Nelsy

High slope dirt and sand must "decay"

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You all make compelling arguments for this to be put into the game, and I can see some merit to it. However, let's not forget that wagons, carts, and boats don't seem to EVER decay, and those are at least as much of an eyesore as unnaturally steep walls of dirt. So fix that while you're at it.

 

And, no one has said which other projects that the devs are working on (that we know of) should be put aside either temporarily or permanently in order for them to work this into the game. So, all those in favor of this proposal, feel free to tell us what things this should take precedence over

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3 hours ago, DaletheGood said:

You all make compelling arguments for this to be put into the game, and I can see some merit to it. However, let's not forget that wagons, carts, and boats don't seem to EVER decay, and those are at least as much of an eyesore as unnaturally steep walls of dirt. So fix that while you're at it.

 

And, no one has said which other projects that the devs are working on (that we know of) should be put aside either temporarily or permanently in order for them to work this into the game. So, all those in favor of this proposal, feel free to tell us what things this should take precedence over

 

Wagons, carts and boats - yes absolutely, there are frequently calls to fix this as well, but the mechanic is very different, so the fix would necessarily be different.  The fact that another problem need fixing is not an argument to forego fixing this one.  

 

As to project priorities, that applies to every suggestion ever so unless you are saying that this suggestion lacks merit on its own I am not sure what the criticism is.  That said, there are already mechanisms to change tiles over time, although mostly changing tile type rather than its other attributes. 

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Alright, for most of this I've been playing devil's advocate, as there are very few dirt walls that are nice to look at. There are a few I've seen that actually work though, but very few. So, let's explore how this might work while keeping it in line with some of the other decay rates for things like wagons, boats, bridges, pavement, walls, fences, etc.

 

Let's say that slope is roughly equivalent to QL, in that it takes a certain skill level to make a slopes steep. So, a 300 slope would be equivalent to 100 QL, as it takes 100 skill to make it. A 200 slope would then be equivalent to about 67 QL, as that's the skill required there. Higher QL things in wurm decay at a slower rate than lower QL things, therefore the higher the slope, the slower it decays. I think that's fair.

 

I think the overall decay rate for this should be slow, somewhere close to the decay rate of a wagon or boat or a bridge, certainly not as fast as a fence or a building. Speaking of fences and buildings, any fence or building that touches one of the borders of the tile would prevent any decay on the tile from starting. Also, if there are multiple tiles of steep slope with fences or buildings on one of the borders, the middle tiles can't decay and cause a steeper slope on the upper tile that has a fence preventing it's decay. if you have a wall 3 tiles tall with 300 slope on each tile and fences on the top and bottom, you don't want that middle one decaying while the others maintain their initial height, that'd make the upper tile untouchable as the slope would be greater than 300.

 

Now, activity. If the player who made the slope that steep is still playing there shouldn't be any decay, or very minimal decay at the most. And if any player interacts with the tile, by climbing it or changing it in any way (remove pavement, plant or cut a tree, bush or flower, dropping an item on it, etc.) there should be no decay for some set period of time, like a month or week, kind of like bridges that take no decay for awhile if someone crosses it.

 

Also, pavement should prevent decay of the underlying dirt. pavement can decay over time, and maybe that decay rate would be a good one to tie the decay rate of walls of dirt to. it seems to be very slow, but not as slow as wagons and boats.

 

Anyway, there's a lot to be considered here, but if a player is active, don't destroy his creation quickly and through a game mechanic, even though you think it's ugly. If you're going to destroy something someone spent time on, and they're still around, at least put in the time and effort to do it yourself, not get the game to do it for you.

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Yes, that is the kind of thing I envision, although I can't speak for others (well, I shouldn't speak for others 🙂).

 

Here is some of what I put into the other recent thread on this.

