The direction StoneHearth is heading and why I don't know what to think of it

Hi everyone!

When I first picked up StoneHearth it looked like a fun take on “The Settlers” with even less fighting and more focus on building itself.And to be honest, that’s exactly what I love in strateg games - managing resources, designing the colony/base, creating and maintaining production chains etc.

I still enjoy it a LOT and come back every now and then to play a map, wait one or two patches and start over again. Unfortunately in recent patches I feel like there is no more new content in the game when I come back. Building, production etc. remain the same and whatever I was building 3 months ago is built the same, operated the same and does not feel like updated at all.

Instead, the colony builder I bought some time ago is changing slowly into a babysitter simulator for a very large class of moody kids. All the “cute elements” are getting even more cute and I feel like it is now the main focus of the game, while whoever, like me, liked the feel of “light RTS” or a citybuilder is no longer a customer that matters. I know some people may struggle with enemies in their first playthroughs, but that’s easily fixed with a simple trench or just experience as you play your second or third game and get a reasonable idea of the amount of armed fighters you need to defend.

And let me say this one more time - I still really like the game! and njoy it a lot, but…

We still could use some very basic features like patrol waypoints to override the extremely pointless “let’s walk around that field forever!” pathfinding. We don’t have any way of setting guard posts that an archer would stand and shoot any enemy incoming. We don’t have a very simple “schedule all missing items” button for buildings if the production queue is to long and the game does not register half of the required items.Even managing beds is a pain as you have to click through every bed and chedk who the owner is because there is no screen to manage that. These are all the very most basic interface and usability features that allow you to actually control the game, but the main focus is still on conversations etc.

I appreciate the hard work, as I know that the dev team is small and there cna be only that much work done at the same time, but to me “a new way to make your people unhappy” is much less valuable feature than just being able to see if everyone have a bed and which bed is which. It is less valuable than finally “unsticking” my soldiers from a bunch of fields or underground stockpiles that do not require any protection, but are the ONLY places that are actually being guarded.

Ok … so now to whine a bit less and try to help instead. Let me throw some simple ideas to address what I was talking about in as simple way as possible! :slight_smile:

  • Beds:

Add a bed icon in the hearthling screen to show if that person does or does not have a bed. Just a simple indicator icon is a great help to chec if I still have unassigned sleeping spots.

Add new kind of display mode (ust like we have slice/xray for diggng) to display assigned beds with portrait and job icon of the owner above the bed - a very simple and easy way to clearly show who the owner is.

  • Soldiers:

Add a second kind of standards, just like the safety standards, but instead of making them attract “civilians” during town defence mode, make them attract soldiers in “regular” mode. Just make them walk only from one “patrol” standard to another if there are at least two placed, ignoring buildings and fields in general.

Add a simple object called a “battlement” (crafted by a mason or carpenter) and assign parties to “patrol” mode or “battlements” mode. This way hearthlings could just use the same logic we have in game right now, just with changed list of “points of interest”.

Add a “lookout” post that counts as a battlement (a simple bell on stand, crafted by a blacksmith) that can be placed in any enterance to the settlement that will automatically activate town defense mode and call all patrols to the point of the alert activation.

Aaaand … I think that’s as simple as that. :slight_smile:
Just a bunch of icons and few items that are prioritized by patrols.


I do believe (and have used) a patrol behaviour mod that essentially makes soldiers haul materials whenever they are not in combat. (but I have noticed, they can sleep through goblin raids, so, mayor beware.)

Talking about the enemy dificyulty with the trenches, have you tried Hard mode? I felt the same way, eventually, after you get a base with either a wall or a large whole enemis cant cross, you become invulnerable to outside forces.

That is, until the archers arrive, and/or you need minerals. The archers Orc pacs can really destroy my settlements, and requrie a lot of strategy to actually overcome. I can make it for a while with only 1 footman and 2 clerics, but you eventually need a full party.

regarding the “building items” I reckon to say you have a very valid point. My only suggestion in this case is maybe making another carpenter, have one of them do the simple stuff, like chairs and lights, and have the other one do the more importnat things (tahts what I usually do with my nblacksmisths if I can have more than one, have one of them just churn out ingots, and the other make equipment.)

I really like the “lokout” idea you have, sounds like something I have wanted to have for a while, an outpost!

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I like a lot of these concepts, but I also like the way the devs are turning the game into more than a light RTS or colony management game. OP’s suggestions are things that have frustrated me for a while, but so has the issue with hearthlings not feeling like people. I think a future Alpha could focus on usability and town management things, while another one could focus on more of the “Hearthlings aren’t mindless robots” track. Both would, I think, improve the game a lot (though, I think the first would be a feature that would make a bigger immediate impact on the quality of play from a usability perspective).

So yeah. Just my two cents. Not all of us dislike the current direction things are going in, but still want some usability things.

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As far as I understand it, they’re working on overhauling crafting for the next alpha, and then a new building editor for the building system they’ve been coding behind the scenes will come later. I’m very excited for the eventual building update, but I do hope they’ll put their design and User Experience efforts into some of the basic management things you’ve mentioned soon after.

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There’s sort of a way to do this, but it causes the game to almost break.

…it’s almost double the size that it was before.

I completely second this!

And what exactly are they turning it into to?

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