Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I wanted to restart a discussion we had going on back towards the end of beta, and see what people think now that the game is released.

Disclaimer: This is just a discussion/brainstorming thread. The idea is to see what people like and don't like so that the developers can use that information going forward. Be specific, explain your position, and be willing to discuss alternatives and options or elaborate on your ideas. In the end, don't expect anything you post to actually make it into the game quickly or even at all, but hopefully, it will help influence the direction of the game going forward.

Update 2-9-10:

To restate the reason for the discussion. Crafting (the ability to make useful items in an interesting way, which can then be used, traded, or sold to other players) is something that many players enjoy doing in MMORPGs. Many of us feel that Memory Alpha really isn't a crafting system, and would like to see something where we're doing the work of making the items rather than just going on a galactic scavenger hunt. For more background on what players want from crafting in general, check out these links:

http://tharsis-gate.org/articles/ima...oBakeBread.htm

Edit: Fixed link above since the doc is no longer available on stratics

http://archive.gamespy.com/mmog/stra...01/stratics20/

As far as the IP goes, there is plenty of inspiration in various Star Trek Episodes for crafting. Everything from Scotty creating a console to allow command of a crippled ship, to Kirk modifying a phaser to overload and using it as a bomb, to Wesley Crusher creating portable force field generators on the Enterprise-D, to Tom Paris working on the Delta Flyer in Voyager.

There are two things that have to be figured out in order for a crafting system to be implemented in STO. The first is the mechanics - how do you actually make something? How do you acquire resources? What skills govern it and how do those skills interact? Please note that this ultimately has nothing to do with what form the crafted items take in the game - but this is still important, because the mechanics of crafting are what make it fun and interesting for players to do.

The second thing is the itemization of crafting - and that's where you talk about the items that can be made, how they should compare to loot or reward items, and what all they should do. This is where you start thinking about the game's economy, and the impact that crafted items might have on it.

Anyway, hopefully there will be more good discussion around this topic. I think the developers would like to hear our ideas, so put them out there.

Below is a quick sketch, just to get everyone talking. I've purposely left some things undefined. This is only a "it would be cool if" thread - and nothing that anyone should get worked up over. Maybe the community will come up with great ideas and Cryptic will get something added in a few months. Or maybe it will never happen. But if you think something like this would be a neat addition to the game, speak up! Add your input. And have fun with it.

Goals:

- Make it something anyone can do - easy to learn, but hard to master.
- Allow players to craft finished personal/ship equipment/devices.
- Make it fit within the star trek universe.
- Insure a balanced economic impact. Players should be able to "get rich" through crafting, but they should face additional money sinks as well.


Example crafting system design:

Part 1: Skills

In order to craft, players should need to invest skill points in crafting-related skills (note: if Cryptic does add something like this, the skill point cap should be raised somehow so that crafters aren't penalized in other areas of the game).

Here is an example skill tree:

T1:
Basic Fabrication

T2:
Materials Fabrication
Chemical Fabrication
Field Generation

T3:
Metallurgy Research
Crystalline Matrices
Xenobiology
Organic Compounds
High-Energy Physics
Subspace Theory

T4:
Composite Materials
Harmonic Resonance
Exobiology
Bioneural Networks
Quantum Mechanics
Metastatic Fields

T5:
Nanomolecular Engineering
Fluidic Energy Physics
Xenoevolutionary Organics
Bioenergetic Fields
Singularity Generation
Dimensional Physics

Each one of the skills in my example tree above would grant the player 1-3 recipes for finished items and another 1-3 component recipes (components being used in finished items).

Ranking up a skill increases the effectiveness of designing and creating those finished items (more on that in a moment).


Part 2: Resources

In order to fabricate items, players need access to resources of some type. Resources are acquired in three ways:

- By trading with cargo ships in space or colonies in exploration missions.
- As additional scannable items in space or on the ground (anomalies)
- As loot from defeated opponents.

Resources might include a variety of things, like "dilithium crystal shards", or "ferroceramic gel"

The idea is that players can acquire resources through gameplay, even if they don't craft. This helps establish an economy whereby players can buy and sell resources used in crafting.


