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Crafting System [ What is ideal ]


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#1 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4636

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 05:00 AM

So we all know that thousands of creations exist for what is known as "Crafting" systems. I wanted to know what your thought was on the best systems and what is your thought on the worst. Things to keep in mind:

Game Name:
  • Most entertaining aspect of the system
  • What could have been done better
  • Most annoying aspect of the system
  • Was the system tedious
  • Was the end reward worth the effort
  • do you craft in games normally ( used to gauge your opinions value )
  • In your mind, what would be a good system

example:

World of Warcraft:
  • Honestly, there was not anything that stood out as entertaining.
  • The entire system. Lacked intuitive design as well as entertaining factor
  • Making more than one of any object. Time consuming as well as repetitive.
  • Yes, the system is very tedious
  • The reward was only found if you had a profession that was commonly needed. Bottle necking players
  • I have crafted in every game I have played, MMO, RPG, and any other that allows it.
  • The best system is one that entertains the player, while providing decent rewards for doing so. I hate how in mmos crafted items are nowhere near as good as the end boss ones.

Edited by riuthamus, 30 June 2012 - 05:09 AM.


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#2 ShawnCowles   Members   -  Reputation: 295

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:54 AM

I haven't seen this "in the wild" but an idea I thought up and developed a little bit uses a component model.
For example, say you want to make a sword, you know it takes 1 handle, 1 leather wrappings, and one medium blade. Thats all the recipie specifies, you could use any leather, wood, or metal for the parts, and each material could give a different effect. Each component could also be made with an additive that would also add an effect.

Continuing the sword example
Handle
Make the handle from Ironwood, to give the sword more durability,

Wrappings
Just normal cow hide, no special effect.

Blade
Forge the blade from Skysteel, which makes it lighter and attack more quickly.
Quench the blade in Dragon's Oil, which will add fire damage to it's attacks.


With a few dozen base materials and additives you could have thousands of unique weapons as a result. And the player's skill while making components (and assembling the finished product) would also contribute to the effectiveness of the weapon. A system like this would really add some depth to crafting, I think.


You could also make crafting more fun by turning it into a skill based minigame. Take forging a blade, you could have X times to reheat the blade, and while the blade is cooling you have to quickly hammer out impurities. Sort of like whack-a-mole. The better you do, the higher quality the resulting blade is.

#3 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4728

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

I haven't seen this "in the wild" but an idea I thought up and developed a little bit uses a component model.
For example, say you want to make a sword, you know it takes 1 handle, 1 leather wrappings, and one medium blade. Thats all the recipie specifies, you could use any leather, wood, or metal for the parts, and each material could give a different effect.

Ryzom is/was an example of this kind of crafting system.

This thread topic is very relevant to my interests and I'll respond at length this evening when I have more time.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#4 RyuunoShinobi   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:40 AM

Personally depend's on "why" the game has crafting.

In my own opinion I enjoyed the Crafting from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, because it has a purpose, though do not get me wrong it could have a lot more added to it, in the way of diversity.

worst crafting system I have seen would have to be WoW, I didn't see a purpose in it what so ever...

If I was to make a crafting system that would keep me coming back, it would have to not be based on a recipe system but rather random material's are flung together to give you a chance at making X-Sword. though if you have a specific amount of one mat, it will make X-Sword become the Hyper-X-Sword.... (excuse the naming)... I am not putting this across very well.

I will go see if I get note this down and come back with a proper explanation XD

#5 ZeroBeat   Members   -  Reputation: 519

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:31 PM

Saga of Ryzom (or just Ryzom) probably has one the best crafting systems which I have seen. Havnt played it in a long time (which is a shame)

Most entertaining aspect of the system -
The worthwhile feeling that comes from using something that you made and actually its really useful.

What could have been done better -
I remember initially I had no idea what to do. Ie better instructions.

Most annoying aspect of the system
Takes a lot of time/investment to level it up. However the time fells like an investment which makes it up.

Was the system tedious
The feeling from leveling it up and learning more how to use didnt make it feel tedius. You could see the next level of possible things to craft which made it worthwhile to hurry to the next level if bored.

