Forums » Crafting

Unofficial Ask Neph anything thread

    • 1327 posts
    November 16, 2020 6:29 AM PST

    Now that our Crafter n Chief has abandoned us lowly plebeians to join the dark side I thought I might instigate a conversation for everyone to get to know David “Nephele” Beach better as those of us at PantheonCrafters have already gotten to a little.  Stealing the idea from the Ask *Mark Seifter* thread on paizo.com when he shifted from being one of the best community content creators and pleasant board posters to being a full time Pathfinder developer.  A situation very similar to Neph and Pantheon.

    Going to softball a few to get started and see if we can catch a few responses from the now overloaded with work Neph.

    1)       If you had to pick one favorite crafting system, I know its like picking which is your favorite child/pet/band/chair, which would it be and why? (in 10 words or less)

    2)      If you had to pick one favorite child/pet/band/chair which would it be? (Kilsin might let you post a picture now that you are pink named and that is encouraged.)

    3)      What old world or fantasy craft do you wish you could do in real life?

    4)      What was your biggest failure at a handicraft that you have attempted in real life? (again picture evidence is encouraged)

     

    P.S.  Try to keep the questions to gaming generalities or embarrassing stuff.  Any answers that would likely fall under the Pantheon NDA will need to come from a thread Nephele starts in the future.

     


    This post was edited by Trasak at November 16, 2020 8:56 AM PST
    • 1844 posts
    November 16, 2020 7:22 AM PST

    Trasak said:

    Now that our Crafter n Chief has abandoned us lowly plebeians to join the dark side I thought I might instigate a conversation for everyone to get to know David “Nephele” Beach better as those of us at PantheonCrafters have already gotten to a little.  Stealing the idea from the Ask *Mark Seifter* thread on paizo.com when he shifted from being one of the best community content creators and pleasant board posters to being a full time Pathfinder developer.  A situation very similar to Neph and Pantheon.

    Going to softball a few to get started and see if we can catch a few responses from the now overloaded with work Neph.

    1)       If you had to pick one favorite crafting system, I know its like picking which is your favorite child/pet/band/chair, which would it be and why? (in 10 words or less)

    2)      If you had to pick one favorite child/pet/band/chair which would it be? (Kilsin might let you post a picture now that you are pink named and that is encouraged.)

    3)      What old world or fantasy craft do you wish you could do in real life?

    4)      What was your biggest failure at a handicraft that you have attempted in real life? (again picture evidence is encouraged)

     

    Sure, we can do this :)

     

    1) Pantheon.  Previous crafting systems I liked were SWG, Vanguard, FFXIV, and EVE (for different reasons)

    2) I'm a cat person, but my dog is awesome too.  Oh wait, you meant crafting?  It's a tossup between SWG and Vanguard.  The reason it's a tossup is that the crafting system needs to fit the rest of the game.  I loved SWG's crafting system but it would not have fit well with the rest of Vanguard (as an example).  The system Vanguard had fit far better.

    3) This is a tough one.  Probably blacksmithing just because everyone thinks fantasy blacksmiths are cool.

    4) I once tried to carve a wooden staff for a re-enactment and that didn't go so well (no pictures, sorry).  By contrast, I was able to sew a pretty decent cloak.

    • 2234 posts
    November 16, 2020 7:31 AM PST

    Have you ever designed a crafting system for another MMO?

    • 1844 posts
    November 16, 2020 7:43 AM PST

    Vandraad said:

    Have you ever designed a crafting system for another MMO?

    Yes!  Though it was many years ago and it was a text-based game, so you can decide for yourself whether that counts or not or whether it gives you any faith in my capabilities or not :)

    Edit:  I suppose it's worth mentioning that I did heavily influence the design of SWG's crafting system (as a vocal member of the game's early community) way back in the day.  Though I was certainly not the only person contributing ideas and feedback to that team.


    This post was edited by Nephele at November 16, 2020 7:48 AM PST
    • 24 posts
    November 16, 2020 7:49 AM PST

    So something I'd really like to see is raid crafting stations and group crafting.

    Group crafting - have some item creations that take multiple people working together in different crafts at the same time to complete them.  They would both be in a group at a crafting station and have to interact with some mechanic to complete said item.  This would also allow participation by people with nodrop items who are having their item modified by the crafter.

