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Everything posted by Darmo

  1. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    Each island region does have it's own seed, which is separate from the world seed itself. The region seed is what you're seeing in the creative mode screen, I think.
  2. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    Those are a geographical feature called 'spires' (if you play in creative, you'll see a list of 'island features' at the top right). Near as I can tell they're supposed to be a natural formation. They could probably use some work to look a bit more natural though. As for food, I think it's reasonable to assume that in this early alpha stage, the food balance is not what it will be in the end. Bioxx has said in tweets you'll be better off in creative for now. I actually welcome the scarcity of gardens. I'm hoping it means there will be a more foraging-focused playstyle in the beginning, while one builds up a stock of seeds to settle down with. Hunting and gathering type stuff. For me, one of the most interesting aspects is what I *haven't* seen yet, and that is even a speck of surface (or cave, for that matter) lava. I'm hoping this bodes well for there being a rare volcano feature. Issues-wise, I noticed that ash trees at least, seem to have a lot of floating leaf blocks. I wonder if their schematics need examined? Also, the last two worlds I've played, I headed north (since apparently the tropics are bugged, from what Konlii posted). And both times I again ran into the thing where the next island north of my starting temperate island, was also temperate. Following area again two screen shots showing me first on one side of the region boundary, then to the north. Still showing "temperate" under island parameters. Also of note is that the island (it was very large, but I think separate from the main island) was within 20 blocks of the region boundary, and you can see the steep change in underwater topography. I mention this in case the generation parameters need tuning to keep players away from the boundary. I don't know what measures are planned to keep them away, but right now it'd be very easy to see from shore there, and even reach, unless the forbidance mechanic is to actually physically wall them off, or have a big wave wash them backwards whenever they get close, or something. The above three screenshots were all in the seed chunk posted, btw (the first one he posted from the region, not the corrected world one). Also, bears have a REALLY high leg swing. Could perhaps use some adjusting downward a tad?
  3. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    I gave a link in that other thread you started with the same question, but thought I'd also put it here, for anyone else here with the same questions. This link takes you to an early 2016 post I made, that summarized some of the very early posts in mid-2015, wherein Bioxx clued us in to his plans, including all this island and portal stuff. We were given the info in bits and pieces in several different threads, usually following an OP of a completely different topic. If you want to skim it, just do a browser search for "Bioxx", and it'll help you find his posts in some of the more extensive threads.
  4. Islands? Basic systems here?

    Here a link to a post where I give several links to some of the early days (mid-2015) discussions about TFC2. We were kind of given the information on the island plan in bits here and there in separate threads. You'll probably have to visit several threads to get the complete original picture.
  5. Swamps Suggestion

    I feel like that may be a bit far-reaching, if any and every bog tile had such a possibility just for walking on it. But if there's swarms of insects that the player can see, avoid, or take repellent measures against, that's something the player can understand and react to, and I think would go over better.
  6. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    I also noticed that in caves, sometimes large areas of natural stone collapse, with no molestation or block updating actions on my part. Apparently this is where the cobble and gravel I've been seeing are coming from. Does this mean that the collapse code is currently in game? And intended to stay? It seems to help clear out perhaps 'odd' floating stuff in caves, but not all.
  7. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    To update my previous post, I did another world (1.4) and correctly went from temperate to sub-tropical. Don't know if that was fixed in update, or if it only happens occasionally or something. The flying around takes awhile, and does cause crashes at times, so it takes awhile to test. Found some small swamps too, though nothing as big as the twitter pic way back when.
  8. Mobs for TFC2

