Crafting was initially built in the summer of 2020. It was a commonly requested and highly anticipated. In fact, it was one of the first suggestions that was ever passed on to me. After all, it makes sense. Most MMOs have a crafting system so why didn’t SimpleMMO?
Everyone was excited when the crafting system was released. Tears were falling from people’s eyes. Players were swooning. Children were screaming. Hearts were throbbing. Fists were shaking. History was made.
Until … a few weeks later when players (myself included) started to see a massive glaring issue: it provided absolutely no utility. There was no reason to craft. The items were bad and everyone who could craft the items already had them or didn’t need them. The progression was difficult and pointless. Why would anyone grind the crafting level when it provided absolutely no use? The only utility that the crafting mechanism served was the ability to craft diamonds with Diamond Shards. That was it. The only other reason to craft was obviously to satisfy an underlying tendency of performing masochistic behaviours.
A few weeks later, it got me pondering: how can it be improved?
I was dwelling on this question for literally years. Emptiness was consuming my smooth brain the entire time. It was like as soon as I thought of the word “crafting”, my brain would immediately shut down and I would be staring into an abyss. Not a single moment during that entire time could I think of a genuine way to improve the crafting system.
I then started asking myself another question: “Why?” and it became glaringly obvious. I had never crafted in any game ever (besides the bare minimum that I might’ve been required to partake in). I had no underlying knowledge of the system. I had no inspiration for it. How could I think of a crafting system when I simply had never used one myself? This then lead on to another question: “What is the soul that the crafting mechanic has that makes it so damn enticing?”
By this point, I’d spent so much time pondering on the damn thing and being frustrated at the lack of ideas that my eagerness to improve the system slowly dwindled with time. In fact, I even scrapped the crafting system momentarily in an update for the Android App. I was about to bury the hatchet and declare its official time of death.
That is until a moderator, Oubi, made an offhand comment about replacing the crafting system with a new system that he envisioned called “Archaeology”. The idea was to give players the opportunity to exchange item shards (such as armour shards) for items of that specific type (e.g armour shards can be exchanged for armour, etc). I loved the general idea of it, but it required a lot of refinement.
However, this got the cogs turning once more. The forges were lit up and ideas were flying in and out of my brain. I took a lot of notes on different ways of implementing a brand new crafting system until I came up with a final idea that I was happy with.
So, without further ado, I would like to present the new crafting system.
The new crafting system allows you to craft any item within the loot pool using any material. The item rarity matches up with the material rarity, so if you craft an item with epic materials, then you are guaranteed to receive an epic item. This applies to every rarity tier (celestial included!).
To get started, when you press the “Start crafting” button, a pop-up will appear.
From this point, you can select what you want to craft. You can craft many things, such as a specific item rarity type, keys, or diamonds.
For this occasion, I will choose an “Epic Item” because I have a bunch of epic materials left over from testing.
After selecting the item you wish to craft, the following screen will appear:
This gives you an overview of your crafting session. From here you can choose how many items you wish to craft in one go (at a maximum of 10/20, depending on your pleb status), how much energy it will cost to craft, how long it will take to craft, and the materials you need to craft the items.
I haven’t added any epic materials yet (and I need 30), so if I press the “Add Materials” button, the following page will appear:
This lists all of the materials that I have in my storage and inventory that is relevant to the requirements. From here, I can choose any material as long as the material quantity matches with the requirements. I can mix-and-match them too. For example, I could decide to use 5x Large Crystals, 5x Small Crystals, and 20x Tiger Sharks. It’s entirely up to me.
To make things easier, I’m going to press “Auto Add” which will automatically select the materials so I don’t have to.
Doing so has automatically selected 30 “Chromium Ore” materials. All I need to do now is to press “Update Materials” to commit them to the crafting session.
After reviewing the page, I am happy with what I am about to craft. It will cost me 3 energy, 30 Chromium Ores and take almost 4 minutes, but in return I will receive a guaranteed epic item.
