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RNG For Crafting


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I'm a new tester, just starting to experiment with crafting.  I wanted to comment on the chance of failure when making items.

Generally, for me, I hate to play a game and feel like I've made no progress after a playing session.  I don't have a real problem with incremental success, but if I've spent time in the game and come away neither having had fun nor having something tangible to show for my playtime, I have to ask myself why I even bothered to play.

Now I know you can't win them all, but if we're talking about a competitive gaming experience, PvP or a campaign, even if you're getting wiped for part of the night, there's usually some times when you are doing the wiping.  So you can end a play session, if not feeling like you dominated or "won" overall, still satisfied from the experience because fun was had and you cracked some skulls yourself, too.

Turning to crafting, though, here's the experience I had tonight.  Popped my crafting potions and went to town trying to make a new Great Axe.  Potions are 20 minutes and I had none of the components, so I crafted all the sub-components, then went to put together the finished product as my potions were about to wear off.  70% chance of success, and. . . failure!

No problem, I popped crafting potions again and went at it again.  Had some failures on the sub-components, but finally got everything together and again, as potion timers were running down, tried to assemble the whole thing.  Again, failure.

Now I wasn't ever trying to put together some super badass axe, this is just basic crafting, I'm just starting out.  But at the end of 40 minutes play-time, I had literally nothing to show for my efforts.

I have always, always hated crafting systems that have built-in chances of failure for exactly this reason -- it leaves me feeling like I've wasted my time if whatever I am trying to make blows up and I have nothing to show for it.

So I say chance of failure -- go away!  As a minimum, there should be a way to add in components or train a skill to eliminate the chance of failure.  Maybe this is planned already, which would be great.  But the entry-level experience to crafting, before you have those add-in components or skills trained, should still not allow for multiple failures and wasted time.  That's just going to piss people off and make them turn away from crafting.

Also, please consider allowing for the automation of crafting things, especially sub-components for items, so you can queue up various things to be crafted and do other things while they are being crafted.  Maybe the Thrall system can (or will) allow for this, in fact I think I read somewhere that it might.

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Crafting assembly skill tree...   for each crafting profession (it is already in there).    Increases your success rate up to 98-99%, there will also be thralls in workstations that give crafting buffs (replacing potions) and a crafting leadership that also puts success into reasonable realms.   It IS rough just starting out but I would like you to go walk into a forge and make a sword with zero experience irl...  probably gonna end up melting it down.

 

Edited by Frykka

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                                                        Sugoi - Senpai

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Crafting skill tree will give you better odds.  You need to start training those ASAP.  I felt the same as you, but I didn't know about skill trees (lol) now that I'm researching them, which you can do while the game is down, everythings better.  You can even mass produce things.

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1 hour ago, Frykka said:

Crafting assembly skill tree...   for each crafting profession (it is already in there).    Increases your success rate up to 98-99%, there will also be thralls in workstations that give crafting buffs (replacing potions) and a crafting leadership that also puts success into reasonable realms.   It IS rough just starting out but I would like you to go walk into a forge and make a sword with zero experience irl...  probably gonna end up melting it down.

 

If you're able to buff it that high with training, then that's perfect.  I should have read more before posting -- thanks!

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Just now, Hasil said:

If you're able to buff it that high with training, then that's perfect.  I should have read more before posting -- thanks!

The more complex the recipe, the final assembly chance of success goes down so you need all that training and a thrall slotted workbench and a nearby toon with leadership to do anything with high quality or either your experiments fail or critical fail making it junk or the whole shebang fails.  

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                                                        Sugoi - Senpai

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Your chance of success also depends on the quality of the components if I remember correctly. Using greys and whites is easier than greens and blues.

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I think there's something amiss currently. Prior to last night my  last three play sessions I attempted to craft a weapon and it failed on the final assembly or the next to final assembly (that required the most mats). That was three play sessions that I felt like I got nothing done and didn't enjoy myself. Last night I just planned to gather. I made about 5 tools. I failed all but one of the fill in the bubble sections.

