Crafting // Work Orders

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Nephthys
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Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Nephthys » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:47 am

I know that very little has been revealed about the crafting system.. but I wanted to discuss what I think has been a wonderful, but very little used, system that I've seen in place in a few games. Work Orders. Both from players as well as NPCs. Maybe it's already in the works, but if not:

One of the problems with classical crafting is that it makes players to increase their skill through the crafting of items. This results in the flooding of items into the world and the devaluing of crafted goods as the leveling process requires far more than are generally in demand by the playerbase. New crafters into an established will often find they can't make a profit until they spend a great deal of money that is just thrown away as they make and vendor vast quantities of undesirable items. And quite often, players will look at all the recipes, find the ones with the cheapest required ingredients, and then just mass produce those goods with the end result of the low level crafted marketplace being just a mess of thousands of the same items from leveling crafters and very little else.

NPC work orders allows crafters to build their items at the request of NPCs and be rewarded for it. It might be only a few pennies, but still, it gives player crafters something to do to reward their effort while not flooding the game with hundreds of items. I've seen systems that both require the player to provide their own materials and those where the NPC will provide them. I think the former works nicely because it provides an item sink, although it does depend on how the overall systems of crafting and harvesting work together.

Player work orders would allow players to post up orders for a particular item with the reward they will offer for said item(s) that a crafter could fill. This would allow crafters to see what is actually in demand, and would allow players to communicate their needs should no one be offering what they want. In most games, you're at the mercy of the market - waiting for what you want to be posted up, and then hoping you are the first to get to it. This can be a frustrating experience depending on what you want, especially if what you want is unpopular.

As an example, one very common problem with crafting systems that have built in dependencies between crafting skillsets are the crafted components. This is generally done to encourage trade, but what it does in practice is make crafting a frustrating experience because interim components that require another crafting skill are usually all but impossible to find. They either have no use except for the recipe that requires them, making them less desirable for a crafter to make and try to sell because they rely on a market they are unfamiliar with so there is no good way for them to gauge demand.

But player work orders would provide a solution to this. To make up a random example, let us say there is a Deluxe Sushi Tray recipe, and it requires sushi boats from a carpenter, but those boats have no use other than sushi style recipes. This means many carpenters are likely to overlook making them. But if I posted a work order for sushi boats from a carpenter, and I'm willing to pay 50 dusts per boat, now a carpenter can look, see that, evaluate the price I'm offering, and if it's reasonable they suddenly have a reason to make some for me, and everyone wins.

Gooch
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Gooch » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:04 pm

Hey Nephthys, I think work orders are a good idea, both from trainer/vendor NPC's, and from other players.

We would definitely like to avoid the "flooded marketplace" situation where it's impossible to make any profit at all.
And it's not much fun making things if they're not useful to either yourself or others!

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Nephthys
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Nephthys » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:04 pm

Hey Nephthys, I think work orders are a good idea, both from trainer/vendor NPC's, and from other players.

We would definitely like to avoid the "flooded marketplace" situation where it's impossible to make any profit at all.
And it's not much fun making things if they're not useful to either yourself or others!
Yeah, the first time I saw it was in Vanguard. IIRC, NPC work orders were the only way to gain crafting XP. You worked for NPCs who would provide the materials (that were only useful for their work order) to gain XP and a little bit of coin and crafting gear. Then you made real items out of real materials to sell to players to make your real money. I thought it worked really well, and it prevented the mass flooding of power leveling crafting because nothing you made to level ever entered the market.

Thinking more on it, it might be interesting if you're going to have an NPC work order system, to have 2 types. One type being the basic type where they would provide the materials, and a second type that provides better rewards but you would have to provide the materials yourself. This allows crafters to level if they are new players without many resources, and it also provides an item sink.

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Blue Djinn
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Blue Djinn » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:32 pm

Folks this is lovely. Really good stuff
I would just like to add that the ESO system allows you to break stuff down and reuse components so it wont be a total waste. Also, guild mates (and anyone for that matter) traded with you so you could skill up with very little cost .

And I do hope, I really do hope; as a crafter, that the best items found in the game will be player made.

Wing Leader
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Wing Leader » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:22 pm

I like this idea very much.

However, I'm not sure how much changes when we start talking about player-driven work orders. Competing crafters will establish a service industry whereby they undercut each other in exactly the same way that they do as sellers of their goods to the marketplace, so not much changes in terms of the overall crafting economy. In fact, a crafter will have to offer a better price on an on-demand crafted item than what a buyer could find it for in the marketplace, so in effect, made-to-order crafters become simply an extension of the market system, and the only thing that changes is the UI and maybe the time it takes to get what you want as a buyer (i.e., it would take longer to wait for a crafter to craft and/or send the item than it would to just click "Buy" in the auction house UI).

