Forums » Crafting

Unofficial Ask Neph anything thread

    • 3016 posts
    November 26, 2020 8:02 PM PST

    I agree with far more than I disagree with in these discussions. But I will focus on one thing I don't want to see that was mentioned not too far up in this thread and that is crafting requiring a group.

    If your new colleagues, Nephele, focus too much on group play and fail to give an adaquate safety valve for individual play when we cannot group (for one of many reasons) or simply are not in the mood, crafting may be one of the few productive things that will get us to log on those days. I fear that this will indeed prove to be the case.

    If I cannot make more than mediocre items without being in a group of crafters - wave bye-bye to that safety valve. 

    Similarly if I cannot make the better items without, let us say, having done a raid (the item requiring a raid drop that is bind-on-acquire) crafting again loses some value as a safety valve.

    I hasten to add that group harvesting as vjek discussed is a horse of an entirely different colour. At least as implemented in Vanguard. It gave advantages but there was nothing you could get by group harvesting that you couldn't get on your own. You just got smaller yields with a lesser chance of rares and ultrarares on your own.

    That is reasonable. Group crafting with a better chance of success is also reasonable though unrealistic. Consider the camel. As long as the solo crafter can make the exact same thing even if it takes longer and even if the success chance is a bit lower.

    • 1641 posts
    November 27, 2020 7:30 AM PST
    Unfortunately there's multiple threads on the same topics now, dorotea, but I'll just comment with these few OPINIONS..

    It seems reasonable (and I don't think anyone has proposed differently) to have an entire solo crafting loop, and then have, additionally, separately, distinctly, as a bonus, extra, or second loop, group crafting. Same for harvesting. Same for Adventuring.

    If all the inputs and outputs of adventuring, harvesting and crafting can be sold for money (as in, directly sold to an NPC for coin currency), your overarching economic fears are well founded. If they can't, then there's less/no risk in the acquisition of those inputs and outputs, per character, in almost any quantity. It's up to VR to make that decision.

    As with interdependency that isn't-actually-interdependency, as per Trasak, the "rares are the new common" is a solved problem. Again, it's up to VR if they want to implement the solution, or re-run the problem. :)

    History has demonstrated the logical issues with many of these designs, so provided they're willing to learn from history, I think there's room for fun, innovation, and challenge in all the game loops, while still retaining a sufficient number of subscribers in the target demographic.
    • 3016 posts
    November 28, 2020 7:47 AM PST

    I agree the threads are overlapping. I won't intentionally create an overlapping thread but if a few threads morph together I very well may comment in each. As many of us do. I will be much terser the second time though, assuming that Nephele whose opinion is the only one that really matters will be quite familiar with the issue already. 

    The comment about learning from history raises an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand VR has a clear institutional preference for adapting things from EQ and Vanguard. This is very good from multiple perspectives. If these approaches are just as good - or even *almost* as good - as the alternatives. Primus - it is easier to adapt that to start from scratch, ad fewer blunders creep in. Secundus - many of us - most of us - are familiar with what those two games did. It flattens the learning curve and appeals to our senses of nostalgia. 

    But as you correctly point out, not for the first time, much water has flowed under the bridge since then. Along with the bad things that have become common in MMOs there are many *good* things that either were not thought of back then or were beyond the state-of-the-art to program. Or beyond the state-of-the-art for computers to run.

    At least in terms of crafting and hopefully in many other areas VR has shown that it has every intention of mixing many improvements in with the deliberate throw-backs.

    I look forward to alpha and beta for many reasons - not least the chance to comment on the blend and do my best to suggest improvements where I see the possibility.


    This post was edited by dorotea at November 28, 2020 7:48 AM PST
    • 394 posts
    November 28, 2020 4:25 PM PST

    dorotea said: If I cannot make more than mediocre items without being in a group of crafters - wave bye-bye to that safety valve.
    Similarly if I cannot make the better items without, let us say, having done a raid (the item requiring a raid drop that is bind-on-acquire) crafting again loses some value as a safety valve.
    I think this is similar to something I advocate about "kill" content, where I hope to find altenative ways to acquire (quest\buildable) items that would normally require groups or raids (and/or became old content where a personal want (collectors/status/closure/completion) desires it). The problem is likely extra time and effort of game content designers.
    In crafting that would have you make the same item, but a much more laborous and/or lengthy effort, that would have the same result, but not yield to effort in the (preferred) grouping method.

