WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran

 

WOO II - Farm

A farm is a unit that produces one or more materials. The farm is located with the Holding instance, and only the character who owns the farm may use it.

The farm contains one or more modules, each of which can grow, or generate, one material. Each module is controlled by a kind of recipe, called a "seed", which is consumed as the material is generated. New seeds are available from NPCs and from other Crafters. A module may require no more than a seed, but most will also require inputs such as water, rock dust, ground unicorn horn and the like. Acquiring seeds, assembling inputs and monitoring the growth of materials is part of the task of farming.

Crafters who specialize in farming, called "Farmers", have access to advanced production tools and materials, and these will be available for use on the farm.

Materials grow at regular rates with random fluctuations. The more materials harvested, the higher the rate becomes. This rewards attentive farmers. Certain activities ... e.g., watering plants, assaying ores, etc. ... promote a higher growth rate. Crafters who specialize in Farming can also acquire skills that increase growth rates and/or yields.

Farms may be invaded by pests who try to eat and/or NPC criminals who want to steal the farms' production. These will need to be exterminated. This implies that Crafters will need at least a minimal amount of combat expertise. Infestations tend to increase in frequency if farms are left unattended.

Materials

Farms generate raw materials which may be used raw or processed further in the factory. For example herbs will usually be used raw, but may be processed for use in some applications. Ore will usually be processed into ingots. The materials shown here are meant to be examples; there are more of them then are shown:

Some materials are not farmed. Fish, for example, are caught by all characters in the various regions. Some fish will be cooked for food, but most will be sold to Crafters for processing. This will provide a return cash flow for some non-Crafter characters.

Unfarmed materials materials drop randomly around the world. These are usually found by Questors and sold to Crafters.

Most materials are also available from NPCs. As the character's level rises, higher level materials become available in the farm. Releveling a Crafter character to a lower level does not change the farm's characteristics.

seeds and Modules

A "seed" is a recipe that can be placed in a Farming module to generate raw materials - herbs, ores, leather, reagents, etc. Each farming module comes pre-programmed to produce a certain amount of material under certain restrictions of time and care. After the material is harvested, the module is given a rest, and then reset and a new cycle begins. Because the seed determines the material, a module can be reused as needed. As a Crafter rises in level, he or she gains access to new seeds, and also may gain the ability to add modules to the Farm. A Crafter who chooses the Farming specialization will be able to create a farm of many modules and generate materials at a higher rate.

Seeds are consumed in the process. However, some seeds produce seeds, and certain Farmers may specialize in the very high level skill of producing rare or valuable seeds for sale to other Crafters. Rarely, reproductive seeds may mutate and generate entirely new kinds of production seeds. Farmer's may choose skills that increase the likelihood of mutation.

When created, a farm produces a minimal amount of basic materials. For example, a new mine might produce six nuggets of copper every 24 hours. As the character gains skill in crafting, his or her farms produce larger amount of more varied materials. In general, more basic materials are produced than a single crafter would normally need. This generates a market in materials. Basic materials are generated on a regular basis with no cool-down. More esoteric materials may have longer growth periods, or they may only be available a particular moment in their growth cycle, and they may have a significant cool-down.

Preservation

Most materials have a decay rate ... meaning that if not used within a certain time after harvesting, they begin to decay and eventually evaporate. The intent is to reduce hoarding and stockpiling, and also to give Farmers a more consistent market for their goods. Minerals have the longest shelf life, herbs and meats the shortest. Learned preservation skills allow characters to increase the shelf life of their materials. Availability of a material in the marketplace is a function of both growth and decay; control of these by the game managers helps control the supply and therefore the price, of materials.

Exceptional Materials

Some exceptionally rare materials may need to be gathered from the game play space. Acquisition of these materials requires travel and adventure ... similar to questing. (They will never be acquired from Raiding or PvP action.) These travels may develop story lines for the Crafting Life Path. Since Crafters are not primarily fighters, the focus of these searches should be on discovery and negotiation - though combat is not prohibited.

Non-Crafter Found Materials

Some rare materials may be acquired by non-crafters by means of drops or discoveries. The goal is to promote economic activity by allowing non-crafters, especially Questors, to find and sell rare materials. These materials will also always be available through normal means. Crafters should not have to depend on characters from other Life Paths to supply them with materials.

Rewards and Goals

The goal of a Farmer is to produce voluminous amounts of materials and sell them at a profit. Leveling achievements look for the variety of crops grown and the size of the harvest, as well as the eventual sales price. Ranks are based on these same criteria. Other rewards include enhancements that speed up the growth process, reduce the turn around time on modules, help eliminate pests, speed delivery of goods to market and so on.