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The randomness dominating crew skills

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
The randomness dominating crew skills

Stormseeker's Avatar


Stormseeker
01.05.2012 , 01:18 AM | #1
When I first played SW:TOR on the huge beta weekend over Thanksgiving I thought the crew skills were handled quite well. I didn't get to max level but for the amount of time I played, to roughly level 25, I thought everything worked quite well together. However, now that I have had time to spend with the crew skill system it is very inadequate in my own personal opinion.

To try and keep this short and sweet I'll make a "list" of my issues with it.

- The system used to give you missions is extremely frustrating. I am constantly having to choose between four companion gift missions and a fabric mission as a cybertech. This does not help me when I have all of my companions maxed out on affection.

- When I am able to send my companions out on a mission I am looking for I am unable to specify which item I want them to get because each grade of materials has multiple items available so I'm unable to even specify for my companions to get one material instead of another. If I receive the "wrong" material then I'm left to hope that I get a mission for it and that I get material X this time around instead of material Y. To add to this problem, the quantities you receive from the missions is extremely small. I have had companions crit a mission and come back with two of one material, the one I really need, and ten of another.

- When I reverse engineer things I am only permitted a relatively small chance to get the next tier of that item. Sometimes I make two items and get the next tier and other times I make 20 or more and still don't get the next tier.

- If I do get the next tier of that item it is randomly assigned a stat. I started with green earpieces and found out that they have quite a few different blue variations for one green earpiece. Each of those blue earpieces then have multiple variations on them as well making it difficult to get the useful patterns to make and sell or patterns you would like to use for yourself.

- There is no reliable way to gather stuff yourself since it is really not much different than the results you see from sending companions out on missions. This is not a terrible way to get materials, it is a much more effective way of getting materials since you can get results much quicker than you could otherwise even if those results are completely random, but it is still dominated by randomness. Sometimes you will get three of material X and sometimes you will get two of material Y from the same creatures of the same level.

I really hope Bioware somehow finds a nice middle ground to remove some of the randomness and give the player more control over their crew skills because currently it feels like they really dropped the ball on what could have been a really good part of the game. I'm curious to see what some other people think about this and see if people generally agree with me or if the general consensus is that it is fine the way it is now.

I would also like to add that I don't think this should be as high of a priority as a more robust LFG system or reworking the GTN so it is more user-friendly but I do think that this should definitely be pretty high on the list.

The-Light-Shadow's Avatar


The-Light-Shadow
01.05.2012 , 01:30 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by Stormseeker View Post
To try and keep this short and sweet I'll make a "list" of my issues with it.

- The system used to give you missions is extremely frustrating. I am constantly having to choose between four companion gift missions and a fabric mission as a cybertech. This does not help me when I have all of my companions maxed out on affection.
I'll agree with this one and pass it off as a bug. I don't think they intended for that to happen.

Quote:
- When I am able to send my companions out on a mission I am looking for I am unable to specify which item I want them to get because each grade of materials has multiple items available so I'm unable to even specify for my companions to get one material instead of another. If I receive the "wrong" material then I'm left to hope that I get a mission for it and that I get material X this time around instead of material Y. To add to this problem, the quantities you receive from the missions is extremely small. I have had companions crit a mission and come back with two of one material, the one I really need, and ten of another.
That is intended. If you could just select what you want and get a ton of it on demand, then everyone would be able to craft EVERYTHING and the market would get inflated. This system is designed to weed out everyone who is not committed to hard core crafting by demanding a huge time and credit investment. This system is for those who are willing to miss the crit on the materials they need 10 times in a row, not people who want a "give me Polyfibe" button.

Quote:
- When I reverse engineer things I am only permitted a relatively small chance to get the next tier of that item. Sometimes I make two items and get the next tier and other times I make 20 or more and still don't get the next tier.
Again, if you only had to reverse engineer 3 items to get the good stuff, then EVERYONE would be a master crafter. We can't have that. You either dedicate yourself wholly to your craft or you don't. It's not our problem if you don't want to spend the time doing it.

Quote:
- If I do get the next tier of that item it is randomly assigned a stat. I started with green earpieces and found out that they have quite a few different blue variations for one green earpiece. Each of those blue earpieces then have multiple variations on them as well making it difficult to get the useful patterns to make and sell or patterns you would like to use for yourself.
Rarity = uniqueness of a master crafter. The rarer a specific item is, the better it is for business because people like you won't put in the time to make it, and would rather just buy it.

Quote:
- There is no reliable way to gather stuff yourself since it is really not much different than the results you see from sending companions out on missions. This is not a terrible way to get materials, it is a much more effective way of getting materials since you can get results much quicker than you could otherwise even if those results are completely random, but it is still dominated by randomness. Sometimes you will get three of material X and sometimes you will get two of material Y from the same creatures of the same level.
So? crafting is not meant to be condensed into a formula of "run around in this circuit getting exactly 4 aluminum over and over again until you craft a specific number of items to get a purple". That is slow and boring. The slot machine system works to simulate RNG without feeling too dull.

