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Update #58: Crafting with Tim Cain!

project eternity crafting tim cain

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#21
Failion

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Cool update. I know Theres a lot of old school rpg lovers out there that love rpgs but now days simply can't get into them unless they have crafting or innovative gameplay other then combat. If crafting is interesting they may notice the game.



#22
KaineParker

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#23
LordCrash

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The big pencil aka Tim Cain is back!

 

Awesome update, I'm a big fan of crafting - as long as the balancing is maintained. I hope there will not be TOO MUCH crafting. But I hope that there will some very rare recipes which lead to very rare and special weapons...I like the idea of making epic items even better with single elements like special gems or things like that....

 

Carsomyr ftw..... :)


Edited by LordCrash, 02 July 2013 - 08:25 PM.


#24
Sensuki

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Nice to get an update about Crafting. All sounds pretty good to me. Nice to see food is in the game as well.

My questions:

Are you planning to include BG2 style crafting of "Artifacts" such as The Equalizer, Halberd +4: Wave, Flail of the Ages etc where you find an item part and then when you find all of them you can make the artifact?


I've always found it really bizarre and silly in games that you can just wander up to some blacksmith's forge, elbow him out the way, and start working. I'd really appreciate it if you actually had to gain the right to use these locations from their owners (options could be owning one yourself in player housing, paying to rent the use, included with board at inns, or being allowed access from a friend, for a few examples).


This solely depends on the placement of the Forges in the game. I assume you wouldn't get access to a Blacksmith's forge in their shop, you'd be able to pay him to do it for you or pay to use it I assume.
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#25
Sad Panda

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I'm a bit ambivalent about the "instant item creation" bit. I can't remember if it's been mentioned whether there will be ambient in-game time (as in e.g. Fallout), but if there is, I think it'd be appropriate to have some time pass while making an item. I for one would like to set to work smithing a greatsword at the break of dawn, finishing the work with sun already high up in the sky. Crafting could and should still be immediate from the point of view of the player, though -- having them sit around while a "Crafting item..." counter ticks to completion is a pointless time-waster more suited for MMORPGs.


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#26
ryukenden

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I was hoping for some screenies. Any, I wonder how closer are you guys from completing a single vertical slice that might be good enough to show the work in progress?



#27
dukeofwhales

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Are you planning to include BG2 style crafting of "Artifacts" such as The Equalizer, Halberd +4: Wave, Flail of the Ages etc where you find an item part and then when you find all of them you can make the artifact?

 

This is the kind of crafting I enjoy, and hope is in the game.  Combining my Pencil+2 with my Eraser+3 for a PencilEraser+6 was great fun in Throne of Bhaal.

 

I'm not huge on 'collect flowers and junk and use it to create stuff'-type crafting that we see in Elder Scrolls games.  It's a bit grindy, and I usually find the payoff isn't worth it.  Perhaps because I don't usually put many points into them because I don't find it that fun.


Edited by dukeofwhales, 02 July 2013 - 09:47 PM.

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#28
Monte Carlo

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On one hand I'm glad the crafting looks 'clean' and easy to use, on the other I hate item degradation Hate it.


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#29
uberman

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That Neve Campbell Tim Cain seems nice. Approachable, you know?

But that Fairuza Balk Tim Cain... that's one bad apple, you can just tell.

 

Oh yeah! Good update. :)


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#30
Bhazor

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Ugh. Really not a fan of crafting in RPGs. The amount of junk it adds to vendors, the amount of busy work it takes to sort through whether this strip of leather is more useful than this piece of bark, the endless inventory bloat, the grinding for reagents, the grinding for drops, having to write a damn shopping list to tell whether you need this piece of litter or not.

 

How about instead of crafting you can find "recipes" that you then give to vendors who then start selling that item. Take your potion recipe to a magic vendor, take your armour "recipe" to a smithy. If theres no actual player input in crafting beyond picking what you want from a list then what are you losing?

 

As for weapon durability. That has never worked well in my experience, its always just another hassle. At least theres no gradual decline in stats, it's just "Fully functional till its broken". Least that means you can completely forget about for hours at a time.


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#31
Monte Carlo

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^ This. I want to play a CRPG not a constant survival / resources minigame.


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#32
Cultist

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That worries me. Mostly because this could spawn another Bao-Dur mule NPC. Who is useless and constantly stays at base\stronghold and only used when you have to craft something.

Also, I hate durability with passion. I makes me constantly check my stuff and go on regular routes to repair. And in Fallout 3 and NV it only made me stashing a lot of repair materials just in case.

This durability mechanic does not really add anything to the game, except for annoyance and it is better to get rid of it. Or at least have ability to turn it off\mod it out.

In Fallout, durability could fit into setting due to survival being the central part of Faloout universe, but PE would definetely suffer because of it.


Edited by Cultist, 02 July 2013 - 09:41 PM.


