Forums » Crafting

A quick word about Crafting in Pantheon

    • 1820 posts
    December 25, 2020 12:13 AM PST

    Hi everyone!

    I know that many of you have been waiting for more information about Pantheon's crafting system.  I thought I'd take the opportunity tonight to at least tell you a little bit more about the system.  It's not much, since I don't want to spoil all the fun and surprises, but hopefully, it will get you excited for what's coming up in 2021 :)

    Crafters in Pantheon will be able to customize the stats (and the appearances) of items that they make.

    There will be some limitations.  The system won't be completely free-form, but you will have a wide variety of options available.  The customizations you can choose from while creating items will depend on several factors, including (but not limited to) your skill and level of advancement within your profession, the facilities and tools you are using, and most importantly the ingredients or materials that you use.  You'll find that some types of customization, like attribute bonuses, are relatively easy to access.  More exotic bonuses or special effects will be both rare and challenging to apply to items.  And yes, before you ask, customization applies to consumable items as well as finished items.

    Right now we are working to get the underlying code for this system in place within the game so that we can start adding all the pieces and parts to build out the gameplay experience around it.  Once we have those things to a point where we can talk more about them, expect to see them demonstrated in a dev stream.  It's the sort of thing that really needs to be shown rather than just talked about.  I also want to emphasize that this isn't the only way that the crafting sphere will likely evolve a bit from what you might be used to in other games - but, this is perhaps the most critical and foundational piece, and it's the one that we'll be working to perfect first.

    For now, I hope this information is a good holiday gift for everyone, and that it gets you excited about what's to come in the new year.

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays :)

    ~Nephele

     

     

    • 271 posts
    December 25, 2020 6:44 AM PST

    Thx Nephele

    Soo happy to read this  I knew we where in safe hands when you got the VR icon and here you confirm it Happy Holliday's to you and everyone  inviolved in Pantheon :)

    • 23 posts
    December 25, 2020 7:35 AM PST

    Cool beans!! Thanks for sharing Neph! Happy Holidays~

    • 2970 posts
    December 25, 2020 7:37 AM PST

    Thanks for sharing that.

    • 1574 posts
    December 25, 2020 8:19 AM PST

    Will this mechanic of enhancement, customization, or enchanting be limited to the crafter making the item only, or will it also be possible for customers to apply any/all/some/more/many of these effects themselves, after the item has been created?

    • 1820 posts
    December 25, 2020 8:27 AM PST

    vjek said:

    Will this mechanic of enhancement, customization, or enchanting be limited to the crafter making the item only, or will it also be possible for customers to apply any/all/some/more/many of these effects themselves, after the item has been created?

    For now, customizations will only be applied during the crafting process itself.  We're setting things up from a technical perspective so that we can support after-market customizations later if we want to, but no plans for that just yet.  I would rather get a robust crafting system in place first, and see where that leaves us, than try to set up two potentially conflicting systems side-by-side.

    • 273 posts
    December 25, 2020 8:45 AM PST

    Very excited for you all to hear more about the system we have in store for you.  

    • 14 posts
    December 25, 2020 8:49 AM PST

    This is music to my ears!

    One of my biggest hopes is that there is a big co-dependence between other spheres of gameplay and crafting. You mentioned ingredients having particular effects on the crafting product, and that's very exciting. I think it would be awesome to have materials regularly come from both harvesting AND mob drops. I've never been a huge fan of vendor trash, both in user experience and economy, so having "trash" be lessened in favor of occasionally getting components useful to crafters seems like a way to add another way for players to indirectly make money, while still feeding into a player-influenced economy.

    But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. :)

    • 1709 posts
    December 25, 2020 9:00 AM PST

    Does this imply that there will be some method of previewing what an item you're about to purchase looks like?  Assumably if being able to decide on the appearance of an item is imporant enough to put into the game, then players will likely want to know what it looks like on their character before they purchase it.  This would not only include person-to-person trading (via an /auc channel or something, like EC/GFay in EverQuest), but also if there is a bazaar or auction house mechanic in the game.

    • 15 posts
    December 25, 2020 9:46 AM PST
    I love it! Just what I would like to see. Thanks Nephele

    • 2096 posts
    December 25, 2020 10:20 AM PST

    Nephele said:

    Crafters in Pantheon will be able to customize the stats (and the appearances) of items that they make.

