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Revolutionary Crafting (RE-Revised, read 1st)

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Alright, The system for combining different schematics to make different types of items is going to be implemented, and yes crafting at this point includes blacksmithing, woodworking, cloth and leather related crafting, alchemy, seige-craft, architecture, and shipwrighting (you know what I mean). All of these will be designed to allow players to create there own variation of all items. This will also include the aspect of different resources (Berusan Steel vs Villarian Steel) but will not require a specific in the crafting screen, that will be up to the player. Crafting items will still require the three basics; tools, schematics (or a blueprint), and resources. Player and NPC bandits (land routes) and pirates (naval routes) will threaten item and resource transportation and merchants and crafters will be advised to hire plenty of defenders or come up with a very clever way of getting around them. A player will "Invent" a blueprint and prototype. The prototype will have a chance to be superior to the item in the blueprint, a players "invent" skill will increase the statistics of the prototype depending on how well the mini-game was played but not of the blueprint. Creating a blueprint will mean sacrificing all schematics used for it (which are now ever-lasting). Creating a prototype will require that mini-games will be played while blueprints will not. No gems, enchantments, or etchings (player-drawn ornamentation) can be added to blue-print produced items, these will all be ways to slightly increase a weapons stats permanently. Sharpening, Some items will not be blueprint-able (ships, siege weapons, and buildings). Resources will be spread out and transporting them will be dangerous. People will also be able to make different parts of an item without making the entire item. Later, crafters will be able to combine them just like making a prototype but w/ no resulting blueprint. This means it will require an extra mini-game to create the item. Players will be able to learn multiple different crafting skills (blacksmithing, woodworking, etc.) but will have to continue to do them or they will deteriorate. Only one can be taken as a profession however which means that skill can be forwarded beyond the others. This will mean that to get the ideal item you'd have to have the different pars made by whichever specialist could do it best. This would also add to the idea that a player could specially produce a part only. There are many arguments for this method, first of all being that grinding is still included with-out the constant necessity to play a mini-game over and over. This also would mean that a player truly devoted to the fine art of crafting could produce every item as a prototype, creating a much better line of work. It still allows for design element and makes the group of specially made weapons much more improvable. This would make it so a player could get rich off of quantity or quality. Not making any final decisions but here's what I'm thinking for the different mini-games and prototype design phases: Blacksmithing- The mini-game will be hammering out an item as others have suggested, carefully watching the heat and thickness of the metal through visuals. The more strikes, the more "tormented" the metal will be so quick and precise hammerings will be wiser. There's also the fact of heat and players will have to work quickly before it cools down. Once it cools down it can be re-heated, but the more times an item is heated, the more it is tormented overall. Designing items would simply be choosing which schematics to use for the different parts. Woodworking- Woodworking will work in more layers, first sawing (making straight cuts) which will require accurate timing of pushing two different buttons and making slight adjustments to the angle of the saw. Next will be whittling where slices of wood are cut of using strokes the mouse, players will be aiming to take off as much as possible without cutting into the needed wood. Finally a player will sand the wood down, the closer it was to accurate size after whittling is exactly equal to the time it will take to sand. Clothing- Clothing will require cutting different different pieces of fabric from a sheet, sewing them together by moving the mouse from side to side and clicking to stitch, and attaching extras like buttons. Designing items would simply be choosing which schematics to use for the different parts. Alchemy- Alchemy's mini-game will just be mixing in different ingredients, deciding how long to boil them, and grinding them up. There will be a "recipe" which can be produced at the end for a fee, this will work just like a blueprint to skip the mixing phase. Architecture- Buildings will be a little more complex to design and build. A player will first pick a building type and make a "Ground-Plan" by combining and placing different rooms and items, much like a very basic home design. Rather than laying down walls there will be schematics for different objects for the builder to place like furnaces, workbenches, etc. There will be an assortment of different room shapes and sizes which can be combine. Choosing building resources will also strengthen destructible structures (like walls) and add other effects. This will also include making furniture and items to be placed in buildings. This will not require any mini-games, instead the constant supplying of large amounts of resources and the transportation of said resources will be enough to keep them on their toes. This will be a small amount of very expensive sales business. Ship-Building- Ship building will work much like building design, picking a ship type then selecting different items to attach and which pieces to use to construct the ship. Here the player can also arm the ship. Mini-games will include carving out boards and hammering nails by using the mouse to hold the nail strait and striking with the right enough of power. The ideal would be hitting the nail twice, once to keep it in place so you don't hurt your fingers (a slightly time consuming setback which will take extra time) but get the nail in quickly. Siege-Craft- Siege-craft will have the same creative side as some of the others, using a series of schematics for different parts of different siege weapons. However the mini-games will differ greatly. For canons and siege weapons that require lots of metal, choosing the appropriate types of metals and mixing them in the furnace will add extra design to the items, then a game for pouring the molten metal at the right rate will also add to how good the item is. With wood-based weapons there will be the sawing mini-game in large quantities. Crafting a single item will be done after a series of sittings rather than producing one every 10 minutes. I REALLY like the way this system works. From now on I want only constructive posts. If you want to point out one of the multiple flaws then suggest an alternative. Don't bother posting about a whole new system because I don't want to hear it, I like this one. [Edited by - PatchesV on December 6, 2007 11:26:33 PM]

