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Crafting and Resources

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Crafting and Resources

Postby Winthrope » Tue May 20, 2014 3:14 pm

Hello, new to SoI and all, and I'm just slowly working on getting a character made through the online generator. Looking at the list of skills, specifically crafting, it really made me start wondering; just how hard is it going to be to bring up skills such as armorsmithing and weaponsmithing?

I read the post earlier about how resources will vary depending on the starting race and the area. For example, humans have more trees around and can do more woodworking. Orcs, more stone and can do more stonework. What about weapon and armor crafting? Is it going to require a character going out and hunting for it? I played a little as a guest, and combat is bit too lethal for my tastes (I did win one fight, then promptly lost... with decent skills).

I really like the idea of a character who is great at making things, selling them to others (or even giving away something, if generosity is needed), and combat doesn't appeal to me. Am I pretty much setting myself up for disappointment here? Am I going to have to rely on others to get materials for me all the time? Pretty much would cause crafting to screech to a halt, in my mind, but then again... that's why I'm asking about this.

Would be nice to make a character that has no combat skill what-so-ever. Hehe.

Anyways, thanks ahead of time for the feedback, and for your willingness to read and listen. Later days!

Winthrope.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby pompadourslim » Tue May 20, 2014 3:44 pm

I don't know what kind of economic balance the staff have planned for Laketown or alpha, but I think I can probably reassure you some.

SOI has always been a haven for crafters and non-combat PCs, as well as providing lots of room for people who want to play soldiers and savages. Speaking very generally, resource gathering and production (crafting) are two separate jobs, and the more jobs you try to do, the worse you'll be at each of them. It's usually to your advantage as a crafter to focus on crafting and acquire your materials either from a vendor or from other PCs. Having to negotiate with resource-gatherers also has the potential to stimulate RP. It could be argued that the character who will find it easiest to interact with others is the character least able to do things for him/herself, thus needing to engage all sorts of help from all sorts of people.

There's also the issue of immersion and trying to simulate a functioning and multi-tiered society. It doesn't make a lot of sense for a tavern cook to be out in the woods stalking rabbits alongside the hunters, although he/she will need meat to cook, and his/her boss would likely prefer a cook who isn't going to turn up dead unexpectedly the night before feast day. The fanciest tailor on the block is probably reluctant to lower him/herself to the peasanty task of shearing sheep, although he/she requires wool. It's essentially capitalistic, meaning that those who can avoid dangerous, dirty, and unrewarding labor do so, by paying those who can't to do it for them.

When you first start out, you won't be a master crafter, but if you want to end up one, you will be the type of person who would make sense in that role, which is to say, not a smelly, sheep-shearing peasant. 8-) This will, as you say, make you dependent on others, but it will not, as you fear, prevent you from crafting… at least insofar as the economy Works, which is something we'll all probably have to be patient with as they test and tweak things. It's not, as far as I know, intended to do so.

But ICly, within the context of the game world, a tailor dependent on others for cloth is entirely realistic and justifiable. Which is not to say that hunter/cook and tailor/farmer aren't viable roles, they just represent a more self-sufficient, subsistence archetype, less focused on artisanship, trade and town life.

Bottom line, there's always a trade off. You might have a harder time getting started in crafting if you have to negotiate for resources, but you'll be able to focus on it more and go farther with it in the end. It depends entirely on how you want to spend your game time and what your character concept is, as to where on that spectrum you want to be. Remember, too, that all stories are good stories if you embrace them and play them out, including the story of the tailor who can't find any damn cloth. :)

Disclaimer: this is a new game, so some or all of this may be irrelevant. Admins will illuminate if necessary. 8-)
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Bogre » Tue May 20, 2014 3:53 pm

Also, with any kind of armor on combat will be much more forgiving, rather than swinging big ass weapons at each other's naked guest pre-corpses.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Winthrope » Tue May 20, 2014 6:39 pm

Also, with any kind of armor on combat will be much more forgiving, rather than swinging big @#!*% weapons at each other's naked guest pre-corpses.


