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Update #58: Crafting with Tim Cain!

project eternity crafting tim cain

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#341
J.E. Sawyer

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A few points of clarification:

 

* "Crafting" is one skill, but the crafting system uses multiple skills.  I.e., the crafting system does not rely on the existence of the Crafting skill.

* Other than reaching the edge of a map to access the world map, there is no fast-travel in PE.  That said, we will likely avoid the IWD-style 5-level dungeons without semi-regular shortcuts back to the surface (N.B.: this does not mean Skyrim-style loops).

* Most items do take up space in personal inventories!  The party Stash is unlimited, but the Pack (made of personal inventories) is not.  Crafting items (and quest items) always go into (and come out of) the Stash.  We are doing this specifically to address common complaints about crafting items cluttering the inventory.  Since crafting is typically done at camps or other non-combat locations, allowing the items to come out of the Stash doesn't seem to create any problems.

 

As I posted on SA, Crafting (the skill) and its associated subsystems (like durability) were the elements I felt least confident about in our skill system.  I strongly believe that choices within an array should give the player reasonably balanced benefits.  Because certain fundamental skills (like Stealth) can clearly benefit from multiple party members taking them and can contribute to party effectiveness in combat, I believe that other skills should do the same in their own way -- enough to make all of them appealing choices on multiple party members.  This also has the benefit of making the uses of skills much higher-frequency than the individual uses that depend on designer content (e.g. unlocking doors or gaining a dialogue/quest option).

 

As an example, Medicine in its various Fallout forms contributes to the efficacy of stimpaks.  There are many other places were Medicine can be used in quests and dialogue, but it has high-frequency use with stimpaks (in or between combats).  It's a benefit that can apply to any character who has the skill, even if a character with a higher rating in a party may be "the guy" to perform the high-difficulty actions.

 

With all of the skills other than Crafting (specifically), those high-frequency benefits/uses were easy to come by.  Crafting presented some difficulties and, as I wrote previously, I was concerned about the lack of systemic drains in the economy.  Many people have mentioned a lot of potential uses for wealth.  Most of them are great ideas and ones that we plan to use, but the vast majority of them are not systemic, rather content-dependent or scripted instances (e.g. bribes).  However, it is clear from discussions here and elsewhere that the long-term balance of the economy is not a concern for most players who voiced their opinions -- and almost certainly not in the endgame.

 

Based on discussions on the forums and conversations I had with people on the team, we will be doing the following:

 

* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.

* Removing the Crafting skill (specifically).  The crafting system and its associated mechanics will remain, as-is.

 

Ultimately, solving skill imbalance and endgame wealth abundance problems is not worth what players perceive as uninteresting and unenjoyable gameplay.  I can still solve the skill imbalance problems by removing the problem skill.  As for endgame wealth abundance, we will continue to create places for you to use wealth in the economy: unique items, the stronghold, optional quest/dialogue gates, etc.  Ultimately, if those options go unused, I'll have to trust that the majority of players won't be significantly troubled by an excess of wealth in the late game.

 

Thanks for all of your feedback.


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#342
Sacred_Path

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The problem with durability as a money sink is it has to be stupidly expensive (as in "cheaper to buy a new one") or else its valueless as a money sink.


nop. The impact of repairs rises in parallel to player's power growth/ equipment. Repairing may well not be worth it in the beginning, but once you get more effective, non-replaceable gear, it'll take a toll on your surplus gold.

#343
Kisarazu

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I'm in love. cRPG combined with new RPG features. Absolutely something I've been waiting for...!



#344
Belegnor

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Hello everybody

First I want to thank Tim Cain for this cool update.

Item durability ... hm ... It's a quite interesting idea! :)

Many of you have talked about BG2. I really loved the game but it was a shame, that many interesting items were only good enough to be sold as soon as a better item was available. I like this item property as it adds a tactical aspect to combat. It force the player to put the beloved and preferred "Mega-all-bad-guys-crushing-deamons-killing-speed-giving-fireblade" away and use the "Not-that-good-but-still-good-enough-for-this-fight-weapon". Durability force the player to consider having care of his equipement. In BG2 the player had two or three weapons in backpack just because they were usefull against some enemies/monsters. In PE the player will have more weapons for avoiding negative effects during a quest ... :)

In reference to the crafting skill I agree with many of you that say, self crafted items shouldn't be more interesting than looted (high level/epic) items. I think the player should be able to craft items just until certain level has been reached. Above this level self crafted and epic items can be upgraded only by specific (perhaps legendary) NPCs, as for the player is at first an "adventurer", not a blacksmith ... :).

