Archive for crafting

1,000 Things To Do Before You Log Off

Posted in 1000 things to do before you log off with tags , , on January 3, 2010 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg


At the heart of this list is the adage “Stop and smell the roses”. We as MMORPG players have varying styles of game play. Through it all, many times life’s fun little moments can sweep right past us in a flurry of tiny digital leaves. MMORPGs give us giant open virtual worlds with guidelines and activities we can perform. A terrific thing about these games, regardless of these tasks and rules, is that they provide an opportunity for players to create the experience. Some of the most memorable and most enjoyable moments we can have come from running into a group of players dancing or having an in-game “party”, trying to take a great screen shot of a humorous situation, and countless other activities that weren’t prescribed or created by the game’s developers. With that in mind, I present a list of quirky, offbeat, and many times unconventional tasks to perform in your favorite MMORPG that will steer you away from what you are currently doing in-game, but more importantly may enrich your fun. This doesn’t mean you will necessarily enjoy the entire list. If something simply is not fun, no matter how hard you try, simply don’t do it. Remember, the point is to enjoy the game. Whether you do 1 or all the tasks on the list, It should at least provide an enjoyable read and change how you look at, think about, and play MMORPGs.

Create an Uber-Weapon Below Level 10

    To kick off this list, I present an opportunity that may get you a lot of jeers, nay-sayers, and laughing, but it will be fun. There’s always something fun about going against the crowd. This is one that definitely does that. No, you don’t have to give it the same name I did, but you should spend significant time creating a sword, club, hammer, bow, whatever. Pimp it out, but make sure it is under level 10. If the MMORPG you play doesn’t allow this, then just create the lowest level item you can, and make it as powerful as possible. Don’t let the structure of the game start to control how you make it. The idea is to go against the normal. Don’t hold back. You will start to feel a sense of glee from going against the norm, and whether days or weeks, you’ll enjoy every minute of it. Once done, don’t stop there. You’ll want to share this beastly weapon or item with the game community. Now post those screen shots in the forums and wait for all the head scratching responses. You’ll undoubtedly be strongly attached to this item, by the time you finish creating it, but if you are feeling extra daring, and want to take some more time with it, why not post it in the Auction House without telling anyone or posting it in the forums. You may get some interesting whispers or see lots of chatter start to develop in zone chat, as the item gets more views.
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Where Should the Best Loot Come From?

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I don’t state this to try to add validity to an argument, just to let you know that I respect where the opinions are coming from.  I’d very much like to hear what others have to say.

Some of my friends, I used to play WoW with, I’ve known for a long time and have come to really respect their opinions on all sorts of subjects.  They are all very well educated, very well-rounded, and are intuitive as all get out.  So when we discussed where the best loot should come from in a game, and they agreed with me, it not only fed my lovely ego(which I do love, no matter how small it is), but I really focused my thought on the subject for a long time.

I’m of the belief that the best armor and weapon loot should come solely from crafting.  You can still have good crafting that people will partake in, as I would point to any existing crafting system as flawed yet obviously working.  But to have anything less than the best armor or weapons come from anywhere else undermines crafting and takes a way the one purely viable reason to have crafting in the first place.  Otherwise you don’t really have crafting, you just have the aucton house where people play online “economists”.

In the strictest sense, I would call all current crafting systems economy systems.  They solely feed into the economy.  That’s their highest and most valid priority.  Sure you are crafting “stuff” but what is the number one reason you are crafting it?  In WoW, you may find some alternative uses for crafting early on, but once you pass level thirty, the crafting system takes a nose dive off a thousand foot sheer cliff, and turns more into a money maker where most people stop after refining and don’t actually get to the crafting part.  They refine material to sell in the auction house.

There’s a place for this, but there’s also no tangible use for the fully crafted goods.  We call these crafting systems?

Are we undermining raids and battlegrounds, if we take away their gear drops?  I don’t think so.  It’s shifting responsiblities back into their proper places, and improving the game dramatically.  Can’t there be other uber drops in raids and battlegrounds?  I don’t see why not.

