Made from Scratch

Made from Scratch

Unlike the raknar and dragons, humans start the game without any weapons or armor. Using resources they gather from the terrain and plants, they can craft various tools, items, and equipment that they will need to survive on their new home. While the bestial races will be able to craft and construct a few things for themselves, they don’t require equipment and so we will focus on how crafting and structures are used by the humans.

The crafting process starts with gathering resources from the terrain. This includes raw stone from boulders, logs from trees, sticks from bushes, sand from the beach, skins from animals, and so on. Primitive items, like rope and stone tools, can be crafted without other tools or stations, but more advanced tools, like iron blades or leather armor, will need them.

We tried to follow the general steps that a craftsman in the real world would need to follow with our items are made in the game. For example, iron is harvested as ore from boulders, then purified and refined using a bloomery or a smelter into an iron ingot. From there it can be cast into a mold or forged into an item. Items made from clay can be dried and fired to increase their durability, just as in real-life. In other cases, like with leather, we went with a process that made sense to us even if it wasn’t true to life. In ToA: Exile, leather starts with a skin off of an animal. It is then stretched on a stretching rack to make rawhide. After that it goes into the tanning vat and comes out as leather.

For humans, the chance of successfully crafting an item is tied directly to the related skill. So crafting metal objects improves the Blacksmithing skill, which then improves your odds of successfully crafting more difficult metal objects. We will cover skills in depth for tomorrow’s article, but it is important to note the relationship when crafting.

In addition to skill improvement, players can choose to improve their crafting technique for specific items. Choosing to do this will increase the overall difficulty of making the item, but it will allow you to make better versions of the item after that. When cooking a piece of meat, you can improve your temperature and preservation techniques, and they will make the resulting edible food more filling and last longer before expiring, respectively. Nearly every usable item can be improved with a related technique and some items have multiple.

Going hand-in-hand with crafting is the building of structures. Humans get access to the drafting table station, which allows them to design and customize buildings within a 3D space, like a CAD program. It allows you to zoom in, out, and rotate around the model to get a better view. Exterior walls, interior walls, windows, doors, stairs and floors can all be placed by the player. In the future we want to create addons that players can build onto their structures to further customize their look and functionality.

Using the drafting table, the player creates a blueprint of their structure design using ink and paper. They can then place the structure on any terrain level enough to accept it. We built the foundations very deep to accommodate a moderate amount of terrain slope, but bigger structures necessitate more level ground. Once placed, construction can begin!

Building a structure is a slow process. Each section must be built up through multiple steps and usually requires a specific tool along with resources such as boards, timbers, stone, nails, and mortar. Multiple people can work on a structure together, and the total number allowed scales with the size of the structure. The player who places the blueprint is considered the structure’s owner, and they are able to lock the doors to prevent other players from entering, but any player inside can still exit the building. We will be adding additional features for structure owners in the future, like a permissions system to allow specific players to come and go as they please.

What do you think of our crafting system and our structure design? Do you plan to build a house of your own? Share with us in our forums at: