[Discussion] Let's fix the crafting system!

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Yippers, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Yippers

    Yippers Member

    Here is a discussion thread to maybe definitively answer crafting woes. I feel like there's been quite a few of these, each branching off into a smaller part of the crafting system, that all seem to inevitably trail off without resolving anything. I would love to be able to tinker with a *fun* crafting system in DoD that's *viable* in GR difficulty, so I hope this thread works.


    1. What is the current crafting system like? Is it broken? If anything, what do you like about how things currently are?
    2. How can the crafting skills--Alchemy, Smithing, Tinkering--be buffed to be as valuable as the other skills? Players have to give up a skill slot to pick them, so is that skill slot worth it?
    3. Are the crafting skills unbalanced between each other (ex: smithing > tinkering)? If so, how can we fix that?
    4. How effective should the crafting system be without crafting skills? What should having crafting skills add to that?
    5. Does the crafting system scale well through the levels compared to the other systems like the shop, Inconsequentia quests, Anvils, etc? If not, how can it be fixed?
    6. How should the bookshelves and recipes be handled?
    7. How should ingredients be handled?
    8. Anything else about crafting that we need to address?
  2. Yippers

    Yippers Member

    Below are thoughts I stole from the other threads (if you want to be removed/fixed, just tell me) to help start up the discussion. Apologies if I misquoted or ignored other important points covered.

    Question 1/5 =====
    @zaratustra Smithing is not for late in the dungeon, it's for getting good gear early and clearing the first levels so you can take your time leveling up spells.
    @DerpTyrant Crafting is actually useless. It's amazingly hard to get ingredients (ingots) for the weapons. Only really late you start getting good stuff (like chalk) and by then, anything you craft is about 3x times worst then what you already have (from chests, etc.) All the craftable gear is really crappy. You pick an artifact that you can further enchant with Archaeology (anvils) and it gets even more deadlier. Even extra rare recipes are not worth for what they cost. Alchemy could be more useful but I never found the need for any potions in my days of GR. With mage I'm just too OP, with warrior I don't even bother. Tinkering is probably a must if you want to use Xbows and sneaky trap placing rogue, otherwise, meh.

    Question 2 =====
    @Demonic Spoon The big issue [to smithing] I think is that most of the better/cooler stuff is in hidden recipes. The problem is, there aren't that many bookshelves per floor, and even then you're very likely to find stuff that is either useless to you or not reliant on your personal crafting skill. Suggestion (This applies to the other crafting skills too): Increase the rate at which crafting recipes are found. Tinkering and Alchemy suffer from the fact that they're pretty much purely resource-builders. You go tinkering because you want crossbow ammo, and you get alchemy because you want to make valuable drinks. First, I think the ability to make drinks with the porta-still should be reduced, if only to balance out the suggestions I am about to make. [Then with tinkering] I suggest the amount of traps crafted should be increased by a factor of 2-3 at least, so that if you manage to get the materials you should be able to make a lot of them.
    @fishofmuu Personally, I think the number of bolts made should be consistant, but make better quality bolts when you level up. That way, again, you don't feel like you need to rush to lvl 5 to make an archer. You should increase your tinkering when you need BETTER arrows, not more. Same as smithing. Getting to slvl 5 should be to get you BETTER equipment, and not more equipment. I think we agree on that, at least.

    Question 6 =====
    @srulz There is a wonderful suggestion somewhere that "you can only make recipes that you have found in current and ALSO previous games. They are stored locally in the computer". That suggestion rocks. I hereby second that suggestion.
    @ChocolateWaffle I think it isn't an error, but if they add a "only find recipes that you can actually use" I would like it to be "you can only make what you know"
    @Desi I think the game should unlock all level-appropriate crafting recipes when you reach the necessary crafting level.
    @satoru They only reasonable way they could implement that [crafting recipes being limited to what you know], is if they made recipe drop exclusive to your current skill loadout.
    @Haldurson 1. All recipes from level 0 to 3 are automatically known at that skill level.
    2. For level 4 and 5 recipes, rank them by relatively value to the player. Once ranked, you then have a means to distribute the recipes based on a formula involving the dungeon level and the player's investment in the apporpriate crafting skill.
    a) Common/easey recipes are known to everyone at the appropriate level.
    b) Rare/medium power recipes -- 1 to 6 random recipes in that category ought to be found in every book shelf.
    c) Top-rated recipes (the ones for the most powerful/bet items in the game) shoud show up in maybe 1 out 11 bookcases on level 1, 1 out of 10 on level 2, 1 out of 9 on level 3, and so on. For every point you currently have in that crafting skill, you get to re-roll a failure (1 point in a skill gives you one reroll, 2 points gives you 2, and so on)
    3. As part of this, I'd like to see a wider variety of craftable items to represent items more appropriate to the dungeon level you find the recipe on. Top of the line level 5 recipes you find on level 2 or 3, ought to be significantly less powerful (on average) than the ones you find on level 7 or 8
    @Tytaine The possibility of never finding the recipe you wanted, and being stuck with a useless crafting skill is unappealing. I'd rather just know all the recipes at the start. Perhaps learning each tier as you level the skill up.
    @fishofmuu Also... the recipes are fine. You can make some of the best items in the game with smithing, so I don't know what you're talking about. The maces, for example, have very few options that are better. It's a bit imbalanced between the weapons, though.... but the idea that you'll be able to get them by lvl 6 is laughable, because it's all random.

    Question 7 =====
    @pauyasfyla I would love it if the ingot press smelted useless weapons and armor into ingots. This would help a lot with RNG scarcity and makes crafting on the fly a lot more fun.
    @fishofmuu I think if you could scrap weapons/armor into ingots, the whole crafting system would have to be retooled to fix this (you'd end up with like 5x as many ingots as before!), and right now it's not too hard to craft the best weapons if you wait until lvl 5 to press anything. The way I'd think to balance that would be to have smithing NOT increase how many ingots you get.
    @fishofmuu No, the problem is not having 'a lot of ingots', it's basically having NO ingots until slvl 5. It's a waste to press them before then, if you actually want to have the best smithable armor. EVERYONE waits until slvl 5, because otherwise you don't get enough ingots to make anything. Do you want one ingot or five?
    @fishofmuu Yeah, it seems like there should be more item themed rooms. There are shooting ranges with bolts, forges with forging stuff... there should be a lab with powders like brimstone and chalk and stuff.
  3. DerpTyrant

    DerpTyrant Member

    I would just like to say that smithing sucks at the moment. Anything you can pick up (esp if its an artifact) is usually better then stuff you can craft. Considering that it's really hard to get mats (ingots, chalk, etc) for higher tier stuff.
    If you're discussing Dwarven dif sure, but in Going Rogue, smithing is useless.

    The issue imo is the lack of ingredients (the good ones) and how good this weapons are compared to other loot.
    The thing I UTTERLY HATE THE MOST is the fact that all good stuff early and later needs a freaking Steel Ingot which is freaking hard to make. Iron? Sure I got that, but Chalk? Where the bloody poop am I suppose to get that? Honestly that's just stupid. And this things need like 2+ steel ingots, the early stuff and recipes usually want stuff that's also made from steel ...
  4. Marak

    Marak Member

    By the time you can get Steel (read: you get really, really, really lucky and find a single Ingot on the ground, or you finally stumble on some uber-rare Chalk), you have better-than-steel gear in most slots.

    Right now Smithing is only good for making Iron gear early on (Floors 1-4) when it's semi-relevant. Early Iron Weapons are pretty good, but this goes back to the "early crutch" that others have mentioned.

    I don't think I've ever gotten a Smithing character to Floors 8-10, I just end up with sub-par gear that I crafted and don't want to let go of, and I have to run back to a shop twice as often due to the 8-13 slots wasted on carrying Ingots and Presses and whatnot around.

    I tried a "Mace and Shield" build with heavy Armor and Block and a Molten Mace that I crafted, the first 3 rooms of Floor 7 kicked the shit out of me and I died. That's been my experience with Smithing: character sucks past Floor 5-6. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I just cannot make it worthwhile as-is.
  5. blahdidah

    blahdidah Member

    I've taken multiple smithing characters to the end of the game, and don't see any real issues. As others have mentioned it really helps on the early levels.

    -The stat increases are nice for a warrior build.
    -I don't agree that everything good requires steel, the aluminum boots and armor are both nice for early to mid games. Even the runed helms are decent for early on. Having one good piece of equipment like this by the 1st or second level allows you to upgrade them on the early krong shrines as well.
    -By level 6+ I'm looking to upgrade out of smithed items usually, but even then it's a decent way to make extra money by turning ingots into items.

    I don't use shields with fighters, since so many damage types bypass armor anyway, I think 2 weapons are always the better option. This usally means I only use 1 weapon focus, so smithing also helps make sure I have two decent weapons of my specific focus early on. Dual wield with 2 iron weapons will get you far enough to find better equipment.
  6. Marak

    Marak Member

    I think that was my big problem. Right now the game is 100% geared towards a mindset of "Kill them before they can kill you!" and any build that doesn't seek to maximize damage output is in for a rough time.

    On topic, you're just proving the point about crafting being shitty:
    "...by level 6+ I'm looking to upgrade out of smithed items usually..."

    This is the big issue. It should be good, or at least helpful, for all 10 floors, especially given the inventory and skill point investment, both of which are substantial.

    Tinkering suffers from this, too. Archery damage in general is too low and therefore, no matter how Tinker-y you are, you cannot make enough bolts to kill everything you run into. And like Smithing, you're blowing a decent chunk of Skill Points and Inventory Space just to keep from falling further behind in Bolts than you already are. It's like you always lose the race, just by a smaller margin the more you invest. But you still lose, every time.

    As for Alchemy, it's in a similar place: some of those Potions can be really good early on, but Potions don't scale very well and are pretty 'meh' by Floor 7 or so. And turning Fruit into high-end Booze (or more Potions) is nice, but again, you cannot bet on finding enough Fruit to make all the Booze and Aqua Vitae you need to support your crafting habit.
  7. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I and others have suggested various changes to make the crafting system better. Here's a list of a few ideas:
    1. Have a system where you can break down items you find into a small number of resources. Currently there are only a few things you can make like this (eg. rust), I'm just suggesting expanding the list. Example: Find a steel mace, but need a sword? Melt it down to get a steel bar.
    2. Make all level 1-3 recipes known at level, and give a selection of level 4 and 5 spells when you reach the appropriate level. Change the book cases to give a 1 or more recipes, with a greater skill level giving you a better chance of getting more/better recipes.
    3. Expand the recipes into standard (automatically known from the start), rare, and exotic/legendary, with your skill level affecting your chances of getting the better recipes (Again, gives you more incentive to increase your crafting). You should also maybe start with 2 random rare recipes.
    4. To balance these changes, I suggest that crafting must be done from known recipes only. Any recipe that people CURRENTLY commonly make without 'knowing' the recipe (eg. Dingle omelettes) you may as well make standard. Items that have balance issues, (eg. the fruitful wand) if kept in the game, should be put on the exotic list, so you cannot actually craft them unless you get lucky.

    Anyway, these are just a few of my ideas.
  8. rederick

    rederick Member

    Smithing by itself does trail off in usefulness rather quickly, with a few exceptions. Emerald amulet allows you to forge an artifact and not much else uses platinum so you can end up with a fair amount. Works well with transmute in alchemy, though less predictable than it should be.

    As an aid to alchemy or tinkering it is without peer. Finding ingots is hard, but being able to turn 1 chalk into 3 or 4 steel into 48 cruelly barbed steel bolts is far more efficient than 1 chalk --> 1 steel --> 12 bolts. Same goes for alchemy/rust, with 1 hematite yeilding 24 health potions at smithing/alchemy max instead of a similar reduction with only alchemy. Still need to test high level ingot grinding on GR though to check if it has the same doubling factor.

    With all three, every recipe is potentially useful, and with the right recipes, you can turn a few sparsely used ingots and oil of vitriols into a dozen BoMDs without turning a hair, never want for emergency potions, and generally reduce the impact of poor RNG as much as possible.

    RNG will always be a factor, and it's a rather significant pool of skill points to throw in. Testing it on GR to see how reduced items affects it, but it made DM rather trivial.

    Recipe finding does need to be tweaked. Oh yes.
  9. rusticdog

    rusticdog Member

    Possibly too add a de-construct option in the creation screen that allowed you to destroy an item for a chance to obtain the recipe. If the chance was tied to your relevant skill for making the item, it could start at around a 20% chance to get the recipe increasing by 20% each level.

    That would be useful if there were plans to stop making items if the recipe was not yet found.

    I'd love to be able to craft lockpicks too :) I see it was in the craftDB.xml file but when I enabled it the game would crash, though it was also made from Iron if I recall, when perhaps Brass Mechanisms would be a better fit.
  10. Tytaine

    Tytaine Member

    I would like to be able to use all recipes(As it is currently) and just scrap finding them at bookcases. I don't want to not be able to craft what I want, usually I just get crafting for particular items anyway. I am unsure how to balance, too many mats could make the first few levels too easy.
  11. zaratustra

    zaratustra Member

    @Tytaine: You can use any recipe, even the ones you don't know. Just put the items in there. (I don't know how people keep missing this.)

    The problem with making smithing able to create endgame-quality weapons at, say, level 5 is that people will inevitably spend their first 5 skill points on smithing and breeze through the game with their newly crafted Superblade. That could be fixed if crafting materials were floor-dependent (like, copper and tin on the top levels, iron midways, steel and aluminum near the bottom).
  12. rederick

    rederick Member


    I could swear by all that is holy that I've tried putting in recipes I knew from previous plays but had currently not been found yet and nothing came of it. I'll have to test it again later.
  13. 123stw

    123stw Member


    Yeah you could, I never bother touching the bookcase nowadays.
  14. Marak

    Marak Member

    "The problem with making smithing able to create endgame-quality weapons at, say, level 5 is that people will inevitably spend their first 5 skill points on smithing and breeze through the game with their newly crafted Superblade."

    You touch on another oddity of Smithing: the Smithing Level of some recipes is really bizarre. For instance, Full Plate Armor. It's the pre-cursor to making the Serpentine Uber-Mail of Uberness. However, both recipes (Full Plate AND Serpentine) are Level 5. Wait,what? Why isn't Full Plate Level 4 Smithing if it's the base for a better armor? Why not make a Level 6 for the Moste Uber Gear?

    And how about some Level Requirements for anything made with Smithing Level 4 or higher? That way, you could maybe get lucky and find the mats for Moste Uber Blade of Death - but you couldn't equip it unless you got your Hero to Level 15 (or whatever).
  15. zaratustra

    zaratustra Member

    That, uh, is my fault. I added recipes for those things. Serpentine's not a level 6 recipe because there -is- no smithing level 6.
  16. fishofmuu

    fishofmuu Member

    Wow. I come back from my trip, and I'm quoted a whole lot in one thread.

    I think the biggest question to address is 'why crafting'? As in, why is crafting there? What is the purpose of those skills? Why take these skills?

    To me, the answer is pretty much just fighting the RNG. It's easier access to the items your build relies on, rather than waiting and praying for the RNG to give it to you. This could be weapons for a melee build, bolts for an archer build, alcohol for a drunken mage build, etc. Without smithing, you CAN get that Flail of Pleiades or Embossed Serpentine Platemail, but you're at the mercy of the RNG. With smithing, your chances of getting it are dramatically increased because there are rooms dedicated to ingots (but good luck getting chalk!).

    And then the next question is 'is it worth it'? That's 1/7 of your skill slots to guarantee you some good items. In some cases, it's near required (archers, for example).

    Those are pretty much the main two questions. All the questions after that should relate back to those two. Well... other than the MAIN question 'is it fun?'.
  17. Icehawk78

    Icehawk78 Member

    I've spoken with a few people on the IRC about this.

    Here was my suggestion, which, while mildly annoying (and fixable in a future update if GLG so chooses) is workable in the current framework of modifying XMLs:

    1) (Pending playtesting for balance) Add deconstruction of items into a base element. Iron Swords to Iron, Steel Maces to Steel, etc. This is a trivial addition, but would obviously need to be reviewed for possible balance issues.

    2) Unlock all recipes (possibly only "known" recipes, though that would need to be a future patch) regardless of level. This would allow those who don't know any of the skills to still participate in using crafting (since there are a large number of crafting drops that are otherwise useless). In exchange for this...

    3) ...Make all crafting scaled based on your level, in the same way that arrows and potions currently are. To use a single example:

    Currently, crafting a Blue Steel Sword (8 slash, 4 pierce) requires either Tinkering or Smithing L4. At L1, assuming you had the materials to craft it, I'd make it be 7 slashing and 2 pierce (in other words, 1/4th the damage increase from the base Steel Sword you'd use to craft it). A lot of this process would be somewhat difficult, but could presumably make the entire process of crafting generally better/more intuitive.

    4) ???

    5) Profit!
  18. ChaoticBroth

    ChaoticBroth Member

    @Icehawk78: I actually like your second/third idea. It's possible to create it so that there are different tiers of each crafted weapon (i.e. Crude Blue Steel Sword, Rough Blue Steel Sword, Blue Steel Sword and a Fine Blue Steel Sword), with only one tier offered for items that already have a Smithing/Tinkering requirement of 5 (like the Embossed Serpentine Platemail) or the artifacts. It's definitely possible, but it's gonna take a lot of work. To be honest, it's probably the best suggestion for crafting that I've actually heard in quite a while.

    In addition to all of these, however, the crafting skills are still gonna be somewhat lackluster. Maybe a final, fairly strong combat/utility skill could be added to each tree?
  19. Bhruic

    Bhruic Member

    They already sort of have that for the basic items - crude, rough, etc.

    Deconstruction is a good idea, but rather than scale down/up items, I'd rather see items get enchanted, either randomly, or if you are a set amount above the requirements. The number of enchantments could be based on your skill level. So that way, even if you didn't have the materials to make the "best" item, you could still craft lower level stuff, and get potentially useful enchantments. It'd also create a material sink, as people might continue to make items hoping for better enchantments. This would, of course, be dependent on what they did with TTIAW. And it could be overpowered with TBIAM.
  20. fishofmuu

    fishofmuu Member

    Well, for some things, I'm all for scaling, but other things it seems.... wrong. Smithing is one of those things where I feel it is wrong.

    The way I think tinkering should be fixed is have the number of bolts made stay static throughout tiers, but the quality of bolts increase (with maybe a couple of exceptions). This is EXCEPTIONALLY imperative to archers to get to slvl 5 tinkering because the number of bolts per ore goes up exponentially, AND the quality.

    I think the absolute biggest change that needs to happen for crafting is to have the same number of crafting materials available throughout all slvls. For example, ores should always give the same number of ingots, regardless of skill. This also works well with the deconstructing items idea, because it would be, again, equal for skill level.

    Right now, I don't think the way the items are tiered in smithing is wrong at all. You make a weapon, and then you upgrade it as your skill goes up. As it is right now, not many people do that because it's more efficient, due to material gains, to jump to slvl 5 to craft. For weapons/armor, I LIKE the upgrade system, rather than a tiered quality system. I don't want my weapons and armor to be scrap metal to make a better item... that would make me wait until slvl 5 to craft as well.