So I absolutely, vehemently support having a maker's mark on crafted items. Something that gives credit to the crafter and helps get their name out there (albeit in a subtle way).
As for recipe acquisition - I see many possibilities and I rather think that the game should pursue all of those.
1) Recipes that you learn through training (paying a trainer NPC)
2) Recipes that you learn through salvaging drops
3) Recipes that you learn through experimentation with different ingredients/components (maybe offshoots of a base recipe you already know)
4) Recipes that you find in written form out in the world - NPC drops, chest loot, or quest rewards - the dropped/looted versions should be tradable.
5) Recipes that you research via various mechanisms - finding and interpreting ancient lore, collecting fragments and piecing them together, utilizing perception at various places to learn tidbits, etc.
I very much like the idea you mentioned in the beginning. Having to discover techniques and thus unlocking new ways of doing work.This apprenticeship has been mentioned before by @Trasak . Perhaps he can post a link to his suggestion?
A lot has been said about how recipes find their place on Terminus.
Fully supporting, Nephele here.
Other ideas could be to learn techniques and from there advance into new recipes. So what you can do with certain resources or recipes is linked to how many or the kind of techniques you've learned.
Short example: a newby elf learns to scribe by making scrolls made out of bark of a berchtree. So this means they can scribe by means of carving words into the bark. A newby dwarf learns to scribe by making tablets made out of ...stone. So this means they can scribe by means of carving words into the stone.
Different techniques, with regional recipes and limited alterations (read: similar recipes through experimentation?) of those recipes. An elf can not start breaking rocks to make a tablet.
As the elf visits the dwarfs, they might learn about stone tablets in the context of scribing. And they learn it, it opens up a new recipe template and with that a bunch of possible recipes, where the elf did not have access to. Purely based on not having that technique in his ability book.
MAKE NOTE: I'm talking about a tradeskill, so I'm not talking about adventureclasses. So regional recipes could be different but with similar stats based on what the environmental influences are. Similar stats but different recipe templates, the differences would be that each region might boost something else (cold mitigation, int, resist to magic/poison).
I like your suggestion about a tutorial for new crafters or new techniques that need to be learned step by step. It could give the class more dept and the player more actual insight in the craft that they are playing. This doesn't have to limit itself to newbies but later on with expansions is also an option.
I would like to ask this though...
How about learning recipes or skills by viewing the action been done by npc's around the world or by unlocking them through your general craftsessions.
In other games, combat arts are learned by being around npc or players that do certain actions, when you've been witness to them enough, you eventually learned it yourself.
Other games allow you to boost, transform or unlock abilities while you are fighting (in our scenario that would be crafting ofc). The downside here is that it's a "magical learning process" so it doesn't feel like you've had to invest to earn it. But perhaps a creative writer could find a way that 1 or 2 things could in fact be learned or channeled (ghost, shaman, divine communication).
Yes, I agree, that magical learning/instance learning should be avoided. No godlike epifanies or such.I very much like the idea you mentioned in the beginning. Having to discover techniques and thus unlocking new ways of doing work.
As for the "magical learning" I dont think this should be the way they go. In combat, you will have different skill sets. May it be offence as a whole, with particular skill in 1 handed weapons, and then deeper as 1 handed slashing weapons and so on. Theres no reason not to adapt that same mindset with crafting skills.
For instance, a person may have an overall skill level in blacksmithing, but there are different parts to smithing. Theres heating the metal, hammering/shaping the metal, cooling, combining, and polishing.
If each of these skills were implemented, you would actually be able to learn (to a certain degree) from observation. This way if you see a Smith, npc or player, hammering away, it would be believable that a low level smith could learn some basic techniques of shaping metal.