Hardened brick DLC vs Black Ice *POLL*

After all my playtime I’ve come to this understanding: if you expect to be bombed out, build with sticky brick. They will rarely destroy everything, and with what’s left over of your beautiful Khitan palace you can start over again, with a tiny little shack out in the middle of nowhere. Or a vault.

It’s the difference between life insurance policies:
Hardened Brick can still pay off before the end.
Black Ice gives you next to nothing on disassembly.

I voted for Other. Make Black Ice harder.

1 Like

This one was a tough one for me, because I really want the hardened brick recipe to be cut down, but then I also really hate orphans and puppies… so… what to do… what to do…? 「(°ヘ°)

I went with reducing the cost of hardened brick. I tried building a small hb fortress in solo and quickly gave up when I calculated how long it was going to take me to finish it. Then I installed a mod to greatly reduce the stone cost of the bricks and re-calculated. Then I gave up again. It just takes too darn long!

I’m one of those who voted for raising the black ice building costs, so I hope you don’t mind if I respond to what you said in order to clarify my reasoning.

I don’t support making things tedious for tedium’s sake, either. It’s always better for a game to avoid grind and tedium than to embrace it, if it can be done without creating other problems. And therein, to misquote the Bard, lies the rub.

Just to frame the rest of the argument correctly, let’s remember that what we’re discussing here are the building costs only, for the moment. Nobody has yet started a discussion on how we could make farming less boring, so it might be unfair to judge people’s votes for raising black ice costs as a desire to make the game more boring :wink:

So why raise black ice costs, if it results in more tedious farming? I’d say it basically comes down to the combination of map size, decay mechanics and number of players. These factors affect all official servers. On official PVP servers, additional factors should be taken in account, such as the health of the building pieces and the damage of explosive jars, trebs, etc.

Given these factors, it’s just too easy to build too big with black ice. Bear in mind that I’m not saying it’s “too fun”, just too easy. It’s roughly an order of magnitude easier to build the same sized structure with black ice pieces than with other T3 pieces. If you look at it from a different angle, that means that given the same amount of time, a player building with black ice will be able to build a structure that roughly an order of magnitude larger than a player who uses other materials.

Coupled with the complete lack of upkeep mechanics, the decay timer of 1 week and the supreme ease of refreshing that timer, this can become a serious problem on high population servers. If the map were much bigger, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a problem. But as it is right now, it’s too easy to take up a significant chunk of shared resources and hold it.

Could this be balanced without fiddling with costs? No, it couldn’t. Whatever you do, the imbalance in costs between black ice and other builds will still exist, so at best you’ll just make black ice balanced correctly at the cost of making other building types a bloody nightmare. That doesn’t mean that things have to be awfully tedious and grindy, it just means that the issue of bringing black ice and hardened brick to the same cost levels is orthogonal to the issue of having fun when farming/building.

As a parting remark, I just want to say that I’m not advocating for this lightly. I don’t play PVP, so I have only half the harvesting power of PVP players. If it’s tedious for you, imagine what it’s like for me :wink:


I dont mind the relative ease of black ice over hardened brick; i like the look of the hardened brick stuff better. Costs, I believe, are a server setting, so if a server wants cheaper mats, they can just change it. Hardened brick may be the bane of my existence, but thats only cuz I like to build large; thats on me.

That’s exactly why I haven’t returned to PVE, lower harvest rates.

I made a HB base, already. It takes awhile, but it is doable. It’s better than the 3-6 bombs it took to get into my last base. Doesn’t seem to be any advantage to switch to BI. HB is just not a scarce, and it is still doable if the BI is being hoarded/controlled already.

1 Like

There is no issue as every single person in this game has the option to make both recipes. It is just the entitlement babies screaming ‘I don’t want to live North or go north to gather to make the one recipe so remove or change the option for EVERYONE’ that typically have the issues.

Ironically you sound more like a crybaby by calling others crybaby while they have a logical discussion about building resource requirements.

Black Ice building parts are a lot easier easier to build, I tried them out for a while when building but they simply look too ugly in my opinion. The other recipes should be changed accordingly to match the resource costs better.


Voted Other. As a PvE player, I’m not particularly phased by its low-cost, though if making black ice more expensive or time-consuming helps to cut down on Borg cube builds then I won’t shed any tears.

Personally I rarely use Black Ice because I find Insulated Wood annoying to make, so if there are to be any adjustments, I’d rather see them on the side of the Black Ice itself.


Your need to farm stone faster. Hit up the volcano. I can get 200k stone in about 80 mins.

