1. We have a QA initiative where we work with the community more closely than ever to get your bug reports into the hands of the developers. Please use this forum for LIVE Server bug reporting. Do follow the format below, because it will help us out greatly in responding. If you do not, it's possible your bug report will be misinterpreted, or worse, lost!

    Read BEFORE submitting your first bug: Reporting Bugsā€¦ QA 101 Document
    • Search for your bug before posting in order to avoid duplicate reports.
    • Only reply to an existing thread if you have additional information for the reported bug. ALL extraneous commentary will be deleted to avoid cluttering the reports.
    • Keep your bug report short and factual.
    • There is no need to submit crash logs. Crash data we require is automatically logged.
    Bug Report Template
    1. Title:
    2. Reproduction Rate:
    3. Blocker?
    4. Details:
    5. Steps to Reproduce:
    6. User Specs:
    To get started, use /bug in-game (/devbug if on QA) to auto-create this template. It will even auto-fill some of the required information and open the browser for you. Then take the information that was just saved to your system's clipboard and paste it into a new QA forum post. Thank you bug hunters!
Dismiss Notice
This Section is READ ONLY - All Posts Are Archived

[Responded] Pulp: Missing the forest for the tree

Discussion in 'Release 65 Feedback' started by Mishikal, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Mishikal

    Mishikal Avatar

    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    2,471
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Brittany Estates
    While I appreciate the change to the wood pulp recipe that came as a result from @Chris starting the crafting challenge, it entirely misses the forest for the tree.

    Specifically, the problem that existed with wood pulp is not isolated to that one item. The majority of the crafting system suffers from the same problems as wood pulp, whether it's the artificial crafting cap (20 of X at a time), the exorbitantly long periods of time to do certain actions regardless of skill level, other artificial caps (you can only scrap 15 items at a time), etc.

    What's desperately needed is for the developers to actually spend some time (months) playing the actual game that has been created, particularly in the crafting arena, so they can truly grasp how awful things are.

    I mean seriously, in a challenge to just craft a few teleport scrolls, Chris gave up at the first step out of several steps. Just think of how frustrating it is for those of us who play the game to have to endure the entire process.

    So please, I beg of you, take some serious time to play the game that's been created. I've often found that what sounds good in theory often is not good in practice, and the crafting system is a splendid example of that.
     
  2. Lord Subtleton

    Lord Subtleton SotA Dev Moderator SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Sounds like you've got some experience with some "pain" points with the crafting system. You gave as example the making of teleport scrolls. Would you please take us though the process in detail, and discuss the pain points as you see them? This information might be helpful in framing a conversation for the developers.
     
  3. Mishikal

    Mishikal Avatar

    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    2,471
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Brittany Estates
    Well, there's a couple already here, but I'll gather more. But as I noted above:

    a) The arbitrary hard limit of doing things 20 at a time. This is endlessly frustrating (for example, I often craft potions in large batches in Alchemy)
    b) The arbitrary hard limit of scrapping 15 items at a time. I often come back from an adventuring foray with 50+ items of a given type to be scrapped (i.e., carpentry). Across *all* (blacksmithing/carpentry/tailoring)

    @Chris was going to see about a JIRA for adding a "max" button you could hit as well, to trivially and easily create "all" of what you could do for a given item at once.

    I'll dig up some more :)
     
