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coolster50

What makes a good Crafting System?

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What do you think makes a good, or great, crafting system? I've played ~25 different MMOs and most of them either didn't have crafting or I didn't care enough to craft. In the 3 games that I have cared enough to try crafting (W101, P101, GW2), I'm not really sure if those would make a good crafting system. So, to some of you MMO vets out there, what would you say makes a good crafting system?

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Yikes, that's a big open ended question. May I suggest browsing our crafting forums for a large chunk of related community input.

 

I think that most crafting focused players would agree that SWG has the best overall crafting system of any game to-date. Or possibly minecraft if you consider the diversity of items.

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What do you think makes a good, or great, crafting system? I've played ~25 different MMOs and most of them either didn't have crafting or I didn't care enough to craft. In the 3 games that I have cared enough to try crafting (W101, P101, GW2), I'm not really sure if those would make a good crafting system. So, to some of you MMO vets out there, what would you say makes a good crafting system?

Being able to make items that matter, that are regularly used. In other games you mainly buy crafted items to gear your alt. In CF all there are is crafted items! Every single thing you make matters.

 

Not having to level up your skill. In other games you have to make a butt ton of crafted items that you have to vendor because there's no market. All to advance your skill a few points.

 

Not having a recipe book full of unused recipes. In CF it's the same recipes, you just change the ingredients to change the item quality.

Edited by Maliqui

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I've an app in my phone. In it you assemble and gear up a group of warriors and battle against evil (not exactly revolutionary, but it drives off homicidal fantasies when a doctor is droning on in committee). Gear is created thus:1) find a recipe via PvE or PvP, 2) Gather the materials from the world, 3) tap the create button, 4) receive item. I want a crafting system that is nothing like that. (Throwing in some RNG so that sometimes I get nothing at all sites not count as innovation)

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I've played ~25 different MMOs and most of them either didn't have crafting or I didn't care enough to craft.

My guess none of those were Ultima Online or Star Wars Galaxy. I'm sorry you missed the greatest era of MMOs. Maybe this new breed will be a renaissance.

 

Instead of looking at what makes a good crafting system to crafters I'll hit it from the consumer end.

 

The unique thing about MMOs over every other video game genre is the social elements. True multiplayer FPS, RTS, MOBA, etc all have some kind of community. But it is no more a community than an old school arcade. Lots of people in one place want to do the same thing...play games.

 

In an MMO or at least the good ones people come together and have to rely on each other. Where socializing isn't a by product of people gathering to play the same game but an integral part of PLAYING the game.

 

So when desisgning a GOOD crafting system devs aren't looking purely at "what does the crafter get out of it" but also "does it encourage healthy interplayer actions and dependencies?"

 

This really becomes evident when crafting takes as long (or maybe even longer) to master than combat.

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IMO crafting requires 3 things:

 

  1. Demand for crafted items. Crafting can't be just an alternate way to get gear. It has to be THE way. Item decay is also necessary to ensure that there will always be a demand for new items. The reason most MMOs don't do these things is because those games are primarily PvE focused and built around a gear treadmill.
  2. Quality must matter. If a player can go to an auction house and pull up a dozen iron swords that are all exactly the same, which one is that player going to buy? Right, the most inexpensive one. In most MMOs, price is the only thing that matters, and the only way for crafters to compete is by undercutting the competition. I think many MMOs prefer this as a means to control mudflation. In SWG, quality mattered. The quality of the final product depended on the quality of the ingredients. The crafters who went the extra mile to get the better resources could produce higher quality products. The choice of which to buy was no longer based solely on price.
  3. Name recognition. It is absolutely necessary to be able to identify the crafter by looking at the item. This enables crafters to develop a reputation, to separate themselves from their peers (positively or negatively).

I've read Raph Koster's blog post about why #2 caused problems in SWG, but I think quality can still be a factor if the number of combinations are controlled.

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The biggest problem in SWG, as far as quality goes is that the resources were spawned dynamically in a range based on resource type. So, when you found a high quality node, you'd mine it out and it may never exist again. This caused inequality in the market. Also, since different quality levels were considered different items, the size of the item database grew out of control. I believe that's part of the reason they aren't including quality levels on each ore type (at least not in a 1-1000 range) and probably why they aren't including experimentation.

 

I'm okay with Crowfall not being a simulator but, the day I run out of new experiences will be the day I quit playing. Hopefully they make it robust and introduce changes over time.

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Arkade hit the nail on the head. There must be demand. The best items must come from elite crafters. There must be a way for these elite crafters to differentiate themselves through custom naming of items and quality. I also think there should be some element of luck involved. Crafters shouldn't be able to just crank out "legendary" crafts

 

IMO crafting requires 3 things:

 

  1. Demand for crafted items. Crafting can't be just an alternate way to get gear. It has to be THE way. Item decay is also necessary to ensure that there will always be a demand for new items. The reason most MMOs don't do these things is because those games are primarily PvE focused and built around a gear treadmill.
  2. Quality must matter. If a player can go to an auction house and pull up a dozen iron swords that are all exactly the same, which one is that player going to buy? Right, the most inexpensive one. In most MMOs, price is the only thing that matters, and the only way for crafters to compete is by undercutting the competition. I think many MMOs prefer this as a means to control mudflation. In SWG, quality mattered. The quality of the final product depended on the quality of the ingredients. The crafters who went the extra mile to get the better resources could produce higher quality products. The choice of which to buy was no longer based solely on price.
  3. Name recognition. It is absolutely necessary to be able to identify the crafter by looking at the item. This enables crafters to develop a reputation, to separate themselves from their peers (positively or negatively).

