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What Is A Sucessful crafting Economy?

Discussion in 'SWTOR Discussion' started by TeHpUmKinKiNg, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. TeHpUmKinKiNg

    TeHpUmKinKiNg OMG Member

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    Good read I found on AskAJedi, from a guy named Zlatto. Pretty good for the crafting hardcore, so read up!


    It seemed to me that creating some discussion around how we all view the components of a thriving crafting economy could be a good start on the road to finding ways for us to be successful in the SW:TOR economy itself. Not to mention, it will give me insight on which of you all have a corporata mindset.


    [​IMG]


    Where do I start? Well I’m an avid reader of blogs about MMOs in general, and when looking for deep thoughts on concepts I sometimes turn to Tobold. The principle I will be discussing was inspired from a larger blog post by Tobold posted back in 2009 on MMO economies. I call it the Tobold Principle.


    Lethality, you flaming flupp flicker, get out of my cubicle and stop stealing my stapler! That swingline was a gift.


    Now where were we? Ah yes, the Tobold Principle.


    The principle states that the objective of a crafting economy is to create indirect social interaction between players, thus making the virtual world feel more alive. Also, to provide an alternate form of game-play to complement adventuring and combat that is both of value for the player and relevant to the game. (This is somewhat of a paraphrasing, but I found the article very impactful.)


    To support this thought, I spent a lot of time dissecting various MMOs I have played, and even spent some time reviewing a past GDC round-table discussion that highlighted the common features of successful MMO economies. I was happy to see that most all games referenced in the GDC discussion had strong crafting communities. So without further adieu:


    Indirect Social Interaction


    The issue I see here is a sticking point for many MMO crafters. Should there be a player-direct economy (if you recall the advertising droids in Star Wars: Galaxies), or a central auction house where other players can buy your item from their location in another city? I hope this first point generates some discussion, as I’m on the fence. The concept of entire worlds, and ships with which to travel them, seems to be designed to move us through the galaxy quickly and often. So maybe a person-to-person economy format could be successful in TOR. But ease to market and ease of access for the <del>suckers</del> ahhhh, I mean customers does help move volume. In your opinion does a market stall increase or decrease the social interaction?


    Value To The Game And Player


    For crafting to be sustainable in a game, it must create a sense of challenge to attain skills, allow diverse paths for success (we don’t need everyone choosing the same profession because of imbalance) and avoid the theme park crafting mantra of grind. If you can buy an in game ‘kit’ to level your profession from 1 to max in a single session you are far from creating any actual (or even perceived) value to the crafting community. Hey it’s my post so instead of using IMHO, I just say don’t be a koochoo. You know I’m right on this.


    Celebrate Diversity


    I would also prefer to see some Toydarian fine print at the bottom of the screen where you choose your professions. Make changing a profession painful. Hurt the bank account.


    Cripple the output. Without making crafters commit to a path there is no long term value to be had. (Side note – If you are unfamiliar with Toydarian small print, it has also been leveraged well by Satan and those who sell Gym memberships.)


    Items Of Worth


    To keep the economy moving make sure that items to be crafted have more than just “skill up” value. I admit to being a closeted ‘min/max’ mathematician in my crafting efforts but that was a reinforced trait by games that forced players create items that were of little value in the big picture to skill up. There must be a way to have lower level items be relevant for high end goods, so crafters just starting out could still find a market for their items. I know this was attempted in Star Wars: Galaxies, but still seemed to fail. Anyone have a comment on why newer players still could not compete for the lower level items?


    Item Decay


    Now this next comment will get me booed by all but the most avid crafting player : Items need to wear out so that there is a constant need for new crafted items. Sure I know players hate that, but don’t be a krilhead, items should have a shelf life. No matter how well crafted, if you shoot two thousand blaster shots, a barrel should wear. Without this in game the developers are forced to keep adding new bigger and better recipes to keep crafting moving forward… but that in turn makes all the older recipes worthless for those leveling up except for gaining needed skill points. See above.