Against the opinion of many of you I think the crafting skill has a great potencial, not only as it affects item durability. It can also be used to identify item properties. For example, the player find an old axe (Masterwork Mithril Fire Axe). Having skill level 1, he could find out, that the weapon has a weapon proficiency bonification as he identifies the material the axe is made of. By skill level 2 he also could dicover the the damage bonification (fire) ... and so forth ...

In combination with other skills (i. e. lore) the player could identify special items as well including other "hidden" properties. Taking again the axe in the previous example, the player discovers that the looted weapon is a very special item: Dremagor's Cursed Fire Axe of Pain (it has also negative bonifications ... };D)

This "identifying" skill should work only until a certain level, like the crafting sklill. Unique high level/ epic should be fully identified at places like shops or temples.

Crafting can also be used for getting Quests to resolve (finding special upgrade components like in BG2). It also can make the player get angry for not buying some items at "low level/start locations. For example. at start the player find Mar's Blade (no bonifications) in a shop. Thirty Quests later the player meets Thoren, the smith, who talks about a special weapon he could forge with the right components. If the player buyed Mary's Blade, he will get the quest "Retrieve components". If not he will have to return to the store at te first location to find out that the weapon isn't there anymore (= quest "Retrieve Mary's Blade")

As I said, the crafting skill has very big potential ... :)

Regards

#345
Sacred_Path

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* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.
* Removing the Crafting skill (specifically).


Goddamn Codex tards.
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#346
decado

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A few points of clarification:

 

* "Crafting" is one skill, but the crafting system uses multiple skills.  I.e., the crafting system does not rely on the existence of the Crafting skill.

* Other than reaching the edge of a map to access the world map, there is no fast-travel in PE.  That said, we will likely avoid the IWD-style 5-level dungeons without semi-regular shortcuts back to the surface (N.B.: this does not mean Skyrim-style loops).

* Most items do take up space in personal inventories!  The party Stash is unlimited, but the Pack (made of personal inventories) is not.  Crafting items (and quest items) always go into (and come out of) the Stash.  We are doing this specifically to address common complaints about crafting items cluttering the inventory.  Since crafting is typically done at camps or other non-combat locations, allowing the items to come out of the Stash doesn't seem to create any problems.

 

As I posted on SA, Crafting (the skill) and its associated subsystems (like durability) were the elements I felt least confident about in our skill system.  I strongly believe that choices within an array should give the player reasonably balanced benefits.  Because certain fundamental skills (like Stealth) can clearly benefit from multiple party members taking them and can contribute to party effectiveness in combat, I believe that other skills should do the same in their own way -- enough to make all of them appealing choices on multiple party members.  This also has the benefit of making the uses of skills much higher-frequency than the individual uses that depend on designer content (e.g. unlocking doors or gaining a dialogue/quest option).

 

As an example, Medicine in its various Fallout forms contributes to the efficacy of stimpaks.  There are many other places were Medicine can be used in quests and dialogue, but it has high-frequency use with stimpaks (in or between combats).  It's a benefit that can apply to any character who has the skill, even if a character with a higher rating in a party may be "the guy" to perform the high-difficulty actions.

 

With all of the skills other than Crafting (specifically), those high-frequency benefits/uses were easy to come by.  Crafting presented some difficulties and, as I wrote previously, I was concerned about the lack of systemic drains in the economy.  Many people have mentioned a lot of potential uses for wealth.  Most of them are great ideas and ones that we plan to use, but the vast majority of them are not systemic, rather content-dependent or scripted instances (e.g. bribes).  However, it is clear from discussions here and elsewhere that the long-term balance of the economy is not a concern for most players who voiced their opinions -- and almost certainly not in the endgame.