There should be an adjustment to make 90%+ success rate feel a little like 90%.

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And I just hope that Crowfall avoids what I consider to be a real design mistake - having a player invest time and have nothing to show for it, feeling like their time was wasted.  To me, an MMO should allow for a feeling of progress from your play session, and when all your time and efforts are wasted, that feeling doesn't occur.

There are several other MMOs that I stopped playing, at least in part, because of a gear grind that never ended -- same dungeons or MOBs over and over but never the drop I needed.  Or with a gear crafting or upgrade system that allowed for failure, meaning that you'd spend tons of $ and time and have nothing to show.

Picking up again on what Frykka and Koldo said, if there's a way to may things succeed through training and add-ins and such, then I think things will be fine and this sort of frustration will largely be avoided.

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I love seeing brand new players complain about the exact same things I have been harping on about for months.

There is a very well understood and studied scientific psychological system at play here, called operant conditioning. 

What you hate, and probably now fear is classic punishment conditioning.

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.

Not really a good thing to design as a core part of "fun" game.

The solution however can be rather simple.

Use the bootstrap mechanic to make the chance of failure a choice the player makes.  

If you bootstrap an item, the risk of total failure goes up the more disparate the materials are from each other, and if you use all the same quality of material, there is zero chance of failure.

So if you make a rune out of Blue parchment - White ore -White ore, High chance of failure for the chance of making a final blue rune on the cheap.

If you make a rune out of Blue - Blue - Blue, no chance of failure, but you spend the more expensive resources.

Thus starting players can avoid all punishment by always using white - white - white, and end up with SOMETHING. If they do use Blue - Blue -Blue, its a waste because they won't have the Pips to make use of the experimentation phase.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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8 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I love seeing brand new players complain about the exact same things I have been harping on about for months.

There is a very well understood and studied scientific psychological system at play here, called operant conditioning. 

What you hate, and probably now fear is classic punishment conditioning.

Not really a good thing to design as a core part of "fun" game.

The solution however can be rather simple.

Use the bootstrap mechanic to make the chance of failure a choice the player makes.  

If you bootstrap an item, the risk of total failure goes up the more disparate the materials are from each other, and if you use all the same quality of material, there is zero chance of failure.

So if you make a rune out of Blue parchment - White ore -White ore, High chance of failure for the chance of making a final blue rune on the cheap.

If you make a rune out of Blue - Blue - Blue, no chance of failure, but you spend the more expensive resources.

Thus starting players can avoid all punishment by always using white - white - white, and end up with SOMETHING. If they do use Blue - Blue -Blue, its a waste because they won't have the Pips to make use of the experimentation phase.

 

But also, please please please -- let there be ways to get the crafting success rate to 100%, with time and effort.  And make it easier at the outset - you should not fail 30% of the time on a relatively simple 2-H Axe like the one I was trying to make.

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3 minutes ago, Hasil said:

But also, please please please -- let there be ways to get the crafting success rate to 100%, with time and effort.  And make it easier at the outset - you should not fail 30% of the time on a relatively simple 2-H Axe like the one I was trying to make.

That's exactly what I propose would do.  

By making only white sub components, you would have zero chance of assembly failure.  If you took a chance to upgrade and threw in even a single green metal bar, the thing could blow up in your face.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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5 minutes ago, kraege said:

Once the salvaging concept comes in, we should be getting partial components back on a failure.

That doesn't change it being a punishment you can't avoid, if you want to craft that is.

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1 hour ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

That's exactly what I propose would do.  

By making only white sub components, you would have zero chance of assembly failure.  If you took a chance to upgrade and threw in even a single green metal bar, the thing could blow up in your face.

 

So then if you try to make good gear you're introducing the chance of failure.  Which would be okay if you can train skills that then remove that chance of failure.

