Crafting Integration

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AltarofScience 101 Nov 10, 2011 at 01:32

I am writing a game, sort of like an mmo, but also with econ sim and all items and resources are player generated. I already can create the map, and seed resources, and create various recipes, and I have, and I will have a small demo finished before next year. But there are some big parts of the game I need input on.

One topic I am particularly interested in is the different crafting skills and their integration.
Now one issues is alchemy and crafting. Potions made by alchemists will have the ability to altar natural resources to make them more useful for various tasks. For instance, certain potions can be used in forging ingots that will later be used in creating weapons and armor. It will give them bonuses to various stats. For instance it would increase their strength, or lower their weight, much like alloys. Certain potions can also be used in the process of crafting an item, say, a sword, to give it a sharper edge. In additions, when enchanting items, one thing you can do is carve words into the weapon to give it affects. Now in general better enchanters can put more power in a word. And better materials can hold more charge. But also, the definition of the characters matters. Usually the metal smith will carve the words in, but you could also use a potion purchased from an alchemist to get a more precise engraving. Because a weapon has a limited amount of this which can be done before damaging its integrity, being more precise means being smaller which means fitting on more magic.
Further, certain professions can affect the total magic capacity of a sword. This is called, aligning the matrix. Potions or magic use in crafting the weapon could arrange its physical characteristics to be more receptive to magic. So a high level alchemist or enchanter could allow you to use a stronger spell on an iron sword than would normally be possible.
A whole bunch of professions in the game have this sort of crafting interaction. These sorts of things benefit capital, like plows or picks or hammers as well as weapons or armor. Magic can affect the power of potions, and vice versa. Magic or potions can cause crops to grow faster, and possibly magic can be used to breed new plants, although this is somewhat iffy.
These sorts of things can allow multiple classes to have better gear in questing, for instance a player with better metal craft can use better metals and forge superior weapons, but if you have lower metal crafting but high level alchemy or magic, you could make equipment of comparable quality.
Additionally various classes would be able to make cosmetic changes to items, like coloring metal or wood, and other such things.
I know many people would consider this to be incredibly complicated to code, but I am pretty sure I know how to do it without spending a lot of time.
What I am more concerned with is the player reaction. I know players love to customize, and lots of min maxers would be excited about all the ways to improve a weapon and that they can play lots of different types of characters without harming their ability to craft or quest or what not. But for casual players, I think it might be confusing to have all these options and also, players willing to spend a lot of time in game could produce vastly superior items.
I really would enjoy a game where this is possible obviously, or I wouldn’t be making the game, but what do you guys think about this kind of thing?

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AltarofScience 101 Nov 14, 2011 at 04:32

This is not an ad for my game, since it doesn’t exist yet. This is just a question about crafting.

I love crafting. Cannot stress this enough. Words cannot express my love, other than that I feel a fiery passion stronger than a super nova when I meet a good crafting system. I do not know if my system will be good or balanced. But I am attempting to design an entirely player run economy with an open skill system. NPCs can be hired to run shops and mine/farm/cut trees/etc in a limited capacity. They can also be hired as guards, because every building in the game can be conquered. But not so much that a small group of high level players can’t stomp the NPCs. NPCs cannot craft items. They can only work in player owned mines/farms. And hiring a player during their offline time is worth many more res per hour than using npcs. You have to pay them though, this partly replaces npc quests.

That is all just background to my main question however.

In my system with its vast selection of crafting options each player can use all the skills, however this is not necessarily as time efficient as working with other players. It is better to have a sword maker, an alchemist and an enchanter and a wizard than to have one player do it all. Also because raising one skill doesnt raise the time needed for others, there will be no multies. And because players can own storage, mules will also be irrelevant.

Furthermore, monsters do not drop items or gold, only mats for crafting. The money system is closed to a degree. Using flavor reasons as an excuse, each player enters the game with an amount of gold. The gold supply is based on player population. Inactives will have their gold distributed evenly across all the players maybe every month as a divine blessing type event. This method is used to try and control inflation and remove the problems from a faucet/drain style economy. It has its own problems I’m sure, but thats what beta testing is for.

The reason you might use all the 4 classes above in making a nice sword is because multiple professions can be used to enhance one item. Alchemists can use potions to refine materials. Magic can refine them also, and the same to some degree for metal/wood workers. Alchemists and wizards/sorcerers/enchanters can also align the matrix, which allows lower level gear to hold more powerful enchantments. Alchemists cannot add spells per say only apply potions for effects, such as poison, acid, and so forth. Enchanters can add effects permanently, and they are added by inscribing words on an item. Each item type has a certain amount of space for this engraving. This space can be inreased by isncribing the words with acid(alchemists) or magic(wizards/sorcerers), and higher level metal working skills because obviously you can practice to learn to write small and clear. The refinement of a scribing allows a more powerful version to be used, where as the size means more possible inscriptions. Enchanters can imbue these inscriptions with power but cannot add temporary buffs. Wizards and sorcerers can cast temporary buffs on items, but not permanent ones that enchanters can do.

So weapons can be physically well made, have an aligned matrix, have more or better enchantments, and have buffs. Their edges can be sharpened with alchemical acids beyond what physical crafters can do. They can be poisoned and have weaker acids that damage people but not metal. Magic bufs and potion effects are temporary. Crafting work and enchantments are permanent. There may or may not be gem or rare metal additions to items like a crytal or emerald hilt stone, which can add more enchantments. The reason inscription quality is separate from enchantment quality is because you can reinchant items to be more powerful as your enchanter levels up, as long as the inscription level is high enough. You can also change the enchantments on weapons as long as you have access to enchanting or another player to do it.

