Forums » Crafting

Contested crafting content for years to come

    • 647 posts
    July 24, 2020 2:35 AM PDT
    I would like to discuss options to implement this idea into a crafting sphere.

    In eq2 you have a contested dungeon around lvl 92-100. It used to be very difficult. One item you got from it was a "shattered hearstone". Collecting 7000 of them would allow you to purchase a guildhall. Similar to the contested dungeon itself.
    Killing nameds and completing certain quests will render those hearstones. In general one full run through the dungeon will result in around 20 heartstones.
    At first, not many players were bothered do get 7000 as it was a near impossible thing to do. It would take ages and there was other and new content to discover after all.
    So now, years after that contested dungeon was the perceived end content, you still have people running the dungeon farming those heartstones. The value of those heartstones is still quite high. Where the price was lower back in the day, because there was more supply then demand.

    My suggestion; What suggestions would you have to translate this into crafting content.
    Content that is challenging to complete, would take years and devotion, a lot of investment. But years after, it is still viable and provide some kind of goal for crafters.

    The obvious reply here: faction. But that's not what I mean. Crafting in a sense of, it's obvious that you'll be craft-farming. The tokens themselves don't have to be on broker either. So it would only be obtainable by the player itself, but the setting is in a group/contested crafting setting.

    If my question isn't clear, let me know. Otherwise, I'm curious to see what things you can come up with.
    Another question: Is contested crafting content possible, if so how do you envision it?

     

    • 1679 posts
    July 24, 2020 9:59 AM PDT

    I don't entirely have an answer to your question but I think it can be broken down a bit.

    There is only 1 part of crafting that is even a little bit "challenging".  That's the harvesting portion.  So it seems like that would have to be the focus for your system to keep it viable long term through challenge.

      Whether it's challenging because the nodes are rare or it's challenging because the mobs that you have to harvest the items from are rare or difficult to kill (even though farming mobs seems to go into the adventuring sphere and not really be about crafting specifically but).

    The actual combines in crafting I wouldn't ever consider challenging so from that perspective it wouldn't work.  Even if there are choices a player has to make through the combine process that determine success, challenge doesn't really fit.

    ...just spit balling ideas off the top of my head, what if somehow the combine process was made challenging?  It should be possible...maybe the crafter dies on a failed combine and  it is only able to be attempted deep in some dungeon requiring a lengthy naked corpse run?  Granted, that still isn't about the actual combine itself being challenging.  Not sure how to make the combine process a challenge?  I think it would have to be about harvesting because crafting in and of itself isn't challenging.

     


    This post was edited by philo at July 24, 2020 10:01 AM PDT
    • 1723 posts
    July 24, 2020 8:33 PM PDT

    I'm not really sure if you're looking for "contested" content or if you're really just looking for long-term, non-combat goals that take potentially years to achieve.

    If it's the latter, certainly there are many potential ways to achieve this in Pantheon.  For example, legendary recipes that you have to painstakingly research piece by piece and fragment by fragment, or mythical materials that are extraordinarily hard to come by that are used to make supremely rare items.  Or perhaps long crafting-centric storylines that involve travel, adventuring, perception, and many, many faction requirements.

    As you know, I am a big proponent of depth within the crafting sphere, so I think that all of these are worthwhile things to have.  I also think there's a case to be made for collaborative crafting projects that you might work on over a period of weeks or months with guildmates or friends in order to complete.

    The key for all of this, however, is that there needs to be more than just one thing for players to "sink their teeth into", so to speak.  If there's only one crafting "epic", then eventually, no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes, the players who are willing to put forth the time and effort will complete that.  Even if that thing (whatever it is) is repeatable in some way, the first time is always the most memorable.  I think that what players really need to stay invested in the gameplay over the long-term is a combination of both meaningful and worthy challenges within their immediate future, but also for there to continually be new challenges popping up - things that they have not yet done or attempted.  This is why in many MMOs we all get excited when there are new crafting recipes introduced, even if we know exactly how meaningless they'll end up being in a few months.  It's because they represent a new goal for us to pursue.

    So, what I think you're really asking for here is depth, challenge, and goals that are sized appropriately to keep players interested and active in the game for more than simply a few months.  Broadly, I agree with that ask.  I don't think that we necessarily need to try to pin it on one system or type of crafting content, but rather, it should be something that is available in all types of non-combat content (as well as combat content).


    This post was edited by Nephele at July 24, 2020 8:34 PM PDT
    • 40 posts
    July 25, 2020 3:43 AM PDT

    The thing with long term anything, be that in the realm of PvP, PvE, or crafting is that there has to be a need/want for it that transcends into future content/ expansions. 