 

Based on discussions on the forums and conversations I had with people on the team, we will be doing the following:

 

* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.

* Removing the Crafting skill (specifically).  The crafting system and its associated mechanics will remain, as-is.

 

Ultimately, solving skill imbalance and endgame wealth abundance problems is not worth what players perceive as uninteresting and unenjoyable gameplay.  I can still solve the skill imbalance problems by removing the problem skill.  As for endgame wealth abundance, we will continue to create places for you to use wealth in the economy: unique items, the stronghold, optional quest/dialogue gates, etc.  Ultimately, if those options go unused, I'll have to trust that the majority of players won't be significantly troubled by an excess of wealth in the late game.

 

Thanks for all of your feedback.

Whether anyone agrees or disagrees with the changes, you guys are a class act and a great example of how to take constructive criticism and apply it. 


Edited by decado, 05 July 2013 - 11:09 AM.


#347
decado

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* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.
* Removing the Crafting skill (specifically).


Goddamn Codex tards.

 

I see just as many Codex posters happy to have a durability mechanic as those that thought it sucked.


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#348
Infinitron

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* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.
* Removing the Crafting skill (specifically).


Goddamn Codex tards.

 

I see just as many Codex posters happy to have a durability mechanic as those that thought it sucked.

 

 

Indeed. Ahem ahem.


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#349
duckroll

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I'm fine with these changes, and I'm really happy that while sometimes the solutions aren't perfect, talking about mechanics with the fanbase actually gets results in the end. I'm sure there were fans of the concept of a good durability system, but at the same time it was always clear that the way it was going to work in the game would be somewhat frustrating simply because there's an entire party to upkeep. Keeping the crafting system and enhancing benefits using other skills (like skills relevant to crafting specific item types) is probably the best way to go.


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#350
Sensuki

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I don't care about Item Durability, if they announced Diablo 2 durability I wouldn't have bat an eyelid. I just thought it was very strange to lump it in with Crafting.

Still, a good update with a good outcome.
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#351
Hormalakh

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Just because they have decided to remove item durability as a systemic mechanic doesn't mean broken items and scripted-events won't happen. Perhaps certain monsters could apply this status to certain items. I wouldn't rule it out quite yet.

 

All the best to you guys at Obsidian. I hope you are able to come up with mechanics that continue to excite us. Thanks again.

 

 

 

As I posted on SA, Crafting (the skill) and its associated subsystems (like durability) were the elements I felt least confident about in our skill system.  I strongly believe that choices within an array should give the player reasonably balanced benefits.  Because certain fundamental skills (like Stealth) can clearly benefit from multiple party members taking them and can contribute to party effectiveness in combat, I believe that other skills should do the same in their own way -- enough to make all of them appealing choices on multiple party members.  This also has the benefit of making the uses of skills much higher-frequency than the individual uses that depend on designer content (e.g. unlocking doors or gaining a dialogue/quest option).

 

As an example, Medicine in its various Fallout forms contributes to the efficacy of stimpaks.  There are many other places were Medicine can be used in quests and dialogue, but it has high-frequency use with stimpaks (in or between combats).  It's a benefit that can apply to any character who has the skill, even if a character with a higher rating in a party may be "the guy" to perform the high-difficulty actions.

 

With all of the skills other than Crafting (specifically), those high-frequency benefits/uses were easy to come by.  Crafting presented some difficulties and, as I wrote previously, I was concerned about the lack of systemic drains in the economy.  Many people have mentioned a lot of potential uses for wealth.  Most of them are great ideas and ones that we plan to use, but the vast majority of them are not systemic, rather content-dependent or scripted instances (e.g. bribes).  However, it is clear from discussions here and elsewhere that the long-term balance of the economy is not a concern for most players who voiced their opinions -- and almost certainly not in the endgame.


Thanks for all of your feedback.

 

I believe that having systemic bonuses for characters who invest in skills is a fantastic idea. I'm glad you're continuing to go this route.


Edited by Hormalakh, 05 July 2013 - 11:22 AM.

