Forums » Crafting

slipa hade some thougts

    • 2 posts
    December 31, 2019 12:42 AM PST

    Please excuse me if this becomes a wall of text as I know
    by experience that when I begin writing, I find it really difficult
    get to a proper ending. So, please, bear with me.

    Coming from EQ2 way back in December 2004 when my brother,
    the bastard, showed me his guardian, Antonica and then had
    the audacity to let me create my own toon... and I was hooked!

    In those days crafting had real importance, for everyone
    regardless of your aims within the game. If just for this reason
    I would like to see something similar coming to Pantheon.

    How I envisioned the gear system would be something like a
    level based system then divided into tiers to make it, not
    only useful but also valuable.

    For example:
    T5. Dropped, common gear or the simplest crafted gear. Have to start somewhere, right?
    T4. Better, crafted gear that would be suitable for dungeons and nameds.
    T3. Better dropped gear from dungeons and nameds that would be ok for a beginner raider.
    T2. Crafted gear from rare material, overkill for a dungeon crawler and well but very good
    the raider.
    T1. The best gear, only dropped from nameds in raids because those who spend time and
    effort to clear raid zones and nameds should be rewarded properly.


    Now, my thoughts and reasoning is full of holes I imagine, what is possible and what
    is not. However, as I see it, this could give maybe the best of two worlds: Raiding
    and crafting, making the latter a viable option for someone like myself, that do not
    again want to be a hardcore raider but a casual dungeon crawler and a master craftsman(maybe).

    This could give crafting worth spending time in, the ingame economy could get a boost and
    be of value to both casual and hardcore raiders.

    Again, just some thoughts of mine.

    • 1522 posts
    December 31, 2019 7:49 AM PST

    A few years ago I thought about how to achieve balance between loot and crafting exactly the same as you have.  Since then though, my thinking has evolved :)

    Imagine this scenario:

    - As a crafter, you use materials and resources that are gathered in the world as well as materials and resources that are obtained through adventuring for all but the most basic of items.

    - As a gatherer, many of the materials and resources that you harvest are found in the lairs of monsters and villains, rather than simply out in the world.

    - As an adventurer, you often discover materials and resources in the camps and hoards of enemies you fight, and many items that you recover are broken and damaged and can't be used directly, but can be reforged or rebuilt by a skilled crafter, to be even stronger than they were originally.

     

    So, rather than having distinct tiers of items, you balance crafting and adventuring by making them very tightly interdependent.

    I believe this is the approach that Pantheon is going for.

    • 2626 posts
    January 14, 2020 7:48 AM PST

     

    Probably my favorite crafting/harvesting system in any MMO was that of Vanguard. Not perfect, of course, but I cannot think of a MMO whose system I liked more though EQ2 had a fairly good system before it was nerfed to total mediocrity.

    One of the basic principles of Vanguard was that crafting was an independant track from adventuring - as was diplomacy. Obviously it *helped* to have adventure levels so you could safely go into higher level areas to harvest, but it wasn't necessary. We could buy items to craft with on the market, of course, but there were many spots in high level areas where a daring harvester could go with a reasonable chance of survival. At least if you weren't primarily a skinner - even the best diplomat would have trouble talking an animal into lying down and letting itself get skinned.

     With this in mind - I note that the more crafting items come from dungeons and boss drops the more a crafter who is not a high level adventurer is at the mercy of adventurers in order to practice his or her craft well. Some of this promotes interdependancy but it also forces the crafter to either buy items at usually high prices, trade the finished product for the item plus some cash (perhaps risky unless with someone you know well) or only craft for a guild where things are traded and given back and forth. It makes life hard for any crafter to be even mostly self-sufficient. Which may be precisely what Nephele wanted with the comment:

    (( As a gatherer, many of the materials and resources that you harvest are found in the lairs of monsters and villains, rather than simply out in the world.))

    While I see some advantages to having rare and expensive items that can be used to craft rare and expensive items procured this way - I do not welcome the thought that this would be the *normal* way of getting crafting materials even for mundane high volume items. I prefer a more traditional approach where we harvest out in the world rather than in dungeons or off of the bodies of difficult bosses.


