What's your favourite harvesting system?

laxielaxie UK - Leamington SpaMember RarePosts: 729
In my thread on crafting, people gave some great suggestions on what crafting approach they like the most. This made me wonder, is there a range of harvesting systems as well?

In most games, harvesting is even more straight forward than crafting. While exploring, players stumble across a node and harvest it using a single click. This is probably fine in a game with a focus on combat - the harvesting itself doesn't play a grand role anyway. When the game focuses on the crafting/production aspects though, in other words, players predominantly care about obtaining high-quality resources and processing them, stumbling across resources in a random fashion might be boring?

What is the best approach to obtaining resources you have seen?

If you could design one, do you have a list of features you'd love to have?
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Comments

  • cameltosiscameltosis ipswichMember EpicPosts: 1,486
    My preference would be to keep harvesting and crafting as completely separate things, so that people could specialise. 

    From there, harvesting would become a micro-management type game. You wouldn't be able to go around the world and just harvest nodes. Instead, you would have to deliberately focus on a type of harvesting and build up an industry. 

    So, if you wanted to focus on mining ore, you wouldn't be able to just mine ore nodes in the world. You would be required to actually establish a mine and then slowly develop that mine. To begin with, it might just be a tent and a table next to a big rock. Your rate of mining would be very slow. If you invested money into the mine, you would slowly dig into the ground, forming larger tunnels. This would allow more people to work in the mine, increasing the output. There would need to be loads of improvements to make to each type of industry, including the hiring of bots to work your mine (requiring an expenditure of money by the player, along with the need to satisfying your bots needs by building things like housing for them, some way to feed them etc). 

    For the player, this means a very long term investment to get their chosen industry up to maximum production and well as regular micro-management. They would also have to schedule movement of goods from the industry to the market place, so there would be the potential for bandits to steal their goods en route. 


    In addition to mining, other industries would include things like farming (livestock and agriculture), forestry, hunting/tanning etc. 


    These industries, however, would only provide the bulk materials needed for crafting, this is not how I would acquire rare items. Rares should be distributed throughout the game. Some should be attached to difficult mobs (like the Acklay bone in SWG), some should have a small chance to appear as loot from anything, some should appear in treasure chests, some should just spawn randomly anywhere in the world and some should appear randomly as part of the other harvesting industries (e.g. once every 2 weeks, a coal mine should produce a diamond). 



    This approach to harvesting would require a very large world in order to give people the space to establish their industries. It would also need some sort of mechanism to prevent the bulk of industries falling into just a few peoples hands. The micro-management would have to be needed on a regular basis or something, so that if a user ignored their industry for a week or two, it would collapse, leaving it open to a hostile takeover or something. 
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,250
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    Phry
  • keinersonersterkeinersonerster Member UncommonPosts: 25
    DMKano said:
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    SWG's approach has always been my favorite.
    ArglebarglePhry
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,571
    Player owned farms, guild owned mines for metals and gems. Wild hard to find herbs growing at random and often hard to reach places.

    The standard node system gets rather boring after a while. As for player owned farms you could allow players to collect seeds.

    Add a bit of hunting and fishing but not too much of it, let the player farms have animals for most leather and just have some more hard to get mats like ivory and exotic meat be hunted.

    Allowing the players to decide what crops and herbs them grow themselves can be pretty interesting and it means you might roam the world to find rare seeds. But it shouldn't be too time consuming either, 10 mins a day is more then enough to take care of the farm.

    The mine thing is a work in progress though, I was thinking something like you pick one type of mine but can work yourself up to 3 as the guild grows in power so no guild can monopolize a specific resources but still means you need to trade if you want to craft all kinds of things.

    A guild mine should produce a bit of ore or gems to each members, you could just a have a system where you pick it up there. You could also have some monsters depending on how powerful the guild is to occupy it once a month or so as a guildmission if you want people to fight for it.

    And of course you should be able to get mats as loot, both from mobs and in dungeons. You can have an old iron mine filled with monsters that players could run to get iron ore, more fun and challenging then just running around like a madman and farm nodes.

