Unlocking hidden potential in gear

Barin999

Journeyman
The idea is that with skill points, a crafter can boost up gear to a certain degree.

The blacksmith has 10 skill points in smithing.
The basic level 10 crafted item (or looted even) has the following stats: +2 Str + 2 Const
The hidden potential of that level 10 item is: + 10 Str + 2 Const
In time the blacksmith has gained another 5 points and reached 15 skill points in total into smithing.
When the crafter creates the same item as before, instead of ending up with +2 Str, + 2 Const, due to the increased skill, it now shows + 4 Str, + 2 Const.

As the blacksmith gains even more skill points, 20-25, they can make that same product with better stats. The level of the item itself could be the ceiling to where the stats can be raised. (encoded)

This means that a blacksmith with 100 skill points cannot produce a level 10 item with + 100 Str, but he will produce that item at max stats: +10 Str.

This is an example of a recipe that only requires one crafting class. It could open up a lot more potential/ opportunities if there are multiple crafting class and thus multiple raised skills influencing the end product.

You could call it a different take on a Master crafted build, but perhaps it ould reach a lot more crafters and give them that "becoming more skillful" -feel. A Master crafted item could entail a lot more things than mere skill points. Also I’m not talking about rare resources. 1 recipe, just different outcomes based on a skill points of that current crafter.

It could give crafters a more flowing experience during crafting. Big sideremark: it could have a risk of flooding the markets.

What do you think of this?
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
This would make it so that a new crafter who is just getting started could never compete with an established, skilled crafter, even on lower level items. It would effectively lock new crafters out of the market and force them to "grind up" before they could have anything to sell.
 

Trasak

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
I totally get the desire to have some way to “get better” at lower level recipes as you become a true master of your craft. To incorporate Nephele’s concern it would need to be a gradient chance at making the higher stats based on a combination of your primary skill and your skill at the recipe.

An example of how this could work is an item can be made with a minimum of +2str and +2con to a maximum of +8 str +8 con. To find your chance to make the max level version you would

(Primary Skill level(capped at the point where the recipe is trivial)*Recipe skill level)

(“Primary skill trivial level”*”Max Recipe Skill Level”)

Roll a d100 anything under that amount is a maximum quality craft and the above is sub divided evenly into 1 point increments. Eventually after your primary skill is above trivial and your recipe skill is maxed then you always make the max result. The problem is it quickly becomes anything not max is worthless. This is ok if you can mostly salvage the results and try again as a way to practice your craft but if the resources are gone it’s just burning materials.

This is also where we get into the frustrating math zone of character power progression and mudflation. We start chasing stat boosts on all items to the point that the character is almost more just a mech of gear and not much else matters. Too make progression continue they need to just keep propping up the levels and pumping up the gear.

My gut tells me that the right way to design a game involves all items being equip able once you have the proficiency and that leveling that proficiency is how you scale gear. This would roughly mean that a sword does about the same damage if made from cast iron as a Damascus Magical alloy. What the Damascus Magical alloy would have over cast iron would be durability, weight, possible damage reduction penetration, enchant ability, corrosion resistances.

Increasing your skill and knowledge will allow you to use more advanced techniques to create items but there is a general limit to what those items can do by their very nature. Force is equal to max times acceleration. To do more damage you would need to increase weight or swing faster. There is also an argument to be made for translating the application of force from raw force to pressure. If the same amount of pressure is applied on a one molecule wide blade edge vs a 10,000 molecule wide blade then the shearing force would be astronomically higher. Where am I going with this . . . .

Right so I was thinking maybe we could switch our thinking from adding magical effects and stat bonuses to focusing on different aspects of the actual crafted item. These effects would be inherent to anyone wearing the item but being able to capitalize on the benefits of the special materials and processes will be dependent on the characters skills.

As you can see I’m still working through the idea in my mind so that it is still fun for us as crafters. I keep running into the need for items to decay for the system to work in a game and nothing appears to make board posters shorts to run then talking about item durability.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
This would make it so that a new crafter who is just getting started could never compete with an established, skilled crafter, even on lower level items. It would effectively lock new crafters out of the market and force them to "grind up" before they could have anything to sell.
That could indeed be the case. As with every style of crafting, where a new player enters, there will be more advanced players. So that issue would be present in every style of crafting.
An important note, the basic item is solid enough for your average player. So it's not a full requirement to have those extra stats. I used an item example with low stats, for sake of an easy example, but try to look beyond numbers.
The new crafter might not have the same skill as a player with 200 hours clocked..again that would be the case in any game. Beginning crafters will hardly be competing at the start, however... when they raised their skill enough, they'll be able to make and sell an item with the same stat increase as someone how as played 200 hours. Seeing that there is a cap on it.
An item that is trivial, might not be as interesting for advanced players to continue making as they have more valueable/desirable things to make/sell towards the other advanced players.

