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Dondagora

Pazaak: How I want crafting to work [AKA Skill-based crafting system]

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Discussion has gone for many a day on these forums regarding crafting, and how many of us would prefer crafting to require some semblance of skillfulness which mimics the way which combatants can prove skillfulness over each other. And by skill, I do not mean the statistical points in the skill-tree, but the player-based intuition and real-world judgements to gain an edge in the game.

 

So, to the point, what should Crafting be? It should not be, I feel, a heavily mechanical challenge. A mechanical challenge will end up being more boring than combat, no matter what, else it will be no different than combat. It should be different, yet just as enjoyable to some degree. And yet, I feel crafting should gain its own degree of customizability, and uniqueness in build per character.

 

Thus, I present one of the best mini-games I could find and feel to be workable in this game, which is thus: Pazaak.

 

Pazaak is a mini-game in KOTOR which plays similarly to Black Jack, in that it is a card game with the goal of getting as close to 21 as you can, with the idea that you are "hit" every turn and you have a limited hand of cards to optionally put into play for the sake of the numbers [with a best of 3 rounds]. Now, here's where it gets interesting: You can collect and alter the types of cards you can use, AKA your "deck". For instance, you can get "Negative Cards" which can subtract from the total, or "+/- Cards" which could be negative or positive cards, or "Flip Cards" which swaps the values of certain cards [such as changing all 3's to 6's and vice versa], and so forth.

 

My Suggestion is to create a Pazaak-like game for Crafting. The better you do in the game, the better you do in the crafting. The difficulty of the game depends upon the grade of the resources used and/or the recipe. Skills gives you more card options, such as the Negative, +/-, and Flip Cards. This means, essentially, that crafters are using their intellectual skill to compete against the crafting resources to turn them into an item.

 

Bonus points if this game can be played between players so crafters can enjoy some gambling.

 

Thoughts?

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On 4/7/2017 at 8:14 PM, Vonpenguin said:

Pazaak is at it's heart a game of risk management. This is something that already exists through experimentation. It would add a needless level of complexity to introduce a skill that already exists.

How exactly does one manage risk when running a combine? Not the experiment phase, but the combine phase.  There is no way to mitigate risk down at that point, other than passive trained skills, and maybe gear, but those are permanent changes, and always applicable one gained. 

So there is no management of any kind at that point in crafting, just bet or don't bet.

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On 4/7/2017 at 10:14 PM, Vonpenguin said:

Pazaak is at it's heart a game of risk management. This is something that already exists through experimentation. It would add a needless level of complexity to introduce a skill that already exists.

Pazaak and Experimentation are both risk management, this is a fact. But, to that degree, any fighting game and rock-paper-scizzors are both competitive platforms between player, what makes them different?

 

The answer, as that was not rhetorical, is depth. Pazaak is a game of risk management with depth such that a skillful participant could do well even against the odds [unfavorable cards], while experimentations leave no control to the player. In a parallel comparison, a skilled combatant might be able to come out victorious from an encounter against the odds [outnumbered, outgeared].

 

So, while your statement is not incorrect, it is extremely lacking in that it oversimplifies the issue.

 

My suggestion, to reiterate, is to make crafting a game of intellect-centric skillfulness rather than a mechanic of pure stats. This is not a needless level of complexity, but rather an addition of depth to a currently shallow system.

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22 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

How exactly does one manage risk when running a combine? Not the experiment phase, but the combine phase.  There is no way to mitigate risk down at that point, other than passive trained skills, and maybe gear, but those are permanent changes, and always applicable one gained. 

So there is no management of any kind at that point in crafting, just bet or don't bet.

 

Why do we need another step of risk management? Combining is pass fail... which makes sense.

 

5 minutes ago, Dondagora said:

Pazaak and Experimentation are both risk management, this is a fact. But, to that degree, any fighting game and rock-paper-scizzors are both competitive platforms between player, what makes them different?

 

The answer, as that was not rhetorical, is depth. Pazaak is a game of risk management with depth such that a skillful participant could do well even against the odds [unfavorable cards], while experimentations leave no control to the player. In a parallel comparison, a skilled combatant might be able to come out victorious from an encounter against the odds [outnumbered, outgeared].

