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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....

_Darkstar's Avatar


_Darkstar
12.07.2012 , 10:00 AM | #41
You are all making the assumption that crafting should need skill in the first place. Honestly I disagree with where you are starting out from.

I hate the totally RNG method we have now (Your analysis of it's flaws is great), but the point of crew skills in SWtoR is accessibility. Everyone is done automatically for you while you are off playing the game and I don't really want to see a way that you can 'play' crafting instead of playing the game in order to improve your results.

I would be happy with the introduction of a crafting tree, where everyone can pick talents in as they level up. Do you want faster crafting? Better crits? More crits? something to improve it over base, but still nothing relying upon what I would call skill.

I would also be happy to see RE'ing changed, maybe doing it backwards, where you know what you want and set the target, then your crewmember goes to work on that and comes back once it is done. The length of time would be random (A few % chance to finish every 10 minutes or whatever) reflecting that they are going out, getting the mats and basically doing what you do now, but automatically.

This way the result is guaranteed, but the RNG is just down to the speed at which you do it, and you will get a small measure of control via the crafting skill tree.
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SteveGarbage's Avatar


SteveGarbage
12.07.2012 , 10:15 AM | #42
Quote: Originally Posted by _Darkstar View Post
I would also be happy to see RE'ing changed, maybe doing it backwards, where you know what you want and set the target, then your crewmember goes to work on that and comes back once it is done. The length of time would be random (A few % chance to finish every 10 minutes or whatever) reflecting that they are going out, getting the mats and basically doing what you do now, but automatically.
Actually it would be nice if you could send them out and say, "I want 20 Corusca gems!" and then every hour Kira comes back and says "I got (X number) and I need more money." then just click that and auto send her out again. I hate running materials missions that may give you two different metals at the same level and you have to run it and run it and run it to get what you want.

Kind of unrelated but made me think of it.
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Philastra's Avatar


Philastra
12.07.2012 , 10:37 AM | #43
craft in a group. get droid head with bonus. use hk-51 for bonus this should help you
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Thundergulch's Avatar


Thundergulch
12.07.2012 , 10:42 AM | #44
2 different toons on separate servers RE'ing an implant to get the one I wanted = over 300 RE's each before success.
Is that too many? yeah, should be 100 RE's max before you succeed.

Khevar's Avatar


Khevar
12.07.2012 , 12:57 PM | #45
Just purely spitballing here, as I have no confidence that anything like this would ever make it into the game.

But what if crafting became a (partially) twitch or reaction based activity?

When you do PvP, you have to pay attention to your character, the enemy, cooldowns, resolve bar, etc. A good PvPer has skill. When you run ops, you have to know boss strategies, pay attention to environment hazards, interrupt when possible, and optimize your ability priority list.

What if something like that was applied to crafting? A sort of minigame not unlike a quicktime event where certain actions had to be done in response to events that happened in the minigame. The more precise and perfect your execution the more likely you would be to obtain a high-quality result.

So for example, there would only be one schematic for a Cunning earpiece at level 33. You select the specific purple you're going for (Tempest). Do the crafting minigame crappy, get a green. Do it good, get a blue. Do it great, get a purple.

What do you think? Good idea or terrible idea?

finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.07.2012 , 01:07 PM | #46
Lots of people to respond to, so apologies in advance if I don't mention you all and I'm not going to be using the "Quote" feature of the Forums since it will just get too involved, but...

@Heezdedjim: If you're going to write off computerized RNG as unsuitable for crafting, then let's be consistent and remove it from loot drop tables, remove it from combat rolls, remove it from who gets assigned to what GF or WZ group ... hell, we have a looming world financial crisis on our hands: could it be because Monte Carlo methods are used in finance for forecasting investment performance, derivative outcomes, real estate values? If computer-generated randomness is so god-awful, would people really risk their money on predictions that utilize it? But getting back to our situation, again, combat rolls are also randomized. I doubt BW uses one randomization method for combat and a significantly different core generator for loot tables, group placement, or anything to do with crew skills. I could be wrong, but having separate code for each means a greater expense on their part and a reduction to their profits because of it. If the RNG in crafting is unreliable, then its unreliable everywhere in the game.

