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Animal Husbandry Ideas

I recently started looking into Ashes of Creation, and I have to say I'm excited about it. I know it has only finished up Alpha 1 for the most part recently, and not much information on trade skills has been released, but I'm mostly excited about the animal husbandry branch. I have some hopes and ideas I would like to express. Some of these ideas may be well beyond the scope of what's possible, and some of them may have been expressed before, but if they have, I haven't been able to find them, so I am going to express them here.

Section 1 Stats and stat growth

First off, we know that the base stats of tamed creatures are speed, health, armor, and energy. At least for right now. What I would like to see here are a few different ways to increase these stats in the long run. What I would like to see as a base is breeding. My idea is that you would get the average of the parents' stats +/- a small fraction based on your skills to influence the base stats.

For example, let us take a cow and assign stats of 10 across the board. Now let's have another cow with stats that have stats of 15 across the board as well. Breeding them together would produce a cow with base stats of 12.5. Now let's assume that there are four tiers of skill growth that directly affect your breeding, and let's name them apprentice, journeyman, professional, and master.

So let's assume this is an apprentice breeding this cow. Its base stats are 12.5, but as this is an apprentice's project, it may add or subtract 1.25 from its stats. As a journeyman, it may change to a range of +1.5 to -1, and a professional may have a range of +1.75 to -.75, while a master has a range of +2 to -.5.

This range could start decreasing as well as you get closer to the max birth stats of your breeding target, be it a pet, mount, or livestock. On top of the base breeding, you could add in special nutrients made via alchemy, cooking, and farming to give you a boost to a stat while you are breeding or removing at least part of the negative part of the curve. You could also use similar foods to increase stats after birth, but I would have a hard cap on what the base stats could be, like hidden IVs in pokemon. Let's use the baby cow we made earlier, and let's assume that it only has the base stats it was born with, without any adjustment from the breeder. So we have a base stat setup of 12.5. The breeder finds an alchemist that can brew a potion that can increase the speed by +1% to 10%, but that particular cow can only ever have one potion in its lifetime.

I would like to have the breeding affect the base stats and not the earned stats that you may gain as they level up and have the earned stats based on the base stats of the creature. As an example, let's take two Tigore's, one with base stats of 10, one that has been bred up over generations to have base stats of 20

Now let's say that the leveling process for this species adds five stats per level to all plus 10% of your base stats. After 50 levels, we would have the one that's a fresh catch with stats at 304 vs. the bred one having stats of 363. It would take many generations to get to that point, but it provides a slow creep of growth and keeps older breeds viable as mounts and pets as well as possible future breeding stock.

Section 2 Traits

For traits that a creature can contain, I would like to see a dominant/recessive gene system. Let's say our cow has a dominant trait, and we breed them with a cow without that trait. We would have a 50% chance of that trait being passed down, and With both parents having the trait as dominant, it would be 100%. For recessive genes, it would be 25%/50%, respectively.

I would also like to see a system where each fresh catch could have any of the possible traits that that species has naturally, both positive and negative, allowing the breeder to attempt to emphasize traits they want to keep and try to breed out traits that they consider less desirable. I would also like to see a mutation chance naturally turning a recessive trait into a dominant if it has been reinforced while breeding. Maybe 5%. This would go for all traits, both positive and negative.

Tying back into the other trade skills, I would like to see almost a forced evolution system. As an example, let's say an alchemist finds or makes a recipe that acts as a fertilizer, turning some wheat seeds into iron wheat seeds. Now the iron wheat would no longer be usable in normal recipes, like flour, but if fed to a cow, it would have a chance of giving the cow the iron horn trait and/or the iron flesh trait at level 1. after multiple generations, you could develop the iron flesh trait and the iron horn trait to level 5 and have the cow evolve into a gorgon.

Now that you have a gorgon, you could have a few options. One is to tame it as a pet, or slaughter it and feed it to a carnivore pet to attempt to pass down the iron flesh/iron horn traits to another creature, say a lizard of some sort. Or you could breed a horse with the iron flesh trait or have the iron horn trait mutate into an iron hooves trait, allowing for new skin and a new augment that may provide better traction or faster movement in certain terrain.

I would like to see a number of trait slots available growing as you become proficient. An apprentice could have access to 5 traits, while a master could have access to as many as 20, depending on the breed.

Section 3 Skills

To begin with, I would like to see a familiarity mechanic or skill that as you breed and practice with a species, you become more familiar with that species, allowing for more modifications as you work on that species. As an example, you have gotten to journeyman rank by breeding cows, and you have maxed out your familiarity with them. You then start breeding donkeys who are in the same tier. You may get a bonus to the familiarity with donkeys since there are a number of similarities between the breeds, but you would still have to practice on donkeys to get your skills up to the same level that you have with cows.

I would actually like to see a familiarity mechanic for all the trade skills, with different effects. As an example, for taming, you might start seeing some kind of alert that a target has better stats than normal if you have maxed out your familiarity with that breed. Something like seeing a number of colored stars beside the target's name letting you know that the horse you are attempting to catch is either sub-par or a prime example of its breed. It would provide an interesting synergy between the trade skill itself and what you are focused on inside that trade skill.

