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Lorkenpeist

Smithing bonus based on player skill

24 posts in this topic

I have to say, I love the smithing minigame in TFC1 and the smithing bonus for durability and weapon damage.  It would be cool to see something similar in TFC2, but I have a few suggestions how it could be done differently.

  1. Rather than having to get the red arrow to align perfectly with the green arrow, perhaps have an acceptable range for it to fall within.  Perhaps certain tools would be easier to work and have a wider range, while other tools require precision work and have a narrower acceptable range.
  2. Using this acceptable range feature, smithing bonus could be tied to how close you get to the center of the range.  But if you don't fall as close to the center as you like, perhaps you can keep trying until you get it to your satisfaction.  Basically, if you get inside the acceptable range a button would appear to create the tool.  If you are satisfied with your work, you can click the button to get the tool, or keep trying for a more perfect tool.  I'm thinking it should be relatively easy to get a passable tool, but significantly more difficult to get one with a good bonus.
  3. To prevent people from cheating the system by calculating the correct strokes for a perfect tool and distributing the info to all players, the amount the arrow moves for each rule could be calculated based on the world seed (as in TFC1 I think?) as well as the player id.  That way what works for one player won't work for another, at least not perfectly.  It would even be believable, because not everybody hits a hammer with exactly the same force.  Perhaps the world seed would set the rough amounts that each rule moves the arrows, but the player id adds only a small adjustment, so that an experienced smith can share their knowledge with a novice smith so they can get close, but not perfect.
  4. In addition to the values being randomized based on world seed and player id, they could also depend on the metal type, to simulate different metals having different properties.  That way you would have to experiment with each new type of metal.
  5. If you don't want to do away with smithing experience and levels altogether, perhaps make it so that the range widens with each level, so that it gets progressively easier to get a passable tool.  And also, have the smithing bonus depend on how far from the edge of the range you fell.  With a wider range, the center is further from the edge, so you can potentially get a better bonus at higher levels.
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To be honest... how often does a player in TFC one ever share the perfect recipes for their smithing adventures? and if they even did, it really doesn't effect the multiplayer game play for others. I think smithing over all is OP because its valuable in terms of items it produces, leaves a lot of other 'crafts' just being kinda 'meh' anyone can do it. I've been on servers, where I've had a field of 130 olive trees, that I grew from a single tree. Despite olives being the most valuable crop in TFC1. they were on the same level/scale as iron tools pretty much. steel if most of the players had a blast furnace already made up, and it was cheap/quicker then iron. 

while I do see where you're coming from and your points, I just personally believe there's other aspects of TFC2 that need to be focused on more so, then the smithing system. we also don't know if bioxx has gotten to said system yet, and if he has if its changed/different from the original system. 

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I totally agree that other crafts should get some love too.  Having a carpentry or brewing or cooking minigame would be pretty sweet!  But that doesn't mean we can't also improve smithing :)

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smithing is too, one of those things where some players want TONS OF depth. = more time before we get a game + stable releases. and while others find a simpler system okay, to allow other systems to get some love. ironically enough cooking was getting some love in TFC1, but DAT UPDATE THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING. soon followed.

 

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I think you might be overestimating just how difficult smithing is, and underestimating just how much bonus the current system can give.

2. In TFC1, a player with master skill level can create a red steel tool that has an extra normal steel tool's worth of durability on it. In no way, shape, or form is simply being able to line up the arrows enough of an effort to warrant that much reward.

3. A key thing to note is that in TFC1 the randomness of world seed just applies to the location of the red arrow. We can't randomize how much each action moves the green arrow because in doing so you risk coming up with combinations of distances that make it impossible to smith certain tools. The current distances have been chosen because the math is there to prove that it is possible to get the arrow to any location on the bar; other distances cannot necessarily do this.

4. We already randomize location of the red arrow based on the metal type of the tool.

5. Increasing the range for players with a higher skill doesn't really make much sense. The players who don't need the wider range because they've gotten good at the mini game as a person are the ones who have put in the effort to make multiple tools and increase their smithing skill. Even with all of the randomness, the smithing mini game is still just a simple logic puzzle. There are tips and tricks that you can figure out that make it easy to solve no matter what combinations of moves you have to finish with or where the final arrow is at.

 

There are plenty of players out there who have mastered the mini game, and are able to quickly line up the arrows perfectly for just about any tool. Almost every time I've seen the suggestion of adding a range back to the final position, it's because the person making the suggestion hasn't figured out the tips and tricks yet. Trust me, the game isn't that hard and with enough practice you won't see the need for the range of final positions either.

Edited by Kittychanley
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5 hours ago, Kittychanley said:

I think you might be overestimating just how difficult smithing is, and underestimating just how much bonus the current system can give.

