empresskiova

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I’d probably just sell the junk off to make up the money to buy said gear.
 

Vassim74

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One of the things I considered for a crafting system is that if you want better versions of the gear you see in shops, you'd have to make it yourself. You'd still need to buy the original equipment at least once to learn the recipe, and then there would be a material shop whose available inventory of crafting materials would expand as you progress.

I haven't thought of how I wanted the shop inventory to expand yet, but I was thinking maybe items would unlock as you find your first one. Or more materials become available if you help upgrade the shop.
 

CrowStorm

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As a rule, I think that crafting is awesome. I've enjoyed the crap out of it across the recent Bethesda RPGs and enjoyed it in RM games and JRPGs like Vagrant Story and some of the Final Fantasy games too as well as System Shock 2 which is super awesome and don't even get me started on my favorite roguelikes such as Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead or Dwarf Fortress. So I just want to say... "no it doesn't, crafting is awesome, nana-nana poo poo".

Crafting does not feel like a waste of time or pointless busywork when you NEED TO DO IT OR DIE. In Vagrant Story, smelting your weapons into better weapons is crucial to your progress through a very challenging action RPG. Unless you build your character in SS2 a very specific way, you WILL die if you don't research & craft the stuff you need to survive.

That said, there are a zillion different ways to implement crafting and thousands of them are valid. Here's how it's implemented in my current project:

a) The only crafting is alchemy, nothing else is synthesized.
b) The ingredient pool is taken from alchemical compounds and precursors that were known solely during the Middle Ages: a player with some knowledge of medieval chemistry would have a tiny like, 5% advantage over one that didn't.
c) Tomes contain crafting recipes. Without the recipe, no crafting.
d) The crafting character has skills which are some of the only high-damage all-targets offensive skills in the game. Each of these skills (i.e. Firebomb, Arsenic Bomb) requires an item which the character must craft to use.
e) Ample enough healing and restorative items are available: a player could use crafting to tease out even more but it's not strictly necessary.
f) Crafter can also make misc. utility items like flaming arrows for bowmen to shoot or vials of paralytic poison with which to coat a crossbow bolt or dagger.
g) You can craft from anywhere by going to the character's "Mix" skill.
h) Ingredients are pretty much everywhere in the environment; those needed for many recipes are plentiful, ingredients needed for just a few recipes are rare, then there are some super ingredients (the quintessences) that can be used to make crazy magical stuff.

This implementation is not quite "craft or die". I wouldn't call the crafting exactly optional either, though. If you take advantage of Wendel's ability to mix up bombs he can occasionally deliver what amounts to a devastating AOE attack on an enemy party by using one of those bombs. If you don't, Wendel won't be useless--he'll still be a fairly weak attacker with a moderately powerful heal that is restrained only by a cooldown and doesn't use any resources--but he won't have the capabilities he would if you'd explored the crafting system.
 

Aerosys

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Few days ago I just started playing "Child of Light" for a second playthrough, and this game has a crafting system that I actually appreciate. In this game you don't have equip like weapon, armor, accessoirce etc but you craft gems (runes) that you can attach on either weapon, armor, or accessoire and gives you different effects respectively.

For the crafting there are these rules:
- combining three gems of the same color (eg 3x red) -> a red gem with higher power
- mixing eg red and blue gem -> purple gem
- each gem stands for one element (eg fire, water, thunder).
- an attached gem can be easily detached back again

I like this concept. It's easy to understand but still gives enough options. On the other side, it may be too easy as eventually you would craft enough gems for each element and then you are satisfied.
 

Chocopyro

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I have two characters in my party that are apprenticed in crafting trades (An alchemist and a blacksmith), and I didn't really think about a crafting system when I wrote them up. But it makes sense to add one, as it's knowledge the characters have at their disposal, and I already kinda reflect that in their abilities for combat. I kinda want to take a light, hands off approach, though. No skill level, synthesis works just fine. Most items where one of the two needs to craft something in order to progress will be done automatically when the party returns to town, and since most of the linear story part takes place navigating another world, anytime they return, it lets me create a more open world where the player could knock out optional smaller dungeons in order to get certain materials that will let them craft things that are relevant to the level range of that short dungeon. (And I don't see why they need to be dropped from enemies, I'd prefer to just have them in harvestable nodes.) Although I might make the main purpose of crafting simply to fulfill the town's commission obligations, and keeping things in town running between adventures. Perhaps money could be hard to come by in the fairy world, so it could be a good way to earn some cash. Or maybe the fairy world doesn't accept human currency, so the characters need to craft counterfeit currency occasionally in order to make things a little easier over there. XD
 

LightBorneX

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I really like crafting. If done well, it can add extra to the game that gives it more replay value and spice. If you have an RPG that allows a little exploration, you could theoretically make a formula that calculates how long it would take for someone to make a special weapon and increase the weapon's damage so that they finish the game in the same amount of time whether they go after the weapon or not. Of course, one doesn't have to go into that much detail. Even special weapons from side quests and random exploring can be rewarding- an aoe weapon for a character that normally is your single target smasher, or a magical staff that can give a chance to block attacks for your healer.