#33
Ieo

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I was puzzled in reading this.

 

What is the purpose of the durability stat in a single-player RPG?

 

In MMOs, this type of stat exists to balance out the macro-economy whether as gear/death repair gold sinks (to mitigate MMO economy inflation) and to discourage haphazard play leading to death. Per the latter point, in all the MMOs I've played, there are additional gear/soul/whatever durability penalties upon death. I'm not a fan of gear durability stats in general because often only melee characters suffer direct degradation, and worse, the heavier the armor type, the more expensive to fix (in some of the games I've played). Of course, in a single-player party based game there's no concept of inequitable gold sink distribution among multiple players, so it should balance out either way. 

 

Given that there does not appear to be any "death"/unconscious penalties to durability, then "smart play" or "death prevention" isn't a design motivation. There is no reason to prevent economic inflation in a single-player game so durability as a gold sink doesn't make sense either.

 

So we come to crafting, which is the bulk of the update, and that's an interesting way to hook the durability stat into the game, but it's a fine line between development creativity here and "busy work." Crafting, in particular, has always been an optional side activity in all the games I've played, single-player and MMO alike, with varying degrees of usefulness. Fortunately, players who dislike crafting can go to vendors for this, but that leads to separate issue of game economy--will players who choose to craft end up spending or saving money similarly to players who shortcut and skip that option? Because we're talking about a mandatory mechanic here that covers every single playstyle (well, besides those who choose to skip as much combat as possible).

 

What if the durability mechanic is tied to game difficulty levels? Honestly I would rather see durability as a measure of death/unconscious penalty than a universal ongoing thing, but I don't know how Obsidian's proposal will play out.

 

Hmmmm.


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#34
Bhazor

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Actually rereading the update my biggest concern is the part about "add fire damage to any sword". So much for unique loot. So much for carefully picking which weapon to equip. Just socket a fire gem into everything you own.

Legend has it this mace was created by a blind pauper, his hand driven by an angel, the mace was bought by a king who saw in his dream that this was the weapon that would kill him. The kings fate and that of his kingdom is long forgotten but this mace still remains, rumours have it that to this day there is a dark cult that worsh- pass me that hammer would ya I'm gonna carve a lightning rune in it, thats like +3 damage brah.

 

@IEO

 

Well I'd question whether you can ignore crafting in any rpg. Even if you don't craft at all you're still going to end up having to sort through a dozen useless trinkets whenever you loot something or visit a vedor. Replaying NWN2 and its amazing how much junk my non crafting character has to scroll past to find that one special ready made weapon.


Edited by Bhazor, 02 July 2013 - 10:33 PM.

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#35
Falkon Swiftblade

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Hooray for my most anticipated stretch goal! Forgive me if this ends up being a small novel...

Recipe's sound ok, and I like that there will be lots of them, and they'll be mixed up around the world, but I have some requests if possible. Can you try to make recipes a game mechanic, such as maybe there is dye and blank scrolls you buy and as you level up mastery over an item you learn different quality's of the item to write down a formula about it which allows you to master techniques such as improving speed factor or balance which may affect accuracy or something like that? Then those would be used in conjunction with the ones teaching you how to make steel sword. When combined, now you have unlocked how to make a sword of bunny slaying +2 ;) Also for good measure, please make flaming weapons and the like actually show up in real time with the fx, and extra cool points if we can set baddies on fire on a critical hit and listen to them holler and run away.

A bigger issue for me that I despise in crafting games that I hope you guys will consider, is could you please make crafted items visually different than world dropped items? I don't care as much which is better from loot and crafted, but man I hate seeing the same item 100,000 times in 30 hrs. If I can craft leather armor, at the very least please allow us to add a dye to color it. However I would like my weapon for example to actually have characteristics that makes it unique from loot. Such as an Iron sword that is looted might look like a faction styled Iron Sword in that region, but mine might have a little extra flair to it like a bevel or shine to it than the standard one. Similarly, if items drop like a Rusty Long Sword, can ya please make them look rusty?! The more your team can make items unique looking the better so we can store them as collections in our house. Personally I'm hoping we can store suits of armor kind of like how the Bat suits were in the hall in the Batman movies. I know you mentioned damaged items will show up as such in your inventory at 25% or less, but I'd love it if it showed up visually on the character to give us a sense of character progression.

You didn't mention how Crafting Supplies will affect your inventory space. Please don't give it a weight system and keep crafted components separate from our inventory slots. Thanks for the update!

 

OH I almost forgot, I don't remember what I was playing, but they had an option in the game to use the collected resources to craft one of like 5 items which all had different stats, but some carry over. It would be awesome to be able to choose to craft certain items into a collaborative set. Maybe an option would be to craft a set of daggers, or a pair of gauntlets, or a gauntlet and sword, or maybe an amulet and crown... 


Edited by Falkon Swiftblade, 02 July 2013 - 10:14 PM.

