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Dondagora

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

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 0:24 AM, KrakkenSmacken said:

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

This is true in my opinion and I hope @jtoddcoleman or @thomasblair at least give it a read and think.

The anticipation is only about whether you escape the arbitrary catastrophic result or whether you don't, unfortunately. I'd prefer to get my spankin' over rapidly as failures appear to be here to stay.

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On 4/9/2017 at 9:10 PM, KrakkenSmacken said:

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

So all those other suggestions you made add fun to the game?

This may be a difficult concept to grasp but sometimes things that are not fun are necessary for balance purposes. Shifting the resource burden onto other player archetypes or rearranging where in the pipeline resources exit the economy is not the answer. The former leads to certain player archetypes getting "taxed" more than others and the latter leads to an unstable economy or glut of specific items.

No one wants to pay into the sinks but they're necessary. I am glad Ace is not deferring to you for advice on their in-game economic model.

Edited by Colest

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On 4/10/2017 at 5:08 PM, KrakkenSmacken said:

I don't disagree with anything you said here, I just don't see how the total loss on crafting failures adds anything meaningful to the equation that can't, and isn't already, being gated in other ways.

Total loss on failure doesn't add anything other than head aches. While I personally like mini-games for crafting, they do tend to get tedious and botted after a while. FF14 had a mini-game for both crafting and harvesting. After 2 weeks of doing these tasks people started running pixel detector bots to mass produce items. It wasn't fun after the 30th time doing it manually, it was just grindy. I think, as others have mentioned, that there shouldn't be any sink failures in the combining phase. Instead, there should be a modifier added to items that were critical failure where the item breaks quickly compared to a critical success, especially in PvP. This modifier would make the crafts themselves useless to the vast majority of people while making them useful to more casual players. 

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7 hours ago, Colest said:

So all those other suggestions you made add fun to the game?

This may be a difficult concept to grasp but sometimes things that are not fun are necessary for balance purposes. Shifting the resource burden onto other player archetypes or rearranging where in the pipeline resources exit the economy is not the answer. The former leads to certain player archetypes getting "taxed" more than others and the latter leads to an unstable economy or glut of specific items.

No one wants to pay into the sinks but they're necessary. I am glad Ace is not deferring to you for advice on their in-economic model.

Not for everyone, not everything appeals to everyone, and certainly many people have a natural (and healthy) aversion to gambling in general, but more "fun" than the current game is definitely possible, if you build it to appeal to the kinds of people that like that sort of thing.

 Gambling games pitting you against the house are very hard to make fun. I've never seen anyone play a slot for any length of time when nothing was at stake. I have seen them plunk down thousands, and play for hours on end, when something was at stake.  "Slot like" is how they describe the game, but from a "real" slot game design perspective, it is very primitive.

There are three very important principles they are missing or not doing well that can make gambling games fun.

  1. Manage the loss experience so it has the minimum mental impact.
  2. Show players how they could have won if things went a bit differently,
  3. Let players choose the risk they take.  

Combine has the reverse of 1, it's a slow event, and encourages you to dwell on a outcome. It has zero of number two. You have no clue how close to getting the result you wanted you were, only pass/fail. With bootstrapping, it has some of 3.  You can risk lesser materials to get a good outcome, but players are restricted past the initial items, in that once they make a metal bar for example, it is useless unless they take it through a second risk, so they are basically forced to "leave their chips on the table".

I and other very successful professional game designers disagree with you that things that are by design not fun are necessary. There are events that are not fun that are necessary, like for every winner there needs to be a loser, but you should be designing the game so that when a person loses, they could have had fun on the way.

Personally, I think as it relates to crafting, these principles are being overlooked.

  • Lesson #5: Don't confuse "interesting" with "fun". (The crafting experience is very interesting, but once you've done it a couple of times, it certainly isn't "fun")
  • Lesson #6: Understand what emotion your game is trying to evoke. (What emotion is crafting trying to invoke, and does it do that job or just make you numb?)
  • Lesson #11: If everyone likes your game but no one loves it, it will fail (People seem to like the crafting, because of what it will get you, but not for itself.) 
  • Lesson #12: Don't design to prove you can do something (I suspect there is a bit of "I can re-make the SWG crafting" in the design)
  • Lesson #13: Make the fun part also the correct strategy to win (Again, there is not much real fun in the game as it is now, only effort and a sense of risk or eventuality)
  • Lesson #16: Be more afraid of boring your players than challenging them. (Once you know the combinations and what you want, is there any challenge to crafting?) 

There are plenty of methods for removing resources from a game that are fun, that don't require "un-fun" things. Simply tweaking durability and durability damage rates would have a much greater impact on resource sinks than 1.5% of material loss to combine failures.

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Have to agree, if something isn't fun, it should be stripped out a game. Do not put in necessary chores into a game just because you feel it's necessary for balance. You can find other ways to balance it without worrying about that.


