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    • Crysyn

      Only help if you can be helpful

      Hey All, A topic has come up of late in the IRC channel in regards to the general feel of the forums and the community that supports them. Things have progressed further than I would have liked with out this being addressed more publicly because I would much rather have snubbed this out sooner rather than later.. but I have been busy. Here is the general rule I would like people to follow: Wheaton's Law "Don't be a dick." Those of you from the IRC channel know that this is the only rule I ask people in there to follow and we generally have a good and lively time chatting about all manner of things. This is basic rule that just about everyone understands and I am going to expand it to the forums from here moving forward. If you can not help people in a helpful and polite manner then I simply ask you to stop. Now I generally take a back seat to moderating the forums as I like to participate in the suggestions forum fairly heavily at times and would rather do so as a forums user than a moderator. But I am also fairly well known for being the person who constantly puts their foot down and so I am stepping up and doing so on here. If you find yourself unable to respond to a message politely then I ask that you do not respond. This mostly focuses on the increasing level of hostility found within the Suggestion forum as well as the Server forum. I do not care if this is the 30th some odd time you have seen someone make the same suggestion. Or even if the new post on an older topic is one entry above the old one. I expect the members of this forum to respond politely to the user, new or old, and point to the older topic if it applies and even go the extra step to suggest they either add in new information or to summarize the outcome of the previous discussion based upon the new post's entry into it. That is what we are here for, that is why I close most topics instead of deleting them, so that they can be found and referenced down the road. The next topic is the slew of derailment attempts I have seen as of late. If you want to have fun and joke around that is what the off topic forum is for and pretty much anything goes there. I do not expect to read a suggestion thread and have to go through 3 pages of image memes people have shot back and forth. Quite simply this is a waste of my time to read and then have to clean up. Now for the summary. I am going to start taking a more active role, especially in policing the suggestion forum, and handing out warn levels to people whom I see doing this. These will be indiscriminate and applied not to just the first person who derails or is impolite on a topic or response, but to everyone whom follows the lead of that person. As I do not like doing things with out giving you all warning this post shall serve as that warning. If you have a desire to bring this topic up with me then I invite you to do so on the IRC channel. Lets raise the level of quality and grow the community. Let us not descend into the quality often found on the minecraft or league of legend forums. There is simply no need for that here. Be passionate about things, just do not be abusive.
    • Kittychanley

      Offline Servers

      Recently I've seen a few server listings showing up on the first page of the Servers forum that have been closed for an extended period of time, but have recently gotten a reply from a new member who didn't realize the server is offline. To help prevent this from happening in the future, it would be greatly appreciated if you could use the report function on the original post of any servers that have been confirmed as offline, so that the topic may be locked. If you are the admin of a server and plan on taking the server offline, please use the report function on the original post of your topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be locked. If you are the admin of a server that has a locked topic, and would wish to bring the server back online, please use the report function on the original post of the topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be unlocked. As always, please remember to follow rule #3 of the servers forum and update your topic title to contain the version of TFC that the server is currently running. You can do so by editing the OP, and then clicking on "Use Full Editor."
mayaknife

Avoiding The Grind

38 posts in this topic

I love playing TFC1, up until I get to steel. At that point my love drains away and turns to annoyance, all because of The Grind. You've almost certainly experienced it yourself. To advance to the next tier you need nickel, or gold, or maybe silver, but you haven't found any yet. So you travel around your world, sinking test shafts, digging kilometers-long tunnels, hoping you'll get lucky and find what you need. TFC is supposed to be difficult and challenging, but The Grind is simply tedious and boring. I've found myself dozing off during The Grind too many times to count (though I think it was 5 times tonight...so far).

So what can be done about it?

The first thing is to abandon the link between higher tier ores and depth. There's no reason why a nickel deposit shouldn't occur on or near the surface. Surface deposits might be smaller and rarer than deep deposits, due to weathering, but it should still be possible to find them. Our ancestors did not get out of the Stone Age by digging deep shafts at random until they lucked upon ore. They got out by making use of surface deposits.