I'm sure that it will be more forgiving. However, you're also talking to someone who played on a mud that was forgiving... to an extent. Let me give you an example:

Winthrope the Warrior is exploring! He ain't no newb, but he's also no master swordsman. He finds a castle, or what used to be one; it's been deserted for quite some time, and as he creeps down the hallway he finds a door that's shut tight. He pulls the door open slowly, peering in cautiously. Despite his sword being drawn, his eyes widen in horror; five megalopedes barrel into him, and it isn't long before he's lunch. Sure, he comes back alive... after an hour or so. But he pretty much has decided to maybe be a lamp lighter or a shoe salesman for the rest of his life after that punishing experience.

When you first start out, you won't be a master crafter, but if you want to end up one, you will be the type of person who would make sense in that role, which is to say, not a smelly, sheep-shearing peasant.


I don't expect to start out a master (that'd be boring!). I just want to actually be able to craft at a reasonable rate, while being able to make some cash. I don't mind negotiating with others in order to get more resources; that can be interesting. And I like the idea of focusing on crafting, not gathering resources (really, the idea of it being ideal to focus all on one area). There's a problem, though; what if you're poor? What if you start out poor (I'm assuming this is the case for pretty much every new character)? Then how can you negotiate? What if a gang of orc (or human) players just keeps camping around resources and keeps them from being harvested?

I've played on some muds where you can craft and get some practice. You even make a small amount of coin off of your efforts. But you rely on NPC shops that carry goods, and they only carry enough to make, say, 5 of something. Then you have to wait for the mud to reboot, and hope you're not beaten to the punch by another crafter.

So, lots of what if this, what if that... I'm sure the admins here have put a lot of thought into this. And really, just by the lengthy answer it helps me think more about what my character is going to do. I guess my whole point is... I'm a pretty laid back player, and don't have tons of time on my hands. I don't really want to have to fight and struggle just to make ends meet and improve my character.

I don't know what kind of economic balance the staff have planned for Laketown or alpha, but I think I can probably reassure you some.

SOI has always been a haven for crafters and non-combat PCs, as well as providing lots of room for people who want to play soldiers and savages.


Honestly, it does reassure me some. And one final note...

Remember, too, that all stories are good stories if you embrace them and play them out, including the story of the tailor who can't find any @#!*% cloth.


Not to be a stick in the mud... but I wouldn't find that very fun at all. Sort of like being the swordsman who could never get a sword. :P Anyways, thanks for the info!
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Matt » Tue May 20, 2014 7:16 pm

Keep in mind metal will be scarce.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Winthrope » Tue May 20, 2014 10:15 pm

That's why I'm asking how scarce. If it's so scarce that progressing in a metal-crafting skill is a snail's pace... it'll make me totally redo my character concept.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Matt » Tue May 20, 2014 11:11 pm

Well word on the street is it'll be rare enough that the majority of people won't be in any armor over leathers. Weapons will be the big focus on metal I'm sure. But! If metal is so rare that it's hard to get armor work in someone that's good at armoring would be very valuable indeed. I think if you picked both weaponcraft and armorcraft you'd get a decent amount of focus in on weapons with the occasional armor order coming in based on who is able to get what. But I'd say it's going to take awhile for metal armor making to get off the ground from the beginning of the game.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Mithrandur » Wed May 21, 2014 12:04 am

Matt wrote:Well word on the street is it'll be rare enough that the majority of people won't be in any armor over leathers. Weapons will be the big focus on metal I'm sure. But! If metal is so rare that it's hard to get armor work in someone that's good at armoring would be very valuable indeed. I think if you picked both weaponcraft and armorcraft you'd get a decent amount of focus in on weapons with the occasional armor order coming in based on who is able to get what. But I'd say it's going to take awhile for metal armor making to get off the ground from the beginning of the game.



This also depends on how they implement fixing things via wear and tear. If it's like ARPI or PRPI where it's a generic armor/weapon cleaning kit that anyone and their grandmum can use, then yeah this is still likely the case. But if it's made as a smith-only type skillset then it might make smiths a bit more valuable than say churning out a few pieces and then never getting any return business.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Winthrope » Wed May 21, 2014 12:56 am

Hmmm that's quite helpful actually. I might put some focus in on leatherworking then.

