which enemies are forcibly removed from the world when they encounter (what I believe to be) a pathing error.

To use my picture above, sometimes when enemies have just spawned in they will start to run towards my settlement. However, when they reach the red line in the image above they are removed from the game, I presume because they can’t find anywhere else to go. I am more curious about the mechanics which control where this line is placed (closer or further away from a settlement) and what the underlying logic is - are we just avoiding enemies standing around your front door with no hope of ever getting in, or is this due to something else, like the “player controlled zone” that we heard about in a previous desktop Tuesday?

That being said, I understand that this isn’t an immediate concern either way - though I’ll be excited to bring some ideas to the table when we’re in Alpha XX and there are some different options on the table or a call for suggestions.

Could you perhaps upload this save? I think I understand what you are describing, but it’d be great to see it in action.

To upload a save, locate the folder in
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Stonehearth\saved_games (assuming a default Steam install), zip the individual save’s folder (not the entire saved_games folder), and upload it. If the *.zip is less than 10 MB, feel free to upload it directly to the Discourse. If larger, please upload it to a cloud storage site like Dropbox, Google Drive, File Dropper, etc. and post the sharing link here.

It’s probably just coincidence that they seem to despawn outside that red line. They get removed, wherever it is they are standing when the despawn timer ends. There isn’t any specific range from your base at which they get removed.

I can confirm this phenomenon which seams to happen mostly with goblin thieves. They’ll spawn and start running towards your town. The player will receive the notification and watch the thief approach. As they are right about to get into turret range, they poof right out of existence.

This is different than the large raiding parties that spawn, wait around for a bit and despawn after a set number of hours. I’ve also recall seeing it happening with stray wolves.


There’s a case of stray wolves that corresponds to the goblin campaign. I think those are the wolves that escaped from their cages, or when you don’t pay attention to the camp where they spawn.

I think all enemies should be able to break down doors… that way this pathing issue woudnt be a problem and it means you wont be safe just by building walls… you could simply make non gatebreaker units take much longer to break down doors giving you much more time to deal with them.

And enemies like the thieves should be able to scale the walls and sneak inside without needing the break down the doors.

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This would be awsome!

Here you are!


Let me know if there’s an issue with this. I can’t promise that there is going to be a group that’s ready to despawn, but I figure that’s something you guys could force to happen if you needed to?

First off, I love the zip name! Unfortunately, the save is fairly large (125 MB server.bin uncompressed), so my laptop is likely not going to run this well. I will have to take a look tomorrow when I have access to my desktop.

Don’t worry about it, I’m just happy to pass it along. I play on a 4790k and a 1070, so wouldn’t be surprised if the comfortable town size for my desktop was a little bit much for some laptops :wink:

I realize it’s been a little bit since this was actually being discussed, but I managed to grab a little video of what I’ve been talking about. Of interest (though this wasn’t something I was able to capture) was the accompanying “Invader’s Approaching!” prompt that sometimes comes up when these guys throw themselves into oblivion.

Link: PoofZone on Camera.mp4 - Google Drive