Forums » Crafting

Discussion: How do you feel about bulk production in crafting?

    • 1864 posts
    January 22, 2022 11:10 AM PST

    Hi awesome Pantheon community!

    I wanted to hear your feedback and thoughts on something.  Many games that have crafting systems give players the option to produce basic items (for example, metal ingots) in bulk.  The reasoning behind this is that players will need a lot of these items over time, so it makes sense to allow them to easily produce larger quantities of those items.

    Of course, every game out there that does this implements it a bit differently.  Sometimes there's a higher skill level that is required to produce items in bulk, or sometimes there's a greater chance for failure, or it's slower than producing items one at a time "by hand".

    If you think about all the games you've crafted in, whether they're single-player games or MMOs - how do you feel about bulk production?  What aspects have felt good or felt bad during gameplay? What limitations do you think are appropriate for something like this?

    Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!

    • 2540 posts
    January 22, 2022 11:21 AM PST

    Absolutely I'm in favor of bulk crafting. If I have the materials to make X of something, I should not have to individually add the items to whatever crafting station to make just 1 at a time. 

    So, limitations: 

    1. No time savings vs making them individually
    2. Can still fail individual combines within the bulk craft
    3. If there is some gimmicky mini-game you've erroneously chosen to be present because you think those are fun that I have to play while crafting, it should still apply for each combine in the bulk process.
    4. Bulk Process should be a skill you can learn.  First you have to make things individually but once at a certain skill level for that materials(s) you can then go into bulk processing.

    • 52 posts
    January 22, 2022 11:34 AM PST

    It really really depends on the rest of the crafting/market/economy/drop rate etc in the game. The fear is real and shown to be dangerous with mass items from games like nw, where there was so much stuff it was pointless. Even if you can vary greatly the differences between similar items, you really have to becareful you do not feed the economy too many swords at once or any other object be it food or a potion.

    I would like you to define bulk a bit, what numbers and give an example of the product. Bulk for food might be different then bulk for a sword. What if 20 people bulk produce some of the lower tier food items that are easy to get harvestables for? Will that flood the market or will a % get absorbed by their guilds/groups?

    While I am not a fan of the idea, again much depends on your vision of it.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Spof

    • 1004 posts
    January 22, 2022 11:43 AM PST

    My thoughts have more to do with what makes sense within the game world, not necessarily what makes things "easier" for players.  

    If it takes 10 seconds to craft 1 widget I would be fine with the option to create them in bulk, but not the entire quantity in 10 seconds. 

    The time it takes also shouldn't be linear because when you "get in the groove" your production speed is faster on average than when you create just 1 of something, so it's totally fine if it's more efficient to produce in bulk.  At the same time I wouldn't want to be able to choose to make 100 of something and just set it to auto pilot for 6 minutes.  

    Admittedly I have not played many of the big name games in the last 10 years, but the ones that I have played that allow for bulk production feel *very* lazy.  Create 50, click a button, all done.  It takes a lot of the value and fun out of the crafting system.  

     

    I suppose it also depends on what the item is.  I can shine rocks in bulk in a tumbler, I can make ice cubes in bulk in a tray, but I shouldn't be able to assemble swords in bulk.  

    • 60 posts
    January 22, 2022 11:54 AM PST

    Vandraad said:

    4. Bulk Process should be a skill you can learn.  First you have to make things individually but once at a certain skill level for that materials(s) you can then go into bulk processing.

     

    I'm used to EQ, which lets you just hit auto-combine after learning a recipie and it makes infinite number seqentually until you run out of components..  That seemed fine to me - still does.  

    That said, I did find what Vandraad said interesting, about how bulk process could be something you learn.  Not sure if it is pointless extra steps, but I could see how 1) some items could just always take more attention and may never be able to be done in bulk, and 2) you dont learn how to do bulk right away - but can eventually (ie even if it's as simple as being 10 skill above the recipie).  


    This post was edited by First at January 23, 2022 12:14 AM PST
    • 23 posts
    January 22, 2022 1:55 PM PST

    TL:DR have bulk crafting as part of a progression that unlocked in teirs similar to spell mastery 


    IMO~ Crafting is notorious for being one of the worst designed systems of MMOs. For me bulk production is totally about how mundane a certain task is and then how often i need to perform the task. You have to understand that the human mind is not designed to be boxed into a silly little mini game over and over. There is NO enjoyment being forced into performing the same process over and over. The reason an artist enjoys his art is because #1 its based in RL so there is an infinate number of variables to play with, #2 due to the number of variables it allows for wide range of error, skill improvement and design, #3 the connection your art has with yourself and in turn other people. All art is an expression of yourself at its core. 