    And if you don't want to work a farm you could hire in npcs or noobs to care for it for a small percentage of the crops so you just set it up and plant new herbs, fruit and vegetables you find seed for as you adventure.

    Something that is fun but not overly time consuming, we don't want farming to overshadow adventuring after all.
  • EldurianEldurian Member RarePosts: 1,412
    A combination of player owned facilities / NPC laborers and manual gathering.

    Manual gathering should focus more on difficult to obtain resources. Ones you have to perform well in a mini-game to extract, or get from a highly dangerous area. They would then go into high grade items.

    Player owned facilities should focus on bulk resources that are simple to acquire with more foreman style management where you adjust various settings such as focusing them on a more specific resource (Such as pine for a lumbercamp or copper for a mining camp), how much workers are getting paid (Which can affect morale) and how many guards you have protecting the facility. You should also be able to upgrade things like workers quarters, storage warehouse, tool quality, or the guard tower for various effects. The resources would then go into mass produced / common grade items or construction projects.

    And yeah I would definitely add some mini-games to the manual gathering portion. Good ones. It's mind boggling to me the Ocarina of Time still has a more engaging fishing system than any MMO I've played to date. And Fable 2's mini-games were simplistic as heck but still more engaging than anything I've seen in an MMO. It really goes to show how much of an afterthought gathering and crafting systems are in most MMOs.
    Torval
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,571
    Eldurian said:
    A combination of player owned facilities / NPC laborers and manual gathering.

    Manual gathering should focus more on difficult to obtain resources. Ones you have to perform well in a mini-game to extract, or get from a highly dangerous area. They would then go into high grade items.

    Player owned facilities should focus on bulk resources that are simple to acquire with more foreman style management where you adjust various settings such as focusing them on a more specific resource (Such as pine for a lumbercamp or copper for a mining camp), how much workers are getting paid (Which can affect morale) and how many guards you have protecting the facility. You should also be able to upgrade things like workers quarters, storage warehouse, tool quality, or the guard tower for various effects. The resources would then go into mass produced / common grade items or construction projects.

    And yeah I would definitely add some mini-games to the manual gathering portion. Good ones. It's mind boggling to me the Ocarina of Time still has a more engaging fishing system than any MMO I've played to date. And Fable 2's mini-games were simplistic as heck but still more engaging than anything I've seen in an MMO. It really goes to show how much of an afterthought gathering and crafting systems are in most MMOs.
    Sounds like you and I want similar things. One word about minigames though: that is feasible if those resources really are rare. Playing the same minigame a 100 times a day becomes tedious fast. Remember crafting in the early days of EQ2?

    If you don't need that many fishes you can put more effort into a fishing minigame but if you need hundreds to max your cooking or feed your pet it will suck.

    I think that is the reason MMO gathering is so simplistic, someone decided that getting a large number of easy to find stuff is more fun then a few things that is hard to find and might require exploration. In fact everything from HP to levels seems to increase as the genre go on for some reason.
    Torval
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarreMember EpicPosts: 6,350
    edited August 9
    Black Desert Online's node and worker system, which is bascially what @Eldurian described.

    Post edited by Jean-Luc_Picard on
    Torval
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  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXMember RarePosts: 2,032
    DMKano said:
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    At that point, why even have it?   Abstract it out of the game....
    Kyleranwaynejr2

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXMember RarePosts: 2,032
    Always thought variations on the SWG method would be best.   Have variable quality in materials.  No fixed nodes, so that exploration and prospecting can be viable play.   Have the equivalent of  gold fields or virgin timber, so you can have gold rushes and exploitation that leads to depletion.  

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • EldurianEldurian Member RarePosts: 1,412
    edited August 9
    Black Desert Online's node and worker system, which is bascially what @Eldurian described.

