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Why crafting failures don’t matter…


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The last few months have seen a bunch of bitching and moaning about crafting failures.  From my perspective, this is pretty ill informed and represents a poorly understood view of how crafting will actually work in the game.  More specifically, these complaints

  1. Confuse the “one off” crafting that currently exists with the mass production based factory system that will dominate the actual campaign worlds
  2. Confuse the “experimentation game” with the production game

Suppose that I am trained crafter producing widgets.  My crafting rate is such that I have a 93% chance of a success on final assembly and I have a 7% chance of failure.  If I am making widgts on a “one off” basis I might actually notice failure and get a little disgruntled if one of them fails.  However, this isn’t the way in which the game will be played.

Consider what happens when I am using a factory with a production run of 1,000 widgets at a time.

  • On average, I am going to have 930 “successes” and 70 failures
  • The standard deviation is ~8.1
  • Roughly 68% of the time, I’ll have somewhere between 922 and 937 successes.  Roughly 95% of the time, I’ll have somewhere between 924 and 945 successes.

Once we’re in the realm of large scale production, there’s not any real difference between a production system in which

  1. I have 93% success rate and the raw materials cost for a widget is X
  2. I have a 100% success rate and the raw material cost for a widget is 1.075 * X

Once and a while you’ll do a little better, once and while you’ll do a bit worse.  Personally, I can't see getting worked up about it.

With this said and done, there is another part of crafting in which success rates matter enormously:  Creating the blueprints that are used for the production system proper.  This process is pretty closely approximated by the one off crafting that we’re currently using.

Here, I’d like to contrast two different crafting models.  The first has no variance what’s so ever.  Every time that a crafter with skill level “foo” produces a widget, that widget with have quality “bar”.  The second crafting model is stochastic.  If you produce a widget, the resulting attributes will be governed by some probability density function.

I’d argue that the first crafting model neuters the role of the crafter.  Once in a blue moon, the crafter produces a new blueprint.  The rest of the time, he is doing passive training to improve his skills.  How exciting…

In contrast, if we have a crafting model with successes (and therefore non-success or “failures”), then there is something of a role for crafting.  Lots of crafters will stop when they produce an item that is “good enough”.  The great crafters, the crafters of renown, are the ones who have a patience to experiment over and over again trying to craft that one “perfect” item. 

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"The cinnabar is a lie"

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So... According to you, the main thing crafters will get to spend their time doing is farming mats 23/7 to support near riskless blueprint-duplication runs?

That's fantastic! I was just thinking: "You know what would make any MMO better? MORE GRINDING! 8D!!!"

Negatory, Ghost Rider. Manufacturing should be a useful tool in certain scenarios, while individual crafting is a useful tool in others. Nothing more. Neither should "dominate," any more than any particular style of combat should dominate anything. How badly would that suck? "Oh, early on everyone will use swords and arrows. Later on, though? 99% of combat will be with trebuchets. u_u... "

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i believe theres too much speculation going on atm, we should just wait for the crafting stations and the blueprints to hit the alpha/beta and then discuss about balancing the whole thing

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Not getting enough traction for your position in this thread, saw a few points you couldn't counter argue, so you figure it needs it's own.

Fine, I'll paraphrase what I said there.

On 6/4/2017 at 5:41 AM, narsille said:

The last few months have seen a bunch of bitching and moaning about crafting failures.  From my perspective, this is pretty ill informed and represents a poorly understood view of how crafting will actually work in the game.  More specifically, these complaints

  1. Confuse the “one off” crafting that currently exists with the mass production based factory system that will dominate the actual campaign worlds
  2. Confuse the “experimentation game” with the production game

Suppose that I am trained crafter producing widgets.  My crafting rate is such that I have a 93% chance of a success on final assembly and I have a 7% chance of failure.  If I am making widgts on a “one off” basis I might actually notice failure and get a little disgruntled if one of them fails.  However, this isn’t the way in which the game will be played.

Consider what happens when I am using a factory with a production run of 1,000 widgets at a time.

  • On average, I am going to have 930 “successes” and 70 failures
  • The standard deviation is ~8.1
  • Roughly 68% of the time, I’ll have somewhere between 922 and 937 successes.  Roughly 95% of the time, I’ll have somewhere between 924 and 945 successes.

Once we’re in the realm of large scale production, there’s not any real difference between a production system in which

  1. I have 93% success rate and the raw materials cost for a widget is X
  2. I have a 100% success rate and the raw material cost for a widget is 1.075 * X

Once and a while you’ll do a little better, once and while you’ll do a bit worse.  Personally, I can't see getting worked up about it.

With this said and done, there is another part of crafting in which success rates matter enormously:  Creating the blueprints that are used for the production system proper.  This process is pretty closely approximated by the one off crafting that we’re currently using.

Here, I’d like to contrast two different crafting models.  The first has no variance what’s so ever.  Every time that a crafter with skill level “foo” produces a widget, that widget with have quality “bar”.  The second crafting model is stochastic.  If you produce a widget, the resulting attributes will be governed by some probability density function.

I’d argue that the first crafting model neuters the role of the crafter.  Once in a blue moon, the crafter produces a new blueprint.  The rest of the time, he is doing passive training to improve his skills.  How exciting…

In contrast, if we have a crafting model with successes (and therefore non-success or “failures”), then there is something of a role for crafting.  Lots of crafters will stop when they produce an item that is “good enough”.  The great crafters, the crafters of renown, are the ones who have a patience to experiment over and over again trying to craft that one “perfect” item. 

Thanks for proving my point that it's a mathematically pointless mechanic to keep combine failures as a mechanic in.

Given the punishment conditioning experience damage it does to players, the negative strongly outweighs any perceived good it does.

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. (Fear of Crafting)

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

Did you watch the this thread?  One item (a parcel) with I believe 17 hours of harvesting and crafting at stake, to a single RNG roll.

That's like betting your entire weeks salary on a single cut of the deck.

Crafting failure, while it may seem "realistic" from a real world crafting point of view, is a mathematically pointless, and unnecessary mechanic that damages both the player, and the crafting experience in general.

I've never heard a single person say they thought it was fun, only defend it like it's some kind of necessity, which you have kindly pointed out it isn't and "doesn't matter". 

If it doesn't matter, isn't fun, and it generates so much ire in players, why keep it in?

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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1 hour ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Not getting enough traction for your position in this thread, saw a few points you couldn't counter argue, so you figure it needs it's own.

What a cute little theory...

Of course anyone who had enough brains to check the time stamps on the two posts would see that the one that you are responding to now was the first to be created, but we all know that reflective thought isn't one of your strong suits...

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