My friends who played together in March returned for H&H. One got bored and quit. 2 seem to play a lot. 2 seem quite bored but will join just for boss fights and a bit of exploring. We beat Yagluth on Friday. Here is what is good and bad about H&H in my opinion.
Tar Liquid physics was something modders couldn't ever do. I hope more liquid effects come into use, perhaps Lava for the ashlands. Imagine a 3d volcano dungeon for the ashlands.
Cartography table has excellent execution and genuinely added to gameplay on multiplayer servers. Forced us to return to the home village over and over even when we moved out far away. The subtle effect this has on bringing people together is underrated.
Optimization improved big builds. A lot clearly was changed as the FPS increase is huge.
Hot tub is alright. It can be used to prevent fall damage so it does have some use at some creative stuff. You can jump from the roof to the ground safely at your home now.
The new foods are all cool and nice ideas.
I dont care about or even notice food and stamina much. I don't understand why this was such a big deal that got lots of preview videos dedicated to it. And it seems they got the numbers wrong so did the hotfix, and the development branch apparently has lots of new number twiddling that will be merged into the base game soon. You can say about how the system is totally different but honestly its materially the same. I farm and forage and eat the best food I can without much thought.
New build objects in general. They are OK. But looking at this subreddit I've seen no real new exciting builds have come from it and make me think "wow I need to unlock X to build Y!". Slightly more frilly decoration from the new poles and roof sure. The build possibilities would have exploded if they put gizmo rotation functionality into the game locked behind a black metal hammer. But they seem to really want to limit what you are able to do as much as possible for some reason. A few of the new build items are just rotated versions of other items too. 4 of the new items are the metal grate cage in 2 sizes and 2 rotations.
Silver knife is pointless (just wait until blackmetal knife) but crystal axe had some best-in-slot use cases that made it worth making. But its still beaten by porcupine, since swamp enemies are easy to beat. If we had more inventory slots then maybe the diverse range or weapons would be handy but i hardly have space for a close range weapon AND a bow as it is. So Draugr fang and porcupine wins. Crystal axe model was OK but a lot of modded weapons have much looked better https://youtu.be/dcML0Cc0tF8?t=655
Growth was lazy for a new enemy. Just a reskinned blob with a ranged attack like fuling spear. It also has massive griefing potential in multiplayer servers because it has 500m aggro radius and destroys houses easily even when they have moats. The "tarred" status effect is just another thing to slow you down. Its like every change or addition made does the same thing: slow you down, make you more sluggish.
Replayability decreased. They now force you not to skip through biomes by e.g. locking spice rack behind turnips. You cant try a new speedrun where you get lox meat early. It also became grindier. Turnips used to be a happy surprise but now you are forced to run around in the dark for 3 different swamps to find them and wait for them to grow and multiply. Food became grindier in general. Its like every stage where you could use pro strats they nerfed it to make you grind and prevent your experience and knowledge from giving you an edge. They didnt like people using fire to autokill greydwarfs at greydwarf nests so they disabled it. They didnt like seeing players use wooden spikes to kill bosses so made bosses invincible to those. Everytime people have a creative solution it gets patched. I feel like the "stagbreaker trick" to find silver will be removed soon. Creativity gets punished, they want you beat the game exactly the way they intended. Which reduces replayability because every playthrough gets more identical. Seeds barely vary.
Locking new build pieces behind tar. People were already quitting around Bonemass/Modor. You got them to come back and start from the beginning again… and they play like 50 hours and get bored and quit before seeing the new stuff. They saw nothing new except coin piles, and they were confused why they could no longer make sausages and their shields now didnt work so well. That pile of coins is the worst prefab in the game, its like 10 polygons and makes your base look messier. It can only be used to make a floor with coins, nothing creative can come from it. You make a treasure room and boom you've done everything possible with it. Good prefabs should allow many creative possibilities to emerge. Bad prefabs have a single use case. I was excited to have the treasurechest unlocked thinking it would give me more slots as a reward for finding silver necklaces – but oh, its just a decorative item that doesnt function as a chest, its one of 3 items to dump into your treasure room; which looks like every other persons treasure room.
Buildings are still boring brown or grey. Vikings used to paint their houses you know. The new roof and beams are another shade of brown. Glass windows are cool, though obviously not viking. We cant have gizmo to make interesting crooked houses, as thats not viking enough, but we can have glass windows?
I forgot about when I do notice stamina: When farming/building. I can see why stamina is used in combat as it forces tactical/strategic decision making. But making farming deplete stamina this fast is just frustrating. You still need to farm it all but you just have to keep stopping and waiting after every single row of crops you plant. Its just there to slow you down and make you grind more it feels like. I'm planting carrots for the stamina but I have to grind and use up stamina potions – the time to farm stamina potions is more than waiting for the rows of crops so I wait for the rows of crops. Again and again.
Im not actually motivated to try new weapon types. Since skills take a long time to level up. And new weapons take huge resources to craft. And if I die its SO punishing. I pretty much safely kill everything with Dragur bow and lightly dodge and never die. I'm not going to grind for 3 hours to level up axe combet to try the crystal axe when the porcupine will serve me better in the hardest 2 biomes.
Overall amount of new content. My group hardly noticed any changes since playing in March. One guy quit and the only new thing he saw was cartography table and little coin pile. One guy who played a lot made a house using the tar roof. So it looks a bit different. But he also used texture packs before which also made the roof look equally different. He made a kitchen and was like "ah you can see the bread in the oven thats cool" but it took 80 hours grinding to see that.
This was the home and hearth update so I guess this was the update for builders and not for the PVEers looking to explore new biomes. The new prefabs were not particularly inspired. I think adding thin beams, chains, drawbridges, large pieces (for megastructures) and basically anything from OdinArchitect would have gone a long way. Modders have added 500 new building objects and about 300 of are higher quality than most of the H&H build objects. I guess when very few new prefabs come over the next year people will say "you had new build items in home and hearth, this update is not for building stuff". When none of these items really opened up build possibilties or new mechanics to explore.
I dont see my friends being willing to grind again. If the mistland update does come out then we wont start a new world, we will just go see the 4 new monsters and mine the new ore, maybe check the new dungeon type, and then craft a new thing and build a house extension. But Im less confident in us spinning up a server next time