Jan 132015
 

Crafting, DDO-style

In the latest Producer Letter, Severlin (the latest producer) calls out at least two new currency and crafting systems that we can anticipate in 2015:

New Crafting System 1: Monster Champion Collectibles

Monster champions will have a chance to drop Mysterious Fragments. Players can gather these fragments and various agents and interested parties might trade them for a variety of rewards. Rumors of groups offering scrolls, potions, cosmetic items, and even prestigious and rare pets have begun to surface. Organizations do not have unlimited resources. As factions vie for power some agents and rewards might change as the year progresses.

New Crafting System 2: Epic Greensteel

Defeating this new threat will require you to enter the more dangerous and powerful Vale of Twilight as you increase your level to 30 and obtain new treasures. More powerful items also await from the corrupted Greensteel found in the Vale after recent events have increased the magical power of the area.

Possible New Crafting System 3: Level 30 Weapons

Characters will be able to gain experience to increase their level to 30. Characters who reach this milestone will gain additional feats and power, and they will be able to wield and even construct new weapons and treasures to face the foes that challenge them.

It is unclear whether this is two new systems or three; in a separate post meant to clarify, Severlin mentions that sentient weapons are not part of greensteel (they haven’t come up with a design that combines them satisfactorily) and in fact clarifies specifically that sentient weapons are not mentioned in the letter at all. He also refers to greensteel as “items” and the level 30 system as “weapons”.

But I suspect that epic greensteel is the level 30 crafting system. It has to be. Can you imagine getting epic greensteel and then a few months later getting something else that obsoletes it?

<shudder>

But here’s the issue: whether they are suggesting two new systems, or three, or three hundred, we already have a lot of currency and crafting systems. A lot. And by “a lot” I mean:

  • Alchemical weapons
  • Altar of Insanity
  • Cannith Crafting
  • Cauldron of Sora Katra
  • Challenge Crafting (Cannith, fixed)
  • Challenge Crafting (Eveningstar, random)
  • Collectible system
  • Commendations of Valor
  • Dragon scale armor (Heroic, Cormyrian and Epic)
  • Dragon-Touched Armor
  • Dreamforge
  • Epic Crafting
  • Eveningstar Villager Commendations (five different kinds)
  • Planar Shards
  • Stone of Change recipes
  • Thunder-Forged weapons
  • Tokens of the Twelve

And I am not even including the many, many items that can be upgraded via currency/crafting systems like the Altar of the Stormreaver or Altar of Vulkoor or Visbane’s Folly or ToD rings or Haunted Halls Blackstone or … well, you get the picture. So many currency and crafting systems that it is hard to just make a complete list of them.

More than two dozen. Or an average of more than one per update. Which strikes me a really, really sloppy and short-sighted.

But maybe this only matters to me. I am a programmer, and more, I am an object-oriented programmer: I spend a lot of my time designing my work to be extendable and reusable. It is part of my definition of the word “elegant”. In coding, systems that cannot be extended and/or reused are given pejorative terms like “legacy” and “monolithic” and “bad”.

So I ask. Does this matter to you too? Would you rather see existing systems revamped and re-used? What if it took longer than making new systems? Conversely, would you rather have brand-new systems even if they took longer than re-using older ones? Or could be built faster but would have more bugs?

As they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often!

🙂 😀 🙂

  13 Responses to “Poll: Do We Want More New Crafting Systems?”

Comments (13)
  1. What surprises me is while exploits were going on, new systems were being introduced, like thunderforge which was abused on day 1

    Then next updates more bag-able ingredients are added, again day 1 some people have unlimited

    If these exploits can be fixed permanently then I dont mind if the system is old or new, I just want updates to have longevity to them where people have to actually play the game.

    • I guess its just the easiest thing to do. “Hey, we want them to have to repeat the quest to get things so they won’t be done as fast” Ok, let’s add a new bunch of ingredients for this pack and an altar to craft/upgrade items with them!. Bing, bind, ready!

      Pretty sure its relatively far more tricky to untie things that are already there and knot new bits into it. Then again the first approach makes the complete game chunkier and potentially more buggy while the second approach, if done right, would give systems designed to be modular/added onto long term for a more sensible complete program

  2. Eliminate or combine all the many and various systems already in existence rather than adding more.

  3. Code reusability is a wonderful thing to be sure, but it is a bit out of context in this case. I think Turbine has made a fairly decent effort at updating the various crafting systems to reuse the “barter box”, for lack of a better term, UI where applicable; Cannith Crafting being a glaring exception. However, we must not only consider the coding aspects of these systems, but the lore behind them as well.

    I know many long-time players tend to forget the game world and its environs. They prefer to focus solely on the mechanics which is fine, but doing so dismisses the reasoning behind many of the design choices made based on world building. It makes perfect sense within the game world to have dozens of crafting systems because they would have been developed independently by those fantasy folk who conceived them. Yes, that does make for a huge list of ingredients, but it is logical within context.

    • One of my biggest pet peeves about all of this is the glaring lack inventory space to manage all of this, especially without spending TP, aka real money. The readily available storage bags areally completely pointless and some are actually exclusive, meaning you can only have 1 on your character at a time. The bags are clunky, with the collectable bag being the best designed with its sorted catagories. Why the other bags don’t have that functionality is beyond me (or even the bag deposit box, or pawn brokers etc…) Search functionality is great, but had a limited usefulness.