 

Quote

Have angles of repose for various terrain types and and rates of subsidence for them, so that anything over that angle of repose slowly flattens towards repose, with the rate highest with highest slope and decreasing as the angle of repose is approached.  Sand would be quickest, with dirt not far behind, grass/steppe would be slower and have a higher angle.  Rock would not settle at all.  This will still have an effect of lowering the terrain overall (after all, gravity works), which is true to RL.   Paving, building etc effectively locks in the terraforming.

 

Quote

Structure holds the terrain in place, so nothing happens under roads/paving/walls etc (even packed dirt).  Once those decay, though.....  

 

A basic softening of the landscape, with the changes that have come before blending together and therefore fading, but not reversed.

 

Yes, a very slow decay rate, but as I said in this thread I would make the rate proportional to slope, rather than inversely proportional like QL.  Maybe a better way to look it is rather than "faster on steeper slope" it should be "slower on shallow slope" as in, it decreases to zero at the angle of repose.

 

I have seen several very sleep slopes paved over, which in this setup would stabilize them and prevent erosion. Any of the constructions (including fences etc) that would prevent terraforming would also prevent "settling".   Effectively a hedge would hold the slope in place indefinitely, which makes real-world sense.

 

Activity, yes, any use of the tile should reset a delay counter.  No "terrain decay" at all while a player has an active account on any server is I think a bit over the top; the same kind of modifiers in place for deeds and player activity in relation to structures could be workable.  If I understand that, there is a "base" decay rate that then accelerates if the player has not logged in for a set period.  My thinking here is that account activity is not necessarily a good indicator that a site has not been abandoned.  I was online last night, but my first terraforming was done an island on a different server, which I have not visited for months.   My fences and walls have long gone; my animals died, my food rotted and even my iron lumps disintegrated; there is no goo reason why a hole I dug in the sand on a beach should remain stable for as long as I use Wurm.

 

 

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On 6/10/2020 at 4:01 AM, Agatino said:

If you want the terrain to look natural, fix it yourselves. Otherwise, don't try to ruin other people's hard work that could have potentially taken them dozens of hours.

 

-1

 

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I'd be interested to know how many of you would be whining if this were implemented and of the unnatural landbridges and islands were to disappear.

 

 

If you had read the discussion you would have known that since this is specifically addressing the new player experience, they are UNABLE to fix it themselves.  If unnatural land bridges are paved, they wouldn't disappear at all.  Neither would islands etc if this applies only above water level.

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Well the dirts however probably wont, but I do agreed with the sands. Doesn't make sense having sands on very steep slopes though, but it just a game.

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16 minutes ago, Wildelf said:

Well the dirts however probably wont, but I do agreed with the sands. Doesn't make sense having sands on very steep slopes though, but it just a game.

Even dirt which are reinforced by root of the trees cant stay very steep slopes for long, you must hear landslides happen.

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This has been an interesting thread to read. 
I definitely think there have been compelling points made on both sides of this suggestion. 

 

For people advocating for some sort of "erosion" mechanic to be introduced to "soften edges" and/or "reduce slope" over time.... IRL erosion is a mechanic that happens over a stretch of geologic time - which is an extremely slow and extremely long time span. Multiple generations of life times. Without some kind of unprecedented incident (a tidal wave, a massive earthquake, a devastating meteor impact, man-made alterations to the natural terrain) - erosion is something that a single human does not typically physically observe. Even with Wurm time moving 8x as fast as real time.... to think that an erosion mechanic should happen quickly enough that you would see those giant, steep, crazy plateaus and mountains soften out would take decades of game play. (Although, with Wurm, that's a distinct possibility, I guess). Would your erosion mechanic mirror that kind of time span? If so... why bother? 

For people advocating against some kind of "erosion" mechanic.... are there any combinations of limiting prerequisites that would make this concept theoretically agreeable to you? This thread has already suggested a few - excluding any tiles that are paved or have structures; excluding any areas that are on-deed or have recent activity; only effecting "soft" terrain tile types such as sand and dirt; limiters on how eroded a slope could ever actually become (ie. things dont erode totally flat, but to some predefined slope per terrain type).... If you might allow some kind of mechanic, which limitations and mechanic rules are the highest priority or "best" combination for you? 

