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Damjancd

How to increase difficulty of TFC while staying moderately realistic?

32 posts in this topic

While waiting for the fantastically, mind bogglingly transformative temperature update and all the stuff that comes with it, I was thinking of how I could lightly mod the game to be more difficult but yet remain realistic. When a game increases difficulty but stays true to a measure of realism, all the actions, all the experiences the little moments become etched in your mind, become very impactful and important, gain relevancy. I've been trying to put off TFC until the ambient temp. update since I want to experience the shock of a much different level of survival, and I was planning to essentially build a memory palace with TFC, a palace with rooms that I'm very familiar with that I can store everyday stuff to remember. It's a well established psychological trick http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci and I think coupled with the intense experiences that TFC can provide, it's the ideal coupling. What I'm asking is, ignoring this seemingly offtopic wall of text, is to find a relatively simple method to increase difficulty to TFC, without making it artificially difficult. Something that can be lightly programmed, something that would just require a melding of another mod, or something that I can pay someone to program. Any ideas on that? I'm desperate here :) I need to remember my shopping list spontaneously and without much effort :)

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Seems too easy to say, please make TFC more difficult without going into any detail what makes a game more difficult. Many people, in fact, want TFC to be less unforgiving (especially at the start)!

 

Vanilla minecraft does not really want to be a hard game since it's more about creative building. Mods like TFC can make the game harder to survive, but cannot change to core of the game, which is for the most part based on minecraft mechanics. Typically, a player finds a game more difficult when staying alive becomes a challenge. Alternatively, one can make a game seem harder when the player needs to grind a lot to achieve a particular objective. I don't like the latter as it is tedious and repetitive. TFC combines both. 

 

Some means to make the game harder include:

-More hostile, tougher mobs dealing more damage

-Slowed progression towards better armour

-Slowed progression towards better weapons 

-Rarity of animals/crops/food to increase risk of starvation

-(new) Temperature and hydration effects

 

All of these lead to more frequent deaths, except the penalty of death is quite forgettable. Nonetheless. apart from the first entry, i think TFC has done well to turn minecraft into a better survival game and no other mods do it better. Enviromine mod is perhaps the most popular one because it enhances minecraft survival. However, it is flawed and limited in the way it doesn't really strife to be believable, rather it wants to be compatible with all the machine mods out there. Only TFC has substantially modified the survival mechanics and become more independent from the base game (e.g. mobs and player have much more hit points to allow for more flexibility in progression towards better armour and weapons).

 

But as in any game, once the player is proficient enough, the game is no longer difficult. To make the game harder still, you could strife for a harder start (e.g. spawn on an island with limited resources), but this is not really the answer. In the end, you should probably look elsewhere for harder games to play :D

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What mechanics of the mod would you like more challenging?

 

Take a look through the TFC configs. You can increase year length and set crops to die if not harvested in time. This greatly increases the challenge of getting a stable food source. You an also modify decay rates if you wished. You can reduce the value of ores in the main config as well, so maybe instead of needing 10 small ore to make an ingot you need 20 or 50, your choice. Or in the TFCOre config you can increase the rarity of density of ore veins.  You can also adjust cave-in risks. I'm sure there are more in there I'm forgetting.

 

Outside of TFC configs you could add in mods that make monsters meaner. Zombie Awareness and Special AI mods can really make mobs not only more difficult, but completely change their behaviour. They can break torches they find, smell or hear you, call for help, bust in through your walls, etc.

 

Those are just a few things you can do that aren't too difficult to set up.