That's my goal, making an armorsmith/weaponsmith; it just would be a real drag to have this great concept fall flat on its face because of a lack of resources. It makes me want to have three different trades, or even four, so that I can get money regularly coming in.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Mithrandur » Wed May 21, 2014 1:29 am

Winthrope wrote:Hmmm that's quite helpful actually. I might put some focus in on leatherworking then.

That's my goal, making an armorsmith/weaponsmith; it just would be a real drag to have this great concept fall flat on its face because of a lack of resources. It makes me want to have three different trades, or even four, so that I can get money regularly coming in.


For an armorsmith and weaponsmith both, leatherworking would be a nice secondary skill to have. Even on the old codebase we had, leather was an important part of armor making and to a lesser degree weaponcraft (leather strips). Leatherworking also has the added bonus of being able to make non-armor stuffs such as quivers, some cloaks and clothing and (if I recall) boots so there will likely always be some sort of demand.

I do regret to say that even when iron was plentiful back in the days of old SoI armorcraft was a bit slow in the sense that many people do not replace their armor on a regular basis. Mileage may vary with the new code and crafting systems put in place, but do expect armor and weapon business to come in brief waves as new new players, or new materials become available.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Throttle » Wed May 21, 2014 2:00 am

Also remember that it's Alpha, so essentially a testing phase. People with just one crafting skill might find that their options aren't very extensive. I don't know about all of the crafts, but it seems at least the weapon and armour ones are kept to the basic categories in the beginning, with the superior lines opening up sometime in the future. Someone who wants to mainly be a crafter will probably want to pick several crafting skills.

Even so, there's no reason not to pick a weapon skill, the investment it takes to "combat-enable" your character is really minimal now that fighting styles are no longer picked in chargen. You have to pick a minimum of six skills and no sane person is going to take six crafts, so unless you want to be a multi-crafter, a healer and literate all at once, you have plenty of freedom to pick a weapon skill and start out every bit as combat-capable as any starting warrior is. It's a classless system, you don't have to pick one or the other, most people do both crafting and fighting. Anytime I've played a non-combat character, I've actually had trouble filling out my skill list with useful stuff and always end up with a few dead skills that I never use but had to pick in order to get through chargen.

As for the combat, don't take the guest lounge arena as anything remotely resembling the real thing. You're thrown in there with no stats, random skills, and no armour. Normally, RPI combat is 95% PvE against wild animals, which is typically quite trivial as long as you don't venture out alone (only skilled hunters should ever do so). There may be a safe "newbie area" near town, but other than that, combat almost always takes place in groups either with one's clan or just with whoever is around when it's time to head out. In the ARPI codebase, melee combat is actually very lenient and easy to survive if you know the basics. The real challenge is to stay awake on hunts, trust me...
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Matt » Wed May 21, 2014 6:52 am

If you're going the super crafter route I'd also recommend woodworking for you. It'll be a necessary part of weaponmaking and if you have it you won't have to outsource your hilt/shaft work.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Octavius » Wed May 21, 2014 11:23 am

Winthrope wrote:Hello, new to SoI and all, and I'm just slowly working on getting a character made through the online generator.


Welcome! We're glad to have you! Based on your questions, I think you'll enjoy the game quite a bit. SOI, as a proud member of the RPI MUD community, is a haven for those who value good crafting RP.

Winthrope wrote:Looking at the list of skills, specifically crafting, it really made me start wondering; just how hard is it going to be to bring up skills such as armorsmithing and weaponsmithing?


First, both Armorcaft and Weaponcraft are special skills (see the staff announcements on skills) which provide specialization within other skillsets - i.e. they don't work alone. The majority of crafts in these two areas do not check Weaponcraft/Armorcraft alone, but as a second check after you pass your Metalcraft/Woodcraft/Leathercraft check.

Bottom line: You will advance in both/all skills naturally by working your trade.

Make sure you pick all the skills you'll need:

  • Everyone with Metalcraft can work as a blacksmith.
  • You need both Metalcraft and Weaponcraft to work on the specialized trade of quality weapon production.
  • You need Woodcraft, Metalcraft, and Weaponcraft to be able to work the whole breadth of weaponcrafting at a journeyman level.
  • If you want to be a master craftsman plying the weaponcraft trade, then you need Woodcraft, Metalcraft, Weaponcraft and Artistry. We are working in a world with skill artisan craftsmen - Superior items and crafts will generally require the Artistry skill in their production, separating the casual dabbler from the Master.

