Forums » Crafting

Crafting Theory/Utility/Raid Crafting

    • 17 posts
    May 7, 2020 7:15 AM PDT

    So, rather than having a bunch of different items, track the crafting quality, material quality, etc of items as separate numbers on each item.  Can make the display name adjust based on those (or only shown via identify/examination - could make a lore skill actually useful too.)  This post will end up with some item theory in it too.

    Let's start with what I think should be the end goals

    • BiS gear should be crafted (not looted) but crafted with raid level drops
    • Crafting quality can affect stats of item
    • All levels of crafted items should be useful
    • Items should be usable/wieldable unrelated to level, but should end up scaled to level/skill of user
    • The crafting station can make a difference on the item quality (epic stations in dungeons/raids)

    So going to start with just some ideas on base items.  A katana isn't just a katana (or tell that to the cheap replica stuff vs real sword smiths.) Both at a material quality level and at a skill of crafter level.  If you make it with crap steel that wasn't smelted with good quality/pure materials, you can't get a truly quality sword out of it.  It's still a katana though.  Better quality materials would either be more expensive, harder to come by, or simply require more time/effort to create.  Like even water can be purified in different ways and taking the time for distilled water vs spring/filtered water vs dirt creek water can make a diff in quality of say a potion.  

    The first and second goals are fairly easy to achieve, item would have a set of max stats and then the actual item stats would be tuned based on the mix of material quality and crafter skill.  This way an expert crafter could make an average sword with absolute crap materials while a beginner might be able to make an average sword using top notch materials as well.  

    The third and fourth goals are also somewhat easy to achieve, rather than a fixed level for items, have a target level for an item (based on item + material quality + skill of crafter), then set the actual utility of the item as a ratio of some sort between the target level of the item and the player using it (yes this one has some general item theory things that would go along with it.)  This one also has a side affect of making twinking less useful (other than to simply not have to replace gear later.)  I would actually scale it lower than a correct leveled item myself so that people would want to find the close to correct item level things.  This could also be done with item affects (movement speed potions for ex.)

    The fifth one is what I would find really pretty awesome personally.  For truly epic BiS items or even just really good single group crafted items, you would have to use a special crafting station located deep in a raid zone or dungeon.  What the crafter was making would cause the area around it to start spawning mobs at a rate determined by what he was trying to make (or maybe just the quality of the station.)  So basicaly to make a BiS end game raid crafted item.  The crafter would actually craft it at say the Forge of Doom, deep in a raid dungeon, while the rest of the raid was busy defending him from waves of mobs determined to keep it from being made.

    Anyway, that's just the outline.  

     Edit: Forgot to add that we could even have spells that did temporary imbues to forges (for specific elements - magician), spells that hasted the creation time (enchanters), spells that slowed reaction time windows on stations (shaman), etc.  


    This post was edited by Thecklos at May 7, 2020 7:16 AM PDT
    • 1618 posts
    May 8, 2020 2:54 PM PDT

    Thecklos said:

     

    Let's start with what I think should be the end goals

    • BiS gear should be crafted (not looted) but crafted with raid level drops
    • Crafting quality can affect stats of item
    • All levels of crafted items should be useful
    • Items should be usable/wieldable unrelated to level, but should end up scaled to level/skill of user
    • The crafting station can make a difference on the item quality (epic stations in dungeons/raids)

    I like some of the goals that you've laid out here - it makes for a good discussion.  I hope other people will chime in with their thoughts!

    In the meantime, I want to challenge you a little on two of these :)

    Crafting quality can affect stats of the item

    I think that you need to be very careful here.  You don't want to end up in a situation where high-quality items are seen as required by adventurers.  In most games that have used an item quality system, this is what has eventually happened over time.  High-quality became the standard.  Anything that wasn't high-quality was worthless.

    The crafting station can make a difference on the item quality (epic stations in dungeons/raids)

     

    I like this as well, but I think that you should expand on it to include more variables.  Perhaps it's a combination of resources, location/environment, crafting station, crafting tools/equipment, and clever use of crafting abilities that really make those epic or legendary items?

     

    • 17 posts
    May 12, 2020 5:45 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    Crafting quality can affect stats of the item

    I think that you need to be very careful here.  You don't want to end up in a situation where high-quality items are seen as required by adventurers.  In most games that have used an item quality system, this is what has eventually happened over time.  High-quality became the standard.  Anything that wasn't high-quality was worthless.

    So, the whole point of the level/skill adjusted item was that yes a high quality item is going to be the standard for high level (or something close to it) but that a less than high standard would be better for a lower level player, and that you would therefore actually prefer soemthing closer to your level or skill level (probably match against both.) 

