The first of the three trees in the Artisan System is gathering. Many people see the short list of gathering professions and are immediately worried there does not seem to be enough. Only those gathering professions that are 100% confirmed have been included on the list; however, it is a safe bet to assume there are more based on context of soundbites from Steven and Jeff.
Some people may question why I call Gathering the first of the three trees. The designation of first is not to weight it by importance, but instead it is called first because there is a natural order to the supply chain when it comes to understanding the steps of production: the acquisition of raw materials, the processing of those goods into intermediate crafting materials, and the crafting of finished goods.
Gatherers are responsible for the acquisition of raw materials. Now the
acquisition of raw materials falls into three categories:
1) Farming of monsters, killing mobs and bosses
2) The deconstruction of weapons and armor
3) Utilizing the Gathering Professions to acquire materials.
Inside the Artisan System, only number three applies specifically to the Gathering Profession, although it is important to realize materials can be found from killing monsters and world bosses: some of the Legendary World Bosses and Raid Bosses will drop materials and their corpse will also become a gathering node that a Master Gatherer can harvest to extract even more crafting items. If there is no master gatherer with the raid, then those materials will go to waste.
Another unique thing about Ashes of Creation is that there will not be an artificial limit as to how much gathering you can do per day. There will be no labor system as was found in Archeage. Instead, the way Gathering Nodes spawn will determine how effective you are at quickly filling up your inventory. In fact, your inventory is also going to be a limiting factor as to how many raw resources you can gather at one time. More on those topics below.
One of the best features I have seen so far in the Ashes Artisan System is that Gatherers are not beholden to Crafters for their Tools. Gatherers will be producing their own tools, which is quite a change from other MMORPGs.
Unfortunately, this is the end of the good news for gatherers, because Intrepid Studios has put a lot of thought behind their gathering tool system. The gathering tools will have a limited number of uses before they need to be repaired; and eventually tools will have reached the end of their repairability and will need to be recrafted. As the gatherer levels up, the number of uses on their tools will increase. Additionally, you will need to have tools equivalent to the nodes you are mining.
So, while in some games you can mine every mining node with the same pickaxe, in Ashes of Creation you will have to invest in your tools to gatherer those top end resources. The specific example given was that you will not be gathering Copper Ore and Mithril Ore with the same tier of pickaxe.
Ashes of Creation is not going to be like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV where you can find several gathering nodes on a circuit and keep running that circuit for hours on end gathering up thousands of raw materials. A character’s inventory is not big enough to allow them to gather for hours on end. We will talk about inventory next. Even if a character’s inventory was large enough to gather for hours, there simply would not be enough resources available.
Ashes of Creation is very similar to Eve Online in their resource point
distribution. Ashes is going to have three types of resource points:
1) One hit and done resource points. Once these are hit, they despawn and respawn somewhere else in the world and not necessarily anywhere near the point that was just collected
2) Large capacity resource points which can be hit a number of times with each hit removing a quantity of the resource. When these are depleted, they will despawn and they may or may not respawn elsewhere in the world.
3) Moving resources (like a herd of animals that is traveling through the world).
The very nature of the Gathering Nodes spawn, depletion, and respawn rotation is part of what is going to limit how much gathering can be done at any one time. Once you have made your way through an area and depleted all the gathering resources, you will have to travel to a different part of the world to find more, or you will have to wait until other gatherers in other parts of the world deplete all theirs and hope that your nodes are some of the ones selected to respawn.
Another part of the limitation on gathering will be based around the character’s limited inventory for gatherables and craftables (items made by Processors).
Individuals do not have an infinite carrying capacity for gathered items or craftables. The goal of the game is to allow players to carry a small amount of items, be able to spawn a mule to carry ten-times the player capacity, and then utilize Caravans to move ten-times what a mule can carry or one hundred-times what a player can carry. The player carrying capacity is broken down in more detail on the Caravans Page.
It will be possible for players to equip specialized backpacks for gathering which allow the player to boost their carrying capacity; however, even with one of these backpacks, players will not be carrying around hundreds and thousands of gatherables.
Threats while gathering
Another very interesting aspect that Intrepid has included with the Artisan system is the threats you will face when gathering out in the world. Not only do you face the threat of the physical landscape, dodging past monsters and other NPC threats while you get to and from gathering areas, you also have to deal with players who may try to kill you because you do drop a set percentage of gatherables upon death.
You also have to realize that when you go to gather a plant, that you pull on, it may not be a plant but instead by be a monster, such as the Fangler that pops up out of the ground and is ready for a fight. The rock pile you hit might actually be small Earth Elemental or Golem and the fish you think you have at the end of the line is actually reeling you in. Gatherers beware, the world is full of dangers.
Death Drop Rates
As stated, numerous times, upon death you will drop a percentage of your
gatherables and your craftables. Unless you are corrupted you will not drop finished goods. For
more on corruption check out the corruption section on the PvP page.
As a non-combatant you drop a full death penalty worth of goods.
As a combatant you drop 50% of what you would as a non-combatant.
As a corrupted you drop 300% - 400% of what you would as a non-combatant.