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Crafting Position...

Okay, here's my spin on crafting, for what it is worth.....

I hear alot of players say that want a more realistic economy that is player driven. many offer up EVE as an example of a working player economy. However, any working player driven economy must start with a working crafting community.

Vanguard appears to be offering co-operative community crafting, something like the early EQ 2 in which a weaponsmith would need to obtain a hilt from a tailor to manufacture a sword. Now, EQ 2 backed off on this and changed the crafting not because the sytem was too complex and failed, but because the player base never fully understood how it was designed to work.

Think of the weaponsmith as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). No OEM manufactures 100% of their finished product, not GM, not Toyota, not Ford, not Honda, not Chrysler, not any industry. They all rely on what are called Tier 1 suppliers for subcomponents that will be assembled into the finished product. In requiring this interdependance of crafters a game designer is applying the aspect of community to the MMORPG crafters. Generally we think of community as something belonging to the adventurers. "Hey, we killed skeletons together last night, we are in the same guild, let's get together again tonite and kill some more skeletons." Now, in the early EQ 2 crafting, the community went like this: I would log, and immediately start getting messages, "Hey, I need 20 sword hilts at the usual price, when can you have them for me".

Now, it seems like everyone wants to feel like their character can make a difference in the game world, but doesn't see it happening, as we get lost in the masses. This is where crafting can be special. I don't develope one crafting character, I take a page from Legends game developer Edi Birsan and create a crafting position. You study the crafting tables and look for what common subcombines are needed by the OEMs. Thus, I may have four crafters, a weponsmith, armorer, tailor, and woodworker all working as Tier 1 suppliers to various OEMs. One of my position's characters will run the retail outlet. In the case of Vanguard, that would require developing a diplomat to purchase that house to run the outlet out of. Another thing necessary to develope a crafting position is the ability to transfer completed components to the retail character. Price structure is easy, modern price structure is generally three times the material cost. First, you want to cover your material cost, second you want to cover your labor hours, and third you want to cover your overhead/materials gathering time. Any higher prices and you're price gouging, and pissing off the consumer base. If you've played before, you know what I mean.

Ok, now, you ask, how does this position make a difference in gameplay? Well, let me explain. In EQ 2 pre-server merge Nektulos my prices were the lowest on the server. I supplied scribes with paper, pen, and rare inks, weaponsmiths with hilts, furniture makers with dowels, struts, studs, every crafter with oils, resins and washes, plus much, much more. I used the price structure as described above, and I was the market for subcomponents in Freeport. Everyone knew my retail character, when she logged in, orders poured in, she had invites to group, OEMs gave her gifts of large capacity boxes so she could have more sales slots, basically, she was the market for subcombines. She couldn't walk the streets of Freeport without stopping to actually talk to someone. Players even emailed my home computer until SOE introduced the in game mail concept. In all the time I have played MMORPGs never have I had a character of such high profile, and never have I had a character make such an impact on the in game economy. The OEMs I supplied made money also, they were able to undercut the competition. It was fun, it was fulfilling. It was not about the rush to level, it was not about the phat loot.

My hope with Vanguard is that Sigil games is trying to achieve that sense of a crafting community, as well as of an adventuring community. Crafting needs to be interdependant, and Sigil needs to discuss what it is trying to achieve so that players understand how they can make the most of the crafting aspect of community play.

Of course, secretly I hope that Sigil will allow me to transfer my subcombines between my characters so that I can once again set up my market stall, and sell like I did in pre-tradeskill change EQ 2. If they do, and if you follow my advise and think of the game not as one character, but as a position of characters, you to can be a major impact on your servers economy.

Just some food for thought....let me know your ideas on community, and how to make an impact in a game.

Comments

  • JohnFattyJohnFatty Member Posts: 9

    I never had the pleasure of playing EQ2 so I really can't comment on exactly how that crafting system worked.  But from what you have described it sounds much the same as SWG handled their crafting.

    No one person can do it all.  And I agree that it made for a more realistic feel.  But what concerns me is the tendency of most new MMOs to 'dumb' down aspects of the game for younger players/or players who don't have the patience like you appear to have.

    Vanguard wants to compete with WoW right?  I can't wait to play the game, but  I fear that some aspects of older MMORPGs are gone forever.  They need to make the game appeal to younger and younger people.  And as you said most people like to raid, and be other fighting type characters.

    But that being said everyone has their own style for playing any MMO.  I have pinned what is left of my hopes to this game and I hope it delivers.  I hope to see a world like old, a world with an in-depth crafting system like you described.

  • rrikorrrikor Member Posts: 3

    I played EQ2 from the beginning and only had one problem with the crafting system.  That was the oils and resins and such.  Ther problem was every recipe required one of these and one class made all of them.  This cause a large amount of people to roll that class. 

    I wont mind if Vangaurd has classes be interdependent.  Just make sure that its not that all classes are dependent on the same specific class. Make it more balanced s you wont have one class controlling the entire economy because there items are a must have to make anything. 

  • olddaddyolddaddy Member Posts: 3,356



    Originally posted by rrikor

    I played EQ2 from the beginning and only had one problem with the crafting system.  That was the oils and resins and such.  Ther problem was every recipe required one of these and one class made all of them.  This cause a large amount of people to roll that class. 
    I wont mind if Vangaurd has classes be interdependent.  Just make sure that its not that all classes are dependent on the same specific class. Make it more balanced s you wont have one class controlling the entire economy because there items are a must have to make anything. 