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Original post by PatchesV
I'm trying to come up with a way to let non-combat characters in video-games have as much fun as non-combat.


What? Do you mean letting non-combat character have as much fun as combating characters?


On another note, I think you may want to specify if you are going to try and make this or not. Completley forgetting the fact that trying to make an MMO is a really bad idea.



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Original post by PatchesV
And yes, everyone says its a really bad idea but if no one did it there wouldn't be any.


The same could be said of crack, or the Darwin Awards.

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true lol, but this isn't a thread about crack, the darwin awards, or how good of an idea it is to create mmo's. This inventing system isn't good enough yet because it'd get boring fast and I need peoples help improving it, so either comment on the system of please don't posy.

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Original post by PatchesV
true lol, but this isn't a thread about crack, the darwin awards, or how good of an idea it is to create mmo's. This inventing system isn't good enough yet because it'd get boring fast and I need peoples help improving it, so either comment on the system of please don't posy.


Sorry, just pointing out that your argument for making the MMO is fairly baseless...

What do I think of the idea... I am skeptical. Making the crafting into 4 parts isn't really any different from making the various combinations as crafting possibilities. You're substituting content for gameplay, and if you want stuff to be fun you're going to need to modify the gameplay.

Clicking "build this" is not fun. The level treadmill to get to the point of building something is not fun. Hunting down recipes might be fun, but in most mmos involves combat, which directly contradicts the design goal of non-combat fun.

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Only 2 ideas I can come up with: creativity and politics. There's a game called Tale in the Desert or some-such that I think is totally combat-free. A lot of the gameplay centers on these 2 areas. I haven't played it yet but it looks really cool. But I think what you'd need to do is find a way to let the players really be creative; not just PommelA + BladeB = SuperLightningSwordG. For the politics, same deal. Let the players actually create their own political structures. I think a game with these 2 elements in addition to standard combat could have a lot of potential. Except with the "Grind-another-2-hours-in-order-to-grind-higher-level-creatures" crowd. Most of them wouldn't like politics being handed down from other players.

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why not make a game out of it. I think the main problems with mmos and crafting has been the fact that crafting has always been a side issue where combat was the main thing. if you want crafting to be fun make a game for that. Once you have that thought there are two ways you can approach it. The first will call the puzzle pirates method. That is make crafting a bunch of vaguely related to the task at hand.(they use tetris attack for sword fighting.) or you could go the other way and actually try to emulate the task at hand in an easier and more amusing manner. An example of that is guitar hero, while it may be harder to do with out a prop piece it should be doable with some creativity.