The second, more important change, is to add an element of skill to the finding of ores and the specific rock types in which they reside. To do that requires providing clues on the surface which hint at what lies below.

One approach would be to provide stones from the lower rock layers. For example 80% of the stones on the surface might come from the top layer, 15% from the second layer, and 5% from the third. This has the virtue of being simple and easy to implement, but it lacks subtlety and isn't terribly challenging for the player.

A better approach would be to abandon the more-or-less strictly horizontal layering of rock types. Instead, allow for folds and upward bends. For example, a deep layer of gabbro might bend upward and break through the surface as a relatively narrow band of rock. A skilled player could recognize the narrow band as potentially being part of a deeper layer and start mining down through it to see where it goes. It would be particularly cool to link part of the world bulding algorithm with this. For example, where a layer of rock thrusts upward a mountain is more likely to form.

In the real world cliff and ravine faces are rich sources of hints to geologists about the surrounding geology. In TFC1 they tell you very little, primarily because the rock layers are so thick that the entire face is composed of a single rock type. If rock layers varied in their thicknesses, right down to as small as a couple of meters high, then cliff and ravine faces would be capable of exposing multiple layers, again providing a hint to the skillful player as to what might lie below. They would also look a whole lot cooler.

Lots of other hints are possible. Volcanoes and lava pools could be surrounded by small quantities of rocks and minerals brought up from deep below the surface. Specific types of vegetation might be associated with specific minerals. A sudden absence of all but the hardiest of plants might indicate poisoning from the leaching of heavy metals beneath the surface. And so on.

Whatever the methods of hinting, the goal should be provide a way for players to learn things about the world which improve their chances of finding the resources they need, thereby eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, The Grind.

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The Snip

Yeah, something similiar was suggested back a few months ago, although I don't know what happened to that thread..

I definitely like the idea of ore finding requiring skill and mastering rather than luck. People new to TFC would create a new world and see a bunch of rocks on the ground and different rock layers on the side of a mountain and just say "meh". While someone experienced in the ways of tracking down ore would be like "awesome seed!", and would see a pattern there. I like that.

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Hmm... Great ideas) I suppose deeper ravines/cliffs will be cool too ^_^

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I know the feeling, it took me literally two weeks of grind to find nickel.

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I too got bored after Steel because at that point, you're doing the same thing over again, with the only change being a prettier house/castle. With the new tech-up system in TFC2, hopefully some of that grind will go away, as you're now doing other things to advance instead of mindlessly mining and metalworking.

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I think the only way to really get rid of the grind is for there to be tougher enemies on the way up, so you do not easily overpower them.

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I think the only way to really get rid of the grind is for there to be tougher enemies on the way up, so you do not easily overpower them.

Unfortunately that wouldn't do it for me since I always play on peaceful.
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Yeah mobs aren't the only way.. but probably a good piece to the solution. After steel+ your invicible to just about everything.. more dangerous monsters would be nice. I am currently in the grind on the Roanoke server (hopefully my buddies have had luck while I am away..) and its been a grueling 10k+ dig with nothing to show for it... sheesh!

Perhaps a tool requiring higher end materials could be used to test the ground for materials? A density reading contraption of a sort that scans a wide wide, deep area that basically just shows rock types (after you learn to translate densities..) that requires steel or something like that.

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you think its a challenge in the beginning on peaceful? when you are hiding out at night it becomes more intense

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you think its a challenge in the beginning on peaceful? when you are hiding out at night it becomes more intense

Samzataru huddles around the campfire in his makeshift shelter. It is a cold night, and every animal's step and spider hiss makes him more jittery.

-my feelings when heading to a town on the roanoke server before there was a safe way to get there and I had nothing.

Anyway, I love this idea. maybe the sluices should sometimes pick up nuggets of a layer 2 mineral, maybe even layer 3.

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you think its a challenge in the beginning on peaceful? when you are hiding out at night it becomes more intense

Agreed, but I don't play Minecraft for the combat. I find it's mostly just a distraction from what makes the game unique and interesting. If I want combat there are plenty of games out there which do it far, far better than MC.
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I think the only way to really get rid of the grind is for there to be tougher enemies on the way up, so you do not easily overpower them.

