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[Feedback Request] Gathering System Update Shown in October Livestream

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited November 2022 in General Discussion
Hello glorious community,

We’d like your feedback on the Alpha Two gathering system update and demo discussed during the October 2022 Development Update Livestream.

To help guide this conversation, here are a few thought starters:
  • What aspects of the gathering system are important to you?
  • How do you feel about the interaction between the surveying and gathering system?
  • What are your thoughts regarding the land management system?
  • Are there examples of gathering systems in other games that you feel are done well? If so, in what ways?
  • Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the gathering system?
Please don’t feel limited by the thought starters above. Feel free to share anything you’d like about Ashes of Creation’s gathering system update.

We’ll be compiling a report for the design team on Friday, November 11, 2022, so please try to get your feedback into this thread by then!

Everyone here at Intrepid Studios looks forward to reading all the feedback you have to share!


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    SigtyrSigtyr Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 2022
    Falling trees look awesome! Rocks breaking apart and revealing veins look awesome! I love how this works together with the idea of surveying as well. It further encourages group play as having friends who can survey will be incredibly important.

    I do think the branch physics could use just a little bit of polish, but overall I'm very happy with how everything looks.
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    If you want to progress your node you have to harvest and do stuff in your node,
    but then you can punished by harvesting too much? isn't that counterintuitive and
    that means you get soft locked when trying to progress yourself or your node?
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    PlandemoniumPlandemonium Member
    edited October 2022
    Gathering system that was shown today already looks great, not to mention that it will certainly be polished further. However, if you would like to get acquainted with some ideas from my side, I invite you to read on:

    I'd like to see more freedom when it comes to controlling a character while cutting a tree or mining a stone. At the moment, the animation is triggered by pressing a button, and that's the end of our work. It is enjoyable to have control while doing this activity.

    Gathering could be varied with additional mechanics. 2 suggestions that comes to my mind:

    1. Holding the left mouse button while performing a sweep. When the maximum sweep is reached, a spark appears on the axe/pickaxe. By releasing the button at the perfect moment, you make a harder swing, which affects the speed of cutting down the tree. The higher the level of our profession in a given field, the longer the sparkle display time.
    Or a simpler approach
    2. Aiming and hitting weak points that show up at a random place on tree/rock. Similar to Fortnite.

    - Each hit should involve pressing the mouse button again.
    - Visible cavities in tree that appear as tree felling progresses would blow my mind.


    Point of interest takeovers

    What do you think about a sawmill in the middle of the forest that could be taken over by guilds/players ? It would speed up the processing and moreover create another creative way for pvp skirmishes. PURE RISK VS REWARD. Of course, the use of such a sawmill would involve having the appropriate profession developed to the maximum level, or using 2-3 people with this profession.

    Another plus of this solution is the reduction of griffing. It would be more profitable for players to gather a group and attack such a place of interest (because they know that they will gain a lot more resources if they win) than if they were to attack a single player who needs a few twigs to light in the fireplace.
    A similar workstation can be made for stone processing.

    If one guild took over a dungeon - F*** them. My guild will specialize in wood processing. If that is also taken over - F*** them. My guild will take control of stone supply throughout the server. If there is already such a guild, mine will take care of caravan raids etc etc etc..

    There should be as many such points of interest as possible, so that it is not possible to create one mega guild that takes over the entire server. In this case, they will always, willing or unwilling, have to cooperate with each other at some level.

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    paramboyparamboy Member
    edited October 2022
    The white dot, make a toggle option to show or not show the gathering target white dot, it can be immersion breaking and not very nice to see in my opinion.
    The physiscs of the branches are strange, need a bit of polish but they are getting there, audio need a little rework too
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    With the tree animation when they get chopped down. It looks really amazing so far compared to anything ive seen before.
    My only qualm is that it seems like base of the cut down tree is attached to the stump still, and so it looks a bit weird when gravity tries to pull it away and its rubber banding back to the stump. Maybe I was looking too far into it, but just something I noted.
    The animations for everything look super great though im loving this gather development update.
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    arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    edited October 2022

    The visuals and sounds have been decent. Im very confident intrepid will take it to 100%. The physics have been wonky in some cases.