So what we're looking at is a new player, entering the game..seeing that he can make an item inferior to that of an advanced player. So they'll make the items, sell or use it themselves (or towards other new players) and raise their skill as they go. And within time, they will have already caught up to the potential of their known recipes. (if you catch my drift). From then on, that new player is actually equal compared to the veteran players, at least concerning recipes they know and of that level.

The concept of feeling themselves become more skillful has remained and that was the key of this suggestion.

Again, I get what you're stating @Nephele .

Another way to look at it is by using the experimentation example of eq2.
You have a basic recipe (common resources) and a mastercrafted recipe (with rare resrouces). No matter what resources are used, one could experiment on the end product.. And change stats in a beneficial way on that item.
By far, not everyone did that. Because the items on their own were already decent enough for most players. Still there were those who took the time to invest more time or coin into these experimental upgraded products.
You had 5 stages of experimentation, again By Far not everyone was going to the final fifth stage and were satisfied with a product with fewer stages of experimentation.
And HARDLY any of these products made it to the community market, because those who made them usually wore them themselves. And the price would be greater then the items on broker with lower stats. Oddly enough, there was no demand for it. Why? Well because the base product was solid enough and there were many other items competing with the same slot.

My point here is, it's not because items can be advanced, that players will choose to spend time or coin in it to get them. And certainly not for going out and selling these items.
A lot will depend on how much time is required to earn those skills, competing dropped items or crafted items and progression of players through content.

A player has placed a product on the market. The product has base stats, and thus the price is very low. Another player crafts a slightly better product and tries to sell it for a higher price. and so on. Now if progression is so slow that this minor stat increases are well sought after, all these products will become valueable.
The crafter can really earn a good profit even with an item slightly upgraded and others with a capped item can ask high prices for it. Now if these high prices are set, a beginning player might not have that coin to pick up the expensive capped gear and they could hold off and save up or purchase a product of inferior stats...for the time being. (again this is with very slow progression in mind)
 

Barin999

Journeyman
I totally get the desire to have some way to “get better” at lower level recipes as you become a true master of your craft. To incorporate Nephele’s concern it would need to be a gradient chance at making the higher stats based on a combination of your primary skill and your skill at the recipe.
Both concepts do not exclude each other. They are both possible concepts of crafting that could indeed be combined. As the skill increases, the chance to make a higher stats item increases with it.
Perhaps you could view this as an overcap? So lets say 10 skill points is the max amount for making a capped item of level 10. The chances of making it with a stat increase are 50%.
Now with every skill 'point' above 10...the chances increase 51% etc. So this could be that at skill level 60 you'll have 100% or (99% or other depending how you scale the increase) chance to craft a max capped item of level 10. The chance increase might be 0,1 per extra skill point. So you'll need 600 skillpoints to cap out your chances on that level 10 item.

I think this example alone shows the solution.. Would crafters with 60 or 600 skill points still be interested to craft level 10 items and invest time and cash into putting it on the market?
That will depend on what their current level products are and what they are looking towards as wel.
 

Trasak

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
@Barin999
I'm not against it in theory it just all depends on how they decide to do itemization and progression. If they go the WoW route with huge passive boosts to stats on gear say you want to stack up to 1000 in each of your primary stats then small incremental changes are possible. If on the other hand they go for a Pathfinder 2.0 scale where items of the same type do not stack and your bass stat value of 10-18 can only be increased by up to 6 at near max level incremental changes are not possible.

Based on my "logarithmic power growth is better" I don't really want to encourage big stats on items so I don't really want to encourage little stats on little items either.

To make some variance between crafters products I would use the following:
For Weapons:
Base attack damage maximum
Base attack damage minimum
Attack speed
Accuracy bonus
Weight (passive damage bonus and encumbrance modifier as well as increased stamina drain)
Hardness
Maintenance cycle (weapons will need sharpened, polished, restrung after a certain amount of use)
Total durability (not used if item decay is not used)

For armor
Physical defense vs Slashing
Physical defense vs Piercing
Physical defense vs Bludgeoning
Elemental defense vs (each different energy type in the game)
Weight
Restrictions (decreased defense from dodging and penalty to dex based skills)
Max mitigation per hit (could be global or divided by each defense trait the armor has)
Maintenance cycle (armor will need to be cleaned, polished and refitted to keep in top working order)
Total durability (not used if item decay is not used)

Note that these are all non magical effects as I feel that there should be a significant divider between enchanted items and non enchanted items.

For item enchantments I would look to make them duplicate spells or abilities of the different classes and monsters. While you wear the item you have that ability. An item could have the shaman strength buff line on it but it will be weaker than the spell cast by the shaman directly and will not stack. I would also consider introducing the concept of recharging magic items after a certain amount of use.

Regardless I think enchantments would need to involve multiple crafters work together to apply to an item and should not be part of a single base profession.
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Here's where my standpoint comes from, just to make it clear: Buyer behavior.

