WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran

 

WOO II - Factory

Each crafter is able to produce a variety of items or services. In nearly all cases the items and services produced are available for sale and will bind to the account of the eventual user. The binding will guarantee that items, once used, are removed from the marketplace. The intent is to allow the Crafters to supply the bulk of a realm's goods and services ... with vendor NPCs available as a backup in case of shortages. NPC prices should generally be set high enough to encourage crafted production.

Each Crafter has a Factory that serves as his or her industrial base. The factory contains modules which, with the assistance of recipes called "templates" and various materials, can be used to produce items. The factory also contains various tools, reagents and catalysts that support the manufacturing process.

Crafters who specialize in manufacturing, called "Makers", have access to advanced industrial tools and materials, and these will be available in the Factory.

REFINING

Some materials will need further processing in order to be useful. This may include simple refining: e.g., iron ore into iron bars. Rare materials may require further refining: e.g. fish into oil plus herbs to get the ingredients for a potion. Each Factory will have a Laboratory/Workshop area which will contain the requisite tools needed to refine any basic material. More esoteric materials refining may require special tools. These can be made or acquired from other Crafters.

Some refining processes may require catalysts or other incidental materials. These are usually available from NPC shops or other Crafters.

Exceptional Materials

Some exceptionally rare materials may need to be gathered from the game play space. Acquisition of these materials requires travel and adventure ... similar to questing. (These will never be acquired from Raiding or PvP venues.) These travels may develop story lines for the various professions, or for various rare items. Since Crafters are not primarily fighters, the focus of these searches should be on discovery and negotiation - though combat is not prohibited.

Making

The creation of the item or application of the service requires the requisite skills and templates. Skills are learned as part of the Crafter Life Path. Crafters who chose the "Maker" specialization gain the ability to learn advanced Refining and Manufacturing skills.

A "template" is a recipe that controls a manufacturing process. Basic recipes are learned as characters gain skill levels. Rare recipes may be learned randomly, or acquired via quests or drops At a high level of skill, Crafters become able to create unique recipes for their own use.

A template is a script that maps a set of materials into a particular item or action. The Factory contains modules that accept Templates and materials and produce items. An item may be a "hard" object, such as a weapon, or it may be a "soft" object, such as a scroll that can be sold for later execution as an enchantment. Templates are consumed by the manufacturing process. Each template specifies a ratio of items to materials: in other words, 10 ingots of ore might produce a weapon ... 50 ingots might produce five weapons ... and so on up to a maximum limit. This allows items to be produced in bulk, but it also creates a continual demand for templates and keeps the Crafters who make templates at work.

Crafters with the requisite skills can make templates from "master" templates. This process is no different than any other manufacturing process. Master templates are available from NPCs and from high level Makers who have learned how to construct them.

A Maker with the requisite skills becomes eligible to create new master templates. This requires the use of a special meta-template that maps the required materials into a new master template which can then be used to make any number of production templates. The character chooses one parameter, and others are assigned at random. For example, an alchemist might decide to make a new elixir recipe. The character would choose one parameter, say "+health" and the script would generate a recipe to produce some amount of +health, plus some other characteristics at random. The materials needed would be generated by the script.

This high level ability should require the assembling of rare materials and should have a long cooldown. A Meta-Template will produce one Master Template, and it is consumed by the process.

To summarize:

Services

Services are activities. Services mostly include such as enchanting and teleporting, activities for which the Crafter does something to the customer or one of the customer's possessions. Services may be delivered directly - by means of a User Interface Dialog through which the customer exchanges currency in return for the service - or they may be "phased" onto a rune or script for later delivery. Phased services have a limited lifetime ... if not used, they eventually evaporate.

The services shown here are meant to be examples. There will likely be more of them.

GOODS

Goods are items. Most services can also be delivered as goods ... that is, the service can be performed on an intermediate medium, such as a scroll, for example, which can then be delivered to the customer and then executed. Crafters sell their goods to NPCs and to other players directly, in shops or via the Auction House.

All very basic items are available from NPC vendors, generally at a higher price than Crafted goods. If the realm economy requires particular items which are not being crafted in sufficient numbers, NPC vendors can increase their stocks and offer them for sale as needed. The items shown here are meant to be examples. There will likely be more of them.

Tools

Various crafting tools may be required to enable crafting activities. Appropriate enhancements, e.g., enchantments, gems, etc., may be applied to tools to increase the skill of the crafter.

Preservation

Certain items are perishable. If not used within a certain time after being made, they begin to decay and eventually evaporate. The intent is to reduce hoarding and stockpiling, and also to give Makers a more consistent market for their goods. Soft goods such as enchantments, inscriptions, runes, glyphs and the like fall into this category.

Rewards and Goals

The goal of a Maker is to produce a steady flow of goods and services and sell them at a profit. Leveling achievements look for the variety and volume of output, as well as the eventual sales price. Ranks are based on these same criteria. Other rewards include enhancements that speed up the production process, reduce the turn around time on modules, help eliminate equipment malfunctions, speed delivery of goods and services to market and so on.