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Nephthys
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Nephthys » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:30 pm

In the games where I've seen player-driven WOs, I've never seen it have any effect other than allowing players to more easily obtain rarely crafted items. The general way it works is a bulletin board location, where players input how much money they are willing to pay for what they want, and if a crafter finds it worth filling, they make it, bring it to the board and get paid the money automatically.

You can do the same thing with harvesting as well. I'd like 150 copper ores, and offer 200 dusts, for example. The system takes the 200 dusts from me when I place the order, and anyone bringing the ores gets the money.

Generally for these systems, players will offer more than the standard market price as it saves them the time hunting for someone willing to provide the goods.

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JestersGhost
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby JestersGhost » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:50 am

Sounds like a very elegant solution.

What do y'all feel about limited recipe slots? ie. forcing a player to specialise a little bit in what they could make? I thought was one of the more interesting ideas from the ill-fated AutoAssault MMORPG. Every recipe (which were drops from mobs) was random, with different permutations, and players had quite a limited set of recipes they could save. The end result was everyone offered something a little bit different, and if you found a good recipe then you had something unique to offer.

Not sure how well it would work here, but figured I'd mention it.
[ quantum sufficit / casual-tempest.net / My Combat Mechanics Thread ]

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Nephthys
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Nephthys » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:50 am

As a crafter, that would cause me to make a ton of alts for no other purpose than to get the recipes and would frustrate me to no end. Part of the fun of crafting is working to collect all of the recipes in game.

I find it an interesting idea, but I don't think it would work well in practice because it would stifle one of the big methods of play for crafters. How was it received in AA?

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JestersGhost
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby JestersGhost » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:19 am

As a crafter, that would cause me to make a ton of alts for no other purpose than to get the recipes and would frustrate me to no end. Part of the fun of crafting is working to collect all of the recipes in game.

I find it an interesting idea, but I don't think it would work well in practice because it would stifle one of the big methods of play for crafters. How was it received in AA?
Think Borderlands-type range of recipe permutation - you weren't gonna "catch 'em all" no matter how many alts you had. The idea was simply to make each person's offering personal. Though I suppose you don't need limited recipe slots to do that if every recipe is slightly different, you just need that scale of variation. The secondary reason for the limited slots was to ensure people only kept level-appropriate recipes on hand - so low-level crafters made low-level items, high-level crafters made high-level items.

It's hard to say how it was received since AA lasted about 6 months, due to the rest of the game just not being much fun, sadly. I liked it, but in my brief time playing most people didn't really seem to care or interact much.
[ quantum sufficit / casual-tempest.net / My Combat Mechanics Thread ]

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Nephthys
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Nephthys » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:22 am



Think Borderlands-type range of recipe permutation - you weren't gonna "catch 'em all" no matter how many alts you had. The idea was simply to make each person's offering personal. Though I suppose you don't need limited recipe slots to do that if every recipe is slightly different, you just need that scale of variation. The secondary reason for the limited slots was to ensure people only kept level-appropriate recipes on hand - so low-level crafters made low-level items, high-level crafters made high-level items.

It's hard to say how it was received since AA lasted about 6 months, due to the rest of the game just not being much fun, sadly. I liked it, but in my brief time playing most people didn't really seem to care or interact much.
I've never played Borderlands either, so that comparison does nothing for me unfortunately.

All I can tell you from what I am interpreting of this method is it sounds to me like you are saying "crafters have very limited options in what they can learn" in such a system, which really does kill a large part of the fun of crafting for a crafter. At least, for me as a crafter.

I would rather see a system like Ryzom's, where players naturally specialize due to the depth of the system rather than artificially limiting constraints.

Wing Leader
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Wing Leader » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:07 pm

In the games where I've seen player-driven WOs, I've never seen it have any effect other than allowing players to more easily obtain rarely crafted items.
I'm curious as to why items are so rarely crafted if they are in such high demand.

Du Hast
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Re: Crafting // Work Orders

Postby Du Hast » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:55 pm

loving this thread, it's give some ideas. like have recipes that specialized and limited that you can learn by default ie. crafting tree were you only have enough points (gained through lvls) to work towards your specialization. credit towards ultimate recipes can be earned by doing TFs. an item can be taken to multiple crafters to put in different attributes, but you are limited on how many times you can have your item upgraded. the player would have to gather/buy all materials and pay for the cost. having specialized in an attribute, they can craft that part themselves making the overall cost cheaper.

what are your thoughts?


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