  4. dcbdown

    dcbdown Avatar

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Here are just a few that seem to be implimented to purposely deter people from crafting or making it as much of a chore as possible:
    • Skill: Efficient Refine Metarials - Skills seem to do nothing ask most component level results are static; they don't result in an increased amount of product or save on materials for exceptionals or anything.(if the skills don't work, fix or remove them)
    • Skill: Batching Materials - Skills are pretty worthless, as it doesn't affect most components; there are far more crafting recipies locked at max 20 than there are that aren't.(if the skills don't work, fix or remove them)
    • Crafting Tools take durability hit for every action when it should be a % chance to take a hit per action just like combat (imagine if weapons or armor took a durability hit every time u swing, cast a spell, or got hit)
    • The arbitrary hard limit of doing things 20 at a time. This is endlessly frustrating (for example, I often craft potions in large batches in Alchemy) -Mishikal --This is true across many of the crafting skills.
    • The arbitrary hard limit of scrapping 15 items at a time. I often come back from an adventuring foray with 50+ items of a given type to be scrapped (i.e., carpentry). Across *all* (blacksmithing/carpentry/tailoring) - Mishikal
    There are already plenty of bottlenecks in crafting without adding these issues to the mix:
    • Gathering:
      • Gold/silver are already the bottlenecks for most 99% of gear, few places to get it, and it takes time. (rough average is around 100 ore/hr = 40 ingots worth)
        • Every request for gold/silver ingots has been ignored or brushed off so its safe to assume this is a purposeful bottleneck which is fine, but stacking all the previously mentioned extra on top of that is where the issues come in
      • All other crafting materials have multiple crafts that utilize them so its not really that much as is, yet the demand for all crafting materials would be much higher if crafting was more accessible.
    • SOTA Math:
      • This is an issue across the board on anything that shows a % chance of success, from gathering, spell casting fizzle, EVERYTHING, the % are wrong or the math is wrong, there are multiple instances of 100% chance of success and failing 3+ times in a row(really!??). This is especially true in the gathering arena.
    It comes down to what the devs feel is more important, new fluff items or fixing core game issues. Think of it like this way, would you rather someone get you a new outfit so u can walk to the store, or fix your car so you can drive. Actions not words is what matters and your priorities set the tone if people are willing take you seriously or expect tangible results.
     
  5. Mishikal

    Mishikal Avatar

    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    2,471
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Brittany Estates
    For a very small, limited set of items, both of these skills work. The first skill will occasionally produce an additional item. For example, you usually get 2 timber with the "timber from scraps" recipe. With Efficient Refine Materials in the milling tree, you will sometimes get a 3rd timber.

    Both skills are working as the developers intended. The problem is that the intention is flawed. For example, most often the next step after making timber is making wood boards, which these skills do *not* apply to, which means making a large number of boards is mind numbing and tedious (and often required when building out various furniture sets in particular).

    I.e., the fundamental problem with the above skills is that:

    a) They only apply to a tiny subset of items that need to be crafted
    b) They do not exist for the blacksmithing/tailoring/alchemy/cooking/carpentry trees, where they are also desperately needed.
     
    OzzyOsbourne and FrostII like this.
  6. FrostII

    FrostII Avatar

    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    9,113
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    BINGO, @Mishikal You nailed it !
     
  7. Jason_M

    Jason_M Avatar

    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I hope the pulp move is the first of many to come! It's badly needed.

    It has been badly needed for a very, very long time.

    You know we love and respect you, but... If you actually don't know the pain points, then you've become a bit out of touch with the game mechanics and the community.

    Please pardon the strong language, but the pain points aren't a closely held secret by any means. They're a popular topic in the Wishlist sub-forum and a broken record in the new player feedback.

    But you don't need to even check the forums to find them. You can identify them systematically.

    A Simple and Systematic View of Crafting Pain Points

    Firstly, check out the refining skills. Consider how many you can refine at one time and the time for the yellow bar to fill up. At GM "batching" you can get 60 at a time. Not bad, right?

    Now check out the production skills. Firstly, note that there are no batching skills. However, blacksmithy, carpentry, and tailoring need components. One can make a maximum of 20 of these at a time. This usually isn't an issue except for volume producers. However, you could make everyone a lot happier by reducing the yellow status bar times for producing components.

    This will not have a negative economic effect. NOBODY sells components. Almost never ever. The only component vendor in the whole bloody world is in Rinzai and that is more instructional than economic. This will only reduce the time spent between refinement and final production. In other words, you will reduce the gap between preparation and satisfsction.

