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ex. it takes 100 points to max out crafting a rapier, it takes 200 points to max out rapier use, the best rapier you can find is a +5, at 200 points in rapier use you get +4 to THAC0 and damage, at 100 points of rapier use you have +2 to THAC0 and damage, if you max out rapier use your total THAC0 and damage bonus is +9, therefore the best rapier you can craft should be a +7.

Dangerous. The problem with rapiers is they can be transfered. So someone else crafts that uber-weapon, but the fighter with THACO+9 gets the rapier. This might unbalance the game even if that other party member is slighty weaker for it.

 

Because of this and other reasons I really like the ideas of either making crafting not depend on skill points or having crafting not the same things you can buy or find.

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I still hope for some more mystery and experimentation to occur when crafting stuff.

 

 

To keep it interesting, we might make the research tree "blind". I.e. you can invest time and money into heavy armor crafting research, and you will discover heavy armors. You wont know exactly what kind of heavy armor you will get, but it will probably be useful.

 

E.g. "you have improved on your chain link technique, making your heavy armor plating sit more comfortably. Heavy armor penalties on armors you make are reduced by 2" or you could also get something like "through your diligence and experimentation in dwarven smithing you are now able to craft Master Dwarven Plate". 

 

The amount of research you can do in a particular branch can be limited by your characters respective skill, and some basic recipes and abilities might be awarded just from improving your skill through leveling, but if you want the really good stuff you have to invest.

 

You can be a master smith in terms of your literal point based skill value, but your real specialty would be in, say, swordsmithing and the lost art of bloodstone armors. However, if someone asks you to make a spear, you can do it, and it will be good, but it wont make it into the bardic tales.

 

Like the idea, but there is no security through obscurity, anything "hidden" will be on the wiki in a manner of weeks, including all crafting recipes.

 

 

 

ex. it takes 100 points to max out crafting a rapier, it takes 200 points to max out rapier use, the best rapier you can find is a +5, at 200 points in rapier use you get +4 to THAC0 and damage, at 100 points of rapier use you have +2 to THAC0 and damage, if you max out rapier use your total THAC0 and damage bonus is +9, therefore the best rapier you can craft should be a +7.

Dangerous. The problem with rapiers is they can be transfered. So someone else crafts that uber-weapon, but the fighter with THACO+9 gets the rapier. This might unbalance the game even if that other party member is slighty weaker for it.

 

Because of this and other reasons I really like the ideas of either making crafting not depend on skill points or having crafting not the same things you can buy or find.

 

Perhaps certain bonuses can only be added for whom the blade is personalised. personalisation, I think would be one of the boons of having a crafting skill. Any personalised blade would be unusable by others, or at least the bonus should be unusable by others. Edited by JFSOCC
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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.
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@JSOCC

 

Dont be ridiculous. If we follow your argument through to its logical conclusion there would be no point in having plot twists because everybody looks it up on the wiki before hand. Why not just give PCs detailed maps of all the dungeons complete with trap locations and monster weaknesses? They will just wiki the maps anyways. Hell, lets just give them all lists of what is in each treasure chest because they could just find out on the internet. This kind of argument is completely inane. 

 

If some people want to ruin their sense of mystery then they can do that, but that doesn't undermine the sense of satisfaction everyone else gets from discovery.

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@JSOCC

 

Dont be ridiculous. If we follow your argument through to its logical conclusion there would be no point in having plot twists because everybody looks it up on the wiki before hand. Why not just give PCs detailed maps of all the dungeons complete with trap locations and monster weaknesses? They will just wiki the maps anyways. Hell, lets just give them all lists of what is in each treasure chest because they could just find out on the internet. This kind of argument is completely inane. 

 

If some people want to ruin their sense of mystery then they can do that, but that doesn't undermine the sense of satisfaction everyone else gets from discovery.

sure that's true if you would still have to go through the motions of finding the recipe before you could use it. But otherwise it's a shortcut many would take to craft things they have no business knowing how to craft.
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Back to the needless bickering about minutiae:

Wait... is there something else we're supposed to be doing? 8)

 

@Lephys

 

 

It might not matter particularly much to you who physically combines the ingredients to make the epic item, but it does matter to me. This might just be some weird eccentricity on my part, but it really does make me massively happier if I put it together myself than having someone else do it.

A) That's totally cool that you want that. I have no intention of judging you based on a preference. I was only trying to point out that, objectively, in the system, the value of the item lies much more in its components and nature than in its process of creation (in this case, component combination.)

