This journal will detail the Stronghold system of the Mega Crafting Game.
Stronghold: The Stronghold is the player's base of operations. Depending on how they specialize it, it could be a simple crafter's hut, or a mighty fortress. It will give bonuses to operations both in the world and in the crafting part of the game, depending on what is improved.
Guild Stronghold: I'm considering expanding this idea to include a group effort, requiring many times the resources, but providing bonuses across the spectrum for all members of the guild or group. I want this balanced so that people don't feel they need to be in a high level guild, but that it helps and gives a reason to donate to the projects.
Upgrade Projects: The way upgrade projects work is quite simple. A player selects an upgrade project (they are limited to one or maybe two upgrades at a time), and a list is given of required resources, items, and other materials. Once all materials are gathered and donated to the project, a timer starts. Once the timer is done, the upgrade is complete, the upgrade slot is freed, and whatever bonus provided comes into effect.
Types of Projects: Projects should be focused on one of three areas: combat, resource gathering and crafting. In each of those areas, there should be a variety of bonuses available for players. These bonuses should be large enough that players find the project worth pursuing, but small enough that they aren't required to be competitive. This will be a tricky balancing act.
Crafting Projects: I think crafting bonuses will be the simplest to implement. The best bonuses I can think of are a bonus to resource quality (can be specialized to individual projects per resource type), a bonus to the skill used to create items (this can be specialized to individual projects per crafting skill), a bonus to experimentation, and a bonus to assembly quality of items (can be specialized). This would encourage specialization into a few kinds of crafting (but ultimately, a crafter could make all of the upgrades, it would just be expensive to do so). I'm considering making additional upgrades of the same kind more expensive, so that there is a soft cap of how many you can have before it becomes unreasonable to add another.
Gathering Projects: Gathering bonuses are a little harder. Bonuses I can think of are a bonus to resource quality (specialized by item type), bonus to resource quantity (specialized by item type), and bonuses to finding resources (not sure how to do this with resources like leather that don't have gather points). I'll need to figure out a few more bonuses for this.
Combat Projects: Bonuses to combat would include a bonus to weapon skills (specialized), bonuses to defenses, bonuses to the anatomy and enemy knowledge skills. I would like to avoid having guards or mercenaries actually accompany the player. These bonuses should all be percentage based, to be a benefit to all players, high level and low.
Worker Projects: A special subset of each of these project types are worker projects. These projects improve the NPC workers you have access to, adding additional worker job slots, adding the opportunity for additional workers, recruiting additional workers, and the like. You can also build unique buildings like medical facilities to help recovery times when there are injuries, libraries to improve experience gains, and the like.