Also don't make crafting depend on combat. That means a good primary market for supplies, or a really good resale system.

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But MMO's are a good thing for people to enjoy, people enjoy crack but with a lot worse side effects.

You see I want to incorperate skill into crafting rather than just how good your guy is and how good the resources are. So, here's what i've got so far:

You want to make a cool new sword. So you pay some fighters for some schematics they've gathered while exploring and buy a few basic schematics from a vendor. Next you need the resourses, well you have the Iron mine already so you have some iron but you want to make it a steel sword so you go and buy some steel. So now you have everything you need, schematics for all four parts of the sword (pommel handle guard and blade) and the resources. You craft the item and it comes out great (or crappy, depends on your level and a little on luck). The pommel and the blade you used turn out to be a special combination so it gets an added bonus. So you sell the sword, get some better schematics for the handle and guard and combine those with some leftover steel and the pommel/blade schematics. Make a new sword and this one really kicks. You make three more and then the pommel and blade shematics run out. You sell those and now you can afford even better schematics and land for a steel mine as well.

Now I like this, but I'd like to have something other then just pushing the "craft" button to make the item once you have all the things you need. I need something that requires a little skill. A mini-game might work but people would master that quickly.

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Original post by PatchesV
But MMO's are a good thing for people to enjoy, people enjoy crack but with a lot worse side effects.


Yeah, you're right. But unfortunatley, crack doesn't cost (4 million dollars + 3,504,000 man hours + the gross income of bolivia) to make and maintain... which is basicly how much it costs to make an MMO.

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You need to think about it some more. The initial idea behind players creating their own items is great. But once you list everything that can be crafted or modified, then remove everything that requires too much work on your part (as the designer), what remains will be less than impressive.

Switching handles or blades on a sword doesn't sound like very spectacular crafting. It would be just as much fun to change the ammo type in a ranged weapon.

Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
The level treadmill to get to the point of building something is not fun.

It can be. It just usually isn't.

Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
Yeah, you're right. But unfortunatley, crack doesn't cost (4 million dollars + 3,504,000 man hours + the gross income of bolivia) to make and maintain... which is basicly how much it costs to make an MMO.

400 years?

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Original post by Kest
You need to think about it some more. The initial idea behind players creating their own items is great. But once you list everything that can be crafted or modified, then remove everything that requires too much work on your part (as the designer), what remains will be less than impressive.

Switching handles or blades on a sword doesn't sound like very spectacular crafting. It would be just as much fun to change the ammo type in a ranged weapon.

Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
The level treadmill to get to the point of building something is not fun.

It can be. It just usually isn't.


The combinations would be limited yes, but the goal would be to never let people know about ALL the different schematics. because this is all for an MMO, you could regularly (and easily) update the world with more schematics. You could make some really hard to get while having some really basic ones for sale by NPC vendors. This would keep people from getting bored of combinations. And by stopping drops of certain schematics you could extinct certain parts and make the few schematics that do remain very expensive. It would make for a very fun player based economy. I just want to have something skill-based in there. A mini-game or something that makes it extremely hard to make a perfect item but easy to make one people will still buy.

And with all the different items there are to make, with multiple schematics for each part of each weapon you could have all kinds of fun.

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This is gonna be somewhat off topic just because the whole "don't make an mmo it's too hard" argument is starting to get on my nerves.

Yes making an mmo is hard, but it's not impossible, and unlike crack, but much like the Darwin awards, one persons sacrifices can bring happiness to many. It also doesn't take massive amounts of resources, it depends largely on what you want to achieve.

Yes sure the large volume of people who come in here say "I want to make an mmo that looks better then WoW, has real time combat in a universe that you can't possibly explore all of, yet is fully modifiable". Sure that's damn near unachievable, but instead of telling them that, why not be slightly more constructive. Something along the lines of "You realise an mmo is hard, and while there certainly is no harm in trying, be prepared to fail at some aspect of it least a few hundred times". Ultimately who cares if they don't succeed, when they fail, on their own, at least they learned something.