That said, I also agree that favoring one archetype over another is a bad idea, but more resource sinks is rarely a bad decision provided they're backed up with better rewards for the higher risk from sunk cost problems.

Now, a big issue is that crafting minigames either have to be robust enough to -remain- interesting (Puzzle Pirates did this), or they have to be dead simple and not tedious at all, there's not really a middle ground.

And making crafting minigames of any sort robust enough to not lead to boredom is one of the hardest things to achieve, there's a reason minigames usually suck in most games, there's a reason they got replaced with quicktime events in a lot of cases (even if quicktime events suck, they suck less than most tedious minigames in otherwise fine games). To make them good, you have to dedicate significant effort to MAKING them good. Puzzle Pirates was literally nothing -except- puzzle games, so it was very easy for them to make crafting into puzzles where the number of points you scored determined how much progress you made in the crafting of an item.

That might not be possible for Crowfall, just because of the resources they would need to pour into the minigames to make them robust enough to be interesting.

In which case, it's better to make them boring, rather than make them tedious, which is the only thing worse than being boring. At least boring things tend to be over quickly and don't require you to struggle with them overly much, tedious things are both boring -and- difficult/timeconsuming. Given the resources that Ace can throw at stuff, I think it's wise the side their erring on.

That said, they could always just jack the crafting system from minecraft/the secret world, which is based around placing stuff in patterns as well as having the right resources, and then just remove the entire system of even putting stuff into slots and hitting a button.

Want to assemble a new vessel? Get your refined parts all into their right positions in the grid then hit the craft button! Change their positions to get different results! (necromancy is a bad example of this, but it makes more sense with say, blacksmithing, it'd be especially cool with rune crafting, getting the right materials, into the right spots, in the right pattern)

Edited by shadowclasper

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2 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

There are three very important principles they are missing or not doing well that can make gambling games fun.

  1. Manage the loss experience so it has the minimum mental impact.
  2. Show players how they could have won if things went a bit differently,
  3. Let players choose the risk they take.

I feel that, while we agree on various other details of how crafting should work, we disagree on a few key issues. I feel it necessary to highlight these contrasts so that we may all constructively discuss them. First, I wish to address this bit.

  1. Your focus is on minimalizing mental impact, in that frustrating is not the only and overarching emotion in crafting. This, I agree with. The experience should moderate how you feel about losses [negative, but not discouraging] in that one does not feel helpless. However, your thoughts on this [from what I've seen] is more about an illusion of choice whereas I believe real choice would work better.
  2. This ties into the previous point. In a deal-or-no-deal package, the choice is there, but it is merely an illusion. With no information other than a risk factor, the player is still helpless within a system they have little control over, yet it merely "feels" that they could have done better. However, with no real information given to them, they have no way to improve themselves and do better next time except to either be discouraged from taking risks or to take more risks, where the result is statistically the same.
  3. Players can choose the risk, but the risk is always the same. You can choose a blue door or a red door, but the chances are still 50:50 that there's a car behind the one you choose. A mere illusion of choice where you, with no given information, are equally or less qualified to make a judgement of which you should choose as an RNG machine.

Next is the economic balance point of view you have stated numerous times. There are other ways to create a sink, as we all know, however the crafting failure is a primary one. To this, I do not intend for the crafting minigame to make it for skilled crafters to always get successes, but merely able to minimize failure. If one starts with a 50:50 chance to succeed/fail a craft, perhaps the crafter can then play the minigame to increase that chance to 55/45, up to a certain "maximum", such as 75:25. In this way, even the best of crafters will fail 25% of the time, but can definitely influence the RNG. And, in the same degree, we can make it so that crafters can "salvage" parts of their materials by the degree they fail by [getting a 5% difference from failing allows more salvage than a 10% difference of failing], thus even failing can provide relief rather than upright frustration when the degree is less than the worst, so skillful crafting is still rewarded despite the RNG being against them 1/4 of the time. Thus, a controlled sink with more power to the player. If wanted, it could even give the player a choice to increase success chance, or "critical success" chance which does not increase the chance of success, but provides a chance for better results upon success, thus further increasing the sink for those who aim for higher gear.

This can work with the context of recipes. If, for instance, a crafter creates a weapon which has a 60% chance of success [per points] and 5 points in various stats, then the Recipe simply repeats the chance of success every time for each of the stat points [5 RNG mechanisms with a 60% chance each of success]. In this, the power of mass produced weapons might average out, as well as provide chance of utter failures within mass-produced weaponry. Thusly, a sink is born of Recipes instead of a reliable way to reproduce results perfectly.

In this way, the mini game should be founded in an RNG principle, but the result heavily in control of the player, which is why I prefer a game like Blackjack rather than Roulette or Deal/No-Deal. 