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I guess I'm really pumped for the ambient temperatures update and was thinking something alternative, along the same lines. But zombies breaking through walls seems really good since the level of instant safety that you can build easily in TFC is kind of off putting. I'd rather really develop and invest in my domicile until I can be absolutely safe. Primitive gameplay at the beginning really forces you to get to know your surroundings, the ground, the game itself, that's why I'm more interested in the first tiers of tech rather than metal refining and usage. What if some flowers are edible and some aren't, and the visual difference is VERY minute? Something to make you keep an eye on the environment even more. Maybe noticing specific rocks that have metals is even harder now? as in, the graphic doesn't simply show another color. Maybe you need to indirectly extrapolate where useful minerals would be located by looking at the geology of the place, the topography. I'm not saying TFC devs aren't doing a WONDERFUL job, they reinvented Minecraft for me. I don't play other Minecraft now :) What I'm just freely brainstorming is for simply, realistic and easily applicable ideas that make the world harder to live by forcing you to be more aware of things, pay attention to more details, think ahead, plan ahead etc. Something that leaves you with detailed knowledge of the surrounding through a multitude of experiences. @Terex, sorry for being vague.

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I've played TFC for a couple of years now and love the mod.  So this is a 'wish list', not complaints or anything.  I also realize that coding these wouldn't necessarily be simple or even possible.

 

I've always felt that the basics in TFC are a little too easy.  Food, water, shelter are done in the first few days and not really emphasized enough afterwards.  Ores and minerals can be challenging, but that seems to be the seed/location over actual mechanics.  Anyway, my wish list for increased challenge focuses on the basics.

 

 

Temperature - already covered and in the works, woot

 

Animals - While the Taming and Breeding mechanics are excellent, there's no real 'Wild' stage.  Animals let you walk right up and start whacking them.  All of the aspects that would have made hunting a high risk endeavor for early man are bypassed when you can just walk right up to a smiling piggy and beat his brains in.  If he sees you coming, he should run.  If you hit him, he should bolt in a straight line miles away not randomly in circles.  You should be forced to sneak, not move when he's looking your way, use a javalin or bow to cripple him, chase him when he runs, etc. If possible, Bulls and Boars should have a chance of responding aggressively.

 

Butchering - Kill critter, steaks pop out ready for the fire.  I spent my youth (old man) working on a farm and butchering any animal isn't quite that easy.  A carcass that has to be processed would make more sense and add difficulty without being horribly burdensome to the player.

 

Food decay - Good system, but food seems to last far to long.  Just feels like the numbers need tweaking (available in config, but defaults seem generous).  I grow most of my own food in real life and 160 oz of tomatoes will not last 3 months without processing, no matter how many times I poke them with a stone knife =).  Process them and can them, they'll last ages... but most raw veg has a very limited shelf life once pulled from the garden.

 

Nuisance animals - Rats, mice, birds, etc.  They should attack your crops and food supplies.  Let tamed dogs chase them away.  Use small traps or scarecrows to kill them.  This may just be a personal concern though since mice ate into my winter cabbages recently =)

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Turn your gamma down so the only way to see at night is by holding a torch. I'm sure there is a mod for this as well.

 

Also, the post above has some excellent micromanaging ideas. I especially like the canning idea, seeing as how pickled tomatoes just sound horrible so I can't fathom doing it "realistically" in TFC.

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Nuisance animals - Rats, mice, birds, etc.  They should attack your crops and food supplies.  Let tamed dogs chase them away.  Use small traps or scarecrows to kill them.  This may just be a personal concern though since mice ate into my winter cabbages recently =)

 

I'm pretty sure is hard to code, but a feature that we are missing is better AI for all mobs. Dogs should have a patrol this area mode, Like if you have your farm and house fenced, then you should be able to live the dog inside and have it patrol the area and secure it for any hostile or nuisance mobs. I just hate the sitting dog feature. 

Another thing that  animals need is a belong to tag. So they can have ownership in a transferable way. Nomads would travel for thousands of miles, and believe me there was no need to rope all the cows or sheep. (this feature should be of course for completely domesticated animals.) 

But I digress, the initial post was about making the game harder, and I think the ideas on Making Stone Age Longer  would help with that. It is just not believable that someone would go from having nothing in a strange land to have metals in less than a month, or even a year. Just read the Mysterious Island by Jules Verne and you will have some ideas.. 

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@Djakuta Already starred and liked all on that topic a while ago :) 

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Something that I feel should be pointed out, since it seems like there is a lot of hype that is preventing you from playing the game: The planned temperature system hasn't been touched since 78, so if you're waiting for it before you start playing, you'll probably be waiting for at least another year if not longer.