Some people may hate me for saying this, but I enjoyed Legend of Mana's crafting system. It seemed so complex and mysterious, and that's what I loved about it. I wanted to fool around in a million different ways just to see what all the combinations might do.

That said, I'm thinking of making a crafting system in my own game where all of the drops from enemies (drops that aren't already weapons/armor) can be used in crafting. That way that goo you got from a slime and the teeth you got from the rat are actually useful for something. Maybe the goo and the rat teeth can be combined with some iron to make a sticky flail. Gives a chance to bring an enemy closer to you when you hit it. Maybe the snake skin that drops can be combined with wood to make a fire resistant shield. If done well, a system like this could make low level drops useful even later in the game, and could make a ton of replay value, especially if the game has a lot of side quests and story arcs involved so that the game isn't as linear.
 
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kvngreeley

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So, I have found this thread to be quite interesting and I have gathered a few takeaways for future consideration. Not the least of which is pondering the idea of allowing a balance of buying ingredients for crafting/smithing/alchemy/whatever with enemy drops, exploration, and gathering activities. I like to consider realism in my design decisions so there is absolutely no reason not to consider all options of obtaining ingredients and I think you can have a lot of fun tinkering with that balance. For instance, maybe you can't buy everything because some ingredients are just too hard for a merchant to obtain. Or maybe there is a small random chance that a merchant will ever have said rare ingredients. Or you have to go somewhere specific to find a market for what you want to buy. Or maybe you need to perform some sort of "quest" for a merchant before they will trust you and give you access to their secret, underground supply of rare ingredients.

Now, I will say that I like the OPTION of crafting. Why? Because all of the first CRPGs that I remember didn't have that option. When I first came across crafting I was like...cool! Give me options! But don't make it mandatory unless it is absolutely critical to the game design.

It should also be said that I don't mind grinding. I don't want to sit in one spot and "mine" for resources for minutes on end, but it also wouldn't hurt my feelings if the game had a passage of time system and time jumped forward after choosing an option for mining or tree cutting or something similar. Or time jumping forward while crafting for that matter. It takes time to make armor or a weapon or a potion.

Also, I don't quite understand the opinions about don't include crafting (or some other aspect of game play) if it isn't done in a way that (insert player name) will like. Why? I have found over the years that I tend to play games a certain way. I have a certain preference in my approach, my character selection (if given that choice), etc. I don't necessarily understand how some players can enjoy playing other ways, but I don't need to.

For instance, I love magic-based characters. Actually, I like multi-class based characters. Like early D&D Cleric/Fighter/Magic User or Fighter/Mage/Thief type builds. Which is why I loved Morrowind. It let me build the character with whatever skills I wanted. And I liked the overall crafting system in Morrowind. My son, however, doesn't really play magic-based characters. He likes the physical fighter characters, which I have never found fun. But for him to say don't include a magic casting system unless it is done in a way that he likes is silly. Just like I would never say don't include certain character classes in a game because I will absolutely never play those classes. But also, I think it is bad game design to force a player to select a certain character group.

If a game gives you the option of character class selection, why do I need a healer in my party? Why can't you also give me options of potions, items, alchemy, a healing/first aid skill, etc. to expand my options in party creation? My preferred games would be those that give maximum options for party creation and approach to the main quest. And if a player doesn't like those options because it doesn't match their play style and having them included is going to ruin their enjoyment and experience then that obviously isn't a game for them.

Personally, I appreciate games that give me the most options possible. If I don't like an option, like say I despise fishing, then I just don't fish in the game. Now, if you make it so I have to grind fishing to complete the main quest line, well, I probably won't like that game. Or if I am an achievement hunter and you link an achievement to an optional game aspect that I don't like, I will probably be unhappy. But I'm not going to fault anyone else for enjoying it. If there is an OPTIONAL feature in a game that you don't like, just don't use it. End of story. I guarantee if you stop and think about a lot of games you have played, there are a lot of things in the game that you never tried. Why? Because they didn't interest you and they didn't match your play style. But that doesn't make them bad options for other players.

Another example I can think of is spell variety. I have see so many people fault a game because there are only a handful of "useful" spells, in their opinion. But that is only there opinion and preferred play style. I have seen players swear by spells in games that I never had any desire to use. Why? Because I just didn't prefer that spell or maybe I didn't appreciate its usefulness.