    This post was edited by dorotea at January 14, 2020 7:49 AM PST
    • 1522 posts
    January 14, 2020 8:49 AM PST

    dorotea said:

    While I see some advantages to having rare and expensive items that can be used to craft rare and expensive items procured this way - I do not welcome the thought that this would be the *normal* way of getting crafting materials even for mundane high volume items. I prefer a more traditional approach where we harvest out in the world rather than in dungeons or off of the bodies of difficult bosses.

    It's a fair point and there is absolutely a balance that needs to be struck between allowing people to play the game (whether that's crafting or gathering or anything else) and forcing them to rely on others for help.

    I lean a little heavier towards interdependency primarily for two reasons:  First, from an economic point of view, when you allow people to get what they need for 90% of crafted items on their own, you almost always end up with an oversupply problem.  Most games try to combat that by making gathering activities time-consuming, but that usually ends up either swinging the pendulum the other way (no one wants to go spend 3 hours harvesting something for low yields) or artificially inflating demand, which causes all sorts of odd ripple effects in terms of market prices and the content areas in the game that the resources come from.  Second, I want to break the paradigm of crafting and gathering being a solo game.  Don't get me wrong - I love spending half a day on a solo crafting session.  But I also want crafters and gatherers to be just as important socially as healers and tanks are.  People should know who their armorsmith is, and who their tailor is, and it should be a special thing that represents a specific value you provide back to the guild and to the community.  In order to achieve this we need crafters and gatherers to depend on others as well as being depended on by others more often.

    There's a lot more that we could discuss about that but my beliefs are mainly coming from the perspective of long-term health of the game and the community.  The best, and longest-lasting communities I've been a part of were ones where every person was valued by other players for the unique things they could contribute.  I think Pantheon needs to try to keep that happening as much as possible.  Again, there's always a balance, and I wouldn't want to suck the fun out of things by trying too hard to achieve these goals.  But I do feel like Pantheon can probably go a little further towards interdependency than other games have in the past without that happening.


    This post was edited by Nephele at January 14, 2020 9:35 AM PST
    • 2626 posts
    January 14, 2020 12:08 PM PST

    ((Second, I want to break the paradigm of crafting and gathering being a solo game.  Don't get me wrong - I love spending half a day on a solo crafting session.  But I also want crafters and gatherers to be just as important socially as healers and tanks are.  People should know who their armorsmith is, and who their tailor is, and it should be a special thing that represents a specific value you provide back to the guild and to the community.  In order to achieve this we need crafters and gatherers to depend on others as well as being depended on by others more often.))

    Also a fair point and I generally support making things more interdependant. One of the things I was thinking of when I said EQ2 crafting was nerfed into mediocrity was the elimination of the need for products to be made from parts crafted by different disciplines. Though, of course, often it was one player that had the different disciplines.

    Your point about the long term health of the game is valid - interdependancy will help it. Yet I think my point is not without its own validity. More and more to me Pantheon looks like a game that will have very little opportunity for an adventurer to do anything useful on a solo basis. I will not repeat here why I think it is healthier for the game to give us things to do on our own when we do not have the time or will to group. Yet crafting and harvesting are often things that can be done without a team - and they have said they do not plan to emulate Vanguard's group harvesting approach. 

    The thought that even harvesting materials could become something that needs a group or raid of adventurers is extremely unappealing.

    • 422 posts
    January 25, 2020 11:00 PM PST

    Crafting resources could (should?) be spread across the world outside and dungeons or drops from mobs. 

    However, how do you explain that anywhere in the world you'll have npc's that hold onto 'natural resources' if they are abundantly found in the world? Or should we just agree that it's going to be a hard cut design choice, where resources are just found everywhere no questions asked.

    Should every resource be obtained in the same manner? (this may seem vague, but it relates to the OP's suggestion about connecting players or tiers and interdependency) If flawless diamonds can be mined out in the world, why should mobs have them on them aswel? Or if my chance on mining a flawless diamond from a node would be 1%, would it make sense that have a dwarfmob deep into a glacial dungeon have a 5% chance of dropping that diamond?

