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Crafting and Adventuring in Pantheon (Part 1)

    • 1723 posts
    August 28, 2020 11:19 AM PDT

    Note:  Due to post length limits on the forums and the amount of ground that this covers, I'm splitting this into two threads - Part 1 and Part 2.

    This is an analysis based on the August 27th developer stream.  The original is posted on Pantheon Crafters.  I have cross-posted it here in case it helps spark new discussions and ideas among the community.

    Crafting and Adventuring in Pantheon (based on 8.27 stream) - Part 1

    Last night’s developer stream gave us a look at the first steps a new character will take in Terminus during PA5.  There was a lot of information discussed during the stream including open-world design, combat, movement and climbing, and how attributes and stats function.  Crafting was not mentioned directly but if you pay close attention and read between the lines slightly, you can start to get a sense of how crafting will work alongside drops and quest rewards when it comes to adventuring.  While there is more that should be done to ensure that crafting is a full-fledged gameplay sphere, having a good balance in this area is a critical component for ensuring interdependence and a functioning game economy.

    Gearing Up

    One of the things you may have noticed in the stream last night was that Roenick started with little in the way of equipment – just a basic shirt, some pants, boots, and a weapon.  In fact, one of the first quests that he obtained was to bring a wolf pelt to an NPC leatherworker in return for a very slightly upgraded tunic.  As he was killing various creatures and monsters, even at one point a skeleton or two, he was not receiving equipment drops  He was, however, seeing many drops that looked suspiciously like crafting ingredients, including at one point a “High-Quality Wolf Pelt”.

    Later in the stream, we saw Roenick at level 6 and he was wearing a more complete set of armor.  If each piece of armor required a Standard Wolf Pelt to get from the NPC leatherworker, this would likely have been a fairly significant time investment.  After all, not every wolf we saw Roenick kill was dropping pelts, and even when they did, often they were not the Standard pelt required for the quest.

    This is the first place where we have really seen room for crafted items in Pantheon’s gameplay.  Many people who played early EverQuest will remember either making or purchasing low-level equipment such as banded or bronze armor as they got their start in Norrath.  While later that armor might have been replaced with drops or quest rewards, early on, it was quite common for players to collect crafting materials and then trade those to crafters in return for usable armor and weapons.  This design immediately encouraged players to socialize in low-level areas even though they were still handling most combat solo.  Likewise, it also created an economy in those low-level areas, where every wolf pelt or rusty weapon was something that could be sold or traded in return for better usable gear.

    Attributes that Matter

    One of the topics discussed during the stream was stat allocation for characters, and how multiple attributes matter for each class.  For example, Shaman benefits not only from wisdom, but also from stamina, constitution, and intelligence – and potentially even strength and charisma.  We can assume that other classes also benefit from multiple attributes in similar ways.  Later, when we saw Roenick’s upgraded chest piece, it notably had an attribute bonus attached to it.  The bonus was relatively small, but the team discussed how even that small boost can significantly impact the effectiveness of abilities that a character can use in combat.

    Reading between the lines here, it becomes obvious that one of the things players will want to do in Terminus is to acquire equipment with attribute bonuses.  After all, why wouldn’t you want to have more strength, wisdom, or constitution?  However, unlike other games where you might focus your equipment on only one or two attributes, in Pantheon, you really will have to balance between multiple attributes.  Depending on your focus, you might emphasize some attributes over others, but you will not be able to neglect those others completely.  This will require you to make tradeoffs in your equipment choices to help “fill out” areas where you have lower attribute scores and enhance areas where you want higher scores.

    If item drops and quest rewards are reasonably rare, this creates a massive opportunity for the crafting sphere.  You might loot a piece of armor that has a great constitution bonus, but little else in the way of attribute benefits.  However, your friendly neighborhood crafter may be able to supply you with additional armor pieces that help balance out the looted piece, making you more effective than you would have been otherwise.  Likewise, if crafters can provide equipment with a range of different attribute bonuses, it then becomes possible for you as an adventurer to customize your equipment, instead of simply taking whatever you can get.

    We are all used to min/maxing at high levels in MMORPGs (at least to some degree).  However, given a slower leveling progression, a higher degree of challenge, and a greater impact from attributes, adventurers in Pantheon will likely start to care about their stats at a much earlier level than they would in other games.  Not only will this help get players more invested in their character at all levels (rather than just at the level cap), but it will also help create a more vibrant economy at all levels, with equipment choices really making a difference whether someone is level 15 or level 50.

    Consumables

    Another thing that we saw briefly during the stream was food and drink.  Roenick started with some of each in his inventory.  Even though it was never used and was not discussed, this also confirms that consumables will play a role in Pantheon, even potentially at lower levels.  When you also consider the number of loot drops we saw that were things like “meat” or “blood”, there seems to be an obvious hook for consumable crafting at low levels as well.  If the items that can be created from those are useful and valuable, professions such as Alchemy and Provisioning will have a market to work with.  This is in stark contrast to many other games where consumables are only needed or desired at the level cap.

    The viability of consumables often comes down to their effects, and we still do not know exactly how consumable effects will scale throughout the level curve in Pantheon.  However, the foundation is there for Pantheon to approach this in a better way than many other games have done, and hopefully, we will get to see some examples of this during Alpha.

     

    Continued in Part 2 - located here:  https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/forums/topic/12272/crafting-and-adventuring-in-pantheon-part-2/view/post_id/239064


    This post was edited by Nephele at August 28, 2020 11:23 AM PDT