Here is a somewhat clear explanation of the crafting system I plan to implement:

So, I have essentially filled out all the crafting mechanics in my game, its very complex and some things might be changed but this is what I am going to start programming:

Resources:

Resources will spawn over time SWG style.

Players can initially mine/gather/harvest by themselves but later may be able to run mines/farms. There will be thousands of kinds of resources which will spawn with varying quality.

Resources will go through various processing to become usable mats. Metals will need to be refined. Metal will be formed into ingots after this process. Metal can be formed into many shapes: rings, wires, coils, plates. Wires may wrap around staffs, be used in jewelry and other such things. Herbs may need to be dried or powdered or cut. Wood may be planked or poled.

Then items will be "crafted" or put into their basic final form. Metal will be made into blades and armor pieces, wires and pendants put together for jewelry, wood will be shaped for staffs or bows. Blades and guards and pommels will be put together, or tangs and handles, or hafts and heads, arrow head and wood and so forth. These items will be in usable form. So you could sell them to players and they could be used in battle or crafting. However there are still many steps to refine and improve items.

Enhancements can take many forms. Inscriptions to hold enchantments can be carved, you can align the matrix to allow weaker items to hold more magic. You can sharpen blades, polish wood, add gems, change item skins and so forth. You could wrap wire around a staff to make it pretttier and possibly allow more spells and magic to be used. You can actually cast the permanent enchantments or add the temporary spell buffs at this stage as well. This is the end stage.

You can revise carvings and enchantments and spells on weapons post production, and you can change gems and metal wires and recolor and like any other step an entirely different crafter from the original can do this.

This intense and some would say excessive customization is only part of the system however. At every stage of the crafting process it is possible to get small random bonuses to quality, essentially these bonuses are similar to initial resource bonuses and they stack.

Another aspect of the game that is somewhat novel and important are the crafting skills themselves.

Firstly there are no classes. Any single player can learn all the skills, use magic, learn fighting skills and so forth.

Further skills level in a somewhat unique way. There are no conventional levels per say. Firstly many things that can be crafted are in themselves used for crafting. Tools can be crafted and are used in production. The arrival area, as players "arrive" through a gate from another world, allows players to have access to incredibly basic crafting tools. Later the best crafting will be done with entirely player produced items. All tools have a value which corresponds to a % bonus to crafting value. Resources have these values also.

Now on to skills specifically:

Skills level by experience, so instead of having levels at certain amounts of experience, players just have that number. Experience is filtered through an equation to produce the bonus to the crafted item. Different experience is filtered through different equations. There are pseudo levels because some materials require a certain amount of experience to work with. They also require superior tools, for instance to use a higher level metal you may need a better smelting furnace to use the higher temperatures required to melt the metal. However the bonuses from experience produce the same bonuses regardless of the material used.

There are parent crafting skills and subskills and subskills of subskills. An example of all the skills affecting an item follow:

You are making a longsword:

A longsword is a weapon->sword->longsword

The material is metal->steel

You have 10000 experience in metal, and 6400 in steel

You have 10000 in weapon, 10000 in sword, and 2500 in longsword

The equations are :

+mexp^.25+stexp^.5+wexp^.25+swexp^.5+lexp^1/10

that means +10+80+10+100+250=+450% so the item is 550% better than 0/0/0/0/0 exp

obviously these numbers are a little too high, so the numbers would be messed with to lower the bonus.

the essential point is that the more specific the skill in relation to the product, the more valuable the exp. So if you want to be the best longsword maker on the server you might want to focus most of your crafting on longswords made of steel. Now I think that the specific material skill bonuses might be a smaller part of the total possible, because if you are making metal longswords you should be able to make iron ones nearly as good as your steel or bronze weapons similarly well.



The upside of many aspects of this system is individuality, uniqueness, mastery and customization. Players can easily create a brand with these options. You can be known for your mastery of a material, and/or of an item type.

Further the improvement is very fluid. There is no break moment when bam, you suddenly become much more powerful than a player one level lower, and neither is their a level cap because the equation works no matter the number, further the square root based system means that even a player with 1mil experience would not be amazingly more powerful and godlike. It takes more and more experience to get the same effective improvement.

Magic is made to be very powerful however. Magic is formed with words of power found in ruins around the world. Words of power fall into different categories. There are many parts of a spell and they affect different parts. Element/type of power, range, accuracy, speed, range, power, mana and so forth. All of these can be moderated by changing the spell construction. Spells are cast with a keyword, so if you want to give a person a spell but not have access to the keywords you can just sell them a grimoire with keywords. They can use the spell but they can't make their own. You can choose to sell actual words of power.

My goal is to try and convince players to form sorcerous guilds and have different schools, as opposed to a single player learning all the magic alone.

Possible systems involve community spell word knowledge, a guild system where leaders or higher members are given any spell words members have and distribute grimoires to each player member so that one player can't join an enemy guild as a spy and learn all the words, as they would only have access to the grimoire and not the words, and they couldn't just copy the grimoire and spread it around either. Of course players are welcome to weild the magic system however they damn well please as well.