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Circuit Board Crafting: Random Chips Discussion

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by CRB_Gortok, May 11, 2013.

  1. Batzorig

    Batzorig Cupcake-About-Town

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    Quick question, how simplified was that example you gave? Mainly, I'd like to know if most items will have custom restrictions/possibilities of the stats they get. Even if the lists are much larger than your examples of 2 and 3, is each random slot 'designed' as part of the item, or is it more often that they're truly random?

    If your example is accurate in kind, just not in scale, then perhaps calling these slots/chips "random" is a misnomer, and may be causing undue confusion/misunderstanding. I think the term "variable" chips/slots would better in that case. Random makes me think it's... chaotic, unpredictable. Variable makes me think it's mutable... and more elegant somehow. I know it's just semantics, but semantics can mean a lot when it comes to first impressions.
  2. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    Very interesting .
  3. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    I am just going to requote the same two lines you quoted from what I said earlier.

    You just said I was wrong, and then did not refute what I said.

    There is a theoretical best roll/item combination. Players will find them. In practice, the odds of getting that item with that combination are so low that it is not practical.


    By this logic, every item should be granted using tokens. No, psychology tells us the spiky reward cycles are provide more happy chemicals :)



    This does not measure up with my understanding of the normal curve of random distribution. The more you roll the dice, the more likely you are to converge on a mean. I might argue that with more opportunity to roll, the closer, on average, all guilds are going to become.

    Lets say your tank from another MMO cannot progress unless they get a specific helmet that drops at 7% from a boss. Your guild is less than 50% likely to have that item until the tenth run on that boss. 6 Months of running that boss once a week, you are still only have an 85% chance to have seen the item. That means nearly 1/6 guilds wont see that item in 6 months raiding every week.

    In WildStar, there might be 5 helmets that can be at least good enough to progress, although when they drop they might only have a 25% chance of rolling the right tank stats. Sure one of them has the theoretical best upper limit, but you don't need the upper limit to progress.


    This is just simply not possible. You are more likely to get struck by lighting while winning the lottery. Even if by amazing stroke of luck you happened to get the perfect best roll on the first boss of the first raid (say 1 in 7000 chance), you still have to get all the chips to upgrade the item, and then do the same thing for your remaining dozen or so item slots. There will always be something to upgrade. Always.

    I think in general you read the first few paragraphs of what I wrote and either immediately responded or were so on-tilt (to use a poker term) that you didn't internalize any of the rest of it. I was pointing out the problems that would be associated with using a Diablo-style loot system in an MMO. It has to be limited. I talked about how it is limited. I understand the problems associated with random loot. I am looking to minimize them without losing the fun factor of random. We aren't talking about the entire item being randomly generated and unusable. We are talking about a couple stats on it.

    Most players are going to say "Oh, I am a healer, I got Insight in my 30% socket instead of Critical. That's cool, I will just put a Critical Chip in the 20% socket, so now I have 10 Crit and 15 Insight instead of 15 insight and 10 crit." and be done with it. That item is a 99% optimal version.
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  4. herbalz

    herbalz Cupcake-About-Town

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    lol I was the once bringing up diablo 3 and torchlight a lot so maybe that created some confusion. I was just referencing how those systems work to compare so my bad!
  5. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    If I win the lottery, Id let myself get hit by lightning.
  6. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    Every item slot has a unique set of fused chips that go on it. This set of chips gets better as you get higher level. Legs and Shoulders share the same set, for example, and it includes mostly defensive stats. At least 1 chip and at most 2 chips will come with this limited set of chips. The term variable might be less confusing, and I have no real issue with it.

    We can have any number of "variable" chips with any selection of choices that they can have. The chips that go on gloves are generally offensive in nature, but there is at least 1 roll that is good for tanks. I could make a new random stat and put more tank-cetric stats on it if I want, or I could lock in a tank stat from that list of random stats.

