Crafting XP: Yay or Nay?

One of the changes that came with update 9 is that your characters now accrue character XP towards leveling.

In our kinchat, we’ve had some lively discussions as to whether this is good or bad.

To address this at CSTM, we had a “mini-roundtable” with Vraeden, Ketani, Merric and Goldenstar to talk about how this might affect the game.


Vraeden:  What do you think about this new development?

Ketani:  I think this an excellent change. I have approximately eleventy billion alts and not nearly enough time to level them, so anything that allows me to speed up the process of getting them to the level cap is a great addition to the game.

Vraeden:  For an alt-oholic, I can see how anything that makes leveling easier to be good, but what happens when you get your toon up to the level cap through crafting and you haven’t killed anything or left the craft hall?

To me, the worst case scenario is a level 85 character showing up for a raid or group with no class traits, no virtues, no racial traits and no legendaries because all they’ve done is craft and haven’t used any of their skills.

Ketani:  Ah, but how likely are we to actually see characters that did all of their leveling in the craft hall? You get experience from gathering materials as well as crafting things, so it’s going to be in your best interests to have these alts out in the world, mining their own ore and studying their own navels (or whatever it is scholars actually do with one of their resource nodes). I’m not advocating using XP from crafting as your sole source of XP, but as an additional boost.

Vraeden:  I just see the tremendous potential for abuse For instance, if you have high level prospector alts, you can feed your lowbie crafting materials and level up your prospector and weaponsmith/jeweler/metalsmith without leaving the craft hall. Same thing for a yeoman who wants to level up their farmer and cook crafting, or a tailor whom you can feed leather and hides.

Ketani:  How is it abuse, though? It’s a feature added by Turbine that they clearly want us to use. I feel if you’re spending your time doing something in game more useful than trolling GLFF, you should be getting experience for it

Why should killing be the only thing we learn from? Is the only experience worth remembering that of taking an orc or goblin’s life? Shouldn’t there be a valuable lesson in learning how to make a campfire kit or hunter’s trap or beautiful cloak? Who’s to say that a hobbit doesn’t benefit more from knowing how to bake a bilberry pie than from whacking a warg over the head?

Vraeden:  My worry is that people will use this in lieu of learning their skills to race up to the level cap and then trying to get into a BG or Orthanc raid without any class traits.

Do you think this may be something for the RPers and folks who have crafting alts to help them get into the zones where crafting is reputation gated?

With all of the XP accelerators that are out there now, I’ve seen people who have high level characters who don’t know how to play their classes, and in a group, that becomes a problem. I’ve encountered captains who don’t know that they can remove fear, lore-masters who don’t know what a stun DoT is, and burgs that don’t know what HIPS is.

Ketani:  I think that the problem of people being unaware of their class’ skills is a problem we’ve had for quite a while, and not one that would go away even if they were forced to slow down their leveling. If a person can’t be bothered to read their skills and earn their class traits, that’s definitely a problem, but it’s not one that is brought about by giving people accelerated ways to earn experience. It’s an issue that’s been around for as long as I can remember.

I really don’t think that a completely clueless character walking into a raid is going to be an issue (at least not solely because of XP from crafting), though. In my experience, most players interested in raiding pick a class or two that they want to raid on, and focus their energy on making sure that their main character is ready to raid. In most cases, crafting alts are there to simply support the main. These days they’re being leveled to get the reputation they need to make whatever scroll or earring or trail food they can’t otherwise make without reputation, and then they’re back to being parked in the crafting hall.

I would not be surprised if a big part of the motivation for Turbine adding this feature was an attempt to appease players frustrated that their alts needed to level before they could continue on with their crafting. For finding a way to address that concern, I applaud them.

Merric:  I’d also like to add that don’t you think that accelerated experience is just shedding more light on how awful the system is for acquiring virtues and traits? These are two things that are based on some fairly antiquated MMO development strategies. I think you’d be hard pressed to find any games out there that are top-tier MMOs and don’t allow you to obtain skills through leveling and traiting rather than mashing a skill button 300-400 times or killing 300+ enemies in the same area; just so you can move onto another area and kill another 300+ mobs. I would also argue that leveling through the landscape doesn’t necessarily make you better at playing your character.

Vraeden:  I agree with both of the above statements. I’ve always been puzzled as to why we need to use [INSERT SKILL HERE] 100/350/750/1,500 times in order to earn a class trait, or kill 120/240 of something to earn a virtue point. That just seems very grindy. At the same time, it also makes me more invested in my character since I’ve played him/her for a hundred hours or so by the time they get to the level cap.