Once I have started the crafting session, it will then display the crafting status on the main page.
After waiting the full time it takes to craft, I can then claim the items by pressing on the “Claim Items” button and voila…
I have been given EXP for my character, crafting EXP, and the epic item. It’s as easy as that.
Here is another (albeit extreme) example. If I craft 15 celestial and exotic items in one go, it will look something like this:
One of the issues we encountered when developing the system was trying to make it enticing for high-level players to actually use the system. We completely understood that being able to craft “Epic” items was simply not enough. Why would a level 10,000+ player be interested in solely creating epic items other than the player EXP? That is why we have introduced reward tiers. Every time your crafting level increases by 5, you are eligible for a reward. The rewards differ between keys, materials, and diamonds.
As you can see, once you reach level 100 in crafting, you will receive 50 diamonds, 5 gold keys, and enough celestial materials to produce a celestial item. Basically, this means that if you reach level 100 in crafting, you are guaranteed a random celestial/exotic item.
This crafting system will arrive with new materials and material encounter rates. As we are now introducing celestial materials, we are also throwing something new into the mix too: untradable materials. Now, at first you might gasp in horror at the mere thought of having an untradable material in the game. However, there is a beneficial trade-off. This allows us to significantly improve the encounter rates for the materials at no risk of disrupting the market. This also gives another incentive for players to utilise the game’s mechanics more rather than mindlessly collect materials and then sell them on the market. Potentially, this also gives us the ability to provide players with rewards for in-game feats too (world bosses maybe?).
Not all materials you encounter will be untradable. Just some of them. Sometimes you will come across a celestial material that is tradable and other times it might be untradable.
Here are the new rates that we currently have in place for the update:
- Celestial material encounter rates are double the rates of the legendary materials pre-update.
- Legendary material encounter rates increased by 316%
- Epic material encounter rate increased by 47%
- Elite material encounter rate increased by 41%
- Rare material encounter rate increased by 25%
- Uncommon material encounter rate increased by 25%
- Common material encounter rate decreased by 29%
These rates might change before release. The final rates will be included in the update log.
One of the big questions when developing and testing this system was: “What to do with the old materials?” and it’s a big one. After all, because the crafting system was useless, players had been accumulating materials for literally years. If we allowed people to use their old materials then the game would instantly be flooded by a massive wave of newly acquired items which could be catastrophic for the game’s economy.
We throughly discussed two potential solutions:
1. Allow players to convert old materials to new materials. However, the conversion ratio would have to be incredibly high to account for the huge quantity of items that have been gathered in the past few years. Setting the conversion rate to such a high level could have dissuade players to not use this mechanic at all thus making this solution potentially futile. It also felt to me a bit insulting to be given the option of a conversion but have the ratio so high that it made almost no sense to convert. It’s like when you enter a competition to win the EuroMillions lottery and you get an email saying, “YOU WON!”, but you click on it and its only 20 pence. I’d rather not win at all than have that initial sense of hope.
2. Bump up the quick sell value of the materials and convert them to collectables. This would give the materials a new utility (i.e adding them to the collection). This would still pretty much serves the same purpose that they had for most people (i.e collecting and selling) as they certainly weren’t used for crafting bar the odd exception. The new crafting system would be completely fresh untainted by the old mechanics.
We hummed and harred over each solution discussing the positives and negatives of both. Ultimately, I wanted to make the decision based on utility-perspective rather than what is going to be easier (i.e less backlash). No matter which decision we make, people are going to be annoyed regardless. So I felt it was important that we made sure that we were not just mindlessly ripping out a part of the game that could still serve a valid and helpful purpose to the players.
Throughout the discussion, I was leaning further and further towards converting them to collectables because, to me, it felt like it made more sense utility-wise and for us to start on a clean slate. After all, it is an entirely new system. This solution would give the materials a “new” utility (i.e collecting), but that utility is essentially what materials are used for by most players anyway hence the quotation marks. However, it felt difficult to just completely nullify peoples material collection over the years.