    We're kind of at a pause in mob modeling right now, as Bioxx has a large back-log of mobs already that we've made, but are not implemented. He's just not at the point where mobs are the priority yet. I'm pretty sure he has implemented several new mobs from the early days, when it was just me and Alpha and Phineas. But I think most of the stuff in the public forum probably hasn't been inserted yet. So some patience will be required. We've focused on ground-based mammals and birds pretty much exclusively, because Bioxx can just copy the animations easily from vanilla mobs. Anything that flies, or has weird motion (like a snake) is going to be way down the list due to the animation issues. All that said, 5 of the animals you mentioned are already made and modeled, 2 or 3 of which I think *might* be inserted in the game already. I haven't actually seen any of the new mobs yet (though I've seen one vanilla mob that was not in TFC1!). Most of the rest you mentioned are already on 'the list'.
  9. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    So I headed to Z=0 to see the tropics, and apparently z0 is actually the north edge of the tropical zone, not the middle. But what struck me was that I had two temperate islands in a row (this is all according to the creative info in screenies) and then went directly to tropical. See following two screen shots, one of which is just north of z0, and one is just south. I'd sort of expected z0 to be in the middle of the tropical island, but I guess that part doesn't make a huge difference. More about the skipping a climate. Unless of course the info is just incorrect. The trees seemed temperate-plausible, but I'm not sure what the parameters are. For those wondering, ore veins are indeed in the game. I've found both Bismuth (of course), and garnierite! The bismuth is the greyish stuff in the small tunnel. The garnierite the bit of green at the bottom of the large cave shot. Apparently this time the thing with ore texture being overlaid over native stone isn't a thing? Or it's just not implemented yet? And I have to say, the larger caves are gorgeous! I love the addition of cobble and gravel to mix up the feel (or maybe those are just artifacts of generating near the surface), and the abundance of stalags. Mobs everywhere. Huge dangerous areas not easily blocked off. There's also normal size tunnels too. But the large caves are the great part, and they can go on for quite awhile at large size too! Also there appears to be some kind of combination grass-on-top-of-stone commonly found at cave mouths and in valleys. I love this detail, it makes for a good transition from the grassy lands above, to the stark caves below. (these screenshots are from 0.1.0, so they still have some dirt-hanging stalagtites) I never did see the "even sharper mountains" on the one island, but I did find a valley, and it was magnificent, with a nice big lake at the mouth. Too big to really get a good screenshot of though. The sometimes straight cliff faces kind of bugged me a bit, but they're growing on me. Beaches do often have very pronounced circular cuts, but I think it's only really noticeable from up high. I'd really love it if someone could post a screenshot/seed with a swamp near spawn.
  10. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    Oh, that's a vanilla biome indicator. Gotcha. For reference for a suggestion I'm considering, can the hex biome data be used in things outside generation? For instance when placing plants, or checking plant growth? Or is it non-accessible after generation is done?
  11. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    I thought biomes in TFC1 (and kind of expected in TFC2) dictated terrain type? Hills are hilly, mountains more so, plains are flatt-ish? I thought swamp biome meant there should be probably a lake(s)? and a lot of flat terrain around, at about sea level. The part that surprised me wasn't the soggy garden (for all I know they just generate wherever and that's the plan) as that I was up at 100y in a swamp biome. But I guess if biomes don't even influence terrain now, then nothing to see here...but I could have sworn the hex maps you posted long ago had different terrain or biomes or something?
  12. [0.2.4] TFC2 Prerelease

    After a few very brief 1-day playthroughs in survival, I noticed that I can start knapping with only one rock. But then when I start removing pieces the texture disappears (grey pattern area remains though), and I can't actually get an output. But would probably be best if I cannot start knapping with just one rock. I also couldn't figure out how to make firestarter. Love the streams with gravel banks! I can't be sure but I found some food in the vicinity of another garden, by a stream. I don't know if the water destroyed a garden and left the food, or what, but it appeared that a couple other gardens had been destroyed by the environment somehow. The food was sitting on the gravel bank by a stream, so maybe it generated a garden on gravel which then wasn't a valid base and it despawned? At one point I found a soggy garden on a hill at elevation 100, and noticed that according to f3 I was in a swamp biome. Not sure if that's desired? I didn't really try to investigate just how large the swamp biome was, to see if any part at all of it looked more swampy. The hill was rather large, and one side was beach and what appeared to be ocean. So there was nothing obviously swampy looking in the immediate area where I found the garden. No cattails yet, it seems? Or maybe I just didn't find any freshwater lakes... I too found some minor water issues. One where two flowing blocks were not flowing over and down, and another where one block of water appeared different. I didn't have waila installed and only later realized f3 gives info about what you're looking at, so I'm not sure if it was a random vanilla block, or what. I also noticed grass is generating on the rock floor of ravines, and cave openings. Not sure if that's intentional? What little I've seen of caves are awesome, btw! Though I did just notice after posting that screenshot, the top left stalagtite appears to be hanging from dirt? I did notice at some ravine lips, there were stone blocks neighbored only by dirt, where it was starting to 'curve back over'. Kind of minor I guess. Can hardly wait till tonight to do some creative fly-throughs!!!
  13. Giant Centipede

