Forums » Crafting

Types of Crafting Progression in Pantheon

    • 1723 posts
    May 11, 2020 9:39 AM PDT

    We haven't had any substantial new information from VR about crafting in a while now, but two things have happened:  First, we've learned more about how mastery points are going to work for adventuring in Pantheon, and second, several recent community discussions have shown that a lot of people still really do care about crafting.  Thus, I think it's time to bring this topic up again :)

    One thing that makes MMORPGs fun and interesting for people is having multiple types of progression available to pursue.  While some people may be content with everything being tied to simple character levels, many people desire more than that - whether it's pursuing standing with a faction, getting better equipment, finding rare and special combat abilities to use, evolving character abilities through mastery points, or building up acclimation to be able to access different areas in the game.  That's not even getting into things like progressing storylines under the perception system that may also be important to players.

     

    When we think about all the different forms of progression for the adventuring sphere, it makes sense that the crafting sphere should have a few as well.  Here are some (probably obvious) types of crafting progression that I can think of.

    Crafting Recipes - A crafter is only as good as what they can create.  While crafters might be able to learn basic recipes from skill trainers, finding and learning rare or exotic recipes should be a focus of crafting gameplay.  Maybe it's a trainer in a different land, or a book or scroll that's been lost in a dungeon, or even piecing together fragments of writing found in different places to research something new.

    Crafting Techniques - Just as combatants have different spells and abilities that they can use, crafters have different techniques that they can perform with their tools.  Do you make a heavy swing with that forging hammer or a few quick taps?  Do you do a simple stitch with your needle or a more complex cross-stitch?  Learning advanced techniques should be a focus of crafting gameplay as well.  While some techniques may be as simple as finding a friendly trainer, others may require the crafter to prove themselves worthy of the knowledge.

    Crafting Skills - Just because you know how to do something doesn't mean you're all that good at it yet.  It takes practice - and that's what skills represent.  The greater your skill in metalworking, the more effective your forging techniques will be.  The same for other crafting areas as well.  Together with more powerful techniques, high skill levels will allow crafters to work with exotic materials and demanding recipes.

    Crafting Mastery - Since adventurers have mastery points that evolve and empower their abilities, why should crafters be any different?  As crafters progress, they could earn points to spend on improving their existing techniques as well - or even, potentially, on unlocking new specializations or areas of crafting.

    Crafting Tools and Equipment - If you want to make a legendary sword, you probably need a legendary forge hammer first.  Not to mention gloves and an apron to protect you from the intense heat you'll face while smelting and working the metal.  Just as adventurers have equipment that they look to upgrade to become more effective, so too should crafters.  Not just tools, but other worn items such as boots, gloves, smocks, aprons, and so on as well.

    Factional Standings - The different races and organizations on Terminus probably have their own unique ways of making items, and they're not necessarily willing to teach these secrets to just anyone.  Their trust must be earned first.  But pursuing this should be something desirable for crafters.  After all, wouldn't you like to be the smith who brings the secrets of coldark steel to the human lands?

    Crafting Storylines - We know that there will be storylines in the perception system and that those will likely involve adventuring.  Well, why shouldn't some involve crafting as well?  Whether it's creating an item that grows stronger (and more challenging) with each step, like EQ's coldain prayer shawl, or following a series of clues to learn an ancient technique, these storylines should be important and appealing to crafters, just as others might be to adventurers.

     

    I feel that the more of these that Pantheon can have, the richer the crafting sphere will be.  This is, of course, in addition to things like solid itemization and a working economy.  But giving people all these different ways to improve and advance their character as a crafter will only help keep people interested.

    If you've read through this, please feel free to post your thoughts.  What would you expand on or like to take further?  What would you add to the list up above?

     

    • 2801 posts
    May 12, 2020 8:31 AM PDT

    I agree in all respects. I will add two things neither one inconsistant in any way to what you have stated so well.

    1. We should apply some if not all of the Vanguard theory towards crafting. It should be important in its own right not merely a minor adjunct to adventuring. You shouldn't need to be a high level adventurer or have any skills that only adventuring can give you in order to craft well. As just discussed in a different thread here so I won't go into detail - ideally it should not require items available only from raiding or even only from grouping (though the latter isn't nearly as bad). As a self-contained sphere top quality crafting items would come from harvesting or from crafting. Thus the best sword made by a metalsmith might require the best hilt made by a woodworker or tailor or smith or jeweler. Or the best metal from a very hard to get ultrarare node or ultrarare drop from a standard node. Or both.