To reiterate:

  1. Minigame should be RNG as a base
  2. Results should be changed by an informed player based on their intellectual choices, not an illusion of choice grounded in raw % chance.
  3. Results of minigame should influence the end RNG, not remove chance of failure entirely.
  4. Recipes should reproduce the RNG chance of success/failure, not the results of a single time.

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7 minutes ago, Dondagora said:

I feel that, while we agree on various other details of how crafting should work, we disagree on a few key issues. I feel it necessary to highlight these contrasts so that we may all constructively discuss them. First, I wish to address this bit.

  1. Your focus is on minimalizing mental impact, in that frustrating is not the only and overarching emotion in crafting. This, I agree with. The experience should moderate how you feel about losses [negative, but not discouraging] in that one does not feel helpless. However, your thoughts on this [from what I've seen] is more about an illusion of choice whereas I believe real choice would work better.
  2. This ties into the previous point. In a deal-or-no-deal package, the choice is there, but it is merely an illusion. With no information other than a risk factor, the player is still helpless within a system they have little control over, yet it merely "feels" that they could have done better. However, with no real information given to them, they have no way to improve themselves and do better next time except to either be discouraged from taking risks or to take more risks, where the result is statistically the same.
  3. Players can choose the risk, but the risk is always the same. You can choose a blue door or a red door, but the chances are still 50:50 that there's a car behind the one you choose. A mere illusion of choice where you, with no given information, are equally or less qualified to make a judgement of which you should choose as an RNG machine.

Next is the economic balance point of view you have stated numerous times. There are other ways to create a sink, as we all know, however the crafting failure is a primary one. To this, I do not intend for the crafting minigame to make it for skilled crafters to always get successes, but merely able to minimize failure. If one starts with a 50:50 chance to succeed/fail a craft, perhaps the crafter can then play the minigame to increase that chance to 55/45, up to a certain "maximum", such as 75:25. In this way, even the best of crafters will fail 25% of the time, but can definitely influence the RNG. And, in the same degree, we can make it so that crafters can "salvage" parts of their materials by the degree they fail by [getting a 5% difference from failing allows more salvage than a 10% difference of failing], thus even failing can provide relief rather than upright frustration when the degree is less than the worst, so skillful crafting is still rewarded despite the RNG being against them 1/4 of the time. Thus, a controlled sink with more power to the player. If wanted, it could even give the player a choice to increase success chance, or "critical success" chance which does not increase the chance of success, but provides a chance for better results upon success, thus further increasing the sink for those who aim for higher gear.

This can work with the context of recipes. If, for instance, a crafter creates a weapon which has a 60% chance of success [per points] and 5 points in various stats, then the Recipe simply repeats the chance of success every time for each of the stat points [5 RNG mechanisms with a 60% chance each of success]. In this, the power of mass produced weapons might average out, as well as provide chance of utter failures within mass-produced weaponry. Thusly, a sink is born of Recipes instead of a reliable way to reproduce results perfectly.

In this way, the mini game should be founded in an RNG principle, but the result heavily in control of the player, which is why I prefer a game like Blackjack rather than Roulette or Deal/No-Deal. 

To reiterate:

  1. Minigame should be RNG as a base
  2. Results should be changed by an informed player based on their intellectual choices, not an illusion of choice grounded in raw % chance.
  3. Results of minigame should influence the end RNG, not remove chance of failure entirely.
  4. Recipes should reproduce the RNG chance of success/failure, not the results of a single time.

Liking the idea of this, but what should the minigame be?

How do we make it in depth enough to keep things interesting, but not take so long that crafters aren't able to do their job without dedicating large spans of time to get a simple thing done?

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7 hours ago, shadowclasper said:

Liking the idea of this, but what should the minigame be?

How do we make it in depth enough to keep things interesting, but not take so long that crafters aren't able to do their job without dedicating large spans of time to get a simple thing done?

This is the main problem with all mini games, especially when the game is a gate that needs to be used many, many time.

The other problem, is that a game based on personal skill and not on chance provides an opportunity to become "too easy", and then the best play of the mini game is the usual outcome, making the game itself once again pointless.

I like the "idea" of a skill mini game, and admit it would be the best thing possible, but designing a good one it is probably one of the hardest things to get correct. Twitch makes no sense, like the whack a mole example earlier in the thread. Brain teasers or puzzles will gate what was a profession available to anyone currently, to a profession only smart/clever/motivated people will be good at. Given the logistical challenges that BP's and Thralls are going to add, I don't think it needs any more along those lines.

Those reasons are why I focused on a better "slot like" experience. Not because it's a better game necessarily, but because it's the kind of game crafting needs given the context.

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20 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

There are plenty of methods for removing resources from a game that are fun, that don't require "un-fun" things. Simply tweaking durability and durability damage rates would have a much greater impact on resource sinks than 1.5% of material loss to combine failures.

Glad to see you ignored both the opening question in my post and the crux of the argument against durability tweak. Having your gear breaking quicker sure sounds fun to me.