It doesn't matter whether the item the newer crafter makes is "good enough".

If the item the master makes is better, players will only buy the master-crafted item. The new crafter might as well be throwing what they make away.

I have seen this happen in every single game that allowed a master crafter to make the same item better than a novice crafter. The only thing that sells on the market is the master-crafted version. Period. Even in SWG this was a problem, and I loved that game's crafting system - but after a few years, the combination of resource stockpiles and players with 11-12 experimentation points put up a wall in front of new crafters, where they literally could not participate in the economy unless they paid the grind tax up front. That is simply not fun for a lot of people.

If you set up the game like this it will ruin crafting for most new players within 2 years - essentially, as soon as there are enough master crafters to satisfy market demand.

I realize I don't usually take a hard stance like this, but this is an area where I feel very strongly that Pantheon cannot go down this road.

Now, if you want skill and progression in crafting to matter and be useful to players, then do it in different ways. Allow progression to unlock more and different types of recipes that make higher level items (since the game is level-based). Allow them to learn abilities that make it easier for them to complete more complex crafting recipes. A new crafter might be able to build a rowboat, but a master can build a galleon. That's totally fine.

But do not force new crafters to compete directly against master crafters in order to sell items. That's a very bad road for the health of the crafting sphere and the game overall.

Edit: Just to avoid confusion, I am not against some kind of experimentation system as long as everyone crafting gets equal access to it regardless of where they are in their progression. So, if you allow experimentation on low-level items, then a novice crafter needs to be able to do it just as well as a master crafter. On the other hand, if you only allow it on high-level items, then it can be something that you reward later in the crafting progression, and it just becomes part of that "tier" of items. However, once you give people access to it, there must be a level playing field - so, if you allow them to acquire more points or something, those points only need to be usable on higher-tier items such that people who have just gotten access to the system are able to compete with the people that have been around for years.
 
Last edited:

Barin999

Journeyman
@Barin999

Based on my "logarithmic power growth is better" I don't really want to encourage big stats on items so I don't really want to encourage little stats on little items either.

To make some variance between crafters products I would use the following: For Weapons, For armor

For item enchantments I would look to make them duplicate spells or abilities of the different classes and monsters. While you wear the item you have that ability. An item could have the shaman strength buff line on it but it will be weaker than the spell cast by the shaman directly and will not stack. I would also consider introducing the concept of recharging magic items after a certain amount of use.

Regardless I think enchantments would need to involve multiple crafters work together to apply to an item and should not be part of a single base profession.
I think, I understand what you're saying. The logarithmic growth could envolve the rate of skillincrease if you will. (amongst other things).
Again, it's just an idea towards giving players that growth' feeling, other then seeing a pop up message ones in a while and leveling up from one recipe to another. I like the idea of getting better at making something. Adding those little changes based on skill increase, could just be that.
Also @Nephele ..perhaps instead of stats increasing scaled to skillpoint increase... the increase could result in a more efficient use of power during crafting, or plainly a value increase of the product, etc.
And to avoid best buy-attitudes one could design so that increases of a product are only available to attuned gear. So this would be gear you've equipped already, and by doing so you're not able to sell it to other players, only to npc's.
With your equipped gear unequipped and your crafting skill increased, you might improve your own gear. (using the scenario I posted at the start) For new and old crafters, this would mean; all auction items have the same stats. But the crafter's own gear could be improved by the crafter only.
(or perhaps commissioning would still be allowed?) Hereby opening up to players that do not want to craft and enjoy the skills of other crafters? It also allows combinations of multiple crafters.

The cap design could be quite robust, to prevent major shifts in stats. And as hinted earlier, the boost in stats could be so low that most players just won't bother. (A max increase of 5 points at any level for example. 0,05 per 1% in a level of 100%, or 0,5/skillpoint in a level with 10 skillpoint per level) Or when you apply your Log design, that could be applied here as wel. Making it even more timeconsuming to alter stats. BUT it would still be possible.

The variances you're suggesting are nice as wel. Although I see them more as a different flavour of stat increase, I just used another section of stats. It goes without saying, it could be applied the same way ofc. So yeah, those also can be brought in. (Perhaps different craftings need to be sought out for different alterations) And these alterations again could be woven into different skill trees for different crafting classes.

I'm not a fan of allowing new spells or class spells on other players. It could devalue the players or certain classes (You're a druid? oh we're looking for a shaman, we're wearing druidenchanted gear already.) Also, it could be working opposite to the limited-ability design they are currently coming out with.

Yes, to recharging magic items. Not sure what that has to do with hidden potential. But two things here:
First: severely limit the recharge option or you risk losing the value of that item.
Second: crafters are required to recharge the item or provide consumables that do the recharging for them.

Enchanting items could require different crafters, I see much enjoyment and community opportunity in that. We've discussed this before with enchanted breastplates. So yeah, definately on board with that.
 
Last edited:

Barin999

Journeyman
1) If the item the master makes is better, players will only buy the master-crafted item.