To help with this, I wanted to see how many materials were actually in the game, and how many players actually crafted. This ratio would help me gain clarity between the number of people who actually use the materials for crafting and those that hoarded them in their storage/inventory.
The result was staggering. There were more than 45,000,000 materials tucked away in people’s storage and inventory. That was way higher than I thought it was. Not just that, but the average level of crafting of players who actually crafted enough to level up the crafting skill (i.e level 2 and higher) was just a mere 4.1. When I looked at the average crafting level of all players who had simply crafted once and then stopped, the average dropped significantly to 2.09. In comparison, the average mining level was 9.
This gave me some much needed clarity. Crafting was extremely underutilised by the players and if I were to add a mechanism that allowed players to convert materials, it would have to account for 45,000,000 materials. I felt more and more like the ship had sailed with this.
At the end, we came to a reasonable solution. We decided to open up the old crafting page (to those that still want to use their old materials on crafting) and after a month or so, we will convert all old materials into “Collectables” and switch off the old crafting page. This solved a few issues:
- It will continue to give the materials a crafting utility in the same way as it always has.
- It will give the materials a “new” utility after a month.
- The new crafting system will remain entirely fresh. A completely fresh start. New mechanics. New crafting level. New material encounter rates. New materials. New crafting mechanisms. Everyone starts from the same point.
A personal apology to those that have spent time hoarding as many materials as they could in the past few weeks in anticipation for the new crafting ability. It was originally my intention to be able to use the old materials as part of the system, but after a much-needed discussion and a review of the in-game statistics, we decided it would be far too difficult to balance old materials on the new system given the astronomical number of materials there are in circulation. It was a hard decision but I believe it is the correct one to make.
Edit: I want to make it clear that players who has invested significant resources into the crafting mechanic will be acknowledged and rewarded. This has applied to every feature “reset” in the past and this will be no different.
- New crafting level. Everyone starts at level 1.
- The maximum crafting level is 100.
- You can select the rarity of the item you wish to craft. The requirements are based on that rarity.
- Any material within its rarity group can be used. Crafting no longer requires specific items.
- The higher the rarity of the item you wish to craft, the longer it takes to craft.
- The higher your crafting level, the faster it takes to craft an item.
- You can craft up to 20 items in one go if you are a member or 10 if you a free player.
- It costs energy to craft an item.
- The energy requirement adjusts according to the rarity of the item you wish to craft as well as the quantity.
- You can play any other areas of the game while you craft (unlike jobs).
- You must manually claim your crafted items upon completion.
- You can access the old crafting system by a link on the main page. This will be removed in one month.
- Old “legacy” materials will no longer be available from gathering nodes.
- You can craft silver and bronze keys.
- Diamond shards and its requirements remain unchanged.
- You can get a reward (diamonds/materials/keys) for every 5 levels of your crafting level.
- Reaching crafting level 100 gives you enough items to craft a celestial/exotic item.
- Celestial materials will be introduced.
- New materials (well, they’re the same name, but they have new sprites).
- Some materials you encounter will be untradable.
- Material encounter rates have been significantly increased.
- Minimum encounter level for all material rarities have been significantly reduced. (For example, Legendary nodes required a minimum skill level of 100 and now it has been reduced to 15)
And that’s all!
We are still testing it at the moment so some things may change before release. The update log should contain it all when it has finally been released.
We anticipate that this update will be available later this week or early next week.
I hope you’re all looking forward to it.
22 thoughts on “SimpleMMO v12.0 – The return of crafting”
I can’t criticize the direction of the update, but I am a bit sad I got my crafting level over 80 just for it to be reset. Maybe hand out random keys to players based on their level? E.G. the player “Crafting” got his level to 222 so maybe he deserves that many [gold] keys?
I spent tons of in game gold and time getting my crafting level to 100. This new system wipes that away with no compensation? Not a happy camper. Hopefully so reward is given to players who struggled to achieve levels in the old system.
Don’t worry – acknowledgements and rewards will be given to players who have reached the higher levels.