Edit: Comparing yourself to Maro and Crowfall to MTG are both a very big stretch of the imagination. Appeal from Authority arguments hold no weight here, my friend.

Edited by Colest
Couldn't help but comment on the video link

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6 hours ago, Colest said:

Glad to see you ignored both the opening question in my post and the crux of the argument against durability tweak. Having your gear breaking quicker sure sounds fun to me.

Edit: Comparing yourself to Maro and Crowfall to MTG are both a very big stretch of the imagination. Appeal from Authority arguments hold no weight here, my friend.

 

On 4/13/2017 at 0:07 PM, Colest said:

So all those other suggestions you made add fun to the game?

This may be a difficult concept to grasp but sometimes things that are not fun are necessary for balance purposes. Shifting the resource burden onto other player archetypes or rearranging where in the pipeline resources exit the economy is not the answer. The former leads to certain player archetypes getting "taxed" more than others and the latter leads to an unstable economy or glut of specific items.

No one wants to pay into the sinks but they're necessary. I am glad Ace is not deferring to you for advice on their in-game economic model.

I did not ignore you opening question, I answered it. (see below quote) 

Quote

Not for everyone, not everything appeals to everyone, and certainly many people have a natural (and healthy) aversion to gambling in general, but more "fun" than the current game is definitely possible, if you build it to appeal to the kinds of people that like that sort of thing.

As to your completely unsubstantiated claims (bold), those I did chose to ignore.

In order for my argument to be an "Appeal to Authority" fallacy, it has to meet one of two criteria.  

  • The topic is outside the authorities expertise
  • The Authority is simply wrong.
Quote

An argument from authority (Latin: argumentum ad verecundiam or argumentum ad auctoritatem), also called an appeal to authority, is a common type of argument which can be fallacious, such as when an authority is cited on a topic outside their area of expertise or when the authority cited is not a true expert. The argument can also be fallacious when the authority being appealed to is a genuine authority or expert, since authorities or experts can be wrong.

Since the authority I used is a game designer, and the game has an economy (Mana, Card Advantage, Deck construction rules, etc), you are left with having to prove that authority incorrect, or show how the given "lessons" somehow do not legitimately apply.

In short, not all appeals to authority are fallacies, but nice try to move the goalposts without actually proving any part of your claims.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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Certainly ponder material in the thread.  So long as everyone keeps it "professional", not personal. :D  I've been rolling concepts around in my head while waking up this morning (not always a good idea /scratchhead) after reading Krakkensmaken's post that talks about this kind of thing, along with responses from others overall.:

"There are three very important principles they are missing or not doing well that can make gambling games fun.

  1. Manage the loss experience so it has the minimum mental impact.
  2. Show players how they could have won if things went a bit differently,
  3. Let players choose the risk they take.  " - Krakkensmacken

If I think about those three things, then try to look at "mini-games" for gathering I've liked before, then extend that a bit, I come up with some attributes (I think) that mix/match in CUSTOM fashion for any given crafting or gathering type.  If we are going to talk about "mini games" in crafting as being "important".

  • Perhaps this can be thought of as a "matrix" into which any crafting mini-game idea could be plugged?  See the four bullets below.

It's not likely you could pick an approach and apply that globally, because the situations, necessary actions, risks/loss/potential gain, required skills and knowledge, are all different based on the paradigm in question as known by humans (blacksmithing vs cotton farming vs deer hunting vs tailoring vs refining (in general) vs construction (inclusive of, say, rifles/pistols and mechanisms, armor and joints, swords and their balance/length/shape, bridges, buildings, etc.).  

Those attributes seem to be:

  • Twitch - The rate at which you identify, choose a reaction, then execute said action based on a perceived input. e.g. action vs planning & prep.
  • RNG (pull the lever hope for the best).  Could be applied anywhere.
  • Work - Globally applies to all "grinding" / prep / menial / and component selection activities.
  • Skill - Here this is meant globally, and not restricted to the twitch domain.  From efficiency at grinding, to knowledge of materials and where they can be found, to knowing when it's more important to use HQ materials vs normal (if something like that will be in the game - it may not) to maximize a desired result, etc.

Aesthetics & Design - n/a for an MMO for the most part to-date, excepting (sometimes) the ability to apply canned skins or maybe dye.

"Fun" or "Satisfaction" is found in the combination of these four vs the Player's personal preferences.