 

B) Funnily enough, I realize that, the very same argument in A reveals a crafting process that really shouldn't be more difficult than the bounds of the player's crafting skills anyway. 8P... So... yeah, while there can be things that maybe the player can't craft and only some other NPC can, the simpler combination of remarkable ingredients shouldn't really be one of them, I suppose.

 

So, silly me. And, to further clarify, I'm more just open to the idea of some stuff being beyond the player's maximum amount of time and effort and learning in the allotted amount of time (the narrative's length) but not beyond some 70-year-old master craftsman's skills. I'm not really adamant about making sure there's something in crafting that the player absolutely cannot do. It's more just... you'd think there'd be SOMEthing that they couldn't. SOME level/tier of folding Adamantium properly or something that only like 2 people in history have ever perfected, that the crafting system doesn't just say "Oh, you worked at a forge for a bit? Well, naturally, you now progress to Adamantium folding in the forging process." Heck, maybe JUST because the material is so rare, and hardly anyone ever gets to work with it enough to master it, if its structure is different from other metals. In which case, no matter how much you spread the knowledge of its working across the world, only 1-in-500 smiths is ever going to get their hands on any to actually gain experience with it.

 

Stuff like that. You'd just think, out of all the potential factors at play, there'd be SOMEthing that would contribute to the lore of the world by being outside the player's capability.

 

The difference is that I don't think spending 200 points in rapier use as opposed to 100 points in rapier use and 100 points in rapier craft should amount to the same thing. If crafting rapiers requires more diligence on the part of the player, he shouldn't end up on the same power level as the person who just levels up the weapon skill and doesn't spend mental energy optimizing his character progression.

Yeah, I just wanted to kind of second here that the choice shouldn't be between crafting and combat prowess. If you master both, however, then you won't be very good at much else. But I don't think it's a stretch to think you could master CRAFTING rapiers as well as utilizing them. In fact, you'd think there'd be some kind of synergy there, if anything. Someone who crafts rapiers probably has a much more extensive knowledge of their balance and effectiveness, etc., than someone who doesn't. *Shrug* But that's not something that necessarily needs to make its way into the abstracted systems.

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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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return to krondor had an alchemy system where even if you knew the formula from a wiki or previous playthrough there was a high chance of failure until you succeeded as you character didn't know yet.  and the witcher has been mentioned for its extra effects when brewing stuff (i think skyrim had this too, though i could be mistaken).  you can probably link crafting to an existing skill, and then to an attribute for skill, then modify the chance of success by whether your character knows what he is doing (recipes).  i'd also make it so that you can deconstruct an item to its base parts, but can't make parts themselves, then you just assemble parts correctly over the course of a night (like the witcher), and if you have a recipe and necessary skill to follow the recipe then you succeed, if not then you still have the parts, unless you critically fail (tying to do something well beyond your ability) then you lose 1 or more parts.  as long as nothing is just a straight bonus, but has some other effect attached to it that needs to be negated or augmented somehow then it won't be too stale, plus you have to hunt for recipes if you don't want to risk wasting time, which hopefully will matter somehow.

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return to krondor had an alchemy system where even if you knew the formula from a wiki or previous playthrough there was a high chance of failure until you succeeded as you character didn't know yet.  and the witcher has been mentioned for its extra effects when brewing stuff (i think skyrim had this too, though i could be mistaken).  you can probably link crafting to an existing skill, and then to an attribute for skill, then modify the chance of success by whether your character knows what he is doing (recipes).  i'd also make it so that you can deconstruct an item to its base parts, but can't make parts themselves, then you just assemble parts correctly over the course of a night (like the witcher), and if you have a recipe and necessary skill to follow the recipe then you succeed, if not then you still have the parts, unless you critically fail (tying to do something well beyond your ability) then you lose 1 or more parts.  as long as nothing is just a straight bonus, but has some other effect attached to it that needs to be negated or augmented somehow then it won't be too stale, plus you have to hunt for recipes if you don't want to risk wasting time, which hopefully will matter somehow.

this sounds like a good solution for an alchemy skill, but I'd like crafting to be a bit more reliable. unless it's for complex machines rather than weapons and armour.


