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Crafting

asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

One of the common complaints I see mentioned about MMO's that the crafting systems are not very good.  So my question is, what characteristics do you think crafting needs in order to be considered a good system.  Should it be considered a secondary element to combat, like most MMO's, or should it be a completely alternative way of playing a game, such as EVE or SWG?

If you could replace the crafting system of your favorite game, what changes would you make?

 

*edit* 

Added the bolded word in that I somehow missed when creating the post.

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Comments

  • WolfenprideWolfenpride San''doria, WIPosts: 3,988Member

    One of my issues with crafting often is the lack of variety/customization. Whatever Iron Sword you can craft is always going to have the same stats as the one being made by the guy next to you. 

    I like Ryzoms system. Being able to decide which stats or apperance you want your weapon to take allows you to put your own individual spin to your products.

     

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon

    "One of the common complaints I see mentioned about MMO's that the crafting systems are not very good."  I assume that's what you meant?

    Yes I think crafting should be an entirely different line of progression separate and apart from combat.  One of things I'd like to see done is making the results vary depending on the quality of the materials used, skill of the crafter and perhaps a little random chance.  While I generally despise mini-games, crafting is a notable exception.  When done right it can add value to crafting.

    Anything is better than the current model where there's a standard material list and you just click "Craft" and stare at the screen while it's done for you with completely predictable results.

    The biggest hurdle for crafting to be useful is the overall game design.  Everything should be player made.  Mobs should only drop materials and money.  Also, gear has to either decay over time or be destroyed in various ways (other than players disassembling it for materials).  Items cannot last forever.  There should be a constant demand for new goods and not continually recycling the old stuff.  BOP and BOE are cheap hacks for solutions.

    Most players will not tolerate this kind of system though so I think there is little hope for crafting as a useful profession.  It's relegated as a side show feature for the forseeable future.

     

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,778Member Uncommon
    The critical component of a good crafting system is that it must involve interesting gameplay decisions.  Craft 100 of some useless item to level up, so that you can craft 100 of the next useless item to level up further, is not interesting gameplay decisions.
  • soulmirrorsoulmirror Jax, FLPosts: 112Member

    The more you build into a game that is not just slapped in because it has to be there, the better a game is in the long run.   Crafting is no exception, it should be difficult to master, produce the best items in the game (next to epic) and be woven into the game.  Crafters should rely on gatherers, other crafters and items produced should be more than armor and weapons.  SWG was a good example of that when it came to modifying crafting materials for a desired output with even an element of chance for the completed project. 

    In 2 MMO's that I have played, crafting was robust enough that people would log in just to craft items.  These people subbed for years and only occasionally participated in the level grind.  Developers need to realize that a game needs more than a level grind to be successful.

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member
    The crafting system in SWG was unmatched. The randomness of resource stats and location was awesome as well. The problem is, devs are too focused on quick box sales to put the effort in. Slackers.

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  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    The critical component of a good crafting system is that it must involve interesting gameplay decisions.  Craft 100 of some useless item to level up, so that you can craft 100 of the next useless item to level up further, is not interesting gameplay decisions.

    Do you have any examples of games with interesting gameplay decisions for crafting?

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,778Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    The critical component of a good crafting system is that it must involve interesting gameplay decisions.  Craft 100 of some useless item to level up, so that you can craft 100 of the next useless item to level up further, is not interesting gameplay decisions.

    Do you have any examples of games with interesting gameplay decisions for crafting?

    A Tale in the Desert is by far the best, as if any crafting process has been done at all in an MMORPG, it has probably been done in ATITD.  Puzzle Pirates is pretty good, too.  Vanguard isn't great at it, but at least it has something.  The actual crafting process in Uncharted Waters Online isn't interesting, but acquiring the materials for it is, like everything else in the game, extremely complicated, and enough so that it isn't purely mindless grinding.

  • AstralglideAstralglide Simi Valley, CAPosts: 686Member
    Originally posted by Wolfenpride

    One of my issues with crafting often is the lack of variety/customization. Whatever Iron Sword you can craft is always going to have the same stats as the one being made by the guy next to you. 

    I like Ryzoms system. Being able to decide which stats or apperance you want your weapon to take allows you to put your own individual spin to your products.

     

    I liked Ryzom's system too, except for all of the guesswork coupled with no way to remember the "recipies" that you discover. If a company is going to make crafting that open ended- which I enjoyed- they need to have a way to store the discovered reciepies within your character or guild. For simplicity, I liked the recipie based queueing method you see in games like WoW and Rift, but they both need a little more variety. TSW's system, while not very robust, does offer a lot in the way of stat customization with it's crafting.

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  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,853Member Uncommon
    I echo most of the points Dave did. I also think crafting should be robust enough to progress seperately and make crafted goods 25/75 dropped to crafted where materials would be the abundant loot. If was then players who'd rather just adventure would create a market for crafters. The interaction for such need would add more of the S word (social) in to games.

    I believe these changes will come, or some manner of them. If I was a developer right now I would be asking myself how I keep people playing my game exclusively for more than a month. In that bullet point list would be how to keep players invested in my world and social needs and interactions are a big part of that IMO.
  • DewmDewm Soldotna, AKPosts: 1,341Member
    Originally posted by Wolfenpride

    One of my issues with crafting often is the lack of variety/customization. Whatever Iron Sword you can craft is always going to have the same stats as the one being made by the guy next to you. 

