How Should Underground Resources Be?

hmm… forgot all about that thread! is a merge in order, perhaps?

Eh… there might be enough gap in idea to not merge but if you do I can see why.

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I’m personally in favour of larger veins of ore, say 30-50, with a wider distance between, as opposed to occasional pockets of say 6-8 ore. In terms of balance, as long as there is sufficient demand for the metal, finding so much in one go won’t be such a huge deal. In fact, it encourages a more tactical approach to how you spend, accounting for the potentially long time between finding veins, compared to the slow but steady trickle of finding small pockets, where you just build whatever is needed at that moment.

Larger veins would encourage exploration and discourage strip mining; by putting a much larger distance between veins, a search grid of every second 4x4x4 space creates unnecessary work and increases the time it takes to find a vein. Conversely, a wide search grid more efficient in terms of finding veins, but it also quickly carries the miners further and further from home, increasing their travel time. This means mining becomes a more active task for the player, by necessitating things like the creation of rest stops with beds, food, tables and chairs in order to increase efficiency, as opposed to strip mining, which is more of a passive “set and forget” approach.

More underground exploration plays into having underground dungeons etc. as well, because it makes it more likely that a player will stumble upon one. It also means that because it takes longer to find veins, finding one becomes a more noteworthy event, as opposed to something that happens every few minutes, and thereby goes more or less unnoticed.

I like the old RTS style where you have a fixed place and mine the limited resources for a long time.

But the game is not RTS so, i think a better solution is to make big ore veins that have more than 1 ore per voxel but takes really long to mine

actually, it is (in part)… :smile:

Stonehearth is a game about building and conquest in an epic, fantasy setting. The game is equal parts sandbox, RTS, and RPG.


I can tell you from my experience building my Blacksmith and Ores mod here that the mechanic currently in the game is the “random chance based on the material type” sort of method. Meaning, that for a given ground material that is being mined (grass, dirt, rock, etc.) there are a set of weighted values that determines the random chance of a given result. Whether this is temporary or not I’m not sure but I’d wager that if ore-like ground types are added to the world generation then the random chances are still there but just much higher for the particular material that is the primary consistency.

I personally like this method over the other ways as this method is much more suitable to both the gameplay and visual style of Stonehearth. Plus it’s super easy to change the materials that the world produces simply by altering the mining loot table instead of having to regenerate all of the world terrain. Therefore the special rock that is an “ore vein” is simply called “Ore Rich Rock” (or something similar) which would yield higher percentages of metal ores and lower percent of plain stone when compared to normal rock.


Wow, I didn’t know it was even possible to location that sort of script yet in the coding. They hadn’t really mentioned it in any of the posts or streams so far.

While a bit of random chance to find ore amidst all your stone mining/terraforming is a good idea to break up the monotony, I can’t say that’s how all mining should be; ore veins can commonly be seen by the naked eye, so while there is the possibility you’d find some by accident in stone, I assume most early mining techniques (sort of fitting Stonehearth’s Medieval/Renaissance atmosphere) involved finding these veins, then once that was cleared, mine around it hoping they’d get lucky and find more.

If ore in regular stone ends up playing a big role in mining, I feel that it should occur most frequently by actual veins to replicate that sort of natural occurrence.

That’s a reasonable concern. Don’t forget though that Radiant’s building Stonehearth to be heavily ‘mod-friendly’, so I’d be surprised if they didn’t add a means to alter ore and vein occurrences.

As for regenerating all the terrain… yeah, that’s a big problem I always saw with Minecraft whenever new things like quartz and the -ite stones were added. At the very least, when Stonehearth playthroughs become long enough (and stable enough) to branch alpha and beta versions, perhaps these ores can at least be acquired through trade or events if you’re not ready to start fresh. Ores just happen to be one of those things that seem to demand an update in these sorts of games…

I do like this idea, however; sort of a ‘mystery’ vein or strata that can give you a little of everything. My geological experience is limited, but I would guess most veins aren’t purely one useful substance like copper or ferrous oxide (iron ore), and numerous ores and useful metals could potentially overlap, given the right circumstances.


How about underground “biomes”? You could have random chances of finding different ores depending on the Biome you are in. For example, (assuming we have a chance for ever voxel you break to get something) say your underground biome is iron. You would have something like a 20 percent chance of getting stone, 40 percent chance of nothing, 20 percent chance of iron and 10 percent other gems and 10 percent other ores.

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just going to toss @Tom’s comment from the A7 blog post in here as well…

In the near term, future Alphas will add resources to mine for (ore, gems, etc), as well as underground content to discover, like caverns, monsters, etc. Further out, we’ll add new mining tools like the ability to mine out individual voxels.


Something I did not see here, but thought would be nice is a proc system.

Potentially there will be the limits of what the game can do and to beat the curve for a while, why not add in the prospect of RNG. As a Mason or whomever will be designated for the primary stone remover/digger have their skill directly affect what they can extract from the earth. Then there can be no real cheat engines or x-ray patches for diggers looking for nodes.