    Reducing the yellow status bar time for components in the production skill is the first easy but high impact fix you can make. This however is not the biggest pain point - not by a country mile - and that is where the real rub is.

    Neglected in the Original Design: Volume Production Skills

    The most irksome part of crafting is also in the production skill tree. Alchemy and Cooking are indeed production skills but they are, by both their nature and design, volume production skills. Whereas a blacksmith will make 20 pieces of armor, a good cooking run can number in the hundreds of dishes. Avatars gotta eat. Potions, too.

    A quick-fix has recently been added to make more potions and scrolls per go (except for imbued which is silly because that's the only potion that is saleable. Saleable means volume production! Nobody is clamouring for 200 lesser focus potions. Why were imbued potions neglected in the update?)

    Cooking: The Skill Tree that Isn't a Tree

    Cooking is by far the most problematic crafting skill. Not only are there refined materials that must be made at only 20 at a time, but there are components made from these refined materials that also are arbitrarily limited to 20 at a time. This presents a colossal and unnecessary time sink. It's a pyramid shape of production where your capacity is not limited by skill, ability, or hard work, but by your ability to tolerate monotonous repetitive tasks.

    1. refine flour from wheat.

    2. refine butter from milk.

    3. refine nuts into cooking oil

    4. combine flour and butter to make dough component

    5. Cook.

    I like this recipe. I like the complexity. But making each thing 20 at a time - combining 20 at a time - and then finally cooking is a massive time sink. Refinement shouldn't be limited to 20 and components should either be likewise less limited or just plain faster.

    There is no refinement skill group for cooking. For this reason, please consider adding a batch refinement skill to the cooking production tree. It would be a huge boon to the players.

    The Problem with Arbitrary Time Sinks

    A final note: Virtual economics is a bizarre field of study. Time sinks don't improve the value of the final product. It should it doesn't. Prices are purely driven by cost of materials and rarity. Therefore wasting player time as a means of economic control just doesn't make sense. Making something less fun so that fewer people participate in it runs contrary to the purpose of a video game. We can all agree that questing for rare components, seeking harvestable materials, and complex recipes are all great ways to make production more challenging. Making them boring and time consuming to deter people from investing in this important game feature is not good game design at all.


    I hope this long and poorly scribbled outline has been useful. Again, apologies for the strong language. I'll make a quick summary:

    Busy Boy's Summary

    Complexity, uncommom components and materials from adventuring, etc, is great, but wasting time with unnecessarily limited monotonous tasks pushes people away.

    Making the yellow status bar faster for refining materials will benefit crafters while having no direct economic effect.

    The same can be done for components especially because they are never sold. Crafters always prefer to make their own for the exp.

    Cooking very badly needs batching of products. It has refine materials and components (and components made of refined materials) but no sub-skills to make their numbers greater than 20.

    Thank you again for expressing an interest in fixing these ancient woes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    OzzyOsbourne, Elrond, Elnoth and 3 others like this.
  8. Lazarus Long

    Lazarus Long Avatar

    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New Britannia

    Too little too late. The "FIX" is a bad band aid and the whole system needs a serious look and re vamp.

    Adding new recipes for batch just goes to show how out of touch this scenario is.

    And if the Devs played with these daily this would not be on the list of problems for the years that they have been complained about.

    So I believe that it's NOT the fact that the this topic hasn't been "Framed" for the Devs.

    But that some are just too out of touch with what's going on.

    This weeks Live stream shows a good point.

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/416772485?t=00h48m04s
    <just watch what happens here>

    Not one Dev could answer a simple question that was POSTED in the release notes.

    While this may seem funny... It's NOT!

    Sad Sad Sad.

    Laz
     
  9. Merrik

    Merrik Avatar

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    197
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Elysium
    @Lord Subtleton just a quick example.. when trying to make my taming collars, i get the batching bonuses when turning raw cotton into spools but not when refineing the spools of thread into straps... as i make them by the 100's this is very "painful" and in my case painful is both figurative as well as literal.. i have partially paralyzed hands and it literally hurts to click that many times... thank you.
     
