New Comm Overhaul!

ANNOUNCE NEWS #521
Date: 5/13/2014 at 22:39
From: Astalon, the Lawbringer
To : Everyone
Subj: New Comm Overhaul!

Hey all!

I'm excited to announce the release of the revamped comm system! This system allows us to expand the options you have when designing crafts, moves a good portion of the way comms were previously generated (ie. bought within a village or your city) to nodes and places players can find and gather comms, and allows a framework for the admin to expand the available commodities easily and fluidly.
A large portion of the work on this was back-end, but among the things you'll now notice are the new verbs: SMELT, SORT and GATHER, the new resources one gathers from butchering, and the new creations one can get using the verbs above.

Now for some specifics!
-- Ores! --
When you mine nodes, you'll recieve ores. On their own, these ores are useless for crafting. In order to make the ore useful, you have to smelt ore together to create bars. Bars have stats and can be added to recipes. You can also take two bars of middling to low quality and smelt them together to create a new bar with an overall quality equal or higher than the average of the two parent bars. Finally, you can smelt together some specific combinations of metals to create alloys. Alloys, in general, are superior to their parent elements, with a higher overall base quality.

-- New Comms! --
Sand and shells are both now gatherable by visiting a beach or (in the case of sand) a desert and attempting to GATHER them. There's a low success rate of finding sand or shells of crafting quality, but on the up side, you don't have to move from place to place. You'll always eventually find what you need on any particular stretch of sand.
You can also gather coral by swimming out to Midkemia's coral reefs and GATHERING from them. Be warned, however, that coral takes time to regrow and it's possible to overharvest on a temporary basis. Coral will always grow back, in any case, so don't despair!

-- Gems! --
The Gems commodity is being discontinued in favor of acquiring specific gems. You're now able to SORT through existing gems commodities in order to find the most valuable gem within that particular handful.
Within a day or two, we will be adding the ability to modify (for free) and re-submit existing designs so that they can be updated with the specific gems necessary and, over time, we will be forcing un-updated designs back to designers for updates.

In that vein of thought, however, you'll note that gems are now periodically found when chopping wood (for amber) or mining. The gems veins that used to be found have disappeared and this will be the only way to acquire gems. (We will adjust how often they appear based on how we feel the player-driven comm market is working.) In a related note, you can mill specific gems to get specific colors now, and are not limited to the random pigments that the gems commodity supplied.
Finally, a bone and ivory (considered gems in terms of our crafting system) are able to be acquired by butchering animals, in addition to any blood one would get. Simply take animals, birds or fish to a slaughterhouse and BUTCHER it there to get at its bones.

We will be updating help files over the course of the next few days, but if you'd like to help, please feel free to go to http://forums.midkemiaonline.com/discussion/379/help-scrolls-help-us-help-you and leave any missing help files or un-updated ones there for us to get to! We also will be removing many of the existing commodities from comm stores. There'll still be some familiar ones in stores, but the emphasis of this system is to create a need for players to gather, trade and sell commodities, rather than just wait for numbers to tick up in a store.

If there are any questions about this new system, feel free to message me or start a thread on the forums, and I'll answer as I can! I hope you all enjoy this new system!

Penned by my hand on the 36th of Wochem, in the year 60.