Automated timesinks

Well this is a system type that i am kinda split about, i kinda like it and kinda hate it at the same time, depends on how it implemented.

the idea is that you set something to do an action and then it will do it until it is finished, even if you are gone, even if you are offline.

i have 2 examples for it, a good and a bad.

The good:

Dragon age inquisition’s wartable:

Dragon age inquistion is a really good RPG that does almost everything right (in my eyes) but something i feel is an amazingly cool way of doing things is the wartable which you can acess from your keep.

from the wartable you have pins which you can click and get information, there are 2 types, 1) unlocking new areas using power (which has nothing to do with this) and 2) events where you send 1 out of 3 ambassadors to fix a problem, the lore for them varies but they are fundamentally the same, pick a pin, send an ambassador, every task takes time varying from a few mins to 15 + hours, when they are out you cannot assign them to other tasks before they get back, when they get back you get a small overview on how it went and then you get a reward for doing it, these varies greatly depending on type and length of the task.

but in short you click a pin and see something like this

the timer just continues even when you are offline or out questing, you then get a notification when it is done and you can get your reward.

I love this system because it feels like i am still making progress even when chilling around or being offline, i catch myself spending most of my time just relaxing and talking to the npcs in my keep after i have put my ambassador on a small job,
then when it is finished i go back to the table, claim reward and then send them out again.

The best thing about this is that the options are totally optional, you get some crafting recipes and some armor maybe, but you dont feel like you lose anything for not doing it but more like you gain something every time you do it.

The Bad:

Elder scrolls online Trait system:

For those who havent played ESO it is an mmo made on the Elder scroll games, actually a pretty good game which just went buy to play, so i suggest taking a look at it, but never the less, there are 2 things which are insanely annoying

  1. the crafting is boring and is just a pie machine (put in stuff, get something out)
  2. there is a trait system which is time based.

The trait system is in theory really simple but insanely tedious to work with because of the way it is build.

every type of item had 8 different ‘‘traits’’ which could be made on it, the way you unlocked traits was that when you found an item with a trait you could ‘‘Research’’ it and learn the trait, in theory quite awesome, but the problem was that the time it took always multiplied with 2 compared to the previous. so it took so freaking long, and it was neccesary to have the traits in case you wanted to craft sets items, the needed traits would differ from 2 - 8 traits to be able to make the item with that set bonus.

every… single… item… needs to get the traits learned seperately, so even though i learned a trait on my hammer i cannot use the trait on my sword, although they are both under blacksmithing, which is really nice in the sense that people could specialize,

here is the time needed to learn traits on an item, item refers to the trait on 1 item, so learning your first trait on your sword takes 6 hours, learning your second trait takes 12 hours and so on.

Item 1 = 6 hours
Item 2 = 12 hours
Item 3 = 1 day
Item 4 = 2 days
Item 5 = 4 days
Item 6 = 8 days
Item 7 = 16 days
Item 8 = 32 days

you see the end? 32 freaking days!!! you can train up to learning 3 traits at once, but even then it takes one to several years to get all traits, and it just feels like a lazy solution. and it is really really bad.

Now how it could be used for oort.

Infused Materials:

1 thing i think would be nice would be to allow people to infuse materials with for example oort shards or other types of energy using a special forge, and then increase the time it takes to infuse the higher the tier


I am a master blacksmith and i have been asked to craft one of the best possible swords that i can, i have the highest tier metal that i can get called mithril, but it is just not strong enough, i need Shadow infused mithril to create a sword who is stronger and faster than the ordinary.

I head over to my infusion forge and scramble in the chest beside it to find what i need

Insanely overkill example but bear with me

I pick up the mithril

which i then proceed to place in the forge, and i then head to my energy shard container and with great care takes out my shadow shard

and place it next to the mithril. i make the preparations and then put both into the forge and closes it. i leave the forge because the essence is now fusing with the mithril and will be done in roughly 17 hours.

17 hours later

i head back to my forge and opens the forge and inside is the mithril lying with a dark aura around it, i take the mineral to my anvil and starts to make the sword.

after some hard work i finally finishes it and i now have a sword much stronger than what i could have ever made from normal mithril.

That is one of the best ways i can imagine adding it, so allowing you to combine rare energy gems/shards with normal materials to get stronger and more unique materials. so if you want to make the best sword you cannot just gather the mats and mass produce them, you need to get the materials and the fuse them, so every 17 hours you have made materials for 1 sword, making them worth more and making them more unique.

this would also go great with making elemental effects, so have elemental gems that needs to be fused with the normal material to make an elemental weapon, for example a flaming sword, an unholy magic infused dagger and so on.

Sorry for the long rant again, as i said i think you can get some amazingly well working systems using an automated timesink but they can also turn out horribly.


Even when we dont agree, I do like the pretty pictures in your posts.
Time sinks always make me think of Clash of Clans, and other such phone game ploys for impatient peoples cash.
You made it a feasable use here!

Such a system is also great to give value to special items for trading (if you can trade refined mats and/or the final products). I would also like to see something like science I’m Oort, like realizing that you can do something with a special mix of mats, but need time to invent that recipe (with a desk or lab-block. This would work great with rare or new skins (which may be implemented through patches from time to time).

