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



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    Rather than variety in materials, I would like rare recipes/blueprints, that you would have to unlock. The magic of having so many rare recipes that no one unlocks some for years keeps the system fresh.
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    I think Monster Hunter perfected the crafting grind by creating a system where the materials were memorable and variable by their monster correlation. There are many versions of "Fangs", "Claws", "Scales", "Spikes", etc but they are all memorable and easy to parse because you have the basic building blocks stacked by the monster they correlate too. This makes the grind for said materials easy to understand and also enjoyable.

    When you say hoarder I can't help but think of Perfect World crafting which was so boring because you need all sorts of weird materials from an area that don't really make sense and don't scale the same way.

    Albion Online does a wonderful job with its crafting only stifled by its wonky perk tree system that locks progression behind each step in the process. I quite enjoy Albions minimalist approach. But the stop and go progression feels like you're in traffic hitting every single redlight along the way trying to upgrade gear as a new player.

    I think there is a goldylox zone of "Variety" and "Minimalism" that MH mastered and I think could be recreated. Separate the types of crafting materials, right; Ores, Bugs, Plants/Trees, Monster Mats. Give them basic building blocks, ie Fangs, Scales, Tails and add variation by the monster type/variant. This also serves as a part of the world building and lore. "Blah blah leaves only grows on the trees from this region" and so on. If you make your system easy to organize you can add tons of variation but it will feel minimalistic because its easy to swallow.
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    Just an observation, but I tend to work around many creative individuals that span many mediums. Regardless of their medium (digital, physical, mechanical, art, sketch, product, etc.) creatives generally have TONS of varieties of materials. Some different colors, some different qualities. Some rare, some common. Some meaningful that they're saving for a special project, when some are very mundane.

    I think any game focused heavily on crafting should embrace these commonalities, but give users their own way to organize and sort/filter materials. In the digital world, hoarding materials is just a little bit more storage space. So I'd hope that inventory space isn't too much of a concern. Assuming that, give the players all the space and ways to sort and organize as they wish. I think you'll find that creativity will abound when tailoring the in-game tools to these types of individuals.

    Afterall, crafting isn't mandatory for this game, so reward players that choose that as how they play and don't limit their possibilities with inventory space issues or boring materials.

    To be fair, I'm in the middle of conceptulaizing a game that is more about gathering/crafting than combat, so I'm very passionate about this. If you have more questions or would like to pick my brain a bit more on the topic, I welcome being reached out from the team.
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    LeopoldLeopold Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    For me what important is to have a good balance between variety and usefulness.
    There is no point in making 100s of material if only 5 of them are used by recipes.
    Top tier recipies should also require lower tier material to keep them usefull.
    For instance we could have metals be processed together to make steal that can't be found in natural deposits.
    Recipe should also make sense. Making a plate armor out of wood alone is stupid. It can however require a mix of components, some may need pelt or cloth... Especially if the actual render have it.

    Same thing for food don't make me cook sushies with goat meat.

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    I generally like there to be a bit of both. Have almost all recipes require a decent amount of the 'universal' resources, and then differentiate the recipes by which of the less common resources they require, and have lots of different versions of those.
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    From what I understand, the second type (more mats) would fit the type of feel this game is going for. It's supposed to be very immersive, with the potentiality for building towns and stuff-- it makes sense that you'd be able to collect and use a lot of materials. Another example I saw earlier on in the thread was wand crafting.

    Of course, no two wands are the same. Someone might make a wand from Birch. Another from Ebony. Another from Cherrywood. These are all ways to make unique equipment that are very useful, especially if it effects the stats in beneficial ways.

    However, one thing I am going to say about getting crafting mats like this is please, don't make the mats too difficult to get. I can't tell you how many MMO's I've stopped playing because I'm trying to get endgame armor from a raid and they had a stupid low drop chance (only to be taken by another player when they did drop) or you could craft the item in a crafting system, other then the fact that by that point the item also requires mats from that raid which doesn't have a high drop chance either.

    With this kind of game, crafting should be a major system. I'd like to see it stay relevant, where in most MMOs, crafting becomes useless by the time you hit endgame.
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    More is lessMore

