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Skill questions

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Skill questions

Postby Vwest » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:45 pm

I'm not really familiar with these code base, so I was hoping someone could give a more in-depth explanation of what many of the skills actually entail.

Wiki entries with some basic explanation of what each skill does and how to use it would be ideal, but I understand there are likely more pressing things to worry about.

For a character interested in using a weapon and shield, what skill is required, sole-wield or dual-wield?

I understand the primary combinations of crafting skills and how they work together, but how do these skills stand on their own? What types of things can someone with just metalcraft create, if anything?

Is there a benefit to adding artistry along with single craft skills?

Will artistry benefit crafts like brewing, baking and cooking at all, such as allowing for unique flavor twists on otherwise standard fare?

Some of the production skills (farming, gardening, etc) aren't going to be functional at the start of Alpha, but what can we expect from these skills if/when they're completed?

Farming mentions livestock and seasonal rotations. Does this imply there will be farming and grazing land available to players, along with a coded means to slaughter the raised livestock without having to to hire a mercenary to come chop up the cows with a claymore?

Will butchery be a necessary secondary skill for farming, if the above are in the works?

Will the presence attribute effect livestock side of farming at all?

Continuing from the above, if farming isn't functional, will characters planning to be simple brewers, bakers or cooks need to pick up combat skills and forage to acquire materials for their trade?

What are the benefits of hunting, exactly? The blurb in the character generator makes it sound all inclusive anti-stealth, along with tracking and trap deployment, which seems a little too good to be true.

Does forage cover mining, tree chopping, food gathering, or can we expect mining and lumbering skills in the future?

I've seen small blades referenced here and there, but I haven't seen the option. Is this a skill everyone has?

Thanks.
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Re: Skill questions

Postby Nimrod » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:05 pm

Octavius would be the best one to answer this particular question I believe.
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Re: Skill questions

Postby Taurgalas » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:26 pm

I can speak to a few of these since this is an awful lot of questions!

As far as crafts are concerned, Alpha is truly a bare-bones game.

There is unskilled butchery as well as skilled/crafted butchery eventually planned, but the latter has not yet been fully incorporated.

Metalcrafters are for simple metalcrafting: tools for various trades predominantly. Weaponcrafters specialize in actual weaponry. Armorcrafters specialize in armor just as leathercrafters focus on the tanning for the armorcrafter's use and more basic routine items used elsewhere.

It is up to the farmer whether they choose to butcher their own animals or bring someone in for that. Nor does a farmer have to be ranching - they may be collecting honey or crops. All of this will eventually be available, but farming, orcharding and gardening are not a part of Alpha. At least not the initial phase.

Traps are not yet incorporated into hunting, at least no more than the most basic crafted versions - certainly not the traps that were coded into other games (and caused some stability issues.)

The key to this game is NOT to come in expecting to be able to do everything for yourself. No character will be fully self-sufficient. They're designed that way. Does this mean you have to be able to forage to cook? No. You can exchange some of your cooked food for the service of someone who does forage or hunt. Chances are, some of them won't have cooking at all. You can provide leather items or armor in exchange for receiving furs to tan. Just as even if farming were available, that doesn't indicate full self-sufficiency. There are many interdependencies between the craftsets. Cooks need woodcrafted items or metalcrafted items. Metalcrafters require firewood and hafts made from wood. Woodcrafters requires saws and axes from metalcrafters. And so it goes.

Forage is strictly food gathering and edible identification. It does NOT include mining (which is part of stonecraft) or timberwrighting (which is part of woodcraft.) Alpha will have foraging, some stonecraft (predominantly for orcs), timberwrighting and woodcrafting in place.

As far as small-blades go, while there is some contention still on the staff level as to whether this OUGHT to be a primary skill as compared to brawling, but arguments aside, it has been decided that small-blade is deemed a universal skill to begin with.
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Re: Skill questions

Postby Octavius » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:16 pm

Taurgalas wrote:Forage is strictly food gathering and edible identification. It does NOT include mining (which is part of stonecraft) or timberwrighting (which is part of woodcraft.) Alpha will have foraging, some stonecraft (predominantly for orcs), timberwrighting and woodcrafting in place.


Some correction on this point.

Forage is the knowledge of the environment, and the ability to find desired things within it.

This includes the ability to find edible goods, yes. It also includes the ability to find copses of trees of the species you desire. It includes the ability to find deposits of bog-iron ore in the swamps. It sometimes includes finding hazardous creatures (intentionally or not).

For orcs, it also includes the ability to scour ruins, midden-heaps, tunnels, and caverns to find items of value that would otherwise be overlooked.