    That's nice. Pincers are a nice add! I even like the color scheme better. Final word isn't really up to me though, as I'm not the one animating it. My fear is that it may look too wooden; I'm assuming it's not really possible to animate it bending in a dynamic way (that is, responding to turns and corners). I imagine it can be animated to undulate like a snake, but I don't think that's really how they move. Bioxx will have to weigh in on it.
  14. Giant Centipede

    Aaaand I just noticed I totally missed the part where you planned on scaling it down. My bad. 5 meters is still pretty large though. Did you try building the model at the intended scale? I realize your leg tips are probably what governed the size choice - they are indeed pleasingly spindly in relation to the body - but my experience has been that making double size textures is kind of pain, if you want to modify it afterward...
  15. Giant Centipede

    Good Lord Konlii, you don't shy away from going big do you? I agree on legs being a big part of the creep factor, though I think it's more important if the legs are actually articulated. If they're just a rigid structure, less so. In general I am of the opinion that it's ok for more aggressive and 'fantasy' mobs to be more complicated. I would think we'd want them to be impressive and scary. I had planned to have this conversation when Bioxx asked for fantasy mobs, or giant insects. If he wants to have it now, we may as well. As for commentary, I probably would have tried to get by with 3 segments per leg at most. And I don't know that the extra ridge boxes are all that worth it. Assuming it's mainly for z-fighting issues, could you not have just tilted the body segments in their entirety that same amount, to avoid the issue? Rather than adding barely-protruding tilted boxes? I'd also probably consider swapping the antennae for large menacing mandibles. Antennae just don't say 'I'm a-gonna poison and eat you!' But my main concern is the animating of it on Bioxx's part (would it undulate, or just move in a stiff arrow-straight fashion?), and then the possible (probable?) movement and clipping issues. I'm not sure how minecraft's hitboxes work, but I question if that entire length can be a hitbox, and if so, what happens when the centipede tries to turn in a narrow tunnel? The model is like, 10 meters long. You're going to at *least* have large portions of the body clipping out of the tunnel walls, unless the animation and collision detection is a lot better than I think it is. What if you could sort of have it rearing up in an S shape, to reduce the floor area it takes up to like, 1x3 meters max or something? I think you could use most or all of that body length, but just have it be bunched up. It's probably also be more threatening if taller. Overall, it probably would have been better to have started with a more 'normal' proportioned insect. But let's see what Bioxx says.
  16. Glass works

    FYI, there does exist another thread specifically about Clay Working. Wood lathe, I'm not sure there's enough potential products for that. Bowls, yes. Jars? I've never heard of wood jars in a historical sense. I have a hard time coming up with anything else that isn't just decorative, excepting perhaps pulley sheaves. Glass blowing through moulds would definitely be much simpler to code. The chemistry of the glass could actually be a good tech tree. So one could start with simple glass, that maybe gets used up faster, or do more durable glass types, or ones that are required for large items, etc.
  17. Weapons, sheats, and ranged weapons

