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Dev Discussion #46 - Materials: Less is More or More is Less?

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  • HotspurnHotspurn Member
    edited November 17
    I am for a expansive crafting system where there are replacements for crafting materials that can provide additional or less benefits/abilities to crafting. The crafting system will need a good amount of base/common materials and probably an equal amount of rare ones that will benefit the crafting process in some ways, either as i said by adding or strengthening the item in some way.

    In addition i would prefer if crafting classes are dependant on each other, so crafting an item might require processed materials from another artisan, an example could be the classic leatherworker + blacksmith. The Blacksmith that is crafting a sword will need one or more parts that the leatherworker makes, which most likely would be for the hilt.

    The downside of this is obviously inventory, which will need some sort of solution. One solution would simply be that in our house/freehold etc we can have boxes where we can store large amounts of materials, but while we are out harvesting we will of course be limited unless we have some Bag of Holding type item.

    Just my two cents, but i do not want a simplified crafting system like in World of Warcraft, i want the crafting to be time consuming AND require dedication. So tired of developers dumbing down or simplifying aspects of games just to cater to a select few that have extremely limited time or don't have the patience for certain elements.

    My ideal crafting system: In addition to what i wrote above i would also like if the crafting process had some minigame attached to it, something akin to what was in Everquest 2 back in the day. (Not sure if its still there) Where the crafting process is risky and you have to use a set of abilities your crafting class gives you to make sure it is created well. Does not have to be the same, but it provides some fun for those that want to focus on crafting rather than PVE, of which there are quite a few.
  • GrandSerpentGrandSerpent Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Azherae wrote: »
    I think I'm flatly in the middle.

    I view this issue as being connected to open world economy and immersion, and so I always would make my suggestions from that perspective.

    I like having more different materials because it allows developers more tools to mess with the economy, to inspire players to explore, and it seems like it would be a requirement for Ashes just to keep the Node system economies fresh. It's troublesome to have a lot of items to need to store separately, but I just can't see an enjoyable version of this for me with low itemization.

    I also don't think it is necessary to do a lot of very specific items that are only used in one or two things, but how would things like 'Seasonable Gatherables' work across an entire world of Verra if we were so limited?

    I also don't really see what a 'wide variety of things for them to be used FOR' would even be, so I guess I will have to wait for Alpha-2 to understand what that would mean. Other than that, I've got lots of opinions on food and far too many economic opinions that will need to be integrated into testing.

    What I CAN say is that I don't mind if Fish are similar, but as I always say 'not like BDO please' where all Fish are functionally the same, large categories of meat are the same, etc.

    In the end, I just can't imagine what the context of this question is. I don't know what 'fewer' or 'more' is to the Itemization team. I can say that I come from a two games with hundreds of items and that helps me enjoy both the economy (in one of them, anyway) and immersion (sort of). I know I'd be disappointed in 'less than 10 types of ore' and so on.

    But I never know how to imagine what a Fantasy MMO world will be willing to 'leave out' until I see the plans, since so many items seem 'required' (Gemstones, for example, gotta be at least 10, right).

    Since Azherae's my group's economist, I basically agree with her on all of the above. Item variety is good in principle, but if there are too many things which are basically just interchangeable and don't have different uses, it's irritating.

    One thing which I'd want to make sure is taken into account is the balance between the number of different crafting items in the game vs available inventory space. If there are a ton of different items needed for a particular profession, but inventory space is too constrained, high-level crafting becomes tedious and frustrating quickly, since you're constantly trying to juggle stuff around.
  • ObamanizerObamanizer Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Most important things to me with resources are sinks, we need to make them all have value by making them needed in many things of value. Scarcity drives investment and produces meaning. I'd much rather scarcity through many cost sinks than scarcity through low/few drop rates.

    Imo, nothing feels worse than seeing loads of resources worth 1 copper because there are millions available with no use.
    m2r7fkogger4.png
  • GO WIDE! The more, the merrier.

    Am really, REALLY wanting a crafting system that has more depth, the further you go. Would really like to avoid an over-simplified system, like in WoW.

    More materials / more variety = more time investment, which in-turn equates to these goods being worth more on the in-game markets.



  • ZinbarZinbar Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I would like to see a wide variety of materials, but introductory materials would be necessary for high-level recipes.

    For example, a leather worker making level 5 armor used "Deer Hide" as the primary material needed. Now the same leather worker makes a level 40 armor that requires the "Wyvern Scales" for the primary material but also needs "Deer Hide" for secondary material. From an immersion perspective, the scales have to be attached to something.