Btw.. I saw what you did there with that name ... to me, looks extremely Dutch or something, but it ain't

@nbayer: Yeah, not much of what I call skill in what I started with, but it's just the start. SWTOR can do a lot more interesting and skillful things through the RE system, but as other people have mentioned what I suggested is a means of removing the sadistically long runs of RE failures that the unmitigated randomness of RE and its ridiculously high bar for success create. Some other people have jumped ahead with further suggestions for change, some similar to things I've suggested before, some different and better than anything I've thought of. You, in particular, mentioned something I forgot to put into my first suggestion on changing RE -- being able to select the schematic you want if you get a successful roll. That's something I agree with 100%. I'd take that choice in trade for a significantly lower cap to the maximum chance for RE success. The whole point of reverse-engineering is to work towards some goal, not randomly fiddling with something as if you didn't know how it works just to see what your poking and prodding, twisting and pulling might get you. IRL, doing that sort of thing with weapons will get you killed faster than it will get you an improvement to the weapon you're tweaking. One of the other sadistic parts of the current system lies in how you can not only have an improbably long string of failures, but when you finally succeed you get something like a Cunning item with Shield Chance (no class or companion with Cunning as a main stat uses a shield for off-hand, so why is it in the game? It makes the developers' jobs easier, that's why). I'm glad you brought that up; it's another simple fix that does not significantly change the process of how things are currently done but adds a whole new dimension to the idea of being "skillful" in crafting. It means you have to know what combinations make sense, what stats work best together. It reflects on that part of being skillful in a game that rests between your ears, not in the software. Thanks.

As for the idea of variable quality of resources: yeah, I loved that part of SWG crafting but there are problems. Resource quality variability in SWG relied upon and influenced a broad range of aspects of crafting. Resources had multiple attributes that were important to differing degrees for different items. Resource variability relied on "gates" which limited variability in different ranges for the types of materials that had seven different classes (like the 7 types of steel, the 7 types of iron, the 7 types of liquid petrochem, the 7 types of radioactive ... pretty much every inorganic resource). Depending on whether a schematic called for "low-grade ore", "silicastic ore", or "Crism silicastic ore", those stat values could be modified. Low-grade ores were gated, and Crism was one of the low-quality ores with a Shock Resistance that never got above something like 290 out of 1000. As a noob armorsmith, I could never understand how people made Composite Armor with stats so high (this is pre-CU) when there NEVER was a good "shift" of Crism. As a noob, I knew nothing about gates and so I had not idea that an SR of 289 for Crism meant that when a schematic required Crism specifically, not just any low-grade or silicastic ore, that 1-1000 quality scale was thrown out and the range of the gate became the measure ... 289 gated was equivalent to 999 out of 1000.

Why discuss all this about a dead game (with a clone on life-support)? A number of reasons. First, people keep saying "SWG crafting was random, too" as if that means it was equally as worthless as SWTOR's system. I'll repeat myself again here because people don't seem to understand it: RNG is the core of any computer gaming experience, even for something like Words With Friends. How you modify, mitigate, adjust, ameliorate those random rolls is what makes all the difference. SWG had a system for spawning and utilizing resources that, particularly in pre-CU days, was quite intricate, nuanced and required you to have some skill between your ears as well as skillful choices in game-generated abilities in order to be the best crafter you could be. SWG crafting had RNG, sure, but it was not solely RNG, not even close -- SWTOR crafting is at least 99% RNG and nothing more.

In other words, as much as I or anyone else loved it, it just ain't gonna happen here and trying to make it do so here will not work. It's too great a change to the system, it would be too close to SWG to be distinctive, and the variability in the items you produce can be introduced in other ways that do not change the way crafting is played in SWTOR significantly. Some people have mentioned a few ideas. I share some of those ideas and have others as well, and I'll bring them up soon. As I said, my post about "learning" curves in RE was just a start.

