Hearthling Happiness and Traits (Dev Stream #238)

@Brackhar thanks for the Dev Stream.
I had a thought to add on to your “Loves their job” Trait. Hearthlings can express a desire to have a particular job/career, through either having it shown in their bio, or in the new speech bubble. With the speech bubble idea, players would then have to pay attention to what Hearthlings are saying to be able to work out what job they desire. Adding to the gameplay.
Once they achieve that job, they get a bonus to their happiness.
Alternatively, if they get the “opposite” to what they wanted, not totally sure how you would work that out, then they would get a negative bonus to their happiness.
Also, you could add “Workaholic” to the General Traits, where the Hearthling loves to be busy and if they are not, even if they have a job, they are unhappy. Then opposite to that would be a “Bum”, who loves to just sit around and not do much.

Just some thoughts, and hope I didn’t double up on anything that had already been said. :slight_smile:


@Brackhar I watched the stream archive of this and I am so excited to hopefully see this in the game soon!

Also if you havn’t added it already, the “Animal Lover” trait should most likely get an increased unhappiness and/or increased duration for the “Pet Died” event. :cry: :crying_cat_face:


I’m glad you guys liked the stream!

@StuartMVG All good ideas. I like the idea of having to work out what someone’s favorite job is from a conceptual perspective, it’s kind of a neat little thing that emulates the hearthling “discovering” their passion. That said, we’d need to figure out an implementation that wasn’t exploitable. For instance, an “optimal” pattern may be, after all classes are unlocked to just slowly cycle a single hearthling through all possible jobs until you find the one they want. There are ways around this for sure, but that particular pattern is something we’d not want to encourage.

@Avairian Agreed!


I also love this idea, it would definitely add a sense of liveliness to the crafters’ jobs.

However, please please please don’t make it so that hearthlings with this trait have “optimum” jobs, making any other job a “sub-optimal” choice for them. This will mean that the “optimal” job allocation becomes heavily reliant on RNG; and players will have to choose between giving their hearthlings optimal jobs or having a well-balanced work force… and that will drive some of us completely nuts!

I think a better choice would be to have “affinities” for certain jobs which roughly line up with 2 of the hearthlings’ stats. For example, a Body and Spirit score of 3+ and Mind of >4 might become an affinity for the farmer role; meaning that if a hearthling with stats within that range becomes a farmer they’ll love their job. However, a hearthling with a lower body or spirit would struggle with the longer work hours; or a hearthling with a high Mind score might feel like they’re not being put to their best use; so those hearthlings wouldn’t love that job as a farmer.

This version would encourage players to give roles to hearthlings who are physically, spiritually and mentally suited to them; so it wouldn’t clash with players who already try to do that (e.g. I use my high Mind, low Body hearthlings as crafters, while my higher-bodied hearthlings become farmers or workers, and only hearthlings with a body of 6 become soldiers); but for players who have never been interested in that before it will give a lore-friendly reason to pay attention to the stats without mandating that kind of psuedo-roleplay of handing out jobs based on the hearthlings’ traits.

TL;DR: I think that the “loves their job” attribute/effect should come from hearthlings being well-suited to their role, rather than some hidden stat rolled at character creation. A burly and happy-go-lucky hearthling would enjoy a life as a farmer, while a clever but physically weaker hearthling would find fulfillment and stimulation from working as an engineer or weaver or such.


I could still see this being implemented with having the “Loves Their Job” happiness buff only being a minor/medium buff. With all the systems in place there should be many different ways of keeping your hearthlings happy. So with this in mind having their favorite job won’t really make a huge effect, but in the mid/late game could be useful for trying to optimize happiness if you wanted to take the effort.

This kind of really fits Stonehearth’s idea of having you make tough choices :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: [quote=“YetiChow, post:4, topic:26508”]
I think a better choice would be to have “affinities” for certain jobs which roughly line up with 2 of the hearthlings’ stats.

