Thomas "Blixtev" Blair here, and I’m going to chat with y’all today about a new portion of the Resource Harvesting system that the Crowfall® team has been developing for the last few weeks, Grave Digging! Yeah, I know, while most game teams in the industry were coming up with ways to dress up the holidays with snow, elves and gifts, we were busy implementing desiccated body parts hidden in shallow graves and the mechanics necessary to dig them up. It was quite a morbid experience, I assure you.
Grave digging is very important as it generates the resources required for our newest crafting profession, Necromancy.
Common-quality vessels will be obtainable (effortlessly) at the temples located across the game maps. Higher-quality vessels are created through the Necromancy crafting skill tree and require harvesting of rare body parts from graveyards scattered across the map.
We have also split the functionality of a graveyard into two different points-of-interest:
- Graveyards are where you find harvestable graves for the collection of Necromancy reagents.
- Divine Temples are now where players will respawn after death. At a temple you can also swap vessels, pray to the gods to summon your fallen body (with a time hit and heavy item decay) or create a new body to possess.
The tool a player uses for grave digging is a spirit shovel. It is very similar to our other tools (the pick, hammer or knife) in functionality in that these are summoned magically when you want to use them; approach the grave and use the F key to interact, summoning the shovel and start digging.
We had to change the tool equipment slots for the player to accommodate the new tool type. The fourth tool slot which was previously skinning knife only has been altered to be more of a generic tool slot. Both skinning knives and shovel runestones can be placed into this slot (and, in future, other new tools will go here, as well).
Grave Digging is a slightly more advanced form of Harvesting, hence there is no basic form of this tool but instead there is the standard tool progression that exists in the rest of the harvesting runestones.
The node type a player uses their shovel on, is of course, a grave! There are multiple different kinds of graves to match the various species that make up the Crowfall archetypes.
- Human graves – Produce Human desiccated body parts.
- Elven graves – Produce Elven desiccated body parts.
- Stoneborn graves - Produce Stoneborn desiccated body parts.
- Guinecean graves – Produce Guinecean desiccated body parts.
- Monster graves – Produce Monster race (Centaur, Elkin, and Minotaur) desiccated body parts, as well as Human desiccated body parts.
When the harvesting tier concept was removed recently, Grave Digging was also updated to follow the new model of Parcel Rank 1 - 10 dictating how difficult it is to harvest a node. So don't worry about there being five different types of graves!
Unlike our other harvesting types, there are no destruction stages at 75%, 50% and 25%. All of the desiccated body parts will either happen (or not) when the grave’s health reaches 0%. To ensure the harvest doesn’t feel like it takes too long, we have halved the amount of time it takes to harvest a grave node.
Normally critical harvests on resource nodes produce more of the same kind of resource that a node produces; a critical hit on a copper node will produce more copper. This is not the case on a graves as it looked a bit silly to see three desiccated heads popping out of a single grave. (One is odd enough!)
Instead, a critical harvest on a grave will produce a bonus loot of either a femur or a humerus. These are special Necromancy crafting additives that show up in addition to the desiccated body parts.
The resource qualities for desiccated body parts are also a tad different from other harvesting types. Normally a resource will progress from grey/white quality for low parcel ranks, green/blue for mid-level parcel ranks and purple/orange quality for high parcel ranks. Since fully constructed white quality vessels are available for free at the temples, it seemed unnecessary to provide crafters with grey/white quality resources. Hence all desiccated body parts start at the green quality level and work up to orange.
You shouldn’t see weird (well, maybe weird, but not unexpected) parts coming out of a grave, either!
At most, a grave should produce one head, one torso, 2 arms and 2 legs… except for a Centaur grave, which produces 4 legs (naturally).
There is an addition to the Basic Harvesting skill tree as well as an entirely new skill tree in order to gain the skills required to further enhance your career as an up-and-coming Grave Digger.
Our latest harvesting type coming to Big World! I have a feeling that Grave Digging may be as popular as ore harvesting as everyone is going to want to have a few high-quality vessels. (Crafters rejoice!) Just don’t forget to train the skills in the Vessels skill tree that allow your Crow access to these vessels.
As always, please feel free to leave comments on the forums, and we’ll see you in game!
Thomas Blair Design Lead, ArtCraft Entertainment