@ucsimplyme: Yes, your "win" streak of 4 out of 5 is working as intended, or working as designed. I never claimed my run of 93 10% failures in a row, with a binomial probability of basically 56 in 1 million, was NOT working as intended/designed. I stated rather strenuously that it IS working, and that is the problem. Would you be happy with a string of 93 missed attacks in a row in a Warzone? SWTOR combat has RNG at its core. Do you think it is reasonable for a combat level 50 toon in Elite War Hero gear to have a streak of 93 misses in a row? or even 10 misses in a row? or even 5? 2? How common should it be for a combat level 50 toon in even Recruit gear to completely whiff twice in a row? If we expect heroic martial performance from our toons at the pinnacle of their abilities, why should we settle for the crap we are being force-fed in Crew Skills when we are at the pinnacle of our abilities there?

@SteveGarbage: no, what you are talking about is not unrelated. Resource gathering is a huge problem for Crew Skills and crafting, as illustrated by the numerous threads about Underworld Trading and Diplomacy being "broken" or skewed or biased towards failure. They are biased towards failure and provide no means for improving, for showing that your crew learns to do its work better as your skill level increases. This is just as much of a problem as RE is, so thank you for bringing it up. What you suggest is a good starting point for a conversation about how missions for crafting materials can be changed that show a learning curve or an increase in virtual skill for your crew. If people don't lose interest in this thread, I'll make sure it comes up again. Thanks again for some good input.

@_Darkstar: Just bringing up one of your ideas here, because it had a lot in common with what psandak said a little earlier and in a little more detail: the idea of being able to specialize in crafting, within your particular skill. For any specific GAIN in abilities in games, you usually have to give something up in return. I don't want to mention anything in particular that will start flame wars here that don't belong, but there is at least one issue in the combat sphere of this game that goes against this principle, saying "I want this advantage, and I want this other advantage I had to give up to get the first, and I want to be able to toggle between them faster than it takes me to mount my speeder." (If you want to guess at it and flame me for sounding critical if you want it, take it somewhere else ... we're talking Crew Skills here. Combat issues are here just for points of comparison.) But as presented ... if my Gunslinger/Armstech toon wanted to make better pistols than anyone who didn't care about specializing, then having to give up learning advanced schematics for some other categories of my craft (maybe just the melee weapons) or even all other categories of weapons (but leave me my barrels, augments and kits) seems a fair bargain. Because...

@_Darkstar and @Zem_:... having your crew craft while you do other things you value more -- like operatons, warzones, trolling too hard on fleet to pay attention to your crew -- that is a great strength of the current system ... maybe it's only strength. In any event, this aspect of the system should not change. In anything I have suggested, or anything I will suggest, I think it is important that the core experience of Crew Skills remains. I think there are things that can be tweaked -- like a learning curve on RE -- that really do not change the process from what it is now (with the exception of one guy on a different thread who thought that having to RE the same item to get the learning curve bonus was too restrictive). Some of the other suggestions I haven't mentioned yet, including things very close to what other people have suggested (such as specialization) are additions to the system that can be completely optional. In combat, you have a choice between two advanced classes early on. This is a type of specialization that is NOT optional. People who decide not to pick an advanced class and try to level to 50 without one seriously screw themselves over. But the choice made is a win-win. Advanced classes get you access not only to specialized abilities but to skill trees as well. You may not like the "winnings" of one choice, but both have advantages over not choosing. Wellllllll, okay, maybe not for commandos and mercenaries who PvP right now. But with the idea of specialization within a crafting skill that gives you bonuses in one place at the cost of doing no advanced crafting for other parts of your skill -- that trade off is what would allow Crew Skills to continue on the way they are right now, for those who enjoy it as is -- and also allow for people to focus more on crafting and gain the ability to distinguish their crafted items from the run of the mill.

Any long-time SWG player knows what happens when systems that have been in place for as long as SWTOR crafting has been around get stood on their heads or thrown out completely. Everyone gets pissed, whether you thought change was needed or not. For the people who have said "It's just not gonna happen" (yes, I may be wrong about no variation in resource quality) ... big things have happened in the big MMOs. I mean, for those of you that play or played EVE, how long did it take to actually get a body? An "avatar"? All the same, change is most likely when the core of the system being changed remains. I'm not for throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If you enjoy blowing bubbles, playing peekaboo, filling your diaper and eating mashed, strained peas all the time, I think you should have that option. I'd like this baby to learn how to walk, though. If it means crawling for a while, that's fine, but it's better than lying on your back in a crib, flailing your arms and legs randomly for the simple joy of being able to. That is about the level of SWTOR's crafting system as it is right now.

