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It begins again: p = 0.047 and dropping....

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
It begins again: p = 0.047 and dropping....

finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.07.2012 , 05:25 PM | #51
Quote: Originally Posted by Heezdedjim View Post
That's nice. Someone should inform all the game designers that didn't manage to work the RNG into their crafting systems how much those systems suck.
That's funny, I don't seem to recall saying anywhere that if a system does not have random elements to it, it must suck. Please point out to me where that happened, because by quoting me it appears you are implying that I did so.

Quite to the contrary, I basically said that purely random systems suck. I have said that systems that do not allow for mitigation of randomization really do suck and, since SWTOR's crafting system has little to no means of moderating your randomly determined but heavily weighted chance to fail, SWTOR's system does suck. Any system that implies the ability to gain and demonstrate "skill" yet lets all outcomes be determined by purely by chance not only sucks, it lies. That's why I call the term "Crew Skills" a convenient fiction: it uses enough smoke and mirrors to make the unobservant think they have control when the only control they have is whether to participate or not.

As it is, the snippet you chose from a post of mine, apparently trying to show that I did as you imply, was making this point if you care to read it in full: If someone claims that the crafting system is bad because (a) it is based on RNG and (b) computerized RNG is fatally flawed, then (c) there are a lot of other computerized processes, from SWTOR's combat system to financial forecasts of portfolio performance that you must also toss out because they rely in part or whole on computational randomization. I said nothing about systems that did not use randomization. Feel free to quote me if you want to argue with me, but show some honesty and quote me in my context and not one you choose to create out of thin air.

I suggest that you learn to read with a mind open enough that you can catch someone else's meaning before you've assigned your own out of hand, particularly preconceptions you have that are completely unrelated to what is being said. I'm not saying that you need to agree with what is being said, but when you assume something to be the case you make an *** out of you.

Leave me out of it, it's your mistake.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
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Sunjammer's Avatar


Sunjammer
12.07.2012 , 09:18 PM | #52
Another area in which BioWare could easily give the player more control is the companion's Crew Skill modifiers.

Our companion's modifiers are kind of random combinations and chances are almost all of them are irrelevant for our chosen profession. For example my main is a Sage and an Artificer so none of modifiers available through his biological companions apply to his craft. In fact according to their modifiers my Sage should probably be an Armstech. Fortunately his mechanical companions can help: HK-51 gives +1% critical chance modifier and C2-N2 can offer +10 efficiency modifier (but only if I buy a Repair Droid and buy the appropriate sensor).

The other thing about my companions (both for my main and my alts) is that I only go out questing with the same one or two and the rest are there purely to do crew skills (or stand around making my ship look untidy). As they never leave the ship I've never really bothered about their gear and simply given them anything I've picked up questing. In fact if I'm honest they don't really need gear for anything other than cosmetic reasons (or the off-chance a future quest line might require them).

And so to the suggestion (which you can all probably guess by now): remove the preset modifiers from all companions and create companion gear that can provide specific crews skill modifiers.

A basic implementation of this suggestion would be just to make the existing Droid Sensors available to all of the other mechanical companions (T7-O1, HK-51, etc.) and add some new special (adaptive?) headgear that the biological companions can wear and which will provide a pair of crew skill modifiers just as the Droid Sensors do.

However I'm not a big fan of these random combinations so I would prefer a slightly more sophisticated system that let us pick them individual modifiers and combine them however we want. Obviously our companions only have one head (or sensor) slot so it doesn't really work any more. Fortunately our companions all have two implant slot so they could be a logical alternative (while the artifact slot is probably less logical). The basic gear could be bought (or crafted?) and would offer the basic modifier (+1 crit or +2.5 efficiency) however more powerful versions could be acquired (or crafted?). This would allow BioWare to make some crafting releated missions and rewards.

Of course we could suggest going all the way and potentially having every piece of equipment offering a crew skill modifier however I think that would be a) overkill and b) a bit tedious when changing mission types or changing to crafting. Also where are you going to store all that gear?
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finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.07.2012 , 11:56 PM | #53
Quote: Originally Posted by Sunjammer View Post
Another area in which BioWare could easily give the player more control is the companion's Crew Skill modifiers.
...
And so to the suggestion (which you can all probably guess by now): remove the preset modifiers from all companions and create companion gear that can provide specific crews skill modifiers.
Pardon me for "dotting out" most of what you said, but people can just look above. I think these are some great ideas. At least one other person has pointed out, whether it was here or on a similar thread recently, that our crew never learn anything because they never get better at doing anything. And you're right -- looking at the specials a consular's companions have, you'd think Armstech would be the best match for a class that rarely swings it's glowbats (if you're a Sage, at least).