    In raids, not all stats will be random. There will be gear that has locked stats and/or some limited selection of fused stats. I am not at work right now or I might link an example list of stats from the "Offensive 35-45". Every item is going to be a hand-crafted special flower where I look at all the sockets and try to figure out who it is going to be good for.
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  7. Xo1o

    Xo1o Cupcake

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    After playing GW2 since its release I can confirm that this is true. You can definitely overdo the gear grind, but you can also make rewards too easy to get, robbing people of the feeling of achievement and having been lucky. Token systems have a lot of benefits and lend themselves very well to GW2's content and level scaling, but one big downside is that the loot feels very generic , very un-exciting, because it's the same old tokens everywhere.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how the systems in WS play out. For the first time since WoW's Burning Crusade I'm actually (cautiously) looking forward to raiding again.
  8. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    What are your thoughts on pvp gear. Assuming that you buy pvp gear with tokens like every mmo I've played will the gear still be random, or will token loot be set in place with everyone having the same exact stats on gear.
  9. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    I sat down with Jen Gordy last week and we made sure we were on the same page on this. We have two sources for PvP gear. Some of it will come out of loot bags, and some of it will be purchased off of vendors. The current plan is to make the loot bag gear have randomness and the vendor gear will not. Our expectation is that the top tier PvPers will all have access to exactly the same gear.

    In general, our random vendor gear is rolled before purchase, so what you see is what you get. This is mostly relevant for leveling vendor gear, however. I don't think its interesting to have to wait for a vendor to happen to have a specific item on him, and then roll just the right stats before you purchase it for the Elder Game, but I want to encourage people to check vendors for deals while leveling.
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  10. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    If I gave this impression, it was unintentional. I don't think crafters want this sort of headache. In general we are shying away from randomness in crafting gear. Our current plan is to have no random chips that the player can get their hands on, although some crafting schematics will come prefit with random chips. These will be earlier recipes in the crafting tier that you replace with better recipes as you progress in skill. Basically, you will learn variants of the recipe that allow you to craft the same thing, but knowing what the result will be.

    Of course, this is subject to change. We can theoretically have soulbound random chips that crafters make or purchase with currency that always give "good stuff", and become non-soulbound when the item is made. Elder Game crafting is being planned right now, actually. We are trying to keep it relevant while not making it be required. Part of this means that certain crafted items will probably be used by 70% of raiders in a tier, while 30% will have been lucky and got an item of equal power or maybe a few % more optimal.

    Edited for clarification: This does not mean 70% of your gear will be crafted, it means 70% of the players of a given class spec will use a specific item in a specific slot. We may have several of those slots per raiding tier.
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  11. kur1

    kur1 Cupcake-About-Town

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    This random system seems flawed in a few areas, so I hope there's some more fleshing out details-wise about how endgame content will be balanced given the random nature of gear. Some issues I see arising:

    • The excitement for a drop is diminished when your desired item has more tank stats than DPS stats overall. While a sword might hit harder, the net stat benefit is lower, thus making the upgrade marginal to even. Most people will not want this item. This kills the excitement.
    • As epic drops exist in WoW right now, you can get bummed about items with a relatively weak stat mix, but there's never a situation where items have utterly useless stats (i.e. healer Spirit). In Wildstar it seems this might exist. So we go from "this gear has stats I don't need, but could benefit me" to "this gear has stats I can't use... at all". A 4,000DPS upgrade could effectively be 2,000DPS if the item has 50% Defense or Avoidance or some kind of non-DPS allocation.
    • Random enchantment items in World of Warcraft are rare and usually rage-inducing. There is an audible sigh when epic bracers drop with Crit and Expertise, because so few people actually value this mix of stats. Suddenly a really awesome piece of gear turns terrible and it gets dusted. If every drop worked this way, I see it really impacting the loot hunt enjoyment of progression raiders.
    • The reason end-game loot progression works in World of Warcraft is because you can make a road map of gear upgrades. Didn't get Horridon's bracers? Get Ji-kun's! Didn't get Megaera's HTF dagger? Get Iron Qon's. Just hit 90? Hit up X or Y Heroic for a relevant upgrade. Tossing in this RNG element means that element of planning is diminished, and looking forward to a non-crappy upgrade later in the raid won't exist. You just need to farm bosses that drop "daggers" and pray for a good stat mix. Or you need to just keep killing raid bosses until the stat mix is more DPS-benefitting. Nothing feels within the player's control, and RNG can really bone raids (just take a look at people raging over WoW's new 2nd-loot-chance coin system). Psychologically, RNG can be devastating and unfair.
    I feel bad because I like the concept in principle and want it to work. Hell, it might work just by virtue of the fact you're a new game and people will come in with new expectations. But look at any game with stats- even D3- and you'll see just how "GOD DAMMIT!" people can get when a really great item drops... but has a terrible stat mix. People will wear the item, but they're not happy about it and are constantly looking to fix it. They usually do not enjoy wearing the item- they just tolerate it.

