Suggestion: Speed up crafting

The awaited Median XL sequel is coming - discuss it here.
Grasshopper
Pit Knight
114 | -5
HechtHeftig wrote:That wasn't the point I was trying to make. Your concept is: less shrines and better rolls.

That is not the concept, that is an example solution.

The concept is: less time in town, more time playing the game --> same crafted items.

Again you are mixing up my EXAMPLE solution with a concept. The example was only to clarify the concept as I have said a few times now.[/quote]

And please don't take my sentences out of context.
Ermm, well, one of is is certainly doing that :)

The point I keep trying to make is that there as SO many ways to do this. I am NOT trying to get into a discussion of one, or of one solution versus another - the concept is about what we do with our time in the game, not how that is achieved.

One point here is that the stochastic element of the game (most people would probably know it as "RNG") is up for discussion anyway. If you try to entice people onto the MP servers with a ladder, then the case for reducing reducing RNG is stronger. Otherwise you have one person getting a perfect roll on the first attempt, who then steamrollers the game and tops the ladder. Another person takes forever to get a decent item and is effectively stuck. The second player may be the better player but we cannot tell. And yes I realise that the time they play will be the main factor, but although there will always be some randomness, there is a strong case for reducing it to a minimum if you want to have a game with a real sense of being skill-based especially when there may be PvP involved. Did the best man win or was it due to him getting a luckier roll on his weapon?

How desirable it is to iron out those inequalities is a separate discussion - I'm not taking a side here, only pointing out that it's not really valid to see it as an immutable fact that randomness is desirable feature.

I would certainly agree that games need to satisfy the reward centres of the brain, but for everyone who says "Wow a great roll" there's someone saying "Wow. A great drop". If you get to the point where a shrine drop is rare enough that it is effectively "Wow,. I can now make a great item" then the reward system works well enough to have people want to continue playing. That's all part of the balance/design question more than the "requirements" question.
Grasshopper
Pit Knight
114 | -5
Fumbles wrote:I haven't used the tools ryunp/krys made so can't speak on their behalf but D2Clicker is awesome. It makes shrine crafting a breeze.

I may try it but it's not really how I want to be spending my game time either. I'm also quite careful what I download. But if it's as simple as you say then maybe. I spent quite a long while configuring D2stats with regular expressions to notify me of only the drops I am interested in. Then testing the configuration. It felt more like work time than play time to be honest. But each to their own.


These tools should be more than enough until sigma arrives.
Actually I thought I was posting in a Sigma forum - have I got the wrong place? That said, I get the impression that some of the sigma suggestions make it into the current game anyway, so maybe it's not a bad thing either way.

Thanks for your thoughts on the tools though.
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suchbalance
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The example you give in the first post doesn't work because of many reasons, but I will say that we agree with the general sentiment. We would like for players to spend less time doing busy work and more time killing monsters and having fun. The problem, as with many other player suggestions, is that it's not that simple.

First of all there will always be an inherent variance in the rare/crafted item creation system for the simple reason that we have lots of variety. There are many different builds which require different stats with different priorities.

Second, rarity is not a full proof solution for most players. Making it harder to interact with the crafting system and giving comparatively increased rewards leads to a worse game experience overall, despite the fact that you reduce time spent in the cube. For example, let's say it takes the average player 5 minutes of killing monsters to get a shrine, which in turn gives them an X chance to get their desired item. Most players would feel like they are having a lot less fun if a shrine dropped every 50 minutes but gave a 10X chance to get their desired item.

- Smaller rewards in frequent intervals keep you engaged and make you want to play more to get that next "hit"
- Low drop rates lead to more severe variance in the time it takes to find an item, which leads to a higher chance of players simply giving up
- Many players can't or aren't willing to spend extended periods of time per play session, they just want to hop on kill some monsters and get something for their time

etc.

To give an analogy: there is a reason slot machines offer Y chance of winning the jackpot and it takes $0.25 to play, instead of 100Y chance requiring $25 per spin to play. Interacting with the system more frequently is a more fun experience for most people even if there is a larger amount of busy work compared to interacting with it less but having the same outcome on average.

