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Geolocked Resources - The Tropics


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I wanted to do a series of suggestion posts on the topic of geolocked resources. In my post on the oceans and rivers thread, I mentioned that this could be an important mechanic to implement in order to drive players to continue expanding once they have established a stable settlement. Certain resources only being able to be generated in certain environments would drive people to travel to obtain them, to build infrastructure to expedite said travel and transportation, and to build bases at the point of extraction. In a multiplayer setting, it would be the basis for organic trade and the development of trade routes. I want to do a different set of geolocked region for each temperature profile which combines realism with features which make gameplay more interesting and drive engagement once you've passed the 'survival' stage and are at a more comfortable position.

The tropics would be divided into two territories: wet and dry tropics. In both of these cases, it would not be possible to move the sources of the resources in question. One of the things that makes exploration in Minecraft feel so pointless is the ability to pick up anything that you find, take it back to your base, and grow it. As to the purpose of these items, they would all be luxury resources that offer some sort of benefit to the player. Once villages are implemented, I think that it would be best to make their influences be felt on that level, as building a village is more of a late-game endeavor - they would affect an amenity stat which increased efficiency or attracted new villagers at a quicker rate.

Incense in the Dry Tropics

In the dry hot environments, the ones that I would implement would be in the form of incense-bearing trees. Each of these incenses would be able to be burned on an altar for some sort of benefit on the village level, or within a closed space for the player (reduced hunger, increased healing, spawnproofing, etc.). All of the trees would only spawn on limestone gravels at higher altitudes in a hot, dry environment. The trees would drop no seeds, but would spawn spots for resin on their logs which would bleed their respective incenses on a fairly regular basis. Patches of limestone gravels generated in hot, dry highlands would form thickets of these trees - never all types in one thicket, but each one in a chunk of just that tree. The three would be:

Dracaena: Based on Dracaena cinnabari from the island of Socotra. It would provide a red resin which could be burned as incense, or used as a unique blood red varnish or dye.

Myrrh: Based on Commiphora myrrha from the Horn of Africa. It would provide a golden resin which could be burned as incense, or used to create the most powerful healing poultices in the game.

Frankincense: Based on Boswellia sacra from southern Arabia. It would provide a white resin which could be burned as an incense, or used to create the most powerful healing poultices in the game.

Burning a certain quantity of all three in an enclosed space during a temporal storm could also prevent spawning within that space. This would be difficult to do, as the spawn rate for the resin would be long enough that you would need to gather a descent amount from each of the three incense-bearing thickets. This would end up with the cool mechanic of multiplayer cities scrambling to get enough resin to burn in their temples and be protected throughout the storm. It could also result in short pilgrimages from scattered bases to a central, safe temple location once a temporal storm is approaching.

Spices in the Wet Tropics

In the wet hot environments, a very special soil called laterite could form in patches at higher altitudes. These patches would spawn in clumps anywhere from two to four times larger than your typical clay or peat patch. These blocks, when broken, would drop laterite bricks which could be used for building, but the soil block itself would be unobtainable. On these clumps would grow four different plants - they could only be planted on laterite and would only naturally generate there:

Nutmeg (Shrub): Would harvest nutmeg fruits. These would be opened with a hammer, yielding a whole seed. This could be cut with a knife, yielding a mace aril and a nutmeg seed. These could each be ground into mace or nutmeg, and used to season foods. The plant could be broken and moved like normal shrubs, but only placed one high on laterite.

Allspice (Fruit Tree): This would function just like a normal fruit tree, and would produce allspice berries when harvested. These could be ground into allspice, and then used to season foods.

Pepper (Vine): Would harvest peppercorns. These could be ground and then used to season foods. While the vine would grow on Allspice trees, it could be broken to receive cuttings. Those cuttings could be combined with a stick to create a trained vine seedling which could then be planted in laterite and would yield fruit as a berry bush would, just with a different appearance.

Cinnamon (Tree): This would grow just like a lumber tree, but instead of yielding sticks it would yield cinnamon sticks and seedlings. The form of the tree would have lots of branchy leaves and very few wood, which could be cut into planks like normal wood. The goal would be to use shears to get as many sticks as possible before cutting down the tree. These sticks could be ground up and used to season food.

The whole spices would have an extremely long shelf-life even without being stored in a cellar. Once ground, they would still last decently long. Seasoning food would be done in the crafting grid, and would give a bonus to the food item's saturation and the shelf life of the finished meal before you cook it. You could also add whole spices to the meal to sacrifice a bit of saturation for an extended shelf life. Different spices would go well with different food types, so a fully spiced dish would require multiple spices. Think allspice for meat, cinnamon for fruit, mace for fish (once fishing is in), nutmeg for grains, and pepper for vegetables. There could also be a drying process for freshly harvested spices similar to that used for bowstaves.

Coffee in the High Elevation Tropics

Once you got to the very high elevation tropics, you could have coffee spawn on laterite patches instead of spices. This would be a two-stacking bush like currants, and the fruit could be dried, ground, and brewed to create coffee, a special meal which increases your movement speed slightly. Whole dried coffee beans would have a very long shelf life.


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