    Raid crafting stations - somewhere in some raid zones put crafting stations that are more "powerful" than the ones you can get to in towns.  To use these, you basically have to have a raid that goes into the place and the crafter(s).  While they are in use, it basically would trigger a timed wave event that the raid had to surive for the crafters to complete their work.  If the crafters get hit, they might get interrupted or lose some of the time and make the whole thing take even longer.  The waves would end when the crafting effort was complete.  You could also have dungeon crafting stations that are just hard to get to, wouldn't generate waves of mobs when using them, but force a group to keep the room clear for a crafter, for example.  Maybe some items are only craftable at specific stations, maybe it just gives you a much bigger percentage to making a superior version of the item (or even legendary version).  

    • 1715 posts
    November 16, 2020 8:43 AM PST
    On the subject of Vanguard crafting, what particular aspects of it were positive and negative, from your perspective, Nephele, both during and after Silius' involvement?
    • 1844 posts
    November 16, 2020 9:35 AM PST

    vjek said: On the subject of Vanguard crafting, what particular aspects of it were positive and negative, from your perspective, Nephele, both during and after Silius' involvement?

    Oh wow, that's a big topic!

    Briefly, I think Vanguard's system did a good job of both challenging the crafter early on (maybe a little too good of a job sometimes - many people complained it was too difficult) and allowing crafters to customize the items they made via dusts.  I also really liked the continental styles and that aspect of traveling around to learn different styles.

    For cons, one of the issues was that even though customization was possible a big chunk of it wasn't really useful for players due to the way the item stats were handled.  You could make a sword with intelligence on it, but no one really wanted that.  There were also problems with the different effects on finishing dusts where some simply weren't valued by players and others were extremely powerful.  Scarcity (both for dusts and for rare resources) could have been handled better - it never really became a problem for other reasons but the game was headed to a place where rares would have become common over time.  Finally, I think crafting progression could have been handled a little differently - the way it was set up still encouraged players to grind out large amounts of items to advance.  If there had been more people playing that would have led to some flooded markets over time.

    Overall I think Vanguard's system was one of the better fantasy MMO crafting systems to date and it had a lot of good in it that we can learn from for Pantheon.  But I would not want to duplicate it exactly for all the reasons I mentioned above.

    • 205 posts
    November 16, 2020 10:08 AM PST

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

    • 1715 posts
    November 16, 2020 10:15 AM PST
    Agreed, I liked the styles aspect as well, and I personally felt the pain of the "you need gear you can't get (yet) to complete normal combines, at-level" difficulty you're referring to.

    For myself, post-Silius, it was pretty good. A bit of tuning made at-level combines achievable more than 66% of the time with normal gear rewards. Too many customers had left at that point for it to matter, but it was better.

    I wanted to craft more in Vanguard, but the grind was pretty daunting, during Sulius' involvement. I ended up getting three characters to max level in the adventure loop before getting one crafter to level 45. It was just tedious beyond reason, and I never could understand how it was, in that state, meant to be 'fun', although it was pretty fun post-Silius. :)

    100% right there with you on the rares/commons, customization/enchantment, as well as progression issues & challenges, in Vanguard. Looking forward to seeing your take on what Corey put into Project Faerthale, and beyond, for Pantheon crafting and hopefully other non-combat game loops.
    • 1844 posts
    November 16, 2020 11:16 AM PST

    eunichron said:

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

    Non-integration :)

    • 15 posts
    November 16, 2020 1:08 PM PST

    Thecklos said:

    So something I'd really like to see is raid crafting stations and group crafting.

    Group crafting - have some item creations that take multiple people working together in different crafts at the same time to complete them.  They would both be in a group at a crafting station and have to interact with some mechanic to complete said item.  This would also allow participation by people with nodrop items who are having their item modified by the crafter.

    Raid crafting stations - somewhere in some raid zones put crafting stations that are more "powerful" than the ones you can get to in towns.  To use these, you basically have to have a raid that goes into the place and the crafter(s).  While they are in use, it basically would trigger a timed wave event that the raid had to surive for the crafters to complete their work.  If the crafters get hit, they might get interrupted or lose some of the time and make the whole thing take even longer.  The waves would end when the crafting effort was complete.  You could also have dungeon crafting stations that are just hard to get to, wouldn't generate waves of mobs when using them, but force a group to keep the room clear for a crafter, for example.  Maybe some items are only craftable at specific stations, maybe it just gives you a much bigger percentage to making a superior version of the item (or even legendary version).  

