Hearthling Stats

I wanna talk briefly about the Hearthling’s stats.

I feel the current system is either too complex, or too underutilized.

You’ve got the three big stats (Body/Mind/Spirit). And then under each, you have three smaller sub-stats, for a total of 9 stats.

That feels like a lot of unnecessary complication to me. All three Mind stats directly contribute to Crafting, for example, so you ideally want all Crafters to have a high for all three. It’s also more difficult to GET to that information. The three big stats are easy to see and account for. The nine stats are only visible within a submenu of a specific menu screen.

I’d recommend dropping to a 4 Stat system, with no sub-stats.

  • Mind: +XP gain for all jobs, +Percentage Chance for Quality Items, +Speed for Crafting
  • Spirit: +Efficiency for Trappers/Shepherds (Traps set and Sheep happiness), +Courage, +Spell Resistance
  • Body: +Sleep efficiency, +Hit Points, +Melee Damage
  • Speed: +Walking Speed, +Building Speed, +Ranged Damage (when this gets implemented)

First of all, this is easier to manage and understand. One block, and I can quickly scan my 'lings potential and abilities. Right now, that’s not a major problem. But as the game grows, and we start getting to towns of 50 'lings, keeping track of those nine individual stats (hidden in a submenu) is going to be a huge pain. This puts it all in one place, that can be easily seen by simply clicking the 'ling. In addition, maybe add the stat square to the Hearthling List (left or right of the job icon), so at a quick scan you can find the perfect 'ling for the job.

Another advantage is a the re-arranging of the bonuses. Now, ALL stats are useful to EVERY Hearthling. No matter what your job, every stat will have some function. So you never have “wasted” talent or potential, and high-stat 'lings become way more valuable than before. You can still min-max for the best results, but it’s far easier to do so now.

Here’s a quick mockup. Obviously, the art assets would need a bit more love, but you get the idea.

In addition to re-arranging the big box, I removed the “Attributes” tab from the Character Sheet, and put a small Stat Box on the summary when you have a Hearthling selected. Clicking that would open the Character Sheet. And on the Citizens list, you can now very quickly pick out which Hearthling would be best for the job.

Thanks for reading! Cheers!


We could imagine that but the actual system is to give a much more subtle palette of “potential” for the hearthlings. Note that actually we don’t see yet much of what this mechanism is supposed to add to the game because all the classes aren’t there, etc.
So, is a large palette of behavior important? Well all depend if you want to consider each hearthling as unique individual or not, if you want to see different reactions in front of a given situation (danger or creation for example) or not.
Basically reducing the palette also reduce the diversity.
Now do the actual palette is a problem at game level? Personally I would say no, I never met a bug on this mechanism. So I would not cut off something that have a big potential without a strong reason.

Now if the attributes tab bring more interrogations than other, we may imagine removing it. That way the player would see only 3 attributes but underneath the whole mechanism would still do it’s job.

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The main problem, to me, is comparison. Let’s say I want to find the Hearthling with the best Stamina. I have 15 Hearthlings in town.

I click my list, click a ling, click Attributes. Make note of Stamina. So I click the next one. And the next, until the end, where I realize the best one was a few Hearthlings up the list, so I click back up until I find him.

That’s not a very user-friendly system.

In addition, there’s too much variance in the numbers, and they appear to mean nothing directly. A scale of 1 to 5 is good. A scale of 27 to 130 is bizarrely arbitrary. What’s an “average” score? What’s a weak score? What’s an exceptional score? Also, what do the numbers even mean? 27 what? What’s the real difference between 27 and 28, on this scale?

If we’re going to keep all nine stats, at least make the values more intuitive. Give them a “star” ranking instead of a big numerical one. Just give them a rating of 1-5. If Stamina is a rating of 3, show it like this:

I can see, right away, that this Hearthling has an “average” Stamina rating. It’s intuitive to everyone, easy to read, and requires far less number-crunching. When I click on a Hearthling with a Stamina of 84, I don’t have to try to remember if that other Hearthling I saw a few minutes ago had a Stamina of 87 or 82. I see a 4, and just have to remember if anyone had a 5.

And because the upper limit is directly displayed, I don’t have to keep looking. Once I find a “5”, I’m done. I can stop hunting. But with the current system, if I see a 128, I can’t stop yet. Maybe there’s a 129? Or a 130?

If that difference in numbers will make a difference, I need to have the ability to find the best one. If the numbers don’t make a difference, then there shouldn’t be a difference. If a 128 is as good as a 130, why have the different values at all?

So, in short, nine attributes can work. But give them easier and more intuitive values.