Timberwright needs the Woodcraft skill to cut down the tree, to process the tree, and to make goods from the wood. Forage helps you find the right trees in the vast expanses of Mirkwood.

Vwest wrote:For a character interested in using a weapon and shield, what skill is required, sole-wield or dual-wield?


Any character can use a weapon and a shield. A weapon skill lets you use the weapon well. The shield is governed by Deflect, which every character has.

The weapon styles provide advantage to skilled, professional warriors. Dual-wield is the one that applies to a sword and shield. (As the more advanced style, it requires you take Sole-wield first.)

You can learn more about these skills here, and here.

Vwest wrote:I understand the primary combinations of crafting skills and how they work together, but how do these skills stand on their own? What types of things can someone with just metalcraft create, if anything? Is there a benefit to adding artistry along with single craft skills?


The hobbyist who takes just a single skill will always have things they can do that reflect that role.

Only Armorcraft/Weaponcraft require the third pick (craft skill(s) + armorcraft/weaponcraft +artistry). Most other professions are composed of the single craft skill plus artistry to open the doors to a future career.

Artistry works independently to allow decoration of objects, so has utility in many ways. A craft skill lets you make the object and the artistry allows you to decorate it - it will be a good combination for anyone so inclined.

Vwest wrote:Will artistry benefit crafts like brewing, baking and cooking at all, such as allowing for unique flavor twists on otherwise standard fare?


We haven't really discussed that, beyond fantasizing about fancy baked goods like uniquely-decoratable cupcakes. :) These kind of options will be Superior-level crafts and so will be a year or so in the future. There is a lot of Alpha testing (and the fleshing out of Basic and Ordinary levels) which comes first.

Vwest wrote:Some of the production skills (farming, gardening, etc) aren't going to be functional at the start of Alpha, but what can we expect from these skills if/when they're completed?


This is a good question to ask players over on the general forums - those that knew Old SOI can provide some insight, as we'll be doing things in a similar way but with some efficiency from our new variable code.

Frigga will lead this effort, and provide a realistic environment to plant, tend, and harvest detailed varieties of a number of grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. There is generally a high degree of historic and real-world research that goes into this as a simulationist activity.

Vwest wrote:Farming mentions livestock and seasonal rotations. Does this imply there will be farming and grazing land available to players, along with a coded means to slaughter the raised livestock without having to to hire a mercenary to come chop up the cows with a claymore?


When livestock comes into play, they will be objects that are tended with crafts. There is not a capability for someone with a claymore to try to "level up" in your cow field. :)

Vwest wrote:Will butchery be a necessary secondary skill for farming, if the above are in the works?


It will be a beneficial secondary skill for anyone with livestock, certainly. Also note that Butchery will include advanced crafts eventually for the making of sausages, puddings, smoked goods, etc.

There is discussion towards using Handle for livestock-centric pursuits, making it more than just "horse riding." We haven't fully decided on where the line between Handle and Farming is, and how much we want to differentiate. We will only create what we fully support - so until we're ready to support outlying farms with PCs living and working them, some of this will remain small. We need a growing and sustained playerbase to merit that.

Vwest wrote:Will the presence attribute effect livestock side of farming at all?


Presence impacts the Handle skill extensively. If Handle is the skill used when we build livestock crafts, then yes.

Vwest wrote:Continuing from the above, if farming isn't functional, will characters planning to be simple brewers, bakers or cooks need to pick up combat skills and forage to acquire materials for their trade?


They'll mostly get bulk flours and grains via importing them (and thus through the merchant clans that handle importing).

Vwest wrote:What are the benefits of hunting, exactly? The blurb in the character generator makes it sound all inclusive anti-stealth, along with tracking and trap deployment, which seems a little too good to be true.


It is indeed useful for many things.

In includes crafts to find and flush both desirable game animals and also hazardous Mirkwood wildlife where desired.

It allows the use of the TRACK command to follow the footprints that creatures in the game leave behind.

It allows the arming, finding, and disarming of traps using the trap code. This is a versatile capability for using strategy to gain advantage over NPC and PC opponents alike, but needs to be used with caution because you and your friends are just as susceptible if you leave them laying around.

Vwest wrote:I've seen small blades referenced here and there, but I haven't seen the option. Is this a skill everyone has?


Yes. See the Skill List:
Given:
Small-Blade - Daggers, Knives (this was switched from brawling as the default skill in the code we now use; it reflects the ubiquitous use of and basic familiarity with longknives and utility knives in daily life for Men and Orcs alike.)
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