Was the end reward worth the effort
Yes

Do you craft in games normally ( used to gauge your opinions value )
Yes, at least try it out when playing a new game.

In your mind, what would be a good system
Ryzom's comes to perfection in my opinion. A good system shouldnt feel like a gimmick and actually add something to the core experiance of the game.

#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4728

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:49 PM

I often craft in games, and when I look for a new MMORPG or single-player sim, I look for reviews of which ones have the best crafting (and/or pet breeding/plant growing, which is mechanics-wise a form a crafting but not usually labeled as such).

Ideal properties of a crafting system IMO:

- It is not possible for a crafting attempt to fail in a way that destroys materials. Worst feature of crafting systems like those of WoW and Dofus.

- The player is encouraged to craft one of each item for their own use, rather than try to craft in bulk and sell to other non-crafting players. Soulbound or bind-on-equip items are good for this, as well as restrictions on trading captured/bred creatures. The core concept is that each player should be encouraged and rewarded for being a "do-it-yourself-er", not for being a factory, and players should definitely not be discouraged from crafting by unfavorable economics.

- Crafting is not based on grinding crafting XP. Instead the player unlocks new types of crafting by crafting appliances which allow new processing techniques to be used. For example, crafting a stone crucible allows metal ore to be melted and refined. Then crafting an anvil and a hammer allows metal ore to be cold-hammered into poor blades. A Tale In The Desert is one example of an MMO with this sort of crafting tech tree.

- Additionally or alternately, crafting should be influenced by minigame play. For example, getting a high score on a tetris-like game simulating mining would be the only way to get a rare gem needed for special crafting recipes. Or a familiar example is an MMO or RPG which includes a skill-based fishing minigame, then the fish are used as crafting materials and more skilled play results in more rare and valuable fish. Or an item such as a sword (stats portion not looks portion) could be selected as the subject of a minigame, then the score in the minigame would give the sword a stat bonus. Beating the previous score on that item would raise the bonus, but scoring worse would have no effect. The main point of including minigame/sim play is to replace/eliminate grinding of boring crafting gameplay, such as loading ingredients into a gui and pressing GO then waiting for a progress bar - ew. Both realtime sim play and turnbased sim play have great potential for fun crafting. This is where trading is really useful in an MMO, because players who are good at one minigame can swap their prizes for those of a minigame they are bad at or simply dislike. The Harvest Moon series and the Plant/Fish Tycoon series are examples of sim gameplay to create crafting mats (the fish and plants aren't used as craft ingredients in that game, but it's easy to compare to another game where fish are used as crafting ingredients, such as Gaia Online).

- Crafting recipes are at least 40% focused on aesthetic customizations - clothing and jewelry, clothing dye, hair style patterns, hair dye, tattoo patterns, tattoo ink, dragon dna used to cause your character to grow dragon wings, mount dye and customizations, weapon shapes, metal and wood types affecting weapon color, weapon engravings, magic SFX like glowiness, etc. These are superior to gear which is all about stats because appearance is relevant to players of every level and players will happily work hard for a long time to make themselves look awesome. The recipes/patterns themselves make great quest rewards.

- Stat-based gear or recipes for it should never be droppable, instead the mats to craft it should be what's dropped. No droppable mat should be ridiculously rare, and anything dropped only from a dungeon boss should have a 100% drop rate. Stat-based gear need not have any appearance, it should be visually covered up by statless clothing.

Edited by sunandshadow, 30 June 2012 - 04:52 PM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4636

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 09:32 PM

These are wonderful suggestions and comments. I agree with many of the ideas presented here.

- It is not possible for a crafting attempt to fail in a way that destroys materials. Worst feature of crafting systems like those of WoW and Dofus.


This is a perfect example of what I hate most about these types of systems. If i was to go out today and attempt to make a sword I would not just have it poof, and fail. Rather, the sword would come out messed up! I still would have something, right? It is my goal to create that in my system, when you create something you never fail and you always get something. It might be a sword that is bent as fuck but it is still a sword that could be used in the game. Imagine... somebody running at you with a bent sword of -2 dmg!! :P Imagine the shame and horror if they killed you with it!

