Gathering Information – A Look at Pantheon Harvesting with an informative missive by Corey LeFever.
There are many gameplay aspects that help breathe life into an MMORPG, but few are as complex as that of crafting. Players usually fall into two camps when it comes to crafting – indifferent or obsessed. Crafting in Pantheon promises to be a robust affair that will hopefully satiate even the most fanatical fringes of our fandom. Before any real crafting can begin however, there must be some resource accumulation, some raw materials and components. To shed some light on the procurement of these precious resources is an informative missive by Corey LeFever, our Senior Game Designer.
Gathering Information – A Look at Pantheon Harvesting
What Harvesting means in Pantheon
In Pantheon there are many paths to harvesting what you need. Killing monsters with your friends is one of our core gameplay experiences, so it should follow that monsters drop a variety of items that could be used to craft. We also have a large focus is on exploration, so it follows that you should be able to find things beyond just hidden or rare monsters, such as containers or nodes to interact with to scrounge up goods.
Additionally we would like to provide opportunities to remove items from the game economy, so having the option to breakdown existing items into ingredients or components will be an important facet.
With those points in mind, let’s dive in a bit.
Oh the Skills You’ll Grow!
When it comes to interacting with harvesting nodes, all players will have access to 5 skills they can raise through use;
In order to utilize one of the skills, you’ll need to find a target for that skill as well as have a tool that corresponds to the target.
As a fledgeling harvester, you’ll start off looking for your first tool for each skill. Luckily there’s a few paths available. Many NPC settlements will have a harvesting related vendor ready to sell you beginner tools. You may also find harvesting related NPCs that will let you complete quests to receive tools, or if you’re the type that likes to kill everything – you know who you are – you may find NPCs that drop them as loot. One other source for harvesting tools is to have a Woodworker, Stonemason or Blacksmith craft you one.
Let’s take a more detailed look at each:
Once you’ve acquired your first pole, the next step is to find a fishable body of water. Many of the waterways in Terminus will be fishable, with shared fishing-related loot based on the local ecology.
Expect to find certain wildlife that’s catchable only in brackish water, freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, ponds, or swamps.
Starting out you can expect to catch lots of algae and, occasionally, rusted or soggy goods.
As your skill grows with use though you’ll find more exotic wildlife to use in crafting and clues to lost treasures
As an advanced fisherman you can acquire sturdier and more exotic fishing poles to fish in other bodies of liquid such as raw mana and pools of toxic ichor.
Some examples of the wildlife you’ll encounter from fishing are: Brouter, Soldier Fish, Puzzin, Raytails, Severfish, Saltbelly Craws, Mudkings, Odamynx, Cuddlecreepers, Snapfishes, and Meatmauls.
The primary use for fishing rewards is for crafting recipes by Provisioners (cooking/brewing) with some overlaps for Alchemists and Scribes.
When you’ve received your first harvesting sickle you’ll need to find some plants or fungi to get started.
Many will be local to specific zones or regions, so your experience will vary depending on where you travel. You’ll want to search high and low if gathering is of interest to you as you never know what you may find around the next bend or over the next hill.
Early on a gatherer should expect to interact with more mundane plants and fungi, such as basic crops, herbs, roots, fibrous plants like jute, and a variety of mushrooms.
As a gatherer grows their skills and upgrades their sickle they’ll be able to harvest more exotic targets such as the corpses of nature-based elementals, myconids, and plants rich in raw energies.
The primary use for gathering yields is in crafting recipes for Alchemists and Provisioners, with some overlap for Scribes and Outfitters.
To get going as a neophyte skinner you’ll need to find a skinning knife and some animal corpses.
Whether you’re making the corpses yourself, or other players around you are the ones making the mess, a corpse will need to be fully looted before it can be skinned.
The early experience as a skinner will find them taking the hides, meats, and blood of small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. As a skinner becomes more skilled they’ll be tackling larger animal corpses. Eventually skinners will be harvesting magical and mythical beasts like basilisks, wyverns, and dragons.
The primary use for skinning yields is in crafting recipes for Outfitters, Provisioners, and Alchemists.
Once you’ve found your first pickaxe, you’re ready to start delving in caves, quarries, and passes for ore veins.
Ore types are dispersed throughout Terminus based on their local stratum, rather than by intended player levels within a given zone. As a result some areas will be richer in certain gems and ores, with some zones having wholly unique materials.
Starting out a miner will find common ores and gems such as copper, tin, iron, jasper, onyx, quartz, and opal.
As they gain in skill miners will find themselves digging up more rare materials like gold, mithril, platinum, rubies, diamonds, and emeralds. Additionally, some creatures like golems and gargoyles can be mined with the correct skill levels and stronger pickaxes.
Regardless of a miner’s skill level they should be prepared to find lots of coal.
The primary use for mining yields is in crafting recipes for Blacksmiths and Stonemasons, with some overlap for Alchemists and Scribes.
Aspiring lumberjacks will need to find an axe suitable for woodcutting and some harvestable stumps, wood piles, or trees.
Not all trees will be choppable though, we don’t want to find barren wastelands filled with nothing but stumps!
Harvestable woodcutting targets will be found throughout Pantheon based on where they make sense ecologically, with some exceptions made for NPC groups that may be trading or cultivating specific lumber types.
In the early skill ranges woodcutters will find themselves interacting with basic wood types like oak, pine, poplar, and ash.
More experienced woodcutters will have opportunities to harvest rare and zone specific woods like Mirrawood, Swampwillow, and Candlewood.
In addition to lumber, saps and barks will sometimes appear in woodcutting yields.
The primary use for woodcutting rewards is in crafting recipes for Woodworkers, with some overlap for Alchemists, Scribes, and Provisioners.
Want to turn your unwanted items back in to raw ingredients or crafting subcomponents? This is the skill for harvesters that like destroying things!
Players wanting to work on salvaging will need to get their hands on a salvager’s kit and then take their excess armor, weapons, tools, and accessories to an appropriate workstation. Metal goods go the forge, tailored goods go to the loom, wooden goods go to the woodworker’s bench, and jewelry goes to the stonemason’s bench.
Salvagers that are just starting out will find themselves most often receiving raw or broken scraps, bits, and flecks back from their efforts.
As a salvager gains more skill though they’ll be more likely to receive crafting components back such as ingots, bolts of cloth, armor padding, bits of chain, and cut gems and stones.
Most professions share equally in the yields from salvaging. The exceptions are Alchemists and Provisioners, as separating liquids and foodstuffs is a bit sticky.
State of Affairs
Now that we’ve covered all of that, when can you expect to see it in action?
We are aiming to have most of these skills available to test during the Alpha cycle. There’s a bit of internal iteration and level design to go yet to coincide with these skills. Some enterprising players have discovered an early version of fishing is currently available in our test builds. Gathering is not far behind, while the others are currently in development.