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Crafting Times And Strategy


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I've seen a fair amount of discussion about how long crafting will take, with many on the side that it should be quick so that it is not "tedious". My opinion is that short crafting times have the potential to be exploited to unbalance the strategic aspect of the game.

 

I think that most people might agree that I should not be able to quickly craft walls, siege engines, or other fortifications in the midst of a battle. Spending 10 seconds to craft a new wall behind the current wall that is being knocked down seems unreasonable and denies the attackers a reasonable chance to win. That's easy enough, right? Just say crafting large items takes a long time, but why not quickly craft personal equipment?

 

Take an example where a large force is gathering to assault my groups' keep. I notice that almost none of them have shields and I know that a good counter to this is for use to use bows against them. I use the resources that I have stockpiled and make bows for everyone. If it only takes two seconds to make a bow, I can make 60 in two minutes and arm my entire force. Or maybe they mostly have swords, and we counter with quickly crafted pikes to create a wall of polearms they will find difficult to attack into.

 

In short, if I can craft new equipment for an entire force between the time that the opposition is scouted and the time the battle takes place, I can wait to craft gear that counters the gear of the opposition and impacts the outcome of the battle. My stance is that crafting should take long enough that I can only use this tactic to craft a handful of items in time to impact an impending battle (or have to actually craft ahead of time). This is the main reason I support longer craft times. Basically, I want crafting to take long enough that crafters are incented to "commit" to converting resources to gear before a battle becomes imminent.

 

Thoughts?

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I think that most people might agree that I should not be able to quickly craft walls, siege engines, or other fortifications in the midst of a battle. Spending 10 seconds to craft a new wall behind the current wall that is being knocked down seems unreasonable and denies the attackers a reasonable chance to win. That's easy enough, right? Just say crafting large items takes a long time, but why not quickly craft personal equipment?

 

Or have it so that building a structure or siege engine just places down a construction site, you then have to feed that site with the resources it needs to build. That then makes logistics a significant element of any siege, as you then having to ship over 1,000's of wood, stone, metal, whatever with pack animals. 

Edited by M0rdred
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Building walls, and crafting walls (or materials to build walls) may be completely separate things. We just don't have the info we need to speculate on siege mechanics yet.

 

On crafting sixty bows in two minutes, I really doubt that will be possible.

1. It would be hard to get enough materials to make sixty bows of acceptable quality for a siege

2. With crafting the way it is, you can't just shift click the 'Yew Bow' recipe to make the max amount of bows. You have a single bow recipe, and you have to fill it with materials, one at a time. This kind of system will make crafting quickly hard, but it will make fat crafters valuable to have on your side.

3. It will be more complex than, "Oh, they don't have shields, let's make a ton of bows." It will be moe like, "Oh, they don't have shields, so let's make bows. They are mostly Templars, so we need alder wood limbs to get the armour penetration bonus. That looks like dragon scale plate, so they have a weakness to frost damage; make the bowstring from hell-spider silk." It is unlikely anyone will actually react that much, so people will probably just use the weapons they already have, and the leader of the defence will bring their archers to the front of the group.

 

Basically, even without a hard crafting time, crafting will still take more than two seconds. The cap will be player skill, and that's never a bad thing.

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I'm going to second what the others said.

- Crafting walls / buildings should be the opposite of resource gathering. You place a location and then feed it resources. 

- Crafting items will be slow enough due to the interface... Even when someone inevitably uses a third party tool to automate it faster I don't think it will give a sizable benefit. Afterall you just need one stealth character to slip behind your lines and gank the crafter while they are distracted by the craft window (or automation tool) and you are suddenly equipping the other faction instead. 

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Or have it so that building a structure or siege engine just places down a construction site, you then have to feed that site with the resources it needs to build. That then makes logistics a significant element of any siege, as you then having to ship over 1,000's of wood, stone, metal, whatever with pack animals.

Siege elements were more of a way to open my discussion than my real concern. Sorry if I failed to communicate that fully. The point I wanted to discuss in more depth is how long it takes to craft personal gear.

 

I agree on your example of how fortifications would be built - I've seen that

Mechanic before and it seems to work well.

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Building walls, and crafting walls (or materials to build walls) may be completely separate things. We just don't have the info we need to speculate on siege mechanics yet.

 

On crafting sixty bows in two minutes, I really doubt that will be possible.

