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I’m curious what other players think about the best way to obtain crafting raw materials in CU would be. I believe everyone agrees that requiring players to travel into the PvP areas to obtain mats and having to travel to other parts of the PvP area to use them is a near requirement for the concept of this game. I’ll leave the length of transport requirements to the other posts, but how do you want to initially receive the materials? I see three main methods of obtaining materials, each with some variations on the details; maybe someone out there has another way. The ones I can think of are:
#1) Raw materials are purchased from vendors with no player gathering required.
#2) Raw materials are gathered by players from nodes in the world.
#3) Raw materials are gathered over time by NPCs hired by players requiring protection.
With case #1 we have the method used in DAoC when I played (pre-ToA). The vendors could be placed in dangerous locations to require players to travel there to obtain a specific material, but the actual appearance of materials in the player’s inventory would be the result of selecting an amount to buy from a vendor in exchange for money, limited only by cost and wealth. The only significant time involved was traveling to where the vendor was located. This method is a money sink, but is generally time neutral (it could be a sink if you have to do a lot of travelling).
With case #2 we have the method employed in WoW when I played (launch to second expansion). Players must search the world for nodes that are “gathered” by some skill in small amounts per node. This method is generally viewed as a money maker, but a time sink.
With case #3 I am actually proposing a method I have not seen in a game in my limited experience, although it is an amalgam of a few systems I have seen. The player may or may not be required to escort an NPC from a spawn location to the location of the material being gathered. Once there (or if it spawns there), the NPC may or may not require protection, but the resource would require some amount of time to collect. Once done, the NPC might also be a porter (and could have (a) pack animal(s) or vehicle) that the player then has to escort back to a safe area, with the materials collected at risk to loss if the NPC is killed. In a system I designed, the NPC being escorted would always be on follow, like a pet. It might have a slower movement than the player, but it would not have a pre-determined course and speed like the resource carriers in WAR (and maybe GW2, but I’ve never played that, just read some things on this board that suggest this to me) so that the player is not the one on /follow. This method sinks some time as well as some money (I have another idea on the money side, but I’ll save that for another post), still forces the player to be in areas where there is likely to be fighting, and doesn’t require the player to mindlessly bang on a rock.
Obviously I favor #3 or I wouldn't have come up with it. What do the rest of you think?