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

 

WOO II - Crafting

 

Crafters are artisans who produce items and services for other characters. Their Life Path achievements are based on harvesting materials, processing and production, and marketing and sales. Their rewards focus on currency and fame rather than on gear and rank. As an economic rather than a combat "game", Crafting provides a relatively non-violent track for players who prefer that mode.

Crafters harvest, make and sell the following: Weapons, Armor , Herbs , Skins, Jewelry, Inscriptions , Gems, Machines, Gadgets, Trinkets, Runes, Pets, Potions, Food, Drink, Transformations, Cosmetics, , Bandages, Non-armor Clothing, Fireworks, Mounts, and more.

Because most materials and items in WOO II are crafted, there is a reduction in the need for drops and looting. This should also inhibit "gold farming", as most materials are farmed in Holdings rather than in the Outside World.

The Holding

Each crafter gains access to a personal instance, the Crafter's "Holding". Only the crafter who owns the holding may enter it. Each holding contains three areas: a farm where materials are produced, a factory where materials are processed and items are manufactured, and an office where sales activities are conducted and recorded.

Each Holding includes Storage Bins, in which the Crafter may store materials farmed, items manufactured, or items listed for sale. Storage Bins may be accessed from any area within the Holding, from any Bank, and from a Crafter's booth in a Farmer's Market.

Farm

Farms generate materials - herbs, ores, meats, cloth, etc. - which may be used raw or processed further in the factory.

A farm holds a number of slots or modules that, when properly used, will generate raw materials. The kinds and amount of materials generated depends on the module that is installed, the seeding type, and the amount and quality of care given to the crop. ("Crop" is used generically here to apply to such as herbs, ore, cloth or any material.)

A Crafter has only one farm. New farms have a limited number of slots, but these increase as the Crafter levels up in the Life Path. In addition certain skills increase the number of slots that a farm can support.

Crafters who specialize in farming can select skills that decrease the amount a care that a crop needs, the length of time it takes to grow a crop, and the variety of crop types that can be grown, among others.

Factory

Factories accept raw materials and turn out processed materials and/or finished items for sale or use by other players. Crafters can also make devices that allow them to provide services to themselves or to other players. Services include enchanting, inscription, engineering, and the like.

A factory holds a number of slots, or modules, that accept certain materials and produce other materials or finished items. Each slot can hold one Recipe, and produce one kind of item. Factories run more smoothly, i.e. faster, when personally attended by the Crafter. Certain Crafting skills reduce the amount of attention that the factory requires.

Crafters who specialize in production can select skills decrease the amount a care that a factory needs, the length of time it takes to process materials, and the variety of item types that can be manufactured, among others.

Office

A Crafter's office gives access to the auction house and other sales venues. It provides teleportation to a Farmer's Market if the Crafter has a booth in one. The Office contains such as:

The office contains a mailbox. Crafters have a special C.O.D. mail mode for sending wares to customers.

Offices do not come equipped with the full complement of marketing tools. Crafters who specialize in marketing can select skills that provide them with additional tools for marketing and sales.

Recipes

The creation of the item or application of the service requires the requisite skill. Skills are learned from templates or recipes. Basic recipes are learned as characters gain skill levels. Rare recipes may be learned randomly, purchased, or acquired via quests or drops

At a high level of skill, Crafters become able to create unique recipes for their own use. When a character becomes eligible to create a recipe, he or she runs a special script that maps the required materials into a new recipe. The character chooses one parameter, 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 ability should require the assembling of rare materials and should have a long cooldown.

All crafter holdings come equipped with basic tools ... e.g., knives, hammers, furnaces, kilns, etc. When special tools are required, they will be made available through purchase, discovery or quest.

Good and Services

Goods are items, and services are activities. Services include such as enchanting and teleporting, activities for which the Crafter does something to the customer or one of the customer's possessions. 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.

Goods are sold to NPCs, in shops, and to other players directly or via the Auction House.

Services must be sold directly, and most of these are delivered by means of a User Interface Dialog through which the customer exchanges currency in return for the service.

