Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Star Trek Crafting & Economy
03-02-2011, 09:45 AM
I know it's been mentioned to allow crafting in other areas beyond Q'nos and Memory Alpha. Here are some other suggestions:

  • Diversify the raw materials and introduce limited land based farming (this isn't ******** after all) and refining as well. OR keep farming of planets kept to orbital farming.
  • Take out the "wavelength scanning"
  • Abolish the "Federation Credit" and introduce Latinium (coins, bricks, bars, etc) as the standard monetary currency, and raw materials barter. (I'll give you X materials for X)
  • Allow fleet run mining facilities and trading posts.
  • Raw materials themselves are broken into different sub types as well as grades of quality.
  • Different grade quality dictate / yield the different level of items (Common to Very Rare)
  • Break down crafting skills into sub skills. This will create specialties within crafting and make a new niche for players who enjoy it. It will also help to create a better in-game economy.
  • Allow common items to be "upgraded" to Uncommon or Rare, take into factors such as Crafting skill pts and % chance to roll.
  • Certain items such as weapons should have "slots" where you can put in different power packs to affect attributes on the weapon. Certain guns are not compatible with certain types of power packs.
  • Allow ships that are decommissioned to be broken down into raw materials
  • Allow certain items to be broken down into raw materials
  • We need many more items and weapons (both projectile and melee) overall
  • Introduce Ferengi as a playable Merchant / Trader class
  • Introduce Tailoring as a sub skill specialty of crafting

People who craft and farm are specialists, if you make it more interesting and you allow them to specialize and hence be "sought" after, you open the game up to people who want to do more than storyline missions and shoot PVE mobs.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-02-2011, 10:05 AM
I am not certain that I like the idea of Federation officers going around spending latinum. In the series, gold-pressed latinum was used primarily by the Ferangi as their method of commerce. When the Federation wanted to trade with other species, they usually did so directly using a barter system.

There was never a vault of Federation latinum on the Enterprise or DS9. If federation officers had it, it was personal latinum. The engergy credit is more in tune with how Federation values and the economy of the Federation was dipicted in the show.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-02-2011, 10:18 AM
I like the idea of crafting enhancements in general, as long as it doesn't lead to a system where only people who can farm 24x7 or who get lucky in the inevitable resource control "land grab" wind up with a stranglehold on the market for billion credit "must have" items. I've seen games where crafting has gone totally off the rails this way, and it can easily produce an "economy" where new players can never catch up to the "ground floor" toons who made billions of credits early on.

I'd like to see a system where crafting is rewarding for those who like it, but where people who don't want to spend all their time farming and grinding, and who would rather just do PvE or PvP missions, can also get the items they need from an equal time investment. People gripe about having "too many" currencies in game now, but I think Cryptic actually has done a great job ensuring that you can get basically all the same items either from PvE, or PvP, or farming and crafting. It's a huge strength of the game that you aren't forced into activities that you hate just to progress, and that you can generally get everything you need regardless of what sort of content you prefer. At the higher levels there is a bit of a grind for emblems / marks and rare traces setting in, and it would be good to reduce or reverse that trend.

On the whole, I think the crafting system is not bad, and the simple framework is a refreshing change from some games. I'd rather see them start with some simple but much needed fixes, like exchange NPCs to let us trade two or three of our useless samples or traces for one of the types we need and can never find. And other stuff like schematics should have reduced requirements, like one or two samples required instead of ten. Putting a crafting console on ship, in our engineering deck, with on-board access to our "cargo hold" (bank) would also be a great change. If they can get the basic system we have working very well, then I'd support added complexity and more diverse items.

I've heard that the duty officer system will also allow us to "assign" officers to do grunt work like farming for us while we're offline; if true, that would be a welcome change, and would help ease some of the drudgery of the current material farming system. But overall, I think the gist of the current system is that you can get all the gear you will ever want, through any of the various reward systems available, just from playing the game; and that should remain the underlying premise.