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#352
Ixe

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I would like to add my voice to many of the concerns over item durability. While the binary means of having something damaged or not damaged reduces the amount of micromanaging needed over repair, I am still not convinced that the mechanics serve the system. As it has been mentioned, durability fits settings like Fallout where resources are scarce and need to be scrounged, not necessarily a high fantasy setting. Otherwise it can be tedium.

 

The point has been argued that durability acts as a scaling money sink to keep player wealth in check. While it can serve this puprose, it has been proposed and I'd like to stand behind the notion that there are ways to do this that better fit within the world and can feel more enjoyable rather than a burden. Some suggestions have been big things to buy to sink money into. While it may require a lot more planning, consider a stronghold where you can optionally invest into different upgrades. Some of these upgrades, a standing army for example, may have upkeep or maintenance costs that can scale as you improve them, This could be on the same level as the item degradation money sink but feels more like you are investing in an upside rather than fighting a downside. I am not necessarily suggesting this specifically as it may require quite a bit of development, but something along that line is perhaps worth considering.

Another comment I had seen demonstrated that item degradation can lead to a tactically rich game of resource management. While this may be interesting, it is highly dependent on how well constructed the balance between item degradation and other resources are and whether or not any of this fits coherently within this world. I am uncertain if other updates have proved such a lightning rod for conversation and I would be interested in seeing the developers comment and explain their proposed system further if it is so contentious.



#353
radioactivelullaby

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I would still like to see a durability mechanic with non-magic weapons and armour, like BG. but, oh well...



#354
Kamos

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Well, I think it is better for this feature to be gone than to have it standing by itself in the middle of the room without anything to support it.


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#355
Cultist

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* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.
* Removing the Crafting skill (specifically).


Goddamn Codex tards.

 

14ms.jpg


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#356
Sensuki

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Just because they have decided to remove item durability as a systemic mechanic doesn't mean broken items and scripted-events won't happen.


Rust monster destroys your Durgan steel weapon.

tumblr_lvh37gN3Rs1qbubme.jpg

(and a reload).
 



#357
Chrononaut

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Absolutely ridiculous way to design a game. Whiny bitches on a forum which in no way constitute a majority of KS backers or cRPG players in general can make designers change something because they think it's "annoying" or "tedious".

 

Coming up Next on Project: Eternity - Reading what NPC's have to say and your quest journal is "not fun", quest compass inbound.

 

Hopefully they'll be something left of the character system before the game ships, before all the features get voted out by morons.



#358
Ieo

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Just because they have decided to remove item durability as a systemic mechanic doesn't mean broken items and scripted-events won't happen. Perhaps certain monsters could apply this status to certain items. I wouldn't rule it out quite yet.

 

Honestly, my favorite "durability" mechanic out of the games I've played is "soul damage." It doesn't apply to gear but rather your character soul health. With each death, you lose 10%, and if you fall to 0% soul health, all your stats are reduced by... I think 50% until you get yourself healed up, and it costs more to heal the more soul damage you've taken. So while it can be a gold sink, it also encourages players to play smart as resource management.

 

Edit to add: Obviously this would work less well in games where you have instant reload, but hey, we have expert modes. So. 


Edited by Ieo, 05 July 2013 - 11:43 AM.

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#359
Forlorn Hope

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Thank you for the update and taking part in the discussion. I am, once again, very impressed by Obsidian (Sawyer). So nice to see that feedback matters. I wasn't against the initial mechanism proposed but maybe it's better to leave out durability. However, it could've been fitting for expert mode... But too time consuming to implement, I'm sure.

Looking forward to seeing future updates!
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#360
J.E. Sawyer

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Absolutely ridiculous way to design a game. Whiny bitches on a forum which in no way constitute a majority of KS backers or cRPG players in general can make designers change something because they think it's "annoying" or "tedious".

 

Coming up Next on Project: Eternity - Reading what NPC's have to say and your quest journal is "not fun", quest compass inbound.

 

Hopefully they'll be something left of the character system before the game ships, before all the features get voted out by morons.

 

There are an enormous number of features/systems that people have complained about that I have not changed because I believed (and still believe) the game would ultimately be more enjoyable as-designed.  I always listen to/read what people have to say, but I only rarely make changes based on what they say.  I don't think anyone would benefit from me ignoring all of the points that people put forward.


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