    This allows for various rare materials but keeps the need for low-level materials high. This gives us two things, one makes low-level areas and materials always relevant and allows low-level players an option to sell materials to high-level players.
  • ThangulhadThangulhad Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    One topic TIED to crafting is items wear and the repair system. I'm assuming you will need to seek out a proficient crafter for item repairs. This can be a pain if you need to seek out too many crafters to repair gear. Then for repairs, I'm assuming a portion of mats is needed to complete the repair.

    A solution I'd like to suggest is allowing people to set up repair stations in their homesteads able to repair items they have proficiency in. This can be done providing straight out gold, or the user needing to provide coin and raw repair mats. Or the mats needed need to be stocked by the repair station owner, obvious requiring some periodic check/replenishment. Some measure of system allows for people seeking repairs to find/get them easier at a modest price.
  • Arya_YesheArya_Yeshe Member
    edited November 17
    Here comes the pain, get ready:

    If the game has an inventory system that is based on slots and quantity, having a wide range of materials leads to a very high amount of clicks and unpleaseant experience that burns the player. If the system was based on space then it would be fine

    Look at EVE Online where we have T1, T2, T3, Planetary, Reactions, Faction and Capital Industry!
    Each material from each tier demands many steps on top of each other so you can finally have the materials you need so you can build that one thing you want. But since the inventory system is based on space and the personal hangars have infinite space with very high quantities per stack (I have items which the stacks have hundreds of bilions of units) then it's fine

    Now imagine AoC having slots and low quantities... I can't fathom how cumbersome and frustrating it will be... what will you do then? Have many chests will you have? Have many mules? Will have to open how many windows? How many times you will be running around filling your bag and bringing stuff to the crafting station? How do you even bring together the items you want if you want to have a crafting session for one hour? How many clicks to put the stuff together? How many time scrolling each window?

    There's no search field in AoC's inventory by the way


    The adopted inventory system in AoC has sealed the fate about having less materials for many recipes, that is the path to be followed now, if you wanna do anything fancy about industry then the inventory system will need a major overhaul

    Trust me in this, I'm a one man industrial complex and everything starts by moving mountains of inventory and being able to organize things, but in today's AoC inventory system the system itself is capping this style of gameplay

    Quality of life changes in the Inventory system:
    • search field
    • ability to drag items from chat or another container and drop in the search filter so you don't have to type the name
    • are the windows resizable?
    • can I open the backpack window and another container window and drag and drop items?
    • can I hold CONTROL then drag and drop stacks automatically splitting them in half?
    • can I hold SHIFT then drag and drop items to another slot or container and type the amount of items I want to move?
    • if the materials have tiers, can they have a little ribbon with Roman numbers showing the tier? Maybe Tier 1 light blue ribbon, and so on up to T4 as purple... this kinda matters when you are shuffling items among hundreds of items
    • will container windows and backpacks have maximize and restore icons?

    https://www.ashesofcreation.wiki/Crafting

    Crafting stations can pull inventory from a player's personal storage and warehouse storage from the node that the crafting station is in.[21]

    This is interesting, how will people balance their stockpiles?

    Can the player choose where the materials will come from?

    What if one place has half the materials and the other place has the other half?

    Will it be automatic, if it's automatic can I choose not to pull one type of material from one place and another material from another place?

    What if I am in my freehold and the node is about to get attacked and I want to spend everything I have in my warehouse and have the items crafted in my freehold? Kinda like item teleportation, works for me

    Then I sell all my items to my alt through my Player Shop so the items will be emailed to my alt... then in case my freehold gets attacked and destroyed I will have saved all my materials from the warehouse through my crafting and then saved from being in my freehold that is about to get attacked


    So the way I see things today not a great deal of time was put in the wiki regarding inventory or the system itself is very limited for now
  • SangramoireSangramoire Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Other have already said it but having multiple ways to craft the same type of item is likely going to be important especially due to seasonal resources. Adding slight variations on crafted items depending on the season the resources are from may be a good idea. For an MMO, having a wide variety of resources that are used for a specific thing may become a bloat problem over time so personally I lean towards a few resources that can be used for a variety of things and really only adding new resources when needed. I'd be okay with the wide variety of resources for specific things but only if we have a storage system something like Guild Wars 2 that allows us to hoard everything.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Azherae wrote: »
    I think I'm flatly in the middle.

    I view this issue as being connected to open world economy and immersion, and so I always would make my suggestions from that perspective.

    I like having more different materials because it allows developers more tools to mess with the economy, to inspire players to explore, and it seems like it would be a requirement for Ashes just to keep the Node system economies fresh. It's troublesome to have a lot of items to need to store separately, but I just can't see an enjoyable version of this for me with low itemization.

    I also don't think it is necessary to do a lot of very specific items that are only used in one or two things, but how would things like 'Seasonable Gatherables' work across an entire world of Verra if we were so limited?

