Well, well… We surely had lots of guesses and ideas this time. Maybe I shouldn’t post pictures with so many new features/teases as it likely only confused people even more…
Because of that, I’ll comment on some of the answers since some of the guesses were not wrong - but are not the theme of today’s Preview Thursday.
Indeed that’s a new feature, sort of. Equippable consumables! More on it in the future…
Sometimes the obvious answer is the answer
This one is a cool one, it’s the classic “being right but for the wrong reason”. Indeed the Herbalist is responsible for crafting a potion that is required for the highest level refrigerator, but it has nothing to do with the cauldron animation which is also new (only the spoon is new, actually).
This outfit and workbench have been in ACE for a while now, they’re the Northern Alliance visuals for the profession
Oh, woah, that was a deep analysis But unfortunately it missed the point a bit. The outfit, hairstyle and hood are all in the game already. Indeed there is a new animation (spoon) and many new tonics, but unrelated. The new freezer is not in the picture there’s also no piece of meat? (that table has also been in the game for a long time, it’s the NA herbalist table)
And yes, the herbs! You got it! It’s the… oh, wait… no, that’s not it…
Looks like rain.
And then finally we had a partial hit here…
I’ll give you “second place” for almost getting there, you just missed developing it into what @YetiChow, at last, got:
There you go, an almost perfectly accurate hit!
So let’s talk about…
EXPANDED & IMPROVED HERBS
As YetiChow correctly remembered, some months ago I surveyed the community about how everyone felt about expanding/increasing the depth of the herbs in the game to be more than just an unique, universal “herb resource”. At the time a poll was held with lots of votes, and the results claimed for deeper, more interesting herb/alchemy gameplay but without going overly complex.
For that goal, we adopted a system where each herb in the game will have two important properties: color and aromatic/bitter.
An herb can be one of the six colors shown above: red, green, blue, yellow, purple and white and it can be bitter or aromatic. Additionally, three colors (red, green and blue) are considered “common” while the other three (yellow, white and purple) are considered uncommon.
For example, let’s look at one of the new herbs, the Rose. The Rose is a red aromatic herb, which is probably the most common herb in the game (all biomes have red aromatic herbs as they’re very basic and related to healing items, for example). With the new update, every herb and every plant will have the description adapted to tell the player what kind of herb it is (or provides):
And some herbs, as you can observe in the first image, can be used for more than one color. For example, one of the new “seasoning” herbs:
If you pay attention to detail, you’ll notice that there are “four” of these special new herbs that comes in sheafs - they’re called “seasoning herbs” and will be the herbs replacing many of the herbs used in cooking recipes. They’re also relatively common and can be found on every biome - one per biome.
Now, another thing you might’ve noticed is that the “common colors” are seen somewhere else in the game: red, green, blue
This is not a coincidence, one of the ideas is to connect the concept of the colors to things they provide or achieve through the new alchemical recipes. For example, many tonics that deal with Mind abilities will require green herbs, Body will require red herbs, etc… And the “rare” colors act as enhancers or amplifiers, with the yellow generally being used on “greater” versions and so on.
Thanks to the newfound depth and diversity of the system, we’ve greatly expanded the “arsenal” of the Herbalist with lots of new, funny potions and effects. We can’t wait to see the community trying them out!
As for the other trait, a herb being either aromatic or bitter, the terms were very commonly used by herbalists from medieval times to describe plants and for us, in the game, the idea behind these is to basically determine if a herb is edible/positive or inedible/negative.
And, of course, with all the new herbs and diversity of resources, you’ll find plenty of filters to satisfy your organizational needs - which is what I’ve used in the Surprise Sunday picture to try to hint at the new herb organization.
Finally, I can imagine there’s a lot of questions popping right now. How are you going to have so many herbs? How will you be able to micro-manage that? Will you have to micro-manage that, by the way? (Spoilers: Not much! ) but I assure you - all of these have an answer since this new system is only one of the many parts and features surrounding the Herbalist, a job that is being heavily reworked on this update! So, as usual… we’ll leave these questions for another Thursday
Thank you for the read and enjoy your weekend!