In every single game that allowed a master crafter to make the same item better than a novice crafter. The only thing that sells on the market is the master-crafted version. Period. The combination of resource stockpiles and players with 11-12 experimentation points put up a wall in front of new crafters.

2) Now, if you want skill and progression in crafting to matter and be useful to players, then do it in different ways. Allow progression to unlock more and different types of recipes that make higher level items (since the game is level-based). Allow them to learn abilities that make it easier for them to complete more complex crafting recipes. A new crafter might be able to build a rowboat, but a master can build a galleon. That's totally fine.

3) But do not force new crafters to compete directly against master crafters in order to sell items.

4) On the other hand, if you only allow it on high-level items, then it can be something that you reward later in the crafting progression, and it just becomes part of that "tier" of items. However, once you give people access to it, there must be a level playing field - so, if you allow them to acquire more points or something, those points only need to be usable on higher-tier items such that people who have just gotten access to the system are able to compete with the people that have been around for years.
First up, I'm not disagreeing on the matter. Just trying to pick brains.
1) Hardly any game provides mastercraft recipes to new/starting players. So from that perspective those new/starters will always be in a disadvantage. To provide a player a sense of improvement, a game must be designed so that one becomes better and can see proof of that. Hence the MC-recipes. Take that away from advanced players and things can get really slippery or even boring.

2) What I'm trying to grasp from your reply here is, offer recipes from a certain level and provide no other within that level/skill range. But as you level up or skill up..new recipes open up that can only be applied to content beyond previous levels or skills. That does sound nice. However, it could make things players get passed, obsulete. Due to; well I have this skill now, so I can do this ...and that's better (not competing) then earlier tier or such. Why would I go back to using old skills when I now can do this and that?
In a sense, there are hard cuts introduced here. And starting players might have the field open and does not experience competition of older players, but would there be a need/demand for their skill/products? This could work, if the character progression is very slow and encounters or content is created that players spend a lot of time within that content. As more time is required, it allows more opportunities to "need" that new crafter. So in this scenario it could work out. Starting players might require a rowboat, as a galleon would not fit in those waters. (Opening up to new crafters but "blocking out" advanced crafters)
What's to be done when old players joining up with new and gearing up on the way to next content? It could quickly make that new crafter become unneeded, especially when cash becomes more abudant over time.
What's to prevent advanced crafters from returning to newby town and setting up a shop there? Even with their advanced skills and recipes, they can still produce those easy recipes/products. Going directly head to head with new players. Any suggestions there?

4) The experimation / skill based product increase- design could indeed be applied starting from level 1 skill 1. It does make sense that a player who has played more, has earned more skill points. Being more skilled they can make better items (or make items even better) then a starting player would. Your point remains valid, so it should not become a wall where ones needs to grind to become as accomplished as others. This is not easy to prevent.
If you combine this design with tier resources and level useage. It could alleviate the pressure on the new vs old crafters competition. New players have acces to recipe X, which requires resources from within their content and offers gear that can be used within their 'direct' level range. Advanced players also have those same recipes (and more), but have acces to higher tier resources, which allows them to make better gear then earlier content. And with that those end products have a minimum level requirement and are within their current 'direct' level range.
So from that perspective, the recipe stays the same. Old and New have recipe X. But the access to advanced content allows breathing space for new crafters.

3) There isn't much you can do to prevent old players coming back and pushing out pristine crafts, that directly compete with starting players. (The products themselves, would however be the same. There is less harm in this kind of competition then.)
If you're aiming to prevent older crafters to hit those markets, one thing springs to mind; if a craft becomes trivial, stats are dropped/taken away. Leaving the advanced player with appearance items or with items that have greyed out stats.
This might feel odd at first, but similar to a mentoring system where gearstats are lowered as you level down..these stats would be 'lowered' as the recipe becomes trivial to you.
In fact, it could actually work very similar; equal level recipe could render max stats, easy level recipe could have lower, very easy recipe could have lower still and trivial recipe could have lowest or none.

In a sense you're counterproductive, but still skilling up. As advancing players have things to look forward to. By doing so they are "removing" themselves from earlier markets/products. This opens up space for new players. Similar to a vaccuum effect; as the advanced players move out, a vaccuum is created, sucking in more new crafters..since there is a market for them. A financial opportunity if you will. Imagine this generally accepted as just being part of the game and think in lines years to come with different tiers and player ranges investing a lot of time between tiers.

To lead to this back to the Original Post: you can have a sweet spot where max stat is possible.
  1. level 1-4, your skill increases, the stats on product INCREASES, recipe goes from hard, difficult, to challenging
  2. level 5, your skill increased, the stats are MAXED OUT, recipe goes IS challenging
  3. level 6-9, your skill increases, the stats are LOWERED, recipe goes from challenging to easy, to very easy.
  4. level 10, your skill increases, the stats are flatlined, recipe becomes trivial.
Where you put that sweet spot, is open to debate ofc, but it's the geste of it, I'm trying to get across.

