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What would a crafting mini-game actually look like?

MrPocketsMrPockets Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
It seems like the general consensus is that some sort of skilled based mini-game for crafting will be a good thing, and I agree.

My question is: What type of skills should the mini-game reward?
- Slow and methodical critical thinking? (i.e: minesweeper/puzzle game)
- Timing based, twitch reflexes? (i.e: quick time events)
- Execution based? (i.e: aiming)
- Something else? or a combination of the above?

My thoughts:
- I think whatever is chosen, it should be a non-trivial problem to solve, and even unsolvable at times. It should reward the dedicated crafters with items that are worth more than the materials used.

- I don't think any player should be able to watch a quick crafting guide online, and instantly be a master at this mini-game.

- RNG should be used sparingly to keep the mini-game engaging, and allow the player's skill to shine.


I'm currently in favor of a puzzle game along the lines of minesweeper because:
- It is not always 100% solvable (some situations require luck/guessing)
- There are multiple ways to increase/decrease difficulty (timer, number of mines, grid size, grid shape)
- It takes time from the player to perform, thereby putting real value into the final product.



I'm curious to find out what the larger community thinks of these ideas. =]

Comments

  • I think that the difficulty should depend on what you are doing, and should increase as you level.
  • I enjoyed the EQ2 crafting system. It was weighted toward complexity with a ton of interdependent and assemblies, which appealed to my love of supply chains. It also balanced timing and skill (numeric not twitch) during the crafting process.

    So if I baseline there, I would probably add ease based on repetition - similar to FFXIV - for mass producing a component (or processing), as well as increasing the rate of rare proc’s and/or new discoveries.

    Having mini-games around material combinations and discovery is also a rewarding experience (for me) - similar to ESO (or if you’re old like me) harkens back to Ultimate VII.
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  • The term "minigame" in this context is a very loose definition. I think when people say they are for a minigame they literally mean "Not one-click crafting". WoW uses a one-click crafting system in where you just need the mats and you just click and there you go you have your item after a short cast.

    GW2 is one step up from that in that it is also very one-click crafting, but it has a discovery mechanic to it in where you can learn recipes by combining materials until they fit together, kind of like Skyrim's Alchemy but with less fluidity. I consider the discovery part to be a "minigame"

    Wildstar (at least from what I remember when I played it) had a complicated but interesting crafting system where you select a recipe, and you put in any materials that fit together to make said item. Each profession had a slightly different type of "minigame" to create it's items. It's honestly difficult to explain so here's a video on Wildstar weaponsmithing

    Then you have games where you do have QTE's and stuff, which I think will turn off more people than it will entice. QTE's are cool for crafting at first, but when you are a crafter you aren't crafting for a thrilling experience, you're there for the mastery of it and what's better for mastering a crafting profession than a discovery system or a free-form ingredient mashing like Skyrim. Combine that with a Wildstar-esque minigame and you have something that will last crafters a long time.
  • MrPocketsMrPockets Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dreoh wrote: »
    The term "minigame" in this context is a very loose definition. I think when people say they are for a minigame they literally mean "Not one-click crafting". WoW uses a one-click crafting system in where you just need the mats and you just click and there you go you have your item after a short cast.

    GW2 is one step up from that in that it is also very one-click crafting, but it has a discovery mechanic to it in where you can learn recipes by combining materials until they fit together, kind of like Skyrim's Alchemy but with less fluidity. I consider the discovery part to be a "minigame"

    The problem I see with a discovery mechanic, is that it doesn't really add much to the game. Sure the first time you start crafting it is cool, but how long before everyone just looks up all the 'discoveries' online? Then it just becomes a guide you need to follow to unlock what you need. (similar to WoW leveling profession guides)

    Dreoh wrote: »
    Then you have games where you do have QTE's and stuff, which I think will turn off more people than it will entice. QTE's are cool for crafting at first, but when you are a crafter you aren't crafting for a thrilling experience, you're there for the mastery of it and what's better for mastering a crafting profession than a discovery system or a free-form ingredient mashing like Skyrim. Combine that with a Wildstar-esque minigame and you have something that will last crafters a long time.

    I agree with QTE's; probably would get old pretty quickly and turn most players off...but on the other hand it allows for individual crafters to stand out (I'm thinking along the lines of rhythm games, where it takes practice to 100% something)

    But I also think that customizing items through stats and/or special effects is a must. I just want to avoid the scenario of one person coming up with an 'optimal' recipe that is easily mass produced by any crafter. Being a master of your craft should be more than just following a recipe.

    For example: 3 different Chefs can follow the same recipe with the same ingredients, and there will probably be 3 different final products based on the skills of each individual chef. I think this should be a goal of the crafting system.

  • I definitely agree that discovery turns into a wiki-fest, but for most things in gaming that tends to be the case.

    Wildstar has some RNG elements to it's crafting that changes based on your crafting level which adds to the different final products, but I would like an RNG-less system if possible that can attain the same personalized product outcome.
  • Wiki’s are fine, that’s the community documenting their discoveries. The initial discovery is the important part.

    Another idea: allow for folks to create an in game book of all their discoveries. Didn’t UO or Vangard allow folks to write their own in game books as tradeable objects? I may be misremembering.
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited September 2020
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Wiki’s are fine, that’s the community documenting their discoveries. The initial discovery is the important part.

    Another idea: allow for folks to create an in game book of all their discoveries. Didn’t UO or Vangard allow folks to write their own in game books as tradeable objects? I may be misremembering.

    EQ2 definately has this - and has the ability for the books to be written in any of the racial languages that game has (of which there are dozens).

    For me, I'd like to see the final crafting of a finished item be more about getting the right components together and then making them fit (like Wildstar - the crafting in that game was the only thing I really considered standout). If the game is going to have the customization of stats in finished items that we think it will, and if this customization comes from the components used to make the item, then I think there is enough of a mini-game in finding the right components and combining them correctly to not need anything else.

    However, I'd like to see processor crafting utilize actual mini-games.

    If you are taking a raw gem and cutting it, a bejeweled style mini-game could be appropriate.
    If you are taking a sheet of metal and hammering it thin, a whack-a-mole mini-game could be appropriate.
    If you are trying to smelt metal, a flappy bird style mini-game (but where you are trying to maintain temerature) could be appropriate.

    The other thing I would like to see is that rather than forcing people to perform the same mini-game over and over each time they want to process some material, we could be allowed to batch process and the goals of the mini-game could increase based on batch size.

    If you want to process a single jewel, you may only need to match up 5 groups of jewels - but if you want to process 20, you could be looking at 60.

    Some of these mini-games also have easy built in mechanics for difficulty. If you are smelting an easy metal, the gaps you need to get between in a flappy birds style game could be far apart - but in something more difficult, they could be fairly close together, making the process itself harder.

    I personally think this could take crafting from Ashes and turn it in to one of the points that really distinguishes this game from other games.
  • MrPocketsMrPockets Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Noaani wrote: »
    If you are taking a raw gem and cutting it, a bejeweled style mini-game could be appropriate.
    If you are taking a sheet of metal and hammering it thin, a whack-a-mole mini-game could be appropriate.
    If you are trying to smelt metal, a flappy bird style mini-game (but where you are trying to maintain temerature) could be appropriate.
    ...
    I personally think this could take crafting from Ashes and turn it in to one of the points that really distinguishes this game from other games.

    I agree, I think Ashes has a unique opportunity to bring some fresh innovation to crafting in MMOs.
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