    The way this would work is an item would have a skill and level target.  Going to use katana as an example and eq style stats just to have a frame of reference for what I mean (dmg/delay/stats.)  A perfect katana would be made by a master crafter with pure and high quality materials.  Let's say for the sake of argument that this item had a target level of 50 and a sword skill target of 240.  Let's also assume that it had 25dmg/25delay and +6dex +6agi.  Let's assume again that a middling version of this sword would be 13dmg/25 delay and +3dex +3agi (made by a mid skill craftsman with average materials, this item might have a target level of 25 and a target skill of 110.  Now if a level 25 wielded the middling sword, they would get full effect from the stats.  If they wielded the top version, rather than getting the effects of the middling version, they would actually get something worse.  Like it would act as a   10dmg/30 delay +2dex +2agi.  The stat scaling should be set to make the item worse at a level other than its target or higher, but not by a terrible amount.  This is a balancing act that would need to be examined, but that's my solution to anything not perfect is worthless.  This doesn't work real well after 5 expansions and when there's almost nobody leveling up new characters though.

     

    As a side note: this also puts an end to the need to damage cap players by level (or some other anti-twinking mechanic - as this is an anti-twinking mechanic all on it's own - this also changes some item theory basics.)

    Nephele said:

    The crafting station can make a difference on the item quality (epic stations in dungeons/raids)

     I like this as well, but I think that you should expand on it to include more variables.  Perhaps it's a combination of resources, location/environment, crafting station, crafting tools/equipment, and clever use of crafting abilities that really make those epic or legendary items?

     

    A truly legendary item would require the combination of all of those at the top, maybe an epic could be made via some combination of all but one though (I'm okay with that.)  I just like the idea that raids would not only get the crafting materials, but also be the venue for crafting those things into usable items.    

    • 2718 posts
    May 12, 2020 8:14 AM PDT

    Without commenting on specifics let me toss one concern and one question into the mix.

    The concern is that I do not want crafting good items to require the character either being a raider or having a raider on the same account. This is precisely what would occur if non-tradable raid drops were required for the best items. Even if the drops were bind-to-account not bind-to-character. If the items were freely tradable this would not be the issue - the items would merely be hard to get and expensive which seems fair enough. Neither of you has said anything to the contrary - I just want to emphasize what I consider an important point.

    The question is why Pantheon, which is intended as a group focused game not a raid or solo focused game, should follow the approach of raid-focused MMOs in having the best items drop in raids? If raids are marginal just as solo is marginal - something to let people who enjoy it do but not the focus of the game - shouldn't group drops be better than raid drops just as group drops should be better than solo drops.?

    Is it harder to kill a raid boss designed for 20 people with a raid of 20 than it is to kill a group boss designed for 6 people with a group of 6. No, not in any slightest way if the encounters are properly designed. It is *easier* to kill the raid boss since raids always build some leeway in for one or more people being afk, marginally geared or marginally skilled. Challenging group encounters often do not. So why, Thecklos, other than "this is how we are used to it being done" do you suggest raid level drops? 

    I ask this as a question rather than expressing it as a concern but in my own mind I am reasonably convinced that tying crafting into raids specifically rather than other game content is not the ideal approach.

    I will go further - one thing I liked about Vanguard was the theory (not always perfectly implemented to be sure) that crafting and adventuring were different paths and neither one required the character to be good at the other. Add to this the Vanguard system of rares and then ultrarares - also imperfectly implemented. Why not have the best gear require the hardest to get *harvested* materials?

    If we want as a game to encourage raiding over other activities - and this makes great sense for a game with a store which is why most MMOs do it - that is one thing. But if we follow what at least some developers have said over the years - Pantheon will no more be raid-centered than solo-centered - let us not have the best crafting items come from raids. And if we follow the Vanguard theory - which would be very nice - why have them come from *any* adventuring content. We don't need to push people into raiding in order to generate store sales. There will be no store. We don't need to push people into grouping - that is why they will have subscribed in the first place. So having BIS or even almost BIS items as craftable from harvested rare materials may not undercut anything. Whereas in WoW or LOTRO or EQ2 or other MMOs it would be a terrible idea because it would undercut critical elements of the revenue stream.


    This post was edited by dorotea at May 12, 2020 8:16 AM PDT
    • 17 posts
    May 22, 2020 6:29 AM PDT

    dorotea said:

    Without commenting on specifics let me toss one concern and one question into the mix.

