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How much depth should professions have?


Stroam
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Depth vs Casual  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. Should be professions be casual enough that everyone wants to do them or deep enough that some dont?

    • Casual enough so that it doesn't take much time to do any one profession.
      1
    • Enough depth so that some do not want to, leading room for others to specialize.
      7
    • Late game professions should take so much time that players will only want to do one or two of them.
      7


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When I've played on modded minecraft servers including TFC servers there was the issue that if I specialized in something like farming grains and I would grow lots of grains, no one wanted those grains. Players preferred to do everything themselves. I believe this was because growing grains took so little time and so trivial, there was no need for someone to specialize in it. Yet if it's was sufficiently complex and time-consuming enough that not everyone wanted to do it, there would be complaints that it is too tedious and time-consuming. So which camp are you in? Should every profession be trivial enough that everyone wants to do everything or should there be sufficient enough depth to professions that they require time that not everyone is willing to put into them? Obviously, this is a balancing act so where do you fall on that spectrum?

Right now VS is heading toward casual to the point it doesn't make sense for anyone to specialize.

One issue is what do you do when there is no one to fulfill that role because it's either single player, no one on the server wants to do that, or the person who did that is currently taking a break? The solution to that, in my opinion, is an NPC trader.

Edited by Stroam
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I like the idea of professions.

My idea is that for every aspect of the game we should have a basic setting and a very complex setting.

In TFC, a Master Smith had value,  because his tools were more efficient and had more durability.

If we expand that idea into other professions, we could have in a way so the best farmer would produce grains that are better than the ones by an ordinary player. His fruits would give more health points and satiate more hunger.

Just an example here on the farming.

My point is that any player should be able to survive by himself. But the very good items can only be made by Master professionals.

Another example, when we have animal husbandry. Any player is able to domesticate a few animals and forget about that part of the game, just occasionally feeding his animals and using the benefits from them. The master has dedicated enough time to breed the animals and has enough of them to select specific ones for procreation, in a way that he ends up having cows that produce more milk eating the same amount of food. Horses that are faster and have more stamina. Donkeys that can carry more weight. And so on and so forth.

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I would like to see professions in style of the survival plus mod for Ark (http://survival-plus.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Professions), where every player can only have one important profession. This makes server play much more interesting, encouraging trade and groups. But this also brings some problems, like every profession needing to be equally viable and no profession being required for successful play, singleplayer would also suffer from this.

I'm really split on the introduction of roleplaying elements in VS as it would shift the game and all of it's mechanics to character skill based, rather than player skill based. On the one hand, player skill based mechanics are harder to design and implement, but are also more rewarding and fun, which is why I generally prefer them. On the other hand, character skill based mechanics, while much easier to design and implement, could serve as an extra layer of progression and lean more towards an working ingame economy.

My best bet would be to only lock recipes or recipe efficiency behind professions, i.e. a player with a smith profession needing less steel to forge a sword, but the swords quality still depending on the smithing skill of the player (not character).

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3 hours ago, Stroam said:

Right now VS is heading toward casual to the point it doesn't make sense for anyone to specialize.

And that's how I like it. This isn't an MMO, so I'd rather be able to do everything by myself (Something I want to do in MMOs too, but that's another topic) without having to rely on other players, who may or may not be online/still playing on a server. Or if there's no person who specializes in A, but you're specialized in B, you're boned if you want A.

3 hours ago, Stroam said:

I thought I'd revive this discussion with a question. When I've played on modded minecraft servers including TFC servers there was the issue that if I specialized in something like farming grains and I would grow lots of grains, no one wanted those grains. Players preferred to do everything themselves. I believe this was because growing grains took so little time and so trivial, there was no need for someone to specialize in it.

Or - hear me out - people just want to be self sufficient and not depend on the goodwill of someone else. I dunno, I just don't like being forced into a situation where I have to trade with other people. It should be purely optional.

Plus let's not forget how these changes would impact single player. If there's an enforced need for specialization, there's a good chance it could make singleplayer annoying. 

Edited by Balduranne
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48 minutes ago, Balduranne said:

And that's how I like it. This isn't an MMO, so I'd rather be able to do everything by myself (Something I want to do in MMOs too, but that's another topic) without having to rely on other players, who may or may not be online/still playing on a server. Or if there's no person who specializes in A, but you're specialized in B, you're boned if you want A.

Or - hear me out - people just want to be self sufficient and not depend on the goodwill of someone else. I dunno, I just don't like being forced into a situation where I have to trade with other people. It should be purely optional.

Plus let's not forget how these changes would impact single player. If there's an enforced need for specialization, there's a good chance it could make singleplayer annoying. 

1

As I mentioned above to the exact issues you are raising, there could and should be an NPC trader. In fact, the NPC trader is in active development.