    As someone that has experienced gathering in star wars galaxies, surveying elavated the gameplay loop to something that can stand on its own feet and make it the the thing you do for the majority of time.
    I hope intrepid makes it booth deep and easy to penetrate for a newb.

    Land Management

    For the land management i got big concerns.
    I think people are incentivized to follow their current needs in mmos (i need 10 wood) and not make long term decisions, as play sessions and long term engagement with mmos are limited.

    From how i understand for every resources the player is faced with decision
    Do i grief the ZOI?
    Do i rely on the next guy to encounter the resource to not grief the ZOI?
    Do i wait and come back for the tree to fully develop?

    I think you would essentially set up people to grief their own communities. I wouldnt want communities to have to hyper micro manage people and scold their fellow players everytime they play suboptimaly.
    When it comes to things like this i just want to be a brainless loot goblin and not think about my long term local social responsibilites, when i see an UI poping up to gather an ore.
    This overreaches into realism, a more gamified version better suits the overall set up of the game, especially with nodes. The incentives are missaligned, break the game and cause drama where you dont need it.

    There has been several mmos that tried to integrate ecologic systems, they both failed and were unfun.
    Here is short video of a post-mortem of an UO game designer, that describes how their players absolutely broke their game due to an ecology system. Its worth the watch!

    Edit: I would also like to mention that i think its problematic in the context of the corruption system.

    The only way to prevent gathering griefing is to go corrupt. Not sure if life skillers like this dynamic.

    Gathering griefers dont seem to encounter risk in the gameplay loop itself and can provocate others into corruption.
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    edited October 2022
    It looks amazing.

    I hope the land management system manages to control the overabundance of resources well enough. I'll remain skeptic about it until I see that system at work.

    Outside of that worry, everything looks great, especially considering early passes of sounds/visuals.

    The surveying will help out with knowing where to go and what to find, so that's great.
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I wanted good economy play, PvP and immersive farming. This farming has potato trees. As someone who spent decades of their life gardening I cannot tell you just how unhinged and immersion breaking that is. Hope the rest of you have fun. I'm out.
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    How is the interaction between the fallen trees and the player, im wondering if such a large model with physics colliding with players might open up opportunities for bugs.

    might include:
    moving the player and giving them fall damage
    people jumping on the falling tree to gain momentum or velocity to get to places they shouldnt
    how it might mess with you if someone engages in combat

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    DaybreakDaybreak Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 2022
    Bullet points on my gathering systems preferences:

    - Common nodes that are relatively easy to find/harvest with a small % chance of dropping more rare items
    - Rare nodes that are difficult to find/obtain with guaranteed chance of dropping more rare items
    - Physics of every type of gathering profession should match the "feel" of interaction with the world. (E.G. I think we still have work to do as far as flower harvesting gathering, didn't feel like the petals interacted with gravity correctly whereas the trees are closer to a more polished look)
    - I like rare nodes to be more likely to be found near difficult monsters that kill you on sight. This encourages players to team up to take down a strong enemy and harvest the surrounding environment.

    Initial impressions of land management:
    -Seems interesting to me, but there's a delicate balance here to make sure gathering systems aren't too complex but are also accessible to players. Gathering is often a "chill" activity for gamers... introducing a strong land management element could be somewhat overwhelming. I like the idea, I just think it's something we should be careful with to not overtune.

    Initial impressions of tree physics:
    -Great starting point! I think possible improvements could include trees or branches snapping in half as they fall if unreal 5 allows it. Sometimes those trees hit rocks or the ground HARD and felt almost rubbery with most of the movement coming from the largest branch that wobbled back to a starting point as opposed to snapping / staying in place like a real tree. Again I think this is in the right direction just a minor thing I noticed.

    Initial impressions of surveying:
    -Very cool idea! Really I think I need more info here or seeing how it plays out to really give good feedback in this area. Good alpha 2 fodder I think.
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    fundorfundor Member
    edited October 2022
    would be nice if ressources have 3 or more steps instead of 2… like:
    small plant - not gatherable
    medium plant - takes 2 hits and gives 2 ressources
    big plant - takes 5 hits and gives 5 ressources
    and big old plant - takes 7 hits and gives 7 ressources + 1 bonus ingredient
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    SkiisSkiis Member
    edited October 2022
    Will mayors be able to restrict what can be gathered by it's citizens in a region for the health of the ecosystem?