    • 15 posts
    November 16, 2020 1:08 PM PST

    I Love This Idea

    • 1333 posts
    November 16, 2020 1:18 PM PST

    Would you support letting a crafter 'sign' items he creates (permanent ones, not consumables), so that a really nice sword or shield that stays in use for years might remain as a tribute to a great crafter long after he has left the game?

    • 1844 posts
    November 16, 2020 2:58 PM PST

    Jothany said:

    Would you support letting a crafter 'sign' items he creates (permanent ones, not consumables), so that a really nice sword or shield that stays in use for years might remain as a tribute to a great crafter long after he has left the game?

     

    I support a maker's mark (ie, "made by: Jothany") as part of the item description.  In a social game I think it's very important for people to be able to get their name out there through the items they create.  So, unless there's a technical reason that prevents it, Pantheon will probably track and display who made crafted items whenever it makes sense to do so :)

    • 205 posts
    November 16, 2020 3:13 PM PST

    Nephele said:

    eunichron said:

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

    Non-integration :)

    The hyphenation technicality... I'll allow it, but only because I like your answer. :)

    • 42 posts
    November 16, 2020 11:39 PM PST

    Would you rather crafting be a skill based system like that of EQ1, WoW and other games or a secondary Class system with unique associated abilities more on the lifes of EQ2, but improved? 

    • 166 posts
    November 17, 2020 2:25 AM PST

    What are your thoughts on gathering professions?

    How many should/could a player learn?

    Should they compete with crafting professions as they do in WoW in terms of limiting what professions a player can learn?


    This post was edited by FatedEmperor at November 17, 2020 2:28 AM PST
    • 1327 posts
    November 17, 2020 6:43 AM PST

    Nephele said:

    4) I once tried to carve a wooden staff for a re-enactment and that didn't go so well (no pictures, sorry).  By contrast, I was able to sew a pretty decent cloak.

    . . . . so you failed to make a stick . . . from another stick . . . . carpentry is going to be interesting in Pantheon (jk)

    Thanks for being a good sport on this. (just realized Neph now has the ability recommend banning posters)

    New question:

    Is there a craft that has not been implemented properly in a game that you have played that you think would be interesting even if impractical to put in a game with no expectation that it will be added to Pantheon?  (Examples being Luthier, Bell Founder, Monster vanity pet trainer, macrame, golem maker, Portrait painter)

    • 1844 posts
    November 17, 2020 7:40 AM PST

    Sagrada said:

    Would you rather crafting be a skill based system like that of EQ1, WoW and other games or a secondary Class system with unique associated abilities more on the lifes of EQ2, but improved? 

    I think either approach can work, to an extent, but people seem to like the feel of progressing a crafting "class" or profession more than just watching a skill number go up.  The real trick is how you build gameplay - if you go with crafting professions, you have to find a way to make the gameplay for each profession at least a little bit different from the others.

    • 1844 posts
    November 17, 2020 7:42 AM PST

    FatedEmperor said:

    What are your thoughts on gathering professions?

    How many should/could a player learn?

    Should they compete with crafting professions as they do in WoW in terms of limiting what professions a player can learn?

    Actually, this is an area where I am very interested in hearing everyone's thoughts.  There are pros and cons to limiting how much people can do on a single character when it comes to gathering.  I don't know that I have a strong opinion myself, but this is something that I'll be asking for community input on as we move forward :)

    • 1844 posts
    November 17, 2020 7:50 AM PST

    Trasak said:

    New question:

    Is there a craft that has not been implemented properly in a game that you have played that you think would be interesting even if impractical to put in a game with no expectation that it will be added to Pantheon?  (Examples being Luthier, Bell Founder, Monster vanity pet trainer, macrame, golem maker, Portrait painter)

    What do you mean?  Look, I know you want underwater basket weaving to be a thing, but seriously isn't that a bit cliche at this point? :)

    In seriousness, there's nothing that really comes to mind that's been implemented before.  Most games at least make an attempt to make all of their professions viable.  I think it would be interesting to see an MMO with a global invention/research system where (over a very long period of time) players could slowly advance the world's technology, but that's the sort of thing that really fits best in a game where the economy is purely crafting-based.  As for the other kinds of things you mentioned - I would want them to have real use and meaning in the game world rather than just being interesting hobbies, but that's just the way I tend to think (I'm not saying hobbies are bad!) :)

    • 44 posts
    November 17, 2020 10:25 AM PST

    Hey Neph,

    Hope all is well.  I was curious what your thoughts are in regards to craftable items mitigating affects of the extreme climate and acclimation systems.  Do you think that crafters should be producing the baseline & powerful glyphs, items and artifacts that will help out with these systems or should these all be based on quest items and drops?

