Stonehearth From My Perspective (Which Probably Isn't 100% Correct)

I felt like it might be helpful to offer my personal perspective in terms of what Stonehearth is, and where it’s going.

To begin with, in Steam I have categorized it in my library as a city builder alongside games like Cities: Skylines, Timber and Stone, and Banished. The main focus is on resource management and prioritization to go from a handful of people to a bustling metropolis (or… 20 people…); it isn’t an RPG, it isn’t a 4x strategy game, it isn’t an RTS (although close).

I view the Ascendancy, Rayya’s Children, and (not yet implemented) Northmen as three factions that each have their own biome and their own focus.

The Ascendancy starts with a Carpenter in the forest, and focuses heavily on agriculture/gathering. Their common material is wood, and they have more crop options than anyone else. While they can fight and trade, their focus is on gathering resources and using them. This makes them the ‘starter’ faction, since they can do pretty much everything themselves whenever they need to do so.

Rayya’s Children start with a Potter in the desert, and focus heavily on trade. They have very limited resources in terms of crops and their biome, but they get more traders stopping by than the other two factions. Therefore they have access to a lot of trade goods they can make in order to purchase the resources they need in order to make their town grow.

The Northmen I’m expecting to start with a Mason in the mountains/subarctic, and focus heavily on fighting. They have limited crops and limited traders, but there’s more small random encounters than for the other two factions. Most of their resources come from attacking goblin encampments, crypts, and fighting wandering monsters, so more of their people are Footmen, Clerics, Knights, and Archers.

I’d like to see Dwarves, Goblins, and Rabbit People as playable factions as well; I’ve heard that’s not in the plan. But when I was trying to figure them out, it struck me that each could be an ‘expert mode’ or more hyper-specialized version of the above with variations.

The Rabbit People are vegetarians, and they avoid the use of Coal. Therefore they have no food recipes involving meat, no Engineers, no Knights, cannot craft Steel, and don’t have Trappers. They do have Shepherds and their Masons can make some stone-based arrow traps and deadfalls, like the Engineer. All leather must come from trade or killing monsters. Giant stone rabbits are a decoration option. They live in the forest.

The Dwarves start with a Mason. Their food crops are extremely limited and they don’t have Shepherds. They do not have Carpenters, but their Blacksmiths do not use Logs to smelt ore. Their Masons can craft ‘Training Hammers’ in place of Wooden Practice Swords, while their Engineers and Blacksmiths have more crafting recipes than normal. The Cook has extra ‘Brewing’ recipes using faction-specific food crops. They live in the mountains/subarctic.

The Goblins start with a Potter but they have very limited crafting options. They do not have a Blacksmith or Engineer, but their Carpenter’s Saw recipe can be made by a Mason using Bone. They can gather Bone from creatures other than Ents and Golems, and use it for unique Carpenter and Weaver recipes to make weapons and armor. They do not have Knights, but they have a Soothsayer that can cast a confusion spell on a single enemy causing them to (randomly) attack allies, wander off, or stand still for a short period of time.

Obviously if these aren’t playable factions, that’s all moot, but it’s what I came up with while pondering on the game in general.

I am very interested in the multiplayer options, because I have two friends who also really like the game and I think it’d be fun to play it with them. I’m particularly hoping for a cooperative multiplayer where everyone gets their own faction and town on the same map (probably need it to be significantly larger than it is now) with unique multiplayer storylines and ramped-up random encounters (hopefully spawned within a set radius of each town banner, so that nobody gets 3x the normal number of Entling swarms unless everyone plants their flags together). Competitive multiplayer I could also see, although that’s definitely less interesting to me. I could see that being akin to a 4x game with multiple win conditions, possibly tied to the new 1.7 monuments. Build a particular monument to get access to a particular win condition, raid the other town(s) to find out what they’re aiming for and try to disrupt them. And so on.

Beyond that I haven’t really thought heavily into what this game is, or how I hope it will turn out. It’d be nice to get more building options (always the case) and maybe hire temporary help (there’s definitely times when it would be nice to be able to buy specific items or tell a craftsman, ‘here’s some cash and raw materials- I need this’ and get it after a long than usual delay) or mercenaries to defend the town for a set time period. The idea of titans intrigues me but I’m a bit worried too- I can easily see a lot of hard work being demolished because my military is insufficient for this new threat or they’re busy dealing with something else. I’d get very salty about that.


Just out of curiosity … why?

interesting thoughts, from what i can tell it fits well with the way the game is going, and i have similar hopes for Northmens Alliance being combat focused.

Dwarves will be a playable race, as they were a kickstarter stretch goal, though from what i’ve heard they might not be worked on until around final release.

however, the other two most likely won’t be playable, except through mods.


Mostly as a solution to a puzzle. Or to put it in a way that’s less enigmatic: it’s an elegant solution to a problem I had.

The only artwork we have for the Rabbit People (or at least, that I know of) shows them with minimal metal use: one image is wearing wooden armor and holding a thorny vine weapon, while the other uses a candleholder that looks like dark iron; the map case looks like a hollowed log.