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@JFSOCC

 

I don't think you understand the system I'm proposing. Imagine a tree, with discoveries either at forks or located along the branches, but what you get from researching a branch is hidden. Lets say you want heavy armor, so you invest gold/time and a little research vine creeps down the heavy armor research branch until it reaches a discovery. The discovery could be a recipe, ability, spell, whatever, but, and this is key, you can't craft or use the ability until you have conducted the research

 

In other words, you cant just mix dwarven ore, leather, and cloth in the right amounts and get dwarven armor. You need to have unlocked it first. This means that I cant just go online, find a recipe for an endgame item, and make it. Actually spending in game time on trial and error could advance your research, but you cant just happen to combine the right components for an adamantium golem and make one. In fact, the whole reason why research costs gold is because I'm assuming your character uses trial and error to some extent in order to make discoveries, and this is expensive. 

 

Like I said earlier, there may be other in game ways of making discoveries. For example, you might kill a necromancer, read his books, and then become able to continue his research. Trainers can also unlock branches so that you can research down them by teaching you basic principles. You want to know how to sew an elven cloak? Find an elven sowmaster and he might be persuaded to give you a crash course in elven arts (which you can later expand upon with further research). Discovered an ancient civilization? Compile their burned scrolls to and invest in research to rediscover their lost technology/magic. 

 

Consider further the necromancer example. Continuing the research might have costs: blood of virgins, corpses, souls, etc. How are you going to get them? How will the NPCs respond to you becoming the enemy? How will your barony be affected when you start demanding the children of your peasants? Early research might not be very expensive in the blood/gore department, but it might be very useful. All you need to kill the dragon is a little bit of an edge. What is one child, one soul, compared to a kingdom? Surely the benefits outweigh the costs...

 

As illustrated in the previous example, this kind of system can open up entire new dimensions to a game. 

Edited by Warren
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You are right, I did misunderstand, somewhat.

I think it's a good idea, provided that there will be alternative ways to unlock certain branches. (Like picking it at the start of your game as you roll your character)

It would be a shame if you always had to follow the exact same path in order to get your preferred research, after all.

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You are right, I did misunderstand, somewhat.

I think it's a good idea, provided that there will be alternative ways to unlock certain branches. (Like picking it at the start of your game as you roll your character)

It would be a shame if you always had to follow the exact same path in order to get your preferred research, after all.

Well, see, that's another reason I like at least the approach to it in Thaumcraft. The process of researching, itself, is a lot more interactive than just choosing a thing to research and waiting, or collecting the same exact materials every playthrough and researching. It's at least a little dynamic.

 

Also, in Thaumcraft, it uses a tree (just like Warren's describing... although more like a web, cause it kinda starts in the middle and goes in all different directions), and the tree is always shaped the same, but you sometimes come to branch hubs that reach smaller branches out to multiple things in that category (like 5 different weapon-research theories or something). So, the only research available at the moment is anything that's at the ends of all the branches, currently. BUT, you don't actually really get to pick what you want to research. In other words, consider a branch that looks like a hand, with a research discovery at the end of each finger. If they're all armor, you can research armor as opposed to... I dunno, building materials (in Minecraft context) pretty easily by researching with items that primarily possess the Armor aspect. BUT, you don't know if you're going to snag the figurative Thumb, or the Index finger, or the Middle finger, or the Ring finger, or the Pinky. So, you research, and you get one of those, and you complete the research on it and discover/acquire it. If you're rooting for something else (maybe it's something affecting a different type of armor than you wanted?), you can just continue researching (doesn't take very long, really, so it's not a huge deal, and the discovery you just made IS valuable in some capacity; it's not like it's just junk research) until you get what you want.

 

That makes the path not the same every time (you don't always get the discoveries in the same order, but then, there's still some semblence of order; you're not going to get "DRAGON PLATE ARMOR" research as your first thing, and research 70 things before you get to "basic iron plate armor."

 

Anywho, like I said, the way Thaumcraft does it produces some nice effects, but I'm very interested in figuring out a unique method of handling it for P:E. I'd just very much like to see P:E add something to crafting, rather than just having the same old crafting system (skeleton) that we've seen in almost every RPG for the last decade.

 

And I like where you guys's heads are at, ^_^

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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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@ JFSOCC 

 

You're right. One problem with my system is that it could get repetitive. I've been putting some thought in on that regard and I have a partial solution. Lets say you've been researching heavy and light armor. There could be synergy effects between the two skills that are only available for people with those two skills. E.g. "Your research into light armor has made the underarmor you use in heavy armor crafting more resilient. Critical effects against the wearer of the heavy armors you make are ignored 20% of the time."