2. In TFC1, a player with master skill level can create a red steel tool that has an extra normal steel tool's worth of durability on it. In no way, shape, or form is simply being able to line up the arrows enough of an effort to warrant that much reward.

3. A key thing to note is that in TFC1 the randomness of world seed just applies to the location of the red arrow. We can't randomize how much each action moves the green arrow because in doing so you risk coming up with combinations of distances that make it impossible to smith certain tools. The current distances have been chosen because the math is there to prove that it is possible to get the arrow to any location on the bar; other distances cannot necessarily do this.

4. We already randomize location of the red arrow based on the metal type of the tool.

5. Increasing the range for players with a higher skill doesn't really make much sense. The players who don't need the wider range because they've gotten good at the mini game as a person are the ones who have put in the effort to make multiple tools and increase their smithing skill. Even with all of the randomness, the smithing mini game is still just a simple logic puzzle. There are tips and tricks that you can figure out that make it easy to solve no matter what combinations of moves you have to finish with or where the final arrow is at.

 

There are plenty of players out there who have mastered the mini game, and are able to quickly line up the arrows perfectly for just about any tool. Almost every time I've seen the suggestion of adding a range back to the final position, it's because the person making the suggestion hasn't figured out the tips and tricks yet. Trust me, the game isn't that hard and with enough practice you won't see the need for the range of final positions either.

I may have been unclear in what I was trying to suggest.  My suggestion was not to make smithing easier, or make the bonus bigger.  It was to add some variation to the minigame so that you don't always get the full smithing bonus just for completing the tool, but instead you have to work harder to perfect the tool rather than just complete it.  Basically, I am proposing to introduce the concept of doing a job well vs just doing the job.  I don't know how easily that goal can be accomplished with the current smithing system, or even whether the current smithing system will be used in TFC2.  My itemized points were an attempt at figuring out how to accomplish my goal within the context of TFC1 smithing.

2. I agree that simply lining up the arrows isn't enough effort to warrant a full smithing reward, that's why I proposed tying it to the player's skill instead of the character's smithing level :)

3. I see your point there, you definitely need to be able to guarantee that all recipes are possible to complete.  That's why you would need to have a range rather than an exact position that the arrow needs to end up on.  But you would still need to limit how much the rules can be randomized so you can guarantee that all recipes are still possible, and that sounds like it could very well be more trouble than it's worth.  Just a suggestion on that though. If (for example) the TFC1 green rules move the arrow left 2/4/6/8, and the red rules move it right by 3/5/7/11 (I know those aren't the actual values it's just an example), perhaps with my system the player randomness would only add +/-0.1 or 0.2 to any of those values.  Then the acceptable range to complete the tool could be on the order of +/-1 (for example) to make sure that the small random variation from the player can still land you in the range somewhere, even if not dead center.

4. Randomizing only the starting position just means you have to do an extra couple rules to get the arrow to center, before you do your memorized recipe of rules to get the arrow off center and back again with the correct last 3 rules.  It doesn't change that recipe, just how many click you have to do before you start the recipe.  I am suggesting that the rules themselves randomize (slightly, like the player random factor) based on what metal you use.

5. Believe me, I've done the math and figured out the recipe for every single tool.  I'm not proposing this system to make smithing easier, I'm proposing it to make it more challenging, and to have the reward depend on how well you meet the challenge.  If every different metal has its own values for each rule, as well as every player, and those values are not quite integers, you can't just do simple math once and have perfect tools every time.  You have to work harder to get perfect tools, and you have to figure it out all over again whenever you move on to a new metal, or start a new game.  That way only the more dedicated players will have high bonuses (and can't get it just by grinding a whole bunch of trash copper tools), while the more casual players who can't be bothered to perfect their trade will have to be content with their mediocre tools, or buy them from the master smiths.  It's a way to encourage players to invest in the smithing game rather than just mass producing copper tools to get the exp.  The acceptable range just makes it possible to still complete the tool (since the rules won't be integers anymore) and makes it possible to have a range of results with different smithing bonuses.  Sure, a novice might be able to get close to the center by accident and get a high quality tool, but only masters can do so consistently.

Of course, feel free to take all this with a grain of salt.  Or a mountain, as you see fit :)  You did a great job with TFC1, and I know you will do a great job with TFC2, with our without my suggestions.  I just thought I'd put forward an idea that I think could add depth to the gameplay.  And really, my suggestions are just one possible way to do that (assuming that it actually is doable, which it may not be).  Even if the particular implementation I proposed doesn't make it into TFC2, the more abstract goal of having smithing bonus be tied to how well you solve the puzzle rather than how much exp you have is something I would like to see in some form.  In fact, it could even be fun to see an all-new minigame for smithing that isn't just lining up arrows, to bring some freshness to TFC2 smithing, especially if that could make the skill-oriented smithing bonus more doable.

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One of the limitations of a GUI based minigame is that everything has to be done with integers. It's simply not possible to add in decimal variations to moves.

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Alas, that does seem to be a flaw with my proposed implementation :(.  And scaling everything up by a factor of 10 to make them integers again wouldn't work either, because then the arrows would be moving way too much and probably wouldn't fit inside the screen!  I can try to come up with more ideas, but I'd like to hear your feedback about my general idea (skill-based smithing bonus), implementation aside.  Do you think that's something that has a place in TFC2, or would you rather have the traditional system of tying smithing bonus to exp gained?

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I personally would rather keep it to the current system. Most players don't dig into the math behind the minigame, and I can guarantee you that somehow making the game even more difficult and tying that difficulty to the bonus is going to create quite the outcry from players, even if there is a way for them to get lower quality tools on the same level of difficulty as the game currently is.

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Yeah, I can totally understand not wanting to make the math harder!  Games or for having fun, not straining your brain on math.  Would you be open to the idea of having a different minigame altogether, that is less math-oriented?  Are you against making the math harder specifically, or the general philosophy of some people being able to do a minigame better than others?

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Considering that the smithing minigame is one of the most iconic parts of TFC, I doubt we would go a new direction altogether with it. I would say that I'm against minigames that cannot be mastered by everyone. I'm all for difficult minigames, but there has to be some sort of methodology to it so that any player who puts in the time and practice will be able to get the best result of the game.

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That's totally fair.  I just had another thought though, that would keep the minigame almost exactly the same, but still allow for variable results.  What if the last 3 rules were mandatory, but an additional rule (or 3) could optionally be completed before the final 3.  Then you could get a smithing bonus based on whether you do the extra rule in addition to the final 3 (or vary based on how many you do if there are multiple optional rules).  I think that would still be accessible to all players, but would just require extra effort to get a better result.

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That really doesn't change anything at all. We can't make the extra rule random because that runs the risk of not being able to actually complete the tool. Adding a Draw for example runs the risk that the final arrow is too far to the right, and you can't do the full combination without pushing your arrow off of the bar, which destroys the item. If we tried to counteract this with the arrow position, it would just end up with all of the final spots being in the same general area of dead center on the bar.

If it's really easy to figure out the pattern for 3 moves, do you really think it's going to be that much harder to figure it out for 4?

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If the optional rules are red only (or if calculations are made to ensure the recipe is still possible) then you wouldn't have to worry about ruining the item.  As for your second point, didn't you say in your previous reply that anyone should be able to get the best result given enough practice?  That was the point of my most recent suggestion.  It's not a lot harder than only 3 rules, it just requires more effort to accomplish while still being just as accessible.  It's an optional extra effort to get a better result, without increasing the difficulty and alienating players because it's too hard. 

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Draw is a red move. The problem is that in order to be able to account for the draw, you first need to move your arrow to the right. There are some recipes like the knife where you are already getting your arrow dangerously close to the right edge in order to complete the last 3 steps and still land on the final spot. If you add a draw to that, then you have to move your arrow even further right, which will push it off the edge.

My point is that adding a 4th move is negligibly harder. You could consider it effort, but not enough to warrant a bonus. If anything, no players would even bother attempting the 3-move option because they'll consider the 4-move "normal" and the 3-move as "worse".

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Yeah, you're probably right.  I thought it might be a neat feature to add, but it seems like it probably wouldn't fit in TFC.  Thanks for humoring me, I enjoyed the discussion anyway :)

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Um, regarding the integer/decimal values, why not just have two bars, one with a big scale and one with a small scale? That way you can fit more (integer) values. That way, there would also be two red arrows, one on the big bar, and one on the small that only shows when the green arrow lines up with the red arrow on the big bar.

Edited by Miner239
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43 minutes ago, Miner239 said:

Um, regarding the integer/decimal values, why not just have two bars, one with a big scale and one with a small scale? That way you can fit more (integer) values. That way, there would also be two red arrows, one on the big bar, and one on the small that only shows when the green arrow lines up with the red arrow on the big bar.

That would probably be rather confusing honestly.

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1 hour ago, Bioxx said:

That would probably be rather confusing honestly.

Um, how? Just think of the small bar as the zoomed-in version of the pixel above the green arrow on the big bar (yes, make the two bars distinct to make it more intuitive). The closer you can get to the actual value of the red arrow, the better. Stray too far and you'll get what is practically a lump of metal. Stray even further and your character refuses to call it a tool head, and urges you to keep working. 

With this, casual smith who doesn't want the extra work to ensure that the green arrow land close to the red on the little bar would get good tools, but those who work out how their moves move both green arrows and land the green arrow very close to the red arrow would get masterwork tools. People who care little would just outright pretend not to see the little bar, and get 'random' quality tools.

