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shingouki

Suggestion: Action Priority Selection System

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shingouki    10

I noticed that in Don't Starve the game engine puts priority on items you're hovering over in this manner:

- Whatever object is the largest on the screen takes priority for selection, after that you can only select items by hovering over whatever pixels are visible.

- This means that small objects that get caught behind large objects cant be selected until you remove the large object or turn the camera ie: Cut down a tree behind another tree, and you cant pick up the logs until you cut down the tree in the foreground.

- When I first started I didn't even know that turning the camera even existed (me and a friend found out by accident about 5 hours in; might be a good idea to let players know that fact a bit more clearly) but still it's nice to be able to play in a single perspective without having to turn the camera. Plus, rotating the camera doesn't get rid of situations where an item is totally surrounded by other large objects.

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So I had an idea: An Action Priority Selection System

Basically, the engine will pick the most "likely action desired" based on where your mouse is hovering/what's going on. This will be subject to a few rules, which I will outline below.

Smaller items/Smaller actions take priority - If you have a tree hovering infront of some logs and you hover your mouse over the logs, it'll select the logs and pick them up before it examines the tree. ie: Log collection takes priority over examining/cutting a tree.

The reasoning for this is that you can select any other part of the tree and cut it, but you cant select the log on any other part and pick it up. Also, sometimes you don't want to cut a tree as much as, you want to pick up items.

Examining things should be really low priority - I feel like 90% of the time you won't want to examine a large object as examinations always give back the same response regardless of the number of times examined.

Action selection based on criteria - If I have an axe in my hands, and a pig is in front of a tree (SPOILER AHEAD IN THIS BRACKET: and helping me cut it down) 90% of the time, even if I hover over the pig, I would rather the game cut the tree than examine the pig. But since the pig is infront of the tree, I will usually examine him instead of cutting the tree.

So I have to be really strategic about mouse placement.

This is mostly just annoying because some objects like pigs are pretty large, and you cant control where they are placed all the time. Plus if I have an axe, I probably want to cut the tree the most right? :p

The exception to this should be for item collection, again, due to the smaller size of items. Ie: Even if I have an axe in my hands, if I hover over a small item for pickup, it should prioritize that.

Action Selection Based on Situation - The is the last priority setting, but I feel there's two modes in the game: Chore Mode and Combat Mode. Chore mode is when you're doing survival related stuff: Foraging, cutting trees, cooking, making items, etc. Combat mode is when you're fighting with a monster in your near proximity.

During Chore mode, all priority settnigs should be like how I described. In Combat mode though, I feel item collection should take less priority unless the item to be collected is combat related. For example, if you're fighting 5 spiders and one enemy drops a monster and a silk...then when you click on the spiders, it shouldn't select the Meat/Silk over attacking the spider especially if a weapon is in your hands. However, if you were going to pick up a dropped weapon/armor then that might take priority during the combat phase.

Clicking monster meat/silk instead of a spider, is frustrating sometimes, and putting priority there might be ideal. But then again, some player might want to pickup the meat and run...so this is kind of open ended.

Anyway that's the main idea. Summarizing it in a list, it should be something like this:

=Priority For Selection=

-Chore Mode-

1) Small items For Collection: Logs, Pine-cones, Meat, Gold, Rocks, Etc

2) Actions For Harvesting: Saplings, Grass, Berries

3) Actions To Match The Item In Hand: Pickaxe -> Harvest Rock, Axe -> Harvest Tree, Shovel For Saplings, etc.

4) Examining

-Combat Mode-

1) Collecting Items Related to Combat - ie: Armor/Weapons/Etc.

1a) Attacking Enemies (Slightly less priority but not same priority as #1)

2) Collecting Enemy related spoils

3) Small items for collection: Logs, pinecones, meat, gold, etc

4) Examining

5) Actions to match the item in hand

Hopefully that helps!

Edited by shingouki

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H_S    10

This would help greatly. I had to google search to figure out how to rotate the camera angle, and even now that I know how to do that, there are some items that are unreachable or inconveniently placed.

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