    -techninja


    This post was edited by techninja1337 at November 17, 2020 10:27 AM PST
    • 1715 posts
    November 17, 2020 4:16 PM PST

    Nephele said: Actually, this is an area where I am very interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. There are pros and cons to limiting how much people can do on a single character when it comes to gathering. I don't know that I have a strong opinion myself, but this is something that I'll be asking for community input on as we move forward :)

    I'm not sure if this counts as you asking for input, but I'll offer my experiences and OPINIONS on the subject.
    My personal opinion is that one character should be able to, with enough time and effort, eventually, max out all harvesting and crafting skills and/or professions. In fact, I think that same principle should apply to all non-combat game loops, non-combat skills, factions, races, deities/religion, renown, fame, politics, diplomacy, and similar. One character, with enough time and effort, eventually, should be able to max out all of those features of the game.

    My perspective is that, given some games (Like EQ1) don't (with rare exceptions) have such a limit, and any one character can, through enough time and effort, become self-sufficient in, and master ~all crafting professions..
    Any such implementation that doesn't allow 'one character to do it all' is merely an artificial attempt to create interdependence in the harvesting and/or crafting game loop. It's not necessary (clearly, tens/hundreds of games don't do it) yet.. it's being attempted. o.O

    I've played MMOs that attempt to enforce interdependency, through a variety of techniques. It generally does not go well, doesn't work very well, nor does it end up being, overall, a positive customer experience that contributes to subscriber retention.
    What do I mean by that? Essentially, any attempt at artificial interdependence, to date, also permits bypassing those restrictions.
    Specifically, this means that if a character is limited to 1 tradeskill and one harvesting skill, and there are, say, 6 of each, then the player will create 5 alts, one for each, and use those alts to supply each other with both input mats/raws, recipes, sub-combines/components, and final outputs, where applicable.
    If it's a player limit, that is, one account per player, then the enterprising crafter will simply buy 6 accounts. Don't think it will happen? Has happened. I was in several guilds in EQ2 where more than one player in the guild had.. wait for it.. 12 crafters across however many accounts was required.

    Why is it like this? Typically, because humans are greedy. :) I'm not trying to be glib, that's .. just the way it is.
    In practice, any implementation I've personally seen ends up with characters who either exploit the system or are fed mats/raws by an entire guild to reach a "Master" level in a craft, and then they attempt to hold the entire server economy hostage. If within their power, they will buy up any and all unique products sold by any and all other competing players of that same profession, and then charge extortion level prices to everyone. (except their guild, naturally)
    Even if they aren't, over time, the only players that put items on the market for reasonable prices are bought out and resold by players with insane buying power, because.. wait for it, the economy is a disaster.

    I mean, in my guild, regardless of the game, we always shared raws, but never sold to the public. There wasn't really any point. The guild took care of its own, and there was no point in attempting to participate in the market, because the economy, again, was a disaster. Items that were required in volumes of hundreds, per Character, (I'm looking at you, mana vials) were either made artificially scarce (Price Fixing), Monopolized, or priced by Cartel. Anyone who ignorantly was trying to play Normally would simply be taken advantage of via any or all of those by malicious players.

    I understand the perspective of players who simply state: The game permits it, so it's ok. If I can take advantage, I should. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
    I don't personally agree with those perspectives, but I understand them. Players have played other games where they can do this, so why not Pantheon?
    Ultimately, if the developers see no problem with Pricing Fixing, Monopolies, Cartels, and similar egregious economic behavior, then it's all good, and nothing needs to change. If the mechanics, setting, lore, and/or thematic consistency of the game permit, and as a result, condone and/or encourage this behavior, don't be surprised when players do it. :)
    But also don't be surprised when some of your paying customers ragequit because they can't buy (or obtain AT ALL) required crafting sub-components for a/any reasonable price.
    In some games, it was so bad that for the price of a single subcomponent (of which I needed tens or hundreds), I created an entirely separate crafting alt, bought all the required skilling-up raws/mats off the market or NPCs, and then skilled them up in a few hours. Well.. who can argue with the results? Now I don't need to be extorted by my fellow players, after a modest investment of in-game currency, time and effort.