I thought about them and realized that if this is a culture with minimal metal use, Engineers and Knights seem really out of place. Blacksmiths too- but eliminating four classes (Blacksmith, Engineer, Knight, Trapper) entirely seemed wrong. I realized, though, that if you eliminate Coal you almost entirely eliminate Steel, but the Blacksmith can still work up to Iron, which is fitting. You can find/trade for Steel to get Carpenter’s Saws made, and there’s no reason to limit them access to that (and I’d suggest a Carpenter’s Saw as a default starting item, like with the Ascendancy), but you’re allowing the Footmen to have their gear while not varying too far from the concept artwork.

Of course, you could also go with the Goblin option of eliminating Steel entirely in favor of Bone, but given the Rabbit People are vegetarians (because, well, rabbits) having them kill animals and use their bones as a fundamental part of their tech tree seemed wrong. Arguably you run into the same trouble with Leather, but I don’t know that I’d want to eliminate that. Though maybe you could and convert the recipes to cloth…


I’m pretty much resigned to that fact, though I think that there’s enough support for those two as full-fledged factions that there’s a sliver of a chance (less than 10%) that they’ll be done as such at some future point (say, post-release DLC/updates).

I’m keeping an eye out for mods though, and I’d be more than happy to see people who can code and model use some of this as inspiration. Unfortunately this is about all I can really contribute.

Me and my brother have had long debates about how the multiplayer modes should play out.

We came to the conclusion that there should be a PvP and several different PvE gamemodes.
We decided that PvP would never be competitive due to the slow nature of the game.
As for the PvE that is where things start to get interesting. There should obviously be a gamemode where several players just build there own towns and fight off raids like in the normal game but just with others on the same map.

We also had a long discussion on a gamemode where all the players are of one faction and all settle close enough to each other so that they build one giant city. At the start all the players elect a leader, this leader then gets roughly 1/3 of the other players daily update new arrivals. So in late game you have one player that has 50 + 50*( (number of players - 1)/3) hearthlings and everyone else has 50*2/3 hearthlings.

This will create a dynamic where one players has enough hearthlings to defend everyone and everyone else can’t defend themselves, i.e everyone has to work together. We then went on discussing how to get the maximum out of such a setup and we decided that each player would have to be responsible for making specific items for everyones hearthlings. It would force players to trade and work together.
Clearly the raids would scale to the number of hearthlings. As you’ll have like 300 in late game.

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I think PVP would need some modifications, to be sure. You’d think it’d be slow, but if there’s two of us and I’m playing the Ascendancy, what prevents me from making a half-dozen Wooden Practice Swords and Zerg rushing your town ten minutes in? It’d require a lot of work to get things so that the game isn’t slow as heck to start, but also isn’t just a question of who can get those Swords made first.

As for PVE, I’m in favor of a more sandbox approach. Let everyone create their own towns and pick their own faction; the only question everyone has to agree on is the terrain, and that could be done either as a ‘host decides’ or a preference vote system. Let’s say I want Forest first, Arctic second, Desert third; you pick Arctic first and Desert second, Forest third. So Forest gets 4 points (3pts for 1st, 1pt for 3rd), Desert gets 3 points (2pts for 2nd, 1pt for 3rd), and Arctic gets 5 points. So we play Arctic.

Everyone gets their own standard, and places it as they see fit. Then things proceed as the players want. Each person specializes in one aspect? Sure, do that. Everyone for themselves, help as you can? That’s fine too. Towns separated out to seize as many resources as possible? Okay. Everyone together? Works out. How well you do is entirely based on teamwork, rather than forced roles.

The only other aspect I can think of would be a variation of the Market Stall and Donation Box for interacting between towns. You can set up Orders like with workbenches except you add a destination (probably player color would work best). Your Workers then gather the supplies in the order and box it up with two color tags on it- yours and the recipient’s. They drop it off at the stall and it disappears in a puff of smoke, then appears at the destination stall, much like items you trade for appear at your banner. The recipient’s Hearthlings can then grab the boxes per normal, which poof into smoke and reveal the contents, which can be used as normal. So you can look and see, okay, I’ve got two dozen boxes with blue and yellow dots, so that’s Joe sending me stuff. If your chosen recipient doesn’t have the Stall built, your ‘sent’ boxes just sit around your Stall until they do.


I had always expected Stonehearth to take a less structured route for multiplayer. Instead of having set PvP/PvE, why not just thrust several players into the same server and let them decide whether or not to become allies, enemies, or neutral? There are many multiplayer strategy games that work like this, but to use Age of Empires as an example, the servers allow the 3-8 players to work out among themselves what the teams will be. They can send alliance invitations or mark other players s enemies, attacked on sight. All players start out neutral.

I think this would greatly help the aspect of politics in the game and allow players to play both PvP and PvE in the same game mode.


Yeah let me play a game with a load of people that are expecting PvE :smiling_imp:

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