Prime: BFD’s Profession system ignites my imagination

Discovering schematics by experimenting with resources.

Prime is coming out of left field with all these details arising from recent info dumps drops.  I’m keeping a running tally of what gets me more excited every time.  It started with 3 factions then went on to harvesters placed in the world, capturing geography/bases/tangible meaningful locations, fighting enemy factions are “end-game”, and now it’s their crafting/profession details.  The info drop today skims the surface of their professions system by, basically, saying it’s very close to how SWG handled crafting.

The one profession in particular that has me intrigued is the Soldier for Hire.  We  always dream about roleplaying that person who protects the crafters (or anyone?).  Now it’s built into the game where the “government” rewards players for doing the job.  I also like the inventor and how I can imagine it working well with their schematic idea (items need to actually be discovered by players and can be improved upon with better resources etc.)

I love durability loss.  Several years ago I wrote about how one simple thing like durability snowballs into a community building tool.  Fighters need weapons, weapons break, craters make weapons, crafters need resources for more weapons, fighters get resources or help crafters get them, crafters make weapons, fighters use those weapons, fighters break weapons, then you start over.  It’s the circle of life.  It’s a beautiful thing when it brings everyone together into this harmony of roles that need filling.  People feel the need to secure their future by incrasing their fame, power, or wealth.  Suddenly the world feels lived in as people are always moving about to secure their future.

Thoughtful crafting makes crafters feel alive. Being able to say that your weapons are the best in the galaxy because you’ve sought after the hardest to find materials makes you known. If Gungbar the sniper needs the best possible stats on his rifle to maintain his edge (and his fame) then he’s going to do his best to obtain the strongest weapons.  Gungbar will find the right crafter to be his supplier and a relationship will form because Gungbar will be back for more.  This gives crafters a reason to strive for the excellence.  Now a real economy exists as harvesters (a profession in Prime) seek out the best stuff to buy and sell.  Crafters work hard to refine their recipes (schematics) to find that perfect balance between profitability and effort.

It is my true hope that Prime will support players who choose to make crafting their primary focus.  In WoW, the best PvPer can also be the best crafter.  Suddenly everyone just crafts for themselves and the entire circle of life falls apart.  I hope that it takes effort and passion to progress beyond the status quo and that those who truly try can set themselves apart.  Nevertheless, even without crafting classes there is great potential in the littlest details being dropped on us today.


  • Based on previous Q&A, the max-crafting thing should be similar to DAoC. You can max out only one profession, but do all professions up to a certain level. This should limit the number of “experts” in the field and create more of a reliance upon the community to fully complete your toon.

    I’m excited. 🙂

  • Now if they’d only reduce char slots to like 2 or 3 max so we don’t get the ‘alt for every tradeskill’ garbage..

  • I’m not sure that’s something to be terribly concerned with, Darkstryke. The number of players who actually head that direction are pretty few and far between. Even if some people did, would it screw up the economy? More items available for your faction is usually a good thing. Competition in the economy also makes for better pricing. With item decay in the loop here, you’re not going to see people just craft and forget about it. It’ll be an ongoing cycle as Keen noted.

  • I think limiting the number of characters is worth exploring. SWG’s limit to just 1 character helped in a big way. However, DAOC did not limit nor did it have specific crafting classes (IE: You could be a PvPer and craft) yet people found a way to be better crafters by devoting more time to it.

  • Those are two good points, I guess it’s just initial reaction to what has become of the ‘crafters’ in the last like 6 years of the terrible WoW model that every game since has taken. Reflecting on DAoC I think as it was such a large undertaking to ‘max’ a skill most didn’t do it. Heck, even in EQ most didn’t bother to touch the tradeskills let alone max them all (with AA’s eventually).

    Item decay thought is what really ties the whole thing together. If there is no exit source of items leaving a game you can never have a proper tradeskill ecosystem that is viable. In EVE you have a 50% chance to flat out lose an item when a ship it is on or in is destroyed, in other games you have item decay, etc.