    I also don't really see what a 'wide variety of things for them to be used FOR' would even be, so I guess I will have to wait for Alpha-2 to understand what that would mean. Other than that, I've got lots of opinions on food and far too many economic opinions that will need to be integrated into testing.

    What I CAN say is that I don't mind if Fish are similar, but as I always say 'not like BDO please' where all Fish are functionally the same, large categories of meat are the same, etc.

    In the end, I just can't imagine what the context of this question is. I don't know what 'fewer' or 'more' is to the Itemization team. I can say that I come from a two games with hundreds of items and that helps me enjoy both the economy (in one of them, anyway) and immersion (sort of). I know I'd be disappointed in 'less than 10 types of ore' and so on.

    But I never know how to imagine what a Fantasy MMO world will be willing to 'leave out' until I see the plans, since so many items seem 'required' (Gemstones, for example, gotta be at least 10, right).

    Well this is what my economist says on the matter and I basically agree. This is the kind of question a studio would ask if they didn't have their own lead economist or lead systems designer. So assuming you listen to mine here is what I have to add:

    The main problem with crafting in other mmos I have is that you don't normally have to commit to a specialization for different content in your build or your time investments.

    It's not really having too much or too little in the way of itemization. There are systems that 'simplify' the build and investment choices on BOTH ends of the temization spectrum BDO(low item) and Neverwinter (high) come most readily to mind, but so does Dark Ages of Camelot. As a result of this you have builds that can be used on many different activities. Demand for whatever the meta items are for that build becomes the dominant activity and people quickly optimize the fun out of the game and it causes content and itemization shrinkage.

    Having more items can 'help' but it also can cause many 'noob traps' in terms of optimization if you are not careful. This matters for Ashes specifically because in Ashes you literally cannot AFFORD to do something a group of people would not be interested in for whatever reason. You need a group to do most content safely and efficiently. Many people will claim this is resolved by increases in prices driving someone to take the 'noob trap' niche at an eventual profit, there is a certain lack of fun that can happen as a result of knowing you are doing an inefficient thing and are generally either alone or 'so easy to gank due to the lack of attractiveness to group play' you have to play it less 'adventurous'.

    So yes, too much itemization can cause noob traps, and too little or too little difference in ways to meaningfully perform the content involved are bad for any economy. If you focus on a niche first approach and consider all the different forms of investments to obtain the materials, and what the success condition FEELS like once achieving it, then you'll probably head in a more immersive direction.

    Example of a good system that has a mix of all of these things? FFXI crystals. You need to go to different areas and hunt specific enemies to get the different elemental crystals that act as a catalyst for crafting. There is a lot of overlap in how and when they are used across many different 'artisan professions' and there is a lot of overlap as to where to obtain them. But the fact that there are only 8 isn't a hindrance to how good they feel because there are niches for farming them, and different builds are naturally better at getting others without necessarily 'restricting you from pursuing them if you need a few entirely'. Obviously since they are crafting catalysts they still require other items in the recipe, but it's just an example of the principles I'm talking about in action.
    Chicanery
  • edited November 17
    Some parameters that might be used for comparison:

    - how enjoyable it is for gatherers
    - how enjoyable it is for crafters
    - how usefull it is for crafters
    - how usefull it is for gathers

    On one side, we have the the concept of using tons of fewer materials in crafting, which is what EVE Online does. This way, these can be split geographically and its easy to balance how they are aquired in a real economy.
    Do miners enjoy it?
    Its a decent social experience where you can sit there with other people chatting or watching netflix, limiting the tediousness of the task, it you like it.
    Those after more excitment and "hand on expierience" go after gas clouds and ice by "scanning" the space to find pockets of rarer materials.

    Do crafters enjoy it?
    It's irrelevant as crafting is an industry in eve, its about scale and logistics more than it is about crafting certain items

    Is it usefull for gatherers?
    It remove the randomness and requirement for discovery, mining is an industry rather than a minigame in eve.

    Is it usefull for crafters?
    It simplifies things in terms of logistics and at the same time makes logistics a thing becouse transporting stuff is a thing, but then there's a ton of stuff to craft for your fleet, it's not about single players.

    On the other hand, we have a game like GW2 where you have 10s of resources that are tiered and obtained in many more ways than just gathering (different types of content, achievements, some time gated). There's no loop in economy though which directs the design towards higher tier items being resource sinks and new maps getting their own resources/currencies spendable on lootboxes with general resources. In the end crafting is just a way to have players to strive for something in terms of itemization. Crowfall tried to do stuff with multiple resources and replacements but you know.... rip...
    Do miners enjoy it?
    It's nice if there's variety in an action game. In EVE you can afk-mine pretty much, in AoC you have to be active, so a slot machine and the sense of wonder an acheivement when you can find rare stuff randomly rather than in preset locations is great.