    I see this being the same in Wildstar, which might artificially prolong the item grind and keep items "relevant" for longer, but will ultimately just create a lot of "/spinfinger" loot drop moments. Loot should be one thing that's always exciting.
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  12. Batzorig

    Batzorig Cupcake-About-Town

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    Ah, thanks for the response, I'm glad I asked. With an explanation like that, 'random' just sounds like an inappropriate descriptor. It sounds fascinating to me, though. I particularly like the thought that there can be a trade-off between likely revelance and BiS rarity. So Dungeon A might have gloves that often roll tank stats, but the schematic is not that impressive, while Dungeon B has an amazing schematic for tanking gloves, but is more likely to get non-tanking stats, and might take more attempts/crafting work to get a successful variant.

    I was wondering if variable stats would carry over to vended/badge items as well. I like the idea for leveling gear. I always found it strange that vendors would standard around at leveling hubs trying to sell off gear no one would ever want.
  13. Batzorig

    Batzorig Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think you've actual hit on my point that the word "Random" is misleading in this circumstance, and that "Variable" is a much better term. From what I've read in Gortok's posts, every item is being designed with a concept for it in mind, and only rarely will be an outlier that is completely useless to the folks it is designed for, let alone for everyone in the raid.

    With this being the case, I think that may resolve many, if not all of your concerns on the subject, at least as far as I can tell.
  14. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    Sure. The randomness is crafted. It's random within limits. Your example with the tank gloves is pretty good. You have a decent chance of getting adequate gloves from dungeon A, but you will sometimes get really good gloves from dungeon B. Technically dungeon B gives best in slot, but dungeon A is a viable option.

    I somewhat answered this while you were writing your post I think, but I will be more specific to your question: Yes we have random gear on vendors that is pre-rolled. Sometimes you will find some blue gear on a vendor that has good stats on it. This makes it fun to go window shopping because sometimes you can find a deal. I dont think this will carry into the Elder Game, because suddenly these "deals" would become part of the progression, and I don't think it's fun to vendor hunt for specific things.
  15. Vyver

    Vyver "That" Cupcake

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    I think having vendors randomly sell good gear with good stats would be amazing. It's about time a mmo gave someone a reason to buy something from a vendor instead of just dumping trash loot.
  16. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    So this means token systems will not be a part of elder game raiding/dungeoning and everything will be dropped? Sorry if I'm trying to pry to much info from your posts, its just nice to have a conversation on forums instead of talking to a brick wall.
  17. Batzorig

    Batzorig Cupcake-About-Town

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    I believe he simply meant that having to stop at the badge vendor every day to see if today his gear has the right stat combo for you didn't seem like a good idea. It sounds like there will be some sort of bought Elder Game gear, and that it will be What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get and non-variable. Actually, that again plays into the risk vs. reward I talked about some... vendor gear is reliably solid for you, while dungeon and raid drops have the chance to be stronger, but at a risk of having a combo that isn't optimal... Interesting...
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  18. Mat'hir Uth Gan

    Mat'hir Uth Gan Cupcake-About-Town

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    Don't like RNG for loot. Don't like token vending either.

    Thought Everquest has always done loot correctly, especially the original. Extremely rare mobs with extremely rare drops that everyone competes for. Raid mobs dropping elite gear, with awesome graphics and stats, along with clickable effects. And those upgrades were always massive and meant something, not only in terms of character power, but also for appearence.

    These newer games with instances, dyes, and "appearence slots" completely removed the days where a truly elite raid drop stood out. I'm curious if WildStar will have raid drops that are unique and stand out, so that you get surrounded and inspected if you go to town. I'm also curious if Wildstar will have moments like EQ had when you got your Cloak of Flames off Nagafen and seemingly became twice as powerful instantly, or you finally get Quillmane to drop his Pegasus Cloak and now you have a new ability to levitate. Those drops changed your entire gaming experience. And that game had a ton of drops like that. THAT was exciting.

    What I've heard so far here is nothing close to exciting. I got a new shield. Great. Now, I have to find the correct adornments. Whee. Eventually maybe I get an item that is somewhat powerful, but won't make me stand out like an EQ item did. And then I have to micromanage every other item slot the same way. And to do so, I have to play the stupid RNG loot game and compete for my adornments with every other class similar to mine. That's tedium. It's not fun. Other MMOs have done this.

