Crafting and Harvesting!
Posted date / 04.12.17
Pantheon’s crafting and harvesting in this internal pre-alpha is currently a very simple system. With it we can combine two or more items in a container to return a new item. Combinations use a skill associated with the materials, such as Blacksmithing for metals, Alchemy for potions, Tailoring for cloth, and so forth. It is functional, but we feel it lacks impact and depth. So, where do we go from here?
An Overview of Crafting
A major goal of the Crafting system is to provide players with a means to gear up through the power of choice. Dropped and quested items come with set stats but crafted items can be customized. The offset to this power of choice is that crafting will require effort to gather the necessary materials for particular results, whereas dropped items are a (potentially) simpler matter of killing the requisite NPCs to get your gear. For example if Gereon wants a Silvered Longsword. He plans to be fighting wererats in the City Underneath in a few days with his guildmates so he has two choices:
Find humanoid NPCs that also have a beef with Lycanthropes, beat them up, and take their stuff.
Find a crafter that has a Silvered Longsword recipe and gather the needed materials (hypothetically speaking, this could be a) acquire an unmodified Longsword, b) acquire silver ingots, and c) acquire a tempering agent).
In this scenario, perhaps Gereon doesn’t have easy access to NPCs that drop Silvered weapons. He has been killing the wrong city’s guards so it is safer and faster for him to find a player to help him out. Crafting gives players like Gereon alternate avenues to acquire those items they need while serving a dual purpose: socializing between players through Economy, and giving players avenues to some solo content (the Crafter or Harvester).
Crafting will also allow us the opportunity to further improve almost any items to be better suited to specific situations.
Gereon has acquired his Silvered Longsword:
as a Dropped item, and it’s awesome for cutting up wererats.
as a Crafted item, and it’s awesome for cutting up wererats.
The trouble is that his Silvered Longsword isn’t so great against the other vermin or the slimes inhabiting the particular area of the Waterworks near the wererat lair. Gereon really wants to have an edge fighting at least one of the two additional types of enemies in the Waterworks that he knows of. He could:
Find another dropped weapon that is good against slimes, vermin, or both--requiring time, luck, and effort to find the right combination of materials or stats. This has the added "cost" of requiring more of his bag space for gear.
Find a crafter with a Bane enchantment against vermin or slimes to upgrade his Silvered Longsword.
Find a crafter with a recipe to re-forge the Longsword with a new Material that is better suited to fighting against slimes or vermin.
Just try his luck and tough it out with his Silvered Longsword and hope for the best.
Depending on Gereon's playstyle, it may be more beneficial to farm the desired item or to farm materials to have the desired item crafted.
Additionally, crafting needs to compliment the other areas of gameplay. One big way that crafting will figure into this is most of the items that come from quests, NPC loot, or crafting can be further upgraded. Doing this requires "customizing" the item(s) to the recipient, unlocking additional stats at the cost of causing the item to be bound to that player.
As far as what professions are concerned, we're considering the following as our professions: Alchemist, Blacksmith, Woodworker, Outfitter, Provisioner, Stonemason, and Scribe. Each profession will have a specialization. Players will be limited to one profession, and one associated specialization.
An Overview of Harvesting
The goal of the Harvesting system is to provide the components through which players will craft a variety of items. These Harvesting materials will be provided in a variety of ways. One method of Harvesting is the aforementioned traditional "find a node, and interact with it to receive Harvested loot". This is done by finding an ore vein and mining it, finding a tree and cutting it down, and so forth. Rather than having materials for more advanced Crafting recipes be gated by level content in a zone as has been done in some other MMORPGs, we will have the nodes and the items they provide exist in sensible locations within their ecology.
Another way Harvesting will come into play is through Salvaging, a method for players to break down existing items and receive components in return. Salvaging items can result in a mix of raw materials and/or crafting components. In our crafting example above with Gareon and his Silvered Longsword, say he’s outgrown the need for the item. He could choose to Salvage it, possibly resulting in silver chunks, a silvered blade, or a hilt. While the idea certainly isn't a new one, we will also have some crafting components sold only in specific cities. Many of these local materials will tie directly in with cultural based recipes. For example, special glass making materials might be found with the Dark Myr, so if players want to craft the Myr type of glass items they have to have the faction to buy the items there or find another player that has the faction that’s willing to sell them the materials from there.
Similar to locale-based materials for purchase, harvesting nodes will exist by local ecologies, even if those areas lean towards the exotic or fantastical, such as colored mana-rich areas… Rather than providing harvesting opportunities by perceived difficulty of a zone or the content around it, we'll be placing them where they naturally make the most sense. You’ll also find harvesting opportunities within civilized areas, such as gardens, parks, and the like, as well in the wilds.
Our line of thinking in terms of access to harvesting is that all players will be able utilize all of the available skills as they wish, provided they have an appropriate harvesting tool. All material types will already be coming from Salvaging and looting materials directly from NPCs, so limiting players’ access to individual skills felt arbitrary. Pantheon’s current harvesting skills are as follows: Fishing, Gathering, Logging, Mining, and Skinning.
There are more details to come as we implement, test, and refine the systems but the above information should cover a number of the highlights. Keep an eye open for upcoming info regarding the motions required to craft, Work Orders, Recipes, and Experimentation!