Contested crafting content for years to come

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Let me turn the question around for you @Nephele . If you were to design contested content. (so not only player versus player commercial competition, but by game/world design)
How would you do it. What are you incentives?
For starters, I wouldn't focus on making it "contested". I would focus on making it compelling and challenging. Pantheon is a cooperative PvE experience. In this context, contention as a speedbump or delaying mechanism is a poor substitute for actual challenge.

With that said, here are a few potential ideas:

1) Resource types and distribution
- Suppose for a moment that not all resources are just going to be lying around for the taking. Sure, some things are harvested, but even among those things, they may come from different areas, and some of those areas will be more dangerous in general - requiring players to work together. Perhaps mythril ore can only be found in a few deep caverns in the world, and invariably all those caverns are overrun with monsters. Or perhaps sablecat fur is renowned for its strength and resistive properties, but hunting a sablecat is no easy task, and entire expeditions have often gone missing in the valleys where they tend to be found.
- Also, suppose that some resources cannot be acquired via traditional gathering but instead must be salvaged or scavenged from items found out in the world. For example, the ratkin harvest the glowing mushrooms of the caves, and through some process that they have been unwilling to share (and which is probably disgusting) they extract an oil from these mushrooms that is highly sought out in alchemy. Or perhaps the orcs have developed an alloying process that no one else understands but that results in superior blood-steel. Unfortunately, the only way to get it is to melt down orcish weapons, since the orcs really aren't interested in trading or selling their secrets.

2) Recipe acquisition
- While a great many recipes are widely known to the crafters of Terminus, there are many that are less widely known. In order for an enterprising artisan to learn these recipes, they may have to seek out someone to teach them. Often, these teachers will have requirements of some kind - perhaps earning the trust of the local village, or creating some other item of power in trade for the recipe, or even sometimes simply having achieved a relative level of fame and notoriety.
- When it comes to recipes created by less hospitable races and people, sometimes the only way to recover these recipes is to claim them by force - when they're even written down.
- In the many planar collisions that have happened on Terminus, and the ensuing wars and conflicts, much knowledge has been lost. It may be possible through painstaking research and investigation to piece together some of this knowledge. For example, Gento blades were long known for their sharpness and durability. However, the techniques used by Gento smiths were lost when the last Gento villages were overrun by the Revenant during the Deicide War. What clues might survive are found as fragments, bits and pieces that must be pieced together and examined in order to understand them.

3) Legendary Tools
- To create legendary items of power, legendary tools are needed. For example, to forge blades of Dragonsteel one must wild a special hammer crafted from the bones of wild drakes and meteoric iron. In addition, the smith should consider their own protection, donning specially made and enchanted gloves, apron, and goggles for the process. Finally, only a few anvils and forges can withstand the immense heat and pressure required for the process, and the smith must locate one of these as well. Only a few such forges exist and their location is a closely guarded secret.

None of this is specifically meant to be "contested". None of it is specifically putting players in contention with each other for the various things they might want. Sure, those situations may arise, but they are not the point of the design. The point is to make each activity fun, challenging, and compelling to take part in.
 
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vjek

Apprentice
Three different implementation specifics regarding incentives or competition, from my perspective, would work for Pantheon.

1) Personal Renown
2) Being a part of the world / cog in the wheel
3) Helping your Guild

They aren't mutually exclusive, but they would be distinct emergent behaviors the mechanics would facilitate and/or strongly encourage.

When a player supplies a need in the game world, to an NPC or PC, they should be rewarded. Their time and resources are consumed, so that seems reasonable.
Fulfilling work orders offered by NPCs or PCs should provide social currency at that location, and in that tier.
If the player does this enough (takes action channeling from one game loop and redirects it as a new output into another game loop) it should provides some benefits.
Those benefits can be personal, regional, or organizational. Specifically that means personal renown (rep, fame, whatever you call it) that provides benefits to the player, which are either persistent in that entire region, and/or that they can avail themselves of, as long term buffs, within the entire game world.
Similarly, by supplying the needs or demands of a particular tier or region, this should have consequences and a tangible/visible impact on the game world.
If a guild allies themselves with an in-game organization, then the actions of the members of that guild should also promote the interests of that in-game organization.
Sustainment of all the needs or demands of all previous tiers in a region should be required to permit the elevation or promotion of higher tiers.
This means if you want the level 41-49 benefits, then all the previous 4 tiers (1-9,10-19,20-29,30-39) must also be actively sustained (either by you, everyone, or your guild) to have on-going access to those benefits.

To provide a contest or competitive field, then, means each player, group, or organization needs the output of any/some/most/all game loops provided to them, to gain power. Efficiency would mean utilizing all game loops, rather than just adventuring. Want to participate in the competition or contest? Participate in the crafting loop.

