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Is It Too Early To Start Asking About Crafting Math? Questions On Alloys


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One idea which just occurred to me; why not make Copper Ore all the same quality... and then expand on the "types" when it is refined? This moves the inventory management away from the point of harvesting and instead to the crafting point. This could also allow the refiners some say in what quality the ingots they create are. Low quality consumes very little ore, while higher quality consumes more.

 

To balance this out, make the ores very heavy or not very stackable. 

 

For example;

Miner harvests Copper Ore, and gathers 500. This is split into 50 stacks of 10 (higher skills / disciplines could increase stack size). 

Copper ore is brought to the metallurgist who refines it. They choose to consume 300 Ore into low grade Copper Ingots at a ratio of 10:1, they also refine 200 Ore into HIgh-Grade Ingots at a ratio of 50:1. They therefore end up with 30 Low-Grade and 4 High-Grade. Metallurgy skills improve the ratio's, so a skilled Metallurgist consumes far less Ore to make the higher grade stuff.

This process could then extend on up to the weapon crafter where he can take your 4 high-grade copper ingots and beat out the very few impurities as he crafts the weapon to achieve a slightly higher grade weapon (crafting skill dependant, a 50 smith wouldn't be able to upgrade copper from a 100 metallurgist). This way the harvesters and refiners stay relevant in their skill choices even when looking at the end product.

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How true this is makes me sad. It really cuts down on recipe exploration.   The only really successful implementation of hidden recipes that I can remember is the spell system from Asheron's Call. P

It's not off the table yet, it is just difficult to play through a scenario in your head where someone harvesting in the Campaigns has 10 different stacks of different copper with a few in each, and 8

You are correct but in SWG this worked great because of houses and backpacks which would hold millions of resource. It wasn't infinite, but any player could have 10 houses with nothing but bags filled

But we already have this. 2 Copper can be refined into Pure Copper. We can reasonably speculate that 3 Copper can be refined into Purer (?) Copper.

Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

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I am of the vein that crafting raw materials should not vary in quality.  It is the smelting process of removing the impurities that should be skill-based producing a random amount of good/pure crafting material.  This has the benefit of limited amount of seeding of resource types making tracking raw resources either (instead of grades of raw materials) as well has reducing huge variations and impacts to storage space.

 

Since it has been stated that RNG will play a part in the crafting process, I strongly suggest a degree of control be placed in the player hands to over-come this.  I see three ways to give players a chance to control the randomness as crafters:

 

1) skill-based: randomness is removed the higher a skill is over a target minimum necessary.  A master craftsman working in mithril silver should be able to crank out master-work copper daggers in his sleep!  Or, if a crafting discipline offers expansions on skills, perhaps through the use of high-cooldown skills, a crafter can guarantee a minimum rank or level of quality

 

2) additives:  maybe certain items or alchemist crafted potions could be used as a bonus additive to reduce RNG and raise the minimum quality when making an item.  This also allows for a way to introduce special functions and properties to items, and makes alchemist more than healers in a bottle.

 

3) use of more of a particular resource.  It takes two bars of copper to make a short sword of 80-100% quality pure RNG.  If the crafter is willing to add more bars to the process, the RNG could be reduced.  3 bars becomes 90-100. 4 bars becomes 98-100.  Functionally, this is the same as refining different grade of copper, without the need for having storing (both in game and database) different grades of a base material.

Edited by Doomgrin

Entropy is not what it used to be.  I am a servant of The Nothing.. The Hunger!

 

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I am of the vein that crafting raw materials should not vary in quality.  It is the smelting process of removing the impurities that should be skill-based producing a random amount of good/pure crafting material.  This has the benefit of limited amount of seeding of resource types making tracking raw resources either (instead of grades of raw materials) as well has reducing huge variations and impacts to storage space.

 

Problem with this is you're giving up most of the excitement part of gathering AND of killing gatherers.

 

What I mean is: if you gathered for half an hour and got 100 normal coppers... ok, I guess it's fine. If you get instead 98 coppers and 2 "special coppers" you're more happy and satisfied with how you spent your time. Then again, if I kill you and find 100 coppers inside your bag.. meh.

Instead, if I find 2 "special coppers" I am now enthusiast and will run back to base in order to bank them.

 

It's a subtle difference, because you would get 2 special coppers by refining those one hundred anyway, but it's more exciting I think.

It also gives me (the killer) the possibility of choosing a few rare items to loot instead of carrying a huge load.