Of course alchemists can also use potions directly, lke tossing flamable things, poisons, or corrosives on enemies/monsters. And wizards/sorcerers can use their magic in the standard spell casting way. Essentially crafting is cross professional, although you don’t have to, and each profession also has skills to make them viable in combat.

Spells and enchantments and traps with or without potions may or may not be usable to defend buildings to help in defense if you are offline.

The goal of the crafting system is to force players to work together, and to work with people with different specializations. You can do it all yourself, but likely your items wont be as good unless you play a lot more.

Magic is an economic resource as well, as players who want to be mages must either explore the world for ruins to find new words of power to forge spells, or purchase a grimoire from another player. Grimoires contain spells but don’t give away the nature of the words of power, which have to be sold separately, this allows a wizard to hoard his knowledge of words of power. After all if buying a grimoire gave you the words, you could make your own and put him out of business.

Now I know a lot of people despise complexity in games, and in many cases even real depth. Some players just hate crafting period. That is what WoW is for.

Some people might say that you can’t balance such a complex system, I disagree but obviously we won’t know until I try.

I guess now that you understand the system more or less, if any of you are crafters, does it interest you? I have written code to make an alchemy rpg simulator, this code can be changed only slightly to add the other resources and item types. What I am trying to figure out is, is there a playerbase out there for this kind of game? Why spend years making it if there is no audience.

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alphadog 101 Nov 14, 2011 at 14:49

It’s all nice and good to think of the ideal scenario, where everyone uses the system exactly as the developer intended, but game balance is paramount.

By the lengthy posts, you are obviously enamored with your concept, which makes all the more likely that you will not try to beat it up. How can a player abuse your system? Because, some will. Enough, and you will lose most of your “lovers of crafting”.

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AltarofScience 101 Nov 14, 2011 at 15:26

@alphadog

It’s all nice and good to think of the ideal scenario, where everyone uses the system exactly as the developer intended, but game balance is paramount. By the lengthy posts, you are obviously enamored with your concept, which makes all the more likely that you will not try to beat it up. How can a player abuse your system? Because, some will. Enough, and you will lose most of your “lovers of crafting”.

well why would i spend hours of my life on it if i didnt like it? thats just a given.
there are several possible ways to abuse the system:
players could run an item based economy with a reasonably common and valuable item to get around the limited money supply.
a group of players or even a dedicated individual could work hard at griefing, just killing players for kicks and not to improve their character.
players could fail to understand the most efficient system for growth and one large group could attempt to just massacre everyone else on their world. this would result in long term problems when other more intelligently run worlds attacked them, but how many players think so far ahead.
there could be an interaction that i can’t anticipate because of the complexity of crafting that could cause some professions mats and crafted items to be much better than anything else.
many many players would be violently upset about no npcs and either not sign up at all or quit quite quickly.
i could go on i guess.

i break games for my amusement quite abit. i am currently player a browser game about being a demon running a dungeon and hunting humans made by some aussies. i was able to break the game quite easily by getting many more “followers” in a much shorter time than the devs intended.
i also determined that only 3 unit types were valid in the end game, ruining their combat balance.
i taught everyone how to stack followers as a trade off between certain benefits that made building the rooms of the dungeon progress much faster for the whole player base than intended. i know about players going off track and wrecking the best laid plans of the devs.

i will be spending a lot of time in game testing once i get what i feel is a workable design and finish coding it. i went ahead and coded a lot of stuff that is less problematic and which changes wont affect so i can be ready once i finalize the features that can casue isses.

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Stainless 151 Dec 03, 2011 at 10:46

My advice is to rip some of the classes out of your game and drop them into a win32 forms application.

Then create the extra classes you need to craft items and plug them in, then create a simple gui and test, test, test.

You can do the basics of it in a day without having to worry about graphics etc.

My take on crafting is a little different, I have been trying for a while to come up with a design based entirely on equations.

I have a system I am writing at the moment which I cannot talk about, but it’s radically different than anything that’s come before.

The actual creation system is simple in principle, but infinite in scope, my problem is taking the generated items and creating graphics for them.

After all I cannot store an infinite number of sprites :D

It also has a clever built in failure system, so you might create a massively powerful ring the equivalent of a nuclear weapon, but it’s six foot in diameter.

Not going to fit on your finger. :P

PS Xannon, can you please sort out your posts, they are almost impossible to read

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AltarofScience 101 Dec 03, 2011 at 15:02

@Stainless

My advice is to rip some of the classes out of your game and drop them into a win32 forms application.

Then create the extra classes you need to craft items and plug them in, then create a simple gui and test, test, test.

You can do the basics of it in a day without having to worry about graphics etc.

My take on crafting is a little different, I have been trying for a while to come up with a design based entirely on equations.

I have a system I am writing at the moment which I cannot talk about, but it’s radically different than anything that’s come before.

The actual creation system is simple in principle, but infinite in scope, my problem is taking the generated items and creating graphics for them.

After all I cannot store an infinite number of sprites :D

It also has a clever built in failure system, so you might create a massively powerful ring the equivalent of a nuclear weapon, but it’s six foot in diameter.

Not going to fit on your finger. :P

PS Xannon, can you please sort out your posts, they are almost impossible to read

Xannon is a bot, all it did was quote my earlier post with poor spacing.

What do you mean entirely based on equations?
As for not being able to talk about your system, why not? No one is going to steal it. You can’t even give away or crafting idea or game idea, hell you can barely get anyone to respond and critique it, much less steal it. There is 0 reason not to post about it. FYI, my game hasn’t got classes.