If you are totally against any kind of "erosion" at all - can you propose some other way to expose new players to the look and feel of "exploring and taming the untouched wilds"

 

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2 hours ago, Amata said:

If you are totally against any kind of "erosion" at all - can you propose some other way to expose new players to the look and feel of "exploring and taming the untouched wilds"

 

jackal

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I'm not 100% against this, but I agree with Amato's point that erosion happens on a geological time scale, and that should be mirrored here. What I am opposed to is an erosion that happens over the course of a few months, that is unnatural and I'd be completely opposed to that. also, if i pave it as a backdrop for whatever is in front of it, it shouldn't start to erode until the pavement has decayed. and yes, a hedge should hold it in place forever. those are really easy to cut down, so if someone is that bothered with the slope, chop that hedge down and let the SLOW erosion take place. another thing i'd be opposed to is underwater erosion affecting an above water tile. if I make an island by dumping a million dirt in the middle of the ocean, don't you dare come along and erode that away.

 

overall, I'll give the proposal a thumbs down, mostly based on the concept of wurm being a player modified world. if I can't use meta or bot actions to shape the world, how dare you use automatic mechanics to undo the work that's been put in? Again, if it bothers you that much, take the time to fix it. If you can't be bothered, why ask the devs to do it for you?

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Creating flat areas on wurm isn't too hard; but re-naturalising can be really tricky as you're not just pressing "level" and semi-afking for a bit.

 

You're manually queuing dig actions and trying to get a good world shape together (and adding a LOT of dirt in some cases).

 

Overall, it's very time consuming to repair 'blockland' areas.  Also, as a fo priest, you can't clear areas to remove dirt via digging...

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8 hours ago, Amata said:

For people advocating for some sort of "erosion" mechanic to be introduced to "soften edges" and/or "reduce slope" over time.... IRL erosion is a mechanic that happens over a stretch of geologic time - which is an extremely slow and extremely long time span. Multiple generations of life times. Without some kind of unprecedented incident (a tidal wave, a massive earthquake, a devastating meteor impact, man-made alterations to the natural terrain) - erosion is something that a single human does not typically physically observe. Even with Wurm time moving 8x as fast as real time.... to think that an erosion mechanic should happen quickly enough that you would see those giant, steep, crazy plateaus and mountains soften out would take decades of game play. (Although, with Wurm, that's a distinct possibility, I guess). Would your erosion mechanic mirror that kind of time span? If so... why bother? 

 

 

The kind of time-frame you are talking about is pretty much for rock etc.  It simply isn't true for dirt/soil.  

 

Erosion of soil happens quite quickly IRL, and it happens to unnatural slopes extremely quickly with a little help, like a moderately heavy rainfall.  It is observed all the time, and is why retaining walls are a thing.  Just last night I drove home from a relative's house and went past a workman repairing a section of timber retaining wall where the dirt had pushed the wall partway over and was spilling around the sides.  The house next door had 3 or 4 sections that looked the same. 

 

I don't know why people keep talking about mountains.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2020 at 5:07 AM, DaletheGood said:

but I agree with Amato's point that erosion happens on a geological time scale, and that should be mirrored here.

 

For rock, yes.  For dirt, erosion does NOT happen over a geological time scale.  Unnatural features can be completely erased in days with a bit of bad weather, certainly only weeks-to-months for significant natural re-modification.

 

IRL, earth construction erodes quickly and noticeably without significant measures to prevent that, and that should be mirrored here.

 

On 6/12/2020 at 5:07 AM, DaletheGood said:

What I am opposed to is an erosion that happens over the course of a few months, that is unnatural and I'd be completely opposed to that

 

Except it is not unnatural at all.  I have not seen anyone suggest geological erosion except those introducing it to argue against it.  