Also with the QoL changes such as ctrl clicking items in and out of different inventory windows and having a hotkey for the transmute button the time spent in the cube will feel shorter since it won't be nearly as painful.
brassmuffler
Sasquatch
60 | 1
I'd be in favour of crafted items working more like honorifics where you can sort of build your item over time. Maybe making the reagents only work on crafted items, and only drop them once shrines can drop. Maybe let an uber have a drop bias for them. That way the time cubing is mitigated a bit since the randomness moves to loot rather than cube. Obviously it would need more design/development than my quick idea here, but at least with this general design philosophy you don't feel like you could roll forever and still never get what you want. Of course thats still the way loot may work, but maybe it'd also be a fun way to get people to tweak their builds in unplanned/unusual ways.
Grasshopper
Pit Knight
114 | -5
suchbalance wrote:...

I am certainly glad to hear that your philosophy is to increase playing time.
Re the example I gave (I wish I never mentioned it now!) it was only an example of one possible solution - there are many ways to do it.

However it may be worth pointing out where the analogy of the slot machine needs to be adjusted slightly. I should stress that I do NOT want to defend the example, since it was just an example to clarify the concept, but it may have more merit than it is being given credit for to date...

Continuing your slot machine analogy, the slot machine designer does not have to care where the player gets the money to play the machine whereas in a game, the 'money' (crafting ingredients) to put in the 'slot machine' is also being generated in the game. Therefore the reward system covers the entire process from getting the 'money' to the use of the machine itself (to create the output item).

In my example, the use of the slot machine itself (the transmute in the cube) - would be short and sweet (high reward, obtained quickly). Getting the ingredients ("the money" to put in the slot machine) would be the part where the rewards process needs careful consideration.

As you say, grinding for a long time for one shrine may not be ideal. So perhaps grinding for smaller parts to accumulate (note: this is an example, not a suggested solution) - one possibility is that you need to combine 10 mini-shrines into a craft-able shrine object. This would follow principles of deferred gratification, since the player would be aware that the incremental progress is leading to a large reward. Many, many alternative ways this can be designed of course.

Also, the other post where I mentioned one of the other (many) ways to do it may be slightly preferable - to have a way for the user to control the process (to some degree at least). Whether by extra ingredients (e.g. mana potion adds +skills guarantee) or by simply building up the item as per honorifics... all these and many more are all possible. I would not want see a pure honorific approach personally but it has merit (it certainly removes as much RNG as possible from the game - whether that's desirable or not is another debate).

As I say - I'm only glad to hear that your thinking on time spent playing versus crafting is in line with my own views and also good to hear of the QoL changes in the pipeline. Keep up the good work! :)
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ryunp
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Grasshopper wrote:...

► Too Much Talk
► Not Enough Solution
Strigvir
Stone Warrior
33 | 2
suchbalance wrote:To give an analogy: there is a reason slot machines offer Y chance of winning the jackpot and it takes $0.25 to play, instead of 100Y chance requiring $25 per spin to play. Interacting with the system more frequently is a more fun experience for most people even if there is a larger amount of busy work compared to interacting with it less but having the same outcome on average.

I didn't know ARPGs were slot machines.
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HornedReaper
Acid Prince
46 | 1
What is RNGesus
Litteraly every drops are RNG based aka slot machine itemization
Roenan
Sasquatch
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Personal opinion - I think shrine crafting is pretty good the way it stands. QoL upgrades to make crafting easier I think would be universally welcomed. The only aspect of crafting anything that drives me crazy is prepping base items for rune words. Gold is easy enough to farm by the time you're working on base items, and it's just a maddening revolving door of renewing items to get 30+ ED and then praying your luck potion applies the bonus. With some builds needing 4+rw's and the time it takes to prep each one, I feel that there's still enough dynamics to rw and jewel crafting that reducing the rng ranges superior items could have would only serve to enhance that experience and keep players playing, and optimizing your jewels is far more interesting than rerolling a base 300 times to get usable stats.

Alternatively, one could consider keeping everything the same and adding another reagent to the lucky recipe to grant a greater chance of success - something like the belladonna pots. The drop rates on those are okay but still fairly low from my experience, and then it forces a player to weigh keeping it for a respec or using it to better his odds of not wasting 3 hours rolling base items. I'm not suggesting 100% - the player needs the risk of wasting the belladonna or whatever alternate item. I don't know what the correct value would be - maybe increase to 25/33/50% chance of luck success.

Tl;Dr - base item rerolling isn't a whole lot of fun.

Just my $0.02