Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Resource gathering 2.0

After much thought and testing, I don't like the mini-game approach I did. It wasn't much to code so that's no big deal. I guess the best way to get a good idea on the topic was to try it.

It's boring, meaningless and you still doesn't get the feeling that you are actually gathering resources. Let's look at version 2.0.


Joe need some iron to craft a big Iron Golem. He find a mine and enters it. Yes, he goes underground!

To get iron, he needs to find rocks to mine. Well, he's underground you'll say, he can just dig the wall. I'm not going for a mining simulation so we will stick to "he needs to find rocks to mine".

After walking a bit in the mine, he finally finds a rock. He right-click it and select "Mine" from the context-menu. With no delay, the rock disappear and Joe receives a message telling him "You found iron!".

Joe was lucky. He could have found nothing in this rock. But he knew that there was good probabilities to find iron in this mine. He could have been even luckier and find some gold!

The rock that disappeared will reappear at a random location in the same zone, in a random number of minutes so others can also mine here. Joe don't have the time to wait for it to reappear so he moves on to another rock and so on until he has enough iron.


Joe wants to build his own house. He will need wood, a lot of wood. He finds some trees, right-click on it and select "Cut wood" from the context-menu. Some wood is immediately put in his inventory.

A group of trees can provide a fixed number of wood units. When all units are taken from a group of trees, the graphic changed and all trees appears as cutted. The trees will come back in a random number of minutes. Joe still need some wood and doesn't want to wait here so he'll have to find more trees.

I don't plan to provide upgrades in mining and woodcutting skills for now. Later, I might revisit this to add more variety but that will be just fine to begin with.

I think that this way, there will be a more valid reason to explore the world to gather resources. Rocks and trees disappearing will also make resources a bit more rare and will also provide a more valid reason to buy resources from another player instead of just getting them right from the source.


Poo Bear said...

It sounds nice and simple. The one possible drawback is the potential to completely deplete an area of resources temporarily. Depending on server population and how/where players start you could imagine a situation where new players have to travel some distance before they find resources and end up just getting killed constantly. Areas close to high player concentrations (towns?) could have players hanging around waiting for the trees or rocks to respawn and it could be a source of angst i.e. "get lost newbie, I was here first!".

If it did become a problem (IF) you could always make different types of wood and rock. Areas with new players in would have quick respawn and high density of the common resource types so they never run out. Common resource types could only be used in low level construction and aren't worth much. To stop them being utterly worthless they could be used in making ammo perhaps? High level players would just buy ammo at shops or from newbies; if balanced correctly they wouldn't want to waste time making it and therefore wouldn't compete with newbies.

Then you make rare resources have longer respawns and put them farther out in dangerous areas. Rare resources make powerful or expensive items and in theory you can set it up to pull players farther and farther out into the world as they get more powerful and therefore want better weapons or bigger pay offs.

Over00 said...

You're right about new players and you're idea to fix this is a good one.

Have mines close to the newbie area, faster respawn but make sure those rocks aren't worth much to mine for veterans but are still useful to use for newbies.

One thing I want to make sure is that newbie items are always useful and used into the production for higher "levels" items.

As an example, newbie could have the skills "small wood module". Small wood modules are used to craft chests (which could also be a newbie skill) but are also used to craft medium and large wood modules. Those last modules would be used to craft houses and big stuff.

So the veteran might not want to waste time crafting the small wood modules even if he has the skill when he can just buy some from a newbie. Instead of making the "small wood module" skill better for the veteran, the veteran only has access to more skills.

So every skills will always remains useful and newbies will be able to be part of the economy right from the start. There's nothing much frustrating when you "have" to learn a skill only to learn a better one, making the first one useless.

Again, back in SWG, there was no point trying to sell weapons if you weren't a Master Weaponsmith (players always wants the best stuff). And there was also no point to try to sell weapons' parts to a master since the master could craft higher quality parts. So the only way to be an active weaponsmith was first to grind all skills to master. That's something I want to prevent.