There will be compensation.
An unfortunately needed update delivering in the wrong way.
A massive waste of time for anyone who ever engaged in the system since the cost was so atrocious. This includes people spending EP towards QP since old system did not need energy, gold and diamond purchases, and the immense amount of materials, and don’t forget, time and effort. Sadly the majority not engaging or willing to engage mars the real efforts spend by over the top 100-200 spanning 20-30+ crafting levels, and it feels really, really bad. Old materials are essentially worthless as of writing this, there is no continued reason to engage with gathering nor is there any reason to save your 1 of 45 million limited collectible.
There is a lot of things that make sense. There should not be an inherent advantage to someone having saved almost 800,000 material post reaching level 222, nor should that level have a direct impact to accessing the best items now. Other things that make sense are the release of celestial materials and untradeable crafting materials. However, there is no integration to what exists for the system now. Those systems would work and make sense in an integration with the old system, not on top of what it is becoming, on top of energy, time requirement,a and more.
The system is a full deletion and replacement with 0 recourse for anyone who engaged, sorry, out of luck. Seeing my effort literally thrown out with no acknowledgement is certainly providing a good avenue to leave this game. As Mike said – this is Forging on the backend.
Crafting, has died.
I understand your frustrations, I really do. However, as mentioned in the message sent earlier, stats will be saved in the form of a legacy leaderboard to solidify those that have reached those high levels in crafting as well as some form of compensation too thus giving you acknowledgments in-game.
However, truth be told, crafting was simply never used no matter how it is spun. It is an old, out-dated, redundant system that done nothing but drag the game down and I think you are under estimating just how little it was utilized. The fact that there are 40,000,000 materials in circulation and an average crafting level of 2 across a player-base that has almost reached 1 million strongly demonstrates this. Simply put, despite our internal lengthy discussions on the best solution for current crafting power-houses, there was almost little-to-no reason to integrate the new system with the old system other than to make the pill a little bit less harder to swallow for the extreme minority.
It was always going to be a hard decision to make and a giant pill to swallow for a handful players. I completely expected this type of feedback from players within this small group but I completely stand by this decision.
love it. looks great and cant wait.
HuntKing approves of this message. Now I don’t know anything about crafting. After reading this blog I got the understanding of it. It does seem like crafting was worthless other than diamonds. And yes high level crafters probably feel this sucks to be reverted back to level 1. One simple way to solve it is to find a good number to divide by and set their new level by that. So if someone is level 200 and you choose the number 10 to divide everyone by then that person would be level 20 crafting with the new update. But yea it’s tough to find what’s best for everyone so it’s fine let the minority take the hit. This is just like that train question “you can choose to save 1 life and kill 5 or save the 5 and kill the 1 by choosing the trains path.” Obviously you just kill the 1 person instead of 5. But yea. HuntKing approves of this message.
Players will get compensated, yeah. They always have when a system was changed so this is no different. You are completely correct.
A decision was made and explained. Some players may not agree with it but at least they will understand it. They will be compensated and acknowledged. An apology was also given. Honestly – I’m not exactly sure what more I can do other than changing the entire direction of the mechanic based upon a few individuals which is obviously completely out of the question. As hard as it is to hear for a very small group of individuals, a decision like this cannot be dictated solely by the few (literally <0.003% of the entire playerbase). It was obviously weighed heavily in our decision, (as described above in the blog post), but ultimately we had to chose a decision that was the right fit for the game itself and not because it may have been an easier pill to swallow for those few seriously affected.
As a player with a huge hoard of materials, I collected this many because to ignore a node was to throw away some significant experience points at each step. So even if materials were to become completely devalued, I still won because each material represents about 20k-40k xp that I earned for my ingame character.
Thank you, Mike, for the great community space I love to waste my time with! 💙
Why is gathering levels encounter range reduced? Now there is no grind and everyone who has a high level in gathering had nothing to show for it? Gathering could stay as is
It was changed make the materials more accessible to everyone. Level 100 for legendary was absurdly high.
