Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
...or better: Future visions about the STO crafting system.

For me, crafting is a very important part of any MMO.
Especially into the Star Trek universe, the scientific and engineering issue is really powerful.
Nothing against Cryptic, but the crafting as it is for the moment, is just joke, stupid item-swapping, not more.

Together with the Star Trek Online Info Community, I have collected several ideas:

Basically:
The actual version of the crafting system is not as good as it could be. The location Memory Alpha, the graphical implementation and the user interface looks great. But the items and the logic behind that are not.

What we can change now?


Motivation:
The motivation-issue affects not only the crafting system, but loot items as well. They are not really unique, that results automatically into missing motivation.

The sense of a Special Task Force is initially the novelty/challenge and after a short time only the coexistence with your teammates, but not the reward (badge-shop-items are better).

If you take a look at the crafting-items, they are only useful at low levels. High-end players wouldn't craft anything. There is a predefined list of many different items and especially in quality and abilities (properties) are even predefined (and fix). The charm to craft is lost completely; they exists better into the shops. The shops will supersede the crafting.

The order of the best items could be: Task Force Boss Loot, Task Force Loot, Crafting (1) Mission Reward, Mission Loot, Crafting (2), Shop.

The equality of items (and Craftables) results into diminished motivation and that is one of the main problems, it serves no real purpose.

The solution is to relax the predefined values.

E.g.: An epic Tetryon Dual Heavy Canon has always a 2.5% chance to remove xx shield, Accuracy +0.1, Critical Severity +20% and Critical Chance +20% and sometimes +Borg Damage (thatís cool and a beginning).

Why do you don't implement a value range (loot table)?


Example: The Critical Chance varies in Crafting between +10% and +30%, in Bossloot between +20% and +40% (the chances getting smaller as higher the value is) etc. Unique items will appear!


Personalizability:
In further consequence you can influence the value range by several factors, or a combination of them (the most difficult to implement but the most interesting one).
  • Through a special skill or trait: Skill or trait will raise the chance to get a better value during crafting (or lootdrop). I must be a Tier5 skill, so could form special crafting-characters into a fleet. Several subskills are possible, those will enhance certain properties (technical crafting, science crafting,...).
  • Level: The current character level controls even the chance to get a better value.
  • Profession: A tactical could craft more successfully weapons then a scientist. Or an engineer consoles,... You could also realize differences in the analyze of data samples (hopefully minigame), analyze will result into a construction plan or will reinforce the values.
  • Chance/Random: Must be a part, especially it is loot. Poorer crafting results should also be possible.

I know all those points will result in to itemfarming, who cares if it hold players??


Time and cost component:
How does the whole thing now?

We have collected a certain number of items, go to the relevant officer and exchange the items for a new one... sorry thatís boring.

Crafting literally translated means: Tinkering.
Collecting some items and exchange them, is tinkering? Not really. The principle of exchange something is quite ok, but there is no development process behind it. This is not a matter of seconds.

E.g.: You have a special weapon and all necessary data samples collected, you give it to the right officer and ask him to modify the weapon. The officer will inform you about the point where you can pick up your new modified weapon. That could be minutes or hours, a delay could appear,...

It makes it a little bit more realistic. In order to speed up the whole process, more resources would be needed. Which could be paid in credits or have to collected again. Everything in STO goes too quick, to install a new weapon into your starship takes normally weeks...

I hear already the howling pack, sorry guys you can't get everytime the best in seconds!


Involved bridge officers:
How often do you see it in the series, "Scotty, Geordi, O'Brien, B'Elanna, Trip modify this or create that..."
It should be possible to involve your officers into the crafting process (time component not so noticeable).

I hear it several times: "Thatís not captainís job!"

Ok you right, then let the bridge officers do the work, but think about it, each captain has special abilities. I'm sure O'Brien as captain will run everytime into the engineering room when something goes wrong.

The officers could do short-term-jobs or modifications, repairing damaged systems of the ship (or repair items). This would of course take longer, if a spacestation would care about that (officer is busy and need time but station is expensive).


Mini Games:
Minigames could involve the player himself into the crafting process, "Live-Crafting".
Use a minigame to do the crafting-job of putting the items together. Your playing ability will result into the final item. But you could also analyze data samples (already announced?) with minigames.

An alien artifact, what it does, how it is? No one has a clue. An analysis could determine that this artifact contains a kind of energy signature, never seen before. This new knowledge could be combinated with a Tetryon rifle type XX and would be crucial increasing their efficiency.