    Re Stroam' s ideas: I'd agree that cost is not a huge factor. Unless cost is significantly different in TFC2 from TFC1. TFC1, cost is either 1 ingot or two ingots. That's it, and given the size of ore veins, after you find your first vein of ore it's no longer really a factor. Now, if TFC2 brought it other factors - for instance two-handed swords take multiple smithing steps and/or have to be tempered - that would help make there be an actual practical cost difference, in terms of time and fuel. But 100 units of metal more or less is, to me, nothing (unless TFC2 ore gen is different, which from what we've seen so far, I don't think it will be). You've got 5 different cost categories there and I'm wondering how you're thinking of defining them. I'd question classifying a two-handed sword as slash+blunt. I think that's probably stretching it a bit. Actually dividing the damage between types on dual-damage weapons is an interesting take, and would help in the balancing vs two separate and entirely equal damages. I still think it unnecessarily complicates things. I'm questioning why one would even have a dagger, with such low damage and range. At that point why not just call it a knife, and it's the tool players carry to cut things? And if they're forced to fight with it, god speed. Unless of course, extenuating circumstance are involved. Killing mobs with a ritual knife to trap their soul for instance. Energy use, good angle. Out of curiosity, does anyone know of any 1.8+ mods that successfully incorporate 2-handed attacks? With correct animations? I'm having trouble imagining how that would animate successfully. Re: SnarkyKnight I'd suggest considering a chart like Stroam made. That is much more convenient for comparison. I also might suggest using numbers or letters, rather than hyphenated descriptors. Is "medium-low" the low end of medium, or the middle of low? It's unclear and muddies the discussion unnecessarily. I see you revised the OP. On the weapons and encumbrance front, I think one should be careful on that. Blanket speed debuffs are one of the most pernicious debuffs in video games, especially ones with large exploration components. I think it'd be a hard balancing act keeping 2-handed weapons good enough that people would want to use them, while being always encumbered by them. Juuuust in case you hadn't seen it, there is a thread about encumbrance, which Bioxx himself initiated, in which he was basically proposing the idea of all items having weight, and the player having a carry limit. In this scenario, perhaps giving 2-handed weapons a very high weight might be more reasonable than having them cause a blanket encumbrance? What if rather than a container-type item, there were simply 2 specialized slots to the left of the hotbar, by the shield, that only accept small and medium weapons? These slots only become active if the player is wearing a sheathe for EACH slot (put on and off in the inventory screen, like armor). This allows the player to scroll to those weapons, if they're not comfortable with hotkeys. The disadvantage of two-handed weapons would be that they cannot be used in sheathe slots, you have to carry them on your hotbar, BUT you DO have to have two sheathes on you (representing a back sheathe) AND they disable the shield slot. If you don't have sheathes, you can still carry them on your hotbar, but THEN they do encumber you significantly (or grey out 2 extra hotbar slots?). So effectively you have a 4-slot spread. You can carry two medium-small weapons AND a shield AND have 10 hotbar slots, or you can carry one two-handed weapon on your hotbar, with shield and sheathe slots all taken up by that one weapon. THAT would create very significant difference, and more easily justify higher damages for 2-handed weapons. You could perhaps extend that idea slightly by having a medium weapon take both sheathe slots. So then small weapons even have a slight advantage over medium, as far as inventory space goes, as you could carry two smalls in the sheathe slots. You could maybe even allow tools to be used in the sheathe slots. Knives, chisels, and propicks are small. Axes and hammers are medium. Saws and scythes can't use sheathe slots, but also don't require sheathes - they're just carried in inventory or hotbar normally. As far as quivers, TFC1 already has them, and the mechanics you're suggesting are a lot more restrictive and complicated. I feel like the current quiver works just fine, honestly. Not sure there's really a big need four three different kinds. Overall I'm still dubious about weapon range. I know it's huge in pvp, but I feel like vs. mobs, if the player can have too much melee range, you risk breaking the melee mechanic more than it already is, as far as the player reaching mobs that can't reach them. It would help balance it if ultra-ranged melee weapons actually cannot affect man-sized and smaller creatures that get to close to the player. In that way, small fast creatures would be a threat to pike-armed players. Overall though I think a max melee range of 2, for a spear, is a better idea. It's basically like vanilla, I think.
  18. Weapons, sheats, and ranged weapons