 

What about a middle ground solution:

 

    • Do materials average their quality out when merged?
      • If so doesn't this mean I'm throwing away all materials below a threshold value?
      • Do I put these lower qualities into their own ball so now I have several balls of merged copper?
    • Does the server track the qualities of each piece merged into the ball for later removal?
      • How the heck does the server store this?
        • Maybe behind the scenes the ball is a container with slots.
      • How do I break apart the stack and get to the resource I want from this ball?
        • When the stack breaks do it break into an item for each quality? (back to 10 individual stack

 

I like the solution of having balls of copper (limited in size) that shows the average quality of copper. But I think gatherers shouldn't have the option of throwing away less quality copper, and with this I mean the copper should always go in the BALL, so you can't see single pieces of copper but just their average quality. --- (that is: if there won't be different spawn quality resources, otherwise it's pointless)

 

When gatherers arrive home, they can refine the ball and find different quality coppers. So that:

 

- They have to bring all the copper with them and can't throw it away;

- There shouldn't be too many stacks of copper in the inventory, since you can just store it in balls of merged quality (until you refine them);

- The server automatically merge copper into balls;

- The server has an hidden container with slots of different quality coppers inside the ball;

- An eventual PVP player that kills the gatherer, can now choose to loot the ball with higher average quality.. since he can't possibly loot them all.

 

What happens when you refine balls of copper and find 100% quality coppers (for example).. can you stack them? I don't think we should be able to stack them. This means that players will need to refine balls of copper only when they're about to craft something, since they can't afford to have their inventory full of single pieces of X quality.

What if I want to deposit in my Embargo the best copper I have? Can't I? Well, you can choose the higher average quality ball you have.

 

TL;DR Force resources to go into limited sized balls that only show the average quality. Have players refine the balls in order to find different resource quality pieces, but don't make them stack. Crafters will have to refine them just before crafting to maximize their inventory space, but they will still be able to save high average balls stacks for the future (in the Embargo, per say).

Edited by fenrisddevil

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I read through this and did not see it mentioned, however, I may have missed it.

 

Materials could have weight. You could increase inventory size and let weight be the deciding factor. Also weight and pack animal go hand in hand.

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One idea which just occurred to me; why not make Copper Ore all the same quality... and then expand on the "types" when it is refined? This moves the inventory management away from the point of harvesting and instead to the crafting point. This could also allow the refiners some say in what quality the ingots they create are. Low quality consumes very little ore, while higher quality consumes more.

 

While I can see this working on a logical level, it takes so much away from resource gathering IMO.

 

I can't tell you how many times in SWG word flashed through the crafting community about a rare, high quality spawn and a mad dash ensued, with crafters racing against each other to get there and drop a harvestor if there was still room.  If there wasn't any room left then folks would sample for the ore over and over until they had built up a stack big enough.   That crazy heart pumping feeling when your pressing the W down madly and leaning forward in your chair in some sort of vain effort to get your character to move faster?  That's what different spawn quality gets you.  Competition for resources and a crazy fun time harvesting them.

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The Chronicles of Crowfall           The Free Lands of Azure            RIP Doc Gonzo.

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Don't worry guys, I have a solution. Come up with an exponential resource quality algorithm that gives equivalent exchange for upgrading lower quality into higher quality. 10 tier 1 for 1 tier 2. 100 tier 2 for 1 tier 3. Just have some kind of steep curve with massive loss of efficiency that allows combining stacks manually with a net gain. You could call it smelting or purifying, require a special station like a forge and give a range of rng or failure rate. It solves the problem of the inventory space and also keeps players from raging at having to average the stats of their stacks.
This allows for people to work towards higher quality through their own skills instead of world spawn RNG and since the efficiency is so low, you'd have to spend a lot of low quality copper to get very little high quality. It's the ultimate way to polish a turd.

 

That doesn't mean you have to cut down on the ability to find rare or precious metal with varying qualities, it means that the qualities matter more because of efficiency of time spent on upgrading them.

 

If I were to use an example, gems in diablo 2 or 3 could be combined into different qualities of gem. Eventually you upgrade them to their perfect form but, it takes a 100+ chipped gems to make a perfect gem.

 

Sometimes you won't need a perfect ruby but, you'd reach perfect faster if you're farming for normal quality instead of chipped quality.

 

The main reason this is important is because it allows things like quarries to be prioritized based on quality instead of just quantity or proximity to other materials. 

Edited by IdeaMatrix
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This idea adds a step to the process.  And we will stick to copper as an example

  • Copper mines still exist as points of interest in the world and each still produces a quality range of copper
    • Mining doesn't produce copper ore
    • Mining does get you copper pyrite, Chalcocite, or Cuprite (however many you want to come up with)
    • Each of these refine to copper ore but they produce different qualities of copper (1-40,30-70, 60-100)
  • The gather then halls all the Copper Pyrite, and Chalcocite back to the home where they produce the copper ore from the raw material
    • Higher skill gets better results on average from the raw material
    • You now have more room to sort out all the different qualities
    • Sell/give what you want to the crafters
  1. Doing it this way lets you determine what the right number of different stacking components should be
  2. You still get to keep all the variance in quality
  3. You could also wait to determine the ore quality when the gather makes the ore as opposed to storing the information on the server in the event someone finds it
  4. Please don't make the additional step tedious its just a way to create a one to many relationship
Edited by Khron
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While I can see this working on a logical level, it takes so much away from resource gathering IMO.