I've read Raph Koster's blog post about why #2 caused problems in SWG, but I think quality can still be a factor if the number of combinations are controlled.

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Quality should be a product of three things; the material you use, the skill of the craftsman, and the tools you use to make the item. 

 

Time and not quantity of raw materials should be the determining factor of production rate.  Time it takes to make an item directly translates to the value of the item.  Without a time multiplier a product is only as valuable as the price of its raw materials.  It should take hours to craft a single item of top quality if not days.  That isn't to say that you should have to babysit a forge for that long but your ability to craft additional items should be tied up until the competition of the original item. 

 

I like this idea for several reasons.  First, it opens up crafting to a broader audience by allowing someone to be an effective crafter without dedicating ungodly hours to resource gathering and crafting.  Second, it gets rid of the idea of having a single armorer for the entire guild.  A guild will need to multiple crafters in each area to succeed. 

 

 

 

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Quality should be a product of three things; the material you use, the skill of the craftsman, and the tools you use to make the item. 

 

Time and not quantity of raw materials should be the determining factor of production rate.  Time it takes to make an item directly translates to the value of the item.  Without a time multiplier a product is only as valuable as the price of its raw materials.  It should take hours to craft a single item of top quality if not days.  That isn't to say that you should have to babysit a forge for that long but your ability to craft additional items should be tied up until the competition of the original item. 

 

I like this idea for several reasons.  First, it opens up crafting to a broader audience by allowing someone to be an effective crafter without dedicating ungodly hours to resource gathering and crafting.  Second, it gets rid of the idea of having a single armorer for the entire guild.  A guild will need to multiple crafters in each area to succeed. 

An additional reason this system would be very successful in Crowfall. It would be very fun to incorporate the idea of logistical warfare in the form of supply, which this system would almost surly form on servers with high equipment (arms and armor) destruction... The whole thing could be a sort of sub-battle. If you're enemy is pushing into your inner keep but keeps taking heavy losses (much heavier than you), it would be both interesting and balanced I feel to confer the logistical advantage onto the side which is able to keeps its people alive AND armed. It's also a VERY good anti-zerg mechanism. Essentially you force people to prepare for large campaigns but you leave the convenience of a small raid where some folks can just carry the extra supplies.

 

A system where it takes time as a primary resource allows for these sort of meta-game experiences.

 

Guildmate: "Do we want to occupy the strong hold of X guild for a few hours?"

Officer: no we only have enough equipment for 2 deaths each after out last fight an hour ago.

Guildleader: I need Y people to start crafting gear.

...Fast forward Z amount of time...

Officer to Guildleader: "we have the equipment ready we can attack now"

Guildleader: "ATTTACCCCKKKKK"

 

Sounds good to me :)

 

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I'm a fan of monster hunter's crafting system. Go kill bad ass monster, get materials from carcass, arrange into bad ass monster armor that has that monster's flare. Go from easier monster to harder monster crafting all the while to eventually progress into fighting massive monsters with team members.

 

The point of the game is to hunt monsters, you craft by killing monsters and compiling their bits, you progress by fighting progressively tougher monsters and making the gear from them to go to the next tier of hunting.

 

Crafting in that game was core to how you experienced the game, and it was the reward mechanism for kicking monster ass.

 

(this is from experience with an older monster hunter game dunno what the current affair is up to.)

Edited by Zomnivore

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I'm a fan of monster hunter's crafting system. Go kill bad ass monster, get materials from carcass, arrange into bad ass monster armor that has that monster's flare. Go from easier monster to harder monster crafting all the while to eventually progress into fighting massive monsters with team members.

 

The point of the game is to hunt monsters, you craft by killing monsters and compiling their bits, you progress by fighting progressively tougher monsters and making the gear from them to go to the next tier of hunting.

 

Crafting in that game was core to how you experienced the game, and it was the reward mechanism for kicking monster ass.

 

(this is from experience with an older monster hunter game dunno what the current affair is up to.)

 

I don't want to completely agree with you because you said "bad ass" monster which to me could mean a "raid" type monster which I'm not sure is right for this game. 

 

I would like to add that I hate the idea of bashing on a rock to gather stone, chopping on a log to gather wood, etc etc.  I get that its the most "realistic" approach to gathering but man I cant even imagine how much time I have spent over the years doing that style of gathering.  While I'm not against allowing this style of gathering for those that enjoy it, I would like to see a group being able to gather resources in different, more effective methods. 

 

One of which would be to have camps of lumber mills with NPC lumberjacks harvesting the local area.  Player groups could roam around the map and hit these NPC camps, taking any wood they have already gathered with a bit of a fight.  Why I like this idea is because it gets players out roaming and fighting which has the side effect of increasing the possibility of open field PVP. 

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One of which would be to have camps of lumber mills with NPC lumberjacks harvesting the local area.  Player groups could roam around the map and hit these NPC camps, taking any wood they have already gathered with a bit of a fight.  Why I like this idea is because it gets players out roaming and fighting which has the side effect of increasing the possibility of open field PVP. 

 

that's roughly how the "mines" will work ;)

 

the PoI produces materials, you have to haul it off and defend it from everybody else until you're home

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that's roughly how the "mines" will work ;)

 

the PoI produces materials, you have to haul it off and defend it from everybody else until you're home

 

Sounds a lot like mining in Eve. Going to need a lot of support, especially to get the highest tiered resources.  

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