- Additionally or alternately, crafting should be influenced by minigame play. For example, getting a high score on a tetris-like game simulating mining would be the only way to get a rare gem needed for special crafting recipes. Or a familiar example is an MMO or RPG which includes a skill-based fishing minigame, then the fish are used as crafting materials and more skilled play results in more rare and valuable fish. Or an item such as a sword (stats portion not looks portion) could be selected as the subject of a minigame, then the score in the minigame would give the sword a stat bonus. Beating the previous score on that item would raise the bonus, but scoring worse would have no effect. The main point of including minigame/sim play is to replace/eliminate grinding of boring crafting gameplay, such as loading ingredients into a gui and pressing GO then waiting for a progress bar - ew. Both realtime sim play and turnbased sim play have great potential for fun crafting. This is where trading is really useful in an MMO, because players who are good at one minigame can swap their prizes for those of a minigame they are bad at or simply dislike. The Harvest Moon series and the Plant/Fish Tycoon series are examples of sim gameplay to create crafting mats (the fish and plants aren't used as craft ingredients in that game, but it's easy to compare to another game where fish are used as crafting ingredients, such as Gaia Online).


Not sure I fully agree, I like what fable did... it was new and interesting but it got old really quickly. If i ever had to mass produce items for a shop or store I wanted, i would really hate that shit. We had the idea of doing a crafting event for making an item what we call "master crafted". I don't want to go too much into the concept since it is the first time I have seen a system like it ( that i know of ) and I kinda want it to be a surprise when we release the game. The general idea is that when you wish to take an already crafted item ( or a random item you buy or find ) you can attempt to make it a master crafted item by actually going to the forge and reworking with the weapon. This would also work for armor and maybe some other objects like potions.

In your mind, what would be a good system Ryzom's comes to perfection in my opinion. A good system shouldnt feel like a gimmick and actually add something to the core experiance of the game.


I have never played ryzom, but I just read how the entire system works and I feel like whoever made it was made from my same mindframe! That is exactly how i explained my system to my coders... they looked at me and said "you are crazy riu". Now I can show them what I want to do and we can go from there.

- Stat-based gear or recipes for it should never be droppable, instead the mats to craft it should be what's dropped. No droppable mat should be ridiculously rare, and anything dropped only from a dungeon boss should have a 100% drop rate. Stat-based gear need not have any appearance, it should be visually covered up by statless clothing.


I agree with this 100%. In our crafting system there is no such thing as a recipe that you can pickup. The concept of crafting should be based off of exploration and learning. You should reward the player for attempting to do that, rather than hindering them with strict guidelines. If they want to make an iron helmet with only 3 ingots of iron instead of 10 let them... reduce the chance of success though and see what happens. This is the exact system that would foster people to work at trying to find the most effective way to craft items and would give them the freedom to explore different and new ideas. I am not sure I agree with stat based gear at all. I hate the concept that a man is defined by his clothes! :) I understand the need for better gear but shouldnt crafting be about making the best armor for yourself/others rather than you dungeon crawling to obtain some? Hell, i know if i kill a 5000 lbs boss his armor is in no way going to fit me. If i wanted armor like his I could take parts of his and give it to a crafter to make me some! Least, that is my idea.

All in all, thanks for the comments, please feel free to keep them coming.

#8 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4728

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:34 AM

If a bent sword can't be taken apart to recover mats, I'd personally count that as a fail that destroys mats. But it might be okay if the player could only recover some mats but could choose which ones. It's common to be crafting items where one ingredient is way more of a pain to replace than others, and you wouldn't really begrudge the loss of half the ingredients if you got back the important ones.

When I played Ryzom I didn't actually find the crafting system that fun - I immediately realized that keeping track of what ingredients contributed what stats to what crafts was going to be a big pain and the game didn't provide me with much in the way of motivation to explore the crafting system OR much in the way of motivation to kill monsters. I think Ryzom's system would need to be remodeled quite a bit to make it fun: have fewer crafting mats available in each area so the player can plausibly try all possible combinations, make it obvious what ingreds contributed what to the finished item, give the game some kind of journal to help you keep track of what you learned by crafting experimentation, and have quests/achievements rewarding the player for making one of the best few items possible from that area/level's mats. Then it might be cool.