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I think perhaps the best case would be if a system could be implemented that fairly easily supports both styles.  It needs to allow a single player to do everything, and that should be the default I think, but I think there should be a way for a server to fairly easily make professions a thing.  

I think this would basically require having a coded skill level for every trade which you want to be a profession.  I don't think it's feasible to make a player-skill link for every profession.  Right now prospecting seems to be a love/hate thing, so of course those that like it could make a trade of it.  But unlike TFC where the smithing did require a certain irl knowledge and talent in dealing with the randomly seeded target and keeping ingots warm but not melted, in VS the system is just a paint-by-numbers exercise.  It's visually fun, but does not require player skill.  When you get into stuff like farming, animal husbandry, leather making, etc, I've not seen any proposals as to how those could be made to require player skill.  Animal breeding in a Mendelian sense could be an exercise in irl record-keeping, I guess.  I think the more player-skill-based you make a task, the more you make it difficult to also allow a single player to do everything. 

And I'm not convinced the trader is the answer in single player.  In single player I think it is indeed good to allow the player to do it all if they want.  Give them the option of the trader though, certainly.   The trader becomes a very good bridge-solution for when there's no player currently active that does a specific trade.  And when I say 'currently active' I mean like over a weeks timespan.  I'm really hoping that VS will have good support for player-ran merchants, that will make it easy for professionals to set up a shop that other players can visit when the professional is simply offline.   It's the long-term lack of a profession that could become a concern, imo.

I think my favorite solution to the issue is a decaying skill system, with a decay rate variable, and 'lock-in' level points.    So in this system the player gains experience in a skill by doing it.  But if they then don't do it for awhile, the skill decays, according to the decay rate.  However, every time the player levels they get a number of 'lock-in' points.  They can use this to lock in a tier of skill, so that it will not decay below that tier.   So the player maybe gets a lock point at level 1, and they use that to lock in their journeyman smithing skill.  Now they can never fall below journeyman, even if they slack on it a long time.   However, they did not lock in farming, and so even if they raise their farming to expert, if they do not lock it in, and stop doing it, they can lose it all.   The universal gain speed variable is what allows it to be changed for single vs SMP play.  In single player the variable is set very low, or perhaps even at 0 (0 = no decay at all).   The lock in points per level can also be configured.  So the player can get 0 (for really hardcore play) 1, 2, or whatever.  An SMP server could set it at an amount where a player can only really lock in all the points in 1 skill, or they can lock in a few in several.   A more lenient server could be more generous.  I think this system would allow everyone to get the experience they want, with only two variables.   Server admins can be expected to dig into the config, but single player should be balanced for a pretty casual playstyle probably. 

So basically my answer to the poll is, the game should support all 3, but default to choice 1 in single player (hence I'm not answering the poll).  I would also point out that the above solution would give a point to levels.  Which currently have no point and really shouldn't even be shown imo, until they actually mean something.  I think every LP I've seen the people have wondered aloud what levels do.  Having them shown when they do nothing just adds to the incomplete feel, which we don't need.

Edited by redram
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I did not see anyone commenting on my solution for the question.

Players should be able to survive and get all building blocks alone if that's what they desire.

Skills would be more a question of personal taste and time spent doing what you enjoy and learning about it.

One more example:

Planting crops should be open to any player.

A player that wants to specialize as a farmer, would take the time to analyze the plants and look for varieties, cross-pollinate them to produce better plants. 

Some characteristics of better plants could be: 

  1. Resistance to cold.
  2. Resistance to heat.
  3. More Yield
  4. .The food would give more health points, as in being a healthier food.
  5. Satiete more hunger bars.

Understand that this is just an example of how one can achieve professions in the game. Not actually advocating for this particular idea.

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In my opinion, every skill should be accessible and easy to do by anyone, but the resulting produce will be of bad/decent quality, whereas a profession in something can yield high quality products. 

So anyone can farm, smith, mine but you can get superior food from a farmer, superior weapons from a blacksmith and superior ore from a miner.

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6 hours ago, Tyron said:

So anyone can farm, smith, mine but you can get superior food from a farmer, superior weapons from a blacksmith and superior ore from a miner.

Also an option, though I question how practical it will be to implement in many cases.  Blacksmithing is easy enough, sure, and I'm definitely all for quality in blacksmithing products.   

But superior ore?  How does that work?  Miners get more ore dropped when they mine a block?  The game is so metal dependent I think you'd risk ending up with nearly everyone a miner or blacksmith in that case (depending on the details of course). 