Example - Plugging Fishing in Archeage & Vanguard into this:

Based on the four bullets above: Both Archeage and Vanguard had Fishing mini-games that were closely aligned to real fishing, and involved

  • Real-time competition between the Player and the Fish.  A direct match to how sport fishing works IRL, so it's an easy port to an MMO:

(I'm thinking of the following four bullets like a Matrix that articulates how any contemplated mini-game might "look", then summarize based on the three attributes Krakken suggested)

  • Twitch - Major.  You had to match fish movements precisely, and quickly, in a competition to eventually either Land the fish (you tired it out) or it Threw the Hook (your "HP" bar zero'd before the Fish's - or an overall timer expired and no Land of fish yet).  
  • RNG - Minor.  Chance on fish-bite based on location and type of bait and/or fished out or not if I recall correctly
  • Work - Minor to moderate.  Collecting bait and the relevant level fishing pole.  Levelling Fishing skill also.
  • Skill - Moderate.  Knowledge + Twitch Proficiency. Knowing where to find certain fish, what baits matched what fish species, and if there were special "procs" during fishing you should be aware of, understanding the twitch-thresholds based on your fishing level compared to a fish's level (higher level fish required FASTER twitch response), knowing what fish were junk vs what fish were valued in the Marketplace.

Evaluation:

1) Managing the Loss Experience for Minimal mental impact:  MINOR negative impact.  

You lose some time and bait at only one level.  It's not multiple levels of time and materials across a series of mats and components.  If you lose "OMG I've got The Big One on guys!" . . . sure, it's a bummer, but you didn't actually lose anything more material than the bait.  As with real life sport fishing you grin and throw the line again.

2) Show players how they could have won if things were different.  MAJOR.  

The twitch competition was clear.  When you missed matching a fish move either in timing or direction, you immediately see the results:  either a hit to your "fishing hp bar" or the fishes - and you know why.   When going after fish that are near your cap, or maybe beyond it, you CLEARLY have a harder time matching the near impossible timing requirement.  You KNOW how to fix that for next time (level fishing and/or your Pole).  If you aren't getting ANY bites for a fish, or the fish you want, you clearly know it's either the wrong location or the wrong bait.  At all times the mini-game provided the necessary feedback for win/loss, and why..

3) Let players choose their level of risk.  MAJOR.

The mini-games were clear, per #2 above, and, as with fishing IRL, players knew how to choose what to go after and what the necessary level of prep/risk was for each..  While you had to learn, understand baits, etc., players weren't forced into impossible to land fish scenarios.  If I wanted that Marlin . . . I had a way to know WHEN I could take a shot at it, my Risks clear:  Time and Bait.

  • At the highest fishing levels,  Bait could alter to a Major Risk:  Very expensive.

This was the End Game for that activity however.  All the rest of the entire Fishing experience prepared you for that, and thus to Manage what until then had been a Minor Risk.

Meh.  Already a TLDR.  So, I'll truncate this.  

I had intended to write up how I saw Woodworking / Woodturning using the above "matrix" or method so the difference could be seen.  How the resulting "Bartles Test Results", if you will, are quite different between Twitch, RNG, Work, and overall Skill.  Which in turn might suggest (generally) what form/shape/feel/flavor of mini-game might make sense.

  • Fishing is backed by three supporting areas, but rolls up to a Twitch based competition between Player and Mob.
  • A different craft/activity might have a different Primary - and different approach requirement.

Anyway, attempting to orchestrate, globally, "mini-games" in crafting/harvesting is likely costly and difficult.  Having to construct an entire series of conceptual paradigms that then has to be carried forward, maintained, debugged/enhanced over time.

Sure works for Fishing, might work in a couple of other select areas though.

Edited by Bramble
Misquote fix

“Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards--and living up to them--is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it." - Seth Godin

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Also had one of those morning over think moments.  Now I know this is pure RNG again, but it would cover the three bases through heavy use of 2 and 3.

Base the combine/bootstrap game on a model like X-Com's hacking game.

tQJJzYD.jpg

The rules are. 

  • Every time you add material to the crafting window, you see a display like the above dynamically change to represent your current chances and possible outcomes.
  • 100% avoidance of destruction risk is possible if you are not boot strapping. If all the materials are of the same quality, your reward is that it's 100% guaranteed success to get some results, every time.
  • In the case of 100% success, the only "failure", is a downgrade in color quality.
  • If you are at the lowest quality, no down grade is possible, but who cares at that point?
  • The available result options are based on the difference in quality of materials you are mixing.
  • The more disparate the resource qualities, the more varied the material quality, the more likely things fail or produces substandard results.
  • For every material you add, you see the change in the challenge portion, the change to your chances for each quality outcome.
  • You see the probability of all possible results.
  • Skill applies a 1.(skill) multiplier to your check (Greater than 100% is possible) (5 skill would produce a 5.25 result on a roll of 5)
  • Difficulty applies a 1.(difficulty) division penalty to the range. (Some outcomes become impossible mathematically, and lower results are the norm). (5 difficulty and zero skill would produce a 4.76 result on a roll of 5)

I know somebody at some point thought that hiding possible outcomes adds mystery.  What that is, is an exploration mechanic. Crafting however is a achiever game, not an exploration game. The exploration mechanic add very little, and takes away sooo much more, it should be scrapped for the sake of transparency.