All the while, tier resources and techniques are calculated into this current content. Beyond 10, new recipes, tier resources, techniques are unlocked etc. One could even allow skilltrees to become unlocked but unusuable until a certain treshold; skill level, crafting level, combined techniques etc.
 
Last edited:

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Try this as an alternate idea. Your goal here is to provide a sense of progression to crafters, something that inspires them to continue to improve their skills, yes?

Please note: This is just something I put together very quickly as an example of how crafting progression can work without shutting new crafters out of the economy later on. We'll get what we get in the end, but we should not be willing to accept a solution that forces players to grind up in order to participate.

Base concepts:
  • To keep things simple for this example, there are 50 levels in crafting, same as adventuring.
  • The amount of progress needed to complete a crafted item is based on the level of the recipe and scales up quickly at higher levels, forcing crafters to use more potent abilities to complete the item.
  • The amount of durability a crafter has to work within is based on the item type. Typically, the larger or more complex the item, the more durability a crafter will have to work with.
  • Crafting Points (CP) are used to perform crafting actions. How much a crafter has available is determined by their equipment. Equipment may also give bonuses to stats which improve the outcome of actions taken during crafting (for example, a stat that influences progress).

Itemization:
- Higher level items have minimum skill or level requirements in order to help insure that lower level crafted items still have a market. This could be a hard restriction (lower level players can't use them) or a soft restriction (lower level players can use them, but at a penalty due to low skill).

Recipes:
  • Optional ingredients add/customize stats. The basic recipes crafters start with can take a single optional ingredient, appropriate to the item type.
  • Higher level recipes have correspondingly tougher requirements to craft them - more exotic resources, more progress needed during the crafting process, etc. They may require more components or even lower-level finished items as components.
  • In addition to requiring more progress, higher level recipes can involve complications or opportunities that the crafter can respond to during crafting. Ignoring a complication may mean a penalty to progress or durability. Responding to it with the proper ability costs CP, but prevents the detrimental effects. Opportunities are similar but offer positive effects if responded to.
  • Higher level recipes can take more or additional types of optional components during the crafting process, which opens up additional customization options, or the ability for crafters to apply things such as bane bonuses or eventually procs (as appropriate to the item).

Progression:
  • At level 1, each crafter gains access to a set of 8-10 basic (level 1) recipes for their profession. At least one of these is a component that is used by other crafting professions.
  • At level 1, each crafter gains access to three basic abilities to use during the crafting process, specific to their profession. One ability advances progress at the cost of item durability. The second ability restores item durability by consuming crafting points (CP). The third ability allows that crafter to apply an optional ingredient during crafting at a cost of durability and CP.
  • As the crafter advances, they gain access to additional abilities every 3-4 levels. Some of these abilities are direct upgrades of previous abilities. Others might introduce new twists, such as a chance of failure, so that the crafter has to play the odds to use them.
  • As the crafter advances, they can purchase or obtain higher level recipes. These higher level recipes make higher level items (ex: bronze sword vs. iron sword). There are also new item types introduced at higher levels as well.
  • At the highest levels, crafting recipes can no longer be bought but must be looted, quested, or discovered in some way.


What this system attempts to accomplish:
  1. The market for new crafters is protected to an extent. Yes, a master crafter could go back and make bronze swords - quite easily, since they have better abilities to use during crafting. But their bronze swords won't be any better than any other crafter's bronze swords. And bronze swords will always be needed by newer adventurers.
  2. As crafters progress, they gain additional abilities which help them to craft tougher/more complex things, as well as additional recipes which offer more options for customization during the crafting process.

I believe that something like this accomplishes the same general goals you're aiming for with your proposal without setting up a situation where new players will find themselves shut out from participating in the economy.
 

Chimerical

Novice
Regarding new crafters being competitive. What would you think about the concept of being "out of practice"? A higher level accustomed to working in gold may not have worked in copper in some time. He has the skill but has let his skills with the lesser materials erode a bit, to the point where the lower level working with copper constantly creates more ore or ingots than a higher level, unless the higher level wants too re-hone his skills by working in copper again. I don't code but maybe there is a way to apply a negative modifier while working in a formerly easy material that only disappears as you work with said material again, over time...
 

Trasak

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
Regarding new crafters being competitive. What would you think about the concept of being "out of practice"? A higher level accustomed to working in gold may not have worked in copper in some time. He has the skill but has let his skills with the lesser materials erode a bit, to the point where the lower level working with copper constantly creates more ore or ingots than a higher level, unless the higher level wants too re-hone his skills by working in copper again. I don't code but maybe there is a way to apply a negative modifier while working in a formerly easy material that only disappears as you work with said material again, over time...
You actually just hit on a basic concept that personally drives me crazy in most crafting systems in MMOs. The right metal for the job. Many games progress from softer to harder metals and then start introducing magical materials as a way of generating item tiers. Personally this drives me crazy as a metal guy.