It's not. Mobs are stupid, and minecraft combat system doesn't make the whole thing better either.
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Ok back on topic guys, this is not about mobs, it's about the grind.

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Some meditations on the issue, focusing more on grinding generally:

TFC's problem is The Grind. That being a repetition of the same actions in the same context to improve the equipment you use, which in turn enables you to use equipment's functions harder/better/faster/stronger.

I think the issue is that, in both cases, the only real gain of mining is the ability to keep mining some more.

Then there is the fact that as you improve, the requirements for reaching the next tier are raised. So, while you can quite easily progress early on, it requires more time later on. They, however, are a simple loop of same actions.

Compare with early game, where you need to make a shelter, hunt for food and so on, when there are several distinct goals, late-game boils down to a quest for endgame metals, which basically offer nothing new, except being better at the things you've already been doing.

Also consider the progression from Stone Age to Metal Age: a whole new world of possibilities, with stone bricks allowing bloomeries, new tools, and so on. Various tiers of steel meanwhile change literally nothing gameplay-wise.

So, to avoid the gameplay becoming repetitive, following features may be added:

- new dangers as you burrow deep into the earth, lava lakes, mobs only spawning underground, perhaps? Maybe something like Dwarf Fortress' Hidden Fun Stuff? Increasing the likelihood of mine collapsing, even despite supports?

- the metals having actual effects on the gameplay in a meaningful way. Special properties, aside from the normal progression? For example, IRL Platinum is more-or-less like Steel, except non-rusting and non-allergizing, so in game should be equal to steel, but has a number of major uses in chemistry, completely absent for steel (for example as catalysts for reducing organic acids to alcohols, though Nickel works too - not saying chemistry should be in TFC2, but just as an example).

Perhaps during the Arcane era, they may be various reagents? Or perhaps only steel can be used to create Steam era components? (Although I'd much rather have Brass for that :P). You get the idea.

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I think there should be blocks that can only be obtained with a certain metal, like bricks are now.

Other things should also only be obtained with a certain metal, like potions but not, because potions would be stupid for tfc.

There isn't really any advantage of red steel over iron. The quicker time to mine is completely canceled out by the time to find nickel and the extra time spent smithing.

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Hey guys, as mentioned all over the place TFC2 is not the next version of TFC1 therefore this post which talks about nothing but how to fix the perceived grind in TFC1 has been moved to those forums.

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Hey guys, as mentioned all over the place TFC2 is not the next version of TFC1 therefore this post which talks about nothing but how to fix the perceived grind in TFC1 has been moved to those forums.

The point of my post was to suggest ways in which TFC2 could avoid falling into the same trap as TFC1. It makes no sense to move it to the TFC1 forums since it's not something that's likely to be fixed in TFC1.
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The point of my post was to suggest ways in which TFC2 could avoid falling into the same trap as TFC1. It makes no sense to move it to the TFC1 forums since it's not something that's likely to be fixed in TFC1.

Says you

I record with Dunk semi-regularly, and he is indeed still working on TFC1

Since a rather popular youtuber has recently stopped his TFC LP for the exact reason stated in the OP (which was the whole reason I was subscribed to him), I'm going to talk about this with Dunk once he gets back from vacation

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I record with Dunk semi-regularly, and he is indeed still working on TFC1

I'm aware of Dunk's ongoing efforts on TFC1 and I applaud them. But unless he plans on continuing development of TFC1 once TFC2 becomes available, it makes no sense for him to start a weeks- if not months-long project of reengineering the core logic of TFC1. If I were in his position I'd do exactly what he appears to be doing: concentrating on those areas where I can get the biggest bank per buck - the biggest improvement in gameplay for the least amount of effort.

Or, alternatively, I'd concentrate on those areas which interested me the most and to hell with everyone else. :-)

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I thought this topic needed new exposition as its implementation would be a great stride forward. Firstly, is it feasible? I know little about programming but if the suggestions were used it would improve greatly an already superior system. I do like the idea of getting away from the long tunnels (imagine trying to float a new mining company that said "we are going to start digging in no particular area.... you should invest in us"). I wonder if the deposits that you find higher up may be indicators of what you might find lower down... minerals usually have predictable "bedfellows"..... lead with silver, pyrite (iron) with everything , etc. Anyhow... great idea.