    The concern is that I do not want crafting good items to require the character either being a raider or having a raider on the same account. This is precisely what would occur if non-tradable raid drops were required for the best items. Even if the drops were bind-to-account not bind-to-character. If the items were freely tradable this would not be the issue - the items would merely be hard to get and expensive which seems fair enough. Neither of you has said anything to the contrary - I just want to emphasize what I consider an important point.

    So, there's a couple ways around this, one is you could make it so a crafter can use nodrop items in another players inventory during crafting (ie they both connect to the same crafting station while grouped) and each can put items into the combination at different times.  Nodrop ones are tied to the person who owned them up front, and any final item has to be tied to the person that contributed the nodrop items.  I also have no objections to single group items and raid items being fairly similar stat wise and mostly differentiated at the look layer.  I actually am not a real fan of nodrop items at all I would rather see almost everything be tradeable.  I'd also probably implement a break down item mechanic.  With craftable items being the BiS, raid/hard single group looted items would potentially be worth more broken down - damn RNG here some than they would as a base item.  

    • 38 posts
    June 2, 2020 3:11 PM PDT
    The problem I see with having everything tradable is that some people really are hardcore in making gold. Those people just could buy the best gear in the game while never contributing to groups or raids. Maybe they just farm 24/7. Or the worst in my opinion they are auction house players. I dont like this because it can be rediculous how much money you can make just with a little time effort and a bit of luck while playing the auction house. No matter how expensive something is those people can buy it easily and thats just wrong in my opinion. Character bound items are a must for me.
    I like the idea of crafting some of the best items with raiddrops tho. Also the hardcore crafting stations for endgame gear.
    • 515 posts
    June 3, 2020 1:30 AM PDT

    Thecklos said:

    ...Let's start with what I think should be the end goals

    • Items should be usable/wieldable unrelated to level, but should end up scaled to level/skill of user...

    It might feel dislodged when a level 1 player is wielding the Enchanted Golden Staff of Emperor Zohan. Or are you assuming that the appearance of the weapons will scale to level as wel? I pity the mobs of level 1-5 when they get nuked with such a staff, they might not be designed to withstand such stats, even scaled down. Or are you removing effects and capping down the stats in order to match up with the challenge of that level? What happens if I level up to 30 and I take up my level 1 weapon again: the Enchanted Golden Staff of Emperor Zohan. Does it recognize my advanced level? Or is the weapon locked to my current level when I attune it? How long should that attuned and locked weapon hold up then? 1 level or 3 or 5? And in between those levels, would the stats change, because the challenge in my mobs will scale up for sure? It would be a shame to wield this majestic staff and notice that I’m hitting the mobs with a wet towel.

    Wouldn't it feel like a bit of a waste? And how would that lower level player come by those higher level items?


    This post was edited by Barin999 at June 3, 2020 1:33 AM PDT
    • 515 posts
    June 3, 2020 1:37 AM PDT

    Thecklos said:

    ... Like even water can be purified in different ways and taking the time for distilled water vs spring/filtered water vs dirt creek water can make a diff in quality of say a potion.  ... 

    I like this idea. It would fit into alchemist or provisioner recipes just nicely. Even without the variation of quality. They could produce different types of water and further recipes might rely on this variety of water types.  This instead of the known 1 water with 1 universal use or where NPC offer different types of water as expansions are added on. 

    It's a different kind of recipe. A straight forward one, but very simple to write out. It makes a decent alternative.

    • 515 posts
    June 3, 2020 1:41 AM PDT

    Thecklos said:

    ...This way an expert crafter could make an average sword with absolute crap materials while a beginner might be able to make an average sword using top notch materials as well. ... 

    Two degrees of crafting materials? The middle category would be obsolete or the perceived value of this quality would be downgraded to your bottom tier quality materials? In case you’re able to make top notch items out of the middle category of quality materials, what added value do you have on the top notch materials? A decreased chance of failure? 

    I could be looking at this too simplistic here, my apologies if that's the case.

    • 515 posts
    June 3, 2020 1:46 AM PDT

    Thecklos said: 

    ...The third and fourth goals are also somewhat easy to achieve, rather than a fixed level for items, have a target level for an item (based on item + material quality + skill of crafter), then set the actual utility of the item as a ratio of some sort between the target level of the item and the player using it (yes this one has some general item theory things that would go along with it.)  This one also has a side affect of making twinking less useful (other than to simply not have to replace gear later.)  I would actually scale it lower than a correct leveled item myself so that people would want to find the close to correct item level things.  This could also be done with item affects (movement speed potions for ex.)...

