Eleven tradeskills have been officially released as being in game by Acropolis in the February 7th, Quote of the Week.
Basically players will collect components from scavenging, harvesting minerals, plants, or animals, breaking down existing items, or from creature drops. Scavenging and harvesting plants and minerals will be done by interacting with nodes that spawn in appropriate areas throughout the world. These can vary from special mutant cacti that produce healing salves to getting bits of rubber from piles of old tires. Creatures can be skinned to get items such as leather, meat, bone, toxins (giant spiders!), or acid (giant ants!).
Most creatures in the game will drop components as loot as opposed to finished items, encouraging players to make items instead of simply camping spawns until you get equipment you can use, though creatures will drop finished goods as well. A character who equips himself completely from drops is not going to have equipment as good as the character who gets his through tradeskills, either by making them himself or buying them from others. Some rare tradeskill items will require rare components that can only be acquired from certain rare spawns, but getting the finished item still requires the participation of a crafter. So really to get the best gear in the game a crafter is probably going to be involved at some point.
We have an extensive list of components, everything from Tainted Meat to Scrap Copper to Strong Antibiotics to Ragged Kevlar. Components exist in different quality levels, such as Scrap Copper versus Salvaged Copper. Characters will be able to improve the quality of components (or create components from other components) through the use of Science and Nature.
Also, players will be able to break down existing items to get some of their component parts.
Characters do not learn individual recipes in Fallen Earth; instead they learn groups of recipes called a Knowledges (Knowledges are also used to teach things like combat abilities or mutation powers). Each Tradeskill Knowledge has one or more related recipes that the player learns when they acquire the knowledge. For example if you learn Axe, a Weaponry Knowledge, you'll learn to make a number of axes with different abilities. If you learn T-Shirt, an Armorcraft Knowledge, you'll learn a number of different T-Shirt recipes, each of a different color so you can customize your appearance. Each recipe requires a different list of components.
Where Knowledges Comes From
Missions: Some missions will provide Knowledges as a reward. These are normally special Knowledges that can only be gained through that mission. These are spread throughout the game with at least one in every town (we are going to have literally hundreds of towns over the course of the game), so if you want to learn every last crafting recipes for a given skill, it will take a lot of travel.
Trainers: Trainers in towns will sell books that teach common, readily available knowledges. Not all Knowledges will be available at all trainers (good luck finding a well-supplied Science trainer in a CHOTA town).
Treasure Books: These can be found on some mobs, such as crazy technology-worshiping cultists, or in containers that players discover.
Teaching: Players with the Teaching tradeskill can teach Knowledges they already know to other players by creating their own Knowledge books. Not all Knowledges will be able to be taught in this fashion, but most will.
Okay, you've got components and a recipe, so now you can make an item. Basically you can select to make any recipe you know and have components for, and you will immediately begin making that item. Most items can be made while you are doing other things such as fighting or exploring, but some particularly large objects may require you to stand still or not have anything in your hands. Each item takes real time to make, varying from anywhere from a few minutes for a basic items like food or medkits, to a few hours for weapons or armor, to several weeks for cars. This time passes if you are logged in or not. You can queue up a number of items to complete while you are logged off. For each item you make, your tradeskill increases by a variable amount depending on the complexity of the item. Also, you gain experience for crafting items, allowing characters to level up completely by crafting if they wish (though this will take a long time and you have to go out into the world to find many of the recipes) but you only gain experience for crafting done while online.
A character can decrease the time it takes to make an item by staying in a crafting facility, such as a workshop or a kitchen, appropriate to the tradeskill they are using. Really complex items may require the character to remain in the facility for the entire time the item is under construction.
Tradeskills improve each time you make an item that is still a challenge to you, in other words somewhat near your level. The gain varies on the time and resources spent on the item.
Like all skills, tradeskills are governed by attributes that limit how high you can raise them. Tradeskills are limited by Perception and Intelligence, meaning if you want to be a master crafter you have to max out your Perception and Intelligence. Characters can get far in tradeskills without doing so, but will never be the best.
- Armorcraft: Armorsmithing and Tailoring.
- Ballistics: Gunsmithing and creation of other more homemade projectile weapons.
- Cooking: Food will have an impact within the game as either a de-buff (in the form of hunger) or by having slight buff-like properties.
- Genetics: Creating tools that increase the effectiveness of mutations.
- Geology: Mining.
- Medicine: Production of first aid items.
- Nature: Making poisons, collecting materials from plants and animals, refining tradeskill components, etc.
- Scavenging: Junk collection.
- Science: Making acids, sniper scopes, batteries, cars, refining tradeskill components, etc.
- Teaching: Creating books so you can teach others.
- Weaponry: Traditional weaponsmithing, creating blunt or bladed melee objects.