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MindWorX

Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy Herbalism/Alchemy/Gathering ideas

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First of all, this is the first post on this site, so I apologize in advance if this questions isn't suited for the site or this area of the site.

I'm looking for suggestions on gathering professions for a Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy themed game. In Fantasy themed games (World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, Minecraft, TES: Skyrim), you have your classic "ye-olde-professions", like:

  • Herbalism, Collecting flowers and herbs for use in various things.
  • Alchemy, Using various components to create magical potions.
  • Mining/Dungeoneering, Locating and mining various kinds of ore.
  • Soul Collecting, Using souls of slain creatures as alchemical parts.

    Now, I'm working on something set in a Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy world, something alike Borderlands, which is basically, a technologically advanced post apocalyptic world with fantasy magic elements like ammo regeneration, elemental/vampiric properties on weapons, attribute enhancing equipment and other super natural effects. In this world I want to have a somewhat elaborate profession system, and I'm looking for ideas to help give me the basis for designing the system.

    I have a few ideas already here:

    • Mining/Dungeoneeing, This still fits, as various metals can still be used to craft both ranged and melee weapons.
    • Scavenging, This would be something where you scavenge and can make use of destroyed buildings/signs/vehicles/etc.
    • Crystal Farming, This would be a "tech" version of growing plants and herbs. You create various crystals which could be used for other purposes.

      This is just some quick ideas, and I'd really like to get some more input, my goal is 5 professions with a decent amount of synergy. Remember, this is post apocalyptic stuff, so even simple things like wood and junk will possibly have usage until you have some better alternatives.

      I hope this isn't completely off-topic, and thank you all in advance.

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First, alchemy isn't a gathering profession.

As for gathering professions: if you think about it, the gameplay for herbalism can be described as "look for a resource, then collect it" mining can be seen as "look for a resource, then use special equipment to extract it", then its also possible to "use special equipment to look for a resource, then use special equipment to extract it". An example of the latter would be oil extraction. And if you don't limit yourself to gathering and crafting, you could also have material refinement and research professions. Also, you could limit yourself to the latter case of resource extraction (since the former two are simply special cases of it) and still have a multitude of professions, as long as different skills and operating different equipment is required to find and extract the resources.

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DNA Cataloging. Collecting DNA samples for analysis in medical applications and for tracking mutations and disease. You don't end up with as tangible a resource as crystal collecting but it might be a good vehicle for initiating short and long term quests.

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how bout..

quarrying - for all the different types of stones/marble
archeology - for digging up bones of ancient creatures
astronomy - stand in the right spot and stare at the stars for a sign from heaven giving you a blessing/enchantment for your weapon/armor
deciphering ancient texts and runes - go around and read about long forgotten technologies off of ancient stone slabs
faerie dust collecting - different dusts have different effects

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DNA Cataloging. Collecting DNA samples for analysis in medical applications and for tracking mutations and disease. You don't end up with as tangible a resource as crystal collecting but it might be a good vehicle for initiating short and long term quests.


To expand on this idea, DNA samples could be used for genetic engineering. Think of it as a similar paradigm to herbalism/alchemy. You collect various gene sequences, and then you can experimentally combine them to engineer new things. Perhaps they could be used to create biological nanobots, anti-virals, personal enhancements, etc.

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Well you should think more sci-fi. Instead of the old herbs you might find something useful in chemistry. Instead of using a knife to cut plants use something like a startrek tricorder to do the job. If gold and steel are obsolete in your game then from what materials are your weapons made? You can completely make things up as well. I find this site very interesting to get some ideas from: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-tech.php

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hey mindworx,
maybe it would help you to gather those professions if you knew a bit more about the cause for the wreking of the world. i think a rich backgroundstory would help alot. what i want to say by that is, profession actually follow the need of a society, no matter how f'ed up it would be. its going to be a totally different society if aliens destroyed earth as we know it or a solar flare burned nearly all of the earth to a crisp. if you look at the cause most professions will jump up at you just by clarifying the dearest needs and most valuable ressources. For example compare waterworld (movie) with fallout (game) . In waterworld "dirt/soil" is one of the most valuable ressources, even drinking water is cheaper. In Fallout there are many things that are desirable but dirt surely isnt one of them.
hope this was helpfull
cheers and good luck with the project

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I think you should start with the game lore. Because in SF-Fantasy you can throw in basicly everything (enhanting wood so it can be made into fairies fooder which lay crystal orbs that can be made into powder that is used as the fuel for anti proton generator which produce energy to sustain the force field around the planet which prevents the invasion of space vampires)... Try to limit this topic somehow.

Note that you have 2 kinds of professions/activities, gathering and crafting. Like herbalist is the gatherer for the alchemist crafter. These are supplementary professions. Same for miner and blacksmith. There can be also universal gathering professions, like scavenger, which provide resources to more than one type of crafter.

I think you should have more crafting professions than gathering professions. Also some crafting professions should be also gatherers.

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I always get tired of gathering resources in a game.
"Ooh, pick these flowers" or "Here's a pick axe, go chip away at some rocks now."
Yet, I've got a bank account with LOADS of gold. If I'm an alchemist of any repute, shouldn't I eventually get an apprentice or two who want to study under me? Why can't I send them out on flower picking missions? If I've got the money, why can't I just hire out a bunch of miners to extract the ore for me while I worry about the dragon slaying and maiden saving? Same with black smithing. Why would my hero waste years of his time pounding steel into swords to develop the skills to finally get that uber sword at the top of the tech tree, when it's easier to buy out a blacksmithy, tell the smith to level up his skills, sell his goods, and then make my hero the stuff he needs? IMHO, MMORPG's have tainted game design with their requisite skill grinding mechanics.
"Our game has hundreds of hours of game play!!!".... yeah, if you like clicking on rocks for hours on end or wandering the landscape randomly and picking every flower and mushroom you see.

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