    Do crafters enjoy it?
    Crafting is irrelevant in GW2, its all about sinking effort into gathering resources.

    Is it usefull for gatherers?
    Irrelevant, since gw2 is casual-friendly in that aspect, there are tons of different ways of obtaining different resources as chests.

    Is it usefull for crafters?
    Crafting is irrelevant in GW2, its all about sinking effort into gathering resources.

    Long story short:

    volume -> good for mmo where players cooperate
    variety -> good for mmo where players are more solo

    What I'd like to see in AoC is something in the middle.

    1. Make some resources based on biome/geography so no node can be self sufficient for the most basic resources, creating and economy, but dont hardcode stuff like "iron ore nodes" simplifying gathering basic resources to bot-like running between known coordinates

    2. Make some resorces hard to find/rare in terms where they spawn, giving people in incentive to seek for them (see ore sites in EvE, changing locations of ore in SWG-Pre NCU, changing ore locations in Dual Universe, lightning struck trees) but dont hardcode them to farmable content. For example, maybe we can find Wisps in the wildernes that drop catalysts for turning iron into gold which can help in making gold available in higher quantities in gold-poor areas

    3. Make some resources available only on player owned land, letting players play the market, for example higher tier wood, animal parts, alchemy intermediate products like alcohol, crops etc

    4. Base the general economy on fewer resources of volume, but let players use rare resource on those items. For example: lets have "plate armors" requiring simple resources to produce at a scale as a node, but let players improve them on a solo-basis by finding resources to enchant/tattoo/sharpen/reinforce/ascend/engrave equipment that can deteriorate or for example provide time based buffs by crafting potions, increasing crop yields, producting altering husbandry results. Another example might be rare catalysts that could give a chance to produce more of given product
  • I'd err on the side of 'Less' than 'More'. It's something of a balancing act. There need to be enough materials to separate the Masters from the Apprentices, but too many and it's just a proper ballache, and you end up with either your entire inventory or your entire bank/storage filled up with it all, and there's no room for anything else you need to actually play the game.

    Guild Wars 1 ended up being ridiculous with the amount of different stuff. They had loads of different types of material and rare material, but also looooaaaads of different currency types, and it took up multiple bags just to store them.

    ESO eventually realised what a borefest it was to have to play "The Inventory Game" rather than actually playing "The Elder Scrolls: Online", and brought in the Craft Bag, which could hold essentially unlimited amounts of each of the materials. They made it a subscriber-only perk, though, cos they're shits, but it solved a problem. Just meant that when I cancelled my subscription, I didn't even bother loading the game back up again even once, cos there was no way I was playing without the Craft Bag.


    I guess the thing to take away from this particular post is this: I want to be able to play the game, without having to micro-manage every single slot in my inventory. Ashes Of Creation, not Ashes Of Inventory.
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/
  • SunScriptSunScript Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited November 17
    Azherae wrote: »
    I think I'm flatly in the middle.

    I view this issue as being connected to open world economy and immersion, and so I always would make my suggestions from that perspective.

    I like having more different materials because it allows developers more tools to mess with the economy, to inspire players to explore, and it seems like it would be a requirement for Ashes just to keep the Node system economies fresh. It's troublesome to have a lot of items to need to store separately, but I just can't see an enjoyable version of this for me with low itemization.

    I also don't think it is necessary to do a lot of very specific items that are only used in one or two things, but how would things like 'Seasonable Gatherables' work across an entire world of Verra if we were so limited?

    I also don't really see what a 'wide variety of things for them to be used FOR' would even be, so I guess I will have to wait for Alpha-2 to understand what that would mean. Other than that, I've got lots of opinions on food and far too many economic opinions that will need to be integrated into testing.

    What I CAN say is that I don't mind if Fish are similar, but as I always say 'not like BDO please' where all Fish are functionally the same, large categories of meat are the same, etc.

    In the end, I just can't imagine what the context of this question is. I don't know what 'fewer' or 'more' is to the Itemization team. I can say that I come from a two games with hundreds of items and that helps me enjoy both the economy (in one of them, anyway) and immersion (sort of). I know I'd be disappointed in 'less than 10 types of ore' and so on.

    But I never know how to imagine what a Fantasy MMO world will be willing to 'leave out' until I see the plans, since so many items seem 'required' (Gemstones, for example, gotta be at least 10, right).

    Since this whole "less is better" or "more is better" mostly depends on the kind of MMO you're building, I tend to leave things to her cuz she's good at working out the more precise answers.

