Forums » Crafting

Critical Bonus concept for combinations?

    • 217 posts
    October 31, 2017 11:24 AM PDT

    So I discussed this a bit with the wife the other night (we are both compuslive crafters in games we play).

    We both struggled on what should be deemed as an acceptable benefit outside of just gaining a skill point toward crafting, and agreed that normal experience isn't really a fair reward, but also struggled to enjoy the "crafting exp" type approach that EQ2 took.  So if you aren'going to give exp..why not give an innate bonus to what you craft...b/c what else is a better reward for a crafter than an enhanced opportunity to make your shiny creation just a touch better


    Is there any desire to build up an attunement bar of sorts when you do a series of non-trivial combinations for your skill level to grant you an increased % chance to perform a critical success for a future combo? If Pantheon doesn't employ critical results vs normal results, then offer a temporary skill improvement buff of say 10% of your current skill level, that may just let you attempt an insanely difficult combo with a slightly better chance at succeeding.

    Keep in mind I do qualify "non-trival" combos as being apart of building up your bonus, so you don't just mass click lvl 1 combos to get a benefit..


    Thoughts/ideas to add on or ammend?




    This post was edited by Warben at October 31, 2017 11:24 AM PDT
    • 1235 posts
    October 31, 2017 11:44 AM PDT

    I kinda like the idea of critical success resulting in a higher quality item. Although I would probably end up with a bag full of superb widgets that did me no good and never got that bonus on something I really wanted it on. :)

    EQ2 tried something like this at launch with 4 tiers of quality that could be achieved in part by how difficult the item was to make against your skill, and in part on blind luck. The problem they had was that the shear volume of items that were produced as a result ballooned the databases to a point that they started to lag and become unplayabe. I'm sure a lot of that could be removed with today's better tech, but it's still a factor to consider. 

    I'm generally not a fan of systems that give temporary bonsuses for completing repetitive actions. I'd rather not be making 500 throwaway items just to get skillups at all, but recognize the need for the grind to make crafting something that only those actually dedicated to max, keeping the skill valuable to the economy. 

    I"m thinking this thread is worthy of an @Evoras logic-tornado. 

    • 1522 posts
    November 1, 2017 8:12 AM PDT

    I'm not opposed to the idea necessarily but let me poke some holes in it and let's see how we feel afterwards

    1) If item quality is partially luck-based, then that event needs to be significantly rare.  Otherwise, "consumers" will begin to expect and demand that all items must be at the higher quality level.

    - Earth and Beyond had this.  You had a percentage of item quality for each item you crafted that went up to 200%.  While it was influenced by skill, there was still some RNG involved in the final number.  The trick was that a max skilled crafter could get a 200% result about 70% of the time.  Thus, it got to the point after a few months where no one would buy anything that wasn't 200% quality.  Obviously, this hurt a lot of crafters who were leveling up and trying to sell their stuff.

    2) If a certain combination of skills/abilities, used proactively, makes it far more likely to achieve a critical success event and get a higher quality result, then crafters WILL figure out ways to game the system to always insure that success.

    - FFXIV uses a system of durability vs. progress vs. quality to determine the outcome of crafting.  You have limited durability to items, meaning you can't work on them forever.  You have to balance completing the item (progress) vs. the chance for a high-quality result (quality).  Early on, this is quite challenging.  However, skilled crafters, with access to all of the different skills and abilities that can be used, can effectively trivialize this balancing act - to the point where it's possible in many cases to macro a high-quality result.  This means that non-high quality items don't sell well at all in many cases, and it means that players tend to take high-quality items for granted.

    3) If the system rewards a buff to crafting (rather than a better chance of a high quality item), then the buff needs to have a significant impact in the eyes of the crafter - or put another way, crafting needs to be difficult enough on its own that the buff really matters.

    - When I was playing, EQ2 used a complication system where events will occur during the crafting process that the crafter must respond to.  Normally, responding prevents a bad thing from occurring (a loss of durability/progress/quality or even damage to the crafter), but in many cases, especially at higher levels, responding with the *correct* skill would actually give a boost - and in some cases, that boost would be something special, like immediately finishing the item at max quality, getting a free rare resource, or, getting a 10 minute or so buff that impacted crafting.  The problem with this system is that once you trained your hand/eye coordination, responding with the correct skill became trivial - so unless you were having a fat-finger day, or were creating an item that was above your skill level, you could *always* complete it at the highest quality.  That buff that would pop up every so often really didn't matter that much - sure it was nice, but you didn't actually need it.  It also, again, meant that high-quality items (Grade A) were the only things that sold - actually, this aspect got so bad that if I am remembering correctly, a few years into the game, crafting was changed so that Grade A was the only thing that was produced anymore, and any result less than Grade A was considered a failure by the system.