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#36
Dianjabla

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Crafting sounds good, but the more I think about it, the more I suspect I'll just be ticked off by item degradation. That's one thing I hated about Diablo, Oblivion, Fallout 3, etc - constantly needing to repair equipment I didn't think I'd even used that much. Oh look, after that expedition I'm actually poorer than when I started it... Yay? At least they won't break completly.

 

There will no doubt be one NPC whose sole purpose becomes all kinds of crafting - that's what happened to Sand in NWN2.

 

Maybe there's an enchantment that dramatically increases item durability, or better still, maybe there's an item degredation toggle in the game play options? Like FONV had with the thirst mechanic. There if you want the challenge, not a requirement if that's not what you call fun. It's not like I play games for any bearing on reality. Then again, I may find myself pleasantly surprised and it actually ends up being fun. We shall see what we shall see.



#37
GreatWizard

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To make crafting cool, I think you should really consider each item, and make it's creation story-book unique. It can involve the need for the blood of a dragon, or it has to be made at midnight, during a thunderstorm. Or a demon summoning ritual, in which you actually arrange the candles (a'la Ultima 7/8) and if done incorrectly it could have some interesting consequences (an escaped demon storyline). a virtual amount of time has to pass ( ie the character spent a day in the ruined temple), and seeing related descriptive text can certainly add to that experience.

I, like some of the previous posters, feel ambivalent about crafting in RPGs. I really didn't like the endless junk management of TES games, and I didn't enjoy the neverwinter 2 version too. Having automatically known recipes isn't immersive or fun, and insta-crafting doesn't sound very PPG like at all. It something that fits an action mix/max game like Diablo. I think that the Witcher's alchemy is an example of crafting done right. It wasn't a must, it wasn't a chore, and the various items used were used based on "color" and quality coding, which made it both logical, and less of a bother, since you could mix and match based on what you have found. And as a bonus it had some investigative elements.

 

 

As for the items themselves, I feel that the fun items are unique. They are rare, and they feature a cool story. When too many of those appear often in a game they loose the appeal. Generic player made items are not fun, unless they were really hard to create, and are the result of a long story line (something BG2 did for example, or one of the ideas above). It's really hard to imagine a TES recipe book kind of crafting being fun.

 

And, speaking of TES gathering random stuff was a chore, especially since it involved a lot of inventory management. If you decide to do it this way, please make sure at least to have a separate inventory for them, with some built in sorting, and no weight limit on flowers. (grind them into powders, for realism's sake)

-Great Wizard


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#38
Bhazor

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Well as its moddable I imagine there will be an antidegradation mod within the first 24 hours.

 

@ Greatwizard

 

Exactly. Generic crafting is rubbish but crafting as a quest is great. If there were like a half dozen "legendary weapons lost to time" that you had to go on multi stage quest lines to find then I'd be all for it. My party chasing a rumour of an unmarked kings grave, finding a mysterious gem embedded in an altar, talking to a deranged scholar for the secret incantation that will call forth the new bearer of the weapon, rad rad rad.

 

Hoovering all the junk off the floor, dumping it all on a forge, picking up the resultant dozen sets of identical armour and then going next door to sell them at ten times the cost of the materials, lame lame lame.


Edited by Bhazor, 02 July 2013 - 10:51 PM.

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#39
Ieo

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@IEO

 

Well I'd question whether you can ignore crafting in any rpg. Even if you don't craft at all you're still going to end up having to sort through a dozen useless trinkets whenever you loot something or visit a vedor. Replaying NWN2 and its amazing how much junk my non crafting character has to scroll past to find that one special ready made weapon.

 

The only SP crafting I ever got into was the BG2 style "discrete quest-type" discoveries. 

 

However, I get deep into crafting for every MMO I've played because crafting has direct bearing with the larger game economy; it's a legitimate and significant way to earn gold in those types of games.

 

SP crafting doesn't seem to work in an economic sense unless Obsidian implements things like item quests (you create and deliver) or work orders (like you need to craft # stuff for certain factions--this can be a way to earn reputation?) or give crafted items certain vendor silver value... This is besides the usual "you can make epic crafted stuff" per the functionality argument, but then I'd point to BG2 having that ability without any busywork.

 

 

In addition to my original thoughts: The proposed durability stat isn't even resource management because it happens ALL THE TIME to all players as they get into combat. I think this is my real problem. Durability should have a purpose, and it can't be a gold sink in an SP game, so the only legltimate reason to have this stat is, IMO, as resource management, which means applicable only in death (or unconsciousness in PE). Or something.


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#40
Sacred_Path

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welp, as they put it now, degradation only affects your performance (a bit?) negatively. On the lower difficulty levels, you may still be able to waltz over the opposition even if your blade is a bit dull. OTOH, if you're playing on the higher levels, why not just embrace this component of the difficulty?





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