    The example you provided with EverQuest is a unique system that is capable of maintaining and replenishing its desirability within the player base. It is able to maintain because of the hefty requirement which is needed to purchase a guildhall, but it is also able to replenish its desirability through new guilds arising within the player base. This system its self sounds more like a form of alternative currency and the only way that this could be directly tied into crafting would be to have crafting recipes require this type of currency to buy, and the only way to keep it relevant in the long term is to have those crafting recipes maintain viability in the long run.   

    Getting into crafting specifically there are a couple of ways to implement longterm crafting goals. Guilds and communal projects can offer large scale crafting goals that can be met over time. Player housing is another area that can offer longterm goals to the player and adding house-related recipes from rare NPCs, dungeons, and raids can offer lasting replayability even moving forward into future expansions. The thing with longterm crafting is that the best systems usually start off with short terms goals which overtime compound into longterm goals. Starting out with a system that automatically plans for years to be spent crafting an item isn't good design because MMO players function on adrenaline and the best way to stimulate this rush is to have them accomplish a goal. The best MMOs on the market understand this and they are capable of finding a sweet spot where the player doesn't feel like they aren't getting anything done and they aren't having things constantly being done so they become numb to it.  

    As for challenging content, there are a number of ways to make crafting a challenging experience.

    1. Increase the number of items required to craft items making it take longer to farm for.
    2. Require rare materials that drop of bosses in various locations.
    3. Require a special recipe to be obtained or a specific profession specialization. 
    4. Require items from other professions to craft said item.
    5. implement special places in the world which in order to get to you have to fight. 
    6. Have long quest chains that are difficult to complete but reward crafting recipes.
    7. Have obscure quest chains. 

     

     

    • 647 posts
    July 25, 2020 4:03 AM PDT

    FatedEmperor said:

    The thing with long term anything, be that in the realm of PvP, PvE, or crafting is that there has to be a need/want for it that transcends into future content/ expansions. 

    ... This system its self sounds more like a form of alternative currency and the only way that this could be directly tied into crafting would be to have crafting recipes require this type of currency to buy, and the only way to keep it relevant in the long term is to have those crafting recipes maintain viability in the long run.   

    ...The thing with longterm crafting is that the best systems usually start off with short terms goals which overtime compound into longterm goals. Starting out with a system that automatically plans for years to be spent crafting an item isn't good design because MMO players function on adrenaline and the best way to stimulate this rush is to have them accomplish a goal. ...

    As for challenging content, there are a number of ways to make crafting a challenging experience.

    1. Increase the number of items required to craft items making it take longer to farm for.
    2. Require rare materials that drop of bosses in various locations.
    3. Require a special recipe to be obtained or a specific profession specialization. 
    4. Require items from other professions to craft said item.
    5. implement special places in the world which in order to get to you have to fight. 
    6. Have long quest chains that are difficult to complete but reward crafting recipes.
    7. Have obscure quest chains.
     
  • I get what you're saying with long term. An alternative currency specific to or for crafters could be one thing to keep it going. The catch here is that I really want to brainstorm about ideas to not have those short term goals. But from the get go, you know that whatever you're gaining (other then skill or regular xp) it's a long term thing. 

    The challenge you're suggesting shifts more towards adventuring. Can you find alternatives where no fighting is required but purely crafting and competing crafters.

    What can be competed for by crafters: access to workstations, crafting areas, temporary npc's or actions with npc's. Limited amount of public goods. Group requirements that demand craftings combining forces and skills. 

    Rewards could be house items, rare recipes, access to areas, skills or items that can only be fabricated during a certain time period. 

    I wouldn't focus in on rare recipes. It's an easy answer for sure. Like some already said, after X time most people will have it and it's has lost it's value if any. From then on, it becomes a thing for completionist. But my remark there is, what makes a rare recipe a  contested recipe? One's you have it, where is the contest in it? The limited amount of usage or can it only be used during X time?

     

    • 647 posts
    July 25, 2020 4:09 AM PDT

    philo said:

    There is only 1 part of crafting that is even a little bit "challenging".  That's the harvesting portion.  So it seems like that would have to be the focus for your system to keep it viable long term through challenge.

      Whether it's challenging because the nodes are rare or it's challenging because the mobs that you have to harvest the items from are rare or difficult to kill (even though farming mobs seems to go into the adventuring sphere and not really be about crafting specifically but).

    The actual combines in crafting I wouldn't ever consider challenging so from that perspective it wouldn't work.  Even if there are choices a player has to make through the combine process that determine success, challenge doesn't really fit.

    ...just spit balling ideas off the top of my head, what if somehow the combine process was made challenging?  It should be possible...maybe the crafter dies on a failed combine and  it is only able to be attempted deep in some dungeon requiring a lengthy naked corpse run?  Granted, that still isn't about the actual combine itself being challenging.  Not sure how to make the combine process a challenge?  I think it would have to be about harvesting because crafting in and of itself isn't challenging.

    The same here, it's good to think about how crafting can be made challenging.

    But how can you make it as a contested experience?

