Dispersion of resources

Barin999

Journeyman
Pantheon has stated that the harvesting nodes will be less abundant then in other games and perhaps the yield won't be as high either. Still crafters will want to collect enough resources to craft, fill order or otherwise create economic opportunities relating to resources.
We know that scavenging or even salvaging will have an impact on the resources found and present in the economy.

My opening for discussion here;
What kind of systems, designs or such would you like to see relating to to obtaining or trading desired resources?

For example, if I found a sweet spot for harvesting wood. I chopped a lot of wood and now I want to trade that pile for another resource.
I hope to be able to trade my Resources with directly with a Resource- NPC. The ratio can vary on the location where I'm offering my chopped wood. And so the rarity of resources will decide how much goods need to be offered.
There would be no coin involved.
These trade offerings from that NPC could be temporary or it could be returning in a certain sequence.

Assuming that scavenging or salvaging on your own, would require at least some adventuring, (unless your spending coin on the markets) this Trading design, would still allow players that do not venture outside the chance of obtaining resources by other means.
In a way, it could be a good resource sink. Perhaps the resources obtained from that NPC, can not be put on the local broker.

How do you see this working out in the long term?
Where can the majority of resources be in the world after X time?
Would most be on the local markets, nodes empty and barrels all turned over? Or just the nodes being farmed and salvaging becoming the greatest flow of resources for crafters? This could drive up the price of looted gear way above the selling price of end product crafted gear.
Should there be npc's that create an input of resources or none at all? Can resources be quested and purely as a questreward obtained? Rather then cash or status? Will they end up putting out more nodes due to the mass amount of players harvesting on one server/location?
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Ok, hold onto your hats, because this is going to get really meta.

We need to think about several factors here:
1) How many resources should a crafter need in order to create an item, in general?
2) What should the mix of those resources be, in terms of commonality
3) How should the overall "mix" of resources differ by region (not zone). Ex: Should there be a completely different set of resources on Reignfall from what's on Kingsreach, or should each resource be present on both continents?
4) In terms of resource entry into the economy, how much do we want coming from salvaging, and how much do we want coming from harvesting?

Here's my thinking at present:

1) How many resources should a crafter need in order to create an item, in general?

To think about this mathematically, I'm inventing a concept that I will call complexity. You can think of complexity as a measure of how difficult a recipe might be. Starting out, crafters may know how to make low-complexity items. These are simple things with simple material requirements. As they progress, crafters may learn how to make higher-complexity items, which in turn have greater material requirements to create.

We need a concept such as complexity because it helps determine how things scale. Here's an overly simplistic hypothetical construct, just to illustrate what I mean by that:

Common resource requirements by complexity
  • Complexity 1 = 15 units of resources
  • Complexity 2 = 25 units of resources
  • Complexity 3 = 40 units of resources
  • Complexity 4 = 75 units of resources
  • Complexity 5 = 100 units of resources

There's more to the question of resources than this, but the general idea here is that the harder something is to create, the more raw resources you're going to need to make that thing. These resources can be "spent" on either the final combine or on subcomponents, alloying, etc. Resource rarity (next section) may also act as a modifier. For example, that complexity 5 item might not actually need 100 units of common resources, but instead need 20 common and 15 rare resources to make. The overall point here though is the idea that starting out, crafters are making simple things with local materials in smaller quantities., and then as they advance, they start needing more and different types of resources to ply their trade.

The reason for setting things up along these lines is to insure that there's not a wall placed in front of new crafters because of the race they happen to chose when they start. We should assume that many players who are planning to craft will pick up their crafting profession fairly quickly after character creation. Thus, it's likely that the player's first attempts at crafting will take place in or near their racial hometown, and they may not be prepared or equipped to travel long distances right away.