    For example if harvesting trees is harmful at the moment, would harvesting one auto-flag people that break the rule?

    My only opinion on this is that players will inevitably overfarm for personal game, so I would hope it's addressed in some way.
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    MybroViajeroMybroViajero Member
    edited October 2022
    1.- What aspects of the gathering system are important to you?
    -Have a clear purpose, not just to gather for the sake of gathering, but for that gathering to have a real purpose.
    If I have to gather something that have synchronized importance in many aspects, both creation, economic, social, achievement, importance, lore, etc..

    2.-How do you feel about the interaction between the surveying and gathering system?
    For a start-up I think they are on the right track but I have a few comments on what I saw today.

    A.- At some points the pickaxe seemed to go inside the rock.
    B.- At some points the player's leg was inside the rock.
    C.-At times when gathering plants or apples the sickle was far away from the target and seemed to cut the air but the plant/apples moved.

    3.-What are your thoughts regarding the land management system?.
    I would like to see tools affected in their efficiency by climate, if it is a warmer climate a tool of one type of material for that climate would be more efficient than another tool of another climatic material.

    1.-Differentiated sounds
    I would like to see a more noticeable difference in sounds when cutting different types of trees or when I pick different mines or when I gather different herbs/plants, I think that gives a more immersive and different touch to the environment.
    The sound of cutting a young tree, an old tree and a dead tree is not the same.
    2.- Deforestation
    It would be interesting that at the moment of cutting a tree the players have the possibility to plant that tree with a seed, if the player digs, plants and waters the seed to ensure its growth then he would get a buffo depending on the zone where he is.
    If the player does not plant the seed and does not ensure its growth that seed can stay there for a while waiting for another player to do the work of cultivating it to ensure its growth and this player would gain a better buff.
    If the player simply deforests the zone he may have a debuff depending on the zone he is in.
    Also those buff or debuff could depend on if the node belongs to the player, or if it is his freehold or if it is an enemy's node, etc.

    Deforestation is never good and would be a nice teaching.

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    protostarprotostar Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Survey groups, sharing survey information somehow, and or have surveyors be able to write down and sell their information on auction houses.
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    StreviStrevi Member
    edited October 2022
    Looks nice!
    I like that all minerals are hidden in stone.

    The tree trunks could break a bit more randomly. Also should be stronger when they fall, to be less flexible.
    Do birds fly away when trees fall? :)

    I wonder what other kind of resources will we gather. The more types of tools and animation the better.
    The first impression is great. Looking forward to test the gathering myself.
    September 12. 2022: Being naked can also be used to bring a skilled artisan to different freeholds... Don't summon family!
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    The sounds are great, mining 10/10.
    The physics looked great too, the trees falling, the apples dropping off the bushes and the rocks and flowers breaking.
    I also think it's really great that you can harvest everything and that the seasons change what is harvest-able.

    The UI is simple and clean, nice work.

