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Note that this is a concept, take any terms as abstraction, i.e. "item quality" can mean anything, from selling value to merely the name of the item.

 

 

Why do people like combat, but not crafting?

 

 

How does combat work?

 

Combat forces you to make decisions and game/genre experience determines the result. If you do stupid things, like casting "Cure Wounds" on an uninjured party member, you will end up in trouble. Combat is inherently limited - by hit points. Your goal is to get past the enemies without losing your hit points. The quality of the battle is determined by the amount of resources you spent - hit points, spells, potions, etc. and the difficulty of the encounter. If you didn't spend or lose anything at all to win the hardest encounter, it was the best possible fight.

 

 

How does crafting work?

 

The goal in crafting is to have a usable item, with the best item quality and the least consumed amount of resources. You can't call yourself Grandmaster Tinkerer before you can craft a crossbow from a paper-clip and a goat.

 

 

You see the similarities, right? But if both tasks are very similar - we just need to combine the fun of combat and the process of crafting.

 

When crafting an item, the player has a limited amount of whatever. When this reaches zero, there will be no item (battle lost). The player has to choose an option. This decision process must/can be reevaluated periodically. The core options are "finish item" and "improve quality". Now, this is still no fun, because when you say:"You can choose 10 times.", player picks 9 times "improve quality" and the last action will be "finish item". Like combat grants you more options than "hit" and "run", the options need to be expanded and the results slightly randomized. More skill level would allow more options.

 

When the enemy poisons your character, you either cast "Cure Poison", drink a potion or you try to finish the opponent faster.

 

So, you can add random events to the crafting, like "Sneeze attack". If you are experienced or have the right item (handkerchief), you have an option to solve this problem (it still costs you an amount of whatever). You can also decide to live with the event - it might lower your item quality or your amount of whatever each turn, but maybe this is still better than investing the costs for the cure or the event might even do something good (adds option to disease opponents). If you do something stupid, like solve the Sneeze attack with black powder instead, you will face consequences.

 

 

I guess what this concept is basically about is: Crafting should require decisions (beyond what to craft) and have consequences, to be fun.

Edited by Iyanga
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Combat is employed as a direct action to reach your goal. Crafting is an indirect action that helps you in accomplishing your direct actions. That's perhaps what makes it feel like a distraction. Most crafting is just seems like a method of conserving your hard-won gold. But you can usually just go out and get more gold through combat (or thievery). If crafting allowed you to take different paths to achieve your goal, rather than being merely a supplementary add-on, it would feel more useful.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Combat is employed as a direct action to reach your goal. Crafting is an indirect action that helps you in accomplishing your direct actions. That's perhaps what makes it feel like a distraction. Most crafting is just seems like a method of conserving your hard-won gold. But you can usually just go out and get more gold through combat (or thievery). If crafting allowed you to take different paths to achieve your goal, rather than being merely a supplementary add-on, it would feel more useful.

 

Interesting point of view. But isn't it chicken<>egg? Why are enemies blocking your goal and not a missing lever? Because it's a fun challenge to beat them (hopefully) and not fun to craft a lever. Then again, if diplomacy can avoid a battle, then why not crafting?

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This is so strange.  It seems that the situations where crafting to avoid a fight would be extremely limited.  It wouldn't even make much sense, unless you have already crafted the thing before the encounter.  If not, you wouldn't be able to craft something immediately during the encounter, you'd probably have to leave and go to a smith/lab/whatever to create what you need to create, then come back to the group, who is still there waiting for you.

 

How would you craft a lever in a dungeon?  Just stick a metal rod in the slot (insert dirty joke here)?
 

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This is so strange.  It seems that the situations where crafting to avoid a fight would be extremely limited.  It wouldn't even make much sense, unless you have already crafted the thing before the encounter.  If not, you wouldn't be able to craft something immediately during the encounter, you'd probably have to leave and go to a smith/lab/whatever to create what you need to create, then come back to the group, who is still there waiting for you.

 

How would you craft a lever in a dungeon?  Just stick a metal rod in the slot (insert dirty joke here)?

 

 

You enter a dungeon without a rope, a lever and a towel? Your fault.

 

:w00t:

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This is so strange.  It seems that the situations where crafting to avoid a fight would be extremely limited.  It wouldn't even make much sense, unless you have already crafted the thing before the encounter.  If not, you wouldn't be able to craft something immediately during the encounter, you'd probably have to leave and go to a smith/lab/whatever to create what you need to create, then come back to the group, who is still there waiting for you.