    When I first saw ‘yes to item decay’ in that cast like two weeks ago it was the moment I knew this crafting system was something worth investigating further. If it had been another ‘items never leave the game’ style system I wouldn’t have given it any additional thought.

  • Alts were a large problem in DAoC and they threaten that circle of life you’re talking about. You never heard, “wait, lemme log in my alt for that”? We had a guy in our hib DAoC guild that had enough alts to craft everything and even a dual boxed animist/druid so he could farm all the artifacts by himself too. Alts are bad for game economies just like supply/demand incongruencies are. Especially if your endgame is PvP. During offpeak hours people will be levelling their alts. If you want that circle, hope for 1 character slot. . .or if you have to have alts make 1 main slot and multiple ‘capped skills’ slots.

  • @IlkRehp: I quit 6 months after ToA. Maybe it became more rampant. Bottom line, you’re absolutely correct. Alts are bad for serious crafting economies.

  • Item decay is great, I just hope that items cannot be repaired (at least not indefinately); maybe we can break the cycle of farming raids for months to use your dkp to get a sword that has an additional +1 on it. After your purple + 13 Vorpal Sword of the Fiery God finally breaks, a +2 pointed stick might not be wholly unreasonable to equip as opposed to vendoring/dissembling, and then the progression for better items renews itself!

    Yes, I hate games where everyone can craft everything; the end result is that no one feels unique and the economy is severely undermined. That was a major reason I stopped playing Fallen Earth…

  • In SWG your weapon would degrade and a smuggler could try to repair it but the best they could do was prolong the inevitable. It might be 100/100 and drop to 20/100 and when you get it repaired it goes to 70/70, etc.

    In DAOC you would repair things and they would essentially lose quality and become inferior. Better to just buy a new one.

  • Regarding Alts being bad for the game economy:

    I’m not sure I agree. Maybe a min-level character that can just sit there and craft it up would be slightly detrimental, but that won’t be the case. Much like Wow, there appears to be a min-level required for creating items. That’s going to keep the mule character off the radar as purely bottom feeders. Plus, if they have to go out and gather prime to craft, they’ll be PvP fodder.

    Even if they have an alt go gather prime, it’s going to be that much more to kill out there.

    The flaw to DAoC’s crafting system was that you could just sit inside Camelot, Jord, TNN or wherever and take in cash and turn out items. There was no motivation to get out into the world and gather. That’s different here, someone is going to have to get out there and gather, whether you buy prime from a person or off an Auction House, you’re going to be receiving the end-result of FvF gameplay.

    That seems an order of magnitude better, if you ask me.

  • Well I have basicly only played WoW (for 5.5 years) and eventough the item decay idea is a bit of a scare to me, I clearly see how it effects the crafting circle of life you are all reminiscing about.

    But my question is; how long does it take for an item to break?
    And some people are very emotional about some weapons (legendaries in WoW, other vanity stuff?) wouldn’t it kill or atleast prohibit some kind of RP?

  • Loosely @ Rancid,

    The issue with allowing multiple maxed out crafting alts is that people become self-reliant (which is a style of game-play for some).

    Once you’re self-reliant you no longer have to contribute to the in-game economy through trading, so auction house volume and prices drop.

    So scarcity in products and materials is what creates interesting and deep economies, forcing people to make meaningful decisions and interact with each other towards a true crafting game rather than a side line.

  • I am not sure how I feel about the alt thing. Although I more agree with Mesar’s POV, it might work against non-guilded players, as people naturally aren’t as self-reliant if they can depend on guild mates.

    Either way is a gamestyle decision, but alts do help balance things out for the people who prefer to not be guilded…

  • A great compromise for the alt thing would be easy to implement, I think. And tell me if anyone sees a flaw right off…

    Simple. You can make multiple characters. (Whatever PB decides is good, up to them. IE DAoC had 10 char slots)

    The crux is, only one character can have a profession.

