I understand this is not likely to happen for H4 (but I still cling to a tiny thread of hope), but there are some enhancements to Forge that would be very much appreciated.
A. Object Sizing
It would be spectacular if rectangular objects could be sized like kill/safe zones. Even if the sizing were rough - like in increments of 1x1 thin blocks - it would work wonders (especially in conjunction with additional enhancements below).
For forgers, this would greatly reduce budget usage for most maps - as well as make it easier to create clean boundaries.
For players (if implemented properly) this would reduce framerate issues, as the game would only have to render a single object rather than tens of individual ones.
Aesthetically, it would prevent having some portions of a boundary colored brown while immediately adjacent ones are gray. It would also eliminate the visible seams and alignment issues when a single, smooth surface is desired.
B. Object Textures
It would be a great help if the user-sizable blocks (and perhaps all blocks) could have user-selectable textures. So if you want just a stone or metal texture - no stripes, grates, insets, hydraulics, wires - you could do that.
Grates, insets, hydraulics, wires, etc., could simply be either ON or OFF and selectable from a palette. Tons of options not necessary. So 1x1x1 blocks could have a couple of palettes to choose from, such as “Stone”, “Metal”, “Hydraulic”, “Electrical”. Even if it’s just a choice between a plain texture and a single “fancy” texture, that would be a massive improvement.
“Themed” objects - such as those in the “Impact” category - could remain use-as-is, but the multi-purpose building blocks could definitely benefit from selectable textures.
C. Object Luminosity / Hue
This can be very frustrating. You can put rocks next to each other and end up with some dark gray, some red, some brown, and some bright blue based on very small differences in location, when what you want is for all of them to be the same. It would be much appreciated if object luminosity and hue could be adjusted by the user if necessary (even if it defaults to automatic determination). Having a few different base colors and luminosity settings would also be much appreciated.
It would be nice to have windows that were just the glass that could then be placed in openings, much like shield doors. It would be even nicer if these windows could be sized as described in (A). It would be the mostest super special nicer if in addition to these, the opacity of the glass was reduced on the bright side. The dim side is fine, but the lit side is practically opaque.
E. Corners / Edges
Please allow users to select between sharp edges and rounded / chamfered / complex ones for blocks and walls. While the fancy edges can look great in certain situations, when trying to build a flat surface or seamlessly tie objects together, they can look miserable and cause problems with stutter-stepping when walking across a supposedly flat surface.
F. Natural Objects
More natural objects would be appreciated. The current choices are quite limited.
G. Dynamic Lighting Limits
No hidden dynamic lighting budgets, please. Display the dynamic lighting budget alongside the object budget.
H. Monitor Auto-locate
Please stop the monitor from auto-locating upon selection of an object. In tight spaces, this can be incredibly frustrating as the monitor vibrates itself to death trying to get to the correct location. Instead, allow me to position the monitor wherever I want, display the X, Y, and Z axes upon object selection, and have the analog sticks assigned to those same axes regardless of monitor position relative to the object.
I. Precision Editing
Precision editing would be much appreciated. Additionally, you should not be allowed to place objects in Forge more precisely than can be saved to disk. So if orientation / location information needs to be truncated during save, the same truncation should happen while moving an object. It should snap to precisely the same precision as is allowed during save.
J. Polygon Rendering Issues
In cases where surfaces from two different objects are identically located and you get “flashing polygon” issues during display, it would be helpful if the user could designate one of the objects as primary (or have this done automatically). Even if this were implemented simply by shifting the primary by the minimum truncation precision value rather than having a “primary” or “secondary” display setting associated with the object, this would be a great help.
K. Man-Cannon / Grav Lift Influence
It would be nice if the influence zone for the man cannons and gravity lifts could be set like the teleportation zones such that the cannons do not affect players outside the zone boundary.
I know this is a lot of stuff, but the benefits to both forgers and players would (in my biased opinion) be worth it. If you read this, thank you!