Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dev Diary: Crafting Changes

I love crafting; I really do.  So I was excited to see that there are some changes coming with Update 2, Echoes of the Dead.  Especially since they are touching on the following:

  • New tutorials for all vocations
  • Redesigned crafting progression quests
  • Improvements for Metalsmith & Tailor
  • New Recipes
  • And… A surprise!


01So admittedly it was a long time ago that I started crafting, but I do remember that there was some confusion about what vocation I wanted to pick and how things worked.  To date, I also see some general confusion on the behalf of new players about what they should choose as well.  So to help resolve this issue Turbine has implemented new Crafting Vocation Tutorials where after you select a vocation a player will be granted

“…three tutorial-style quests, one for each crafting profession.  These quests are designed to provide basic information such as how to gather/obtain resources, how to navigate the crafting panel and how to execute recipes to produce your very first crafted item”

Which sounds like a great idea; especially since completing the tutorials grants some ingredients so players can jump right in after they’re done.  For those who go through all three tutorials in each vocation, they will be granted a special title as well.  Anyone who already have a vocation may also visit a Master/Mistress of Apprentices and go through the tutorials as well to claim the title.  Be cautious though, as if this requires you to actually switch vocations you could very well end up losing all your current crafting experience.

Progression-gating Quests

Currently on the live servers when you max out a tier of a crafting profession you are usually granted a quest in order to progress to the next level.  Sometimes these are as simple as going to an NPC, reading a book that they give you, and then finishing the quest.  Other times though, it requires you to go to another part of the world, kill a special mob to get a special ingredient to use in a special recipe, make the recipe, and then finish the quest.  Fun?  No, not really; especially if you’re level 20 and you need to kill something 20+ levels above you.  Thankfully, Turbine agrees!

image007We’ve removed many instances where crafting progress was halted due to a progress "lock" requiring quest completion. Profession-specific hints with useful information will now appear upon completing proficiency for any given crafting tier. The result is fluid crafting progression throughout all tiers of each profession.

Continuing the spirit of removing unnecessary gating, quests that gated access to a “Superior Facility Access trait” and the Artisan tier have been replaced with a new quest that will unlock both of these using “…crafting items and abilities already familiar to the player.”  Currently they are set up the same as most of the gated crafting quests where you have to do a lot of travelling, killing, and crafting of special components; so I am happy to see this being changed as well.  I remember the last time I had to do these quests my stomach just dropped because I knew it was going to eat up a ton of time where I’d rather be doing something else.

In addition to these changes, new quests have been added to the various profession vendors to provide quests to those who have completed the Journeyman proficiency to a Master/Mistress of Craft Guilds; who in turn will guide you into joining a crafting guild.  This is a good move, because currently your only notification that you are eligible to join a guild that I know of is if you happen to stumble upon a Master/Mistress of Craft Guilds and pick up the quests.  This new approach should do a lot more to inform players who may not know about Crafting Guilds or just may have forgotten to join one.

Tailor & Metalsmith Upgrades

The Tailor and Metalsmith professions will be undergoing the same treatment that the Jeweler and Weaponsmith did last year.  This means that the new items produced should have stats that are more appropriate for their intended classes and levels.  (All existing armor stays the same.)  Also, many recipes will have multi-output options and therefore will be renamed and/or consolidated.

So what does recipe consolidation mean for the Metalsmith and Tailor? The most important thing to note is that all racial variant armour recipes are no longer accessible and have been removed from the game. To be more specific:

  • All unused racial variant armour recipe scrolls have been removed from inventory and treasure
  • All learned racial armour variant recipe entries have been removed from the crafting panel

And there's no need to worry about appearances: All of the unique visual designs found amongst the various Dwarf-make,Elven, Westernesse, and Bree-land armor variants are still readily available! The armour pieces that could previously be produced by these recipes can now be made using the multi-output functionality of the remaining

This is an interesting move and it should reduce a lot of clutter.  I know I had a ton of recipes that I’ve gathered over time that I don’t use, but do eventually add up to a very long list of options which make it hard to find a specific recipe at times.

Final Touches

image021To wrap things up there are several new recipes:

  • Scholars are getting new “Book of the Wind-rider” & “Book of the Whisper-draw” recipes for use by Hunters
  • Cooks are getting some new Cooked Food recipes
  • All Crafting Guilds are getting new level 65 1st Age Weapon & Class Item recipes (woohoo!)

And as far as “The Surprise” goes?  Well, the only hint that Turbine would give is the picture on the right; which we would guess means that they are going to change or revert the sound that is currently made when smoking.  Good thing too, because that new noise just didn’t make much sense and a lot of people found it fairly annoying.  But hey, not all changes work out as intended, right?

I would say that overall most of these changes are good and I’m glad to see progression being made in revising the different professions and in lowering the barrier of progression.  A lot of people enjoy crafting, but it definitely is in need of a boost in some areas so hopefully this go some ways to providing it.  It will be interested to see how the higher level armor stacks against its current renditions, or if it has changed at all.  And craftable 1st Ages?  I’m going to have to look into that as well.


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1 comment:

  1. I think there is rumor of new shapes for the pipeweed smoke as well.