 

So, while your statement is not incorrect, it is extremely lacking in that it oversimplifies the issue.

 

My suggestion, to reiterate, is to make crafting a game of intellect-centric skillfulness rather than a mechanic of pure stats. This is not a needless level of complexity, but rather an addition of depth to a currently shallow system.

I'm not oversimplifying. And you've clearly never played the minigame in question if you consider it to be intellectual-centric. It's mostly luck with a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of card counting.

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Just now, Vonpenguin said:

 

Why do we need another step of risk management? Combining is pass fail... which makes sense.

 

I'm not oversimplifying. And you've clearly never played the minigame in question if you consider it to be intellectual-centric. It's mostly luck with a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of card counting.

I've played it, it is basically a more complex Black Jack. And while I am not advocating just ripping it off and pasting it into Crowfall, I believe we require a level of depth in crafting for two reasons:

  1. Are we expecting full-time crafters to exist when crafting itself is a boring process where none of their personal abilities play any part in the result?
  2. Do we want the only difference between a good crafter and a bad crafter to be the age of their account?

These are more questions, really, about how we want crafting to play a role in the game. 

And, to your point about risk management, I'm wondering what you mean by that. The current iteration has as much risk management as a game of roulette: None at all. You know your chances of success, and you decide whether you want to risk it or not. What my suggestion is advocating is a mini game which hands some control to the player over the success/fail rate. A combatant, as my analogy runs, is not bound only by his stats against his opponent's stats, but also by his ability to play the game. A crafter, currently, is bound only by his stats against the stats of the resource, with no way to play the game to overcome the numbers. This has been the bane of crafting for many games, deterring full-time crafters from existing. Crowfall has boasted numerous times that full-time crafters are intended to be in the game, so the logical next step is to add depth and entertainment to crafting.

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45 minutes ago, Vonpenguin said:

 

Why do we need another step of risk management? Combining is pass fail... which makes sense.

 

I'm not oversimplifying. And you've clearly never played the minigame in question if you consider it to be intellectual-centric. It's mostly luck with a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of card counting.

It does not make sense.

First and foremost for a game, there is zero fun in pass/fail as it is done in the game currently, only anxiety, stress,  and pain if you fail. If you don't fail, no real pleasure, no excitement, no enjoyment, just relief that you didn't lose. A sort of digital Russian roulette.

The mechanism is defined as psychological punishment as it relates to operant conditioning, a well understood and scientifically studied principle. 

Quote

Punishment (weakens behavior)

Punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it. It is an aversive event that decreases the behavior that it follows

Like reinforcement, punishment can work either by directly applying an unpleasant stimulus like a shock after a response or by removing a potentially rewarding stimulus, for instance, deducting someone’s pocket money to punish undesirable behavior.

Note: It is not always easy to distinguish between punishment and negative reinforcement.

There are many problems with using punishment, such as:

  • Punished behavior is not forgotten, it's suppressed - behavior returns when punishment is no longer present.

  • Causes increased aggression - shows that aggression is a way to cope with problems.

  • Creates fear that can generalize to undesirable behaviors, e.g., fear of school.

  • Does not necessarily guide toward desired behavior - reinforcement tells you what to do, punishment only tells you what not to do.

Why do you think it "makes sense" to weaken crafting behavior, punish players and give them a subconscious level fear and aversion to crafting? That is exactly what punishment without choice does.

I'm lucky, I understand the scientific why behind disliking the mechanic, so the few times I do craft I can consciously correct the fear and negative effects. 

Frankly, I was looking forward to crafting in this game at one point, but because of this mechanic there is no way I am damaging my psyche and doing it to any large degree. 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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20 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

It does not make sense.

First and foremost for a game, there is zero fun in pass/fail as it is done in the game currently, only anxiety, stress,  and pain if you fail. If you don't fail, no real pleasure, no excitement, no enjoyment, just relief that you didn't lose. A sort of digital Russian roulette.

The mechanism is defined as psychological punishment as it relates to operant conditioning, a well understood and scientifically studied principle. 

Why do you think it "makes sense" to weaken crafting behavior, punish players and give them a subconscious level fear and aversion to crafting? That is exactly what punishment without choice does.