Transparency of pay tables is a very required thing in all games of chance. Players who are gambling with something of value, NEED to know the possible outcomes before they start, so they can feel they made an informed decision based on knowledge. Besides, in a few weeks or so of real play, players will have built their own very close to actual tables, posted them on the internet, and removed that "exploration" forever.  Better to side on the early and continuous enjoyment experience of achievers, than try to cram in exploration for the segment of players that find exploration intriguing.

 

Quote

Lesson #15: Design the component for its intended audience

When you aim to please everyone, you often please no one. Not all your players want the same thing out of your game. It's important to understand what different kinds of things your players want, so that you can understand what kinds of different players you have. This means when you design any one component, you need to know which part of your audience it's intended for and then design that component for that audience. If other players don't like it, it doesn't matter. It's not for them.

There's a desire when creating something to try and please the widest audience you can, but this has to be done at the macro level and not the micro level. The way you make as many players happy as possible is to understand what audience segments your game has and then make components that speak to each of those segments. It's more important that each type of player enjoys something about your game than it is that they enjoy everything about your game. What this means is when you are working at the micro level on the components, it's crucial to understand who each component piece is for so that you can design it for that audience. Each member of your audience then gets a part of the game that makes them go, "That's for me!"

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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On 4/15/2017 at 1:14 AM, KrakkenSmacken said:

 

I did not ignore you opening question, I answered it. (see below quote) 

As to your completely unsubstantiated claims (bold), those I did chose to ignore.

In order for my argument to be an "Appeal to Authority" fallacy, it has to meet one of two criteria.  

  • The topic is outside the authorities expertise
  • The Authority is simply wrong.

Since the authority I used is a game designer, and the game has an economy (Mana, Card Advantage, Deck construction rules, etc), you are left with having to prove that authority incorrect, or show how the given "lessons" somehow do not legitimately apply.

Firstly, you didn't address the question. Let me restate it to you.

What of the alternatives that you suggested sound fun? The alternatives being:

  • 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.

Because to me it sounds like it shifts the "unfun burden" onto someone else rather than the crafter, of which most of your posts seem to be advocating for making crafting easier for you in this thread and others.

Secondly, I don't think you know what "unsubstantiated" or "claims" mean. Lemme break it down for you. I would have to make a claim ( an assertion of the truth of something) and not provide evidence for it to be an unsubstantiated claim. What I did provide were basic economic principles and how they adversely affect the game (i.e. more of something in an economy leads to a glut of that something and that moving the tax rate further down the pipeline of production shifts the tax burden onto other people). If you don't get these concepts then perhaps you should stay away from discussions about economics because these are EXTRAORDINARILY basic principles.

Thirdly, you peppered in your relation to game design like it has any relevance to the topic other than try to assert that you are more knowledgeable than random forum-goers. That's textbook appeal to authority. Don't do it because it makes you look silly.

Lastly, it's laughably ignorant to say Mana, Card Advantage, and Deck Construction are related to economic principles let alone comparable to an in-game economy. Completely unrelated and Maro himself would not assert he understands or applies in-game economic principles. Read up on the statistics people monitor for in-game economies, or economic papers on the EVE economy in general, and learn yourself.

Once again, I am very thankful ACE doesn't defer to you for economic advice because you know very little about it.

Edited by Colest

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6 hours ago, Colest said:

Firstly, you didn't address the question. Let me restate it to you.

What of the alternatives that you suggested sound fun? The alternatives being:

  • 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.

Because to me it sounds like it shifts the "unfun burden" onto someone else rather than the crafter, of which most of your posts seem to be advocating for making crafting easier for you in this thread and others.

 

I never claimed them to be fun mechanics, (straw man) I said very specifically "ACE has dozens of resource sink outlets available, they don't need one that is this punishing in order to manage resources."

Some do shift the economic burden, but the ones I highlighted do not. Those are all crafter costs.

This makes your assertion "that moving the tax rate further down the pipeline of production shifts the tax burden onto other people" not accurate, as not all of my suggestions move the burden, they simply re-adjust it for the crafter to a different area of their professional requirements. Since the game has not even really started to work on economic balance, the choice of levers they pull at this stage will be based on where they want the burden to be placed. This is why I choose to ignore your general argument the first time, because like your other arguments it's just a straw man.

By the way, if you had read any number of my posts, you would know that I am not going to be a crafter as long as combine failure is a part of the game in it's current format.  I know the psychological damage punishment reinforcement causes in a skinner box like game, and I refuse to subject myself to it, except in a very limited way. 

But by all means, keep erecting straw men and resorting to ad-hominem. It shows everyone else who reads the value of your ... contributions.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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On 4/14/2017 at 1:44 AM, shadowclasper said:

Liking the idea of this, but what should the minigame be?

How do we make it in depth enough to keep things interesting, but not take so long that crafters aren't able to do their job without dedicating large spans of time to get a simple thing done?

