Feedback on the work order/enchanting system

WARNING --LONG POST--

As of this morning, i have completed and logged 206 orders and their rewards.

I think that i can now start analyzing the results a bit and provide the first feedback on it, at least at the ones coming from blacksmith which were about 80% of my orders.

I was always kind of negative toward the idea of introducing an enchanting system to fix the problems that crafting had in the game. It sounded like a dumb solution. So, first of all let me take that back, it worked quite well and sometimes you just have to admit that you were wrong.

The existing problem:

Now, let's focus on which were the previous problems that this change tried to fix and how they were impacted by this change.

1) Economy was saturated by crafters. Crafting top grade stuff was too easy, resulting in really meager economic results for dedicating your playtime to crafting compared to just going pve.
2) A lot of players during the Age of Stagnation rolled a crafter as a second char, and so became self sufficient.
3) The only materials that had any reason to exist were top grade materials and house materials. Ash, quilted, copper, gold and cobalt were simply out of the game. Beast and cloth held a bit of value since silk and vile were too hard to come by.

The changes

The biggest change that was brought by the enchant system, is the requirement of playtime. Processing all those work orders take a lot of time, so creating a good enchanted weapon takes playtime. This is really important and a necessary part of all working sandbox economic systems. Being a dedicated crafter does not mean having a char with 6xGM crafting skills, it means actively playing that char instead of going out there whacking stuff. Now, the time itsef of a crafter has a value, like the time of someone grinding mobs has a value.

Second important change, not tied directly to enchants but closely related, is the durability and item grade changes. Now the final quality of an item is not dependent on the material, only the durability changes with it. And boy does that durability matter now! An iron weapon will not last a couple of hours of intensive use!

One of the indirect effects of all this is the creation of tiers of equipment.

1) Low grade items (+1 and +2 armors, 30%- weapons and so on)
2) High grade items
3) High grade items with lesser enchants
4) High grade items with regular enchants
5) High grade items with greater enchants

All of those tiers, except maybe the first one, have a use and a market value. Tier 2 and 3 will be the most used, with prices being accessible to average players. Tier 4 will be equipments used only for more challenging stuff. Tier 5 will be used only by really really rich people.

Another consideration, the reward of the crafting orders (except some outliers to be fixed) is made so that simply doing work orders does not strike you a good profit, even by selecting the correct ones you can just farm gold faster with a fighting char.
Important thing to be noticed is that the rewards are good even for not top materials, giving a value to all existing materials.

The only way to truly strike a good profit, is to operate on a large scale, doing a lot of work orders, while saving the high grade items produced and using the low grade for the orders. A crafter operating this way, will not be 100% in control of what he will produce, since he must obey the orders, but will generate those high grade items items at an effective cost of about 10% of what would cost to someone just deciding that he wants a +3 obsidian full plate, since he can recycle all the +1 and +2 results.
Obviously, by operating this way he will also generate a good amount of essences.
The real profit of the crafters will then be in selling those high tier items and the enchants, or by enchanting the items themselves and selling the final products.
There is a lot of RNG involved, but a crafter that works on big numbers will not be affected by it.

The whole systems seems to be designed to penalize those "lateral" crafter chars which were just used as a service for a main char. They will suffer the most from the RNG, and will also be out of market when trying to produce high grade items.

With this system in place, being a crafter is something that you have to be dedicated to, or it simply will not work.

Completely different is the situation for gatherers. Since there is a LOT of demand of raw materials, being a gatherer now can strike a high profit, and having a gathering skill on your fighting char can be a really good way to make money, surely more than grinding mobs. You are no longer bound to go around to find those BW trees or that obsidian node, you can just hack/mine everything, knowing that it will sell.

Did it solve the problems?

The issues 1 and 3 were obviously solved, the first by the creation of tiers of equipment, and the number 3 thanks to giving back a market value to all grades of materials.
Issue 2 was solved probably, but by giving a huge slap to those players who grinded a full crafter without a real intention to pour hourse of theyr time in playing it.

What should be tweaked/fixed?

There are a few issues with the current implementation the new work order/enchant system.

1) Quilted cloth. We all know what is the problem with this. Before this change it was a minor issue. Now that we need those clothes, it became a major one. We need a way to gather this material. Personally i would turn all cotton plants outside cotton fields into fluffy cotton.

2) Order rewards. There is clearly a threeshold system in place for rewards, but while the rewards that go from 100 gold to 8-9k are well distributed and quite seamless, after that you have a huge jump to 20-30k. I think that we all noticed the difference between 10 and 15 BW warbow orders. Something should be tweaked in that area. Also, big orders tend to give too small rewards. 5 copper large axes reward 600 gold, but 80 copper large axes reward only 2000.

