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Old 03-13-2003, 07:50 AM   #1
Kallekins
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I've noticed a lot of people advertising that require crafting or emphasize that their games have excellent crafting. I've tried playing some with crafting, but uh get bored with the mud before raising a char to the point of really being able to craft. It just seems to me so pointless to spend gametime doing repetitive tasks for something I could easily pick up as a hobby in real life.
But obviously a lot of people really love crafting, so why why why?
Is it just as a general grouping of non-combative professions, so that it displays the game as being more than hack and slash?
Or is it the ability to create custom items and equipment (the end result, rather than the act of crafting)?
Or is there something else to it that makes it really fun that I'm totally missing?
I'm not trying to criticize crafting or people who like it. I'm just curious about it.
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:40 AM   #2
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Well we don't have crafting and I can't say we have ever noticed the lack. There are a few smiths around where you can order customised weapons, but even those aren't particularly popular. I suppose we do have a number of items/spells which change properties of weapons though - so in a way that allows people to customise things.

If we ever wanted to add it then a "smith's guild" or an "armourers guild" could be added but, as I say, we have never really seen any demand for it.

One thing on our todo list that a lot of people liked was a secret class based on mages that allowed them to develop their own spells. Our players have also been known to spend a lot of time designing layouts and descriptions (and defences) for their Legend Estates. I suppose both of these are similar in many ways to crafting since you spend time to create something which you can then use/trade/show off to others.
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Old 03-13-2003, 12:38 PM   #3
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I like crafting for several reasons.

It adds depth to the gameworld. It makes people concerned with aquiring materials rather than just killing stuff or getting the best spells. It gives people more things to do, which is necessary in a RP mud. People aren't always concerned only with advancing their crafting skills, but sometimes their goal is to be able to make a rare item which they can either use themselves or sell to others for big money. So in that sense I think it makes the game's economy stronger and more important as well.

Now all this stuff isn't necessary to a purely h&s mud, but then I've never liked those anyway.
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Old 03-13-2003, 02:47 PM   #4
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Yeah, before I answer this I'd like to know if the main activities of your mud is fighting/mugging/dueling/arena combat etc.
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:16 PM   #5
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The reason I like crafting in muds is that it is, to me, the non-boring alternative to Combat (well it can be if implemented correctly). Fighting just gets so freaking boring. Walk up to monster/player, type whatever version of kill verb you use normally, rinse and repeat. Do this a couple thousand times and you might be able to walk up to a different monster and use the kill verb. Wooo.

I would rather have a nice crafting system where I get to acquire different materials through a variety of means, then use different processes along the way to create items that are wholly my own creation. What I do not like are crafting sytems wherein you use the same process for every single thing you craft with a certain skill. That is just as boring as mud combat in my opinion. I like having a huge variety of processes and materials. I feel like I have accomplished a lot more creating something in a system like that then I do after I have hacked off my 4000'th orc head.
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
The reason I like crafting in muds is that it is, to me, the non-boring alternative to Combat (well it can be if implemented correctly). Fighting just gets so freaking boring. Walk up to monster/player, type whatever version of kill verb you use normally, rinse and repeat. Do this a couple thousand times and you might be able to walk up to a different monster and use the kill verb. Wooo.

This is why I gamble
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Old 03-13-2003, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (The Vorpal Tribble @ Mar. 13 2003,10:47)
Yeah, before I answer this I'd like to know if the main activities of your mud is fighting/mugging/dueling/arena combat etc.
No.
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:18 PM   #8
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I do some metal working IRL. I love the process of creating a functional item out of raw materials. It's a thrill unlike any other, and in my opinion you haven't lived until you've created something that you enjoy or other people like to use.

Now it doesn't compare with the real thing, but crafting in a MUD can bring about the same thrill for me, if the system is good. It requires patience, yes, but there isn't any enjoyment for me if there's no self-sacrifice; The MUD doesn't feel real if there is none. Add to that the fun of RPing a different person, and you've got me hooked. Anyone else feel the same way?
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:57 PM   #9
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It's my impression that this is something that's much more attractive on RP intensive/required games. For us, it's let us push a little closer to the idea of a player-driven economy. It also provides people with ways to survive that don't involve wandering out into the dangerous desert.

