Crafter's Roundtable: Profession differences

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to another Crafter's Roundtable discussion. This time, our question is deceptively simple.

Should the mechanics of crafting work exactly the same for every profession, or should there be differences? If there are differences between the professions, how big should those differences be?

As an example and to help with understanding the question, consider the blacksmith vs. the provisioner. Should someone who works up blacksmith intrinsically understand how to be a provisioner, or should crafting as a provisioner be almost a completely different system from crafting as a blacksmith?

Let us know your thoughts!

(Note from Nephele: For the summer, we're switching back to the older roundtable format where we just post the questions directly, rather than gathering staff comments first and posting it all together. We hope everyone will still take time to voice their thoughts in each roundtable that we post however!)
 
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Ckalen

Novice
Definitely more involved than put stuff in crafting thing and click combine. I for one would love a short interactive mini game. Eq2 really shone here.
 

Gelfzin

Novice
The basic sequences should probably be the same to standardize coding. The descriptions of the process for each step should match the Profession. Example sequence:
Provisioner Blacksmith
1. Prepare materials Punch Leather pattern Mold metal plates
2. Assemble materials Sew leather panels Rivet plates
3. Finalize assembly Apply weather proofing/hardening oil Temper metal for hardness

Same basic steps, with associated complications (see Vangard and others), but with Profession specific descriptions.
 

Khaleesi

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
I would love to see minigame crafting. Very distinct for each profession. Even very different for specializations within the profession. What I am picturing would evolve as the player learns new skills.

The provisioner would use different items and processes if he wanted to cook kebabs vs being able to bake a birthday cake. That would feel much different in player activity and skill than if a different provisioner were to make you a mini barrell of her infamous ale
 

Trasak

Journeyman
Staff member
Staff Writer
Full disclosure, I am a crafting enthusiast and have yet to find a game that takes crafting all the way to a legitimate play style.

To me, for crafting to be a legitimate play style then the crafting processes and progression needs to be nearly as interactive, difficult, and time consuming as the adventuring play style.

To that end I would like to see each crafting class have 3-10 mini games that represent one or another process that is used in that craft (there may be some mini games that are used by more than one crafting class). The abilities one uses in these mini-games are learned from trainers, books, quests and maybe even chance encounters. Those abilities also must be leveled and the appropriate tools to use those abilities to their maximum output.

The output of the mini-games would be determined by the raw materials you use, the order you use your abilities and the results of your skill checks. The player does not simple input materials and get a finish item as an output, might as well just have crafting NPCs for that. The player does not even have a step by step guided UI. Instead players get to craft by choosing how to reach a targeted endpoint which may have multiple paths but not exactly the same outcome.

As Barin999 indicated we have been talking over different minigame ideas for each crafting discipline.

I will attempt to give an example to better illustrate my idea.

Smithing Processes: Smelting, Casting, Forging, Joining, Finishing

Forging Process Abilities: Pump billows, heat metal, thin (widen, lengthen or both), weld, fuller, cut, punch, bend, round.

Each abilities will have a series of choices that consume crafting stamina, consumable secondary materials and affect the quality of the output result as well as a state change to the input object.

A walk through process for creating a dagger blade:

1: Pump billows until the forge is at 700C

2: Place a 10 lbs bar in the forge.

3: Remove bar from forge when it reaches 700C, place on anvil and use Cut to split off a 1lbs section.

4: Place 9lbs bar on crafting table (active inventory for the crafting process)

5: Return the 1lbs section to the forge until the metal is back to 700C.

6: Move the metal to the anvil and use the thin(lengthen) ability. A total of 5 thin(lengthen) processes will need to be completed and the metal will need to be reheated after the time it takes to do 2 processes.

7: After the right length the blade can be fullered to an edge. The each edge will require 2 round of fullering to put an edge on the dagger and a 5th for the point. Again reheating will be required.



At this point the small double edged blade will be completed. A hilt and pommel will also need to be made through casting or forging. The grip will either need to be cast, carved or wrapped during the joining process and the blade will need to be polished and sharpened in the finishing process.

Crafting stamina will need to regenerate over time so that the pacing of crafting will be a function of your regeneration rate and which abilities you use. Some abilities will be effective but consume a lot of stamina while others will be less effective but have a higher stamina efficiency. A wise and knowledgeable crafter with the right tools will know which abilities in the right order to maximize the quality of the output and the overall production output.

There may be some simplification that can be done and some crafts will be less process driven than smithing is and therefor will be harder to create mini games of equal detail. Crafting difficulty of this level will validate having the best items in the game being crafted (assuming rare drop mob ingredients). Crafting of this difficulty will also make it a lot less prevalent and therefor more valued.
 

Autherial

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
Trasak pretty much said everything I was going to, I also think that each profession requiring different skills and techniques should have a diffirent mechanic then the others.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
For the dev's it would be best to have one mechanic that can be used for all crafts. Pretty similar to having one mechanic for each adventure class BUT the lay-out ,features and depth can be defining to the class.
The craftingclasses can be unique by their lay-out, the way they collect recipes or create recipes. The different steps and stages during the craftingprocess can be different, short or longer in various stages. The requirements of resources, items or extras can differ greatly during the crafting of an item. (A simple example, it might be required for a provisioner to let a product rest/cool before it's ultimately finished, where a woodworker can use/sell his item straight away. A blacksmith however might need to let things cool or heat up for a while, before they can continue crafting. The factor: time is implemented differently)

It makes sense that the dev's would use one underlaying design that can be used for all crafts. Meaning... push these buttons and fill these slots with X and combine this with a time or random risk factor at some stage of the process. This on its own can be the common ground with which the devs could get to work. Every craft could have these concepts in their craftingprocess at some point in time. How intens, how long, how repetitive, how much failchance, how much requirements, in which step of the line is each factor placed etc. are all things that can differ amongst craftingclass.

The flavour of the class is a step beyond the "common design of craftingprocedures". This could be where to craft, interaction with environment, how is the character displaying the crafting actions, what happens when things get mitigated or countered during the process, ...there are many things that can make a craft appear unique.
I'll try to use a colour example; Let's say the underlaying design is stated to be green. So all crafts are green. So they work out every craft with the common denominator "Green".
Now from there, one can start thinking about all shades of green. So much even that fluorescent green can be experienced completely different then moss green.

This may seem very limiting or restrictive (if your not a chemist in real life). But the fact is, the crafting design is not such a colour, it much more complex then that. And therefor it's got much more potential to diversify past the point of the common design pattern.

Should a blacksmith know how to be a provisioner straight from the bat? Heck no.
At base level, crafting can appear very simple (not similar). But as crafting levels go up, so could the complexity. And from that point, the way crafting is experienced could start to differ for each class. Leading up to mastercrafters that can excell in their own craft, but can not immediatly switch to a masterclass of a different craft before investing X amount of game time to learn about that other craftingmethod.
Because we're still in development mode with this game. Now would be the time to think about this kind of depth in the design for the future of crafting in this game.
 
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Barin999

Journeyman
The basic sequences should probably be the same to standardize coding.

Same basic steps, with associated complications (see Vangard and others), but with Profession specific descriptions.
@Gelfzin Would you experience much difference in the following example?;

Apple.jpg

This is an apple.
This is a round product.
This is a red consumable.
This is a edible product.
This is a fruit.
This is a red fruit.
This is a round fruit.

Where I'm going with this; all different descriptions. But aren't you selling yourself short here? Wouldn't you rather see all kinds of edibles instead? Would the description really make you experience things differently? Or in fact not at all different but very familiar?
(btw no wrong answers here, just a kind discussion)
 
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