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Improving Crew Skill by looking at other MMOs

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
Improving Crew Skill by looking at other MMOs

chimunga's Avatar


chimunga
07.10.2012 , 09:06 AM | #1
I really enjoy SWTOR. I like the game as a whole. However, I'm finding the whole professions system both boring and cumbersome, and on most toons I either end up chosing Biochem or gathering. So, as a result, I've been thinking about ways to improve the crafting system. And that got me thinking about games with crafting systems I do like. Which led me to WoW.

For the sake of argument, lets pretend people don't have these giant passionate feelings about WoW (either for or against) and just look at the professions and what makes them good and bad. I'm not trying to make SWTOR a WoW clone, but honestly, the professions in WoW stand out as the one thing Iike constantly whilst playing a game that was steadily going down hill (in my eyes, atleast).

One shining thing in WoW professions is that each profession, both gathering and crafting, has it's own perk, that you can only obtained if you have that profession. A quick list:

Leatherworkers: Fur lining (bracer stat boost)
Engineering: Tinkers (stat boost or proc for cloak and hands) & Cogwheels (special gems)
Tailors: Spellthread (pants stat boost)
Helbalism: Lifeblood (spell to temp. increase haste and restore health)
Skinning: Master of Anatomy (permanent +crit chance)

If you want to look further, there's a full list here LINK. If you don't want to, just take it from me that every profession has it's own bonus.

Now, mind you, these were only usually available at each level cap in the game (70, 80, 85), and it took WoW years to actually have all of those, but I think SWTOR could take on those ideas and expand them. SW has the great base for their crew skills, I just think they need to step it up a bit.

Also, keep in mind, that I'm mostly talking about keeping in interesting whilst leveling, not endgame stuff. I'm am also ignoring any and all money-making potential in a crew skill.

I can only think of two professions that have anything unique before endgame, and that's Biochem (reusable schtuffs) and Cybertech (sub-par grenades). Correct me if I'm wrong.

So here's my ideas:

-Give each crew skill something that only they have.

I'm thinking of unique BOP items that would be specific for each skill. They would have stats slightly better than the purples of their level ranges.
Biochem: unique-equip implant (meaning you could only wear one), eventhough I'm thinking that the reusable stuff is enough of a skill-bonus.
Artifice: maybe a color crystal or hilt. Or a shield/focus
Cybertech: an earpiece, duh. Or maybe a relic that does something interesting. (Engineering was my favorite profession in WoW....)
The only ideas I have for Synthweaving and Armormech sound way overpowered. Like the ability to put in an extra enhancement slot into a belt. What are your thoughts on those?


-Make them not impossible to get.

Why? Because it defeats the purpose. It's already enough of a pain in the a** to reverse engineering everything else (although it's better now that they've added augment kit parts to REing). It should be a schematic that you pick up from the trainer. Think of it more of a reward for leveling crew skills. Make the materials difficult, if need be. Make them require twice as many purple mats as the average purple of that level.

-Make it useful to all levels by upgrading the perk for each level range

Simple enough to understand: Meaning, a new Biochem implant every 7-10 levels. Same for new Artifice crystals or barrels for Armsmechers, so on and so forth.



That's really all I have to say. Just putting my thoughts out there.

Give me some feedback. Tell me where I'm way off or where you agree. What professions or crafting systems do you like in other MMOs? I want to keep this on-topic to SWTOR, but I'd also like to know your thoughts. You'll also notice a distinct lack in perks for gathering/mission skills in my examples. That's because I have no idea how I would go about them. Thoughts?

(also, this is really really not intended to start a discussion about WoW, so please refrain)

mattgyver's Avatar


mattgyver
07.10.2012 , 09:49 AM | #2
They should make post-50 crafting more like SWG or The Repopulation. AT 50 you should be a big enough girl/boy to deal with Mat quality, decay, etc. Would make the economy more interesting too.

chimunga's Avatar


chimunga
07.10.2012 , 10:19 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by mattgyver View Post
They should make post-50 crafting more like SWG or The Repopulation. AT 50 you should be a big enough girl/boy to deal with Mat quality, decay, etc. Would make the economy more interesting too.
I never played SWG, so I don't know what you mean. Explain?

mattgyver's Avatar


mattgyver
07.10.2012 , 10:35 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by chimunga View Post
I never played SWG, so I don't know what you mean. Explain?
apologies for being unclear.