1. It would be hard to get enough materials to make sixty bows of acceptable quality for a siege

2. With crafting the way it is, you can't just shift click the 'Yew Bow' recipe to make the max amount of bows. You have a single bow recipe, and you have to fill it with materials, one at a time. This kind of system will make crafting quickly hard, but it will make fat crafters valuable to have on your side.

3. It will be more complex than, "Oh, they don't have shields, let's make a ton of bows." It will be moe like, "Oh, they don't have shields, so let's make bows. They are mostly Templars, so we need alder wood limbs to get the armour penetration bonus. That looks like dragon scale plate, so they have a weakness to frost damage; make the bowstring from hell-spider silk." It is unlikely anyone will actually react that much, so people will probably just use the weapons they already have, and the leader of the defence will bring their archers to the front of the group.

 

Basically, even without a hard crafting time, crafting will still take more than two seconds. The cap will be player skill, and that's never a bad thing.

Excellent post.

1. *If* incentivized to do so, teams will stockpile goods ahead of time specifically to respond to threats with "just-in-time" crafting. If you present a potential advantage, players will use it.

2. When you say "with crafting the way it is", it sounds like you have some private information. Of course, crafting (and the rest of the game) doesn't exist and crafting is something we have less info. about than many other parts of the game. There definitely has not been confirmation that there will not be a 'craft all' button. I have seen specific requests to allow crafting of multiple items at once and to make it brief and that is why I created this thread. I'm not necessarily advocating for a hard minimum on time a la a progress bar, I'm just trying to point out that there are pitfalls to allowing mass crafting that is too quick. The scenario you've provided seems reasonable if that is what is implemented.

3. Nice examples! I seriously hope there is that much detail. Some of those enhancements sound like they rely on rare materials, but would give even *more* advantage if the crafter had them.

I think we're basically in agreement that it would be better if this kind of crafting weren't viable. The difference is that you seem to be satisfied that it won't be, and I'm probably not going to be until I've heard more about crafting or seen crafting in alpha.

Edited by leadpipe
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In broad strokes, I agree with the OP that crafting times need to be meaningful in order to make economic/logistical warfare interesting. Breaking the enemy's gear faster than they can craft replacements should be a viable tactic even if they have infinite resources stockpiled; gathering time should not be the only bottleneck in the production chain.

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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2. When you say "with crafting the way it is", it sounds like have some private information. Of course, crafting (and the rest of the game) doesn't exist and crafting is something we have less info. about than many other parts of the game. There definitely has not been confirmation that there will not be a 'craft all' button. I have seen specific requests to allow crafting of multiple items at once and to make it brief and that is why I created this thread. I'm not necessarily advocating for a hard minimum on time a la a progress bar, I'm just trying to point out that there are pitfalls to allowing mass crafting that is too quick. The scenario you've provided seems reasonable if that is what is implemented.

I'm just using the screenshot that we we're given of the crafting interface for this information, which leads me to:

 

3. Nice examples! I seriously hope there is that much detail. Some of those enhancements sound like they rely on rare materials, but would give even *more* advantage if the crafter had them.

I think we're basically in agreement that it would be better if this kind of crafting weren't viable. The difference is that you seem to be satisfied that it won't be, and I'm probably not going to be until I've heard more about crafting or seen craftimg in alpha.

Lots of people have been equating this crafting with Star Wars Galaxies (or Knights of the Old Republic?) which I didn't play, so I don't know if that is accurate or not, but from what I gather, crafting will be extremely similar to the Tinker's Construct mod for Minecraft. Crafting of tools and armour will be modular, with each material used giving different abilities, for example, cobalt gives quicker gathering speed, so it is good for a pick axe, while manyullyn mines more slowly, but gives a higher base attack, so it's better for swords. Both of those materials each also have an attribute. Cobalt gives reinforced, which makes the tool last longer, while manyullyn gives stone bound, which makes it more effective with lower durability. In the end, just making one tool becomes a large undertaking, consisting of tons of time with a pen and paper min maxing the tools stats. There are even forum posts dedicated specifically to figuring out the perfect tool.

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I agree whole heartedly that campaign crafters should be rewarded for pre-crafting weapons, armor, and fortifications in the hours leading up to the attack.

During the attack, I'd prefer crafters be part of the defense... either on the walls with a bow or collapsing hamster tunnels.