I'm lucky, I understand the scientific why behind disliking the mechanic, so the few times I do craft I can consciously correct the fear and negative effects. 

Frankly, I was looking forward to crafting in this game at one point, but because of this mechanic there is no way I am damaging my psyche and doing it to any large degree. 

There's no anxiety or stress. Only relief when you succeed.

Anyone that feels punished and gets an aversion to crafting is taking this way too seriously. It's like watching a horror movie and weeping and turning it off because the establishing victim dies.

Punishment is meant to stop behaviors. Failing isn't punishment. if failing actually discouraged crafting maybe, but it doesn't.

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Alright since people don't seem to grasp this concept or they want to overlook it in place of making crafting easier for themselves I'll spell it out. The random roll crafting failure and experimentation system is meant to serve as a resource sink, thus keeping high end resources valuable and ensuring they remain a point worth contesting, and a way to keep certain effects/stats rare. This isn't about skill but keeping the economy in-check. Risk mitigation in this system is to mine more. Now stop making these stupid threads about how it feels bad to lose your pixels.

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35 minutes ago, Colest said:

Alright since people don't seem to grasp this concept or they want to overlook it in place of making crafting easier for themselves I'll spell it out. The random roll crafting failure and experimentation system is meant to serve as a resource sink, thus keeping high end resources valuable and ensuring they remain a point worth contesting, and a way to keep certain effects/stats rare. This isn't about skill but keeping the economy in-check. Risk mitigation in this system is to mine more. Now stop making these stupid threads about how it feels bad to lose your pixels.

And there are plenty of other available resource sinks that don't have the same problems.

  • Lower durability of finished items.
  • Reduced numbers of finished goods out of BP's.
  • Lower resource drop rates from node. (If that was even a problem, right now I think drop rates are pretty anemic if one harvester is supposed to supply a dozen or more non-harvesters).
  • Tax rates.
  • Thrall production costs.
  • Base material costs per item.
  • Higher failure in the experimentation phase.
  • etc, etc, etc.

Ace has dozens of resource sink outlets available, they don't need one that is this punishing in order to manage resources.  

It's not fun, and it adds literally nothing to the game that is positive.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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On 4/6/2017 at 1:11 PM, Dondagora said:

Discussion has gone for many a day on these forums regarding crafting, and how many of us would prefer crafting to require some semblance of skillfulness which mimics the way which combatants can prove skillfulness over each other. And by skill, I do not mean the statistical points in the skill-tree, but the player-based intuition and real-world judgements to gain an edge in the game.

 

So, to the point, what should Crafting be? It should not be, I feel, a heavily mechanical challenge. A mechanical challenge will end up being more boring than combat, no matter what, else it will be no different than combat. It should be different, yet just as enjoyable to some degree. And yet, I feel crafting should gain its own degree of customizability, and uniqueness in build per character.

 

Thus, I present one of the best mini-games I could find and feel to be workable in this game, which is thus: Pazaak.

 

Pazaak is a mini-game in KOTOR which plays similarly to Black Jack, in that it is a card game with the goal of getting as close to 21 as you can, with the idea that you are "hit" every turn and you have a limited hand of cards to optionally put into play for the sake of the numbers [with a best of 3 rounds]. Now, here's where it gets interesting: You can collect and alter the types of cards you can use, AKA your "deck". For instance, you can get "Negative Cards" which can subtract from the total, or "+/- Cards" which could be negative or positive cards, or "Flip Cards" which swaps the values of certain cards [such as changing all 3's to 6's and vice versa], and so forth.

 

My Suggestion is to create a Pazaak-like game for Crafting. The better you do in the game, the better you do in the crafting. The difficulty of the game depends upon the grade of the resources used and/or the recipe. Skills gives you more card options, such as the Negative, +/-, and Flip Cards. This means, essentially, that crafters are using their intellectual skill to compete against the crafting resources to turn them into an item.

 

Bonus points if this game can be played between players so crafters can enjoy some gambling.

 

Thoughts?

I do like the suggestion of adding some more control of random elements to crafting, I do not like using a card game to do it.  The game, whatever it is, should match the task.