    This already could have a different impact on how resources are distributed and the rate on how they are going into economy. If the mining node is very rare on its own and located in limited/demanding locations, it could direct most players towards those dwarves in the dungeons that have a x% chance of dropping the same diamond. So here you'd stimulate adventurers to provide the mainportion of that specific harvesting resource.  Depending on this trait of the "resource-spread" itself, you can already design and guide players. When this is designed thoughtfully, the devs will have a big impact on how both worlds (crafter and adventurer) will look to each other for resources or crafted products. 

    I'm not a fan of making a raid zone the top of the game when it comes to gear. I would prefer the opposite instead. Raids offer tactical challenge, prestige, competition. Let that be the differentiator for players and guilds. Of course a raidmob should drop the highest quality of items. But what those items should be could be debated on. In a lootchest could be 40%crafting resources, 30%coin or other consumable products, 5% trash, 15% of 'playerbuild loot' (items coming from the player-build recipes, as also this makes sense, for a boss to hold on to stuff coming from 'defeated players')and 10% actual none consumable items (recipes, maps, books, weapons, gear).  Why? Well if these crafting resources are so unique the mob itself wants to hold onto them and guard them for themselves, instead of already having constructed 20 copies of them in their lootchest. (but that might be just my reasoning)

    If you allow adventurers to grind dungeons with an equal or higher drop ratio for resources or gear itself, you'll eventually undermine other content that provides the same items, be it with a lower dropratio. Risking an imbalance in content population. Or in other words, players will skip tier 5-4, because higher stuff can and will be grinded. So instead of aiming for a 50-50 balance. Crafted gear and dropped gear should always be designed to create a "hunger" in the crafted gear if you want them to matter. Players should really crave for crafted upgrades or crave to find crafting resources without the risk of falling into grindscenarios. You'll want those resources to be consumed asap, because they are so impactful to player upgrades and the scarecity of them.  Of course, there must be the chance of being that "lottery-winner" who loots that dropped gear directly. However that should not be common at all.

    Not every resource or tier of resource should be designed around this. Some could very well be all about going out in the world to challenging locations at unique times to obtain resources that way. Resources should hold their value and impact on the world as long as possible. 


    This post was edited by Barin999 at January 25, 2020 11:07 PM PST
    • 422 posts
    January 25, 2020 11:20 PM PST

    mcallan said:

     

    T5. Dropped, common gear or the simplest crafted gear. Have to start somewhere, right?

    T4. Better, crafted gear that would be suitable for dungeons and nameds.
    T3. Better dropped gear from dungeons and nameds that would be ok for a beginner raider.
    T2. Crafted gear from rare material, overkill for a dungeon crawler and well but very good
    the raider.
    T1. The best gear, only dropped from nameds in raids because those who spend time and
    effort to clear raid zones and nameds should be rewarded properly.

    This could give crafting worth spending time in, the ingame economy could get a boost and
    be of value to both casual and hardcore raiders.

    One remark I would have here; When you are adding an expansion, how do you see these different tiers working out? 5 tiers of one level range of gear, can become challenging to maintain meaningfull in the next expansion. You risk creating a full swipe scenario with each expansion. As you'll need to clear all but the highest two tiers of the previous level range. And if you are able wear T2 and T1 of previous level range, would the T5 and T4 of the next expansion be any good at all? If those last two are in fact upgrades to the old T2-T1 gear, you're pushing the scale exponentionally for none raiders or devoted players.  This is very common practice in many mmo's today, where old content becoms obsolete when new expansions are pushed out. 

    The more tiers you design in one level range, the more numbers need to change between the tiers. Now this could two ways; you either give each tier a good hit on extra stat points so the difference can be felt. Or each tier adds some stat points, which cannot be felt as much? Direct question here; if it isn't felt much, why did you put it in there to start with? With the first option, I'd go back to my previous paragraph on expansion, where you exponentially will design a stat growth that will expand beyond logic or meaning, creating a vacuum with every expansion.

    Perhaps a more subtle design between a T1-2 is sufficient? This might allow more chance for a new player or casual player to, hop on to the next expansion without hitting that brickwall of max tier requirements? If you see what I mean?  

    It still feels (to me), that the mixed design on how resources are obtained and how often/many of them compared to dropped gear is the actual strategic cogwheel that will be decisive for this topic.