    I don't know. The more I hear about this game, the more I lose excitement. If you release before EQ3, I'll give you my money and try the game, but my expectations are limited. Limited races, limited classes, an odd loot system....you guys borrowed EQ2's housing, you should have borrowed more. Hopefully your crafting is taken from that game as well, but I have doubts. It seems like lots of shortcuts were taken to me due to the limited classes and races, and RNG loot seems like an easy way out as well. I guess if you have a third of Sony or Blizzard's budget, you have to make some questionable design decisions. The developers and communication here seem great. The sense of humor for the game is awesome. Not so sure about the game design decisions. I guess the future will tell.
  19. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    I hear your concerns. I think a lot of them will require retraining. You can't really look at this sort of system with the same lenses that you would look at loot drops in an MMO that uses a different system.

    It sounds like that item is not an upgrade for you, so I can imagine it wouldn't be exciting. Maybe that sword would be good for a tank to use, then. Or you can extract those tank stat chips off of the item and put them on the tank's sword.

    It will happen that items drop that aren't really viable. Our salvaging and extracting systems specifically address this. You have to get chips from salvaging and extraction. A certain percent of the gear's power can only be upgraded by salvaged or extracted chips that come from discarded items. Drop rates are adjusted to compensate.

    In WoW, all of your items have been optimized, to a certain degree. That is why random items don't feel good. Because if all the other items are pretty optimal for someone and suddenly you get one item that randomly is not optimal, it is disappointing. Lots of useless items drop in WoW, actually. If you don't have a rogue in your group and a rogue dagger drops, that is a wasted drop. If you do have a rogue but he already has that item, that's a wasted drop. You can vendor it or DE it. In WildStar, those items at least have a chance to be good for someone, or you can extract specific chips out of them to use in other items.

    If you mean you wont be able to go to an external guide and map out exactly which dungeons you need to run to get X gear, then you are correct. I humbly submit that this is a good thing. All of the sudden, rerunning content is still fun, because you may get an upgrade. If you have a specific slot you want to find an upgrade for, you can look up the best half dozen spots to upgrade it.

    Sure, I suppose. Pick a boss that can also drop pants you need and a helmet you could use. In another game you would have to farm one boss for one exact thing. You are a slave to RNG because the items you want are very specific and until you get it you have to farm the same boss. But once you have that item, you never need to do that boss ever again. How about instead you have a chance of getting multiple things from several different bosses. You have a lot more flexibility.

    I think you are being a bit overdramatic. The deal here is that items are a lot more complicated. This means you will have to make more decisions. Items that drop will be more likely to be useful to someone. You are afraid that you will somehow get screwed by the RNG more so than another system that rolls on a strict loot table, and I am afraid I just don't see it. Basically all we are talking about is extending the number of possibilities on the loot table, so that the chances of you having no reason to run a boss become minimal.

    You seem to be hung up on the idea that "if there is a 10% chance the item drops and a 40% chance it's good for me, then that's only a 4% chance that I get the item I want." The problem is, another 50% of the time that item is usable by someone else. And the boss drops 3 items with this possibility for you, rather than the 1 item that is usable that you are used to seeing in WoW.

    I have discussed the flaws with D3 and why getting gear like D3 doesn't work here.

    I respectfully disagree. If an item is not an upgrade, it will be salvaged, or extracted from.

    These moments may occur, but only for people who have no higher content that they can progress into that have been grinding the same content for a long time. Going up a tier of Elder Game content increases your budget by roughly 8%. A 100% optimal item from tier 1 can be replaced by anything 92% optimal or better in tier 2. We just have to make sure that most items drop end up with stats that are 90-100% optimal for some class/spec
    (this is a simplification. There is a built in suboptimal aspect to all items, but as long as that is the same, tier to tier, it can be ignored. To bring back a previous example, all pants have defensive stats on them, therefore from tier-to-tier it doesn't matter that a piece of DPS gear drops with 20% of its stats on deflect, if it is replacing an item that has 20% armor).
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  20. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    It does not mean this. I don't know what has been announced along these regards. Any gear you get from a vendor will be supplemental to fill in holes, most likely, rather than be best-in-slot.
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