 

I can't tell you how many times in SWG word flashed through the crafting community about a rare, high quality spawn and a mad dash ensued, with crafters racing against each other to get there and drop a harvestor if there was still room.  If there wasn't any room left then folks would sample for the ore over and over until they had built up a stack big enough.   That crazy heart pumping feeling when your pressing the W down madly and leaning forward in your chair in some sort of vain effort to get your character to move faster?  That's what different spawn quality gets you.  Competition for resources and a crazy fun time harvesting them.

 

You should still add other resources to the gathering, for example catalysts for use in refining that give crafting boosts.

 

Additionally, you could also have different grades of ore, which, when put into the refining interface could as more "raw" material. So for example, you mine 100 Base Ore and 20 High Grade Ore, that High Grade counts as 5 Base each when refined. What we're trying to do here is reduce the amount of inventory clutter - just reducing the number of varieties you can gather goes a long way towards achieving this.

 

EDIT - You could also have random events, for example a Copper Mine which randomly spits out Gold too. If word spread of that chance, it would become a more valuable target.

Edited by M0rdred
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Some good ideas here. On the point of varying quality, one game I play - Wurm - does give you varying qualities of ore as unique units of a set minimum wait, and you can then choose to combine those units into stacks as heavy as you like, averaging out the quality and as great in weight as you or your beasts of burdern can carry. While it is clear that crating will be skill-based, I don't believe it's known if harvesting is skill-based. I think this is an important element in the overall question of raw material quality.

 

In my experience with such a system, in terms of gameplay, it seems the better approach is one which  1) Has material quality vary, based on harvesting skill levels  2) Allow for combining of material units into stacks, averaging quality  3) Force the player to make decisions about their resource management in the field

 

On ThomasB's 'good/bad' breakdown, I agree with those assessments, but to a degree I think even the bad are relative in that they are bad for one person but good for another, and any that are bad for gameplay overall can be made good with the right mechanic. Making harvesting a worthwhile endeavor, making crafting both valuable but risky, and having both activities require support from combat-oriented players is I think a big element of the overall game content question, which extends beyond crafting and resource control in general and is directly tied to the mechanics of harvesting and transport of the raw materials specifically.

 

Edit: Thanks M0rdred!

Edited by Anthrage
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You should still add other resources to the gathering, for example catalysts for use in refining that give crafting boosts.

 

Additionally, you could also have different grades of ore, which, when put into the refining interface could as more "raw" material. So for example, you mine 100 Base Ore and 20 High Grade Ore, that High Grade counts as 5 Base each when refined. What we're trying to do here is reduce the amount of inventory clutter - just reducing the number of varieties you can gather goes a long way towards achieving this.

 

EDIT - You could also have random events, for example a Copper Mine which randomly spits out Gold too. If word spread of that chance, it would become a more valuable target.

I think one reason I'm so resistant to this smoothing out of ore sources is that it leaves behind a lot of the skill level needed for crafting when using various and unique ore stats.

 

Since the crafting system is resource driven, like SWG, we need resources to be diverse.  For example, if I wanted to make a starship in SWG I would usually use either  Crystalized Bicorbantium Steel or Hardened Arveshium Steel for the main body.  2 completely different resources that would create 2 completely different sets of hull stats.  The resources were harvested from different places and had different levels of quality within each type themselves.  To have that rolled into just "steel - high quality" takes away from the knowledge and skill needed to craft an item tailored to specific need.

 

I really would rather use up my inventory slots for various mats and have to dump them often then dumb down the resource system. 

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The Chronicles of Crowfall           The Free Lands of Azure            RIP Doc Gonzo.

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I don't understand the reason for tiered metal ore qualities. Complexity needn't be added for its own sake. The smith refines whatever he gets to the best purity possible anyway. Different base metals and alloys yes. And don't forget nonmetal resources, like carbon for steel, in alloys. 

 

Different plant species for alchemy, weaving, rope-making and cooking makes perfect sense.

As do different types of wood and stone (anthracite coal for the best steel).

Edited by chancellor

I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

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I don't understand the reason for tiered metal ore qualities. Complexity needn't be added for its own sake. The smith refines whatever he gets to the best purity possible anyway. Different base metals and alloys yes. And don't forget nonmetal resources, like carbon for steel, in alloys. 

 

Different plant species for alchemy, weaving, rope-making and cooking makes perfect sense.

As do different types of wood and stone (anthracite coal for the best steel).

