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Crafting in Rift: Part 2 – Reader Submitted Q&A

Posted Thu, Jan 06, 2011 by B. de la Durantaye

In this second part of our exclusive interview with Trion Worlds, Ten Ton Hammer delves deeper into the recipe book of crafting in the upcoming Rift MMOG. To get all the necessary materials, we talked with Gina Reams, Crafting Systems Designer, and Adam Gershowitz, Producer.

In the first part of the interview, we learned many of the basics of crafting in the Rift game. Now, talk turns to the augment system and what that entails. As always, if you have any questions you wish us to ask Trion Worlds in future interviews, please post them in our official Rift forum.



Ten Ton Hammer: With augmentation, it sounds like you’ll be able to customize items more to suit your taste or needs.

Adam Gershowitz: That’s exactly how that works. You go out and find these materials that will augment different types of stats and you attach them to the item. We can go into augments now if you wish.

Ten Ton Hammer: Let’s roll into it!

Adam Gershowitz: The augmentation system, at the current time, allows one augment on an item. We’re playing around with ideas of expanding it, but that depends upon alpha and beta feedback. Basically, any item in the game that is an equipable item can be augmented. These augments you can find, right now, primarily through rift content or doing crafting dailies, but Gina is playing around with other ways of delivering them in the world.

Say you’re going to build a sword. I’m going to take that level 17 uncommon green sword. It’s got some good stats on it, but I’m making this for Gina, who is our group’s tank, and she needs more endurance because she needs to take more hits. I can go out and find an endurance enhancing augment which will put endurance onto that item.

One of the things that are really nice about this is that it allows you as a crafter to kind of break the item rules. The way that the game kind of balances itself is by the fact that the more a single stat is on an item, the less of it you can kind of have – there are diminishing returns. That encourages people to look for items with more than one stat on them. Augmentation breaks that by allowing you to add more stat without any penalty on top of it. It allows you to push that item farther and farther more than it would normally be able to, in order to make exceptionally different items.

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The other thing it does is kind of almost bumps it up a rarity level, even though the color code doesn’t change. For example, if you augment a green item, it could be the quality and have the same stats as a blue or purple item, depending upon how powerful the augment you put on it is. Obviously, there is a little risk that goes along with it. The more powerful the augment that you are attempting to attach to a lower power item, the greater the chance of failure. In that particular case, if you fail, you lose the augment, but keep the material. The only investment loss is losing the augment that you were attempting to put on the item and the time spent getting that augment.

"We do have guild perks. Every level that your guild gets, you get two perk points. You put one point into adventuring perks and one into non-adventuring perks. (We call them combat and non-combat.) The non-combat perks do involve a lot of crafting-related things in that they help your crafters be better at what they do."
Gina Reams: Right now, the only time that you can fail and lose items in crafting is if you are gambling and doing the augment system.

Ten Ton Hammer: Just for clarification, this is only for crafted items?

Gina Reams: You can only augment equippable items that are crafted.

Adam Gershowitz: So any crafting recipe can be augmented. I believe that augments stack with runes, which are normal enchantments. It’s not like you’re pre-enchanting an item; you’re creating an item of higher quality.

Ten Ton Hammer: Getting back to the mechanics of crafting then, is there a maximum amount of skill points that you can have in a crafting skill per adventurer level? Is it capped out so at level 10, you can only have 100 of this particular skill?

Gina Reams: We don’t have your crafting skill based upon your adventuring level, so you can technically be level 5 and have a max skill of 300. That being said, the higher level resources and materials that you will be using will be in higher level zones.

Ten Ton Hammer: Do you have any no-drop materials or no-trade materials?

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Gina Reams: Not at the moment.

Adam Gershowitz: We haven’t really gotten into our high end crafting right now, but almost all of materials are economy tradable.

Ten Ton Hammer: The reason why I ask is that it seems that with a crafting system like this, we can have crafting alts if we have the money to just feed them the materials.