    • 16 posts
    November 29, 2020 3:43 AM PST

    will any profession be able to add a proc to crafted weapons ? or is that a special thing confined to world loot ?

    • 1833 posts
    November 29, 2020 7:46 AM PST

    Goliant said:

    will any profession be able to add a proc to crafted weapons ? or is that a special thing confined to world loot ?

    This is one where you all will just have to wait and see :)

    • 121 posts
    November 29, 2020 8:10 AM PST

    vjek said:[/b It seems reasonable (and I don't think anyone has proposed differently) to have an entire solo crafting loop, and then have, additionally, separately, distinctly, as a bonus, extra, or second loop, group crafting. Same for harvesting. Same for Adventuring. .

     

    Really well said.   It's my hope as well. I really do hope that there is plenty of solo content to do in this game.  I do indeed want to group, I do want to raid, but I also want extensive abilities to solo/duo.   I like how you've said it, better.

    • 1833 posts
    November 29, 2020 6:00 PM PST

    On solo/group - here's how to think about it:

    If you want to forge a normal sword, you can spend the time to go mine the ore, buy the other things you need, and then create the sword at a forge.  If you succeed at all of that, you get a nice, servicable sword.

    If you want to forge a special sword, that might be a little different.  You might need some rare or exotic materials that you're not really going to be able to get on your own.  You might need to get some things made by other crafters that also require rare and exotic materials.  The final part - making the sword - is still all you, but getting to that point requires you to work with others to some degree.

    The same is true whether we're talking about swords and armor, clothing, potions, food, you name it.  We want to encourage socialization, not put a group/guild wall up in front of people just trying to make normal swords.

    This is not to say that there won't be challenges for groups of crafters working together out in the world.  If I have my way, there will be.  But those challenges will probably be something a little different than simply creating a single item that would only be used by one player :)

    • 1641 posts
    November 29, 2020 10:15 PM PST

    I know you probably won't like hearing it, Nephele, but gating crafting behind harvesting and gathering that requires group adventuring to gain "rare or exotic materials" is unlikely to encourage social crafting, in the crafting loop. [ More OPINIONS below.. ]
    It's just going to encourage (because it's required and forced by the game mechanics) group harvesting/gathering via adventuring.

    If those "rare or exotic materials" can be obtained by a solo player who is 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 levels higher than the content, they will be, as exclusively as possible. If those "rare or exotic materials" are in areas that require a group for adventuring, then you're gating "special" crafting by adventuring. There's no problem with that logically, but it.. may not go over well with a sufficiently large target audience, if you want MANY players crafting. Put another way, you're narrowing a narrow niche even more. If you want many, a majority, or all players crafting, objectively this isn't a design that will strongly encourage that.

    If I know, ahead of time, that I can't really be a pure crafter, including special end product outputs, without an entire adventure guild feeding me mats? That is less appealing to me than knowing all I have to do is to find other crafting player(s) to perform the "special" crafting at a crafting station, at any time.

    If you don't require a group to consume group-required content (just like adventuring) then it's all sophistry. It's just hand waving and illusion, just like every other game that has already tried this design and have seen the results. There's no actual encouraging anything, nor is there any actual interdependency or socialization, in crafting. Players will just use alts & mules, feed alts, have guild crafting accounts/alts, and more of the same past emergent behaviors.

    No-one (in particular, not me! :) ) is recommending putting a group/guild wall up in front of people just trying to make normal swords. YOU are recommending putting a group/guild wall in front of people trying to make special swords, but not group/guild Crafting, but instead... group/guild Adventuring. That's a significant distinction, with significant repercussions.

    My recommendation would be instead.. (and here's some specificity, given we're going down that road)
    Solo Crafting Recipe features/scope:
    - All consumable end-products (single-charge or multi-charge objects players use/drink/eat/click/apply/more in all loops)
    - All sub-components
    - All spell components
    - All refining
    - All items of all kinds, all armor, weapons, equippable, bags, tools, clothing, furniture, usable, widgets, everything, withOUT enchantment slots/sockets or similar post-creation customization.

