Forums » Crafting

Official Harvesting Update

    • 118 posts
    October 10, 2018 9:09 AM PDT

    Harvesting Update

     Posted date / 10.10.18

    At this point the team has settled in on the primary harvesting skills and what are they?

    We feel pretty confident that the current harvesting skills should serve the game well. Right now we’re looking at Fishing, Gathering, Mining, Salvaging, Scavenging, Skinning, and Woodcutting. If we find a need or a niche that can’t be filled for material acquisition using those skills we may consider additional ones, however.

    Can players learn all of those skills, or will they be limited to choosing one or a few?

    The current plan is to allow anyone to harvest as they wish, assuming they have the appropriate tool and skill level to interact with a node or harvestable corpse. The thought here is that harvesting is a good opportunity for some folks to take a break from grouping or raiding while still advancing their characters a bit. Others will focus on what they need for crafting, or what they want to sell or trade to other players. We don’t see a need to limit who can harvest what at this time. I know I’ll personally be fishing and probably mining when I’m not dungeon delving.

    What’s different about the usual suspects (Fishing, Skinning, Mining, Woodcutting and Gathering) in Pantheon?

    We’re currently in the prototyping phase for each harvesting skill, so it’s hard to say how different they’ll be as we get further in development. Initially we’re sticking towards tried and true “find an appropriate tool, find an appropriate node, and get to work” approach. If we find opportunities to introduce some gameplay that better serves our audience we’ll certainly see what we can do to shake things up, but we need to make sure we don’t do so just for the sake of being ‘different’.


    That said, Fishing is probably the first skill we’ve had some discussions on for a different approach. Nothing concrete to share as of yet, however.

    You mentioned tools in response to the previous question. Are they simply required for harvesting, or will there be alternate versions of tools? If so, how will they affect harvesting (if at all)?

    Right now they’re just necessary to interact with their associated harvesting usage. Long-term we’d like to explore upgraded tools that can slightly alter harvesting yields and/or harvesting speeds. Unique or upgraded tools might be required as well for specific harvesting targets. A couple examples might be a mythril pick necessary for magical ores in mining, or a specially enchanted knife for skinning mythical beasts. In cases like that the tools would function as basic tools for simpler harvesting nodes in addition to their specific uses. But again we haven’t landed on this as a sure thing yet.

    Will harvesting give users any temporary buffs or enhancements?

    Some of the more exotic harvesting nodes may provide buffs (and possibly debuffs) to users when they attempt to harvest from them. One example might be a plant that’s gathered for use in mana potions. When harvested, the node might provide some raw mana to the user, or a light mana regeneration buff. Another example might be attempting to harvest nightshade for use in a poison. There might be a chance that the user accidentally poisons themselves while gathering the plant. We’d probably use effects like that sparingly though, so it doesn’t run the risk of being too gimmicky.

    Salvaging and Scavenging are relatively new concepts to the game. Can you go into a bit more detail about what each is and how they differ?

    Gladly! Simply put, scavenging is finding things, and salvaging is breaking things. That’s overly simplistic though, so let’s touch on a few points for each.

    Scavenging is a skill used when rifling through containers or rubbish in the world. A number of interactable barrels, crates, boxes, bags, and the like will be scattered throughout Terminus. Players will be able to dig through them to see what sort of goods they may find. Often times it’ll be raw or processed harvesting materials used in crafting, but sometimes you may find equippable or consumable items as well. Sometimes players can dig through trash heaps, dragon hoards, shipwrecks, and other areas where piles of items have accumulated. Sorting through those items would also utilize the scavenging skill. Scavenging is great if you like accumulating random items, especially materials for crafting. We foresee a good number of ‘non-harvesters’ utilizing this skill as they adventure.

    Salvaging is used to attempt to break down existing items into crafting components. Sometimes you’ll get back raw materials, other times processed subcomponents. It all depends on your skill level, and what items make up the item being salvaged (for example, salvaging iron longsword would yield iron items such as iron ore, possibly an iron blade or hilt, and maybe some leather scrap from the grip if you succeed in breaking it down).

    How important will harvesting be and what sort of impact to you foresee it having on the economy?

    Our aim is that harvesting will have a large impact on the economy. With less reliance on a flood of harvesting nodes, the desired result is that there will be a bit more demand for harvesting materials than we’ve seen in more contemporary MMOs. As players adventure they’re going to need crafters to fill in the gaps in the equippable gear and consumable items at their disposal (and to upgrade their existing gear). Harvesting and its associated skills is going to provide the fuel for crafters to put (and upgrade) those items in adventurer’s hands.

    Can you speak a little bit about node dispersion and availability in game?

    Our initial thoughts are that nodes are going to be a bit more rare than many current market MMOs have tended to be. Since we also have salvaging and scavenging in the repertoire of player’s skills, we’d like to lean on them a little bit to help fill the gaps. That way items gained while adventuring have a push/pull on whether players should use them, sell them to other players, or chance breaking them down into raw materials. We’ll be keeping an eye though on dispersion and spawn rates to try to find the sweet spot between being resource starved and resource flooded when it comes to harvesting nodes.

    If someone harvests a node, will other players still be able to harvest it? Will their locations be randomized when they respawn?

    When it comes to harvesting nodes, we’re currently aiming for ‘first come, first served’. This way we can keep a better eye on how rapidly materials are entering and leaving the economy. In the event we do end up allowing for group harvesting, we might consider allowing multiple players to interact with the same node within a brief window of time before it despawns though.

    Harvesting node locations will be randomized. While we’re still in the early stages of prototyping harvesting, we’ve already got a pretty decent amount of flexibility as far as how and when we can determine nodes spawn.

    Are certain harvesting materials rare? Or found in specific locations?

    The short answer is ‘both’. Many nodes will be found by where they geographically make the most sense. There’s going to be a good bit of the world that has zone or region specific materials, and regardless of their location, there will certainly be some rare harvesting materials (the best crafted or upgraded items will require rare materials).

    What is being done to make sure that nodes aren’t a bottleneck (will there be multiple ways to acquire a certain material?

    This is a great question, given that we’re stating nodes are going to be less common than players may have experienced in other modern online games. Let’s say you’re a tailor starting out. Hypothetically, you need jute for your early crafts. As a crafter looking for jute, you’ll have the option of Gathering (jute plant nodes), Salvaging (tearing apart basic cloth goods made with jute), Scavenging (digging through containers or piles to find raw jute or jute cloth goods), or potentially looting jute cloth from NPCs in areas where they possess those items if you’re also an adventurer. Additionally some repeatable tasks (such as crafting writs) could reward you with bundles of the material you’re after.

    Will harvest nodes reflect zone level, or will the nodes be more of a type per zone and level doesn't factor in?

    Currently we’re leaning toward the former more than the latter. Let’s take woodcutting as an example. It’s far more believable that you’d find oak trees to cut where oak trees grow over “oak is a tier 3 material, therefore only level 30 zones have oak trees in them”. We understand where designing materials by level has an appeal. Sticking with the (hypothetical) oak example, in Pantheon where you might utilize oak across a level spectrum comes down to how the oak is treated or finished. One treatment might yield a tier 3 item, whereas another might yield a tier 4 (or any other tier for that matter)

    In the past you said you weren’t sure if there will there be group harvesting. Has anything changed?

    We’ve had a few conversations internally about the possibility of allowing for group harvesting. In a game like Pantheon that encourages and rewards participation in social activities, we can see the case being made for extending that to harvesting. Where things get tricky is that when we start allowing players to harvest the same nodes together, we’re effectively multiplying the number of raw crafting materials entering the economy. I think it’s something we’re going to continue discussing, but I don’t see us changing our stance on this at the time being.

    There’s been talk about items other than nodes being being harvestable what might those be?

    In addition to harvesting opportunities, we’re going to be adding several instances in our world where players can find and pick up items from the world. Some examples would be like picking up a weapon from a rack, a potion from a shelf, or sneaking some coins off a merchant’s table (just don’t get caught). Since we’re doubling down on putting the environment front and center of players’ PvE experiences in Pantheon, it seems only fitting that we reward players a bit for paying attention to their surroundings. Also, we just think it’s cool and immersive to be able to pick up actual items in the world. Some items will be super rare, or are only available once certain events have occurred in the zone.

    • 1075 posts
    October 10, 2018 10:25 AM PDT

    Definitely some interesting insights into what methods and equipment are needed for obtaining materials.  Still has a bit of an EQ2 vibe about it..not sure if that is good or bad.

    • 844 posts
    October 10, 2018 11:57 AM PDT

    Thanks for copying this over to the forums Shyin, I didn't have time this morning when the newsletter went up (darn that RL job)  :)

    There's a lot of good info here.  Hopefully it spurs some discussions.  I have my own thoughts which I'll try to get posted at some point this week.  The other writers for Pantheon Crafters do as well, I'm sure.  I think this is an area where all of us should be vocal and ask more questions.  From the tone of the responses, the team is still working on the finer details of how this all fits together - it's a good opportunity for us as the players to help provide really valuable feedback.


    This post was edited by Nephele at October 10, 2018 11:58 AM PDT
    • 710 posts
    October 10, 2018 3:36 PM PDT

    Not a fan of node based harvesting, for all the negative reasons that have been proven out by history.  Especially not "first come, first served" competitive node harvesting.

    I will offer this, though, as some implementation problems and issues that should be addressed, or not, ignore, read, whatever:

    1) Do NOT spawn nodes as a group, and require that the entire group be harvested before another node group will spawn.  EQ2 did this, and it was horrific.  People mined all the rock nodes as soon as the server or zone reset, and then left the rest of the "crap" for other people to harvest.  It was calle cherry picking nodes, and led to anti-social behavior.  Nodes by type should spawn BY TYPE, not by group.  This means the code should say: keep at least x number of mining nodes in the zone, AND, concurrently, keep at least x number of plant nodes in the zone, not: only keep x node groups in the zone.  Because we will have seen this before, and we won't like it.

    2) Do NOT allow a player to harvest if they or their pet are on the hate list of any mob.  Full stop.  If you're going to do guarded nodes, make it so every player that wants to harvest that node has to kill the guard.  No exploits, no training away, none of that.  In fact, I would go so far as to make it so the node doesn't even become interactable UNTIL the guard is dead, and you can't interact with the node unless you helped kill the guard.  That way, dual boxers can't cheat, and nodes can't be snarfed by invisible idiots.

    2a) Don't allow players or pets to stand on, in, near enough, on top of, beneath, or in any way block the use of a node by another player.

    3) If node placement is not really random?  Don't call it random.  Random meaning "one of these less than 30 preset locations" is not random.  Random means ANYWHERE.  If it's a pre-set location of any kind, it will be mapped, and exploited.  Don't do it.  Actual random, or personal visiblity, not pseudo random publicly visible.

    4) Make it so that if you're going to get better at something?  You get more of everything you want, and it uses less of what you don't have.  What do I mean?  I mean if I am a master harvester?  No interaction with a node should ever exceed 3 seconds when at max skill/the best of the best.  By all means, make the time LESS than three seconds, but not more. 
    The max time interacting with a node, in the worst possible skill? 10 seconds.  That's your window of acceptable "sitting there doing nothing watching an animation" a thousand times per day.  1-10 seconds.
    As well, I should always get more as I get better.  That means I get more of both common and rare harvests, or my harvesting time goes down for everything.  Especially given it sounds like you're going to go with the broken "You need 1 jute, 10 cotton, 100 silk, 1000 manaweave, 10,000 planar weave style recipe system, which again, is historically broken and always needs to be replaced after the first expansion due to a lack of forethought.
    But at the very least, as I become a "master harvester" at something, let me get more and it always be faster, especially on lower level nodes, compared to my current skill.  None of this "it takes 10 times longer the better you get" nonsense.

    4a) If we're going to go with a tiered system of commons & rares, let me trade in 10, 100, 500 or 1000 of something for a rare.