A few years ago, to get to the higher craft tiers, you had to go into a higher level zone to complete a quest, but people solved this by getting a max level kinmate or friend to escort them to Angmar or the Trollshaws, so you’d see a level 17 supreme master tailor or something ridiculous like that.

At the same time, I also know that most folks really only play three or four different characters (tops), but you need 7 toons to get into each of the craft guilds, so a lot of people were having toons that couldn’t advance through the tier 7 and tier 8 crafting levels due to the reputation gating.

My problem with this is that I just see new players coming in to the game, leveling up their toons through crafting rather than playing, and then wanting to go on raids or skirmishes under-virtued and without all of their class skills. Without arguing the merits of the grindy virtue/trait system, the fact of the matter is that this is what LOTRO has in place, so do you think this will result in an increase in players who don’t know their classes, or is this something that is in place as a convenience for the players with a bajillion alts to level up their crafting alts that they really don’t play anyway?

Ketani:  Oh, don’t get me started on the class deed/virtue grind. I’ve actually abandoned leveling one of my alts because I thought it’d be fun to power level it in skirms over a double XP weekend. Then later, it was nearly impossible to play that character without any virtues or traits appropriate to my new level (around 20 levels higher than when I started skirmishing). It was simpler to me to just start over with a new character and level the normal way than to try and get caught up on that toon.

So I suppose there is the danger of leveling too fast to keep up with character progression, but the same could be said for using the pocket items that give +50% XP to monster kills or any of the XP boosts in the store. If people want to find ways to skip ahead in leveling, they will, this just adds another option for doing that.

One positive thing with this is that it gives another option for free-to-play leveling. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aside from having to purchase crafting guild access, F2P players can craft all the way up to Eastemnet tier if they like, right? I know there would be some recipes gated by reputation that may be unavailable to them, but they’d have the basic tier access, at least. So, this gives someone tight on funds a way to progress their character in addition to the usual grinding of mobs and tasks. I don’t think this will be a F2P player’s sole means of leveling, but in an already limited system, one more option is a good thing in my opinion.

Vraeden:  I read about the crafting XP in the release notes, but it didn’t hit me until I was crafting on my lowbie lore-master, who was about 4 bubbles short of level 25 at the time. I was farming and cooking (two activities which I LOATHE, but might not be so bad if I can get regular XP from them), and set it to “autocraft” and then went to do laundry. When I came back, I had leveled up and was a quarter of the way to level 26!

After two days of this, I am now level 28 and just starting tier 4 of farming and cooking.  It should be noted that it appears that crafting XP is counted as a “monster kill” with respect to rest XP and other XP accelerators.

At this rate, I can see myself making supreme master farmer/cook and getting to level 40 without leaving the Shire. The idea of there being more to a character than killing things makes a lot of sense from a role-play or character development point of view, but I wonder if this is going to screw up the game’s other mechanics.

Goldenstar:  Wut is crafting? Can I eatz it?

Vraeden:  Yes, it’s very good for second breakfast. I’d try it with some delicious crispy bacon and an apple and cheese pie.

Ketani:  LOL, on that note, is this the time to mention how coincidental it is that the crafting XP is being added at the same time as the XP disabler in the store? Personally, I’m of the opinion that more options are good, and that although a lot of people have asked for an XP disabler for a long time, I’m sure the number of people wanting that option is still smaller than the number of people who will appreciate crafting from XP, so I’m glad that’s the option they chose to add to the store and not the crafting XP one.

Vraeden:  It could very well be that this is a way to sell XP disablers, which I might consider buying if they weren’t 495 per character. Maybe if they were per account at that price.

Maybe we’ll have to see how this plays out over a period of time.  Will it make existing problems (players who don’t know their class) worse?  Or is it a nice way to level up alts that you just keep around for crafting?

Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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About Vræden

I was suckered into playing an MMO by some friends and have been stuck around ever since. My "main" is a minstrel on the Elendilmir server, but I'm a pretty casual player who likes a good raid every now and then. My healing skills are spectacularly average, and I am known as the Elf Queen of Lousy Healing to my friends. I like long walks on the beach, puppies and mowing down orcs by the dozen. If you see me in-game, say hi or send me a tell. You can also email me or follow me on the Twitter.

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40 Responses to “Crafting XP: Yay or Nay?”

  1. Alawon Says:

    I wish it were on a toggle. I have an alt that is just a farmer and cook and one day I might want to actually play her, but she will have levelled past a bunch of content.

    Reply

  2. Crell of Riddermark, Vanguard Says:

    If it were a toggle, they couple have kept the much nicer XP rates they had initially. Currently the XP rates associated give me a Meh. It’s just enough to be annoying and level me when I don’t want to level, and not enough to be a viable source of long-term leveling.

