With the latest Developer Diary, Lead System Designer Michael Mann gave us a brief walk-through of the crafting system outlining where to craft, what to craft, and how to craft. We learned about randomly spawned crafting stations called altars, and discovered a relic system that will allow us to craft items with special stats. Read on for the full transcript, or click ahead to the video.
Hello everyone. My name is Michael Mann, and I'm the Lead System Designer on EverQuest Next Landmark. Today I want to talk to you about crafting.
Landmark is a frontier game, and what that means is when you get in the game you have to stake your claim. You have to build everything - you build your own furniture, you build your own tools, and all the things that you need to survive. What that means is that you'll be crafting a lot. And so, we wanted to make the crafting system straightforward and pretty easy to use. But we also know that it's important to you guys, and it's important to us, that there's depth in the system, so we've worked hard to add that and get extra layers in there.
So now that you know where we're coming from, let's start talking about the crafting process.
The first thing you need to do is find a crafting station. You can find crafting stations in the hubs placed throughout the world, and from there you're able to create crafting stations that allow you to advance and create more and better items. Of course, these stations are all really cool, but my favorite type of station is the altar.
An altar is really cool because they are randomly spawned in the world, and when you go out and explore you can find an altar and interact with it. Once a player interacts with an altar, it sets a timer, and the timer will broadcast to the people nearby and say, 'Hey, an altar has been activated!' And when you craft an item at an altar, the items that you make will generally be better and there will also be new and unique items that you can only craft there. And as you can see, these altars look pretty cool and they're really impressive, but once the timer ends the altar is spirited away and nobody can craft there anymore until you discover a new one. So this mechanic helps encourage exploration. I hope it's really fun to go out and find them.
Now that you know where to craft, you probably want to know what you can craft. So, every player starts with a small list of recipes that they can use, and this list of recipes is things like early level tools and early level decorations so that you can get out there and have some fun. But the bulk of the recipes are out there in the world for you to unlock. You can discover them and you can craft them, and as you level up your crafting stations you'll learn more and more, and there are other ways of advancing.
What's exciting about this part is that this list will be growing all the time, and you guys are able to give your feedback so that we know what sort of items you want to see in there, so that we can create the sort of props and the sort of recipes that will allow you to make your claims the things that you want, and we think that'll be really cool.
Now we know everything except for how to craft. The cracting process is actually three variations on one main process.
The first variation is used to create activatable items such as potiens and stuff like that, or items with no variation. It's the simplest method. You basically go to a list of items, you choose the one you want, and then you hit the craft button and it appears in your inventory.
The second variation is used to create items with cosmetic differences. And what that means is that you'll be creating items like props and like clothing and stuff like that, things that you want to look different, that you want to suit to your style. The process for that is fairly straightforward: you click an item on the list and then you look through the variations of that item. For instance, if I'm making a shirt, I want this awesome button-up shirt but I want it in a blue plaid, and normally it comes in red. So, I click through the variations like I'm browsing through a catalog until I find the blue one and then I craft it and now I have a blue shirt instead of a red shirt. So, you can customize your items using a predefined set of variations that we give you.
Items with Stats
The last variation is the most complicated one; it's where we really add the depth. This is the process that we use to create items with stats such as tools and stuff like that. The items, just like our world, are procedurally generated. The areas that we procedurally generate are the stats that appear on the item, the quality, and how much of each stat you'll get.
But we've also added a system called a relic system that allows players with knowledge and experience to use these variances to your advantage, to use the procedurally generated system in a way that will allow you to create items that are really spectacular.
Relics are items that you can find in the world and that you can create. There are many different types of relics, and each relic matches up to a different part of the item that you can adjust. For example, we have our sword relics. As you harvest through the world you're able to unearth shards of these relics and, through the crafting process, restore them to their former power. When you use a restored relic in the crafting process, you're able to add stats to items and increase the chance of which stats you'll be able to get.
The relic system is an area that we really want to expand. So, as players get in and as you guys get to fiddle around witht the different areas, we'd love to hear what you think.
So, I hope you guys enjoyed the brief overview of the crafting system, and I look forward to seeing you in game. Thanks!
Karen became hopelessly hooked on EverQuest when she wandered into Norrath for the first time, immediately fell off one of the Kelethin platforms, and had to ask a Bard to find her mangled corpse. She's gained a few skills since, and logged more hours than she cares to count playing all kinds of MMOs. The EverQuest franchise remains her favorite. Relying on her druidic wisdom, she pens a weekly column, Ask the Druid, every Thursday. Send your questions to her at shayalyn [at] tentonhammer.com.
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