    The land management system sounds a little rough for an mmo and not a single player game, but I'll just have to wait and see.
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    As someone who likes gathering and crafting, I'm really liking the rock idea. The trees falling was pretty nice as well and the land management sounds interesting, all and all I'm really loving it, good job!
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    would also be nice to have plants to big for one person to gather, so you see the tree and get a friend. show him the location where the you found the big tree and take it down together. higher reward also the risk that someone else took it down with a friend already
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    tiernanntiernann Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The tree falling and the rock busting open was great better than all current games that have a gathering aspect, one thing I would like the mention, I have played tons of games that revolve alot around gathering, Runescape, Newworld, etc, and I will say if there isnt enough resources OR if its too easy as well as not enough resources people will hate too gather. This is currently an issue in Newworld and Runescape. Bots almost always ruin gathering for players who want to do alot of it. as long as its not so easy as to just walk up and hit E on somthing and/or theres enough resources gathering will be successful, I my self have always wanted a bar that charged up in Newworld in the "E" button segment and randomly had a segment in the circle to hit E again to successfully chop or mine the product, this way its harder for bots to infinitely chop or mine if its random, also in Newworld there are not enough resources same for Old school runescape and this is extremally frustrating, and Im not saying give us items endlessly but maybe make some resources more difficult to get deep in a dungeon or hidden away and OR RANDOM SPAWNS thank you :). Only putting my dieas out there. Gathering is very important to a lot of us players
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    I think when cutting trees, there should be less clean cuts, the axe should have some difficulty coming out, and look like more effort is being put into chopping. Right now it kind feels disconnected. Those are all visuals preferences though. Another thing I would like to see if resources not have static spawns, the range of their respawn could proportionally increase value of surveying. I would be fine with a small radius they could respawn or 2-3 static spawn options in an area. I just fear bots being able to farm the areas with static spawns which is an issue in New World. I guess you could just kill them but then you get punished by the corruption system.
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    Tearl StoneheartTearl Stoneheart Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    This looks great! The tree physics is awesome. The only addition I'd like to see is a progressive visual to the chopping on the trunk itself, so it doesn't just split straight and fall.
    The mining is great! I love the fact you do not know what you are mining until it breaks. Maybe consider revealing more as your skill increases. You'd think after a year of mining, you'd be able to look at visual clues on the node as to what it is. I know the surveying will do this to an extent. Is that the intended path for this sort of knowing what the nodes are?
    Harvesting was great too! Love the visual.
    I LOVE the grow-back feature! That will really make the world feel more alive. It also shows a good bit of how we'll see our farms grow!
    I am really enjoying the direction this is going. Keep it up!
    So...skinning when?
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    That looks cool, but tree seems to be a bit rubber. And what about trees, they have grown stages as i understand. So will loot from them depends on grown stages, or only quantity?
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    prymortalprymortal Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited October 2022
    What aspects of the gathering system are important to you?
    - Accessibility to resources. Not to many, not to little.

    How do you feel about the interaction between the surveying and gathering system?
    - Used this in a few MMO's to date, Its annoying but it works & serves a purpose.

    What are your thoughts regarding the land management system?
    - Need to try it first.

    Are there examples of gathering systems in other games that you feel are done well? If so, in what ways?
    - Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 the OG. It has surveying, limited resources & the BEST gathering system I've seen to date. Which was different for each profession of gathering.
    Mining you needed to hit the "radar" at the correct point to get the "right" resource & amount.
    Botany when chopping a tree you needed to change the angle of the axe to get the "right" resource & amount.
    Fishing you needed to pick the right depth to get certain fish.
    There was a bit more to it like picking a "notch" on the tree first but I forget what that did I think it affected the amount or something...Someone else might remember.

    Still thought I like your Easy just press E & wait system, then run to next node, Makes gathering much faster. (Botters & Macro Scripters will be happy).

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the gathering system?
    - Looks good. Just seasons limiting items is horrible idea. Travel to other nodes to collect certain items without Fast Travel/Flight also a horrible idea. It will still be playable sure, but still a HORRIBLE IDEA! Bit like adding legendary mats to Raid level bosses at 0.001% drop rate that only larger guilds end up farming. ;) (if you know then you know!)

    - As for the 2+ person Gathering ideas, NO, Hell No! Gathering requires a person to get materials, having 2 is asking people to buy Bots. Further more leveling & competition with 2 gatherers has never worked when in the same area to date in any mmo so you are creating a problem if they need to both go to the same area together just to get 1 tree e.t.c.

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    Love it
    For the New Order!
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    oneuproadoneuproad Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    edited October 2022
    What is your plan of preventing gathering bots ruining this system? And what are possible ways of players overcoming bots? Since one cannot just PK a bot as it will end up as corruption.

    If there is going to be no "energy/labor" system to stop you from gathering, then what is going to stop players to ruin certain lands? Also, the land management point system, is it solely tied to the area/(ZoI?) or is it affected by nearby areas? So possible sabotage of neighbouring areas is going to be a benefit for others' area?

    Also if there is an increased amount of gatherables, is there going to be an increased resource need to craft/process?