    I understand what you are saying, and the problem with the resins, oils, and such was that the crafters that made them wanted to darn much money for them. I used to sell the stromas for a maximum of 1.5 silver, which was reasonable. I saw other crafters selling them for 20 silver, far to expensive. You would have thought that with so many people making the resins, oils, and washes that the prices would have been competitive, wouldn't you?
  • TheoTheo Member Posts: 242
    I was disappointed when EQ2 removed the interdependence of crafters. I
    think it was a brilliant beginning that just needed a few more tools to
    support the full concept.


    For one thing, they needed a better way to sell merchandise. Requiring
    the character to be logged in and in his apartment to sell meant that
    player couldn't be playing the game, even with another character. Hell,
    it really meant my entire computer was locked down for the duration of
    my sales stint since the game ate up most of my system resources.
    They've made it so you can sell offline now, which is a step in the
    right direction at least.

    I might like to see something of a
    more collaborative approach to crafting and selling, in which the
    tailor and the armorer actually form a group, choose an item they'd
    like to make, and work together to create it in a closer analogy of the
    adventuring party. Maybe a shared sales model would work better as
    well, where the item can be put up for sale at an agreed upon price,
    with each party member receiving a portion of the profit. A bulletin
    board system or bazaar of sorts to post orders for subcomponents would
    be welcome as well.

    By biggest gripe with crafting in EQ2 was
    the cookie-cutter recipes though. There was no possibility of ever
    creating a unique item. Every crafter got the same recipes to work
    with, and they were all cranking out the same crap to grind out their
    levels, most of which only sold to the occasional twinked alt since
    better gear could be found while adventuring. I want to see a system
    where I get to pick the attributes of the item I'm creating, affecting
    the difficulty of the attempt and the amount of XP I receive for a
    success. Like if I want to make a longbow I can trade accuracy for
    range, or add an enhancement or a proc of some sort, or a faster rate
    of fire...but the more powerful I try to make it the less likely I am
    to succeed, and I'd risk wasting my potentially rare resources. I think
    the quality and usefulness of crafted items should always be comparable
    to dropped loot of a similar level range, but they should also be
    similarly difficult to acquire. It may be pretty easy to create a
    common scimitar...as easy as it would be to defeat the low-level orc
    pawn that normally drops it...but both items would be equivalent in
    terms of stats. If it takes an entire party of adventurers to defeat
    the Orc Chieftain for the Greater Scimitar of Fire, then it should take
    an entire team of crafters to create a similar item from scratch.


    EQ2 was on the right track, but instead of pushing forward to make
    crafting as interesting and valuable as adventuring, they balked and
    chose to revert crafting to the afterthought it's always been in most
    MMOs.


  • FeldronFeldron Member UncommonPosts: 337

    Crafting in Vanguard should be far better

    with players doing tasks and jobs for npcs to lvl. this stocks the items and services the npcs have or provide so crafters kepp towns running

    The most important part how ever is the fact that crafters are NOT just making items over and over just to lvl then finding the market flooded and ending up having lost money crafting items ending in a hugh money sink.

    In Vanguard crafters will be making items to make money not to lose it.

  • TheoTheo Member Posts: 242
    I sure hope that's the case Feldron. I returned to EQ2 a few months ago
    and became quickly disillusioned with my Ranger/Woodworker. I had to
    crank out an unbelievable amount of useless garbage that had limited
    uses to anyone and would never sell, so I ended up selling them to a
    vendor for a loss, only to go back and start the process again.
    Everything a crafter can produce needs to have value to someone. Back
    when crafters were interdependent there was always a component you
    could make for another crafter so you could make money and get XP. Now
    it's just a grind with very limited potential.


  • MX13MX13 Member Posts: 2,489
    Vanguard Crafting is closer to Pre-CU SWG's system then EQ2, IMO. Go to the Vanguard Resources thread above and check out the Vanguard Crafters site.

    I'll start my own SWG... with Black Jack... and Hookers!!!

    In fact, forget the SWG!!!!

    image
    image
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  • neofitneofit Member UncommonPosts: 18

    Originally posted by olddaddy
    Now, EQ 2 backed off on this and changed the crafting not because the sytem was too complex and failed, but because the player base never fully understood how it was designed to work.


    No, they did not back off on it because the players did not understand how it was designed to work, that's wishful thinking. This is one of those systems that look great on paper. You don't invest the hundreds of man-hours required to redo this kind of crafting system 2-3 months after release, while at the same investing into the redesign of many other parts of the game, repopulating all the zones, working on the next expansion, etc., just because the players "misunderstood" a feature. If it were the case, and everyone was so dumb, you just explain to them how it works - much cheaper. If the redesign was invested in it means that it was indeed not working and hurting their bottom line, something that other designers should take into account.

    Why wasn't it working? It was worse that forced-grouping. Just like while adventuring where you have to kill hundreds of mobs in order to progress, you need to craft a few hundreds of items per crafting level. Problem is that with items starting from level 10 you couldn't do a single item, i.e. gain a single pixel on your exp bar, without having to buy something from someone. And this did indeed suck. First you needed to have the player available online when you wanted to craft. Then you needed him to be ready to drop everything and start crafting the items you needed. Then of course you needed a player that did not want to relieve you from every penny you've got. All this compounded by a horrible market system when people needed to stay online and idle in their room (away from machines or mobs) in order to sell items (i.e. no off-line nor off-room selling).

    Sorry, having your crafting progress totally dependant on the availablilty of other players and their sense of measure was not fun. I don't mind having to buy special subcombines for special items that I may sell to other players for profit. But having to buy from other players just in order to grind on the regular vendor trash is out of the question. It is boring and expensive enough as it is. I hope Sigil figures this out before they have to redo things after release  like SOE did.
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