Well, I've given some thoughts upon the idea. I used Pazaak as an example, but another version could be Deus Ex's hacking minigame: Various nodes connected by limited paths, a timed mechanic which "chases" you as you attempt to finish the maze, giving you some time before hand to examine the puzzle to map out the possible outcomes including possible detours [risks] to take for reward. It is intellectual-based as well and can be modified based on the materials used and the modifications wanted. 

 

2011-08-26_00005.jpg

 

It can act as risk management, increased difficulty for better grades of resource, reward skillful play, allow for variety to counter repetition to some extent, and still have mechanisms to allow for a resource sink for the economy. Simply another idea to throw into the pot, but I'm sure there are many other minigames we can call upon for inspiration if we were to look.

 

But, more importantly, I value more that we're talking about this and hope that ACE pays attention. As I'm sure many of you have seen, few suggestions are "perfect" in their original state, but that the idea is presented and discussed means that it is tested and adapted through criticism to a better and more practical system. 

Edited by Dondagora

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15 hours ago, Dondagora said:

Well, I've given some thoughts upon the idea. I used Pazaak as an example, but another version could be Deus Ex's hacking minigame: Various nodes connected by limited paths, a timed mechanic which "chases" you as you attempt to finish the maze, giving you some time before hand to examine the puzzle to map out the possible outcomes including possible detours [risks] to take for reward. It is intellectual-based as well and can be modified based on the materials used and the modifications wanted. 

 

2011-08-26_00005.jpg

 

It can act as risk management, increased difficulty for better grades of resource, reward skillful play, allow for variety to counter repetition to some extent, and still have mechanisms to allow for a resource sink for the economy. Simply another idea to throw into the pot, but I'm sure there are many other minigames we can call upon for inspiration if we were to look.

 

But, more importantly, I value more that we're talking about this and hope that ACE pays attention. As I'm sure many of you have seen, few suggestions are "perfect" in their original state, but that the idea is presented and discussed means that it is tested and adapted through criticism to a better and more practical system. 

Not a bad idea, but that system could risk becoming tedious overtime. Remember, folks have to do this over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Somebody is going to be making like, 20 breastplates on commission for example.

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20 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I never claimed them to be fun mechanics, (straw man) I said very specifically "ACE has dozens of resource sink outlets available, they don't need one that is this punishing in order to manage resources."

Some do shift the economic burden, but the ones I highlighted do not. Those are all crafter costs.

This makes your assertion "that moving the tax rate further down the pipeline of production shifts the tax burden onto other people" not accurate, as not all of my suggestions move the burden, they simply re-adjust it for the crafter to a different area of their professional requirements. Since the game has not even really started to work on economic balance, the choice of levers they pull at this stage will be based on where they want the burden to be placed. This is why I choose to ignore your general argument the first time, because like your other arguments it's just a straw man.

By the way, if you had read any number of my posts, you would know that I am not going to be a crafter as long as combine failure is a part of the game in it's current format.  I know the psychological damage punishment reinforcement causes in a skinner box like game, and I refuse to subject myself to it, except in a very limited way. 

But by all means, keep erecting straw men and resorting to ad-hominem. It shows everyone else who reads the value of your ... contributions.

These are your exact words:

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

Hyperbole and using fun as the measurement to determine the value of an in-game system. Calling something a strawman just because you have to backpedal on a statement doesn't make it a strawman. Now let's examine what I said since you refuse to read things properly the first time:

On 4/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, Colest said:

Shifting the resource burden onto other player archetypes or rearranging where in the pipeline resources exit the economy is not the answer.

Bolded for emphasis. So now that we are looking at my entire statement and not just segmenting a portion of it that is convenient for your argument lets look at those four bolded suggestions and whether they functionally do the same thing as a crafting failure:

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).

20 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Reduced numbers of finished goods out of BP's.

This is fundamentally not addressing the issue of crafting failures because it's not even an actual resource sink unless we're to presume that you still feed it the same amount of resources as you would for the current amount of resources which is unintuitive and entices people to actually not use a large part of the crafting system.

20 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Tax rates.

This is extraordinarily ambiguous and somewhat reminiscent of someone who doesn't understand politics just throwing out buzzwords. Tax rates on what? On crafting? How is it calculated? Are they dynamic or static for each item? Is is paid in resources or currency? If the former, what's the difference between a tax rate and just higher resource requirement to produce other than the latter being more transparent with the player? Are taxes fun? Put some flesh on this idea if this supposed to be the silver bullet to my "...contribution" to this thread.

20 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Thrall production costs.

Moves the resource exit-point further down the procedural pipeline. People who handcraft bypass this cost which is gonna be the majority of people for the first several months of the game until they get a rhythm down for setting up shop in the inner rings. Without failures in this instance, gluts of handcrafted goods enter the economy that would have otherwise been sacrificed to the Gods of inflation. Fundamentally doesn't address the same area of the virtual economy as crafting failures.

20 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Higher failure in the experimentation phase.

