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Crafter's Roundtable: Crafting and Expansions

    • 1418 posts
    June 12, 2019 10:33 AM PDT
    For today's Crafter's Roundtable, let's think forward a little bit. It's a given that eventually, Pantheon will receive an expansion that will add new areas to explore, possibly even new types of gameplay, and just maybe, increase the level cap of the game (though hopefully not every expansion).

    With that in mind, what are your thoughts on how Pantheon should handle crafting and gathering when it comes to expansions?


    (Note from Nephele: For the summer, we're switching back to the older roundtable format where we just post the questions directly, rather than gathering Pantheon Crafters staff comments first and posting it all together. We hope everyone will still take time to voice their thoughts in each roundtable that we post however!)
     

    This post was edited by Nephele at June 12, 2019 10:33 AM PDT
    • 151 posts
    June 13, 2019 1:26 AM PDT

    Depending on the type of expansion (raising level caps or not being the primary differentiation) i believe it should all still be in balance above all else.

    'Old' area resource should be incorporated into the new crafting recipe's to prevent trivialization of those area's. But should also include the resources of the new area's if there are any differences. I would maybe even take it so far, that the old recipes get an overhaul too to incorporate the new area resources in them. Maybe to increase the quality of products that was previously harder to achieve or add additional effects of some kind.

    Traditionally expansions tend to bring tougher mobs and increased stats to combat them from the new content. Maybe the old dropped / crafted content could be upgraded with new found materials to make them more on par with the new content instead of having to start your gear search all over again. However this would partly negate the effects of a new area and new items, so i would think (in terms of eq2) that a legendary item from the previous expansion could be 'upgraded' to stats found on 'mastercrafted' gear in the new expansion. With the added benefit of keeping beneficial stats such as procs or effects compared to the actual master crafted gear the current expansion has.

    I however do not believe much in raising level caps for gathering resources. If you're a master forager from the previous expansion, you should still be a master forager in the new one. Maybe you need to visit a trainer to teach you the local flora and fauna thru a quest or some sort so you can actually recognize it, but aside of that your skill level should stay the same. As foraging, or any other resource gathering skill, to me is all about recognizing the material not much about handeling the materials.

    • 235 posts
    June 13, 2019 8:09 AM PDT

    With basic systems in place, crafting should flow well into the next and future expansions. As long as the basics are there and solid, adding new recipes and materials would only enhance things. My big hope is that expansions don't go crazy with level and stat increases, making previous content trivial and essentially obsolete.

    • 947 posts
    June 14, 2019 6:51 AM PDT

    Horizontal Progression!

    In all seriousness though in a game with persistent items and no minimum level on items I really do not see the point in ever raising the crafting level cap or even how that would help.  What expansions could provide to the base crafting is more options and greater depth.

    For game launch practicality reasons I would be ok with Crafting only starting out at a very basic tier with very few options within the template system.  Initially there could be only bronze, iron and steel for smithing and no fancy alloys.  The slots would be there for the option of using different skills to process the crafting but the game only really launches with one skill available for each processes.  The number and variations of graphical and magical variations could also be very limited, likely the game world as a whole will be a little limited at launch.

    With each new expansion new materials (which need to be trained individually), crafting techniques (that need to be learned and then practiced) and art styles (which need to be studied and reverse engineered/salvaged) could be introduced to the crafting systems.  As long as the initial template is flexible enough and crafting fits in the global itemization effectively then increasing the cap will not be needed.

    I am leaning more and more to the idea that there should not be crafting class levels at all.  Each crafting class will have a list of templates, techniques and knowledges. The crafting title you have (Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman, Master, Grandmaster) will have a rank requirement for the highest X entry’s for each of the lists as well as a specific crafting quest which is really only achievable if you have the ranks already.  New expansions will just lengthen those lists as well as create more situationally valuable outputs.

    New expansions could also introduce new base templates.  These templates are basically individual mini games that produce a style of item.  The games themselves can draw from many of the same scripts and art objects but in a unique order with its own UI.  New global itemization can easily be handled by using these templates and the point buy system that crafting items are based on to keep the game balanced and prevent Mudflation.

    • 1696 posts
    June 14, 2019 8:22 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    With that in mind, what are your thoughts on how Pantheon should handle crafting and gathering when it comes to expansions?