Variants of mini games:
  • The crafting-process (assembly of components, more precisely or faster, more better is the result),
  • Preliminary analysis of the components
  • Optimization of the components... there are a lot of varieties.


Disassembly:
A very interesting idea, the disassembly of items.
You should be able to dismantle any technical item.
A hand phaser is made of metal, cables, power cell,...

Imagine following scenario:

You're with your away team on a planet and you fighting with some Cardassians. After your victory you will grab their rifles (as loot).
What do you do with it? Use it by your own? Sell it?
But it is low-level crap and not even green, so you will sell. But that's not even worth the effort and unnecessarily fills your inventory, so you finally let it lie or sell it quickly in the replicator.

But what would be if the gun could still use a different and more rewarding way?

In the form of individual parts. You as engineer, your engineering bridge officer, an engineer-fleetmate or a NPC on Memory Alpha could now split the rifle into its component parts. The replicator could also be a help.

The components like data samples, commodities or the new one, materials (ore, plastic, energy wires,...) can now also sell or store for later use. These materials can now be converted with different pre-defined construction plans (data samples) into new objects. The plans could be standard federation stuff or unknown alien plans (out of an alien artifact).


Storage:
What are Data Samples?
A scan of different objects, these scans are not stacked into a storage bin, scans are bits and bytes which have to be stored into a database, the ship database.
These scans can now be used either as part of a new crafting item, by further analysis (minigame), the chance of good values is increased (modificate an existing object).
On the other hand it can be a construction plan/recipe for a new craftable object. It could also be used as a programming-routine for the replicator.

Commodities and materials should not be stored into the normal inventory. But rather hold into a cargo container, much more storespace with those containers available (depends on the cargo bay of your ship).


Other issues:
  • Unknown Loot: Another factor are unknown loots, which have to be analyzed before you can use or disassemble them.
  • Kits: Personalized kits should use negotiated buffs. But they have to be really expensive (credits, resources, time,...).
  • Replicator: Five (one for ld.; two for lt. com,Ö) slots for arbitrary objects of your choice, the replicator in the series will also be adjusted continuously be new programs. Scanning an existing item to analyze the structure. (Excessive energy cost -> impact on market!!)
  • Additional abilities/tuning: For example a weapon has now three abilities, why not have four or five? Additional Gunsight (seen ENT -> MACO), burned out energy cell (strong shot but switch for next shot), strong rifle butt (modified casing, but chance to breach),...
  • Special design: Influence the size or color of an item during the crafting process
  • Repair: Items could be destroyed (could happen also during crafting), damaged or will frayed during normal use
  • Extraction: Extraction of several raw materials, special ships,... complete new type of missions and profession
  • Subprofession: Tactical -> Melee, Long-range, Weaponspecialist,... Engineering -> Technical crafting, Ship tuning,... Science -> Science crafting (analyze), debuffing, medic,... or special own crafterprofession.
  • Shiptuning: Real expensive in time and resources (ship must stay for days (real-time) into the dock) for an additional officer-slot,...

We donít want a 2nd-Life-Star Trek-Version, but we want a better, more realistic and much more interesting crafting system. Take the series as a pattern for it; there is a lot of information out there.

So I'm looking forward to all your comments, additions and other ideas on the subject of crafting in that awesome game, Star Trek Online.


greetz Xaben
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
07-05-2010, 10:59 AM
Nice post, and nice points you bring up! I believe the crafting system is better than the one we had at launch, but still very miminal. Its still an anomalie gather fest and vendor purchase system. You dont really make anything.

I dont really have any game breaking awesome ideas, but I can say that the system does need more improvement.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
07-05-2010, 11:25 AM
Those are some good ideas, imagine taking part of your Hand Phaser Pistol, and coupling that into the section of the Rifle you grabbed and coming up with a more powerful weapon between the two items.

Even install a machine shop in your star ship. Then assign two Engineers, to do the physical work, a Tactical Officer to offer suggestion on Weps development, and a Science Officer to affect theory developments. possibilities are limitless.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
07-05-2010, 11:51 AM
In addition to this, the ability to craft non-combat items as well as the ability to use those items to display in various areas of your ship. Also, I'd like to be able to craft clothing for myself, BO's and others for when I'm off duty. This could be added without changing any actual combat mechanics of the game.

Some players want to be involved with the process of crafting and not just grinding for the sake of grinding to get the gear they need to "trade" for the next tier of item that's useless anyway.