    I like Ryzoms system. Being able to decide which stats or apperance you want your weapon to take allows you to put your own individual spin to your products.

     

     

    Reason number 1,298,312,343 I like FFXI..

     

    When you crafted a item it had a chance of being Normal quality, High Quality +1, HQ +2 or HQ +3

    and it changed the stats of the item. So a NQ wax sword was worth pennies, but a wax sword +3 could be worth millions.

     

    plus they had a crap-ton of items to build...

    and it was actually worth making middle level items, because it took long enough to level that if you paid a bit for a level 20 sword it was ok, because you would use it for 2-4 levels...which equaled maybe 2 weeks play time?

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  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I tend to see crafting as simply an alternative example of a questing structure - just with the MacGuffins laid out in a different interface.  Instead of "collect 10 rat tails" it's "collect 10 copper bars". 

    So i see a discussion about what makes a good crafting system to be another instance of the discussion of what makes a good questing system, complete with the same debates about themepark style vs sandbox style.

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon

    Design the crafting system for people who particularly like crafting/trading. Crafting should be painful enough that only people who get a particular kick out of it will do it and not everyone. Doing that won't mean you'll have a good economy but it's one of the conditions for having a good economy.

     

    Personally i'd like crafter classes, depending on how well suited they were e.g. a blacksmith class might be a fighter / crafter hybrid with some enchantment skills at higher levels and its own path through the game i.e. npcs to learn various techniques and skills from.

     

    I don't think the best gear should be crafted because that kills the fun of getting the sword of uberness off a named mob. However all crafting skills should have a useful consumable they can potentially make some money off - but not so much non-crafters start crafting. For some skills a suitable consumable is obvious e.g. potions or food but for others not so obvious e.g. blacksmith, but in most cases it should be possible to think of something e.g. a blacksmith's consumable could be giving other players an armour buff. If nothing suitable comes up e.g. for tailoring or leatherworking, give that skill one item slot where they make the best gear e.g. cloak for tailor, belt for leatherworker.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,939Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zekiah
    The crafting system in SWG was unmatched. The randomness of resource stats and location was awesome as well. The problem is, devs are too focused on quick box sales to put the effort in. Slackers.

    This.

    The crafting system in original SWG was the most rich and deep thus far.

    And it was very dynamic: there were so many stats in play involving, say, a weapon as an example, that the crafter could change and improve any particular weapon in the way the customer wanted. A particular weapon could be crafted for max damage, or min action use; for maximum durablity or a mix.

    Thus, not only was every "scout blaster" not the same, but also due to chance in the crafting system a particular weapon would not be the same as the very next one made by the same crafter. As well as materials and component differences from one crafter to another.

    Plus the availablity of loot components that could be added to crafting recipes.

    All in all, original SWG was the absolute height for crafting in an MMO: a player could not only have a fully enjoyable gaming experience spending all one's time on crafting, but they could also "build their reputation" as a great crafter in game, the same as a PvP or PvE combat player.

    No other game has offered anything close to that.

     

     

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon
    The true answer is variety, per level. You don’t want a crafting system that give one choice per level. The level 20 warrior pants, or the end game sword. WoW has typically 10 sets per level then there are the various mods per item, in terms of a prefix and suffix code. Think knightly sword of the bear (+4 Stamina, +4 Strength). You get the feeling that the variety is endless. In so many other games, the variety is limited and apparent.

    Here is the thing with SWG crafting. Because of the NPC vendors and not being able to compare two items side by side, the buy was prone to scams. Two crafters could make the same basic laser rifle one sells for 6,000 credits on the Theed, and the other sells for 100,000 credits. They both have minimum stats and are identical, but because you didn’t write down the stats on the cheaper item to compare you don’t know. There was the possibility of high quality items with SWG’s crafting system, but as we all know the scammers win out. There were more scams than quality crafting, thats why players don’t like to be at the mercy of crafters for their items. That is why WoW’s single set of stats per item name was such a hit.

    A good example of a modern crafting system is Fallen Earth. The game has a wide variety of single stat resources like WoW, but also a wide variety of craftables per level. But still it boils down to only one good item per level.

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  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member
    Originally posted by Dewm

     

    Reason number 1,298,312,343 I like FFXI..

     

    When you crafted a item it had a chance of being Normal quality, High Quality +1, HQ +2 or HQ +3

    and it changed the stats of the item. So a NQ wax sword was worth pennies, but a wax sword +3 could be worth millions.

     

    plus they had a crap-ton of items to build...

    and it was actually worth making middle level items, because it took long enough to level that if you paid a bit for a level 20 sword it was ok, because you would use it for 2-4 levels...which equaled maybe 2 weeks play time?

    Are you sure you're not thinking of FFXIV? FFXI doesn't have multiple qualities for crafted items. You can get normal or +1, that's it. Crafted consumables can go as high as +3, but not equipment. The +2 and +3 equipment pieces that do exist come from the Trial quests, not crafting.

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