    Like some posts before, I believe having a diversity of crafting materials is necessary to incite the variety in gear.
    The variety in gear contributes highly to the ability to mold your character how you want. And by giving diversity it adds gameplay levels that even developers might not think about at first.
    For example, playing off a previous written post idea:
    If someone has some material with fire attribute, and uses it to craft a blade or armor piece, it should add the attribute offensively or defensively to the equipment. Lets say that offensively, it adds 5% of the base weapons damage as additional fire damage on every hit, for each Quality Tier (at lets say tier 5 quality, it adds 25%.
    If you used the same idea for defensively, lets say that it now reduces all fire damage taken on the armor piece by 2% per tier. 10% at tier 5. But if you have multiple gear pieces with the same, it should be something multiplicative, so 1 piece at tier 5 makes you take 90% (10% less of 100%)fire damage, but 2 makes you take 81%. (10% less of 90%) etc.
    But lets add variety here, and lets say that if you use the leather of a Rhino, this is the defensive absorption resource. But if you used the leather of a Chocobo, it turns into the defensive ability - % chance to completely avoid damage from fire based damage (absorbing the damage into the material itself instead of inflicting damage)
    Or lets say a Basilisk Hide that gives you a high % chance to reflect fire based damage taken, to the original source, making you take only 50% of the damage, and 50% being reflect back to the source.
    For weapons, lets say some variety of wood might change special affects on your 'fire based' spells/abilities. Lets say one adds a Burning damage over time. While another Weakens your offensive damage as you take burning scar damage (for a duration of course). Maybe another Brittles your hide, so now your body is scarred and you take % increased damage from all sources.

    And now we take a look at other affects / material bases. Lets say we throw in some Snow Lily that has healing capabilities, every time you are hit, you have a % chance to receive a soothing feeling that wraps around you from your armor, giving you a small healing affect.
    Or the Ice Tree Roots, that causes your spells to produce a protective Shield that absorbs some damage for you, and builds up shield slowly as you cast spells. Like say 10% of the damage of the ability is added as a protective layer to your health, protecting you from 70% of all damage that would have gone to you, as long as you have some of the shielding affect it can absorb up to that amount, at a 70% ratio of the original damage.

    Lets say maybe you have some armor made from the essence of the Wraiths and Shadows, combined with the fine silk cloth from the rare silk spider. And each time you take damage, there's a small % chance to summon a shadow of yourself, that absorbs a 1, 2, ... 5% of your total health in damage, and does 1, 2, .... 5% of your damage as basic attack damage to the nearest (and already in combat) foe/enemy until it is destroyed or a certain duration has expired.

    Now, with higher tier materials, you may need some added materials such as your choice of [swamp paste, tree sap, frog blood, worm juices, bee saliva] to craft tier 2 materials into your gear, and maybe [fairy dust, rosewood sawdust paste, or magnetized iron shavings] and [enchanted silk, polar bear hide, or palladium bars] to craft tier 5 material into your gear. etc. A secondary necessary ingredient that is harder to come by; higher level trees. higher crafting requirements. higher level mobs, etc. that makes it so that crafting is harder / more expensive as you go up in tiers. Of course all materials should be able to be imported or acquired in all areas; maybe a vendor can sell some of these in each major town; the traveling merchant.

    Crafting in All Aspects
    As for the above examples, i think its plain to get the bigger picture here.
    A variety of affects can be crafted on your gear that adds levels of gameplay and pros/cons. As for the exact affects, obviously this is up to the developers. But I believe having this variety in the game adds many aspects of FUN and Engaging combat and gameplay. Even crafting your Pick out of Onyx, with a 0.5% chance to turn your mined rock into obsidian ore... etc. These aspects can be used in other aspects that just completely enhance the game experience on a whole.

    I understand maybe some balancing may need to be done in terms of some affects but I believe the added level of gear is very rewarding to both users of the gear and crafters who want to make it.

    And as for the crafting, I believe having aspects somewhat related to realism is quite entertaining and informative. Such as done with RuneScape, how you can mine and combine Copper ore and Tin ore to create Bronze metal and then smelt that metal into part of your crafted gear; I think adding aspects like that to Ashes will be very enjoyable in the long run for a deeper and engaging game. Lets say you take a bunch of feathers from your favorite bird in the area, combine it with some small twine/rope, and attach it to a arrow. And shoot the arrow to create a Lure to attract beasts in the area. etc.

    MORE is more
    And i think that the variance in material should be able to be used.
    Lets say you have a blueprint to make a Broad Sword. But lets say you want to use 50 KG of material on the blade, but you want to make a mix of Adamantine and Obsidian to create your blade. Or other combinations. And lets say that each different material could affect a different aspect of the end result and also the durability and affects attached to it. But lets say we just want a cheap throw away weapon and make it out of Bronze only, which is the same weapon in design but made of different materials and thus having different affects and stats.

    Now suddenly every material you can gather anywhere may be useful for something. It never loses its relevance, though maybe some materials will have a niche in some way vs others. Like maybe low quality ores are only for training and selling. etc.
    This now creates a vast NEED to have merchant routes to different areas in order to create a market of materials all over Verra. Now you need to import Obsidian from the Frozen Wastelands down to the south eastern Savanna because crafters in that area want to make those weapons, but they don't want to move to the frozen wastelands, and would rather buy the material in their home town to do some crafting.
    Naturally, this would mean the materials will cost more but the affects you can combine with the wood materials in the Savannah and the Armor Hides would more than make up for the added cost due to migration of materials from their source.

