Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Should the EU Crafting System become more design based?

In the past year a great deal of effort has been spent on upgrading the crafting system in Entropia Universe and making it more appealing to the masses rather than just a niche profession. While I understand many of the changes were necessary due to the introduction of limited weapons, equipment, and armor I find it odd that crafting still lacks any creativity from the user's side.

Ok the basics of crafting are as follows: Get a Blue print (BP) ->place BP in proper BP Book -> Check the recipe in the BP to see what materials are needed -> Collect the materials either through auction, sellers, or acquire your own through hunting, mining, and crafting components -> Find appropriate machine -> place all items in machine -> select quantity or condition -> then get ready to click away and your end product is either produced or you get a failed attempt.

While finding the materials and producing something that has value to the community do present a challenge there has always seemed like something was missing in crafting. Then I thought of my own job (drafter/designer) and I realized the missing element was the design aspect of crafting. While a true design concept in crafting would be difficult to implement in a RCE MMORPG like Entropia Universe I kept thinking wouldn't it be more interesting to add it in small steps. Now I can hear everyone screaming "NO NO don't make it more complex than it already is" but would it not be more interesting if you could produce your own blueprints utilizing current components?I think adding a bit of a twist to crafting that might bring it that creative spark it desperately needs.

Ok for example a Crafter decides that they want to develop a new weapon. That Crafter already knows the recipe for a Jester D-1 carbine but they want to experiment with that recipe and develop a new variant of the Jester D-1 so they go to a prototype build machine (<- total concept there is no such machine in EU) and start to add components and different materials to the already existing Jester D-1 frame work. After a few failed attempts they produce a prototype weapon with a BP that has the new Recipe. The Crafter can either sell the prototype and BP or decide they want to craft weapon themselves. This would add some variation to crafting giving users some control over items they produce and it could be a very lucrative puzzle to figure out if you build a prototype with potential. That is what the fictitious characters in some of our adjust, improved, and modified weapons and equipment descriptions did. Characters, like Roman Ram, tinkered with existing technology making it better. This could add new skill sets(inventor, developer, designer, etc) to construction plus utilize some existing skills in the Science and Information categories that seem to have no other use than boosting your overall skills average.

Ok well that was a basic explanation of what I mean by adding a design element to crafting in EU. I think this would give Crafters a little more freedom and allow them to be a part of the creation process in EU. It would at the very least add one more facet to the Crafting profession which could add some creativity to it and lessen any monotony.

Let me know what you think? If there are systems like this in place in other MMOs and are they successful or more of a headache? Would this be to big of a change for Mindark or the player base to adjust too or would it add a little more depth to the Crafting profession?


Loco said...

well written, and its a nice idea.
I have heard way back in time that a crafter was suppose to get an adj/imp/mod crafted item, it was about 3,5 years ago i belive, but with this kinda system that could be reality, wouldnt that be a crafters dream to find a prototype that has (maby not same stats) stats like an IMP mk2. Im not a crafter but like you wrote it would give the extra "twist" to crafting and making items more with a personal touch.

Xerogs said...

Thanks for the comment. I was also thinking about this a little more last night and a good way to make use of the technicias would be to have them still sell the standard starter Blue prints but they should be able to give hints and suggestions about development ideas in some fashion. So they don't totally give away the piece of the puzzle but maybe they get your feet in the right direction. Mindark could make a little more use out of the existing NPCs because as it stands right now they are nothing more than single sentence robots some with access portals to sell specific items or lead you to the auction.

Loco said...

like a small quest system for crafters maby*Free hint MA* ;)