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Unique node identity and reputation

One of the coolest qualities about a pre-built world like Skyrim was the identity and reputation of cities in the world. Depending on what you were interested in engaging with or mastering, you kind of knew where you needed to go. If you wanted to be a thief, a good place to start/learn was Riften. If you wanted to be a mage you should go to the college of Winterhold. I think there is a way to motivate players to visit specific nodes (the actual settlement/town/city) and not just their ZOI for some biome-specific resources. To be clear, I think the node identity (divine vs scientific vs ...) and node levels already do this a bit but what I propose would help it along by providing increased motivation to seek out certain locations and build node reputations that are server specific which in turn creates player investment and attachment (or conflict).

I think this can be done by having recipes for certain craftable items or certain augments be available in certain nodes but not all. These recipes, for example a weapon type not craftable by default (e.g. spears) would not be 'better' that other weapons, just different enabling different play-styles. Or some nature related augment that could be applied to a pre-determined skill for each archetype. So how would the game determine which nodes have these recipes or augments available? I can see 2 ways:

1. Guilds can contribute to their local node by providing resources like metal ore/bars that will earn the guild some reputation/gold/w.e, but certain deliveries will unlock some crafting recipe. So for example if you deliver 2000 iron bars to your node, on top of the guild receiving its reward, the node's master crafter will make blueprints for spears that any player could travel to the node to learn. The word would spread and those interested would have a reason to seek out this node to expand their crafting recipe book. Now, multiple nodes can have this recipe depending on what quests local guilds complete so it won't be one-of-a-kind unique to that node but still would provide some identity to these nodes and may spur allegiances or rivalries between players and nodes. Although some method needs to exist so that not every single node will have the same recipes nor should a single node have access to all recipes, perhaps having node type determine what recipes are available or having the delivery quests only have some % chance to unlock recipes for the node.

2. The reliquary system that we still know relatively little about could provide relics earned by local guilds for killing some world bosses. For example if a certain dungeon boss is defeated, he may have a low drop rate on a relic that can be handed in to a node's reliquary or a world boss could drop it and this relic, if visited by any player could teach them an augment for one of their skills (not randomly so the information can spread and a reputation can be built). This can even be for some archetypes and not all but would give some reason for some players to visit. Again, this would not necessarily be one-of-a-kind unique as other bosses may drop this relic but would provide some identity not just for the node, but some reputation for the guild/player(s) that found the relic.

The information about such node specific recipes and/or augments would then be spread by the player-base and by design of the game will be server specific. These recipes and augments would be ~equal in power to default available items and augments (horizontal progression only) so it does not give an edge to anyone (therefore nobody is punished for not going to get that recipe), but gates and locks some content behind server and node progression that can be exciting to unlock. All this requires is to reduce the original pool of default available recipes/augments and lock some of it behind such events that will be spread between nodes in some manner. I for one would love to see someone holding a spear when I've never seen one before and being directed to node XYZ by the wielder to learn the recipe or to find a traveling merchant selling wears that I've never seen before because it was recently unlocked and crafted in another continent. Let me know what you guys think!

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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think we will end up with nodes haveing reputations which will draw particular types of players to them, but it is player generated rather than defined by the programmers.

    Certain nodes will draw merchants, others will draw warriors, others draw healers to them, and so forth based on type of node. But, even more interesting, will be the player created attractions. For example, each religion will have different augments for healers. Different nodes will have different level of temples of different religions, so if you fight the undead, you will want to go to a certain place to augment your weapon and have your healer learn holy skills. A different node, perhaps a commercial one, will have the residences of the best two or three crafters on the server because this is where people bring the best materials for those crafters. Yet another node, this one on the coast, will be the place with the master ship builders, fishing outfitters and maritime support markets.

    I really like the idea of a world that evolves through the actions of the players with every server unique. By 2030 we will see imitations of AoC because this will be the norm, the new standard of gaming.
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    tautau wrote: »
    For example, each religion will have different augments for healers. Different nodes will have different level of temples of different religions, so if you fight the undead, you will want to go to a certain place to augment your weapon and have your healer learn holy skills.

    Yeah that's basically what I'm hoping for. Is this already confirmed? Do you have a reference for it? :D
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    This is the kind of thing Social Organizations and religions ​seem to do, from what I can see.

    If you want to be a bit of a trickster and such, you go to the node that has high level buildings for the thieves guild and a religion to match. Or you go to a node with Scholar Acadamy buildings and a high level temple to the God of Creation if that is your thing.