It's also consistent with the game universe that most gear is received through the natural process of completing assignments and through the various "merit" reward systems; it would seem weird, and would be extremely un-fun, if starfleet captains were forced into a system where they had to buy all their ships and armor and weapons from the "exchange." It's good that a player economy exists to allow people to unload and trade stuff, or to just buy stuff when they don't feel like putting the time in, or even to make a fortune camping the exchange and arbitraging underpriced goods because that's the niche they like. But it's also VERY good that you can do everything you want in this game without even knowing the player economy exists.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-02-2011, 11:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakarak
I am not certain that I like the idea of Federation officers going around spending latinum. In the series, gold-pressed latinum was used primarily by the Ferangi as their method of commerce. When the Federation wanted to trade with other species, they usually did so directly using a barter system.

There was never a vault of Federation latinum on the Enterprise or DS9. If federation officers had it, it was personal latinum. The engergy credit is more in tune with how Federation values and the economy of the Federation was dipicted in the show.
Right which is why i suggested a dual system of Latinum & Barter. Perhaps only certain items can be bought with Latinum and there could be a system to "convert" items into equivalent Latinum and vice versa...

As far as Star Trek canon i disagree. The fact that the Ferengi, who would trade with almost any species, used Latinum as their main currency says a lot about the Star Trek Universe outside of the Federation. It can be assumed that for most species Latinum would be the most widely used and preferred form of currency. Also, if i'm not mistaken most of the DS9 crew (Jadzia most definitely) had stashes of personal Latinum that they used to purchase things not obtained via the Federation. The energy credit or as referred to in the shows as the Federation Credit was rarely accepted outside of the Federation.

I definitely think we should keep the system in terms of letting people play and get gear without participating in any crafting or economy, however most items you get through missions are Commons. For those that are looking for high spec items such as Rares or Very Rares they would need to participate in the economy. Since most long term / hard core gamers are the ones that are interested in that it would make sense...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-02-2011, 11:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonCapitan
I definitely think we should keep the system in terms of letting people play and get gear without participating in any crafting or economy, however most items you get through missions are Commons. For those that are looking for high spec items such as Rares or Very Rares they would need to participate in the economy. Since most long term / hard core gamers are the ones that are interested in that it would make sense...
This is exactly what I disagree with; it's not true at all that "most items you get through missions are Commons." All the mission chains at VA involve either Marks or Emblems which are exchanged directly for either Mk X or XI purple gear. You can do nothing but PvP all day and get all the same gear (with minor variations in some modifiers) as you can get by doing PvE or farming all day.

Currently the catalog of craftable gear is smaller and less varied than what you can get through Marks and Emblems, and it would be nice if you could get all the exact same gear through any of these routes; PvP or PvE rewards, or crafting. But you don't "have to" participate in the economy in order to get rare stuff, and you shouldn't. That's exactly what leads to a game that is populated by nothing but the "hardcore" veterans who can afford all the best stuff, and which is impossible for new players to get a foothold in.

Systems where you're forced to trade with other players for end game gear inevitably, and very quickly, become dominated by full time gold farmers (meaning people who in the real world are not players at all, but are running a sweatshop business, usually in a low wage part of the world) who exploit the game economy to make real life money. Actual players either have to have been in the game from day one and have billions of credits, or they have to break down and buy credits under the table from these same scammers and gold farmers in order to afford anything. The game gets to a state where new players take one look and leave, and the only ones left are the scammers and the "hardcore" players with either unlimited time or loads of in-game and real life money to fund their toons.

You can buy everything you want from other players in the game as it is now, but it's actually a better use of time to just get things yourself, whether you quest or PvP or craft for it. It should stay that way. You should have the option of doing all of these things, and you should never be forced to do any of them just to get a certain reward.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-02-2011, 12:59 PM
"Federation" credits are energy credits which are basically replicator rations (and Klinks use them, too). The Federation doesn't use money because wide-spread replicator usage obviates the need for currency internally. And because of this wide-spread replicator usage the Federation can engage in barter on the macro scale simply because they can make most things that potential trading partners need. The big problem is that barter is really only efficient on the macro scale.

Once a Federation citizen leaves the wonderful world of no money, they have to have some way to secure goods and services. Sure, energy credits might work but they might not. Fed citizens can lug around a portable replicator and power source everywhere they go, but they obviously don't (at least judging from what we've seen in the series). They also don't walk around with a backpack full of items to barter away. So how do they get lunch on Ferenginar?

Latinum (duh).

I think that EC should work in the Federation, EC and latinum should work in the Klingon empire at equal rates, and latinum should be the norm everywhere else with EC possibly being usable but requiring an exchange rate (making things more expensive without latinum).