On 6/12/2020 at 5:07 AM, DaletheGood said:

another thing i'd be opposed to is underwater erosion affecting an above water tile.

 

Yes, I don't think that this had come up in discussion until a few comments back, but this should NOT happen below the water level.  It's a bit of a forced mechanic, but so is high-slope dirt under the water in the first place, so just assume that whatever allowed it to be piled up that way is still in force.

On 6/12/2020 at 5:07 AM, DaletheGood said:

if I make an island by dumping a million dirt in the middle of the ocean, don't you dare come along and erode that away.

 

Wouldn't happen under the way this is often proposed.  It isn't the elevation of tile but the slope that is the issue and if we take it that this doesn't happen below water then there is no way the mechanic can erode away an island.  A dirt coastline would have a maximum permanent slope of e.g. 40 at water's edge.  

 

On 6/12/2020 at 5:07 AM, DaletheGood said:

Again, if it bothers you that much, take the time to fix it. If you can't be bothered, why ask the devs to do it for you?

 

Again, we are talking about the experience for new players and they absolutely cannot fix it.  The game will not allow it.  This kind of commentary just keeps coming up, even though players should already know better AND it has been addressed already in this thread - more than once.

 

"If the sight does not please, take a shovel, hatchet, and pickaxe, seeds, and sprouts, and change it."

"surely you can flatten out some cliffs"

"If you're afraid of hard work, might I suggest that this game may not suit you."

"If you want the terrain to look natural, fix it yourselves"

"at least put in the time and effort to do it yourself, not get the game to do it for you"

"Again, if it bothers you that much, take the time to fix it. If you can't be bothered, why ask the devs to do it for you?"

 

Right from the OP this was mentioned as being for the benefit of new players.  This is repeatedly ignored.

Right from the OP this was mentioned as being for dirt and sand.  This is repeatedly ignored.

 

I enjoy having detailed debate and discussion about these things, as that will usually clearly establish the pros and cons as well as draw out issues and ramifications (e.g. the issue of the water level). However, this discussion seems stuck on these 2 fundamental errors being made.

 

Edited by TheTrickster
left out a critical NOT
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to be honest... I agree with pretty much everything TheTrickster has pointed out. 

 

the question of geologic time is a stretch, because I really was stretching to find anything to challenge the OP with. 

 

As described - a mechanic only effecting "soft" terrain types, taking place over a medium-to-longish rate, with limitations on the extent of the effect depending on terrain type, and the standard guarantees against the effect like activity rate, reinforcing structures, & being on-deed - I honestly don't see any reason why such a mechanic shouldn't be introduced to Wurm. Buildings, fences, abandoned deeds, even the bowls and cups and plates set out on my kitchen table decay in Wurm... surely the natural world in Wurm feels similar effects.

And I'm serious about that - I mean, like, someone math some reasonable numbers for rate of decay and stuff, and let's get this into testing right away. 

PS. I've been geeking out on erosion behind the scenes (I'm a huge nerd) - and I came across this fun little easy-to-read science article discussing different types of weathering and erosion mechanism, and how small or large the effects can be... thought I'd share in case any of y'all want to geek out too:  https://sciencing.com/weathering-affect-monuments-4324.html  Enjoy! 

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But I do hate seeing those sands on the steep slope on the hills and mountain, I been removing them time to time. But around the water banks and rivers, that I don't mind.

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I'm giving this a hard thumbs down. The game was created in order for players to modify it to suit their needs, no matter how long those modifications were required for. If I'm a new player looking for a place high up on a hill with a great line of sight, there's some abandoned spots where someone a long time ago leveled out a spot, and because of it's perch on a hill, it has very steep slopes. Now, under this proposal, those slopes will have eroded into the hill, hell, the hill may be a molehill at this point, who knows, but the new player just doesn't have the skill to level out a spot big enough for his deed, and is therefore SOL because you don't like steep slopes. Yeah, hard pass on this proposal.