Quote:
I really hope Bioware somehow finds a nice middle ground to remove some of the randomness and give the player more control over their crew skills because currently it feels like they really dropped the ball on what could have been a really good part of the game. I'm curious to see what some other people think about this and see if people generally agree with me or if the general consensus is that it is fine the way it is now.
I disagree with you...in almost every way possible.

Hett's Avatar


Hett
01.05.2012 , 01:35 AM | #3
I integrated (and gave credit) some of your observations into my very own thread.

I believe this randomness generates monsters. A casual crafter can reach milestones faster then a dedicated crafter if more lucky. What we need is a system that rewards dedication and investments, not just luck; as they are now crew skills often lead to frustration only.

The-Light-Shadow's Avatar


The-Light-Shadow
01.05.2012 , 01:36 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Hett View Post
I integrated (and gave credit) some of your observations into my very own thread.

I believe this randomness generates monsters. A casual crafter can reach milestones faster then a dedicated crafter if more lucky. What we need is a system that rewards dedication and investments, not just luck; as they are now crew skills often lead to frustration only.
I've not seen a casual crafter reach milestones faster than a dedicated crafter yet. I'm the only guy on my server providing purple techblades for consulars. I'm pretty sure casual crafters can't do that.

DarthDemens's Avatar


DarthDemens
01.05.2012 , 01:48 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Stormseeker View Post
- When I reverse engineer things I am only permitted a relatively small chance to get the next tier of that item. Sometimes I make two items and get the next tier and other times I make 20 or more and still don't get the next tier.
I actually had an idea to eliminate some of the randomness of this. I'm going to make up numbers, since I have no idea what they are.

CURRENT: Lets say I make a green enhancement. Currently, I have a 5% chance every time I reverse engineer that enhancement to learn its blue recipe.

NEW METHOD: I make that same green enhancement. I still have a 5% chance to learn it when I reverse engineer that enhancement. However, if I DON'T learn it, I receive a 5% bonus to my next RE of that item. I make another green enhancement of the same type. I now have a 10% chance to learn the blue when it is RE'd. I fail again. I now have a 15% chance on the next one. Then 20%, then 25%, etc.

It allows for a sort of scaling returns as you make and RE things, but still allows the RNG to allow you to 'be brilliant' and discover an item sooner than if it was just a set number. So I could learn it on the first, but would be guaranteed never to have to RE more than 20. If BW wants purples to remain rarer than blues, then simply make the bonus 2% for them. So again, the possibility is there on the first, but could still be learned in a finite number of craftings.


Like I said, the actual numbers are for illustrative purposes, but the general idea is there.

Hett's Avatar


Hett
01.05.2012 , 02:01 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by The-Light-Shadow View Post
I've not seen a casual crafter reach milestones faster than a dedicated crafter yet. I'm the only guy on my server providing purple techblades for consulars. I'm pretty sure casual crafters can't do that.
'Can' and 'if' are the words you were looking for

The point is if I want to craft a specific artifact item, I can RE forever, spending cash by trillions without getting that recipe.

It is frustrating and by no way rewarding for the crafter.

The-Light-Shadow's Avatar


The-Light-Shadow
01.05.2012 , 02:35 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Hett View Post
'Can' and 'if' are the words you were looking for

The point is if I want to craft a specific artifact item, I can RE forever, spending cash by trillions without getting that recipe.

It is frustrating and by no way rewarding for the crafter.
Then you aren't destined to have that item, and you go buy it from someone who does. That's the market for you. If everyone can supply, there is no demand.

Hett's Avatar


Hett
01.05.2012 , 02:53 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by The-Light-Shadow View Post
Then you aren't destined to have that item, and you go buy it from someone who does. That's the market for you. If everyone can supply, there is no demand.
Destiny? Are you kidding me?

This is not a lottery, this is businness and cannot rely on just fate by design. It's just broken this way.

Would you accept to get to the last boss on an OP or HM FP and have a chance roll to find the door open or closed and actually be able to play it? This is exactly the same.

Fiskpinne's Avatar


Fiskpinne
01.05.2012 , 04:57 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Hett View Post
Destiny? Are you kidding me?

This is not a lottery, this is businness and cannot rely on just fate by design. It's just broken this way.

Would you accept to get to the last boss on an OP or HM FP and have a chance roll to find the door open or closed and actually be able to play it? This is exactly the same.
I would not compare it like that, it's more like everyone get to kill the boss if they want to and have the time but it's totaly random what it drops, you can't chose that either.

Hett's Avatar


Hett
01.05.2012 , 05:27 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Fiskpinne View Post
I would not compare it like that, it's more like everyone get to kill the boss if they want to and have the time but it's totaly random what it drops, you can't chose that either.
Here you have a 'what', there you have an 'if'.

My comparison is 'if' to 'if', thus more accurate