    With this system in place, people that wanted to explore other class types could still easily do that without being punished, and the crafting system would remain intact instead of becoming alt-infested.

    You could level that profession to max, but if you ever wanted to do a different profession, you would need to respec, losing all skills in said profession, and starting over in your new profession choice.

    All of your alts simply wouldn’t be able to even grab up a profession.

    This makes the crafting profession choice meaningful, limits the craft-alt-self-sufficiency (to multiple accounts), and still lets people play multiple classes.


  • john lane earthrise has a built from scratch engien that needs more /better devs working on it hero engine is ALot better than what earthrise is. plus prime has some very experinced devs coding it

  • Mesar,

    I can see how the self-reliance thing could be negative, but if you make crafting time-consuming enough, you’re going to stop the majority of players from going down this path. From the near-ToA days in DAoC, I don’t remember everyone having more than one (maybe two) LGM crafters. It was just a bear to get 1100 points in anything.

    That’s just my fuzzy memory though. I really don’t think it’s going to be an issue.

  • @yamisniper no you are wronge they play very same and ITS very bugggy and messy good idea but it is and will be off like all the other indies. stick with BW.

  • @Rancid
    Your memory is correct – crafting in DAOC was so time consuming and mind-numbingly boring it was a legendary task to max it out. Yet it was also absolutely necessary for players of the game to use crafted items. Prime needs to have this reliance on crafting – don’t make it a useless side-line where only consumables are worth buying/crafting at end game.

    And I would totally be for am account limit on crafting mastery. So all your alts can get 70% there, but only one can max a profession.

  • @Rawblin what if I play a class for a while and work on my profession, before maxing out my class I start an alt realize I like it way more. However still loved my profession.

    I would have to drop it on my original and re-level it on my new class. That doesn’t sound like much fun.

    This is a common occurrence you get to mid level with 1 class try an alt and fall in love making it max level before your original one.

  • Is it me or is anyone else impressed by the fact they are doing a lot of showing instead of just talking. For some reason i get this odd feeling like they know what they are doing. And that scares me, indie devs never know what they are doing.

  • Starcraft did not have remotely original races:

    Terran = Humans
    Protoss = Warhammer 40K Eldar = Tolkien Elves
    The Zerg = Warhammer 40K Tyranids = Geiger’s Alien

  • And the StarCraft Terran/Humans are very much based on Warhammer 40K Space Marines :p

  • One solution to self-reliance approach would be to have crafting account-based, not character-based. This way you could advance crafting with all characters but you could max only one profession per account. And if you wanted to change your main character, then you wouldn’t lose the work you had done to crafting.

  • Awesome point Armo.

    I like when crafting truly matters. I like the idea that every so often my weapon can no longer be repaired and therefore need a new one. The best quality will however always cost a small fortune.

    In order to purchase the best, you either have to have big money in your pocket from grinding or be a member of a guild that will provide for their members.

    The only other alternative is to visit a gold farmer. I think this game has a shot at doing pretty well.

  • Some people like to play alts. If they want to put in the time to master all crafting professions, I don’t see the problem with that. It’s his account, his subscription, his money, and his playstyle.

  • If it goes counter to an intended design (crafting interdependence) then I do care, otherwise why bother to have a forced dependance in the first place?

  • The problem with limiting everyone to just 1 character per server is that people will just buy another account for an alt. There was many people in SWG with multiple accounts. I’m not sure how they could circumvent that but just having 1 toon per server will not stop people from having alts.

  • @Keen – Not in EvE o.0

    @ArMo – That is a great addendum to my previous idea.

  • Rawblin: I had 4 eve accounts, I paid a grand total of $0 per month for them. EVE is pretty unique, I know of no other major MMO where you can pay for game time using ingame currency (though obviously someone, somewhere paid for that game time to sell onto the ingame market).