Ugh, sunk-cost fallacy.
This is a post I’ve written and erased multiple times over the last few months, because I see both viewpoints. I know Radiant wants to do things “right” – their big announcement that the game won’t be ready for its September 2014 date was accompanied with a post with how they COULD have hearthlings just tap on the ground until the building was complete, but they’d rather not. I totally understand that point of view, too. Stonehearth aims to be an ant farm more than an RTS, so watching your hearthlings do their thing is half the enjoyment.
However, the other half of the argument is that, once again, it’s a couple of months shy of two years that the building system has been a pain in the neck. I don’t know if you’ve seen my thread, but one of the things I talked about there was how hard it is to make custom buildings that work and that aren’t simple cookie cutter boxes with roofs. Honestly, I would start discussing cutting my losses and doing something a little less realistic, just so I could free up my team to work on all the other stuff. An ant farm, yes; but if building is the only thing the ants do well, I do not think it’s something that will hold anyone’s attention for very long. And that’s the best case scenario! As sophisticated as the building code no doubt must be, it is still very imperfect.
I would rather see Hearthlings operate machinery, coordinate in defending the town, be clever about using roads / horses? / backpacks? / trains? to efficiently carry cargo and get around, defend themselves from coordinated goblin/hostile Hearthling attacks that also involve some amount of cleverness and action… I really do not see building as the cornerstone of Stonehearth, and it confuses me to no end why the devs treat it as so. Mind you, I do not complain; Radiant is by far my favourite game company right now. They do an enormous number of things right versus the number of things they do wrong. Still, it makes this already strange decision even more questionable.
I’m not going to offer solutions to the building problem. I have my own idea, but I’d like to save it for a mod. For now, I will say that there was a thread here previously where the poster talked about being in construction and how it makes more sense to build all scaffolding first, and tear it down as you need, as opposed to build it as you need and tear it all down at the end, and that seemed interesting and sensible. At the end, though, I contend that I’d rather see the rest of the game grow flesh than have this one feature perfected.