    There will be some limitations.  The system won't be completely free-form, but you will have a wide variety of options available.  The customizations you can choose from while creating items will depend on several factors, including (but not limited to) your skill and level of advancement within your profession, the facilities and tools you are using, and most importantly the ingredients or materials that you use.  You'll find that some types of customization, like attribute bonuses, are relatively easy to access.  More exotic bonuses or special effects will be both rare and challenging to apply to items.  And yes, before you ask, customization applies to consumable items as well as finished items.

    Lets look at cooking.  Food, then, will have stats we can adjust.  Great.  You mentioned ingredients. Are recipies going to be generic such that a 'Roasted Meat Sandwich' just calls for 1x Bread and 1x Roasted Meat and we decide which types of Bread and what type of roasted meat (like Dwarf, Elf, Boar, Wolf, Lion, etc) to use and that's how we adjust the stats? Like Lion Meat would give Dex while Boar would get STA and Elf would give AGI and Dward would get STR, as examples.

    Does this also mean that the more complex the recipe, the more stats we get?  A simple Roasted Meat Sandwich shouldn't offer nearly the same quality or quantity of stats over that of A KingsReach Club that has prime Grilled Cockatrice, Wild's End Lettuce, smoked cheese, Tomato, Pickles,Elven Mustard and shaved truffle.

    How does failure come into play here?  Not only are we wanting to create an item, we want to create it with specific stats.  Can you fail the latter and not the former in that you create an item but it doesn't have the stats you want or does a failure in one cause a failure in both? If not, then we're dealing with 2 inclusions of the dreaded RNG here are we not?

    Finally, these stats.  I'm going to guess that we can only adjust the stats the generic version of the item starts with and not add new stats, yes? I'm also going to hope that if you have two players of equal skill, using the same quality of materials but one is an alt that never leaves town so is using a generic city forge and the other is a player who's group/guild is defending them as they use a forge at the deepest pit in the darkest dungeon that the former will not be able to produce a sword even remotely close to the quality of sword possible being made by the latter?


    This post was edited by Vandraad at December 25, 2020 10:21 AM PST
    • 403 posts
    December 25, 2020 11:38 AM PST

    Hey Nephele,

     I would say that when creating this crafting system you identify the META of the system then create a subsystem that breaks it. There is nothing more groteque than "best in slot". Player made or otherwise. Good luck.


    This post was edited by Bronsun at December 25, 2020 11:39 AM PST
    • 1320 posts
    December 25, 2020 12:09 PM PST

    Thank you for the Christmas crafting beans.  Sounds like a lot of good directions that will support a robust player desired crafting itemization and a fairly complete game play loop.

    • 34 posts
    December 25, 2020 12:37 PM PST

    While some info is appreciated, I would personally like to know more about the appearance adjustments. I am hoping the ability to change an appearance is being dictated by pre-selects done by a dev and never ever will there be an consideration to giving players a color wheel to pick from. I am 100% against the casualizing of a game through the transmog process and making Pantheon in anyway appear like a dime a dozen pacific rim game.

    There are of course tons more questions, but as always, please make the system easy enough to start with, but one that continues to branch the more you know, so that becoming a top tier person means many months or a year or more to be #1 in just one branch of one profession. Feeling like you achieve something is paramount to a successful game and not making it feel like eso, wow or some cheap pacific rim game

     

     

    Spof

    • 1820 posts
    December 25, 2020 1:08 PM PST

    kelenin said:

    Does this imply that there will be some method of previewing what an item you're about to purchase looks like?  Assumably if being able to decide on the appearance of an item is imporant enough to put into the game, then players will likely want to know what it looks like on their character before they purchase it.  This would not only include person-to-person trading (via an /auc channel or something, like EC/GFay in EverQuest), but also if there is a bazaar or auction house mechanic in the game.

    Hey Kelenin!  Great point about how item preview is an important client feature for many reasons.  I can't really say when or how it will come into the game but I also think it's become something of a standard in MMORPGs, and so we should offer the functionality at some point.

    Vandraad said:

    Does this also mean that the more complex the recipe, the more stats we get?  A simple Roasted Meat Sandwich shouldn't offer nearly the same quality or quantity of stats over that of A KingsReach Club that has prime Grilled Cockatrice, Wild's End Lettuce, smoked cheese, Tomato, Pickles,Elven Mustard and shaved truffle.