    Perhaps some materials could be fused together of lower tier in order to form higher tier. Or some Merchant Group that will give you a exchange rate. 10 T1 hides and 5 copper for 1 T2 hide. etc. This will make lower tier materials relevant always, and will allow a standardized price to those material types.
    This allows you to have a 100% drop rate of materials, with a % chance to the Tier, and as you get higher level mobs that drop that material, it has a higher % of being higher tier material.

    Now in a variety of materials, you may use more space per character both in terms of inventory and in terms of programming space. I think some games have actually done a very good job of this;
    You have a SEPERATE inventory dedicated solely to crafting materials/related. Lets say you can grab a crafting bag that is a reward from some crafting beginner quest. And it can store 500 items of up to 5 KG each item. And then when you advance in crafting you get another quest that lets you upgrade your bag to 600 items of up to 15KG each item. etc. etc. Or perhaps its just a Chest in your Player-Owned-House/Ship that holds the materials while you go off drinking at the local tavern and enjoying a good round of Dirty Kobolds with your buds from the Clan.
    But ultimately with more materials comes the need for separate inventory management specifically for those.

    Blue prints / crafting gear
    Maybe as you get higher crafting level, you can unlock new blueprints or new crafting recipes. And maybe these recipes let you put more materials in them. Maybe lowest tier only lets you add one material at 95% efficiency.
    But maybe lvl 20 crafting lets you add 3 different materials at 75% efficiency each. But some dragon scales can be used to increase the efficiency up to 100%. (so if the armor would provide 10% protection against fire, and 10% vs light. But because its only 75% efficient it only provides 7.5% of each.)
    Thus adding complexity to highest tier end-game gear etc. So you can craft it without the scales, but it wont be quite as effective without it. While it still maintains having 3 different crafted aspects.

    TLDR: More material variety is more. More affects from different material is More. More Tiers in material adds aspects to value.

    For those haters out there. You don't have to be a crafter. If you cant handle the complexity, maybe crafting just isn't for you. And that's why you buy your items on the market, or find a crafting to do custom crafts for you.

    To Developers:
    What actual affects and their percentages and balancing may prove to be somewhat complex, but will reward gameplay so much more by adding so many different combinations and counterbalances. This is the kind of deep gameplay mechanics that make people stay for years. Not some 'kill 100 cows. Tan their hides. Make a set of gold dragonhide armor'
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    I'd say it depends on the resource. Certain things like mushrooms and their various types can be in cooking and poison recipes. They grow violently in certain biomes and sparsely in others.

    On top of that, certain resources need to be big in supply because it provides a lifeline for other classes as well as directs money into the pockets of those willing to work. Which also determines the amount of resources which should or shouldn't be available -- the general wealth of the average player.

    I personally hate harvesting. It's the most boring thing in any MMORPG. I'll almost never do it. So to me, a nickel and dime crafter class like alchemists who do poison is important to have lots of resources available to.

    Maybe have NPCs that harvest the trash resources?
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    Sloth0272Sloth0272 Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    As a super hardcore crafter in every game i play I would like a wide variety of crafting materials, with the ability to substitute in others when i go to craft an item. The rarer the items that go into a product the better the product will be, or if you add in a specif type of item it will give you a weapon an added effect.

    A Simplistic version of it would be lets say for a tier 1 item it needs a metal, a wood, and some kind of magic monster drop item. When you go to select the items to put into the recipe, it gives you the option to select from the different tier 1 materials you have gathered. You can put in a copper bar, or an enhanced copper bar, you can put in a wood log or maybe a pristine wood log, you can put in a wolf claw, or maybe a venom wolf claw.The result will be a tier 1 sword, but depending on the rarity of the materials you put in it would increase the rarity of the item you produce, and/ or give it an extra feature like being able to inflect poison. Then when you go to upgrade the sword to a tier 2, you use that tier 1 sword as a material along with adding in some tier 2 metal, tier 2 wood, and tier 2 magic monster drop item to strength your level 2 sword even further. so to get the best version of a lets say tier 5 sword you would need to use the best tier 1-5 ingredients throughout the whole craft. Or if i want my weapon to do massive poison damage i keep adding in a magical monster drop to increase the poison potency, instead of using different magic monster materials to stack extra effects. That way although 2 people may have crafted a tier 5 great sword one can be vastly superior because they took the time to get the best materials vs someone who just got the generic easy to gather materials.

    The problems with going this route is most storage room since as a crafter you will probably hoard a ton of all the items. The low rarity ones to power level your crafting, and the higher quality ones to put into high-end items. It would also most likely require more work to implement it into the game.

    I would just mainly like the ability to craft the best possible item that is leagues vastly superior to others if i put in the time gathering the materials. I dont care how difficult or time consuming it is the craft an item as long as the item is strong enough to warrant the time it took to make it.
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    maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited November 2022
    I think BOTH are NEEDED because:

    less items for more recipes means:
    • simpler economy is easier to balance
    • increased global stability of market prices
    • stronger emphasis on recipe acquirement
    • increased likelihood of availability locally means less reason to transport goods
    • fewer market niches
    • less variety
    • general loss of depth
    and vice versa.