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    What aspects of the gathering system are important to you?
    I prefer to main harvesting in games that allow it, I prefer gathering resources and sending them off for processing. So for me having gathering itself feel good, having surveying feeling good and not tedious or awkward. And the other thing that has to be balanced, not having this become a second job to your irl job, I want to be able to go do other things instead of having to follow circuits of resources at all times.

    How do you feel about the interaction between the surveying and gathering system?
    I think it looks fine, Dual Universe had an interesting concept for surveying, it just wasn't implemented well like the rest of that game.

    What are your thoughts regarding the land management system?
    My hope is that there are ways for players to help stabalize ecosystems as well, coming from Life is Feudal you had people who were built around planting trees and harvesting those trees. So I would love to see that for as many systems as is reasonable. And you stated player taking from the environment and not giving back, I would love to be able to main giving back to nodes if that is a thing we can do.

    Are there examples of gathering systems in other games that you feel are done well? If so, in what ways?
    Life is Feudal did some things right with its gathering system, being able to replant trees, being able to dig tunnels and such. Same with Foxhole, being able to gather resources that actually affect the world instead of just being a line of gameplay that some people deal with. Valheim also does much of these correctly, that game allows you to replant trees, go searching for new nodes of materials and such.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the gathering system?
    The only thing concerning for me is how can we stop overharvesting of resources so we'll have to wait for you guys to go into Land Management more.
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    JoacchimJoacchim Member
    edited October 2022
    Hello !

    The gathering featuring video was really inspiring, I think you've found lots of very interesting points on the gathering mechanisms that were sub-par in so many games, thank you !

    That being said, I've got a few questions/remarks about what I've seen in the live:

    About Surveying:
    - As we've seen very little about surveying an area, I wonder how much it will diminish this "surprise & discovery" effect of gathering ores, for instance.
    - I'm also very curious to see how it actually works in-game.

    About mining:
    - I love how the rocks don't show what's inside, and you'd need to collect it to know
    - I wonder about the rarity of each type of ore. During the video, the team talked about "veins" of specific ores, but can we find any mineral in any area ? (ex: Late-stage rare mineral in any node ?) Or will there be a mix of zones allowed to "pop"

    About Wood cutting:
    - Are there multiple types of wood, much like the ores ? If this was mentioned, I missed it. As opposed to the ores, I guess the tree type would be visible ?
    - As mentioned by another twitch viewer, is there a way to impede the movement of monsters/players, even very temporarily, through the felling of trees ? It made me think about ambushing a caravan by felling trees in its path or something along this line. Would that be possible ? It would be awesome :p

    About the Land Management, re-spawn speed of resources, and scarcity of it:
    - In the context of a conflict between two nodes, is the scenario of an important number of users from node A going to gather all resources from node B, in order to give it a bad score and artificially "choke" node B's economy possible ? I wonder how it'd play in the nodes conflicts, and if it'd have an impact on the "wars" or not ?

    To summarize my personal feelings:
    - I love the rock that hide resources
    - I'm very eager to see the Land Management system, and how it reacts to players abusing the resources. (This reminds me of the game Wakfu and how one resource could become depleted in a whole area)
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    Since we are getting apple bushes, can we get blueberry/berry trees? :smiley:

    Just small details that would make the world slightly more alive;
    Falling trees could trigger voice lines from players and npc's if they hit them. Like "oof" or "darn you Norlan"
    They could also do 1 hp damage or 1% of max hp for the one in a million funny moment.
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    Great stuff! We cheered when the falling tree bounced off a boulder.

    A couple of critiques... It felt a bit unsatisfying to see apples, rocks, and trees drop to the ground without any further interaction. It would be nice to see the character stoop down to collect the resources.

    The snow-flower animation was a bit over the top. It was funny, but I think it would lose its charm after a while.


    I noticed that many ferns and bushes moved when the character walked through them. That's great! I don't recall seeing that before.
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    The sound design is on point, well done! Fidelity looks excellent and I can't wait to see it in hidef. Logging and mining visually look great, but I'm not 100% a fan of the plant gathering (maybe add in an animation of pulling a fruit away and then cutting, pull said fruit to a side pouch). The survey mechanic makes sense, am a fan. All in all I think the gathering update is heading in the right direction and a massive step forward in progression from the previous iteration. Looking forward to chopping down forests in Vera soon!
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