Part 3: Design

In order to fabricate an item, a player must first research a design for that item. This is done in the crafting interface. During the design phase, the player selects the base template for the item they want to create - for example, a Mark I Phaser. Then, they get points to spend to tweak their design, based on the ranks they have in the corresponding crafting skill(s).

Players can use the available points to do the following:

- Increase efficiency/potency of the design (so, they might give the phaser a boost to damage)
- Add a special effect (for example, changing the stun beam of the phaser to an overload attack instead)
- Decrease the material requirements for fabrication of the item. (the item takes less components to make)

Obviously the higher someone's skill is, the more points they'll have to spend on their items here. The tradeoff of course is that players shouldn't have enough skill points to max all the different crafting skills.

Once a design is created, a player should have the option to save that design so that they can make more of the item later without having to go back through the design process. This also would allow them to go back and redesign something later if they wish (for example, if they'd gained more skill points).


Part 4: Fabrication

In this phase the item is created. In order to create the item, players must have the needed materials and/or components on hand. All of this is put into a fabrication unit, and the matter replicator takes care of the rest.

Small items, like phasers, should have relatively low material/component requirements. Larger items, like ship equipment, should have larger material requirements (reflective of the size). However, more advanced items, whether they're personal items or ship items, should require small quantities of exotic/rare materials in their construction.


There you go. Please feel free to discuss, or present your own ideas!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 The Make Sh*t Up System
02-05-2010, 07:42 AM
Watching the TV shows, it seems there are a lot of times where the cast pulls out a lot of technobabble and makes up a bunch of crap to use for one problem.


Well, in the spirit of that I'd like to see a 'Make Crap Up' System implemented.

Basic System:

Method
Problem or Need arises for a device.

Process
Send players to various places looking for anomaly materials.

Result
One use devices, put in the device slots.


These one use devices can buff, heal etc. You know, like increase turing rate 10% for 15 seconds or whatever.


I'll contemplate a more complete system and post it myself later.

Meanwhile, go here for inspiration
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-05-2010, 08:29 AM
I'm a crafter. I love crafting. Can't get enough. I've had a crafter in most every game that has a crafting system.

So don't take it amiss when I say that starship captains shouldn't be cranking out phasers for profit. That's not Starfleet at all. If you're selling weapons on the side as a Starfleet officer... hooo boy, you should see the stack of regulations Admiral Janeway is gonna throw at you.

I've never seen a Klingon captain at the forge hammering out a Bat'leth (or however the hell you spell it) either.

In my opinion, we need another faction -- neutral, non-military traders, probably headed by the Ferengi but encompassing artisans from all races. This faction makes stuff... everything from saurian brandy to space stations. They may be duly licensed by the Federation or endorsed by Klingon High Council, but they don't belong to either alliance. These are the Harry Mudds, Cyrano Jones, and Quarks of galaxy, along with the dilithium crystal miners and shipwrights. These are the ones that nudge and wink when Ambassador Picard claims that the Federation has no use for "money".

There's definitely room for some adventure as well in that career path, in the form of fighting off pirates, doing a bit of smuggling, maybe even some limited PvP claim-jumping scenarios in certain designated areas.

I know we're all used to game systems where your level 450 Uber Deth Knite of Dethly Deth can decide to crochet lace doilies in his spare time (black lace doilies, to be sure, but still). I'd much rather see a system where not everybody has a full set of crafting mules and thus there is an actual market for the goods that real crafters produce.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-05-2010, 08:33 AM
Before crafting can take off we need a working economy. That means items need to be removed in order for people to buy the crafted goods otherwise crafters will have little to no market for the final product.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-05-2010, 08:36 AM
well what they could do instead of remaking the skill tree for crafting is tie it to a Engineering BO (purple one) with a skills in crafting instead of combat abilities

this BO could be a reweard from various missions given out by by known crafter's (Data's father comes to mind) depending on what you would like to be able to craft

other then that your crafting system looks good
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-05-2010, 08:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by yukonsam View Post
I'm a crafter. I love crafting. Can't get enough. I've had a crafter in most every game that has a crafting system.

So don't take it amiss when I say that starship captains shouldn't be cranking out phasers for profit. That's not Starfleet at all. If you're selling weapons on the side as a Starfleet officer... hooo boy, you should see the stack of regulations Admiral Janeway is gonna throw at you.