P.S.: I also would love to see a special and expansive forge for refining the highest mats ingame (and mixtures of them), which you can only build and place a limited number of. On this way you would ensure, that nobody just builds tens and hundreds of forges to cut down the timesink of the rarest weapons ingame. The only way to speed it up then would be trading or teamwork, which is something I like to be honored :wink:

I realy like your ideas.

But there’s a point in MMOs i never liked … Why do we need a maximum tier where (when reached) everyone can craft the same items ?!

I would imagine this with a “skill-system” for professions with three or more skills (Exploration / By Time / By Mass).

Let’s say someone likes to discover new recipes (like you can do in gw2) and is always adding new things together he has found in the world … he’s doing this of course with items he already crafted and he gets better in the skill “discovery” by time. He has a chance to discover new items by “accident” (like it’s often in real life … [e.g. Penicillin])

Example 1:
1 try: Stone + Stone = Spark (nothing you could store … but a short lightning that may do small damage to yourself)
2 try: Stone + Stone = Spark
3 try: Stone + Stone = Stone blade (accident - one of the Stones is broken because it was used to discover)

He may also has a small chance to discover totally new items / materials that have never been made before or are totally unique (on all worlds or the world tier. This don’t need to (but may) be “max” items … first of all it’s only “unique”).

This would be a great mechanism for the devs to expand the professions without major releases. they just add new materials or new random behaviors to old materials (in the background). The player may never notice this item was not in the game since the beginning and this would make it necessary that some combinations need to be combined again even if you already did it once (thats what i have hate in gw2 … once you discover an item … it’s normally a useless recipe)

On the other Hand someone may like to make his work correct and is willing to spend some extra seconds or minutes for crafting - he’ll get better in “accuracy”. Hey may master the highest grades of crafting skills becoming able to craft fine jewelry instead “only” jewelry (better stats or better looking)

Example 2:
Craft 1 Sword in 1 Min -> Sword (Quality 13%, Took 2 Iron Ores)
Craft 1 Sword in 10 Min -> damask steel sword (Quality 90%, Took 2 Iron + 1 coal)
– some times later after he increased his accuracy skill –
Craft 1 Sword in 10 Min -> damask steel sword (Quality 100%, Took 1 Iron + 1 coal)

(The costs may maybe not known before crafting)

Last but not least someone (maybe the guilds Smith) crafts 100 swords a day (don’t know if there’s a need for that :D). He will become able to produce more efficient and by time (but slow) better quality items.

This System would imply that the “common” crafting system like seen in other RPGs is a average mix of all of these skills. But with the Idea i suggested the player would not be forced to use always new materials or “old trails” … he’ll just get better with his skills and therefore he will make better items. It would open new possibilities for the devs because they can add new items (unnoticed by the Players) over time or add totally unique items (maybe tradable).

a really accurate Smith can make a legendary sword out of Stone (e.g. Obsidian Dragon sword) and dont even need higher tier materials.
a really creative smith will discover a secret “trick” to make gold from lead or a way to open epic world rifts where Titans can came out of
a really “busy” smith will become more efficient (lower costs on crafting and faster crafting) and will find ways to better “harden” materials for combat (more dmg).
I always hated the feeling that i’ve “mastered” a profession - found all recipes and have the highest gear. In RL you can never be a “master” at anything - so why should we be able to master things in games ?!

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I dont think you should limit forges, that is where the fun part comes in, they should just be extremely hards to get the materials to make, so if i need to use 30 hours of gathering mats to make an infusion forge then i can make as many as i want. the good smiths who have real smithing shops can then do multiple infusions at once so they always have the metal you need, you might make the sword need 3 infused metal to make it, and that way you either need to do it 3 times or just build more forges.

I do like GW2’s system of discovery, i do not like your idea that there is a random chance of making something from 2 items if they dont tell me it, i dont want to use the same combination 10 times to ‘‘magically’’ find out that it does something, i dont think you should be able to make master sword of doom from stone, because then there is no incentitive to get materials from higher tier and more dangerous worlds.

i also think making stuff should take a bit of time but i dont want to use 10 minutes on every item, i would think a few mins for making a simple sword is enough and then the higher up you get the longer it takes to make something. also the crafting is about combining materials so no problem there.

i suggested previously that we could get 50% of things we make by discovering it and then 50% from drop recipes. that way even if you have max tier you might still need 40% of everything you can make because of the recipes that you need which also stops every player from being able to make the same things :smile:

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I don’t ment that on all forges, but only the special ones especialy build to refine the most rare mats (only used for max-tier items). Normal forges should have no limit in number of cause :wink:

yeah i am talking about the refining station. if i have spent a ton of time on making a huge smithing workshop and gathering mats to make 10 forges then i can have 10 forges and i can make stuff 10x faster. while some might even want to deal with it, so i can simply live, not by selling the weapons, but just by selling the metal

but it still takes those 17 hours and it still takes the same materials but i can just have more running at once. if they make the materials rare enough its not even sure i can use all 10, because i dont have those materials which i need.

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That’s a good point. I just don’t want that players can get their legendary stuff to fast. We need long term aims in a MMO. But if the collecting of the materials takes a very long while it would be also ok :wink:

yeah ofc. thats why i think there should be processes of refining which takes time, not just digging it out from the ground and you are good to go

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