    Come One, Come All


    My last point is the fact that anyone in a game should be able to become a master crafter. There shold be no resource control limits to push competitors out of business by controlling the supply lines. It is a game, it should be fun. Content should be attainable both in adventuring and in crafting. Now, I am not saying to make it easy. Just make it achievable through different paths, as players should not be forced to play such a diverse game a single way to find success.


    So that is the Tobold Principle and my attempts at a proof. Now back to combing the demo videos for scraps of anything interesting, and stalking the Tweet stream of developers for anything of note. Zlatto, out.
     
  2. Junk Angel

    Junk Angel OMG Member

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    Well as far as I know, the only game to date with a working P2P economy is Eve so I doubt they can change it much.
     
  3. OP
    TeHpUmKinKiNg

    TeHpUmKinKiNg OMG Member

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    Guild Wars could be considered "P2P." You couldn't just buy a particular weapon or miniature pet from anywhere in the game- you had to go to a particular city, but it from a particular person, and so on.


    I like the point he made about having multiple paths to "crafting." Make the same items drop in the world that you can craft, only have it happen every so often. That way, a person like me, who doesn't plan on devoting everything to crafting, can still get in on the fun, and help keep the economy going.
     
  4. Jayden

    Jayden I R Posting Machine

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    I've never played eve, but gw had a pretty interactive economy. I'd like to see something similar or better in tor.
     
  5. Junk Angel

    Junk Angel OMG Member

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    Well the reason Eve has a succesfull player economy is partially because you can order your avatar to do some stuff automatically so you don't actually have to be on. Most mining and similar is semi automated.
     
  6. OP
    TeHpUmKinKiNg

    TeHpUmKinKiNg OMG Member

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    TOR has that, actually. You can send your crew on missions while you're not online, and they gather materials for your crafting endeavors, among other things.
     
  7. Digz

    Digz OMG Member

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    I completely agree that a P2P economy would be better for the game, it'd keep prices at a reasonable rate for sellers and also buyers via competition which makes the game great for everyone. I've noticed during my stint in WoW/LotrO after I played Guild Wars that sellers have all the power in Auction House trade based MMO's and it really hurts the overall game economy because people like myself instead look to create other characters and just choose other professions to gather the materials I need to compliment my other characters' professions. When that starts to happen, you don't even need an Auction House then.


    One thing I've really enjoyed in LotrO that I think they should bring in to TOR is the concept of 'Legendary Items' these can be picked up via drops or crafted, crafted is usually better for obvious reasons. These weapons level up as you gain experience, so lets say you gain 200xp for killing an enemy, your LI will gain 100xp, as it levels up you can improve its dps stats or some of the weapons add-ons for example '-1% less energy used when using healing skills' (then increasing to potentially -5% if you devote enough xp points to that specific add-on.


    The easiest way to keep crafting big, is to make sure there are smaller gaps between item tiers, so items generally have a short life span when levelling up as it'd be better to buy/sell weapons that are 1 level apart due to the benefits of extra damage or armour or whatever you are crafting/buying.
     
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    TeHpUmKinKiNg

    TeHpUmKinKiNg OMG Member

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    I woulld definitely love a lightsaber that levels up when I do. That would make it a tad more realistic. I just cant imagine one of my enemies taking 5 flurry strikes from my friggin lightsaber and still live.
     
  9. Junk Angel

    Junk Angel OMG Member

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    Well keep in mind that in Eve you can actually essentially sell contracts and there's an ingame system for that set up. Likewise sending characters on mission when you're not logged on.


    Are they actually in the space and can others attack them, their ship or whatever to loot the resources. Or are they just "questing" and not being in the space at all. A lot of these things play a role actually.


    My best guess is that ToR will have a lot of instancing unlike Eve, in which case you will probably have no real problem findingresources.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
  10. Jayden

    Jayden I R Posting Machine

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    Bioware said something about the rising cost of sending companions out, making it less cost effective to be lazy over time.
     
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