Crafting Professions

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I thought I’d start a discussion about crafting, combat, and progression. Mostly because I see a lot of different posts concerning this and a lot of questions too. This is carrying on from a discussion started in the Q/A video topic.

In line of the Lore around the game, dev posts concerning progression through the game, and from the recent survey here is my view:

What is the game is a good place to start. Oort is a sandbox which is online allowing people to connect and crafting and combat should reflect this. I see a lot of posts about well defined systems of levelling and classes of crafting and combat; this is fundamentally different to what Oort is about.

These kind of systems lean towards a game where attaining ranks is the game, and these ranks define your experience of the game. A combat based player is, by using a rank system of crafting and combat, limited by the system and this limits Oort. An easy way around this is to allow respec, however any game which allows respec, quickly loses enjoyability as you don’t have to work for anything after working for one aspect, for arguments sake a lvl10 combat player can quickly shift to lvl10 crafter. You could also add additional characters but it has the same effect. The game whilst hailing as a sandbox about exploration, building and encountering wonderful monsters, quickly degenerates into a rank based, time dependent, worst case scenario money dependent, MMORPG.

A better system would be this. Tool based crafting; dependent equally on knowledge and tool/resource quality, and combat; dependent equally on your actual ability to use the system and weapon quality. To clarify: a bow made of better string and body will shoot farther and faster, better arrows will do more damage, and your actual ability to aim will obviously be a factor. For crafting, a hammer made of better material will work for longer, allow you to work harder materials, and craft better quality materials, and also your knowledge of what you need to make what will let you progress in crafting.

None of this needs ranks on players, and neither does it limit you to one aspect of the game. Now successful crating/combat could yield experience for those who find worth in levels. This should not affect your ability to craft, crafting 100 wooden daggers should not make you rank 2 which means guaranteeing that you can always make wooden daggers whilst also now making sure you can craft iron daggers and so on. Your ability to make a wooden item does not mean you can now make it out of iron. Iron requires different knowledge, different tools, different everything. A system like this is a bad system for a game like Oort.

In addition exp should not automatically give you more health for example. How swinging a sword or crafting a box which levels you up after X repeats affects health, stamina, or mana is beyond me. Considering what Oort is as a game, systems reminiscent of MMORPGs are limiting and don’t actually work. Armour will make you last longer in a fight, as will dodging and being able to use the combat system, without relying on rank 10 onehanded guaranteeing you do decent damage.

Level grinding and experience farming will harm Oort.

Finally, a titan fight should always require groups, not only will this force community and guilds, it actually defines what the titan is, a huge, powerful beast that will crush anything that isn’t clever and prepared. A system where people can grind for exp elsewhere and guarantee their eventual success defeats the purpose of the Titan.

What do you think?

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Please try to answer to that topics which already exist. I know it would be a bunch of work, but starting a new topic would lead to “redo” all the discussions and explainations again. especially your points (Progress and advancement of the caracter, skills and titans) have been discussed many times, so just have a look there :wink:

On progress or leveling just search for keywords like “Progress”, “Character Development” or even “Skill”. There are many different ones.

On Titans you also can search or just have a look here: https://forum.oortonline.com/t/titans-in-oort-online/67/

And always good to know: The planned gameplay loop (just the first post :wink: ) … https://forum.oortonline.com/t/design-about-the-oort-online-gameplay-loop/250

PS: Just saw that you made this topic for continuing the discussion of the “Q&A Video question collection topic”, so sorry if I got you a bit wrong here at first. Still it would be good if this discussions (and yeah, with your post it are many different points ^^) will take place at their own topics for overseeing issues :wink:

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True! I only saw a few posts, but most seem to push in the direction of what I am trying to argue against. I thought one in the opposite direction might make the overall impression seem more balanced. Ah well.

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Well, if you are against some kind of development in those discussions then it is even more important to post your thoughts there, cuz then we can discuss on with your points in mind :wink:

This topic is valid, let’s keep in on crafting specifically.