    To a degree, yes.  Consumables and Finished Items will work under slightly different limits for balance reasons, but in general, the more complex the item that you make, the more potent/varied the stats can be.  Or, maybe a better way to put it is that Kingsreach Club will be able to do some things that a simple Roasted Meat Sandwich will not be able to do.  It will, however, be more challenging to make :)

    Vandraad said:

    How does failure come into play here?  Not only are we wanting to create an item, we want to create it with specific stats.  Can you fail the latter and not the former in that you create an item but it doesn't have the stats you want or does a failure in one cause a failure in both? If not, then we're dealing with 2 inclusions of the dreaded RNG here are we not?

    At the moment, failure means the item doesn't get created at all, try again.  We haven't made a final decision on whether some portion of the materials/ingredients will be lost on failure yet - we're just not at the point of locking tuning details like that in, really.  Once it's fully implemented, crafting will not be a simple combine button or a passive interaction.  There will be some gameplay there where you (as a player) have to intelligently use the tools and abilities available to you to succeed.  Of course there will be some randomness in the process to keep it interesting and to try and prevent "I win" macros, but most of the emphasis will be on what the character has access to, and the decisions you as a player make during the crafting process.

    Vandraad said:

    Finally, these stats.  I'm going to guess that we can only adjust the stats the generic version of the item starts with and not add new stats, yes? I'm also going to hope that if you have two players of equal skill, using the same quality of materials but one is an alt that never leaves town so is using a generic city forge and the other is a player who's group/guild is defending them as they use a forge at the deepest pit in the darkest dungeon that the former will not be able to produce a sword even remotely close to the quality of sword possible being made by the latter?

    There are some stats that are predetermined by item type (for example, we know that a sword will have a damage number and a shield will have an AC value).  There will also be some limitations just to make sure that things make sense (for example, you're probably not going to be able to put a levitate effect on a hat).  Beyond that?  It's all about what you choose to put into the item.  This is one of those things that will become more clear once we have everything into the game client in a way that can be shown properly.

    As for your second question, think about it this way.  There are things that can be made at any forge.  Then, there are things that need special forges to make.  It's not about "quality", but about rarity, uniqueness, and risk/reward.  If someone wants to remain in the city and craft, they will still be able to make potent and powerful items, although they may find themselves having to purchase a lot of things from other players.  However, there will also be the potential for unique rewards for the crafter who is willing to brave the greatest dangers of Terminus alongside their fellow adventurers.

    I will actually have quite a bit more to say about how crafting and adventuring will work side by side once we get the crafting system implemented.  One of my personal goals is to break the idea of crafting being a side activity and really promote it to a full-fledged way to experience the game world, alongside adventuring.  But, we have to take that one step at a time, and the first step is getting the fundamentals of the crafting system in-game and working to a point where they can be tested and tuned.

    Bronsun said:

    Hey Nephele,

     I would say that when creating this crafting system you identify the META of the system then create a subsystem that breaks it. There is nothing more groteque than "best in slot". Player made or otherwise. Good luck.

    I am allergic to "BiS" as well Bronsun :).  I can guarantee that Pantheon will never have a single set of "BiS" items for a class, although players may at times believe otherwise.  Saicred is fond however of reminding me that there will be situational BiS items, and that's probably something we can't get away from.  But from an itemization point of view (and this is true for both crafted items and looted items), our goal is always to provide players with multiple meaningful choices for upgrades.  Whether that's tuning your attributes to make the most of a certain set of abilities, or choosing your gear carefully to handle specific areas and encounters, or more likely a bit of both - the idea is to give you plenty of options to choose from, and let you (as the player) decide what makes the most sense to use.

    Since I'm on this subject, here's another bean.  There will be some subtle differences between looted and crafted items so that both will have value to players.  We'll be able to talk more about that once things are further along.

    • 1820 posts
    December 25, 2020 1:23 PM PST

    Spof said:

    While some info is appreciated, I would personally like to know more about the appearance adjustments. I am hoping the ability to change an appearance is being dictated by pre-selects done by a dev and never ever will there be an consideration to giving players a color wheel to pick from. I am 100% against the casualizing of a game through the transmog process and making Pantheon in anyway appear like a dime a dozen pacific rim game.