    I would like to see VR avoid the "here's a new continent filled with ores and minerals never seen before which are also better than anything you've used previously". Iron should be everywhere, as should Tin, Copper, Aluminum, Tungsten, Mithril.  What final shape we make from these items can be expanded when new content is released.  So while the 'old world' makes A Long Sword, some newly discovered people might make something similar but with a different shape.  Very similar construction techniques and very similar stats.  This helps reduce the immediate obscolesence we've seen in previous games.

    • 872 posts
    June 29, 2019 10:58 AM PDT

    I am OK with new unique resources being added to new areas even if those resources are not available in older zones. If a frozen wasteland zone is added in an expansion, I would expect to find different resources there than a desert zone from the base game.

    But I agree with the above comment that these new ingredients should be used with items available in older zones to craft new items. i.e. Don't make all of the new recipes based on just new content. And certain types of resources should be found everywhere that you would expect to find them. If iron is found in the base game in a mountainous area, you would expect to find it in mountainous areas of expansion content too.


    This post was edited by bigdogchris at June 29, 2019 11:01 AM PDT
    • 336 posts
    July 16, 2019 10:05 PM PDT

    Expansions could not only be seen as ...what's new and unexplored. 
    Especially when it comes to crafting, I feel that many games forget about an important option. 
    Something that might not require as much brainstorming and innovativity from the devs. 

    I'ld like to see the initial game having different crafting cultures. 
    So you'd have distinct items specific to regions and races.

    This process is actually shown to us in our every day lives and the history of humans and nature throughout the ages. 
    Somehow however, expansion in a game is usually seen as..let's create something that is not already there, a new race, a new region, a new craft.

    As expansions come along, these cultures might get entwined more and more. Resulting in items/recipes that combine different cultures. This can be very subtle and very gradually become very complex. A simple example would be excisting food that has a slight stat increase on them when a halfling made it at a specific craftingunit aligned to another race.
    It makes sense to me that as players travel back and forth and races start to run across Terminus more and more, you'd have that influence of those races leaving an impression on the regions they pass on their travels. 

    Depth could be an expansion for crafters. In the sense of what happens when different races meet and learn from each other. 

    New tradecompanies can arise, secret societies that only allow race x and y or profession x and y. 

    Economic warfare could be a thing. This could result in certain nodes/resources/regions becoming unharvestable (temporarly) or have the condition becoming increasingly difficult to harvest there. This could be remedied by a crafter sigline or other crafter content. 

    Like mentioned before, certain races could influence specific "harvest hotspots", this influence could be perceived as good or bad depending on what race you are. And with that, you'll experience this change at that hotspot in a different way. And thus quests and such would be offered and found differently depending on your standing with the events there. (If that makes sense?) The influence would ofc be a design choice. So the expansion for crafter might concern itself about the outskirts of ogre town that have shifted in some fashion. This attracts crafters to gain from this change and crafters that want to compete this change.

    All these are potential options for expansion, beyond the skope of new recipes and build-on gear increases and new resource new stat- crafting content. Which have their own value in another expansion of course.

    • 298 posts
    July 17, 2019 5:56 AM PDT

    Vandraad said:

    Nephele said:

    With that in mind, what are your thoughts on how Pantheon should handle crafting and gathering when it comes to expansions?

    I would like to see VR avoid the "here's a new continent filled with ores and minerals never seen before which are also better than anything you've used previously". Iron should be everywhere, as should Tin, Copper, Aluminum, Tungsten, Mithril.  What final shape we make from these items can be expanded when new content is released.  So while the 'old world' makes A Long Sword, some newly discovered people might make something similar but with a different shape.  Very similar construction techniques and very similar stats.  This helps reduce the immediate obscolesence we've seen in previous games.

    Definitely opposed to materials bloat and complete and immediate obsolesence of crafted items.

    It would be nice to see expansion crafting to be as much about changing the flavor or crafted items as it is about creating bigger and better items. Sure, you have Iron and Copper everywhere, but the new continent also has different flora and fauna from what we've seen. Now you can find different colored and patterened hides and fibers to use for crafting. Things like that.

    The expansion should include recipes to make better items, but mudflation should be avoided and mitigated as much as possible to preserve the long-term viability of existing content.

    • 50 posts
    July 26, 2019 12:24 PM PDT

    My specific desire for crafting makes expansions very easy to deal with. 

    Mobs do not drop finished gear (with the exception of starter junk in the tutorial or starting area) but rather drop materials that would be used by

    crafters to create everything in the game.  As such new expansions = new drops that crafters would figure out how to use to make new things.