 

Fundamentally, that doesn't solve the problem. Researching heavy and light armor would be the same across characters, but it would make the system more dynamic. I mean, you might have more than one character that likes heavy armor, but are you really going to make another character with the exact same skill set?

 

That said, I think that a tree/web research system is really the only game in town. I admit it is not perfect, but any other system either has large drawbacks (like you pointed out) or misses some of the benefits (no sense of discovery). 

 

Finally, I think that this kind of system is easy and time efficient to code. All it really does is put a shiny cover on a very basic recipe based crafting system. Compare this to some sort of really realistic research system where research into chemistry might have surprising implications in engineering, medicine, or whatever. A super realistic system would have some sort of stochastic process where discoveries were made and implemented incrementally over the course of decades. Suffice to say that I don't have that kind of time to invest in a game and neither do the programmers. 

Edited by Warren

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I think it is very possible to do, as long as you offer more than one source for most (if not all) research branches. So I could learn to craft shoes of silence by learning it from a ranger known for his stalking, or by coercing the man who makes them for the thieves guild to teach me, or by taking a pair of those shoes of a corpse and studying them.

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return to krondor had an alchemy system where even if you knew the formula from a wiki or previous playthrough there was a high chance of failure until you succeeded as you character didn't know yet.  and the witcher has been mentioned for its extra effects when brewing stuff (i think skyrim had this too, though i could be mistaken).  you can probably link crafting to an existing skill, and then to an attribute for skill, then modify the chance of success by whether your character knows what he is doing (recipes).  i'd also make it so that you can deconstruct an item to its base parts, but can't make parts themselves, then you just assemble parts correctly over the course of a night (like the witcher), and if you have a recipe and necessary skill to follow the recipe then you succeed, if not then you still have the parts, unless you critically fail (tying to do something well beyond your ability) then you lose 1 or more parts.  as long as nothing is just a straight bonus, but has some other effect attached to it that needs to be negated or augmented somehow then it won't be too stale, plus you have to hunt for recipes if you don't want to risk wasting time, which hopefully will matter somehow.

this sounds like a good solution for an alchemy skill, but I'd like crafting to be a bit more reliable. unless it's for complex machines rather than weapons and armour.

 

i guess it really depends on how complicated crafting is, if you are taking a +1 short sword and reassembling it back into what it was before it got taken apart all you have to do is assemble the pieces and wrap the handle properly to keep it all together (precision screws are rare in pre industrial times), maybe tap some of the pieces to get them to wedge together, and then you are done.  taking pieces from 3 or 4 short swords and reassembling them to become a new short sword means adjusting pieces, making wedges to fill gaps, tapping them into place, doing some light welding (or some other method of joining) to keep the wedges from coming out (and thus the sword falling apart), and then wrapping the handle to keep it all together.  not super easy (unlike machined parts of today), so spending 2 or 3 nights getting it right via trial and error doesn't seem too steep of a price.

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I think that there would be a problem (overall) if a player wasn't able to become a "Master"(whatever) through the course of a single-player campaign -- mostly because there's not always a "good" progression in the game (e.g. you might have a "Master Armorsmith" in Calisham, but you're only there for half a chapter before heading to the Frozen North for the next 2 and a half chapters).  This is mostly because you're stuck "on rails" at some point because you have to progress the campaign.

 

Pen and paper games generally don't run into this problem, because you're (generally) able to get out of an area and go back home (or to a large city) without really ever feeling like you're going "backwards" -- you just took a left at the crossroads instead of going on straight ahead.

 

Now, if there was a "sandbox mode" this idea would work out splendidly.  Back with NWN, there were loads of different (community generated) crafting systems that, while they did center on the "make 1,000 of the item and gain skill" methodology, a lot of them still required multiple people to get from raw material to finished product due to how "hard" it was.