    5) Personal visiblity (like GW2) is far FAR better than public visibility.  I love harvesting when it's not a race.  I hate harvesting when it's a race.  This means, I see my nodes, you see your nodes, and we're all friends.  "morning bob." "morning frank" not: "I wish you were dead Bob, sincerely, Frank"

    6) Deeply consider the option of having persistent, yet temporary, zone adjustments that produce resources instead of static interactive competitive nodes.  This means single players, guilds, or groups of guilds can temporarily alter regions of a zone to add things like a mine, farm, zoo, forest, burrow, nest, etc, resource generator of their choice.  Make these have a huge resource cost up-front, or a low resource cost, yet require defense,  but have them produce for the duration of defense.  Think of it like a player run event.  I'm digging up a burrow filled with rats.  Ok, as long as I defend the burrow from cats, I can harvest rats for skins, until the burrow runs out. Heck, make it so the attackers don't even grant XP if you want.  Similarly; I plant a magical forest of magic trees.  I defend the trees from magical wood-eating creatures, and I can harvest the trees myself.  Make it group/raid events with massive waves of attackers and defenders + harvesters working together, for the really good stuff.
    This is far, FAR better than any static node solution, and ties combat in, in an interactive way, for solo, group, and raid play for all crafting resource generation, and is the ultimate throttle on resource ingress.  Unless you don't want to require combat for resource acquisition, in which case, ignore #6.

    7) What has been outlined thus far in the newsletter, and previously, does absolutely nothing to throttle the influx of crafting resources/materials because... wait for it... salvaging!  Which means, even if you don't do something interesting like #6, guilds are simply going to exterminate all the mobs in all the zones 24x7 to obtain their crafting resources by funneling them all into one master salvaging account. UNLESS you do something that has never been done before, and you shouldn't do, and you don't allow all the resources to be obtained from salvaging.
    So, if you do allow all the resources to be obtained from salvaging, killing things to get them means there is no resource throttle.  If you don't allow all the resources to be obtained from salvaging, you will distinguish your game in a uniquely negative way.  Your call.

    I'm extremely disappointed in the lack of innovation in the harvesting solution thus far.  I would have thought in the past 4 years, even just culling ideas from these forums, these veteran designers could have come up with a vastly more entertaining and challenging solution. :|

    Edit to add the missing bit about getting more as you get better.


    This post was edited by vjek at October 10, 2018 3:54 PM PDT
    • 1143 posts
    October 10, 2018 5:04 PM PDT

    What I liked about harvesting in the newsletter was how you could have a regular harvesting tool, but you could also get (through questing? or crafting? or finding rare crafting items from Dungeon-diving?) a uber harvesting tool that couild harvest higher level items like the oaks in level 30 zones but also use it for normal harvesting. Kinda like a tophy or toned-down epic like crafting tool.

    • 35 posts
    October 10, 2018 7:00 PM PDT

    Will the tools I need to use for tradeskills take up much inventory space? How that might be handled?

    • 171 posts
    October 10, 2018 10:50 PM PDT

    Posted my thoughts in the announcement thread, but this may be a more logical place to do so.  Apologies in advance for the length:

    Hm...while I love you guys...I have several bones to pick with the harvesting situation.  XD

    Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with harvesting.  I don't like personal nodes/spawns, because it's just silly.  If someone else is hacking at a tree and I hack at the same tree, this should affect how much we each can get.  FFXIV you basically have sets of 4 nodes that, once you harvest three, the first you harvested will respawn, on a sort of rolling circuit.  So you basically cycle between them for as long as you want to harvest.  I don't really like this system, although it DOES lend well to grinding, and it is kind of neat that you tend to run into other harvesters doing their circuits.  However, it's just...weird.  Even in their massive forest zones with gigantic trees, it seems like sooner or later they should run out of wood.  Same with the mineral nodes.  Moreover, why should I even have to run the circuit?  If the node is just going to respawn, why not let me keep hacking at that tree over and over and save the pointless walking between the same 4-8 trees?  FFXIV actually DOES do this with Fishing, though, where you fish out an area after a while and either have to go to a different area or come back later.  It WOULD make sense with renewable resources (like trees) for this to be used as well.  Doesn't make QUITE as much sense with ores for them to replinish over time, but for the sake of a game, it's kind of necessary (irl planet Earth, mining basic metals becomes harder and harder as we've mined out the easier to get to "nodes", which is why things like copper are more valuable than they used to be, at least in part [the other part being more uses...like wiring and infrastucture and circuitboards.])

    The flipside of all of this, though...depending on how many people are playing, and how rare the node spawns are, it can lead to people being unable to level up their gathering skills.  Suppose you can't get a level 1 copper ore node to save your life.  You shrug your shoulders and move on.  Then you get to the next level range ore zone.  Oh look!  There's plenty of iron ore nodes...oh WAIT...that's RIGHT.  YOU can't mine them because YOU couldn't find any copper to mine, so your skill isn't high enough to mine all of that iron ore that you're practically swimming in!

    This wades us into the next thing that I hate about many crafting systems: Tiered materials.

    Why is it that once you get past basic copper chestpiece of chestpiecing, you never again need copper?  Why is it that level 1 lether scrap and level 1 thread are never again needed?  Further, why is it you can't manage to get a piece of iron ore until you've smacked a bunch of copper ore rocks with your pick?  I can understand super rare high level mats like super-ultra-magic mythril +500 requiring special tools and maybe a higher skill level, but "mundane"/non-magical materials?

    All that level/tier materials tend to do in games is make artificial bottlenecks in the midrange, and make wastelands of useless materials at "old" level caps.

    What I mean by this is, for the bottleneck, the copper example above.  You don't need it, it's worthless, but you have to get PAST it before you can get to the good, useful stuff that sells.  The second part ("old" level caps) also applies to mid-level materials.  Supper simple system, let's suppose there is copper<mythril.

    As discussed, most people can't get past copper, so there is a deficit of iron on the markets.  NOT mythril, because master gatherers (who DID manage to level through the copper-iron-mythril process) gather mythril to use/sell for max level gear.  But you as a gatherer want to get to that mythril and you cannot, because you can't get past copper.  But it's also a crafter problem, because mythril is RELATIVELY abundant, but no one is mining iron!  Because low level gatherers can't, and because high level gatherers are more interested in mythril.  It's in the high level zones they frequent and there's a consistent market.  You'll have some that "deign" to mine iron, but then they sell it for ridiculously high prices, because they know crafters need it to grind through the mid-range levels to get to where they can make mythril gear, but it's not in the zones high level gatherers frequent.  This also runs into the weird situation where IRON, the mid-level ore, will sell for more than MYTHRIL, the high end ore, just because there's less of the iron on the market.  (The ultra-rare unobtanium mythril, of course, will still command a premium, because it's gated to once a week/using a legendary forge deep in a raid, etc.)

