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vaneger

Making crafting fun ? How to..

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What methods can be used to make crafting fun for people? I'm planning a concept for an MMO in which 5% of the weapons and armor in the game are NPC store issue, 5% are unique and 90% are player crafted. How can I make it fun and balanced ?

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Quote:
Original post by vaneger
How can I make it fun and balanced ?

With ingenuity and creativity. Think about things that are fun, and go from there. If you can't figure out how to make this feature fun, scrap it, go back to the drawing board and do something else instead.

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I have some ideas, You may think theyre corny but here they are none the less:

First off, most players dont like crafting because you find items, and just click repteatedly with said ingredients to craft what you want.

Heres what I would suggest to change that:

The first way I would say is you can gather hard to find ingredients, take them to a smith and then a smith crafts your item for you. The upgrades depend on the items you give the smith. This is the least obtrusive way to include crafting in your game because you still get the uniqueness of crafting, without the boring tedium of "leveling your crafting skill" and buying/finding tons of items to do it with (Final Fantasy XI im looking at you....) Maybe during the "smithing" process have it be a minigame where the better you are at the game, the better the item turns out. This will add a skill element so you dont rely on the luck of the draw to make good armor. This also helps with game economy cause not everyone will have the same pieces of equipment.

The best example of crafting ive seen in a game would be Asherons Call's tinkering system. (The first Asherons Call). You get the ingredients you want to make the attributes on the armor you want.

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I kind of agree with Chrono and I might like the mini game idea depending on the implementation of it. If you do a mini game type of thing it has to make sense and not just be there to be there. The reason I like this is if a person isn't paying attention while smithing, or whatever, they could mess up on even basic smithing (which happens), and if you allow a greater and greater level of refinement where the game keeps getting harder with the amount of extra tinkering you're attempting I could see where people with skills at the game will exceed beyond what most people can do, and I like that idea.

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Not to mention the fact this will keep bots from appearing in your game for the most part since its not something thats really doable with a macro.

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Quote:
Original post by Chrono1081
Not to mention the fact this will keep bots from appearing in your game for the most part since its not something thats really doable with a macro.


I don't think this will have any effect on getting bots, just the amount and type.

If you make it so how well you do at the mini game effects how good the end product is, then that actually encourages bots more! After all, who is better at a lot of simple puzzles? Humans, or a computer that can try every combination in the time we think up one?

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There are classes of problems that bots will not be able to solve under time limits. If you give the player a twenty second time limit (call it 25 seconds server-side) to solve a problem that has an exponentially large solution space, then you'll be fine.

NP-Complete Problems

Generate a solved problem, add spurious bits, then ask the player for the best solution they can come up with.

Suppose that finding a Hamiltonian circuit in a graph is the problem you decide to use to represent crafting a piece of armor. The player wants to create a mid level article, the server then generates a circuit of 50 nodes, adds lots of extra edges to the graph, then feeds the graph to the client and says, solve! The player creates the longest circuit he can in twenty seconds, and sends it back. The server then measures the length of the player's circuit and determines how successful it was.

Another nice problem to use is box-packing. Given a shape made out of boxes, and a set of boxes, pack them together to fill the shape exactly (think tetris without walls or floor).

Incidentally, tetris itself is also shown to be NP-Hard

These are all examples of mini-games that the player executes in order to successfully craft an in-game item. Short of minigames, I can't think of another way to make crafting fun, beyond having to go to the ends of the earth to collect the necessary materials (we all love grinding!).

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Random idea:

It would be cool if you could improve certain weapons *in battle.* For example, you could increase the damage rating of a "blood sword" by scoring critical hits. It could also depend on the enemy. If you deal a killing blow to an acid spider with a basic wooden bow, there is a chance the wooden bow will be upgraded into an acidic bow. There could also be special attacks that have a chance of modifying the weapon: use your 'flame-sword' skill enough and your blade might gain a few points of fire damage itself.

An RPG with this mechanic wouldn't really need traditional 'weaponsmiths.' How you would smith weapons is by starting with a basic sword or bow, and then fight various types of monsters, using various types of special attacks, to 'evolve' your basic weapon into something unique. Of course, you could specialize in smithing weapons, in which case you would have a vast inventory of basic weapons and ingredients, and you would travel all around the RPG world to slowly upgrade your stock and sell your finished goods.

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I favor crafting done by minigame (for example the materials you are crafting from are the fee for starting the minigame, and the number of levels you survive or bonuses you collect determines the type or quantity of the craft produced).

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Want to make crafting fun?

Allow people to choose textures for their items, and personalize them.

For example:
Cool design on side of sword.

Imagine if the side of your sword could look like that?
Now imagine how expensive it would be.
Now imagine how less expensive it would be if you had a high crafting skill.

-Alex :)

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