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Update #58: Crafting with Tim Cain!

project eternity crafting tim cain

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#621
ScionKai

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IV. So it would just be a mesh between Sim City and Warcraft/Starcraft? I'm fine with that. In fact, aside from that, I do think your idea's certainly making good use of the time-gating mechanic. The part about having quests only open up after a certain level of upgrading, I mean. Perhaps your stronghold could be a temporary home for refugees of some village while you go clear the area and make the land safe? Stuff like that would be neat.

 

V. I dislike the idea of having a skill that summons a band of NPCs to fight with you, even more if they are generics. If you had the opportunity to create that personal squad of bodyguards with the Hall, though, that idea doesn't sound quite so bad. Also, I don't really like the idea of having them pop out of nowhere. Maybe the research into a portal stones could be a stronghold option that then unlocks the skill to call upon them? Other than those two issues, I like the idea.

 

VI. I actually like the idea of training villagers and party members. If in addition to that and after returning from training that party member could act as your personal crafter that you can request jobs from, that would be super. Expanding on the idea of researching portal stones in V, jobs like researching those kinds of magical devices or weapons that can cleave the earth could act as EXP troves for the lower-leveled characters. Furthermore, that would actually give reason to make a character or use an existing npc for the sole purpose of crafting and would give added permanent gameplay bonuses to investing in leveling up a different character.

 

For V, I meant for the stronghold's army / security force to be a completely separate mechanic from the personal security.

 

The stornghold forces would be upgraded in mass. Say you have archers, infantry and cavalry. You could equip each one through a simple, generic interface. Maybe like a tiered progression. For example, infantry start out with normal weapons and armour - say chainmail and a longsword. You could upgrade to +1, then +2, however bonuses work. And perhaps even take them from chainmail to splint mail, plate mail, full plate, etc. The only change you would see is maybe their color, and you would have a card that you could view which showed each type of troop's stats. As far as actual fighting goes, it would be like a RTS where the outcome is calculated and you see the results after. Bigger bonuses insure less casualties, and allow you to have more battles without much recovery time to rebuild the army. I pictured it being a fairly simplistic system so it doesn't require an impossible amount of resources to include in a game. It is essentially a meta game gold sink after all.

 

The personal security force I envisioned being more customizable. Like a small group of npcs you could give left over items to, and which would use them in battle as the AI permits. How they get into and out of battle could be upgradable I suppose, where initially you have restricted access to them and later gain the ability for them to join instantly.

 

I don't know specifics on either of these, either mechanic could work in a total different manner, all that matters is they function as a gold sink. I'm sure Obsidian will cook up something that satisfies, and I would wager it will be drastically different than anything I suggested. I'm looking forward to seeing what they came up with!


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#622
Xienzi

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IV. So it would just be a mesh between Sim City and Warcraft/Starcraft? I'm fine with that. In fact, aside from that, I do think your idea's certainly making good use of the time-gating mechanic. The part about having quests only open up after a certain level of upgrading, I mean. Perhaps your stronghold could be a temporary home for refugees of some village while you go clear the area and make the land safe? Stuff like that would be neat.

 

V. I dislike the idea of having a skill that summons a band of NPCs to fight with you, even more if they are generics. If you had the opportunity to create that personal squad of bodyguards with the Hall, though, that idea doesn't sound quite so bad. Also, I don't really like the idea of having them pop out of nowhere. Maybe the research into a portal stones could be a stronghold option that then unlocks the skill to call upon them? Other than those two issues, I like the idea.

 

VI. I actually like the idea of training villagers and party members. If in addition to that and after returning from training that party member could act as your personal crafter that you can request jobs from, that would be super. Expanding on the idea of researching portal stones in V, jobs like researching those kinds of magical devices or weapons that can cleave the earth could act as EXP troves for the lower-leveled characters. Furthermore, that would actually give reason to make a character or use an existing npc for the sole purpose of crafting and would give added permanent gameplay bonuses to investing in leveling up a different character.

 

For V, I meant for the stronghold's army / security force to be a completely separate mechanic from the personal security.

