The Masterful Conundrum

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Lun
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The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Lun » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:32 pm

Hey y'all, Lun here beating a dead horse! Today we're talking about masterful quality items and their production rates and perceived value.

I have always been under the impression that one should never work to expect masterful, but be pleasantly surprised by it. Today I had a 2.5 hour conversation with someone that made me realize that the perception that others have of it is vastly different. Without quoting names, one character claimed to never pay more than 6000 riln for such an item. Another stated they'd made 50 such masterful nonconsumable items and didn't know how to get rid of them fast enough.

The summary of our discussion revealed to me that the crafter in question would only ever keep a masterful item and resmelt the metal from everything else.

I know people aren't expected to pay insane prices like 1 million riln for a masterful cobalt greataxe, but in a way, maybe they should. At least, that's what my history tells me.


Proposed solution:
Honestly, I'd like to see code that makes items forged from resmelted material degrade the quality of the metal so that it can't ever be masterful.
I've heard many times that people chase masterful quality, and proceed to resmelt thousands of pounds worth of material just to chase that end.


Right now you can repair a broken weapon, drop the quality to like poor, throw it in the forge, melt it down, reforge it, and get the quality back up to superior+, and there's something that just doesn't sit right with me on that.

I also want to extend an anonymous thank you to all the people involved. I've kept their identities secret because this isn't a witch hunt, just my genuine and sincere concern.
Last edited by Lun on Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Nobody
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Nobody » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:04 pm

So there are more incentive structures at play here, the chief among them is the shift in forging strategy after the recent forging change. In the past, a smith could (and would) max out forging general because it pays well and then ride that high skill to craft everything else. Now smiths need to max out any forging skill they want to have all the recipes in, and because none of the non-commodity items can be sold off elsewhere, and the incentive to grind is strong, any given smith on that quest for completion will produce thousands of unwanted weapons along the way. What do you do with thousands of unsellable weapons? You keep only the ones you know you can sell. Metal degredation would inconvenience a smith, they might make 1.5 daggers they know will be imperfect for every 2 that have a chance or they might just sell off the degraded metal and then buy/mine more. But that inconvenience doesn't change the incentive structure of smiths enough to matter, it does nothing to address the 99 weapons that won't sell, or won't sell fast enough, for every one that will.

Lun
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Lun » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:10 pm

Nobody wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:04 pm
So there are more incentive structures at play here, the chief among them is the shift in forging strategy after the recent forging change. In the past, a smith could (and would) max out forging general because it pays well and then ride that high skill to craft everything else. Now smiths need to max out any forging skill they want to have all the recipes in, and because none of the non-commodity items can be sold off elsewhere, and the incentive to grind is strong, any given smith on that quest for completion will produce thousands of unwanted weapons along the way. What do you do with thousands of unsellable weapons? You keep only the ones you know you can sell. Metal degredation would inconvenience a smith, they might make 1.5 daggers they know will be imperfect for every 2 that have a chance or they might just sell off the degraded metal and then buy/mine more. But that inconvenience doesn't change the incentive structure of smiths enough to matter, it does nothing to address the 99 weapons that won't sell, or won't sell fast enough, for every one that will.


I underlined the sentences I'm going to be referring to. I appreciate the input, and wanted to say that I do not mean to say "You shouldn't be able to smelt a crappy item down to turn into a good one!" I think I was coming off different from my intended message. I just think that we can reduce the continuous vomit of masterful items by making the requirements for achieving it harder.

I've seen some sort of similar code at play in existence two years ago when they made repurposed bronze from certain resmelted mobs result in poorer quality metals that sell for less.

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Jirato
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Jirato » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:03 pm

I personally don't see the problem with a smith producing thousands of items without getting a masterful (though I feel that's an exaggeration, hundreds more like it). Masterful aren't supposed to be uber common. I like the idea of only being able to get it on an initial forge from raw materials.

I've never really felt a huge need to hunt down masterful gear for my characters either though. Above average and so are still, well, as the name implies, above average.

We're discussing some options internally, I'm not hard set on any particular course of action yet.
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Maina » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:14 pm

I haven't seen the "don't pay more than 6000" problem. When I've seen prices, 6000 is more "I'll make it and you take whatever comes out" while actual masterwork crafts go for tens of thousands. So this person you were speaking with may be an anomaly. Though I'll be honest this is all from watching other people buy and sell; I don't have any active characters that use player crafted equipment, except one that only uses stuff she makes herself.
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Nobody » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:31 pm

Jirato wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:03 pm
I personally don't see the problem with a smith producing thousands of items without getting a masterful (though I feel that's an exaggeration, hundreds more like it). Masterful aren't supposed to be uber common. I like the idea of only being able to get it on an initial forge from raw materials.
Sorry, I don't think I was very clear. The thousands of items isn't thousands without getting masterful, they're much more common than that. It's thousands of items to get high enough skill and enough practice to learn all the recipes.

Since you're considering possible adjustments though, I'll throw in a suggestion for the following:
  • A master schematic that is either learned with the standard schematic or randomly from practicing the standard schematic, where the components include a more costly ingredient (probably between 200 and 2,000 riln - whatever gets picked will determine the scale of the price of the finished item) with the same or marginally better masterful rate compared to the current process.
  • Lower the masterful rate for the standard recipe considerably so that it's still possible but not an every day occurance.
This set up would allow smiths who are just working on skill to not get that many masterful items, reducing market flooding and making it a delightfully novel surprise when one gets made randomly and maybe paying for some of all that time spent producing unsellable items. It would also set a baseline price for masterful quality items and allow characters to focusing on making them when commissioned.

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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Zeldryn » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:43 pm

Hey, look, other people that were thinking about this. Neat! Thanks for thinking about this, guys! I was kind of thinking I was crazy for a while there.