That being said, an excellent example of a game that isn't necessarily combat-centric.
RPGWO

And more games achieved by either individuals, or small groups of hobbyists
Eternal Lands
Loradon Online
The Mana World

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Original post by BleedingBlue
Sure that's damn near unachievable, but instead of telling them that, why not be slightly more constructive.

- Because it's misleading.
- Because it filters out a few wannabes.
- Because "You can't do it" is a great motivator for great people. Another filter.
- Because I want more single player games.

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Oh dear.

Just to be clear, I'm not arguing against making a MMO; it's your time. I'm just pointing out that 'if nobody did it, there wouldn't be any' is a poor reason for it. "I want to." is sufficient reason for anything that doesn't screw with anyone else. Just don't say nobody warned you...

Quote:

It can be. It just usually isn't.


True true. I actually like grinding a bit, but it's a common gripe.


And to be constructive: Puzzle Pirates has a fairly decent 'crafting as fun' idea. Labor itself is provided by little mini-games (like everything else in the game). The better you do, the better your labor. The items aren't novel (since the game heavily dislikes loot that influences capability), though could perhaps be adapted for a more traditional mmo.

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Well Ok, heres a big boom for ya. I happen to have a friend in a major game developement position who wants to make an MMORPG, he's not the creative type and he's asked me to go in depth into creating one (but heres the kicker) on paper. If i can come up with a good enough MMORPG on paper he's gonna test the mechanics and work out the kinks and make it into a game. Ya I got lucky and I have a chance to make some money, have some fun, and be able to make a game the way I've always wanted. Now I know the limitations, it's not going to be a bigger world then wow, i have no clue what the graphics will be like, and the combat system will probably end up nothing like what I made up, BUT we're not talking about any of this now are we, we're talking about a crafting system, so STOP talking about how no one will do it because guess what? I got lucky and I actually have a chance too, so none of that matters to me.

I don't want any replies to this, I don't want any apologies, all want is for people to help me think of crafting ideas for an MMO, if you can't contribute then just go to a different thread. I'm sure there are plenty on the topic.

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Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has a pretty cool crafting system. You play a little crafting mini-game to try and make an item. You get new crafting "abilities" as you level up in crafting skills, and you are trying to maximize the crafting points put into the item (to get a higher quality item) while budgeting a limited number of action points available (if you run out before you complete the item, you fail). So, it's sort of a tactical betting game. It can be pretty fun. It also has a neat way of making crafting skill grinding a little more interesting: you can take requisitions from an NPC, which is basically a quest of "craft me 4 adamantine widgets", and then if you do it successfully, you get some gold and sometimes a random surprise item. It's too bad Vanguard was rushed and buggy, because it has some pretty cool mechanics for an MMO; the diplomacy minigame is interesting as well.

EVE Online also has an interesting crafting system. The actual act of crafting itself is pretty boring and standard: raw materials go in, and then you wait around for days until the items are ready. The interesting part is that EVE Online has perhaps the most realistic and fun MMO economy of any game I've seen. Nearly every item is player-made, and the trading system is very advanced and complex, so you can spend your entire time within the game just playing as if you were a manufacturing and trading company. There is also special high-level technology, which is the high-end stuff in the game, and the only way to make that stuff is to have a blueprint, which can only be created by having a character spend a lot of time researching and doing special research quests. These blueprints are highly coveted, since the corporations who have them have a monopoly on the manufacture of those items.

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Consider for a moment the difference between crafting in the real medieval setting vs crafting in the real modern/futuristic setting. A blacksmith back in the dark ages had a repetitive and monotonous job pounding away at metal day in and day out, and frankly modern MMO's do a pretty good job of emulating just how miserable a process that actually was. Fact of the matter is, there is only so much you can do with a sword without putting in your own wild and crazy ruleset [such that would provide your sword with magical properties or whatever], in which case you are largely unbound.

