Somewhat wild idea for gathering. Prospecting for mega nodes.

As I've seen a few people mention here gathering can be quite a "dry" experience with few highs and its nearly always a solo experience. I wish to share an idea that could provide gathering (mining in this case) with some huge highs and add an element of group play.

This mainly applies to mining, but could also be for logging/skinning

For this to work you would need to move away from current mmo thinking of hitting 100 nodes, getting 100 units of lightweight materials and not worrying at all about carry weight. Perhaps unpopular thinking but please read on.

Rather than the above you could made it so finding a gathering node (vein) will take longer using a prospecting system however that vein will fill your carry weight (boosted by mount?) with enough materials to consider it a job well done.

Prospecting would have you taking multiple samples, digging to triangulate a vein in the region. This would mechanically be similar to your current node farming in most mmos, but instead of instantly getting 1 unit of material you would be using these to methodically triangulate the main vein. In terms of UI when you start making these explorations your building a progress bar and for flavour your world map could start having scribbles and text as if your a mad prospector trying to piece together where to find your gold.

When you find the vein, because its a big payoff for the work, the extraction process could be be more in depth and take longer/be more skill based.. Perhaps you have to blast out the loose rock before processing and breaking it up for example.

When you find the vein it will always have the a guaranteed minimum as to not disappoint. Occasionally you will find a larger node. Too large to carry yourself. Once the vein is blasted and mined, whatever you (or importantly your party) cant carry would quickly become free for all loot for anyone nearby who was lucky enough to hear your vein blasting (bigger blast for the bigger find!). So you'll need to invite a friend(s) to come help if you care about the value of the vein found.

Occasionally, perhaps once per 6-12-24 hours of the server a lucky prospector will find a huge node. These could become server wide points of huge interest if it happened in an "endgame" mineral vein. These nodes would require a gathering "raid". A guild sized expedition to mine the resource. The blasting of such a huge vein would be so loud people would head over to the area see if there were any scraps to be had that the miners couldn't carry or else just to share some of the excitement.

Now what happens if a solo (non guild) player is lucky enough to stumble on one of these mega vein locations? Not to worry, if they are not able to organise a mining expedition with friends they can instead take this knowledge and commit it to a sellable (tradeable) vein deed using an in game system. The deed would state the resource type and its weight, but not the location until traded. Once traded the seller could no longer mine the vein and the buyer will have it unlocked. This deed could be put onto any in game auction house and sold to the highest bidder. An amazing high for both the individual and also a exciting moment of guild rivalry if they want a certain resource.

Just to briefly expand the thought process of this system to other professions for example a trapper/skinner. You would be going around the zone looking for the regions prime target to get the perfect hide for your crafting. You could be interacting with tracking nodes, progressing a bar (while sketching tracks, and droppings etc on your world map) until you find the quarry. Just like the mining you will find the target which will give you the guaranteed hide you need for your leathercrafting. However there will be a chance the tracking come across a stronger beast that will need a party to fell, and then again much more rarely (balanced by the devs) the track finds a world boss raid like creature that will be needed for high end crafting. Once more, for the solo player who is lucky enough to stumble on one of these target, if they dont wish to organise a raid they can create a tradable tracking map which will allow the buyer to organise the raid. This tracking wont need a group to logistically carry the resource, but it will need the group to slay it!

Some really wild extra thoughts.

Upon blasting the larger mining nodes perhaps there could be a low % chance of the explosion opening a small public instance of a mini dungeon/cave system with elementals that drop small amounts of the gathering resource as a freebie for any curious adventurers :)

Upon discovering some mega veins the vein location/deed could warn of the potential of unleashing a long buried monstrosity... I mean if your gathering a raid to mine a vein you have people handy to fight a monster right? ;)

Hope you like my thoughts on this. Id love to see AOC try out an interesting system like that so that even something as mundane as resource gathering could generate group play and memorable highs.

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