I love star trek and I love this game. But I also love crafting in mmos and I was very disappointed in the crafting system available at launch. I hoped all through beta that it would get better by launch and it didn't.
So I chatted with the Cryptic dev "Gozer" (Dan Dan the Do everything man) the other day and asked him about crafting. He said it wasn't his baby so he didn't really know much about it. Perhaps Dan not having his hand in the crafting system is why it's implemented so poorly? Who knows. Well I wanted to provide a constructive thread here to help the Devs with improving the current "crafting" system. Here are some of my suggestions and things I have noticed so far...
Where is Memory Alpha? - This quest needs to be easier for all the noobs out there. Most people who get this quest have never been outside of that sector block so they have a hard time finding memory alpha. Make some some kind of sector space tutorial so people understand how to get there. I can't tell you how many times I see people asking for help on this.
Put it in that trash can over there - Why does the initial quest tell you to put the sample in that little trash can looking thing? That just confuses people. They can't find it. They don't know what its for. They go back later and try to put more things in it and don't know why its not working. It just confuses people.
Improve Jenna's dialogs- Jenna never explains really how it works. She needs to say something about collecting the samples and bringing them back to her to get trade in for upgraded gear. She also needs to explain how to unlock the higher level gear. There is huge confusion over this.
Improve the gear - Probably the most frustrating thing is that the gear we bring her upgrades into items that are inferior to what we are already using on our ships. We should be able to upgrade any item to make it better. If we upgrade an item simply to sell it to the replicator, its kind of retarded.
60 items? 63? - Some people claim it takes 63 trade-ins to get the next tier. Others say 60. Some say its based on our level. First of all, make this much more clear. Give us some kind of progress meter. Even if only to give her a dialog that says something like "Great work commander. Bring me 52 more and I'll teach you how to make even better stuff" so we can see our progress.
USELESS?!? Need way to farm - Probably the most frustrating thing is that it (aledgedly) takes 60+ items (not including hypos and batteries?) to upgrade to the next tier. Now I'm all for making it take time and patience but lets be reasonable here. If I am able to craft 10 items by the time im Lt commander, then even if I am able to somehow make the other 50 by the time im commander, the items will be useless. Yay for unlocking Mk3 items when Im using Mk5!! Now im not suggesting that you lower the limit from 60. I think people still need to work for it. I think a better option might be to give us a way to FARM for the materials. Currently, if you ask around, the best way to farm them is to scan every sector while doing your episodes. The problem with that is the XP from doing those episodes is going to move you out of that tier before you can get to the next level of crafting. And the rare items it takes are just simply the same issue...killing to get the drops gives me xp, moving me out of that tier before I get the crafted items. It only seems useful for alts.
The crafting needs more depth - It seems to me like this was kind of an afterthought. Possibly not fully implemented yet. Has there been any consideration for different crafting specializations? Like why would someone be an expert at making hypo sprays and be an expert at making phasers and an expert at making shields? Perhaps a science officer should make the hypos, an engineer make the shields, and a tactical make the weapons. Or better yet split the items into several crafting "schools" (for lack of a better name) and let people choose what they want to specialize in.
I'm all for making it challenging and I'm all for making it take time and effort. But I think a little more organization and attention on the crafting system could go a long way. It's a great start but clearly needs work and revisions to make it better.
Anyone else have any other constructive thoughts or suggestions or comments on the current system and how it can be improved? Please post them here for the devs to see. Thanks.
Actually, I think there is supposed to be a lot more depth to the crafting system, but due to the server problems, I'm guessing that they had to put crafting on hold for the time being.
If I remember currectly there is supposed to be a way to obtain resipies to craft certain items. In fact, durring early open beta, there was actually a recipe tab in the exchange where I assume one would have been able to buy and sell recipes. Also, I remember seeing several items early on that appeared "blued out" almost like they were blueprints. I can not recall where, but I could swear that I have read somewhere that these "blue" items have something to do with the crafting system. I cannot recall what though.
In addition, if you have ever walked all throughout memory alpha, you may have noticed a particular room that has one of those giant holograms that are near the clothing/armor vendors on other stations. It also seems odd to have so many other empty rooms, so I assume that these will be added onto later.
In short, it's not that the crafting system stinks, it just has yet to be fully deployed. Hopefully now that they have gotten the server problem somewhat under control, they will be able to focus on this essential part of MMO gameplay.
thanks for the insite. I hope you are right joenathan. I'm sure that they have much to be implemented in it still. I can't imagine this is the finished and polished crafting that they expected to have. I'm hoping some updates to it come in the 45 day patch they are working on. Formulas would be awesome. I'm not asking for a kick as superior, better than all other mmos, crafting system....just something that is, well, better than the current system. If you want an example of a really really well done crafting system check out the game called Istaria (formerly called Horizones). That game has the best, most in depth crafting I have seen in any mmo. Too bad the rest of that game kinna blows. But the crafting is amazing.
I'd like to see some kind of salvaging activity maybe paired up with deconstruction/recycling abilities.
For the salvaging activity - just make lots of the wreckage in space salvageable, can actually work just like the samples currently do. Someone is going to clean up the mess, why not us?
Personally I don't like that everything Romaine offers requires a base component that's bought. The worst part being that there is no where to buy it on Memory Alpha. Put a big recycling plant on Memory Alpha and allow us to dump salvaged parts and heck extra stuff we might have and have it spit out Recycled Material - then replace the bought component part with an amount/type of recycled material.
Give us skills in gathering anomolies (ups the amounts), salvaging (ups the amounts), and recycling (improves quality or ups the amounts).
Another suggestion is to put in an option to just give Romaine the samples she wants without 'buying' anything. Maybe for that option reduce the amount of blues but up the amount of reds. The 'crafter' ends up with nothing to sell.
The blue samples appear to be harder to get for me - I'm LC2 and I get red items every scan but randomly get blue or green items now. The green items will be useful in the future but I'm thinking I should be getting more blue items at this level than I'm getting (I'm still working missions below my level).