Massively: Farming seems to be a popular mechanic in online games these days, but Zynga's FarmVille has tainted the word for true gamers everywhere. Was there a conscious effort to stay away from that type of "farming"?
The best way to answer this is probably to go into depth a little bit more about how the system works before comparing and contrasting with any other farm-related "entertainment" media.
The term farm, in this case, refers to a "medium-term" structure encompassing both the fields for planting and a small adjoining homestead, which comes with certain amenities to make life in the wasteland more bearable. You'll be able to craft the farm itself using new construction schematics, place it in the world, and sow your field with the new seeds being added. And while we all loved Ultima Online
and Star Wars Galaxies
, we're not huge fans of the massive urban sprawl that ended up dominating the landscape, so there are restrictions on where farms can be placed to prevent them from being too close to one another or existing structures. The number of seeds you can plant depends on the number of plots your farm has. You can also find or purchase items that will improve the overall production capability of your farm, the speed at which plants grow, and the resulting quality or type of components it produces. When the plants are fully grown, you will be able to retrieve the components from a bin, not unlike the existing harvesters.
"Also, every time you harvest anything we automatically post 15 status updates to your Facebook wall (just kidding)."
As in FarmVille
, you'll have to prioritize what crops and animals you want to produce with the limited plots you'll have available. The main difference between this and FarmVille
is that all the components being produced go on to serve a purpose in crafting food, armor, and medical supplies, and they aid you in whatever your chosen cause happens to be. Also, every time you harvest anything, we automatically post 15 status updates to your Facebook wall (just kidding).
There's mention of a focus on longevity for these farm structures. How long will they stay up in the world, and can they be destroyed by other players?
They will initially last for a short time, but there will be items players can acquire that will extend the longevity. They are not destroyable by other players.
Assuming that building a farm will utilize the Construction knowledge, will harvesting use other crafting knowledges?
Actually gathering the items? No. Crafting the building requires skills in Construction, and the seeds require the Nature skill.
Can multiple players utilize the same farm?
No. However, the farms have nice buildings attached to them where players can hang out and wait for their plants, have some friends over, and just chill. We are also looking into adding some convenience features to the larger farms, like mailboxes, possibly vaults, etc.
Are farms a primer for crafted housing in the future?
It's no secret that player housing is something we want to do really, really badly. These are steps toward being able to do that in terms of programming and art; working on the stability and flexibility of player placed structures is certainly applicable towards housing-type structures. That said, we still have quite a ways to go, so we'll have to see how successful this is with players before we know how much of a gamble to taking on more permanent housing!
Thank you for your time!