View Full Version : Make Crafting a Thing

02-27-2017, 07:50 AM
The somewhat recent updates to the Cannith Crafting system did improve crafting to a degree. And while crafting does seem increased a bit, crafting is not really “a thing.” Of course, there are certain criteria when adding to crafting that should be observed for good reasons:
1) Crafting should support and add to questing, not take away from it.
2) Crafting items should not be equal to quest loot.
3) Crafting should not become the main focus of the game, but rather a niche to be filled by players that enjoy crafting.
4) Crafting should not be easy enough that everyone can just do it without committing significant time and resources.
5) Crafting should encourage a healthy game economy, not break the economy.
In addition to those guidelines, I support SSG in being able to make a profit in order to keep the game going. Therefore, while keeping the Free to Craft (as in DDO’s Free to Play model), there should be sufficient benefits for Pay to Craft to exchange time and effort for real-world currency.

Here are some ideas that I firmly believe will help achieve most or all of the above.

Simple and basic ideas
These ideas should not require much in the way of coding to implement: Maybe, but probably not.

Item Naming:
The Fantasy genre practically demands this one with named items abounding in both games and literature. Allow players to name crafted items. Either just allow naming items to be applied to any crafted item or require a given crafting level to be able to add a naming slot. Perhaps even require some component expense for naming, such as a naming shard made from collectibles and essences (this adds complexity to implementing the feature, though). Run item names through the same filters as for naming pets to help minimize bad words. This relatively simple implementation rewards folks that like to add a touch a personalization to their creations.

Weak Items or Extreme Difficulty, but not both:
The current crafting system does not seem to meet a decent balance between these two requirements, though it is somewhat improved over the older system. Collecting all the collectibles required to craft most decent items involves high-level quests to find fairly rare collectibles. After much grinding to gather the collectibles, any crafted item still does not compare to a decent random loot item found only after one or two runs, let alone a named item. It is a perfectly acceptable argument that there is a danger of flooding the auction house with items that are better than what can be quested for. However, if that crafting takes significantly more hours of repeated grinding through quests to gather the components, that risk is sufficiently mitigated. Crafters may let a few items go for reasonably cheap, but most crafted items would appear in the Shard Exchange instead, and not for cheap. Going the Stronger Items for Extreme Difficulty option may encourage more folks to pay real-world money for Shards. This also may, in turn, create a collectibles economy as crafters pay questers to collect. Win-win.

Make items a little less Bound to Character:
This is in-line with the Weak Items versus Extreme Difficulty idea. While current crafting system for making unbound items does put some control in place over the economy, it also restricting the crafting economy. The requirements to make fairly worthless items that can be sold are so extreme that I am fairly sure no one bothers. Without a healthy collectibles economy, crafting sellable items rarely seems worth the effort. Most crafting, I suspect, is done for bound-to-account items.

More balance between collectibles and ingredients:
The most recent changes to Cannith Crafting pretty much eliminated all but one ingredient. Gargantuan Ingredients bags sold in the DDO store are now nearly worthless. On the other hand, running out of collectibles space happens quite often. I completely understand the ingredients system before was confusing because there were so many ingredients. However, the “improved” system just moved the problem over to collectibles and then over-simplified the ingredients side of crafting.

Random Loot and Daily Dice:
Add those, currently DDO Store-only, random collectibles boxes to random loot tables and daily dice results. Feel free to make them fairly rare, but I would love to get one every now and then.

Complex ideas
These ideas may require significant coding to implement.

Item Sets:
In addition to naming items, one of the things I wish was available was the ability to sell sets of crafted items in the AH or SE. The set items themselves don’t need to be anything more or less than currently crafted items, except maybe the addition of naming the items. For example, it would be nice to bundle a crafted robe, cloak, staff, and necklace that just work well together for a wizard build. Alternatively, consider a sword, board, armor, and helm tank combo. You can even charge plat for set bags/boxes, which would force crafters to spend more plat and, in turn, raise the AH/SE prices. For example (high-end prices listed):
• Small Bag (2 items) for 1000 plat;
• Medium Bag (3 items) for 2000 plat;
• Large Bag (4 items) for 4000 plat;
• Giant Bag (5 items) for 10k plat;
• Huge Crate (6 items) 15k plat;
• Gargantuan Crate (8 items) for 20k plat;
• Bag of Holding (unlimited items) for DDO Store purchase or Astral Shards purchase.
There would need to be some ability for potential buyers to view the contents, which could make this even more difficult to implement from a coding perspective.

A Collectables/Ingredients Vendor:
This vendor could either trade out types of collectibles or ingredients at a reasonable loss to the customer or buy and sell collectibles and ingredients. Of course, the rarest collectibles and ingredients may not be for sale. Or, make the vendor similar to a pawn broker. Perhaps common collectibles and ingredients are always available, but uncommon and rare are only available if someone sells them to the broker. Such brokers could be level restricted or crafting-level restricted. Perhaps make random loot boxes available for purchase as well (maybe for Shards?).

03-06-2017, 09:09 AM
The idea of naming items may become a logistical nightmare as the DDO “system” must track/cache each item until deletion. There could exist a possibility of duplicate naming with each item being totally different, with a possibility of crashes in inventory or gaming.
I really like the idea of “grouping” outfits into sets for the purpose of selling/mailing/”and possibly inventory blocks/grouping?”
I wish to add another suggestion of “grouping” ingredients/collectibles inside the “bank” bags to the respective House/collector, much like you see in the collectibles bag
Another request would be to do an “in-game” lookup of crafting. Ex. While not at a crafting area, I could look up green steel for a helm and the ingredients and “my inventory count” would show up, letting me know that I need x amount of x items.

03-15-2017, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback, but I will disagree with you on naming items being a logistical nightmare. Generally speaking, this is relatively simple (yes, I am a programmer). Of course, I do not know the details of DDO's programming, but I can make reasonable educated guesses.

-DDO is already tracking all items anyway, which is how they can track damage done to items, even after selling/trading.
-Text is one of the basic forms of data storage. More importantly, text is considered extremely cheap in terms of storage memory.
-DDO already has text filters: Just pass the naming text through the existing filters.
-No need to worry about duplicate names. Items are stored/tracked by an index, not names. Furthermore, to demonstrate this can be done, Pets can have duplicate names.

The only thing to really worry about is bandwidth, which seems to already be at a premium. For example, when loading a Reincarnation Cache. This could make such implementation a bit challenging, but far from a nightmare. However, I expect most of that bandwidth is used for handshaking to prevent accidental duplication while trading to/from banks/caches. If this is a correct assumption, then item names would have little noticeable impact.