Adam Gershowitz: That is exactly what we’re trying to do. It’s not to punish people. Obviously, crafting alts may have a disadvantage in that it may be harder to get hold of things such as raid recipes or recipes that come off the notoriety merchants. It’s going to take a long time longer to grind that notoriety by crafting than it would take by adventuring. There is a slight advantage to the player who levels and crafts versus to the player who just sends goods to their alts.

Gina Reams: Having a crafting alt is a tough battle, but it is possible.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will there be any disadvantages if somebody chooses not to craft?

Adam Gershowitz: That’s a tough one. Obviously, the disadvantage I see personally is that by not crafting, you’re shutting off a portion of the game and a portion of your options. Crafting, the way that Gina and the item designers have laid it out, is that we put crafted gear and items at places where they may be blanks in the quest gear. Say for example, you might not see a level 16 chest piece in one area of the world, but there is one that can be crafted. Players who don’t craft aren’t necessarily going to be missing out on anything, but players who do craft have the potential to make more money and easing their leveling a little bit. Admittedly, that time is being spent crafting, so I don’t know if you’ll call it easier or break-even or more time investment. I guess it depends upon how you like playing the game.

Ten Ton Hammer: By the sounds of it, it sounds like there will be rare components.

Gina Reams: There are rare components.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are these rare by dropping randomly in the world or is there some other mechanic? Obviously, raid drops are going to be considered rare.

Gina Reams: There are rare components that are rare drops throughout the world. We have drops off of rifts that can be rare. We also do have certain harvest nodes that spawn very infrequently in the highest level areas or in instances, so we can get very rare with those. There also will be rarer hides and cloths that will drop off of mobs. It’s just the frequency with which you can harvest them or their drop rate.

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Adam Gershowitz: The other things that we have are, while they are not necessarily rare but are a little more difficult to craft, are composite materials. Where as your normal progression would be to use tin, then copper, then so on, there are these hybrid materials that you can get quests as a harvester to make to allow you to make stronger weapons or different recipes. I wouldn’t necessarily call those rare, but you do have to adventure to find the material at first, then you can make it. They are more difficult. There’s a second level between common materials and “Oh my God, it’s a 2% rare raid drop off a monster!” materials.

"The way that the game kind of balances itself is by the fact that the more a single stat is on an item, the less of it you can kind of have – there are diminishing returns. Augmentation breaks that by allowing you to add more stat without any penalty on top of it. It allows you to push that item farther and farther more than it would normally be able to, in order to make exceptionally different items."
Gina Reams: An example of that would be that you would get an iron recipe followed by a chromite bar recipe. If you did the crafting dailies and you got the steel bar recipe from putting in the effort into crafting, that’s a new material that you can make that not all the other crafters can make. That’s kind of our advanced materials that take more resources or more expenses, and those will be used in rarer recipes.

Ten Ton Hammer: We know that there is guild progression in Rift. Are there any rewards to guild progression when it comes to crafting?

Adam Gershowitz: On the guilds, we haven’t tied guilds and crafting super-heavily together. There are some tie-ins right now. We do have guild perks. Every level that your guild gets, you get two perk points. You put one point into adventuring perks and one into non-adventuring perks. (We call them combat and non-combat.) The non-combat perks do involve a lot of crafting-related things in that they help your crafters be better at what they do. Things like increasing your crafting skill so you can harvest special nodes or having lesser chances of failing your augments. We haven’t fleshed that out that heavily yet. We do also have a guild merchant that offers items and goods based upon your guild’s level, but at this point of time, we haven’t thrown any specific crafting recipes on it, even though we are playing around with the idea of certain things that guilds would want for raid utility, those recipes would come from the guild merchant.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there any system in place for consignment or commissioned work? Basically, if somebody has the materials, they don’t have to necessarily give you the materials to craft it. You can kind of group up. That way, you don’t risk people scamming others and stealing their mats.

Adam Gershowitz: The easiest way to answer this is to say that it is on our list of things we would greatly desire to do for launch. The real question is if we get there before the game comes out. It’s on the short list. At this moment, it does not exist in the game.

Our thanks to Gina Reams and Adam Gershowitz for the interview.

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