 

On one of them in particular, I recall needing several friends to get even the basic raw materials for making a copper necklace (or whatever the lowest tier "jewelry" was that was enchantable).  It was something like

1. Have strong dumb guy (aka "fighter") bash rocks til copper ore

2. Have slightly more intelligent strong guy smelt the ore

3. try 7,000 times to make the stupid copper necklace, fail all the time, get dexterous person to do it for me

4. Take necklace, enchant with 'bull's strength'

5. Give 'amulet of strength' to the fighters 

6. Repeat 4 &5 with different spells for different people

 

This worked (and was pretty fun) because it took ages for you to "cross train" jobs that your attributes weren't set for.  I think by the end of that server, I got to a point where I could do the low-level stuff (copper, silver) by myself, with a full rack of maximized bull's strength, cat's grace, etc.  However, anything higher tier than the first two metals/jewels/etc was too dangerous for my gimped character (because missing the 5th or 6th level spells, wrong amulet/rings/etc) so I still relied on my friends to help me get the rarer metals/jewels/etc.  LIkewise, they relied on me because there was no way they could create a "good" amulet due to them not necessarily having the right spell profile (or no spells at all).

Edited by neo6874

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that sounds like the very definition of grind to me. having to do the same repetitive task to get incrementally better at something, without there being a real challenge (other than fighting off boredom)

 

That is not something I want to see in any game.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Well, it was a grind if I wanted to be making the necklace itself. Seriously though, there's not a single game I can think of where the crafting system isn't grind-y in some fashion -- I mean, the whole point of it is "time sink".

 

Though, I think I explained that system exceptionally poorly in my previous post. it wasn't nearly as bad as I made it out to be (well, assuming you didn't try doing it yourself with "sub-par" attributes).

 

For example, I had a low charisma character, and was terrible at gemsetting (no, no idea why cha mattered, but I didn't make the crafting system). It took me like a full week of trying to make that first item (because only had the gold to obtain enough materials to make 1-2 per day) ... but in the interim, I met people who didn't need to buy all the things, and who could make the jewelry better (more reliably) than I could.

 

So, it became a system of "searos can mine and packmule the ores", "Ganden can refine the ores", "Darcee can make the jewelry", and "I can enchant all the things (and make potions and other wizard-y things)".  Each one of us would have found one (or more) parts extremely grindy ... but working together we ended up being able to make the top-end stuff in relatively short time (like by character level 10 or 15, where the server moderators expected that to not be possible til 20+ ...).  

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Seriously though, there's not a single game I can think of where the crafting system isn't grind-y in some fashion...

The same can be said of combat. No matter how fun it is, there's always going to be an element of "I'm repeating some things that are relatively simple yet tedious at this point." But there's always plenty else to make up for it.

 

-- I mean, the whole point of it is "time sink".

Which I think is the source of the problem. Maybe the point should be something else.

 

Look at Facebook games. The whole point of the ENTIRE GAMES is "time sink," and look at their stuff as compared to full-fledged RPGs. Facebook games have combat. And it's obviously just meant to pass the time. Imagine if cRPG combat was designed like that.

 

And we wonder why crafting seems so grindy. :) The games practically say "Want that item that merchant sells, but a little low on gold at the moment? Spend SANITY, not currency! 8D!"

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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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haha, well, yeah "playing games" in and of itself is a 'time sink' (and that's their point).  What I meant about crafting in general was that it's (supposed to be) a time-sink in the same way that a side-quest is -- it's something else to do while you're playing, so that the game takes longer to complete (or, in the case of multiplayer - something that keeps you logging in).

 

Definitely agree with the "spending sanity" when crafting in some games -- others do it relatively well ... though the unfortunate thing with (most) RPG campaign settings is that either:

 

a) it's a poorly implemented afterthought 

b) it's a poorly implemented for the campaign (but works out pretty well in non-campaign settings).

 

Which just ends up at "crafting grind ... I hate this" during the campaign, and generally causes one to find alternatives for a multiplayer server (assuming it's not just running the campaign). 

 

 

I think for a campaign setting your idea could work, but realistically there are a lot of limitations that are imposed by the campaign itself, and other aspects that the game designer made (such as the map/traveling between areas). 

Edited by neo6874

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I personally liked the BGII style of crafting.  To be an expert blacksmith requires time, dedication, and lots and lots of practice.  I find it a little . . .  I dunno, silly? . . . for adventurers who spend all their time tromping through the woods and hacking at monsters to be somehow skilled at this task that requires a lot of resources (money, access to materials, a steady stream of projects, etc) in order to be successful.

 

In other words, I am okay with bringing my found items to a blacksmith/artisan who will do the crafting part for me.  It is more important for me that crafting is balanced and useful.  In so many instances, crafting items in RPGs ends up being overpowered or pointless.  The items you make are either ridiculously easy to make and too powerful, or worthless in the grand scheme.  Skyrim is a great example of how ridiculously pointless crafting can get if not done right.

