Chat Log – Explorers

Did you know if you miss the weekly Live Chat with the developers you can catch up with all the questions and answers on the forum? You can even pose your questions ahead of time and get the answers delivered after the chat if you miss it! Two weeks in and the new format is working well. I recommend checking out this week’s thread here, and keeping an eye out next Monday for another thread to get your three questions in. Sometimes it is not the question itself that gives the most interesting answers but when the team expand on the concept enquired about, which was the case this week!

The latest Developer Journal highlights the different roles characters might want to take on. No we are not talking about tank, damage or healer we still do not know about the combat system (though if it has the trinity in it I will eat my pantaloons). We are talking about play styles, what sort of thing you enjoy doing most in the world and how you can use skills to build a character that will fit you.

Community member Silaven asked how we will find new veins of materials to mine or how we will be able to tell what kind of plant we have found. Well the simple answer was it is part of the Gathering skills, the skill tree that form the backbone of those undertaking a Supplier role. However, the far more interesting answer is how this might work in game play, and the role of the Explorer:

Explorers can, as part of their adventures catalog new things they find. This could be an unknown plant, animal, metal, etc… This is then written to a piece of paper. The paper can be sold to a supplier. If the supplier has sufficient knowledge, reading the journal entry will reveal what the type of animal, plant, etc. is. So they may know, while the Explorer does not.

This level of detail is something I have been waiting to see in a game. I can understand why most modern MMOs haven’t gone down this route, they are aiming at a different market they want something simpler and quicker. I am very much ready for something that encourages a bit more thought and planning. It also confirms that as well as writing contracts we will be making other notes too, and be able to share them with others. It might be that we have to have paper with us in order to make these records so the amount you put in your pack will be a consideration when planning your next expedition. How much space do you want filled with paper, how many new things do you think you will find?

One thing to note though is while you can share the work with some else, you do not have to. If you choose you can build up your Explorers skill in the Gathering tree and well as in the Survival skill tree they will need to be effective at going out into the wilds for long periods. We get the choice of how we build our characters, however time is finite so you will have to make choices there will not be enough time to do it all.

Also… an Explorer can also journal *where* they found something as part of a map. So if the supplier likes what they see, the explorer can sell them the map to find it.

Explorers often get told they will be rewarded for doing so. What this often means is you get to see a view no one else did. That is great; don’t get me wrong exploration for exploration sake can be engaging. However, it doesn’t pay the rent. Being able to monetise your exploration is essential if it is to become a valid core role within the game. The sale of information could become as important as the sales of resources themselves. As resources are finite old sources will be depleted a new locations will need to be sort out, Explorers will constantly be in demand.

I have been excited by cartography ever since we first learnt about it back in July. The idea of not only being able to create our own maps, but having to if we want to find out where anything is makes the world seem larger to me. You can’t always walk straight to what you want, because you do not know what it is. One of the things that will be interesting to see is if you can make a map without ever leaving the comfort of town. If I can buy maps off explorers who are willing to take risks that I am simply too cowardly to face can I then stitch these various maps together to form one that covers a wider area? I still have a lot of questions; better make a note of them to put forward for next week’s chat!

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