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Nazdar

How To Fix Crafting: An Herbs & Potions Example

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Why is typical MMO gathering/crafting so boring?
 
Simple.  Gathering is a grind.  Crafting is a mindless button push.
 
 
Case Study:  Herbs & Potions
 
My rogue specializes in gathering herbs and mixing potions.
 
I switch on my HerbFinder3000 GPS.  Oh look!  Herbs.  I run around the map picking herbs before someone else does.  It's like finding pennies on the sidewalk.  How exciting.
 
Occasionally the RNG grants me a rare herb!  But... my herb picking level isn't high enough, so I can't pick it!  That's right.  My character can't pick a flower.  Wow, I suck.  (How is this seriously still a thing in 2015?)
 
Note:  GW2 put lipstick on this pig by (1) giving you your own set of flowers so there's no feel-bad competition and (2) letting you ruin flowers that you aren't skilled enough to pick.  Thanks, GW2.
 
I grind as long as I can stand it.  I return to the city.  At least crafting will be fun, right?
 
My time is spent running back and forth (obnoxiously) between the bank, the potions shop, and the auction house.  I stand at the crafting table Aaaand... I push a button.  I craft potions with no other reason than to level up my skill.  The potions I craft are useless.  I sell them at a loss.
 
The entire experience never required me to be creative.  I was never challenged.  I never had fun.  Why do I play this game?
 
 
How do you make it more fun?
 
Add risk.
Add systems that require thinking.
 
Risk?
 
I see an mushroom in the forest.  It might be a Queenscrown Mushroom - very useful for healing potions - but I'm not sure.  I've heard that Deathbloom Mushrooms look almost identical.  I'm not trained in herbs, but I pick it anyway.  It might be useful to someone who has the skill to tell the difference.
 
Thinking?
 
My friend gave me a Deathbloom Mushroom.  He thought it was Queenscrown.  Good thing he didn't eat it to find out.
 
Still, it might be useful.  Deathbloom has three major essences:  'weakness', 'disorientation', and 'enrage'.  I'd like to extract the 'enrage' essence.
 
First, I'll boil the Deathbloom with Heartfoil blossom.  The Heartfoil has a mild 'strength' essence.  I know that boiling will cause complimentary essences to cancel each other out.   The 'strength' from the Heartfoil will cancel out the 'weakness' from the Deathbloom.  Hopefully I have the ratios of ingredients right, otherwise it won't cancel out entirely.
 
Next, I need to remove the 'disorientation' essence.  I don't have anything to cancel it out, but I can distill it out.  I know that 'disorientation evaporates sooner than 'enrage'.  Using the distillery, I watch the temperature carefully.  When I suspect the disorientation is gone (hopefully), I take the remaining 'enrage' essence.  This will definitely be worth something.
 
I'll use a dose of the potion for a live test.  I'll have less afterward, but my reputation is riding on this.  I want it to be high quality.
 
 
Other crafts
  1. Improve the fun of gathering by letting anyone gather anything.
  2. Use skill points to discern the difference in quality of materials.
  3. Give harvestable materials drawbacks and trade offs.
  4. Create crafting systems that involve rules, not recipes.

 

Drawbacks

 

Crafting becomes more complicated.  But I see that as a good thing.  I see that as fun.  We've been stuck in a recipe-clickfest for far too long.


Nazdar

Proud member of The Hunger

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Someone did not try SWG's Crafting and Resource system. Too bad but am sure, like things Shadowbane-y and Wizard101-y, some of that SWG-y goodness will make it's way into CF.

 

WoW crafting, which is pretty much all crafting systems made since, blows... but I am just biased due to my time crafting in SWG.

 

Fallen Earth had some good moments so it is said. Very SWG-y, indeed.

 

Am eagerly looking forward to seeing as well as trying out CF's crafting and resource mechanics.


"Signals, Sound off Plates and Greaves! Line up! Prepare to advance!"

- Saying things a Centaur Legionnaire likes to hear.

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Someone did not try SWG's Crafting and Resource system.

 

True.  I never did get around to SWG.  I've played with many non-WoW crafting systems.  Some are better than others.  Too many still fall into the trap of being glorified inventory management instead of a game.


Nazdar

Proud member of The Hunger

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I like this idea since most crafting has been such a bore in most games. Realm Reborn was the only game I was interested in crafting for enjoyment and not for gold making.

     it would be cool if for example Blacksmithing your ingredients gave you for a lack of a better word "ink". The more ingredients the more "ink" you could use in( or higher quality) when drawing a  premade template for a weapon. Ink also extends the amount of time you can use to complete the template.The more you deviate from the template the more risk of either failing the craft, losing ingredients, or getting a higher quality *rare* crafted weapon. If you just stick to the template you get what the template said and a low chance of getting a higher quality but not as high as a chance if you deviate.

 

I bet its hard to follow cuz my brain's thought process is weird.

 

I agree though, make crafting have thought and not repetitive. Make a minigame out of it :D


PvE is like water to my whiskey. Don't water down my whiskey.- Ronald Reagan

 

Don't be a custard gonzo.- Abraham Lincoln

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There have been a number of threads about making crafting more interesting than the normal MMO hit the node with a suddenly summoned pickaxe 3 or 4 times then mindlessly craft for points so you can have access to endgame recipes.