The fact of the matter is this: BioWare already has a mechanism for making gear that affects crew skills -- the ship repair droid sells them. And it's not just an issue of "Well, maybe the sensor slot is the same as the head slot for a sentient" because you find combat stats on head pieces as well as earpieces and implants. And belts. And everything else, for that matter. If cybernetic implants and earpieces can improve combat abilities, why can't they improve crafting abilities? What can't belts be "toolbelts" as much as holsters? Mako has a whole storyline about how her cybernetics have her wired into Holonet feeds; couldn't the same sorts of story ideas apply to diplomacy issues? Underworld contacts or suppliers? Research aids for making weapon components or aiding bioanalysis? It's not a stretch at all to picture how equipment slots of various types could be applied to crew skills instead of combat.

And like you, I have to admit that most of my companions on most of my toons are still equipping the gear they came with, and their implant, earpiece and head slots are empty still.

What you are pointing out here is a direct parallel to how our companions become more "skilled" in combat. Why not do the same for crew skills. Why not have gear that needs replacing with more complex, sophisticated gear as your skill level improves, just like combat. Why not have this gear craftable, just like combat gear? Update 1.3 saw some love for armstech, armorMECH (not TECH) and synthweaving when they gained the ability to craft augmentation kits, and that was in addition to the advantage they already held in being able to craft augments. Cybertech crafts earpieces, Biochem crafts implants and Artifice crafts wieldables ... why can't we see something in 1.7 or 1.8 that allows these professions to craft earpieces, implants, and wieldable tools that provide crew skill bonuses and that range in quality or "power" based not on combat level, but on crew skill level? We know the devs know how to control item use based on crew skill level because we have mission discoveries and schematics earned though missions or loot drops that restrict their use based on a character's skills and skill levels. Isn't it time to show these other three skills a little crafting love?

I also think this could tie in very well with what others have suggested in this thread about specialization within a crafting skill, but I'm going to shut up again because I'd also like to see what folks have to say about your idea ... quite frankly it sounds to me like one of the best changes suggested that already shows it could be implemented.
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DarkSaberMaster's Avatar


DarkSaberMaster
12.08.2012 , 02:16 AM | #54
Cliff notes? TL;DR version?
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finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.08.2012 , 04:43 AM | #55
Quote: Originally Posted by DarkSaberMaster View Post
Cliff notes? TL;DR version?
Problem with a TLDR version is that most of this is a serious discussion with quality input by multiple people. Cliff Notes may get you through a multiple-choice test with a B, but this ain't that. If you care about crafting, want to see what's wrong with it from several points of view, the beginnings of ideas on how things could be significantly improved from different perspectives, you'll drop the TLDR attitude and give a read ... particularly if you think you can contribute. It's not a cocktail party conversation and it's not a trollfest. Quite frankly, the devs may not give a damn about what is being said here. But I, for one, am not going to minimize the contributions others have made so far by giving one to three sentence glosses over ideas that take words larger than two syllables to describe and try to do people's ideas any justice in the process.

Don't mean to flame, but Cliff Notes never do the originals justice. That's why they're cheap.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
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Sunjammer's Avatar


Sunjammer
12.08.2012 , 09:40 AM | #56
I just want to link to the Stacking crafting missions thread because it is relevant to something that was raised earlier in this thread, namely, that BioWare intended Crew Skills to be something you could do when you were out playing.

I've found that when you are levelling up Crew Skill missions worked quite well: you usually have a spare companion or two and you set them crafting stuff or send them off on a mission if or when you remembered. However once you have all your companions doing anything that isn't grade 5 or 6 requires a great deal of babysitting or you have to accept that a lot of time is going to be wasted. Being able to stack missions would help resolve that and bring us back towards BioWare's original goal.

To give you an example, my synthweaver is trying to get the last 9 orange schematics for her collection so she's running back-to-back low level missions which effectively paralyses her (at least in terms of meaningful game-play). Essentially she stands in front of the GTN, Mail or her Cargo Bay running missions while I watch episodes of The Clone Wars (or post on the forums).

Which sort of leads us on to my old "research fragments" idea ...

Quote: Originally Posted by Sunjammer View Post
How about replacing the Augment Slot Components produced by REing with some sort of Research Fragment? These would work in much the same way as Gift Fragments except there would be two ways to spend them. You could chose to exchange the fragments for Augment Slot Components (or perhaps use them to produced Augment Kits directly (thereby replacing Augment Slot Components)). Alternatively you could chose to use them to help you acquire a particular schematic, which might be implemented by a) using them to buff your next RE attempt (stackable?) or b) exchanged for a particular schematic through the UI or a vendor.

Personally I quite like the concept of Research Fragments as they act as a consolation prize (much like Augment Slot Components do now) but also because it could be taken even further and, for example, fragments could also be produced by crew skill missions. So instead of grinding UWT to get Snythweaving schematics (which seems like an arbitrary connection to me) I could grind specific Snythweaving research missions. These mission would produce some fragment and occasionally, on a critical success, a full schematic. This means I could collect the 263 Synthweaving schematics without wasted missions (since I always get some fragments); without receiving any Armourmech schematics; with far fewer doubles; and with a lot less frustration.
Obviously some parts of that suggestion are easier to implement than others ...