    For me, the bigger pain point about items is that I've been spoiled by FFXI in a specific way. In that game, you often have situations where there's X amount of a valuable loot dropping mob every day per server in that zone, and therefore Y amount of the related valuable item craftable, which also ties back to how many parties a zone can fit etc. So when there's no more hunting parties in a zone whose loot the crafters of the server are waiting on, those crafters end up becoming painfully aware of what is going on in some other zone across the world.

    Similarly, in FFXI all crafting requires crystals of the right elements for that craft. You can get way more crystals than usual by paying attention to the season and zones because that's how the elementals that drop a lot of them spawn. Because of elementals being tied to weather, when you run short on crystals you end up noticing which season it is and get to make meaningful decisions about whether to farm them yourself or wait for others to.

    What ends up happening in that game is that whether you try to or not, you end up being more aware of the game's world and what is happening in it sometimes purely because of economic factors. And THAT makes the game and its items feel more real. And I really just don't feel like playing a game that doesn't stand up to this standard. I will still play a game that lacks this, but only while there's a shortage of good MMOs, not because I'm cool with it.

    So I would say for me the answer is 'whatever item amount is necessary to achieve that immersive effect', but the amount is a small part of the puzzle.
    Bow before the Emperor and your lives shall be spared. Refuse to bow and your lives shall be speared.
  • This is easy.
    Flat in the middle of different approaches

    For a craft, you have 3 types of ingredients:
    the primary ingredient (common, bountiful, large quantities tiered per quality)
    The rare components(singular, hard to find, always a thrill to loot and achieve)
    And the flavours (enchancers, mutators, seasonals, also optional)

    E.g:
    Chainmail. Needs 10 iron links (created from iron ignots), 2 barks of ironwood for shoulders, and that ice flower seed oil for that mutation of added ice resistance.

    You always have spendage on rares, bulks and seasonals, all on their own right. With their own markets and functions.

    Recipes need not too much nor too little on the numeric side. "a handful" is the spot.

    Because farming for 1600 iron ignots which are found every 10 meters everywhere is just boring, but so is looking for than iron deposit for those 2 ore lumps which you might during next 2 or 20 minutes. The flat middle is the answer.
  • Everything that's anti bot is fine by me
  • ThangulhadThangulhad Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Everything that's anti bot is fine by me

    Yes, I hope extreme measures are being taken to prevent botting. New World launched and it got bad, REALLY bad with botting.
  • In general, I think less is more when it comes to most crafting materials, with a wide variety of special materials that are each only used for a small number of higher-end items. With a system such as this, a relatively small number of "basic" materials will be used across all recipes, allowing those materials to be stockpiled and traded as commodities in bulk while the rarer "keystone" type materials would typically require either luck to find (such as a gem from veins) or a purposeful venture to obtain (such as a dragon's horn).

    However, even within the bulk materials, there could be a small amount of quality variation. Let's take wood as an example. Perhaps everything could be crafted out of some combination of maple, pine, cedar, oak, cherry, and mahogany woods - only six types to manage, but within these there could be three grades: knotty, fine-grain and pristine. Low-level/grade bows might be made out of knotty maple wood (and other materials), mid-level/grade could use fine-grain maple, and the best bows would require pristine maple. Other woods might have other primary purposes, such as cedar for furniture and construction. With such a system even those six basic types of wood could fulfill all the needs for that material type.

    When it comes to the recipes for items themselves, I think most basic items should only have 2-3 components, with the number of components increasing as level/grade goes up. As such, a level 10 bow might be made from only 2 items: knotty maple lumber from lumber milling and a basic bowstring produced by tanning. A level 30 spear might require fine-grain oak lumber (lumber milling), iron ingots (metalworking), and beeswax polish (alchemy or animal husbandry). A level 50 masterpiece shield might require mithril ingots (metalworking), pristine mahogany lumber (lumber milling), a flask of fortification (alchemy), and a steelhide wurm scale (mob drop). In my mind, anything beyond 3-4 components should be in the realm of legendary crafts.

    One thing I do beg the developers is not to use "pyramid scheme" crafting, where a massive number of low level materials are needed to create higher level ones. It makes sense to require a few iron ore and coal to make a steel ingot. It does not make sense to require half a dozen steel ingots and mithril ore to make mithril ingots. We all know which game I am referring to.
  • In my opinion, there are shouldn't be situations when inventory and storage are clogged with a ton of different and incomprehensible items. But at the same time, it should be diverse enough to make crafting look logical (for example, for crafting dragon skin armor, a dragon skin was really needed), there was room for research and there was a minimal probability of collecting all possible resources in bulk. In short, I would like to see a resource system logical, diverse, but able to fit in the mind.
  • kryPrimkryPrim Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    - I prefer crafting that consists of several parts to build a weapon.