Crafting and Value

The current game offers items for sale and as rewards on a sliding scale that remains more or less fixed within levels:

  1. NPC vendored items
  2. Items given as quest rewards
  3. Crafted items
  4. Items dropped during questing
  5. Items dropped in dungeons
  6. Dungeon and PvP reward point items

NPC vendored items are of standard quality and set a floor in terms of utility. They are the minimum that any player may purchase and use. Somewhat better items are given out as rewards for completing quests. These has a better basic quality and often include minor enhancements in basic abilities.

Crafted items lie in the middle of the scale, similar to and slightly less useful than most of the items dropped during regular questing. Items dropped in the early sections of dungeon raids are of roughly the same value.

The best items are offered as rewards to be redeemed with points from dungeon raiding and PvP fighting. These are usually "rare" or "epic" items with significant power increases and enhancements.

Services are not offered by NPC vendors, nor is there a formal way for players who offer services to charge for them

Changes

If Crafting is to be elevated to an equal footing with Raiding and Fighting, then Crafters need to be producing goods and services that are as valuable as any others in the game. But this bumps up against the problem of value.

In the current game, raw materials are free, and any character can, with a minimum of training, produce any item. The result, of course, is that any item deemed valuable is quickly produced in great quantity. On the other hand, dungeon drops are kept scarce through random access, and raider/fighter reward point items require a very large effort in terms of time and skill preparation.

In addition the "drop" approach solves the current game's problem of distribution. Because gear is only useful for a few levels' worth of play, characters must be constantly supplied with new items. Quest rewards guarantee that characters get what they need at the appropriate point in their development, and random drops spread a layer of higher quality gear on top of the standard outfit.

The changes proposed for WOO II would:

Specialization

A Crafter may specialize in one of the three areas: Farmer, Maker or Factor.

The Crafting skills tree offers attributes that apply to each specialization. Various crafting tools and reagents may be acquired to enable activities within the specialization, and these will also be produced by Crafters.

An Example

This example illustrates the scope and process of the Crafting Life Path. The subject is an enchantment that will put +.25 magic damage mitigation on a chest item.

Farm

The enchantment requires certain materials ... in this case, let's say 5 Frozen Marigolds, 1 Vial of Dawn Dust and 1 Sparkling Water. These can be produced in the Crafter's Farm. However, a Farm can only produce a limited number of kinds of materials. So, if this Crafter specializes in Enchanting, he or she will probably produce the least common of these materials (the ones that would cost the most to buy), and will purchase the more common materials. Somewhere there will be a Farmer who produces large quantities of the more common materials and puts them up for sale. These can be ordered through the Auction House, a Farmer's Market or directly from the Crafter who produced them.

Factory

The enchantment is to be delivered as a scroll. Scrolls are very common, low cost items that can be purchased from NPC vendors or from other Crafters, though Crafters who specialize in Enchanting will likely make their own. The recipe for this Enchantment specifies the materials, and also specifies that certain tools or reagents ... in this case a Moonlit Runic Stone and an Alabaster Wand ... must be used during the creation of the scroll. The Crafter will likely have these on hand. Various tools and reagents are available from NPC shops and are also manufactured by other Crafters, though some can only be obtained through achievements as the Crafter levels up.

Office

Once the scroll has been created, it may be delivered to the customer C.O.D. via the in-game mail system. Of, if this Crafter is a specialist in Enchanting who is making scrolls for volume sale, it might be put up on the Auction House. Or, it might be sold to another Crafter who is a Factor and specializes in sales.

Contracts

It is likely that a supply chain will develop, with the characters who become Farmers selling materials to Makers who sell items to Factors. This will almost certainly raise the need for contracting ... so much of such and such a material to be delivered by a certain date at a certain price with penalties for cancellation or late delivery. Standard contracting forms will be available through the Banks. Some factors may specialize in Contracting.

Progression

A Crafter's progression is based on volume, variety and profits. Farmers want to generate voluminous amounts of materials. Makers want to offer a wide variety of goods and services. And Factors want to maximize their profits.

Rewards

Rewards for Crafters differ in that Crafters have much less need for combat gear and enhancements. It will take some time to work out an effective rewards tree, but here are a few suggestions: