Friday, 3 April 2015

Brief note on Crafting in 11.0

I've watched a few Let's Play videos of alpha 11.0, and also played a bit myself, and discovered dangerous misunderstanding about how crafted item quality works in this version.



As per the 11.0 patch notes, or the Talpid's forum posts, whenever you craft an item, its quality is randomized, centered around a certain value, which as far as I know is 100% derived from your character level (not to any skill that you can be specifically good at), but variable by +/- 50. I don't know if that means +/- 50 percent or +/- 50 points. Either could be the case.

This means that you might have poor luck and craft a somewhat shoddy item, or good luck and craft a slightly better item, but you will usually craft an item in between. And most likely it's curved, so more like rolling 3d6 than rolling 1d16+2.

The danger here that at least early on, and especially with regards to your early game primay tool, the Stone Axe, all the item quality ratings will fall within the same bracket, "Faulty", and thus some players (including youtubers), will overlook the fact that there is variation within that bracket, going instead by the bracket name and the displayed colour only.

For instance, the first Stone Axe I crafted had a max Durability of something like 55 or 58. That's pretty crappy given that it degrades by 2 points per use, meaning it'll last for less than 30 uses. Cutting down a Surface Boulder or a Tree is a daunting prospect, since Small Stones are rare at least in some Biomes, even if each Stone repairs 200 Durability now (it doesn't fully repair as at least one youtuber claimed).

After some time I dinged to level 4 (via killing a bunch of Zombies - you get very little XP for crafting and AFAIK none for exploring or as an over-time benefit for not dying, which strikes me as retarded given that 7D2D isn't a combat game), and crafted another Stone Axe. It turned out much like the first, "Faulty", and with max Durability 57 or 59 or so, close to that of the first one if not exactly similar, so I just shrugged and went on about my business.

Then maybe half an hour later, still level 4, I decided to try out crafting half a dozen Stone Axes, to see if there was discernible variation. Turned out yes there was. I got Stone Axes with max Durability from 55 to around 115, out of the total of 10 or 12 or so new ones that I made, discarding all but the best.

Not only is max Durability affected, damage done is too. Not by much, but an 110 or 115 axe hits a few percent harder than a 55 or 60 one, and that too helps getting that Surface Boulder or Tree faster, perhaps with 14 swings instead of 16 or 17.



Skill trees are meant to be added to the game, but the Talpid hasn't said anything about when, and I've seen no promises from him saying they're coming in 12.0 (and in fact he made at least one promise for 11.0 that hasn't come true - there's still no right-click menu in Inventory so you can eat foods from there without going hrough the Tool Bar, or drop items immediately), so I doubt it's something we should expect before alpha 14 or 15.

So for now crafting quality is based on your level, and you level up by killing Zombies, even though games as droolingly fucking retarded as AD&D always gave you the same amount of XP for bypassing monsters or for defeating them non-violently as for killing them. So the character advancement game mechanic in 7D2D is currently more retarded than a 1970's style RPG, and that makes Peter an unhappy camper.

-- 
Peter Knutsen

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