Bronze is tons softer than even cast iron and not a lot more ductile. It is terrible for weapons and armor. Even in the Bronze age properly cured hides were stronger than bronze weapon. The only thing bronze could really do over bone or stone was it could be sharpened to a cutting edge vs flesh.

Metal nerdness aside I think there is real benefit to the idea that a coppersmith is different from a tin smith, is different from a bronze worker, is different from a black(iron)smith, is different from a silversmith and so on. Where I am getting with this is that each metal is for a different type of object and have their own skill progression. I could see Copper-Tin-Bronze-Brass-Aluminum being one grouping with different benefits. Copper-Silver-Gold-Platinum-Unobtainium another (yes copper is in both cause its actually a super metal just not for weapons). Iron-Steel-Titanium(special requirements of a vacuum environment to work the metal). We can call them the soft-ductile group which are used for fittings, instruments(scientific and musical), household goods and art. Precious metals which will be used for jewelry, magical instruments, high value are items and plating. Hard durability materials which are your weapons, armor and hand tools.

There can be magical materials but I would try and classify them as alloys of these base metals rather than as a naturally occuring material and would need subskills to create the alloys before using them in the correct type of recipe for that metal type.

Now to tie it all back in. I would still like to have item quality be the differentiator between item levels. For example a poor iron sword is a level 1 item. A tier 4 quality iron sword would be a level 20 item but a tier 2 steel sword would also be a level 20 item. Your knowledge of the metal in question, your over all metal working base class level, and your skill with the recipe combine to give your chances at item tiers. A Poor quality Iron sword is always a level 1 item with no variation. A High quality Iron sword (Poor-low-good-high-master) is always a level 20 sword but the Low quality steel sword is lighter, faster but less base damage (net neutral dps vs iron of equal item level) and lacks the worked iron special quality (in D&D cold iron bypasses fae DR).

Increasing class levels and metal skill levels will allow you to create the magical sub materials of the same general type which in turn will raise the tier by roughly one or two and add or convert special qualities. Adding stats or procs will be part of enchanting not metal working.

This is also assuming that a low level player are limited in how effective their weapons are based on their weapon skills so that they could use a Master quality Titanium sword at level 1 but it won't perform better than a Low quality iron sword if sword skill is only level 1. This means that a low skill crafter can still make items for low level players that are just as effective as items from master craftsmen for their level. Eventually though players will want to move to higher quality (higher item level) items but by that time the crafter has increased their skill.
 

Chimerical

Novice
I have to agree that it would make more sense if they followed the progression of working with iron, and the history of increasingly better steel, rather than thousands of year of mankind's history in discovering and utilizing metals, but that would be quite the deviation from mmo's. I don't know that we can expect, nor hope for that. Who knows.

I think given Terminus is an amalgamation of a number of planets we have to consider that exotic materials might have been brought in, and are therefore discoverable or able to be mined, harvested, whatever...

I think alloys are the answer to many recipes. I'm hoping they will release crafting to testing early in the process so that these ideas might actually contribute.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
Try this as an alternate idea. Your goal here is to provide a sense of progression to crafters, something that inspires them to continue to improve their skills, yes?
I'm with you on reply concerning base concept, itemization, recipes.

As for progression as long as this new or boosted abilities or sorts, feel organically/gradually, that could work nicely as wel.
The new crafters will experience reaching new techniques or better abilities. So that sense of growth could come from that aspect.
The one thing that is missing here; even with new techniques that crafter will still make the same sword. Nothing will have changed the outcome of that craft. (perhaps they might end up with more power or sorts) And that's the sensation I'm looking for. I'm not holding the holy grail here, it's just a proposal/consideration.
The bronze sword will have nothing improved even with X amount of skills or techniques learned. And it's that sensation of; Yeah, I can make it better now. I'll go back to the forge, make the same recipe but this time...due to skillimprovement..the outcome can (increased chance of succes?) be better then the first bronze sword I made. I'm getting better at this.
There is a window of enjoyable repeatability there.

The matter if recipes should be able to be purchased, and if so which ones and which not.. is a different topic, but a very interesting one. I'ld prefer to learn through content, rather then through a plain npc-vendor selling me a clicky.

We're both hoping to have markets for all levels of players, and to maintain a balance and a certain attraction for players to craft and enjoy crafts as a whole.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
Regarding new crafters being competitive. What would you think about the concept of being "out of practice"?