    2. Harvesting both can and should be very important. It can have its own gear as in Vanguard (often made by crafters). Its own set of skills and masteries. Its own techniques. Its own factional standings. And more. If we don't mind cliches - and we probably don't - require the best metal or gem harvesting techniques to be learned from a central dwarf city. The Hall Under the Mountain - oops wrong lore. Something that even dwarves require very high standing to get. Techniques that improve yield or reduce harvesting time or increase the chance of getting a rare or ultrarare. 

    Let elves be the custodians of similar lore for wood harvesting, high up in a few special flets. Oops wrong lore again. And so on for each type of material capable of being harvested.

    • 248 posts
    May 12, 2020 9:22 AM PDT

    I really miss the concept of having to travel to an obscure location to craft items. I think that this fits in under the Crafting Tools and Equipment. but I like the concept of having to travel to a special location in order to craft a specific item or set of items. 

    I also like the concept of Specializations within professions. I think that this has the potential to lower supply and increase the demand for high-end items making the market much more stable and healthy. You have already mentioned this under crafting mastery but this is a system where I would like to see limitations and choices matter.   

    • 647 posts
    May 13, 2020 4:14 AM PDT

    Crafting techniques; A technique is a kind of cultural heritage, passed on to those willing and ‘destined’ for it. To restrict yourself here to just being different techniques being used, seems a bit like a missed opportunity. Techniques have their own… evolution. And it’s that development, that could make up for a well-designed “technique-tree”. Very similar to a skill or a mastery tree. You could even see it as a smaller tree within the main mastery tree. The focus would here be on which techniques do you know already, which are you able to perform in your environment or with the resources you have within reach. Perhaps this goes too deep for most, this potential to offer a variety of experiences.

    Several different technique-lines might be leading up to the same end product. So while you’re crafting item X, you can use either technique 1.2.3…. Which one you choose can depend on where you are in the world, what tools and resources you have available. The impact of the techniques might be the same, but the player’s experience could differ. Initially there might be more techniques out in the world that the crafter has not come across yet or will need to find in order to work under certain conditions. Similarly to a druid using root during combat or a damage over time or a heal..the end result is a defeated foe.

    I like how you specified that these techniques can be passed or offered when the player is found sufficiently skilled or other. Immediately, it hints towards storylines, depth and diversity.

    I would like to leave the topic of crafting techniques with a question for you; Would you use the same system for upgraded techniques as is used in the spellbook currently? Meaning, you can’t use a lower (/easier?) technique ones you’ve learned a more complex one? I envision this use of technique similar to how people paint, starting off with still life and evolving to paint Rembrandt, Picasso, Rubens…


    This post was edited by Barin999 at May 13, 2020 4:14 AM PDT
    • 647 posts
    May 13, 2020 4:35 AM PDT

    Crafting skills: A skill and a technique go hand in hand. Perhaps it’s good to ask; what should come first or are they presented simultaneously? I could learn a technique and dabble with it for a while, until I develop (or otherwise obtain) a skill that matches the technique. I might be able to complete a product using techniques (or none at all) without having the optimal technique for it. This portion would heavily depend on the design of the crafting process.

    Another question here, does the skill go up automatically, periodically or does it have a progression ratio linked to items completed (/tried?) for example?

    You seem to hint towards a design where as my skill advances, it will facilitate the use of techniques. Is there a mathematically algorithm behind this? For example; As an outfitter, my skill to use scissors advances and now the “cut the line”- technique that I use for cutting out patterns is facilitated due to the dots being bigger, better aligned or perhaps the game makes the margins of error smaller during my cutting process? Or are techniques or skills dependent on the Player’s own skills and learning curve? How do you envision defining crafting effectiveness in Pantheon?

    There doesn’t have to be a skill requirement to working with materials beyond your starting area. At least not always. This for me, is where technique provide you with that “requirement design”. I’m skilled enough to saw that tree into boards, but I just need a different sawing technique so that my saw doesn’t get stuck.

    I do like the idea of demanding recipes, where a recipe actually calls for certain skill progression. Usually it’s just a level requirement and you “just happen to have” the sufficient amount of skill points for it. Or worse, it’s not even asking for a skill requirement at all. Your suggestion on demanding recipes, aligns itself more with horizontal progression. Many crafters are favouring this style of progression.