As far as the issue of weather to have gear with stats, my opinion is that if you have characters with levels, you might as well have gear that levels up too. Levelless MMOs are an interesting concept with potential for being great for PvP, but you would lose the pacing, organization, motivation, and identity functions of character levels which would be difficult to replace.

Fable, I'm not 100% sure what it has to do with minigames since I don't remember it having any fun crafting-related minigames. I'll agree that it got old really quickly, but I thought it was because it felt like the game world was populated by robots rather than anything resembling real people with interesting stories for the player to participate in. The main story was quite cheesy, and the locations within the world failed to tell little side stories, except for two or three which seemed to have been made by a more skilled/artistic level designer.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#9 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4636

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:56 AM

Fable, I'm not 100% sure what it has to do with minigames since I don't remember it having any fun crafting-related minigames. I'll agree that it got old really quickly, but I thought it was because it felt like the game world was populated by robots rather than anything resembling real people with interesting stories for the player to participate in. The main story was quite cheesy, and the locations within the world failed to tell little side stories, except for two or three which seemed to have been made by a more skilled/artistic level designer.


In fable ( not the original but 2 and 3 ) you would craft by having a small indicator bar move back and forth while you tried ot get it in the center. The harder the crafting was the smaller time you had to do this in. It was an interesting concept but again the gimick fell apart once you had to do it for more than 10 times. The concept should be around focusing the intertaining and fun factor on discovery. An example of an enjoyable craft system ( although very very basic ) was Vagrant Story. I remember being interested in what was going to be crafted and taking the time to collect the materials needed. We have a "minigame" of sorts in mind, but that would be for superior weapons only and thus would not be used for common everyday crafting. For those types of items we have a more unique idea in mind that fosters productivity through creative thinking and exploration. I dont mean exploring caverns and such ( which you will have to do for materails ) but I mean the exploration of what materials, when combined, make up something else.

If a bent sword can't be taken apart to recover mats, I'd personally count that as a fail that destroys mats. But it might be okay if the player could only recover some mats but could choose which ones. It's common to be crafting items where one ingredient is way more of a pain to replace than others, and you wouldn't really begrudge the loss of half the ingredients if you got back the important ones.


What I was saying is that there should be no such thing as a failed attempt. You should always get something. Be it a bent sword or scrap metal that can be smelted into usable parts for further crafting. Either way, the idea is to reward the player for attempting to craft rather than hindering them from doing so. This acutally goes well with our exploration concept because with the model I have working now, you can get away with crafting an item with less materials if your crafting skill is high enough. Much like a master would need to use much less than a normal beginner would because he has done it a thousand times and knows exactly what to do. This will let the player decide if they want to waste a chance on getting it with minimal materials or if they want to play it safe and get it every time. We have a % for success and every choice you make with the crafting process either adds or reduces that % value.

We are also working with the concept of master worked items. Assume that you are the max skill, you do everything you are suppose to do with the crafting process 100% correct, your skill and the mats you choose can add to your %; which can end with a final result of 120%. That 20% goes to the chance of crafting a masterworked item ( a +1 to all of its primary stats ). Furthermore, Superior items require you have a masterworked item to start off from. Superior items have a special crafting system all together, that i dont want to into at this point. ( still hammering it all out, pun intended )

As far as the issue of weather to have gear with stats, my opinion is that if you have characters with levels, you might as well have gear that levels up too. Levelless MMOs are an interesting concept with potential for being great for PvP, but you would lose the pacing, organization, motivation, and identity functions of character levels which would be difficult to replace.


I agree that you need to have a level seperate from fighting and questing. I like the concept of a blacksmith simply being a blacksmith, or an alchemist being nothing more.... why force them to fight and run out ( other than making them play the game longer ). You should create game world content that fosters crafting, live auction houses, player ran stores, stuff that generates an economy.

When I played Ryzom I didn't actually find the crafting system that fun - I immediately realized that keeping track of what ingredients contributed what stats to what crafts was going to be a big pain and the game didn't provide me with much in the way of motivation to explore the crafting system OR much in the way of motivation to kill monsters. I think Ryzom's system would need to be remodeled quite a bit to make it fun: have fewer crafting mats available in each area so the player can plausibly try all possible combinations, make it obvious what ingreds contributed what to the finished item, give the game some kind of journal to help you keep track of what you learned by crafting experimentation, and have quests/achievements rewarding the player for making one of the best few items possible from that area/level's mats. Then it might be cool.