Second verse same as the first. Experimentation is a luxury once the maximization phase of gearing toons begins so gluts of less efficient gear enter the economy with no actual sink to take them out unless we're assuming every crafter is going to junk them at the same rate as a crafting failure. Likewise I suspect this won't quell the cries of the people upset at the current system very much since you're putting the proverbial dice-roll literally in the next window.

 

If you had play SWG, the predecessor game to Crowfall's crafting system you would know that crafting failures didn't stop artisans from making money hand over fist. Granted artisans had more vertical integration of lines of production and they purposefully separated resource gathering and crafting to help address this issue. Regardless, I promise you when this goes live with the current crafting failure system that the people able to overcome their phobia of negatively connotated six letter words will get along fine.

Please read this post thoroughly. Repeating myself is tiresome. Lastly, it's not an ad hominem to call your opinions on a topic uninformed when they demonstrate that you are uninformed about the topic. Just because you don't agree with me and I'm not being particularly nice doesn't mean I'm attacking your persona instead of the argument.

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2 hours ago, Colest said:

Tax rates on what? On crafting? How is it calculated? 

...

Please read this post thoroughly. Repeating myself is tiresome. Lastly, it's not an ad hominem to call your opinions on a topic uninformed when they demonstrate that you are uninformed about the topic. Just because you don't agree with me and I'm not being particularly nice doesn't mean I'm attacking your persona instead of the argument.

Taxes have been described in the FAQ. Its about the buildings, which are required for crafting, so is a crafting or shop owner specific cost.  

Quote

 IS THERE AN UPKEEP COST ON THE LAND OR BUILDINGS?

Buildings have a recurring maintenance cost. (We use the word “tax” because it’s easier to say than “recurring maintenance cost”.) The base cost is different for each type of building.

Stronghold parcels do not have a direct tax. Instead, they apply a multiplier to the building(s) placed on that land. Resource parcels that are adjacent to the stronghold have two effects. First, they increase the occupancy rate of the stronghold parcel: How many buildings can I place there? Second, they adjust the tax rate of the buildings placed in the stronghold parcel.

If your taxes fall into arrears, the buildings on the land will begin to degrade (but the parcel itself does not; for example, a Medium Keep parcel isn’t directly taxed, so it never downgrades.)

If a building fully degrades, it won’t disappear but instead goes to rank 0, the “Ruined” state. At that point, the building becomes unusable (and stops incurring additional taxes).
 

I have read it thoroughly, and I still disagree for the same reason I always have.  There is no @#$!@$#! economy yet to fix or correct with crafting failures. The scales are not balanced, and after accounting for BP production, combine failure will only remove at most 2% of the materials from the economy. 

2% is not going to fix a "gluts of handcrafted goods" if it is a problem.

I think you are dramatically overestimating how much economic impact those losses have, while minimizing the negative effect on the entertainment value of crafting that combine failures produce, and I can't for the life of me understand why.

If you just do the math on currently expected failure rates, and the expectation the developers have given about BP's being able to produce 100 or so of a given, exact copy, of a product without fail, you will see how utterly insignificant the combine failure is to material productivity. You will also see if you do the math, just how ridiculously high the failure rate would need to be (on the order of 40-50%), in order for it to have a real impact.

I have also yet to see, from anyone, any defence of the mechanic other than "it's needed", without any real math to back that "need" up.

Economics is all about math and numbers, so go ahead and show your work. I would love to see it.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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7 hours ago, shadowclasper said:

Not a bad idea, but that system could risk becoming tedious overtime. Remember, folks have to do this over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Somebody is going to be making like, 20 breastplates on commission for example.

Everything has the potential to be tedious over time [especially in terms of minigames]. The point is depth and variance in how you can approach and design it to counter the tediousness [to some extent] and make it interesting to do.

Edited by Dondagora

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16 hours ago, shadowclasper said:

Not a bad idea, but that system could risk becoming tedious overtime. Remember, folks have to do this over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Somebody is going to be making like, 20 breastplates on commission for example.

Well, the current system is already tedious.  That attempt to add anticipation by making you wait for the "result" of combine has had the opposite effect.

The Xcom game model I suggested puts the dynamic portion in the place where we just boringly add materials.  The description was to have a clear display of how adding and removing components and quality, directly affect your chances of each of the type of success. There would be no added time that you didn't want, because the combine would happen in the same part of the process.

The addition is that you would see your results, and the anticipation they wanted from the delay, would be delivered as you watched your gradient bar climb into better and better results.

That's why I suggested it.  There is almost nothing to add, besides transparency of the process.  You would not believe how much of a difference in a game that makes to how it is accepted.  There is a very good reason you get to watch spinning wheels on slots, and all the winning symbols float by.  

They could just as easily do an instant reveal, and have tried that model in testing, but in the end people get more enjoyment out of watching those prizes float by. It's a big part of what makes losing your money over the course of hours of play palatable.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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