Having put over 100 hours into Project Zomboid, i have had my fair share of what-ifs and if-onlys. I have noticed that carpentry is somewhat of a staple skill for all players to have if they want to make it past the water/electricity shutoff. I have also noticed the lack of usefulness for shovels in the game as of current. Now I know that both the shovel and trowel can do the same thing with the shovel being the heavy, more damaging alternative. However, if I were to choose between a shovel and trowel I would most definitely go with the trowel due to it's weight being rather light in comparison to the shovel. My proposal brings more use to the shovel, and even expands onto creating more play-style diversity among the community.
Dig Drop-down Menu
This suggestion would require (or at least prefer) that the "Dig" option would become a drop-down menu similar to the "Build" option when right-clicking.
This wouldn't really be much of an addition, just a change to the option "Dig" to "Dig Furrow" as this is the name of the trenches we dig when we use said option for farming, and would just serve to help people differentiate the kinds of holes they will be digging.
Dig Watering Hole
This would be the first, and probably most practical, option of the expanding dig menu. My original idea was to have it just say "Dig Hole" and you could dig holes next to each other and they would link to create a bigger hole, ultimately creating trenches you would have to vault over similar to fences, but I found this too ambitious and impractical. So I scrapped that and went with a more similar approach, the watering hole. this would allow a player to dig a 1x1 hole in the ground, that would collect rainwater for the player to use. This form of rain collection would be much less efficient than a constructed rain collector, but moderately better than using pots and cups all over the ground. If the player has a bucket of cement they can fill the watering hole with a coating of it, which when dried, will cause the hole to collect rainwater more effectively (in theory, less water soaks into the dirt)[see edit 1]. This alleviates the severe need to have a decent carpentry level in order to use rainwater, without completely removing the option of using a rain collector if you want a vastly improved water collecting system.
This one could prove troublesome on the developers side, but would give players on both multiplayer and single-player games an enhanced experience. Digging a stash digs a rather shallow hole in the ground for players to store precious loot they don't want taken from them. The stash will act like a container, that can hold only about 10-20 weight (10 preferably as to deter players from hiding all their loot in holes) and can be refilled with dirt (either from a sack or just as an option) in order to perfectly hide the loot from potential raiders. Players would either have to remember where they dug that stash, or mark it in order to reclaim their loot, as there should be no way of telling the difference (otherwise it defeats the purpose). Digging a stash can also help with unwanted loot and trash. Instead of leaving it on the ground to cause clutter all over the floors, players can dig stashes to be used essentially as landfills, which is where the single-player benefit comes into play.
Dig Grave (already implemented!)
This last option is debatable, as it solely aims to provide players a better role-playing experience, or emotional experience. Digging a grave will present players with a 1x2 construction option for two tile holes where corpses (or even coffins if you wish to go that far) can be placed and "honoured" by their comrades or just to build a cool cemetery full of dead zeds. Corpses can be placed with their loot on them to signify being buried with treasure, and that would create grave robbers in multiplayer communities. once the dirt is replaced players can even place signs to act as gravestones. I feel this would be a perfect option for those who fall in player versus player battles and just for all those who die an untimely death.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading my suggestions post, and I hope the developers take an interest in the ideas and consider some or all of them. What do you guys think of more holes? Should there be even more holes? Should we change the way some of these holes work?
If you liked my ideas please +rep me to show your support, I'd greatly appreciate it!
Edit 1: Instead of using a layer of concrete on a watering hole to increase efficiency, a tarp lining would be much more logical and practical. Credit to Geras for the idea.
Goodbye for now.