Some Assembly Required: A Greed Monger interview

Some Assembly Required  A Greed Monger interview
With so many games out there and in development for the themepark and PvP crowds, you had to be wondering when a different demographic would start feeling the developer love. I'm talking about crafters! Of course, the brains behind Some Assembly Required love crafters and all they represent; after all, this column is a celebration of all things player-generated, and what's more player-generated than in-game crafted goods? So trust me when I say we are always on the lookout for games that focus on crafting. And one such upcoming game is Greed Monger.

We first heard about Greed Monger when the crafting-focused game appeared on Kickstarter. And we aren't the only ones keeping our eyes on this game; fan support has helped the game not only reach its initial Kickstarter funding goal but exceed many of the stretch goals as well. From the campaign page, we know some small details about the game. Joining the ranks of games like Xsyon, Greed Monger will boast a world that's nothing but what you make it. It's a blank slate with no NPCs, no buildings, and no quests -- players will build this free-to-play game from the ground up, crafting everything as they go.

Of course, we were interested in learning even more, so we chatted with Jason Appleton, the game's producer and project lead, to get the scoop.

Some Assembly Required  A Greed Monger interview
Massively: How would you assuage the fears of folks who feel that the game's two very different playstyles -- PvP and crafting -- do not mix?

Jason Appleton: I think that the way we are implementing each into Greed Monger allows for a deep system for both of them. Heavy PvPers want more targets to kill, and it seems they want to be able to run around ganking and looting others who are hard at work in the crafting elements of the game. This simply isn't how Greed Monger will work.

Everything someone has in Greed Monger will exist because he spent a lot of time to gather resources, craft the components, and ultimately create the finished item. I know I would be pissed if I spent all that time at the crafting table only to be ganked by someone who stole everything I just made. People will be able to focus on one or both elements. If they want to craft the best gear and test their skills in the PvP lands, they can do that and it will be rewarding, but in Greed Monger you are going to have to compete against others who enjoy PvP as well, not just lowly, unsuspecting farmers tending to their land.

Some Assembly Required  A Greed Monger interview
But players who wish to circumvent the harvesting resources and crafting steps can actually just purchase gear crafted by other players, correct? Or will personal gear be bound to the crafter and impossible to sell? If that is the case, what items can be loaded on vendors to sell?

You don't have to harvest to PvP, but since everything in the game is player-crafted, you won't have anything to PvP with until the community has leveled some skills and crafted things for you to buy (unless you did it yourself).

How large are the completely open PvP zones, and can you estimate the ratio of PvP open lands vs. PvP-free zones? Will players be able to buy plots of land and build houses in those PvP-enabled zones?

Yes, players will own land in the PvP zones. The PvP area will be one-fifth of the total world. Let me put that into perspective: A parcel of land will be 20x20 meters in size. There are 3,000 parcels planned available at launch, with those parcels being a third of the total land mass.

Greed Monger screenshotIf a farmer grabs a plot in a PvP active zone, will he be safe from PvP while on his own land? How will folks know which lands are open to PvP -- will there be an announcement when players wander in the area or will they find out only after they are attacked?

When you cross into PvP territory, you will be alerted to the fact that your life and everything you are holding will be in danger. As of right now, players in PvP areas aren't protected when on their land, but that could change after some beta testing in the future.

Can you elaborate with details on what types of skills -- both crafting and adventuring -- players can expect? How will players change between different combat skills? Will it be as easy as a button click, or will there be a timer?

There will be skills for just about everything, and what isn't ready at launch will be added in weekly updates. When you are crafting, your skills will level up. When you are using combat skills, those will level up. We are putting a soft cap on skills, meaning that you will want to focus on primary list of skills based on how you spend the majority of your time in game, and once you reach that cap, your gains in other skills will be slower.

As an example, what specific skills would go into making a sword or using a bow?

From start to finish, to craft a bow you will need woodcutting, wood working, weaving, and weaponsmithing skills to obtain the necessary parts needed to make the bow. To use it, you'll just need archery right now, with some emphasis on attributes for accuracy and strength. To craft a house, however, you will need parts from many of the various crafting skills. It will be very time-consuming, even more so for larger houses. We have gone through medieval building plans for what it took to create a house in that era with all of the various pieces needed, and though we have watered down the requirements a little, it's still not going to be something done overnight by any stretch.

Greed Monger screenshot
The FAQ states that all in-game items will be sold via direct player interaction using an NPC vendor in your personal home, not an auction house. Will there be any features and systems to facilitate trade outside that house? Can someone build a community shop instead of a private home and allow others to place their NPC vendors inside (possibly charging rent, of course!)? What about carts for transporting large amounts of goods?

What we are planning for at launch and what we are planning for future updates are different. Our base game will include features we consider a must-have, whereas features like opening a community shop and allowing other players to host NPC merchants there to sell someone else's goods (though a great idea and something we are planning on) will come later, after we have had more time to implement it and there is more of a need in game. It's not something that will be in tall order at launch due to there needing to be some growth in skills and buildings first anyway.


"Our goal is to have the largest craftable item catalogue in MMO history inside of the first year."

Could you elaborate on the crafting process? Will the knowledge to create items come from specific recipes, or will all creations be through trial and error? If the latter, if someone discovers a way to make something new, could she put that in a recipe and sell it to other crafters?

Our crafting system will be a combination of things. You will have your guided recipes in your book that will unlock as you level in skill, but you will also be able to experiment with materials to discover new recipes. No, you won't be able to sell recipes as we want players to have to figure them out themselves. Our goal is to have the largest craftable item catalogue in MMO history inside of the first year. Some items will be useless, while others very useful. Some will be some comical. You'll just have to experiment to find out.

Greed Monger screenshot
How will the game facilitate growing a crafting business? Will players ever be able to buy two separate properties in order to set up shops in other parts of the land and travel between them?

We encourage players to establish new shops in various ends of the world to increase sales. That's part of what Greed Monger is all about.

Does this mean that players can buy their four parcels of land (the limit after the Kickstarter campaign closes) in four separate areas of the world? Do the land parcels only have to be connected in order to build bigger houses?

Your first four parcels will be connected, but if you end up joining the optional subscription to increase your parcels to 10, you will be able to have land in other parts of the world.

Similarly, can temporary shops/vendors be set up with merchant NPCs out in the world other than in houses? For instance, can a player who wants to only be a traveling salesman be able to set up a temporary shop as she travels, or a community member establish a temporary crafting festival where multiple players could all come together in a designated place and hawk their wares?

All great ideas, but for now, NPC vendors will be placed only on property you own. The number of NPC vendors you have the ability to hire will also be dictated by the level of your merchant skill, which will increase as you sell items on the vendors you begin with. This isn't to say that in time we won't give players the ability to hire wandering merchants and things, but it's not a launch focus.

Greed Monger screenshot
You mention that players can place any crafted item in a home to see. But can those items be placed in any place within the house as in SWG, or will locations for specific items be set as in LotRO? Can you rotate, resize, and move things up and down along the z axis?

You will be able to place items anywhere you'd like, but gravity will be a factor, so items will have to be placed on shelves, tables etc. Some items will be able to be placed on walls.

Thanks so much for your time!

Every two weeks, Jef Reahard and MJ Guthrie take a break from their themepark day jobs to delve into the world of player-generated content. Comments, suggestions, and coverage ideas are welcome, and Some Assembly Required is always looking for players who'd like to show off their MMO creativity. Contact us!
This article was originally published on Massively.