    Group Crafting Recipe features/scope:
    - Very large quantities of all solo recipes
    - All items of all kinds, all armor, weapons, equippable, usable, widgets, everything, WITH enchantment slots/sockets or similar post-creation customization.
    - For every additional player participating in a group recipe, the time to complete the recipe decreases drastically. Appropriately tuned, this would be all that's required to strongly encourage social co-operation, imo.

    And as far as 'rares and exotics' there should never be rare version of the same raws/mats. The way you should reward or offer progression to a harvester, gatherer, or raw/mat acquirer is when they use the appropriate tool or equipment in an area with higher skill than what is required, they can simply obtain different items from that area. An expanded loot table is all it is. This applies to all areas. Then, the rarity is not in the mats, but the recipes.

    If desired, recipes themselves can be disposable, but I like the idea of both a recipe book and disposable recipes, with timers on recipe book recipes, but not on disposable recipe objects. A progression method of collecting 5 of a particular recipe then permits the option of scribing it permanently into your recipe book would be valuable, I think. However, it could be a design goal that some recipes (like group recipes) are always disposable.
    And to be clear, that doesn't mean NO-RENT or NO-TRADE, disposable just means the recipe is consumed when the recipe produces its final output. Disposable recipes could also have charges, if desired.

    Giving crafting loop players the option to collect skills in the same way that Adventure players can find skills/spells for their role/profession seems like a positive mechanic, overall. I would personally find great satisfaction and challenge in collecting all the recipes from various factions, races, zones, regions, areas, kingdoms, events, whatever, in sufficient quantity to create my recipe book. Especially for aspects like racial, regional, or continental styles.
    Having every NPC in the world, along with having needs and offering rewards, know a unique, rare or common recipe, and only be willing to share that recipe under certain conditions or circumstances (time, season, faction, events, fame, diplomacy, tasks, quest rewards, and more) adds a vast potential overlay of additional content on top of existing NPCs, without the need for more art/assets.

    • 3016 posts
    November 30, 2020 3:46 AM PST

    ((If you want to forge a special sword, that might be a little different.  You might need some rare or exotic materials that you're not really going to be able to get on your own.  You might need to get some things made by other crafters that also require rare and exotic materials.  The final part - making the sword - is still all you, but getting to that point requires you to work with others to some degree.))

     

    The interdependence part of this is fine. Been there - done that. Bought the T-Shirt but unfortunately it was wrecked by a critical tailoring failure and I couldn't wear it. My comments were directed primarily to the suggestion that the actual process of crafting the final item once all the materials were assembled should requie a group. I was ...imperfectly happy with the idea.

    As to the exotic materials I see two primary possibilities which are not mutually exclusive. One is exotic materials obtained by adventuring. Possibly from raids or challenging dungeon bosses though not necessarily. One is from rare or ultra-rare (in the Vanguard sense) harvested materials. The latter is, of course, fine as well. Especially good items requiring especially good materials is a perfectly normal and unobjectionable concept.

    As to exotic material obtained in dungeons or raids - now this raises possibilities I consider less fine. I prefer the Vanguard theory of having crafting and adventuring largely separate. So that a dedicated (and good) harvester could get good materials and make good items without adventuring. If adventuring materials are needed I prefer this being optional not mandatory. So, again using the Vanguard concept, a large amount of ultra-rare materials could be used in place of the Panties of Power obtained from the bedroom of a dungeon boss. Or from her body. Or from her live person after a *really* successful attempt to use diplomacy.

    To the extent adventuring materials are required (and I understand the benefits of making this a requirement - raiders and dungeon delvers are less likely to scream about raid or dungeon quality items being craftable if the materials *come* from raids or dungeons) I feel strongly that they should not be bind-on-acquire items. The crafter should be able to buy the materials not have to risk her soft, vulnerable and unskilled with weapons body in (shudders visibly) a dungeon. They are filthy, nasty places. A girl can get *killed* in there (whimpers).


    This post was edited by dorotea at November 30, 2020 3:49 AM PST
    • 192 posts
    November 30, 2020 1:42 PM PST

    Crafting for me is something I do to (1) make money in game or (2) supply my toon with needed gear that I do on slow days or days I feel devoid of any form of socializing.