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1 hour ago, DaletheGood said:

The game was created in order for players to modify it to suit their needs, no matter how long those modifications were required for.

 

I keep coming across arguments declaring foundational reasons underlying the game, but rarely see anything official supporting it.  This is like that.  Regardless, this argues that the game was created for players to modify, but then argues against this change on the basis that in a very specific hypothetical set of circumstances a new player can't avoid doing what the game was made for them to do.  In any event the large number of abandoned cubist landscapes that are seen everywhere argues against a common trend of re-settlement.  In any event a relative slow rate, and the fact that newer players are likely to start with the default small deed compared to the larger estates of more experienced players would mean that even in the rare event that the situation proposed occurred there would still be a "perch" for quite some time.  Based on the overabundance of empty ex-deeds a slow process would still see plenty of sites for quite some time.  I wouldn't see this stuff disappear altogether or quickly (again, I can only speak for me). Slow but noticeable over time would be the rate I see.  A softening, as somebody else put it, rather than a disappearance.

 

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12 hours ago, Amata said:

PS. I've been geeking out on erosion behind the scenes (I'm a huge nerd) - and I came across this fun little easy-to-read science article discussing different types of weathering and erosion mechanism, and how small or large the effects can be... thought I'd share in case any of y'all want to geek out too:  https://sciencing.com/weathering-affect-monuments-4324.html  Enjoy! 

 

Thanks for that link!  Very interesting.  A good illustration, too, of erosion and weathering being different and that it is erosion being proposed but not weathering.  

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+1

 

I've seen this suggestion before as well, and thought it would be great soooo many times, usually as I'm trying to soften those unsightly and unnatural slopes whenever I have time.  It's silly to me that absolutely everything a past player created on a deed eventually vanishes while those 300 dirt slopes remain. 

 

Of course there needs to be a way to maintain a steep slope where you want it - I'm all for it and I don't care the details.  Perhaps there should be requirements for making such slopes stay steep - concrete, paving, specific vegetation, walls, etc, whatever - that would add to the realism.  That could even make the question of on deed or off (and even how long ago a human was near) irrelevant.  That might be too radical for some.  But at a minimum, let the land heal/erode/smooth to something more natural after humans have abandoned it.  It doesn't have to go back to the way it was originally, just windswept/rained on/eroded/realistic.

 

As far as the how, perhaps it could be a simple dig dirt and drop dirt at whatever interval and when whatever conditions are chosen. Let that dirt slide down just as if a player had performed those actions.  I'm sure that's not a complete answer and there are all kinds of conditions to plan and program for, and maybe it's just too hard to do. I'm not smart enough to figure out the how. But I totally support the goal!

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Once again, -1

 

The baseline is not that erosion could not be interesting, but that it would mean introducing a new automatism where nobody can exactly say which parameters and limits it should have, and nobody is able to predict the harmful side effects, damage, bugs, even disasters it would cause. It already seems fairly controversial which timeframe would be appropriate for geologic or human lifetime scale. And given differing interests and tastes I fail to see any wide agreement over it. To introduce, test, and hone such an algorithm which is going against what Wurm in its core is, a player terraformed world with all the responsibilities and possible guilt it brings, would be a task eating up lots of developers' resources which could be used for better ends.

 

And please, stop the damn "new player argument". It is something which should be a misconduct bannable by forum moderators (😎 ok kidding). Everybody has different perspectives of new player experience mainly based on the own experiences as a beginner, and beyond that, the "new player argument" is mostly used to decoy own interests and motives, in other words, it is pure ideology.