    If, as it seems so far, pure crafters are not going to be a thing in Pantheon, then what is above will be more common due to having to level up to the max adventure level in order to max out your crafting. (or participate in Environment crafting, especially) By forcing all crafters into the adventure loop, those that want self-sufficiency at any cost will simply box alts or power level alts, buy accounts (Fraud), or do anything and everything in their power to have as many max level characters as required, as alts/mules/bots/boxes to ensure that goal.

    All of the above? You can skip all that drama and customer churn by simply allowing any one character to max out the skill, recipes, and whatever other thing goes into all harvesting or crafting professions. Make it take 20% more XP per profession, after the first three. Make it take 20% more XP per profession after the first 1. Make it take 50% more XP per profession, after the first three. Make it a sliding scale of XP. Whatever ridiculous time sink you think needs to make it punitive enough, put that in place.
    But..
    For the love of all things holy in your world.. do not make it easier or harder, post-launch. If you change that "it take this much more per profession" value, even one month after launch, you will never be forgiven. Every player that accomplished the goal when it was harder will feel cheated/insulted if it's made easier, and every player that didn't take advantage before it was made harder will hate you and the players that "had it easy". The negative community effect and consequence will be amplified the longer the temporal delta between launch and the change.

    In summary, the negative emergent player behavior caused by this design decision can potentially and/or does lead to:

    RL Issues:
    Boxing/Botting/Mules
    Potentially Multi-Boxing/Multi-Accounts
    Potentially Fraud

    In-Game Issues:
    Price Fixing/Price Gouging/Extortion
    Monopolies
    Cartels

    Of course, not all of those issues are seen as negatives by all players or the company involved themselves. Sometimes, having multiple accounts is a good thing, for subscriber numbers. It's more revenue, right? That they're 2,3,4 or more subscriptions for one Customer, simply to bypass an in-game limit.. probably not so good, but most companies permit it in the pursuit of profit.
    However, if you were to play the cat and mouse game of "you may, you may not" all the way up to: You may only have one account per person, then people DEFINITELY will commit fraud to bypass this limit, up to and including subscribing all their family members who don't actually play, just to avoid being extorted by their fellow in-game greedy human players.

    • 42 posts
    November 17, 2020 4:51 PM PST

    I am not sure this will be a popular idea  but inthe long run i think it will be interesting. While I understand the "Gotta Have It all" mentallity for crafting and harvesting it just doesnt make sense. You don't see to many Master Blacksmiths for example that are also Master Botonists and Master Carpenters. The dedication to the profession to become a true master of a field doesn't allow for it, often.  So where I am going with this. 

     

    Give Players a "Pool" for lack of better terms for crafting skill points. Say the Max a Skill can reach is 100 (for ease of math) Each player could have say 250 skill points they can use to level tradeskills. So if you WANT  to be a master at 100 points of 2 skills Say Armorsmithing and Weaponsmithing you can, while being just OK at a 3rd. Or you could go the master of none approach and maybe cater to low level players bu being OK at 5 defferent tradeskills.

     

    Same Concept with Harvesting. Does this make sense?

     

    On Another Note I would LOVE to see tradeskill specific tasks and quests in the game. IF you are a blacksmith maybe you SHOULD go on a pilgramage to learn from a Legendary Blacksmith in a different part of the world. Of course Dwarfs are known for blacksmithing but does that mean there is not an outcast Orc that have mastered a technique that only he knows but would be willing to teach to an aperentice if they seek him out?


    This post was edited by Sagrada at November 17, 2020 4:58 PM PST
    • 1844 posts
    November 17, 2020 6:06 PM PST

    techninja1337 said:

    Hey Neph,

    Hope all is well.  I was curious what your thoughts are in regards to craftable items mitigating affects of the extreme climate and acclimation systems.  Do you think that crafters should be producing the baseline & powerful glyphs, items and artifacts that will help out with these systems or should these all be based on quest items and drops?

    -techninja

    So, the original plan (a few years ago) was for lower-tier glyphs to be crafted but higher-tier glyphs to enter the game in "other ways".  I can't speak as to whether that is still the plan as the game's design has evolved since then.  I like the idea of crafted items helping people deal with extreme climates but what form that ends up taking might change just depending on where we decide to go with things.