Superior food from farming.   Will it be superior, or simply greater in quantity?  Considering that cooking should create the best food (right?), will having a better quality base building block really be able to mean that much? Will filling .75 hunger bars rather than .5 be compelling vs cooking either one up and filling 1.5?  If you make it multiplicative through tiers you probably just created a balancing nightmare.    And plant breeding is a fun idea, but again, I'm skeptical you can make those little improvements meaningful enough to draw anyone away from the metal related professions (anyone who wouldn't have already styled themselves a farmer anyway).   Though breeding entirely new types of plants might be compelling. 

In the end, without providing more solid divisions between skills, I think you'll end up skewing the population to the skills with the best results- i.e. smithing.   And that's not the worst thing in the world.  You'll still have players who will focus on other stuff just because they like it and others don't.  The current propicking would be a good example.  Cartography also has that potential.   Mining was an example even in TFC - some people just don't like it because it's too grindy for them.  Others love it.   Also if you make some things complicated enough, the sheer time/memory involved with allow for some specialization.  For instance bringing a variety of diseases and pests into farming/ranching.  But I have a feeling smithing will always reign supreme if there's not harder divisions between skills.

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7 hours ago, Tyron said:

In my opinion, every skill should be accessible and easy to do by anyone, but the resulting produce will be of bad/decent quality, whereas a profession in something can yield high quality products. 

So anyone can farm, smith, mine but you can get superior food from a farmer, superior weapons from a blacksmith and superior ore from a miner.

So what separates an amateur from a professional in this case?

I was saying that the complexity of farming, (and by farming I mean any profession), would be such that to get a good yield would require much decision making on the farmers part. As in when and what to plant based on a whole host of considerations such as the nutrients, soil type,  predicted light and temperature, are the crops heat/cold/weed/pest resistant, how often the crops needs to be watered so they aren't under/over watered. This is opposed to a system where players have a farming skill that goes up each time they perform an action such as planting and harvesting, and the level of that skill determines quantity and quality of the product. Though to be fair most players are more familiar with a skill-based approach because it's easier to program and doesn't tax the mind. Having the farmland within 3 blocks of water, planting, and then coming back in two or three days to harvest takes way less time, consideration, and programming than a plant that likes the soil to be dry but needs watering every x days depending on temperature but if you water it and then it rains for two days straight it might get too much and stress the plant out resulting in a lower yield at the end of the season and where you could have instead let it get a little too dry by not watering it and then letting the rain do its thing would have resulted in less stress and higher yeild.

Again I'm using farming because that is what I know but it could be blacksmithing and needing to keep the metal at a certain temperature while working it and other such complexities. It should be like playing poker. One bad hand most likely won't lose you the game, but continually making bad bets will.

Edited by Stroam
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6 hours ago, Tyron said:

In my opinion, every skill should be accessible and easy to do by anyone, but the resulting produce will be of bad/decent quality, whereas a profession in something can yield high quality products.

As @redram mentioned, better quality doesn't fit in all cases. I would rather advice to go with differing quantity and leave quality to the player's skills. Better quality stuff should always feel rewarding and therefore be tied to player skill rather than character skill.

Quality is a reward, much more than quantity. One amazing sword is better than two decent ones.

The rewards should imo be tied to challenges, i.e. player skill, how good the player is at the smithing minigame. If the player doesn't get rewarded for such challenges, the challenges will become annoying because the player won't strive to be better.

If rewards would be tied to character skills, they only serve to reward the playtime of the player. Skills would obviously increase by repeated activities requiring the skill, like farming or smithing: more time spend smithing -> greater character smithing skill. Skills are therefore, in their nature, only increased by repetitive tasks, i.e. grinding. Locking rewards behind grinding isn't a bad thing, but it can contribute to more grinding, creating a vicious circle, where the player feels the need to max out a skill, to get the best rewards. The grind itself isn't enjoyable, only the rewards are.

Rewarding the character skills (grind) with better quantities will still keep the character skills relevant and grind somehow rewarding. Furthermore and most importantly, greater quantities wouldn't cause a vicious cycle as there wouldn't be need to strive for the best (-> quality) rewards, players who have played longer and therefore have acquired greater character skill, won't need to grind as much in the future, because they will require more (-> quantity) rewards in less time.

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Looks like most people here, like me, are against a system that rewards grinding. Just because someone harvested 1000 crops that should not make him a better master farmer and give him better crops and yield a better harvest. I always hated in some games where I had to sit down and make 100 swords just to unlock a skill, so I could finally make a better sword. 

I want a system that rewards actual player skill, not character skill.

One idea for smithing: Keep the anvil work the way it is right now, anyone is able to go to the anvil and make basic tools and weapons. But...

The player has the option to choose a special setting that would turn each voxel into 4, the design of each tool, or weapon would be refined, also, no way to replace a lost mini voxel, 

Not every player would be willing to spend the time and effort to work with voxels so small. Some players would just have a natural talent and firm hands to work like that.

Any tool or weapon produced like that would be of superior quality. Other factors may also be included, to make even superior quality.

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