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.
Everyone will get one merchantile trade and one artisan trade slot inherently. So where right now, you only get one for free, you'll now be starting off two. Yes, it's specific to certain trades but you still get two.
You then have the ability to add up to two more artisan trades with second trade skill and the endowment of arts. Additionally, since proficiency won't be applying to artisan trades, you can freely skillflex between them as you will.
You can still have up to four trades, you're just limited on which trades you can select for each slot. Requiring an endowment to achieve that is how it currently works. The biggest difference is that everyone gets two trade slots inherently where currently you get one.
@Nikka the Fink That is not an option I'm afraid. Nothing that relies on the design system can exist in Mercantile skills and Tinkering is such a skill. That is why design-based skills are being moved out of Brewmeister. Mercantile skills are design-free, Artisan skills are cartel skills.
Bone as a new basic commodity would be a great addition. It could make sense in either agriculture (livestock bones) or prospecting (digging up bones). Would love to design things that are all bone instead of wood with a single elfen.
And I just want to say a really big THANK YOU to the producers for listening to player feedback and putting so much thought and care into this. It must be a fine line to walk between keeping old players happy with their investments and what they're used to, and still making sure the game is healthy and thriving for new players.
Gold drops - glad they're staying. While there was the complaint of 'may as well bash for an hour', removing that option would effectively force everyone into some sort of trade to make any gold, and not everyone wants to be a merchant just to afford to buy cures. Hopefully someone could spend a similar amount of time on their mercantile trade and make good gold as an equal sort of trade off, giving people a choice on how they like to play and survive financially.
Artisan trades - love love love this. Though there is a huge cost investment to do this (and i've already coughed it up) there maybe should be a consideration on if the high cost (ie 1715 lessons per trade just to be creative is huge, and without the mechanical perks/trans skvlls this probably doesn't need to be so crazy. Maybe something more in line with shared skills (910) would be more appropriate, as there is still going to be a 2k investment for that third slot, plus 1k for cord or 2k for tam for those who flex, and some like me don't care to change classes, only trades.) Also perhaps maybe carpentry to rename artisan?
Mercantile trades - the reasoning behind this split makes sense to me and honestly most of those trades i have to help fill needs, not as mechanically fun thing to do - they're all pretty darn tedious. One note though, and not sure how to address it, is that while most of those trades are self-sufficient in their ability to generate income (herbs, poisons, agriculture, prospecting) in that you can pretty well go out and with some work get results, alchemy and enchantment are not like that. Enchantment currently requires jewellery already made and powerstones for most things (barring sigils), and alchemy has only theoretically the orgbrew that doesn't require a herbalist/loads of herbs to be able to function at all. Now again, not sure what a solution is, but an alchemist is going to be forced to rely on the supply of others or the expensive NPC herbs to function, where a herbalist only has to spend time and as such that makes one much more favourable than the other. Herbs is 100% profit, so is poisons. i think that in this new world of free access to everything and balance to let everyone have skin in the game or not, it may need to be considered to find some way to bring those trades more into line. At least an enchanter could already be a jeweller to stay independent, just realised.
On proficiency, please don't make it a daily upkeep, no one should be punished for not logging in every day even if it is only to do one action. An alternative is use once a game year to avoid losing proficiency, and should they not, then lose it in increments rather than all at once. i'm ok with being able to once a day work to increase it initially, and even having it reduce if not used, but please consider people have holidays, get sick, take mental health breaks or are just busy and can't always be on every day to save them from the decline. i always feel like being active should be rewarding but not being as active shouldn't be punishing, if that makes sense. it's a game, not a job.
Craft Orders - this is nifty! And helpful especially for people in less populated timezones, or people who like to design but don't have the trade or interest in having the trade.
Royalties - i also love royalties. My thoughts would be that perhaps every design/pattern has some sort of gold outlay unless it's specifically left with no designer, and weighted on what the item is for public/org cartels perhaps. My thinking is, if you make 100 kirigami, that's a huge bonus to that designer, unless of course (random numbers) origami is 10gp craft, whereas a one-off item like a throne might be 1000gp royalty. Let private cartels set their own royalty costs maybe? Just a thought to keep things fair across trades while still giving a designer a little nod. On this topic, @Uzriel had an idea i loved, that where even now crafted designs show who crafted it, also being able to see who designed it would be awesome (maybe rather than the cartel even). Just a thought! Oh, and wiring funds to the bank actually gives a use to banks which i like, just scrap the withdrawal fee and they'd probably be used more regularly.
Long story short, i really am way happier with this revised proposal. Barring my concern on being an alchemist who has no option but to rely on others to make any use of their craft (more painful being locked to only 1 mercantile trade without likely hefty penalty), there's not much here that bothers me, in fact a lot of these proposals are awesome. Thanks for reconsidering and reworking!
