Crafting Revisited - January Alpha Update

19 January 2021

While in Alpha Testing, we have been making changes to the gathering and crafting system—essential parts of surviving in Aeternum. This month’s update reflects the full realization of our vision for gathering and crafting in New World. Below are the highlights of these changes. In this article, we’re going to talk about our priorities, what we’ve changed recently, and what’s changed with the patch.

If you’re just looking for detailed release notes, you can find them here.

Our vision

We want crafting and gathering to feel like a meaningful part of life in Aeternum from the moment you land on the beach all the way into our end game. We have three key pillars that drive our vision:

Gathering and Crafting needs to have tangible value

Whether you are crafting food and weapons to help in your adventures or you fancy yourself a savvy merchant looking to make your fortune in the player-driven markets of Aeternum, we want the act of gathering and crafting to be fun and valuable for brand-new and veteran players alike.

Possibilities should be as broad as they are deep

Aeternum is a huge island with materials that range from the mystical to the mundane. We want our players to have many different choices as possible while creating items and consumables and those choices should matter.

Progression should feel rewarding, not hindering

A person who picks up a frying pan for the first time won’t have the knowledge or skills to make a meal worthy of a Governor, unlike the chef who has 20 years' experience under their belt. We want players to have results that demonstrate their commitment and time invested in their skills.

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Note: In-game UI is in the process of localization during testing.

Previous changes

We’ve slowly introduced changes to gathering and crafting since November, all leading up to this January update. With this release, the gathering and crafting system you may have experienced during Preview has been overhauled completely.

  • Crafting station appearance. We want settlements to show their progression as they grow and develop. In November, we added visual improvements to the crafting stations when they are upgraded.

  • Improved inventory organization. Based on player feedback, the inventory and storage screens have improved organization so that you can find your items quicker.

  • Addition of resources and materials. To improve the outcomes of your crafted items, we have increased the amount of items available to use in the crafting system. Items with levels associated with them, such as crafting reagents, are now found in level-appropriate areas, making gathering more predictable.

  • Granular unlocks for the Tracking & Skinning and the Logging trade skills. A previous version of the Tracking and Skinning skill didn’t feel like it had much meaning until players were somewhere around midgame. We wanted to make an update to that so that players had consistent feedback on where they were in that skill in relation to their character level and other crafting and gathering abilities, so we added more differentiation to how creatures are “unlocked” via the Tracking and Skinning skill. Logging, which had a similar challenge, has been changed in the same way—leveling up Logging will now unlock your ability to collect more types of wood.

  • Containers now only hold items that can’t be harvested from the world. Gone are the days of finding corn and carrots in lootable containers. If it is something that can found within the world, it will not be found in containers, so containers will be more reliably valuable.

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January Changes

  • Materials and resources now display their rarity. One of the changes that goes hand-in-hand with something we talked about earlier in this post, the addition of new material tiers, is that there are many resources and materials in the world now—some of which are harder to find than others. Item rarity is now displayed on each item’s tooltip, making it easier to tell when you’ve made an extra-valuable find.

  • Categorical ingredients can be used in recipes. In certain recipes, you’ll now see that you can use categorical ingredients rather than specific ones. For example, a cooking recipe may call for “a vegetable” rather than specifically “carrots,” allowing the player to use any ingredient classified as a vegetable, carrot or otherwise—which opens up the options you have as you’re crafting those recipes.

  • There are more recipes than ever before. To go along with all of the new materials and resources, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of recipes you can now craft. From the addition of named weapons and armor pieces to a massive selection of foods, there are now far more choices for players who want to craft items. Along with adding depth to the system overall, this should help crafting find its place in endgame play.

  • You have new ways to make things. Some items you can craft have very specific recipes, while others are flexible with what materials and resources you can use in them. For example, when crafting a steel sword you can choose to use a higher tier or rarity of wood or leather components than the recipe calls for. There are even special resources like animal horns and Fae Iron that can be used in place of other resources if you find them. Using these higher tier or rarity resources will affect the power of the item that is made.

  • Trade skill progression has changed. We mentioned earlier that the Logging and Tracking & Skinning skill unlocks had been updated; in this release, all of the trade skills’ progression has been refined to cap out at 200, which will bring consistency across the different crafting and gathering trees.

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Looking Ahead

We want crafting to be an interesting and engaging part of the New World experience that remains valuable to players all the way through our end game. Data from the Alpha test as well as the feedback from the testers themselves will be studied closely and tuning will be done to the systems to better realize our vision for crafting within New World. As development continues, we’ll keep you updated on our social channels and website with future updates.