    Isn’t this basically the same as provide players with items of diverse levels? If I’m reading this correctly, you’re suggesting: Make a level 11 top version item, optimal use (aka targetlevel) it at level 10, but you can also use it at 7-8-9. Where using the item at level 7-8-9 will be suboptimal and using it at level 11 (actual level of the item itself!) would be also be optimal? Because you can’t really go past the point of optimal? And with this you’re aiming to stimulate players looking gear of their own exact level? So now you have a level 11 item, which is perfect for level 10 player.

    It confuses me a bit to be honest, why does it need to have a higher level in order for a lower level play to optimally use it and not a player of the same level? Wouldn’t that just drive players to seek out gear that is 1 level beyond their own and discard their current gear set the minute they find one of 1 higher level? Due to the fact that gearing yourself up with gear of your own level is suboptimal?

    I assume here that the supposed level range is defined by the variables: material quality and skill of crafter? Can you get into that a bit more? If a crafter with optimal skill creates an item with mediocre or low quality.. why would they do that or why would anyone buy it, other than it being just a bit cheaper? Mind you that better quality version of the same item will also be on the market or within reach of the crafter/buyer. The level 25 buyer can consider buying a level 50 katana or a level 25 katana. Getting the level 50 one, would be suboptimal but still better then in case they bought a level 25 one? If not that, and the level 25 is better, why would they purchase the level 50 one at this point in time? (Other than appearance) The seller might aim their pricings towards a level 50 wallet/player. So would that level 25 buyer already have access to this amount of cash? (Not going into wealth per level here, but it’s not to be missed in your suggestion.)

    In case the middle version of a level 50 version is optimal for a level 25 player. Where does that leave items of level 25 itself? A steep mountain of item scaling no?

    • 515 posts
    June 3, 2020 1:57 AM PDT

    Thecklos said:

    ...this item had a target level of 50 and a sword skill target of 240. ...  

    I like the suggestion here of an item combined with skill. An item can have stats and an initial output. With a certain skill linked to that item. Using the item may help skilling up. And with that skill up, the output of that item has become bigger. I wouldn’t allow for actual stats to change. Just the output of your character.

    Perhaps this could be best seen with an error chance. (miss, failed casting, fizzled) Where a secondary stat on the item (temp buffs or sorts) are affected by the skill. So in the case of a self heal proc, the item is wieldable with a 10 skill but the self heal might proc only 1/5 times. But as that skill grows, your errors in proccing self heal decrease and you while wielding that item you’ll proc that self heal more and more up to a fix point. This starting point and/or optimal point of procs can be stated on item. Or it could be left out.

    It actually could push skills beyond the common progression. Let's say, a level 20 cleric has a heal skill of 20/20. The item with the healproc allows you to enhance your heal skill. This due to the mechanic that the self heal proc and healing skill are in sync. The item mentiones an optimal skilluse of healskill 25/25. So while that cleric is wielding that item, their heal skill might be enhanced up to 25/25. Where any other level 20 cleric only has 20/20. When this cleric unequippes the item, they'll fall back on their own 20/20 stat. 

    I'm using this heal skill example, but I'm sure other people can provide a proper skill example. (as my own, can be viewed as very extreme going to BiS, which is not my intention to discuss or aim for) It's the idea behind it that I want to get across. Temporary skill enhancements, based on worn item ID. (sneak, climb, jump, balance, concentration...are also skills)

    • 515 posts
    June 3, 2020 2:14 AM PDT

    dorotea said:

    The question is why Pantheon, which is intended as a group focused game not a raid or solo focused game, should follow the approach of raid-focused MMOs in having the best items drop in raids? If raids are marginal just as solo is marginal - something to let people who enjoy it do but not the focus of the game - shouldn't group drops be better than raid drops just as group drops should be better than solo drops.?

    The frequency of those drops could differ and as a consequence the abundance of those on for sale can even things out already.

    Gear derived from group content might be abundant. Gear from solo or raid content might be less abundant. 

    Obviously the raid content items would hold a higher value then the solo content items. (Depending on the storylines or lore that doesn't have to be the case.)

    When it comes down to crafting and the relation to group and raid content. There might be more connections or opportunities (by design) for crafters and items coming from groups. This could be just that they are obtainable more often. But it could also be that, the number of items related to group content is higher on the server then raid items. 

    When items come from raids, they might be less abundant, more exclusive. Purely based on presence on the server. Not just by stat comparisons. (I'm not going into should raid items be better then group items.)

    "shouldn't group drops be better than raid drops just as group drops should be better than solo drops.?" You're making me really think twice here. It's an interesting philosophy there. Question is do you have enough of an audience to match it?

    Otherwise the pressure of what is expected might be too severe for the devs. After all, this is still aimed to become and stay a profitable company product.

    @Dorotea Could you elaborate more about how you envision raid drops being different from group drops but not better?