Crafters will be a fully fledged, dedicated class in Camelot Unchained - and that is quite an aspiration for an RvR game. In most MMOs we've played, crafting has been little more than an after thought or time sink that has had no real impact on the game - players have been able to completely ignore this aspect of gameplay and get all of their gear and items through other means. However in Camelot Unchained, crafters will be essential to all players, and especially for guilds.
We have already discussed what Crafting will mean to Cyrus in a previous article, and now it's time to look at the mechanics of how crafting will work.
All items available in Camelot Unchained are going to be crafted. That is a profound statement - essentially, everything except the basic starting gear is going to be made by either a member of the guild or bought from another faction member. On top of that, crafting is not going to be simple or easy. It is designed to be a slow process, and we have been warned to "embrace rarity". The system has been designed form the ground up to be hard and, more importantly, rewarding for those willing to sink the time into it.
As stated above, everything - from swords to sandals - will be crafted in-game by players. The average player will have a very limited set of abilities and skills when it comes to crafting. Basic repairs and gathering will be possible on any class, however anything more advanced, including item production, will require a dedicated crafter.
This presents a logistical challenge for players especially as there will be NO auction house in-game - everything is going to be done either in person or through storefronts (see below). Furthermore, items will constantly degrade and WILL eventually be destroyed over time - they will become gradually unusable and will need to be replaced when, if not before, they completely deteriorate.
There will also be carry weight in the game - you will not be able to haul your entire house and inventory on your back. Put simply, this will necessitate the use of caravans to transport wares. Trade goods will need significant organisation to collect, haul and guard as caravans will only be able to move from stop to stop in predefined locations. Players can charge for haulage if their guild or group is able to guard it, and players who need stuff hauling will be able to take out insurance should the worst happen.
VOX MAGUS: VOICE WIZARDRY
Principally, the Vox Magus will be an old school magic instrument that acts as the primary crafting station for all crafters, and every crafter will have his own.
Each Vox will have a limited but upgradeable power supply of magic that it draws from to make stuff, and as the charge runs low the Vox efficiency will deteriorate. Crafters will be encouraged to upgrade and customise their Vox in a myriad of ways, for example with more power or storage, however with each upgrade the Vox will become exponentially more expensive in the same way a combatants equipment would in any normal MMO.
There are 6 processes to the crafting system, some of which all classes will be able to participate in. These are as follows:
Crafters will be able to plant fields, tend flocks (presumably for leather food), and raise trees (magical growth). Mines will be instanced, I believe, with bubbles or quarries being the primary method of this. However it has also been mentioned that The Depths will play an important role in acquiring the particularly exotic minerals, including over 20 metals according to the current design spreadsheet.
Essentially this stage is an interactive way of turning ore into bars, logs into planks, etc. Reagents may be involved at additional cost, for example to upgrade iron to steel.
Now this process will comprise of two parts: Shaping and Blending. Blending will allow a crafter to mix and match materials to create alloys that may be far stronger than their constituent parts. Say for example one of our crafters finds a particularly effective steel or even more exotic alloy, mentioned also is the possibility of making them luminescent or even magical! Think of this as being akin to modern metallurgy.
The actual bashing of steel and the sharpening of axes - this is the part where everything comes together. The final quality of the item will be heavily dependent on the material it's made from - much of the effort being put into creating an item will be in sourcing and shaping its constituent parts. It is also possible to have critical success when crafting an item, with a posited 1/1000 chance - this is likely to be how the truly legendary weapons are forged. This step will be the easiest to automate, though that isn't to make light of the effort required to get here. A good crafter is likely to be one third grafter, one third mage and one third scholar. The Vox will also be operational while its owner is away or offline.
BREAKING AND REPAIRING
I'm lumping these together as they are relatively minor, but are both performed at the Vox. This is likely what a novice or apprentice crafter will busy himself with on release. You can salvage, break down or improve items using these processes, and improving these abilities means that more material is recycled through the full resource cycle.
PLAYER CHARACTER APPRENTICES (PCAs)
Player Character Apprentices are junior crafters that will be able to make use of a senior crafters skill and Vox. This will allow guild workshops to be more effective and more productive, especially if the senior crafter is offline (read "has full time job"). They will be able to oversee the Vox during shaping, for example, freeing up the Master Crafter for research or making. The system will also boost the apprentices progression not only mechanically in-game but also through the knowledge of the systems and their functions. This also allows newer crafters to get involved quickly and make a real impact on a guilds economy from day 1.
NON-PLAYER CHARACTER APPRENTICES (NPCAs)
Pretty much the same deal, except these dudes are robots! The costs of their contracts are paid to the realm, and their costs will DECREASE if the realm is outnumbered or losing.
Very little has been fleshed out as of yet, but what we do know is that Storefronts will be situated in specific zones allotted for them, and that crafters will more likely than not find it easiest to site their Voxes within these zones.
Crafting is of such importance to Camelot Unchained that it took up a major part of the reveals during the Kickstarter campaign, and we know it is a personal goal of Mark Jacobs to implement the system he himself has wanted for many years. It is not something that can simply be ignored, and could even make or break the game.
Cyrus is very keen to recruit a strong, dedicated team of crafters and will encourage and support them to become the primary crafting team on our server!
More information on crafting will be released soon, so keep your ears to the ground or just keep checking back for further updates!