    ...but the problem gets worse when an expansion hits.  NOW, mythril is rare, too.  The high level gatherers have moved on to the expansion zones and new level cap areas, and they mine Ultrathil ore.  Why mine mythril when ultrathil is what all the top end crafters need for gear?  But the same original problem still remains - low level gatherers STILL can't get passed copper, and mid level crafters are having to pay an arm and a leg for iron ore to craft mid-level gear to level, but no one cares to buy the mid-level gear, so they're in a money sink trying to get to the mythril gear - which no one is mining anymore, either, so now IT is also rising in price.

    Oh, and remember unobtanium mythril?  That stuff is now the unicorn of metals.  No one goes into Bolton More anymore, so no one has access to the legendary forge of forging, and unobtanium mythril is now not obtained, and thus not sold.  And the gear it made was overly costly for the mats (back when it WAS level cap/BiS), and so it really isn't worth the effort except for nostalgia/showing off purposes, anyway.

    ....

    Okay, now, I'm an economist, and everyone understands basic supply and demand.  If there's a void, surely people will fill that void, right?  Profits, right?

    ...well, as I discussed, no.

    It's an artificial monopoly/oligopoly.  Supply and demand works if there are no barriers to entry.   NO barriers to entry.  If there was a shortage of iPhones and just anyone could make iPhones, the shortage would go away almost instantly.  BUT, not just anyone can make iPhones.  And even if you could, there's the copyright law getting in the way.  The more barriers to entry, the less likely supply and demand and other natural market forces will correct market distortions.  In this case, supply and demand WOULD fix the problem...

    ...if just anyone could jump into gathering and mine iron and mythril.

    But, as discussed, new entrants to the gathering market are unable to get past the copper hump.  As such, they can't GET to the iron or mythril areas.  And as for unobtanium mythril, it was only really useful for specialized gear for that one raid.  While it might be cool for nostalgia, it simply is FAR too much effort running Bolton More for anyone to bother, especially since, as soon as you get to the middle of the mythril recipes, crafters can skip the last few skill ticks by jumping into the new Ultrathil.  Ultrathil, btw, is also only something that the oligopoly has access to farming, so it will command higher prices at the start of the expansion as people try to level passed it to level cap (so they can make Unobtanium Ultrathil recipes from the new Tarazhan Kower raid super-legendary forge), with the price gradually going down until the end of the expansion.  As soon as the new expansion launches, Ultrathil will be the new mythril, and Unobtanium Ultrathil the new Unobtanium Mythril (which, ironically, is now slightly more available beause people will be running Bolten More for nostalgia now that they can clear the raid with small groups due to over gearing the content).

    .

    I've seen this happen over and over in MMOs.  It happened in WoW, it happened in FFXIV.

    Now, your system has scavenging and salvaging, but let's be real, if scavenging is generating more ore (or any other crafting material) than ACTUAL GATHERING NODES for that material (e.g. more than iron nodes), something's backwards there.  In lore/"real world" terms, it'd be like if you could get more wood from breaking up guitars than you could from going to a forest and chopping down trees.  Does that make sense at all?

    The salvaging system can help the gatherer trying to level through the iron range as he can take apart that iron chestplate of chestplating, but he will only get some of the materials back, making that leveling range still a money pit he has to get over to get to where he can make gear people will pay enough for that he's not losing money on every skill point/craft.  While to a point this IS truth in fiction (people spend a lot of money getting school/degrees/certifications during which time they aren't making money on their craft), it's not healthy for a game (OR real life, really) economy (see: super high college costs and college debt that constrains young people starting families, buying homes, and other things that people used to do before 30-40, thus constraining economic growth of the entire national economy).

    So you then run into the weird situation where scavaging and salvaging are either far more powerful than they should be (but covering over that "hole" left in "natural" gathering) OR they're as weak as they problem should be (generating less materials), in which case they do not pave over the potholes in the system.

    And this still doesn't get around that weirdness of how lower tier items are essentially worthless outside of grinding skill points.  Yeah yeah, useful gear for lowbies.  But if you could make a lowbie an iron or mythril sword, why would you make them a copper one?  Not only that, base materials are used irl in higher tier items - copper is used in basically all electronics and infrastructure systems, and wooden items typically rely on a combination of multiple types of woods for things like composite bows, increasing their strength and/or adding useful properties.

    .

    So not saying the system can't work, but pointing out what I see as the BIG problems with tiered materials, which makes little rational sense, and creates bottlenecks, nonsensical cost inversions (e.g. iron selling for far more on the market than mythril, which should be the more expensive/rare ore), and "old level cap" wastelands.

    NOW, you can partly get around this by letting people mine ANY tier of material node (if they have low skill, simply getting less quantity/quality of materials), as this would let that fledgling gatherer gain skill points (and some materials) off of those iron nodes they're tripping over.  This is, probably, one of the best tools to use to combat that system.  And you can partly get over it on the gathering side by doing two things (1) making it where even making low level things allows a player to gain skill points, just at a lesser rate (so you don't NEED that expensive iron, you can just buy all of that copper Chinese farmers are dumping on the market for cheap and grind out 10x as many items, but still level up to the mythril crafting level range) and/or (2) make even higher level items require mid and low level mats (maybe that super magical sword of swording requires mythril, but also requires some iron, meaning even high level gatherers have a reason to now frequently travel to those iron areas and provide iron ore for the market.)  This would also prevent Ultrathil from just being "the new mythril", at least to an extent.

    But I should note that there are limits to even these corrective measures, as well as some negatives (for example, requiring multiple tiers of materials to craft makes crafting more complex/difficult, and can lead to inventory issues as crafters attempt to make even somewhat basic items - that mythril chestplate of chestplating now requires 20 inputs, oh my!), but they can at least smooth over things somewhat, both in the "realism" sense (critical for immersion, which we all want in the game) and in the supply and demand sense (a constant demand means that the supply will be more consistently filled, providing needed materials for more junior crafters).

    But yeah...I just wanted to drop all of that in the hopes that Pantheon doesn't repeat the mistakes I've seen FAR too often in other games.

