Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Thing That Would Make Me Happy...

... is if EverQuest 2 did away with the tiers of crafted goods. Namely the armor, weapons and jewelry. Keep the food, furniture, bags, potions, skills/spells and the last two professions they added.

Really, that's what irks me about that game. I loathe the fact that you can craft or buy crafted gear that is better than most drops.

It drives me absolutely nuts.

If it is something my character can wear (armor, weapon or jewelry) then I want it to be a reward that comes from the Adventuring Sphere. The Crafting Sphere should reward you with crafty stuff, not adventuring stuff.

Yes I'm complaining about EQ2 because I was fiddling with it last night. I got thinking about what really bugs me about the game. The above is one of the things I came up with. The other thing was that they need more large and non-linear dungeons throughout all the level tiers (yeah, I heard of the expansion coming up).

Back to my bitching about crafting...

I find it funny because Vanguard appeared to understand this with the Diplomacy Sphere. Diplomacy rewards were generally aimed at the Diplomacy Sphere; more cards, clothing or status items that helped out and so forth. But they blew it with the Crafting Sphere. Oh they got the whole creating furniture, mount gear, housing, boats and other items right, but then they dipped into the Adventuring Sphere's pool.

Worst thing you can do in my opinion. It reduces the value of quested or dropped goods.

Future MMO developers out there... listen to me. Don't do it... don't you dare... I'll be forced to track you down and hoof you in the berries.


Ysharros said...

Must...not...get out... soapbox!
/fail saving throw

I'll try to be brief, despite my many and strongly-held opinions about crafting in MMOs.

Crafting in MMOs only works *well* under the following conditions:

-- The game is 100% (or nearly) crafted-item based. Like SWG used to be, though possibly a little more refined a few years down the line. OR:

-- The items you can craft do NOT compete with loot drops, and mostly vice-versa. That inevitably devalues one or the other; if you can loot as good as you can craft, why bother, and if you can craft as good as you can loot, it bores people who like to loot. I'm a crafting ho, I'll admit it, but even I love the excitement of loot "box-opening." That would be your suggestion above, where what you can craft is stuff you can't for the most part loot, but that does in one way or another enhance gameplay or one's experience of the game (such as furniture).

Will stop now. ;)

SmakenDahed said...

OMG! Run! It's a crafter!

I actually agree with you. But then you're sort of agreeing with me aren't you? ><

You wouldn't see me playing a 100% crafted economy game because it isn't my thing, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be viable for others.

I have done crafting before (EQ2, WoW, AC2, DAoC) but ultimately, it just doesn't do anything for me. It's sort of like housing...

I bet that's another favorite?

I recognize people like it so cool for them but you wouldn't see me playing a game that rewards your adventuring because you own a house. :)

Grimjakk said...

Heh... I'm an 80 armorcrafter on Lucan, and I have to say that I think you're overstating the quality of the gear I can make.

EQ2 has several tiers of quality and the actual utility of individual items follows pretty closely now that they've brought Old World drops up to speed:
common - vendor trash
uncommon - mostly vendor trash
handcrafted - common stuff
treasured - better than handcrafted and usually not too far below the next tier
mastercrafted - stuff made with rare harvests
legendary - rare boss drops. Usually MUCH better than anything I can craft both in stats and extra effects.

-- and there's mythical which is usually an epic quest reward.

So no, you can't really compete with drops as a crafter in EQ2... but you will do decent business with players gearing up to start a new tier. You complement it. Allowing them to replace substandard gear with stuff that'll help them achieve the best gear.

At a hair from 72, I've replaced a good bit of my kit with treasured drops/quest rewards just from soloing in Kunark. When I hit 72, I'll replace all that with MC gear from the rares I've been stockpiling and start working my way up T8, hopefully getting into some of the harder content and replacing my MC gear as I go.

Eventually. WAR is probably gonna slow me down a tad...

SmakenDahed said...

Maybe they balanced things with RoK, but way back in the day they screwed up. Rares were better than almost all loot outside of raids. Progression was to work on Ebon, then Fabled drops.

Then DoF came out and Cobalt replaced the Fabled stuff I had.

Apparently they learned from this lesson, but still. I've gone through most of the 50s with Cobalt and not needed to replace it or found any drops or quest rewards worth replacing it with. I did that on two characters.

Sad thing is that on both characters I have the next tier sitting in the bank. On one that is a 50-something Armorsmith, I've got the next two tiers of armor sitting in the bank.

I quickly became disenchanted with that character's progression because it was sitting in the bank - as far as I knew. Maybe that was the wrong thinking, but I had been into EoF, DoF and KoS (level-somewhat appropriate; I tend to do higher conning content, yellow-red) content and had yet to find something that replaced the Cobalt armor at a level I was able to wear it. And the stuff that could replace it, didn't compare to the next set of tiered armor I'd get at 62 (I can't remember the name).