Agree with this as well. Ryzom was far to complex for what a person wants to play with in a game. The concept of it was spot on... but you want to keep things like that simple. Make the system intuative and let the player explore and expand from there. I will admit creating a system like that is a lot of work, but the end result provides you with a robust system that is fairly unique and entertaining.

#10 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4728

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 10:24 AM

Oh, the stupid bouncing bar. I didn't play the later Fables because I found the first one underwhelming, but I've seen that poor excuse for a "minigame" other places too. Every time I run into it it strikes me as about the laziest possible choice the developer could have made. It fails at being a "minigame" because they are supposed to be fun little games in their own right, such as a tetris, a solitaire, a match-three, a galaga or space invaders clone, etc.

If you're interested in looking at crafting systems in other MMOs, Wurm Online is one to check out. It's kinda halfway between Ryzom and A Tale In The Desert. I found Wurm difficult to get started with though and this seems to be a common problem, so if you actually try to play it instead of just reading about it you might want to look for a getting started guide of some kind to smooth the process.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#11 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4661

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

In my opinion, much of what was said about Ryzom's craft system is not at all true.

The craft system was nice and intuitive. You could make a mediocre item not knowing anything, and an acceptable item that was quite usable with only a few experiments. Making the best kick-ass items was something that took weeks or months, but it was also an interesting element of player interaction (before tools came out where you could just type in what to optimize for and the tool would find the best combination with the cheapest materials, sigh...).

One of the bigger "socializing" things in Ryzom was crafting some equipment for a friend or for a newbie player. Or, finding some nice boss mats to craft a good sword or axe as a birthday present (or for christmas). One of the elements in the faction PvP was (among having "bodies", sigh...) having good equipment for the people in your faction. This included gathering the materials and being able to craft them, for others.

Getting good materials often involved a group, too. Not only is any boss over 170 entirely unkillable for anyone even at maximum level (that is, without friends, or without multiboxing), but even digging for supremes in the Prime Roots alone could be a deadly challenge, especially with Kitin Patrols (which at times were just ridiculously overpowered). Having a group with you still meant 3-4 deaths in an evening of digging, but without the group it would be 15-20 deaths and likely no loot. Hitting a patrol when you're alone is instant death. They see you from miles away, they run much faster than you do, and they kill you in 2 hits. In a group there's still a chance someone gets to run, and maybe, return for a rez.

Take that away, make items soulbound, and you lose all this interaction. You turn a group game into a solo game.

Ryzom did suffer from some serious design errors which greatly favoured people... well, how to put this, people with a kind of unsocial behaviour, organized campers, and munchkins, but that was in the gathering system rather than crafting.

For example, if you wanted a pair of supreme zun amplifiers, you needed to get zun. Which, as it happens, only spawns once per season (and not even every season) only in some specific weather condition, usually in a piss place with kitins sitting on it or neaby, too. So you come there 10-15 minutes after season change, but someone was there 2 minutes earlier. You can try all day and you won't get a thing. Challenge? Maybe so.
However, the problem is that there are people who use out of game tools (nowadays there exist websites for that) so they reliably know when season will change and what's available where. The same people (or their friends) will sit at spawn locations for zone bosses precisely on time, since they spawn regularly at exactly predictable intervals.
This is where it gets unfair and annoying to people who just play the game as intended, people who try to find something legitimately. What always annoyed me in Ryzom was that the game seemed explicitly designed for being exploited in this way.

On the other hand, you don't really need the best amplifiers in the world to enjoy the game. You don't need the biggest bad-ass sword. With a little player skill and a group of friends, you can perfectly enjoy the game (and kill everything that exists) with only the second best gear.

#12 ygworlds   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 03:03 PM

These are some opinions of mine based upon experiences I have from playing games and my own ideas. These opinions are specifically for an MMO environment, and as such are heavily independent on other ideas.



