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When Steven talks about resources in Ashes, he often talks about it being less "game-y". Instead of walking around the world and finding a random Iron node just laying there above ground, he wants us to go into a mine and mine a vein. And eventually we will even be able to use machinery to mine that vein, so this makes Ashes more realistic. It increases the immersion. And when those resources get depleted, they appear in other mines around Verra. So still a bit "game-y", but much better than finding a huge hunk of iron in a meadow.

Another mechanic I think would aid the game, and make people feel a part of the world, would be deforestation. In New World, you chop down a tree, and then that tree respawns in about three minutes. Not very life like.
So to make it more realistic, chopping down a tier 1 tree should mean removing it. That will make tier one wood more valuable as well, and make it valuable towards end game.

The problem is of course the tragedy of the commons. Even if I know that wood is a scarce resource, and me chopping it will prevent the tree from being replaced, it's still in my direct benefit to chop the wood and take the resources. I'm directly incentivized to deforest Verra, to the detriment of the entire server. Because if I don't chop it, chances are someone else will, and I'll get zero wood, instead of some wood.

But is that where the story ends? No. There are plenty of real life solutions to Commons that can be undertaken to avert these crises. First, I suggest that players should also gain common seeds to replant the forest, to counter the effects of deforestation. This can increase their farming skill, and node reputation. Not enough? In times of tree shortages, only node citizens should be able to farm their node's wood freely, and those who pay for a wood license. That wood license can help fund taxes for the node, and demand for those wood licenses would depend on knowing that wood will be replenished in that node.

Any thoughts on this? We're already going to have a highly changing environment in Verra, so losing and gaining trees in an area really shouldn't be a problem if we think Ashes is going to be a success.

Other thoughts about this:
Quality of trees that can be planted can be based off soil quality and environment, so the server isn't just populated by the highest tier trees. Although, I think this wouldn't be a problem anyway, since Ashes will follow New World in needing a ton of lower tier mats to process higher tier mats.

For launch, Wilderness zones (node tier 0) shouldn't have any tree chopping restrictions. That should come when those zones are vassalized by their parent nodes. So the story of us coming from Sanctus back to Verra SHOULD initially be a story of scarring Verra. There's no way a civilization without even gunpowder, who came to a new world or continent, wouldn't just chop every tree in sight until order and property was established. So having resource depletion be visible within the first week of launch will be striking to players, and fixing that resource depletion will also give a sense of accomplishment to the server.

Obviously the time it takes for publicly planted seeds to mature shouldn't be as long as real life. We can just say "the soil of Verra is strong and filled with Essence!" and have tier 1 trees fully grow in a day or less. And of course just like in Archeage, different trees and rarer trees will need different environments and growth times. We're mostly talking about just the lowest tier trees in a zone.

I would appreciate any comments and discussion on this!
17 days ago - Vaknar - Direct link
I like where your head is at with this idea! We know immersion is important to our players but I wonder how this would work! I'm no game designer, but I wonder if this would go too far in the direction of anti-"game-y" gameplay 🤔

It's so cool to think about persistence and making long-lasting impacts on the world of Verra. It's something I look forward to when placing my freehold :) I wonder what other unique and immersive gameplay ideas you can think of!