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Beta Crafting Preview (continued)
The Crafting Process
One has to go to the appropriate crafting
station. The player right clicks the station and a menu window pops up.
The player then chooses the appropriate recipe from a list and is given
options as to what ingredients he wants to take into the crafting
encounter. After choosing the ingredients a crafting encounter window
crafting encounter begins with a set amount of action points, normally
two thousand, which can be spent by players on crafting actions.
Crafting is turn based. There are normally 4 stages to a crafting
encounter. Each stage has a progress bar that must be filled in to get
to the next crafting stage. Under each stage there are either one or
two types of general stage headings with corresponding actions for each
type. For example, the second stage of making an item may just be
design actions or it could be design and cleaner actions or some other
combination. Crafters get crafting actions for each of these types of
stage headings. A crafting action adds varying degrees of quality or
progress to an item. A hidden roll is made that determines the success
and benefit gained from a particular crafting action. If one runs out
of action points before finishing the item the item fails and the raw
material that was used to start the process is lost. As one gains
experience and skill he learns more crafting actions.
of each crafting encounter is to maximize your action points and make
the highest quality item while leaving the fewest amount of points
left. A crafted item will wind up being one of four grades: A, B, C or
D items do not give experience, and from the few recipes I
have tried they are not useable in player made items. The higher the
grade of the items made the better the experience and rewards for work
orders. Every grade above D of a refined item gives a quality bonus.
For example, using a quality A mangled leather piece fills in a lot
more of the quality bar, before any action points are used, than using
a Grade C or B piece of leather.
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time a player plays a crafting action there is a chance that a
complication may result. A complication can positively or negatively
affect the progress or quality of the item. The crafter must make a
choice to ignore the complication or try to resolve or fix the problem.
In my experience ignoring the problem is not good unless one is very
close to being finished. Ignoring the complication normally results in
a higher cost of action points for a particular action and can greatly
diminish the benefit of an action to quality or progress. At low levels
there will only be one way to fix a complication. As one levels one
learns additional ways to fix a complication and will have more
choices. The different choices generally have different action point
costs and different effects on quality and progress. Often additional
choices will require that a special tool, item or ingredient be brought
to the crafting process. Complications can often be devastating and
greatly cripple one’s quality goals during the crafting
Stage one and four
take a look at the screenshot. In the top left one can see the quality
of the item being made, in the middle we can see the progress for the
particular stage and in the top right we can see the action points
There are normally four stages for most crafting
encounters. The first and fourth stage never change. The first stage is
always preparing the raw material. This costs no action points but can
result in a complication. The last stage is the polishing or folding of
the finished product. At this stage you are given a choice of finishing
the product for one hundred action points and keeping the quality of
the item as is, or finishing the product at a cost of zero action
points but the item loses some quality. Both these stages do not have a
progress bar--just one action and the stage is complete.
Stages two and three
It’s in these two stages where the hard decisions will be
made and the eventual outcome of the crafting process will be decided.
are three types of action headings for stages two and three. The names
for these headings and the actions allowed under each heading may
change for each recipe but everything else stays the same. The icons,
benefits and costs of these actions stay the same. In an outfitting
finishing encounter generally there is a cleaning heading, design
heading and fit or size heading. Under each heading there are normally
two to five actions that can be played. These can be any order but two
will share the same stage. The size fit heading has the main crafting
action that can add quality to an item. The other headings can only add
quality with special moves but are not as effective as the size fit
heading. This is similar for all crafting classes.
are two types of finishing orders refinishing work orders and finishing
orders. Each type of finishing order has a level of difficulty. The
levels of difficulty now are trivial, very easy, easy, moderate,
difficult, and very difficult and downright impossible. Generally a
work order asks you to make three items but that is not always the
case. The better quality the items you craft for your work order, the
better the reward and the experience.
gain experience making the work order items and for turning in the work
orders to the designated NPC. Experience gained making the items
depends on the quality of the item made and the difficulty level of the
recipe. D grade items do not provide any experience. Items made for
purposes other than work orders do not provide any experience either
(except the first time an item is made it does grant experience). The
idea behind this is to keep crafters from flooding the market, and to
keep the value of player-made items high.
are a number of crafting skills. For the most part, I have to admit
that I don’t yet know what the benefits of each skill are.
as a player uses them. There are three categories of skills: refining,
finishing and parent skills. These skills are capped each level and a
player gains twenty five points to the skill cap for each of the three
categories each level (except for the parent skills which are capped at
20 points per level). Each of these three categories has three
sub-skills that can be raised within it. Each of these sub-skills has a
cap of ten points per level meaning only two skills can potentially
reach the skill cap. I can’t speak much about the refining
finishing skills as I know little about them except that crafting
becomes noticeably easier each level as I reach the skill cap. So far I
have only let them rise on their own.
The parenting skills
come in three categories where normally a choice must be made.
Outfitters for example have three parent skills: Outfitting,
Leatherworking (medium armor) and Tailoring (light armor). The
outfitting skills are needed for all items so that skill needs to
always be raised to its cap. The player then needs to make a choice
between light armor and medium armor. A player can lock a skill at its
current level so it does not rise; set it to lower; or set the skill to
rise. Setting one of these skills to zero and letting the others rise
is what most players do. A crafter can let all three skills rise but it
will be harder for him to make items because his skills will be low for
his level. Artificers have to make the same choice between Carpentry
and Mineralogy (working with stone), and Blacksmiths have to
between Weaponsmithing and Armorsmithing. This has the effect of
creating sub classes.
Once one reaches level
ten he gains attribute points that he can use as he levels. Wisely
placing attribute points greatly effects the items being made. From
reading the beta boards there appear to be a number of different ways
to distribute attribute points to create different crafter builds.
Going into these builds is beyond my current knowledge and beyond the
scope of this journal.
Briefly here is a description of each attribute.
- Problem Solving - Helps in preventing and resolving
- Reasoning – Helps with utility actions.
- Ingenuity – Helps with station actions.
- Finesse – Helps with tool actions.
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