    Ya, I got the speed idea. It seems like a very D&D-influenced list. The problem is, minecraft/TFC mechanics are nothing like D&D. They don't have the granularity, combat is not turn-based, and enemies can't react as intelligently. Most mobs will either just face-tank you, or stay away. In those situations speed is not, in and of itself, a great differentiator. I don't have experience with the new combat system, that incorporates speed, so I'm speaking only from videos I've watched. But it doesn't really seem like speed makes a lot of difference, at least in vanilla. Because mobs are just to dumb. Now in pvp it can, but that's kind of a whole other story. At least, that's my impression. As far as armor, if you haven't already read it, I'd point you to the suggestion I made awhile back of a "tier vs tier" weapon and armor system. Bioxx responded positively, so there's a chance it may become the system. And it's got some major differences from vanilla. It actually is an advantage to a more granular weapon and armor system though, because base damage and armor values would be standardized by type, removing material from the balancing equation, making the balancing easier. The idea of being forced to carry large weapons in your inventory, vs smaller weapons in a sheathe, is the whole point of that idea. It allows you to give larger weapons more damage or other advantages, because they also have more disadvantages. The more advantages/disadvantages brought in to play, the easier it is to make a broad array of weapons, in theory, because you have more 'knobs' to adjust for each one. That particular sheathe idea has issues of it's own though, insofar as how do you quickly access the weapons inside? Because that warhammer in the sheathe will not be much help if you're surprised by a skeleton and have to go into your inventory and pull it out manually. But that's a detail, and not the point. The point is, think up little ideas that can play into the weapon advantage/disadvantage system. Don't just stick with the obvious stuff. If you limit yourself to just basic weapon stuff like speed and damage, you're inherently limiting the useful array of weapons. As a side comment, I know two-handed swords have a very popular place in mythology and fantasy. But everything I'm read, from a historical perspective, indicates that they were a highly specialized type of sword, used for a very limited time, in very limited circumstances - mostly with relation to polearms. Which isn't to say they shouldn't be part of a system - it's a fantasy game after all. But I'd prioritize weapons that were used more broadly, over longer time periods. Polearms themselves were a weapon used in mass formations, which minecraft just isn't about. I'd love to see them used by mobs in formation, but I doubt that's practical. I consider polearms different from spears though. Spears are arguably the oldest and longest-used constructed weapon mankind has ever had aside from perhaps a club, and should absolutely be in. Another advantage I'd suggest for polearms (and large weapons in general) is that extremely large creatures intrinsically take half damage from medium weapons, and 10% damage from small weapons. Simply put, you can't reach a giant's vital organs with a longsword. You're fighting his lower legs. That should be relatively easy to code vs a lot of other ideas (though it would lose some logic if the player's can at some point fly). Sort of in summary, it seems a bit like you're trying to take all the major fantasy weapons and give them a role. I think instead it'd be better if you develop a basic framework, and then expand only as far as you can create distinct advantageous roles. Perhaps don't try to shoehorn in weapons just because they existed once upon a time irl.
  19. Weapons, sheats, and ranged weapons

    Last I saw on github, TFC2 is up to 1.11. While I'm here, in general I think the minecraft combat system is not sophisticated enough to justify a ton of weapon variance like this. Your ideas kind of depend upon parallel development of both a varied armor system (right now everything is either leather, or heavy) and a lot more combat nuance. I mean why would I ever use anything other than a warhammer as my one-handed weapon? It does two damage types AND is armor-piercing. It'd be best for basically anything that isn't specifically weak against slashing. I don't see range (for melee weapons) as being an issue, there's just not enough subtlety for that, at least in my experience. I'm also a bit dubious that speed will make much difference. Unless the mobs are good kiters, and/or can use shields extremely well. It's all about dps, and given similar dps between a quick low damage and a slow high damage, I'll probably go slow high, because it will probably wear out slower, unless that's a systematic factor. Two vs One handed is a stylistic choice when each style has a large range of other variables available. Why would I take *any polearm at all* when a warhammer does more damage AND only takes one hand? Honestly, who's going to give up shield protection vs missles? EVERY SINGLE two handed weapon needs to do way more damage than ANY single handed weapons, to make two-handed weapons attractive, unless they have a really awesome special. So that leaves my primary considerations as raw damage, and damage types. Obviously I'll want to maximize my damage types, so I'll lean toward anything that does multiple damage types. Carrying two weapons vs 3 is worth a lot. I would suggest avoiding dual-damage-type weapons; It's too hard to balance vs single types. To be well-balanced, each weapon needs to fill a niche, and have something about it superior to others. Otherwise it's so much wasted sprites. Another possible factor to consider would be weight. assuming it's still the plan to have items have an actual weight, and the player to have a carry limit, then that could become a factor for larger vs smaller weapons. Also (and here I'm delving into suggestions realm), if there were a sheathe system. Say the player could have a special 'weapon belt' container that could hold multiple weapons, but ONLY small-medium ones. This would enhance the encumbering nature of larger weapons. Or, certain damage types could factor into harvesting. So if you're hunting for meat (or monster parts) you need to choose your weapon appropriately. Piercing weapons will reduce hide yield, and slashing will severely reduce it. On the other hand, blunt and slashing weapons will traumatize the flesh, so piercing weapons would be preferred for hunting when the goal is harvesting meat. Internal organs? best go blunt - piercing will tend to severely harm internal organs. Slashing less so, but more than blunt. You need bones? Don't go blunt! This would require mobs to track types of damage done to them. Either on a 'balance' system where proportions are tracked, or a simpler 1-time system, where doing a certain damage type just once causes the effect. moreover, I think it might be good to have a fourth damage type - hacking. Hacking would be primarily for axes. Skeletons and treant-like monsters would be vulnerable to this. Skeletons should be just as invulnerable to slashing damage as to piercing, and treants should be immune to piercing and bludgeoning damage, and nearly immune to slashing. One downside would be it would be terrible for harvesting of any type, destroying hide, flesh, organs, and bone. So there's some thoughts. Generally, I think the overall game needs more detail and breadth before such a wide array of weapons would be truly useful and balance-able.
  20. Is Flux nothing more than Calcium Carbonate?

