Thoughts and feedback on classsystem stream 281

First a link to the stream for those that have not watched it:
Devstream 281.

Secondly, i really enjoyed the stream and the thoughtprocess :merry:

Third, here are what i think of after watching the stream:

Concept: Material interaction!

Spheres, books and crafting dressers have never and will never make anyone a master carpenter? Or any other master for that matter. I can read a book a hundred times on how to make a dresser and i might have a better starting point, but if i have never worked with wood before, the end result will not be what i read it would be in the book.
I can then repeat the process many times and the dressers i build will become better in time, but it has nothing to do with the dressers or how many i build. What the key factor is in this example and all other masteries, is the material knowledge! So the better i know the material i work with, the better my technics will become to transform a raw piece of wood into something that can work as a dresser.

Therefor i see the logical aproach to the problem with classes, that it is based on material interaction?

Lets say that when we start a new game, we only have “workers” or simply hearthlings…
Then we sent them to chop down some trees and those specific hearthlings that do this will recieve some xp in the category of wood (or what is could be called)
Then we sent some to mine and they will get xp on stone… dig a hle in the ground? thats clay! Gather berries? Plants! and so on…
When a hearthling have recieved enough xp or knowledge on the wood material he gets a (Sphere? or lightbulb? an idea?) And can in someway unlock the capentryskill? The same with the other classes.

Then what if a hearthling gathers enough xp in both wood and stone? That might result in the knowledge to smelt ores? and doing that enough you can open up the blacksmith?

This could be expanded if new materials where added on a later date.
It even fits in to the biomes? So living in the dessert, wont give that many orpportunities to cut down trees? So the potter and mason will be easier to get… Just like it is now.

Figthing classes could work similar. The first attack of entlings give some fighting xp and then if the hearthling gets enough he/she might get an idea for a wooden sword or shield? Shares that idea with the carpenter through the chitchatter system and voila the carpenter just learned a new recipe? The more the hearthling fights with a shield equiped, the more ideas about defence he/she will get? Ending up sharing ideas with the blacksmith or engineer about platemail and towndefenses…?

EDIT: I want to add, that because a hearthling gets the xp to unlock a class, dont mean that he/she will become an carpenter. The player would need to choose that, and the “worker” could have xp in many materials and still just be a worker. The xp in for example wood, could maybe just have the benefit that the hearthling could get more wood from a tree or cut it down faster? Maybe replant it? Same with stone and mining… The spheres could then be what unlocked the classes?

Dont know if you can make use of this, but i wanted to share @Brackhar :merry:


I’m not sure if that fits into the scope, or the intended tone, of Stonehearth but I’d love to see a game based around the principle you describe – concepts are encountered, and it’s only through experimentation and practice that they get turned into ideas/blueprints.

From the sounds of things, this idea would require not only a complete reworking of the class tree and progression/levelling, it would probably require under-the-hood changes to XP gathering. So, if this were to be taken on as a way forward, you’d have to clearly demonstrate to the team that it’s a great Stonehearth experience. You’d have to make sure there’s a way the player can prioritise certain hearthlings to work with certain materials, otherwise there’s a major risk that everyone will share out the jobs and nobody will gain enough experience in any one area to start upgrading their skills; keeping the player stuck on the early game.


In the stream Richard seem to have alot of thoughts about how to redesign the classtree and im sure he and the rest of the developers can create something awesome.
I could personally sketch out how a system could look like, but thats not my place. The basic idea is material interaction :slight_smile: What kind of system could be created from that concept, has many answers, i just threw a few examples in there to specify what i meant with the concept.

If the developers dont think it fits in, then theres no loss, but if they can build on it and use it, then there is a gain :merry:


My thought is that the progression of the game will have to change if they choose to implement the ideas on this latest stream. Unless we get such spheres at the beginning as we get the talismans now, we won’t be able to protect ourselves, or build beds or grow food, or get items from any of the other classes that are so needed right away when starting a settlement.

The idea sounds good, but how will it work along with the quest system also?

And if the spheres require crafting, then how is that different from the current system?

I do love the idea of a ceremony for becoming a new class, perhaps at the hearth as stated in the stream. Making that process more visible and special would be great. Make the ceremony draw in any hearthlings in the settlement area for an audience?

A note - is it possible to make the initial hearth separate from the ones made later by the mason so those other firepits can be sold if found or made? Maybe even a slight graphic difference, too? If it is the HEARTH of our hearthlings, I think it should be named and look different.


I can’t think of a single move the Stonehearth team has made that i’ve really disagreed with…

But i’m really confused about these spheres(or books). It seems like it makes the whole process 100x more complicated(or frustrating) unless i’m really missing something. So help me out here guys.

This is how it sounded to me:

  • You embark with a bunch of workers. (Possibly with spheres)
  • The only way i can get a carpenter… is if I find and use one of these spheres. Same with a mason or a blacksmith… or a footman?