However, by the time they learn the basics and start wanting to progress, it is likely that they will begin to need things they can't find close to home (in addition to more resources in general). Which brings me to the second question:

2) What should the mix of those resources be, in terms of commonality

My construct above simply dealt with increasing requirements based on increasing complexity of the item. However, I noted that resources shouldn't all be equal in terms of their weight on that scale. For example, copper and tin are very common metals, found in many places. Iron, on the other hand, shows up in fewer places. Titanium in fewer still.

Here's another simple construct to help us thing about that - let's call it a commonality rating, since I already used that word:

Commonality rating of resource:
1 - Found all over the place (ex: copper, tin)
2 - Common in certain regions, uncommon in all others (ex: iron)
3 - Uncommon only in specific regions, rare in all others (ex: silver)
4 - Rare in specific regions (ex: gold)
5 - Found only in specific (often dangerous) places in the world (ex: adamantite)

I mentioned above that as items grow in complexity, the overall level of resources they need increases - but that can be in terms of quantity OR in terms of the mix of resources. So, here is a hypothetical example of resource requirements where items need a mix of things with different commonality ratings.

Resource requirements leveraging commonality

  • Complexity 1 = 15 units of Copper or equivalent resources
  • Complexity 2 = 18 units of resources - 60% copper or equivalent, 40% iron or equivalent
  • Complexity 3 = 24 units of resources - 40% copper or equivalent, 40% iron or equivalent, 20% silver or equivalent
  • Complexity 4 = 32 units of resources - 40% iron or equivalent, 40% silver or equivalent, 20% gold or equivalent
  • Complexity 5 = 40 units of resources - 30% copper/silver alloy, 30% iron or equivalent, 30% gold or equivalent, 10% adamantite or equivalent

3) How should the overall "mix" of resources differ by region (not zone). Ex: Should there be a completely different set of resources on Reignfall from what's on Kingsreach, or should each resource be present on both continents?

When I talked about commonality ratings above, I sort of built this in, but I wanted to talk about what that really means for a player. So, using the commonality ratings example:

*Note: I consider a region to be a geographical area of the map. That does NOT mean that 1 region = 1 zone, and we should be careful about presuming that. It's entirely possible to have multiple zones within a geographic region, and the converse can also be true.
  • A player can find copper and tin in just about any zone. They don't have to travel far.
  • To find iron, a player may need to travel a bit to find a place with iron ore deposits, but probably not too far. Some areas (such as the mountains above Faerthale) have an abundance of iron because of their geography.
  • To find silver, a player may get lucky and find a rare node. However they will probably have to travel to a place that would be more likely to have silver deposits. Such a place would probably also have plenty of iron and copper.
  • To find gold, a player is going to have to really go looking. First, they're going to have to travel to places where gold can be found, which might be a considerable trek. Even then, the gold is still pretty rare.
  • To find adamantite, a player is going to have to venture into places where it is unwise to go alone.
I'm using metals to keep these example simple, but in reality, there's a lot of different "families" of resources that crafters will need. Durable metals, precious metals, gemstones, minerals, hard woods, soft woods, textile plants, herbs, spices, hides, grains and pulses, and so on. A region that is rich in metals is likely to be poor in other resource families. This forms the basis for trade.

Example: Yes, the elves are sitting on all kinds of ore up in Faerthale, but their valley is not really suited for growing grains or textile plants and as such, only the most basic versions of those resources are readily available. That means that while the elven blacksmith doesn't need to go very far to find usable ore, the elven tailor is probably going to have to import material to work with for higher complexity items. Fortunately though, the humans of Thronefast have fields full of the stuff, and thus trade can flourish between the two regions.

4) In terms of resource entry into the economy, how much do we want coming from salvaging, and how much do we want coming from harvesting?

We need to view salvaging as an item sink - because that's what it really is. So, we should automatically assume that at a wide scale, a significant percentage of resources will need to come from salvaging. But how much and how should that work?

