It has now been two full weeks since my first drink and first vessel design were approved. My third (not counting contest entry) vessel design was approved this morning, so I thought this would be a good time to share the impressions, questions, requests, suggestions, and thinly-veiled gripes I've formed.
Firstly, let me say I love
this skill. I can't emphasize that enough. Originally I was going to pick up artistry, but then I decided to do beverages instead because kawhe, and I am super glad I did. I can't imagine my character as a cook, but it's somehow easier for me to justify Logosian characters bonding over drinks than stuffing their faces with food all the time: maybe it's because we're so used to sipping elixirs. It's different enough from jewellery and clothing design to feel fresh and new, which broke me out of a rut, and vessel design in particular accomplishes that freshness while keeping the comfortingly familiar format of appearance/examined/dropped descs (cooks might feel the same about the familiarity of smell/taste/first&third eaten. So, before I say anything else, let me give a big shout out to the admins for making it possible. This is awesome
Secondly, most of my experience so far is vessel design: I've still only made one beverage. I have a ton of ideas spinning in my head for more drinks, but I haven't tried to make them reality yet. My one drink is also neither alcoholic nor aged, so I can't comment on those aspects of beverages yet: mostly (though not entirely) my comments and questions regard vessels.
Ok, so. My questions (different from suggestions/requests, because they address the present reality rather changes to it):
1. Can flasks made through the Beverages skill be worn? I'm thinking about hip flasks, and about the Bazaar and commemorative flasks that had cords. If they can't be worn, would you consider putting this functionality in? Wearing it around seems like one of the big advantages of flasks/skins versus cups, and I also think it would be fun to design a hip flask.
2. Can skins be worn?
3. Can skins be made as waterskins or wineskins, or just skins? If just skins, would you consider making waterskin and wineskin diagrams? These are already container types that exist for denizen-made beverages in-game.
4. Regarding alcoholic beverages: do different drinks like whiskey, absinthe, and so on have different potencies (as in, levels to which they affect character drunkenness)? How is this determined?
5. Can vessels be non-decayed?
6. Do the sip counts of different glasses vary? If they don't, would you consider making them do so? A water glass and a shot glass hold very different amounts, unless you're planning to die of alcohol poisoning. There's no separate shot glass/ shotglass diagram, either-- I checked before posting this.
And then, my suggestions, requests, and concerns:
1. I would really
like vessels to not be destroyed when people finish the drink. I understand handwaving disposal of plates and so on when cooked items are consumed, but vessels are actually designed and created separately from the drinks that fill them. Almost every person who's either bought or been press-ganged into trying my kawhe so far has told me 'oh, I had wanted to keep that'. Also, even with vessel crafting costs halved they are still expensive, and getting rid of the vessels after just a few sips has a bit of a chilling effect on selling them. People who might pay for a few sips of a drink and a work of art or amusing container might not do so when the container vanishes if you sip from it... especially since the container determines the bulk of the cost.
2. I'd really appreciate if you made either more woodcarver denizens in neutral areas for wood/bone vessel requests, or made the locations of those that exist better known. I'm fine in terms of claiming those designs: there is a woodcarver in Targossas. But if I were a rogue, I'd be screwed: the beverages helpfile lists a non-city denizen for each vessel type, but the woodcarver listed is in Caer Witrin. I've been enemied to Caer Witrin for several IC years (despite two attempts to resolve my status, but that's another story). None of the other denizens listed are in locations that would be hostile unless you regularly hunted there. Would you consider a different denizen or a helpfile edit there? Thanks.
3. I know this is a bit out there, but it would be cool if instead of relying on denizens you could use in-game equipment to make your own vessels, sort of like how cooks use stoves. I know of two kilns in Targossas alone, for example. Why not use them for IG pottery when making ceramic mugs?
4. Skulls. I love that there are diagrams for skulls in Delos. Cups made from skulls are hilarious. But can you please give them more sips? At first I thought the reason my skull vessel held only 3 sips was that I made them from Sidhe and Sidhe are tiny, but I just claimed a design for a stone-eyed human skull that clearly states the skull is an adult male's... and it still only holds three sips. Three sips is a tiny amount. The google research I did before creating my skull designs tells me that a human cranial cavity should hold between 1200 and 1700 ml of fluid. That's between 2.5 and 3.6 pints, approximately. I can't even figure out how to ICly justify that capacity being reduced to 3 sips: the contents of a skull vessel should be at least equivalent to a pint mug.
5. This mostly belongs in the questions section, but it is skull-related so I'm putting it here. If I were to make shot glasses from the skulls of small animals (no stealing my idea, people) would that be a glass, or a skull? Would you consider varying the sip amounts held by different types of skulls in the same way you vary the number of gem comms needed to craft different pendants? What if I said please and promised not to annoy you with typo reports ever again?
6. I'd also be grateful if you considered increasing sips across the board. The old kawhe mugs in the Gilded Corset, unsung victim of the Bal'met saga that it was, held 10 sips apiece. 5 sips makes sense for a smallish teacup, less for a mug. 3 sips is just a really weird amount: all I can imagine are those tiny cups you drink Turkish coffee from. It's all made a bit worse by how you have to discard the vessel, but I don't want to make too big a deal of that aspect because I really, really would like to not be forced to discard empty vessels and don't want to frame a higher sip count as a solution.
7. Regarding smell and taste: the current syntax is weird. When I designed tastes and smells, I assumed it would read like this:
Black kawhe smells dark and rich, the roast imparting notes of smoke and spice to the discerning nose.
Black kawhe is initially bitter but yields a mellower warmth with subtle notes of smoke and allspice as it sits on the tongue.
Instead, it's dependent on the vessel.
An ivory mug containing black kawhe smells dark and rich, the roast imparting notes of smoke and spice to the discerning nose.
A ivory mug containing black kawhe is initially bitter but yields a mellower warmth with subtle notes of smoke and allspice as it sits on the tongue.
I really dislike this. There's a difference between sniffing the container and sniffing the drink it contains, and I can't get rid of the awful image of someone licking a mug to find out what the kawhe inside tastes like. Furthermore, different container materials may impart different --if largely subtle-- scents, and there's no way to address this: the beverage smell and taste are constant no matter what container it's poured into, despite the container being part of the smell/taste message.
8. Finally, would you consider allowing prepending for the taste/smell messages? The above would be so much better as "While initially bitter, black kawhe yields a mellower warmth..." than the current format. The enforced 'is' is awkward.
Thank you for your time.