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I personally liked the BGII style of crafting.  To be an expert blacksmith requires time, dedication, and lots and lots of practice.  I find it a little . . .  I dunno, silly? . . . for adventurers who spend all their time tromping through the woods and hacking at monsters to be somehow skilled at this task that requires a lot of resources (money, access to materials, a steady stream of projects, etc) in order to be successful.

 

In other words, I am okay with bringing my found items to a blacksmith/artisan who will do the crafting part for me.  It is more important for me that crafting is balanced and useful.  In so many instances, crafting items in RPGs ends up being overpowered or pointless.  The items you make are either ridiculously easy to make and too powerful, or worthless in the grand scheme.  Skyrim is a great example of how ridiculously pointless crafting can get if not done right.

 

I recommend going back a couple pages and reading my multiple responses to exactly this argument.

 

With particular regards to Skyrim, I think that the crafting system was overpowered and a bit of a grind, but the game balance was generally bad. Don't get me wrong, I love Skyrim, but it is 1000x more difficult to get through a dungeon as a thief than a fighter (I'm talking about the first 20-25 levels here, not level 50+). You were practically forced to use crafting in order to even compete on normal let alone hard. So I think that having OP crafting was kind of necessary. 

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Lephys's and Aluminiumtrioxid's initial posts are very interesting crafting proposals indeed! And this is from someone who practically hates most kinds of crafting. In some ARPGs it is a necessity, but it's part of the grinding, as it were. I hope Obsidian takes several pages from your books in order to make a great crafting system. :)


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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It's good to know my thoughts are sometimes interesting to others, :)

 

I actually have a personal vendetta against the taking-for-grantedness of the supposed innate horribleness of things like crafting. When I accumulate enough programming knowledge (I'm a bit of a nublet at the moment), I'm going to make a "game" that's basically JUST a crafting system, and I'm going to figure out a way to actually make it fun without making it that strange "only .03% of the populous -- the people who like to read encyclopedias from cover to cover -- would think this is fun" kind of fun. :)

 

But, I digress.

 

I honestly just VERY powerfully believe it's approached incorrectly from the get-go, most of the time. Look at the current Assassin's Creed; there's a whole "crafting" system, but it's literally the loosest representation of "crafting" you can possibly have. It's just a tiered structuring of upgrades, and you have to acquire materials to get them. Nothing really says you're crafting anything, aside from the word "crafting" on the menu. How is any gameplay at all representing crafting? And I can't HELP but constantly compare it to combat.

 

With "crafting" like that, you pretty much want certain items, so that you can "craft" a certain item. So, the end goal, in a given scenario, is a particular thing you want to make. A Sword of Swordiness, we'll say. So, what's the difference between having to go out of your way to acquire materials to make this sword, and fighting some epic battle, then prying it from the cold, dead hands of some Orc leader? Well, let's see... the process of dynamic combat results in Sword of Swordiness, or the process of a bunch of possibly-tedious tasks that may not involve much more than traveling to a certain place and plucking certain things from the ground, the running back to some specific table, after putting a bunch of points into some skill, could also result in the same sword. Which would you choose, if you could get the same item out of both? PROBABLY the combat. Maybe not, but probably. Imagine it's good combat, :).

 

Anywho, I just think... no one would EVER put in a combat system in which there's a recipe of "1 sword, 2 bows, 1 wand, 1 staff, 5 sets of armor +2, 1,000 hitpoints," and with a "win battle" button that you click, then a pretend battle goes on in some background math that you don't see, and the interface goes all "CONGRATULATIONS!" on you and presents you with loot. And think, "Man, why don't people like the combat?" Unless it's a Facebook game or something.

 

Yet, we do it with crafting. There's no actual crafting process, most of the time. And, if we're LUCKY, there's some depth to the system, instead of obvious progression, a la "5 iron ingots makes iron boots. 5 steel ingots makes steel boots. 5 platinum ingots makes platinum boots. 5 platinum ingots plus a fire crystal makes platinum boots of fire." And yet, you mention improving it, and all that springs to people's minds is "Oh, so you just wanna make it super complicated, but still just as lame? GREAT!"

 

No. I aim to actually improve it. I want to take someone who thinks "Man, I usually pretty much hate crafting in games," and get them to say "Hey, this is actually kind of fun," even if they still opt to forego most of the crafting in the game because it's just not their cup of tea.