As for crafting, I really don't see a more involved system than what we have now being implemented simply because of the "it's not canon" cries that would elicit. Starfleet personnel don't craft. No series ever even hinted that they would do anything remotely considered crafting, even as a hobby (Data painting doesn't count).

Raw materials (minerals, food, etc.) are pretty much a non-issue in 2409. We have enough to not worry about it. Data samples are available to anyone willing to spend the time and effort to collect them. It doesn't get much more equitable than that. I could see breaking up who can craft what based on career, such as:
  • - Tactical: ground weapons, power cells, Tactical kits
  • - Engineer: body armors and shield charges, some ship weapons, impulse engines, Engineer kits
  • - Science: personal shields and hypos, some ship weapons, ship shields and deflectors, Science kits

I don't see a massive overhaul of crafting involving new subclasses or specialties and incorporating new resource gathering requirements coming anytime soon. If we got a new group of civilian classes that we could play, with their own skill groups and some unique ships they could fly, then that would set the stage for a major crafting update (and I think it would be very cool). But I just don't see that happening.

I think the biggest improvement for STO crafting would be to allow us to mix and match weapon and armor bonuses. Add that [Borg] designation to your new lirpa, or make your Dual Phaser Beam Bank [CrtD] [CrtH]x2 into Dual Phaser Beam Bank [Acc] [CrtD] [CrtH] or Dual Phaser Beam Bank [Dmg]x3. That alone would give people a reason to craft. To make it more challenging, add a requirement where you can't add a bonus to an item (such as [Dmg]) until you analyze an item that already has that bonus (consuming the analyzed item in the process). Once you do you can add that bonus to any item, assuming you have the materials. Basically, you have learn how that bonus works before you can build it into other stuff. That would mesh well with the requests by some to allow us to break down items for their materials and it would create a "specialist" market where people who have analyzed really rare items and can apply those bonuses to crafted items are sought after.

Adding more consumable types would be cool, too.

Just my 5 EC.


Z
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-02-2011, 01:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zordar;3401330I could see breaking up who can craft what based on career, such as:[list
[*] - Tactical: ground weapons, power cells, Tactical kits[*] - Engineer: body armors and shield charges, some ship weapons, impulse engines, Engineer kits[*] - Science: personal shields and hypos, some ship weapons, ship shields and deflectors, Science kits[/list]
There is some logic in this idea, but like you said, I don't think starfleet officers in any career branch would routinely build their own gear, so the whole concept is a little arbitrary and more of a game mechanic than a plausible feature of the Trek universe. The crew of Voyager created a lot of weird, one off new tech out of necessity, so it's not unheard of. But this would be at worst a massive pain for people leveling up their first toon, or would make them dependent either on farming credits or getting handouts from fleet mates in order to have decent gear. At best I think it would just be an annoyance for people who have VA toons in each career, since they would have to shuttle materials and items back and forth all the time just so the "right" toon can push the button on the crafting window. I think when the game first came out it did have a pretty convoluted system of specialties and career associated skills for crafting, and it was a total train wreck. Going back to that, even to this small extent, seems like a move in the wrong direction.

The idea of making modular enhancements to gear is great though. I dearly wish I could somehow make a custom kit with any four abilities that I choose, rather than only the predefined ones. So breaking down the steps of making things, at least from the standpoint of adding specific mods, seems like a good move. I'm wary of any system though that requires you to get hold of some uber rare arbitrary magic item in order to "unlock" the ability to make certain crafting mods. You should be able to make any module from all the same basic raw materials, as long as you have the right combination of them and a high enough general crafting skill. It seems like enough trouble that we'll probably already have to collect more materials and go through more steps to make custom items, without making us get magic tokens in order to get there.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-02-2011, 02:00 PM
I happen to like the wavelength scanning game. It's easy to do after you get the hang of it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-03-2011, 06:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindmage View Post
I happen to like the wavelength scanning game. It's easy to do after you get the hang of it.
Ya me too, this is very star trekie.. they need more stuff like that not less.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-03-2011, 06:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindmage View Post
I happen to like the wavelength scanning game. It's easy to do after you get the hang of it.
I'll agree with that. It's simple minded, but quick and easy.
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