In this overview, we'll focus on the differences and new additions found in this revised proposal, rather than post the entire proposal again and have you root around for the changes. What we are proposing has an impact on some details of the old proposal and we are still reviewing what remains necessary and what might be no longer needed. Generally though, it is safe to assume that whatever is not mentioned here is still the same as in the original proposal because the broad strokes are the same - new commodity gathering skills, shop changes, npc shops, mechanical trade benefits going away, etc.
The intention behind removing gold drops was to nudge players towards focusing on making gold from trades rather than from bashing. We have often heard complaints that it is much faster and easier to go hunt rather than make money through trade. We have hoped to move gold generation to quests and corpse turn-ins (and buff both), and, of course, trades. A not insignificant part of the reason was also the ease with which it would allow us to control the flow of gold into the economy.
Instead, we will retain gold drops (through hunting and influencing), aim to control all inputs better, and seek alternative/easier means of making money from trade (more on that later). That means that down the line gold drops might be lessened but definitely not removed altogether. Where needed, quests and turn-ins might still be adjusted too. We have pretty extensive data gathering systems in place for commodities, gold, and goop, and will be monitoring the situation.
The largest point of contention in the original proposal were trade proficiencies. We have taken a good long look at your arguments, at how you use trades, and at how our proposal could combine the needs of the economy with the needs of our players. A lot of you want to be creative and enjoy that side of trade skills not for profit but for the outlet it offers. Meanwhile, others pursue trades for utility and gold - usually found much more readily in the non-creative trade skills.
Because of that, we have decided to split trade skills into two categories:
Artisan - Bookbinding, Tailoring, Cooking, Forging, Jewellery, Tattoos, Artisan (pending a new name to better reflect the skill)
Mercantile - Enchantment, Alchemy, Herbs, Poisons, Agriculture, Prospecting
Artisan skills will remain as is in terms of skillflexing and how they are obtained (lessons) - you will be able to pursue creative outlets without the burden of proficiencies. In terms of numbers, you will be able to have up to three Artisan skills active at once (through the usual means) and will inherently have one slot to begin with.
There is a trade-off to this change for Artisan skills though and that trade-off is that they will be less self-reliant and adjusted to focus on creativity. They will lose some of the abilities added over time that aimed to make them more desirable and profitable. Those abilities include things such as Bookbinders making their own vellum or Cooks making wafers. We are still working on the final list of those changes but believe that Arts will be affected as well (losing tints) and all aethercrafting (buttons, scarves, candy) will be removed too. All of those abilities will be moved to Mercantile skills to increase interdependence.
Mercantile skills themselves will switch to the proficiency system proposed before and require no lesson investment. Everyone will inherently have one Mercantile slot and that is all they will ever be able to have active. There are no locks in this proposal so if you want to switch your Mercantile skill, you will lose all proficiency in it. But worry not, proficiency will be gained daily by performing at least one skill action to get max daily proficiency - no grind necessary. The purpose of proficiency, as before, is to encourage specialisation and thus more interaction between various trades.
As we will still provide necessities and commodities in NPC shops, but at increased cost, we expect that those not wishing to engage will still be able to find whatever they may need, while those engaging in the economy will be able to easily undercut those shops and thus make a profit. In addition, everyone being able to have a guaranteed Mercantile slot means that everyone will be able to participate in the gathering of basic materials (comms, herbs, etc) and providing combat and utility staples. Altogether, this will significantly increase the pool of people being able to provide those services through not requiring a lesson investment and high proficiency will ensure it will not be as much of a slog as it currently is.
- proficiency will have 5 levels at the following percentages: 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%
- trade skills will still be losing perks and trans items that might influence someone's choice to pick up that trade skill over another
- trade artifacts will get a look at but mostly ones tied to Mercantile skills
- class locks for trade skills will still be removed
- proficiency will primarily influence speed/commodities/success at a Mercantile skill
- you will still be able to use lessons to boost daily proficiency gain if you fancy doing so
Due to the changes outlined above, we have decided to keep Brewmeister as a branch of Alchemy but will be removing all design-based skills from the specialisation. Cartel-based drinks will be solely the domain of Cooks while Brewmeisters will retain the creation of intermediate commodities used by others, abilities such as Absinthe and Magicink, and likely gain new abilities that were previously related to aethercrafting (in reskinned forms where necessary).
Our player population not being immense, you often run into trouble getting something made if you do not have the trade skill yourself or do not possess artifacts that would allow you to switch easily. At the root of the problem is not so much (or at least, not only) lack of players as one's inability to time availability with that of the other person. When it comes to cartels, you are even in a worse situation as you cannot induct someone without them being online.
To aid you in this we would like to add Craft Orders, parchments made by Bookbinders. Someone in a cartel (owner, trademaster, member) would be able to fill out a craft order for something specific from that cartel, give it or mail it to a crafter (perhaps someone advertising as crafting by mail), and the crafter would be able to make the design without you online and without being in the cartel. Only one of it and only for you as it would be automatically sent to you on being made.
The same mechanic preventing stocking of patterns that the cartel owner flags as private would be used here as well. If something is private, it can neither be stocked in a shop, nor made a craft order for. If feasible code-wise, we would like to extend that lack of necessity for someone to be in your cartel in order to make something for you from the cartel to in-person craft requests as well. Inducting just to oust, requiring people to have/find a free clan slot to join just to make you something, etc, it is all an unnecessary tedium.
Making Money from Trade
The unsung heroes of artisan/creative trade skills are the designers and they don't always have an easy time capitalising on that talent. Because of that, we'll be adding design royalties which will work as an upfront fee - kind of like gold outlay in Bookbinding. The fee would be charged on the item being crafted which means that royalties would come from designs being made by players and by denizens (for players). They would then be sent to the designer (designedby required) annually or perhaps wired to their bank account.
We don't have all of the specifics sketched out just yet but the overview is that public design royalties would be a fixed fee - either standard, regardless of the type of the design/trade, for example 50-100 gold - or a unique fee, each pattern having its own. We don't have a decision on that yet and are weighing the pros and cons. Meanwhile, for cartel designs, the owner of the cartel would be able to set a fixed fee for the entire cartel (or no fee). For cartels, the fee could perhaps be divided up between the cartel's owner (player or organisation) and the designer, if they are not the same person.
Moving forward, we await your feedback while we start dividing up the entire project into stages. Stages will determine roll-out order and as we sit down to work on a given stage, we'll be able to provide you with a lot of the specifics that the proposal is currently missing. There will be forewarning before each stage goes live and time for you to provide feedback and help with testing.