1) Materials in those games have one or more variable quality numbers. This factors into the stats of the end product that you craft. When you go to Tatooine and gather a Phobium (?) node, you should get phobium that has some sort of a quality rating, preferably some number. The quality varies from week to week say, so next week on Tatooine you may not find as good, or you may find better. Same goes for looted Mats. Mats looted in FPs/Ops/PvP could have extra features/qualities.

2) Items should have some sort of a long decay process so that there is a reason for crafters to continue to make stuff. This could be overcome by a bind system for items that are irreplaceable (you bind your lightsaber to you and then it cant take permanent damage) so that epic stuff is not lost. The binding process should use some craftable kit though.

3) Stat Bonuses for crafting + Crafting skill level should be in the equation. Biochem shold be able to make foods that help in crafting, and gear that aids in crafting would also be great (+10 workstation for your ship, Biochem Mask gives +10 to outcome).


The result is a crafting system that rewards you for your time/devotion in crafting, and also makes item production varied. This means that when you look for things to buy you have availability as a factor, as well as quality of the item. Yes it means that there will be substandard goods on the market, but if no x39 Blaster is any different than the rest then you have no reason to try and excel in crafting, just go loot it. If that was the idea then it would have been better to just leave crafting out of the game period. The system in place now is really just a rube goldberg contraption that spits out loot table items.

Blondesolid's Avatar


Blondesolid
07.10.2012 , 10:39 AM | #5
Will never happen in a themepark

But yeah, SWGs crafting system was intense, I loved it.

GnatB's Avatar


GnatB
07.10.2012 , 10:55 AM | #6
No, no, no, no, NO!

Perks are precisely what's BAD about WoW's crafting system. Tradeskill perks (that help adventure) are a HORRIBLE idea. The only perks tradeskills should ever get are those that help the tradeskilling itself, and then it's more of an alternate advancement system than it is a "perk".

The point of tradeskills (well done ones, anyways) is twofold:
1. Make money by selling to other players.
2. See other players using stuff you've made.

Perks work AGAINST both those aspects. Perks force typical players who would otherwise be happy consumers into being producers themselves in order to get those perks, which will (eventually) be deemed neccessary to "compete". Thus both reducing demand (less people needing/wanting to buy your products) and increasing supply (more people able to make said products). Thus any particular crafters "share" of the population dramatically decreases. So less people buying a particular persons stuff, and using a particular persons stuff.

Thankfully, while Bioware made this mistake early on, (Biochem/cybertech reuseables, Rakata BoP equips) They've already said they are taking steps to eradicate those perks, and in fact have largely done so. (Reuseables are being phased out, no more BoP crafteables)

Elyx's Avatar


Elyx
07.10.2012 , 11:27 AM | #7
the more I hear about SWG crafting system, the more I wish I would have been able to experience the game prior to the breaking changes made my Sony.

to the OP: I agree on many of your points. And don't think that my spam below is arguing your points, you have a good basis for the argument. I just found it puzzling that you used WoW's crafting system as an example. Avid crafter here...I'm the kind of guy that won't get to level cap for ages cause I'm crafting too much, creating alts to craft with, etc.

Out of all the systems I've crafted with, WoW's is the most generic and boring of them all. It's sole focus is leveling it to cap so that you can get the level cap items to use. the amount of items you can get from crafting that are actually better then the items you get while questing are slim to none. and usually they are rapidly out-leveled. even the purple tiered items are worthless...you get to the next expansion zone, and the greens their immediately outperform the previous purples you worked your butt off to make. so Wow's crafting is very bland and SOLELY focused on level cap. here's a few other things that SWtOR does that are better:

1) Everything you make has the potention of being much better then ANYTHING you can get in game for your specific level at the time. it takes work (crafting, RE for the next tier, crafting again) but it's there. unlike WoW's system, where you can't improve the base patterns. they are simply what they are. a Prototype lvl 16 set of legs, as an example, will outperform more quest reward and Comm rewards through lvl 22-24 easily.
2) Even the lower tier schemes are better then what you get via quests or comms. the comm based items (mods or equipment) are itemized very generically. As an example, if i want a high str armor mod for my JK, I need to craft it...all the amor mods from Comm vendors prioritize Vitality over Strength.
3) Augements. don't need to say more. there's your fur liners for bracers, your equipment buffs for eingineering, your ring enchants all rolled up into one....augements can severely boost a toons stats, even while you level. In comparison, fur liners aren't even available in WoW until 70 iirc because they origionally were an end game crafting item...not a leveling item. Same with ring enchants. can't get till 70 because....they were an end game bonus when BC was first put out. But you can augemnt anything you can craft (for the most part) as early as your teens.
4) the amount of special or powerful recipes you can find in SWtOR are far more then in WOW...and they are at all levels, unlike Wow where the "nice" patterns are only found at, again, level cap thresholds (because they were rewards from raiding, not leveling bonuses). But i can get a blue level 15 Schematic from UT that can be RE'd to a protoype tier piece of gear that will easily last me ten levels or more. If thats not a level based reward, I don't know what else would be. The fact that some people don't take advantage of it is probably due to RNG factor (you won't always have it), and lack of patience. but it's there.

