Crafting System - My thoughts and Ideas (v.2)

(Reposting this here from Design forum since it might be a more appropriate place for it)

So I just wanted to start off saying that this is my opinion on how a good crafting system should work and some key features that need to be included in the game in order to make it work. Also I’m reposting this because my last post disappeared.

Overview of the system

1. There must be an Item Decay System.

Not having an Item Decay System simply causes the market to be flooded with an excessive amount of items making a crafter’s job, less meaningful and less profitable. This not only applies to gear but also to consumable items such as food or potion.

2. All the professions are linked to one another.

So, for example, say I’m a blacksmith getting ready to make a spear. Well, I need a wooden pole to put the spearhead on. I don’t want just some stick from the woods. I need a strong wooden pole made out of some very durable wood that I don’t know how to work with. So I would go to a Woodworker and get the item required. With this feature all professions will, more than likely, have substantial business because for other professions to do their jobs it requires them to seek out other professions. Now you don’t want to have to rely heavily on other professions to craft your items so you want to limit that to a degree.

3. Ingredient Quality

So what does Ingredient Quality mean? Essentially it means that say I have learned the plans to make a low-level sword. There are 4 necessary components to making this sword. 1: The blade 2: The hilt 3: The pommel 4: The handle. Now there are base requirements for this specific sword. I can’t use iron for it because it doesn’t meet the design requirements so I have to at least use steel for the blade. But wait I want to make this sword the best blade of its kind. So I decide to use the highest kind of ore available Titanium. And instead, I use the minimum requirements for the other pieces of this sword. Well, this sword would then have higher than normal qualities for attack damage compared to other swords made with base materials. You can use this system to add a unique feature to the crafting system and add a lot of diversity to it at the same time.

4. Progression as a Crafter.

All too often in modern MMOs in order to hone your craft all you need is money, time, and a city to sit in for hours. This system I feel is very flawed. Do I believe there should be a grind to crafting? Absolutely. Crafting should be treated as a type of side class. And with classes, you have to level up go on adventures and learn new techniques. The same should be in place for crafting. If I’m a blacksmith and I want to learn a new style of smithing I should have to go to a faraway village and befriend the local populace in order to gain their trust and learn the secret to their craft. Or go to a volcano and fight my way in to reach a legendary anvil so I can work on it for awhile, enduring the local environment to grasp how to work with hotter metals. With this feature, it makes it so that crafting isn’t something you just sit and spam item after item and eventually reach the zenith of your profession. It makes it so that you have to go out and explore. Have adventures. Which is why we play MMOs, to begin with.

5. I’m gonna go over the next few features briefly.

Boss Items: Boss items are either broken forms of an item or uncompleted forms of an item that require you to find a crafter to finish or repair it. (Not all boss items but a good amount).

Soulbound Items: Mostly BoE(Bind on Equip) instead of BoP(Bind on Pickup) having this feature adds more demand for items.

Profession Stalls/Shops: Make it so that players can set up stalls in a marketplace of towns or cities to sell their wares either AFK or after hiring an NPC to sell them for them. This way you’re not reliant on having a global auction house which has proven to be detrimental to a solid game economy system. Also for the crafters that have earned a lot of money allow them to buy buildings in town and turn them into shops where they can display their items. All their hard work should have some kind of reward. And with these shops, they can let other players put in basic orders to be automatically completed without the players’ intervention by their apprentice. Like basic materials needed for other professions for example.

Make them needed in the game world So say a city gets sieged and walls are destroyed. After the attackers are fended off woodworkers and blacksmiths can work to rebuild the walls. Is the army gearing up for war? Tailors and Leatherworkers can help make items for the war. They’re going to need mounts for the war so tamers can go out and tame them. So I just wanted to start off saying that this is my opinion on how a good crafting system should work and some key features that need to be included in the game in order to make it work.

6. Gathering Professions.

So a lot of people might not agree with this but I’m going to go ahead and say it. Everyone should be able to gather items. You shouldn’t need to be an expert to skin a deer, pick a flower, or hit a rock with a pick. Everyone should be able to get at least base level ingredients One reason for this is if all the professions are going to be linked to each other then letting everyone be able to gather means that people can’t exploit others for the items that their profession has to make for their new creation. Also with this system you can make it so that if the material is related to your profession strongly you can get more of it. Some examples tailors can get more cloth from clothing scraps from enemies. Blacksmiths get more ore from mining the same resource that someone else mines. Woodworkers get more timber. You can also make it so that for really special ingredients say a special ore. Only blacksmiths have the skill to collect it.

7. Make the items and services of a crafter be needed.

For example, I can go into town and buy food from a tavern or bakery and load up for my adventure but the food I get from there is very basic and doesn’t recover my health much at all. But if I go to a player chef’s stall or he himself, I can buy food that will completely restore my health and maybe even give me a buff if I want to dish out a bit more coin. If I want to get my gear repaired I can go to a basic blacksmith shop in town and have them repair it to the minimal amount or go to a player shop or he himself and have him repair it to the max. Using this system makes it so that: Player crafters are needed, It encourages players to become crafters themselves, and greatly boosts the economy of the game.