The RNG gods will protect the most vital substances from ruffians and continue to reward those who work hard. This is not to say that it is completely anticitiant on the Mason. One could easily have it a base RNG with modifiers for environmental modifications like Depth (including heights like mountain ranges), Tools such as implements that would heighten the capacity for a worker to find rare lewt and lastly Skill which was obtained from classes.

Just trying to toss out ideas that do not include adding in entire systems and hoping to keep the final build silky.


Becoming a town based on specific resources makes trading all the more useful!


I think using an RNG to determine whether or not each voxel provides resources when it’s mined would encourage strip mining.

There’s absolutely no reason to put any more thought into mining than digging to the bottom and mining out everything in sight if the only factors are depth and skill. That’s not really rewarding those who work hard, but more creating a foregone conclusion that as you mine, you’ll be able to amass all the resources you want without any trouble.

With ores etc. being physically represented within the world, the element of chance depends more on the player’s planning of their mines, rather than random chance that we have no control over.


Considering the recent reveal of the Blacksmith as of now, it feels like larger, more regionalized deposits of ore would work well for the system. if a single piece of ore doesn’t have too much value, according to the current recipes, then having larger veins mined overtime would make more sense–otherwise, you’ll be running around the gameplay area forever trying to just make simple decorative recipes like iron gates.

It also gives a huge reason to have trading soon! If you settle in an area rich with iron, but no gold or copper (for various recipes still unrevealed), having a periodic trader at least through the current notification system for events would allow the player to compensate for the missing resources.


Sorry for the late response, was otherwise disposed. :blush:

I agree that there could be very many instances of this simple idea being used oddly; however, I say this from a design perspective that speaks to the limits of the code and the current technology employed for the game system.

One can use such a system (as in having nodes present in the world randomly generated) and reach resource exhaustion far more easily then the RNG system. Unless the game intends to be infinite within the confines of the players system specifications (ie huge hard drive arrays); then the use of a physically present node method would create dead zones no longer viable for resource acquisition.

With node placement, adding new resources to the game literally means expanding the capacity of the players system to allow for more game space. So when the last gem is fitted and the last bar of Iron just became a lantern, the world will be void of new resources. There currently is no recovery method for extracting resources from items created.

With the RNG system, unless you mine out every block in the game world to the unmineable ‘bottom of the world’ there would be resource potential. Strip mining is a potential use of the system, however; the player must then continue their game with the consequences of that choice.

In the end it is a battle over taste IMHO. I prefer not to waste code resources for the idea of one small groups thought on resource potentialities, and create an envelope I could use to expand the playability of the game. For me adding new RNG variance is better than forcing my users to get larger hard drives, or what ever resource would be needed to continue playing.


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To give a gameplay specific example, my last run I decided to dig into the mountains, and by the time i had dug out a decent area, I had more ore than I could possibly need - enough to outfit my half dozen footmen with steel twice over. Now granted, that may have been generosity on the part of the RNG gods, but it’s still consistent with my other experiences with mining.

There are two ways to counter this - the first is to add in tons and tons of metal items, but at some point you’ll inevitably end up making stuff for the sole purpose of using resources. The other option is to decrease the chances of receiving the ores; this is where the strip mining comes into play, when it takes so long to find ore that mass excavation is the only viable way of obtaining the resources you need. It also makes sense from an efficiency standpoint - why would you mine out a 4 * 100 mine shaft, and have your hearthlings walking back and forth over 100 cells, when you can just mine out a 20 * 20 area, and minimise the distance traveled?

I’m not sure what you are getting at here, because there are no consequences to strip mining.

Another thing to consider, in regards to finite resources, is the trade system. There are a number of infinite resources, and using those to trade for finite resources in the late game is not only viable, but also makes sense in terms of gameplay - if resources were always readily available, there’d be no challenge to obtaining them, which doesn’t really lend itself to a continuing challenge. You’ll eventually find yourself with all the resources you could ever possibly want, leaving the only real option for keeping the challenge up to have ever increasing waves of enemies, at which point the game devolves into a tower defence.


while some people might not care, i for one, hate having big ugly mined out areas in games. im the type of person who likes to conserve as much of the natural terrain as possible, however some people dont care about natural terrain and will just mine out the entire mountain without caring.

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That would depend on how/where you do it. Obviously it would look horrible in/around your town, and especially if it was just a giant hole in the ground, but if you dug it a ways off from the town, and made it look like a proper quarry, you could make something nice out of it.

Aside from that, there are no gameplay penalties involved.


[quote=“Atreyu, post:26, topic:9474”]
Aside from that, there are no gameplay penalties involved.
[/quote]well… i beg to differ, though its no too much of a problem, when i dig/build/chop/etc. far from my town the game either slows down or my hearthlings dont ever gather the stuff. so in some ways that is a penalty…


Hopefully that effect decreases as the game inproves.

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You could probably call that an alpha symptom. It certainly wouldn’t be acceptable performance for a final product, so hopefully it gets resolved.