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Thread: Create a crafting system that lets you build objects rather than combine materials

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    Telaran sobelius's Avatar
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    Default Create a crafting system that lets you build objects rather than combine materials

    One thing I would love to see in an MMO some day is a crafting profession that lets you craft the look and feel of an item as well as its powers/abilities. Some games have implemented the latter by having "socketing" systems -- kind of like augmenting in RIFT.

    But what I'm really suggesting instead is a crafting system that lets you customize the look of an item by assembling its pieces. For example, you craft a sword by choosing a specific style of hilt and blade. So in addition to the basic recipes, you learn recipes for different visual styles of objects -- and some styles could require different or additional materials than others. You also choose things like the initial colors, or whether an enamel finish is "matte" or "glossy", or the metal is "polished" or "unpolished", or perhaps has a glow of a color you can specify, etc.

    For crafting armor, you could choose the texture, style, primary/secondary colors, fabric pattern, etc.

    From a gameplay and UI perspective, instead of just collecting materials, clicking a button, and watching a progress bar, instead you would have a library of visual objects/patterns you've "learned" to craft, then a window (like the Wardrobe) that previews what the final object will look like. The object could also be tied to existing recipes -- that is, all medium leather gloves, for example, would still have the same basic bonuses/stats which you could augment, but you've customized the appearance.

    With the wardrobe system, this would give crafters a whole new way to play at crafting as well as make money. To me, it's far more interesting to craft by designing objects rather than just collect materials and click a button. If that's all someone wanted to do, they could still do it, but having a system for customizing the crafted item's appearance -- beyond color dyes -- would breathe fresh life into what is otherwise a pretty boring game play mechanic in most MMOs.
    Last edited by sobelius; 08-05-2011 at 08:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Shadowlander OptimusPrimeisOP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sobelius View Post
    One thing I would love to see in an MMO some day is a crafting profession that lets you craft the look and feel of an item as well as its powers/abilities. Some games have implemented the latter by having "socketing" systems -- kind of like augmenting in RIFT.

    But what I'm really suggesting instead is a crafting system that lets you customize the look of an item by assembling its pieces. For example, you craft a sword by choosing a specific style of hilt and blade. So in addition to the basic recipes, you learn recipes for different visual styles of objects -- and some styles could require different or additional materials than others. You also choose things like the initial colors, or whether an enamel finish is "matte" or "glossy", or the metal is "polished" or "unpolished", or perhaps has a glow of a color you can specify, etc.

    For crafting armor, you could choose the texture, style, primary/secondary colors, fabric pattern, etc.

    From a gameplay and UI perspective, instead of just collecting materials, clicking a button, and watching a progress bar, instead you would have a library of visual objects/patterns you've "learned" to craft, then a window (like the Wardrobe) that previews what the final object will look like. The object could also be tied to existing recipes -- that is, all medium leather gloves, for example, would still have the same basic bonuses/stats which you could augment, but you've customized the appearance.

    With the wardrobe system, this would give crafters a whole new way to play at crafting as well as make money. To me, it's far more interesting to craft by designing objects rather than just collect materials and click a button. If that's all someone wanted to do, they could still do it, but having a system for customizing the crafted item's appearance -- beyond color dyes -- would breathe fresh life into what is otherwise a pretty boring game play mechanic in most MMOs.

    The problem with weapons and armor that are highly customized is a technical one. It creates a lot of variable data.

    I would still like to see something more creative with the process of crafting and gathering, though.
    Last edited by OptimusPrimeisOP; 08-05-2011 at 10:18 AM.
    Nerf Optimus Prime, I once saw him solo 10 Decepticons...he is completely OP.

  3. #3
    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptimusPrimeisOP View Post
    The problem with weapons and armor that are highly customized is a technical one. It creates a lot of variable data.

    I would still like to see something more creative with the process of crafting and gathering, though.

    Yea, that's kinda the problem. Right now an item, say an Iron Longsword, is represented by a single value. All that the server has to do is tell your machine that player A is wielding item #123456ABC, which your local client then resolves to the item's appropriate look (model, textures, glow, w/e). If you add customization to it, the server would have to send a value for every potential customization point. And that's for every item on every character *to* every other character that can see them. It adds up.

    The reason why FPS games can implement things like custom decals and emblems is because a single game is a closed environment. Custom settings or even images can be disseminated to everyone while the map is loading or a player is joining the game. Then the information is essentially cached, since the number of participants and their potential turnover is relatively low.

    And of course, if Xbox has taught us anything is that no matter what customizations you offer, somebody will come up with a way to make it look like a ****. There's just no arguing that point. When it's just you and your stupid emblem, it's a minor issue. When it's an item you can craft and put up on the AH for a few gold, it becomes a viral epidemic.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...Miss-An-Appeal

  4. #4
    Telaran sobelius's Avatar
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    Good points both and I'll offer counter thoughts:

    1. The code would require optimization for customized item display, no doubt. But just because current games don't have a need for such optimization doesn't mean someone couldn't or wouldn't do it. It's likely a very solvable problem. Trion has already shown they solved a huge issue (latency when hundreds of people are co-located) by distributing server work based on function rather than location. There is no reason a similar optimization method couldn't be used to create excellent response time for custom item rendering.

    2. For the issue creating a ****, I didn't suggest an open design system like Minecraft. (I loved the ZP vid when I saw it a while back -- great stuff!). I suggested limiting selection and design to a library of components. Only certain combinations would work, of course, so no one would be creating a sword that looks like a **** or uploading custom textures with obscene words and images on them.

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