Crowfall’s latest big patch released last week so I’ve had the chance to test the newly revamped harvesting mechanic that the devs so refer to as action harvesting. Vamped it is. Action harvesting adds two new, very unique additions to typical MMO harvest. By typical, I mostly refer to WoW, SWToR, and even MMO-lite games such as Ark: Survival Evolved. I draw these comparisons because Crowfall’s new crafting system deviates from these tried and true titles but not so much as to make harvesting unfamiliar.
I know I’ve discussed the mechanics before, but I’ll review how harvesting work now anyways. Players now harvest with the mouse, which is a huge improvement over using the Interact key, and essentially attack the node. While attacking the node, your character gains harvesting pips. You can use these harvestings to gain different passive buffs or to regain stamina. You can read the tooltip below to see what using energetic harvesting does at the pips levels.
While harvesting, weak points appear on the node. If you place you reticle over the weak point, you’ll deal significantly more damage to the node. Nodes have health bars and their resources spawn around the node as you damage it. These you have to pick up. Your character is not rooted in place while harvesting. Think third person Ark but with buffs, floating damage text, and a hit the target minigame.
Crowfall’s action harvesting speeds up harvesting from its previous iteration in all the right ways. Harvesting was a chore before-hand with nodes that took forever to damage and spawn resources. The pip system speeds this up, and the weak points add a mini-game that also speeds up the process. Coupled together, these created a fluid pace that will take time and practice to master. I won’t say harvesting isn’t still a chore; I don’t know of any game where it isn’t. The current system is clever and full of fun efficiency.
Action harvesting still has some lingering issues that will most likely be tweaked. The harvesting target reticule is hard to see, and the targeting of weak points is not very forgiving. Unless your aim is near perfect, the weak point will expire before you get another swing and connect. Players have to pause their harvesting in order to use energetic harvesting (this is being changed with the next major patch). Hitting weak spots also feels a bit off other than what I mentioned before. If you start an attack on the node then move the reticle to the weak point, the weak point hit doesn’t register. The point of impact feels like it is determined at the beginning of the attack rather than when it actually impacts the nodes. This makes it feel off and unnatural.
Other than those concerns, I like the new harvesting. Disciplines add an interesting variety of customization that I don’t think will really flourish until Crowfall gains more semblance of a game. I’ll go more into those as I play with the different ones, and there are a good bit of them. Harvesting isn’t the most exciting aspect of any game, but damned if a ton of us don’t still love it. Harvesting leads to crafting and Crowfall’s crafting has me extremely excited. What crafting they do have is functional, but I can’t wait for the next iteration crafting and the experimentation system that allows the best crafters to really make a name for themselves. Keep your eyes here as we cover the upcoming changes to crafting and as I continue to explore pre-alpha patch 5.3.