Journal Abridged – Technology & Research

This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the information simplified and listed out. It means you can just get the recipe and not have to put in the research yourself. If you want discussion then you are going to have to wait for the Journal Discussed which will hit later this week. I’m guessing Thursday this week, let’s see how far out I am.

Soulbound Studios have said from the outset that they intend to make a living world. What makes it living? Living characters, that age and die. Living environments with seasons and weather. Living communities with political change. The other part that changes over time is the technology of the world, Elyria advances through time. It is us as players that cause that advancement with the research we undertake. We are the ones that decide what we want to know next, where we want to push the world. If that sounds as exciting to you as it does to me then you might want the full version over on MMORPG.com, but if you just want to get straight in and find out all the highlights read below.

Technology

  • Technology is defined as all the products and components that can be crafted, along with all the material that players can gather and process.
  • To craft or process a resource you need a recipes or patter. Advancing technology is the introduction of a new recipe that has never been seen in game before.
  • This advancement can include how to process new materials for Gatherers, or new components for Producers, or even new never seen before items.
  • This applies to all Gathering and Crafting skill trees.

Research

  • Research is integrated into the crafting process and is carried out alongside crafting as Producer or processing as a Gatherer. (I will use the term crafting from now but it can always be read as and/or processing).
  • Once you gain Expert rank in crafting a specific item you can choose to spend extra resources to carry out research on that item.
  • Research is based on trying to solve problems. You research towards particular solutions such as you may want to make a blade stronger, or armour lighter, or livestock live longer.
  • You chance of success is determined by how much research you (and others) have contributed to solving that problem. However, you will not know how much research you need, or what you progress is.

Research vs. Production

  • Initially when crafting an item you are aiming for a good quality item. Once you have mastered that to an expert level you are then capable of the focusing on research or production.
  • A slider is presented when you craft which starts off central on Quality. The left end of the slider is Research and the right end is Production.
  • The location on the slider effects:
    • Potential for a discovery.
    • The fatigue cost.
    • The resource cost.
    • The risk and consequence of failure.
  • Further towards Research and you have a higher chance to discover something, further right and you will suffer less fatigue so be able to make more items quicker.
  • Moving the slider either direction from the centre increases the resource cost and the level of risk involved.

Risk vs. Reward for Producers & Gatherers

  • Initial risk for moving the slider towards either research or production is just loss of materials. It increases as you move the slider outwards to breaking your tools, destroying your building, personal injury, or even death.
  • However, the reward is the possibility to change the overall story and to achieve greatness within the technological community.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

  • When you move the slider towards Research you can choose to show a list of problems you can try to solve based on the item you are crafting. A variety of things trigger which problems are shown for you to research:
    • Event Driven Triggers – Based on the happenings in the world, be that the overall story or the breakout of war.
    • Skill and Mastery Driven Triggers – Based on getting a skill to a particular level or having several different skills that synergise.
    • Resource Driven Triggers – Having particular items in your inventory while crafting might prompt research. Trying to make a copper bar while also having tin in your inventory might open up the ability to research bronze.
    • Location Driven Triggers – You might need to be in a particular place to research something. For instance research into boats might need to be in an area that is not land-locked.
  • Due to the fact these triggers are often logical and based on our world if a player has knowledge on how to create a particular item, they should be able to use that to help guide their characters research.
  • There will be a large number of different things that can be researched with out necessarily having the assets or the mechanics developed yet to support them. However, seeing where players interests lie, what they are choosing to research allows the developers to implement the technologies players want.

Guilds & Educational Institutions

  • It is easier to carry out research or increase production as part of a Guild or a School. This is because they often have advanced crafting stations with benefits.
  • Schools often have crafting stations which allow for safer research.
  • Guilds might have crafting stations which allow for safer mass production.
  • If you do research something as part of a Guild or a School your research is pooled with everyone else in the Guild or School also researching that, which can lead to much quicker discoveries.
  • The downside is if a discovery is made it is owned by the Guild or the School and you do not have any individual right to it.
  • If a Guild makes a discovery they can Patent that technology, see below, granting them sole and exclusive rights to the item for a period of time.
  • If a School makes a discovery that will the be released freely for everyone to learn.

Patents & Implicit Contracts

  • Patents allow those who would not normally be able to make laws (i.e. those that are not nobility) to set up implicit contracts. These implicit contracts prevent others from crafting a recently discovered item or resource with out breaking the patent law.
  • This allows so protect to new technology so people can recoup some of the cost of the research, however they will have to enforce the contract like any other.
  • Patents currently last for three weeks, but can be extended for an additional three weeks though that has a large cost implication.
  • After the three or six week period has ended the patent law ceases and anyone can make that technology.

Who knew crafting could be so sociable? It looks like by working with other people you can work to make a difference to the world. I can see most discoveries being made by groups working together hopefully for the greater good, but I see many of them doing it for the benefit of their coin purse. I am really intrigued about Schools and Guilds and looking forward to December when we can find out more about them. What I am really looking forward to though is making my first discovery, hopeful as part of a school so we get to share it with you all.

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