    • 647 posts
    May 13, 2020 4:48 AM PDT

    Crafting Mastery: I assumed this topic would be obvious and easy. But, it’s not. When I see a game where you have implemented skills, techniques, levels, recipes. I’m not sure there is a need for an additional Masterypoint system for crafters. It would just speed things up. If you’re going to add in something to speed things up, you’ve created a mismatch in your initial design. So what would the mastery system offer that all the above mentioned, cannot?

    I’d like to point towards the following link where the idea of being a master is discussed.

    https://www.pantheoncrafters.com/threads/what-defines-mastery.183/#post-2953

    Quoting Trasak here: “Characters must gain experience in order to have enough understanding to gain new tools and abilities belonging to their skill/class. Mastering those tools are in turn the key to gaining access to yet more complicated, specialized and powerful tools.

    A master crafter is someone who has ventured outside his familiar zone/habitat. A person who has ventured out into the world and searched for other cultures with similar trade skill but perhaps different techniques/recipes. He's acquainted with those, not per se fully fledged in all. But he knows how to make a pristine thing if all required conditions are met.

    A master crafter is someone who can do that extra something, while others can only reach certain limits in that recipe. They can deliver that extra sparkle, that extra sharpness, that extra flavour that makes it stand out.

    Most of all, to become a master crafter, it requires devotion, precision and time investment. 

    So, if you want to retain a mastery progression of sorts. Perhaps it can advance based on time spend crafting itself. Something that just keeps score on how long you've been in the process of crafting. As that record grows, you'll gain feats that makes you stand out. This could be more fluff, but I doubt true masters would let this pass by. An example: placing makers mark on an item, colours, crystals, symbols, icons, special effects. This could allow the product to display the master even without the master present himself. The scale of fluff or impact on the item could grow as the master spends more and more time crafting. I think you catch my drift here. Every so often, you could grant that master a special resource of sorts or personal thing to display their elevated state.


    This post was edited by Barin999 at May 13, 2020 8:05 AM PDT
    • 647 posts
    May 13, 2020 10:36 AM PDT

    Crafting tools and equipment: Would you consider crafters getting damaged when they do not have the proper equipment? Or does equipment and tools work as a bottleneck, without it you can’t start those specific craft sessions? Would a crafter be able to craft without proper tools, but can only manage to produce a product of X-1 quality? Another view could be that a crafting challenge rating can be countered or influenced by tools or equipment. The crafting process itself will no longer have X% fail rate.


    This post was edited by Barin999 at May 20, 2020 2:53 AM PDT
    • 647 posts
    May 13, 2020 11:28 AM PDT

    Factional standings: You’ve explained it really good. I think the suggestion I would have here, is to leave regional crafts to the region. A human crafter can earn faction with the dwarves. The human is allowed into the dwarven smithy. They learn some recipes and over time can craft at the workstations of the dwarves. Here stops the mixing story of factions. The human crafter can return to human settlements, but they can only craft items originating from the dwarves at dwarven workstations (or those rare ones out in the world).

    The main reason would be to keep travel going. If you pick up the knowledge and “hoard” it at your guild’s location. You’re locking the crafters up and throwing away the key. (viewed solely from the value of the regions where factions occur)

    Factions and especially with crafters is all about travelling. (the circle of; travel, commerce, craft) I’ll agree in part with Baldur’s call for travel by crafter. I would just not only link it to tools/equipment. By this specific regional workstation design, you’re stimulating travel by players and you’re giving them an actual meaningful reason to return to other parts in the world. Parts where they have been before, gained faction and now return to craft specific items for themselves, friends or guild. The world of Pantheon, remains a world when you can preserve the value and meaning of regions and coexisting with that specific factions. (maintaining cross levels population, with similar design?!?)

    This links to what defines a master crafter: A master crafter is willing to traverse the world, use their knowledge and go that extra mile for their customers.

    A side effect here, you’re breaking up the scenery for the crafter. A devoted crafter might be able and willing to craft at home till the end of time. A sporadic or casual crafter might actually enjoy these breaks from the same views of their familiar “dull”(compared to their favoured adventuring a less exhilarating) workstations.

