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Make consumable items have slight but meaningful game mechanic ramifications
I think there is a fundamental problem with cooking: the stuff has only RP ramifications after lvl 80.
As I understand it, the Garden evaluates new foods and drinks and assigns value by ingredients. I suggest allowing modest game mechanic modifications by consuming certain foods. For example, a food could increase willpower or endurance regeneration until the person becomes fairly hungry, (or an amount of time has passed for a lvl 80+ character.) Another could hasten Rage build-up. Another one could be a nerfed version of the Boar tattoo and slightly regenerate health, though not at the level of full-blown health regen or the Boar rune itself. Another could slightly increase health or mana sip efficiency like a greatly nerfed version of a sip ring. Another could slightly increase Devotion, Essence or Karma build-up, though these would have to have a composition appropriate to what is being fulfilled. Another could slightly increase crit rate. It goes without saying that meaningful bonuses should require the recipe to have expensive ingredients. But, that WOULD enable people unable to afford artefacts to have bonuses by buying food and drink. And, it would give cooking a ton more game relevance, as well as allow people to specialize in cooking as a practical and useful trade skill, rather than a fun and RP-only trade skill.
I am not talking about bonuses that are as high as major trait bonuses or artefact bonuses or anything near that. Nor am I talking about anything resembling the potency of stuff like Lucky elixirs. I am talking about very slight increases that are meaningful but not great and which are affordable to people who are unable to buy artefacts. They should be worth it to efficient hunting but not a replacement for stuff like Lucky elixirs or artefacts. Still, the consumable items should have a potency range from small to great. And, the sheer number of Achaean game mechanics that could be affected would assure a lot of possibilities for this, if implemented.
There has been a lot of complaints that artefacts are inaccessible to some people, and I think this system, if properly calibrated, would allow such people interesting alternatives and a fighting chance. It would also make cooking a hell of a lot more relevant, and I think foster creativity. If a person is researching super-bread that increases endurance regeneration, that's not just good cooking but cooking with a touch of magic. The Cooking skill could be altered to allow the most beneficial possibilities at Trans or near it, as the best cooks in real life are the ones capable of culinary wonders.
Thank you for reading my idea.