    Please consider: what is the purpose of low-variety items vs high-variety?
    For me, the purpose of high variety materials is to create CUSTOMIZATION OPTIONS - thus attachment and increased investment (read: engagement) with my items.
    Whereas, low variety materials represent basic necessities - thus help establish patterns and rules that keep the playing field fair.

    Please don't overcommit to one or the other, but if you have to - I'd suggest starting with low variety, then introducing more specializations further down the track to spice things up with one hand on the steering wheel.

    My expectations for recipes (quoted from another thread):
    I imagine major late-game recipes to require:
    5% - identity material - specialized high-risk materials that define the item (limited/dangerous spawn)
    30% - "flavour" materials - region specific material that only spawns in 1 or 2 regions, distribution mostly controlled by local gathering teams. These ingredients having substitutional equivalents so players can switch suppliers if needed, but with customization effects (for example: Igneous Ruby imbues +3 Str vs Underrealm Pearl imbues +20 resistance - if the volcanoes are under siege, then you'll have to make do with pearls for some time)
    65% - filler materials - low-tier/easy-to-gather materials that are readily available

    In terms of effort spent acquiring these items:
    35% - identity material
    45% - flavour materials
    20% - filler materials
    I wish I were deep and tragic
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    For a positive experience, I think for the most part materials should be pretty broad in their usage. High value items should have rare material in addition to the basic materials.
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    Depends. Are you trying to appease people that want to craft, or are you trying to appease people that want a good MMO? It's worth acknowledging that this question is going to be heavily biased in favor of people who care a lot about crafting, who may overreach with that bias relative to the needs of balancing an MMO properly.

    There is no balance that will appease everyone, but as a general rule, most gamers tend to appreciate the rule of keeping things simpler whether they realize it or not. I doubt you'll get many complaints like "I can't believe you don't have 2389 raw materials for me to grind!"

    It's easy for everyone (including those giving feedback) to fall into the mindset of "oh, wouldn't it be cool if we added this and this and this" and not really understand the implications of doing that.

    I'm really looking forward to having an MMO that is actually interesting. PLEASE don't overwhelm me with a crafting simulator / grind mechanism that I don't care about. Make enough resources to trade meaningful, and make a few rare resources for end game content, and then stop.

    People (like me) will leave if there are too many resources, but they won't leave if there's just enough to make the right systems work well.
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    I do enjoy an intricate system with many types of materials to utilize. Just try to fine tune the game so no single material is just worthless due to overabundance.

    -Perhaps different regions can have different starting materials, all used for basic crafting purposes, but later recipes utilize several of those materials while the combinations are of regions that are distant from each other. This would promote travel for players to make more gold by selling materials elsewhere, and even a possible tradeoff if they arent actively using/selling it in their own node to progress it further.

    -Rarer materials should also be a thing, both world wide and regional. Anything from random finds to dungeon/raid specific acquisition. Use these for more powerful items obviously.

    -Maybe have a drop/resource-spawn rate directly correlate to the number of players living within the region. Less players get more spawns, enticing more players to move to that region increasing its activity. This can keep less developed regions relevant and able to progress indirectly. This can also synergize with the Land Management System.

    -Provide plenty of item sinks to keep resources relevant across the board. Even High level items should require low level resources to repair. T1 items should require T1 resources to repair. T6 items should require a combination of T1,T2,T3,T4,T5, and T6 resources to repair. This helps control inflation by always providing a need for resources of all kinds. Maybe even have it where a lower amount of a rare resource from a tier can substitute many of a common resource of the same tier, but the tier cannot be replaced by a different tier resource.

    -In general though, make lots of materials for intricate crafting and economy potential, but dont design it in a way that makes it where any resources are overabundant and inflating a market or filling up too much space for players to hold.
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    In the midlle here,

    the larger the amount of resources will be, the better should be the inventory and bags management system.
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    Hello, when I started Archeage I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of materials. But I loved trying out the many options. I compared prices and calculated with the other aspects. I mean time, labor and seed costs. I had a lot of fun doing that. The economy was smart and thoughtful and everything was needed by someone. Then they "simplified" everything. As a result, more and more aspects of the game became obsolete. A complex economy with many materials offers more game depth. The disadvantages for players with little love for complex economic aspects are certainly large. It is important that changes in the finished game are not made lightly. I hate it when, through a patch, part of my inventory becomes obsolete or the demand for a product goes from high to almost zero. Thank you and have a nice day.