    If you want crafting to be engaging and rewarding for the crafter, digitized crafting should try and refect the mechanics and values of real crafting as much as possible. I would say make bulk crafts part of a progression as others have stated above. It could be unlocked for each tier and category of item. You could do someting like have crafters travel to special craftring guild towns and do their quests to get the mastery for bulk production. I think a lot of it depends on how much time you have to design and impliment a crafting system because scope creep and bugs are a big time sink and the games already causing poeple to wonder. 

     

    • 52 posts
    January 22, 2022 2:14 PM PST

    I would say this much, you really should not be doing the same thing over and over and if you have to, it is ok, but speeding through an item creation may not be a good thing either. Mass production will hurt the economy. It would be better for VR to limit resources availability in the world or to require more items to be used in a process, thereby helping to keep quantities lower with people. No one is putting a gun to someone's head and saying, hey make 30 swords, but if you decide you want to make 30 swords and have the material, so be it, but why should it be quicker? If you are adventuring, there is no shortcut because you been in the dungeon before or however you want to look at it. While I get that instant gratifciation that has made gamers what they are today, less is more in my opinion.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Spof


    This post was edited by Spof at January 22, 2022 2:15 PM PST
    • 880 posts
    January 22, 2022 2:25 PM PST

    Bulk crafting does present it's own problems:
    1. If the combines can be queued up, then this becomes an AFK activity.
        Do we want that?
    2. Time to bulk create should be:
        Single time x Bulk number x Skill modifier [max 100%]
        Skill Modifier is a skill learned (equiv of, say, mastery points put in)
    3. There should be a downside to balance benefits:  Eg
        Single combine: Singles can 'critical' or create more effective version
        Bulk Combine: Cannot 'critical', also individuals can fail so you might get 18/20

    Overall, Bulk combines are fine, but should not be (easily) possible when trying to create unique or High Quality items.

    Evoras.

    • 38 posts
    January 22, 2022 2:31 PM PST
    I think bulk processing only needs to be in the prepping raw stages of crafting. Prepping raw lumber or ores or other raw materials should be bulk but the actual crafting of items from those prepared raws should be one at a time.
    • 38 posts
    January 22, 2022 2:33 PM PST
    Oh and you should only be able to bulk process those raws after you no longer get experience for processing them or hit a certain expertise with them
    • 314 posts
    January 22, 2022 3:05 PM PST

    I'm good with bulk crafting.  I mean if you have all the mats to make 20 things you're going to make them weather you do it in bulk or not.  Moreso if you are working on a project that takes, for example 3 thousand stone blocks.  That's not to say Panteon will have any such implementation, but just an example.

    • 1004 posts
    January 22, 2022 3:08 PM PST

    If we DO introduce bulk crafting can we please please please please also get bulk adventuring?  I want to be able to bulk kill mobs, especially mobs that I've already mastered killing.  

    • Moderator
    • 10116 posts
    January 22, 2022 3:39 PM PST

    I loved levelling up to earn the bulk crafting recipes in VG, it helped so much with Galleons and Houses/Guild Halls but I appreciated that it wasn't something I could do as an apprentice crafter.


    This post was edited by Kilsin at January 22, 2022 3:40 PM PST
    • 682 posts
    January 22, 2022 4:32 PM PST

    Bulk production for consumable items is fine. Whether it is instant or on a crafting timer doesn't matter to me.  If a player can reasonably sit down and craft 100 potions with their inventory they shouldn't need to craft them all by clicking a button 100 times or playing 100 mini games.  Repair kits, sharpening stones, basic potions, base materials, are all things that shouldn't make people want to buy a dippy bird.

    The facilities should matter.  Not all crafting locations should be equal.  You shouldn't be curing 100 leathers at a time on a small rack a hunter has outside his tent in the middle of the woods, but given the proper facilities in a city you should be able to mass produce whatever you have. 

    • 30 posts
    January 22, 2022 4:35 PM PST

    I think the devil is in the details. IMO you need to carefully control what is easy to craft in bulk and what is not.

    For example, if we're just talking about unlocking an "auto craft" feature then that is "mechanics smell" to me. Not everything should be produced in bulk. If we're talking about more of a "bulk recipe" like a single craft (probably rarer to find, harder to execute) that has a higher yield then I can see the utility for items you (the devs) WANT to be cheaper and more available for trade.

    IMO only consumables (potions, arrows, food, drink) and refined raw mats (cloth, ingots, shafts) are tolerable to economically exist "in bulk" since people will buy them in "stacks" anyway.

    Bulk crafting for "significant" items such as weapons, armor, runes, and jewelry will only serve to wreck the value of such items in the market. Moreover, if you "need" to craft things in bulk to "level up" then there's another problem.

    TL;DR my preference is bulk crafting for "refined mats" and "consumables" is potentially good for QoL, but please don't allow bulk for significant items.

    • 2001 posts
    January 22, 2022 5:26 PM PST

    Titanias said: Prepping raw lumber or ores or other raw materials should be bulk but the actual crafting of items from those prepared raws should be one at a time....Oh and you should only be able to bulk process those raws after you no longer get experience for processing them

    I totally agree. I think it will significantly reduce many of the obvious problems that could arise from bulk production of finished products that might well get dumped on the Market. I also agree with these other suggestions:

    Vandraad said: 4. Bulk Process should be a skill you can learn.  First you have to make things individually but once at a certain skill level for that materials(s) you can then go into bulk processing.

    Perhaps you should have to 'learn' bulk processing individually, for every type of material. (Though if we get 87 different types of Metal to work with, maybe not LoL)

     

    Evoras said: 3. There should be a downside to balance benefits:  Eg
        Single combine: Singles can 'critical' or create more effective version
        Bulk Combine: Cannot 'critical', also individuals can fail so you might get 18/20

    Besided giving up a positive crit outcome, I think the chances of failure should always be higher with bulk than with single combines.

    should not be (easily) possible when trying to create unique or High Quality items

    I think this should apply to rare mats, even if bulk is only allowed for intermediate combines as described in the first point.

    Jobeson said: The facilities should matter.  Not all crafting locations should be equal.

    Great idea. To keep it within VR's expressed plan to keep Players spread out among many cities and not all based in a few big ones, I'd suggest that no Crafting station should make bulk until a GROUP of Crafters does a Quest to upgrade the one in their town. Afterward, only they can do bulk there. Perhaps other Crafters can group up for the same quest, to gain their own access. But one group doing the quest shouldn't 'unlock' the station for ALL crafters.

    Jobeson said: Bulk production for consumable items is fine... Repair kits, sharpening stones, basic potions, base materials,...

    That was my first reaction as well. But IF bulk is allowed for finished items, then I worry that Crafters of consumables will have much less potential for making a profit than other Crafting professions. I also think that the first few who reach the ability will have a much easier time 'cornering the market' and holding on to it. If there's no bulk for Finished, then I have less concern.

    • 17 posts
    January 22, 2022 5:42 PM PST

    A lot of the opinions expressed thus far mirror my own.

    1. Bulk production of commodities, such as consumables (potions, poisons, food, drink, ammunition, fishing bait...) and component items is good
    2. Bulk production of equippable/wearable items (or other major items like a cart) is not good
    3. Fairly ambivalent on skill requirements for bulk production
    4. Overall I feel like bulk production should save on the monotony of clicks rather than time required to produce the items. Free up those fingers to chat with nearby players, instead.
    5. I like the idea that non-bulk production might have slightly better results. E.g. refining ores might have a higher chance of finding raw gems or other similar rare drops from refining raw materials.
    • 682 posts
    January 22, 2022 5:59 PM PST

    People keep to comparing crafting ingots to combat.  I am confused as to why these same people have not pushed for VR to remove auto attack from the game.  I don't get why they want the easy route of killing mobs without needing to click every x seconds to swing their sword.

    • 249 posts
    January 22, 2022 6:45 PM PST

     

    I have been playing NW and they love them some bulk. Making 100 items with one button press is underwhelming. No sense of being a crafter when it is essentially mass production. It is the crafting equivalent of zerging, and zerging is a soulless endeavor. Items should reflect the crafter, i.e. a sword by Hattori Hanzo or what have you. Obviously, I am not grouping per session use consumables here, mastery should be able to increase quantity and quality. It may be more compelling to handcrafted (not bulk produce) item enhancements for use on weapons that are acquired out in the world. Upgraded hilts or enchanted oils for blades, etc. After all, it has been implied that some weapons and armors will be with you for several levels and should be cherished and capable of improvement. Purchase an engraving kit and naming that which stands between you and ignominious defeat is in the spirit of RPGs, not bulk production. 