Cards for crafting is just a round peg trying to fit in a square hole.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Vonpenguin said:

Punishment is meant to stop behaviors. Failing isn't punishment. if failing actually discouraged crafting maybe, but it doesn't.

It stopped me from wanting to do it, and I know I have seen more than a few other posters on the site that share that opinion.  This is coming from a guy who spent 6 hours a day for a month grinding crafting shards in DDO to get his crafting skills up, in system that was in every way besides this one, terrible, mechanic as inferior to the CF system, as a kindergarten doodle is to the Mona Lisa.

It is functionally no different than the take bug was, and if you go back and look at the posts of rage while that was going on, you may change your perspective.

So yes it has actually discouraged crafting.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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2 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I do like the suggestion of adding some more control of random elements to crafting, I do not like using a card game to do it.  The game, whatever it is, should match the task.

Cards for crafting is just a round peg trying to fit in a square hole.

 

 

Understandable. I simply used Pazaak as an example as it gives A) an intellect-based minigame, rather than a mechanical-based one, and B ) multiple ways one might approach the game through different card types, which I feel might individualize crafters a bit more. I'm not asking, as I'm sure you've guessed, for them to just copy-paste Pazaak into the game, but rather to just take up some inspiration from it.

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1 hour ago, Antellect said:

Playing any sort of mini game will become very repetitive and boring after a while. A crafter's skillfulness will be in the social aspect of the game.

Your not wrong about repetitive and boring,  but unfortunately they are building unnecessary delays into the interface itself, as part of the plan. They are purposefully dragging out the combine results, because they think it's a positive experience.

"...so we want to build anticipation for those moments...".

The absolute crushing irony here, is that because of failure to combine mechanic, the anticipation is more fear and anxiety, not excitement and anticipation. I know, I ground out enough gear in testing, and felt the weight of losing hours of harvesting work in a single failure, to know and understand just how damaging of an experience it is. 

 

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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So if the mini game was played with a hammer cursor on a sword or armor for blacksmiths and the sword or armor had certain spots that would heat up and glow and the faster you hit the glowing spot the better the result (essentially the success of a pip).   Now the glowing spots move around faster and you gotta hit em, and just as your pips work you spin up increases in stats and you could hit one so late that it fails or critical fails because, guess what, you're lame at point and click wack-a-mo...   you can choose to stop wacking and it stays at that experimental quality.   For woodworking the cursor is a plainer on the bow or staff...   for alchemy its little vials of various colored liquids that tip and pour, for leatherworking its a punch and thread tool.. for jewelcraft its a glowing gem and setting...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Kidding...    this would be lame and stupid...   just let me experiment without this idiocy.


6FUI4Mk.jpg

                                                        Sugoi - Senpai

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6 hours ago, Frykka said:

So if the mini game was played with a hammer cursor on a sword or armor for blacksmiths and the sword or armor had certain spots that would heat up and glow and the faster you hit the glowing spot the better the result (essentially the success of a pip).   Now the glowing spots move around faster and you gotta hit em, and just as your pips work you spin up increases in stats and you could hit one so late that it fails or critical fails because, guess what, you're lame at point and click wack-a-mo...   you can choose to stop wacking and it stays at that experimental quality.   For woodworking the cursor is a plainer on the bow or staff...   for alchemy its little vials of various colored liquids that tip and pour, for leatherworking its a punch and thread tool.. for jewelcraft its a glowing gem and setting...

Just Kidding...    this would be lame and stupid...   just let me experiment without this idiocy.

It could be a RNG casino like game, just one that is not thematically about cards.  There are many ways to guess the outcome of a RNG event, and many ways to build such a game that lets people feel like they had some influence over the outcome. The game and making any choice should be optional, so if you make no choice the game plays itself, much as it does now. But adding an optional sense of agency to crafting can't hurt.

For example, on the combine phase you pick one of the components to be the "base" or "primary". 

