Hi all ,
this is my first post in the ‘Stonehearth’ forum and I hope, I am not too late for the party. I owne the game for quite a while now, followed the Dev blogs with interest, but didn’t play the game intensely so far (mainly due to the old builder, which drove me crazy, but also because I didn’t want to be burned out by the game before a decent amount of game mechanics were implemented - something that happened to me with other early access games in the past. I like ‘Stonehearth’ way too much to risk this.)
And without extensive play-testing, I didn’t feel I had to add much worthwhile to the discussion …
Well, I finally picked up the game now and spent some hours (still way less than many of you, I am sure of this) creating my own settlements.
This is a long preface just to say: please forgive me, if the topic was already discussed in length and the horse (is it a seahorse, as it’s related to water, by the way?) already beaten to death now.
Now to the main point of my topic: Water and the use of it.
For now, water is merely a nice eye candy and adds to the visual enjoyment of the game. Please don’t get me wrong here, I certainly admit that this is a value in itself for a creative game like ‘Stonehearth’!
For that reason, a decent water dynamic calculation is implemented into the game so it not only allows us to create awesome waterfalls, but also “nerdy” tricks with floating wood blocks (fascinating for some, I guess, but not necessarily a core mechanism for the game).
Other than that, water doesn’t play a major role in the game.
And this, while water is actually the most important “element” for all living beings!
Our Hearthlings need to eat (and are somehow picky about the food’s quality), they need shelter and sleep (the more comfortable the better) and they strive for company and beauty … but they don’t need to drink!
Furthermore, plants don’t need water either. From personal experience, I can assure you that just one day without watering at a hot day will make my balcony plants look very, very sad! (My girlfriend constantly manages to get hers killed …)
In addition to that, none of our animals need water to drink
To improve the situation, I want to suggest the following additions to the game in order to make water an integral part of game-play:
- Hearthlings should need access to water/drinkable liquids.
- At the start of the game, the settlers could just go to a (preferably very close) natural body of water in order to drink.
- if a player decides to found a settlement far from a natural body of water, he needs to haul and store water at his settlement. Water hauling and storage could happen in clay or stone amphorae or wooden buckets.
- digging a well would be possible in mountainous biomes or the desert.
- digging out (and then defining as “water storage are”?) a cistern might be worthwhile, too.
- the newly implemented weather system might tie into the water-system as well: cisterns will fill during rainfall (especially, if some digged-out canals lead water to it), heat will make the Hearthlings need more liquid.
- cooks could create more sophisticated drinks with water and berries/wheat/sugar (or just berries alone). As processed food does now, delicious juices and other breweries would enhance the Hearthlings’ well-being.
- Farm animals should need access to water, either by
- some open water traversing their enclosures (be it digged-out canals or natural water), or
- a dedicated drinking trough filled by the shepherd.
- Plants (fields) should need to be irrigated.
- Any body of water (be it natural or canals) could have a certain radius (e.g. 5-8 tiles) around them which count as “irrigated”.
- If there is no open water nearby, farmers would need to pour them with water from the settlemen’s water storage/well or from the further away bodies of open water.
- the newly implemented weather system could tie into farming. Rain could satisfy the plants’ water needs for some time. Periods of hot and dry weather could increase the water needs of plants.
- Water and other professions/game elements
- I know that the fisher is a profession implemented by the awesome “Archipelago biome” mod. I think, something like that could make it into the main game. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out how to make him actually catch fish so far …)
- I always thought that the random dropping of clay (-> the potter) should be increased when digging near or in bodies of water.
- New vegetation could be implemented (into the main game) that is tied to the existence of nearby water (the 5-8 tile distance mentioned above). Papyrus could be an example of this. Harvesting it could create an alternative to create the Cleric’s book and possibly allow other artifacts. Other water plants could be needed for potions.
But even without dedicated crafting recipes, they would certainly add to the diversity and beauty of the landscape.
So, what do you guys think about the usage of water in ‘Stonehearth’?
Are my thoughts worthwhile or do you think they add too much complications to the game?
Personally, I like when creative elements are tied into and based on real game mechanics. (For example, I always dig some irrigation canals around my fields. I just whish, this would be more than just for the visual effects.)
But maybe not everybody feels like this?