We also have deliberately constructed things to encourage role differentiation... Armorcraft requires a different set of basic-four skills:
Light Armorer: Textilecraft Leathercraft Armorcraft Artistry
Heavy Armorer: Leathercraft Metalcraft Armorcraft Artistry

To be a combo Weaponcrafter/Armorcrafter is deliberately hard - it would take Woodcraft Leathercraft Textilecraft Metalcraft Weaponcraft Armorcraft Artistry. Seven skills is possible, but dilutes your starting skills down so that you are essentially a newer apprentice in your background, rather than someone who can claim to have been working the trade for any period of years.

Winthrope wrote:I read the post earlier about how resources will vary depending on the starting race and the area. For example, humans have more trees around and can do more woodworking. Orcs, more stone and can do more stonework.


Orcs have access to stone; they live in the Mountains of Mirkwood. Humans have to import it off the river. That's the one big difference.

Orcs and humans both have access to the same forests, so similar access to trees. The human's purpose is to be a lumber town (with a mill) so gathering and processing is simply more important to theme for them.

Winthrope wrote:I really like the idea of a character who is great at making things, selling them to others (or even giving away something, if generosity is needed), and combat doesn't appeal to me. Am I pretty much setting myself up for disappointment here?


Not at all. We encourage role differentiation. Our preferred playstyle, from the game designer side, is to have specialists working together in clans. The solo-player will be possible, but have a harder time. Group dynamics and clan roleplay are highly incentivized.

Winthrope wrote:Am I going to have to rely on others to get materials for me all the time?


Yes. But again, group dynamics and clan roleplay are highly incentivized.

Winthrope wrote:Would be nice to make a character that has no combat skill what-so-ever. Hehe.


That's quite acceptable, and common. :)

We do expect people to "dabble in the other side" because it is good for fun to mix it up from time to time, but that is a personal player choice.

pompadourslim wrote:I don't know what kind of economic balance the staff have planned for Laketown or alpha, but I think I can probably reassure you some.


Listen to pretty much everything that PSlim says. He speaks with wisdom.

Matt wrote:Well word on the street is it'll be rare enough that the majority of people won't be in any armor over leathers. Weapons will be the big focus on metal I'm sure.


Rarity of Metal:

Good metal will be imported, and thus subject to direct staff control as we playtest this out in Alpha. High-quality iron from the dwarves of the Iron Hills can be gotten, but requires engaging in the bulk-trade system.

We have adopted the player-suggestion of bog-iron. This means that there are swampy areas deep in the forest where this type of ore can collect and be found. These areas will be highly dangerous, and will be a source of competition between Orcs and Humans to gather it. Besides the danger level and PvP risks, the ability to acquire bog-iron ore will be governed by the Foraging system (for those who knew Scavenge at ARPI).

So, low-quality bog-iron will be available for crafting based on the adventurer's level of success in getting deep into the woods and aquiring it, and will allow people to work their trades. Getting GOOD iron to make those items is a separate issue.

Matt wrote:But I'd say it's going to take awhile for metal armor making to get off the ground from the beginning of the game.


For the start of Alpha, we simply have not coded it. People will be in fabric and leathers at the Basic level because that's all that is available when we begin.

This pushes the problem of item creep down the road so we can deal with other Alpha-testing problems first. When Ordinary-level armors appear, they will include the boiled-leather courbolli and metal-reinforced leather and fabrics. See the full details in the announcement.

Mithrandur wrote:This also depends on how they implement fixing things via wear and tear. If it's like ARPI or PRPI where it's a generic armor/weapon cleaning kit that anyone and their grandmum can use, then yeah this is still likely the case. But if it's made as a smith-only type skillset then it might make smiths a bit more valuable than say churning out a few pieces and then never getting any return business.