Anyway, I really like threads like this because it gives me additional perspective on different topics. Perspectives that I just might never have considered before.

But in the end, I bought and am learning MZ because I want to build a game that I would want to play. And in that case, my perspective is the most important. :)

Thanks for all these wonderful thoughts and perspectives on things!
 

SwordSkill

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Well in my game I explicitly state what ingredients you might need and based on that you can easily figure out the outcome.
If I could make it so you could know what item you were crafting beforehand, I'd do that in a heartbeat but it's not up to me.

The issue I got with YEP_ItemSynthesis is that it holds all the craftable things you can craft with question marks, I'd like to get rid of that but as of now, I don't know how.
 

NamEtag

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TLDR

A lot of crafting systems are tacked on and same-y.

A lot of crafting systems have mechanics that really piss off certain demographics.

Some people like certain implementations of those mechanics. Most of the thread is arguing over item economy, meaningful choices vs. extended menu crunching, and how required or entertaining it is to minmax equipment.

There wasn't much talk about designing obscured systems, and how to make something mysterious without wasting a lot of time on a system that players either avoid entirely, or can't understand and fail to ever finish the game because of lacking power.
 

Helen1701

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Crafting isn't a bad idea, but if there is too much of it in a game where the primary objective is the save the world/princess/universe, then it could detract from the game too much. Complex crafting systems work really well in games that are designed as building games, Minecraft being the most obvious example of this, the entire point is to craft things to build whatever you decide to build, better tools...etc.

In an RPG, I would say that if you use crafting, it should be for items you cannot find in shops. For instance, if you can buy armour, then don't have a crafting recipe for it. I found one of the best instances of crafting in an RPG to be in breath of the wild... the cooking mechanic. You couldn't buy a meal from the shop, but you could buy the raw ingredients for a meal, with certain items containing stat buffs. Like, you couldn't buy electro rice balls in any shop, but you could buy hylian rice, and collect zapshrooms from certain areas on the map and cook it for yourself if you needed something to increase your electric resistance.

Too much crafting would detract from a game, but crafting to get what you can't buy actually has a point to it.
 

Lornsteyn

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I hate crafting mostly and barely use it.
Simple crafting is ok, but if you have to find lots of nonsense and need to grind for it, Im out.
Crafting like in Final Fantasy 8-X or the Dark Cloud games is entertaining enough for an RPG.
Tedious crafting like Skyrim or Monster Hunter belongs not in an RPG.
 

kvngreeley

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For those players who really don't like crafting systems, I wonder if crafting would be tolerable for you if the crafting centered entirely around a specific, specialize class. Maybe a Creator or something.

That class would be able to create potions, scrolls, books, items, armor, weapons, etc. that are useful in and out of combat. Maybe even create constructs that can fight in battle or something.

Then, anything special that is used for such a class would be labeled as only being usable by that class and it has no monetary value or maybe such small value that it isn't worth carrying around to sell later. Maybe there isn't a market for such items because the class is so rare and secretive that no one even trades in such items. Maybe that class isn't well received so no one wants to buy and sell their ingredients.

With such a system, if you really liked crafting, you could use that special class and gain full access to the system. If you hate crafting, you can essentially ignore it because you won't select that class for a party member, the ingredients they use have no value or not enough to be worthwhile or there isn't a market for it. And since they are clearly identified, you don't have to worry about leaving something behind that you might need later.

Maybe people who like crafting in general wouldn't appreciate that system because they want any class to be able to do it. In that case, maybe you could make it a learnable skill that other classes could use, but all the other stuff applies related to ingredient identification and value.

Is the main issue related to inventory management and obtaining ingredients? If so, it would seem that what I proposed above might address that.

Just wondering.
 

Tai_MT

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For those players who really don't like crafting systems, I wonder if crafting would be tolerable for you if the crafting centered entirely around a specific, specialize class. Maybe a Creator or something.

For me? No. Short of an MMO or "Open World", I don't really like crafting. Mostly because it doesn't fit in the genre people shoe-horn it into. Namely, it's an MMO mechanic people jam into singleplayer games without realizing why it's an MMO mechanic in the first place.

Basically, it facilitates player interaction. It is less successful in MMO's where the crafting doesn't really matter. That is to say, you have a lot of "untradeable" crafting materials. You have a lot of things you can craft that FEW PLAYERS ever find useful (Meaning you need some sort of level restriction in place for what can be equipped so that even low level crafts are useful to low level players), or the crafting is too difficult/time consuming to do.

