All items in game will be divided into three broad categories : raw materials, ingredients and finished products.
Raw materials will be obtained principally through some sort of gathering, be it mining, farming, lumbering, hunting or whatever else.i
Ingredients will have to be produced by players, through the use of recipes. All recipes come either in the form of single-use scrolls or multi-use tomes. In general most tomes will have a limited number of usesii, but the acquisition of unlimited tomes is also possible, if more difficultiii. Recipe tomes with unlimited uses may be copied by players with the relevant skills, thus producing single use scrolls which may then be sold to other players. The copying process may also improve or modify the recipe, should the player have the relevant skills. The copying process is itself crafting.
Finished products may be equipped, deployed or used/consumed. All finished products have a durability setting, consisting of current and maximum durability (which maxes at 50`000). As an item's current durability decreases its effects when used decrease also, but on an exponential scale (so roughly speaking an item with a quarter durability left does about half what the full durability item would have done). Current durability decreases continuously over timeiv, as well as discretely on certain events.v As a general rule equippable items decay very slightly through time and more significantly through use, whereas consumables decay more significantly over time.
All finished products can be repaired by a player with the relevant skills, at a certain raw material / ingredient cost. The repair process is also crafting, requiring repair recipes, and will generally result in a diminuation of the repaired item's maximum durability. Items with maximum durability under 25`000 have a chance to break during the repair process, function of the skills of the repairer. All items, broken or not, may be stripped down for their components, which results in some raw materials. Function of the recipe the player uses different parts will be recoveredvi.
Raw materials and ingredients are described by their quality level instead of durability, which also ranges from 0 to 50`000. If a player is harvesting, every harvest pass will result in a new unit of the harvested item being produced, with a certain quality level based on the player's skills and tools, the quality of the harvested source and other factors. This item will be placed in the player's inventory. If the player does not have further inventory slots the item will be stacked with the harvestables of closest quality level, and their quality will be averaged.vii
The quality of ingredients produced will of course depend on the quality of the raw materials employed, the quality of the recipe as well as the skills of the crafter. Note that none of these qualities are fixed, but moreover randomly distributed around a "core value", and rumor has it one could even acquire skills to widen the distribution. Because some crafting procedures will cycleviii it will be possible to "refine", or improve the quality of raw materials through constant repetition of cycles, selecting the high quality materials and discarding the lower quality materials on each pass. This will result in smaller quantities of higher quality raw materials, with a bunch of still usable "slag". This creates a very important meta-game for the crafter, because he is to determine which products get which qualities of raw materials and in which proportions, and also how much time should be spent cycling the refinery process.
In general it would be the case that slightly above average raw materials, recipes and skills will produce slightly below average ingredients, and also slightly above average ingredients, recipes and skills will produce slightly below average finished products. The advantage of making "perfect", or 100`000 durability finished products is marked, in that for instance in the case of equippable items they will behave at or very close to their rated performance for a considerably longer time. To understand this better, let's consider two crafters which have each received 1`000 units of 5`000 quality iron.
Crafter A proceeds to separate the iron into 8 units of iron quality 50`000 and 992 units of iron quality 15. This process requires 94`000 cycles of the entire 1`000 units stack, coming to one rl week of continuous game time and 94`000 units of coal. Crafter A then proceeds to create 2 swords of quality 50`000, at a further cost of 14 units of coal and two hours of game time, and discards 992 units of iron as unfit for further production.
Crafter B proceeds to create 250 swords of quality 5`000, at a cost of 1`750 units of coal and 250 hours of game time.
Supposing the sword loses one durability per swing, can be repaired with 5% max durability loss per repair, and does a nominal 1 damage per swing, each of crafter A's swords will be good for a nominal total of 2.625 mn damage (~210 repairs on average 25`000 durability each, on average at 1/4 durability each), or a 5.25 mn damage total. Meanwhile each of crafter B's swords will be good for a nominal total of 77.979k damage each (~166 repairs on average 2`500 durability each, on average at 1/40 durability each), for a 19.494 mn total. If the principal factor in comparing swords is total damage output, crafter B has produced almost four times more value than crafter A, using 54 times as little coal and 32% less game time than crafter A.
On the other hand, crafter A's swords deliver their 5.25mn damage over a total of 10.5 mn swings, coming to an average of 0.5 damage per swing. Crafter B's swords deliver their 19.49mn damage over a total of 103.75 mn swings, coming to an average 0.187 damage per swing, or about a third of crafter A's results. Considering that in most practical applications players won't want to be using swords (or indeed any items) that are very badly beaten up because of the negative effects on their own bottom lineix crafter B's results could be significantly worse in fact (if for instance payers don't use swords under 20`000 durability at all then all his 250 swords are exactly worthless).
Exactly balancing these contrary considerations, ie damage total and damage throughput, so as to correctly choose how far to push the raw materials is the chief responsibility of the crafter, and not a trivial task indeed, seeing how the same raw materials may be used in diverse crafting paths to obtain unrelated items, and also have different costs of acquisitions etc.———
- Some rarer raw materials may also be obtained as quest rewards, or through prayer, but these will be in marked minority. [↩]
- Limited use tomes can be trivially refilled by adding stacks of single use recipes of the appropriate type. [↩]
- Principally quest rewards, tomes might also be obtained through the application of magic or faith. In general magic works as independent attempts with relatively better odds, whereas prayer builds upon itself, but with longer odds. In practical terms this means that prayer is guaranteed success, eventually, while magic is not guaranteed success but has statistically lower cost. [↩]
- This is a very important measure discouraging pointless hoarding and supporting the game currency. Eulora does not really need it as much as all the other games out there on account of already having a strong currency to begin with, but it will still be implemented to give players an anti-ratpack incentive as I don't intend to use Diablo style nazism on people's inventory boxes. It boggles however to consider why no other game to date in the long history of games has implemented this obvious, necessary and unavoidable mechanism. [↩]
- For instance a sword might lose some durability every time it connects a hit, and perhaps even more every time it is blocked. [↩]
- For instance melting a sword for its metal content will destroy any woodwork which might have been employed in the handle, whereas breaking down a cart for the planks will result in losing the nails etc. [↩]
- This means that if you're say mining iron, and you already have three stacks of iron in your backpack, one of three pieces with quality 10, one of five pieces with quality 11 and one of two pieces with quality 12, and the backpack is full, a new piece of iron with quality 11 will be added to the 2nd stack, whereas a new piece of iron with quality 13 will be added to the 3rd stack, whose quality will remain 12. While it is in practice improbable to be haversting such low qualities, the same principle applies across the board nevertheless. [↩]
- Which is to say at the simplest A -> B ; B -> A. [↩]
- Since loot is pooled, taking three times as long to kill some monster may be increasing other costs, such as for instance armor repair, up to a point where even if the sword comes free of cost it's still a losing proposition. [↩]