Almost impossible to create stone tools from scratch

Playing around with custom scenarios and such, I’ve realized that if someone wanted to play entirely in the wilderness before venturing into villages or cities, or if they wanted to play an island start, making stone tools is extremely difficult.

First, you need survival 4 to craft a stone hammer or axe, which is painful to learn without a book as there’s no efficient way to grind it up from 3, but it’s not entirely impossible.

If you do start at survival 4 or manage to raise it to that level somehow, you need a stone chisel to make a stone hammer or axe, and by extension, any recipe requiring hammering 2, all because the wood chiseling quality which requires sand. This is the only tool that has wood chiseling quality, and from what I can tell, the sole purpose of the tool and quality is to make stone tools more difficult.

The only reliable way to get sand is to dig a deep pit or get lucky and spawn near or on a river shore, which is even more RNG when playing from an island or somesuch. Digging a deep pit requires digging 2.

The only way to get a digging 2 tool from scratch is to make a wooden shovel. This requires the stone chisel. So, survival from scratch is currently bottlenecked towards the acquisition of sand, which is severely limiting from some interesting avenues of gameplay.

There are a lot of ways to rebalance this, one of them being to simply remove the need for the wood chiselling quality to make a wooden shovel. This keeps the difficulty of having to make the stone chisel in the first place while making it possible to dig a deep pit to acquire these resources anywhere instead of requiring you to find or spawn near a river. Alternatively, make shallow pits more likely to give sand. This is probably the least intrusive way to handle it. As a test I dug eight shallow pits on a lake shore and none yielded sand.

the quzstion is “what do you actually need to make a good wood shovel”
And “what other thing can be used in place of sands”

The game is not balanced for wilderness playthrough, the game is not balanced to make certain playstyle valid or not, it’s balanced to make things work closely to how they’d work irl.

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Working off of how things work in real life, you don’t really need sand to make a stone chisel. You need time, water, a small stone, and a bigger stone to grind it against. Similarly, you don’t need a chisel to make a wood shovel-- you need a lot of time and a knife, maybe a round stone to grind it against if you want a concave shape. Additionally, most shores will bear sand, it’s just an anomaly of this game that only rivers do so.

I don’t know anything about that, but if you re right you can submit changes to the game to add those alternative recipes

easy way to grind survival is to run around picking plants and trees, and if you lack that, killing zombies/monsters/animals and butchering their corpses… it still takes time, but most things in the game do.

stone hammer would be the first thing you want to make, but i dont see it using a chisel, its just rock, stick and twine, the stone hammer will allow you to make the stone knife, which will then let you make the stone chisel… which will then let you make the stone axe, and you can make the stone shovel at the point you have the hammer.

am i missing something here? digging a shallow pit on any ground usually nets me a LOT of dirt/sand/rocks/whathaveyou, i’ve never had to build a pit. and whats the sand for?

ah, we’re talking about experimental, thats where i got confused. yeah no, you can find sand almost anywhere digging a pit with a digging stick

two digs. you can even fill it up and dig on the same spot again

… you can also make a plastic snow shovel if you’ve got a plastic mold, but that assumes you can find some tupperware and have the specific book for it.

You need a stone chisel for the hammer lately. And I can keep testing it, but from what I have observed, sand is pretty rare from anything but the designated sand tiles or deep pits, which require digging 2.

that must have been a recent change… it SEEMS like someone is changing up the low level tools to make the low level grind/survival grind more realistic, but I couldn’t tell you who’s doing it… i guess just wait til they’ve done whatever they wanna do. apparently you’re supposed to start now by making the stone chisel, so digging stick -> sand -> chisel -> everything else.

and you need an ‘anvil’ too so that’s a boulder. the item browser shows a ‘stone anvil’ which currently isnt craftable, but i assume would be relatively similar to just using a big rock.

‘large rock’ which you get from… digging with the digging stick. has anvil 1.

i’m finding sand relatively frequently with the digging stick, and this is in the middle of nowhere in a field… want me to go to an island?

It may be a difference in biomes, not sure. I’ve been testing on a lake shore, not a field, but now testing a field, I’m yielding similar results-- now you’ve got me wondering if there’s something wrong with my installation.

