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Are some building blocks unbalanced?


Dark_Shadow_231

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Interested to get some others thoughts on this.

I was trying to build more with bricks, to get the aesthetic of them and try new things out. I couldn't help but feel they were underpowered.

 

Cobblestones you can just get from the blue sacks, or just craft with clay and stone in your inventory. They make a stronger block, you also get exp for upgrading to them.

Bricks take clay, stone, and a forge. This means there is a skill/schematic involved, there is a heatmap impact, they are weaker, they also take a long time to make. Clay is slow to smelt down, and bricks are slow to craft. I know they use less resources, but I can't help that feel that isn't enough gain. Clay and stone are not exactly hard to source.

 

That's before you even ask, how many people use bricks/cobblestones or just go straight to concrete?

 

What do people think?

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The bricks have been there for ages, but they're essentially out of the game at this stage; wouldn't be surprised if they'll get taken out entirely in the next building update. As you say, there's no use case for them at the moment.

 

Cobble vs concrete often depends on the game, SP without an int build I often end up starting with cobble, but then I'm usually just blocking some paths in a suitable POI. By the time I get to building a project of my own, I have had plenty of concrete to build with for a while.

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1 hour ago, Laz Man said:

Removing brick blocks would probably require massive changes

Wouldn't that just be a mass replace, as long as cobblestone has all the same shapes. Textures would be kept of course, only change would be a 25% increase in block health. Not that I can assume it's all that easy under the hood; in fact I'd bet it's a lot of manual labor unless the unified shape system is actually in a state to allow easy copipasta... :)

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7 hours ago, Hyperbolt said:

You can always paint a more durable block to look like bricks! 

Yes but the point is to be trying different things. I'm just questioning whether this is unbalanced, and thus discourages trying new things in favour of sticking to the stronger option that everyone else uses.

I'm considering making a modlet that alters some of the values.

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I agree brick could use some balancing. Removing it from the game - replacing it with cobblestone or whathaveyou - would drastically affect the aesthetic. Brick and brick facades are everywhere IRL, especially in older areas of towns. Cobblestone as a building material is almost nonexistent. Facades and some old (or replica) roads only for the most part. But cobble in game has its place as an easy-to-make step on the path to concrete. It'd be nice if brick was a sensible next step. We've never used it in our games. Always go from cobble to cement.

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Oh how people would howl if brick was inserted as another step before cement. Cement is really what people want. Flagstone has one upgrade level before cement. Add in a brick layer and that just adds more clicks to get to what is considered the minimum required block. There would  be a lot of complaints, I think.

 

Let's do it.

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I wasn't necessarily suggesting brick as an upgrade step. I meant a player crafting/base building progression step. But currently it has fewer HP than cobblestone so there is no reason to ever craft brick except for aesthetics. Or maybe you really like waiting at the forge? It might be nice if brick had HP between cobble and cement so there could be incentive to cook some up for your outer base wall or whatever, prior to natural game progression allowing you to bulk craft cement.

 

Flagstone is also a rarely-used block for us. If we're going for cobblestone, we're not going to go through flagstone to get there. We'll upgrade wood directly to cobble like normal people.

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I use bricks, but I also almost always make my base in a concrete building, usually a stairwell. Bricks are “craft while doing something else” and I don’t need a lot.  It’s basically “base 1.0” until I have a better plan for where I’m at or want to be.  I consider wood blocks to be the most useless (protection wise, though cheap to make) unless you want to build a base “from scratch” and not take over a POI (early game).

 

I do think the block “system” in gnamod is superior to the vanilla game (in terms of gameplay, maybe not fun potential) There’s no “upgrading” a block to a higher tier material, but you can “upgrade” once to a higher grade/hardness of the same material. And most blocks require a drying time like concrete today.  So when you put blocks down, if you want to upgrade them, you have to rip them out. This makes you plan things out more and early game more chaotic as you don’t have materials to do what you want and have to improvise.

 

additionally: it uses “blueprints” for every block type  in the place of frames. Imagine frames you can’t stand on, you just walk through.  This is neat so you can plan things out… and nerdpoling is much more work, and you can’t put down a blueprint, jump up/down, and pull it up behind you to escape zeds. 
 

one more thing: I have some mods that add materials to make blocks. One adds nails to have to “nail frames together” so you can’t build a large structure from wood frames, another adds mortar to have to make cobblestones. These seem (to me) to balance out the block crafting difficulty so you’re not swimming in cheap/durable blocks. I would welcome these changes to the vanilla game.  I think concrete needs to be harder to craft if there’s not an upgrade to steel.

 

also: seems like there should be a “sandstone” and “Adobe”  blocks in the game… no?

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I wish metal trusses had greater structural integrity. I wanted I build road signs that you typically see on highways, but you can't cantilever more than 3 blocks. The signs in Navezgane don't look anything like what a real sign would look like.

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32 minutes ago, WonOnOne said:

but you can't cantilever more than 3 blocks.

All the trussing blocks I can find have the normal Iron type 20 weight / 300 support, that's 15 blocks? You're attaching them on a wood pillar or something?