those are just a few. not saying that it's perfect, but just pointing out that it's light years better then WoW's, and WoW's really doesn't cater to leveling toons any more (even less) then SWtOR's does. Not to mention that WoW killed ANY aspect of crafting being viable as you level with one thing: Heirloom items.

Plus...I was confused. You stated that SWtOR really needs more motivations to craft as you level (I agree), but the changes you mention are all really level cap based benefits. which I also agree with btw having a special bonus for each craft I think is really needed. I fail to understand why they give synthweaving some of the best bracers and belts outside of campaign gear as "gimmes" once you hit 400 (I already have rakata bracers and belt crafted for my merc, and she's not even lvl 50 yet), but theres no implant for Bio? no earpiece for Cybertech? sure, cybertech gets to craft lvl 56 mods (if you get into the Ops to get the patterns), but they should have something like the earpiece. And....you have to run Ops to get the higher tier mod Schematics, whereas synth gets belt/bracers from the vendor for about 4k per schematic. So I agree with you, I was just confused as to how those bonuses are beneficial as you level?

If you meant providing BoP items at various tiers of crafting, then I could see that being a nice bonus. Like giving Cybertech's a BoP purple earpiece that is available from the vendor. you reach crafting level 100, get a level appropriate prototype equivalent schematic, and bam!. I definitely support that. make the materials reasonable too. the idea is that you are gaining experience as you craft, and are holding some of the best stuff aside for yourself. it shouldn't be any costlier then a level equivalent blue in materials.

I also support the idea of decaying products. Like special (purple or prototype level) items needing repair by the appropriate craft using a few materials as the cost, or something like that. Or having to use higher grade materials to craft higher tier items, like a grade a phobium metal for a prototype, but a green can use grade D or grade E material). all of that sounds very involved and fun to do.
"I just hit 50 and finished my class storyline, but I still haven't been able to decide which AC to choose. Leveling solo as a warrior wasn't difficult, so I kept putting off the decision.
Anyone else having the same problem? "~ lagerhat - And who says warriors are broke?

GnatB's Avatar


GnatB
07.10.2012 , 11:57 AM | #8
Forgot to give my suggestions:

1. Remove annoyance factor. Unrandomize missions. Always see the most efficient mission of each type available. Once a companion is sent out on that mission, it is immediately replaced with the next most efficient mission. No need to refresh.

2. Reduce reliance on RNG. Move to some form of EXP based system when learning schematics. (can still involve RNG, maybe lucky roll = 2x exp or somesuch).

3. Remove reliance on actually raiding/grouping to get end game schematics. Currently AFAIK the only way to obtain "end game" schematics is by REing BoP drops/commendation purchases that require actually doing the adventuring content to obtain. Suggestion: Move to some form of crafting commendation/points system. Points are rewarded to the crafters based on adventurers using their gear to complete flashpoints/ops/etc. (Since I've seen the "made by" tag on gear "worn off", I assume it DOES actually link to the actual crafter. If not, it would need to be made to do so.) There would also need to be some multiplier associated as well however, The muliplier would be (FP - MP)/MP, where FP is the first price the item is sold for, and MP is the average purchase cost of the required mats using GTN prices for the last 10 days at the time the item was made. (-'s treated as 0). When selling an item, the crafter would be available to view this multiplier as he is specifying the price. For friends/alts/guildmembers of the crafter, there would be some static multiplier based on tuning. (friends would have to be friends for a certain minimum time) This would prevent rich crafters from simply flooding the market at/below cost and/or giving stuff away free in order to get the points to get the better equipment. If they aren't making a profit, they aren't getting the points. Better the profit, better the points.