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    Either is good, depends how you use this decision. Most important is to let crafters/gatherers develop in unique way for each of them. More materials may give more options and variety of crafts. Maybe the more you add of one kind of material the different outcome you receive, different materials may give different result as well. It depends how much possible it is to create complicated craft & gather system. The worst case scenario is to make all crafters and gatherers as copy-paste with each other.
    I have seen one exciting system in LiF:YO - each player had recipes for potions randomly assigned so to have same potion created each player had to use different basic materials. This created need for trading materials with each other. Ofcourse each player had to find out first which herbs to mix to have particular potion.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    After thinking about this some more and realizing that there's no harm in giving a more detailed answer, especially once the thread has gone on a bit, I can give more detail, and though I know this will be far too specific, note that in my mind this is still 'just an example'.

    Wood: There are at least 8 different categories of wood with different properties within just Hardwoods. On an abstract level since wood affects both appearances of furnishings and quality of certain items, you need that much of it, and I'd go up to 12. Anything less and you're below 'standardly' modded MineCraft (Biomes o' Plenty for the initiated, specifically).
    Birch/Mahogany, Oak, Poplar, Ironwood, Ash, Rosewood/Teak, Fir/Spruce, Pine, Cedar, Maple (mostly so we have the trees)

    Metal: Similar. There are at least 8 metals that are of importance in metallurgy and weaponmaking and you just mix and match alloys from there, so Ores are usually obvious but you can make rare specific ores (since ores are special combinations) and then separately make specific Metals. I feel that most people who care enough about smelting in these games will be happier if you do, and most other players will then be unaffected. So Ores:
    Copper, Zinc, Iron, Tin, Cobalt-Nickel (the ore for these is combined but then you'd have to get a Game level name), Titanium ('Mythril' for some but depends on your worldbuild, in mine the Mythril slot is actually White Bronze) and any rarer/meteoric ores that contain the heavy metals or special crystal structures for high level.
    Then Metals:
    Bronze, Brass, Iron, Steel (however many you want with fancy names and 'colors', start using things other than steel for most gear and the result will be the death of "muh immersion"), insert magical Verran analogues of historic alloys until the requirements of the Gear Itemization are satisfied.

    Opal, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Topaz, Sapphire, Amethyst, Garnet... hey I heard there's a semi popular 'kid's show' you can check... Universe something. Stop when people stop recognizing names or you realize the only reasonable place to put it is outside of rings and crowns like ornamental furniture. Or don't. People will like that too.

    Food (general):
    I CAN say that I don't actually enjoy gathering up all the noncritical spices for inventory reasons. I'm fine with them all existing, but they might be better served as special items from the economies of specific nodes, then bundled into Spice Boxes for the region which you can then use to make specialty stuff, and otherwise just throw one or two local current ones into food that doesn't REQUIRE it for small bonus effects. Resistances are always thematically nice here. Bonus if they don't grant resistance to stuff that's actually nearby so you want to export it.

    Food (Meat):
    I cook a lot. Make 7 types/categories. That's all. SOMEONE on staff must be enough of a cook to tell you why you need all of:
    Mutton, Pork, Beef, Bear/Venison, Turkey/Griffin, Chicken/'Reptile', Alligator/'Sea Monster'/'Dragon' (separately).

    Food (Fish):
    8 Types Minimum. This is actually a no-effort post, believe it or not, so I'm not looking it all up to make sure I make no overlap errors here. These are categories, even though not all are named that way.
    Salmon, Whitefish, Flatfish, Mudfish, Lobster-and-such, Squid, Mackerel, Swordfish, Tuna, Shark, Mahi Mahi, 'Sprats' (Sardines, etc).
    Fish tend to need a separate 'Fish category' ID marker in my experience because of this, if you want huge fishing systems. BDO lacks it and it's annoying as hell.

    Food (Everything Else):
    There are some things that gatherers will want to see varieties of, fruits, mushrooms, berries. Then there's us Animal Husbandry people, who are mostly covered above in terms of food output, but you DO need more than one type of Egg. Two will do. Three if you're nice. Four if there's ducks. Add that to Meat too if there's ducks. (I understand that we who play Ashes may love Ducks too much too eat them).

    Pelts and Skins:
    You've GOTTA go for almost one per creature type, right? Even IRL these all actually have functionally different uses assuming they can be used at all. Eh, just go here and leave out anything you don't like. I feel like you'll get too few Tanners if you don't make this diverse.

    Horns, oils, inks, powders, reagents... these are tied directly to the Itemization, for me. It's nice to have a lot of them, but usually you can get the base materials from somewhere else. Given the systems for crafting, I'd have to assume that, and just fill this in with a bunch of connector slots. Whenever I do this I end up having to trim DOWN anyway.

    Separate from Pelts and Skins because of material properties, technically 'slot into the slot that certain metal scale/links do in Armorsmithing'.
    Go wild? Magical? This seems like the main place you'd get freedom for rare items and mob drops so use it here. Easy to justify 'you can't raise that' to Husbandry people for the really good ones.