    Reply

  3. Lanark Says:

    I really like the new xp, for crafting and for festival quests. I don’t spend time on slayer virtues until near or at level cap (and then only for raid toons) since they’re so incredibly boring. Getting extra xp helps through some of the slow levels, the mid 40s, for example, are so painful. I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference in people’s abilities to play their class well in raids/groups. Those skills come from, well, raiding! If you really want to be good at your role, you’ll study your skills, use the class forums and ask questions. Plus you’ll have good crafted gear to start with! :)

    Reply

  4. Groo Says:

    So far it seems that you can level the low level toons, if you are trying to get them to maxed out crafting capacity, fairly quickly. However, the higher the toon level the less impact the crafting xp has on level gain. So this is something you’ll notice more at the lower levels but won’t have as much impact later on. The Festival XP seems to be having more impact in my experience so far.

    Just my observations. YMMV

    On the whole, though, I am enjoying getting my crafting toons to a higher level. Perhaps they can even learn to use better tools at some point. =)

    Reply

  5. Avatar of Azakael
    Azakael Says:

    My only issue is that two of my key crafting toons (My Weaponsmith and my Jeweler) are also the two toons that are supposed to be played on level with some of my kinmates that have been playing off and on.

    Other than that, I’m cool with it. In fact, next time I have a long grind of mat processing, I might actually pop my XP over time tokens for that instead of using it for mobs.

    Reply

  6. Strunto Says:

    Yeah, I have a metalsmith who was a couple of blocks into level 25. I shipped him a bunch of Khazad-ores and he crafted a good portion of the Supreme level tier and eventually hit level 26. It really doesn’t seem like it’d be enough to gain significant levels, but admittedly, my experience (ahem) is limited.

    Personally, I think crafting xp is a direct answer to Guild Wars 2 offering it. In that game, it really is possible to gain a significant fraction of your levels from simply crafting (and, in fact, the early areas can be quite difficult to get through if you don’t pick up a crafting profession to supplement your leveling.) It’s one of those things that’s awesome at first, when you really want to level, and then sucks a lot when you hit level 80 while making a pair of leather boots and feel like something that should have felt like an accomplishment was more of a wet fart. (If you hadn’t guessed, I’m speaking from personal experience in this instance)

    So… I’m a little conflicted. I still think hitting the higher tiers of crafting should offer more benefits to the crafter. I also think that it might be a better idea to scale down the xp offered by crafting, the higher tier you get. Might seem a little backwards, but I think it would fit better with what most people want to get out of crafting. Maybe?

    Reply

  7. Avatar of andyb
    andyb Says:

    My worry about craft xp was that it’d be stupidly high to encourage people into buying a disabler.

    Having done some on various alts I’m much happier to see than the xp you get from smelting one bar isnt higher than you’d get for killing the boar that was sat beside the node when you mined it. I can see me saving the smelting kick for the tail end of a levelling session or if I afk for a bit during gametime.

    Class based traits I’ve never found to be all that bad, apart from those res deeds. There’s quite a nice synergy between the trait deeds and gambits as the deed encourages you to train your fingers into a new gambit.

    Whereas virtue grinds seem to get steadily worse through the early regions then start to dip once you reach mirkwood and beyond to a far more manageable level. Think with the exception of the crabain slayer for RoI most, if not all, were pretty much done through the natural course of questing.

    Reply

  8. Rulin Says:

    It’s like in many middle age tales, smiths are always the strongest. Even if they didn’t have a lot of combat experience.
    Just look at game of thrones!

    Reply

  9. Vonrothbart of Landroval Says:

    I did some crafting on my lvl 46 jeweler and I got maybe 2 or 3 bubs out of it for 1 evening’s worth of playing. Not that much really.

    Reply

  10. Pakita Says:

    Everything that speeds up leveling in this game gets a “YAY!” from me. I hate questing in this game because Turbine gos into quantity over quality. We have thousands of quests and all are pretty much the same. It frustrates me also that I not only have to do those quests to level up, but I also have to pay for it. Paying for things I hate instead for things I love seems wrong.

    Reply

  11. managawal Says:

    Yay from me. It offer more options to level which is always a good thing. Regarding player with lack of skill to play in raids, well those skill come from raiding not solo questing or killing mob in landscape.

    I do also think that experience dis-abler is nicely price. You will only want 1 or 2 alts to not level by crafting so go buy them and support the game.

    Reply

  12. susan Says:

    I can be a boon to low lvl players who are just starting out, the exp at higher lvls is not that great. but in the end, choice would have been best, a simple free toggle off button would have gone a long way to player satisfaction.