One of the big questions I have thought about with regards to MMOs is how do you make crafting both fun and profitable? In order to make crafting worthwhile then it needs to be highly repeatable, in general. This is because the majority of high level items are so inaccessible to the majority of the player base that they become a specialism. Whether it is a suit of armour or a spaceship the only way it can be worthwhile is if you can make a lot of them. However repetition is not fun... in fact it is almost the opposite of fun. This makes most mini-games quite frustrating no matter how enjoyable they may initially be.

The way I would solve this is to separate the two functions of design and manufacture. Most games for crafting have almost no design function at all. For example Eve is lauded as having one of the most open and expansive manufacturing systems, but all the designs are hard locked by blueprints. In order to break this you would have to be able to design your own blueprints. This could use a mini game because the point here is not to be repetitive but to design something better. It would have to have a level of complication that had game world effects, and therefore I would use a modular system very similar to that described by ShawnCowles.

This adds something very special to crafters - customisation. This leads to a knowledge asset. A player might therefore focus his time designing armour that is especially lightweight in order to appeal to the more travelling adventure type. Not everyone would want to invest in this direction, and through a combination of skill (both in reverse engineering the design system and skill at the mini-game) very good blueprints can be created. People would seek out these crafters because they have a unique offering.


The profit side would come from how the blueprints are being used, and for this I would use a passive system. Use of NPCs or automated factories (or in my personal view upgrades to your house/hall) could easily be designed to handle this. That would allow you to mass produce these items in the background, allowing you to profit from your designs whilst freeing you up to spend your free time designing new and improved versions (R&D) or doing something else (such as marketing your product).



The real difficulty of designing this system I think is balancing. Rather than having a set number of end points that can be reached (and thus weighted against each other) you would be designing an open ended system with less predictable results (through combinatorial explosion of the design and ingredients used). Even more complex would be that I think to be a truly great crafting system for an MMO you would need multiple levels of manufacture for the more advanced items. For example if you were building a ship you'd want something a bit more interesting than creating "ship modules" that add up to a ship. Instead you'd have raw materials (spider webs) that could be processed into another material (silk) that could then be used to construct a module (sail) that then would be added to the ship. This creates specialisms that allows for more people to be engaged in the manufacturing process because doing everything yourself would be too time consuming. With profit being taken at each step that adds to a richer economy.


One of the most important things I think with this system, that is rarely covered in games, is downsides to gear. I think this is because most games fit the lazy D&D concept of gear+x, where everything is just given a higher rank of pre-existing qualities. Some might go so far as to give a couple of attributes (different styles of armour protection for example, where you can pick protection vs this or vs that), but these are a trade off of benefits. For example in my previous description of armour I stated that weight could be a factor. This would be important because if the game gave you proper penalties for wearing heavier armour (such as making your character slower or easier to knock over) then there would be a choice as to your style. Customisation and differentiation of gear for certain tasks creates a much stronger economy, as mmo players are a very diverse bunch and would have a desire for very different types of gear. Therefore you can have the gear stats being important but not defining of that character. The best heavy armour would be no good if you could be kited by unarmoured faster players in open terrain that you could never reach, but in a castle siege or toe to toe in a cramped dungeon it would be very important. Here only being able to run at half speed wouldn't matter.


I also think that gear drop from enemies should be generally raw material based. So an enemy dropping some armour would be useless if that enemy was an 8ft tall ogre. So you'd have to process the materials down. This means that even mob drops would often add to the economy because you'd need others to refine and process into useful things.
ygworlds.net - my ideas for my perfect mmo

#13 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4636

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:58 PM

The way I would solve this is to separate the two functions of design and manufacture. Most games for crafting have almost no design function at all. For example Eve is lauded as having one of the most open and expansive manufacturing systems, but all the designs are hard locked by blueprints. In order to break this you would have to be able to design your own blueprints. This could use a mini game because the point here is not to be repetitive but to design something better. It would have to have a level of complication that had game world effects, and therefore I would use a modular system very similar to that described by ShawnCowles.