 

Strange?

 

I've already made the dialogue.

 

- I have no lever with me. Let me continue or die! (Combat)

- Uhm, no, not right now. But I'll return with one. (Leave)

- A lever? Oh, I've seen a chest full with 'em down the road, go, get it. (Diplomacy)

- I don't always craft, but when I do, then levers. (Hand over lever.)

- Hu? (Low Int, Combat)

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Combat is employed as a direct action to reach your goal. Crafting is an indirect action that helps you in accomplishing your direct actions. That's perhaps what makes it feel like a distraction.

I beg to differ. Crafting is a different direct action to achieve your different goal (acquiring a useful object/item). I don't think anything inherent to the process of crafting makes it feel like a distraction. I think the piddly "Go grocery shopping, then click a button" treatment of it is what does that, strengthened by a "Meh, or you can just find stuff on dead peeps or buy the exact same stuff with all the money you'll get spending all the time you WOULD'VE been crafting on going out and doing other things."

 

@Iyanga, I like your style. :)

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I hope crafting will be simple enough that I don't have to change exotic ingredients or blue-prints if I don't want to. I prefer the option to modify weapons with specific mods, the higher quality the weapon, the more can be modified.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Combat is employed as a direct action to reach your goal. Crafting is an indirect action that helps you in accomplishing your direct actions. That's perhaps what makes it feel like a distraction.

I beg to differ. Crafting is a different direct action to achieve your different goal (acquiring a useful object/item). I don't think anything inherent to the process of crafting makes it feel like a distraction. I think the piddly "Go grocery shopping, then click a button" treatment of it is what does that, strengthened by a "Meh, or you can just find stuff on dead peeps or buy the exact same stuff with all the money you'll get spending all the time you WOULD'VE been crafting on going out and doing other things."

 

Sophistry. If crafting didn't exist then neither would the goal of crafting an item. Your goal are quests and such; crafted items may aid you in accomplishing those goals, but normally they don't exist as an end onto themselves.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Sophistry. If crafting didn't exist then neither would the goal of crafting an item. Your goal are quests and such; crafted items may aid you in accomplishing those goals, but normally they don't exist as an end onto themselves.

Normally... :)

 

Also, I don't follow. Perhaps I was not very clear? If every time you partake in combat, someone gives you a free chocolate cake, and every time you partake in crafting an item someone punches you in the face, I think people would hate crafting, not because of what it inherently is, but because of the non-inherent specifics of its implementation. Whereas, even if combat was terrible, they'd statistically like free chocolate cakes more than getting punched in the face.

 

I think we can't really say "crafting is just boring" until someone makes a crafting SYSTEM that isn't boring.

 

Imagine if in combat, your party members's mana pools and health pools and such were listed as materials, and you had certain recipes that required certain combinations of each resource. Then, you just clicked a button, waited 3 seconds, and a message on the screen said "Successfully created Slain Enemy."

 

Of course, that's not what happens. You use resources, and produce combat ability uses/effects, which then determine whether or not you take damage, or something dies, etc., but it's all much more complex. AND it's all visually represented, real-time (with pause, heh). But then, with crafting, it's basically a logistical inventory interface, much like buying and selling at a merchant in the game, only far more convoluted. It's like the concept of a game system, then they just threw it in in text-based mode, while the rest of the game is fully realized, and people go "Hmm... the entire idea of utilizing a process to achieve a desired result must just be lame or something," and wonder why crafting isn't very fun.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Here we go... in a true "simulationist" RP combat isn't more important than "crafting" (rather the other way around, quite arguably). Whether combat or crafting is more "direct" is nothing more than a function of what a particular game defines as the objective (in most games along these lines, that happens to be combat). I personally hope that Project Eternity isn't automatically beholden to its predecessors in this way, but I expect that this will end up a combat-focused game.

Edited by mcmanusaur
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First post.  Long post.  But I'm passionate on this crafting thing, so here goes...

 

I like to think of crafting as facilitating combat, while improving combat for those who are prepared.  But I also think crafting should have special uses, such as being able to avoid combat entirely, or perhaps access special places.

 

In combat facilitation, characters are crafting supplies that give combat bonuses.  Sometimes picking crafting techniques/skills requires the character to make the choice between similar non-crafting character perks/abilities that essentially do the same thing.  Sometimes crafting allows a character to pick up these abilities well before they would normally be accessible - such as being able to craft +1 weapons, when a typical party would still have masterwork.  Other times, crafting allows access to items through a simple crafting process, where the item may be quite difficult/tedious to obtain otherwise.  