    Interesting but never seems to end up engaging in the ones I play? If not making arrows consumable, I'd make only the minimum of these since they're a mob drop again, but maybe Wands and Scribing require 'em. Even so, probably better to stay on the lower end?

    Food (Completed):
    Anything less than 100 different meaningful dishes is a disservice to Cooks in a game that requires specialization. You can do this, even BDO manages. Well, they moreso manage 'having a lot', 'meaningful' is debatable, so maybe I would have to say 'Not like that' again.
    My experience with 'good food systems' is FFXI and that's it. I think games mostly don't want food to be 'required'. I have too high a bias here.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
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    I do NOT believe it is the type or amounts of different materials. It comes down to storage and weight allotment that becomes frustrating.
    I would say on another note, I don't prefer where you can harvest everything. Being specific, your a miner, or a herbalist, or a woodcutter, etc. I think makes the profession marketable. And then the finish product even more useful and helps drive a economy easier.

    my two cents. Anxious for this game in so many ways.
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    Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited November 2022
    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?

    Both of these design ideas can be leveraged situationally for the game's benefit.

    The core difference, the effect on the gameplay loop design

    The core difference between these two ideas is that
    A) the "less is more" idea, equals more game loop freedom, since you can play however you want to play, and it won't gate your ability to craft what you want since you can use the materials that you had already gathered to make what you want.

    B the "more is less" idea equals more game loop variety, since your crafting will be require specific materials, which means you will have to go out of your way to acquire them, rather than using the ones you gathered up to that point. This means you will have to participate in activities you may not have experienced yet, in order to gather those materials.

    The implications

    In AOC, there are many gameplay systems. Thus, it is possible to display a level of player mastery over more than one type of gameplay.
    If we are to follow the risk/reward and player agency design pillars- the idea is to reward players who display mastery over a system.
    This means that the players who specialize in, and master a specific type of gameplay, should be rewarded, but it also means that those who can display that same type of mastery in more than one type of gameplay should be rewarded even more so, due to the higher level of difficulty and risk.

    So in terms of gathering materials and crafting- currently, those who specialize in a specific type will be rewarded with access to rarity of materials as they progress. So those who can master various systems should receive an additional benefit. This would be the opportunity to implement both of these design philosophies of "more is less and less is more".

    The players who find their niche and specialize in one kind of gameplay, could be allowed to use their matierals in many different ways, but not tied to progression, since beginner players will want to be encouraged to try new things, which they will be encouraged to do by having that freedom of gathering and crafting, while getting the benefit of the tiered resources as they progress in a specific field. This is the "less is more" approach that could be taken early game to reward experimentation, and give freedom to players who have a niche.

    However, for those players who look to go the extra mile, and can prove their mastery in more than one area through risk and overcoming challenge, you could introduce the "more is less" approach for these late game players, which would mean that the highest tiered crafting items could require specific materials tied to mastery over various systems, such as having to go beat a specific dungeon/convince people to level the node a certain way to give you access to those matierials/or anything that you otherwise wouldn't try to do. As long as the crafted items that the niche players can craft is viable in the type of gameplay they will do, then this wouldn't affect them and they wouldn't feel required to do things they don't want to do to obtain these "crutch" resources and crafted items. But it would give a slight edge to those who can min/max by rewarding their mastery over more of the overall game.

    You could even introduce another option of having craftables that are on the same tier as what a specialized master could make, but have it require different matierals from different activities to reward the "jack of all trades" types of players. This of course, just like the high tiered craftables the niche player can make- would still be outclassed by the craftables that require mastery in more than one system, but gives an option for that type of player to have viable craftables, as long as they show as much "versatility", as the niche player shows "mastery".

    So essentially I think they the game should reward different styles of play and have progression paths within each- but the ones that are clearly more difficult and have greater risk should have greater reward, without forcing people out of their preferred style of play, unless they really want to min/max and compete against the best.

    Other potential differences

    People are mentioning inventory issues but that doesn't have to be relevant and affect this particular design decision. If they want to require more materials for something, without affecting the inventory system, then that is possible by simply designing the current inventory system to allow for those added materials. That is assuming that they don't want the inventory to be affected in those cases that more materials are required- it is always posisble that limited inventory space could be intended design through being a risk or downside to situations that require more materials- but that is another topic.