If you give me an Alchemist in an RPG and tell me I can craft potions... it doesn't make the crafting any more fun or interesting. Doesn't even make it "tolerable". What makes it "tolerable" is if I never have to touch the system at all for any reason and it never offers any sort of advantage so that I wouldn't want to engage with it.

That class would be able to create potions, scrolls, books, items, armor, weapons, etc. that are useful in and out of combat. Maybe even create constructs that can fight in battle or something.

If they are useful to any degree, you've essentially forced players to engage with this system regardless of their preference. If you can craft a sword that's better that what the player currently has access to, then you've forced most of your players to engage with the crafting for the advantage. If you can't craft anything better than what you can find, then you've turned your crafting system into a worthless waste of time.

The problem with a crafting system is this right here. If it's the optimal way to play the game, everyone needs to engage with it regardless of their opinions on it. If it's not the optimal way to play, then nobody will touch it, not even those who "enjoy crafting" because it's a waste of time.

There isn't a middle ground here.

Then, anything special that is used for such a class would be labeled as only being usable by that class and it has no monetary value or maybe such small value that it isn't worth carrying around to sell later. Maybe there isn't a market for such items because the class is so rare and secretive that no one even trades in such items. Maybe that class isn't well received so no one wants to buy and sell their ingredients.

So, you want a class where it can only craft items for itself, using materials that are only valuable to itself, just so that players who enjoy crafting can craft? Sounds like it doesn't really need to exist to me.

I'm curious what the value is in a crafting system that it needs to be added in, in the first place. What's the purpose of it? Why do you need it? Rule of cool? You played a game one time where you enjoyed crafting, so you want to put it into your game because you think it's automatically fun? I just have no idea why people insist on adding crafting systems for the sake of having them.

Does your crafting system add anything to the game? Does it synergize with existing systems? Create a fun gameplay loop? Is it part of the narrative? What is the purpose of it in the game? Because "I like crafting, so it's in the game" isn't really a good reason to add anything to a game. "I like it, so it's in there" is generally a very bad design philosophy. It's where the "Rule of Cool" design comes from. It's in the game because the person who made the game thought it was cool, despite how disconnected and underdeveloped it is.

With such a system, if you really liked crafting, you could use that special class and gain full access to the system. If you hate crafting, you can essentially ignore it because you won't select that class for a party member, the ingredients they use have no value or not enough to be worthwhile or there isn't a market for it. And since they are clearly identified, you don't have to worry about leaving something behind that you might need later.

I think it would be worth doing some research before doing something like this. How many people actually enjoy crafting in an RPG? How many engage with such systems? Personally, I remove "fluff". Mostly because it's a waste of dev time. Why should I design a system that only 1 in every 5 or 10 or 20 or 50 players will even utilize? Why burn several hundred hours making and balancing a feature or a system that nobody will want to engage with? Especially when I could use that dev time to enhance the parts of the game that nearly all the players will engage with?

Maybe people who like crafting in general wouldn't appreciate that system because they want any class to be able to do it. In that case, maybe you could make it a learnable skill that other classes could use, but all the other stuff applies related to ingredient identification and value.

Is the main issue related to inventory management and obtaining ingredients? If so, it would seem that what I proposed above might address that.

Just wondering.

I think what tends to annoy me the most about crafting systems in RPG's is how convoluted and silly they tend to be. When you boil them down to base components, they are little more than "filling a meter". That is, you need X amount of crafting materials to make Y thing.

If I want to make a sword I need:
2 Wood
4 Iron
1 Gemstone
1 Leather

This tells me, as a player:
I get this sword after I click a tree twice, click a rock 4 times, get a random drop gem, and kill one monster. Then, I gotta open a menu or go to a specific location to craft the sword.

It's a checklist. Because it's a checklist... you need to be thinking of Crafting as "Adding Fetch Quests to the game". This is what they are. Go fetch me 20 boar butts, 5 iron ingots, 12 stacks of wood, and 3 diamonds. Then, come back here, and I'll reward you with a sword!"

It's amusing that we all hate fetch quests, but there are people who like crafting... which is a Fetch Quest.

Wouldn't it be better to simply streamline the process? Why not just reward me the sword every so many combats that I'm going to engage with anyway? Or, have me fill a meter of activities to get it? Every 5 monsters I kill, A potion is added to my inventory. Every 50 monsters I kill with a sword, I get a better sword.

I don't understand the need to add busywork to an RPG for no real purpose or gain. It's a system from an MMO that's plonked into a singleplayer game without any understanding of how or why it works in MMOs and why it's utterly incompatible with a singleplayer RPG. Same as the silly durability systems.

I will probably never understand why people want to take systems that only work in an MMO environment or another genre of game and slam them into RPG's.
 
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