Suggestion for Rope Ladder - for Mining Down and Not Getting Stuck!

After having tons of times where Hearthlings dig strait down and then are stuck until someone builds a ladder - I had a thought.

What if Hearthlings could build a ‘Rope Ladder’ which can be placed on the ground anywhere, and if the terrain is dug up next to it, the ladder automatically unrolls itself down. That way its still up to the player to place these ladders (hearthlings wouldn’t do it automatically), but they would be able to place the ladder before mining rather than afterwards - removing the risk that hearthlings become stuck.

By default these ladders should be a height of 4 to be the same length as a default mining cube, but there could be additional lengths in case you want to dig waaaay down in a strait line. Would probably be easier to have it so you could drop a rope ladder onto another rope ladder to increase the length it drops down, that way you don’t need multiple lengths.


5 actually, remember that when digging down, you have to remove another layer of “ground blocks”, which makes the mining tool 4x4x5.

I also think that there needs to be something done to this part of mining. The fact that Hearthlings dig big holes in a slightly… “diagonal” way (so that during most of the digging time, they will always be able to leave the pit) is a good start, but unfortunately this also prevents me from placing a final ladder right at the beginning. Your suggestion of a rope ladder would solve that problem, though I’d already be fine with a system, where Hearthlings automatically extend existing ladders down to the ground level, whenever they would be “floating” otherwise.

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Just a few questions:
how to get up a cliff that is 10 blocks high if your ladder is only 4(5) high :smiley: ?
custom buildings with ladders could be a problem?

The idea with the rope ladder is good but why should the old ladder system get destroyed?
Maybe the rope ladder must be crafted by tailor?

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Or made by hearthlings themselves from fiber/wool just like they do with ladders. It could help on maps that lack timber. And yes, rope ladders can behave differently, like automatically expanding downwards if there is enough material put in the rope by a hearthling.

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Ah yes, you are correct. I don’t do crazy mathstuffs like counting : }.

That is awesome - thank you so much! But the rope ladder concept could still be useful as you wouldn’t have to micro-manage the little hearthlings way out - they would simply have a way out to begin with.

A rope ladder wouldn’t replace a wood ladder - and it would only go down. The benefit would be that you can “place and forget” the rope ladder and not have to worry about it later. Definitely don’t want to remove the old system ; ).
And yeah, I think the rope ladder would be a good tailor craftable. One wood, one silkweed bundle - or maybe just silkweed to answer MelOzone’s point of maps with lack of wood (so a knotted rope instead of a rope ladder).

The only issue with this would be: where would you build the rope ladder if it wasn’t crafted by a profession. I think you would have to have it crafted by someone, could also put one in the starting menu for 10 gold or so, just to help out at the beginning.

It can be made placeable just as the ladder tool is now. In SH items have direction in which they are used. For a rope ladder it could be the direction of unrolling.
I don’t know how to handle material management though. Automatically pulling fiber from the stockpile to extend a ladder doesn’t seem natural. Endless ladders from one item/piece of fiber don’t look natural either.

Ah, you’re saying make it a default thing which is buildable? Hmm… true, it could work that way, but at that point it might start encroaching on the general ladder’s job - and could be confusing as to why this thing only goes down, its just complicated enough that it needs just a sentence of explanation.

If it was there, I’m sure pulling from available stockpile would be fine - that’s what ladders do : ).

I think what would be easier than a rope ladder would be to allow us to be able to place item in our hearthlings backpacks Sp they can build their own ladders out. Though this would take up a slot in the backpacks it would be an easier work around. And to add on to that allow say a stack of 5 wood blocks max or what not

@Simica_Na True, but you would still have to remember to go back and create the ladder for them. I’m looking for a way to tell them to go mine something & have a way out from the beginning.

If hearthlings carried enough wood for ladders on them, and then if they found they were stuck they could decide to build a ladder out for themselves… that would work.

Really like the idea! :slight_smile:

One way to simplify it would be to just have ropes. That way it might be considered simple enough for a regular worker to craft it from fiber or thread on the spot. If not, it could be crafted by the weaver and used as a resource to make other things as well. The rope could also be considered harder to climb (resulting in half speed) which would motivate you to upgrade to a wooden ladder when the hole is done.

UI-wise it could be that when you clicked to assign a mining area you can click on one of the voxels at the edge of that area to say that "This is where the rope should be. Don’t mine this unless there is a pile of rope lying on it."
The same method could actually be used for ladders. “This is where the ladder should be. Don’t mine this unless there is a piece of wood lying on it.” That… might actually be enough to replace the need of rope.
A more advanced use of the same method could be “This is where the automatic stairs should go down from.”

(Sorry about the trail of thought kind of post.)

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That’s a good point… after telling the game where to do mining… the placement of ladders could simply look at “to be mined areas” as “already mined areas” - that way everything could be planned out from the get go.

Excellent suggestion Agon : ), I like it.

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One of the ways I make sure my Hearthlings can dig themselves out of a pit is to designate a stockpile for logs, let them stock a few there and then remove the stockpile right before I assign the digging order (since you have to). That way they always have ladder building material right where they dig.