I don't code but maybe there is a way to apply a negative modifier while working in a formerly easy material that only disappears as you work with said material again, over time...
I like the idea as in let's try to provide the player with so many skills to challenge the crafter to upkeep all skills at the same time. One could even imagine going as far so that the player is never able to maintain all their skills at top quality at all times. Similar to keeping jugglingballs up in the air, the skills (bronze, tin, copper, etc) will need to be actively used if you want a fine end product. If you don't use certain techniques often enough, the result when you do use that technique might not be as good as it can be.
It's an very interesting concept. Perhaps not all players might like a decrease in skills and might even see it as an unneccesary punishment for advancing in the game. Still, it could be very effective to open up markets to upcoming crafters.
Quite possibly it would lead to niche markets and specialists in the crafter community. If that could be linked to intercraftclass independancy, that would be really nice.

The coding could work similarly to ESO's hate meter. When you have done something bad towards a certain faction/village, you become Kill On Sight for X amount of time. If you don't do anything bad anymore to that faction, the hate decreases back to 0. This is something that occurs over time and the player has a visual element that shows them the timer of this K O S situation.
For crafters this would be: you used the bronze skill, and your skill increases so does the outcome of the product..When you're no longer using that skill, a timer will start counting down. If the timer hits 0, you're bronze skill-related recipes will give you the base line end product if you craft it 1 time.
 

Barin999

Journeyman
The right metal for the job.

There can be magical materials but I would try and classify them as alloys of these base metals rather than as a naturally occuring material and would need subskills to create the alloys before using them in the correct type of recipe for that metal type.

Now to tie it all back in. I would still like to have item quality be the differentiator between item levels. For example a poor iron sword is a level 1 item. A tier 4 quality iron sword would be a level 20 item but a tier 2 steel sword would also be a level 20 item. Your knowledge of the metal in question, your over all metal working base class level, and your skill with the recipe combine to give your chances at item tiers. A Poor quality Iron sword is always a level 1 item with no variation. A High quality Iron sword (Poor-low-good-high-master) is always a level 20 sword but the Low quality steel sword is lighter, faster but less base damage (net neutral dps vs iron of equal item level) and lacks the worked iron special quality (in D&D cold iron bypasses fae DR).

This is also assuming that a low level player are limited in how effective their weapons are based on their weapon skills so that they could use.
Specialization could provide players with a lot of different aspects within 1 craftingclass. A differentiator between item levels is something that can be expected. One could only hope skill has something to do, instead of purely going to plain and rare resources-approach. My only concern here would be, would the starting crafter have a market to drop their low level crafts onto? If mastercrafted gear is being sold, the new crafter might have little chance to compete.

Player skill and gear stats should indeed be a calibration that provides a senseable outcome. Rather then every player being able to hit max with any ability from the beginning.

There are quite a few suggestions that could easely lend themselves to expansions. The alloy idea, might be required to be present at launch, since it might be challenging to explain why alloys are a new feature but have an impact on older content crafts.
It goes without saying that eventually all player that invest time, will move on to the next step within reach. And they should be glad to and possibly aiming towards it.
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
The one thing that is missing here; even with new techniques that crafter will still make the same sword. Nothing will have changed the outcome of that craft. (perhaps they might end up with more power or sorts) And that's the sensation I'm looking for. I'm not holding the holy grail here, it's just a proposal/consideration.
Yeah - if Pantheon were shaping up to be a different game in terms of how players attain power and become more effective in the adventuring sphere, I'd be fine with allowing people to make better versions of the same item based on skills/abilities/resources. However, to make that actually work, long-term in an economy, you have to have the following factors:

  1. Very high demand for the items in question (usually achieved by introducing item decay or the items being consumable)
  2. A very flat equipment progression for players where choosing equipment is more about tweaking stats than gaining raw power. An example: bronze swords have a higher maximum damage, but are heavier and slower than steel swords.
  3. Crafting progression based on customization ability/recipe variety rather than on being able to create "higher level" items.
  4. Potential for a masterwork/HQ/etc version heavily influenced by quality of resources used (to help keep these more rare).
In that sort of system, things like masterworks make sense, because there will always be a market for base items due to the very high demand. This is the type of economy you see in games like EVE, and to a lesser extent it was present in both SWG and FFXI, although those two economies still broke down over time. But because demand can be created perpetually for the base item, there's always a place for that new crafter to jump in and participate.

The problem with doing this in a game like EQ/EQ2/Vanguard/WoW/FFXIV/etc however, is that over time, demand for those lower level items will begin to decline as the bulk of the adventuring population levels up into higher "tiers" of items. As that demand decreases, the same adventurers will become more and more "picky" about which item they buy. At the same time, with more and more crafters able to create the masterwork or HQ or whatever version of the item, supply for those will increase. This puts new crafters who can only make the base item at an extreme disadvantage. Barriers to entry, like being forced to grind up to X level/skill just to participate in the economy, only serve to push new players away from the crafting sphere, or at times, the game.