 

Crafting also rewards the prepared.  While is wasn't crafting, think back to 2nd edition where the mayor of each town would give the party a "goodie bag."  If you were going into a swamp, you might get some cure poisons and a resist acid.  When going into a certain cave, you would get some cure wounds and a resist fire.  Maybe the old abandoned tower, you would get some holy water and stakes.  In each of these examples, the party was getting items that would benefit them in the upcoming adventure.  For a PE party that has an idea what they are up against, crafting can provide ways to be more prepared to face the coming dangers.  If an encounter with a fire-breathing creature is likely, the the party could craft resist fire potions - and maybe in game, these potions are not readily available, are expensive, or are available in small quantities.  Whereas a crafter to churn out enough for the entire party to have at least one potion, maybe several.

 

There might be some instances where a crafted item can avoid combat entirely, or access special places that are normally difficult to enter.  Maybe bribing a dragon with a sparkly sword, giving a barbarian raiding party a special totem, wearing the specific uniform of an organization you are infiltrating, crafting a long lost treasury vault key, etc.  All of those items could be crafted, and unavailable/difficult to obtain without crafting.

 

But overall and most importantly to me, crafting adds another dimension to roleplaying.

Edited by Bradr
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Because crafting usually involves grinding for crafting materials and having to keep track of increasingly complex "recipes" all the while? And it's all fundamentally inventory management. It's a distraction. And in some games it's just a way to make ludicrously overpowered gear and ruin the game balance.

 

If you like dragging and dropping pictures of animal guts and mineral ingots from one grid window to another, why not develop your own game which is about dragging and dropping animal gut sprites and mineral ingots from one window to another?

Edited by AGX-17
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Because crafting usually involves grinding for crafting materials and having to keep track of increasingly complex "recipes" all the while? And it's all fundamentally inventory management. It's a distraction. And in some games it's just a way to make ludicrously overpowered gear and ruin the game balance.

 

 

You mean like grinding for better weapons and armor and keeping track of increasingly complex skill trees and spells?

 

If you like dragging and dropping pictures of animal guts and mineral ingots from one grid window to another, why not develop your own game which is about dragging and dropping animal gut sprites and mineral ingots from one window to another?

 

 

Okay, you didn't read my post. That's okay, it's a free world. But why bother replying then? Is Facebook down for socializing?

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This has potential. Make the crafting process far more involved, and even genuinely difficult, and you might find people actually taking pride in their crafted items. Say, for example, the process involves Cooking Mama-esque sequential minigames representing the various parts of the crafting process. Then let's also say that getting the temper for your sword just right requires a discerning eye and impeccable timing. If a player is capable of accomplishing this feat and creating that elusive perfect sword after trying and failing for a long, long time I can basically guarantee they are never going to use another weapon for quite a while. That is, until they get the enchanting process down and manage to etch a perfect series of rune arrays all the way down the blade, at which point it's doubtful even Killevil the grand blade of smiting ne'er-do-wells could keep them from using their precious baby.

 

Or maybe that's just me. Regardless, I like this idea. Speaking of, Obsidian? I now want a sword named 'Killevil the Grand Blade of Smiting Ne'er-do-wells' in Project Eternity.

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I really like the idea of a complex crafting system, but i also can see problems with crafted items rivaling the ones from loot/stores.  I also dont think a story driven singleplayer game is the right setting for weapon/armor crafting skills.. you know, for crafting such things you need workshops, equipment, workers who do the diry works and TIME. A lot of time. Time which would be in conflict with the time needed to complete quests and do adventuring stuff, what the game essentially is about.

To make a long story short, please dont add skills which let the players craft superior weapons.
Skills for improving found weapons with some magical stuff, less time consuming things like alchemy/herbology to some extend is fine.

Although i really would like to play a game where in a complex, involving and difficult way i can forge master swords, i dont think that PE is the game where this should be done in.

Edited by amarok
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Imagine if in combat, your party members's mana pools and health pools and such were listed as materials, and you had certain recipes that required certain combinations of each resource. Then, you just clicked a button, waited 3 seconds, and a message on the screen said "Successfully created Slain Enemy."

