Crafting / gathering chokepoints -- and solutions

(1) Many crafts take too much materials, requiring too much gathering. This can literally eat up days for very little net return.
For example, trying to level Engineering or Furnishing. These can use up materials needed for other crafts that are not reliably / quickly obtained in vast amounts, such as iron. Or require extremely tedious amounts of gathering such as hundreds of Flint to process Gunpowder only to throw away the vast amounts of Gunpowder. And yet making Gunpowder is one of the better ways of levelling Engineering because the materials are plentiful and do not take away materials for other crafting/refinement.

Solution:

  • More Town Board missions for Crafting and representing all crafts. Currently Jewelry, Engineering, and Furnishing are not represented at all, for example.
  • These missions should be of the template similar to “Craft Armaments” missions, where you get a special quest item and a special formula to craft, which awards a sizable amount of crafting skill. Typically they use low-tier materials in limited quantities.
  • A wider array of materials should be used whenever possible, e.g., for Provisioning and Alchemy. Right now for instance, Alchemy town board missions just ask for only either healing or magic. This stresses the quantities available for those types of potions and a lot of other reagents go unused.

(2) Cost to craft involves too much repetition
(2a) The cost of repetition is too high
The randomness of the results means repeated attempts. At low tiers this is moderate, but once you get to Tier IV, each attempt has a “hidden cost” of all the refinement materials required to produce the Tier IV+ materials.
Further, some crafts require much more time in gathering. Iron and Sand Flux for example are not as quickly obtainable in the vast quantities required as Wood or Fiber, and therefore presents another chokepoint.

(2b) Reducing repetition RNG floods the market with too much “good” gear
If we reduce RNG too much, the game becomes “pay to win” because non-crafters can completely skip crafting and just make money (or buy RMT money or bot and sell materials for money) to simply buy off the Trading Post.

Solution: Bound to Player Retrofitting
To reward crafters for pursuing crafting, a Retrofitting mechanic can be used to steadily reduce RNG but the item becomes Bound to the person doing it.

  • When you get an item, either a world drop or crafted, you can attempt to Retrofit it.
  • During a Retrofit, you can adjust upward the core materials. Each time you can at least match all the materials, you are guaranteed a Gear Score increase amount toward the maximum allowed during that crafting attempt.
  • During a Retrofit, you can choose to retain a Perk, or change it with a Charm, or randomize it with Azoth.
  • Your crafting skill determines what Tier of materials you can work with, so you have to level your crafting in order to Retrofit.
    Retrofitting therefore involves a lot of repetition, but less so and the player can steadily work toward the item they want.

(3) Too much botting and RMT
The tediousness of the crafting mechanics encourage players to bot or buy botted materials, and in quantities that encourage them to buy RMT gold in order to buy those materials.

Solution - Reduce the amount of materials required for crafting. Make most gathered items Bound on Pickup and only a fraction randomly found to be unbound and therefore tradeable. Anything made with Bound materials also becomes Bound.

ADDENDUM
(4) Binding gathered materials and the subsequently crafted goods means most items are not tradeable. So what about the marketplace?
An option is to not bind gear drops and materials gathered from Expeditions, which can be assumed to be too hostile for bot spamming.

APPENDIX
Video Game Reviews, Walkthroughs, Cheats, and Mods: New World - how to fix crafting (gq-game-mods.blogspot.com)

4 Likes

I agree that profession quests should be the best way to grind professions and should have items dropped from nodes in a specific area rather than just mobs.
I also believe that the player should pay a higher amount of resources to unlock the mod and stat slots instead of losing an entire item.
For example, he could spend the resources of 5 gloves to get a BIS glove, but because of that it would be bound.
Each unlocked slot would require the resource of an individual item.

This is totally true. On release, the game had much to fast leveling, and now it is far to slow.

I going to give you a like for this part alone. That being said, I’d like to mention one aspect that isn’t in your thinking. More on that later…

Here I so no, and the reason for that is, I wouldn’t bind personally gathered resources to a player’s character, but instead only allow personally gathered resources to give experience when leveling Refining and Crafting skills.

In other words, if your character personally gathers that Iron Ore, smelting it into Iron Ingots will give you refining XP, and if you instead choose to buy Iron Ore, then no XP would be gained, and thus no leveling up of your Smelting Skill.

