May Update Part 3 Harvesting

May update Part 3: Harvesting
Harvesting System:

After going through the system and listening to the players, we have worked up a new harvesting system that will be developed after the Inventory system. This is going to take a lot of work and will eventually replace the current system.

Each player has its own play style and preferences, so we are working to keep the basics the same for you. We will still have both the harvesting nodes and the Harvesters. We will also be revamping the Survey abilities slightly with a few tweaks and functionality… You may see some changes in how that works, but it will be more efficient, lighter weight and allow us to build on top of the core systems for added features later on in a clean and modular manner.

Harvesting will have two aspects:
The first will be similar to a popular game many of you have played in the past, yet not identical. We want to have our own spin to the Harvesting system that makes it unique to The Repopulation. We also want to include more interaction as well to them in the future. Hence the parallel and modular building.
Clean code, Simple to understand, Interactive and Fun = A lot of work ahead of us, but will be well worth it.

Surveying will be a key factor in the new system. Primary use and benefit will be for the Harvesters but will also work with the harvesting nodes as well. Because of this, players will be able to obtain a Survey tool. At the start it will most likely be non visual, but I am entertaining the idea of having either a separate tool (don’t worry wont take up a weapon spot) or a craftable addon for your PDA in game.

The survey tool:
With the survey tool, you will be able to survey a short range and find what is in that range. You can either place your harvester in that location or continue to survey for the most optimum pull. As you progress in the survey skill (Yes, it will actually have a purpose and benefit in game finally) and upgrade your tool to the next tier, your range will increase as well. The general information you will get, least with the first basic iteration to test, will tell you what the mat (material) is and the max gain is.

Available Resources:
The available resources will renew, however they will not be in static places or locations. So surveying will be an important part of harvesting. On that note, it will not be totally random either. Players will eventually learn the general areas of what they can find, so you will not have to run all over the world and keep using the survey tool and hope to get lucky. Just like it is here on earth, there are areas that we know are rich in specific resources. It will be the same on Rhyldan. I do hope to see some really great fan maps come out!

Harvesting nodes will also be detected when you survey as well. However location of those nodes will not be given. But you will know what is in your range and area when you do survey the area you are in and the general distance it can be in.

Harvest Nodes, or Wack-a-Nodes:
These will not be a thing of the past. Knowing that some players prefer the harvesters and some prefer the nodes, we worked out a way to keep these included with the new system. However, they will change as well. We will be adding in actual visual representation of the nodes when they are harvestable. This does include flora and geology nodes. Each type of resource will have its own unique identifier in game. Though there may be other assets placed in the world that are of the same type, you will also be able to tell visually and by mousing over that the node is ready to be harvested (or in some cases will be ready soon-ish).

So as an example, the Byna Berry plant will have a new and unique look to it. You might have run along a path several times and seen some cool bushes off the road. But one day you are running and see some nice berries. When you mouse over it, not only will the berries tell you it is different and a harvestable node, we will have a visual effect as well when you mouse over it.

Geological will also be the same. A rock that seemed static or innate might have copper bits shining one day. Might want to check that out and grab that copper before anyone else does!

Heatmaps. What?:
We are working on the heatmaps to bring the resources into a more logical layout. We are creating what Odi calls “heatmaps” that show the progression of node tier and type of mat for both harvesters and nodes. Lower tier materials will be closer to the main cities while higher tiered and rares will be further away. You will still have a chance to get higher or lower tiered, or even rares, anywhere. The Heatmap though is to help with both progression for newer and lower players and to bring the world together in a more logical and consistent way.

Mat Tiers and easier stacks:
Items will be changing. One of the largest confusion that we saw with newer players, those that have not been playing for a while and grew as things changed before, is how the grading system works as well as the multiple types of the same thing. There is nothing worse than having four or five stacks of wood that are all softwood is there? Takes up inventory space and can be annoying when crafting at times.

This is very closely related to the upcoming Item system. And though I will not go into that at this time, I will explain how this works with the crafting mats. One example I will give right now is the wood. If you have harvested softwood from five different types of trees, does it really matter what tree it came from? Why take up five separate slots when it can take just one? It is all softwood and keeping them in a single stack based on the type will help solve some of the inventory space issues, even with a Harvesting Container, but also solve the issues with confusion and crafting difficulties some have faced.

Not all harvested/crafting mats will be able to be combined. We need to keep things like different metals, stones and so on separate. Yet the ones we can combine, like the wood, we will. The end goal is to create an intuitive, simple system yet have depth we can continue to build on.

We will however, have other options coming in for wood or other common resources that might be needed with specific or special recipes, EG: A Hudson Fir wood chair.

Though I do not want to go into crafting too much as we still have some recipes to finish documenting, I do want to touch very briefly how this relates to the harvesting and item system. This will not change any recipes that call for hardwood or softwood. If a recipe requires a softwood, then it still will. When we are finished with the new item system we will begin work on the crafting part as well. The new mats will be in place and we will have multiple tiers of crafted items along with the visual representation of that item. So if you make a softwood chair, it would be the basic, if you make a Hudson Fir chair, that would be above the basic. :wink:

More information will come later, as I know this brings a lot of questions. Do not worry, we will not be dumbing down the crafting system, but instead start with the basics to make sure all works, then bring much more depth and visual appearances to it with an easier learning curve for new players.

The visuals:
I covered a bit about how the harvesting nodes will change. With the release of the new island, one of the things you will see is that some of the basic nodes and the new variety that will be coming in. The new mats and tiers will not be in at first, only the visual aspect. We will introduce the new tier system once we finish going through the item system and get that cleaned up and updated. So do keep an eye out for the new assets once the Island is released. It will be a small preview of what is to come.

► Long Story Short: The main functionality of the Harvesting system will be adjusted to allow for more depth and additions/features in the future. The overall effect will not be too different from what players are used to, but some changes are expected from a gameplay perspective. Surveying will have a real world use in game and be more integrated into your game play. Harvestable nodes will have a new visual appearance to separate the types and flow with the style of world and environment.