Again, I turn to the idea of complexity. Just as crafting recipes have a complexity rating, so too should salvageable goods. The complexity rating of the item you salvage should determine how many and what commonality rating of resources you get from that item. Here's another hypothetical example:

Salvaging
  • Complexity 1 = 7 units of Copper or equivalent resources
  • Complexity 2 = 9 units of resources - 80% copper or equivalent, 20% iron or equivalent
  • Complexity 3 = 12 units of resources - 60% copper or equivalent, 30% iron or equivalent, 10% silver or equivalent
  • Complexity 4 = 16 units of resources - 40% copper or equivalent, 40% iron or equivalent, 15% silver or equivalent, 5% gold or equivalent
  • Complexity 5 = 40 units of resources - 35% copper or equivalent, 30% iron or equivalent, 20% silver ore equivalent, 10% gold or equivalent, 5% adamantite or equivalent
Since salvageable items can come from any region, this means that in regions that don't have a lot of a specific resource, salvaging could potentially make up a significant amount of the resource being used. However, salvaging is never as efficient as harvesting.

An example: Trasak starts a blacksmith in Wild's End, which is sadly not an area that is very rich in metals. However, he's able to get around this to an extent by breaking down the weapons of the local bandits and orc tribes. He still doesn't have as much access to metal as he might if he were to travel to Faerthale, but it allows him to get by for some things.


You could take these concepts I have outlined much further, and obviously, specifics may be very different in the actual game, but my intent is to provide a sort of high-level illustration of how I think things will probably all fit together. Again, high level.

Finally I wanted to comment on your idea of a resource trader NPC. I do not belive it would be possible to implement this in a balanced way. You would either end up with it becoming a crutch for players, and trade would not really occur - or, it would be so expensive that no one would consider it a viable option. I think it's much better to simply rely on players to facilitate the economy, and not to have NPCs trying to backstop whatever players do or don't do.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
The mix of resources and availability you suggest, show a lot of potential. I'm anxious to see what the dev's are coming up with.

Am I correct to read, that you expect resources to come primarely from salvaging, rather then actual nodes?
I'm not objecting to the proposal, it's in fact in interesting way to view the topic.
It might feel a shame for the nodes to be out there if they are not providing players with 50% of the resources.
With salvaging in mind, do you expect a lot of "trash" to drop or to be found in the game.. in that order that it can surpass the value of the resource nodes? Or do you expect "trash" to be present but not abundant and thereby raising the price of such goods on the markets?
When the cost for salvaged resources or salvagable resources is higher then the harvesting nodes, it could work out well. As long as there are sufficient resource nodes to offer the players a chance to harvest of course.
In the case "trash" is vastly more abundant then harvesting nodes (which might be the case), the price of this "trash" will quite likely plummit, which isn't a bad thing per se. But the area or mobs the trash drops from, might become less interesting to travel to. And players might aim for those areas where "gold salvaged goods" drop. In this scenario, you'll have a high price of rare gold, but possibly less offers relating to the cheaper resources. This could lead the crafters to seek out harvesting nodes for those cheap resources. Which in turn leads them back in the easier dungeons for "cheap trash".
So that bottles down to, as long as you have players willing to grind old dungeons, salvaged resources can be holding sway on the supply list. If not, the supply engine might start to stutter.

What's your opinion on resources as quest reward? If certain tasks can be repeated, this could provide a way for players to uptain there supplies without relying on travel or high savings.
 

Trasak

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
Neph . . . so many things, so I'm skipping you first, missed Barin's post earlier.

@Barin999 My Commodities exchange vendor was partially to solve that exact concept of having a place to dump one type of resource and pick up another. I have since altered the idea to have rather than a market set gold value given for items you receive Trade Guild Credits. They would still be rewarded based on the local scarcity of resources as well as the cost of locally scarce goods. While it is an NPC its prices are set by what a player is willing to sell for and what they are willing to buy at based on a value algorithm that adjusts based on reasonable target inventories and time above or below that target.

We need to think about several factors here:
1) How many resources should a crafter need in order to create an item, in general?