 

One obvious difference is that combat typically provides a more immediate rewards. Crafting requires: acquiring the skill, acquiring the recipe, finding the components, then finding the appropriate workstation. Now you can click the button and make something happen. In the end, the net benefit is little better than what you acquire from hacking enemies to bits.

 

Different strokes for different folks. When I feel the need to go craft something, I do it in real life.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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@Spiritofpower: IMO, being able to fail at a crafting is a big no no. You either have the required skill level or you do not but seeing all your hard acquired mats go *poof* because some RNG didn't go your way is an express trip on the rage train.

Agreed. Even though I advocate a more in-depth system for crafting, I would like to see the worst possible outcome be "You spent more resources to make a regular iron sword, rather than an in-any-way-improved iron sword." I'm not against RNG being a mild variable, then, but it should be directly proportionate to character skill (the higher the character's skill, the higher the RNG minimum value becomes).

 

Also, for what it's worth, I think basic recipes could still serve a purpose as a simplified crafting "middle ground" area for the people who enjoy the existence of crafting but don't want to specifically spend time engaging in crafting, and don't mind not partaking in the exclusive content that goes with it (potentially improved equipment). What I mean is, (to put it overly simply), if you can only find as high as a +10 sword in the whole game, without any crafting at all (buying/looting only), then I think the simple crafting (probably taking specific materials to a blacksmith or something, and/or legendary items) might get you the "equivalent" of a +12 sword with some cool extras, and the in-depth crafting system (characters actually crafting the stuff at stronghold or something) need not give you anything better than that, in the long run, but could simply provide a slightly quicker means of getting that, or a finer degree of customization/control over the specifics of your crafted equipment.

 

I'm not looking for "Well, you can choose not to partake in this crafting system, but you're missing out on TWICE-AS-GOOD equipment than you can get through any other means, u_u" or anything. It's no different from different classes. If you wanna play a Fighter, and ONLY hand-control your warrior-types in combat (and leave all the spells and spell-effects to the companion AI), then you should be able to do that just fine. You might have a tougher time of certain fights and such, but it shouldn't go from "easy if you control them and/or play as a caster" to "now impossible without extreme micro-management," on just a general playthrough (not Expert Mode/Hard/etc.).

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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EDIT: Whoops... Meant to edit this into my previous post (since it was so fresh) instead of making a 2nd post, 8P...

 

One obvious difference is that combat typically provides a more immediate rewards. Crafting requires: acquiring the skill, acquiring the recipe, finding the components, then finding the appropriate workstation. Now you can click the button and make something happen. In the end, the net benefit is little better than what you acquire from hacking enemies to bits.

You're inadvertently using different criteria for a comparison between crafting and combat.

 

In combat, one could argue (along the exact same reasoning) that it only provides an immediate reward after acquiring the skill/abilities, acquiring the equipment, then finding a group of hostiles to engage.

 

Again, the only difference being that, with combat, you get to do a lot more than just click a button (you get to make strategic, reactive decisions and deal with the actual complex process of achieving your goal), while with crafting, you get to click a button. I know it immediately begs the question "Why would you reduce a combat system to clicking a button to decide victory?!", but if you reduced the combat system to that, it would not be much more exciting than crafting. (That isn't saying crafting is 100% as exciting as combat is, if handled correctly; only that crafting can be a lot more exciting than clicking a button allows it to be).

 

 

 

Different strokes for different folks. When I feel the need to go craft something, I do it in real life.

And that's perfectly fair, too. I don't advocate a system that forces you to engage in in-depth crafting, lest you miss out on incredibly useful/superior products. And I'm not trying to run a "decide you'd personally prefer an in-depth crafting system" campaign to change everyone's minds or anything. I'm trying to go about this objectively (ignoring the fact that I probably enjoy crafting more than the average player, as much as I can) and dig up any non-preference-based value in a better crafting system than we typically see (recipes + button clicking and we'll call it a day).

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Because crafting usually involves grinding for crafting materials and having to keep track of increasingly complex "recipes" all the while? And it's all fundamentally inventory management. It's a distraction. And in some games it's just a way to make ludicrously overpowered gear and ruin the game balance.

 

You mean like grinding for better weapons and armor and keeping track of increasingly complex skill trees and spells?

