How the Appeal System should work (opinion)


Hi there,
I am not sure if I should like the appeal system or not.
I know that you(devs) have taken out stuff(fine items) to test it and I do not know where they want to go from here on BUT I have some ideas how it should look like, in my opinion.

Item Level and Appeal

  • To make things not that complicated, items should only have three appeal levels
    1. normal
    2. fine
    3. luxury
  • fine has more appeal than normal and luxury has more appeal then fine
  • crafters need to level up to craft fine and luxury items

Town level and needs

  • on each town level, all hearthlings will have similar but not the same tastes.
  • on the starting level hearthlings do not need much, a bed with a roof over it and something to eat makes them happy
    Fine items will make them even more happy but those are not needed
  • when the town levels up, your hearthlings will have more needs
    • a fine bed
    • cooked food
    • more space for themselfs and no shared sleeping quarters(maximum of 4 beds in a room)
    • security
    • some decoratioins, normal is okay but fine is better
    • luxury items will have a great effect on their happiness
  • on the next level
    • hearthlings will get unhappy with too many normal items around them
    • they want a luxury bed
    • at least fine items or decorations are needed but luxury items will be prefered
    • once every few days they want to play with animals
    • stockpiles are an eyesore
  • there could be another level with only luxury items
  • hearthlings will prefere items which mirror the town level
  • additional traits could be added to makes things harder/easier

Right now it feels like everything will make my hearthlings unhappy.
I can not satisfy any appeal needs…


Aside from random stockpiles in my town, they think everything is good. My weaver workshop is basically the fanciest place in the town, whenever someone enters there it reaches 3 stars, almost max the beauty.
So my tip is, just remove the items in the floor.


The problem that I see with your approach (if I understand it correctly) is that if the needs depend on the level of the town then you can get situations where everyone is happy, the town levels up and suddenly nothings is good enough and everyone is unhappy. If there should be a connection between needs and town level then it should probably be the other way around, so that the town can’t level up unless certain needs are met.

It’s an interesting point though, having the needs go up over time instead of just making them more happy to achieve the next town level. But it should be a more gradual and dynamic progression (I think).
Maybe if a hearthling’s “general daily appeal score” stays roughly the same for too long then they will wish for higher living standards. This wish could come sooner if they level up in their job or finish theirs work, because "haven’t I earned something better?"
It could also be a good reason to introduce envy to the world (if it’s not considered too dark for the style). If a hearthlings has a higher general appeal score (or at least if it tells others about it) or if someone sees a more appealing home than their own then they might start to wish for something better. They could take into consideration if the one with higher appeal has a higher level or has lived there longer, making it more ok. Making too fancy homes for new arrivals would not be a good idea.
It would also be interesting if envy could make someone steal more appealing stuff, from stockpiles or even from other homes and either place at home or hide somewhere. That could be a way to introduce a whole lot of drama. Finding and punishing the thief. Having districts with different appeal and guards at the gate. Generally, having a town where everyone is not equal would make things more interesting, but again, it might be to dark for this game.


Yes, you are right but this could be added to my idea.

  • After a town level up, the needs for “better” items will start to grow

or something like that :smiley:


I like the ideas here however I’m not sold on the appeal system yet as it sits today. I definitely like the idea because it keeps players from just building squares to hold their hearthlings. There are some items that are negative as you would expect like rotten food which is currently the worst at -30 but what does this mean for professions who deal with items that are deemed unappealing such as the engineer’s turrets and traps as well as the trapper’s traps. They will presumably be around these more often and thus have a negative effect on their appeal levels. I suppose they could be exempt or even really find them appealing if they have the passionate trait but that seems like it would become very complex and cumbersome with a wide range of possible traits that could negate or add appeal in either direction. For example the garbage gut trait (sorry that is what I call it) might not be negatively impacted by the rotten food whereas a trait like snob (not currently in the game that I know) would find the rotten food doubly impacting. Just my ramblings.



Hearthlings could start liking their jobs after some time or not.
Like a trapper who does not want to be a trapper and
after promoting him to a shepherd he will get happy again
demoting him to a normal worker will help him to feel better


In the case of crafters

It is said that things are more appriciated by those that understand its complexity, like their makers.

As for non-crafters,

I do not know.


So numbers are definitely still up for tuning; please keep giving us feedback!

Speaking to engineers, the reason we made turrets and traps as negative is because we didn’t want you decorating your town with them. It might be efficient to put turrets all through your town to give the best defensive coverage, but maybe due to them being somewhat ugly it’s be better instead to put them at the outskirts of the town so that most people don’t interact with them day to day.

That really is somewhat the razor for how we decided whether something should be negative or not. Should the player want to have these objects all over the center of their town? For some things like rotten food this is obvious, but for other stuff less so.


It’s a similar situation to my gripe with crates – some people will be happy to stash the all out of the way, while others will want them scattered around for story or aesthetic reasons.

A Dwarven stronghold (or perhaps an Ascendancy fortress in hardmode, which has weathered repeated attacks and sieges) might take pride in its fearsome array of turrets standing guard over every choke-point and plaza. Or if we get machinery (pumps, conveyors and so on) in the future then the same thing might happen with them – some towns might find them ugly, necessary aesthetic evils; while others might take pride in their advanced industry.

I suppose that this would be a great place for individual preferences to play into it. There are a few things you could potentially use there:

  • racial preferences, e.g. the Ascendancy find mechanical stuff (turrets) slightly appealing while Rayya’s Children find them ugly. Conversely, RC might not be bothered by storage items (this would be crates and urns, not stockpiles with everything lying around); whereas the Ascendancy prefer their storage to be tucked away neatly out of sight.

  • job-based or trait-based inclinations: an engineer might consider a turret (or at least a top-tier one) to be a beautiful machine, while a farmer might consider it a clanky, ugly contraption.

  • “This style is growing on me”: difficult to balance, but perhaps hearthlings might become familiar with an item if it’s used regularly? The way that the background noise of a city can be comforting to someone who grew up in one, so when they move to the country all the background noises of animals and wind and so on are suddenly foreign. So, it might be that if statues are used heavily around the town, they become more appealing to the hearthlings over time.

  • or, the inverse of the previous – change can be jarring, but over time they settle into the routine/become familiar with it. So instead of items being more appealing over time, they lose their impact over time. An ugly item is significantly ugly at first, but soon fades to a minor annoyance (e.g. a crate starts out at -2, fades to -1 after 3 days, and after a much longer time fades to -0.5 and then to 0); but the same is true for decorations – early on they’re very attractive and have a major impact on their surroundings, but over time they fade to become just part of the scenery.

That last option opens up an interesting possibility for “renovating” the town to keep its decorations in tip-top condition. It adds in a concept of “wear and tear”, and might even be a good excuse to have an explicit system for that. Items might outright age/tarnish/change over time, so e.g. a stone table might turn into an old stone table. From there, the player has an option to restore it (probably using minimal resources but a decent chunk of work time), or leave it to keep being degraded until it turns into a worn-out stone table. A properly restored item might have a chance of becoming more appealing though, turning into an antique item (similar to how fine items used to work, a low chance of proc’ing when the job completed although it would have to replace the item rather than make a new one… not sure if that would create problems of “losing” the item, but I figure it’s less likely to be annoying than it would be when you’re trying to create a fresh wooden chair and get a fine one instead.)


I think that this is reasonable.
Players could add appealing items next to traps and turrets to diminish the negative effect.

Some really nice ideas Yeti.