      Combine all that with the number of ingredient items and the system becomes completely unweildy. Add on top of that the sheer number of base items that can be upgraded or what not and the fact that you often out level them before you acquire everything to upgrade them and well, it is not a recipe for real success …

      • The new airships have given us considerably more storage space but I would like to see Player Housing / Guild Housing give us even more. I am not sure why the can’t make the Shared Bank hundreds (or even thousands) of slots at this point as the DDO devs have been able to expand storage space elsewhere in the game.

    • Good point and basically what I was going to state in the comments. One unified crafting system or several similar systems would be difficult to apply across of the quests and raids, considering that the quests and raids are considerably different from each other.

  4. In the case of epic green steel, I would expect existing components to be used, as well as additional pieces for the epic tiers. UI usuability and visuals bother me more in the game than what might be going on under the hood, and my green steel weapon descriptions already run off the screen on high res. if this gets reused, I’ll have to pretend I know what my new weapons are doing if we don’t get some paging for those long descriptions.
    When it’s a different region, different lore, I expect different ingredients at least to be used in crafting what not.
    From a practical player standpoint, the successful crafting systems are the ones that can be useful over a large range of player levels – this is why nothing introduced since has matched classic green steel. Commendations and collectables can be traded for buffs/ healing used throughout the game – strong utility. Cannith crafting, while outdated, is still very useful for situational and level 1-10 gear and reused collectables and shards.

    So yes, I love new artwork, lore and trinkets, but usability as a player is very important. If I have to grind things for something that’s only useable at level cap, I may skip or settle on something weaker. The reason why grinding for green steel was and is still worth it is those items remain relevant for significant chunks of gameplay. It’s the power versus ML, too. If they make epic green steel ML 30 and not something useable throughout epic levels, they’ll have missed the boat and I will cry.

  5. If we can’t reuse/update old crafting systems, then there needs to be a better way to manage the materials for all systems. For example, some sort of all inclusive crafters bag. It should have a way to filter your view of the items in the bag based on you picking the crafting system that you are interested in.

  6. I personally would like to see the combination Of the crafting system(s) with the TR system.
    Locking an Item by class to be carried over to the next TR.

    At the Time of EACH TR. You select A single item to carry forward to do the following.

    EXAMPLE – an Item upgraded using the stone of change ADDED 1 point of force damage on each successful hit could have an additional 1 point of force damage on each successful hit .added because you TR’ed.
    these items could not be moved to the banking system. This would require the Item to take up an added space in the bags (1 TR 2 spaces 2 TR 3 Spaces) this said same item could then go through “some crafting process” to Add on top Augment Slots Per TR Using an add space in the bag.

    Using this type of Upgrading items would encourage TR’ing (which in turn would encourage spending TP’s for hearts of wood).

    We All Have a DREAM…

  7. Considering the amount of crap my characters have had to carry around in some MMOs, without collectable/ingredient bags … DDO’s many crafting systems don’t bother me, in fact, I like the interesting variation.
    (At least DDO doesn’t Force® me to buy bank space, it encourages me to.)

    But you’re right, from a coding standpoint, it must be getting very messy, it’s bad enough every time I consider making my own inventory management application … I stop before I’ve even started drafting ERDs (etc) 😉

    So, whilst new crafting systems could be extensible onto an existing framework, the question is what sort of framework does DDO have in the first place. Maybe it’s time to hire a thousand [code] monkeys at slave-rates, to rewrite or optimise the DDO code base (*puts hand up*). Someone start a crowdfunding campaign 😉

  8. I’ve mentioned this before, but I would like to see a way to exchange all of the current collectibles for each other and/or for a common currency that then could be used to purchase other needed collectibles or valuable items.

    To fit into lore this could be done elegantly by having a travelling tinker that visits from house to house hourly or every four hours or so. He would be available to exchange all of the collectibles in the game and even crunch things like un needed bound to account/character tomes or named items (the +2 favor tomes for TRed characters for example).

    Each item would have a value and you could even make special items available from the tinker for a combination of goods (100 cryptmoss larve, 500 blades of the dark six, 100 lilly petals and a lightning split soar wood gets you a shard of power from the vale etc.) Ever need a supreme shard to finish off a greensteel item, but can’t find a shroud run? Put together some rare collectibles and watch the peddler pull one from his wagon of mystery. 🙂

    It would make all of the collectible bags more valuable, give a way to clean up inventory, and actually create more action in the shard house as people sold their collectibles to people needing them for an item. And we know more shard house activity would drive cash to Turbine as people bought shards to keep up etc.

    If that were in place then they can add on as many collectibles as they want and it would just add to the recipe book of items you could get from the peddler.

    Of course the duping would need to fixed first or you’d soon see billions of prayer beads flooding the auction house.

    Sure would be nice to put some of my vast collectible space to use instead of just gathering dust. You might even be able to have the peddler offer pets, tricks, cosmetic items, skill tomes, cookies, or other collectibles as bartering – changing even during the seasons or events and maybe even only having so many of a particular item to exchange before offering something else…

    A lot of options provided, without too much coding. All that would be needed would be a data base of the collectibles and their values etc. The barter system is already done…

    Just my two cents.

What do you think?

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