It would be interesting for us to know why there are such strong feelings about crafting professions? I’m not sure I understand the angle, but clearly there’s something here. What are you into? What is a ‘profession’ important to you? What do you consider to be a good/bad crafting profession? Why would it be bad to not have crafting professions?

This is a given: we’re aiming for kick ass progression that lasts a long time, not a few hours to max out. This isn’t a case of “you could have had something cool, but instead we’ve decided to do nothing”.

This is also not a case of something being subtracted from the genre (crafting professions are not core to many voxel sandbox games).

We’ll never say never, let us know why it’s important for Oort Online to be awesome (and don’t forget to include it in the surveys if you really care!).

Also to address a point in the previous thread: Oort Online as more MMORPG or sandbox. It’s a line we tread and discussion we have nearly on a daily basis, but at its core Oort Online is a sandbox game first. That doesn’t mean a sandbox game only, hence voxel MMO.

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@vastar @thebirne @zouls FYI

I’m not sure harm is the right word, but you’re right, this kind of undertaking would be incredibly ambitious and a potential black hole. There’s definitely a more elegant solution.

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I’ll clarify this in my post! don’t worry, I understand your point =]

Progression is a must everyone agrees on this, it seems to be a question of how that works and the system that’s used.

You could have a system based on skill trees, experience points, levelling and perks. Common to many MMORPGs. Or one that’s based on knowing what to do with resources you have and equally on having the right tool/equipment in hand or in local area, at an interface etc.

E.g Have resources in backpack/storage -> click button/swing hammer -> products, with success and quality based on experience and skill points invested in a profession e.g carpenter.
Or
Have resources in storage --> process material e.g ore --> via process e.g smelter --> craft e.g hammer/cast/anvil --> products. This has nothing to do with exp, levelling, perks and skill trees, but is based on the player having the right equipment and knowledge of what to do. Now if you wanted some sort of modifier to imitate real life practice, i’d avoid levels/exp but use %proficiency of tool usage, which would have no tiers but slowly increased and decreased based on usage.

This prevents a grinding, exp gathering atmosphere to crafting and in my original post combat if you apply similar principles. It also means that you are not guaranteed to succeed based on your level, and which makes the game boring when you reach max because if you play a game based on ranks the aim becomes to attain max rank, once you are there whats the point? Skill trees and perks also need constant balancing to prevent loop holes and taking advantage.

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For me professions in crafting are a good way to give people a role in the greater community. So if you have a group of players which run a town each on can focus on different crafting professions so that (if supporting each other) they all get good equipment, weapons and tools. Also, if somebody specializes in a certain field of crafting he could become a trader through a long his goods. If the profession leafs to better equipment the people would like to buy his wares instead of making them on their own. So professions also enrich the player made economy.

I know that there is also a need for a system which allows also solo players to build most or all the stuff, but that’s why I like a system where a better skill leads to better and not more stuff. For example a better skilled crafter makes tools with more durability or speed, weapons with a little higher damage or armor with some resistances. That would allow both parties of players to play their style while enriching the depth of progression.

And PS: on the point that other sandbox voxel games also had no profession skills see it from the other side: Why not then introduce a simple but terrific system for those to get another advancement and difference to them all :wink:

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Well i think most players had an MMO like crafting system in mind and not an MInecraft like.
The MMO systems basically come down to: If you want to craft something you not only need the required materials but also the required skill and i think that’s what (MMO-)players want since many of them find as much joy in lvling their professions as in lvling their character and are therefore unhappy with a crafting system that skips this part of their progression.
Also wouldn´t it be kinda odd if a character that has never crafted an armor before could just buy some Oort shards and Titan dropped materials and would suddenly be able to make the best armor in the game? Also as i already said: No proffesions would probably mean no economy (just compare the trade in games with the “voxel-crafting-system” (Minecraft, Rust, …) with games that use the "MMO-crafting-system).

I´m aware of that and that’s why i don’t suggest something like the “craft 100 iron dagger” Skyrim system or the in depth crafting system of “The Repopulation” but there are many really good and not too complicated ideas for the implementation of crafting systems in this forum. For example the idea that a skilled blacksmith can use +10% material to make an armor that gives +10% protection. And/Or that you have to craft special tools, (maybe even crafting stations) that require a bit of effort to obtain, in order to process higher tier materials.