As it is, the game is 98% combat oriented. I'd like something more compelling than just the pew-pew style of game play. For now, MA is a trading post, not a crafting station.

Maybe even be able to assign BO's in your inventory waiting to join you. Instead of using the extra BO's to man your ship slots, they fill ship crafting slots. Interchanging BO's gives advantages to particular types of crafting (engineering/tactical/science).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
07-05-2010, 12:01 PM
Wish i could make something
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
07-05-2010, 12:06 PM
They ought to let us craft kits with other skill combinations. Most of the kits now have one or two things people want, and then one or two they don't use as much, if at all. Letting us craft the kits we want would give crafting a game-changing aspect.

They could still restrict certain combinations or just make them really costly if they'd be overpowered. Or reserve those combinations as STF boss rewards.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
07-05-2010, 12:09 PM
This is one of by now over three dozen different ideas on how to revamp and improve crafting.

Add it to the list.

When the devs (ever) swing their schedule back around to memory alpha tweaks (and so far, that's not looking like it will happen this summer or this autumn), then let's revisit these exciting, bold and creative ideas?

Right now, we should be bracing ourselves for bugs/issues with ship interiors. And levels 45 to 51. And stuff like that. Which will most likely add even more work the schedule once we find those bugs.



Cool ideas. Just, the timing might mean it'll be a long wait until they're actually addressed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
07-05-2010, 12:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
Cool ideas. Just, the timing might mean it'll be a long wait until they're actually addressed.
thanks, but timing is irrelavant for a mmo... we will see...



Quote:
Originally Posted by GlobalTaxi View Post
In addition to this, the ability to craft non-combat items as well as the ability to use those items to display in various areas of your ship. Also, I'd like to be able to craft clothing for myself, BO's and others for when I'm off duty. This could be added without changing any actual combat mechanics of the game.

Some players want to be involved with the process of crafting and not just grinding for the sake of grinding to get the gear they need to "trade" for the next tier of item that's useless anyway.

As it is, the game is 98% combat oriented. I'd like something more compelling than just the pew-pew style of game play. For now, MA is a trading post, not a crafting station.

Maybe even be able to assign BO's in your inventory waiting to join you. Instead of using the extra BO's to man your ship slots, they fill ship crafting slots. Interchanging BO's gives advantages to particular types of crafting (engineering/tactical/science).
Great idea, i would love to craft my own costumes, trophies, instruments, badges,... huge amount of possibilites... combinated with ugc
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
07-05-2010, 12:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaben View Post
thanks, but timing is irrelavant for a mmo... we will see...
True. It's just ... you put a lot of creativity into your idea. And I'm an illustrator by trade. And occasionally (well, frequently, lol) there are situations where I put a lot of creativity into my work. And don't see it pay off for six months or longer.

It can be frustrating.

So I just wanted to say that your post was very creative. Recognize it for its awesomeness, but also prep you for the chance that memory alpha tweaks might be at the bottom of the dev team's already pretty large to do list. I could be wrong. The very next engineering report could come right out and say that they are right back on top and memory alpha is getting the business by August.

But so far, it seems since the first tweak to MA back in 1.1 I think? That they've been given other things to focus on.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
07-05-2010, 01:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
True. It's just ... you put a lot of creativity into your idea. And I'm an illustrator by trade. And occasionally (well, frequently, lol) there are situations where I put a lot of creativity into my work. And don't see it pay off for six months or longer.

It can be frustrating.

So I just wanted to say that your post was very creative. Recognize it for its awesomeness, but also prep you for the chance that memory alpha tweaks might be at the bottom of the dev team's already pretty large to do list. I could be wrong. The very next engineering report could come right out and say that they are right back on top and memory alpha is getting the business by August.

But so far, it seems since the first tweak to MA back in 1.1 I think? That they've been given other things to focus on.
I think they'll need all the time they can get if they plan on introducing any of these ideas into the game. People have been wanting a good crafting system since beta and there isn't one. Granted, Klingons need more PvE content but we have a good combat system and missions to boot with more on the way. If we had something other than combat, we may not reach cap lvl in a week, therefore not needing new Episodes every week.

Why not spend a little extra time on the other aspects of MMO's. Is there even a team working on other aspects of the game besides c-store items, combat and ship interiors?

I can see it even being introduced as an expansion considering any crafting system worth adding would have to be far more advanced and hopefully more in depth than what we currently have.
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