 

Why would so,e random respawning mook enemy be carrying the best gear in the game? That's not Obsidian's style. And skills and spells are things that are a constant part of the core gameplay. The game is combat-centric, by Obsidian's own account. It's not Skyrim or Minecraft. Stats, skills and spells are the foundation of the gameplay, not equivalent to some side item-collection/fetch quest thing. There's no alchemist class or blacksmith class. Crafting systems are fundamentally just padding to cover for lack of foresight when designing equipment and determining its availability/placement. You don't get to be a master smith, enchanter and elite warrior all at once unless you're playing a Bethesda game.

 

And before you go spewing something about grinding for experience, that's not going to be possible in P:E, they've already confirmed experience is only awarded for quest completion, not for combat or other actions.

Edited by AGX-17
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For me the perfect solution is:

FNV type crafting for potions and simple items(weapons,armor etc)

BG2 type crafting for legendary items,artifacts

FNV type crafting for alternative quests solutions as Iyanga said.

 

When I think of crafting in single person RPGs, I think Arcanum had it best. Make crafting a viable system that will produce stock goods easily at minimum level, useful but not exceptional items at middling levels, and when crafting mastery is acheived allow an item that is as good as you will find elsewhere.

 

Just don't do the Temple of Elemental Evil thing, where crafting is utterly mandatory, the items unsurpassable and the whole process requiring two dedicated party members as crafters.

 

But the Baldur's Gate 2 system was nice, too. Personally, I just like the idea of the finest crafter in the world being someone who spent the last 200 years in a forge and needs you to collect the items, rather than a twenty year-old wizard who's hit an anvil 12 times in his life.

 

(as an aside, when I played mmorpgs - and long may I hold my addiction at bay - crafting was my LIFE)

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Why would so,e random respawning mook enemy be carrying the best gear in the game? That's not Obsidian's style. And skills and spells are things that are a constant part of the core gameplay. The game is combat-centric, by Obsidian's own account.

 

Then why was there a crafting goal at all?

 

When I get for one step an adventurers hall with full party creation then I actually expect with crafting as own goal that I get more than a button to press. You are allowed to skip crafting, if you don't want it.

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Here are my thoughts on crafting(I know I'm "new" to the forums but I've been playing RPGS for over 20 years now and have been lurking here for a while).

 

Standard MMORPG: Collect resources, click button, make item: BORING.

 

Advanced mmorpg: Collect resources, click button, maybe RNG hates you and you fail to make item: Boring as hell.

 

Unfortunately in my opinion making crafting more "involved" almost makes it more boring, let me go into detail based on the "hardcore" crafting I've done in previous MMORPGS/games.

 

EQ 1: Ah, the good old days of grinding crafting, back then you had very limited web search ability, there were no listed recipes, and you had to grind a lot. The plus side there were a lot of skills, you could make some fun items(food in particular was my favorite) and there was something serendipitous about the grinding process.

 

SWG: My personal FAVORITE crafting system. You could set up harvesters to collect the resources(for the most part) for you, you could modify the schematics to make them different or slightly "unique", and you had factories to pump out the items for you, with the game offering a RNG so sometimes the item wouldn't be the "best" but you wouldn't really fail.

 

EQ 2 and Vanguard: Why do I bundle them together? Because as a hardcore crafter I hated both systems, which is what the OP wants to believe people want, but once they're implemented they take a grind and then turn it into a complicated grind.

 

I have played a LOT of other games with a mixture of failure and success at crafting, but I wanted to present the 3 most memorable crafting games in my opinion and how each one stuck in my mind.

 

I love crafting, I love seeing the different items you can make, but the tedious nature of crafting should NEVER be amplified by throwing a RNG that can effectively spit in your face and make you hate the system.

 

This is a game, this is not a job, it isn't a side business, it's not a form of torture. Games that engage the audience without making them feel like they're being punished for playing the game are a success in my opinion.

 

Unfortunately OP as a crafter I have to completely disagree that the crafting should be more like a job requiring more clicking, more tedium, more "decision" making. Because at the end of the day no matter what "challenges" are added to crafting it just equates to more clicking to get the finished product.

 

Combat on the other hand involves other people(or NPC's) and is fast paced, fun, and appeals to the brutal nature of the human psyche.

 

Adding "combat" to crafting won't pump endorphins, it won't create a "challenge", it will just annoy people that just want to see their finished product.

 

I had such hopes for Vanguard's improved "crafting" but it really just added a huge tedium instead of engaging the players.

 

A game should be fun, not a second job that we have to literally bleed over.(Grinding EQ 2 crafting which threw "challenges" at you was so tedius that I still hate it to this day)

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