 

In other words, I'd rather people didn't eat the food because their taste buds just send bad signals to their brain, and not because the food was cooked/prepared crappily. Even someone who loves steak isn't going to eat steak when it's burnt to a crisp and solid as a brick. In fact, going with food analogies, what we do with crafting is akin to taking a delicious plate of dinner, and compacting it into a pill. Then saying "Oh, yay, I get to eat dinner now!", and swallowing the little tasteless pill. THEN, asking that person how they enjoyed their meal.

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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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Well, it was a grind if I wanted to be making the necklace itself. Seriously though, there's not a single game I can think of where the crafting system isn't grind-y in some fashion -- I mean, the whole point of it is "time sink".

 

Though, I think I explained that system exceptionally poorly in my previous post. it wasn't nearly as bad as I made it out to be (well, assuming you didn't try doing it yourself with "sub-par" attributes).

 

For example, I had a low charisma character, and was terrible at gemsetting (no, no idea why cha mattered, but I didn't make the crafting system). It took me like a full week of trying to make that first item (because only had the gold to obtain enough materials to make 1-2 per day) ... but in the interim, I met people who didn't need to buy all the things, and who could make the jewelry better (more reliably) than I could.

 

So, it became a system of "searos can mine and packmule the ores", "Ganden can refine the ores", "Darcee can make the jewelry", and "I can enchant all the things (and make potions and other wizard-y things)".  Each one of us would have found one (or more) parts extremely grindy ... but working together we ended up being able to make the top-end stuff in relatively short time (like by character level 10 or 15, where the server moderators expected that to not be possible til 20+ ...).  

i know exactly what you are getting at, and for a MMO it would be pretty awesome, but for a SP game not so much.  being really good at getting ore and then grinding the rest would be pretty crappy.  if you made it so that you could become a great fighter and a great crafter then things get a little skewed in the world considering that you don't spend lots of time achieving such.  in an MMO you spend lots of time so you can scale things to less world skewing proportions.

Edited by jamoecw

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(stuff, removed for brevity)

 

Yet, we do it with crafting. There's no actual crafting process, most of the time. And, if we're LUCKY, there's some depth to the system, instead of obvious progression, a la "5 iron ingots makes iron boots. 5 steel ingots makes steel boots. 5 platinum ingots makes platinum boots. 5 platinum ingots plus a fire crystal makes platinum boots of fire." And yet, you mention improving it, and all that springs to people's minds is "Oh, so you just wanna make it super complicated, but still just as lame? GREAT!"

 

Thing is, your proposals will really only work in a MMO (or long-lived PW) setting.  I mean, for a campaign setting; it's just "easier" to know "platinum boots + [any "fire" spell] + 24,000 GP = Platinum Boots of Fire Walking +2" (DR 15 to any incoming fire damage), or that "Well made silk cloak + beholder's eye + [some spell] + 100k GP = Robe of Seeing", rather than having to hunt down things that may (or may not) be there.

 

 

There's only so much progression outside of the storyline that a particular skillset (be it crafting or fishing or whatever) can actually have when you're looking at it from a campaign perspective -- I mean, The Spine of the World might have the best ores in all of Faerun ... but if the game doesn't take place there, you're kinda screwed.

 

I think some of it is also the realization that it's "damn hard" for a hard-coded game to be dynamic in the quests -- I mean if I'm playing a PnP game, all I have to do is send an email/text/etc to the DM saying "hey, so I wanna make a Philosopher's Stone."  All the DM has to do is add in a hint or something on a scrap of parchment in posession of BBEG (and keep notes that yeah, I picked up "hint 5"), and we're good.  a cRPG on the other hand can only go so far in expecting things, and the devs cannot possibly account for every whim of every player ... 

 

 

Edit -- and on top of this, there's only so much they can do before it just becomes easier (for everyone) to abstract out to "these things in, this thing out".

Edited by neo6874
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I actually liked what I saw here: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/64587-josh-sawyer-gdc-next-10-talk/page-5?do=findComment&comment=1387307

And while it may be from a different game, the idea that you could reduce gear to it's components (in this case ore) and then have that as raw material for your own constructed items.

(with the mods available to you limited by your knowledge, in the example the person knows how to make masterwork and hardened edge mods on the gladius, made from steel)

 

I think that's an interesting (if not so atypical) method of adding crafting.

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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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