 

To give an example: People here want to argue that the pre-terraformed landscapes are an abhorrence to players. In fact, not few players like to settle on the ground of former deeds. I did so, extended the small place I had chosen, but was grateful for the work done before by Marzhr and her former "House of Khnum", a remembrance I hold dear, and have the mini token planted at its former place, one tile north of my own token. I liked the small flat area, the pretty hedges, though I changed a lot and have no idea of the preexisting house/s. We on Xanadu have lots of virgin grounds for everybody searching such an experience.

 

And yes, large flat square grounds, and dirt and sand cliffs in particular, are ugly and a mess mostly (some terraces are pretty though and remind me the landscapes of inner China which are indeed "terraformed" for millenia), and I use to revert them to hilly slopes whereever they are in my neighbourhood, not at least because I hate to run against when driving and riding. But I do not want automatisms to do that work for me. Infrastructure work is a crucial activity on Wurm, and should not be taken away from the players.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ekcin said:

what Wurm in its core is

 

...is different to every individual.

 

4 hours ago, Ekcin said:

Everybody has different perspectives of new player experience mainly based on the own experiences as a beginner,

 

Absolutely.  But... for some that experience is much more recent than others, and being much later in world of Wurm involves much more of the pre-terraformed landscape.  I found Wurm late, and almost quit a few times early on.  The feeling f having arrived after the party is over was very strong and reinforced frequently by  landscapes empty even of ruins (but with carts  and boxes scattered about for some reason).  Yes, this has definitely shaped how I view this, but unless Wurm kicks off new servers every couple of months, my experience is closer to the current experience that for someone who perhaps started 6 or 7 years ago.

 

As I gained experience (not skill or characteristic levels but actual experience) I realized that in Wurm, everything off-deed decays noticeably , with the very notable exceptions of vehicles, BSBs and earthworks. There is almost universal agreement over the vehicles being a problem, and common agreement about the BSBs, but regarding the landscape, well there has mostly been no great buy in to either side of the argument, the contributors to the debate are opinionated but few (please no-one be offended by "opinionated" - I put myself at the head of that list, and I don't think strong opinions are a negative).

 

That all said, I have found this a more persuasive argument than most that came before it, mostly because instead of trying to dream up technical problems and predict disasters it has focused on the commonality of our Wurm experience.  I still think there is a place for an automated "softening" that is conditional, slow and limited.  I don't think it will lead to people missing out if they would like a pre-levelled settlement or to mountains disappearing or to islands sinking.  Part of not saying anything about which parameters or limits it should have is because this is discussion the vision, not writing the code.  However,  I understand the concerns, even the basic "don't automate stuff". I don't particularly agree with it, and there is a lot of stuff that gets both more and less automated as development continues, but I think I understand it.

 

What if, like there is a "level" function which is semi-autonomous, there was some kind of contour function that essentially "slumps" a tile, like dig/drop action would?  It would make restoring a natural looking landscape simpler - not easier but simpler - and  rather than automatic, still requires player action.

 

 

Edited by TheTrickster

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i agree with the erosion method, yes, that happens naturally and would be interesting in a game that is built on a natural type of decay and regrowth mechanic, it could possibly work like high slopes dirt over 100 would soften over a very long time maybe -2 slope a year and everything next to the slope would also gradually slope as well to a max of 50 slope maybe.

 

however i learned long ago from a friend that there is a finite amount of dirt/sand covering the world and it never regrows, and never decays so to change that mechanic would literally change the earth we walk on and could potentially cause problems with the program, like say a person build a earth tower so instead of it decaying down the earth would grow up to met it or u have a mountain and someone built a deed at the top with some steep slope and as that slope levels out it takes the mountain with it completely changing the landscape.

 

so having this apart of the game would be interesting, yes,  however sometimes happening upon a terraformed area and wondering what use to be there, doing some archeology to find out is fun, so to lose a clue that u might be able to find something cool right there, would be a bummer.  also sometimes someone will come along a deed over areas that have been flattened and terraformed and build their own deed on that spot and add to its history and maybe even change the terraforming themselves for fun.

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