    • 16 posts
    October 11, 2018 4:37 AM PDT
    My only Issue with the current plan for harvesting is the "First come First Served" method... Racing/being raced to nodes causes animosity and can ruin communities... worse it can give botters, Exploiters, and cheaters more of a reason to be...
     
     
    I understand that its in an attempt to monitor the flow of goods. but there hasta be a better way... like timers that throttle how much of a material a single person can harvest in X amount of time.
     
     
    • 104 posts
    October 11, 2018 4:52 AM PDT

    My take on harvesting is:

    salvaging, scavenging and fishing should be availible for every character (if the fishing is availible in general water and not only in fishing nodes).

    but from the other "gatherings" , only one.

     

    1) my first concern is resource competition, a single high level player can desent on an area like a locust and take all the nodes in the zone leaving nothing to the "on level" players, ruining the day for every other gatherer in the area.

    while if only single gathering skill is permitted such player could ruin the day for a select number of other gatherers.

    2) monopolization of selling mats, if all gathering skills availible to a single dedicated and unemployed high level player , he can monopolize the auction house prices for all mats

    while if only a single gathering skill is permitted, he can monopolize only one type of mats.

     

    my two concerns.

     

    edit: i am not even mentioning botting and scripting as a bot with all harvesting skills is completely different level of breaking the game


    This post was edited by MyNegation at October 11, 2018 4:53 AM PDT
    • 419 posts
    October 11, 2018 6:11 AM PDT

    Valorous1 said:

    Will the tools I need to use for tradeskills take up much inventory space? How that might be handled?

    I was curious about this as wll Valorous1. Hopefully it's not a neccessarily large collection of tools that must utilize inventory space.

    • 1075 posts
    October 11, 2018 7:14 AM PDT

    MyNegation said:

    2) monopolization of selling mats, if all gathering skills availible to a single dedicated and unemployed high level player , he can monopolize the auction house prices for all mats

    while if only a single gathering skill is permitted, he can monopolize only one type of mats.

    While I can see your point, and would share your concern, it would really only apply if a given material was only ever available from one specific zone.  I would suspect that most 'common' materials would be found across multiple zones perhaps even dozens of zones where as a material designed to be rare would appear in a couple (or even just one) zone.

    If Oak, for example, was only available in Thronefast and Oak was the only wood usable in a bunch of common components then that would be a huge problem.  But if Oak were but one wood type usable in those same components and those other wood types were found around the world then there isn't an issue with Oak being only in Thronefast.

    Some materials need to be rare though so competition for those will be high.

    • 844 posts
    October 11, 2018 8:17 AM PDT

    I took time this morning to write out my responses on the harvesting update.  I'm not sure how well formatting will come across, and it's a lot of text.  If it's hard to read below, take a look at it on Pantheon Crafters here.

     

    I am moderately disappointed by what I've read about harvesting in this month's newsletter.

    Progression and Equipment/Tools

    My biggest area of disappointment is that the team seems to be headed towards an approach that does NOT provide much of an equipment progression for harvesting. I feel like this is a mistake. When playing games where you had to pay attention to your harvesting gear (just like your crafting or adventuring gear), I find that I took harvesting much more seriously. If I wanted to maximize my yield or get the high level things, I spent time working on my equipment - whether that was buying or crafting it, or doing quests to get upgrades. As a crafter in those games, I took a lot of pride in making harvesting equipment and tools for others as well. The model of simply having tools only, especially if those tools aren't something you upgrade a few times as you "improve" your harvesting capability, simply does not sit right with me.

    What I have been strongly hoping for in terms of Harvesting was a setup similar to Vanguard or FFXIV - where you had a section of your character sheet for harvesting gear (including tools), and you had stats you needed to care about that influenced your harvesting ability, and an experience progression (either levels or skill) where you gained in ability as you did more harvesting.

    That brings me to the second area of disappointment: I didn't see anything in the update regarding how your harvesting skills might progress over time, other than the brief mention of maybe needing a better tool at some point. Maybe it's going to be there and just wasn't stated, but with the minimalist approach to equipment, I'm concerned. I want harvesting to be a true sphere of gameplay where players can have the chance to distinguish themselves if they choose, not just a tacked-on side system that everyone does. For that to happen, it needs to be something that takes effort and that people can work at.

    Nodes and Resource Distribution

    I've seen a few people comment now that they're unhappy about the decision to go with a node-based system. Being honest, I agree with some points that have been made. If we're going with harvesting nodes, I am strongly against having to compete for those nodes. The challenge should be in finding the nodes, not in racing other players to get to them. I'm not against nodes as a concept, but they need to be implemented in a way that's actually fun and engaging for players who spend time looking for them. They also need to be implemented in a way that's less prone to abuse. Having them always spawn in the same general spots, or the same pattern, or the same cycle, is a system that can be abused. If that abuse is competitive, all that's going to do is get players angry with each other.

    Vjek had a great post earlier in the thread about implementation issues with node-based harvesting. I echo many of his concerns.

    To be clear, I'm not opposed to nodes all up. But the implementation needs to be really carefully done.

    Another place that I am concerned is that the team seems to have the idea that the nodes + scavenging + salvaging approach will keep materials scarce in the economy. It won't.

    Anything that can be farmed in an MMO, will be farmed, as long as there is any value in doing so. It might as well be a universal law of MMO design. Whether it's people spending 12-16 hours every day only harvesting nodes because there's money in it, or worse, running groups of harvesting bots, or funneling all their salvageable items to a single account to break down for resources - it will happen. It's just how players behave. You can make things take longer, of course. But if the only factor that matters is time, it will only be a matter of time before we trivialize any scarcity condition in the game.

    I'm not saying that the game shouldn't have a harvesting system or that we should have to spend money at NPC vendors for our resources or anything like that. But, we should accept that if something can be farmed, it will be. That means that if players need massive quantities of resources to build things, they'll get them one way or another. They might not enjoy it much, but they will do it. If they need rare resources, they'll get those too. One way or another. I read a lot of the answers about node dispersion as about trying to balance scarcity, and I don't think that's going to work. I think instead, the game should just be trying to ensure that if someone wants to go mine adamantium ore, they're in for an adventure. Or, more bluntly - if we want a resource type to be rare, it better spawn randomly (and very rarely) in the lair of very nasty beasts. You want that adamantium? Well, get a group, head to the dragon cave, and maybe you'll get lucky... once you've dealt with the dragons.