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Yeh. The bottom of the pillar can be anything, as long as it's solid all the way down (to bedrock). Only the block you're attaching things to will cause limits based on its "horizontal support". In other words, as long as you put a trussing on top of the wood, you'll be fine. Or if you want more shapes, use another Iron type block (Iron frames from the forge, or steel if you have it) and then paint it as whatever you please.

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1 hour ago, Boidster said:

Flagstone is also a rarely-used block for us. If we're going for cobblestone, we're not going to go through flagstone to get there. We'll upgrade wood directly to cobble like normal people.

 

Interesting. We always go with flagstone. Wood is a lot of upgrading. Flagstone comes out as a solid crafted block and then upgrades just once. Fast and easy. We hardly build with wood any longer. We will mark things with wood frames but just pick them up to place flagstone directly. Then a quick tap with a hammer and cobblestone. Once the big blue containers full of cobblestone rocks were implemented it became a no brainer for us to just skip wood altogether.

 

I'm sure we are missing out on a lot of building xp but...meh. xp shmxp...

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1 hour ago, Roland said:

 

Interesting. We always go with flagstone. Wood is a lot of upgrading. Flagstone comes out as a solid crafted block and then upgrades just once. Fast and easy. We hardly build with wood any longer. We will mark things with wood frames but just pick them up to place flagstone directly. Then a quick tap with a hammer and cobblestone. Once the big blue containers full of cobblestone rocks were implemented it became a no brainer for us to just skip wood altogether.

 

I'm sure we are missing out on a lot of building xp but...meh. xp shmxp...

 

Here's to us abnormal people eh? :) Same here.

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14 hours ago, Roland said:

Once the big blue containers full of cobblestone rocks were implemented it became a no brainer for us to just skip wood altogether.

 

I don't think we loot these often enough early game. But we also have a handful of preferred POIs to take over in the early game so most of our building is more of the wood spike variety. If you have a ton of cobblestone rocks and a cobblestone block is your immediate goal, I can see how starting with flagstone makes sense. And with the construction pallets as you say even a hand-built base could be cobblestone pretty easily in the early game.

 

I will reconsider my definition of normalcy.

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I still start with wood frames and upgrade from there.

 

Maybe I could go to flagstone blocks, but lately I have been taking over the demolished buildings and rebuilding them for my base.  I start out using wood frames / upgrade them to full wood blocks as I am building up the walls and ceilings.  Then I upgrade to cobblestone (and then eventually to concrete / steel) as needed - typically outside walls and the roof of areas where vultures will try to get to me).  I am also playing with a mod that significantly reduces resources gathered (so less clay, rock, wood, cobblestone from the pallets).  From that it became an easy choice of building progression.

 

  • Clay - need it for countless forge recipes along with farm plots
  • Wood - besides a fuel source, not a lot of use outside of building material
  • Stones - concrete and converting into sand, especially early game when I haven't located the desert yet

 

My current playthrough, if I was going to build up my base with just flagstone blocks, it would have taken a long time to get it to the shape it is today.  I am past day 67 and I still am not using the clay / stone I get to mass produce cobblestone, just sticking with pallets I come across.  The clay I do get (either via auger or the plotted plants) goes into either my iron / steel furnace or my brass furnace while the stones are being used for concrete production.

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For those that build their first base out of concrete, this topic is kind of an irrelevance.

To each their own in this game certainly, but for me, if your first base is out of concrete, the game is set too easy.

 

Looking at what would balance bricks,

On 8/9/2021 at 11:53 PM, Boidster said:

I wasn't necessarily suggesting brick as an upgrade step. I meant a player crafting/base building progression step. But currently it has fewer HP than cobblestone so there is no reason to ever craft brick except for aesthetics. Or maybe you really like waiting at the forge? It might be nice if brick had HP between cobble and cement so there could be incentive to cook some up for your outer base wall or whatever, prior to natural game progression allowing you to bulk craft cement.

 

Flagstone is also a rarely-used block for us. If we're going for cobblestone, we're not going to go through flagstone to get there. We'll upgrade wood directly to cobble like normal people.

the idea of increasing brick hp would work, though from a slight realism (yes I know, realism on a zombie game where you never sleep and have floating platforms), stone is stronger and more resistant than brick.

 

Why in the real world do we use bricks more than stone? Clay is just cheaper and easier to source and work with. Maybe the issue is that the stone is too easy to find and the clay is too hard. 

 

1. What if?

  • To reduce the abundance of cobblestone:
    • Cobblestone mostly had to be crafted, and also took cement. That way the cobblestone still requires forge (or source cement bags) and could still be made at the start, with the resources.
  • To make stone more valuable:
    • The stone axe produced less yield for stone/metal harvesting.
    • Then stone is a more valuable resource during your stone tools stage.

 

2. Or what if?

Swap cobblestone and brick around in the upgrade tree.

  • Replace blue cobblestone piles with brick piles;
  • Make bricks in a forge
  • Wood upgrades to brick, then concrete.
  • Craft cobblestone blocks directly; (maybe add cement to recipe?)
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