I've never seen a Klingon captain at the forge hammering out a Bat'leth (or however the hell you spell it) either.

In my opinion, we need another faction -- neutral, non-military traders, probably headed by the Ferengi but encompassing artisans from all races. This faction makes stuff... everything from saurian brandy to space stations. They may be duly licensed by the Federation or endorsed by Klingon High Council, but they don't belong to either alliance. These are the Harry Mudds, Cyrano Jones, and Quarks of galaxy, along with the dilithium crystal miners and shipwrights. These are the ones that nudge and wink when Ambassador Picard claims that the Federation has no use for "money".

There's definitely room for some adventure as well in that career path, in the form of fighting off pirates, doing a bit of smuggling, maybe even some limited PvP claim-jumping scenarios in certain designated areas.

I know we're all used to game systems where your level 450 Uber Deth Knite of Dethly Deth can decide to crochet lace doilies in his spare time (black lace doilies, to be sure, but still). I'd much rather see a system where not everybody has a full set of crafting mules and thus there is an actual market for the goods that real crafters produce.
well since u say starfleet shouldnt be able to craft due regelations ect the few episodes of star trek ive seen there is more then once u hear the engineering have "modified" this and that and to me that is what his crafting system does
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-05-2010, 08:56 AM
Most of the on-the-spot mods to equipment are represented in the skill system, especially in the engineering tree. But I would not be adverse to more missions in which your engineer has a sudden insight and realigns the framastat to the resonance frequency of the opponent's mcguffin generator. That's good solid Trek, short term jury-rigs that last one episode and are never heard of again.

Bad Trek would be for Kirk or Picard fabricate a cargo hold full of phaser rifles to sell to the Randardians for a nice hefty profit that goes into their personal account. That's not Starfleet, and it's not really very Klingon either.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-05-2010, 09:04 AM
This was my idea: The Ferengi Alliance Blatant self promotion. :p If you can make it through the walls of text the core idea was to bring the Ferengi into the game and center the crafting around them. Giving them the most advantages in the harvesting end while handicapping their production of actual items.

Of course the Harvesting addition to the game may not be viable but the idea of using two of anomaly A and one of B to make new Torpedoes seems a little weak. The idea in general was to give everyone something to do. Some like to collect stuff, harvesting and making money, and some enjoy crafting and experimenting to come up with new things. It would be nice if we got a crafting system that had a little of everything.

I'd like to see added slots on the Ship paper doll to accommodate player made components, and the ability to change the requirements and statistics of existing items. Want Cannons on your Cruiser? Then make them but watch out for the penalties.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-05-2010, 09:19 AM
I'm not very experimented with crafting systems so maybe this is not a good idea to post here, but here is something I'd like to see. What about giving our bridge officers a crafting skill (or several) and let them make the crafting in their specialty.

You would have YOUR Scotty tweaking the engines, YOUR Crusher designing buffs / debuffs / super healing tools, YOUR Malcolm Reed recalibrating your torpedoes for more accuracy, etc. etc.

Of course, the whole crafting system could be as developed as needed, but I'd like to see the Boffs being part of it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-05-2010, 09:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by yukonsam View Post
Most of the on-the-spot mods to equipment are represented in the skill system, especially in the engineering tree. But I would not be adverse to more missions in which your engineer has a sudden insight and realigns the framastat to the resonance frequency of the opponent's mcguffin generator. That's good solid Trek, short term jury-rigs that last one episode and are never heard of again.

Bad Trek would be for Kirk or Picard fabricate a cargo hold full of phaser rifles to sell to the Randardians for a nice hefty profit that goes into their personal account. That's not Starfleet, and it's not really very Klingon either.
I agree with you that it shouldn't go that route.

However, I think back to episodes where Scotty wired up a system to do something to the engines, or the TNG episode where Wesley Crusher invented a portable force field generator (among other things).

So I think there's two areas to think about.

One is the mechanics of a crafting system - in abstract terms, how do you make something, how does skill play into it, etc?

The other is the implementation of the crafting system - what items should be able to be produced and how common/rare should those be?
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