 

The stornghold forces would be upgraded in mass. Say you have archers, infantry and cavalry. You could equip each one through a simple, generic interface. Maybe like a tiered progression. For example, infantry start out with normal weapons and armour - say chainmail and a longsword. You could upgrade to +1, then +2, however bonuses work. And perhaps even take them from chainmail to splint mail, plate mail, full plate, etc. The only change you would see is maybe their color, and you would have a card that you could view which showed each type of troop's stats. As far as actual fighting goes, it would be like a RTS where the outcome is calculated and you see the results after. Bigger bonuses insure less casualties, and allow you to have more battles without much recovery time to rebuild the army. I pictured it being a fairly simplistic system so it doesn't require an impossible amount of resources to include in a game. It is essentially a meta game gold sink after all.

 

The personal security force I envisioned being more customizable. Like a small group of npcs you could give left over items to, and which would use them in battle as the AI permits. How they get into and out of battle could be upgradable I suppose, where initially you have restricted access to them and later gain the ability for them to join instantly.

 

I don't know specifics on either of these, either mechanic could work in a total different manner, all that matters is they function as a gold sink. I'm sure Obsidian will cook up something that satisfies, and I would wager it will be drastically different than anything I suggested. I'm looking forward to seeing what they came up with!

 

Aha! Now I see what you mean. Yeah, that'd be neat.


Edited by Xienzi, 24 July 2013 - 02:16 PM.

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#623
PIP-Clownboy

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Day one mod: Restore Tim's True Vision. 


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#624
Azmodiuz

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Update by Tim Cain, Senior Programmer and Designer
 


pe-thecraft-timcain.jpg

 
I have been working on a lot of different gameplay mechanics since my last update about monks (Update #52). All of the classes are in the game now, along with their abilities and spells up to level 5. This should give us a good basis to test encounters in the game's early maps. So I have turned my attention to some of the non-combat skills, including crafting.

Crafting Basics
Crafting is the skill that you use to make equippable items like armor and weapons, and consumable items like potions and food. To begin crafting, you must find an appropriate crafting location.

  • Forges – these blacksmithing locations can be used to make all of the equippable gear. From helmets to armor to boots, if you can wear it, then you can make it here.
  • Labs – these alchemical tables are used to make any enchantments, as well as all alchemical consumables like potions, scrolls or figurines (which let you summon a creature that will fight for you). If you want to improve your gear or brew a potion, you need to find one of these labs.
  • Hearths – these cooking spots are used to make food and drink that can give you long-term benefits when you ingest them. Many rest areas will have hearths, so crafting of this sort can often be done “in the field”.

When you use the central object at these locations, such as the anvil at the forge, you will enter a crafting interface that displays all of your forge recipes, broken down into categories such as armor, weapons, boots, helmets, rings, etc. You pick a category and can see all of the recipes you know for that category. Each recipe has a set of ingredients needed to make its item (or items, as some recipes will make batches of items). Some recipes will have additional prerequisites, including requiring you or a companion to have a certain talent or ability or even skill at an appropriate level. Higher level recipes have more prerequisites and need rarer ingredients.

You may be wondering where you get recipes. You get a few automatically when you level up your crafting skill, and you can also buy them from vendors. Sometimes you will find recipes in the world, as loot on creatures or as rewards for finishing quests. There will be a lot of recipes in Project Eternity for you to find, so make sure you explore every nook and cranny of this world, especially the crannies.

Crafting doesn’t take any time. If you have everything the recipe needs and are at the appropriate crafting location, then you can make the item instantly. Usually the ingredients are used up, but sometimes they are reusable. And for recipes like enchantments, the main ingredient is not used up but is instead improved by the addition of a new bonus. For example, you might have a sword with high accuracy and a Flaming Sword recipe that adds fire damage to any sword. If you use that sword with that recipe, you will have the same sword with a high accuracy bonus but also with additional fire damage! Win win!

Crafting can also be used to repair items, but first we should talk about item durability in Project Eternity.