Another example with farming could be you are so familiar with wheat while farming that you can harvest higher quality wheat, influencing products further down the road of the crafting road. This could also lead to an interesting tracking system where you could get ideas for other recipes/breeds while working on a parent or sibling breed. To use a previous example, you may find a hint about breeding gorgons from cows while working on your cows. Or a combination of having your familiarity at a certain level and reading a book in one of the libraries. Another example may be smelting a new kind of alloy as a refiner.

These are a few of my ideas. As I said before, I have no idea how viable they would be from a mechanics stand point or even from a fun stand point, though I know I would enjoy it. :)


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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Interesting post, thank you. I agree that Animal Husbandry is looking like a very interesting part of the game.

    Regarding recessive traits, why not apply them also to your section 1 stats? Using your example of a cow and a bull (since two cows technically won't work) with strengths of 10 and 15, rather than the children having a strength of the average of the stats of 12.5, how about this...

    A 2% chance of strength 25
    An 8% chance of strength 20-25
    A 15% chance of strength 15-20
    A 50% chance of strength 10-15
    A 15% chance of strength 5-10
    An 8% chance of strength 0-5
    A 2% chance of still birth, dead baby, strength 0

    So occasionally you would get a very strong baby, strength 20+. Keep breeding that one with the best you have of the other gender, maybe you are breeding a 20 and a 22 strength cow and bull. They would again have a small % chance of breeding one with a 28 or 30 strength. Given wise breeding and plenty of generations, you will end up with a herd of prize cattle, very valuable cattle indeed.

    The 'worse' offspring sell to the taverns for stew meat. Some people will sell them to new players who don't know how this all works yet, let the buyer beware.

    Going further, perhaps the cheese made from the milk of your herd, when used in recipes of taverns, will improve the buffs of those meals beyond the normal meal buff. The hides of the cows will produce better leather jerkins and saddles. If we were talking horses, there would be higher attack and speed stats possible.

    Of course, my numbers above are just a hypothetical example. But my point is that I would love to see the possibility for regressive traits to rarely produce offspring better than the parents and that generations of breeding could improve livestock towards some hidden upper limit.

    I am sure that anyone with some knowledge of genetics can improve on this, please do.
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    I covered, extremely lightly, about the leather and cheese, in the familiarity mechanic skill section with the example of the farmers wheat. I will say I like the chance of a recessive possibly adding a more extreme stat change, but I would still like to see the skill of the breeder having the more long term, generational affect vs. relying on recessives to carry the day. Maybe have it trigger at a small chance, like the mutations I mentioned,
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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Yes, the animal husbandry skill of the character (as you describe above) should also have a significant impact. It could skew the percentages as your skill improves and have other favorable influences on the mechanics. Absolutely.
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    Well i don't have any intention of being an artisan however i love these ideas. It would be very immersive if i could be different quality mounts and foods based on the level of the product produced by the artisan class.
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    I doubt Animal Husbandry will be this extensive at launch...maybe the craft will be modified in expansions to match this, but imo it would quite an undertaking.
    "Suffer in silence"
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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It looks like it will be extensive at launch, though we do not know all the details:
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    My only real concern about animal husbandry is that pets are supposed to a side grade vs. an upgrade. Which could put a hard cap on use-able pets. like if you breed a "perfect" wolf or whatever it may penalize you for summoning it enough that you become ineffective in combat. I honestly hope that they change that idea and go with something like a pet requiring close to the same level of exp as the controller to level up, as well as lowering the controllers earned exp while using it. Especially considering that combat pets will be able to wear gear.

    While losing a good chunk of the controllers exp for training may cause some people to decide to not train pets, or at least more than one, it would also allow people who want to focus on pets, and the training of pets, to have a combat effectiveness equal to someone with a few more levels that has no pet. It would also open up an unofficial trade skill of pet trainer, allowing people to sell well trained pets to people. This could feed both sides of the equation. The people racing to max level will have the ability to buy pets that have already been mostly trained while the trainers would have another source of income while they are having fun training the pets.

    My concern boils down to I dont want combat pets to be purely cosmetic. If two Weapon Masters at lvl 45 with the same gear, one with a pet and one without, have the exact same chances of winning a duel, than the effort taming, breeding and raising the pet have become pointless. I would truly hate to see that because then it would lose a lot of fun, and the only real point would be making a custom skin for your critter.

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    Maybe have it so while your pet is out, it has a drain on your mana, or stamina or something. Pets are always situational in my opinion anyway because your speed freak mage killer wolf may not have the armor penetration to cut through a tanks armor.
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    bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Problem with this approach is then at level 50 combat pets will be mandatory for everyone in order to to do any group combat. Having them share in the over all players power vs adding power above what the player has will keep the field more level so it doesn't devolve into everyone has a pet or get lost.
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
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