    There are of course tons more questions, but as always, please make the system easy enough to start with, but one that continues to branch the more you know, so that becoming a top tier person means many months or a year or more to be #1 in just one branch of one profession. Feeling like you achieve something is paramount to a successful game and not making it feel like eso, wow or some cheap pacific rim game

    Spof

    For appearance selection in terms of crafting, we're specifically talking about item models.  There are no plans to add a "color wheel" or anything like that - instead it will more likely be about what you are choosing to make.  In fact, the material texture for the item will probably be determined by the ingredients you use, so that visually you'll be able to tell if that breastplate was made of simple iron or out of coldark steel, even if it's done in the same style.

    For example, you might choose to make a "Kingsreach Sword" or a "Reignfall Scimitar".  Functionally these are the same (if you make the same choices in how you build them), but visually they look very distinct.

    This also applies to factional/racial items that you might learn how to make.  So you might learn how to make a Skar Clawblade or an Elven Falchion.  Functionally, these are relatively the same (although there might be some small stat differences to reflect the flavor of the different societies), but again very distinct looks.  They'll also be more challenging to make than the generic appearances, and potentially require some more exotic materials in their construction as well.

    Edit:  Just so I don't give anyone the wrong idea, I'm not saying that we might not give players some additional customization options for items that they already have.  "Transmog" is a hotly debated topic and that is a discussion that is far bigger than just the crafting system.  But for the purposes of crafting the item, it's really about choosing between different item models, and not so much about changing colors or anything like that.  From an art perspective, I know the team's goal is that every item looks "good" in the end, even if some things are fancier or more intricate than others.

     


    This post was edited by Nephele at December 25, 2020 2:22 PM PST
    • 116 posts
    December 25, 2020 2:38 PM PST

    All of this sounds really,really good.  But, I can't believe you got me checking, and rvrn responding to, a crafting post on Christmas Neph :)


    This post was edited by Nagasakee at December 25, 2020 2:38 PM PST
    • 2096 posts
    December 25, 2020 3:45 PM PST

    Nephele said:

    Right now we are working to get the underlying code for this system in place within the game so that we can start adding all the pieces and parts to build out the gameplay experience around it.  Once we have those things to a point where we can talk more about them, expect to see them demonstrated in a dev stream.

    One last thing.  As I read this, you're putting the cart before the horse. Should not first have the entire tradeskill system written out, described fully in functionality and in term of all the mechanics, i.e. a fully fleshed out design document, before you start writing code?  How can you write code before you even know how the heck you want the entire system to work?  I don't want to see another fiasco where 2 years later y'all come back here with another garbage line of 'refactoring' because you did it all wrong the first time through.

    • 1820 posts
    December 25, 2020 4:17 PM PST

    Vandraad said:

    Nephele said:

    Right now we are working to get the underlying code for this system in place within the game so that we can start adding all the pieces and parts to build out the gameplay experience around it.  Once we have those things to a point where we can talk more about them, expect to see them demonstrated in a dev stream.

    One last thing.  As I read this, you're putting the cart before the horse. Should not first have the entire tradeskill system written out, described fully in functionality and in term of all the mechanics, i.e. a fully fleshed out design document, before you start writing code?  How can you write code before you even know how the heck you want the entire system to work?  I don't want to see another fiasco where 2 years later y'all come back here with another garbage line of 'refactoring' because you did it all wrong the first time through.

    Building something as complex as an MMORPG isn't just a matter of writing a design, agreeing on it in a meeting, and then going out and coding that thing and tuning afterwards.  It's a constantly evolving process where you are always iterating and revising until you get things to the point where you want them to be for players.

    So for example, there is a crafting design, or spec, or whatever you want to call it, just as there is for every other area of the game.  But that document is written with the understanding that it will change during implementation - that change could be because a better idea came along, or because there was an interaction with another system that we needed to adjust for, or simply because we got it in, and it wasn't as good as we thought.  It's simply how the process works.  Nothing is ever perfect, and trying to wait for that perfect design before you begin building things and testing out your ideas will get you nowhere fast.

    The other piece of the equation is that there are layers to the game's codebase.  For example, in order to do some of the things we want do with crafted items, the underlying database structure has to support those things.  So, we have to build those fundamental systems first, then layer on additional systems in a way that works with the underlying code.  That, in turn, will show us areas where we were inefficient or just plain wrong, and so we have to iterate on the base systems and then adjust the rest of the stack, multiple times.  It's super rare that something works the way you expect it to on the first attempt.

