Recent updates in 2022 have radically changed how Ashes of Creation is going to function. Previously, the game was designed to be a Gathering of raw materials, to Processing of those materials into useable items, finally Crafting those useable items into finished products. That has been changed a little bit. While there are some professions that will continue to take raw materials and turn them into finished products, processing now has professions that create finished products as well. Alchemy, Animal Husbandry, and Cooking have all moed into the Processing Branch of the Artisan System.
While Gatherers are the professionals who acquire raw materials (gatherables), Processors turn those raw materials into processed goods. Additionally, Ashes of Creation is very much like Eve Online in the sense that craftables can also be obtained from breaking down finished goods into their component parts, and this should be a task accomplished by the Processors as well.
NOTE: Just like Gatherables, a percentage of your processed goods are dropped on death. This only applies to items that are still in the process of reaching a useable form. A processed good is any item that is used in the creation of another item but is not useable in and of itself. For example: an ingot, a plank, a roll of fabric or leather, these are processed goods because they are used in the creation of other goods and are not useable in and of themselves. Previously thought to be any item made by the Processing Artisan Tree, with Cooking and Alchemy moving into Processing this previous definition is not outdated. Note: You do not drop potions, beverages, or food when you die, even though these items are produced by the processing tree.
Much like gathering, there is no artificial limit to how much processing work a character can do at any given time. Players are not time-gated by an artificial limit such as labor. Instead, they are going to be limited by their craftables inventory limits and the availability of actual work to do a specific location which has the appropriate processing station.
Just like Gathering, characters do not have an infinite storage for craftables in their backpacks. This means you cannot smelt 10,000 Iron Ingots, throw them all in your backpack, and move them from your freehold to town in a single trip.
Individuals will have a limited personal inventory, which is expandable using the same style of specialized backpacks that gatherers can; however, even with the best specialized backpack an individual will not be able to move the same amount of materials that a mule (x10 a player’s capacity) or caravan (x100 a player’s capacity) can. To keep things neat and concise; the detailed player carrying capacity is broken down on the Caravans Page.
Much like crafting, processing will require the use of specialized stations. Interestingly, just like gatherers can make their own gathering tools, processors are able to build their own processing stations. While we do not know much about this mechanic, we do know that players can construct processing stations on their freeholds using a blueprint. In fact, the only way to do Master or Grandmaster Processing is with a Freehold. If processors will also build the crafting stations, or if these stations are conjoined crafting and processing stations we do not know. There has been no mention of crafters building their own crafting stations, so processors may function as the construction experts for both types of stations.
Interestingly, the best processing stations will be built on Freeholds while the best Crafting Stations will be available in Nodes, specifically the Scientific Nodes.
Death Drop Rates
As stated, numerous times, upon death you will drop a percentage of your gatherables and your
craftables. Unless you are corrupted you will not drop finished goods.
As a non-combatant you drop a full death penalty worth of goods.
As a combatant you drop 50% of what you would as a non-combatant.
As a corrupted you drop 300% - 400% of what you would as a non-combatant.