I don’t really understand this – “everyone who has a high level in gathering had nothing to show for it”. If you’re over level 100, then literally nothing will change. Your stats and leaderboard status will remain.
Ok, I’m going to chime in as number two here.
I don’t feel like this was very unexpected at all.
I leveled up my drafting late in the game and materials cost me a pretty respectable fortune, one I funded almost entirely with diamonds. But all the points Mike made here are valid, albeit not quite communicated clearly. Let’s take a closer look at what would happen if the old mats were left in circulation.
First, let’s consider who has these 45,000,000 materials. Sure I have some, Crafting has some, pretty sure oubi sleeps in a pile of fish, and amber has swept through every archeological dig site ever seen in the desert, but (and this is important) I’m going to be that all that together accounts for less than 5%.
So, where are the rest?
Now, this is where the figures get into a bit of rampant speculation, but I’m pretty comfortable saying at least 1/2 of them are sitting on inactive accounts, meaning that our truly dangerous material total here is likely closer to 20,000,000. And that changes things sure, but how?
Ok so let’s think about it now. Less old materials that will be used in new crafting means less damage can be done… Right?
Well, maybe now we have to consider the distribution of the remaining materials, and again I’m going to hazard a guess that about 1/2 of the remaining materials are in the hands of about 100-150 players. So, if that statistic is true, and I think that most long-time players can see why I think that it is, we have a real problem, with two solutions outside what Mike has chosen.
One, let those select few people who chose to invest in a system, that they were fully aware was pointless, run rampant and use the old materials at a reasonable, and then everything that could be crafted would be, the market would be flooded with random collectibles, me and crafting would have to empty our inventory about a million times, and God knows we’re are listing those commons 30 at a time so they’re getting NPCd and we end up recouping maybe 1/10,000 of the resource cost and deflating the value of any epic/legendary currently worth listing on the market.
Two old materials are allowed to be used but at a ratio that wouldn’t damage the new system too much. Like… 10 old per 1 new.
This is where I have no idea about the stats but I can assume this is not feasible for one reason only. Me and crafting. Either we would be able to use this conversion to get a huge and unfair leg up on the new system, or no one else would be able to use it. Because so few players have amassed materials the ratio to keep the damage down would have to be huge to avoid giving a massive headstart to me and crafting, so high in fact that I doubt many other people would be able to utilize it more than a few times. So in effect, Mike would be adding what I assume is a fair bit of additional work to a dead system to pander to a few players who were willing to waste all their money on something that they knew was never going to pay off.
The argument can be made that some people who guarded mats did it as an investment to get a leg up on new crafting, I can see that perspective truly I can. But, if you wanna stand on that hill… Investments carry risk, and here is a prime example of risk not paying off, Mike never said old mats were going to carry over, we made that bet and lost. It’s a real bummer, I though I learned something from my dip into the crypto pool in November -December 2018. Clearly, I had more to learn.
To end, I agree with Mike’s decision, and I agree it wasn’t an easy one to make. I can also see where crafting is coming from, it sucks to lose a bet, but we have to take a step back and realize that by hoarding these materials that’s what we were doing betting that there would be a big payoff on the update.
I was excited for an update to this mechanic, but crafting as it is described is still not going to be used by very many. Grinding all the way to level 100 for a chance to get a single celestial or exotic doesn’t seem like it’s going to be worth it since most of those don’t sell for much anyway. Everything except for legendary tools and a handful of collectables aren’t going to be worth selling either, so it’s just flooding the market with more junk. Why would someone spends millions of gold on materials for a chance for an armor upgrade when they could buy one for much less?
1. “Grinding all the way to level 100 for a chance” – You don’t need to be level 100 to craft celestials. Only level 50. This may also be reduced if it ends up being too high.
