Another issue: the existing potions are rarely used; they are useful but i rarely need it, except for healing tonics/bandages. Below, some suggestions for new potions (better explained), that require specific & very potent herbs. Obviously, they all have tough requirements and cooldown.
Example 1: potion of eagle eyes. Reveals the entire map.
Example 2: potion of visions. Reveals the location of an epic equipment. (Note that I mean something really incredible, like a +70 damage or +50 armor). This could also start a new quest. Note that epic equipment for other professions also fit here - like an epic hammer for a blacksmith that diminishes by a lot time to craft stuff, or an epic hammer that unlocks recipes for epic weapons. Only once per map.
Example 3: potion of regenaration. Heals a lost member/permanent effect; this would require the inclusion of scars, missing fingers, fear of death, missing ears, scar in the head from a huge ogre mace, every time the hearthling HP drops below 10%.
Example 4: potion of dreams. Reveals (spawns) an (previously chosen type) big ore mine nearby your banner.
Example 5: potion of summoning. Gives the ability to summon creatures to fight by your side.
Example 6: potion of heroic might. +50 defense and +50 damage to one character, supresses hunger and sleepiness for 36 hours. Only twice per map.
Example 7: potion of plenty. Did you accidentaly run out of food as Northern Alliance? Use this to gain +300 wheat.
Example 8: potion of greater mind/body/spirit. +1/+2 in one stat, permanent!
Example 9: potion of destiny. Calls divine help/blessing to the hearthling s side, life changing events happen to the heartling. Removes a negative trait from a hearthling; this starts a quest and at the end a new positive trait is added. The quest should allow free open ended, multiple roleplaying from the part of the player, it shouldn`t specify exactly what happened in details - it is up to the player to create the stories he want to his character. This will help players who like to roleplay by giving some reality to the stories they create to specific characters, so that it is not only inside their heads. Additionaly, this potion sets to 3 whatever trait that is lower than that - so the player can imagine/roleplay the hearthling became more compassionate, learned to think more, learned to value spiritual things, became stronger, and so on, whatever the reason he decided. This potion effects obviously should take a long time to take effect (30 days at least). Example: imagine a guy who wanted to become a Knight but has terrible stats (1/2/1), and the player “roleplays” in the past he was known as week, dumb and coward, was humiliated. The player decided he will make this hearthling a good hearthed & inteligent, almighty Titan Slayer, so the player makes this hearthling drink this potion. Soon a quest starts explaining what this potion does (calls for divine help) and that soon your hearthling should start facing life changing events; one month later, the quest continues stating that after a long time, your hearthling seems changed - for better, but without stating what happened, instead asking “what happened? No one knows”.
Example 10: potion of the rushing worker. Gives all workers +15 carry capacity and +500% speed outside roads, supresses hunger and sleepiness for 36 hours. Do you know those far away mines but are afraid because of enemies that might appear suddenly? This potion is the answer.
Example 11: potion of teletransport. Transports a fighting party across the map. Only twice per map.
Example 12: medicine. This could be used inside quests, for example, to gain a trade connection with a city from a different faction - and all their goods.