If players and/or developers feel that one area of the game ends up having to take priority over the other as far as where the best loot comes from, then I still see the logical conclusion that it should be crafting.  I personally don’t see it undermining raids or “end-game” content because there is plenty to achieve in doing raids, and players will still have a source to obtain the best gear to run more raids and gear up for battlegrounds.

I’m still a bit skeptical about the inner working of Alganon, that is now in beta.  But they mention this very aspect which made me smile knowing that others agreed with me.  We all love that.  But that’s not the only reason for me to push a subject like this.  I think it stands on it’s own two feet when it comes to what role different parts of a MMORPG should play.

MMORPG Articles Posted This Week

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg
  • My third article, in the crafting series, is up on MMOHub.org.
  • I have an article: “Is Horizontal Game Play The Future For MMORPGs?” going up on GameBunny.  Look for it soon.
  • My informative piece on Runes of Magic’s ‘Aggregator’ is up on MMORPG.com
  • I have a few more articles I’ll be finishing up this weekend on these, and other sites.

Enjoy 🙂

Group Crafting or: “Craft Party”

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , on June 19, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I’ve been talking a lot about crafting(well, why not? I love it).  I wrote a post on making a crafting-centric MMORPG, and even followed it up with another small post to flesh out some ideas a bit more.

This post is more of the same, but concentrating on an idea that came while I was drifting off to dreamland.

I thought of trying to integrate(or replace) current gaming elements with a crafting based element.  I started by thinking of how a player party works.

If you could have a special group(or party) recipes that would be complete with level requirements and profession requirements but also require 2-5 players being in a party to craft.

  • 2-5 players formed into a party
  • each player in party requires a copy of special party recipe, and the required craft skill(s)

Let’s start with a basic 5-man party and run down some ideas I came up with

So you have your party and your all gathered around the correct station and you all have a copy of the recipe and meet the skill level requiremen(s).

  • Anyone in the party can start the process by opening up your profession/tradeskill window.  Simply clicking on the recipe will run a check to see if you are actually in a party and everyone meets the requirements.  Where a new Craft Party window will open for everyone in the party.

I think it’d be neat to have a craft skill point system like in EQ2 or Vanguard, so let’s say that’s already in this imaginary MMORPG.

  • With the Craft Party window open you will need to check with all party members to coordinate your efforts.  Once everyone is ready, you can hit a button that says “start”, on the window.
  • One the process is started a bar appears that slowly fills up depending on the difficulty and/or level of the item being crafted.
  • Let’s say, for this example, you are working on a mid-level chest armor, that would result in a blue piece, thus the timer for this would be one minute.
  • The timer starts to tick across as the party is now “crafting” the item.  As the timer progresses, there will be a percentage change of difficulty which will open up a new smaller window randomly for one or more of the players.
  • This new window would represent complications, and will only give you, one of the other players, or even multiple players at the same time, a few seconds to click a button to overcome the complication
  • The complication will require a certain amount of extra “craft skill points” from each member that is required to overcome it.  If they do not have enough points, then the complication stays and the item will have flaws(it could still be a good item).  In addition to extra craft points, some of the complications may require additional numbers of one of the indgredients(so make sure to stock up)
  • There will be an opportunity, toward the end of crafting to add any enhancements based off of players professions(if 1 or more players have a profession that allows gem making or alchemy, this part of the progress bar will give you a small window of opportunity to click to get enhancements added)
  • Enhancements will be treated the same way, with random complications throughout that need all players attention.

Now this was a basic thought I had.  I know it’s not that original or complex, or maybe not even as fun as it could be, but I like the idea that I’m shooting for and just need to flesh it out a bit more.

Also, I know what you’re thinking.  Who gets the item? or does each member get the item.  Well, I thought about it, and so far my idea for fun, risk, gambling, and so forth was that only 1 item gets made, unless all party members have enough of the required resources, and craft points.

So here is where I’d backtrack and say as soon as the craft party window opens, and before you click start, each player will have a small box to input a “bid” taken from their pool of craft points.

This leaves a fun gambling aspect.  You need to guess how much you can bid to win, and still have enough points to actually get through the process and any unforeseen complications.

What about if you only have 2 people, or 3 people in the party, instead of 5?

I was thinking there could be a grade scale to determine the outcome.  Say you have 5 grades.  So the item will only be grade 2, if 2 people craft, etc….