What about a way to have the best of both? That is, have all the trade skills have a proficiency counter as well as a lesson counter. Their effect on your trade would be summed (much like how divine favours seem to work by boosting skills to be effectively above what your invested lessons are at). Someone with 50% proficiency but who has learnt 50% of possible lessons in the skill would work at an equivalent of 100% proficiency (cap at 100%, naturally), someone who likes to flex around often could use their lessons to substitute for the proficiency (0% proficiency + 100% lessons), while a newer player without the lessons available (and thus less likely to flex around so freely) could choose to level it over a few days using proficiency alone. That way those who are starting out and don't have lessons to spare could still jump into the trade/merchant pool, while those who have everything unlocked already could still utilise their investment to swap around - accessibility at the lower end, and flexibility at the higher end of investment. It makes sense after all that time spent 'learning' the lessons in a certain trade would mirror/substitute for time spent becoming 'proficient' in the craft.
1) I'd prefer the current low/highmagic locked trans skills and herofete (everything but armour bonuses) be made available to all and limited to 2? active at any time. Perks, demi weight, free, don't care how beyond not losing access to the abilities.
2) I renew the plea for armour skills (splendours, tattoomaster, and masterarmour) be made inherent to classes that use them. My lengthy reasoning was in the other thread, but it would be imbalanced to just keep them gone. Make them the new class baseline, add those skills to class locked skillsets, or whatever other method. Don't care how, just that they continue to exist for those classes.
2) If people are selling things at 1gp, you can buy that stock, and sell it to the NPC that's buying it for more and make gold.
The system looks like availability would have a hard-coded solution and the proficiency drop should encourage players to spread out their mercantile skills but also stick with them. Switching to craft looks like the least desirable option which is actually good because it should encourage player beaviours like... only switching if something's not actually available and you want to stock it, otherwise it's likely too more effort than its worth.
Also if it's only the amount you'd gain in a single day it seems like you could do things such as switching back and forth between herbs and alchemy which would work against the goal of increasing interaction between trades.
Alchemy and Enchantment are examples of interdependence which is the goal and, in line with that, I'd expect gem cutting and powerstones would likely move to prospecting which would keep it up somewhat, similar to how tints were noted as potentially moving out of arts.
On top of that there's the moving of some abilities from artisan trades to mercantile, which could also have their requirements interwoven into the other mercantile trades.
The solution to me seems to be as part of that, reviewing and resuffuling things so that there is a greater balance between how interdependent a trade is vs how much stuff it actually produces for "final customers".
Alchemy right now is one end of that balance where basically everything is a finished product so your potential customer base is really large. Similarly, something on the other end which only produces intermediate products isn't all that bad because you don't need to invest gold to turn a profit but also your customer base is smaller.
That might also point in a direction that the specific six trades suggested might not work. For example:
Players going to shops is players going to players though. The benefit of finding a trader in person would just be you could potentially negotiate a lower price but with the other changes making everything sellable, there's not much of a difference otherwise.
If the denizens are selling things at such a low price point that it's not worth it for players to invest in trades then their pricing should be adjusted, or they should have logic in them where if players start buying stuff from them regularly they immediately start raising their prices. That said, it seems like this point might, unintentionally, actually more of an argument against immediately implementing denizens that sell all trade goods as, yes, they create a cap on how much profit players could make from items that could result in trades not being worthwhile. Perhaps it would be better to implement the other aspects and see if they resolve the availability issues then implement the denizen sellers later, the buyers seem separate as they primarily create a price floor and can just be a sink for excess stuff.
And yeah, poisons is a bad trade. It's only useful to a specific subset of players and there doesn't seem to be much you can really do with it given how independent it seems to be within the trades. But as above, maybe that's a signal that, instead of preserving it as is, maybe it should be broken up and those poisons reworked into other skills. For example, you could leave some as extracted venoms and put them into one trade, but also shuffle some elsewhere so maybe some are derived from plants, maybe others are made through alchemy.
That way it wouldn't matter if they're less regularly useful because they're mixed in with things that are.
If Caedir spends all his time hunting/begging, his gold/hour might end up being lower but he's also generating exp/essence for himself as well as corpses and esteem that could be offered for further benefits including generating karma for the benefits that it can provide. On top of that Caedir would likely get ticks for daily credits if he isn't capped for the day.
Bob on the other hand might only trade and in turn gain more gold/hour but he also wouldn't be gaining all those extra resources that Caedir got in the same time and would come out of it with just gold.
Someone who does both wouldn't get as much gold as Bob or as much of the extra resources Caedir gets but on the other hand they'd get more gold than Caedir and more extra resources than Bob.
Whch is basically fundamentally how trades and economies appear to work in most games, trades are generally pretty great at making money but you're sacrificing time you could be spending generating other forms of currency along side gold. Even to the point that like, Caedir could potentially sell esteem to Bob who wouldn't otherwise be generating it, improving the gold Caedir earned from his time bashing.
A similar thing needs to be done to make tea sets have a new purpose. We know the ceremony is going away as a capstone of Brewmeister, but it would be cool if anyone with a tea seat could get some sort of interesting use out if it.
In spite of the cornucopia existing, Cooking currently has the satiation bonus and buff foods as well.