    This is a normal development process whether we are talking about an MMORPG, a single-player game, or even commercial business software.  Any software with multiple inter-related components and feature sets has to go through an iterative development process where stuff will be implemented, refactored, and re-implemented multiple times, and anyone who tells you different has never actually worked on or shipped a big project.  Most software that you buy, again whether it's games or other things, takes years to develop for this reason.  Human brains are simply too fallible, and the software too complex, to allow any project to be done in one fell swoop (or even a dozen swoops).

    Anyway for crafting and for Pantheon, the cart *and* the horse are both right where they're supposed to be.  You don't have to take my word for it of course, but since you asked, that's my answer.

    Note:  I fully expect and welcome detailed criticism and feedback once you guys get your hands on what we're building.  We can't make it really good without your input, when the time comes.


    This post was edited by Nephele at December 25, 2020 5:11 PM PST
    • 8 posts
    December 25, 2020 5:05 PM PST

    Looking Good, I have faith and I'll be right with you in this process! 

    • 1709 posts
    December 25, 2020 6:02 PM PST

    Nephele said:

    Building something as complex as an MMORPG isn't just a matter of writing a design, agreeing on it in a meeting, and then going out and coding that thing and tuning afterwards.  It's a constantly evolving process 

    You could strike the "MMORPG" from this (which he kinda eludes to in his last paragraph).  Developers don't really fully flesh out design documents anymore these days because of everything he said here being true.  Developers learned over a decade ago that you can spend months designing something and by the time you start implementing it you begin changing everything because parts never work out how you expected.  Either parts are not as good as you envisioned or you didn't forsee side-effects of the design (such as on other systems, or other systems on it).

    Nowadays most developers just get an outline of what is expected, and create a prototype of it.  Then once everyone sees the prototype and how it works and effects everything, they begin fleshing out and iterating on the parts until they have a fully functioning system in place.  And yes, refactoring comes into place during part of this (though usually not to the extent of the Faerthale refactor, from how I understood it).

    The problem with this, a lot of managers see the prototype and begin seeing a finished product and want to "ship it" before it is truly completed.  Hopefully VR will take the time to let the developers finish it, and then refactor it to be maintainable, and performant; and possibly to tweak areas of it.

    Refactoring is a good thing.  As a developer (on large software projects) I'm well aware that nobody who watches the development of something (including development managers) usually sees refactoring as a good thing.  Most see it as some kind of unnecessary overhead at best, or a waste of developer time at worst (because when refactoring is completed, there is usually nothing functionally changed).  But refacting almost always improves maintainability, and can improve performance and expose existing yet unknown bugs due to the fact that the complexity of some areas of code has been reduced.

    • 5 posts
    December 25, 2020 6:05 PM PST

    Thanks for the present. I am looking forward to seeing how it, and the rest of Pantheon, unfolds in 2021.

    • 962 posts
    December 25, 2020 7:34 PM PST

    Thanks for the Christmas beans Nephele. It all sounds quite engaging. Looking forward to trying these systems out.

    Merry Christmas to you too.

    • 1320 posts
    December 26, 2020 12:15 PM PST

    Nephele said:

    Vandraad said:

    Nephele said:

    Right now we are working to get the underlying code for this system in place within the game so that we can start adding all the pieces and parts to build out the gameplay experience around it.  Once we have those things to a point where we can talk more about them, expect to see them demonstrated in a dev stream.

    One last thing.  As I read this, you're putting the cart before the horse. Should not first have the entire tradeskill system written out, described fully in functionality and in term of all the mechanics, i.e. a fully fleshed out design document, before you start writing code?  How can you write code before you even know how the heck you want the entire system to work?  I don't want to see another fiasco where 2 years later y'all come back here with another garbage line of 'refactoring' because you did it all wrong the first time through.

    Building something as complex as an MMORPG isn't just a matter of writing a design, agreeing on it in a meeting, and then going out and coding that thing and tuning afterwards.  It's a constantly evolving process where you are always iterating and revising until you get things to the point where you want them to be for players.

    *snip*

    As Helmuth von Moltke said, "Therefore no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force."

    You can make all the plans you want to but once the code starts coming together and is put in front of the end user anything can happen and you need to be able to adapt and improve.  It's good to have a plan, it's even better to know when to throw the plan out the window and make a fundamental change in order to not pile even more resources onto a bad foundation. 

    Well, what Moltke actually said was "Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus." But I don't speak German or what ever dialect he was speaking.

    • 375 posts
    December 26, 2020 7:09 PM PST

    Great reveal Nephele, thank you. I knew the crafting system was in good hands!