    Sounds interesting, though I'm not going to play a no-trade game for economy... or ever.
    Post edited by Eldurian on
  • cameltosiscameltosis ipswichMember EpicPosts: 1,486
    Always thought variations on the SWG method would be best.   Have variable quality in materials.  No fixed nodes, so that exploration and prospecting can be viable play.   Have the equivalent of  gold fields or virgin timber, so you can have gold rushes and exploitation that leads to depletion.  
    Whilst I believe SWG's crafting system / economy to be one of the best in the genre, I wouldn't say that it was actually enjoyable or engaging. 

    So, when it came to harvesting, the actual gameplay involved lots of riding about the worlds, stopping to use survey equipment until you pinpointed the optimal spot, testing a sample for quality and then placing harvesting equipment if the spot was right. Then you waited a while and came back to collect the harvested mats. 

    At no point in the harvesting process is any player skill involved, nor was it engaging. Collecting good materials was simply a product of how much time you were willing to invest tracking down the optimum spots. If you were lucky enough to be on a server where the top harvesting spots were regularly shared on websites, you didn't even need to invest much time. 


    I would much rather have a harvesting system that required some skill to become good at (thus allowing dedicated, skilled players the ability to shine), or a harvesting system that required virtually no effort so that it isn't just another time sink.


  • anemoanemo Member UncommonPosts: 1,158
    Ryzom's harvesting was pretty good for the short amount of time I put into the game.  Though it seemed to suffer pretty badly from rotations.

    EVE's planetary management where you upfronted some investment and time to set up a process that gave passive income afterwards is kind of interesting.

    Runescapes systems of slowly gaining access to new areas that you can harvest materials had some interestingness to it (complete a combination of leveling, questing, and similar requirements granting access).

    ____________________
     
    Though Screeps is probably my favorite.   You essentially program ants, and end up eventually becoming more efficient with your first steps of just making bigger harvesters, making miner/hauler specialists, figuring out how to do it at distance nodes, figuring out how to manage enemies, then optimizing income for at range by properly managing CLAIM mechanics, and then figuring out how get around time/memory bottle necks to scale up even more.    Just TONS of stuff that changes "everything" about harvesting even though no mechanics changed.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAMember EpicPosts: 5,970
    I have a couple of different thoughts about gathering/harvesting.

    The SWG/EVE mostly passive style isn't bad. It's also mostly passive, so it's not terribly engaging, and not something you log in to do day in and day out - unless you have a massive operation.

    On the flip side of that, the active node minigame that FFXIV 1.0 (not ARR) had with all gathering (and still has to some degree, fishing more so than others) was more engaging. It turned gathering into an actual player activity, not just a requirement for crafting. But if you needed a big chunk of material, it becomes more painful.

    I like both systems. I had a lot of fun looking for shifting veins in SWG and moving around my harvesting operation and setting up processing chains. I had a lot of fun in Eve sitting around mining while I did homework or watched Netflix in the background. And I still have a lot of fun chilling while fishing in FFXIV.

    I've never liked the just run around to random nodes type gathering that is in WoW / FFXIV ARR. It's a chore because it still requires a lot of active participation running around and that, but it's a boring activity that takes a good deal of time, and I have always resented it.
  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJMember UncommonPosts: 1,196
    The important thing is to not have the nodes always spawn in the same place, especially not on a set time schedule.  If that happens you end up with bots who are there the second it spawns tapping the nodes before you have any chance at them. 

    I liked everquest 2 for blue shinys.  Vanguard for straight harvesting.  Warhammer wasn't bad either.  (Heh 2 dead games there)
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,250
    DMKano said:
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    At that point, why even have it?   Abstract it out of the game....


    Because I abhor harvesting in games, standing there chopping a tree or mining a node - yeah that's not for me. I play games for one thing only - combat. That's why the ideal system for me is the one where I can automate it so that I can do what I like - kill stuff.
  • EldurianEldurian Member RarePosts: 1,412
    edited August 11
    DMKano said:

    Because I abhor harvesting in games, standing there chopping a tree or mining a node - yeah that's not for me. I play games for one thing only - combat. That's why the ideal system for me is the one where I can automate it so that I can do what I like - kill stuff.
    In what game are you forced to participate in the gathering and crafting systems? In what game would a desire to only do combat/looting even cut you out from making a decent revenue? If you want to do what you like (kill stuff) and not the the stuff you don't (gathering and crafting) then don't do the latter.