Item Durability
Most items don’t degrade over time. This means that boots, rings, helmets, gloves, amulets, cloaks, and belts are not worn down by use. However, weapons, shields, and armor (that is, chest armor) do have durability values and are worn down by use. Specifically, every attack with a weapon degrades that weapon by one unit, and armor and shields are similarly degraded when the wearer is attacked.

Items have lots of units of durability, and they do not suffer any negative effects until those units are completely gone. When an item has reached 25% of its maximum durability, it will become “worn” and appear that way in your inventory, but it will not behave any differently until the last unit of durability is lost. At that point, the item is “damaged” and the following effects will happen:

  • Weapons – damaged weapons do less damage and have less accuracy
  • Armor – damaged armor has lower damage thresholds and the wearer’s attack speed is slower
  • Shields – damaged shields lose part of their defense bonuses

Items can never become worse than “damaged”. They will not break or become more damaged. They just stay damaged until you have them fixed.

Vendors can repair items for money, so that’s a fast and easy way to keep all of your items in top notch condition. The cost of the repair is proportional to the percentage of the durability lost and the cost of the item, so expensive items tend to be more costly to repair than cheaper ones, especially if you let them lose a lot of their durability before repairing them.

However, let’s see how you can save your precious hard-earned money by bringing this discussion back to crafting.

 

pe-crafting-campfire-tn.jpg

A typical Hearth where you can craft food and drink.


Durability and Crafting
You or any companion can repair items by using the crafting skill at a forge. More importantly, you can use materials instead of money, if you have the right ones. The higher your crafting skill or the more materials you have, the less money it costs to repair an item. Some items might even repair for free!
 
But wait...there’s more!
 
The crafting skill also decreases the rate of degradation on items used by a character. So if you have the crafting skill, when you hit someone, your weapon doesn’t lose a whole point of durability. Instead it loses a fraction of a point. And when you are hit, your armor and shield don’t lose a whole point each either. And the higher your crafting skill, the less durability you lose. We are assuming that if you know how to make an item, you also know how to use and take care of it.
 
So a high crafting skill means your weapons, armor, and shields degrade more slowly and you can repair those items (and those of your companions) more cheaply than a vendor. That is such a win-win situation, how can you afford to NOT take the crafting skill?!

I’ll answer that question in a future update about the other skills in Project Eternity.

TBH, to me it sounds like a slight metagame. Like wasting time on skills and such that are really more of a grind then anything special or about the storyline. Though, im all for crafting, just not if it becomes something you need to do to effeciently play the game.



#625
Bryy

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I will have superweapons and superarmor on me at all times.



#626
Azmodiuz

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you mean things you craft ?

ScionKai... reminds me of NWN2 and when your stronghold gets attacked... you upgrade you army etc.. kind of very similiar..  was kind of fun, but in the long run, feels like wasn't enough. imo



#627
TT1

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So ... what the hell happened here? What is in the game is totally different (for the worse) from what was described in this update.

 

Any chance the original idea to be implemented in future updates? It would be very interesting and would add much value to the game.


Edited by TT1, 09 May 2015 - 07:11 PM.

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#628
Lord_Mord

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Yes, I liked that, too. Would make the crafting system less ... boring.



#629
GrinningReaper659

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I am definitely not a fan of the proposed crafting system, and have been put off by the crafting systems in games such as NWN2 for a few reasons:


 

-Being able, as an adventurer, to craft any possible weapon makes little sense to me.

-Crafting seems to diminish looting and buying when you can make any weapon of any power through the annoyance of collecting every scrap of material you find.

-I have never found this process fun.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed crafting as it was done in the BG games, it was simple and made a lot of sense. Find all the pieces, and have an actual master craftsman put them together for a fee. This maintains the looting and buying systems and gives a greater sense of accomplishment when you are able to get the pieces and craft an epic, unique weapon of some sort.