    Pretty sure the term was coined way, way before chemistry was a thing. I think it has to do with the meaning of flux that is 'to flow', in that it allowed metals to come together and combine easier? Just a guess.
  21. If you went and read the thread links in the post that I linked you to earlier, this is all discussed, at length. You're making suggestions based on what appears to be an assumption that TFC2 is going to be TFC1 with magic. That's not what's been discussed thus far. If you want to make serious broad-ranging suggestions about large systems such as magic, you might want to catch up on some of the past discussion.
  22. That's not the gist of the plan as we know it. The general idea is, conquer island, activate portals, use them to get to next islands. If they were one-way, you would have to allow the player to boat between islands, which Bioxx has explicitly (albeit well in the past) been leaning against. If the portals are merely the travel points between near parts of an island, there's no "exploring" to do between them to get back, it's just ocean. The portals are not so much shortcuts, as they are enforcers of the tiered island system, because you won't be able to boat from island to island, so you *must* use the portals. So there's really no need to complicate them too much because they're not an advantage or shortcut, they're the *only* inter-island transport. I mean feel free to suggest alternatives (thought that'd probably be better done in one of the old threads specifically about them, such as the Boats & Ships Thread) but I'm just trying to make sure you're aware of the significant amount of past discussion about this, and that you're probably swimming against a pretty strong current here. If you mean portals between two points on the same island, that is also of course and option, but would probably have a distinct set of rules from the inter-island system. Personally I'd prefer to make the player do the on-island exploration, but I guess if they take you to deep hidden ruins on the same island, it'd be cool, and they could have a steep cost per use, per use, and even be one-way possibly. As far as player-made teleporters that go between player-chosen points, sure, that's an option. But that's different from the island teleportation system. It'd clear up confusion a bit if the island teleportation system was actually npc boats that transport the player for a fee. The basic idea remains the same. But I'm pretty sure I saw something about portals in the github, so I think portals is what we've got probably.
  23. Last best info available is that portals will be an integral part of TFC2, and the primary, if not sole, means for moving between islands. If you've missed the early parts of TFC2 discussion (like, over a year ago) you might want to check out this post, which links to some of the more salient discussions, especially those in which Bioxx was involved. TFC2 is going to be very different from TFC1 in terms of world structure. At least, that's the last word we've heard.
  24. Just FYI, because I saw you made a post back in 2013 so you've been around awhile, magic isn't the forbidden topic it apparently once was. Bioxx has encouraged discussion of the topic, and it already has several threads, including the original, and very extensive, Magic! thread. So it's fine, no need to preface the suggestion. It's also not going to break any 'current game' because as Bunsan mentioned, TFC1 is done. No longer being developed. TFC2 is being developed right now, and is still fairly early from what I can tell, so I think there's a lot of possibilities as far as integrating into the game well. Moving on, so full disclosure, I'm not a programmer. But in a nutshell, the amount of calculations sounds way too much to me. It sounds to me like it'd bog down the system in a large multiplayer environment, and I'm all about supporting that playstyle. But it even sounds like a lot for single player, to me. Beyond CPU overhead issues, the more complicated the web of calculations you make, the easier it is for the web to accidentally be broken. The harder it will be for someone to plug into or alter the system. I find it hard to imagine you can't accomplish the same basic system flavor with just simple per-chunk mana calculations, rather than per-block. I think that's how Thaumcraft does (did?) it, isn't it? The meditation thing, I'm just going to come out and say it - that is a really bad idea. Making people sit for hours doing nothing is really, really bad game design. You'd do a lot better to require some sort of 'meditation room' with certain characteristics, and the player must sit in the center, sit there for 30 seconds or so max, spend some experience and/or whatever materials, and then they're leveled. That's tolerable. And it'd serve a purpose in not allowing the player to level up just anywhere, like in the middle of a cave or dungeon. But basically nobody is going to tolerate sitting there doing nothing for such a long time as you suggest. I think finding crystals laying around as a general blanket is not a good idea. Better if they're found growing in caves, or around hot springs, and other specific places. But just finding them all over cheapens them. And better ones should be deeper underground. I think there really needs to be more incentive for people to mine deep underground, and crystals is a good way to do it. In general, these kinds of mana systems, what I don't like about them is they make this homogenized system that is kind of bland. You don't have to search for much of anything, you just absorb mana from the world. I realize there can be a lot more detail added, but just saying, those details are what interest me, personally. When you compare for instance Thaumcraft and Witchery, I think witchery is a better system. It's got this huge variety of very different things to build and make, requiring actual resources rather than a bland mana pudding. Certain aspects do incorporate a building up of mana. But the breadth of the mod just has such a large variety of mechanics, it keeps it very interesting, and to me it feels much more rich, to me. That's just my opinion though. Mechanically a mana system can work just fine. And in a large multiplayer environment, it does have the advantage of suffering less from resource depletion (I would imagine).
  25. Mechanisms and Mechanical Power

