CRAFTING IN GAMES

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Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
author=Mirak
The only crafting i found enjoyable was minecraft's.


The only crafting I liked was Warcraft, because grieving noobs makes for good padding.

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As long as you make the items worth making (WoW's bags in Tailoring and bandages in First Aid) and the resources are plentiful (debatable), I'm sure someone will enjoy it. Perhaps something like Dark Cloud 2 where everything is craftable would be a good example. The game teaches you from the very beginning that you're an inventor and you take tidbits found here and there and use ideas you find by taking pictures to create things, which is a lot more engaging storywise than "I've heard crafting systems are cooler than fishing and blue magic so I decided to throw one in."
author=Liberty
The Atelier series seems to do just fine being all-crafting. Sure, there's battles too, and a story, but the main component is the crafting.

Probably matter of taste, but for me that series is one of the worst ever because of how much crafting it contains. Only Idea Factory managed to make games even worse.
harmonic
It's like toothpicks against a tank
4120
Crafting can be fun if set up correctly. We did an okay job with it in Echoes of Aetheria IMO, but the perfect system for me would be:

-Encourages experimentation. Not so unpredictable that it's like gambling, but not so formulaic so that it's like a middle man between the player and a highly customized shop.
-You can always salvage ingredients, only reagents/fuel are not salvaged
-No randomness
-No grinding "skill"
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
I've heard crafting systems are cooler than fishing and blue magic so I decided to throw one in.
Linkis
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
1025
author=RedMask
How do you all feel about crafting in games?Personally I was never a fan. The few games that had crafting always annoyed me because I felt they were too intuitive and random.
But recently while playing Zelda BOTW I was introduced to its cooking mechanics which are basically a crafting system and you know what it actually works. I find it very intuitive. So these days I am in favor of crafting as long as its done in an easy to understand way.


As in the Shrines, you can "skip" watching Link while the meal is cooking, but sometimes I actually get a chuckle watching Link humming and dancing back and forth waiting for the meal to be done. The part I'm not happy with is when you hear the clinking and get an unknown result :)
So far, I've enjoyed everything about the game.
Crafting sometimes could be enjoyable, but also could be pretty boring when you are doing it over and over again.
Linkis
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
1025
author=Light_Bowser
Crafting sometimes could be enjoyable, but also could be pretty boring when you are doing it over and over again.


You're right but as you enter a Shrine and when that Damn Blood Moon rises....you can stop the cut scene by hitting the X or + sign. It helps.
author=kentona
I've heard crafting systems are cooler than fishing and blue magic so I decided to throw one in.


Actually, put on the ZORA gear and do a dive from a 100ft cliff :) After hitting the water you can speed swim to catch the fish unawares :)
author=LockeZ
Maybe nobody likes crafting systems, and the entire video game industry has just been playing a fast one on us for the last ten years.

I have to guess that maybe there are people staffed to come up with all the various systems for a game, and so now every game has tacked on crafting systems just so those people don't get fired for not doing anything.

author=SgtMettool
But if a game dumps 99 rocks, twigs, and animal skins in my inventory within the first few hours for no real reason, I just get aggravated.

seriously. I've come to realize two things lately, the first is that those items are essentially spam. You don't know what you'll need them for; they're hoarded on the premise that presumably you might exchange them for something down the line. The second thing I noticed is that invariably there are things you won't be able to buy (which includes anything remotely useful) with the items you've hoarded up until that point, essentially making crafting systems a glorified way of telling the player they can't buy something. You pick up every twig and drop of water you've come across like a good little boy but you're still punished.

What might make things more exciting is if you never hoard any items and it isn't until you see something you want in the shop that you undertake the job of collecting the items. (preferably with some idea given of where the items are dropped) Or something like that, anyway.

It also doesn't help that many games don't even render the items, you only know what they are by their name. The whole thing just comes off as sterile and arbitrary.