It's also fun in a puzzle sense - figuring out what you need in order to make something, as well as where to find those components.
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Old 03-14-2003, 10:11 PM   #10
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Threshold doesn't have crafting, but if I was creating it again from scratch I would definitely design a crafting system that was implemented heavily into all aspects of the game.

I think to do it right you need to plan it from the beginning, rather than try to retro-fit it on later. It should be designed such that crafted items are not rendered useless by "drops", or else the whole system is worthless.

"Improvement" crafting systems are easier to add later. Threshold has tons of these kinds of things. By improvements I mean things like sharpening weapons, enchanting items, dyeing clothes, etc. Since these types of things enhance existing items, it is easier to add these into a game even if you didn't plan for them from the start.

As to why crafting is so fun, I think people enjoy the ability to CREATE things. People like expressing their creativity and being able to customize something in the world. Crafting allows this type of expression.
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Old 03-15-2003, 12:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by
I think to do it right you need to plan it from the beginning, rather than try to retro-fit it on later.
I'd tend to disagree with this - it may take a significant amount of work in order to establish crafting as a viable economic system, but it seems entirely plausible to me.

Could you elaborate as to why it wouldn't work at Threshold?
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:33 AM   #12
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I like it because it gives you something "real" to do, without going out fighting. It can be hard to do much roleplaying while fighting, I'm generally too busy trying to stay alive to remember to sneer at or taunt my enemies. Crafting can be done in a safe location, while chatting with your friends, but is more meaningful than trading coins for drinks.

It is also a way to make a living (which is important in a game where food and water are meaningful) without resulting to killing things. It makes pacifists and wimps viable character concepts. In Armageddon the Merchant class can eventually get access to most crafts, and get have the potential to get filthy rich without ever raising a sword. It makes for a nice change sometimes.

Angela Christine
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Falconer @ Mar. 14 2003,23:40)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I think to do it right you need to plan it from the beginning, rather than try to retro-fit it on later.
I'd tend to disagree with this - it may take a significant amount of work in order to establish crafting as a viable economic system, but it seems entirely plausible to me.
I'm not a coder nor do I play Threshold but I can say from my observations of the Arm system it's VERY difficult to add in crafting systems after a mud has been around for a while.

Things you need to consider when creating a crafting system:
* What materials are needed to create items
* Where are the materials supplied
* What methods will be needed to create items
* What tools are needed to create items
* What areas will create certain items and why (such as cultural reasons, environmental reasons).
* How much will it cost to create each item (having an item that costs more then you can sell it for is silly)
* How do you stop people from spam crafting
* How do you stop stores from overflowing with items
* How will future items be added?

While Armageddon's system is pretty darn good, certain things weren't thought out too well and because of that it's now difficult to add new items of certain types. An example is dyes. Many items can be dyed, such as cloth and feathers. Arrows use feathers, and (AFAIK) how many feathers you use can range from 1-5. This means that one arrow type has several variances because of the feathers.

That means everytime a new dye is implemented into the game, a whole bunch of arrows need to be implemented as well, due to the new variances that feathers create.

It's gotten to the stage where the staff are VERY reluctant to add new dyes because it's just such a momentous task. The only solution is to either re-code how the arrows are crafted or to create a web application that auto-adds the new arrows.

However having said that the crafting system IS extremely good. Atm a big move from the players has caused non-craftable items to become craftable, by players e-mailing the mud account saying "item X should be craftable from materials A, B and C by using skill Y and it should be at difficulty level Z" and the staff are going through these and changing them when they need to be and then implementing them.

IMO it is possible to implement crafting systems after a mud has already been released. You just need to think through it VERY carefully and do it in baby steps.
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:40 AM   #14
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Uh, or just have one arrow item that modifes as it is created with whatever wood is the shaft, and whatever color the feathers are. Honestly no need to add in any items, unless it's one #### of a clunky system...
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:48 AM   #15
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I've been thinking the EXACT same thing Terloch for quite a bit now, and I always figured it must be harder to code then it sounds and figured it was a diku limitation (does diku even have craftable systems?).

