Bardikens' Compendium of Suggestions Part 4: Gear and Crafting


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    Following towns and cities, I want to discuss another thing that is very important to me in sandbox games. This time we will discuss gear and crafting and what I think it should look like.

    As usual, you can find the full document here:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qrD2MwlirFeuFF3U88XVUcvPa3yVbbslkbImYow0XJk/edit?usp=drivesdk

    Gear in a Sandbox

    What should gear look like in a sandbox?

    This is a good question and I have to say: it depends. Just like any other genre, the sandbox MMO can choose to focus on many different styles of play and methods of customization and improvement. Some sandboxes tend to take the traditional route of vertical gear progression through “tiers” or some other conceit that places the highest level of gear at a significant advantage and making it the focus of the progression of the game. Some games take a hybrid approach, or a diagonal progression, which mixes soft tiers and caps alongside skill mechanics that could “potentially” even the gear deficit. The other games favor a more “horizontal” progression of gear, where the difference in gear power from the lowest to the highest may mirror something more realistic. A bronze sword, for example, may be able to cut through cloth and leather as well as a steel sword, but if you hack the bronze sword into something made of steel, it is possible for it to break much easier. Since there is a smaller gap between gear, theoretically the emphasis on progression is placed on the player, their abilities, or whatever aim is made the primary goal of the game.

    What should gear look like in Fractured?

    This one is easy and doesn’t require me to develop my opinion much because the developers have already stated that the gear progression in Fractured will be horizontal with a main focus on player skill, accompanied by creativity from the combination of skills that can be put on a single hot bar. That said, I could list some things that I would be interested in seeing for gear that wouldn’t change it from horizontal, but would still give it a proper feel.

    • Gear shouldn’t represent specializations arbitrarily, but should reflect their real life counterparts to an extent. Cloth, leather, and heavier armors should all effect maximum run speed and defenses organically (though nominally since this game has magic and such).

    • Gear progression should affect durability and each material should have traits. For example, bronze is simple to make and requires little skill, but breaks much easier over time. Steel is quite useful, but it takes a lot of iron, fuel, and an exceedingly hot fire to smelt it. It won’t break as fast, but is much more expensive.

    Why?

    To put it simply, gear is both important and not important in a sandbox. It is important to have it and to make it meaningful, but I think that gear TIER shouldn’t be the only consideration to make when deciding the outcome of a battle. If you want to make gear matter, there are plenty of ways of doing it rather than just saying “Super steel, 700% better, you one shot him.” I think Fractured is staying away from these gear tiers per se, so I don’t see an issue here and don’t have too much to add in this regard. If I were making my own game, I probably would change gear a bit more, but I digress.

    Crafting in a Sandbox

    What does crafting look like in a Sandbox

    Like mentioned earlier, crafting in sandbox games is in a unique position to be both meaningful to the player and meaningful to the game. It helps the economy in the game, it provides a niche for players who like to craft, and it helps facilitate wars, more crafting, and especially the need for logistics after items are created.

    What should crafting look like in Fractured?

    In my opinion, crafting should be one of the most crucial roles to fill in the game so long as items are damaged and lost and people need more over time. It should be a key money maker, though I would caution the devs not to force EVERYONE to be crafters to meet this end as so often is the case in these games.

    • Ideally, crafting will be a large niche to fill and will be developed to the point that people can fill the niche as their sole career.

    • Crafting should take time and resources and one crafter shouldn’t be able to master all crafting in the game.

    • Ideally, guilds would be able to designate guild crafters who could live in the NPC crafting houses (perhaps on a second floor) who are in charge of and can maintain crafting buy and sell orders for resources and finished goods. Perhaps they could work with the town’s chief financier, or head of trade.

    • Crafting should be the main, if not only, source for high end gear (even in a horizontal gear game), which gives crafting meaning and purpose.

    Why?

    In games like this, especially those that tend to throw in survival elements too, crafting is the foundation for the game. Gathering materials, crafting them into the needed elements to fund whatever venture you or your guild is doing, trade the surplus, rinse and repeat. One sign of a healthy sandbox mmo is how active its crafting scene is. I’ll also reiterate what I said earlier: Though crafting is important and some people should decide to go the crafting route, I very much hope that not everyone is forced to go that route to make enough money to survive, as it would be much more immersive seeing people fill whichever niche they like in the game and actively do that.


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    Nice post.

    I would just add that in horizontal progression game, crafting effort isn't actually on crafting the gear (which was already stated it will be quick and easy), but on customizing it horizontally.

    The more horizontal modifications you wish to apply to your gear (fit it more for exactly specific type of monster you will go hunt, for example) the more effort should it take.

    So players will have easily obtainable gear, so they will never be "naked" for long even if they lost everything, but will still need to put in the effort to obtain highly customized gear, designed to be highly efficient for very specific purposes.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Gothix said in Bardikens' Compendium of Suggestions Part 4: Gear and Crafting:

    Nice post.

    I would just add that in horizontal progression game, crafting effort isn't actually on crafting the gear (which was already stated it will be quick and easy), but on customizing it horizontally.

    The more horizontal modifications you wish to apply to your gear (fit it more for exactly specific type of monster you will go hunt, for example) the more effort should it take.

    So players will have easily obtainable gear, so they will never be "naked" for long even if they lost everything, but will still need to put in the effort to obtain highly customized gear, designed to be highly efficient for very specific purposes.

    That's a fair point. The emphasis on modifying gear to fit a situation didn't cross my mind at the time.


 

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