Taking the Soul System a Step Further

In various interviews, Russ Brown has always stated that the mean to take the Soul System into further directions than just the current character spec options that it currently contains.  He has mentioned numerous times about the possibility of “fluff” Souls, ones that have no combat purpose but are just for entertainment value.  Things like a Soul for Halloween or one that allows you to shoot fireworks

An example of the "Stormtrooper" crafting Soul

.  This has always struck me as a great idea and an easy way to add that all important “fluff” to give character and depth to the game over and above the combat aspects.

I recently posted a thread on the Rift: Planes of Telara forums about what community members would like to see with this system.  There were a ton of great ideas, everything from an Illusion soul that will allow you to change into a bear or other animal form, to a “Whittling” soul that will allow you to whittle various things from wood and then animate them for a short period of time.  However, the one that struck me as the most interesting was a Crafting Soul suggestion posted by CyclopsSlayer.  This suggestion really struck a chord with me and got me thinking.

Why not take the depth and customization inherent in the Soul System and apply it to the crafting system?  This would be a fantastic way to design a deep and complex crafting system using a format that players will already be familiar with.  Let’s take a look at the possibilities!

First up would be the archetypes.  Archetypes would determine what type of crafting you could do.  Let us say that at level 10 you can pick a crafting archetype.  For example, you could choose Metalworking, Alchemy or Leatherworking.  This would be your permanent crafting archetype and could not be changed.

From there you could have different Metalworking souls that would be obtained by leveling your crafting, completing crafting quests or as rare drops from monsters.  For instance, there could be a Dragon-Scale Soul that would allow you to work with Dragon Scale in your crafting.  Each Soul would allow you to put points in the Dragon-Scale tree, just like with an adventurer soul.  The more points you put in the tree, the better you are at working with Dragon-Scale.  This would allow you to add special attributes into what you are crafting, things appropriate to Dragon-Scale.

In addition, just like with adventuring Souls, you would be able to equip up to three crafting Souls.  As an example you could equip a Dragon-Scale Soul, a Mithril Soul and a Elemental Armor Soul.  From there you would put points into each of the souls, showing how capable you are with each.  Again, the amount of points in each tree would determine what type of attributes you could imbue your created armor with and what types of advantages you could create with each.

Furthermore, they could allow you to work with existing armor.  Let’s say you have a brand new set of armor that dropped off a boss in a recently completed instance.  You know that the next instance you will be doing has mobs that use a lot of fire damage.  So you equip your Dragon-Scale Soul and use it to imbue your recently acquired armor with a higher Fire Resistance.  If you are not a metalworker, then you can find someone else who is and who is specced into the Dragon-Scale armor Soul and have him do it for you.  For a price, of course.

The possibilities are limitless.  Each archetype could have many different Souls, all representing a different form of that archetype and giving special abilities dependent on the number of points you have in that tree.  Combine three Souls and you could really create some interesting and varied equipment or potions.

I really like this idea.  It is deep, it has a lot of room for customization, it is immediately familiar to Rift fans and it is unique.  I do not think you could ask for more from a crafting system.

What do you folk think?

2 Responses

  1. I approve of this idea. Whenever I’ve creating crafting systems for my imaginary MMOs they’ve been based on a tree system to allow differentiation between crafters even of the same type. Why should every Blacksmith be just as good at everything as every other Blacksmith, limited only by what rare recipes they’ve gotten through luck or vast sums of money (ala WoW)? I hate that system.

    Making a craft more like a talent tree (or soul tree in this case) allows for diversity within each craft AND gives players a better sense of accomplishment and control over their character. Dropping points into a talent tree is fun. It’s clear character development. You get to make choices. Grinding out five mithril belts to unlock the mithril gloves so you can grind five of those to unlock mithril pants is . . . dull. And pointless.

    With a tree system you can make advancement meaningful. Allow a choice to unlock a block of recipes, allow another choice to give bonuses. Have general crafting “talents” that do things like reduce crafting time of items. Craft the tree such that it’s simply not possible to get all the recipes and bonuses, make the guy with Dragonscale Armor skills maxed out renowned for his great Dragonscale armor, but if you want a sword, you better find someone else.

    So yeah, I hope Trion does something like this. Have they talked about crafting at all yet? I can’t recall anything.

  2. […] Intentions thinks that Rift could expand its soul system even […]

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