Edited by HamletDynamic
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I'd like to see some influence from Eve's crafting.

 

A character installs a "job" at a manufacturing facility. Both the character and the facility have a limited number of available job slots. This incentivizes building infrastructure to support large crafting endeavors. Jobs can be installed in an occupied slot, but will remain queued until the slot is free.

 

A job takes time to complete. Each item requested to be built has a build time, which could be minutes for a piece of equipment or months for the largest ships. This creates a very real strategic option of winning by attrition: the enemy can lose more equipment faster than they can replace it. It also opens game play for 'honorable' third parties and neutral weapon sellers.

 

However, if resources themselves are scarce, then it might not be necessary to limit throughput in the above manner.

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They've definitely mentioned a possible equivalent to EVE's limited use blueprints.

 

Do you have a link on that? At first glance it doesn't seem like a workable option unless they're rare drops for optional gear as opposed to a core function of the economy.

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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Found it. This is from the crafting FAQ:

 

Is there any way to mass produce items?

 

Some games (most notably Star Wars: Galaxies) provided the ability for crafters to essentially turn a crafted item into a blueprint that will consume it but allow the crafter to produce a limited amount of copies of that item.We’re considering a similar system, where players can craft a particular item to use a “template” and then order their Thrall Blacksmiths to manufacture that item in larger quantities.

 

Edit: I believe they also mentioned this on either the Gold and Glory or Crowns and Crows interviews.

Edited by HamletDynamic
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I'd like to see some influence from Eve's crafting.

 

A character installs a "job" at a manufacturing facility. Both the character and the facility have a limited number of available job slots. This incentivizes building infrastructure to support large crafting endeavors. Jobs can be installed in an occupied slot, but will remain queued until the slot is free.

 

A job takes time to complete. Each item requested to be built has a build time, which could be minutes for a piece of equipment or months for the largest ships. This creates a very real strategic option of winning by attrition: the enemy can lose more equipment faster than they can replace it. It also opens game play for 'honorable' third parties and neutral weapon sellers.

 

However, if resources themselves are scarce, then it might not be necessary to limit throughput in the above manner.

 

 

I have a few comments to this -

1. This approach makes sense for the thrall crafting approach. They can only do so much and it takes them X time.

2. The point of campaigns seems to be that resources are limited and become more and more scarce, so it probably isn't required (as you said)

3. I'm not going to complain if they decide to go this approach, but my preference is definitely to get rid of the waiting game for basic gear at least. Waiting isn't fun! And it opens up questions of what happens in your inventory while you craft, if you die while crafting, what does the killer get to loot from your body? (an unfinished item, partial resources? some mix of the two?)

 

Found it. This is from the crafting FAQ:

 

Is there any way to mass produce items?

 

Some games (most notably Star Wars: Galaxies) provided the ability for crafters to essentially turn a crafted item into a blueprint that will consume it but allow the crafter to produce a limited amount of copies of that item.We’re considering a similar system, where players can craft a particular item to use a “template” and then order their Thrall Blacksmiths to manufacture that item in larger quantities.

 

Edit: I believe they also mentioned this on either the Gold and Glory or Crowns and Crows interviews.

 

This is an reasonable approach for blueprints. Crafters, on the other hand, know the patterns, they paid for them with skill points or what not, they shouldn't be limited in uses!

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From a realism point of view it makes a lot of sense for crafting jobs to take longer times the more difficult they are.

Though I doubt it will be any way fun to wait for new and fancy items.

 

They might still do it as getting an item after waiting for it a while feels way better than just getting it instantly, but purely on paper, the 'getting items instantly' approach is more beneficial for players.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

A solid quote, I'd say.

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That makes sense. The recipes players earn via character development act as BPOs, but you can make BPCs for automated production by thralls.

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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Thrall crafting seems to me like the optimal method to maintain the time requirement for crafting masses of basic gear while relieving the crafter from the boredom of waiting. Don't want to sit around for an hour while you make 50 swords? Have your thrall craft while you go and fight.

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Progress bars are only a problem if you cannot do something else at the same time. If there's a 2 minute progress bar, or even a 2 hour one on a thrall manufacturing something while my actual character is off doing something else then that's absolutely fine. The problem lies in tying the Player character in place for a long length of time, that is what is boring.

 

Having such thrall progress bars is a good thing too, as Characters could have skills which reduce it.

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