Am I wrong? Do i have to find these spheres to get any class? Doesn’t this just jam up the progress of the player’s game? (Oh great, i found 6 master weaver spheres, but I really need a blacksmith)

Not too mention this basically could stop progress completely when it comes to making an effective army if the RNG never drops for those combat classes (or if your blacksmith is forever locked away or stuck at a low level cap)

I can see needing to find/quest for these to make something awesome like a geomancer or a magma smith, but a mason…? Maybe the base classes(Carpenter/Footman/Farmer/Herbalist) can be unlocked by default at the very least?

I do like being able to spec certain hearthlings to be good at specific things, so yay that.

:confused: confused, halp @Brackhar

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maybe even the hearthling crafters
could upgrade it and make it look legendary

This is a neat idea! I think I’d quite enjoy this system in a RPG where I’m playing a specific character. That said, the amount of granularity as described sounds like a lot to manage/understand in the context of a town with multiple people, enough so that I’d worry that all the cool ideas your proposing would just get lost as noise in the system. I’d love this type of thing in a game where I only have to play one character, however.

I’ve not given a lot of thought yet to how these could be gained in the world. Maybe you find them, research them, they are quest rewards, you can buy them, or build them. Or maybe it’s a mixtures of all of those things. Dunno! I’ve honestly not thought about that side of things in any detail yet.

What I’m interested in doing is making obtaining each instance of a class more of an exciting thing, and also trying to create some interesting choice and cost around making someone a class. Since talismans as they currently exist can be equipped and de-equipped, and are cheap to make, I don’t think it strongly allows for either of those things.


liking the knowledge sphere concept ( a name I think is fine, place holder or not ) however; I feel the addition of a library/ place of learning type building where a hearthling would go to the learn the skill over time would be interesting, ( i guess the Knowledge Sphere kind of becomes an aspiration sphere; which would give the Hearthling the want to become skilled. A scholar would be needed to unlock the building; plans being obtained either as a load out choice at game start or through merchants. Once built, a hearthling; having been inspired by an aspiration sphere would visit this building once a day for a short amount of time, after maybe a day of learning they will be able to use the skill and then will continue to visit the place once daily to improve in that skill. If the aspiration was to become a Master in the skill, the hearthling would spend longer each day swotting up, Hearthlings with lower knowledge could learn at a slower rate and need to attend for longer before succeeding. The library could also be used to produce various blueprints and books that could be tied into the crafting system and allow a scholar to teach other hearthling the basics of the classes at a much slower rate without the need of having an inspired hearthling. Just my thoughts on the subject, feel free to comment.

I’m right there with you. And honestly, I’m not seeing why this is needed or even wanted. Like what’s wrong with the current system? What are they really achieving from changing the system this drastically? For mages I can understand knowledge “spheres”, and maybe even some unlockable items above base value (like the ability to always craft fine objects), but for general jobs, this doesn’t make sense at all.

Sorry, I guess I’m that guy…again…but I think this is one of the more worse ideas to be implemented, especially at this stage in the game. Yes, the current system is bland and could use some flavor.

In y’all’s design notes, you had an image of XCom’s leveling system, and that would definitely add flavor, as well as being able to have a class specialize in a subclass (footman only using shortswords vs longswords). But to try and completely rewrite the whole system, especially in this ideal, seems like you’re trying to fix something that’s nowhere near as broke as you’re making out to be. In an RPG, this would work great (see Final Fantasy VII materia system), but in a city builder, it’s going to be more annoying in the ways that @Solus has stated than not.

This isn’t being implemented any time soon, if at all. As I said when I opened the stream, it’s just an idea I’m toying with.

While I agree that currently, high-level crafters are way too easy to obtain, using the system described in the stream will severely limit the obtaining of new crafters. In my opinion, a better system would be to require new tools for crafters to level up. These could either be obtained from traders, quests or crafting. For instance, while a carpenter saw in the early game could only be upgraded by buying an upgrade, in the later game it would be possible for the blacksmith or engineer to make a new one thus enabling quicker expansion of crafting skills when a group of crafters is already set up. In contrast, the farmer hoe upgrade could be crafted by the carpenter for the lower upgrades, the mason for medium upgrades and only require the blacksmith for the final upgrades. this would also tie in nicely with the current system for talismans being the used tools.

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The way i can see the “Sphere’s or Books” work is like this.

You can progress normally in stonehearth.

(ie: worker promoted to carpenter.) progress through the lvls normally.

But lets say u find a book, It opens up a whole new area for progression, Let say u set the hearth to read the master carp book. and he reads it, would he gain a new set a skills, or fail. i think it should be a hit or miss thing, and they can try again in a few days, trying to learn a new progression to there class. When or if they hit, they gain a new set of skills to make better items or even newer items. It could have it own category tab. This could work for all classes and crafters

Lets talk about how the footman might learn something. Instead of a book this could go to sphere’s (ideas) You find a footman Sphere, and you give it to that footman, again they try and learn a new set of skills (hit or miss), When they eventually learn from the idea (sphere) they gain some new moves (say like dash or trip swing). and this could work with all combat classes

This way i can see this happening, One it really doesn’t affect gameplay for players in a sense, players can still promote and craft and build the towns of their dream, but also giving a reward type of gameplay investing in your hearths


I apologize as I missed that. Regardless, I still feel it’s too RPG for the city builder side of the game. At the same time, I love @micheal_handy76_mh’s suggestion for your ideal.