I don't think it really is complexity for its own sake. Crafters want to be able to have varying quality in items. If you're a master blacksmith and you make the same breast plate as a novice blacksmith and you use the same types of ingots and you don't have a quality system, you then end up with the same breastplate and defeat the purpose of being a master blacksmith in the first place. Differences in ore quality are a way for us to regulate quality vs quantity and also, difference at point of sale. If going deep in a crafting profession just nets me more recipes, than it's no different than a WoW crafting system. Once people figure out which ores give the benefits that people want, everybody will be mass producing the same items for sale.

 

With a material quality system, it prevents the "Best in Slot" mentality where having the best recipe automatically nets you the best items.

 

It also prevents every person in your particular archetype from being a gear clone of the next person. With set ore and item qualities, everybody will be trying to get the exact same gear.  

Edited by IdeaMatrix
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It has to do with the crafting system used in Star Wars Galaxies. I didn't play it, but someone linked this video which is a very good overview on how it worked; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-TkXKRinII

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It's not off the table yet, it is just difficult to play through a scenario in your head where someone harvesting in the Campaigns has 10 different stacks of different copper with a few in each, and 8 different kinds of Tin, same thing with plants and hides.

 

Why not have each campaign have only one quality of each ore?

 

It will make all of the gear in each campaign different, adding a lot of variety to each campaign, as different types of gear will be better or worse depending on what materials they need and the quality of them on that world. You might want to do a crit build or a life on hit build, etc. depending on the quality of the materials that this specific campaign produced.

 

This would also add a large incentive for players to win a campaign that has a very high quality material.

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You are correct but in SWG this worked great because of houses and backpacks which would hold millions of resource. It wasn't infinite, but any player could have 10 houses with nothing but bags filled with more resource than a player could use in several crafting lifetimes(I know I did).

 

In a game like Crowfall where inventory space is much more limited and stack size is smaller that kind of hoarding won't be possible. Quality is a big concern for us because it would require the player to carry many different stacks of the same resource, since you would need one for each quality level. (ie copper 10%. copper 20%, Copper 30%, etc) A huge chunk of your backpack would be consumed by this. Same thing applies to different different types within a resource.(ie Diatium Copper, Codoan Copper). Combine types with quality and you have quite an inventory problem on your hands.

 

I suspect we will have to find a different route that doesn't bypass inventory because inventory size and potential for loss is core to many systems in the game. We also don't want a currency system for resources ala EQ Landmark.

 

SWG tech trivia: Every resource (including resources that players couldn't access but were in the resource table) that ever spawned was stored in the DB and put into server memory because someone might have harvested it at one point. Not a big problem until 5 years into the project and millions of different resources had spawned. The servers were rapidly getting to the point where they wouldn't have been able to start up because of this.

 

 

For the tech side, I would suggest looking into EVE's daily downtime:

 

https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Daily_downtime

 

It's a smart way to refresh what needs refreshed, dump what isn't needed and so on.

 

As for the problem of quality in regards to inventory, I think that having such distinct ore qualities ( in order to enhance the crafting experience) is truly important to the players ( diversity by adding more depth to crafting is always much appreciated). You mention that it would be tedious work, separating all of the ore based on quality in the inventory space and also that the inventory would be quite limited, but from what I've seen from the crafting part of the forum, the people over there seem pretty hard-core. They seem to already have presumed that in order to become a great crafter, one must go through tough decision making (do I take with me this low quality ore that is in large quantities or do I take this high quality one that's in small quantities? the choice being a must because of limited inventory space) and some tedious work ( some back and fourth trips from the resource nodes to their base).

 

I think the goal is to have the basic crafting experience ( available to all/most classes ) as well as the advanced one ( for dedicated crafters) balanced enough so that the basic XP does not care that much when it comes to the quality of the ore, while the later goes the opposite route.

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Thought:

 

If the only thing you need to be a great crafter is passive skill training and a guild to get you the best materials in what way are crafters important?

 

 

Normally the loss of a PvPer or commander is a big deal because you lose their personal skill. If crafters are just a bag of skill points that you funnel resources into then any old alt can do just as well. How are crafters going to be a valued part of the economy if they are interchangable? Its not your rep as a swordsmith that customers will care about, its your guild's rep for having the best materials that is attracting buisness.

David Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games should be mandatory reading for all gamers.

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We could have a continuous quality model and a workable Ball Of Copper system if we make ore quality affect only weight. You go to a high quality copper vein and mine out 10 units of copper that weigh 10 pounds. That vein is exhausted so you step over to a lower quality vein and mine out 10 more copper which weighs 30 pounds. You have the option to discard this copper before it hits your inventory, or add it to your ball; if you take it you now have a 20-unit ball which weighs 40 pounds. (Note that the Ball of Copper mechanic does not allow you to unpack the original constituents to get just the high quality copper back- irreversible combination is the whole point of the system, otherwise the database has to track too many objects.)

Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

Tully

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