I don’t wanna derail the thread, but I do have a couple of quick question: are you playing on a PVP server or a private server with a harvest multiplier greater than 1x? If not, can you share how you’re farming stone, either here or in a different thread or in a private message? :slight_smile:

Aesthetics aside (not to devalue them, they are important), but there’s a huge disparity from a gameplay & game design perspective.

Many will pick apart your math estimates of time required, rightly pointing out that many of the processes you list as having to happen in series can be done in parallel, and glossing over the very slow wood drying process or requirement to have a carpenter to reduce cost of insulated wood…

…BUT those criticisms of the estimates would not make up for the order of magnitude different in time requirement to construct things that are FUNCTIONALLY exactly the same.

From basic game theory, if identical results can be achieved by doing something easy and fast, or by something hard and slow, then people will do the easy and fast. The hard and slow method has less value, is less used, and therefore from game design perspective is a failure.

To flip the problem around, if there were two building types that had the identical recipes but had vastly different health, most people would choose the building type that had the higher health.

It’s about balance and equity between the choices to ensure all the choices are valid. Invalid choices are bad game design.

Thanks for continuing this discussion. It’s noteworthy that there was a change made to bring the recipes closer together many moons ago…for those that don’t know, black ice building used to be even cheaper!


Think he is referring to something with higher gather rate than 1x, however there are some places where rocks are plenty, among those places are Vulcano and often you harvest many rocks at the same time, fx there is a place where everytime you hit with your pick, you actually harvest 5-10 simultaneously, makes harvesting stone a breeze :grin:


I make borg cubes… I lack creativity and dont want to steal. Therefore borg cubes seems logical to me :smiley: :smiley:

Also only my maproom infront of Dragonmouth uses black ice. All others are harden brick variants. I have all DLCs and therefore use them :smiley:

BUT: if it is only temp and it should still have a big decay, I use black ice. Its cheaper/less time consuming. And I like the fences with the icicles.


A method I use on PVP is to do frame work in the “cheaper” black ice T3, and anything visible in the Hardened Brick DLC of my choice. Just the customized designer in me because i hat seeing black ice everywhere. By frame, i mean that any area not going to be visible i use black ice pillars, ceilings, and walls (as dividers and more stability column wise). The different DLC’s also serve as quick locators if one is getting attacked. Using only certain DLC’s for certain structures and FOB’s allows to locate and move to that area to defend.


I will admit, the fences look pretty cool, and I absolutely LOVE the look of Black Ice foundations for flooring. It just hurts me deep down inside though when I see people on a PvE server building with black ice in the middle of the Desert or in the Volcano. :sweat_smile:

On a side note, I’d like to see another DLC that actually makes use of Black Ice instead of it always being Hardened Brick. It would be a nice change and make me feel like my DLC dollars aren’t locking me into particular builds quite so much.


Yep, volcano is where I farm my stone. On official PVE-C, I can get roughly 20k in 15 minutes, on average; 200k in 80 minutes is almost double of that, so that’s why I suspected a multiplier of 2x.

Also, the landslide inside the silver mine is even faster (unless it has been nuked by someone’s build), but it yields only 4k (more or less), so I didn’t count that :wink:

No, I simply am stating facts- EVERYONE has the same option to build using BOTH recipes and some people just can’t stand an option that they are too lazy or have no desire to use being available to others so they demand it be changed or the option they prefer be changed. Pretty simple

This is not about how fast you can harvest, but how many process are needed to get the material, it doesn’t matter if you get 200k stone in 80 min, you need to turn those stones into bricks, and the make stone consolidants with ichor and twine, then turn bricks into hardened bricks…
also, wood turned into shaped wood and then steel into steel reinforcements

black ice is only about to go north gather as much as you can and go back…
yeah insulated wood can take a while too, but is just one step ahead than shaped wood, and they use the same steel reinforcements

basically, you skip half the process to get materials to build a t3 piece. even now when they have the same material requirements (some months ago it was even cheapier to build with black ice).

Black ice, of course, is supposed to be a rare material and often fought over it, it’s also supposed to be an insulated material to live in cold climates, but the temperature system doesn’t matter at all at this point.

And just like armors, some DLC Building pieces should have cold or heat protection, which means they also need different materials (hardened brick or Black ice bricks).


I agree with those facts.

But the other facts are just as valid…that building with black ice is a SIGNIFICANTLY lower time investment than the hardened brick variety. When the ultimate resource (not just in this game, but in life!) is time, then choosing the option that takes a lower time investment is not lazy, it is sensible, practical, and very realistically better in every sense EXCEPT aesthetics.

People that prefer to take the harder more time-consuming route to build in a way they find more aesthetically pleasing will NOT be affected in ANY way by making the building materials the same cost, therefore should not be opposed to any discussion that encourages less disparity between them.

What if the catalyst was altered to turn stone directly into hardened brick?