Forums » Crafting

Crafting Fundamentals!

    • 1327 posts
    January 29, 2021 1:08 PM PST

    So lets take smelting as an example of a crafting sub process that could be turned from a single click, timer bar with a small RNG component for bonus rewards into a longer interactive process.

    Smelting as a real world process is a combination of heat, chemistry and time.  You can get common metals and some transitional metals out of high purity ore deposits simply by heating the material in bulk and having the metal pour out of the rock.  The smaller the grain size of the material the easier it is to filter out all of the different materials.

    Other types of ore deposits require chemical treatments in order to separate non metals from the metals you wish to collect.  These ore precipitate often require special heating processes in order to become useable metal without degrading back to the composition they were before the chemical treatment. (This is true for nearly all of the -oxides as oxygen has a very high bond strength with specific metals so the heating process needs to be done in a vacuum or noble gas environment.)

    Alloying two different metal likewise can be even more complex of a process and the choices you make in preparing the alloy can have great effects on the final mechanical properties of the metal.

    So lets look at a list of choices that a “Smelter” (a miner or blacksmith who has mastered smelting) could possibly have.

    1)      What grain size do you need to get the material you want out of the ore you have?

    1. You can use a grinding process to break ore down from large stones to smaller and smaller sizes.  The size you choose will effect required heating rates and dwell times as well as potential for impurity removal.
    2. The more time you spend grinding up ore the better and easier stages will often be.

    2)      What type of material are you trying to get out of the ore (using your geology lore knowledge and trained smelting techniques you will know what minerals are in the ore and which processes are required to remove it and which are mutually exclusive)

    1. Simple melting and casting.

                                                                   i.      You will need to go to a smelter and put fuel in it.

                                                                 ii.      You will need to raise the temperature to the smelting temp that will melt out the metal you want but leave the rest rock. (Too hot and you just trap rock in your metal making it bad quality).

                                                               iii.      How long do you need to keep it at said temperature in order to get the best yield of the highest quality.  This will also be dependent on how many kgs of prepared ore you put into the smelter.

                                                               iv.      What additives are you putting into the smelter and at what temperatures?  These additives could both improve the purity and or change the qualities of the metal.

                                                                 v.      What size ingots are you casting and how many will you get.

                                                               vi.      What are you going to do with the slag left over? (Sometimes the slag can feed into later processes or heated again to get out metals with a higher melting point)

    1. Chemical bath treatment and distilling, followed by an air sealed smelter.

                                                                   i.      This process will likely require the smallest possible grain size in order for the chemical bath to work.

                                                                 ii.      The chemicals will likely have stirring requirements, operating temperatures and additional additives.

                                                               iii.      Once the result is prepared it will then need to be dried and transferred to a special smelting furnace.  At this point it merges back into the first example.

    1. Destructive chemical distillates.

                                                                   i.      Lastly you may be working with the left over slag of other processes or destroying an otherwise useful ore to get at the specific minerals.

                                                                 ii.      You may need to treat the material with chemicals that destroy all the other elements within the ore in order to extract trace elements.

                                                               iii.      Those trace elements are then taken to more of an alchemical lab than standard smelter where the results are crystalized out of a solution rather than through heating.

    All of this can be broken down into an interactive choice tree.

    1)      What size do you need? Grinder processes repeated until desired size it reached.

    2)      Are you heating, bathing or distillation the results?

    1. If heating then What size, temperature and how long.  Also at what points in the process do you add additional materials?
    2. If bathing then what solution and for how long?  Followed by which furnace do you need then the remainder of the heating game loop.
    3. If destructive distillation then what dissolvent do you need and how much can you prepare and how long to you both treat and heat the results before cooling?

    3)      Are the results ready to be used directly in a recipe or will they be added into sub combines first?

    This is a really in-depth view of what smelting gameplay could entail but would really only be several UI tools and options that could be reused with only minor skin tweaks for other crafts and or processes.  Smelting alone could almost be its own craft to master (in reality it is its own craft).