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    RoblightRoblight Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think that this depends on the philosophy for the larger world, game mechanics, and how they all are woven together.
    1. I think there needs to be a few rare resources from each region of the world to support trade across the map as well as player movement.
    2. Depending on how the actual crafting system is implemented will determine how many rare materials should exist. As an example, if in the crafting screen you can use a rare material in multiple ways or in multiple steps that impact the final product, then fewer rare materials should exist to limit complexity. Nobody wants 50 different rare materials that do the same thing but just a scale of how well like this makes a weapon have 5% dmg increase and another same tier mat gives 6%.
    3. If the crafting mechanic is the basic one in most games of have the mats and you make the right weapon then you could have more rare mats so as to create variety. Maybe certain regions during times of the year have higher amount of rare mats being generated to create the economy.
    4. A quality system with the materials might be fun depending how it is done.
    5. I think the most important part is dont have useless materials. If a material would exist like what I mentioned in item 2. then just dont have it exist. Every rare material should be useful and not be something instantly vendored.
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    I think I am somewhere in the middle. A big issue I have when it comes to crafting and gathering, is after a certain point some materials will just become common trash when the crafting progression reaches its peak. I would personally like a crafting scene where every material you pick up, even the ones from simplest iron to enchanted god ore will have use at endgame. I personally just hate the idea of iron/common wood becoming nothing more than materials to grind on mass because all they are used for is ships or nails made in the thousands.

    But I also like the idea of bosses dropping uber rare materials where the player can craft godly equipment with the dropped mats. If a player finds a rare ore via their surveying skill, they should have a unique corner of the market where they are the player who has the mega ore and owns that corner of the market due to its specific use. Crafting shouldn't be crippled to the point where without these high end materials nothing top tier can be made, but they should be valuable enough to strike a players desire for grinding or player conflict to obtain them.

    Idk. From New World I learned the pain of only having one high tier ore and I could never mine it because it only had 4 deposits world wide and after 20 minutes of running to it, it was gone because a bot sat on it till it spawned. Yet I feel if the system of Ashes is designed in part around player conflict for rare resources, those resources cant just be a "does everything ore".
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    DarkTidesDarkTides Member
    edited November 2022
    More is less:
    Vaknar wrote: »

    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!

    -A wide variety of materials that can be used for specific things(hopefully not less things) IMO would bring with it a greater sense of immersion, create more reasons to defend/conquer specific areas of territory for those materials, add diversity to decision making of strategic routes, integrate(more so) with land management, which basically goes along with Stevens vision of scarcity. And open up the possibility to create more unique event scenarios that pertain to specific materials.

    An example I can think of for a wider variety of materials, would include sizes of wood, not just different types of wood. Larger trees needed for larger structures or war machines. Could allow for different ways to build structures, large pieces of wood vs smaller pieces joined together (structural stability)..high quality vs low quality.

    -Fewer materials for a wider variety will negate most of the above and dumb down the systems. Scarcity would still exist without those extra materials in the mix, but would feel generalized.

    -I personally believe the crafting system that we see used in games today needs an overhaul, eliminating "low level" components and "high level" components.
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    Less is more, Inventory management for a thousand different crafting materials is SUPER ANNOYING. Same with a million different buff mods and what not, I would rather deal with 200 stacks of a material I can use for lots of different things then stacks of 5 of this 10 of that 56 of this 1 of this. Mostly because more often then not you don't know what a particular "thing" is for until you have already vendored it to make room for other items as you gain levels.

    Make things upscale and down scale capable. IE: 10 lvl 1ilvl Soft wood can be made into 1 ilvl 10 hard wood, 10 hard wood into 1 ilvl 50 stonewood. This to me is the better system. Some people don't like crafting and only do it later in the game as a means to get gear and pots for end game. NO ONE LIKES farming low level items at max level. I would rather be able to downscale/deconstruct the ilvl50 stonewood I pick up after leveling my character for lower ilvl materails to level my crafting vs having to back track through the zones to pick up lower ilvl items.
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    VoeltzVoeltz Member
    edited November 2022
    There needs to be a balance. Certain things should have a wide variety of uses where it makes sense, wood being a perfect example. It's important to have a variety, but you don't want there to be materials that become worthless because they are not needed for anything worthwhile or not enough products. Albion Online does a good job with this overall because many high level crafts still require low level materials to make the ingredients for them, thus low level materials always stay relevant. Even the most abundant materials can stay relevant as long as they have a use and a time investment is needed to acquire them.
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    I like when base resources require more to make refined so 10 iron ore makes 1 iron ingot, means stockpiling ore can take large armount of space up so you want to look to refine it make room for more items and so on.
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    kalafaxkalafax Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    So I feel this really depends on what the Devs are looking for in the Game Economy, if you want a fully Player Supported Economy you need a few things, Item Durability on essentially everything is a must, Repairing of items needs to have detriments and eventually break the item completely, an Open Market (Auction House) as well as Player Vendors, and more to the point of this discussion Item Disparity

    Firstly I'm all for tons of different Materials/Resources as long as we as crafters can gain access to adequate storage with the ability to Name and Sort said storage containers.

    That said, Components( weapon blade, guard, hilt, pommel ) should have general material requirements such as 5 wood, 5 metal, where as the Finished Products ( Using the Components plus materials ) craft should have specific material requirements such as 1 of each components, 25 Xandarian Steel, and 20 Xandarian Hard Wood.