Sure it would drive people to only want to do it with 5 people, but I don’t think it would stop smaller parties from crafting.  You just need to make all items worthwhile.

I mean, as it is, there are better drops than others, but not everyone goes for them?  Player psychology, time restraints? I’m not too sure but if craft party recipes are special to begin with, a lower grade one will still be better than a lot of solo crafted ones.

Percieved Perceptions

Posted in Shameless Rants with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I was perusing the Runes of Magic forums, and today, among others but especially today, it was so depressing.  RoM is obviously and by far the best Free-to-Play MMORPG on the market right now.  It’s down right revolutionary.

Of course it is using an Item Mall to make money but even it is well made, offering only items that speed up progress within the game and not allowing spenders to obtain anything that cannot be obtained strictly in-game.

Even still, the forums are as plagued, and in some cases more, by people bashing the devs as money grubbing idiots, and how stupid the Item Mall is, and a long list of other complaints.  I know you have this in any game, but how great the game is added with my personal love of it, has me feeling a more personal sting this time around from the negative community.

A big part of it is always the assumption card.  People make fun of the word assume because it is such an old cliche but it will be around until the end of time, because although people ridicule it as an old passe adage, it is the most succint and relevant way to describe the reoccuring situations.

People are forgetting fun for fun’s sake and trying to label it for you and I.

Don’t try to tell me what I like or don’t like, okay? Okay!

People want to try and attach an arbitrary number on the amount of things you can do in the game to how much fun can be derived from that game.

People.  You can spend 100 hours picking your nose and have more fun than the guy who spent that same 100 hours playing WoW, EQ2, Vanguard, and every other MMO in one long session!

I am refering directly to the crafting aspect of RoM.  People are bashing it as simple, pathetic, broken and usually the “excuse“- Yes, I use the word excuse because that’s all it is, that it takes too long to gather or you don’t get what you put into it.  On the surface this is true, but like Mystic World’s said

  • [paraphrase]I don’t know where the time went.  I know I was doing something and having a lot of fun doing it, but I don’t seem to have accomplished anything.  My brain wants to play bad-cop and say I should be getting more out of the game to have fun, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter because…I had a lot of fun.

That is the truth, the reality of it.  Let’s stop comparing to every MMO that’s come out before RoM and see what is giving us a fun time.

I’ve spent hours just “click-click-clicking” to gather, but at the end of the day, I pass out in front of my PC with a smile on my face, and have to be honest with myself-no lying allowed, I had a lot of fun.

“It’s not worth crafting, because the mats cost more than the finished product that uses the same mats.” Yeah, maybe so what?  Did you have fun?  Because that’s why your playing…ISN’T IT???

As a side note: I totally understand the analytical report, I read, on WoW now that said ‘40% of WoW players don’t play because they have fun’.

Unfortunately this will fall on def ears.  These same nay-sayers are the ones who can’t swallow their pride.  They feel threatened and want to win the argument for the sake of winning the argument, not learning and growing, and figuring out how to make life easier for themselves and find more fun and happiness in games and the world.

I love talking about what can make a game more fun or developing a “better” system, but don’t try to boil your ‘failure to have fun‘ down to something that obviously is only your perceptions that it’s the games responsibility to “give” you that fun.  If you aren’t having fun with the way RoM’s current crafting system is, then don’t do it.  If that leads you to having less fun than you think you could be having elsewhere, then leave the game and find a better experience for yourself-it’s up to you.  But these players are always still around, which leads me to believe you are still playing RoM for a reason?  So what is it? that you are having fun? or that your too stupid to know whether you are having fun or not?  If it’s the former, then why isn’t that reflected in your community involvement, instead we hear unapologetic whining and screaming and calling other people names?  Your extreme complaining does not seem to accurately reflect(not even closely) how you feel about your gaming experience, so most experienced/older/more learned players are just going to ignore you(and that would probably include the developers).

So forgive me if I care less about your comments that say “Actually, I really don’t like this or that” or any variant of that sentence.  Perhaps that will be closed minded of me and I’ll just be doing what all of the negative complainers are doing, but it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to.