    To me, these two things are what will set nodes apart from other nodes of the same type, though their influence is yet to be seen
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    The general idea is interesting, but it needs one critical change: free recipes or bonuses should be for citizens of the node. If not, you have a "invest in your node, help the rivals to grow on the cheap" kind of situation.

    These perks should be used to attract new citizens, who will also invest in the node one way or another and make it grow. If they are available to non-citizens, it should be at a hefty price, and the money going to the node administration. Either give citizen a big discount or put a big tax for non-citizens.

    Alternatively, this is part of the mayor's power in the administration of the node. Percentages can be changed, making it more friendly to visitors, but in essence I think the citizenry should always be favoured.
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
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    Percimes wrote: »
    The general idea is interesting, but it needs one critical change: free recipes or bonuses should be for citizens of the node. If not, you have a "invest in your node, help the rivals to grow on the cheap" kind of situation.

    These perks should be used to attract new citizens, who will also invest in the node one way or another and make it grow. If they are available to non-citizens, it should be at a hefty price, and the money going to the node administration. Either give citizen a big discount or put a big tax for non-citizens.

    Alternatively, this is part of the mayor's power in the administration of the node. Percentages can be changed, making it more friendly to visitors, but in essence I think the citizenry should always be favoured.

    I actually disagree. If this was for citizens only, it is not a reason to 'visit' the node, it is a reason to either envy it or feel pressured to become a citizen for the recipe/augment. Relics still provide a bonus to citizens outside of the mechanic I propose and guilds doing quests for the node already benefits it. Think of this as a tourism 'bonus', you are creating reasons for people to travel, not creating an extra stream of revenue for the node to milk visitors. Lastly, if it was for citizens only, you would be 'locking' players out unless you made all recipes attainable by all nodes which then removes the point of the whole thing. Keep in mind visitors will still passively benefit the node: them doing things around it will gain the node xp, they may buy/sell stuff while they are there etc.
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    Noaani wrote: »
    This is the kind of thing Social Organizations and religions ​seem to do, from what I can see.

    If you want to be a bit of a trickster and such, you go to the node that has high level buildings for the thieves guild and a religion to match. Or you go to a node with Scholar Acadamy buildings and a high level temple to the God of Creation if that is your thing.

    To me, these two things are what will set nodes apart from other nodes of the same type, though their influence is yet to be seen

    Although I completely agree, I think these are more reasons to choose this node as your home node since it is very compatible with your goals and playstyle etc. What I propose is more aimed to provide a tempting but not pressuring reason for players to travel to other nodes that they may not have had otherwise. I think given what we know, we expect higher lvl players to stick to higher lvl nodes (as that's where the appropriate lvl content will be) and this would hopefully provide reasons to make short trips to nearby smaller nodes or justify a short detour on the way to the other metropolis. This would ideally help make smaller node's settlements a bit more 'alive' and encourage short travels to the actual settlement of the node. I hadn't previously explicitly described this side-effect but it is a natural consequence of only a few nodes having a recipe.
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    arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    neuroguy wrote: »
    Percimes wrote: »
    The general idea is interesting, but it needs one critical change: free recipes or bonuses should be for citizens of the node. If not, you have a "invest in your node, help the rivals to grow on the cheap" kind of situation.

    These perks should be used to attract new citizens, who will also invest in the node one way or another and make it grow. If they are available to non-citizens, it should be at a hefty price, and the money going to the node administration. Either give citizen a big discount or put a big tax for non-citizens.

    Alternatively, this is part of the mayor's power in the administration of the node. Percentages can be changed, making it more friendly to visitors, but in essence I think the citizenry should always be favoured.

    I actually disagree. If this was for citizens only, it is not a reason to 'visit' the node, it is a reason to either envy it or feel pressured to become a citizen for the recipe/augment. Relics still provide a bonus to citizens outside of the mechanic I propose and guilds doing quests for the node already benefits it. Think of this as a tourism 'bonus', you are creating reasons for people to travel, not creating an extra stream of revenue for the node to milk visitors. Lastly, if it was for citizens only, you would be 'locking' players out unless you made all recipes attainable by all nodes which then removes the point of the whole thing. Keep in mind visitors will still passively benefit the node: them doing things around it will gain the node xp, they may buy/sell stuff while they are there etc.