    OzzyOsbourne and Mishikal like this.
  10. Mishikal

    Mishikal Avatar

    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    2,471
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Brittany Estates
    Yes... Atos promised a "max" button too, which would save some clicks/typing (even just putting 99 in to the box to get the max is tiresome and repetitive). And yes, one of the many problems is that "refining" is too narrowly scoped. Timber? yes. Wood boards? No. Spool of thread? yes, Bolts? no Straps? no, etc.
     
    OzzyOsbourne, Merrik and Jason_M like this.
  11. Dartan Obscuro

    Dartan Obscuro Avatar

    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    376
    Trophy Points:
    18
    A minor change which would make all crafting better would be in increase the durability of all the molds and tools. If you need to keep the gold sink, double the durability and price of the existing or better yet introduce high durability varieties with 10x or 100x the durability and cost.

    More fundamentally watching a progress bar isn't fun. In order to craft anything you need to refine a lot of material and create a lot of components. All that game time is just watching a progress bar. Is it really important that it's slow? Why not take a second to make 100 ingots? Or if it's important to slow down how quickly refining can be done then I'd rather drop my material off and then be notified when I can pick it up.
     
  12. Chrystoph Reis

    Chrystoph Reis Avatar

    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    1,828
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    I think this could be simply fixed by making all batches get larger based on skill, up to at least 100. Start at 1 and get +1 per level.

    I know I could deal with a hard 100 cap, but 20 is definitely too small.
     
  13. Amariithynar

    Amariithynar Avatar

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    8
    This isn't entirely correct. Value is added by time sinks through rarity. If enough people produce an object that involves a time sink, competition in market drives prices down until the value added by time is rendered negligible or even nonexistant. Time-added value is a premium, not a base factor. This is on top of *actual* rarity, as with beetles or resin from those harvesting nodes, which, arguably, is putting value on time because of the average amount of time it takes to obtain said item being the factor of rarity... ;P

    Now, as for the actual complaint here, as a new player: I agree with the batching and with the salvaging limits being too low. Even just a casual pass through an area like Highvale Outskirts easily gets me enough stuff to do 2 full salvages and a bit of extra stuff for multiple crafting disciplines. What I do NOT mind, however, is the time it takes to actually do the crafting processes. Things take time to do, so these should be left as they are. It gives temporal weight to the process of crafting, and makes you weigh the worth of it versus the time invested. Sure, as you get better within a discipline you should generally be able to do certain aspects of it faster, but overall things should still take time, especially in large batching (though I could see an argument being made for food and potions, as you can scale the ingredient volumes in preparation and make a larger batch that you then parcel out to individual portions, such as making an industrial cauldron-sized pot of soup or oatmeal/rice gruel/lentils, etc. as is done in government schools in India).
     
    Bedawyn likes this.
  14. Helvig Ingvildsdottir

    Helvig Ingvildsdottir Avatar

    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Helboer in Kahli
    Never read anything more true. I'm sometimes really wondering whether the secret goal of this game is to punish people for playing it. Serious. So many things that could be fun but are not.

    1. Stop the madness of hunting down that one NPC that sells a certain recipe. Recipes that can be bought from NPCS should be on all NPCs. Hunting stuff for hours on end to find some rare recipe is ok, it's a nice challenge and makes new crafted things and recipes worth at least something for a short period of time until everyone has the recipe. But it's not fun to have to look up which NPC has which recipe and then travel around to find them all.
    2. Increase batch size for everything.
    3. Decrease time needed to make stuff. Nothing says "time thief" more clearly than watching a creeping progress bar! It's one of the most annoying things in the world, and I definitely don't want to see it in a game where I spend my very precious freetime! :mad:
    4. Increase the number of wood gathered from one tree, and increase the number of harvestable trees in a scene.
    5. Do a reality check for everything wood. Is it realistic that I have to cut down up to 3 trees in order to make 2 wooden boards?
    6. Increase the number of uses for molds and the like. At least for things where there is no indestructible version that you can buy for hard cash from other players.
    7. Make it possible to select a complex recipe and, if you do not have the needed components but the ingredients for these components, craft them from there. If I want to make wolf srprise and have no pie dough, I want to be able to immediately with one mouse click start that preparation step.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  15. Bedawyn