    Reply

  13. danania Says:

    Crafting Yay from me. :)

    I was well aligned with Ketani’s postion. My lil crafters are there to be crafters and would gain levels only to be better crafters.

    People who don’t bother to learn to play their characters And try to enter raids will still be oblivious after this change. It will just be another way that they will arrive clueless.

    Reply

  14. Pasduil Says:

    From what I’ve seen the crafting XP is not going to add that much to your leveling, so in practice probably not that big of a deal either way.

    On the principle of the thing, I have mixed feelings. I have alts I would like to level quicker, and anything that helps is probably good there. But there are annoyances as well, like a crafter I left at level 15 on purpose so they had the novice mark run speed buff to help get around a little quicker. Now they’re going to end up 16 and lose the buff, but they are still never going to get high enough that I will ever take them into combat again.

    I think it would be good for the game if people could just accelerate or turn of their leveling at will. Certainly for people like me who have low tolerance for grind and find running the same quests gets old after the second or third time, but would be happy to play the instances with a bunch of different classes.

    Totally agree that deeds for traits and virtues are messed up. Far from teaching you how to use your skills well, it more of less forces you to spam an arbitrary subset of skills as many times as you can, whether using the skill is appropriate to the situation or not.

    Last thought… I do find it appropriate lore and immersion-wise that highly skilled crafters *not* be combat veterans. We don’t expect Aragorn to personally reforge Narsil, or for the smiths who did do that to be able to fight their way through hordes of orcs in Moria. I always found it a bit silly that a place like Galtrev has superior crafting facilities to Celondim say. Whereas it makes complete sense that the Shire has the best farmland in Middle Earth.

    Reply

  15. Lorgelas Says:

    Crafting XP is great. The more ways I can level with my alts, the better

    Reply

  16. Avatar of Vræden
    Vræden Says:

    I think there are diminishing returns on the crafting XP, which I think are good.

    With rest XP, my level 27 farmer/cook was getting around 72 XP per completed recipe at the expert and artisan tiers.

    My level 82 jeweler was getting 100 XP per completed recipe, even with rest XP. So I’d say the somewhere in the 30s it will start getting long and labourious to level a toon through crafting alone.

    Reply

    • Avatar of andyb
      andyb Says:

      Didn’t think rested applies to crafting, at least I’m fairly sure the chat report wasn’t showing any being applied.

      After processing 100 odd rye crops I was getting the same xp at the end as I did at the start, lvl82 and 120 or 110xp a pop depending on field planting or crop processing.

      Did a smelting run on a lowbie and they dinged which did cause the xp to dip slightly as you might expect.

      Reply

  17. Wyllo Says:

    Yay for me too … I am the crafter in my kin.

    I find it frustrating that I have to lvl my alt to 10 (used to be 15ish) in order to use superior crafting devices .. now it will happen as she is crafting.

    It appears that the amount of xp is pretty nominal at higher lvls (90 xp for 1 ore node, from a lvl 52 prospector) .. so I wont out lvl content.

    Way to go Turbine!!!!
    Thank you :)

    Reply

  18. Mave Says:

    I think crafting xp is long overdue. I have alts in every major crafting class, and this will help me tremendously with leveling them. It also just makes sense for immersion. Highly skilled crafters should become more powerful in the rest of the game.

    As for the concern about people getting to higher levels without virtues or class traits, there’s childishly a simple solution to that: don’t let them join your raid. :^)

    Reply

  19. Siqua of Landroval Says:

    It’s an “I don’t care either way” for me. I’m one of those completionists that still does all quests and deeds even if they’re gray, so I don’t buy the “I’ll out-level the zone” argument at all. It’s not like you don’t get XP gathering crafting materials anyway. Before the change, I leveled my hunter from 20 to 30 doing nothing except gathering wood and hides. He hasn’t turned in a quest since Combe. How is that substantively different from my warden/cook getting a couple levels of XP for farming & cooking?

    Reply

    • Siqua of Landroval Says:

      To continue, the XP amount is OK, but I’d be content if it was just 1/10th as much. I do a lot of crafting.

      Reply

  20. Merrydew Says:

    meh

    Reply

  21. Brainslug Says:

    Mark my words:
    Won’t be long now until we can buy our character traits from the store.

    Reply

  22. lawless168 Says:

    I love it! Nuff said :)

    Reply

  23. lawless168 Says:

    Yay!!

    I love it! Nuff said :)

    Reply

  24. Katiepie Says:

    I like it for my crafty alts, but see the value in the argument against it.
    It does have a nurfy feel to it but if it’s used just for those alts who craft and the player dosn’t expect to raid with that character then I think it is a valid addition to the game.