 

You also need to remember that this is a game, not real life simulator. Adding in systems like looking at geography and topography to find ores and minerals is nothing but complicated tedium, it's not fun. We're aiming here to make a game, not a simulator. If you haven't already, I strongly suggest you read this homepage post: http://terrafirmacraft.com/index.html/_/articles/believable-r64

 

 

If you hit him, he should bolt in a straight line miles away not randomly in circles.  You should be forced to sneak, not move when he's looking your way, use a javalin or bow to cripple him, chase him when he runs, etc. If possible, Bulls and Boars should have a chance of responding aggressively.

 

Butchering 

 

Food decay - Good system, but food seems to last far to long.  Just feels like the numbers need tweaking (available in config, but defaults seem generous).  I grow most of my own food in real life and 160 oz of tomatoes will not last 3 months without processing, no matter how many times I poke them with a stone knife =).  Process them and can them, they'll last ages... but most raw veg has a very limited shelf life once pulled from the garden.

 

Animals do actually run away from the player, and not randomly in circles. The problem is that the AI isn't the greatest, and it would be a LOT of work to rewrite it to be any better than it already is. Dunk has said for a long time that he wants wild animals to fight back, but that's something you'll have to pester him about to actually get around to coding.

 

The butchering skill system is already there to simulate the difficulty that is cleaning an animal. That's why the first time you kill a cow you get only 1% the weight of the drops that you would get if you had killed the cow with a full butchering skill. Remember the length of a day in Minecraft, because it is so short we have to alter mechanics so that they are almost instant, fitting within this time frame. If we added some sort of minigame that was required for butchering, then there would be players who waste the entire day butchering their food, and get nothing else important done at the very start. This would likely end up in a death loop, and not just "difficult gameplay."

 

Canning is modern technology outside the timeframe of TFC.

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this is a game, not real life simulator

 

 

Can you tell me ONE real life sim that features proper stone age to med age stuff ? because there is none! Thats why a lot of ppl end up here i guess

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Can you tell me ONE real life sim that features proper stone age to med age stuff ? because there is none! Thats why a lot of ppl end up here i guess

 

And that's exactly why the people who are looking for a real life sim end up disliking this game so much. If you ended up here because you wanted a real life sim, you came to the wrong place, and will likely never be satisfied because what our goals are for creating this game are vastly different for the goals you are looking for.

 

Edit: I don't go to Burger King and expect to be able to get a Big Mac. Don't come to TFC and expect to get a real life simulator.

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at BK you WOULD find a BigMac, they just dont call it that

 

 

The mod is "the next best thing" and it could be more but i understand that you devs have a different direction in mind, nontheless i will stick around and play it and give you feedback, sorry.

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BK is the whopper... you get a BicMac at McDonalds.

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Arguing semantics on a clear metaphor is akin to Godwin's law. You are arguing for the sake of it or for ego.

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this is a game, not real life simulator

 

 

Can you tell me ONE real life sim that features proper stone age to med age stuff ? because there is none! Thats why a lot of ppl end up here i guess

 

 

There are more survival simulators than ever before. Stranded deep is the latest to name one. But TFC should be more than that and i'm glad it is.

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I don't go to Burger King and expect to be able to get a Big Mac. 

 

They fixed that for you ;)

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/big-king

 

(even though I still totally agree with the metaphor...)

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I keep an eye out for all those survival games but they all are so dumb and shallow and 90% are vs zombies or monsters.

 

Stranded Deep is like the worst BS of them.

 

 

I understand the OP, many of you know the feeling, once you are set in your shelter, the game suddenly drops in difficulty. Food is always there, mobs can be kept outside or avoided by sleeping.

Right now one way would be to change configs to more harsh values, like crops dying if not harvested etc but imho thats nuances. It is NO challenge to plant 10*10 blocks of every food ressource.