    Now, with all that said, I am in favor of different resources being distributed geographically - why? Because it gets players traveling, and that's a good thing. If you set things up so that players can only get birch on one side of the continent, and pine on the other, you have just created avenues for trade between players. I'm also ok with "tiering" of resources based on the level of the area. However, "tier" should really just translate to "how hard it is to get". I don't want to see a situation where crafters stop needing lower tier resources, ever. They should just need higher tier resources along with the lower tier resources as they progress.

    The Harvesting Process and Group Harvesting

    In some of the replies I've read here and in various Discords I've seen people concerned that harvesting activity will consist of "whack-a-node", which is ultimately a pretty boring activity. Personally, I'm ok with this approach, but I wouldn't mind seeing a little more of a minigame to things as well. Someone yesterday used the example of Stardew Valley's fishing system where you have to line up a bar for a few seconds to reel in the fish. Let's be honest - fishing should absolutely have some kind of minigame to it, because otherwise we're just standing in the same spot for hours pressing a button. But I would not be too unhappy if other (node) harvesting skills had a bit of a minigame to them as well - especially not if our character progression and gear influenced how easy/hard that minigame was. That being said, I don't view this as a requirement. It would certainly make harvesting more engaging, but I also believe that a big part of harvesting should be moving around, finding the nodes that you harvest.

    I was encouraged to see that the team is thinking about Group Harvesting, similar to Vanguard. Being honest here - in every game I've played except Vanguard, Harvesting has been 100% a solo activity. I'd take a few hours on a sunday morning, go out, and chop down trees or mine ore or whatever it was I needed. Relaxing? Totally. Engaging? Sure. Gets really old after a while? Yup.

    Group Harvesting changed that equation though. In Vanguard, we'd set up guild harvesting nights, where we all went out together so that we could get better yields. Even if it was just two or three of us, we'd talk and socialize while we gathered stuff, and it made that part of the game a lot more social and a lot more fun for everyone, even us introvert recluses who didn't really mind going off into the woods to chop down trees by ourselves for hours to begin with.

    Summing Up

    Like I said at the top, I'm moderately disappointed by this update. Don't get me wrong - I'm happy that the team took time to give us an update. I'm happy they've been thinking about it. But, I feel like we're headed in a direction that will not be engaging or fulfilling for players, and that will be a step backwards from what we've seen in other MMOs for the last ten years. That does not sit right with me. I hope I'm wrong, or, failing that, I hope the devs will hear my feedback and others and go look at how they can do something better. We still have a lot of time before launch. And to be fair to them - I understand that they're a small team and that resources have to be prioritized. But what I don't want is for Pantheon to take a minimalist approach to the Harvesting sphere... because it really should be a Sphere - separate from and equal to Crafting and Adventuring.

    So, I'm hopeful that this feedback will help convince the team to move in a better or stronger direction. Or, if I've got it all wrong, to come back and clarify their intentions for all of us :)

     


    This post was edited by Nephele at October 11, 2018 8:19 AM PDT
    • 363 posts
    October 11, 2018 10:23 AM PDT

    Valorous1 said:Will the tools I need to use for tradeskills take up much inventory space? How that might be handled?

    This is a concern of mine, considering VR has stated they want us to be able to engage in all of the gathering professions. In an ideal situation, the gathering tools would be equippable, so that they don't take up inventory slots - otherwise that would be 6 slots that may as well not exist.

    Gathering itself is an activity that already burdens the inventory. I don't think the tools need to be adding to that!

    • 466 posts
    October 11, 2018 11:55 AM PDT

    @Nephele

    In general I am right there with you.  If harvesting skills are only going to be a matter of finding a node and checking to see if you have the right tool in your inventory before collecting it and everyone can have all the harvesting skills then why bother having the skill at all?

    Free for all node harvesting plays right into my dislike of designing a crafting system based on spamming the combine button. There is no value added to the ingredients by creating the item if the item is less valuable than the raw materials on the open market and that is what happens in bulk resource based crafting systems.

    I would actually prefer to see VR make the “hard choice” and make harvesting skills professions that compete directly with the crafting professions.

    I would make:

    Prospector: Both finds and extracts metals, clays, stone and gems from different locations.  Only prospectors can notice these nodes because they are the only ones with the training.  Additionally they can have some form of active skill that helps them “discover” nodes that are not already spawned.

    Forester:  Foresters can locate good trees to fell and can drive a wagon filled with timber to mills in order to cut them to lumber.  Additionally they can find and harvest stands of young growth wood for staves and many of the other smaller process and preprocess the wood to be ready for crafting.  Forester is also able to find and collect rare natural materials found out in the wild.

    Hunter: The hunter is an expert at finding and harvesting wild game.  The provide meat and fish to provisioners, skins to leather workers, and unique animal derived ingredients to alchemists.  The hunter actually has ways to go to an area and track i.e. force local fauna to spawn that can be killed and harvested.

    Basically one harvester for Mineral, one for Plant and one for Animal.  Picking one would preclude you from picking a crafting class.

    Scavenging can be a general catch all “loot the room” skill that all combat classes can use in addition to just looting corpses.

    Salvaging should be a function of the crafting classes and not a harvesting skill.  Each item will have a range of professions that can salvage it and based on that profession you get salvage results from a different results table.

    This I think would make for a much more engaging system that will limit the inflow of materials while increasing the value of the materials.  I would still have the node harvesting process be some form of mini game just like every crafting process should be a mini-game.  Mini game harvesting will severely limit the ability of bots to farm nodes.

    • 217 posts
    October 11, 2018 1:27 PM PDT

    Sorry to burst some bubbles here but at the heart of Pantheon we will compete for materials / mobs / dungeons / camps / items ECT. An open world game is that at its core. I'm not sure why so many are concerned about competition for nodes. Pantheon is going to be a truly open world with massive competition. Welcome to a true MMORPG experience.