Ideas for professions

1. Alchemists: Makes potions (restore health/mana),/Dyes/ Elixirs ( Long time buffs)/Cures.
2. Blacksmiths: Weapons/Armor/Nails for woodworkers/Horseshoes for tamers/
3. Tamers: All mounts have to be tamed by them/Pets have to be tamed by them/Cattle for food can be raised by them/
4. Tailors: Makes all cloth wares for priests and such/ Makes all undershirts/Makes ropes needed to make ships
5. Leatherworkers: Saddles for tamers/Hardened Leather Armor/Leather straps for siege weapons
6. Scribe: Makes more detailed maps/Give players tattoos/Make scrolls for spell use/Engrave designs on armor
7. Woodworkers: Bows/Staves/Wands/Siege weapons/Boats/Player stalls/
8. Cook: Food (Obviously)
9. Engineers: Guns/Cannons/Traps/Devices
10. Imbuing: Add special qualities to gear/Repowers magical items
11. Jeweler: Necklaces/Rings/Earrings/Gems

I believe this adequetly covers the ideal crafting system for MMOs. For those of you that read it all the way through I appreciate you taking the time to do so and I would love to hear everyones thoughts whether you read it through or not. I also plan to be doing similar posts for other systems in the game such as combat questing housing etc so if you’d like to hear more about my ideas on those sort of things keep and eye out for my future posts!

Comments

  • My answers/opinions on some of your statements.

    [quote quote=9649]

    1. There must be an Item Decay System.

    [/quote]

    On a good mmorpg there is normally to much demand or a too big of a variety of resources for the market to be flooded with a certain resource/material. I also don't really get what you mean with decay? Decay as in disappear over time?

    [quote quote=9649]

    2. All the professions are linked to one another.

    [/quote]

    I don't think the system is going to work that way from what I have heard. The professions will ofcourse be connected with eachother but they will mainly be devided in 3 sections (crafter, gatherer & processing), so logicaly you wont be able to craft without a gatherer. But for a path in a the crafter section to be dependant from a different path in the same section will cause a lot(too much) of variety in the different path's you can take in a certain section which will result in a lot of non used professions.

    [quote quote=9649]

    3. Ingredient Quality

    [/quote]

    Good idea, reminds of a minecraft mod! Will be hard to programme but so will the rest of the game be!

    [quote quote=9649]

    6. Gathering Professions.

    So a lot of people might not agree with this but I’m going to go ahead and say it. Everyone should be able to gather items. You shouldn’t need to be an expert to skin a deer, pick a flower, or hit a rock with a pick. Everyone should be able to get at least base level ingredients One reason for this is if all the professions are going to be linked to each other then letting everyone be able to gather means that people can’t exploit others for the items that their profession has to make for their new creation.

    [/quote]

    Well from what I have heard is that you can be a bit of every profession or master 1 of them, the fact that you can't master all of them is probably to boost the teamplay of the game, considering that is one of their core subjects (sieges, upgrading nodes trough teamwork, ..).

    Reason for me not responding to certain topics:
    1) I share the same opinion or find a good idea
    2) I don't have an opinion/don't have knowledge of the game to answer properly

    Very good post with clever ideas! ty for posting it :)
  • @DarkvsLight

    Thanks for replying to my post! Here's my thoughts on some of the points you made in return :D.

    1. The reason for a "Decay System" is so that players can't use the same gear for extremely long periods of time. This comes into play mostly at high level or max level. Once people get a good piece of gear they tend to stick with that for weeks or even months before finding a better piece to replace it with. This in turn causes professions production to drop off at the higher levels. So the decay system would cause the item to lose durability over time and/or can only repaired to a certain amount till it breaks causing players to have to get new gear from crafters.

    2. Just to reiterate, this is my ideas on an ideal system. You are correct that the system won't work like this though. As far as this system causing too much variety between the paths you can take I don't think this would be a big factor. I'm not saying that make them overly reliant on other professions to produce their own items but one component being required from an outside profession in each recipe or even every other recipe won't cause a strain on crafters. It will simply mean more intermingling between crafters with different specializations which is something the developers are looking to do anyway.

    3. I like this idea a lot because it adds a uniqueness to the crafting system that I haven't seen done often or well.

    4. You are right in that you can specialize in every craft a little bit only problem is that makes you a "Jack of all Trades Master of None" With the system where crafters are required to get one component from other crafters I believe would successfully accomplish the boosting of the teamplay of the game.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read my wall of text :D!
  • Sales are dependant on demand.
    Demand comes from upgrades or replacements
    The normal MMO crutch is to introduce 'upgrades' (add new levels) that artificially stimulate the market.
    But that makes vertical progression a requirement......with all the problems it causes.

    So the other alternative is ageing and degradation.
    Every item created must age (perform worse) and eventually die.
    But it must also degrade with use and need repairs..within the limits of its age.
    High performance items are also highly stressed and much more likely to break, making them short lived and rare.

    This second method removes the compulsory requirement for vertical progression. to stimulate crafting
    But the market is still permanently stimulated with the demand to replace and repair goods.
    It is in reality how real life works. Stuff decays and breaks. Stuff wears out with use. No amount of repairs will fix an items that has eroded and weakened too much with age. It is cheaper and simpler to create a replacement.

    You could even argue the nearer an item is to its expiry, the less material you can recover from the item if you salvage it.
  • [quote quote=10661]Sales are dependant on demand.
    Demand comes from upgrades or replacements
    The normal MMO crutch is to introduce ‘upgrades’ (add new levels) that artificially stimulate the market.
    But that makes vertical progression a requirement……with all the problems it causes.

    So the other alternative is ageing and degradation.
    Every item created must age (perform worse) and eventually die.
    But it must also degrade with use and need repairs..within the limits of its age.
    High performance items are also highly stressed and much more likely to break, making them short lived and rare.

    This second method removes the compulsory requirement for vertical progression. to stimulate crafting
    But the market is still permanently stimulated with the demand to replace and repair goods.
    It is in reality how real life works. Stuff decays and breaks. Stuff wears out with use. No amount of repairs will fix an items that has eroded and weakened too much with age. It is cheaper and simpler to create a replacement.

    You could even argue the nearer an item is to its expiry, the less material you can recover from the item if you salvage it.

    [/quote]

    Well said. That's a great way to describe the necessity of the Decay System to make crafting a true factor in the economy of an MMO.
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