Crafting Is Still A Niche

Posted in General with tags , , , on June 17, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I was just contemplating crafting ideas as I surfed the web, and wanted to add some thoughts to build on my post about making a crafting centric game.

I think some interesting ideas could come out of group crafting projects.  Crafting has mostly been a solo endeavour and developing some fun group crafting play would be interesting.

I also read that EQ2 has craft quests which, of course, should be added and expanded upon in a crafting centric game.

Maybe some type of specialty items that would be highly valuable or prized in-game that required a “party” to craft with a variant of a roll system to decide who gets it and/or incorporating some economy play into it with perhaps bids+roll?  I’m brainstorming now…but it’s fun and I think it could lead some of you to think of some really creative/new/fresh ideas.  So don’t keep them to yourself.  Let me know what your ideas are, in the comments.

Crafting Is A Niche Too

Posted in General with tags , , , on June 17, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Recently I read Tobold’s post on “Mainstream and Niche Games“, and saw some Twitters from crafters wanting better crafting and it really started me thinking about crafting oriented games.

PvP really is a niche market.  Any simple look at a few game’s server lists will show that there are more PvE players than PvP.  I’m not really a PvP player but I always pick PvP servers, if given the choice.  I view PvP from a sandbox point of view.  If it’s available, I want it, because to me it’s another addition that adds more fun to a game.  I mostly play Runes of Magic right now, and chose the international Smacht(PvP) server even though I hardly PvP.  I want to have the option, even if I hardly participate.

There are some great PvP niche games, and many are free.  Shaiya is perhaps my favorite of the PvP niche.  Great graphics, smooth server uptime, and a fun massive PvP system pitting up to hundreds against hundreds.  Although it is a very serious grind oriented system of leveling, it is still fun.

So why not a crafting oriented niche MMORPG?  This has me feeling very left out as a crafter.  I can only assume that a crafting niche would be even smaller than a PvP niche.  So small in fact, that no one has found it economically viable to produce such an MMO.

However, just like Shaiya and it’s very PvP centric gameplay, it’s not the only thing to do in the game.  Shaiya has loads of solo grinding, dungeons, party, and raid content.  In fact the PvP zones are separated so one need not ever participate in PvP while playing Shaiya.

Why can’t we have something like Vanguard with its crafting, only the crafting is bulked up, more involved and the rest of the game takes second stage to it?  Even if it were to be produced in the free to play market, which would make it a lot smaller than Vanguard?

I would love to try a game that had a craft system like Vanguard or EQ2 that was the center of the game.  An MMORPG like that could be quite fun and still contain other elements like questing, leveling, and all that jazz.

Wow, imagine a game that took crafting to an extreme.  With hundreds of more recipes and items to be made, enhanced, and sold on a beefed up auction house.

As I currently have limited knowledge on Vanguard and EQ2’s craft systems, I will start with a basic form of WoW’s or RoM’s.

I would first come up with more resources to be gathered.

Perhaps:

  • Wood
  • Food plants
  • Flowers
  • Ore
  • Stone
  • Minerals

Even more types, if I thought about it longer.  Then I’d add a system of grades of each, so you could have:

  • Brass: Poor
  • Brass: Okay
  • Brass: Good
  • Brass: Better
  • Brass: Best

That grade system wood go for every kind of ore, herb, wood, etc…

I wouldn’t forget Skinning to get leathers from mobs either, along with types and grades for each type as well.

That covers a lot for gathering resources. For refining, I’d use a system like EQ2 or Vanguard that I only read a bit about.  So during the crafting system enhancements of different types could be added based on a craft skill point system.  Enhancements could be added with another large set of ingredients like:

  • Salts
  • Oils
  • gems

Don’t forget yet another set of grades for the enhancement ingredients.

Maybe even a system where currency(in-game gold) could play a part.

Different sets of tools that apply skill increases to help you get better quality resources when gathering too, and maybe even different quality workstations that helped increase your chances of better quality crafted items.

Of course we’d have to have an in-game housing system so we could build the houses.  Maybe start with a base one-room house and you can “build” extensions, floors, additional rooms.  Thousands of pieces of furniture, maybe you could find or earn better recipes to build the better tools to increase a % chance of getting better grades of resources and refining better items.

Oh, how I can dream…