    Bedawyn Avatar

    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    464
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I'm hoping that in this case at least, the "squeaky wheel" does NOT get the grease. I very much like the realism that refining tasks that would be repetitive and uncreative for the character are also repetitive and uncreative for the player, and the person willing to put the time in despite the tedium gets the reward (in this case, the reward being components that they don't have to spend money buying). If players don't want the tedium, let them spend money to support those willing to put the time in.

    The same tedium, though, should NOT apply to the higher level crafting skills. Tedious smelting and milling, yes. Blacksmithing and carpentry, no. If it's truly an artisan mastery skill, not something you'd set the apprentices to doing so the master doesn't have to, then I shouldn't be watching Netflix while I do it.

    On the other hand, I truly don't understand the call for people to be able to create mass industrial-size quantities of things at once, not in a medieval-tech environment. If they want to create expensive and rare "factory" versions of the crafting tables, go for it, but it shouldn't be the standard.

    But making what should be common recipes available to solo and offline players, via discovery according to your skill level, NPC merchants, or nonviolent crafting quests, instead of requiring you to travel all over the world hunting them, schmoozing up other players to get them, or abandoning your profession to go adventure for random drops? Making tools craftable with better durability? (Most real blacksmiths never made a sword in their life -- their livelihood depended on cooking pots and sickles.) And oh my god, a reality check on the amount of raw materials necessary to make a finished product?! THOSE things should be a given.
     
    Amariithynar likes this.
  16. Jason_M

    Jason_M Avatar

    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I don't mean to be facetious, but arguing for the sake realism in tedium is rather bizarre. My character can carry 900 lbs of gear without a backpack, take a hail of arrows to his bare chest and barely be scathed, and build a 4 story house on a 2 m2 workbench in less than a minute.

    Realism that runs contrary to enjoyment is a hard argument to win in a video game.

    The argument also tanks utterly when people cannot in fact be rewarded for their heroic masochism becauase teleport scrolls are commom loot in supply bundles which ensures that prices will always be artificially suppressed.

    I get that some people are really married to the click-click-click mindlessness, but I don't reckon many other people are hence this thread.
     
  17. Bedawyn

    Bedawyn Avatar

    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    464
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I know I'm an odd duck in as far as I like my simulated worlds to be as realistically detailed as possible. Obviously, some level of realism has to be foregone in favor of a playable game, but in this case, I think some tedium would actually help the player economy, if people let it. I've heard it commented on that everyone makes their own components, while complaining about the process to do so. Well, why? Why not just let the people who don't mind tedium make the components? Then the people who do mind can buy them and get to make their own finished stuff with less tedium. Everyone would end up happy. (Presuming, of course, that the needed improvements mentioned above were also implemented.)

    And in my own case... I said in my welcome post that I wanted two things out of the game: adventuring that I would only have time for a few hours a week at most, when the game had my full attention, and crafting that I could do while I was either braindead and tired or multitasking, which would be a lot more often. Make everything require my full attention, and the amount of time I can spend on the game drops precipitously. So I do think there's room for both, to match different play styles. It shouldn't be "contrary to enjoyment" but not everyone enjoys the same things all the time. The game shouldn't be forcing people who don't enjoy tedious refining to engage in it, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for tedious refining for those it suits.
     
    Amariithynar likes this.
  18. Amariithynar

    Amariithynar Avatar

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Additionally- you're an adventurer? Gather all those mats and get a crafter friend to put them together into something, for a small fee, since you're providing your materials, and they're providing their labour and expertise. Simple as that, you get a living player economy.
     
    Bedawyn likes this.