    I do not personally like this whole concept of group harvesting for any reason. Be it to get rares or what not. Harvesting is my alone time. My leave me the %$^% alone time.( To be more blunt) I feel like alot of other people are on the same page with me here with what I have read. I can be wrong.

    I want extreme rare's to come from killing group or raid bosses not from feeling like I have to take something I use for my personal serenity ( harvesting & crafting) to group for it too. Now I know guilds ARE corrupt and they steal like mad from members. So you all at VR would have to come up with a way to prevent that. 

    I want to ask if crafting is going to remain vital in the game? I do not want the same junk I got in EQ. Spend months working on weapon crafting to have Epic quest introduced to the game killing weapon crafting for example. I want to also ask if VR would do away with cooking. Why? Because you'll have an overabundance of cooks in the game. As cooking so far seems to always remain the one profession that remains vital in all MMO's that have cooking ( in some form )as a profession. If VR is going to allow cooking . I hope you let it be a craft "all" people can do and it is "not" counted towards the amount of profession(s) a toon can have.

    I do like the idea of working with other crafters across the line to make items. That to me helps with the whole immersion concept.

    Before I sign out. Plese don't do what another game does.( No names ) Making every node spawn near a group of mobs intentionally. With the type of game Pantheon is going to be. I see no need to do low handed tricks like that. A lot of harvesting is going to be done while people do leveling groups and if you did that. You would be forced to group to harvest and you can scroll up about how I fell about being forced to group to harvest.

    • 394 posts
    November 30, 2020 7:17 PM PST

    vjek said: ... but gating crafting behind harvesting and gathering that requires group adventuring to gain "rare or exotic materials" is unlikely to encourage social crafting, in the crafting loop. [ More OPINIONS below.. ]
    It's just going to encourage (because it's required and forced by the game mechanics) group harvesting/gathering via adventuring. ...
    I'd have to agree, I think.
    And to offer another alternative to the options dorotea's reply
    Why not have "rare or exotic materials" also craftable?

    I mean, to view it from our real world tech perspective, some elements (of the periodic table kind) would be hard to get (of I dig down under my house far enough I'd probably get some without adventuring, lol), but VR team may offer resource options for that.
    Then by combining certain types you would be able to chemically craft exotic and rare materials.
    And where that would not be realistic.. use spells instead of a stone age cyclotron.

    Now a high level adventurer may come across a "finished" rare exotic piece of radio active ancient junk that found it's way to terminus like all the races... and kill him on the spot if the character tries to pick it up with it's bare hands. Eventually bring the packaged item to the local flea market to save a master crafter some hard work, for a price.

    edited for readability


    This post was edited by Rydan at November 30, 2020 7:21 PM PST
    • 1833 posts
    November 30, 2020 9:19 PM PST

    Vander said:

    I want to ask if crafting is going to remain vital in the game? I do not want the same junk I got in EQ. Spend months working on weapon crafting to have Epic quest introduced to the game killing weapon crafting for example.

    Our plan right now is that crafting will remain a viable and useful (and hopefully fun) activity throughout the entire game :)

    For more than that, I look forward to alpha/beta when we have everything in the game and you're able to log in and provide feedback on every aspect of it.

    • 428 posts
    December 1, 2020 3:08 AM PST

    The way I see it, crafting should be able to cope with groups and solo play, equally. If people dont want to group or just want some down time, then they should be able to craft regardless of the fact that they are currently playing solo. They should have the potential to produce some meaningful items regardless of play style. To stop market swamping, just make one or more ingredients difficult to get for soloists, but not impossible. For an example, say we had Common, Treasured, Legendary and Fabled crafted types. To make them you could do the following:

    Ingredients for Common: Solo/Group standard havesting of nodes

    Ingredients for Treasured & Legendary: Group mob drop/Quest reward/Crafter quest reward/Crafter co-operation/Solo rare node drop

    Ingredients for Fabled: Raid mob drop/Epic quest reward/Epic crafter quest reward/Group crafter co-operation/Solo ultra rare drop

    This way, it is still difficult for a fable item to be created, but not impossible for a solo player. Each player can pick and choose how they will go and get the items needed.