    Post edited by Eldurian on
    Kyleran
  • PhryPhry OxfordshireMember EpicPosts: 8,749
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    At that point, why even have it?   Abstract it out of the game....


    Because I abhor harvesting in games, standing there chopping a tree or mining a node - yeah that's not for me. I play games for one thing only - combat. That's why the ideal system for me is the one where I can automate it so that I can do what I like - kill stuff.
    One of the things that SWG did very well was how resource harvesting was done, although for harvesting animal products, i think you needed scout/ranger skill to get the skin/bone/meat from the carcasses, but for ores etc. you had to locate the resources first, and that took time and often visiting different planets to try and find a resource node that had not just the type of ore you wanted, but the type of ore with the qualities you needed, take WoW and most other games of that type for instance, copper is just copper its the same everywhere, in SWG copper had a number of varients and they could often have different properties, and finding them was a lot of work because for crafting if you wanted to compete with the other crafters, then you needed the best possible resources, Pre Nge the crafting community was huge, bigger than in any game since i think, as it wasn't just some side skill you had to supplement your 'main' it was your main and there were a significant number of dedicated crafters, however, anyone could use ore extractors as long as they had 'slots' left for buildings they could use, so with minimal skills you could locate ores, and if you hit jackpot you could extract and sell those ores to crafters. The thing about SWG was that combat was only a small part of the game, thats not to say that lots of people didn't play that part of the game, but equally it was a game that you could play and never ever get into combat with anyone or anything. ;)
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,250
    Phry said:
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    At that point, why even have it?   Abstract it out of the game....


    Because I abhor harvesting in games, standing there chopping a tree or mining a node - yeah that's not for me. I play games for one thing only - combat. That's why the ideal system for me is the one where I can automate it so that I can do what I like - kill stuff.
    One of the things that SWG did very well was how resource harvesting was done, although for harvesting animal products, i think you needed scout/ranger skill to get the skin/bone/meat from the carcasses, but for ores etc. you had to locate the resources first, and that took time and often visiting different planets to try and find a resource node that had not just the type of ore you wanted, but the type of ore with the qualities you needed, take WoW and most other games of that type for instance, copper is just copper its the same everywhere, in SWG copper had a number of varients and they could often have different properties, and finding them was a lot of work because for crafting if you wanted to compete with the other crafters, then you needed the best possible resources, Pre Nge the crafting community was huge, bigger than in any game since i think, as it wasn't just some side skill you had to supplement your 'main' it was your main and there were a significant number of dedicated crafters, however, anyone could use ore extractors as long as they had 'slots' left for buildings they could use, so with minimal skills you could locate ores, and if you hit jackpot you could extract and sell those ores to crafters. The thing about SWG was that combat was only a small part of the game, thats not to say that lots of people didn't play that part of the game, but equally it was a game that you could play and never ever get into combat with anyone or anything. ;)
    I played SWG prior to NGE - and I still only did combat.


  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,250
    edited August 11
    Eldurian said:
    DMKano said:

    Because I abhor harvesting in games, standing there chopping a tree or mining a node - yeah that's not for me. I play games for one thing only - combat. That's why the ideal system for me is the one where I can automate it so that I can do what I like - kill stuff.
    In what game are you forced to participate in the gathering and crafting systems? In what game would a desire to only do combat/looting even cut you out from making a decent revenue? If you want to do what you like (kill stuff) and the the stuff you don't (gathering and crafting) then don't do the latter.


    There are games that penalize your in-game "income" heavily if you don't do stuff outside of combat - ArcheAge and Black Desert Online come to mind.