 

There's no endgame in Crowfall, so just like leveling in the combat areas won't really apply the whole craft grind up skill points has no meaning or value.

Here are a few of the threads:

http://community.cro...f-my-existence/

http://community.cro...fting-minigame/

http://community.cro...han-mini-games/

http://community.cro...ing-mini-games/


Here's a writeup of part of what made SWG crafting so grand.  It's a post I made on page 2 of the thread:


http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5732-short-article-on-crafting-by-isarii/page-2

 

I love the idea of different essences and I don't think that crafting should avoid being complicated or difficult as long as the intricacy is logical and has structure.  Random mouse click games and excessive RNG use are horrible IMO.

I'd really like some word about the crafting system.  It's the last major area that we've not heard a peep about since pre pre pre alpha.


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

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I like this but...do not...I repeat do NOT make it require a spreadsheet or something you have to go out of game to read about how to do things. The entire crafting system should be logical, and within the bounds of the game, fully explained, and every experiment you ever do automatically added to your own book. You should be able to make NOTHING perfectly unless you have experimented with it yourself. Reading about it online can give you a direction, but untill your character experiments with it you shouldn't be able to do jack perfectly. 

 

Crafting is a skill. Well, specifically, they have mentioned it with the disciplines. It may be that to craft you must use up a discipline slot to do a craft, thus making it something you have to sacrifice a combat discipline to do. 

 

What should not be is what you craft being determined by a binary number skill level. 


"Lawful Good does not always mean Lawful Nice."

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Love mini-games.

 

Detest click-fest.

 

Spreadsheets should be for Bankers and Merchants. Lol. Later economic expansion disciplines?

 

The last time I was considering Crafting in a game was in Landmark, a few beta keys ago. Was cool to explore caves and mine resources. Reminded me of my time in Earth and Beyond MMO. Good mining with risk versus reward. Crafting was interesting and frustrating. Lack of proper PVP killed it for me but I digress, Landmark lost my interest but messing around with voxels was kinda neat.

 

According to revealed Disciplines, looks like we shall see Pure Crafters, Pure Combat Players, and the Jacks-of-all-trades. Reminds me of SWG... and that is a good thing.

 

Agree with Nempo, crafting needs real skill in-game and out. Buttons and RNGs have their place but the human element called skill should translate... better, and into a system that rewards risk as well as other factors associated with where and how Crafting is to develop and occur.

 

Great to see other Crafters!

 

*remembers busting rocks and swinging a few picks in her time*


"Signals, Sound off Plates and Greaves! Line up! Prepare to advance!"

- Saying things a Centaur Legionnaire likes to hear.

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I really like this idea. and it can also be used with different crafts also.

 

I think if they were to make different ingredients have different qualities e.g iron is good at reducing damage but is heavy and brittle then if you made a helmet with it you get +damage resist, -movement speed and its durability went down faster.

 

You could also split crafting weapons for example into "material" and "design".

 

examples of design can be standard longsword, northerners longsword, elegant longsword or lightweight longsword. the more you use that design it could reduce the chance of failing to make it. you could get designs from experimenting or you could buy them or find them. designs should make no difference to the stats just to the look of the item (just because it looks different doesn't mean it works any better of worse).

 

examples of materials are iron, steel, gold, copper or tin. the more you use that metal the less chance of failing.

 

now a "steel standard longsword" and an "iron standard longsword" might do the same damage but have different stats attributed to them.

 

an "elegant steel longsword" and "northerners steel longsword" would have exactly the same stats but look different.

 

 

Edit:- another idea!  you could make the crafted items modular in design to add even more depth. so a longsword is made up of pommel, handle, hilt and blade

 

so you have a steel blade, a pine handle, a gold hilt and a jade pommel, why not just put them together to make a sword! if each material used had different positive and negative attributes it could make for some interresting combinations. Also you could have different designs for each modular part so they look different also

Edited by regmiester

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I agree though, make crafting have thought and not repetitive. Make a minigame out of it :D

 

 

Dont! Do not! Crafting can be so much more than just a "minigame" as OP said it can be difficult exiting and highly rewarding. Make it a sience where the true geniuses shine and the dimm one fail. Dont let it sink into oblivion of bad to meh crafting games to make it a simple rhythem game. Out of my head I can not think of any real craft that is just a rhythm game, even smithing where this comes mostly to use is far, far away from any kind of rythem game.


 

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I love you all.

 

 

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Dont! Do not! Crafting can be so much more than just a "minigame" as OP said it can be difficult exiting and highly rewarding. Make it a sience where the true geniuses shine and the dimm one fail. Dont let it sink into oblivion of bad to meh crafting games to make it a simple rhythem game. Out of my head I can not think of any real craft that is just a rhythm game, even smithing where this comes mostly to use is far, far away from any kind of rythem game.

Of course this is the obvious goal. You do realize to make something like that they need hundreds of ingredients, some how not make it RNG based. I said Minigame because that's the best euphemism I could use. Made original post laid it out how I could see it happen.


PvE is like water to my whiskey. Don't water down my whiskey.- Ronald Reagan

 

Don't be a custard gonzo.- Abraham Lincoln

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