Gonna shut up again for a while.
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finelinebob's Avatar


finelinebob
12.07.2012 , 01:18 PM | #47
Sry, you posted while I was writing that big one above, so I missed you.

Quote: Originally Posted by Khevar View Post
Just purely spitballing here...
Aren't we all? BioWare has shown ZERO interest in what the player base thinks about crafting, going back even to mid-late beta. After all, what's a beta period for?

Quote: Originally Posted by Khevar View Post
...But what if crafting became a (partially) twitch or reaction based activity?
...
What if something like that was applied to crafting? A sort of minigame not unlike a quicktime event where certain actions had to be done in response to events that happened in the minigame. The more precise and perfect your execution the more likely you would be to obtain a high-quality result.

So for example, there would only be one schematic for a Cunning earpiece at level 33. You select the specific purple you're going for (Tempest). Do the crafting minigame crappy, get a green. Do it good, get a blue. Do it great, get a purple.

What do you think? Good idea or terrible idea?
You mean "striking while the iron is hot"?

Personally, I think it would be fun, but it has two disadvantages. (1) I think it would be too great of a shift away from the core mechanics of crafting to be implemented. Yes, it has some of it conceptually; it even builds on it conceptually. But it seems to me the "twitch" aspect would be a fundamental programming change for the system, and that spells disaster. (2) Crafting IS a minigame right now. Lots of people like the crafting minigame as is. Rather than swapping minigames, I'd like to see something that optionally lets people make a game, not a minigame, out of it. But yeah, it's a cool idea.
Jedi Guardian JonBonJovi'wan
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Khevar's Avatar


Khevar
12.07.2012 , 01:28 PM | #48
True, a shift as great as that is more likely to engender anger and hatred than happiness.

For me personally, crafting is merely a means to an end. In and of itself, it isn't particularly fun.

I use it to make money (sorta, as I'm a really crappy GTN'er), I use it to gear up alts, I use it to make stuff for guildies and friends. But the only thing that I consider fun about it, is that once I've unlocked a purple I can be "that guy" for others I know. "Hey if I send you ANAs can you make me Might Augments? Thanks man!!"

Since the "doingness" of crafting holds no particular charm, anything that made the activity of crafting more enjoyable I would be 100% in favor of.

Heezdedjim's Avatar


Heezdedjim
12.07.2012 , 04:39 PM | #49
Quote: Originally Posted by finelinebob View Post
If you're going to write off computerized RNG . . . blah blah blah.
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.

Heezdedjim's Avatar


Heezdedjim
12.07.2012 , 04:44 PM | #50
Quote: Originally Posted by Khevar View Post
What if something like that was applied to crafting? A sort of minigame not unlike a quicktime event where certain actions had to be done in response to events that happened in the minigame. The more precise and perfect your execution the more likely you would be to obtain a high-quality result.
STO has several twitch-y minigames for farming mats. For the most part they're annoying as hell, and it's never been clear that "winning" the game actually has any effect at all on the results. The point of having different things to do in the game is that they're different, and they don't all involve the same kinds of game play. Thus people who like to do different sorts of things . . . can.

We could do lots of things. We could just have all crafting mats drop off of player corpses only in PvP matches. Or we could do away with crafting altogether and have ALL gear come from random world drops off mobs that you have to farm in the game world. Or we could have a crafting system that doesn't suck, doesn't rely on a lot of wacky math and RNGs, and lets crafters do what they like to do, which is to spend their time crafting.

The "problem" with crafting isn't that it lacks "skill" or "twitch" or needs to be more of a time and money sink than it already is. The problem is that it's annoying, tedious, and un-fun in the extreme, which has everything to do with the abysmally bad UI, crappy mechanics, and absolute neglect that Bioware has lavished it with since the start. It could easily be a nice aspect that would make dedicated crafters want to stay with the game. But it's not.