Swapping out Augment Slot Components for Research Fragments (both for what is returned from REing and for the Augmentation Kit ingredients) is straightforward, in fact they could probably just update the existing item's data (name and icon). Adding new items to the database requires a little more work but nothing major; and if you want people to be able to "buy" Augment Slot Components with Research Fragments that is a little more work again (but nothing that isn't already in game in some form or another). However the second option feels a little clunky so I'd recommend the first.

Using Research Fragments to buy schematics that are normally discovered through crew skill missions (i.e. those pesky custom Synthweaving schematics) should also be straightforward as there are already lots of token-based vendors in the game. BioWare would just have to decide on an appropriate cost for each item and create the vendor/store. This has an added advantage of letting us know what schematics are available (and preview it) in advance without having to trawl a couple of data mining sites. Players can also prioritise particular items or sets instead of having to leave it to chance.

Buffing an RE an attempt (if we went with that) should also be straightforward to implement as most of the mechanics are already in place: use an item or use a stack of items, if the stack has more than maximum allowed per RE attempt rest are ignored, buff is consume on RE attempt. However it isn't really the ideal way to use them as a failed RE attempt would be doubly painful if the player feels they have wasted the item and the fragments. The better solution, using Research Fragments to buy discoveries on Premium or Prototype items, requires a bit more work ...

A basic implementation would simply be to create an additional token-based vendor for these that would accept Research Fragments in exchange for the higher quality schematics. However this implementation would be clunky because the store would have to enforce the progression requirements: a player couldn't buy an Artifact schematic if they didn't already know the appropriate Prototype schematic and they couldn't buy that it if they didn't already know the appropriate Premium schematic. The player would be required to know the progression (which admittedly may not be a Bad Thing).

A better implementation would avoid this but it is going to involve some sort of UI update. Then again since we've been crying out for a UI update to the Crafting UI BioWare could make do both at the same time and make some new best friends. There was a really good suggestion (I'll edit in the link if I find it) that only listed the Premium schematics. When you clicked on an entry the associated Prototype and Artifact schematics where revealed and arranged so you could see their dependencies. If something like this was implemented then each undiscovered schematic could have a cost (in Research Fragments) listed and a "Use Research to Learn" button. Admittedly I'm not a UI designer so there is probably a much more elegant solution.

Adding a new Research missions to each of the crafting professions again would be similar to adding Sliced Tech Parts missions to Slicing except of course that there isn't a UI for crafting missions. It isn't a massive issue as there was a bug at one point that allowed you to have 4 crew skills so the UI already sort of supports it (albeit unintentionally) however depending on how it was implemented it would have to be linked to its parent. For example when I acquire Synthweaving I also get Synthweaving Research missions and if I remove Synthweaving the Synthweaving Research missions are also removed. However I cannot remove Synthweaving Research missions directly.
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darktyphoon's Avatar


darktyphoon
12.10.2012 , 12:36 PM | #57
I'm about fed up with this BS RE'ing 20% change for each item. over the last 2 weeks have RE'd 52 Mods/ enhancments/ armorings all of them the 63's and not a single one has been learned.
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Khevar's Avatar


Khevar
12.10.2012 , 07:13 PM | #58
Quote: Originally Posted by darktyphoon View Post
I'm about fed up with this BS RE'ing 20% change for each item. over the last 2 weeks have RE'd 52 Mods/ enhancments/ armorings all of them the 63's and not a single one has been learned.
Ouch. Now that's gotta be uber-painful.

Totaltrash's Avatar


Totaltrash
12.11.2012 , 03:01 AM | #59
In many MMOs crafters are actually a separate class of players, just like PVE'ers or PVP'ers - you specialize in what you like doing best.

But SWTOR's crude crafting system is just an extension of PVE. You can't be an end-game crafter without being an end-game raider. Get rid of the BoP schematics and make them trade-able.

Right now, most classes have a skill tree best suited for PVE and one best suited for PVP - why not add one best suited for crafting?

We have all kinds of stat buffs, so why not have a crafting buff - i.e. +10 to critical for 1h?
We have PVE gear and PVP gear, so why not have special crafter gear - i.e. bonus to crafting mission?
The crafters could even craft that gear themselves and the more pieces they make, the better they get.

Make crafting hard, make it tedious, make it expensive if you must, but make it an independent aspect of the game.


On a different note, here is a simple, easy to code, example how to change RE to eliminate all the frustrations:

Click 1 item to RE = Chance of 10% for schematics
(Shift) click 2 items to RE = Chance of 20%
(Shift) click 3 items to RE = Chance of 30%
.
.
(Shift) click 10 items to RE = Chance of 100%

In other words, as long as you have cumulatively insuficient items to RE, you are taking a gamble, with increased odds the more items you have. But once you have sufficient items, you are guaranteed to get the schematics!

RNG should only be a positive surprise - i.e. you craft an extra item or get one that's already augmented.