    Secondly, however many resources the Devs decide to include in the game really doesn't matter a ton, the important factor is resources having quality disparity, RNG quality generation, and at times scarcity. If I need Xandarian Hard Wood that's fine and all, but Xandarian Hard Wood should have its own stats that change based on RNG when it spawns ( whether this is a timed rotation should depend on quantity amounts needed in crafted schematics, if I only need 1 per sword you can have it RNG every respawn, if you need 25 of the same Wood then you should have a specific resource be on a Weekly rotation or something like it so that every days it respawns the resource with a different set of RNG Qualities ). This way not all Xandarian Hard Wood is created equal and you create trade for the best resources, and then the resource quality also creates quality disparity in the Crafted items, so unless you have large batches of the matching resources then your final Xandarian Bastard Swords will not have the same qualities.

    This is One half ( The Second Half being a meaningful disparity Crafting System ) of what is needed to actually making Crafting/Harvesting a fun and engaging system where players can see themselves dedicating most if not all of their game time towards being a crafter and thus being meaningful and a solid part of the game.
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    Less is more. Possibly the worst crafting system I’ve ever seen is FFXIV. I joined the game years after most people and as soon as I took a look at it, I realized it was overly complex in a boring way and I’d rather quit the game than learn that nonsense. I’ve played games where gathering materials was fun and crafting was streamlined (GW2), and I don’t think there needs to be millions of materials. Additionally, the more materials, the more problems with inventory space, and that becomes very frustrating and leads to people spending a lot of their game time organizing inventories instead of actually playing.
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    shintaroshintaro Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Thank you for reaching out to the community about this question!

    I would prefer a wide variety of materials so there is a need for specialized gatherers, and players will need to explore how to make best use of the materials they found. However, if each material is only usable to craft few specific things, this partitions the entire economy, which makes it less interesting again. Therefore, I propose that crafting recipes don't require concrete materials, but material with a minimum of certain properties like elasticity, hardness, tractability, and more. The processing branch could then emphasize or to some extent (with considerable investment) change some of the properties of the raw materials. This would counter monopolies that I'd expect are a danger to an economy which requires many different materials, and would give players lots of opportunities to explore, specialize and invest into the gear they create. Also, this would create a framework for some high-fantasy creations like a special metal that is hard as steel, but if processed in some very demanding way by a master processor, can also be woven almost like cloth by master crafters, or a special alloy with amazing properties that, however, can only be molded in combination with certain gems that may have detrimental effects (to introduce a tradeoff).
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    I like having a variety of materials as long as my bag slots don't fill up with too many different materials too quickly. I don't want to do a dungeon and have to delete half the types of materials because I don't have space. I also don't want some obscure material to be hard to buy not because its rare but because people always drop/ignore it in favor of the more valuable resources.

    I think this can be done most easily by making the distribution of various resources more heterogeneous across nodes. To go further, some obscure materials could only be harvested through specific mechanics. Those mechanics might include group based gathering, specific gathering tools/specialization, or perhaps how a mob is killed. Maybe attacking a certain part of the mob or using a certain school of magic would destroy the resource before it could be harvested.

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    I appreciate quite a bit of complexity! For trees, there can be some woods that are harder and some that are softer - obviously both useful for different things. Maybe both can be used to make the same type of product at the same user level where each has different benefits based on the qualities of the wood.

    Oftentimes, the bigger the creature, the tougher it is and the thicker its skin. More valuable hides should come from tougher or rarer animals. Several different varieties with their own strengths, weaknesses, with some being equal in overall quality and others being greater/lesser. The same can be said for various ores and how they're combined into various alloys.

    When it comes to rarity of resources, there need to be multiple varieties of useful items at every quality tier available in different parts of the world. If raspberries are required for the best Tank food in the game, but they only grow in the riverlands, then the players in the desert, the mountains, and the jungle should all have their own top tier cooking ingredients. This prevents an excess of territorial disputes while maintaining a unique role and value for every region in the game and its individual craftsfolk, processors, and gatherers.

    When it comes to crafting, I enjoy having a huge pool of potential resources to play with. When I'm cooking, I want a menu where I can just experiment with ingredients to try and make cooking components, then combine those components with others, or with other base ingredients, and create new recipes. There should be a plethora of things for me to discover simply due to the variety of resources on hand. Same story for alchemy.

    Honestly, as long as you provide enough variation at each quality level to ensure most if not all regions of the world have their specialty resources for each artisan type, I think you'll be able to introduce a huge variety of resources, make a lot of processors / crafters happy and encourage more global trade, as well as a healthy amount of territorial disputes without going overboard. If only one region in the game as the best cooking ingredient hands down, then there will be people fighting over that territory all the time, the cooks will be bored only ever trying to make one thing, and trade of other lesser resources will falter. Create better equality of value through varied stats and with relatively equal geographic dispersion, and I think you'll hit it out of the park.
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