3) Damage enchants. We run some tests on these, and they are really underwhelming. I can notice from the frequency of these rewards that attack speed is supposed to be a better enchant than accuracy which is supposed to be better than damage. The problem is that the damage bonus is calculated inside the multiplier of vigor/prowess/strenght/weapon, so a 25% damage bonus is actually about a 5% bonus. This is confusing for many and as i said quite underwhelming. I suggest to reduce the bonus given by these essences to 1-4%/2-8%/3-16% (lesser/regular/greater), but applying it as a multyplier at the end of the damage calculation. This would make the effects slightly greater and more clear to the player.

4) Materials for carpentry. Carpentry is based on only 3 materials, and they are currently considered by players to be harder than ores to be obtained. Again, before this change wood was used only to skill carpentry, make some tables and build some houses. Now we need huge quantities of it. Even worse for Ash that went from being almost useless to being in huge request. I think that at this point those 2 materials should be a bit easier to obtain. My suggestion here is easy, allow normal trees to be hacked 32 times instead of 16 and the ash trees to be hacked 16 times instead of 8. BW should stay at 8 (but maybe make it a bit easyer to chop).

Final personal note

The best thing about this system is that now all crafters have different stocks to sell. Depending on the orders they processed, the enchants they got, how they used those enchants and so on, the offer of every shop will be different.
This IMHO is something that was lacking in the game and is the best effect of the enchant system.

Sorry for the wall of text.

Comments

  • ShermSherm United States
    I can agree with this post.
  • @Ruggero

    Nice Post!

    You make some excellent points on the value of crafting good items. Previous patch where you could craft 99% items easily seemed to water down the market.

    The introduction of enchantments that only a crafter can obtain allows the crafter to really make those special weapons /armor.

    As long as they don't change their mind and place enchantments in the open world I'll be happy with this system.

    I would like to see in PvE maybe "special" drops from monsters that are some type of work order that pay out a new or rarer enchantment. That way PvE players can obtain the Work Order, and either sell it or get it fulfilled by a crafter for the reward. But the crafter still has to do the work, so you're not cutting out the crafter in the long run.
  • MeegoshMeegosh MA, USA
    I agree with this post but I would go one step further.

    1. Enchanting orders for higher end orders 80-100 should have more rewards, they simply give the same rewards as 40-60, which is painful since its 2x the materials.

    2. Rare Materials such as Fluffy cotton is spot on, however Silk, and Vile hide need to spawn in more than just 1 effective place. (I am not counting Deception, as killing a drake for a chance at 1 vile leather is not really easy/effective). Vile Hide takes about an hour to farm up 40-50 (tops) and that is your alone there. Since its only found in one spot, and if anyone on the server other than you you can effectively cut that in half. Even if you don't cut that in half 50 per hour when you need 400 to get a 100 Vile Hardened Helm = 8 hours just to finish 1 work order. I don't have a problem with this if the reward is good enough but the value just isn't there.

    3. The randomness of top tier enchants means that a High roll on a small shard, and a bad roll on a Pristine could make the small shard actually better. The bad feels are bad, making pristine more important and powerful would be a good step in the right direction. I want to make weapons that people feel the power of, if I enchant a sharded weapon it right now looks cool, but doesn't really increase damage unless I get lucky with rolls.

    4. The super rare items, that can be gotten Rare building patterns for Carpentry, Bless deed for tailoring, and smithing gets ! (a colored anvil) - just doesn't quite meet up with the other two I suggest a super rare on hit enchant or something to that line.

    Just a few of my suggestions.
  • Well thought out post. +1
  • Now, this is an example of and EXCELLENT discussion. Thank you :smile:
  • P.S. What happen to the 'reward' vs. the enchants?
  • I feel like leather needs a rebalance in terms of materials required. Gathering hides is just so much slower than ore/wood, requires far more skills and, in some instances, multiple players (or a tamer). I'd caution the devs not to look too much in to the number of enchants entering the economy or the number of WOs being completed right now—a lot of us are burning through old stockpiles of beast/vile/silk for fabrication. These mats take 10x as long to gather and can't be collected in town like woods and ores.
  • Thank you for your detailed analysis. Can I ask a really dumb basic question? Is it fun?
  • Death said:

    Thank you for your detailed analysis. Can I ask a really dumb basic question? Is it fun?

    Well that is highly subjective, but at least for me i can say that i'm having fun.
  • Death said:

    Thank you for your detailed analysis. Can I ask a really dumb basic question? Is it fun?

    It's interesting, but in some instances it takes hours upon hours of boredom to maybe have a chance at getting a single, junk enchantment. I would have liked to have seen the enchantment drops spread out beyond crafting work orders—certain types from WOs, others from treasure hunting, others from fishing, others from mobs, etc.—basically spread them throughout all the various reward systems in the game.
  • Death said:

    Thank you for your detailed analysis. Can I ask a really dumb basic question? Is it fun?

    I enjoy wood harvesting while watching the cricket or reading AFL (Australian football) forums.
    Have a lazy Saturday of watching 3 AFL games while harvesting planned (it is winter here).

    Relaxing - yes
    Rewarding - yes
    Fun - yes

    I will get enough plat for that block of land.....
  • Good information here.
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