tl;dr at bottom
I love mining, the way hearthlings go through one door in a cave and travel through my complicated system anywhere they go is plain entertaining, but building complicated cave systems is annoying.
First off, building a cave up or down is a complicated and tedious affair. Hearthlings should be able to tunnel stairs down, instead of just straight up or straight down, currently the only way to stair down is to dig a large section forward, then layer by layer have them dig out the stairs.
Secondly, when you’re in a mountainous biome, it’s really easy to get lazy and build houses in your cave, making rooms is really easy to do in caves. I’d like a downside to this, I feel living in a cave while efficient would be detrimental to a hearthling’s mood. Additionally, I’d like if we had the ability to replace cave walls with walls of our choice, currently you can replace floors, and to replace walls you have to tedously mine out the entire thing row by row and then replace it with slab, it’s a slow process and when you x-ray, you still see the walls, turning on slice does nothing.
Thirdly, caves need more life. You can dig a long straight cave with no supports and no lighting. I’m not saying this stuff should be required, but I’d like some incentive to do so, like faster mining and more yeild for having cave supports and lights, or faster walking in-cave. It would be great if you could have hearthlings automatically do this, but that’s asking for a miracle, and could prove annoying if you want to make an intersection where they’re placing a support.
Fourth, mining needs to be handled like building. If I want to expand my cave roof, they should build scaffolding and ladders to help them do so, additionally, building anything upwards is plain impossible. You can’t mine up without slicing, the camera won’t let you.
Speaking of the camera, x-ray is a treat, but I’d really enjoy a hearthling viewpoint while travelling through my caves, but that’s a more general suggestion.
Last and finally, we need more pickaxes. Miners break blocks in one hit, which is fine, but if I only have 3 hearthlings that can mine, it can prove to be annoying if I’m trying to cave somewhere. Adding additional pickaxes that give hearthlings the ability to dig multiple blocks at a time or even just giving them a speed boost while in the act of mining could prove to be useful.
For those who wanted a quick summary of what I’ve said:
1: We need the ability to mine stairs in tunnels without having to do it layer by layer
2: Downsides to making a house in a cave, being able to replace cave wall with a regular wall without destroying x-ray.
3: Supports and cave lighting having an upside that isn’t just aesthetic, maybe with cave-ins or having buffs to cave related activities,also maybe have hearthlings autoplace them (maybe with the option to turn autoplace off)
4: Mining being treated like building, so that digging straight up is handled by building scaffolding instead of needing to build ladders manually
5: Pickaxes that add buffs to mining