    - I like to have a warehouse of resources to quickly resupply the guild/node with weapons/equipment after losses.

    - A full warehouse can also prevent bad times when there are no more trees/ores/herbs in the region.

    - I love to collect resources together for the node or the guild to build buildings, equipment, etc..
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Many types of items doing specific things is my pick. Especially with the higher tier stuff.
  • In the beginning, gathering is fun, especially when paired with exploration. As time goes on, and the world becomes more familiar, gathering becomes more of a chore that eventually leads to burnout. As such, I'd suggest a balanced approach, where common materials are found in abundance and used to craft lower quality items, while the higher quality items are forged from much fewer, but more rare materials. They'd likely require _some_ of the common abundant materials, but no more than the lower quality items, so that the burden of gathering does not increase over time.
  • FurCannonFurCannon Member
    edited November 17
    Materials: Less is More or More is Less? To answer this question, lets define the parameters within the extremes. Each new parameter will be a build up over the previous ones:
    • Type of worlds
    • Human nature
    • Economy of the game
    • Availability of resources and quantity from gathering
    • Less is More or More is Less
    Types of worlds:
    - Perfectly defined world - is a place where each and every action returns known results. The costs and alternative costs are known to the crowd. Resources have tiers and are usable only for the particular item tier. Expected profit is easy to calculate. Optimization and mass crafting for the market is unavoidable.
    - Perfectly undefined world - is a place for RNG, where the risk versus reward starts playing a crucial role. RNG may take various forms, adding a variable statistic to an item, adding quality to items, enhancements to gear with RNG chance, possibility to craft items with less materials with a risk of failure or even tweaks to the actual recipe which may lead to unknown results. Possibilities are endless, but if introduced poorly it will destroy the game.
    - Between Worlds - any concept between the perfectly defined and perfectly undefined world, which will be our main concept to answer the main question.

    Human nature:
    This is the most crucial aspect to analyze, as there were so many great crafting concepts in other games that were demolished by human nature.
    - In perfectly defined world - humans will seek the most optimal way of obtaining the result. In this case it will be cheapest or fastest way to get what you want in order to use it or sell it for profit. There are masterminds out there who will break the game to achieve the control of the market. Items are linear and after optimization, mass production begins. Human nature is to be inpatient, which have dire consequences in this scenario.
    - In perfectly undefined world - the risk versus reward factor impacts human nature a lot. Some will take greater risks than others, other will play it safe. With great risks comes great satisfaction and emotions, which will be shared across the communities. Tears of Joy or Tears of Sadness, we all been there. As always smart people will figure out the way to optimize the processes, but it will be more difficult and will take time. The growing disparity between players will be visible and will cause a general unrest to lack of balance.

    Economy of the game
    - In the perfectly defined world - without gear/resource sinks items and resources will become worthless with time passing. Market is saturated and people will be accepting lower and lower profit margins, just to sell their stuff. Impatience plays crucial thing here "I want to sell my stuff now". Whole economy collapses and there is nothing to fight for anymore.
    - In perfectly undefined world - we have lots of gear/resource sinks so it takes more time for the items to lose their value. It is excessively difficult to progress the gear and the disparity between hardcore, semi-hardcore and casual players keeps growing over time, with no real chance for casual players to catch up. The dominance of hardcore players is widely spread, town and players pays taxes to the hardcore guilds for protection and to avoid being destroyed. Market is controlled by hardcore players. Casual players leave the game and there is no one left to fight with.

    Availability of resources and quantity from gathering
    There is quite a few possibilities here:
    • Lots of resources available but not much resources is gathered
    • Lots of resources available and a lot of resources is gathered
    • Scarce amount of resources and not much is gathered
    • Scarce amount of resources and a lot of resources is gathered.
    • For each above we can add scenario where crafting recipes require a lot of or small amount of resources.
    Less is More or More is Less:
    I will define last parameter - for the players to feel engaged to the game, feel a sense of progression and also possibilities to gather wealth in game, all in meaningful way, but not always making people happy - negative emotions have a powerful positive impact in the future, as those enhance the positive emotions afterwards.

    For me, the answer to the question is - both = Less is More and More is Less.
    By looking at extremes, I realized that choosing one of the two never works. Combine them both and introduce good, meaningful sinks that could be appreciated by the community.

