The mines are the major source of challenge as of the current update. Full of powerful loot, and deadly monsters, it has the greatest risk/reward factor of anywhere on the map. So let’s add to it.
One major issue of the mines right now is the “solo speedrun.” For those not familiar, you just sprint past all monsters, loot crates on the platforms, and mine ore in secluded spots where monsters can’t reach you. This is by far the safest and most effective way to play, however, it goes against the cooperative, “Township” aspect of ATT, and it ignores most of the intended gameplay experience of mining.
First, an enemy that guards platforms largely removes the possibility of players simply ignoring monsters. Creatures that can wield weapons are on the roadmap, so an interesting idea is a sort of cave goblin, troll, orc, or whatever spin on the classic “Cruel, brutish cave dweller” archetype ALTA can think up. They walk around the platforms, throwing spears at players who get too close and stabbing or clubbing them when they try to get on the platform itself. Spear throwers can encourage archers and shield-users to snipe or approach under cover, while the melee goblins give the classic dual-wielding and two-handing damage dealers their glorious kills.
Secondly, Turabadas would become attracted to the sound of players mining. Suddenly, stealth mining is much harder, because as you strike that ore, you hear the annoyed, rocky grunting of half a dozen turabada. (You could also pull some sneaky shenanigans by distracting Turabada to a different part of the level, letting other players pass or getting them to fight wyrms.)
Moving on from the solo speedrun topic, another place for improvement is the environmental hazards of the mines. Currently, there are none, other than accidentally falling off the stairs to a new level, and the poison gas of geodes. Having hazards inherent to the environment, which get progressively more challenging as you go deeper, could add a new element to mining gameplay. Examples include tremors, which cause falling rocks, or even disturb a nest of wyrms, causing them to surface en masse. There could be a damaging, “radioactive” red crystal which spawns at crystal layers, causing ramping heat damage to players around it. Acidic pools, lava rivers, carnivorous underground plants, all ways to immensely add to the mines. And anything that can’t be put into the mines could just as well be put into a different area of the game, either existing or planned.
Lastly, with all the foreboding darkness of the mines, adding a flair of mystery would go a long way. Rare, ancient ruins, shrines to long forgotten gods, curious corpses, or remnants of the previous residents of the town could prove fun, engaging, and challenging.
This is a compilation of lots of ideas, some from other player’s discussion ingame and in the discord. If you have a suggestion, feel free to go ahead and put it in the comments!