 

As to "the grind"..... its the bane of all Minecraft as I see it, not just TFC. Theres this perfidious word that crops up.... "Endgame".... It seems to kill maps by providing an arbitrary goal (kill the ender-dragon or make "red steel")) and then what else? There needs to be more tangible goals in-game to maintain interest like an economy or some such... it would be nice if TFC provided that but I think servers can do it on their own if there is a clear vision and plan at the start. I have more mad comments but I would like to see if there is more input first. Once again, I totally support this concept and feel it merits consideration. Thanks for reading.

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I believe version 78 should have major changes in this are. But god knows how it will turn out.

 

I don't really think adding dangers is gonna make The Grind much more fun. There should be some kind of sense of direction. The problem right now is that it is total luck if you find something. Even finding appropriate stone layer at appropriate height is not a guarantee and it might take days before you finally find something of value. I spent last 5 days grinding Marble and Schist until I found graphite. In the end I found it in Gneiss that was next to it.

 

IMO, what it really needs is some major redesign of both ore/mineral spawning and prospecting. And most probably some break away from realism and historical accuracy.

 

I'm sure it was already suggested, but something like "Prospecting levels". For example, on highest level, it scans huge area but gives you only elementary information. If you do it at different points, you can say if some material is in the 8x8 chunks area. Then, you can make it more detailed, up until current prospecting level. It can even serve as good resource sink. Like having to spend 16 ingots of (copper / bronze / iron) for each of this prospecting run. Or other materials : wood, wool, food, leather, etc.. Or they might even add simple chemistry to create various acids that can be used to get more detailed rock samples. And in the end, you might still get pretty biased result if something was found. It reminds me of sluice on steroids. It might be some kind of "magic" block, but this is game we are talking about.

 

The ideas are infinite. The problem is how will it work after implemented.

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I'm sure it was already suggested, but something like "Prospecting levels". For example, on highest level, it scans huge area but gives you only elementary information. If you do it at different points, you can say if some material is in the 8x8 chunks area. Then, you can make it more detailed, up until current prospecting level. It can even serve as good resource sink. Like having to spend 16 ingots of (copper / bronze / iron) for each of this prospecting run. Or other materials : wood, wool, food, leather, etc.. Or they might even add simple chemistry to create various acids that can be used to get more detailed rock samples. And in the end, you might still get pretty biased result if something was found. It reminds me of sluice on steroids. It might be some kind of "magic" block, but this is game we are talking about.

 

The ideas are infinite. The problem is how will it work after implemented.

 

-----------------------------

 

uuuhm.

 

Sluices already serve the role of the "high level" of prospecting.

 

Scans a huge area (201 x 201 x not sure how deep/high) and only tells you if there's stuff within that area. Use this to roughly triangulate the location of ores, then use a prospectors pick to find the more specific location.

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-----------------------------

 

uuuhm.

 

Sluices already serve the role of the "high level" of prospecting.

 

Scans a huge area (201 x 201 x not sure how deep/high) and only tells you if there's stuff within that area. Use this to roughly triangulate the location of ores, then use a prospectors pick to find the more specific location.

Damn. Not sure how I didn't realize to use them this way. I always thought of them as surface-only for finding early ores. But I'm sure there must be some kind of catch. 

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Another thing that could decrease the tedium of grinding a bit is to Add more things to do. Especially if these things involve the higher-tier or less useful metals, as then you would have an actual reason to strive for them.

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As to "the grind"..... its the bane of all Minecraft as I see it, not just TFC.

 

There's this difference, though... I find branch mining at the diamond level in vanilla to be quite relaxing and non-grindy.  There's just the right mix of repetition broken up with discovery.

 

Digging kilometers of tunnel in the hope of finding something just doesn't have the same effect.  I heartily endorse the idea of surface-level prospecting, visible stone layers, and so forth.

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