Sources of equipment
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kjartan wrote:
But, I think your original suggestion that looting and crafting feed different slots is good if you want everybody to have to both loot and craft to have the best stuff.


My concern is that looting and crafting are generally two separate activities which often appeal to different types of player (those who enjoy looting are unlikely to want to have to craft half their gear, while those who are really into crafting systems probably don't want to have to loot mobs as well). Instead of appealing to a wider audience (those who like looting mobs and those who like crafting systems) you'll likely appeal to a smaller audience (those who like both looting mobs and crafting systems).

In my opinion, a better solution would be for players to have a choice between looting, crafting, or a combination of the two, with each route providing different but equally viable options. The challenge would be to make the different options sufficiently interesting that many players would be motivated into looting mobs instead of just crafting everything (and vice versa).

Much like equipment-less characters, perhaps it could be tied into a class, race or concept - eg:

* Alchemists: They craft all of their own equipment and tools.
* Dragons: They collect treasure but don't wear equipment.
* Ghost: They don't collect or use equipment.
* Werewolf: They craft necklaces from 'loot' (their victims' teeth).
* Mercenary: Equipment comes from a combination of loot and shops.
* Barbarians: Looting is their primary source of equipment.
* Knights: Equipment comes from a combination of looting and crafting.
* Merchant: They buy most of their equipment from shops.

Thus the value of different sources of equipment would vary from player to player.
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
In my opinion, a better solution would be for players to have a choice between looting, crafting, or a combination of the two, with each route providing different but equally viable options. The challenge would be to make the different options sufficiently interesting that many players would be motivated into looting mobs instead of just crafting everything (and vice versa).

Much like equipment-less characters, perhaps it could be tied into a class, race or concept - eg:

* Alchemists: They craft all of their own equipment and tools.
* Dragons: They collect treasure but don't wear equipment.
* Ghost: They don't collect or use equipment.
* Werewolf: They craft necklaces from 'loot' (their victims' teeth).
* Mercenary: Equipment comes from a combination of loot and shops.
* Barbarians: Looting is their primary source of equipment.
* Knights: Equipment comes from a combination of looting and crafting.
* Merchant: They buy most of their equipment from shops.

Thus the value of different sources of equipment would vary from player to player.


This, right here, should be the starting point of this conversation, not the apex. First, you need to ask yourself WHY characters need equipments, secondly, what KIND of equipment do they need and lastly, determine where they gather this equipment.

I play an online game by Three Rings some of you may be familiar with, it is called Puzzle Pirates, everything in this game is a small puzzle game like bejewelled or other games you might see on MSN Games or a similar site. Along the same lines, in this game, all equipment is player generated but purchased from shops. So player Bob goes to the shop and orders a short sword with a greet hilt and black pommel (prices vary depending on color as certain dyes are more rare), this order then goes into the shop and can be fulfilled by players who "work" for the shop, by playing the appropriate minigame.

Your success in the minigame determines the "quality" of work you do, so you may provide basic, skilled or expert labor and certain items might require more or less of each level of skill. It is important to note that there are no "loot" rewards in this game aside from gold, which is the currency used to purchase these items from shops. Similarly, all items of Type X have the same statistics, none are better than the other.

So, we can easily see that this system does not map perfectly into a MUD, but it can be used as a starting point. We can allow shops to be entirely staffed by players, using NPC generation as a fallback if there are not enough player crafters about for a given amount of time. So Bob comes into Artie's Armors and orders a new shiny steel breastplate. The shopkeeper tells him that this item will take a week to create and cost X amount (at this point you can insert a haggling system that allows Bob to reduce the price possibly). Bob either accepts the bid or rejects it and goes to shop elsewhere. If the offer is accepted a shiny steel breastplate is added to the shop's production qeue and player crafter's who take jobs working for the shop can make progress towards Bob's new breastplate, this might be as involved as having to find the appropriate amount of resources and then provide the adequate amount of skilled labor to produce the breastplate.