    So if you want to earn in game currency so that you can progress your gearing up efficiently (so that you can kill stuff better) - you need to do crafting/gathering to earn coin
    Post edited by DMKano on
  • KellerKeller UtrechtMember UncommonPosts: 391
    I liked the hauling of logs in Life is Feudal (SP). In that game putting up traps was fun (and trying to remember where I placed them). 

    The ore dectection in Landmark, the long veins, the different kind of pickaxes and the tunneling with drills, I would like to see that again.


    Mining in Space Engineers was fun too. Making drill platforms, ore hauling ships, conveyor belts, gravity scoops.
  • EldurianEldurian Member RarePosts: 1,412
    edited August 11
    DMKano said:

    There are games that penalize your in-game "income" heavily if you don't do stuff outside of combat - ArcheAge and Black Desert Online come to mind.

    So if you want to earn in game currency so that you can progress your gearing up efficiently (so that you can kill stuff better) - you need to do crafting/gathering to earn coin
    I've never played BDO and never will (No trade = trash game) but with ArcheAge there are several ways to make money that revolve around combat.

    While coin purses are one of the worst income sources in the entire game, loot crates are pretty decent, and that's just a matter of killing things until you have a huge stack of them to open.

    Several of the PvP events have notable prizes of value. The packs you get from the abyssal event (A large free for all naval event) are a good example of that.

    And running dungeons can save you substantial amounts of gold on your initial max level gear. In Fact you really fall behind if you focus on gold over dungeons initially. 

    Anyway, even if were to say you can't make decent money through either of these games that no reason to say all crafting should be fully automated. Given there are numerous examples of games that have the gathering/crafting as a prominent game feature yet don't force people into it. (EVE immediately comes to mind.)

    Designing crafting systems around the preferences of people who hate crafting is really dumb. Designing it to be optional makes a lot of sense.
    Post edited by Eldurian on
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 12,696
    I don't like lazy cheap effort and i want it to be immersive.I liked original EQ2 with having to actually make the item in a realistic manner by making all parts/components.Even in the field you would see the types of harvesting components rather than just some sparkles on the ground.

    Then of course items crafted should remain crafted unless there is some plausible reason a mob is carrying that item and drops it upon killed.Example i don't want to see some Bear killed and drops an Axe,a piece of metal armor and Golden Helmet.

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  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 25,817
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    fully automated with minimal to no player interaction outside of initial setup.
    At that point, why even have it?   Abstract it out of the game....


    Because I abhor harvesting in games, standing there chopping a tree or mining a node - yeah that's not for me. I play games for one thing only - combat. That's why the ideal system for me is the one where I can automate it so that I can do what I like - kill stuff.
    No, you should leave harvesting to people who enjoy it, buying your materials from others as needed if you wish to craft, or buying finished goods from crafters who buy from the harvesters.

    Specialization and interdependence is what makes a good virtual economy, leaving killers to go off and do what they love best.
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  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 25,817
    EVE has gathering down pretty well, offering several different modes including ore, ice and gas mining, each with subtle variances in equipment, location and risk depending where you mine and in what ship or fleet.

    After playing EVE for 7 years I took up mining and made a good fortune over a 2.5 year span

    I just sold it all, I've yet to spend the time or skill training on industry, leaving that to those who enjoy crafting.

    For those who still wish to gather, but a bit more passively there is moon mining but that largely controlled at a corporation or alliance level unless you live in wormholes.

    Yet another passive form of gathering is planetary interaction. You set it all up and let it run for a week or so, then go back and harvest. You can then either refine the mats into higher, more valuable products, or just sell the base materials if you like.

    While many gather, its primarily dominated by those who enjoy doing it and not an activity where every one must do in order to prosper.

    On hiatus from EVE Online since Dec 2016 - Screw off-grid PVE boosting changes

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.

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  • LithuanianLithuanian vilniusMember UncommonPosts: 312
    I am so old-fashioned: standing at node and chopping/mining. Istaria had an interesting system: the bigger your harvesting status, the faster and more you harvest. Also, some bonus stuff may drop (so that soon you are overloaded and move slower).
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