Modern engineering processes bring rise to certain interesting things. You have a need for specialists, modularity, and standard interfaces. You also have the concept of the 'black box' sort of model, where x goes in and y comes out, and nobody but the person who made it knows what goes on inside. This sort of black box also gives rise to a crafting culture, where one person/group may very well produce a better model of the same item than the next person/group, since they have figured out how to make that item better. Objects are complicated enough to where they may not be easily just replicated by anybody as is the case in most games.

Consider perhaps a crafting system that is more open ended, that isn't just a straight-forward equation of combining two items into a third item, but instead would present the crafter with a sort of circuit board that the crafter could assemble parts onto into a design that works a certain way within a certain rule set. The product of the process would be a 'schematic master copy', that is both used to see how an object is made, what is needed to make it, and can be used to make a 'schematic', which would include a list of ingredients but not how the master copy was created [a black box. Resources go in, item comes out]. Effectively this would allow for the generation of product brands, would make smart players better at crafting than dumb players [crafting would become an out-of-game skill that players would develop], and a community would grow out of groups of people attempting to develop various schematics that complement each other.

Just an idea...

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Original post by Kest
Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
Yeah, you're right. But unfortunatley, crack doesn't cost (4 million dollars + 3,504,000 man hours + the gross income of bolivia) to make and maintain... which is basicly how much it costs to make an MMO.

400 years?


I was getting that number from 300 people * 4 years to develop.

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I must say, of all the 'crafting' in an MMO, EVE Online was my most enjoyable. As, much like skill gain, I didn't have to sit there and click a bunch of buttons repeatedly to get what I wanted, I collected stuff, bought some blue prints, set things running and then went out to hunt for more junk to process into new stuff.

Had I wanted to be a dedicated crafter and not a scavenger then I could have done that too and bought more materials to process into stuff and had more productions going.


Now, another option would be a craft simulator. Something I still want to program sometime is a mock up of a blade smithing simulator, where you would actually get a bar of 'steel' and have to heat and hammer it and basically be a plastic body simulator of iron and carbon.

While a full physical simulation is far too much for an actual game, a more abstracted version that still involved the user hammering different points to extrude different shapes to make different items. Have the option to make different balance points, blade shapes, and over all weights. All of which would effect how the sword works.

Make it heavy with a balance point far forward and thick reinforced backing, and you'll have something that won't just cut flesh, but simply bash its way through armour. Just don't try to parry with it.

Make it light and thin with a sharp point and no edge. Thrust it between gaps in the guy's armour and he goes down quickly, but blocking or slashing with it and you get a funky bent bit of metal.

Build a system where you don't have 20 predefined sword types, but simply 'swords' and let your crafters and fighters work together to define your swords. Crafter skill can then be used for how fine of control they have, how well they can 'see' the heat and stress in the sword as they're working with. Someone with no skill will see things as a simple cherry red at all times, no matter how well they've heated it, its always cherry red while hot. With better skill you'll see things lighter/darker depending on how hot it really is. At really high skill you can see faint blue lines or something in your blade when you've developed a stress point.

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If you are worried about the mini games getting to easy there are two ways to handle it. say you hit the craft button and it launches an appropriately themed tetris clone. if you beat the first level you created the item. For each additional level you beat it the item gets a random bonus. For high level items you can crank the difficulty way up. The other way to go is change mini games so they don't get old and you can control hardness. Say the first level is wak a mole(hammering imperfections out of the steel), then when you try to create "class two" weapons the game switches to pole position(sharping blade on grinding wheel doging imperfections in the grinding stone)

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I can see what Drigovas is saying, an open ended crafting system would be awsome, but the mechanics to it would be far too complex and since this is for an MMO I don't want to over-do things aand end up with a kick-a$$ game that no one could play. You have to remember, this would be one of many different system. However I think you could have something really cool for a single player smithing game. And yes, smithing is tedious, war is horrific, and zombies would be a catastrophe, but video games dont always reflect realism, they tend to glorify jobs that lack in real life, that's why people play sims. Everything is made easier and goes faster.