I want mass and volume to be reasonable. That being said there are also processing costs and general material utilization wastes. Ore I can see coming in big rocks that need to be broken down into ore deposits. A lot of ore deposits will be needed to do a true casting of ingots but you will also get a fair number of ingots at once. Those ingots can then be rolled or slit into different bar, rod or plate stock. Each of those will also have their own sizes based on the type and size of item being made. For smithing at least once you have the metal stock there is really not a lot of other ingredients other than usually some form of handle or straps. What you will need though is fuel, quenching oils, welding flux and casting molds. They could still count as resources and the harder and more steps a process is the more of those secondary resources you will need.

Complexity is a good way of looking at resource expenditure but I would come at it from a slightly different direction. Rather than looking at an increase in raw materials I would look at adding extra steps. The original raw materials will not increase by a great deal but each new process step will require its own host of secondary treatment resources and possible additional ingredients.

For crafting progression I would still like to see different quality results at each complexity level. Each successive process can only yield the maximum quality of the previous step with each step requiring higher and higher skill to do perfectly. A masterwork iron dagger would be much easier to make than even a poor quality katana.

Short Answer:
Mass/logic dependent Raw harvested resources mostly the same for all complexity tiers
Additional Secondary purchased/labor intensive preparation from nearly unlimited materials per complexity tier.

2) What should the mix of those resources be, in terms of commonality
If following the above idea then the Raw Harvested resources can be pretty rare but most items can be salvaged for low quality raw materials. A time intensive process can be followed to turn a larger amount of low quality raw materials into higher quality raw materials. At some point there will be a break point between the time to improve low quality and the time to find high quality.

The basic ingredients for the secondary process ingredients would be vendor bought or run around town from one unlimited spawn to another then off to a processing station to make it yourself rather than buy from the vendor.

This is not to be confused with the additional special raw materials required with each successive complexity tier. Tier 1 and 2 could just be standard raw materials and processes. Tier 3 and 4 would require rare harvested or mob dropped catalysts or enchantment additives and tier 5 would require raid drops.

3) How should the overall "mix" of resources differ by region (not zone). Ex: Should there be a completely different set of resources on Reignfall from what's on Kingsreach, or should each resource be present on both continents?

Complexity tier 1 items should be just global simple raw materials and processes. Each additional complexity tier will have opportunities to include additives that give the item a local or cultural effect. The knowledge how to use those additives will be something that needs to be earned. An example might be that "Thunder Buffalo" can be harvested for its hide. A tier 1 outfitter can turn it into raw leather. A tier 2 outfitter can turn it into carbouli leather. A tier 3 outfitter can use mercury and something or other to bring out the inherent lightning resistant in any set of leather armor made from a Thunder Buffalo hide and so on.

I would prefer to see copper, tin and bronze all have their own uses but not in the weapon or armor progression trees. They would be for house hold goods or for tools for other professions. The smiths can still be the ones making them but more as their support items to other crafts requiring their own metal working skill other than "black"smithing which is technically just iron and steel. To tie into the above I think all areas should have iron but they could have regional iron with different effects. A skilled smith can maintain the special properties through the complexity tiers but a low skill smith can still just use it as iron. The same could go for leather, clay, wood, meat, and stone. Herbs get a little wonky but it can still be done.


4) In terms of resource entry into the economy, how much do we want coming from salvaging, and how much do we want coming from harvesting?

Using all of the above most salvaging will only yield low quality raw materials of the most basic types. A really skilled craftsman can have a chance to retain the special properties of higher complexity raw materials if they are skilled in that high complexity tier recipe.

Otherwise I actually see bulk salvaging destroying the materials market. Just the sheer number of drops from mobs will end up overwhelming the market. The only way to handle that would be if it took more than 60 seconds to salvage something. Only the broke would salvage something low quality if it took 60 seconds so only the high value items would get salvaged commonly. Then you only need to set the rate of actually maintaining the special properties to be fairly low to prevent it from overwhelming the market.
 
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