    You’re not only stimulating the crafter to keep traveling the world, they will come across players and help to maintain a sense of a populated world. If reaching those faction regions contains risks, the crafters will seek out groups to help him get there. There are several options to initiate interaction with other players. And that to me, is especially valuable for the long term.


    This post was edited by Barin999 at May 13, 2020 12:09 PM PDT
    • 647 posts
    May 13, 2020 11:34 AM PDT

    Crafting storylines: I can be really short here. A crafter is equally a player of this game to every other adventurer. The crafter deserves the same World-experience if that is truly one of the pillars for this game. If the dev’s decide that crafting takes a backseat and becomes a secondary distraction to players, they can mention this change of mindset.


    This post was edited by Barin999 at May 13, 2020 11:35 AM PDT
    • 1225 posts
    May 14, 2020 7:10 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    Crafting Recipes - A crafter is only as good as what they can create.  While crafters might be able to learn basic recipes from skill trainers, finding and learning rare or exotic recipes should be a focus of crafting gameplay.  Maybe it's a trainer in a different land, or a book or scroll that's been lost in a dungeon, or even piecing together fragments of writing found in different places to research something new.

    It is no secret that I do not like Unique items or recipes that only make a single Unique item that always requires the same ingredients and outputs the same item.  It creates server economy item bloat, mudflation, and mindless/player skill-less crafting systems.

    Rather than having dozens of different SWORD recipes that you had to find and learn but then could puke out duplicates by the 100s I would rather have one core Sword recipe that you can research and develop.

    Initially the Sword recipe consists of a “blade” and a “grip”.  That’s all.  Crude blades are really just a long knife, heavy with a single edge and not much point.  You can level up your “blade” sub recipe from hammered metal with a ground edge of a metal you know (metal knowledge is a different progression from recipe knowledge) to more advanced blade designs.  Later designs could have two edges, blood gutters, thinner but longer blades,  piercing tips, end balanced blades like the khopesh, and great swords requiring 2 hands to wield.  In addition to blade styles you can also learn forming techniques of casting, carving (bone or wood and may be from the woodworker), chipping stone (for purposes of this idea folded metal is still just hammered metal but with a lot of presteps going into preparing the stock).

    Each style will need to be researched by either reading a text and practicing or scavenging/reverse engineering dropped blades of similar styles.  Your quality levels will improve as your mastery improves and the final assembly will be a combination of your input quality levels and your base item mastery.

    Swords will be able to progress by developing blades, grips, cross guards and pommels.  Cross guards and pommels themselves need to be unlock before they can even be used in the basic sword.

    Each weapon type will be its own base item that can then be configured.  The same will be true for armor, clothing, tinctures, brews, cooking recipes, jewelry and the like.

    The final product becomes a sum of the subcomponents and the final quality check.  As complicated as this sounds it is much easier than trying to balance 1000s of unique items against each other.

    Finally, its ok for players to only want the “top quality” results in my opinion.  The lesser pieces can still find places in the game economy through crafting tasks, item sacrifices and reverse engineering. 

    • 2027 posts
    May 14, 2020 4:22 PM PDT

    Trasak said:

    The final product becomes a sum of the subcomponents and the final quality check.  As complicated as this sounds it is much easier than trying to balance 1000s of unique items against each other.

    I'm in complete agreement.  A while ago, on a similar thread, I brought up that the 'recipe' for an item just gave you the generic list of pieces. For your sword, you need Blade, Hilt, Pommel.  It's the materials, and the combinations thereof, that would determine the final stats of the sword.  So your Blade recipe says '4 metal ingots'.  Ok.   You could use 4 iron ingots and get a blade with (just for agument's sake) 5 damage, 7 weight, 23 delay.  If you replace 1 iron ingot with 1 Aluminum ingot,  you would see 5 damage, 6 weight, 23 delay.  Your hilt and pommel would also play a part, not in DPS but in delay.  A pommel and hillt, balanced for the metals used could reduce delay.

    What this would allow is a higher degree of customization of damage, weight and delay.  A player with a very high strength might want a weapon with a high base damage, not care much at all about weight but still prefer to see a low a delay as he/she could get.  Through the proper combination of metals/materials such a weapon could be made.

    You could extend this into armor as well, where different metals affect the AC and weight while the undergarments (the padding), affect mitigation.

    Taking it a step further, you take the EVE Online approach of reverse engineering where a crafter takes a good NPC dropped item, studies it carefully and after some significant period of time, reverse engineers a blueprint (recipe) for that item with, hopefully, good stats akin to the original..which is destroyed in the process. 

    I think using EVE Online's approach to crafting, transported into a high fantasy setting, could work.  Players actively research blueprints, through some process, that improves the baseline stats of the blueprint.  Players could then sell copies of those blueprints.  Players could reverse engineer NPC drops to create limited run blueprints, much like what EVE Online does with their Tech2 blueprints.

    You coudl have an entire market economy around the buying/selling/trading of blueprints and blueprint copies and it could apply to any tradeskill, not just weapon/armorcrafting.


    This post was edited by Vandraad at May 14, 2020 4:26 PM PDT
    • 5 posts
    May 17, 2020 7:36 PM PDT

    Really looking forward to this game.  There was a game called Earth and Beyond, a space MMO that I really enjoyed.  In the crafting you have a chance to get a "critical" success that would increase the stats up to 200%.  It was a function of how many "critical" successes you had had making this particular item.  The more "critical" successes you had the better that chance for getting this result and the better the chance that you would get the higher percentages.  You could also get a better chance to get the "critical" sucess if the parts that are crafted to assemble into the final item were themselves a "critical" success.  What do ya'll thinkj of something like this being in Pantreon?

    • 75 posts
    June 6, 2020 11:39 PM PDT

    Nephele said:

    ....

    Crafting Techniques - Just as combatants have different spells and abilities that they can use, crafters have different techniques that they can perform with their tools.  Do you make a heavy swing with that forging hammer or a few quick taps?  Do you do a simple stitch with your needle or a more complex cross-stitch?  Learning advanced techniques should be a focus of crafting gameplay as well.  While some techniques may be as simple as finding a friendly trainer, others may require the crafter to prove themselves worthy of the knowledge.

    All of the things I've read so far in this post, I agree with... The description of the aspects of the crafting system is very well put.  As Barin mentioned, this seems to hint at some lore and depth to the system.  There is not as much lore necessarily behind a particular class as with races like dwarves and metalworking or elves and communing with nature..Although, adding some level of progression or restriction of available trades based on class affinities for a particular craft would seem to make sense.  Properly integrated, this might be used to make crafting more modular based not only on materials as Trasak suggested, but maybe enhancements for more complex items could be modular through class-appropriate specialization of techniques and group-crafting.

    Not suggesting that the following should have any affect on crafting of simple items, but a warrior's strength, or dire lord's ability to wield poison and thus imbue it into a blade, or an enchanter's ability to craft a magical enhancement would make some sense in a role-based system.  At first glance, breaking up the crafting system may appear to be an undue restriction on the playability of crafting, but perhaps a lot more freedom of design and differentiation could be acheived by adding a group-crafting dynamic to actively craft, for example, a magically enhanced durable blade with poisonous edges made from a layered steel and a jeweled pommel and guard.  At the same time it takes us from a contract system where I buy the Dread Gurista's Warp Disruptor BP and make it in Jita, to another system where I contract the services of a few others to help me make it with some other people for mastery level items


    This post was edited by Baerr at June 7, 2020 7:07 AM PDT
    • 1225 posts
    June 8, 2020 5:04 AM PDT

    @Baerr

    An offshoot of your idea might be subcombines that require a certain class or skill to be used or at least present during the crafting process in order to make a component that modifies that skill.    A crafter that is also said class would be able to provide the skill needed on their own but a crafter could also work with an adventurer in some way in order to meet the crafting requirements.

    • 75 posts
    June 18, 2020 9:11 AM PDT

    Trasak said:

    @Baerr

    An offshoot of your idea might be subcombines that require a certain class or skill to be used or at least present during the crafting process in order to make a component that modifies that skill.    A crafter that is also said class would be able to provide the skill needed on their own but a crafter could also work with an adventurer in some way in order to meet the crafting requirements.

    I like that idea...That could be implemented in many ways to foster community involvement in crafting as well as keeping the system enjoyable and flexible.  I do wonder if the majority of crafters share a desire to make crafting more of its own game with community involvevent or if they would prefer a mostly solo crafting game?  For example, I've seen some posts about shared inventory, and that does imo (beneficiallly) marginalize the market window type of shopping.  However, that doesn't always capture the communal element like we would have in contracting services and in being present at some point in the process.