I'm not even going to get into the wider problem of items in general which is that if you need to trade 2 of something you're going to be inclined to wait until you have 4 or 5 of that thing before actually giving up 2 of them.
author=RyaReisender
author=Liberty
The Atelier series seems to do just fine being all-crafting. Sure, there's battles too, and a story, but the main component is the crafting.
Probably matter of taste, but for me that series is one of the worst ever because of how much crafting it contains. Only Idea Factory managed to make games even worse.
Definitely a matter of taste - the games do well with crafting in general. The issue they have is getting the actual items. Though, some of the games do better than others in both sectors, I'll admit. I liked the crafting in the newest Atelier game (where you had to set out the items on a board in a tetris-like way, hitting colour combinations and growths to boost the stats and ranks of the items), but I wasn't big on the collection of items for crafting in it.

I like Rune Factory 3 and 4's crafting systems, though they can get very fiddly, but if you know what you're doing you can make ridiculous stuff like, say, a glove weapon that hits every enemy on the other side of the screen whilst absorbing their health and dealing status ailments at the same time. The issue there is that a lot of the ingredients needed for top teir stuff is ridiculously rare and not just a matter of skill. There was one point I tried grinding for heart crystals for hours - they were dropped only but one portal that you had to continuously leave the room to respawn, at a rate of 1-2%. Craziness. >.<;

(When I got it I sold it to the merchant so I could finally buy the things. Sure, they cost a lot of money but I could just sell food items I cooked to make fast cash, so it was a fair bit easier.)


I really like crafting though, as long as it's balanced and explained well (and sometimes even when it's not XD )

I really liked the alchemy system in Secret of Evermore, for example (okay, so it was only a bit like crafting in that you had to have the ingredients to cast the spells, but it still counts, I think.) You collected ingredients all around and they were useful from as soon as you got your first spell. Each spell required certain ingredients to use so you couldn't really spam the spells until you found a place to easily replenish the ingredients, but you did find enough of them around that you weren't too worried about running out of spell casts. (Add in spell levelling and it was an interesting system to play with.)


I think I'm partial to the more hands-on type of crafting though. I'm not big on 'collect these items and throw them in a pot' like Dragon Quest 8. I like to incorporate something more than just pressing a list item and having an item appear. They're okay but a bit lacking. Minecraft is nice in that I can change the recipe in a simple way to make various different items, but I'm the one doing it. Add mods and you can throw in some automation to make things less burdensome when you need more stuff (plus the way Minecraft has it set out with stack-creation of items is really useful for mass production.)

There's some great systems out there.
Linkis
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
1025
author=RedMask
How do you all feel about crafting in games?Personally I was never a fan. The few games that had crafting always annoyed me because I felt they were too intuitive and random.
But recently while playing Zelda BOTW I was introduced to its cooking mechanics which are basically a crafting system and you know what it actually works. I find it very intuitive. So these days I am in favor of crafting as long as its done in an easy to understand way.


OH PLEASE, RedMask, tell us (me) :) what great meals you have crafted.
When I try mixing unknowns, all I get is that dumb unknown concoction :)

But, I do so love this game but do not enjoy my weapons breaking in the middle of battle :)
What exactly constitutes as crafting and what's just upgrading is nebulous at best, so pardon if I cross any lines. I think the important thing is that you can go back after like five months and not just completely glaze out over figuring out what the next step even is.

For instance, in Dark Souls, you're just handing your stuff over to various shirtless old dudes to upgrade stuff for you along linear paths. Mostly. In Dark Souls 2/3, upgrades are along one path (using either Titanite for most weapons, Twinkling for 'weird stuff', and Dragon Bones / Titanite Scales for Boss Weapons), and then you can add one attribute (Fire, Poison, Raw, Simple, Sharp, etc.), which is totally separate from upgrading. Within reason, you can make any weapon work well for any given build with this. Everything is good and simple; you can come back, ages later, see 'oh, this mace is +8, this must be a backup weapon. All I need to do to improve it is to find more Titanite Chunks. If I find a Fire Gem to put into it, it could help out with, like, those lightning knights that give me trouble.'

