Thursday, October 11, 2018

Howdy, everybody!

Thomas “Blixtev” Blair here again, continuing this week’s focus on the Crows and Vessels system. As promised in Tuesday’s “Grave Digger’s Delight” article, today we’ll take a wide lens look at how vessels are crafted.

The quality of a vessel is incredibly important as it means more base attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Spirit, and Constitution. That’s right, vessel creation through necromancy is one of the methods to increase a character’s attributes. Increasing an attribute will also increase any statistic that is a child of that attribute. (For example, increasing Dexterity will also increase Critical Hit Chance as well as several other statistics.)

Higher-quality vessels also get increased benefits from the sacrifice (character leveling) system. For example, white quality vessels currently get three attribute points per level whereas orange vessels get four attribute points per level. (Vessel quality levels between white and orange get a mix of 3’s and 4’s per level increase.) Higher-quality vessels also get bonus maximum health grants at key levels; more benefits for higher quality vessels may be coming.

Crowfall Sacrifice Watermarked

These benefits are not free, however. Higher-quality vessels are harder to obtain and require more sacrifice XP to gain vessel levels. In the future, white quality vessels will be able to reach max level by sacrificing white quality items. However, a green (uncommon) quality vessel will stop earning sacrifice XP from white quality items at level 15 and must start using at least green quality items to continue to gain XP. (Right now, all vessel qualities have the same sacrifice requirements, and you can use gold, which is technically a white quality item, to get to max level.)

Each vessel may be a handcrafted masterpiece, potentially loaded with optional additives, or a poorly-crafted cold mess. The better-supplied, more-skilled necromancers will likely find themselves buried in orders to make specific vessels. (“I would like one Dexterity-based Minotaur, please, my good sir!”)

While there are fewer stages in necromancy than other professions, such as blacksmithing, there are lots of required components for each finished product (vessel); a Centaur vessel alone requires half a dozen extremities. Since vessels are handcrafted, keeping their shop stocked will take a good portion of a crafter’s time.

So where do all these body parts come from?

Crowfall Graveyard Watermarked

Cemeteries that contain the graves of various Races are located throughout the Crowfall worlds. This is where players can equip shovels and dig for parts. The more gravedigging skill training a player has, the higher-quality parts they can harvest.

At the very high end of the skill scale, a player can also dig up crafting additives (used for making even more powerful vessels) and grave goods. Grave goods are small tokens that can be found in graves, representing items the deceased was buried with and, in this case, they can be sacrificed to the gods for character XP. (It may seem morbid, but let’s face it: the dead guy doesn’t need it anymore, might as well use it for your gain, right?)

Necromancy is linked closely to the alchemy profession, which provides the solutions and elixirs needed to restore a desiccated body part to usefulness. Additionally, alchemists also craft the Philosopher’s Stone, a crafting additive that grants a significant chunk of attributes to any crafted vessel.

In ancient times, crafting a Philosopher’s Stone was the pinnacle goal of any alchemist. To create the Stone was thought to require a transition of materials through four coloring stages; a blackening, a yellowing, a whitening, and a reddening. Of course, no one ever made anything resembling what was promised, just a whole mess of gunk, but hey it’s good lore!

We used this lore as the basis for the alchemy portion of vessels in Crowfall. Crowfall alchemists can make five distinct color solutions via a combination of ground minerals and powdered stone dusts. Each solution maps to one of the player character attributes (Strength, Dexterity, etc.) The Philosopher’s Stone recipe requires any four of the color solutions the alchemist wishes to use. Want to go all Strength? Use all red solutions. All Dexterity? Use all black solutions. Basically, you’re looking for whatever attribute mix that will achieve the end goal.

Example of the Crafting Stages:

  1. Turn desiccated body parts into restored body parts
  2. Toss in some additives (optional)
  3. Combine restored body parts into a vessel of the desired type

There is a unique recipe for each vessel type, but they generally have similar requirements - except for the Centaur-based vessels, as noted above.

This is the first crafting profession for which we have designed a considerable number of additives. Additives are normally loot items found throughout Crowfall that can be optionally added to many crafting recipes to add all kinds of fun stats to the crafted item. Odds are that if you are crafting something special you are going to want to use as many additives as you can get.

Here are some examples:

The Restored Head recipe can take up to two enhanced eyes:

  • Scout’s Eye increases the Perception statistic
  • Master’s Eye increases Healing Bonus
  • Bowman’s Eye increases Far-Sight

In this example, you may choose to match the eyes or use different ones to achieve your desired result. Additives such as these currently come from loot drops (either from defeating humanoids or from getting a critical harvest success while grave digging) but in the future, we will tie additives into other systems.

Crowfall NecroTable Watermarked

And there you have it, all the parts and pieces that go into making a vessel in Crowfall. Hopefully, you will dig it enough to give it a whack!

As always, please feel free to leave comments on the forums, and we’ll see you in game!

Thomas “Blixtev” Blair
Design Director, ArtCraft Entertainment

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