So being able to off-set the chance of failure with training is, to me, essential.

So overall, your proposal coupled with the ability to eliminate the chance of failure with training would solve the problem of people being turned off to the crafting system initially, as you point out, by not failing when they try to craft basic gear.  It would also make the training in a craft of value, but would still allow untrained people to try to craft good things if they don't mind the chance of failure.

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2 hours ago, Hasil said:

And I just hope that Crowfall avoids what I consider to be a real design mistake - having a player invest time and have nothing to show for it, feeling like their time was wasted.  To me, an MMO should allow for a feeling of progress from your play session, and when all your time and efforts are wasted, that feeling doesn't occur.

There are several other MMOs that I stopped playing, at least in part, because of a gear grind that never ended -- same dungeons or MOBs over and over but never the drop I needed.  Or with a gear crafting or upgrade system that allowed for failure, meaning that you'd spend tons of $ and time and have nothing to show.

Picking up again on what Frykka and Koldo said, if there's a way to may things succeed through training and add-ins and such, then I think things will be fine and this sort of frustration will largely be avoided.

So you mention two things here where playing the game is basically discouraged. You spend an hour gathering up resources to give you a good chance of crafting an item you want. You craft the components and then fail on the item you want. You have wasted the hour and a half you had available to play. In the hour and a half you had no skill gains. (Point 1) You didn't even improve your toon with the component successes. (Point 2) To remedy this you are supposed to log off the game and train up crafting skill points to reduce your failure rate.

Maybe it's best to just not log in for the first month or two until you get the crafting and archetype trainings you feel you need to be a successful player starting out. Maybe since you aren't going to be playing for a couple months there's a better way to spend your time and $.

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55 minutes ago, Vectious said:

It keeps the Gamblers coming back to Vegas, right? 

Only if done right.  The current system is not being done right, they got the basic psychology all wrong.

Trust me, I built slot and gambling software for a decade, and it's a science on how to convince people to part with money and not feel like they were totally ripped off. The current crafting failure experience is disastrous to any hope of getting people to keep trying. Almost the only thing it has going for it to keep people accepting the punishment is that it's absolutely required to play the rest of the game.

Sort of like if you had to play some terrible RNG game with tokens you earned at work, and if you were lucky you got paid real money.

It's the model those arcades that you buy tokens, then play games to spit out tickets, to trade in for cheap chinese plastic junk (think balls in holes scene). That's basically the state of affairs with the relationship of mats to gear right now.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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5 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I love seeing brand new players complain about the exact same things I have been harping on about for months.

I pretty much assumed that this was a sock puppet...

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"The cinnabar is a lie"

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3 hours ago, Jesteric said:

So you mention two things here where playing the game is basically discouraged. You spend an hour gathering up resources to give you a good chance of crafting an item you want. You craft the components and then fail on the item you want. You have wasted the hour and a half you had available to play. In the hour and a half you had no skill gains. (Point 1) You didn't even improve your toon with the component successes. (Point 2) To remedy this you are supposed to log off the game and train up crafting skill points to reduce your failure rate.

Maybe it's best to just not log in for the first month or two until you get the crafting and archetype trainings you feel you need to be a successful player starting out. Maybe since you aren't going to be playing for a couple months there's a better way to spend your time and $.

But Krakken, above, has a design solution that really fixes it.  You have the lower-level things that people will be crafting as they start the game set to be 100% or almost certain success.  But the add-in components, higher-end stuff -- as you get fancy -- the failure rate goes up. But you can choose to train crafting skills to bring down that failure rate.

So the new players win -- no frustration.

The crafters win - if you choose that path, you have ways to create gear with no chance of failure, so your services are in-demand.

Ultimately, really, in a game with gear decay, there's no reason to also saddle players with the possibility that they can also fail to craft.  The economy and crafters' trade will remain vibrant if they carefully set the gear decay to something that makes you need to periodically replace your gear.

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