Let me start off with the fact that I think it's absolutely great that skills are finally being implemented in the game.
I think a majority of things have been done completely right, but there is one glaring flaw in the system... in my opinion anyways.
Let me start off by saying I've sat here all day crafting wooden doors. I just hit 11 in carpentry, which I'm very proud of. Timber house floors are now orange to me (which happens at exactly 5 levels under the crafting level for the given craft) Great, at this point, I figure I'll go start laying floors with a small chance for success, 25 times I try to lay ONE floor, and completely fail every single time. So, at this point I guess I only have one option, make more doors (seeing as they are the only viable and grind-able item at this point, costing 10 wood) At level 11, level 10 doors give exactly approximately 18 xp per door. To level from 11 to 12 is 1000 xp. Still not that bad of a grind,, 55 doors later I should hit 12. Then I realize something, even at 2-3 levels under my level 16 floors, I'm going to fail more than 50% of the time. That equates to DAYS of grinding just to reach my very lowly goal of laying down some floors.
I'm not saying grinding is a bad thing, it should always be an option to reach the intended goal, and though I thought I'd never say this, it isn't even an interesting type of grinding, it's build 50 doors in my settlement, destroy them all, rinse and repeat. All of that being said, it's also a HUGE resource sink, and this is with wood, possibly the most abundant material in the game.
Now, for my proposed solution. Increase the xp gain of CRAFTED items just a little bit per level. I think having xp gain set at the same rate as the gathering skills might be just a bit too much of a grind. This worries me because I'm not even dealing with rarer materials yet, such as leather and hides, and that kind of scares me. I'm also worried about what is going to happen when we get blacksmithing skills and such, iron isn't too bad, but getting the steel required for noble armor is a grind in itself, and that is without having to level up a separate skill in order to have access to it. As I started to walk around and look at nicer plots of land where people have already crafted brick and stone walls, I've noticed that almost no one has access to higher level carpentry things (houses, looms, nice fences and such)
Also, with the skinning. I think the skill gap between hares and foxes may be a bit much, the same with the gap between foxes and deer.
I for one, happen to really enjoy grinding, and even if the system were kept at the current pace, I still plan to see it out to fruition and get the levels I need so I can make my own things. I think if we had a larger server population, things would be much easier as well. I could be a carpenter hired to build things for other players, and paid in whatever material I am currently lacking (which may have been the intended purpose of making the skills take so long to level up.) Once the game hits steam though, I'm afraid you may scare a lot of players away due to the experience of grinding a useless item over and over again for minimal gains. If it is not changed, I can only hope you guys have plans of adding more items to fill in the gaps, making it much less painful, and giving more xp (eg. for a level 12 item vs a level 10)
All in all, I think this is a great game. As a "hardcore" player myself, I enjoy the grind and difficulty of getting to certain levels, as long as the grind is enjoyable in itself.
If I can end with this, although it may be off topic. The safe zone being in the same server as PvP and guild areas also bothers me. A byproduct of that system means a couple different things.
- Every time a world wipe happens, you're going to see an influx of players rushing to build in that area specifically
- A player who has a settlement built in the same area can then go raid anyone he/she wants, with absolutely no repercussions
If I'm going to be raided by someone, I'd atleast like to have a fair chance to get revenge. This essentially makes those players untouchable, and that is completely unfair.
Along with that, I understand the thoughts behind resource concentration being in the PvP areas, but at this server population, even seeing someone else who is alive is rare, and having the chance to make conversation (or attack them) is even rarer, because with the introduction of mounts, they are a screen or 2 away before you can react or type something. This essentially leaves no "end game" content beyond gearing up for PvP combat with will rarely happen, (and with no incentive seeing as you probably already have everything you could take from them anyways), and making your plot of land nicer (which maybe 1 or 2 people will actually enjoy with you because of the population)
However, I do have very high hopes for this game, and I can't wait to see where this journey takes us. You guys are doing a wonderful job of updating and listening to players wants and needs. Please keep up the good work!