Planting and harvesting happens in an instant! Harvesting was one of the major chores for the stoneage ppl. An entire tribe went onto the fields for days to harvest the grains. Processing them was

so hard that archeologists found deformed skeletons of children who had to process grains all day long so that their bodys grew in the wrong way. But they had to do that if they wanted to survive.

In TFC/MC you harvest by clicking on the food and thats it.

My latest world i have up to 40°C in the summer, i had NO DAY OF RAIN the entire summer, but a 5*7 puddle of water that NEVER dried out supplied all the fields with water... what a dreamland.

Because in winter the temps never drop below 5 i can plant throughout the year, easy, harvest twice a year...

 

There is no config to change most of these things as they are MC based. With 2*2 of water and a (steel) bucket you have infinite water... WTF

 

The amount of time i have to spend on turning ore into metals is 10 times as much as i need to plant and harvest food. It should be the other way around but someone on the dev team really had

a thing for petrology/geology and not much interest in botany... its ok, we all have our things.

 

 

Just sayin, i dont need another bigmac ok ?! just peaceful conversation

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@KittyChanley I was holding off playing since I think adding even the simplest body temp. would infuse the game with a radically tough, yet realistic element of challenge that for me, I feel I need right now. I play my own way, single-player mostly. I like the feeling of solitude in terms of survival, and I understand a lot of people play the game their own way, and developers have their own visions (from what I've read of them, I agree on most of them). As I said previously, not telling you how to do the game, just trying to figure out if anyone is out on making a mod, or tweaking the game, or melding it with another mod, that could practically make TFC into that experience. You guys are doing a great project here, and right now, even if you actively don't want it to be, it's 100% the best survival simulator out there. A simulator that actually makes you feel that you live in that specific area and not just superficially resource managing randomly placed resources. (while evading zombies).In terms of what Minecraft is capable of, within the boundaries of modding and technical boundaries, and most of all, within the boundaries of video games in general, Minecraft TFC is absolutely the most visceral virtual survival experience out there, and trust me, I've actively looked for anything better. When people get overly specific about certain aspects of survival, that's not good gameplay, the medium simply doesn't translate well into too much complexity (unlike real life which handles it quite well :)  ) What I'm saying is that the best survival game, IS the most believable one. Believability is the dampener that enables us to stick to keyboards while at the same time feel that we are trying to survive a harsh and unforgiving nature. Any survival game that doesn't have it, will fail it :)Once I get my Oculus Rift rig going, I'm going to play TFC with or without body temps :) That's a given. So again, this post was more directed at passionate players tweakers and addon makers, rather than directly at the developers. I know you guys have a bunch on your plate and from what I've seen, I absolutely trust your decisions :)I had absolutely no offense in mind here, on the contrary.

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I keep an eye out for all those survival games but they all are so dumb and shallow and 90% are vs zombies or monsters.

 

Stranded Deep is like the worst BS of them.

 

 

I understand the OP, many of you know the feeling, once you are set in your shelter, the game suddenly drops in difficulty. Food is always there, mobs can be kept outside or avoided by sleeping.

Right now one way would be to change configs to more harsh values, like crops dying if not harvested etc but imho thats nuances. It is NO challenge to plant 10*10 blocks of every food ressource.

Planting and harvesting happens in an instant! Harvesting was one of the major chores for the stoneage ppl. An entire tribe went onto the fields for days to harvest the grains. Processing them was

so hard that archeologists found deformed skeletons of children who had to process grains all day long so that their bodys grew in the wrong way. But they had to do that if they wanted to survive.

In TFC/MC you harvest by clicking on the food and thats it.

My latest world i have up to 40°C in the summer, i had NO DAY OF RAIN the entire summer, but a 5*7 puddle of water that NEVER dried out supplied all the fields with water... what a dreamland.

Because in winter the temps never drop below 5 i can plant throughout the year, easy, harvest twice a year...

 

There is no config to change most of these things as they are MC based. With 2*2 of water and a (steel) bucket you have infinite water... WTF

 

The amount of time i have to spend on turning ore into metals is 10 times as much as i need to plant and harvest food. It should be the other way around but someone on the dev team really had

a thing for petrology/geology and not much interest in botany... its ok, we all have our things.

 

 

Just sayin, i dont need another bigmac ok ?! just peaceful conversation

 

All you ever seem to do on these forums is complain about how horrible mechanics are and how much you dislike them. So I have to ask, if you hate Minecraft and this mod so much that you can't think of anything good to say about it or offer actual constructive criticism instead of just bitching, why the hell are you still playing?

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No kitty, i do like the mod and MC in general, its just that i want more! What makes me bitchin is that all i seem to hear (from you) is that a) this mod isnt supposed to have that/be like that B) cannot be done c) for some reason wouldnt be good.

Why can't you say something like "sounds like a cool idea, lets see how we could implement that" ?!

 

edit:

+bitchin is in my nature

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To go back to the food metaphor, what you're essentially doing is going into a pizza place, and constantly asking for different chinese dishes. Of course they're going to shoot down everything that you ask for because the requests are obviously not something that it would make sense for them to provide. If you want a response where we actually support the idea, try suggesting an idea that's actually within the scope of the mod.

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Back on the more constructive and productive side, I seem to have managed to make EnviroMine mod work with TFC. I mean I just installed it, disabled all the hunger + insanity + food decay aspects of it, and retained only Ambient body temperature. This didn't work exactly perfectly since I think there's some conflict with the celsius numbers where it says it's 36 degrees, and when it gets to 33, you kind of start to freeze to death. Which I'm fine with, but I'm still discovering if there is consistency, if there is, I can just compensate with the numbers.Enviromine is VERY configurable and I can open it up and set up values for specific biomes (for temperatures) blocks etc. This is of GREAT help for making this kind of work. I'm also trying to install No cubes since it makes minecraft look really natural (Stunning IMHO)  and makes it difficult to run and walk on unrefined terrain. If I solve the ambient temperatures problem, I will try and tackle configs for food availability, I will definitely disable the "as you level up with experience you get better at surviving without food" aspect, and will make crops more tender. I don't know shit about minecraft modding but I dabble in really simple programming so I might find a way :)I also found the EXACT shader that I was dreaming of ( I dreamt of playing TFC with body temperature :) ) So I'm recreating that too :)Harsh unforgiving survival, here I come. 

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@Kittychanley he's right about this "once you are set in your shelter, the game suddenly drops in difficulty. Food is always there, mobs can be kept outside or avoided by sleeping." :)

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I'm not saying he's wrong, I'm saying that we've said before that those are aspects of the game that the developers aren't planning on ever "fixing" so there is absolutely no point in complaining about them on these forums, because those complaints have already been responded to, and further complaining about that exact issue will just be ignored.

 

If anything, we have said that we planned on getting rid of the magical hostile mobs on the surface anyways. If you think that food is too easy, then we have already provided config options that you yourself can change to increase the difficulty. We aren't going to change the default behavior.

 

Edit: To keep going with that silly metaphor - There's nothing wrong with craving chinese food, the problem is when you go to a pizza place to satisfy that craving. If you want chinese food, go find a place that will happily provide you with it.

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It works!! Hooray. For those that are interested more in what my frankenstein halfassed mutation of TFC + Enviro body temp does, continue reading, for the rest, well....I managed to make the torches give off heat locally, and since torches are a resource you have to constantly gather  (the run out after a while too), it makes for a GREAT dynamic and increased realistic difficulty. So Enviromine temperature works, a bit wonky, but works. When it rains, you are fucked, if you stay at night, outside, without a source of heat, you are fucked.Now I wanted a really difficulty experience, so I regenerated a new world until I hit home run with a winter world with barely any food (only 3 pigs). So my playthrough is definitely quite difficult. I will tweak some more stuff, but I will mainly focus on finding a way to get heated up by a primitive fire, the one made with 5 sticks in total. I'm going to stick to the primitive age for a longer while, and try to be a hunter or forager. I had to enable specifically in config files, about the torches letting heat off, and about the specific biomes having really low temperatures. It's slowly developing into something extremely fun for me. Thanks to everyone for their great advise.  

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