    Also, as has been eluded to in the past, allow crafters the ability to modify equipment. Changing stats, adding enhancements and special effects. Again components for this type of change should follow the Common, Rare, Legendary, Fabled nominations. Also publish some crafting only quests with minimal need for grouping, or allow options to do either. E.g. take a group to kill Mob A or Find NPC B and do some solo task for them.

    I think solo play can be catered for with a bit of imagination and provide a rich sub game that can produce great equipment. Give options that allow the player to pick and choose whether they want group or solo. 

    • 3016 posts
    December 1, 2020 7:18 AM PST

    ((For more than that, I look forward to alpha/beta ))

    All Gods witness that so do all of us!!!

    • 1641 posts
    January 10, 2021 1:12 PM PST

    Noticed this in the updated FAQ, Nephele:

    " WHO IS THE TARGETED PLAYER (DEMOGRAPHIC) BASE FOR THIS GAME, AND WHY? ... Players who want an MMO to be their home and to interact with communities and player-driven economies will find what they are looking for in Pantheon. "

    Could you elaborate on the player-driven economies part of this statement?  It's a pretty big deal, being the demographic target description for the entire game, so I'm curious to know what that really means, as far as public design goals, launch day features, currently-planned mechanics, and implementation details?

    • 1833 posts
    January 10, 2021 2:02 PM PST

    "Player-driven economy" is one of those phrases that can be interpreted really broadly.  What it essentially means is that players will be both the buyers and the sellers in the game's economy.  Contrast that with a game where (as an example) you were always selling things to NPCs and never needed to buy something from another player (which would not really be a player-driven economy at that point).

    Economies are something that you have to build and grow from many other decisions, and not something that you design directly.  So here is what I can tell you right now:

    - Items are being designed so that both looted and crafted items (and both equipment and consumables) will have similar value to players at all levels of gameplay.  This includes having enough variety, diversity, and depth in terms of what items can do so that there are always tradeoffs and choices that players have to make.

    - We are very closely looking at the concepts of scarcity and risk/reward when it comes to every aspect of the game, including gathering and crafting.  

    - We will generally be discouraging mass production as a means of progression to avoid markets being flooded by "grind" items.

    - There will be crafting (and gathering) specific content and that content will often have social value, even to non-crafters.

    - Gathering and crafting skills may come in handy while adventuring by enabling you to leverage different strategies or solve problems in new ways.

    - There will be multiple tools within the game to help players engage in commerce with each other.  These tools will generally be locally or regionally scoped rather than global.

     

    I know all of that is really squishy and pretty vague.  I'll be able to share more specific details and examples in the coming months.  Right now, the team's focus is on building out underlying systems and gameplay experiences so that we can start stitching everything together, so a lot of these things are waiting until we have that work done before we really start trying to dial them in to grow our economy in the right way.  That tuning will probably happen during alpha and into beta, but it will continue after launch - as I've mentioned before, an economy isn't something that you tune once and then walk away from.  So, we'll be keeping an eye on things and adjusting as needed even after launch to try to keep the game's economy healthy and fun for players.

     

     

     

     

    • 18 posts
    February 8, 2021 3:25 AM PST

    Nephele said:

    eunichron said:

    In ONE word, why is crafting in most MMOs a boring waste of time?

    Non-integration :)

     

    I fully agree with everything you said about the Vanguard crafting system and I think integration was one of the major problems it had. I remember just grinding my way to lvl 50 without ever feeling any of the items I was making actually served any purpose, other than the few items I crafted to put in my house, my boat, or for the guild house. It was just a way for time to pass while waiting for my guildmates to login and go adventuring.

    • 1787 posts
    February 16, 2021 9:33 AM PST

    How do you pronounce it?

    Intuitively, I break it up. phonetically:  Neh- Feh- Lee. I suppose it could be Neh-Feh-Leh but the open vowel on the end makes me want to extend it. robert-robbie, anthony-tony, barbara-barbie, jaqueline- jackie, janeane-jeanie, alexander-sandy, nephel-nephele

    Although I have heard the pronounciation as if there were a double "L" as in the french "she" 

     

    • 1833 posts
    February 16, 2021 10:41 AM PST

    Manouk said:

    How do you pronounce it?

