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We're approaching the Crafting & Enchanting stretch goal, so I thought it'd be a good time to discuss mechanics.

 

Arcanum, in my humble opinion, had one of the best crafting systems out of cRPGs I have played. For those who haven't played this title, here's a quick recapitulation :

 

The general concept was simple - characters acquired various item schematics by spending of character points in the appropriate discipline. However, some had to be found - either in shops or in various locations in the game (some would be notoriously hard to locate). It was then simply a matter of finding ingredients to create the desired item :

 

LPA66-51.jpg

 

But here's where it got interesting :

 

1) Lots of variation

 

There were eight disciplines (Herbology, Chemistry, Electric, Explosives, Gun Smithy, Mechanical, Therapeutics and Smithy) in the game, with each discipline having seven degrees within it. And that's not counting found schematics.

 

2) Not limited to equipment upgrades

 

While some of the disciplines offered just that (i.e. better armour), it was not a general rule. That brings us to the next point.

 

3) Consumables and utility equipment

 

That, I feel, was the strongest part of this system. Most of the schematics were of various consumables or other assorted amenities. For an instance, the player could craft :

 

a) various grenades (stun, flash, fire, acid, smoke etc.),

b) substances that could benefit the player (buffs : combat and non-combat) or harm their foes (poisons),

c) traps,

d) various useful gadgets (better lockpicks, lanterns, projectile reflecting shields, trap detectors etc.),

e) resources (bullets, batteries etc.)

f) even pets (automatons).

 

In short - all sorts of useful (or somewhat less so) items, with wildly different combat and non-combat applications.

 

4) Mixed crafting

 

Some found schematics required having an expertise in two disciplines - e.g. machined plate required advanced knowledge in the fields of Smithy and Mechanical.

 

 

I think these concepts would be a good source of inspiration for PE.

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in Arcanum, you spent advancement points on crafting. Devs have stated that crafting and combat will use different advancement pools. Additionally, they have stated that players will advance in noncombat SKILLS. This is different than purchasing crafting abilities (or schematics) with advancement points.

 

Also, Arcanum's crafting was very good but I always felt the entire schematic thing was there to fit the steampunk setting. This being a fantasy world, crafting may benefit from a different approach (perhaps apprenticing for crafting masters, etc?).

Edited by Shevek
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in Arcanum, you spent advancement points on crafting. Devs have stated that crafting and combat will use different advancement pools. Additionally, they have stated that players will advance in noncombat SKILLS. This is different than purchasing crafting abilities (or schematics) with advancement points.

 

Yes, but advancing crafting skills usually amounts to learning new designs - so not much different from schematics. Having separate advancement pools doesn't really change much either (in the crafting system, that is).

 

Also, Arcanum's crafting was very good but I always felt the entire schematic thing was there to fit the steampunk setting. This being a fantasy world, crafting may benefit from a different approach (perhaps apprenticing for crafting masters, etc?).

 

Yes, but a schematic is just a name - it could be a recipe or anything else; but that's just semantics. Again, I'm not suggesting that PE should use schematics, just similar principles (outlined in the post).

 

I could definitely see our heroes coming upon an ancient tome, containing various alchemical formulas, for an instance.

Edited by Karranthain
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Isn't that somewhat similar to how it worked in FO:NV? Been a while since I played it, so can't be sure.

 

To me, a refinement of NV's crafting would do the job well enough.

 

I actually don't remember crafting in FO:NV at all, but it's been a long time. I do remember that it definitely wasn't mandatory or even that useful.

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It was handy in.. uh... was it called hardcore mode?

You definitely were better off if you crafted ammunition. And the survival skill allowed you to craft things to purify water, or extract it from various plants, among other things. Not perfect by any means, but I enjoyed it well enough.

 

Plus, of course you could craft/modify equipment.

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Isn't that somewhat similar to how it worked in FO:NV? Been a while since I played it, so can't be sure.

 

To me, a refinement of NV's crafting would do the job well enough.

 

I actually don't remember crafting in FO:NV at all, but it's been a long time. I do remember that it definitely wasn't mandatory or even that useful.

 

Crafting is certainly useful in New Vegas. Is it mandatory? Not really, but cooking and hand loading were good.

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Well, you cannot create weapons and armor in New Vegas (as far as I remember). In Arcanum, you are able to craft almost everything.

 

Another difference is that in Arcanum you couldn't just buy grenades or these gadgets - you could find some, but that was a rare occurence; you generally had to make them yourself. New Vegas also had a problem with the general overabundance of resources, thus rendering crafting non-mandatory.

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I really like the crafting systems in both Arcanum and FO:NV, however I think that FO:NV's style might be slightly more applicable as a mechanic. In FO:NV crafting was determined by level in a skill (sometimes more than one skill, allowing for synergy, for ex. repair and explosives could be used to make certain sorts of bombs) so this stops players dedicating points into something that they won't feel the benefit of for a while (i.e. in Arcanum, though some of the low level schematics were good, you were mostly after the high end ones meaning that you were sinking in points into technological disciplines for only a small return). It's also more enjoyable to have a practical skill (say repair) giving you options to craft, rather than having a dedicated crafting system that requires points of it's own. Though it's been said that the team will keep combat and non-combat systems separate, that doesn't mean to say they might not have some crossover for crafting (say both a certain level in a ranged skill and in a wilderness skill might be able to let you produce a quieter bow to hunt more efficiently, etc.).

 

That being said, I think both systems are very nice in their own way.

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In New Vegas crafting was just a cosmetic feature. As it has been noted, it was also obsolete because you could just buy or found equipment you need. In Arcanum, it was an important part of gameplay, if you are playing as a technologist. You are right though, in PE it will be more like in New Vegas, a cosmetic feature, because of the setting the devs have chosen.

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It wasn't entirely cosmetic, I played an explosives build and quite a lot of the explosives you make are unique to crafting. Having said that, it wasn't half as important as it was in Arcanum for a technologist so hopefully they'll make some sort of happy medium. I'm definitely in favour of crafting items that can't be improved (such as making Droch's Warbringer in Arcanum, which was awesome anyway and so didn't necessitate improvement) or can only be improved slightly by a finite amount to avoid the whole Skyrim crafting fiasco.

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I really like the crafting systems in both Arcanum and FO:NV, however I think that FO:NV's style might be slightly more applicable as a mechanic. In FO:NV crafting was determined by level in a skill (sometimes more than one skill, allowing for synergy, for ex. repair and explosives could be used to make certain sorts of bombs) so this stops players dedicating points into something that they won't feel the benefit of for a while (i.e. in Arcanum, though some of the low level schematics were good, you were mostly after the high end ones meaning that you were sinking in points into technological disciplines for only a small return). It's also more enjoyable to have a practical skill (say repair) giving you options to craft, rather than having a dedicated crafting system that requires points of it's own. Though it's been said that the team will keep combat and non-combat systems separate, that doesn't mean to say they might not have some crossover for crafting (say both a certain level in a ranged skill and in a wilderness skill might be able to let you produce a quieter bow to hunt more efficiently, etc.).

 

That being said, I think both systems are very nice in their own way.

 

I'd think that with separate advancement pools, that's much less of problem (and let's consider the fact that you'll have five companions with you); that said, as you've written, there were several not so useful schematics in Arcanum you had to purchase in order to advance further - that's one thing that could be corrected.

 

At any rate, crafting should, ideally, be an important part of the gameplay - as it was in Arcanum.

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