Can we get rid of the First Rule of MMO Crafting?

| Tuesday, September 4, 2012
That rule of course being: "Don't make anything useful until the parts stop giving skill."

You start off making copper gizmos which are used to make copper widgets.  Both are guaranteed to give a skill boost.  So you do the sensible thing and make a few gizmos and turn them into widgets because widgets are pretty handy to have.  But now gizmos don't give any more skill and widgets are the only way to level.  So you're stuck making more gizmos for no skill to make widgets for skill and the overall result is that you used extra materials and made extra widgets (there are only so many you can use) for the same skill gain as if you'd made all the gizmos at the start and then the widgets afterward.  Of course to do that you'd need to have known that gizmos go grey very quickly and you should not make any widgets until then, which seems rather silly, since presumably one reason you're leveling widgetsmithing is because your class uses widgets and it makes quite a bit of sense to make a widget and use it right away to replace your terrible starting gear consisting of a stone widget with no stats.

I suggest this: crafting parts go grey at the same skill level as the devices they create.

Ah, but you're thinking that there is a problem.  Surely now this means that gizmos are the easy way to go, all the way, cheap and easy!  But you're wrong.  Why would I make nothing but gizmos?  They won't sell for much, not if they're supposedly the spam-crafting way to go and therefore in an abundant supply and utterly without demand. In fact, once I have a pile of gizmos, why would I not turn them into widgets?  I get a skill up without using any materials which I have no already spent, and given the tendency for gizmos to sell for very little to merchants and vendors, there is very little lost in the gizmo->widget conversion.

The net effect would be to make crafting guides a thing of the past.  No more "make 10 copper gizmos and then 10 copper doodads and then finally 5 copper widgets"  followed with "make 10 bronze gizmos..." and so on and so forth, the net effect being to convert a relaxing session of widgetlust gratification into another google search for a guide that isn't for the last expansion and therefore out of date.

The new crafting method would be to make what you want as soon as you have the skill for it, without needing to look up the exact moment that you're allowed to make a widget to use, which is, at times, never.

5 comments:

Coreus said...

Engineerin' ain't for greenhorns.

Rowan Blaze said...

I had a great comment but my phone ate it.

I regularly "waste" skill points making things that actually useful to me at my level, like making bags and such in GW2. Actually, this would a nice rule to change, too. Can we actually get recipes for items that are worth a damn at the level we're crafting them? (This of course would not apply if you are playing catch up on your crafting.)

TSW has an interesting craft system; based in part on Minecraft, from what I gather.) You get the plan for a crafted item by breaking down an existing item of the same type (or at least looking at it in the crafting window). Items of similar type are the same shape, just with better material (and an appropriate Quality-level kit). For example, all swords are made on a template that looks like a lower-case "t."

Granted, the crafting system of TSW is probably not incentive enough to play if other aspects of the game do not appeal.

Klepsacovic said...

@Coreus: Econ 101: Everything is a Widget

@Rowan Blaze: That sounds a bit like discovery in GW2. You can combine the materials for the basic item with stat modifying items to get a new recipe. Though there are also the non-gear things which I cannot figure out and seem to involve guessing, such as whatever it is I can do with bronze bars.

MomentEye said...

I'd go a step further.

Make the parts too difficult to make until you've skilled up on Gizmos.

That mirrors RL where you really need to assemble a few Widgets before you understand the bits that go into them.
But better yet it promotes player interaction. You probably don't need the parts anymore when you've made them... you just need to recoup your investment in skilling up.

And you don't need to delay gratification on the cool item you actually want... just have at it.

*vlad* said...

It would be good if all crafted items used Widgets - call them nails if you will. Making a table? - it needs nails. Making a shield? - it needs nails. Making a 3 deck warship? It needs nails.
Make it so that low level crafting items are still useful at higher levels. That way you don't throw away things just because they don't help you skill up. probably wouldn't work, but hey.

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