I’m liking this idea. Maybe still allow for a little amount of randomness. “I might be dumb but I really want to be a thermonuclear physicist” would make the game a little more fun :laughing:


The main thing I’m worried about is the “I really want to be a cleric… even though I have a Spirit of 1 and a Body of 2; and would make a perfect engineer with my Mind 6 + being happy to abandon a job and run away from monsters at the slightest hint of danger” (as long as you keep them inside the walls, such an engineer should never get stuck in combat since running away from enemies will mean running back towards the town center)

You see, I’m sure there are a lot of us who will put story over efficiency in most cases; and will see the opportunity to give our hearthlings “ideal” jobs as a (practically mandatory) challenge and narrative opportunity rather than an optional extra.

Having to make hard choices based on controllable factors; but when it’s forced by the RNG it just doesn’t feel fair. Choosing between two less-than-suitable candidates to be your replacement footman after losing the previous one in battle, for example, is a tough choice but one which comes as the consequence of a clear cause-and-effect chain, which the player probably could have created a different outcome for if they had chosen differently.

The choices I’ve been presented with so far in Stonehearth haven’t really been ‘tough’ in the sense of “choose between two options, neither of which will make you happy”… there have been some tricky choices and some which demanded creativity; but none which felt like being forced into a corner.

With all of the above said: if we get a way for hearthlings to train their base stats (I’m not just talking buffs over the top, but actually improving their Mind, Body or Spirit base scores up to 6, and gaining a set percentage benefit to each of the attributes under each trait); then I’m all for the idea of hearthlings who dream big. I want to be the kind of mayor/leader who allows the scrawny farm-boy to become a mighty knight, thanks to a good diet and plenty of training… and also the kind of leader who fosters learning within their towns; so that the big-n-dopey worker with a heart of gold, who is inspired by the Cleric’s bravery and compassion during a battle, can learn those traits and achieve their aspirations of becoming a cleric too. Those kind of stories would be amazing to play out!

But seeing that farm-boy pining to be a knight and knowing they’ll never have the right stats for it (Stamina/HP you can train, but there’s not much you can do about walking speed or endurance; and you can’t have a soldier who’s slow to get around and has to eat frequently)… that’s just sad, IMO, and doesn’t feel very satisfying as a decision. At the same time, sending that character off to certain death as a soldier is no more satisfying either.

So, I think that for this system to work in a satisfying way, we need one of those two things in place – either hearthlings have realistic job desires for their character traits; or we get some way to train and educate our hearthlings for their desired roles (and naturally this training would need to get very expensive very quickly, so that we don’t end up with super-hearthlings in every town…) If I could snap my fingers and make one happen then I’d go for the latter, since it has so much more narrative and gameplay potential; but I suspect that the first option is the more practical one to implement.

I think the best overall solution, though, is to avoid specific jobs and instead have affinities for types of work – “I want to work with animals”, “I want to be outside”, “I want stimulating and challenging duties”, “I want to work with other people”… and so on. That way, a hearthling can have an affinity for several different jobs, giving the player more freedom to assign them where they’ll be best suited. The system can also be expanded into things the hearthlings don’t want to do (e.g. “I don’t want to work with animals”, or “I don’t want to carry heavy loads”); making the choices a little more challenging. The benefit of doing it this way is that the likes and dislikes/wants and don’t-wants can be drawn from the hearthling’s traits directly – a high Compassion hearthling will want to work with people and/or animals (shephard, herbalist, cleric, maybe trapper), for example; so their job desire will be similar to where the player is likely to want to assign them anyway. The question becomes whether to send your high Body, high Compassion hearthling to become a shephard rather than a cleric because she wants to work outside; or set her as a cleric and hope that her interactions with other hearthlings make up for the fact that she’ll spend a lot of time indoors.

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@YetiChow I’m running on like 3 hours of sleep so im too lazy to formulate an answer to comment on all the things you said. :sweat_smile:

Another possible solution that would tie into yours is what if there were two types of traits/thoughts? One could follow your skill based affinity “I like this kind of job” and then one could be their “Dream Job” that is a very minor like +1 happiness buff that they get if they have a specific job that fits their affinity.