    -epic is as epic does-

    • 2001 posts
    January 22, 2022 6:58 PM PST

    krave said:[/b E.g. refining ores might have a higher chance of finding raw gems or other similar rare drops from refining raw materials.

    An excellent point no one has addressed before. I agree, bulk refining should have a miniscule potential for 'extras'.

     

    • 682 posts
    January 22, 2022 7:51 PM PST

    Jothany said:

    krave said:[/b E.g. refining ores might have a higher chance of finding raw gems or other similar rare drops from refining raw materials.

    An excellent point no one has addressed before. I agree, bulk refining should have a miniscule potential for 'extras'.

     

    This assumes the extras are in smelting the iron ore into an ingot and not found while mining the iron ore.

    • 2001 posts
    January 22, 2022 9:06 PM PST

    Jobeson said: This assumes the extras are in smelting the iron ore into an ingot and not found while mining the iron ore.

    No assumption. We were told that mining a node gets you an "ore". While you may come to learn what typical types of metal tend to come from variously named ores, you won't know if there are extra things like some precious metal or some Celestium until you smelt it.

    From this post:

    https://seforums.pantheonmmo.com/content/forums/topic/13306/oct-2021-newsletter-17-types-of-ore-whoa/view/post_id/256982

     

     

     

    F.Y.I.

    I THINK I have this correct:

    Refining ore gives 'Chunks' of basic, primary metals like Iron, which smelt into Bars. The extra 'goodies' like Silver or other precious metals come as Nuggets, which smelt into Ingots.

     


    This post was edited by Jothany at January 22, 2022 10:10 PM PST
    • 69 posts
    January 23, 2022 2:04 AM PST

    By bulk crafting, do you mean automated crafting or crafting multiple items with a single process? Both can have similar functions but deserve some level of distinction.

    I like when processing a large quantity of crafting resources can be automated but is still moderately time consuming.
    If I spend a few hours running around collecting resources, the time it takes to process the resources makes for the perfect opportunity to get up and stretch my legs. Maybe I would get a drink and a snack or I would use the bathroom during that time. Ironically it actually makes me feel like I'm using my time more efficiently even if realistically the opposite is true.

    On the flip side of automated crafting, I don't like being disincentivized from using it because I'm bypassing a mini-game built into the system. If I can easily craft 40 high quality leathers by taking the time to slog through the mini-game 40 times, then I should be able to automate crafting 40 high quality leathers. No matter how great the mini-game is, doing it over and over and over and over again gets old very quickly. Being given the choice between arbitrarily losing value or losing the desire to keep playing the game is a catch 22 in which you lose no matter which path you choose.

    However, if by bulk crafting you are referring to being able to smelt multiple iron bars concurrently then I can't really say I've played a game that had a system in place to do that. The closest exceptions are perhaps having multiple furnaces on Minecraft or being able to copy blueprints and split the production between multiple concurrent jobs in EVE Online so long as you had the skills to run that many job orders. Having the option to reduce or prolong the time cost depending on the circumstances can feel pretty rewarding.


    Limitations as far as I'm concerned is that either concept of bulk crafting should never make the time costs totally negligible. I can get behind skills reducing the total time cost of crafting to as low as 25% of the unskilled crafting time cost, but only under the pretense that the unskilled crafting time was significantly long to the point of being restrictive. In such an instance progressing the skill would feel momentous for the player rather than a means to completely bypassing a cost baked into the system.

    I think something along the lines of "It's good to establish the rules so you can break them creatively" was something Joppa said in some older streams. If I were to apply that to crafting, I'd say establishing the rules and then providing the choice to discard the rules at a cost to the player is bad design, but estabilshing the rules and allowing players avenues to work around the rules is better.


    This post was edited by Turnip at January 23, 2022 2:54 PM PST
    • 2115 posts
    January 23, 2022 9:37 AM PST

    I don't think bulk crafting is necessary.  It can just be individual combines as long as we can set the number of combines and hit the button and let it run through them automatically kind of like an assembly line.  It takes a bit more time than bulk production but I am all for that. 

    It shouldn't be that creating a bulk batch takes a similar amount of time as a single combine.

    • 2115 posts
    January 23, 2022 9:39 AM PST

    Vandraad said:

     

    3. If there is some gimmicky mini-game you've erroneously chosen to be present because you think those are fun that I have to play while crafting,


    This is my biggest fear with crafting in general.  Please no...just no.  Don't F this up for us Neph.  We have faith in you!


    This post was edited by philo at January 23, 2022 9:47 AM PST