This eliminates gold, regardless of source, altogether and only those that grind Gathering skills activities could now level up their Refining & Crafting skills (as it should have been all along), and if this were to be done, and be combined with greatly reducing the materials requirements under the current rules, leveling up your characters crafting skills would require personally Gathering the resources, then Refining these personally gathered resources into personally refined materials, and finally Crafting these personally gathered and refined materials into end product items, whether potions, armor, weapons or whatever.

I like these ideas, as well. Only thing I would point out, don’t allow any purchasing of the materials, as then folks would just bypass the Gathering Grind, and once again, we would just have folks being able to buy their levels.

Suppose you don’t allow purchasing of materials or only personally-gathered materials will level your crafts. Then bots would just use their materials to level up the other crafts and sell those items instead.
Binding materials works at the foundation of the mechanics and affects everything upward so there’s less room for bots to do their thing.

RNG on gathered materials not being bound is not a new idea. MIR4 does this. They have HUGE amount of gathering, so much so that they even let you automate it and go AFK. This is part of how they slow people down in power creep.
They also have a huge bot problem (yes, bots in a game where they allow you to bot activities…) and making only a fraction of materials tradeable is part of their solution.

Another perspective on binding materials and crafts – We can think of Crafting as an alternate way to get gear instead of gear drops from Expeditions (theoretically better than overland, right?) It’s a different and longer grind but “similar” amounts of effort.
By NOT allowing crafts to be sold, we are cutting off a shortcut that allows players to buy their way up and do neither Crafting nor Expeditions.

Furthermore we see the gold cap of 500k. Clearly this is a way to limit players who just want to play merchant. Sure you can farm stuff and sell but ultimately they want you to actually be active and play the game modes. Not just sit around collecting gold.

Ultimately handling bots – either by removing them (obviously not working well enough) or thwarting them – is necessary.
Once botted goods are out of the picture, AGS can properly gather metrics on how tedious their system is for legitimate players.
Right now, all that information is muddied by players buying materials to advance their crafts quickly (and subsequently, get gypsum by over-levelling past 200), whether those trading post materials are botted or not.
If bots weren’t such an issue from day 1, I think AGS would have chopped down materials requirements by more than the 50% they already did compared to launch. And without bots, RMT wouldn’t be as big an issue, so flooding the market is pointless when no one can properly buy the stuff.
Sure RMT sitting in settlements collecting tax generates them gold without botting, but it is botting materials that generates demand for RMT gold to buy either those materials or products of those materials, such as “bis” or high gear score weapons.

Binding most gathered materials thwarts bots and RMT at the foundation. If it’s not enough, they can certainly move toward 100% of all materials being BoP if there’s no other choice left.
Which isn’t as bad as it sounds because an option is to allow trading Expedition drops. It’d be pretty hard to bot Expeditions to farm drops.

Hi GrailQuest, thanks for taking the time to post this detailed feedback. The Dev team loves to see players thoughts on things like crafting so I will make sure they get the chance to read through this post. Thanks again and take care!

1 Like

I’m feeling sick at the moment, and have been since walking to the store and getting caught in the cold rain.

I also think I need to get my mind around your reply, because the thread title said nothing about anti-bot measures, I didn’t expect a conversation centered on bots.

I have thoughts on how to make botting a non-issue, in basically any and all computer games, but thoughts need to be in a separate thread. Let me know if you are interested in hearing those, and I’ll be happy to make or join such a thread,

Any change to crafting / gathering will also need to have an eye on how it could be exploited or simply taken to extremes. So a discussion on botting – is it under control yet? – needs to be part of the solution.

AGS could probably use detailed feedback on handling bots so start your thread when you are ready. So far what I’ve experienced is AGS removing nodes as a way to thwart bots.
I suspect they also reduced the node engagement distance, which causes you to sometimes slide off or break off harvesting and have to reposition. That would also affect bots but it sure is annoying for legit players.
And finally I’m noticing nodes show up but the interaction point following only over a minute later. Not sure if it’s a connection issue or yet another stealth bot measure since bots are said to sometimes use image / artifact detection to move to a node or know to engage.

I’ll try to get this started, but my thoughts are many and varied, and running a fever makes my mind wander, so the stuff I put down this evening will probably reflect that with rambling and disjointed portions.

Here is where this will be.

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