Since Pantheon is falling into the latter category, where adventurers will be expected to "trade up" to better and better equipment over time, the game is going to have to be especially careful when it comes to lower level items that are created by crafters. Introducing anything that might result in very low or negative demand for those items carries the potential to damage the experience of new players at a time that's critical for them to determine if they're going to stick with the game or not. It's not good enough to say "the other parts will make up for it" - we all know there are people out there who really enjoy crafting as their primary sphere. If they pick up the game 3 years after launch because they heard it's a good crafting game, and then they find out they can't actually sell anything they can make unless they waste a bunch of time and resources grinding up, how is that an incentive for them to stick with it?

New players are the lifeblood of the game. Thus, to continue to attract and retain those new players, the game needs to stay friendly to them over time. This is true for adventuring, and it is also true for crafting. When it comes to crafting, maintaining healthy demand levels in the economy for low level base items is a huge component of this.
 

Chimerical

Novice
Ok, typing before I've fleshed everything out (typical for me) but how about the concept of "expertise". Say you are only allowed to maintain expertise in 3 sub-areas of your specialization. A sub-area would be defined by the base material, for example copper, silver, gold , platinum ,mithril... to obtain expertise you would need to put a certain amount of hours into working within those materials, an amount you would naturally obtain while leveling through them, starting with copper in this example, then moving on to silver, etc. Now with expertise you are so skilled using that material you can make the very highest obtainable level of crafting an item: perfection. Only those maintaining expertise with a given material can make a perfect sword, or shield, or bow, or souffle, whatever. Early on every crafter would obtain expertise in the lower level materials, but as they level they would migrate away from them into higher level materials, and would likely choose to maintain expertise in these, abandoning copper for platinum. This would leave expertise to those new to crafting.

Perhaps "expertise" can be extended to different subsections of items within a specialization? You have 3 areas of expertise within a material. You are a weapon-smith and really like making swords, so you enter an area of expertise in 2 handed broadswords, 1 handed and perhaps short swords, but you've never been quite as interested in piercing weapons. You can make a fine trident, a weapon preferred by the dark myr and other underwater adventurers, but you don't maintain expertise. This would allow another crafter to enter a less desired specialty, and make it their own, and to craft a perfect copper trident...

Now to try and use up these perfect weapons, even though they be quite rare, perhaps when sacrificed on a deities altar they provide an extreme benefit, something worthy of destroying them. Alternatively perhaps to make a "perfect" item you must add a rare item from the next highest tier, something worth salvaging from the perfect weapon. Ex. you are fortunate enough to mine "rare silver" during your exploring. You keep it with you while crafting and one day are fortunate enough to be in the position to to make a perfect copper scimitar, which requires a bit of rare silver to complete. It's not a given that you'll make it perfectly but you decide to try and succeed. You carry your weapon with pride until you become skilled in silver working and come upon a recipe to make an item requiring "rare silver". Perhaps you melt down you scimitar. Maybe you can't bear to melt it down, you're planning to pass it down to your progeny. It provides a path to remove items from "flooding" the markets. Now you say to yourself, "yourself, these items are rare and won't impact the market much". Good point, maybe the concept of expertise determing highest qualityi s extended down to the top 2 or 3 levels of quality: perfect>pristine>exquisite>fine, etc.

Just spit balling here for the sake of conversation. By the way does anyone know if Ceythos comes by here? Or are we theory crafting among ourselves?
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
Ceythos may read our forums (I hope that he does!) but in general VR employees have a policy of only posting on the forums that they themselves control. They don't want to get accused of playing favorites with different subsets of the community. Personally, I think they are all gamers too, and so even if they're not posting, they're definitely watching and reading.

I could see your expertise concept working as sort of a high-end specialization system. It's the sort of thing I wouldn't really want to see creep into crafting until the top end, but I think it can help crafters at the top end distinguish themselves from each other. Like if we're both armorsmiths, I might be known for my plate armor, while you're known for your chain and scale armor. I support that sort of thing towards the end of the profession, when material and skill requirements are significant. Just not early in the progression.

With regards to sacrificing items - every time I've seen that system proposed I can't help but think back to how much of a farce it was in EQ2. Granted, that game had a pretty lame implementation - but if the goal is to pull items out of the economy I can think of much more interesting ways to do it than breaking the item on an altar. That said, I would be ok with a sacrifice system if the item itself was special because of the deeds done with it. I think the gods would be much more interested in the Boots that have traveled 10,000 leagues, than just a set of nicely-made boots. Why? Because it's not the quality of the item that matters so much (although that can be a pre-requisite), but the history of the item. The experiences it's soaked in along the way.

Now what I would love to see in conjunction with an eventual housing system is that those really nice items you don't want to leave behind or get rid of can end up hanging on your wall, where you can look at them and say "this was the scimitar I used when we defeated the Troglodyte King". At that point, it's more than just an item. It's a story that has become part of the history of your character and the world.
 

Chimerical

Novice
Expertise could end up almost being an AA system for crafting. My reason for mentioning altar is that Brad has mentioned it several times as a method for obtaining temporary buffs. I doubt volume wise it would ever be enough to remove common items, but perhaps more uncommon items would be a value. Time will tell...
 
Top