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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

FanFaire Report Part 3 - Tradeskills





Okay, tradeskills are not exactly my area of expertise, but I will report on what I heard in general terms.

The number one massive project Beghn is working on right now is changing all the tradeskill recipes to match the 1-20 (and KoS) no subcombine recipes. I was glad to hear that people enjoyed the new no subcombine system because it's something I
supported in the past. If you're interested in my arguments in favor of that system, go ahead and read that post. I'm sure there are people out there who don't like it but I expected to hear more negativity and I didn't. In fact, many people (myself included) were anxious for the tradeskill revamp to be completed so we could take another crack at tradeskilling. But there are a lot of recipes to be changed, over 10,000 I believe, so it will take a little while longer. I believe the estimated game date was LU #25.

One of the coolest tradeskill related things I heard was related to a revamp of the tradeskill writ system. I know many people don't enjoy the tradeskill writs at the moment. I also know that many tradeskillers sell stuff they can't sell on the open market back to vendors for a loss. For example, I know an Armorer who, when grinding from 60-70 was not really able to sell the stuff he made for a profit until he neared max level. Again, I have not experienced this personally but I have heard about it from more than one person.

The solution to both these problems? What's on the way in the future is the ability to take items you crafted as a tradeskiller and sell them to a special NPC for Guild Status. In that way, instead of merely selling your items to vendors for a loss you could really help level your guild and gain status for yourself. This would replace the current writ system. This idea was honestly met with applause.

Carpentry was a hot topic and more than one player pounded home the lack of T6 advanced recipes. I've been supportive of this fight as you can
read here. Another point raised was that too many of the collection item rewards were equivalent to what carpenters could produce. The response was that this will be avoided in the future.

For carpenters hoping for cool new items to make, Beghn did say that he went through
this thread (which I also linked in that Carpentry post) and got some great ideas from it which will likely be implemented. The interesting part about that is not only that there may be some cool new furniture on the way but that if you take the time to write a civil, organized and intelligent forum thread, your voice may very well be heard.

While I'm on the carpentry topic, I will briefly discuss housing. Someone asked whether there could be any benefit to owning a larger house other than the added space. The answer was that housing is intended to be the reward of gaining money and status and not something that would grant further rewards. However, there was some discussion by the SOE panel of making it easier to visit housing so players would be more likely to stop by and check out your home. I think this is sorely needed as the current system is not inviting.

Probably the number one requested feature I heard over the entirety of my time in Atlanta was Guild Housing. I know I've been harping on that topic for as long as I can remember. The SOE response is that it is definitely coming but it may take some time to implement correctly. They don't want to just take the existing large homes and say that those are now guild houses. They want to create some special art and other features so that it is really impressive. There is no ETA on this but I can tell you it will definitely be a "free" feature that is part of the live game and will not require purchasing an expansion.

Moving back into tradeskills, there was some discussion by SOE of having woodworkers make items which reduce harvest times (i.e. shorten the time the harvest progress bar takes to complete). Hey, I know I would purchase one. There was also some discussion of the possibility of having nodes give multiple resources. Xegonberries were mentioned a lot in the open panel but that kind of went over my head, to be honest. I think the point was that there aren't enough of them.

There are no plans to grant Achievement points from tradeskilling other than those you receive when you choose your class and subclass. I know a few people asked about a tradeskill Achievement line but there was no definitive answer. I personally think it would be a neat idea.

There were quite a few comments on the requirement of tradeskilling in the two KoS heritage quests, which I've
also discussed. I got the impression that neither adventurers nor tradeskillers were too keen on the way those quests were implemented. The SOE response was that these quests would not be changed (in part because that would mean lessening the value of the rewards) but that, in the future, if a heritage quest had a tradeskill component an adventurer could use the services of another player who is a tradeskiller to complete it.

There were several questions on the desirability of crafted armor and weapons versus looted armor and weapons. The somewhat harsh reality is that tradeskill items are not meant to compete with the items looted in difficult dungeons, let alone raids. That's not to say they are useless either. They are intended to be helpful when you are starting out in a new level range. Along these lines, someone raised the idea of items which drop on raids which could then be used by tradeskillers to make something really nice. While there was no definitive answer on this it sounded like it was under consideration. I think it would be a great idea to keep tradeskillers feeling needed while still preserving the "adventuring first" idea of the game.

Quite a few people expressed a desire for more casual clothing. Well, some is on the way. Tradeskillers will be able to create different versions of what I believe is the tradeskill clothing. And they will be able to choose from a number of colors. Now, that does not mean that you will be able to make some neon green clothing. It means you will be able to choose from a palette of red, blue or black, for example (those are just example colors - I don't know what the official colors are).

I wouldn't hold your breath for the free ranging EQ style "dye something whatever color you want" system. I think it's less a coding issue than the fact that the game designers don't want people running around in bright pink pants and similar items which would change the look of the game. Also, part of the concept of EQII armor is that by looking at a piece of armor, a player should be able to tell where it is from. For example, if you see someone wearing a dark blue chest piece with certain markings you should be able to tell that person got it from the Sanctum of the Scaleborn (just an example not based in reality). So if you were able to die any piece of armor it would take away from that concept.

I've kind of segued from tradeskills into items and art so I'll pick up on those topics (and more) with tomorrow's post.

13 Comments:

Blogger warm_machine said...

I'm not an uber TS'er by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like TS'ing. I look forward to seeing the proposed changes roll out. Thanks for the info Aggro!

1:26 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

part of the concept of EQII armor is that by looking at a piece of armor, a player should be able to tell where it is from.

That was one thing I really disliked about EQ1 toward the end of my days there.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Twodragons said...

Hopefully Woodworkers will soon be able to make Bardic instruments that will have stat boosts like bandoliers.

Right now they cannot be equipped on a player or placed in a house, just sold back to the vendor for a partial recoup.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Blackguard said...

One thing to note, Aggro, is that the non-rare crafted equipment is supposed to serve as a baseline. That is, the standard equipment is something you'll probably want to pick up as you get to a new 10 level range (if you don't have particularly "uber" items from the previous range), but the rare tradeskilled equipment will often be better than something that drops or is quested for.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Thanks for the clarification - it's a good example of why some of the stuff I say in these reports may not be entirely accurate. I try to be complete as I can while relying on my garbled notes and garbled memory.

In any case, I currently use a good amount of crafted stuff for resists on raids at level 69. Don't know if that is common - just my personal experience.

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