    Crafting should be meaningful and should allow players to feel a sense of progression. Add few types of resources e.g.: common, rare, ancient:
    - Common materials - used to craft standard items - generally available to gather, you can get quite a bit of them, but you also need substantial amount for each craft. Needed to craft every single item in the game. No wasted or useless resources here.
    - Rare materials - used to enhance the items during crafting or hone them afterwards or both. Less availability, maybe a chance to get during regular gathering of common materials, or by having a special gathering node that will pop on the minimap.
    - Ancient materials - would add a unique feature to each item, which will have a significant impact on the gameplay - something that will fit the skills (as I do not know skills yet, I will throw a random example - "Comback Kid - when receiving final blow, survive with 1 HP (CD of few minutes)"). Extremely rare material, obtainable from difficult content in the game, something worth fighting for. To limit the power creep - limit it to one item per character (defensive or offensive).
    Overall concept - scarcity grows with power. Allow possibility to convert the common materials in to rare and rare into ancient, but at a very high cost in quantity and silver. Quantity converts to scarcity.

    There needs to be a resource sink added. There might be few solutions here, but what I see interesting is that the higher tier gear you attempt to craft, the lower the chance of success - same as in Lineage 2 Interlude, where A tier gear success chance was 60%. The overall crafting system should be rewarding allowing players to maximize statistics without the power creep but allowing also to take a risk for a reward. Ancient materials are extremely rare, but could be used also for a chance to increase the power of an item to get extra bit of damage or HP. Nothing major, but still nice to have, every bit of HP or damage adds up. There can be even system in place for this with steps in between and possible failure resets to the nearest safe spot, which could be +3, +6, +9 and so on - lots of options.

    Adding requirement of having a recipe to craft is an interesting option. It should be simple to get common recipes, but hard to get the one's that require ancient materials. Could be one recipe per craft or one to learn and be a crafter of such - depending on the option, rarity should decrease or increase.

    There is a possibility to add a random recipe crafting where ancient and rare materials combinations may yield unexpected results - huge possibilities, very difficult to build well. If done correctly you can have some amazing crafting community

    Adding shots to increase weapon damage (like lineage 2 had) brings the interesting balance for the cost of new equipment - are you able to afford the better gear? Cool, but you also need a higher tier shots. Craft the shots using your common/rare materials. Do you want to permanently improve your shots crafting recipe? Sure, give it a try with ancient material for a small permanent bonus, but also added cost for future crafts.

    Repairing should require basic materials and some silver - standard resource sink. Do not make it to crazy though, as people will avoid combat, cost should be small for a player, but in scope of all players it will add up. Definitely lower repair bills for sieges (at least for defenders haha).

    Add extremely rare, farmable treasures, which do not significantly impact the gameplay but are fun to have, something like infinite HP potion from BDO. Those should take significant time to get, should require multiple pieces to craft from various locations and lots of common, rare and some ancient materials. One of those rare treasures may for example infuse your weapon with flame adding insignificant amount of fire damage, but giving a nice, extremely rare cosmetic to the weapon.

    I always liked glowing weapons with enhancing if there would be a system for it - something that I remember well from Lineage 2 haha. If there will be no enhancing system - maybe glow could be added with ancient materials.

    There are definitely more ideas out there, but this post is getting quite long, thanks for reading my wall of text if you survived that long.

    Oh and last but not least, I truly do not like bots in the games that sell the gold and farm the resources in automated way, good to think for a solution for that, as each game I played recently suffered a lot from this. Maybe a solution would be (PvE players will hate me for that), that if you gather a resource, during that time you are flagged for PvP - this can be definitely abused by griefers though, but would help to kill of the bots - but again risk versus reward.

    Disclaimer: This is just my take on the concept, it is definitely not perfect, but may inspire greater ideas.

    Thanks,
    Fur


  • I would be leaning towards the fewer, too many going towards realistic is tiresome as this is a video game. At lower crafting levels there should be a lot of different things you can craft with simple materials, but none of these things would be advanced.

    As you level up your crafting the amount of resources you can find to craft with should expand, but not too much, as your knowledge and skill of your craft also increases. This is also related by the number of advanced items that you can make.
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  • MaerdisMaerdis Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    It all depends on if AoC is the type of MMO that will gouge players to pay for inventory space and if the default inventory space initially provided will be ample. Otherwise, lesser junk of anything is preferred.
  • MaerdisMaerdis Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    It's all dependent on inventory situation. Will the game provide ample default space to partake in a robust crafting system with elaborate recipes and gathering inventory?Less is more, otherwise.
  • I am in the middle.
    However, either way it goes, we MUST have the inventory space available to us. Or as spoken of before, perhaps a warehouse that we can house our materials. For if we cannot gather what we need, due to storage, then both points are mute.
  • There's lots of people talking about the inventory, me too, I spoke about many everyday circunstances that involves inventory
  • akabearakabear Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Simplistically, the less important the crafted item, the less range of materials to make

    The higher the value/importance of the crafted item, the scarecity of key base materials and higher number of items is an option.

    NW had perhaps a great model to work to
  • Vaknar wrote: »
    dev_discussion_materials-v3.jpg

    Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

    Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

    Dev Discussion - Materials: Less is More or More is Less?
    Would you like to see a wide variety of materials that can be used for specific things, or fewer materials that can be used for a wide variety of things?

    Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding Training!

    I do not care about how many resources one mining node provides or herb or anything, I just wish for economy to feel worth, what I am saying is that I wish gold to have worthiness and I wish for players to treat gold as real life money. How you will achieve that is none of my business, although I would argue that if node provides less resources it will be much more stable economy simply because of simplicity reasons. Players would not need to have calculators with them in order to make economy that I spoke of. Many players won't keep good track of gold and they will make gold useless over the period of time.

    One thing that team can do is to make some materials spawn similar way as black lotus from Vanilla WoW. Basically how black lotus would spawn is that there were 4 zones where it could spawn with 15+ spawning locations in each zone, but only one black lotus would spawn per zone out of those 15 locations on 1hr CD. Only those with max herbalism would be able to gather it and only those with high end recipes would be able to craft flasks that provide very good buff for 2hr. Some of them were like 2000hp buff (mandatory for tanks since tanks would have around 3-5k HP depending what patch it was) it was mandatory because some boss mechanics would oneshot tank if he did not have this flask. Other flasks would give flat spell damage or healing power, other would provide with attack power or resistance buff to give +25 spell resistance for every resistance element. These buffs combined with other minor potions/elixirs and food buffs / world buffs would give around 40% player power combined. Which would lead to big impact on how players performed in raids. So, it would take around 2-4 hours of farming in order to do one hard raid. This is what I want in every MMO, for economy to feel worth doing simply because if it did not offer this, then all crafting will be useless and then these types of MMO become theme-park lobby MMOs and not true traditional RPG MMOs where you had to prepare yourself for every type of content.

    This again, can be done with simplicity. Less resources per node leads to more reasonable prices on market. No need of complex math in order to put ''reasonable'' price per item/material.

    One more thing which can be done, is to set prices from vendors. Again from Vanilla WoW, there were vendors that would sell starter 4slot bags for 7 silver, players would sell same bags for 4-5 silver, which means everyone would buy bags from players to save gold, again, it was not easy to farm silver in early levels of WoW zones, therefore everyone was careful as how they are spending gold. Gold was needed for spell training, mounts and professions since you could not farm everything yourself, if you did not have skinning, you could not make bags on higher level ... etc... I think that it is better for devs to put prices on market via vendor, so that players can follow up. Better then to risk giving players full power. Consider that in WoW vanilla high end bags could not be found on vendor, but only players would be able to make them - 14 slot.

    Goal would be for example: If you wanted to do raid that is hard, you would need to farm at least 2 hours prior to that raid night. Or if you wanted to PvP all day, you would need to farm 1hour to get potions for health/mana or some minor buffs from flasks/food/runes. This should be goal to every MMO because it is RPG to have this kind of economy, again if you give everything cheap, there would not be this sense of preparing, which leads to that MMO being similar to lobby games that we have on market - League of Legends, Valorant, etc.... Sorry for repeating myself, but this is core of my philosophy for any MMORPG.
  • I'm in favour of both sides of the spectrum simultaneously.

    Less is More functions the best with large quantities of items and/or in an area where every problem can occur on a regural basis. In such a system every item, no matter the circumstance, has a demand, thus making it relevant. However, because everything needs items, a lot of those are going to be required (hence "works best with large quantities of items")

    More is Less on the other hand shines in environments with more static and rarer problems, and fewer items in circulation. Here, it's not the unexpected problem that drives the demand, but rather the relative rarity of the item that solves a known problem.

    And given that in Ashes the world is a big and ever-changing place composed of smaller and more independent units, both system in my opinion should exist.

    Technical rambling inbound; optional to the post

    As to how I see both coexist, here's how I think this could be done (from what I understand, this should be fairly similar to what was in SWG, however, because I've not played that game, only read the wiki, I am not certain how similar it is):

    Every resource has at least one "class" and a couple of attributes tied to each of the "classes" (eg. pine log would have a wood class, with hardness, flexibility and perhaps incombustibility). The quality would be determined by total amount of "stat points" allocated across the resource's attributes.

    The resource "classes" play into Less is More, wherehas quality/attributes - into More is Less.

    Only the "class" (or multiple "classes) of the resource should be called upon in any sink of that specific resource (crafting it into something else is also considered here a "sink"), with the result being affected by what was invested into it, perhaps giving way for some interesting interactions (how much to invest into specialized eqipement? Or maybe just get the most expandable one? Or adapt and take advantage of good local resources?)
  • more is better. i liked Lineage 2's crafting system.
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