ECO hidden features

  • Playing ECO for some weeks now I repeatedly encountered some questions I'd partially like to answer in an abstract way. These "features" are not at all hidden but not obvious to some people (e.g. for me). I hope this post becomes unnecessary when the game evolves as most of the things are user interface (UI) related and a good tutorial could show them to you.

    • Tooltip hopping: You surely noticed that there are a lot of tooltips in this game, i.e. when hovering over an icon you get additional information. What is not that that obvious is the fact that the tooltips themselves also have colored strings on them that lead you to the next tooltip and so on. This way you can explore e.g. the complete craft tree without running from one crafting table to another to find the necessary ingredients for the thing you need.
    • Splitting stacks: This one surprised me as I thought it was obvious but maybe I'm just used to this from other games. When you want to split a stack, you shift-left clik on it and you get a slider which allows you to adjust the amount you want to take from the stack. Then drag and drop the icon besides the slider to wherever this part of the stack should go. If it doesn't work maybe the stack size would exceed your weight limit.
    • Chat history: Most people I played with seem to have only the simple chat that fades out after some time, making them tell me to repeat what I posted a minute before. Please! Just press C and scroll upwards. Doing that you might come to your own login message and, yes, you can also read what people said before you came online. This one made me leave a server though...
    • Avatar window: When enetring the game for the first time you may have explored the UI to find all the UI options you have playing this game. I'm sure you encoutered the avatar window too. If you didn't, look at the buttons at the bottom right. They can help a lot. So there is also the button for the avatar window, and this is where you e.g. can equip your new Big Backpack which gives you an increase of 10kg on your inventory weight. Cool, hah?
    • Economy viewer: As stated above. Buttons at the bottom right. The economy viewer not only tells you what items you can buy/sell/trade at which store and where to find that store but also what crafting tables are in use etc. It's quite useful if you start on a server where some people have already been busy researching and are selling their skill scrolls for a reasonable amount of whatever. You don't need to do it all by yourself.
    • Map world layers: The map (one of the buttons down there too) is probably the easiest one of the features to discover. We're all used to pressing M and see where we are. No, not TAB, that's another game. What I needed some time discover was the little arrow at the right border of the map window. Press it if you didn't do already, you'll be surprised how easy it is to find oil e.g.
    • Tree seeds: This is my favourite though I have to admit I needed to search the internet for it to learn. Consequently you get tree seeds by harvesting trees as it works with other plants. But ramming your axe into the trunk doesn't give seeds. Try something else: Use your axe on the leaves. However the probability for getting tree seeds is quite low, so don't be disappointed if it doesn't work at the first try.
    • Digging up stumps: Some people said you have to remove the stumps of the trees you felled for them to regrow. If that's necessary or not I don't know. At least you free a block and thus enlarge the probability for a new tree to grow. But swinging your axe against the stump quite often just to get the thing out of the way may not be your favorite task. I usually just dig them up, it's only one calorie consuming action instead of 5 or whtever you Logging skill gives you. However I think this one should be considered a bug. If you ever tried to excavate a stump in real life you'll know what I mean.

    Have fun

  • As an addendum to the tooltip hopping; you can also type the name of an item or a skill in chat, and the text will be highlight-able just like it would if you had the actual item. This can be very useful to see the uses of items you don't have yet.

    I believe 5.6 will introduce a tutorial system which will help new players figure out a lot of this stuff, but this is a nice list to have.

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