    Reply

  25. Goreamir Says:

    Nay. It was already too easy to out-level early areas, and end up level 30 before even entering North Downs, now the trivialization problem will be worse. It reminds me of when I play WoW sometimes when I’m bored of this game. I keep seeing these purple numbers rising over my head when I’m just collecting ore or just discovering new locations on the map, and I’m like..STOP!! Just STOP IT already!!

    Reply

  26. Shaidde Says:

    As long as it’s minimal I’m okay with it. Like Ketani i really appreciate the acknowledgment of other paths to leveling, it just feels good and makes those crafting hours seem more productive. Should I go up a level in a day just through crafting for an hour or two? No, I think not. After a couple days though–why not?

    I love the experience for crafting and exploration in Guild Wars 2, but overall leveling is waaaaaay too fast there. I’m almost 60 in just over a month or so–that took me a year in LotRO and felt great. Time to learn each skill, save money for new equipment, etc. I REALLY want an XP slowdown token in GW2, because I am going to explore everything and am sick of leveling up so fast.

    I’m not an alt-o-holic in LotRO at all, so I’ve enjoyed the Deed and Virtue mechanics inasmuch as they add to my character investment and are more hashmarks in the tree of experience. Vraeden’s on the money here, all those hours add a lot of attachment. For me, I just want to be the best Burglar I can be and be as versatile as possible. I don’t raid or do pvp though, because that’s not my bag. I just seek out the roughest areas in the environment and skirmishes (although Turbine does keep smoothing out those hard spots, don’t they?)

    Reply

  27. Amaranth Says:

    Vraeden’s concerns seem to be the norm for raiders with or without crafting XP. You can’t just take anybody on a raid then be disappointed if they screw up. You should know who you’re raiding with before you get to the instance. If you don’t, then you have to decide just how important it is to get it done and how upset you’re going to be if it doesn’t get done.

    Reply

  28. Artie Says:

    Sigh… well it makes the switch to Defiance in April easier.

    Kinda the straw and the camel for me.

    Will still play LOTRO but the TP and $$ spending will stop for sure. I will just play casually instead of hardcore like I have been doing for years. I hate to see what’s going to happen for us VIP (yeah right) people next update.

    F2P and Lifers are the way to go.

    Reply

  29. Lilythorn Says:

    Crafting XP is not enough to have any significant impact on people actually *trying* to level, and is just enough to ruin the experience for those role-players who wanted to keep a toon low level to play certain content on or under level.

    It’s not the best of both worlds, it’s meh for both. Maybe they are trying to force people into buying their $5 single-character XP toggle, which again, is a “meh” product: Too expensive and too character-specific to be worth to the vast majority of players, and it took them several tries to even get it this close to what players wanted.

    It’s cliche, but the whole XP from festivals/crafting – XP disabler situation seems like a poorly-implemented push to get people to spend more money in the store.

    Shame that pretty much everything Turbine has done with the game for the past many, many months seems the same.

    Reply

  30. Dunon Says:

    YYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  31. smugglin Says:

    Vraeden you seem to be terrified by the prospect of meeting someone in a raid who does not know how to play. I would suggest you control the way you play rather than the way others do. You can choose to only raid with those you know and have confidence in. What you can’t choose is how others want to play this game.If your joining pugs and have bad players that s your fault, no one else. By the way, how troubling is it to have a bad player in a raid that is constantly pugged from day one of release all day everyday. As for the XP disabler, Turbine says your welcome. They’re allowing you to bypass game mechanics in there game when they don’t need to.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Vræden
      Vræden Says:

      My fear of bad players in PUGs falls somewhere between dogs & cats living together and clowns.

      That’s why I typically don’t raid in PUGs unless I know a couple of people already in the group or the leader.

      Reply

  32. Kazren Says:

    Also being an altaholic, I love this. My low level RK has popped up really fast, because I had him crafting like mad. Don’t we all need more jewelers now that we have that 6 day cool down?

    Reply

  33. Lorgelas Says:

    Dont mind it at all

    Reply

  34. Cadronas Says:

    I love this. My guild master cook who spends all his life in Michel Delving finally leveled after more than a year last week. Also if it weren’t for the festival xp my higher level alts wouldn’t have bothered.

    Reply

  35. the nobbit Says:

    Ok so these guys are a bit wierd they say yes its great you can xp up via crafting – and then moan about the kill 200/500/1700 mobs or so for traits etc… Did they miss the connection here? Doing that work yes its grindy but the mats you get you can use to power lvl your alts via crating xp to amke the grind seem less of a waste of time.

    Reply

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