    Intuitively, I break it up. phonetically:  Neh- Feh- Lee. I suppose it could be Neh-Feh-Leh but the open vowel on the end makes me want to extend it. robert-robbie, anthony-tony, barbara-barbie, jaqueline- jackie, janeane-jeanie, alexander-sandy, nephel-nephele

    Although I have heard the pronounciation as if there were a double "L" as in the french "she" 

    :)

    • 51 posts
    February 25, 2021 11:17 PM PST

    After watching the video where he mines some nodes, then crafting video where he smelts some ore, I am a little worried that the sheer number of craftable components available is going to be so vast that there will never be enough bag/bank space to accommodate it all.  Especially when you consider the intermediate tiers from harvested materials and rare bonus items while harvesting -> smelting / refining the raw goods into intermediate goods. Adding in all the patterns and schematics.  Ores -> Chunks -> Bars.  dusts. Multiple parts of items that need to be put together.  It is like crafting Gremlins. I can already tell that the majority of my inventory is going to be full of this stuff long before I figure out which things I will/won’t need to save for my profession later on.


    This post was edited by Telepath at February 25, 2021 11:22 PM PST
    • 794 posts
    February 26, 2021 12:34 PM PST

    Telepath said:

    After watching the video where he mines some nodes, then crafting video where he smelts some ore, I am a little worried that the sheer number of craftable components available is going to be so vast that there will never be enough bag/bank space to accommodate it all.  Especially when you consider the intermediate tiers from harvested materials and rare bonus items while harvesting -> smelting / refining the raw goods into intermediate goods. Adding in all the patterns and schematics.  Ores -> Chunks -> Bars.  dusts. Multiple parts of items that need to be put together.  It is like crafting Gremlins. I can already tell that the majority of my inventory is going to be full of this stuff long before I figure out which things I will/won’t need to save for my profession later on.

    I could be wrong in this but, this is as far as I understand it....

    They are planning to have a separate harvesting bag. So at least up to a certain point, you will not fill your general inventory with harvestables.

    The patterns or schematics will be a rare find in the world. But they might be more available at npc's in town, for example. So you won't need to stack those in your inventory, at least not for long.

    Once learned you might not need to relearn the patterns a second time. Something that might require multiple purchases is molds, but this again is not something that will fill your bags for long periods of time. Unless you decide that you want to purchase and stack loads of them for some reason. But that would be your decision. 

    And let us hope they will put in a description that inform you to some degree what the item/pattern is used for. Which is something to be expected for most items. There is of course room for those rare or secret bits in the world, that have no description and are only discovered by experimenting with them.

     


    This post was edited by Barin999 at February 26, 2021 12:38 PM PST
    • 98 posts
    February 28, 2021 4:48 PM PST

    Nephele has, explicitly, said that a 'harvesting bag' is something they are avoiding. He hasn't said for sure it's not going to happen, but it's fairly clear they don't want to do it that way.

     

    Their design philosphy is to avoid having enormous amounts of components floating around, and it seems like the way they plan on doing that is to make components so bulky/heavy that you can't accumulate a ton. They're forcing you to be more selective about what you store and what you liquidate.

     

    As for what things are used for, the system as of now is extremely flexible. Hard, blacksmithing metals are 'chunks' and softer jewelcrafting metals are 'nuggets'. Hard metals can apparently be used completely interchangably in recipes, and while we have no hard confirmation that it's the same with soft metals we can assume it will be. Alloying those chunks of metals (something Nephele has explicitly said will be a thing) will increase variety even more greatly. You don't need to know what particular components are for because no components are for any single recipe with only a handful of exceptions, if any. Every metal, skin, or meat will be in a nigh endless variety of recipes. Whether or not the recipe will make anything good... less certain.


    This post was edited by Darchias at February 28, 2021 4:49 PM PST
    • 1878 posts
    April 4, 2021 4:13 PM PDT

    Will the "potential cartography sytem" mentioned in the recent interview fall under the crafting sphere Neph?


    This post was edited by philo at April 4, 2021 4:14 PM PDT
    • 1833 posts
    April 5, 2021 5:35 PM PDT

    philo said:

    Will the "potential cartography sytem" mentioned in the recent interview fall under the crafting sphere Neph?

    Honestly it's too early to say.  Depending how much we allow players to do here it might become a quasi-crafting activity, but it may also just remain in the realm of social and communication tools available to players.  Once we get further along we'll be able to say more.