Right on the money, and this is something our system is doing. We are creating a point system for materials, and letting the player place items on the board and learn to craft things from there. Say a sword needs 5 iron ingots, 25 leather straps, and a wood hilt, the player can place those items in there, but they added a gold bar as well. Instead of getting just an iron sword you would get an iron sword that had a gold trim around it. Our system is also designed to give you percentages based off of how close you are to a recipe of the type, but does not restrict you from doing your own. So, you could craft an iron sword and not even know how to do it ( assuming you placed everything correctly ) and you could do it with limited resources. It is rather complex to fully explain without pictures. Perhaps after my vacation i will post it up and see what you guys think.

All of these comments have been great. I really like to hear what you guys thoughts are on a good system and a bad system. I wish more developers would allow for these types of discussions to take place.

#14 Thekill473   Members   -  Reputation: 213

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 04:45 AM

I suggest you take a look at wonderland online. That's my favorite crafting system to date. Mostly because it's so expansive.

#15 Valvatorezj   Members   -  Reputation: 238

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:08 AM

Hm. No one has brought up one of my favorite Playstation 3 game series, Atelier. It is a much longer series then just the PS3 games but those are the only ones I have played and I absolutely love the system. The entire game revolves around crafting (Alchemy).

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3):
  • Most entertaining aspect of the system:
The entire crafting system was very fun. The biggest thing was you could find 100 of one specific material and you would end of with about 70 unique items out of that. All crafting material (and items in the world) had values associated with them based on their "quality", specifics about the material (Sour, Weird Shape, Expensive, Dry, Or stat altering affects.) You could craft in mass production or in small quantities with trade offs for both. If you crafted something that required 2 Rocks. If you made 1 of that item you would choose from 2 rocks and that is where the quality of your newly made item would come from. Now lets say you want to make 10 of this item, you would then choose 20 Rocks and the end result would be from those 20 items. This would allow you to stack more qualities, use less time (You had to spend time when ever you crafted an item, due to the game being on a Day/Month/Year time line) and hopefully achieve a better item. Trade offs is the end item would not be the highest quality if you just did two at a time. Yes the 10 items crafted all at once would be identical. Weapons, accessories and armor were crafted the same as well.
  • What could have been done better
I loved everything about it.
  • Most annoying aspect of the system
The game ends and there is no "continue" where you left off at. Yes you can do a "New Game+" but I was surprised because I had some big plans for some of the rare monsters at the end of the game and was not able to follow through.
  • Was the system tedious
Not at all. It felt good to find that rare resource that allowed you to make a higher quality item.
  • Was the end reward worth the effort
Yes. There was plenty to do with your crafted items and sometimes you did have an excess of items but they could always be put in storage and most of the time you would find a need to use them later on. Even items you made at the beginning of the game could be made useful near the end of the game.
  • do you craft in games normally ( used to gauge your opinions value )
Yes! I hated the Everquest crafting system immediately when I first played it (Chance to fail...). I hated World of Warcrafts repetitive no real reason to craft except for these 1-3 items for you end game. Crafting never felt like it could benefit anyone at all in it. I enjoyed the crafting in Chocobos Dungeon 2 for PS1, some Warcraft 3 maps had a very fun system, something like Ice Trolls or along those lines.
  • In your mind, what would be a good system?
A system that makes finding/gathering the resources just as enjoyable as making end product.

#16 2rf1s   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:01 AM

I think it's important that a crafting system is entertaining and interesting after you add a skip or fast forward button for every part of the process. I'm not that fond of minigames, but they have potential to enhance the experience.

The crafting process should be unique. If the effectiveness of gear is determined heavily by stats, playstyle and situations it would create diversity and people would have to find out for themselves what is best for them. There is no ultimate recipe. Only customized gear is valuable and only for some individuals.

One way to achieve this diversity is by having a webbed or branching skill system. For example when the effectiveness of a certain weapon may be decided by the players combined skills in steel weapons, blade weapons, one handed fighting, short weapons, Kukri swords, fire-enchanted weapons and so on. In addition to all the other stats and skills that might be relevant. It doesn't have to be that complex, but you get the idea. (I can't imagine all the work required to balance such a system though.)