Idk… I’m just picturing a very fancy update to the journal where the poor farmboy has drawn a picture of himself as a knight. Maybe it’s the hallucinations starting :laughing:

@Brackhar @Allie This reminds me… hearthling journals should have cute little drawings in them. xD


@YetiChow Yeah, I agree with the core thrust of your argument. That’s why I’d be against a “Hates this job” style thought when the hearthling isn’t assigned to their main job or is in whatever is considered an “opposite” job.

That said, I think if not every hearthling has this trait it sidesteps most of your concern. I’m not particularly interested in having every hearthling have a particular job that they love - it’d only be a small proportion of hearthlings with this trait. Since there is no downside to having hearthlings perform whatever job you want typically and only an upside to happiness in a small number of cases, I don’t think this falls into the optimization trap you are worried about.


I’d go with a more broad stroke with the traits, something like ‘loves crafting’ or ‘loves helping people’, the latter can be for a healing profession and the former can be for most types of crafting jobs, so if there’s a ‘lives for the glory of combat!’ Trait, that hearthling isn’t stuck with, say, a footman, and can be all types of combat classes, and each class can have tags that determines if the hearthling loves the job
Ex: Mason: crafting, furnishing
Carpanter: crafting, furnishing
Herbolist: crafting, assisting, healing, nature
Footman: combat
Archer: combat


That could be good. I’ll see how it fits in!


@Hyrule_Symbol This is what I imagine with the last version of my suggestion; and I reckon it’s wonderfully flexible because it means that new jobs (including modded ones) can easily fit into the system as long as the tags are applied to the new/modded job.

@Brackhar I see what you mean about having it be a somewhat uncommon trait, so that only certain hearthlings will have a particular job goal. In a well-managed town, the extra happiness boost wouldn’t be very noticeable anyway; since core things like food and safety will have a larger impact across more hearthlings… there’s no real requirement to put hearthlings into their preferred jobs from a purely gameplay/efficiency perspective, since that effort would be more effectively spent on keeping the majority happy rather than min/maxing a few hearthlings’ happiness.

I think that the narrative side of things will always be the main motivator for players to put in that extra effort to keep their hearthlings content. As such, as long as there’s some narrative-acceptable way to keep those hearthlings happy without putting them in danger and without sacrificing a significant amount of productivity, I’m sure it will work out.

I guess what I’m saying here is that I’m not overly worried about this system and how it’s implemented; rather I just want to see such a system live up to the full potential of tying into other systems (e.g. core stat training, having hearthlings work as apprentices under master crafters to speed their learning, more equipment for crafters to use or wear, etc.) so that player choices on the matter feel like a positive choice, rather than a compromise.

But all this is speculation until the features actually make their way into the game; so I think that covers my concerns pretty well hahah. I’m keen to see how this idea plays out :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I really want this to be a baseline system that ties into a whole bunch of things. We’ll start small, but over time I’m hoping to add more and more hooks as other things come on line.


Wandering Job Trainers selling their services… Found scrolls of knowledge in a crypt…

Old Veteran soldier wanders into town asks for goods in exchange to temporarily train a hearthling (your choice) for a few days…
Elderly pilgrim (retired) offers to train a citizen in the “Ways of Cid”…

They run off into the wilderness to train for a few days when they are gifted the book of knowledge…

Downside you lose a hearthling for a few days but they come back with better stats… maybe enough to get them that dream job… Maybe they need to go off and train with a few Vet’s or Pilgrims to fulfill the requirements…

hearthling happiness and traits are all well and good and all… but when are we going to get a proper fence tool? it is sooo annoying to build fences in this game

but i agree with the comments saying more broad traits would work better than liking a specific job… it gives them more flexibility while still having the trait have an effect.

there should be bad traits too of course… like some of your hearthlings could be slackers and spend more time trying to hang out and talk to other hearthlings rather than doing their job.

or there could be vegetarian hearthlings that wont eat meat unless it was the only option available or theyd starve but theyd have a huge hit to happiness for eating meat.

and when you add in the seasons/weather system maybe some hearthlings could like the cold or like the heat making them more resistant to the effects of one side but weaker to the other… like a hearthling that loved the cold would have resistance to freezing but become uncomfortable in the heat. (i basically took this idea from rimworld… but rimworld is a good game so alot of its traits could be something to look at… just a little less brutal and survival focused)

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