To me, that is a problem.

If I were in charge, I'd re-order the power levels as:

uncommon (it's currently vendor trash because it's less than handcrafted...)
mastercrafted (truth is, rare harvests aren't so rare...)
fabled *

But that's my opinion.

I wouldn't be opposed to having the odd item that drops from a raid which crafters could use to create a fabled piece, but it would have to come from tough raids and be really fucking rare. Not "rare" like harvesting "rare".

That was another mistake I thought they did with 'rares'. They made the 'rares' from raids the same as the 'rares' from crafting. Make the 'rares' from raid more powerful than harvesting. Heck, make it require harvesting in some cases...

Grimjakk said...

Oops, yeah, meant 'Fabled' rather than 'Legendary'. Legendary was the old Mastercrafted... and drops as the the booby-prize from Raid-bosses. I've gotten a few mid level ones, and they're pretty comparable to Mastercrafted. A bit higher dps or a bit higher stat, but really not much.

As to the utility levels, the Fabled drops are significantly better at all tiers than Mastercrafted.

What you remember is the fact that item utility used to grow with character level. So that some of the T5 Fabled stuff that capped out in the low 50's was easily outclassed by Mastercrafted/Legendary gear that STARTED at 52 and grew through 61.

The actual utility was in line with where it was supposed to be, but raiders were looking at the adjusted numbers and not understanding what they were seeing for the most part. They felt that their Fabled should only be superceded by next tier's Fabled... which wasn't and still isn't how EQ2 itemization worked.

SOE eventually just eliminated the item growth, because it was just generating to much angst.

Too bad too. I thought that was an interesting mechanic. Yet more evidence that gamers don't really want "revolutionary"...

Grimjakk said...

And Treasured drops off of trash mobs all over Norrath. A lot more common than rare harvests...

Go check the brokers for Steel and Feysteel, and Ebon Clusters.

SmakenDahed said...

I know, that's one of the reasons why I hate "tiered" gear systems. Level of the gear plays a factor. Trust me, I knew about this before raiders were complaining about DoF Cobalt stuff.

It irritated me shortly after discovering all those AQs I did through 20-25th meant nothing because they were replaced by the next tier gear...

I had played from release so I actually went through the Fighter-Warrior-Guardian progression. When I hit 20th, I was happy to finally get plate armor and seeing as how it was a jump from medium armor to heavy, I expected the difference in mitigation.

Man it was rough trying to tank stuff that was 20+ when you were 17-19 and wearing chain.

When I was playing in back in March (I re-subbed before that but I can't remember when that was), it wasn't difficult to find any of the rares at all. Aside from being lucky with harvesting, there always seemed to be a ton of rares available on Antonia Bayle. I had a harder time finding the bloody metal nodes than anything else. Stupid price gougers were charging more for a piece of metal than I could sell the armor (which it took 4-5 of the metal pieces) for. I ended up doing work orders and said fuck the poor saps coming up through the levels looking for reasonably priced armor.

That said, I was nice about making armor for people if they asked. I even made several rares for people and ate the costs.

Ah well.

I'm back playing on Antonia Bayle as an Erudite Necromancer named "Fabinusar" for now. I don't think he'll get much play time this weekend because of the WAR Preview weekend. :)

Scott said...

I do think that if the game is going to bother having crafting at all, then the people who spend the time and virtual currency to master it should be able to craft damn good stuff.

By my count, there are three types of players when it comes to loot:
1) Drops Only!
2) Quest Reward
3) Crafted (whether the player crafts or prefers to buy crafted gear)

I do enjoy the way LOTRO handled this balance other than drops are usually the weakest of the three. But when it comes to crafted vs. quest reward, there's always a pretty good balance between the two at various levels. Crafted gear seems to come at brackets of level x1 then x7, plus a one-shot set around level x5 then the quest reward gear can come at any time. There are also entire sets, some are only by drops (cool but grindy) while some are rewards from quest chains to get the entire set.

Vanguard *seemed* to be similar in that respect but I didn't play long enough, and barely touched crafting, to get a firm idea if that is true or not.

In LOTRO I've been in an awesome kin with Grand-Master crafter's who have hooked me up as I level. I'm working on some crafting now to return the favor and help out new recruits and lowbie alts, though my profession mostly crafts consumables not gear.

SmakenDahed said...

VG went much the way EQ2 did. The crafted items from rares are pretty much the best things out there aside from really rare drops or raid gear - at least that's the way it seems. It also isn't so rare since there have been some drop bugs and dupe issues awhile back.

Apparently some guilds were stockpiling rares that were dropping off mobs instead of nodes or something to that effect (might have been items that could be deconstructed into rare materials).

In short, meh... crafting is evil. :)

Sara Pickell said...

Easy solution, get rid of the adventuring sphere.

SmakenDahed said...

Yup, it's called Second Life or the Sims. :)