If a player does come along and create the breastplate, we might send Bob a message that his breastplate is now available for pick-up at Artie's Armor while if time lapses and a player does not appear to craft the breastplate, it is instead generated by the computer upon the set deadline (one week).

Similarly, a shop can have "racks" that hold pre-made armor and arms and items, but these would be generic items, not necessarily better than the ones that you might purchase from the shop, but lacking any customization (which could be also added later if you preferred). So Bob can buy a steel shortsword off the rack and later take it to an engraver to have the string "Death to the enemies of the Light" upon the blade and a jeweler to embed a ruby within the pommel. Then Bob would have a steel shortsword with a ruby embedded in the hilt and a message etched into the blade, as opposed to a simple steel shortsword.

Likewise, you can add variables such as durability/hardness, edge and other factors to a weapon or piece of armor that could be greater or less as a result of the skill of the crafter. So while shop-purchased gear might default to "average" skill levels, a player crafter who is a master blacksmith can make "exquisite" quality weapons and armor that hold their edges longer and are more resilient against damage due to the improved crafting techniques.

Now, looted objects... I think Jmurph said it best. These objects are on the person of your vanquished foe. This suggests that you just stabbed your sword through that chain mail shirt, or cleaved his helm in two with your war axe, or absolutely battered his shield to smithereens with your battleaxe. There is no conceivable reason why this gear should be in any sort of good shape, let alone good enough that a player will strip it off and wear it instantly over their currently worn gear (assuming the player has taken less damage to their gear by being the winner). However, the mob might be wearing some steel greaves where you only currently have leather due to a lack of funds and since you didn't hit him in the legs, they're still in decent shape.

So this is a factor where you might want to take the loot and use it, or you might want to harvest what loot that is still in somewhat decent condition and sell it to a shop, where edges can be resharpened and dents fixed (although coming at a cost to the overall items durability) and resold. Looting objects in this case becomes more a matter of gaining gold to buy new, good-condition weapons and armor rather than a means to actually getting better armor.

However, this doesn't really apply in the terms of "enhanced" weapons and armor and items, such as magic wands and enchanted robes and whatnot. These should be exceptionally rare as loot and only upon the hardest of hard mobs. Similarly there should be a class of "magical" crafter who can make enchantments and magical enhancements and so on to increase the value, desirability and quality of an item.

In this way, I think you provide the best of both worlds to both player crafters and hack n' slashers who only want to loot gear. While their best loot might not come from looting but rather from cashing in on the looted gear to buy that new longsword they've had their eye on, the "looting" in and of itself still provides their means of acquiring gear, meaning they never have to pay any attention to crafting at all.

However, for crafters, I think a little more depth needs to be sought. The major problem with crafter characters is that they get little to no benefit for their works. Sure, maybe they can sell a longsword to Billy and get some gold, but in general, they don't gain any experience for it either. Crafting should really be in a league of its own as far as experience and such goes. Should a player really be able to enhance their hand-to-hand combat skill with skillpoints that they earned while sewing lady's dresses? No, neither should they be able to increase their Sewing skill by performing hand-to-hand combat. I think a parallel experience path for crafters and applicable only to crafting skills might be in order.

This also allows for those characters who want to enjoy both aspects of the game. While they are out hacking apart orcs with their sword and shield, they're gaining XP along the same lines as everyone else, but when they want a break, they can go and work on their crafting skills and level, thereby allowing them to make better items and have a greater chance of success. Also in these means, crafting is not a viable means of making one character better than another (except in terms of crafting ability) so it's not viewed as a real threat to any but the other crafting competition.

However, there are those players who want to never pick up a weapon and prefer to be peaceful and simply craft their days away. For these, you can offer the route of the merchant, where their "main" XP levels are gained by bartering and trading, which makes them a better merchant, but not a better crafter, and similarly, being a better crafter does not make them a better merchant. Let them organize caravans to go and get that silk that they need for this flood of clothing orders they just got, earning experience for the profit they make, similarly, let them hire "guards" for the caravan which will allow them to group and play with combatant characters while maintaining their role in game terms.

Anyway, a few thoughts Smile

Vopisk
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