Schematics/etc. can then be bought with these points from crewskill vendors on fleet. Said schematics would be "green", and a step or two down from good drops from that tier flashpoint/ops. They would also use relatively commonly available mats. (i.e. nothing requiring raiding/flashpoints to obtain, prossiblyy stuff you can just send companions out on missions for, or relatively cheap with points) They can, however, be RE'd (using whatever the new RE system is) to acquire schematics for "blue" equipment roughly equivelent to the good drops from that tier flashpoint/ops. This blue equipment would require relatively harder to get mats. (i.e. Non BoP drops from the flashpoint/ops, more expensive points purchases from the crewskill merchants). Again, these blue mats would be able to be RE'd to learn the purple gear. This purple gear would be a step BETTER than the best drops from that tier FP/op. It would also require mats that are only dropped from the boss(es?) of that FP/op. Should either still not be BoP, or there would need to be a way where crafters can make stuff for people using the other peoples mats.


Oh, and incidentally, I also like the idea of some sort of "per item" skill thing. As you make versions of a particular item, you gain experience at making that particular item, and sort of "level up" that item, giving small boosts to it's quality. Maybe even instead of the RE system? Or working alongside it?

chimunga's Avatar


chimunga
07.10.2012 , 01:31 PM | #9
@Elyx.: I'm not going to paste your quote because it would cause unnecessary bulk. But you're right. I love the system SWTOR has of REing items. That's the best thing I've seen in an MMO. Honestly, I wasn't even really thinking of the crafting process itself. I used WoW as an example because I haven't played that many MMOs and I did enjoy the system as a whole. But you are right. I think that both WoW and Star Wars have the same problem though. Unless you are crafting the purple for every level range, it usually just ends up being easier to just get gear from Comms and FPs, atleast that's the case for me. I try to stay well ahead of my level in my crafting but I still end up over leveled by the time I get the purple recipes. So crafting the BoE items doesn't seem to have much of a point to me, unless I'm making them for my companions


Quote:
The point of tradeskills (well done ones, anyways) is twofold:
1. Make money by selling to other players.
2. See other players using stuff you've made.

Perks work AGAINST both those aspects. Perks force typical players who would otherwise be happy consumers into being producers themselves in order to get those perks, which will (eventually) be deemed neccessary to "compete". Thus both reducing demand (less people needing/wanting to buy your products) and increasing supply (more people able to make said products). Thus any particular crafters "share" of the population dramatically decreases. So less people buying a particular persons stuff, and using a particular persons stuff.
^Valid point. But I wasn't talking about crafting specifically. I was talking about all crew skills. I just couldn't come up with any good perks for gathering and missions skills. But I do understand your point. Some people are happy to be consumers, and that's great, and should be taken into account.

Quote: Originally Posted by GnatB View Post
1. Remove annoyance factor. Unrandomize missions. Always see the most efficient mission of each type available. Once a companion is sent out on that mission, it is immediately replaced with the next most efficient mission. No need to refresh.

2. Reduce reliance on RNG. Move to some form of EXP based system when learning schematics. (can still involve RNG, maybe lucky roll = 2x exp or somesuch).

Oh, and incidentally, I also like the idea of some sort of "per item" skill thing. As you make versions of a particular item, you gain experience at making that particular item, and sort of "level up" that item, giving small boosts to it's quality. Maybe even instead of the RE system? Or working alongside it?
I really like that last idea there. Leveling up an item (it would have to have a max level, of course) Would be great. It would be kinda similiar to REing items, but kind of a step up. Interesting.


Quote: Originally Posted by mattgyver View Post
The result is a crafting system that rewards you for your time/devotion in crafting, and also makes item production varied. This means that when you look for things to buy you have availability as a factor, as well as quality of the item. Yes it means that there will be substandard goods on the market, but if no x39 Blaster is any different than the rest then you have no reason to try and excel in crafting, just go loot it. If that was the idea then it would have been better to just leave crafting out of the game period. The system in place now is really just a rube goldberg contraption that spits out loot table items.
That's an interesting way to go about it, but Iike it. I would seriously boost the economy if items had a decay on them. Not sure how it would work with end-game raiding though.

chimunga's Avatar


chimunga
07.10.2012 , 01:34 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by GnatB View Post
Perks work AGAINST both those aspects. Perks force typical players who would otherwise be happy consumers into being producers themselves in order to get those perks, which will (eventually) be deemed neccessary to "compete". Thus both reducing demand (less people needing/wanting to buy your products) and increasing supply (more people able to make said products). Thus any particular crafters "share" of the population dramatically decreases. So less people buying a particular persons stuff, and using a particular persons stuff.
I'm also not talking about money-making in this. I'm talking about just the skills themselves. If there are no real perks to crafting, then what's the point to having any crafting skills? There aren't any incentives. Is there anything other than money? Because I don't really see it. this is going to sound snobby, but it's not meant to be. I always thought crafting shouldn't just be about the money, it should also be about customizing your character.