    You probably picked up on some themes in all that but let me list them out just in case people's eyes are crossing a little bit :)

    - The system can't be set up in such a way where experienced/skilled players can guarantee a "high quality" result every time, or even most of the time.

    - Any bonuses or anything given by the system have to be significant enough to matter, in combination with the above.

    - Consumer demand is what determines the viability of crafting professions - the items we craft MUST have demand or the effort is wasted.


    Since you mentioned grinding I'll add this, event though it's not necessarily related to your idea.  I, too, am NOT a fan of making throwaway items to skill up.  I am also NOT a fan of making items solely to turn in to NPCs in order to advance. (In my mind, these systems are just a cover for a poorly-implemented game economy).  Ideally, from the very first recipe on up to the top of whatever progression we have, should have a player based market.  I'm ok with earning skillups/similar via the act of crafting, as long as people will still buy the stuff I make while I'm skilling up.  And this needs to hold true not just in the first six months but years later, when new players are joining the game and picking up crafting when most of their competitors are at max skill.

    I think it's possible to build a game where crafting matters, where crafters of all skill levels have a market to serve, where the challenge of crafting is not trivialized over time, and where the experience of crafting is fulfilling and meaningful for the people who participate in it.  Most games don't do so well in one or more of these aspects however, so it is not an easy thing to accomplish and it means that there needs to be a lot of thought put into how crafting (and indeed, itemization) is added into a game.  I hope the team is putting that level of thought in for Pantheon.

    I'll close by reposting some very old links that are still valid today, and whose writer thankfully preserved them for us to reference 16 years later :)

    I want to bake bread

    I want to forge swords


    • 1019 posts
    November 1, 2017 8:34 AM PDT

    I am more or less in agreement with Nephele.  If there is going to be a critical success system then the RNG needs to be on a normal distribution bell curve with no cap.  Material quality, crafting skill and crafting equipment set the nominal value. Temporary buffs and crafting mini-game interactions shift the center point, grow the curve(good and bad) or truncates the curve.  The item should then increase in power linearly from left to right with certain properties added if it crosses certain boundaries to the right.

    This will make items that land in the 3rd standard deviation very valuable but rare enough not to expect it and a skilled crafter can consistently make a very good reliable product or choose to roll the dice for a masterpiece.

    Needless to say this is more for the hard crafting items than consumables.


    This post was edited by Trasak at November 1, 2017 8:37 AM PDT
    • 258 posts
    November 1, 2017 9:07 AM PDT


    Is it possible to have player invested time when crafting play a part to i spend 2h more then needed, so i get a higher chanse to get good result ?


    • 217 posts
    November 1, 2017 9:08 AM PDT

    Good points and great articles!  I agree that if you allow crit items into the game the market will migrate only for the critical item.  That is why after thinking about it some I was open to the skill buff of the crafter vs a critical item structure.

    The curve ball is I think that most crafters want an ability to differentiate their product from the next persons just it a name, visual difference, bonus to slaying a specific monster or elemental property...which inheriently makes those items "better" or more desirable.  Some games have done this thru racial discriminators others have just let you do a slight variation in the ingredients.

    As for grinding on useless combos...the only benefit to those is an option to recoup some cost by vendoring them back for less of a loss...and it would be nice if those "useless" situatons were kept to a minimum and could offer at least some minor utility to someone to give a market for even the easier to gather materials or sub components.

    Lastly,  in the linked articles they mentioned decay/rework and a few other elements... I have mentioned this one before, but maybe allowing additional crafters the ability to rework a previously crafted item in a shared crafting the person who has it bound to them "holds it in the fire" while the artisan does their magic to add or repair an existing work.  


    Thanks for entertaining the ideas and tossing out some good ones as well!

    This post was edited by Warben at November 1, 2017 9:10 AM PDT
    • 1235 posts
    November 1, 2017 10:36 AM PDT

    What if the buff were not a bonus to success rates or chance at rares, but instead a bonus to crafting time? Like if it normally takes 3 seconds for the combine timer to tick down, maybe the buff reduces that to 2 seconds. Combines from that point forward go more quickly, making the skillup process on the grind slightly less annoying. 

    On the topic of bags of useless widgets, what if you could opt to either vendor the items (probably for a net loss), or choose instead to deconstruct the item to recoup a percentage of the components for use in future combines. I'm with Nephele and I think everyone else that grinding on useless crap is not an ideal game design. But knowing that other systems just don't scale well as a game ages its sometimes the lesser of evils in terms of development time, effort and balance.


    • 1019 posts
    November 1, 2017 11:36 AM PDT

    I would very much like to see nearly everything in the game have a salvage value to one type of crafting material or another, useless widget 256 and that cool sword I fubard at the last combine being no exception.