I probably misunderstood how the code works. I'll go do some hunting in the Armageddon Discussion Board archives and post up how the system REALLY works
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Old 03-15-2003, 07:10 AM   #16
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I've been thinking about this a little, and in a way we do have a crafting system - and it was retrofitted.

This crafting system is the secret class Alchemists.

They can go out through the game exploring and finding things for their recipes (whether cutting bits off plants or killing a monster and cutting organs from the corpse or whatever). They can then cook these together and use a research process to discover a recipy for creating potions/wands/scrolls/salves etc. Alchemists get a substantial proportion of their xp from this research process.

This playing style has been really popular with some players, and really unpopular with others...but with it being a single class that just means that only the people who like it need to worry about it. :-)

Out of curiosity: If there is a crafting system where a set sequence of non-combat actions can generate a substantial profit then what stops people writing a simple client script to run around repeating the actions for ever? Come back in a week and be the richest person on the mud...
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Old 03-15-2003, 10:08 AM   #17
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Smile

Our crafting system is not in the least limited by code. The coder's done a fantastic job with it.

Crafting is cathartic for some people, I've found. They can get lost in the craft, and often, they'll even look up what they can on the 'net to learn a bit more about whatever they're trying to do, to bring a bit of realism to their rp.
Yeah! Mudding as a learning experience!

We've also allowed players with 5 rp points (the max, granted by staff only) to reset the sdesc, ldesc, and full description on items that they've crafted, which highly adds to the game environment with many unique and beautifully described objects. This keeps the number 'red-fletched arrows' crafted by twenty different people much more a rarity. Often the slight variance or a hallmark is added so that, on sight, a well-known crafters work is visible without seeing the inscription.

And from a staff perspective, crafting systems are a godsend. Having the ability to let a pc make their entire gear or buy it from someone else without having to load it frees up time for other things. (We're big on unique items, heh. I would rather make a special object for someone than see 'a small leather pouch' for the 100th time in an rp session when looking at people.)
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Old 03-15-2003, 01:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Out of curiosity: If there is a crafting system where a set sequence of non-combat actions can generate a substantial profit then what stops people writing a simple client script to run around repeating the actions for ever? Come back in a week and be the richest person on the mud...
I dunno about other muds, but on DM botting is illegal, and if you do it, chances are a player will kill you before a creator even knows about it. It's weird really...by and large, people can't stand botters, but they ooc cheat (use ooc knowledge for IC gains) fairly frequently. Guess it just goes to show how deep you can get into a good RP system, heh.
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Old 03-15-2003, 01:45 PM   #19
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Thanks for all your comments, but I still don't understand.
Most muds without crafting have other ways to create custom items. Some allow restringing of existing items (as a reward for good rp). Others let you order custom items (pay a npc to do your crafting).
There are also many other alternatives to crafting as non-hack and slash options: shipping and trading, writing and performing songs and stories, preaching, gambling, stealing, political intrigue..Many of these I think are better than crafting for roleplaying because they involve more people.
Do you believe that an insistence on crafting causes people to ignore these other options, or be less creative in thinking of new options, and thus in the long run making more muds pretty much the same?
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Old 03-15-2003, 02:08 PM   #20
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John, as far as I know, doing systems like crafting has nothing to do with the base code that they are in, such as Diku, but is simply limited to the coder, and how it is coded in.

Feudal Realms is a ROM/Diku base, and we have an extensive crafting system in place...our system uses one prototype object for each particular thing, whether it be a part, raw material, product, and so on. The code itself is what modifies the altered object.

We started our crafting system completely on a whim on June 9, 2000 when a player submitted an idea for one of my "two-hour coding challenges" to allow players to mine up ore. I added that system in, and it was a "normal" skill, just given to warriors, but once people realized what it could do, and once -I- did as well, it ballooned into what it is now, a system of over 75 (and growing) craft skills.

I love it to allow people to do something OTHER than mindlessly kill things. It is not a complete replacement for existing mob-loaded equipment, but in the future, I can see it as such a thing...

If anyone has anymore questions on crafting (at least on our crafting system) drop me a message on here, or an email at etanos_the_ancient@hotmail.com.

Terl
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