Guess the one the RNG picks correctly, the item boots straps (if possible), and on the next experiment phase you get an extra pip. Guess wrong, and the item does not boot strap and you don't get that bonus pip. You can even keep total item failure and destruction in a game like that, because only one out of 50 base components (50 could be a range of numbers based on skill) contain an "impure agent", and if the RNG picked that one, and you did not (picking it means your character was "aware" of the problem and worked around it), then the item gets destroyed. You could add in a hint that there was an "impure agent" on the table, and a separate skill that lets you have a chance to detect which one it is. (finally, a good reason for Abort).

The most important part of a game like that, would be showing what base item was actually selected, and that had the player made a different choice, the outcome would have changed.

On the experiment phase, you could add a game a bit like deal no deal.  You pick the component (case) you want as the base for phase. Then every second another of the other results possible (components) is removed, and a new guaranteed calculated result appears as the average of those left. You select when you want to commit to the component you selected, or take the average.

Both of those mini games you can ignore, without changing the mechanics or odds.  A checkbox that lets you skip them, would automatically pick the base, and the component (case) for you and behave exactly as it does now.

It doesn't need to add much, just a bit of sense of agency in guessing how the RNG is going to behave.

Certainly not a reflex game like whack a mole on a crafting experiment table.  That's just silly.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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42 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

It could be a RNG casino like game, just one that is not thematically about cards.  There are many ways to guess the outcome of a RNG event, and many ways to build such a game that lets people feel like they had some influence over the outcome. The game and making any choice should be optional, so if you make no choice the game plays itself, much as it does now. But adding an optional sense of agency to crafting can't hurt.

For example, on the combine phase you pick one of the components to be the "base" or "primary". 

Guess the one the RNG picks correctly, the item boots straps (if possible), and on the next experiment phase you get an extra pip. Guess wrong, and the item does not boot strap and you don't get that bonus pip. You can even keep total item failure and destruction in a game like that, because only one out of say 50 base components contains an "impure agent", and if the RNG picked that one, and you did not, then the item gets destroyed. 

The most important part of a game like that, would be showing what base item was actually selected, and that had the player made a different choice, the outcome would have changed.

On the experiment phase, you could add a game a bit like deal no deal.  You pick the component (case) you want. Then and every second another of the other results possible is removed, and a new guaranteed calculated result appears as the average of those left. You select when you want to commit to the component you selected.

Both of those mini games you can ignore, without changing the mechanics or odds.  A simple checkbox that lets you skip them, would simply automatically pick the base, and the component (case) for you and behave exactly as it does now.

It doesn't need to add much, just a bit of sense of agency in guessing how the RNG is going to behave.

Certainly not a reflex game like whack a mole on a crafting experiment table.  That's just silly.

Agreed, the whack-a-mole idea is silly.

 

However, I have issue with the examples you used. Namely, that they offer no "real" control to the player in that it is all, in the end, RNG. To give example, the deal-no-deal game is a game of a player making decisions with little to no information. It does not involve much skill [intellectual, not mechanical] as it merely becomes a matter of raw statistics [10-10% becomes 10-20% becomes 10-30%, and so forth]. In the end, even a bot can be a better Crafter than a full-time Crafter. The reason I used Pazaak specifically as an example is because a game of numbers interracting with one another, with some level of known RNG, gives the player more control approaching the game.

Essentially, my point is that your examples do not require any real "skill" from the crafter's part and will end up having a very simple chart to determine what to do at any point. It is, in the end, raw RNG with barely any control to the player and more of what I'd like to avoid with this suggestion.

 

Of course, Pazaak is no perfect solution, but I use it because I'd prefer the minigame require intellectual skill of some degree. Pazaak, as one person pointed out, is RNG and minor card-counting skill. This, I feel, is alright, because it means that the player has influence over what would otherwise be an RNG guaranteed result, now making the abilities of the crafter to reduce RNG with their intellectual skillfulness valuable.

Thus, the minigame should be partly RNG, as is its nature such that it does not become so predictable that bots might easily pilot it, but give the player a semblance of control over the result such that "luck" will not be the only factor to play in the process ["Oh, I happened to pick the right option." "Oh, I happened to switch to the right option."]. 

 

To the point, the game mustn't be thematically using cards, but the player should A) not have to rely on their mechanical skills, AKA no whack-a-mole, and B ) require more than 2 neurons activating to do, AKA not a game of overly predictable stats.

Edited by Dondagora

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