The intent is to go the smith-only route for most things. Thanks for the reminder... I don't think we addressed repair kits for Alpha open. To start, you might not be able to fix anything. :)

The quicker wear-and-tear is hindered by us needing a code fix... we can't lower durability as much as we like without tweaking some restrictions. Please make sure you provide input-feedback on this in a thread as Alpha begins so we can adjust based on your experiences.


Throttle wrote:Also remember that it's Alpha, so essentially a testing phase. People with just one crafting skill might find that their options aren't very extensive.


True - we have very basic things in to start. Most craftsets will have enough to play around with, but need expansion.

Throttle wrote:I don't know about all of the crafts, but it seems at least the weapon and armour ones are kept to the basic categories in the beginning, with the superior lines opening up sometime in the future.


Basic options are in-place for open.

Ordinary options to branch up will be built as Alpha progresses, but we have the plans.

Superior options are on hold for a while - we have a lot of shakedown to do first, then we'll make those decisions.

Weaponcraft, because of the nature of our hardcode, was built a little more holistically and less "quick start." (The hard code now enforces standards across all weapons. Variables are the only way to tweak a weapon in code, so more variables and planning went into its initial setup.) This means that weaponcraft has whole sets in place for both Basic and Ordinary levels, and a few options in Ordinary/Superior that allow modification of the lower level items that are creatable. (i.e. you can make a Basic sword, attach a Basic or Ordinary hilt, and then improve its metal-finish or the sharpness of its edge with the Ordinary or Superior level.)

Throttle wrote:Even so, there's no reason not to pick a weapon skill, the investment it takes to "combat-enable" your character is really minimal now that fighting styles are no longer picked in chargen.


Dabbling works both ways. :) One skill gets you started. (Metalcraft lets you dabble as a blacksmith, Bludgeon lets you get out and try your hand with a hammer or axe.) Actual "combat readiness" should include more skills than that, though. A weapon skill, a weapon style, hunting skill, hide-sneak skill.... those are core for someone going into Mirkwood as a focus.

Throttle wrote:You have to pick a minimum of six skills and no sane person is going to take six crafts, so unless you want to be a multi-crafter, a healer and literate all at once, you have plenty of freedom to pick a weapon skill and start out every bit as combat-capable as any starting warrior is.


First-aid is the dabbler skill. First-aid and Medicine is the two-pick combo to be focused on it.

Education is RPP-restricted (so not available at the start). It will be given for specific roles at Frigga's discretion as Elder Staff until we decide the mechanism for allowing it to be picked in chargen.

Throttle wrote:Normally, RPI combat is 95% PvE against wild animals, which is typically quite trivial as long as you don't venture out alone (only skilled hunters should ever do so). There may be a safe "newbie area" near town, but other than that, combat almost always takes place in groups either with one's clan or just with whoever is around when it's time to head out.


The area closest to humans will be mildest (noting that no place is "safe" in Mirkwood). The area closest to Orcs will be moderate (because they don't like it mild). The "OMG DANGEROUS" areas are in the middle, with all the really valuable stuff there subject to competition.
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Re: Crafting and Resources

Postby Throttle » Wed May 21, 2014 11:40 am

Dabbling works both ways. :) One skill gets you started. (Metalcraft lets you dabble as a blacksmith, Bludgeon lets you get out and try your hand with a hammer or axe.) Actual "combat readiness" should include more skills than that, though. A weapon skill, a weapon style, hunting skill, hide-sneak skill.... those are core for someone going into Mirkwood as a focus.


The difference is that picking a single craft only lets you make a little bit but probably not even enough to make a living whereas you can pick a weapon skill and that's your full chargen combat potential realized. Sneak and hide are useful but don't help you fight better, and style skills aren't available at chargen for now. There really is nothing you can pick in chargen to make you fight better except your weapon skill of choice -- you don't even really have a strong incentive to pick two weapon skills as the game doesn't really give you a reason to use different weapon types, let alone the opportunity to max two weapon skills.

Anything else is utility that doesn't do anything for your character's actual combat power. You can be a full-fledged warrior with just one skillpick and nobody is really going to think anything is wrong, whereas most other professions demand as many as three or four skills: nobody would care much for a smith who only actually has metalworking without the weapon/armorcrafting and wood/leatherworking that enable what people really want out of a smith.
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