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Design Costs

edited July 2020 in Feedback
I'd like to know the reason for making design-based skillsets cost 200 credits, on top of a five-thousand mark submission, on top of the costs to actually produce an item. And ideally, I'd like to see these costs reduced.

There is no reasonable way someone who takes up a design-based tradeskill is ever going to get their investment back, or even get close to it. Design-based tradeskills are there to help enhance the flavor of the game, and having an outlandish cost of entry impedes the entire purpose of them.


- Remove the five-thousand mark design fee. Give crafters a certain amount of free designs per in-game year to prevent flooding of the system, and add an optional marks-for-extra-submissions.
- Provide reasonable ways for crafters to make marks. More in-person shops would be great. An AD system similar to what other IREs have would be great. A daily quest system for crafters to make some crafts and deliver them for marks would be great, but potentially overpowered.
- Reduce the 200 credit entry fee. Seriously. Why do design skills have this, but mechanical skills (Which will always make more money) do not?


  • There are daily credits tasks for crafting right now: one credit per ten items crafted and per one design submitted. While the latter doesn't quite manage to make design submissions free, the former does mean that you will eventually 'earn back' your credits even if you don't actually sell anything.

    As for why design skills cost credits but modding skills don't, design skills require the admins to do work in the form of approving designs, while modding skills do not.

  • Unless you're making food for 50 marks each, 10 crafted items will cost you more than a credit. So for people who make clothes/jewelry/furniture, if you don't sell that 10 then it's a net loss.

    Also let's be honest - it's not a large game and how often do people buy crafted items anyway? Most of them buy designs in shops, so it doesn't count for the daily credit.

    We had a similar discussion a long time ago. I remember the main argument why there's a 200 credit fee to acquire a design skill: it's to prevent overworking the devs while simultaneously protecting the game from a flood of substandard designs, which apparently happened in Lusternia (a game where anyone can acquire a tradeskill without having to spend extra credits for it, just lessons to max out the skill).

    However, I don't think that's an issue with Starmourn as it is right now. I don't remember the last time when a new tradeskill design came out, so if anything opening the skills to more people would stir more creativity and result in more varied designs.
  • I am somewhat less concerned about the 200 credit cost (though it is steep) than I am about the design cost. Five thousand marks is, at least for me, at minimum an hour or two of bashing, assuming nothing goes wrong and I don't stop. I hate bashing. I find it dull, tedious, and repetitive.

    In order to fill all fifty design slots afforded to me as a crafter, I'd need a total of 250,000 marks. 500,000 to fill both my Cuisine and Mixologist slot, assuming no designs are rejected due to typos or so on. At a extremely-generous estimate of 5000 marks an hour bashing for me, I'd be investing 250-500 hours of effort into filling my design slots, or roughly 12.5 weeks of full-time 40-hour-a-week work. This does not count time spent actually designing the goods.

    I understand mileage may vary on bashing, and that there's other ways to make marks. But that does not retract from the point that this is an incredibly unreasonable ask from a game design perspective. Crafting is a way to enhance the overall flavor of the MUD and the roleplay environment. Given that it offers no mechanical reward and minimal (if any) monetary reward, I'd go so far as to call design-based a service to the RP environment. And especially given that we're still in Beta and have one of the smallest playerbases of any IRE, an enhanced RP environment, particularly one that requires minimal admin intervention, is exactly what we need right now.

    To those arguing that making design costs cheaper, or free, would flood the system, I direct you to two things. The first is the possibility of a peer-review system. My understanding is that Lusternia already does this. It can't be hard to implement here. The second is this. These are raw numbers pulled from the login screen of each IRE mud, as of 5pm EST today (Saturday):

    Achaea: 159 Players Logged-in.
    Lusternia: 79 Players Logged-in.
    Aetolia: 65 Players Logged-in.
    Imperian: 22 Players Logged-in.
    Starmourn: 21 Players Logged-in.

    Assuming this is at least semi-representative of the sizes of our respective playerbases, I'm going to go out a limb here and guess that Starmourn doesn't need to worry about the system being flooded a la Achaea and Lusternia. Especially if the number of free designs is limited per in-game year and/or we have a peer review system in place.

    There's no reason to make it so difficult to be a crafter here.

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