Feedback and Suggestions (2 days in)

Hey there. Had the game for 2 days now and racked up 12 hours of gameplay. I really like where this is heading, but I can see that there is some way to go. Just wanted to note down some of the stuff that I’ve noticed and some suggestions. Please don’t hit me because all of these have been suggested or picked up on elsewhere.

Building system: the balance between simplicity vs utility seems to be just about right, but the system still needs work.

  • I noticed that you can’t mix free-standing walls with autowalls, it’s one or the other, or you have to place them side-by-side.
  • Being able to place furniture and decorations not yet crafted, then have a ‘shopping list’ afterwards, so you know what still needs to be crafted to fully decorate your building, is something I would like to see.
  • I’ve had hearthlings fall into lakes trying to construct buildings that are too close to water: any way to tweak the pathfinding AI of builders to maybe only construct from the inside of a building if this would happen?
  • Builders often leave extra resources on rooftops or left in either inaccessible or ignored parts of buildings (a village of mine has stone blocks littering its rooftops), which leads me to the next point:

The ability to sometimes directly interact with the world, or have a greater influence over the actions of your hearthlings. Right now, there are some things that happen in the world that you just have to live with. Items are left on the ground, either from harvesting, defeating enemies or from building/mining, and these are left lying around, with no way to either manually move them (which I appreciate does go against the gameplay dynamic, so isn’t really a viable idea), or a way to force hearthlings to give these items priority and do all they can to retrieve them, no matter how awkwardly placed or far away they are.

Gameplay-wise, the game doesn’t currently offer too much incentive to keep building and improving. Hearthlings seems happy no matter what you do. Feeback from the hearthlings, in the form of messages, thought bubbles or other visual cues. More pressure to build suitable shelter for all hearthlings in the beginning, whilst later on improve food diversity and upgrade items to improved versions would be good. Decorating your villages and providing extra amenities for your hearthlings is also a system that I would like to see.

Item quality and upgrading could be streamlined. I understand this process is still being worked on, I know, but here is what I have noted. Artisans crafting the better-quality versions of furniture is hit and miss: at some point, you should be able to either guarantee that an item will be produced in its better form, or at some point the better form should be unlocked for crafting, without having to pump out ten copies of a chair in the hope that some of them will be the better version. Certain items should be upgradeable (like the bed currently), but you should be able to do this without having to remove the item from the world. Maybe upgrading picket fences to stone, or even upgrading existing buildings without having to tear them down.

A focus on slower play: for most of the game, sticking it on fast forward seems to be the way to go, with little impetus to slow it down. Meeting with traders, combat, crafting, researching and building could all add elements where a little extra focus needs to be applied that would incentivise the players to go a little slower.

Those are the major things that I’ve come across whilst playing so far. Really enjoying the game and looking forward to future updates!

1: You have to be creative to make free standing walls work with the auto walls. I have made many structures with internal walls created with the free standing wall builder; but i do agree its not easy to do. They are working on a system currently for actual internal walls, how it is to be implemented has not been made public yet, but it is listed on their Trello page.

2: This is partially true. In a game you cant create a template containing items that have yet to be created by your Hearthlings; however there is an exception, if you can create those items in a particular game, and do place them and do create a template; that template is then accessible in other games, and does make the “Shopping List” of decorative items.

3: Agree, hearthling path-finding needs improvements, I often have my population stranding themselves in windows or on floating bricks waiting to be mined.

4: Builders do leave items on the roves of buildings, this often has to do with them dropping what they are doing to go eat, or go to sleep. You can build ladders to those area’s and your people will eventually go reclaim those supplies they have left on the roof.

Hey there @xerxys, welcome to the discourse! Awesome first post. I am going to address a few of your points here.

While there is not a “shopping list” per-se, you should be able to add items when designing a building which are not yet built, and see a list of resources and items needed on the save template/start to build screen.

AI is something that the developers are always working on improving, and I agree that this specific issue can be particularly annoying.

This is coming…sorta. There are a few options you have here. First, you can use the “loot” tool (when it is working properly) to increase the “priority” of an items retrieval. Doesn’t always work, but frequently does. More specific control over Hearthlings tasks is coming, likely in Alpha 13. Check out the last section (titled “one more thing”) in this dev blog from earlier in October: Desktop Tuesday: Idle Musings – Stonehearth. Should give you a bit more control over what the Hearthlings prioritize (or ignore).

You are absolutely right that this does not exist at the moment. Shelter does not have a major effect on gameplay, and as long as your Hearthlings are well fed, you do just fine. They are definitely planned for the future, especially when different biomes are introduced with climate changes.
Messages like you want used to exist, but were overwhelming in the quantity that appeared. They were removed at that time, and I do not know if there are plans to bring them back.

Great thoughts, and I am sure TR will be by to take a look at everything you have to say/

Thanks for the feedback, guys. A couple more things I’ve noticed:

In the map generation screen, there are never any rivers, only lakes. Will this change? How about being able to adjust the amount of water, forest, mountains etc?
Will water-based activities become a part of the game? Fishermen, wharves, river trading?
The traders come along at a pretty high rate, but we never see them. Are there any plans to change this?
As your village grows and you form connections with the outside world via traders etc, how about pathways and roads being laid down to reflect this?
Are there any plans to introduce new landscape features, such as caves, waterfalls, small hills?
The slice feature is a godsend for mining, but if you’re mining on multiple levels, it can be tedious switching between the various levels. How about a hotkey to snap to your current level?

I would expect so. Water is fairly new to the game (I think Alpha 10 was the first to have it…), and all the mechanics of it have not been worked out. Water does “flow” if you dig around it, so I don’t see any reason why rivers could not exist in later versions.

I do not believe there are plans to allow the user to change this (without a mod, of course). I am going to page @sdee to chime in on this one.

I honestly don’t know…people on discourse have mentioned fishing before, but I don’t remember any sort of confirmation.

Can you be more specific? You can use [ or ] to move between slice levels…what do you mean by “snap to current level”?

I believe @Albert was working on adding rivers before he went on a bug hunt.

Tom has stated many times that he really wants to add a Fisherman class to the game.

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Wow, first off, I want to say that this game has a really good community. From the responses I’ve had here, and looking around the boards, it’s clear that this is a really friendly, mature board with people who really love this game!

Thanks for all the feedback. The game is obviously still in early days, but is still surprisingly playable. I really hope to get up to speed with the developer’s plans and timelines, as well as with the game itself. Really enjoying it so far!

After a bit of playing last night, is trhere a particular place I can read about bugs that have been found? I was trying my hand at two-storey buildings for the first time and nothing was happening. Couldn’t get them to work at all. Wondering if there was something I could do to work around this, but at least note it down where the team will see it…

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There is! Take a look at the bug reports category (http://discourse.stonehearth.net/c/support/bug-reports) here on the discourse. That is where anyone (you included) can post bugs that are found in the game. If you want to read more about previous/resolved bugs, check out the other sub categories in the support section. If you need to post a bug yourself, please try and use the template located in the pinned thread


as it helps to ensure that you provide as much information as possible for the devs.

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