guild of miners and gemcutters

Ok, it’s time for some more Walraven ideas/plans/dreams/wishes.

Since it was introduced, mining has been one of the biggest and most popular activities in the game. It’s easy to get into, it’s relatively safe, it practices skills that are later useful in combat, it produces valuable resources for crafting, etc… Oh, and it’s fun too πŸ˜‰

Mining is so popular that it is traditionally one of THE first activities a newbie engages in – usually at the advice of older players.

The problem with this is that the materials newbies actually need for any of their crafting recipes are best found in the desert area outside of Candle Hill. This is not the safest place in the game. It is also relatively devoid of convenient lumber with which to construct the mine. Your average newbie who wants to go digging for copper is going to take 2 or 3 trips between the forest and one of the mountain ranges in the desert. Odds are high that he’ll get eaten by a lion. There aren’t many lions out there, but after that much travel, the newbie’s bound to bump into something aggro. And at that point in their career, they’re not prepared for it.

So… we need to improve the safety for newbies who want to dig copper in the desert and make it more convenient for them as well. Nobody wants to trudge across the desert 5 times just so they can dig a hole that they’ll accidentally flood two minutes later πŸ˜›

Second, the city of Candle Hill has a problem. They lack material resources. They lack economic activity. I’ve always planned on spurring this by introducing NPC merchants and quest givers. It is currently easier for high level players to do things for themselves than it is to get another player to do things for them. People have no reason to trade, it’s too inconvenient.

Enter the mining guild.

I’ve always planned that the Miners would be one of the more influential organizations in town. They were originally intended to be a place where players could buy and sell minerals and tools (an open market), where they could get some training, and where they could hire some pack mule type NPC’s to help them with their mines.

They’ll still be most of that. But the new idea expands on things a bit more:

  • As a crafting guild, the Miners will have a traditional apprentice/journeyman/master path of advancement. New members may buy membership in the guild for a small fee (first year’s dues up front), and should ideally have a higher level (master rank) member sponsor them. Any one master may sponsor any number of apprentices for now.
  • The primary benefit of membership is eventual access to a number of helpful building recipes for improved types of mines – and the recipe for mining camps (more on these later).
  • It will be possible for members to post jobs with the guild – ie mines that are looking for workers. Both guild members and non-members may accept these jobs, which will be recorded in the player’s quest journal.

Guild members will have access to special parts of the guild hall, including a private storage room where they may keep supplies safe from other players.

mining camps

The biggest elements to the new mining guild’s operations will all be centered around the mining camps. These camps will be very expensive to build, and will need to be built in rooms with existing mines (owned by the builder of the camp, of course). Players will be limited to the number of mining camps they are allowed to own at once. This limit will be based on their guild ranking.

Mining camps will improve their associated mines in a number of ways.

The mining camp is a large two-room tent with an attached storage bin and a place for vehicles to park (similar to docks). The front room of the tent will be suitable for setting as a home location and the back room will store food and supplies. The storage bin will be accessible from the outside of the building, and is meant as a place to keep ore produced by the mine.

They will come with a total of four npc’s. Two of these NPC’s will be guards that will help keep the mine entrance safe from wild animals. One will be a mining supervisor, who keeps the key to the mine, and the last npc will be a mine worker.

The worker will occasionally wander into the mine, pick up any minerals that players left lying around, and haul them to the storage bin. If he can’t find anything when he enters the mine, he will emote mining actions and will produce a very small amount of ore to bring up to the bin. Thus, any mine with a camp will constantly produce materials (howbeit at a terribly slow rate), even if it has otherwise been cleared out by players.

Mines with camps are nominally owned by the guild but are managed by the player who established them. The guild maintains a number of supply carts that perform a regular circuit of the camps, providing food and tools as needed. It is possible for players to hop a ride on these carts in order to travel to remote mines safely and quickly.

shipping cart

There is also a single shipping cart that the guild operates to help ease the delivery of minerals back to town from the mines.

At any time that the cart isn’t already in use, the player managing a mine may request a shipment be scheduled by the mining supervisor. A few minutes later, the cart will arrive. The worker npc will unload the storage bin into the cart. When he is done loading the cart, it will return back to the guild, where the load will be quickly dumped into the player’s storage vault.

The guild will keep a 10% cut of all goods shipped in this way, in order to pay for their expenses (ie, keeping the npc’s alive and the carts running, etc…). This is on top of yearly membership dues.

While the shipping cart is stopped at a camp, the supply cart will skip them on the rotation. Likewise, the shipping cart’s arrival will be delayed if requested while the supply cart is already parked at the camp.

Players may not ride the shipping cart.

guild line

Guild members will have a chat line, just like any other guild in the game. NPC’s will also be capable of chatting over this line as well. Announcements of new camps being connected to the network, players joining the guild or being advanced in rank, and the status of the shipment cart will all spam the channel.

jobs

Any mining camp will have the option to hire workers. Both guild members and non-members may take on jobs.

Players will be able to list jobs at the guild hall, requesting x-many of a certain ore their mine produces, and offering a percentage of the profit to the miner. Thus, if I established a copper mining camp in the Candle Hill desert, I could list jobs for 50 copper and a reward of 20%.

Thus, if a newbie takes my job, goes out to the mine, and digs 56 copper, they will be given 11 copper’s worth of cash when they return to the guild hall to report the job done.

Mining supervisors track the player’s progress on jobs. When a player arrives at the mine (probably having come on the supply wagon), they must check in with the supervisor. The supervisor makes a quick check of the player’s inventory and gives them a pick if they don’t have one. He then unlocks the door and lets them into the mine. When the player leaves the mine, the supervisor checks their inventory again and takes the pick away from them if he loaned one. They player is expected to dump the goods they dug into the storage bin. Upon doing so, the supervisor will check them off and give them a receipt for their work. The player must then return the receipt in at the guild for their reward.

These should be enough checks to stop casual theft attempts on the part of diggers.

More heinous thefts (and armed robbery of the camp itself) will be announced to the guild line. It’s not difficult to get yourself permanently blacklisted by the guild for misbehaving.

I don’t remember if there was any more to this idea, I wrote this post several days ago and never published it. So… may as well push it and hope for the best, ne?

update

After referring with Vopisk and Sora a bit on the subject, it’s been decided that a few more protections need to be put in place for mining camps. The following minor changes will be made to the above:

  • The insides of guild mines will be flagged as no-teleport, no-combat, and no-magic.
  • An NPC will tag along behind the player and collect all ore that drops when they dig.

This pretty much obliviates any way of stealing goods from the mine short of somehow scripting a bot to jump on the ore the instant it drops and hoping you get it before the npc does – since the npc should be entering in the grab command before players even see the message.

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