    Where crafters really need to compete one another for X? Can there be areas that have this factor? Where as crafters buy, deliver or process goods, they gain something. But as there are more crafters within that same area, that thing that's being gained becomes rares or less abundant. 

    You made a good point with the mention of harvesting nodes. So why wouldn't there be something for crafting itself? It will require some thought and good design. 

    Again I would move away from connecting killing of mobs within this design. The thinking exercise here lays on the none combat crafting experience.  When you drag in a kill requirement, it ones again becomes a farm item for adventurers where being a crafting or the use of crafting skills is no longer the prior requirement. 

     

    • 647 posts
    July 25, 2020 4:20 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    I'm not really sure if you're looking for "contested" content or if you're really just looking for long-term, non-combat goals that take potentially years to achieve.

    If it's the latter, certainly there are many potential ways to achieve this in Pantheon.  For example, legendary recipes that you have to painstakingly research piece by piece and fragment by fragment, or mythical materials that are extraordinarily hard to come by that are used to make supremely rare items.  Or perhaps long crafting-centric storylines that involve travel, adventuring, perception, and many, many faction requirements.

    As you know, I am a big proponent of depth within the crafting sphere, so I think that all of these are worthwhile things to have.  I also think there's a case to be made for collaborative crafting projects that you might work on over a period of weeks or months with guildmates or friends in order to complete.

    The key for all of this, however, is that there needs to be more than just one thing for players to "sink their teeth into", so to speak.  If there's only one crafting "epic", then eventually, no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes, the players who are willing to put forth the time and effort will complete that.  Even if that thing (whatever it is) is repeatable in some way, the first time is always the most memorable.  I think that what players really need to stay invested in the gameplay over the long-term is a combination of both meaningful and worthy challenges within their immediate future, but also for there to continually be new challenges popping up - things that they have not yet done or attempted.  This is why in many MMOs we all get excited when there are new crafting recipes introduced, even if we know exactly how meaningless they'll end up being in a few months.  It's because they represent a new goal for us to pursue.

    So, what I think you're really asking for here is depth, challenge, and goals that are sized appropriately to keep players interested and active in the game for more than simply a few months.  Broadly, I agree with that ask.  I don't think that we necessarily need to try to pin it on one system or type of crafting content, but rather, it should be something that is available in all types of non-combat content (as well as combat content).

    I'm indeed trying to provoke a discussion about CONTESTED crafting designs or scenarios. The contested factor makes it so that it can take years to reach your goal. Take away the contested factor of things and you'll have a publically easy access farm design, where its just a matter of time investement to get what you want. 

    Also whatever token or good that is being contested for, the perceived value between players can fluctuate throughout the years. And this could prolong the relevance of this content throughout time.

    • 1723 posts
    July 25, 2020 8:26 AM PDT

    We may have broken the forums somehow, your last few replies aren't formatting properly Barin :)

    Bluntly - I don't think contested content works as an incentive for many players, full stop.  While there is certainly a thrill in beating someone else to the prize, too much of that *will* take the game in a bad direction by promoting toxicity and hyper-competitive behavior among the community.  On the adventuring side, there have been countless debates on these forums about things like training, kill stealing, steamrolling, content denial, and so on.  You want to introduce that stuff to crafting too?  Count me out.

    This isn't to say that some aspects can't be competitive by nature.  For starters, any crafter attempting to sell goods within a region is automatically competing with other crafters selling those goods in that region.  So if I open up my weapons shop right next to yours in Faerthale, you can bet we're going to be in competition.  I don't see this as a bad thing as long as there is enough space in the game for everyone to have a fair shot.  Where it would become a bad thing would be if I was there first, and was able to build such a commanding lead in terms of quality or quantity that you could never realistically compete with me, simply because you came later.  As much as we like to laud SWG's crafting system this is one of the big problems that it had over time (although a lot of that was due to SOE giving people free things and making the game more convenient as well).

    Likewise, if you have materials that must be obtained from difficult adventuring content - such as rare resource drops from bosses, etc - those things will naturally be contested, just like any other drop is.  Whose guild took down the dragon and got the dragon scales for crafting armor this week?  Are they selling them, or are they using them?  If they use them, are they keeping the armor or are they selling it?  A little bit of this is absolutely fine and can increase the value of the content that it's attached to.  However, basing most or all of crafting around this sort of thing is a recipe for disaster:  Only crafters in top-end guilds will be successful, and those guilds will routinely work to lock others out of the content to prevent competition.

    If you want to talk about contested content, whether it's adventuring or crafting, you have to start talking about exclusion.  You have to start thinking about what players will do when they realize that only a portion of them will *ever* be able to achieve that goal within a reasonable timeframe.  You have to consider the way that players behave in competitive situations in these games where most of them are only concerned with the success of themselves and their guilds.

    Be careful what you wish for.