Back in the first game though, upgrading was a jaggedy branching mess. Weapons first had to go to +5, where they could stay on the basic path, or go down one of like four different branches, that all branch twice more again. If you wanted, say, a fire weapon, you'd have to get the weapon to +5, track down the skeleton blacksmith in possibly the least safe place in the world, hope he doesn't get murdered by a wheel skeleton, and then upgrade it to a Fire +1 weapon. Yeah, everything ends with a different + number. Raw is +15, Fire, Magic, and Blessed are +10, and Twinkling, Lightning, and Chaos are +5. Also, you probably had to fetch an Ember at the bottom of a blindingly orange hellscape, so there's that issue too. Anyway, from Fire +1, you're now using Green Titanite. Then later Red Titanite past +5. You'll find ample amounts of all colours of Titanite, but that last upgrades come from Slabs, and I recall several of which are easily missable; One of like twenty things went wrong with Seigmeyer's sidequest? No Slab for you.

In both cases, it seems like the intent is to encourage you to have multiple viable weapons of different inclinations, but in Dark Souls 1's case, you're really, really not getting anything from White or Blue Titanite unless you're committed to it. It's also worth noting in all cases that upgrade materials come more from searching around and exploring than killing anything. So that's probably a point in its favour.


A step more complex but still reasonable, intuitive, and world-building-y even, are Etrian Odyssey and Monster Hunter. Both boil down to kill stuff, make stuff with their bones and scales and brainstems. All your everything is made from monster guts. The economy is monster guts. What I really like about both those series is they encourage you to try different techniques in order to get drops, and the item names usually hint at what you should do. Like, in EO, a Rabbit's Ear probably needs you to Bind its head before killing it, or Scorched Bark needs you to ignite a tree monster on fire, or a Glacier Core requires you to NOT use fire on the ultra-fire-weak ice slime. Getting to meet those requirements may need a party change. Because gear is bought, not upgraded, it's not a big deal if you simply can't meet any one given requirement; at worst, you'll be going into the next boss with the second-best armour and weaponry.

Conversely, for MH, if it's a Rajang Horn, then aim your attacks on his stupid jackass face, or to net a Rathian Tail, you focus on her poisonous tail. You're not going to be cutting tails with Maces, hitting high faces without a Bow, or making precision attacks with Dual Blades. However, nothing in MH is ever really a guarantee; at worst, you'll need to double-break a part to even have a chance at the corresponding drop. At best, doing so will triple your odds of getting it. At really worst, a particular weapon path is rendered obsolete because it needs two Rathalos Rubies and those have like a 2% rate at the best of time and I'm not putting in THAT much effort. Even this isn't a big deal because there's several dozen options for each weapon type.


Lastly, the worst I've experienced is the Witcher 3. At least, worst that I can remember off the top of my head. First you need to get blueprints in the first place, and then make sure you're on the right step of the process, and you didn't skip over superior or greater or superb or anything. Most of the stuff'll be garbage easily enough obtained, like leather straps or iron ingots or even magic space metal isn't too bad. It's whenever you need herbs, or more probably one of those special ingredients that only YOU can make like albedo or aliecrudicinum or whatever the hell, which in turn to make them need herbs. Also they'll need their own blueprint as well. You warp to Novigrad and check the three or so herb shops in town. Nothing. Warp to Oxford and load for five minutes, 'nother six to find the shop, 'nother three of waiting for the shop to open 'cuz it's night. They don't have it. Load to Skellige and lo and behold, turns out it's only sold by an innkeeper or something stupid like that. Repeat process about thrice more to make the given weapon/armour/bomb/potion actually usable.


Not super closely related to any particular point, but I get rather irked when you just FIND stuff that's as good or better than stuff you can craft/buy. Like, why did I bother to upgrade this bardiche when you literally throw two of them pre-upgraded to +7 at me? Or, what's the point of buying anything in town when I find a sword better than the best in town on literally the dungeon's first floor?

Uuuuhhh, anyway, to the original question at hand, anything readable that makes it feel like I'm having any kind of meaningful input is great. Turning a greatsword Raw so a skinny little mage has a decent physical weapon is great. Just buying equipment from a shop that has enough variability to meet my specific needs is great. Farming old bosses to have multiple different types of useful weapons is pretty okay. Not shopping because I'll find something better in the dungeon is not great. And having to make sure my lance isn't destined to one day become a gigantic cob of corn is seriously actually quite horrible.
...Witcher 3's crafting is pretty good as long as you pick stuff up as you go, and why wouldn't you? It's like Skyrim in that you should be grabbing everything that comes your way. You even have places to store all your stuff if you need it.

