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There is only one way to balance crafting skills


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I've been a long time player. Played a bit of Alpha 13 and every Alpha after that. Just an FYI.


Alpha 15/16 (and before) are the only ones that had "balanced" crafting skills. Once TFP went to "point buy" they introduced a problem that any avid RPG fan has seen in games such as D&D (also NWN). No matter how many ways I've seen designers try and balance around this, they always run into the same problems. You simply cannot balance noncombat against combat.


The only way to balance combat and noncombat is to seperate them.


There are several ways to do this. You can use "use them to raise them" like Skryim and A15/16. You can use seperate experience/point pools (Fable games). You can use class progression (ick, please don't).


My preference is "use them to raise them" like Skyrim. I'm still very disapointed that the game has moved into this abstracted XP system, where you can run around killing zombies with a shotgun and bow and arrow, and become a master of sniper rifles and scavenging. In addition, games with "use them to raise them" are much more approachable than games that work like a D&D character sheet. In general, I think abstracted designs (earn XP from a bunch of different tasks, but then use that XP to get good at whatever you feel like), are bad game design. The whole industry is moving away from this. In general, the biggest blockbusters are less abstract (In World of Warcraft, you don't raise smithing by killing mobs and using that xp to raise smithing).


But what about the "grinding?"


Grinding really just means "gameplay that isn't fun." One struggle with 7 days to die is it attracts two very distinct player types. "The gatherer/crafter" and the "looter/killer." The first player doesn't mind grinding materials and "crafting 600 stone pickaxes," and often find tasks like that in general rewarding. They probably find killing tons and tons of zombies boring, repetitive and/or frustrating. The second player type is the opposite. They want frequent battles, and probably find things like mining tunnels tedious and boring.


In order to solve these issues without making either player unhappy, the game just needs to focus on it's strengths... allowing players to achieve many things doing only the thing they like doing, as well as tweaking (not eliminating), "boring tasks" to be a little less boring. A15/A16 had issues, but very solveable issues, for how these tasks were structured. These earlier builds were very focused on the gatherer/builder. But in A18, you can almost entirely ignore crafting, since nearly every item (and often the best items) are easily obtained on a scavenger/killer build. Some of the "grindiness" issues of A15/A16 are easily solveable. I had made a simple mod that allowed you to craft certain stackable items (that were also often needed in large quantities) to raise the skills that often required you to fill boxes and boxes with the same item (stone pickaxes).



I also noticed a big problem with the game loop on A17 and A18. In previous versions, you would spend most of the day collecting / scavenging, and then at night, doing minor base improvements (nothing that made too much noise), and crafting. Since there is no real reason to "grind crafting," there's even less to do at night, meaning you're bored. On servers, it was often already a problem that players would be logging out at night (especially for bloodmoon), but I'm finding myself not even wanting to waste RL time being in the game at night.


In Summary, realistic progression > abstract progression. Separate XP/Point Pools > combined pool

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Personally I'd switch it back to the "use them to raise them" method of improving skills in a heartbeat. Yeah the spam crafting was annoying but at the same time, who's to say a person wouldn't build something, take it apart, and then put it back together again over and over until it was at a desired quality for their purpose. Yeah it kinda speeds the game up, but it's not like people don't have their way of finding iron or steel tools day one anyways. I hit up every car in a town. Usually end up with at least one metal tool. Sometimes even 1 of each.


I'm also kind of that weird guy who plays fantasy games and loves an element of realism in them. There's a model for an M4 in the game already. It's just not fully implemented. There's a mod for it though. The mod uses the 7.62 ammo that's already in the game. I've switched that to new 5.56 ammo. I'm even working on expanding the boring, and absurd in my opinion, format of casings and bullet tips that are universal in size. The ability to improve with shotguns without using them is even more absurd. It just makes sense that you'd have to work with them to improve in shooting or crafting. Personally I've even thought that that method plus skill boosts from books would be the best method.

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Not sure if I agree. Then again, I love Old School Runescape.


I meant the way people use it derogatorily. Especially on these forums, some very vocal people would complain about crafting being "grindy," and I suspect it was these whiners that got them to change it to the current point buy system. Although, usually if people are whining "the game isn't fun" it's because the reality is they've played it so much, they're bored of it. I play 7DtD once a year until I've very thoroughly exhausted what's released and then wait until next year to do that again. Some people will continously play the same game (even for thousands of hours) until they're so, so, so sick of it, that all the updates in the world couldn't make it fun and fresh for them again...

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