    I agree with percimes on this one.
    The situation is similar to the anecdote, but reversed.. "If you give a man a fish, he will be hungry tomorrow. If you teach a man to fish, he will be richer forever.”
    I would argue if you give out the blueprint to all people, there will soon be no need for "fishermen" :)
    The hunger and demand for regional goods is usually something you want, in order for the world to flurish in diversity and not cluster everything into 1 central economic node.
    Handing out the blueprint may attract people in the short term, but nodes will have a hard time to attract people after that.
    In that sense it is even counterproductive for establishing an identity, as the "identity" would dissipate into the world and goods become commonly avaiable.

    Perimes suggestion would help nodes (rather than individuals) establish a reputation, that they are known to craft certain type of frozen metal armor that is highly sought after.
    The individual crafter would further individualise the armor piece with his own crafting spec.

    Other than that your suggestions were great, like gating some stuff behind those guild quests.
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    arsnn wrote: »
    I agree with percimes on this one.
    The situation is similar to the anecdote, but reversed.. "If you give a man a fish, he will be hungry tomorrow. If you teach a man to fish, he will be richer forever.”
    I would argue if you give out the blueprint to all people, there will soon be no need for "fishermen" :)
    The hunger and demand for regional goods is usually something you want, in order for the world to flurish in diversity and not cluster everything into 1 central economic node.
    Handing out the blueprint may attract people in the short term, but nodes will have a hard time to attract people after that.
    In that sense it is even counterproductive for establishing an identity, as the "identity" would dissipate into the world and goods become commonly avaiable.

    Perimes suggestion would help nodes (rather than individuals) establish a reputation, that they are known to craft certain type of frozen metal armor that is highly sought after.
    The individual crafter would further individualise the armor piece with his own crafting spec.

    Other than that your suggestions were great, like gating some stuff behind those guild quests.

    The recipe/augment should not be compared to 'regional goods' imo and there are already a decent number of reasons why there wouldn't be 1 central economic node. I do see your point though. Perhaps some bonus for being that node's citizen or using the crafting benches in the node itself for said recipe would be appropriate but I do not think it should be heavy handed. If things are citizen exclusive, there is no reason to visit the node unless you are a citizen or want to be one. Having a reputation is good but if it does not attract players as visitors or make the node more 'alive' I don't think it has much of a point.
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    I dunno. Sure, it was interesting in Skyrim to see the different "personalities" of each major city, but thinking of actual RL urban centres, I don't know that I'd instantly be able to tell whether I was in Birmingham, Newcastle, or Nottingham, just from the buildings. Cities are generally pretty similar, and given how many there are in the game, I don't know how possible/practical it would be to try and make every one of them unique.
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/


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    daveywavey wrote: »
    I dunno. Sure, it was interesting in Skyrim to see the different "personalities" of each major city, but thinking of actual RL urban centres, I don't know that I'd instantly be able to tell whether I was in Birmingham, Newcastle, or Nottingham, just from the buildings. Cities are generally pretty similar, and given how many there are in the game, I don't know how possible/practical it would be to try and make every one of them unique.

    Yeah I agree. In terms of visuals, that's determined by the dominant race and also by what buildings the mayoral system allows to build (depending on node type). The visual uniqueness thus is dependent on how the devs set up the node blueprints, if it's a trivial system then the nodes will all look similar with just a different coat of paint (racial architecture) but if they do a good job, each city's layout will be somewhat different with racial architecture also influencing layout. I believe there was an old post that I really liked about that sort of thing.

    I also don't really think it's feasible or even fun/healthy for the game to have entirely unique cities. But having some local reputation would be cool. My thought process is that since there is no fast travel, people will travel to different local nodes for various reasons like region specific resources but not that many reasons to visit the node (settlement/village/city) itself necessarily. Having something to gain in said nodes may bring people in for a short detour and liven the world a bit.

    Based on previous comments and to continue the example I originally gave, it may be good if the city that unlocks the spear recipe also has a bonus to crafted spears using its facilities. So not only do crafters go there to learn, but if they stay, or if they bring crafting resources (via caravans for example) they could craft spears with a bonus that may increase their value and would then need to be shipped out. That way, there is some lingering reason for some people to still visit even after they learn the craft. Similarly for augments, maybe visiting the relic also provides a small buff to the augmented skill that lasts for a whole season (i.e. fall, winter etc... which takes 1 irl week) so players may want to revisit nodes with the appropriate relic once in a while. The danger of such things though is that it becomes a chore that feels necessary for min-maxing but the forums are here for brain storming as far as I'm concerned :).
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