Also, most blueprints open up with quests... and if you're not questing in that game, why the hell are you playing in the first place? XD


I thought the crafting was a nice addition to the game, especially when it came to potions and their uses. Just do quests and you get more than enough stuff for both making shit and having shit to make. :shrug:
I've recently played Phantasy Star Portable 2, Lord of Arcana, Warriors of the Lost Empire, and Gods Eater Burst and I've noticed another problem with crafting systems. By having all these hoarded items you're forced to take everything out of storage before using the shop, then you realize you can't get anything (or decide not to in order to save your best items for something better) and then proceed to put everything back in storage.

Unless the shop automatically looks into your storage without requiring you to take them out manually. But either way it becomes confusing as to what's in storage and what isn't, and you forget what you have in storage. (or that you even have anything there)
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
I enjoyed KOTOR 2's crafting. There really weren't any materials to gather - what you could craft depended primarily on your stats and your expertise. (iirc there were universal "components" and "chemicals" that you'd get, but you could break down any item into "components" so it was never really a problem).

A person skilled in Computer Use could make electronics, a person skilled in Treat Injury could make better medpacs, a Demolitions expert could make ballistic shielding armor, etc. And most of the stuff you could craft (that weren't consumables) were just add-ons to existing modifiable equipment. ie- you could craft underlays for armor, or scopes and power packs for guns, etc.

And since you were increasing your stats and expertise in the game anyway to progress the game, you also got better at crafting, which you could then use to specialize your builds even further with specific kinds of add-ons. Very symbiotic.


author=Linkis
author=RedMask
How do you all feel about crafting in games?Personally I was never a fan. The few games that had crafting always annoyed me because I felt they were too intuitive and random.
But recently while playing Zelda BOTW I was introduced to its cooking mechanics which are basically a crafting system and you know what it actually works. I find it very intuitive. So these days I am in favor of crafting as long as its done in an easy to understand way.
OH PLEASE, RedMask, tell us (me) :) what great meals you have crafted.
When I try mixing unknowns, all I get is that dumb unknown concoction :)

But, I do so love this game but do not enjoy my weapons breaking in the middle of battle :)


To get great attack boosting meals mix items whose names start with "Mighty" like Mighty Bananas, Mighty Thistle, Mighty Porgy and etc. Plus the descriptions of the food items tell you this stuff. You just have to read.
I like crafting as a means to affect the economy in an MMO (ie, as a way to gate some good, tradeable items behind a time/resource barrier), but in terms of actually doing the crafting myself, I usually don't enjoy doing it.

For single player games, the only thing off the top of my head I really liked crafting in was Stardew Valley, and that's because the entire game is about maximizing your efficiency (if you're into that) and that was a means to do so. Aside from that, the only examples that are coming to mind were basically pace-killing grinds. That isn't to say I didn't do them, but eh.

Back to MMOs, I think to a degree Everquest 2 did it well with the problems arising that had different skills you could use to counter them. If the overall pace was faster (both for problems to solve and the overall craft time per item), that would've been great, but again, with MMOs you have an economy to worry about, so you kind of have to gate these items behind something.
author=Liberty
...Witcher 3's crafting is pretty good as long as you pick stuff up as you go, and why wouldn't you? It's like Skyrim in that you should be grabbing everything that comes your way. You even have places to store all your stuff if you need it.

Also, most blueprints open up with quests... and if you're not questing in that game, why the hell are you playing in the first place? XD


I thought the crafting was a nice addition to the game, especially when it came to potions and their uses. Just do quests and you get more than enough stuff for both making shit and having shit to make. :shrug:

The issue with the Witcher 3's crafting is that a solid 80% of the gear you can craft is absolutely inferior to the gear you are almost certain to get while you're gathering the materials to make the gear you can craft.