Just sleeping a few hours before replying, and suddenly I have to read through alot more comments. :grinning:

About the thematics of the knowledge spheres:
I know it was already mentioned a few times, but I immediately thought about books and such when @brackhar explained what knowledge spheres are. Radiant has previously said that tangibility is valuable for them (edge of the world part 2, IIRC), and knowledge spheres aren’t really tangible, you can’t touch knowledge. But you can touch information carriers such as books.

I’d envision the apprentice sphere to be a clay or stone tablet, with only the crude basics of said class written onto it. The journeyman has a scroll, with more info on it. (Funny, cuz the class reassignment window icon is also a scroll). The master gets a big book, enough to outline everything you need to know to be a master in whatever you are doing. Each tier of “sphere” has more room for information on it, thus more room to go into detailed specifics, thus being able to capture more of what is needed to get a noob to an apprentice, journeyman, or master.

As for why this information is no longer useful after a hearthling has been promoted, well maybe they are these spell books that lodge info into the readers’ mind.
After all, this is, or so you could argue, what happens during such a promotion ceremony (in the current game, both the talisman and the promotion ceremony already look like there is some magic involved). and it would also explain why it gives the hearthling the material knowledge as well, @Fornjotr talked about. Normal books wouldn’t do that.

A few loose thoughts

*Should there be rare legendary spheres. Spheres that make your crafter / warrior not just a master, but a legend.

  • Can hearthlings invent new techniques, i.e. can they “think” or “invent” knowledge spheres into existence? Is this maybe a solution for the early, essential-for-survival-apprentice classes?
  • There was this thing about hearthlings needing/ not needing to absorb lower tier knowledge spheres before they could absorb higher ones. Already thought about the value of doing that across classes. i.e. to absorb a mason sphere (in Rayya’s), whatever the skill-level, a hearthling must have had some knowledge, on whatever skill-level, in the subject of pottery. I’m curious what you think about this.

I think this sounds bad… you dont learn to make a f.x a drawer just because you thop down trees, just like you dont learn how to program just by building computers etc.
Another way they could expand on the class system (i dont think their is a need for it) could be that you need to find a trainer or a book/codex perhaps through a quest line in order to unlock a class.

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Would you consider a computer a raw material? or a tool? Have you ever build a drawer without working with wood before? If so, did it turn out perfect the first time you tried?
Its fair enough you dont like suggestions, but dont throw around with facts that you cant back up please.

Finding a trainer or a codex through a questline do sound like a great way to do it, i already like the way they give us some recipes that way, so it would fit in well :merry:

wont say i gave any facts, just an example. and in my example (it might have been a bad one) i would say that the computer is the raw material compared to programming. (after all you need the computer before you can start to program)
and yes i have worked with wood and it turned out like i thought it would (bad), but i have never cut down any trees.

Sorry if i have used a confusing example, but i do stand by my statement, so dont start accusing me for spreading bs like some sjw.

sjw? If you still claim that a computer is a raw material, i wont even engage in further communication with you on the subject. And i will always “accuse” falsehood from truth, if we dont do that, we end up in a world that is doomed.

I hope you have a great day none the less :merry:

Its worth to remember that any class system (however complex progression and perks may be) is an abstraction and simplyfication. From this pov stonehearts system is fine, despite many senseless interdependencies (made an own thread on this one).
So if you want more complexity “classes” as a concept has to go - superseded by a skill based system, where classes emerge either only in the players mind or by completing ingame skill related quests or tasks.
Sadly I can’t remember any (complex beyond “blunt weapons” and “pistols”) skill based game of the last 20 years that was enjoyable to play…

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First and foremost: after skipping a couple of alphas overall gameplay has improved a lot.
The building process is ridiculous as ever, great to read this is getting revamped soon - hope in a timber’n’stone kinda fashion and getting rid of this cant edit after building.
Sorry - classes was the subject: so putting building aside surprisingly the current class system was the gameplay element that irritated me the most.
As good as any class is implemented, many if not most interdependencies simply dont make sense.
Farmer->Cook: come on man, I never grew a crop but nevertheless can be a decent cook.
Trapper->Shepperd: you can care for animals without ever placing a trap
Mason->Potter: by no means related at all
Herbalist->Cleric: imho unrelated as well - at least a cleric should be able to do herbalist tasks
Progressions that make sense:
Blacksmith->Engineer (but the handling to get a second smith to level xxx to promote to engineer is … strange… to say the least)
Footman->Archer, Footman->Knight - fine and makes sense

Conclusion: don’t squezze in forced class changes just to have it. more spezialized classes will blend in over time.

Finally: traits (and conversations) are great gameplay elements - and i’d like to see more class related traits.
comeone - everbody (and not one out of ten heartlings as in the current alpha) has some ideas of her/his favorite occupation…