True story: I love video game skills like cooking and gardening in MMOs, chiefly because I do not love them in real life – they trip all my hangups about messes. But not in games! So I’ve got a close eye on how these types of skills develop in our genre, including in Legends of Aria, where in the early access period Citadel Studios is revamping them both.
Previously, Citadel explains, cooking was a “flat” tradeskill; people didn’t invest time into it outside of the minimum required for basic stamina and health food. The revamp fixes this.
“Cooking now allows players to create food items that can buff a players mana pool, health pool, stamina pool, and weight capacity. As your skill in cooking improves you will be able to create more and more powerful foods to buff these attributes. […] Additionally, I didn’t want cooking to simply be a skill that you have ‘templates’ that you could craft for each various food and buff combination. So the ingredients you use in cooking actually determine the buffs that will be applied when the final product is consumed. This will allow cooks to cater their food items to specific play styles. Do you value stamina and mana in your build? Or perhaps you’re a crafter/gatherer that wants health/weight capacity? By mixing ingredients cooks will now be able to create food that is suited to YOUR needs.”
Complementing the new cooking system is an Ultima Online-esque gardening skill, which is a non-skill-based minigame system that all players can use. Initially, players will be able to plant and harvest cooking mats, but apparently decorative plants and resources for other skills are on the way too.