And Talroth my ideas for mini-games aren't far from what you're suggesting, and stonemetal, the sharpening of different weapons I think could be implemented as a way of giving any weapon a temporary bonus. I'f you've ever played dark cut the basis is that you're a medieval docter and you have to perform different tasks by moving your mouse from point to point and cutting open sores etc. BUT dark cut also shows you what to do with little stars. In this system the game would start of with little indicators of what to do, but after you'd stopped apprenticing the guides would go away. Then you would have to pay attention to stress points while hammering etc.

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I vastly prefer the idea of having awesome weapons come from serious effort to the idea of awesome weapons coming from the bellies of lions, so a good crafting system is important.

Talroth makes a good point about absentee crafting, but because it's so easy, EvE's crafting generates mountains of cheap generic gear, and the economy is supported by the destruction of that gear, since it can be destroyed in battle or melted back into components. I myself like the fact that I can mine for an hour and have enough stuff to build a battlecruiser and all the guns for it.

But if your game won't be expending manufactured goods at that rate, then a more involved and time-consuming process would be appropriate. The most useful lesson of EvE, I think, would be recycling. Being able to buy up all the cheap, crappy stuff that inundates the market, then smash it into bits and use those bits to make decent stuff could help crafters remain functional without spending a lot of time in "gather" mode. Also, if you screw up your blade's balance, you can just melt it back down and try again. I'm assuming you're not using complex metallurgy that would preclude that, of course.

Why do schematics vanish? EvE does this with blueprint copies, and it doesn't make much sense there, either. There's got to be a better way to curb rampant production.

Most importantly, and in the spirit of your other threads about this project, I want to recommend non-hierarchical gear. Don't have some kind of silly shortsword->cutlass->longsword->scimitar->broadsword->dragonslayer tech tree, but instead have them balance out so that a "standard issue" item in your field of expertise is a good idea, and you aren't always trhowing all your crafted gear on the ground because that NPC wizard puked up a purple one when he died.

More specifically, I'd like to see geographical and stylistic synergy. If you live in the Berusan region, and the mountains there are rich in Tungstite ore, which is light and rigid but doesn't flex or hold an edge, then your maces and armor will be awesome, but your rapiers and spears will be a joke, so the people who make their home there will train up for the better available gear.

Expanding on that, maybe the basket-hilt rapier design offers better protection for your hand, but adds weight, so rapier manufacturers from neighboring kingdoms will buy tungstite from you for use in some of their components, or even contract out that part of the process, so you could make a living building and selling the best dang basket-hilts in the game, using a blend of materials and a schematic that you've customised a bit.

Furthermore, your tungstite hammer is great for working metal, but tongs made of it aren't very heat resistant, plus they mar the surface of the metal you're working on, so you've got to buy or trade for some softer tongs from the guys down the highway if you want to eliminate that small penalty from your work.

You could make everything from tungstite, but your work would never be perfect, and you'd have a seriously limited catalog of items that you could make well. The best stuff would be expensive, not because the ingredients only drop from every five-millionth snow leopard, but because some poor bastard had to carry the material for the pommel eighty miles from the place where it's harvested, then some other guy had to bring the finished blade to your workshop from the bladesmith three towns over, and the leather for the scabbard was bought from a gaucho who knows he's the only one who produces it.

This will give racial characteristics to regions without requiring players to choose a race and class at character creation, and will encourage trade among non-combat personnel, which will lead to interesting PvP based on controlling markets. If you know there's a shipment of basket hilts coming into this town, and the value of those hilts is equal to or greater than the resurrection fees and health potions and gear replacement you'll incur from killing off their guards and stealing it, then you get your crew together for some highway robbery.

fancy-pants hardware will be rare, not because you have to grind for it, but because it takes a lot of infrastructure to make it.

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