We’re not asking the important question, here…

…can I set it on fire?

I’ve always been entirely too fascinated with fire.  (Conversely, I’ve always been uneasy around bodies of water.)  Naturally, when spitballing ideas for the crafting system for Reborn, both subjects came up, along with “will it blend?” and “will bears be attracted to its scent?”

When we sat down to consider crafting for Armageddon Reborn, the same daunting task stood before us:  we have thousands of crafting templates for Arm 1.  We have thousands of items in the existing game.  Our desire is to make the majority of things in Armageddon Reborn craftable (both by players and by staffers).  To get to that point, we had to go all the way down to the base level of crafting:


Things come from stuff.  That stuff is materials.  If we can make sure that the “stuff” of the world has intrinsic properties that define what it can and can’t do, why, it’ll affect EVERYTHING in the world, won’t it?  That was the concept that went through our minds in brainstorming sessions, and to be honest, it was pretty daunting.  First, we had to go through the list of possible materials, grouping them in the right categories.  Once we get all the way down to a type of raw material that we do not wish to classify more, we decide what properties we would like to define.  We had a lot of these bouncing around in our heads.  We eventually broke it down to four major things we’d like to know:

Hardness is defined in Armageddon Reborn with the Moh’s Mineral Hardness Scale as a base value.  If possible, I also used  intermediate hardness scales located elsewhere on the Interwebs.  In general, we were thinking that 0 – 10 would be the Armageddon Reborn scale of hardness.  If the object is a mineral or stone that actually has a real-world equivalent, I’ve used the real-word equivalent in hardness.  If the object is anything else, I’ve used some fuzzy thinking to determine its hardness.  Some fuzzy examples are wood and anything that lacks hardness in certain phases.  Note that the scale is all I’m really using; I’m not exactly going by the exact definition from the real-world scale.  In other words, if I’m using a non-mineral and give it a hardness number, I don’t necessarily mean that it can scratch another material with a lower hardness number.  It means it has the same equivalent hardness as something with that number–so for determining damage, it’d be great.  Material TYPE (wood vs. stone) would determine whether it degrades faster, is damaged while it damages other things, etc.  In other words, we’d have to compare and contrast two material types if they are in contest with each other.

In most cases, this is straightforward.  Stones are solid.  Milk is liquid.  Cheese is solid…or IS it?  SCARY.

Another case of “math is hard!”  Initially, we were going to only provide two values for materials so that the following question could be answered:  “Will it float?”  After review, it was determined that we’d need more specific information in order to determine an item’s actual weight, so we have based all materials as closely as possible off of existing density scales.  (Tweaks are ongoing.)

Again, we pulled from the real world on this.  There is a scale of flammability ranging from 0 to 4, 0 being “can’t burn at all” and 4 being “rapidly vaporizes in the air in normal atmospheric pressure and normal temperatures.”  Most things fell between those two ends of the scale.

After determining which four things we’d most like to know about any material, it was time to get to work.  I won’t post the nitty-gritty details for a couple of reasons:  the numbers don’t matter to players, and the numbers we use should not be confused with real world equivalents.  The systems we used from the real world were simply adapted, and as mentioned, may be subject to a bit of guesswork (with as much research as possible before getting to that point).  At this time, over 70 individual materials have been fleshed out with these values, with more to come as we expand and evolve the system.

Next, it was off to determine what other properties items themselves would have.  To do that, we needed a standard set of weights and measures for our new apocalyptic hellscape.

Length would need something for small increments (about an inch), something for larger increments (15 inches makes a cord), and then even larger increments (close to 250 cords).  Mass would need something for small increments (about 100 grams), a larger increment (about a kilo), and an even larger increment (close to 250 kilos).  Liquid volume would need something for small increments (30-50 mL), a larger increment (about a liter), and then the rest would be determined by the size of the container.  We have some names floating around for these but we won’t pop these up here yet.

Alright, fantastic!  We now have units of measure to define these items and material properties to define these items.  What are the other things we need in order to have an item “be” an item?

Material quality (scale of 1-10)
Craftsmanship quality (scale of 1-10)
Material(s) (mentioned briefly by Shinobi–items can have more than one type of material)
Dimensions — length, width, weight (based on density and number of units of material)
Traits (weapon?  container? etc. — more on this later)
Optional fields for other sekrit stuff like magick

We do (of course) reserve the right to change things, but this is a general explanation of the work that has gone into materials–the building blocks for the system that has been described by Shinobi.  Stay tuned for future blogs that will better explain the crafting system and the traits of items.


7 Responses to “We’re not asking the important question, here…”

  1. 1 Adept of Suk-Krath July 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Awesome! But I foresee a precipitous drop in the valuation of oil-impregnated wooden armor backed securities.

  2. 2 armageddonmud July 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I’m pretty sure Krathis are going to absolutely love burning stuff just to see if it will burn. I know I will.

  3. 3 Mantis Warrior July 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Two words: disco inferno

  4. 4 flurry July 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    An Elkran might care about a material’s conductivity.

    (Offered mostly in jest, but wouldn’t it be cool?)

    • 5 armageddonmud July 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

      We have not considered conductivity at this point as it is not as integral to material makeup as flammability. Anyone can light something on fire; not everyone will have the power to cause electricity to fly forth from their orifices. It would be cool to take that into account, but if it were done, it’d be much easier to apply that at a higher level, I think, on the side of magick code rather than the side of material properties.

  5. 6 Rotten July 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Looks good.

    I dunno about craftsmanship quality. Shouldn’t it be a function of the material quality and the quality of any tools used? Or are the tools just assumed with a higher skill level?

    • 7 shinobiofarm July 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Quality will be reflected by a variety of factors that we are currently coding and working out. While there will be a forthcoming blog about quality in the coming weeks, it will depend on factors such as quality of raw material, expertise of the craftsman, time taken to create the item, and more.

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