    I think it'd be a good idea to be careful on the lava front. I'd hate to see it become an easy cop-out that lets the player avoid fueling things for most of the game. And I really think it'd be best to avoid the magma forge ala-dwarf-fortress, where you just build it over the top of the lava pool - that's kind of lame as long as surface lava is fairly common (unless it requires a very large pool). I think it'd allow it to be a more controllable part of the tech tree if it always has to be pumped to be utilized. I'd say pumping lava should be a late-game tech, that requires massive amounts of material. Basically something like a sheet of upper tier metal, and two fire bricks, per section of pipe. And maybe make it far, far, far less common to see at the surface. So that the player has to pump it up from the depths. I mean, irl you don't see lava just hanging around the surface in pools in the middle of fields. It's around volcanoes. That would give a good incentive for a rare volcano feature, which would provide easy surface lava access. That, or make 'lava' be distinct from 'magma'. Magma pools are only found at the bottom (keeping in mind that in TFC2 the 'bottom' is only something like 50 or 60 blocks down, not the 150 of TFC1), and are the only things that can be pumped. Lava can be found at surface, but is not pumpable. Or, lava blocks are actually used up. So the pump slowly over time consumes lava source blocks within it's radius. On the other hand, magma blocks are not consumed. But the pump must have a certain number of them within it's radius in order to pump them. If magma is only found at the bottom, then maybe it'd be ok to allow magma forges to be built directly over the pool. So the player can do the easy-mode magma forge, but it's at the bottom of the world and pretty darn inconvenient if the rest of the base is on the surface. But maybe that allows them to do the heavy smithing required to make the piping to bring it to the surface. And you could even bring quality of smithing into the equation. So a average quality magma pump might need 75 magma source blocks within it's effective pumping radius of 2. This would make it's draw area a 5x5x5 cube, so 125 possible total, meaning an average pump would need a large pool to be effective, while an expert pump might need only 50 source blocks to draw from. You could complicate it by making the draw area non-centered, with the pump at the bottom. So the player must find deep pools to pump from. I'd really like to see quality of smithing come out in more aspects of the game. A disadvantage to the magma pool thing is that the player early-game won't necessarily know if their base has magma beneath. It'd be disappointing to do tons of work on a base only to find there is no magma below. But perhaps as long as hot springs and surface lava are a reliable indicator of magma below, that allows the player to plan accordingly. As for power loss over distance, that seems a bit more fiddly than is necessary, to me. But if it's easy to code and low cpu overhead, why not I guess.