 

What to spend money on:

-I don't really have anything against consumables, and they're a good money sink that make sense to me

-The availability of unique, epic equipment for sale in stores can be understadably off-putting for some, but there could be ways of buying such items apart from in generic stores: special merchants that you run into while travelling or potentially an NPC that you run into that is impoverished to the point of having to sell off a powerful family heirloom, and you have only the one chance to buy it, retired adventurers that you come across that may be willing to sell some item from their former adventuring days if the right price is offered and the right words said. I don't have a problem with some of these epic and expensive items being in Adventurers' Mart type stores, but there are plenty of ways to put them elsewhere that make sense, give the player the opportunity to spend money, and don't make the player feel as if they can buy every possible piece of equipment in the game from a single merchant.

-BG2 style crafting of unique items which are expensive to create, it makes sense to have to pay a small fortune to have a legendary piece of equipment recreated for you, especially if there are only a handful (or less) of people capable of doing it.

-Potentially some occasional bribery options to make certain jobs go easier; or a monetary gift to impress or bend the will of a faction leader whose coffers are getting light.

 

Just quoting myself to repeat my thoughts, they have not changed.

 

 

So ... what the hell happened here? What is in the game is totally different (for the worse) from what was described in this update.

 

Any chance the original idea to be implemented in future updates? It would be very interesting and would add much value to the game.

 

EDIT: Crafting and enchanting (both of which will be from this point forward collectively referred to as variations of 'craft' - craft, crafting, crafted, craftable, craftastic, etc.) will be discussed in this post.

 

 

Seems like the slippery slope of accessibility and modernization to me:

 

In BG2, you have only unique items craftable by actual blacksmiths after collecting the pieces. From there it seems to go something like this:

 

Let's make a bunch of awesome items craftable.

Let's just make pretty much all items craftable.

Let's just let all players craft basically anything, even items that challenge or surpass the best epic equipment you can find in the game.

 

Okay, but the player still needs to find recipes throughout the world, improve their crafting skill, and can only craft at a forge, so it won't be universally achievable without any effort or anything.

 

You know what, let's just let any player craft anywhere, forget forges, hearths, and labs.

Yeah, let's forget about the crafting skill too.

Why not drop recipes as well, now every player can craft anything anytime!

 

Great, now we have a crafting system which doesn't make much sense, is boring because all associated challenge has been removed, and that also serves to undermine equipment progression and unique magic equipment. If you can't tell, I don't like the crafting system much. The worst part is that these seemingly forced stretch goals that resulted in bland and/or shallow systems are now going to affect the whole franchise, because Obsidian likely believes that rolling back or removing a system such as the stronghold, crafting, etc. would look like admitting failure.

 

I would absolutely love it if, instead of the stronghold we have now, they made PoE2 with the simple class strongholds that were in BG2. They weren't overly complicated and sometimes only had a couple of quests, but they were somewhat reactive in that they were (sort of) unique to your class, and they didn't seem like weird mini-games. I think the crafting system of PoE2 would be better off if it took some notes from BG2 as well, maybe using a BG2-like system, but with more plentiful, actual recipes that you find throughout the world for most stuff and then collecting pieces for the epic loot like in BG2. But I seriously doubt those things will happen.


Edited by GrinningReaper659, 14 May 2015 - 03:02 PM.

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#630
Varana

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But you can't "craft" weapons, armour and other accessories in the game. You can enchant them (which is called "crafting" for some reason) to give them some bonuses.

You can create potions, scrolls, and food stuff, though.

So your assumed trend doesn't seem very plausible to me. The player cannot craft "pretty much all items", and most enchantments are only available on pre-made items, so self-enchanted stuff doesn't challenge or surpass the best found equipment.

That doesn't mean that PoE's crafting system is a good one. It just seems to me that you kind of rant about crafting systems from all over the place, without checking whether these issues actually pertain to PoE. ;)



#631
GrinningReaper659

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@Varana Fixed :biggrin:

 

 

most enchantments are only available on pre-made items, so self-enchanted stuff doesn't challenge or surpass the best found equipment.

 

It's true that there are some cool unique equipment abilities that can't be enchanted onto equipment by the player. In most cases, though, my best gear ended up being stuff I enchanted myself because the universally allowed enchantments are very good and fill up the maximum allowed enchantments neatly, while sometime the unique abilities keep the item from ever being fully enchanted (12/12) and it ends up being less powerful because of that or simply because the un-enchantable ability isn't as good as one of the abilities you can enchant. I did exaggerate though, there are certainly some things that can't be enchanted by the player.