For this, maybe, maybe, the reward for those who got the skill levels(not actual skill) should be more move variants, emulating the smith having more control/technique over the moves.

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I had similar idea with tolerance range - simply add button 'precise smithing', if activated, you must align arrows precisely but you gain smiting experience points as reward,
 if inactive (by default), you need align arrows only let say +-2 points nearby - but you would not get any experience points neither tool would have no additional bonus.

It would allow to choose - precision and good quality, or fast crafting and basic quality. It would make also less repulsion for new users.

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If you look at YouTube, you will get a good comprehension, what does not go so well for new players. There are two difficulties with smithing. First one is the smithing interface which is for everybody used to it no problem. But at the start you get easily confused and the success experience which should come quite fast for starters, lacks.

Second problem comes later with iron working, while most players get stuck in bronze age, but I think that was already discussed in an other thread.

Edited by drkoaeg
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So as I recall, it was the case in a past version that the number of moves used on the tool decreasing the durability was scrapped.  Why was that?  It seems like a decent way to bring a little variance, as long as there's a limit.  In my current world, of the moves that I have an exact 'ideal' formula for, the number of moves start to finish ranges from 9 to 13, with the average being about 10.  So there's the notion of subtracting like, 2% final durability for every move beyond 12, with a max deduction of 10% or so.  Why was this general notion of more durability for fewer moves scrapped in the past? 

If it were desired to make the smithing skill harder, and bring in a use for an enlarged target, I think what you have to do is dynamically randomize the target.  So each tool head would have a default target, as now, but depending on the player's skill, each time there is a chance for some variance to be added or subtracted to the target.  In this way, the player cannot just settle on a formula, at least initially.   When they're a novice maybe the target has a 60% chance to get randomized, by 1-10 points.  Next skill level, 50% of 1-8, etc.  The randomized or not marker needs to be on the player or the anvil, and stick until a successful recipe is completed, so they can't just place and remove the ingot on the anvil until it doesn't get randomized.  Now the problem with bringing this in is, well, new players may be even further frustrated by it.

Newb frustration aside, within that context a larger target range could perhaps be a very useful skill bonus, to offset randomization.  However, I think the player skill being tied to randomization chance and magnitude (and smithing bonus) could be enough.  I think then you have the opportunity to bring in the trip hammer.  Irl trip hammers significantly speed up a blacksmith's work, and have existed in earlier forms since BC times.   The triphammer could use mechanisms in its construction.   It could have marginal benefits for even a player who is a very good smith, because the expanded target range would possibly allow them to improve some 'perfected' recipes.  Especially the ones that don't use hits in the final moves, which makes the recipe naturally easier anyway.  If desired, triphammers could have extra moves beyond shrink, to get the arrow to the right faster.  In this context, the moves bonus - if reinstated - could go even lower, since the player could get lower via trip hammer.  Currently I think it takes a bare minimum of 6 moves just to reach the target vicinity in almost every case. 

Trip hammers of higher tier metal might have larger target areas.  The hammer head would wear out over time, and it must be of the same metal tier (or higher) as the machine itself.  There might even be a removable anvil piece for the trip hammer, that also wears out - though more slowly than the hammer part.  That might be an advantage of the regular anvil - it never wears out.

So irl life experienced smiths might see marginal benefit.  It depends on how early trip hammers are obtainable.  If they require a mechanism, and mechanisms are themselves tech gated, that will govern.  If a player has to have steel to make mechanisms, they'll already have had to go through steel and iron doing smithing.  So they'll have irl experience.   But the in-game smithing skill takes forever to raise.  You can reach end tier steel and still be just an adept, even a novice if in multiplayer.  So in that context, if there is a degree of randomization, a trip hammer would probably still be useful for a smith.  And it would, I think, be even more useful in a multiplayer context.  It would be quite the boon for the newbs who join an established town. 

A trip hammer could be balanced somewhat by only being able to do certain things, such as tools.  Weapons and/or armor could only be done on a normal anvil, perhaps.

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You could have the sever salt the random number generator seed for the red arrow locations with a hash of the player's name or mojang ID or somesuch, so that the setting is  still pre-set but not server-universal.

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On 6/15/2016 at 1:34 PM, kotoroshinoto said:

You could have the sever salt the random number generator seed for the red arrow locations with a hash of the player's name or mojang ID or somesuch, so that the setting is  still pre-set but not server-universal.

That's how taste already works, so I'm sure the devs are aware of this.  I think the universal nature is intentional, so that an experienced smith can teach a 'recipe' to a newb smith.  This approximates the passing down of knowledge in a trade.  If every player had unique recipes, that approximation would be lost.   It would make the game more difficult, which is a valid way to go.  It just depends on what the devs have in mind for TFC2.

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