After digging eight shallow pits with a digging stick, now in a field, here’s the total yield.

decided to make a island run just for the heck of it, started her off at a wizard vacation as a quick learner who hates eating fruits/vegetables/natural stuff, (i like torturing characters owo) 0 survival skill (she’s up to 2 now, fast learner and all.) she can leave the island anytime cause theres a boathouse with 2 boats, but she also absolutely refuses to use anything owned by the wizard because he was a jerk to her, so she’s building her own way off the island.

Doesn’t seem like it.
I went a bit code diving and unless I’ve misunderstood something in the code, this function gets called if you dig a shallow and/or a deep pit. It passes the item group digging_soil_loam_50L to spawn in the dug up material (which is a mix of different items, including soil, sand, clay and different types of stone).
There’s no difference in what you get for a shallow or deep pit, but the amount varies.
Because it’s an item group, it just spawns it in multiple times for bigger holes (since you’ve moved more material).
Since sand has a probability of 5 to spawn, it’s just seems more likely to spawn if you dig deep, as it does spawn in that item group multiple times and at random you might get sand in the mix.

Long story short: It doesn’t matter if you dig deep or shallow; you can get lucky and get sand the first time you dig a shallow pit, as well as get unlucky and never dig up any sand, no matter how many deep pits you dig. The overmap tile type and digging depth has no influence on it.

yeh that makes sense… thats how i was assuming it was, with most dug ground being loam and almost 90% plain soil.

Maybe it would be sensible to have alternative ‘no chisel’ recipes for some early tools that just take a lot longer? Like you CAN make flour with a mortar and pestle, but most of us murder grains in the food processor like God wanted us to do.

well it seems like whoever is doing it has bottlenecked the process in that you -NEED- a chisel because its the only item with ‘wood chiseling’ quality.

also: day 2, Caryln Sloan has reached level 3 survival, cleared out every pickable plant on the island, killed anything hostile and butchered it, collected a tin can, a gallon jug and many sticks/rocks, and is now removing all the cattails around the island to hit tier 4 survival.

I think an alternative recipe should probably be flint knapping a narrow, sharp chisel, or the use of a large stone and a source of water. Using a stone and water to make an abrasive paste as you grind the two together would be just as effective as sand (if not more effective) at sharpening a small stone chisel.

According to Valase it’s definitely possible to get sand wherever you are, I’m just getting really, really unlucky. Or maybe others are getting luckier than I. I still think this bottlenecking of the tool progression is kinda hard to get past in many situations.

honestly in this current playthrough i’m having more problems getting a knife than getting anything else. (i had to grab a dead fish and use its bones for a bone shiv… and i had to fight off the fish that killed it, and it almost killed me.)

Like I said there is no design to bottleneck stuff, if an alternative recipe withtou the chisel is actually possible irl just add it to the game no one will stop you.

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i was considering it.

that said, the discourse is a good place to throw ideas back and forth, and some things are just way too silly to actually consider, but still fun to talk about. i’ve seen several people across the internets complaining about the current low-tier meta game so mabye it does need some fixing up.

-that- said, people who play low tier survival early game generally tend to do so because they -LIKE- that its difficult, so my changing things could ultimately down the line be changed simply due to popular demand. y’gotta consider the angles

I may, but I don’t want to do anything without first discussing it in good faith. I will more likely make a mod to rebalance primitive tools to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.

I do like the difficulty of the low tier survival early game, but there is a distinct difference, or maybe a balance, between challenge and arbitrary difficulty.

there doesn’t seem to be many ‘easily made’ 1 tier cutting tools (other than bone, if you can manage to hunt down an animal without the ability to sharpen weapons), wood and cutting tool to make digging stick for sand for the stone chisel, for a hammer you can just use a rock for hammering 1, for soft hammering you need a bilet… which you either make out of wood or bone (both need a cutting tool), that gets you the stone axe head with a flaking rock/flint. its pretty much one path.

also not sure why there’s a separate chiseling and wood chiseling when wood chiseling is only used for one purpose.

Anything that can chisel metal should also be able to chisel wood. I suppose the reverse is not true. I’m not sure how that is reflected in the game at the moment.