Also why do we three get an extra invitation to this thread? :smile:

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I never considered this topic to be a big issue because the Oort developers have introduced two defining key points.

  1. The worlds will be tiered. This implies that there will be some sort of character evolution even if that evolution is defeating the titan. I don’t know the details of everything planned, but it seems that the system to be developed will be based on world travel.
  2. Crafting will be simple and not need a wiki to do. This implies that crafting is not a key focus of character development. However, different tiered worlds may contain different types blocks which could require a better tool or an appropriately experienced avatar.

Hence in my view, every aspect of the game will revolve around the tiered worlds much like zones in an MMO.

In WOW, each zone has a level range for mobs and gathering professions. Crafting professions also have a level cap, although looser. I am not saying that Oort should be like that. There is plenty of room between Wow and My Little Pony.

I would be somewhat disappointed if there was no character progression because character progression is at the very core of MMO’s. I expect that there will be some really great ideas coming forward as the game progresses.

I like playing Oort now. Everything that gets added just makes me want to play more.

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As an answer to “so why do we three get an extra invitation to this thread?” - because we seem to be defenders of the professions ;D

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Agreed, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy the best materials and be able to craft the best item, but i don’t think this should be based on levels of skills and exp points. A system that requires you to move through levels by getting exp from repetition with more repeats to gain higher levels will cause level grinding, which lets be honest is not what sandboxes are about, neither is the fun part of the games that include those systems.

Besides buying the best materials would not let you immediately get the best gear, you’d have to have the right tool/station/shop area to be able to do so. And also, in an economy someone could also just put the best item up for sale skipping the materials and crafting stage altogether, which is why people do professions anyway, to sell the good stuff to people to don’t want to spend time crafting.

I’m supporting professions, i’m against MMORPG style levelling, skill trees and perks. We need a bridge between the two.

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Defender of professions - that’s a title i can live with :smile:

@olihax
I also think that an exp based profession system would probably not fit into this game, as you already said, some sort of in-between the standard MMO and the standard sanbox game crafting would be perfect (which makes sense since this whole game is an in-between MMO and sandbox)

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The progression in the crafting skills could be bound to science or researching. If you want to raise a skill you have to build a research table at home and start the research/training. As higher you come as more time the research need. To reach higher levels you may need resources you only get from titans (so it would be tier bound). With this system you would have the choice to specialize in one or two professions or try to get better in a more brought field of professions. Also players who love to play with only one character all the time could master all professions (which may take months or even years).

This system would get rid of mass-crafting and also don’t need XP. Just time :wink:

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This is an amazing idea I can fully back.

Also, a minecraft feed the beast mod called Thaumcraft does a really good job of research/training. There are minigames that take resources involved to unlock the knowledge you need to learn recipes and whatnot. It’s definitely worth checking out when discussing this topic.

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Minigames may be to much to create and build, but yeah, there can be other stuff then simple time based research to gain levels. May be there are achivements that allow to set a skill one level higher (like crafting a whole collection or build a special monument or even more simple ones like doing a number of item repairs).

This is a really good point.

Can also learn from these mods, thaum and things like tinkerers, among others require extensive wikis and constant referencing to get up the learning curve, which IS rewarding but can be quite annoying/too time consuming.

So it could have a system where there would be a ‘crafter’s manual’ which requires investment in crafting to unlock more detail about Oorts crafting possibilities. And by investment I mean that by simply crafting items, which I feel should involve different multi-block setups like an anvil for repairing metal items or a whetstone for metal weapons, you gain more detail about the manual. Almost like a new crafter would document their findings?

EDIT: could have different ‘manuals’ for different disciplines or ‘chapters’ in one big one for those who want defined separate disciplines/professions, e.g carpenter/gem cutter. This also allows player interaction which is more than simply buying/selling, e.g player finds excellent materials from titans but doesn’t have the knowledge to craft, therefore could hire another player who does?