2. Your whole comment is based on the fundamental idea that the crafting mechanic supplements and further incentivices merchanting. This couldn’t be more incorrect. You’re looking at it from the wrong angle. The entire mechanic was built to incentivise gameplay (hence materials that are untradable). This flexibility allows us to give away a “fraction” of a celestial/exotic during regular gameplay (completing tasks, daily rewards, gathering, etc) that people can passively collect and then use them for crafting once they have accumulated enough. The mechanic was never built as a supplemental feature to merchanting.
Reducing the level to gather material seems right, but i clearly think that you lowered it so much that it’s now borderline meaningless…
I completely agree with you. It has been changed to match up with the level requirements for each craftable. (Celestial items require crafting level 50 so now it has been set to 50 instead of the initial 20)
There would likely be far fewer caustic words spewed in reaction to big changes if they were announced far ahead of time.
Such was the case with the big guild update, but ALL of the large changes to the game after that (EP/QP Refill Nerfs, Cheese Bug, Reuse of Event Items, etc.) have been extremely sudden.
By announcing the specifics of a new change just a little bit further ahead of time, you give players time to react. React both as in being able to cool one’s head off to gather thoughts, rather than responding by gut/reflex, as well as by allowing them to plan or move their playstyles and assets in game. Hell, it might even push them to come together for one last hurrah as they watch their progress and effort be reborn in flame!
Being more transparent like that is a good way to begin regaining many of the players’ trust in the game. That being said…
It also doesn’t help that important aspects of the game are occasionally altered without announcement, such as when celestial drop rates were halved when PKs were changed to drop items.
It also also doesn’t help that many times, the specifics of an update just so happen to affect some far fewer than others, such as how when QP refilling was originally nerfed, the only two players who were still able to make a profit from it were both members of staff.
It also also also…..
Who knows, maybe all these things are coincidences or accidents, but the list of grievances is quite long, and some are very determined to keep the past buried. At the very least, it’s no wonder why so many players are worried and frustrated about adding to the list themselves.
While I would agree, the examples you listed all would’ve had negative consequences had they been announced in the future. EP/QP Refill Nerf was a change to directly affect the economy. Announcing this in advance would be completely counter intuitive. The cheese bug was literally a bug as a result of a completely busted system. The reuse of event items has always happened since the games conception. At no point has it been stated that event items are exclusive. In fact, I have personally have always said to expect event items to re-appear in future events with the exceptions of pets and specials.
“By announcing the specifics of a new change just a little bit further ahead of time, you give players time to react. React both as in being able to cool one’s head off to gather thoughts, rather than responding by gut/reflex…”. In an ideal world, sure, but this is an incredibly naive way of looking at how people simply react to changes that may have a negative consequence to them. This would make absolutely no difference in the reaction except all it does is buffer out the time between peoples reactions and their ability to access the new system. That is not to mention that this blog post is literally what you are describing, no?. Albeit with the difference that the “legacy” crafting system was momentarily taken down because it required a lot of backend changes for it to work with a new system (I had no control over this – it had to happen) but this will be released temporarily (thus giving them a opportunity for one last “hurrah”). The system was not released at the time of the blog post, correct? It’s not even released at this point in time as I’m writing this comment so i’m not entirely sure what you’re getting at here. Even announcing it last week (even further in advance) would’ve made zero difference considering the game state would still be exactly the same as it is now.
Also, I’m unsure about your claim about important aspects that were altered without announcements. All changes to any rates have always (and will always) be recorded in the update log. I am very well aware of your “conspiracy” theories and, as amusing as they are, they are factually incorrect nor do I appreciate your insinuations about my integrity. The only time things change without being recorded is if they were unintentionally knocked during development.
I appreciate you taking your time to write this but this comment completely absurd.
Three days for this update is incomparable to the lengths gone for the guild update.
Surely, there is no collaborative effort by many players to gather data about the game and then to mathematically analyze it!
It’s not like it’s also been publicly available since it’s inception!
I don’t even know if this is actually Mike or if this is the person he hired for community management/PR or whatever.
Not surprised by your response, yet somehow disappointed again.
whoops nvm should’ve kept my mouth shut