The Results are in…

29 10 2009

… and the verdict is:

Build a Crafting Guide!

That’s what the majority of votes asked for. Turns out that no one cares about how to balance stats against one another to build a character, so hey – I’ll drop the topic. Less work for me; hurrah. I’ll indeed likely have to come back to work on the Chanter-specific guide, and I’ll talk more about them as soon as I get farther in the game and can thus have a better grasp of the class’s full dynamics.

There were also a handful of votes for “something else.” I’m not sure what these mean, as there’s no comments or E-mail that I’ve got to explain them. So, for cuiosity’s sake, I’ll make some guesses:

Combat Mechanics: There’s a fair set of nuances here, some of which I’ve covered with my statistics guide. There is more to talk about here, though, such as the order-of-operations (and thus knowing what has priority), the simultaneity confound, its effects and potential benefits, and other intricate elements of the combat engine. It’s a fun topic for experimentation and evaluation, but then I don’t know if I can codify a substantive guide out of it.

Grinding Optimization: This has been done. Given the level and ranking of enemies you can handle and your level, you can simply look up the set of enemy types that you can handle at – simply go to the tools section, and go to the Grind Optimizer (no direct links because the site runs on ajax – yay for simple directions!). So, if you’re wondering if you’re actually fighting the right type of stuff, you can use this little tool as a sanity check for your efficiency.

Gathering Guide: The question of “What stuff is where?” is already solved by’s Gatherables section – every resource type that’s been encountered has its possible locations tagged on the appropriate maps. The mechanics governing these gathering attempts are synonymous with the mechanics governing crafting, so they’ll be covered in my crafting guide. Is there something I’m missing here, some other solution needed for understanding how to go about gathering materials? If so, let me know.

PvP Guidelines: I don’t think I’ll ever be as good at explaining good PvP guidelines compared to other players. I’m proficient in duels, and I have a fair grasp of scaled PvP combat by and large, but I’m no stellar player. I’m afraid that if you’re looking for more information on how to take down human-controlled adversaries, you’ll need to keep searching for a good, comprehensive approach. Be careful about the approach you execute, though: you will lose some fights, and if you go out into the world expecting to win everything you will be disappointed. I guarantee it.

However, I should note that it’s okay to lose. After all, your loss is someone else’s win, which at least makes that person feel better. If you don’t get depressed and angry about losing the fight, then there’s only gain to be had. Otherwise, it’s a zero-sum game: one side goes up, and the other side goes down equally. If it’s a zero-sum game, then on average you don’t gain anything. If there’s no gain, then why are you spending your time on it? I encourage you to take advantage of your losses as well as your wins, so that there’s always a positive takeaway.

Also, win or lose, don’t be an asshole. The last thing this game needs is more assholes.

Other: I’m really not sure if there’s other stuff out there that’s substantial enough to warrant a full guide. Other classes, perhaps, but I’m no expert on anything outside of what I’ve played (Gladiator and Chanter). Other than that, I’m a little lost. But, just because I’m lost doesn’t mean I can’t help, per se. If there’s something I’m missing, do feel free to tack it on here – I’ll find a way to make it fit, independent of my severe lack of free time lately.

So, there are some other possibilites. For now, however, I’ll be conserving my focus to building a comprehensive crafting guide. Some topics I know I’ll cover:

  1. Basics of crafting: What crafts are there, what do they provide, and how a player can acquire and improve any craft.
  2. Crafting algorithm architecture: How do the two bars work, and how can a player minimize his chance of failure.
  3. High-Quality production: What is a high-quality product, what factors influence creating them, and what to do to turn a profit with high-quality materials.
  4. Powerleveling approaches: Is the process of leveling crafting best done in tandem with leveling, or afterwards, and what arguments support either side.
  5. Meta-crafting: How a player can make the most of the craft-leveling process, and how to handle the unavoidable downtime.
  6. Advanced topics: To be extended for high-level crafting quests; Expert Craft requisites, limitations, and benefits; Other problems/questions posed.

The Advanced section will be empty in the first pass of this guide, as I can’t really speak to Expert crafting just yet, but I’ll add to it as soon as I can in the near future. If there’s something you think is missing, let me know now – I’ll work it in as best I can before actually posting the guide.

Gunsmith of Williamsburg: a comprehensive documentary of gunsmithing, if my guide takes too long.

So, there ya have it. The results say that people want to learn about crafting, and so I shall deliver. Yay for a free, long weekend ahead! Games, storytelling, and guide-writing are all on the horizon – such a welcome break from network graph transformations and sleep plasticity experiments.

In the Meanwhile: Check out The Gunsmith of Williamsburg for a comprehensive look at just what hand-tooling your own equipment can require. Sure, the movie’s about crafting a rifle, rather than a plate hauberk or wooden stave, but I think there’s a lot of overlap. It’s a shame how little we appreciate the enormous acceleration of crafting in current video games. That said, the actual process behind making this stuff is super cool, in my opinion – check it out!




One response

25 11 2009

Hm. -crickets- still here? I hope!

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