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Crafting

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Crafting is the act of taking existing minerals and items and modifying or combining them to create new ones. Whereas in other MMOs crafting might be an optional activity alongside gathering the gear that spawn naturally, crafting plays a key role in the Chronicles of Elyria economy, as it's the only way non-natural things like pickaxes, walls and armor are created. In addition, crafting itself is one of the seven major skill trees, and the quality of items will depend on the quality of its materials and the personal and numeric skill level of its creator. Different professions, such as candle making, swordsmithing, and tailoring, will also be their own individual skills for players to specialize in. Because of this, crafted items will be a highly traded commodity, and market forces will encourage people interested in crafting to pick a trade and barter their brand of items with local communities.

Getting Started with Crafting[edit | edit source]

One of the problems you encounter in most MMOs is the inability get started with a crafting skill or profession. You want to be a blacksmith? Great. But that requires money to buy resources, tools, and crafting supplies. In most MMOs this requires you to head out into the fields to kill a few bunnies, gain some coin, and then come back and sell off the vendor trash before you have enough money to do what you want to do.

In CoE, thanks to the power of contracts, we've mitigated this problem by offering apprenticeships and loans. Most villages or towns will have a resident expert in a specific crafting skill. If you go to them, they may be willing to offer you an apprenticeship. This will result in them providing you tasks that will help you develop the skills you need to improve. And, because they're getting free labor from you, they'll cover the supply costs for you. Once you move from Apprentice to Journeyman, many of them will even be willing to pay you for your service.

Finally, reaching the rank of Expert in a crafting or gathering profession will usually result in NPC loan agents being willing to grant you a loan to set up a small operation. They'll take everything you own as collateral, of course, but it means you can start your small business with nothing but your wits and dedication. As well, PC's may be willing to sign a loan contract even earlier than that if they trust your ability to pull a profit. But what really determines your crafting ability? Character skill? Player skill? Both!

Skill Challenges[edit | edit source]

The game breaks skills down into two fundamental categories: Combat Skills & Non-Combat skills. Regardless of the larger category all skills in Chronicles of Elyria require some degree of player skill. In the case of combat skills it's fairly obvious how character skill and player skill intermix. Timing, reflexes, and intuition have long been staples in traditional fighting games as well as aim based combat systems. Add onto that damage and reflex modifiers and you've got a hybrid combat system.

With non-combat skills it's a little more complicated. With CoE, we really wanted a system that went beyond simple progress bars and instead engaged the player in the activity they were performing. As a result, we've developed a dozen or so "Skill Challenges" which provide players an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities within the specific skillset.

Stencil Challenge for Blacksmithing

As an example. In the Stencil Challenge you can see a simple Blacksmithing Skill Challenge. Here, the player is required to cut out the shape of the axe blade they are trying to create. While it might not look like much, there's a couple things happening that may not be obvious. First, the more complicated the object, the more complicated the shape the player must cut out. Second, the higher the absolute difficulty of the object, the less time the player has to cut it out. Third, the larger the difference between the character's skill and the skill of the item, the wider or narrow the margin of error.

What's the end result? The better you are as a player, the more likely you are to attain higher character skill-levels. It should also be noted that several challenge types will be used across different crafting types. For example, blacksmithing, leather-working, and tailoring all use the stencil challenge shown in Figure 2.

In addition to the Stencil Challenge shown above we've got a dozen other challenges planned which will be used with different shared skill sets. We're looking at a musical, Guitar-Hero style challenge for musical skills, "find the item" type challenges for Tracking and other related skills, whack-a-mole type challenges for other smithy related tasks, and even "operation" style problems for first-aid! Want to remove the spear-head from your allies' wound? Don't touch the sides!

Item Specialization & Research[edit | edit source]

Partly as a way of preventing grind, Chronicles of Elyria allows for intense item specialization. One can become a master of crafting specific items even before becoming a master at a specific craft or trade. This has to two fundamental implications.

It means that if you want to become a master weapon smith, able to create Sword blades that are unparalleled in the land, you can do that simply by crafting sword blades. You don't have to craft metal tools, axe blades, or metal steaks in order to get your blacksmithing skills high enough. Spend your time focusing on the things you want to make.

CoE is a game of technology and research. At some point in the future someone may (hypothetically speaking) discover the ability to make longbows, recurve bows, and eventually compound bows. In other MMOs, the discovery of a recurve bow would force all new players to grind through knowledge of how to make short bows and long bows just to learn how to make a recurve bow. However, In Chronicles of Elyria, beyond gathering the materials necessary, there are no skill requirements for crafting any item, no matter how newly discovered or advanced the recipe. Of course, the early results may be horrible, but skill advances quicker at developing recurve bows if when practicing recurve bows, as opposed to practicing making short bows as an intermediary.

Crafting Recipes[edit | edit source]

As with many other MMOs, Chronicles of Elyria allows the transfer of knowledge, specifically in the crafting skills, through recipes. Having a recipe and being able to read the language, grants you the knowledge necessary to attempt to craft something. If you also have sufficient skill you'll be able to reproduce the item. Unlike other MMOs there's a synergy between crafting and the Scribing skills, as those who have sufficient Bardic skill can create their own recipes to give to others in order to share the knowledge.

Component-based Crafting[edit | edit source]

Chronicles of Elyria utilizes a component-based crafting model that both encourages collaboration and also allows Producers to specialize in the types of objects they want to create.

If you want to create a sword, you'll need a couple different components. In specific, you'll need the blade and the hilt, the latter being made up of a handle, a cross-guard, and a pommel. The handle again being made up of a wooden handle and some kind of binding.

As you assemble the final product, you'll have the opportunity to swap out components for higher or lower quality components as desired. And sometime, changing the type of component, such as changing from a straight blade to a curved blade, can even change the type of item you're creating and lead to the discovery of new recipes or patterns.

Progressive Construction[edit | edit source]

Chronicles of Elyria also uses the concept of progressive construction or "value added". This means it's possible to take a simple item, either assembled or unassembled and make it progressively better by adding onto it. For example, you can take any standard blade and add a groove to it to make it lighter. You can also take any existing blade and add filigree, etching, or even serration.[1]

Crafting Skills[edit | edit source]

See Crafting Skills for a list of individual crafting skills.

Crafting Products[edit | edit source]

See Crafting Products for a list of items that can be crafted in Chronicles of Elyria.

Professions List[edit | edit source]

Professions list from Kickstarter image provided by Soulbound Studios

"Chronicles of Elyria doesn't define specific professions. Instead, it encourages players to take skills from across different skill trees and combine them in unique ways in order to define their own professions."[1] Most of these professions are suppliers or producers but there are other character roles as well.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" Design Journal #9 : Crafting & Professions Design Journals - Chronicles of Elyria.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter Description
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Caspian, Official Tribes: Brudvir, 08 June 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Jeromy Walsh, "Caspian" Official Tribes: Neran 6/1/2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 Caspian, Official Tribes: Hrothi, 7 June 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Caspian, Official Tribes: Dras, 18 June 2017
  7. Jeromy Walsh, "Caspian" DJ #10 Maps, Cartography and Navigation 23th October 2015
  8. Q&A Live Chat session 26th October 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Caspian, Official Tribes: Kypiq, 17 June 2017
  10. Caspian, Ep Kits and Item Projection, 8 May 2017
  11. Caspian, Official Tribes: Janoa, 18 June 2017
  12. Jeromy Walsh, "Caspian" DJ #13 Technology 18th November 2015
  13. Jeromy Walsh, "Caspian" DJ #7 Contracts and Player Created Professions 29th September 2015