     

    I like the old "lets wait and see approach" instead of "Grab your torch and pitchfork, burn VR at the stake for sticking to their vision"

     

    • 844 posts
    October 11, 2018 1:40 PM PDT

    Pyde said:

    I'm not sure why so many are concerned about competition for nodes. 

    Not to argue with you Pyde - your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's here.  But, by way of explanation:  It's because that sort of competition is simply not fun for many people, and it doesn't add to the experience in our eyes.

    I'm not saying one way is better than the other, or that one side of that debate is right or wrong - for any game system we want to talk about, whether it's harvest nodes or raid spawns or perception triggers. But you asked why, and that's why.  For some people it's fun.  For other people it's not.

    You are right though that we will have to wait and see.  Until then, all any of us can do is speak to our personal feelings and experiences and hope that the developers make a decision that works for us in the end.

    • 118 posts
    October 11, 2018 5:01 PM PDT

    Thanks for the lively discussion. When you consider that the game build is still Pre-Alpha, and the update clearly states, Quote: (We’re currently in the prototyping phase for each harvesting skill, so it’s hard to say how different they’ll be as we get further in development.)

    I will have to side with the we need to wait approach and see how the testing goes for these skills.

    This is by no means anywhere close to the finished products and I am sure there will be multiple changes along the way during testing. As always please keep giving your feedback to the team at VR, that's exactly what these forums are here for.

    • 710 posts
    October 11, 2018 7:21 PM PDT

    I appreciate the optimism, Shyin, but it's misplaced, in my opinion.  The design goals, once set, at this phase of development, are unlikely to change significantly.

    For example, I seriously doubt they would actually consider moving to a different harvesting system at this point.  So, the best we can hope for are minor tweaks.

    As per Kilsin, " ... now we are pretty much at the point where we have nearly everything in or set to go in and it is impossible to change anything until it is tested ... " so... yeah.  It's a desperate hope indeed that anything is going to change, in a major way, for core system design decisions like this, for this game.  I've seen this exact same type of thing happen with Project Gorgon, Pathfinder Online, and Shroud of the Avatar.  The devs will NOT change core design decisions like this, specifically, and especially, when the community has something superior.  It's like they implement the worst choice out of unconscious envy?  I don't really know, it's a mystery why, when logically proven superior systems are available.

    For example, we might be able to, with 1000 angry forum posters, post launch, get a single recast value changed for a single ability.  But beyond that?  History tells me any significant changes are highly unlikely.Hence my disappointment that this is the best they could come up with after 4+ years of design.  I mean, this is literally a system that has been tried before, in the past, in several other North-American fantasty-themed MMO's, and created nothing but a toxic social atmosphere in every respect.  In each implementation.  Every time.  To think that it would be different, given history and what they've outlined, is.. illogical.  Sorry, I just can't stop shaking my head at how bad this is going to be, as revealed thus far.

    • 217 posts
    October 11, 2018 9:21 PM PDT
    @vjek we also have to remember that VR is operating with a smaller team as an Indie developer. To expect a ground breaking feature with everything VR implements is asking a bit much IMO. Also with what's been revealed I personally think it's just fine and headed in the right direction. But each of us have our own opinion and this is just mine
    • 466 posts
    October 12, 2018 5:34 AM PDT

    I would personally rather see VR hold off on implementing crafting until the first expansion rather than spend their precious man hours implementing a cookie cutter crafting/harvesting system that has been shown to be flawed and ultimately very low value.  The game can ship with only NPC dropped and sold items but it cannot ship with a small amount of world content and a weak combat system. 

    Revamping crafting from a simple click harvest/craft system to an involved, customizable, choice driven, interactive system will be very painful and disruptive after launch. Going from no crafting system to a complex system is much more palatable as you are adding functionality not making functionality you already have more difficult.

     

    • 101 posts
    October 12, 2018 8:25 AM PDT

    I wish to state a very rare disagreement with something Nephele said. Normally I don't even post because Nephele stated my thoughts in a much better way than I ever could. In this one case though, I disagree. For crafting to be a viable and legit 3rd leg of an MMO (PvE and PvP being the others), One should not be forced to do PvP to level up crafting and one should not be forced to do PvE to level up crafting. A level 1 toon should be just as able to max out crafting if the system is truely designed to recognize that crafting is a major component of a game (instead of just a tacked on system). Now however, I am fine with the concept that you can max out crafting as a level one for General armor, General Staves, General potions or what not. For that really special crafted item, maybe you do need to get mats that are hidden behind a dragon, but I am against all higher tiered mats hidding behind a mob.

    Crafting and gathering really is my goto solo activity and I would hate to see that intentional solitude type activity being forced into the realm of group (or raid). There will be an abundance of group mandated activities in this game as it is, crafting/gathering needs to stay solo for diversity of play. Because, you know, sometimes you just wanna go /anon and do your own thing.

    Edit: I am not against nodes (if they are geologically and geographically accurately spawned). I am not against First Come First Serve either. That discussion has been played out on way too many pages on the instanced vs open world raids threads. I am fine either way for raids and I am fine either way for nodes. I am definately pro on the salvaging everything side and thankful that you are not forced into just salvaging wood or just salvaging metal. I also need to re-read the newsletter again because Oak was mentioned and I thought it mentioned that the process leveled up not the need for a different wood. Hence always a need for Oak that never gets out tiered


    This post was edited by Dashed at October 12, 2018 8:32 AM PDT
    • 710 posts
    October 12, 2018 8:28 AM PDT

    Pyde said: @vjek we also have to remember that VR is operating with a smaller team as an Indie developer. To expect a ground breaking feature with everything VR implements is asking a bit much IMO. Also with what's been revealed I personally think it's just fine and headed in the right direction. But each of us have our own opinion and this is just mine

    The three examples I cited are also smaller indie teams.  None of them are beholden to a publisher.  None of them answer to anyone but themselves.  They all implemented very poor/awkward/broken systems, just like the one that Visionary Realms is going to use.
    Having seen these mistakes repeated many many times in the past few years, and even more often in the past 23 years since Meridian 59, I have zero confidence this system can be made to work without a complete overhaul.

    As far as 'groundbreaking features' my expection is that they will, in fact, produce exactly that.  They are, by their own claim, a group of veteran developers.  They have at least 30 employeees, and thousands of posts on these forums to get amazing, challenging, social, innovative solutions. Thousands of passionate fans can and do come up with excellent ideas, implementations, and systems.  In many cases, far better and more detailed than what has been outlined in the October newsletter.  As others have said, this is a copy/paste from other failed implementations, and it would be better to skip harvesting & crafting for launch rather than launch with this or anything remotely like this.

    It's not like people don't understand or haven't seen it before, or are incapable of logically assessing a new system.  The community is capable of all of that, and more.
    I'll put it another way.  If they had, instead, approached Nephele or Cromulent and told the larger community:  Ok, everyone who wants to iterate on designing Pantheon crafting, register at the Pantheon Crafters site, and we'll give you an Ideascale instance to refine your ideas.  Once done, produce four versions, once per quarter, in the past year.  VR will assign one developer 1 hour per quarter to review your implementation and offer guidance, so that each revision will be in the direction we're willing to consider implementing.  Make it all public and transparent, including the 4 submission PDFs and the responses.  Do it all.  Harvesting, Crafting, solo, group, raid.  Put every thing in there that you think will fit, based on the rest of the public information in the FAQ, Features, and Tenets.

    That's how an indie dev team should or could utilize their community of rabid fans.  They will get, at the very least, a design that's gone through the threshing machine, and has, if noithing else, hundreds or thousands of iterations and opinoins.  And it costs them 1 hour per quarter, and they don't have to use it.  But at least they would know what a niche portion of their target demographic wants.

    • 844 posts
    October 12, 2018 10:25 AM PDT

    Dashed said:

    I wish to state a very rare disagreement with something Nephele said. Normally I don't even post because Nephele stated my thoughts in a much better way than I ever could. 

    LOL, I think you just proved that I'm a real human and not some gestalt consciousness :)

    Disagreement totally valid.  And encouraged!  FWIW, I agree with you in principle that people shouldn't be required to do PvE or PvP in order to craft and/or harvest.  I just don't think that you can achieve true scarcity of resources without imposing cross-sphere requirements.

    • 844 posts
    October 12, 2018 10:31 AM PDT

    Trasak said:

    I would personally rather see VR hold off on implementing crafting until the first expansion rather than spend their precious man hours implementing a cookie cutter crafting/harvesting system that has been shown to be flawed and ultimately very low value.  The game can ship with only NPC dropped and sold items but it cannot ship with a small amount of world content and a weak combat system. 

    Revamping crafting from a simple click harvest/craft system to an involved, customizable, choice driven, interactive system will be very painful and disruptive after launch. Going from no crafting system to a complex system is much more palatable as you are adding functionality not making functionality you already have more difficult.

     

    I understand the intent behind your words Trasak but I don't know that something like that would ever work.  My experience has been that in order for crafting/gathering to work in a game, the game itself has to be designed from the get-go to have them.

    In practical terms, I feel that if you build a loot-based economy in v1, and then implement crafting/gathering in v2, you then have to go back and adjust every aspect of the old loot-based economy to make crafting/gathering fit.  Even if you're successful in making the v2 crafting/gathering stuff useful and desireable, the growth of that sphere will still be stunted because players won't have "grown up" with it.  It would be sort of like saying "hey, up until level 50 you just use loot and quested stuff, but at 50 you need to start crafting if you want the best gear".

    I just don't think that would land well with many players at all - so you'd either have a bunch of angry non-crafters because now they have to rely on others when they haven't had to before, OR you'd have a bunch of depressed crafters because hardly anyone cares about the stuff they make because it's not needed.

    So, like I said, I get where you're coming from, but I don't think waiting until an expansion for crafting and gathering would work.  If the game's going to have it at all, it probably needs to be integrated from Day 1.

    I'd have a different opinion if Pantheon's adventuring progression was skill-based instead of level-based, but that won't happen :)

    • 171 posts
    October 12, 2018 11:52 AM PDT

    Dashed said:

    I wish to state a very rare disagreement with something Nephele said. Normally I don't even post because Nephele stated my thoughts in a much better way than I ever could. In this one case though, I disagree. For crafting to be a viable and legit 3rd leg of an MMO (PvE and PvP being the others), One should not be forced to do PvP to level up crafting and one should not be forced to do PvE to level up crafting. A level 1 toon should be just as able to max out crafting if the system is truely designed to recognize that crafting is a major component of a game (instead of just a tacked on system). Now however, I am fine with the concept that you can max out crafting as a level one for General armor, General Staves, General potions or what not. For that really special crafted item, maybe you do need to get mats that are hidden behind a dragon, but I am against all higher tiered mats hidding behind a mob.

     

    I largely agree.  I think of Sword Art Online (the anime) where you have dedicated crafters like the blacksmith player who never engages in combat, simply taking ores and materials brought to her and making powerful weapons with them.  Becoming known for your skill such that people will come to you with their materials from the dragon's lair, or go out to farm an area to get the mats after talking with you to see what they need to bring to you in order for you to make their powerful gear for them is a neat thing that you don't really see in games.

    FFXIV has shown that crafting can be done independently from PvE or PvP.  Crafting classes/jobs in that game are full on CLASSES (in the game, you can have all classes on a single character and swap between them, but the point here is that they are given a lot of depth).  They have skill trees, specializations, "rotations", a spellbook's worth of abilities, and entire gear sets.  Further, they level the same as combat classes, just through doing crafting (making things or completing crafting quests).

    The downsides of FFXIV are that (to a point) it can be either very grindy or very min/max (know where to go and what to do/make to do crafting quests), that when you want to just mass produce things, you can, but without the benefits of higher chance for high quality items and get less xp per craft, and that the gear is identical to the gear that people get from questing or can buy from vendors...which, while somewhat realistic, also makes all but the very top end gear essentially worthless (the HQ variants are worth a little more, but excepting some pieces, most aren't worth a lot to people).  But those are generally small complaints to me compared to the depth of the system on the whole.  If you aren't familiar with it, you should definitely watch a youtube video or something, as it's an example of how to make crafting a full on class/profession on its own - which many games claim (WoW calls its crafting "Professions"), but most are just menu selection and having the mats in your bag.  There's even a semi-group crafting experience in the guild airship building/upgrading system.  It's not perfect, but it's one of the more in depth variations of crafting systems I've ever seen.