Players can donate, sacrifice, or produce. They take the output from any/some/most/all game loops and redirect it towards their goals.
In short, this means, for example, a player could take every scrap of loot, consumables, components, ingredients, everything they get from adventuring, and donate it to whatever they want, and it would personal renown, satisfy NPC demand, and promote the interests of their guilds allied organization, should they be in a guild. Straight donation would always work, but might not be the most efficient path.
If a player were to utilize crafting, their time and resource investment, if it's a design goal to promote that emergent behavior, should reap larger rewards than straight donation.

Anyway, that's how I see a logical fun system working. I know myself and those in my guild would play the HELL out of a game like that. :)

And I wholeheartedly support the idea you mention of temporary / time-limited recipes (that I mentioned earlier on page 1, Nephele). The more crafting items (per profession) that can be consumables, the better, imo. Even if that means spreading out recipe related actions among the professions, rather than having just one profession like a Scribe.
 
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Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
I don't mind one-shot recipes as long as they make sense from a world/lore perspective. For example, SWG has limited-use schematics, and it honestly just feels a little weird that I can use one, make a gun or a starship capacitor or whatever, and then have to go get another identical schematic before i can make the next gun or starship capacitor. There is absolutely nothing that is any different from one item to the next, not even from a lore perspective, so it feels artificial.

I think what I would prefer is having those one-shot or temporary recipes be limited-duration based on a specific material that is supplied as part of it. So for example, to brew Elven Elixirs, you need both the formula and the ley extract. The properties of ley extract are subtly different in each batch that the Elves produce, so you have to get a new formula from them each time you get a new batch of extract.
 

vjek

Apprentice
💡 I don't think it should be like that for the baseline, but having a time limited / procedural recipe for increased quality is a good idea, imo.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
I don't mind one-shot recipes as long as they make sense from a world/lore perspective. For example, SWG has limited-use schematics, and it honestly just feels a little weird that I can use one, make a gun or a starship capacitor or whatever, and then have to go get another identical schematic before i can make the next gun or starship capacitor. There is absolutely nothing that is any different from one item to the next, not even from a lore perspective, so it feels artificial.

I think what I would prefer is having those one-shot or temporary recipes be limited-duration based on a specific material that is supplied as part of it. So for example, to brew Elven Elixirs, you need both the formula and the ley extract. The properties of ley extract are subtly different in each batch that the Elves produce, so you have to get a new formula from them each time you get a new batch of extract.
Perhaps the recipe is written on a paper that one needs to burn up into a fire in order to complete the crafting process. Or the ashes or fumes of the burned recipe might be required to move on and the crafter needs to continue the next step by memory as the recipe itself is consumed?

It could be imbued into a stick of coal and by writing down the recipe, the recipe/coal itself dissappears. The written letters however glow and move the crafting process forward.
Speaking, writing, processing the actual substance the recipe is presented on, can be consumed. It could be considered as one step of the craftingprocess. In order to craft a second one, you'll need to obtain that consumable recipe again.
Another example: the recipe is carved into a stone, that stone needs to be layed into workstation. When continuing, the stone itself is transformed into a different product, thereby transforming the recipe into a component instead, making it unuseable a second time.
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, sorry, I don't think "magic" is the answer Barin. None of those would really clear my suspension of disbelief. :)

I do think that if there are going to be temporary recipes, having some variation in terms of their materials/resource requirements would go a long way towards making them more believable for doing repeats of the same recipe.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
The variation of material/resource requirements could be the incentive towards different paths leading up to the same target.
In a sense, you've opened up a way to experience competition there. Like I said earlier, competition is much more subtle in the craftingsphere.

Two scenario's :
1) depending on the crafting class, some requirements will differ. And so the crafter will have more resources to obtain that relate to their class and less of a different class (or resources that are more distant to their class)
2) every crafter will have the same requirements but the requirements differ when you engage with the content for a consecutive time. (So two crafters might not be able to pick up the same requirements if they approach that npc right after each other.)
3) every crafter will have the same requirements but the way to meet those can be different.
3.1) this could depend if this content is approached as a group or solo
3.2) this could differ relating to what class you are; if 30 wooden boards are required, a fletcher might be able to make them, but a smith might need to construct something else and trade those in for boards somewhere else.
3.3) a group approach could desire more harvestable resources or a wider variety of craftable items of different trades
3.4) a solo approach could rely more on scavenging or salvaging (within a certain timeperiod)

4) I would like to highlight the potential in commercial interaction between players and npc's. If you can talk your way into a bargain or a big sale, you might benefit from it. This scenario is basically a dynamic conversation with npc's that relate to this scenario of obtaining resources within a specific/well defined setting.
This might not be as exciting as killing raidmobs, but for crafters it might present them with a sense of success, growth, accomplishment. One might even compare themselves to other crafters, based on this. (if they wanted to)
Like you mentioned, this doesn't have to be for a small group of crafters. Depending on your design this could be easily accessable, low threshold experience. So far I haven't restricted these ideas with levels or such.
 
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