For example, by the time you gather the items necessary to make say, Leather Armor, you are almost certainly going to be rocking gear that's unquestionably superior to Leather Armor. Aside from the Witcher gear (and sometimes even that, depending on when you start it) and potions/dedoctions and such, crafting gear in TW3 is almost entirely redundant.

This wouldn't be so much of a problem if there wasn't so many things to craft in the game, and much of it is superflous too. Why do I need to craft literally dozens of cuirasses with almost identical stats? This is easily an 80+ hour game, mind you, so that's a ton of shit. By the middle of the game the menu will actually start to lag because of the sheer amount of (useless) gear you're able to craft.

Excellent, excellent game otherwise though.
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
author=Feldschlacht IV
author=Liberty
...Witcher 3's crafting is pretty good as long as you pick stuff up as you go, and why wouldn't you? It's like Skyrim in that you should be grabbing everything that comes your way. You even have places to store all your stuff if you need it.

Also, most blueprints open up with quests... and if you're not questing in that game, why the hell are you playing in the first place? XD


I thought the crafting was a nice addition to the game, especially when it came to potions and their uses. Just do quests and you get more than enough stuff for both making shit and having shit to make. :shrug:
The issue with the Witcher 3's crafting is that a solid 80% of the gear you can craft is absolutely inferior to the gear you are almost certain to get while you're gathering the materials to make the gear you can craft.

For example, by the time you gather the items necessary to make say, Leather Armor, you are almost certainly going to be rocking gear that's unquestionably superior to Leather Armor. Aside from the Witcher gear (and sometimes even that, depending on when you start it) and potions/dedoctions and such, crafting gear in TW3 is almost entirely redundant.

This wouldn't be so much of a problem if there wasn't so many things to craft in the game, and much of it is superflous too. Why do I need to craft literally dozens of cuirasses with almost identical stats? This is easily an 80+ hour game, mind you, so that's a ton of shit. By the middle of the game the menu will actually start to lag because of the sheer amount of (useless) gear you're able to craft.

I agree with you 100%. I remember grinding to get crafting reagents to make one of the Witcher Gear recipes you get in White Orchard before I advanced the plot, going hours out of my way, and then the crap drops I got from random encounters immediately after were way better. I didn't waste time with crafting again after that.

Actually in general crafting is pretty pointless in that game, because virtually every battle can be won by mindlessly spamming Quen+attack.
author=Sal
I remember grinding to get crafting reagents to make one of the Witcher Gear recipes you get in White Orchard before I advanced the plot, going hours out of my way, and then the crap drops I got from random encounters immediately after were way better. I didn't waste time with crafting again after that.

Make no mistake; the Witcher Gear, especially certain Schools, is categorically powerful than almost any other armor set in the game. What I mean is is that crafting the Witcher gear is often the only gear worth crafting.

This entirely excludes the stuff like potions, dedoctions and bombs, which are always worth crafting and a proper potion/Signs centered build turns Geralt into a fucking monster.

author=Sal
Actually in general crafting is pretty pointless in that game, because virtually every battle can be won by mindlessly spamming Quen+attack.

You've said this before and I specifically remember telling you that the only way this is really viable is on the lower difficulty levels. As useful as Quen is in the higher difficulty modes; good luck with that shit on anything above Normal, or even Normal NG+. It won't save you in the DLC, either.

lol i really don't think you're remembering it right fam
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
author=Feldschlacht IV
author=Sal
Actually in general crafting is pretty pointless in that game, because virtually every battle can be won by mindlessly spamming Quen+attack.
You've said this before and I specifically remember telling you that the only way this is really viable is on the lower difficulty levels. As useful as Quen is in the higher difficulty modes; good luck with that shit on anything above Normal, or even Normal NG+. It won't save you in the DLC, either.

lol i really don't think you're remembering it right fam
I actually just started a new playthrough on Death March because I wanted to pay closer attention to the environment art and take notes on it. I've just beaten the Bloody Baron quest and I have so far beaten every single battle by mashing Quen and attack over and over with no variation. I even beat the Noonwraith boss in White Orchard this way when it was 8 levels higher than me.

There's no challenge or strategy when you just have to mash one button over and over to be invincible.
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