#632
Lord_Mord

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What I think was the most fun thing about crafting in Baldurs Gate, is that the items you crafted felt special. I don't care much about what they did (making X fire damage), I mostly care about that it felt magic. One Part of it was, that their properties matched their history (This is also the case in PoE, even if it somehow does not always feel that way. The 1.05 patch made some of the items more interesting, I want more of that). The other (more important) part was, how they were created. Some of them were parts of magical weapons found all over the world. Some needed very special items. Collecting some stones and body parts is something, every pig farmer can do. But if the receipe tells you: "Find the head of a lich" or "Bring me the tears of a dryad" (And I know, I won't find those things in every pile of junk, a dead enemy leaves behind) it becomes an interesting and sometimes challenging quest.

 

I would prefer a combination of the two: You find receipes and you need a smith or mighty magician, to enchant or craft something (That is totally necessary). Some receipes are rather simple (PoE-Style. Collect this and that kind of plant, a gem, a potion, whatever). In that case you can get a slight buff for your weapon. Does not matter which weapon. Some receipes are more interesting (You need a certain item/weapon and more interesting/unique ingredients). In return you get a very unique and interesting item (Eiher it is very strong or very interesting, because maybe it has some unique ability that you can't get in another way inside the game. Summoning some special character, crazy teleporting stuff, I don't know).

 

And most of all: The receipes should make sense. The 1 plant, 1 bodypart, 1 gem thing is kind of stupid. Why are that always the ingredients? And if it must be this way: Why the hell do I need a vithracks brain, to give my armour a better quality? I f the result would be +2 Intellect, that would make much more sense. I get the feeling, that the person who thought this out, was thinking more about balance than what names and icons the ingredients would have. And that is what the enchanting system currently is: A bunch of random names and icons. That does not mean, I totally dislike it. It just feels very random to me.


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#633
Bryy

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Next iteration, crafting should really be more visual.



#634
EdwinP

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Update by Tim Cain, Senior Programmer and Designer
 

Crafting Basics
Crafting is the skill that you use to make equippable items like armor and weapons, and consumable items like potions and food. To begin crafting, you must find an appropriate crafting location.

 

Some recipes will have additional prerequisites, including requiring you or a companion to have a certain talent or ability or even skill at an appropriate level. Higher level recipes have more prerequisites and need rarer ingredients.

You may be wondering where you get recipes. You get a few automatically when you level up your crafting skill, and you can also buy them from vendors. Sometimes you will find recipes in the world, as loot on creatures or as rewards for finishing quests. There will be a lot of recipes in Project Eternity for you to find, so make sure you explore every nook and cranny of this world, especially the crannies.

Crafting doesn’t take any time. If you have everything the recipe needs and are at the appropriate crafting location, then you can make the item instantly.

 

I like the original concept;

 

1. Crafting is a skill.

2. Crafting skill level (along with talents, other skills (i.e. Lore)) may be a requirement for specific enchantments

3. Crafting is instantaneous

4. Crafting can only be done at specific locations

  • This could be simplified by allowing crafting only in your stronghold, if the required stronghold upgrade has been built.
  • Or crafting could be allowed only in cities, settlements and your stronghold
  • i.e. the PC should not be able to enchant a sword in a dungeon or wilderness area

5. Levels in crafting provide access to new recipes & enchantments.

  • More levels in crafting unlocks more enchantments. A good reason to improve this skill.
  • Will talents affect the enchantments that you learn?
  • Was Tim considering having the new recipes / enchantments at each level be fixed or randomly selected from a pool of recipes & enchantments or a combination of the two? I.e. 2 fixed recipes / enchantments and 1 randomly selected one

6. PCs can find new recipes and enchantments.

  • Excellent, those books you find may contain recipes for new enchantments.
  • Idea: Some enchantments may require the PC to find all the books in a series to unlock the enchantment.

I wonder if the developers are considering this functionality for a future update or expansion?


Edited by EdwinP, 05 June 2015 - 06:21 AM.

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