Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crafter Rage

Well, here it is folks, the AoC Dev's have released their initial crafting revamp. From first impressions it appears they are completely ripping out the old crafting system and starting fresh with a new set of mechanics. This has enraged at least a few long time vets of the game. All of the cultural gear items that they spent years of grinding and collecting, not to mention all of the gold they spent will go away with the new crafting system that has yet to hit the test live servers. I have noticed on more than a few threads rage quitting and frustration over the revised crafting system as no one really knows what is in store or where they will stand once the new system comes out.

A few key points of discussion:

- Characters will only be able to obtain 2 gathering skills and 1 crafting profession.

- Architect as a profession is going away altogether. Initial impressions are that anyone can build on the Guild Cities with the proper renown.

- The new system will not encompass old recipes that were obtained by crafters. The items created prior to going live will still exist with their appropriate stats, but will no longer be able to be reproduced. In effect they become legacy items.

- The new system will allow a profession to build baseline items but with right skill and materials will be able to improve and or tweak items to make stats more customized. Items have a higher chance of creating rares based upon the types of materials and combinations there of that get included into the build. Nodes will be more frequent and will not have random encounters spawn upon them.

These are basic points and by no means comprehensive. Alot of the new system seems to be based upon the crafting system of the pre NGE Star Wars Galaxies system with a few extra tweaks. So here are my concerns and then I will discuss what I consider as possible bonuses from the revamp:

- Let's face it, the amount of time and especially gold that veterans put into obtaining the rare recipes is pretty insane. To completely drop all of their effort without a SERIOUS compensation is a slap in the face for their devotion towards becoming master crafters. I doubt there will be gold compensated and whatever new materials that were hinted at for veterans are probably not going to really address the time and gold lost. Personally, I was never that serious in crafting with the exception of architecture for our Guild City. But my wife has been busting her ass both in Armorsmithing and Weaponsmithing. Not nearly to the degree of some noted players such as Schou on Wiccana who has just about every recipe out there, but certainly she has a time investment on it. To me, the solution would be to keep in some manner those recipes or equivalents for those who gained it. I seriously doubt this would happen as the revamp rips everything that has been crafted away. In lieu of this, a MAJOR amount of new mats that are specialized along with the appropriate skill base should be awarded to those who are veteran crafters.

- FunCom has had a reputation of releasing half tested patches that take months to finish. Considering this is a complete software re engineering I seriously am wondering how they will make the patch a viable launch even with say 2 months of constant script and coding patches. It is much more viable to have extensive testing runs on the TL server until the formulas work consistently and with minimal bug issues. I don't begrudge minor bugs or even a few major ones as long as the dev's fix it fast. But this major of a project is going to require a lot more effort from their software techs and developers to make it a consistent feature of the game.

- Something that was mentioned is whatever crafting profession we have will be transferred to the nearest equatable profession they create in the new craft system. Too vague for me. That or it shouldn't have been mentioned until they have the solution.

- Will the crafted gear provide not only stats that are useful but will the gear have a look and feel of Hyboria. I hate the generic baseline rares you get through lv 75 currently. I want variety instead of mediocrity. Yes I am a vanity whore. One of the great things about the Hyborian Genre is the barbaric look and feel. Will there be plenty of exotic skins to the weapons and armor and not just generic drek? This is an important thing for me. When FC introduced the vanity tab I was ecstatic. I could make my Cimmerian LOOK like a northerner without sacrificing my stats for the power side of the house.

Ok, so those were my major concerns. Now hear me are some of the POTENTIAL gains from this new system:

- The level of customization if delivered as promised will allow maximum use of stats for progression, especially at the end game. The in depth level of this customization should make unique and potentially powerful equipment altogether for other players.

- Economically a whole new market could open up with more competition in the Auction House. If different pieces or weapons/trinkets do different things then people can corner markets on personally crafted gear to sell. It makes the crafting system mean something for once. I hate crafted greens that world drops out perform. Also it may open up new markets for the vanity tabs depending on how varied the skins are for the equipment. Another note is whole new markets can possibly rise for new materials and gems instead of the very blase selling performance we see currently. Trade houses could indeed become filled with viable crafted gear that people will actually appreciate and use.

Ok, these again are my own opinions. I don't expect people to agree with me, only read with an open mind. I have presented some of the flaws as I see them as well as possible advantages. In the end, it will largely depend upon the forethought and the careful planning around second and third echelon effects of their decisions. I won't be overly excited until I hear more from TL or more from the FC developers. I am waiting on the sidelines for this particular revamp and will make my judgement calls when either more is known or when I actually get to put their new system into action. I do advise folks to be patient and still keep on their current crafting works as normal. We have no ideas on a solid projection date of the patch release and I personally don't see it happening till at least late summer if not the fall quarter regardless of the dev page projections.

Till next time, have fun out there in Hyboria, I'll be hording everything I can get my hands on in the hopes I may make a killing at one market or another!


  1. I'm really looking forward to this :)

    The current crafting system is a said joke. Only one of my 4 lvl 80s even has a job and not even with him did I bother to learn all gathering-skills. Nevertheless I'm cheerfully tanking through every hardmode and currently T3 :)

    Crafted gear is more or less useless. Once you come to Khitai you can get gear from a faction that makes the 'culture-gear' obsolete. And it only takes an hour or so to get it.

    Same goes for T1. All you need is some T0, crafted stuff is not necessary at all.

    As for the weapons...the Ibis sword. Well, first and foremost it isn't such a big effort to make one at all. The biggest problem are the outrages prizes fot the shards. Stat-wise it isn't that great either. You can easily use looted weapons instead. Same goes for the T3 crafted weapons.

    I hope the crafting revamp will make crafting finally interesting and usefull :)

    1. I am hopeful as well, again it will be a patience issue. When the patch does finally drop I expect a fair amount of coding issues, broken craft mechanics and server lag. BUT I think if they work it diligently this could possibly be a very solid crafting system that I would actually enjoy and progress in.

  2. I agree and I, too, am waiting until I see more. I'm actually going to join test live just to start taking a more active part in all future changes that Funcom has in mind. Time for me to stop sitting on the side lines.

    Great post!