    The game play for other crafts could follow a similar level of preparations choices to move from raw materials to useable materials.  The key will be simplifying the in game tools so not a great deal of development time will be required to build the minigames for all the crafts but still have them be varied enough so it is not the same process for all crafts.  Any interesting and enjoyable crafting game play loop that takes both knowledge and attention and rewards time spent will make or break a good crafting system.

    • 8 posts
    January 30, 2021 2:04 PM PST

    Trasak (in true form) has outlined an excellent example of the complexity that this type of process could involve.  It is within this type of complexity that skill of the individual crafter could be realized.  

     

    I currently spend much of my time in a game that has become over-run by bots.  Bots can react, but something that automation cannot do well is anticipate. 

    I think an excellent way to reduce the dependence on external websites for "recipes" is to make the crafting process organic in a skilled way in which the process of making something is as important as the ingredients, tools, and station being used to create them.  At that point, molds (or similar items) will describe the recipes, experimentation can take place in the use of ingredients (and individuals will have their preferences for skill/attribute bonuses).  Next, the process to create the item matters as the player can anticipate the crafting situation and modify the steps utilized in a manner that is not reactive and based on "how well I can click something at the right time," but can instead be learned. 

     

    Adventuring can also provide insight into the process.  For example, a gnome found in a particular location may teach the player how to take an additional step in the crafting process [which in the coding would be hard-locked to the player until meeting this individual and possibly spending time in an apprenticeship with him.]  Then that player may experiment with using that step in making the type of end product for a guild member.  Maybe the end-item would be improved by using this step, maybe not.  That would require both the ability to anticipate the need for the step and the technical ability to do that step well without being reactive. 

     

    In this way, guild mentors, forums, and other external resources may be developed to teaching a player how to anticipate steps in the crafting process to help them be better craftsmen in the end and more skilled in the process of crafting without making a system that is too much like the combat system - just fighting the oven to react to "flare-ups". 

     

    To this end - something that I haven't seen described lately is the ability for craftsmen and craftswomen to tag the created item with their name or another identifier.  A very skilled craftsman who is able to create something important using technique will be sought after both for reasons needing to rely on other players to create items for each other, but also for their ability to pass on their skills and knowledge to other players. 

    • 336 posts
    March 17, 2021 8:56 AM PDT
    For me I hope they don't make crafting a super difficult process. As I only be a part-time crafter maybe just for myself maybe for myself and a couple friends my main goal is adventuring. It's already going to be a little complicated with finding the materials and breaking them down to usable.
    • 24 posts
    June 16, 2021 5:09 AM PDT

    Please, if mini-games will be a thing, make it optional. I personally have never seen one that didn't bore me to pieces and I assume there are lots of people who feel that way or there wouldn't be sites dedicated to helping you create macros for your crafting process, which guarantee this or that outcome (FF14).

    Also FF14 annoys majorly with random effects, which should help you create a better item, but mostly they occur at the wrong parts of the creation process. In real life my work goes smoothly or I put it aside to take up later, because what is the point to do bad work? If I'm unconentrated/have a bad day or got an injury which makes it harder to work, it doesn't make sense to keep working (but I also usually don't loose my entire work and material because of that).

    I furthermore hope, that crafting will feel useful to us crafters by itself. Put my crafters in FF14 to rest after I worked (like in no fun at all) to get them to max level, only to recognize that there is mostly nothing I want to craft for myself. My stuff was already better from raiding and the cosmetic items were locked behind a grind wall. Sure I could have crafted to sell, even with nice profits, as lots of people don't want to raid, but as in real life, i like to craft for myself and friends. There is just no sales person in me.

    • 118 posts
    June 16, 2021 10:09 AM PDT

    Fiall said:

    Please, if mini-games will be a thing, make it optional. I personally have never seen one that didn't bore me to pieces and I assume there are lots of people who feel that way or there wouldn't be sites dedicated to helping you create macros for your crafting process, which guarantee this or that outcome (FF14).

    I completely agree about forced 'additional gameplay'/'mini-games' being more of a nuisance than something necessarily fun.

    My main argument against it is that obtaining crafting materials implies that one has adventured for the materials in the first place, which entails all sorts of requirements in and of itself. At the end of the day, I want to be able to craft my materials without a interactive 'pay-wall' so to speak. Nephele is aware that some folks in the community who do not like the idea of forced additional gameplay, so I remain hopeful that if it is still a planned feature, it will be executed well. It's just one of those things that's going to have to be really good or else it'll be a nuissance to the overall experience.

     


    This post was edited by Jiub at June 16, 2021 11:12 AM PDT
    • 57 posts
    June 19, 2021 3:20 PM PDT

    A mini game for gathering would be cool if a node had 20 ore, and playing the mini game got all 20 in 1 action, in 2 minutes, assuming you dont make a mistake or fail. You get the # of ore you succeeded on and the node has the rest to try again. Or you can skip the mini game, and mine the ore 20 times which takes 4 minutes.

    • 183 posts
    July 11, 2021 12:56 PM PDT

    I happen to enjoy crafting, and indeed found crafting in Vanguard quite engaging. It took a bit more effort, I'm going off years old memory here, you couldn't expect to make the highest level item every time even if you were quite experienced so you had to pay attention. Acquiring better clothes and tools certainly helped, as well as having additional materials ready should the unexpected arise. Not unlike adventuring, where better armor and weapons as well as potions make it more likely that you will succeed in your battles.

    Now I craft and adventure at about the same rate, hence I level horizontally at a decent rate but slowly vertically, and therefore seldom, if ever, raid, as the raids have been "solved" by the time I am high enough level. Raids are tedious for me, usually I follow instructions, cast spell x after so many seconds, followed by spell y 7.4 seconds later... that kind of thing. Tedious. I therefore propose a button, it can  be toggled if you prefer, I'll label said button "Raid". I show up at the entrance to said raid. I have gathered all my armor, sharpened my weapons, I'm carrying all the potions expected for a successful raid... and I hit the "Raid" button. I receive all the goods I might be reasonably expected to had I gone through all the tedium of the raid, after all it's just swinging weapons, casting spells at the right time, why should I have to bother when I really don't want to?...

    Of course I would not propose such a system, raiders live to raid, and I would not cheapen their experience. So why do so many adventurers seem to want to cheapen our crafting experience so they don't have to be bored? Next time you think of hitting a combine button and getting your materials, think of me hitting my raid button for my chance at raid loot. Maybe you aren't cut out to be a crafter any more than I am a raider. Maybe I'll just buy that rare ore from you that dropped for you in that last raid, I truly hope you enjoyed yourself, and maybe, just maybe, you'll buy the sword you used on said raid from me. You see, I enjoyed crafting it. One man's tedium is another man's fun gameplay...

    P.s. Hopefully upcoming systems will make crafting and raiding exquisite for all! Long live the developers and Pantheon!!

     

    • 133 posts
    August 20, 2021 11:44 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    So in actuality, the "molds" that Convo mentioned are exactly what you're describing with recipes being ingredients in the process.  For finished item crafting (blacksmithing, tailoring, etc), you will get a mold, pattern, schematic, or so on that will act as a "recipe template" and be consumed when you create the item.  You won't have to remember for example that in order to make a sword you need 2 metal bars, a hilt, and that you can add an optional component - the mold/cast will lay all that out for you.  Instead, you'll be able to focus on which metal bars, hilt, or optional components to use.

    There are a few reasons for this approach but one of the big ones is so that we can better control scarcity on the "fancier" versions of recipes.  For example, you'll likely be able to purchase basic molds/casts to use in blacksmithing from NPC vendors.  However, if you put in the time to raise faction with some NPC groups, they might have different versions that have unique appearances or even bonus stats that you can use.  Likewise, if you're out adventuring in some old ruins, you might find an ancient, rare, or NPC-themed mold/cast that would allow you to make an item that is semi-unique in terms of its appearance or bonus stats/effects.  This system gives us a lot of ways to introduce different recipes to the game while still throttling the rate of production on those items, and also rewarding crafters for leaving the safety of cities and getting out into the world.

    Not trying to Necro this thread but I think it is the most appropriate one to ask this in. Many games have had Class Specific Raid sets, but a couple of them, namely EQ & EQ2, didn't actually have them drop directly off the monsters (at points.) Instead you would get a piece of like "Ancient Chainmail" and you would take that, along with a payment of gems, to an NPC who would then craft it into your class specific gear.

    What if the players did the crafting instead? Pieces of ruined armor could drop, or molds/patterns for amazing gear. If you set it as a standard right from the beginning that the very best gear didn't drop but was crafted, it would really cement the need for tradeskillers at all levels of the game. It would also help alleviate the "loot bottleneck" I've seen many, many times where you are waiting for the "Boots for Walking" to drop off a certain mob, and also competing for them with others, and the boots just never drop because they're one of 12 or more items on a loot table. But if instead that mob just dropped "ruined leather walking boots" and a handful of other pieces that could be turned into various class pieces, it would greatly reduce the number of headaches associated with loot and help with that feeling that you're only coming to a certain raid in order to watch your boots NOT drop again.

     

    • 57 posts
    September 7, 2021 10:26 AM PDT

    Byproducts said:

    Nephele said:

    So in actuality, the "molds" that Convo mentioned are exactly what you're describing with recipes being ingredients in the process.  For finished item crafting (blacksmithing, tailoring, etc), you will get a mold, pattern, schematic, or so on that will act as a "recipe template" and be consumed when you create the item.  You won't have to remember for example that in order to make a sword you need 2 metal bars, a hilt, and that you can add an optional component - the mold/cast will lay all that out for you.  Instead, you'll be able to focus on which metal bars, hilt, or optional components to use.

    There are a few reasons for this approach but one of the big ones is so that we can better control scarcity on the "fancier" versions of recipes.  For example, you'll likely be able to purchase basic molds/casts to use in blacksmithing from NPC vendors.  However, if you put in the time to raise faction with some NPC groups, they might have different versions that have unique appearances or even bonus stats that you can use.  Likewise, if you're out adventuring in some old ruins, you might find an ancient, rare, or NPC-themed mold/cast that would allow you to make an item that is semi-unique in terms of its appearance or bonus stats/effects.  This system gives us a lot of ways to introduce different recipes to the game while still throttling the rate of production on those items, and also rewarding crafters for leaving the safety of cities and getting out into the world.

    Not trying to Necro this thread but I think it is the most appropriate one to ask this in. Many games have had Class Specific Raid sets, but a couple of them, namely EQ & EQ2, didn't actually have them drop directly off the monsters (at points.) Instead you would get a piece of like "Ancient Chainmail" and you would take that, along with a payment of gems, to an NPC who would then craft it into your class specific gear.

    What if the players did the crafting instead? Pieces of ruined armor could drop, or molds/patterns for amazing gear. If you set it as a standard right from the beginning that the very best gear didn't drop but was crafted, it would really cement the need for tradeskillers at all levels of the game. It would also help alleviate the "loot bottleneck" I've seen many, many times where you are waiting for the "Boots for Walking" to drop off a certain mob, and also competing for them with others, and the boots just never drop because they're one of 12 or more items on a loot table. But if instead that mob just dropped "ruined leather walking boots" and a handful of other pieces that could be turned into various class pieces, it would greatly reduce the number of headaches associated with loot and help with that feeling that you're only coming to a certain raid in order to watch your boots NOT drop again.

     

     

    They have said that there will be both raid drops and raid quality crafter items. Whether those recipes are 1 off, or just very rare materials hasn't been fully explained (or possibly even decided). BIS will be different for different people and will be a variety of group, raid, quest and crafted gear. 

    • 160 posts
    March 20, 2022 4:49 PM PDT

    I don't have a well formed opinion on the specifics, except that it is clear that any design will likely be chock full of unintended consequences.

    For EverQuest, I only have a clear memory of Tailoring, which was nowhere near as complicated as what is being proposed here.

    My preference is that early crafting be less complex, but still useful.  Like Bags for Tailoring in EverQuest.

    It would be very nice if lower level characters could craft some basic level appropriate gear, a bit better than the rusty swords and cloth armor that newbie Mobs will likely drop, and that it be modestly profitable for low level crafters to sell their low level gear to low level characters.  And this basic crafting should be simpler than a lot of what has been proposed.

    I understand that crafting is nominally horizontal to adventure level, but if low level crafters are not encouraged, craft will be become exclusively the territory of higher level characters.

    Just my two pence.