Anyway. I can't say much from the crafter's side, because I don't have much experience with the forging system, old or new. I've got a lot of thoughts on this topic, but it's sort of hard for me to express them eloquently. For sake of readability, I'll just summarize the points I think are the most important from a personal perspective.

1) Masterful quality items shouldn't be the norm. They're.. Masterful quality. It should take a little bit of searching and saving to get your hands on something like that, in my fair opinion. And in most instances, it does.

2) Personally, I think most artisans sell too cheaply. But that's more a subjective opinion than anything. There's a ton of riln flowing through the economy from the infested, boxes, briggands, tasks, etc. Especially with bonuses. I feel like the forging system's a big way of getting people to spend that riln and get it "moving around" for lack of a better term. The only way I ever really see people spending more than, say, five thousand riln on an item is if it's masterfully crafted. I'm of the opinion that artisan goods hold more value than that. I think with all of the work you have to put into your grinding, to use one example, that a superior-grade steel shortsword should be worth that 5,000, without any bangs, whistles, or adornments. But again-- that's purely my opinion. I can totally see why people wouldn't want to pay that much more for two levels of quality higher than average.

Aside from that, really, I don't have much to say that hasn't been stated above. I really appreciate this discussion. Economies are fun.

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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Tenoji » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:33 pm

I just slept too much so I'm going to be very brief. I'll throw my general thoughts a different day.

My Suggestions:
1) Give each blacksmithing ability a 'practice' craft, which gives better skillgains and sells on the marketplace. A pure commodity item. Maybe a decorative piece. Whatever. Lower the skillgains gained from forging (keyword forging) weapons, armor, and tools. This way when a blacksmith is simply honing their craft they're not churning out hundreds of thousands of usable items in their lifetime. This will inherently reduce the amount of masterful items available, unless someone is specifically grinding for masterful items. At which point, speak to the player not the system.

2)Raise the skill-level required to have a chance to make masterful items. Pretty self-explanatory.

3)Require a certain skill-level either in the related forging skill, or the skill to use the item to identify an item AS masterful. To a novice, it is very hard to go "oh [crap] this is one of the best swords that has ever been made" because you don't understand enough of it to know WHY that's the case. This does things I'm too lazy to elaborate on. Additionally, this could be a sort of sub-tier of masterful items, that can only be made within a certain skill-level of forging. and/or has a very very low chance, compared to standard 'masterful' items. Best if used in conjunction with the previous suggestion, imo.

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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by preiman » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:13 pm

I don’t have a ton of opinions on the issue of Mastercraft items being too common or not, I will address a point that came up earlier, being that artisans sell their product to cheaply, on this point I wholeheartedly agree, and over the years I have found that I have to reduce my prices every few months to keep up with the prevailing market. I don’t actually know how to resolve this particular issue though, because ultimately the overall prices in the market will be set by which ever active artisan is willing to sell the cheapest. while I don’t have a solution to this issue, I will say it’s why Dimon doesn’t take nearly as many commissions as he used to. selling Exquisite weapons in the 1000 to 2000 range is now considered to be unreasonably high and 10,000 or more for a masterful, I can’t get buyers, but charging less is not worth my time and in some cases wouldn’t cover my expenses, especially since the item sold will likely take years to degrade badly enough that it needs to be replaced.
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Maina » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:24 pm

Historically, one of the primary function of real life guilds was to prevent members from underselling each other and blackballing anyone who didn't play along. The Artisans may have to get together and do what Locksmiths do already: set some standard prices and shun/beat the crap out of anyone who doesn't play along with them.

I think the ridiculous willingness of a lot of people to just give away crafted items for free is part of the problem, too.
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Zeldryn » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:38 pm

Maina wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:24 pm
The Artisans may have to get together and do what Locksmiths do already: set some standard prices and shun/beat the crap out of anyone who doesn't play along with them.

Personally, I love this idea. A grand "Gathering of the artisans" so to speak, that brings together all who practice the craft to discuss the finer points of pricing. All of those who do so can debate-- with input from the consumers, if they so desire-- And come to some sort of agreement on the standardization of prices for certain measurable quality ranges, weapons, armor, commodities, materials, etc. Not to mention punishments for artisans deviating away from the new, "artisan standards" so to speak.

Not only does it help solve the problem, but it facilitates some great RP in the process. Plus it gives the artisans-- a group who, by my perception, are often a bit socially introverted as a result of their constant need to be at the forges-- to get a bit more social interaction with their peers and form relationships/connections with folks they wouldn't have otherwise through the network.

I mean i'm not an artisan, so I can't speak for if there'd be interest in something like this or not. But it sounds like a fantastic idea to me as a player. Solving problems the best way-- The IC way!

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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Bryce » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:32 pm

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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Noctere » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:40 pm

We have discussed this internally and we are in the process of making our solution happen. 'Soon'™
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Kent
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Re: The Masterful Conundrum

Post by Kent » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:06 pm

Maina wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:24 pm
Historically, one of the primary function of real life guilds was to prevent members from underselling each other and blackballing anyone who didn't play along. The Artisans may have to get together and do what Locksmiths do already: set some standard prices and shun/beat the crap out of anyone who doesn't play along with them.

I think the ridiculous willingness of a lot of people to just give away crafted items for free is part of the problem, too.
I agree with Maina here. There should be some minimum pricing in effect, and for good historical and RP reasons.

The reason CLOK lost Ardor, for example, was because other smiths would show up, grind for six months, then sell exquisite items for basically free. To make it even sadder, many said newer artisans soon bored them self out of the game, simultaneously ruining the experience both for themselves and for Ardor.
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