Many different crafting skills should also play together as a whole and create diversity. One recipe may give a completely different result when followed by different people with different skillsets. Someone may have great experience in using some materials and other players may have specialized themselves in a few crafting techniques. An economy like this would encourage people with different skills to collaborate for the greatest results.

This is not exactly crafting, but I think it's a good example. One mage is skilled at controlling many projectiles simultaneous, but only if the projectiles are small. Another mage may conjure huge projectiles, but can only effectively control one at a time. A spell for throwing two large fireballs is useless for both mages since the first guy can't maintain the size of the balls and wastes potential by only throwing two. The other guy spends all his energy on focusing on the two balls simultaneous and in the end both mages only cast two weak fireballs or the spell might even backfire.

It should be possible for gear to evolve with the character. Upgrades and tinkering keeps the favorite gear valuable and makes crafting worthwhile. I also like the idea of measured experience for each individual item. (Almost like when you've had a car for a long time and you've developed an intuition for it and just know and feel how it acts in every situation.) If you get more and more skilled with the gear you use the most it will give you a good incentive to keep using and investing in it even if it's not top tier for your level.

At least the system shouldn't encourage players pick up every piece of armor and weaponry they find, Although loot could be useful for material or maybe it could be customized to fit the players need. I like the idea of having to customize armor for it to fit at all. Maybe reduced effectiveness for gear that isn't tailored.

The whole experience of crafting, from gathering resources to using the gear should create a relationship with the player. When you give a name to a unit in a strategy game you give it an identity. With identity comes a history. A collection of memories from exciting battles and epic victories. The unit suddenly has a personality and the player is emotionally invested in it.

We should give a face to the crafted gear to create a similar effect. Aesthetics is important. Maybe have a function were weapons evolves as they are used. Kill one hundred vampires and your blade gets a bonus against them.

Just my little rambling.

#17 mekk_pilot   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:14 PM

I haven't given this subject a lot of thought, but I'll just pose to myself the question: "What kind of crafting system would I put in an MMO?"

And then answer it:

First of all, one peculiar thing about me is that I DO NOT BELIEVE IN HAVING A LEVEL/EXPERIENCE SYSTEM. So, keeping that in mind:

This would be a F2P MMO, and you would get a certain number of "points" per day. (You could buy more points, if you wanted) These points could be used to craft items, replenish MP or HP, add modifiers to skill checks, or other functions.

Every character would have a crafting specialty, so you wouldn't have to lose combat ability to gain crafting skills.

Now, you could save up your points and have the option to permanently master a quality which you instill in your weapons. For instance, if you save up all your points for a month, you could make "metal-reinforced" wooden bucklers. You could have quests to get materials or recipes that would add these properties.

Crafting wouldn't eat any resources but your points. You wouldn't have to pluck a chicken to fletch an arrow.

#18 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2443

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:54 AM

I think crafting systems should tekl you the rcipies for everything, as youll go google them anyeays whicj is just slow and annoying.

o3o


#19 Densoro   Members   -  Reputation: 196

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:57 PM

The way I figure it, any crafting system that makes you hunt down 20 of some random part is broken. It's a grind, a padding device, and does nothing to make acquiring our item any more difficult -- just more boring. Spiral Knights suffered from this, and even though I loved playing it, I haven't gone back for over a month because of it. The worst part was that, after questing for/buying all the materials and saving up money to purchase bucket loads of specialized, plot-relevant energy...you still had to pay some obscure 'crafting fee.' For what!? o_O You have the materials, you have the fires to light the forge, and you're the one doing all the labor! Who are you giving that money to anyway? .-.

Honestly, it seems that most crafting systems exist to provide the illusion of customization. "This is my special sword, I made it myself ^___^" you declare proudly, brandishing a weapon with all the same stats and appearance as any store-bought blade, plus the occasional random stat modifier stapled on as a glowing afterthought. To truly personalize, it should allow you to select what materials and forging techniques you'll use. If deer-horn handles fit your hand better than redwood, then go for it. If you notice that metal A keeps an edge better than metal B, then use that instead, wary of whatever disadvantages it may come with for balance. And speaking of balance, if you like your blades weighted more toward the tip for a stronger offense or closer to the handle for a quicker, stouter defense, then work that in. The item should be at your mercy, not the other way around.




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