This is a brainstorming thread on how to transition mining away from AoE hammers, in a way that doesn’t greatly disrupt miners but also gives devs more control over balance.
- Introduce a balanced way to AoE mine for all the goodies
- Retire AoE boon on tools
- Create a new way to dig small tunnels
Quick terminology detour. I’m going to talk about the set of ore, alloy, gem, coal, and tech blocks as seams. When you go mining there’s blocks (rock, gravel, sand) and seams (ore, gems, etc).
Act 1: Introducing Bombhammers
OKAY. At this suggestion’s heart is a new way to interact with the world. It would break 3x3 blocks without producing any drops, and it would do zero damage to seams. You’re getting the blocks out of the way so you can find the seams. Then, you can collect the seams with a hammer.
What should the tool be exactly? It should be a maryx-flipping bombhammer. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You swing a hammer and then the rocks explode.
How do you get one? Make hammers augmentable and then introduce exactly 1 augment for them called bombhammer. The augment system has a lot of levers for devs to balance with. It has a fixed number of charges acting as durability. It can be crafted in multiple strengths. It can augment stats the same way forge traits can. Imagine something like this:
Bombhammer Augment 3
Tear the planet down to its seams. Damages a 3x3 area turning every block to smolder except the seams.
-20% action speed
+100 energy drain
See? You can tune all of those levers and more to find the perfect sweet spot for AoE balance. I made mine a little nerfy with a generous amount of charges. Plenty of room to brainstorm other avenues.
Downstream effects of bombhammers:
Miners don’t have to juggle backpackfuls of rock when they really want to stuff their bags with drops from seams.
No excessive rock means rock->stone crafting can return to 2xp.
No more drops littering the ground and lagging the server. This is what made exo planets so laggy, so I’m claiming +40 max players on exo planets in the name of team bombhammer.
Everyone can bombhammer. The super duper best ability in the game is no longer locked behind a complicated forge wall or steep economic wall. New players can make and use Bombhammer Augment 1. They can aspire to what the pros use, Bombhammer Augment 3 slotted into specially forged hammers.
Act 2: Retiring AoE
Now that bombhammers are the most ergonomic way to search for seams, we can retire AoE tools. Simply remove the AoE boon from the gum but leave the effect in the game. Everyone’s existing hammers still work, so there’s time to transition to the new technique or stockpile for the long night. And there’s not any way to make more, so they will eventually phase out of the game or become historic artifacts.
Don’t get too sad, maybe we can celebrate Citizen History Week someday in the future with a limited time Gum that lets you roll the old school AoE boon.
Act 3: The Return of Tunneling
Without the AoE boon we lose the ability to tunnel, which is a bummer. There’s plenty of reasons players want to move quickly underground. Since I’ve already talked you into one hammer augment, another one’s not gonna be too hard, right?
Tunneling Augment 3
You’ll get there much faster if you swing for two. Also hits the block below the one you’re aiming at.
Affect Adjacent: Below
-20% attack speed
As you can see it’s kind of like a mini AoE. There’s no more damage debuff since we don’t need it to balance out 9x power. I made it a little slower cuz I’m mean. You can also still kinda use it for gathering seeds, trunks, mould, etc.
That’s it! BOMBHAMMERS. Feel free to modify the idea to your liking and reply with your improvements!
Q: What if I squirrel away an AoE hammer and then one day augment it into a bombhammer?
A: You’re a psychopath and you need to move to Houchus I with the rest of the psychopaths.
Q: Is there a bombshovel and a bombaxe?
A: I thought so at first. But if you think about it, you don’t want one. There’s no such thing as a wood seam or a dirt seam. So you’d just destroy the blocks and never get any drops. You probably want a shovel or axe with a Tunneler’s Augment so you can do a loose approximation of the old AoE farming.
Q: Do I need to carry two hammers, one to bombhammer and the other to break seams?
A: Yeah, man. But I got you. Augmented and non-augmented tools already stack in your backpack. And just wait until you see the market for powerful, magnet, glowing off-hand forged hammers.
Q: What’s the recipe for Bombhammer Augments?
A: Not sure. I like a heavy recipe requiring bombs as an ingredient. Any Metal Bombs for Augment 1, Any Alloy Bombs for Augment 2, and Any Gem Bombs for Augment 3. Remember I’m in favor of a high number of charges, so it’s kinda like converting the bomb’s durability into number of charges.
Q: Wait, can I attack with this thing?
A: No, but you almost can… because if hammer augments are a thing, there’s no reason Wonderstruck can’t make additional augments meant for melee combat in the future. Got any ideas?
Q: Why make things augments and not forge effects?
A: It just makes more sense to me to put special effects on augments, and stat mods in the forge. Not only does it make the verbs of the game accessible to a wider audience, it provides way more balance control. I kinda hope we can repeat this process and slowly move more verbs over to augments. Probably starting with bomb boons.
Q: Speaking of bombs, why not just do this to bombs instead of making hammer augments?
A: That feels like opening pandora’s box. Bombs are kind of aimless right now. Are they for hunting? Digging? Healing? Farming? (The answer is weirdly “all of the above”.) You can’t balance them because the utility roles are best with wide radius and the damage roles are broken with wide radius. And like… it’s dangerously close to asking for bomb mining to return. It’s going to summon banshees.