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I Don't See Why Forging Potential Exists

Hello!

I’ve just gotten to Lvl. 50+ for the first time in LE, coming from thousands of hours of other ARPGs. I was recommended LE initially back in the day by a friend who praised the crafting system. I do think its an amazing system that allows you to build up almost any item into something unique and helpful.

However, Forging Potential seems like a very arbitrary limitation to the crafting system, no? It’s not obvious to me why it exists, other than to put in an artificial limit to the amount of crafting one does. This ultimately makes a lot of loot feel useless (trypical of ARPGs, to be fair), and I don’t really see the upside of having it.

Why not let a player craft to their hearts content?

I understand it would be an iffy situation if every item could be crafted into magnificence by everyone, but typically this is prevented by making high-tier crafting expensive. Forging potential, on the other hand, just cuts you off from using the bank of resources you’ve worked for.

I am not sure I see the upside to the more restrictive system that is Forging Potential. Generally I don’t see hazard in having more open and unrestricted systems, so I think it would be a better situation if ‘so long as I have the shards/runes/glyphs…’ I can keep on rolling.

LMK what you all think, thanks for reading!

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There have been several suggestions on the forums regarding a ‘tiered’ scaling of resource costs instead of forging potential. For example:

  • Crafting a tier one affix onto a piece of gear costs 1 affix shard.
  • Enhancing a tier one affix into a tier two affix costs 5 affix shards.
  • Further enhancing a tier two affix into a tier three affix costs 25 affix shards, etc.

By changing the system into a resource sink instead of an arbitrary tool to prevent excess crafting (i.e. the only thing forging potential does now), this system would allow players to interact more deeply with their gear - focusing more on loot drops that have affixes they care about to be broken down for their shards.

This also highlights the need for players to interact with their affix shards in different ways; implementing a way to trade them or using a shard conversion system like the one discussed in @g_o_o_f’s thread:

The main point should be that the crafting system should be more engaging. Players should feel the impact and reward of using the system. Currently, forging potential is too limiting and makes the majority of drops feel worthless.

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I hadn’t even considered the conversion of shards as a mechanic, since currently there isn’t much use for even the good ones I have banked due to Forging Potential limiting the amount of crafting one does.

It’s a great idea, frankly. I have no objections.

Currently, forging potential is too limiting and makes the majority of drops feel worthless.

Completely agree.

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I absolutely despise systems that are just resource sinks.

Loot in loot-driven games needs to be unpredictable, so you actually have good and bad stuff.
And most importantly you get surprised (positively).

Systems that have a very predictable (or 100% predicatable) outcome are just boring and they feel like a asian grind simulator.

You as a player has to judge an item and based on what affixes, base and FP it has, you need to decide if its worth putting resources into it and trying or not trying at all.

With the different crafting methods you also can have multiple different appraoches in certain cases (some are more risky than others).

So FP does serve as a variable, that you need to take into account, when making decisions.

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In recent months Chris Wilson has talked about how one of the problems of the PoE systems is that most items generally don’t have much value due to the ability to craft an item from literally white to god tier. Forging potential prevents this, making certain items clearly more valuable due to having the right affixes, higher tier affixes, and or higher forging potential making them a much more desirable item to craft on then, say, a white or a blue with low fp and bad affixes.

So IMO, FP is what keeps loot exciting, making gear matter at least as much as what crafting mats drop.

The majority of drops are in fact worthless to your specific build and place in the game and are meant to be. Any restrictions on crafting will create a strong incentive to look for better loot, which is the goal of an ARPG. Without restrictions, loot is homogenized and loses it’s value, since you can craft literally anything you want on any item.

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See, you are in the same situation of making a judgement with or without the FP system. However, FP causes an added limitation which simply makes a lot more loot not worth looking at. It’s in this sense that it strikes me as arbitrary.

See, that’s interesting to me because I don’t believe the flaw in PoE crafting is the limitless potential of it (I think that’s a huge plus). The issue, in my opinion, with PoE crafting is that it is all RNG based. LE, on the other hand, is much better in that regard.

It is also in exactly this way that I don’t see an ‘upside’ to the system. The goal of finding and/or crafting amazing loot remains the same in either case, but the FP system instill an arbitrary roadblock on that player journey towards that goal. It becomes ‘more exciting’ to get a good drop in virtue of having overcome an arbitrary restriction, but does it really? Would I have been less excited if I simply crafted my gear up how I wanted? And would I have had a worse or better experience as a player if I journeyed through the game getting different loot and crafting it up and up?

The answer, in my case, is obviously no. If it felt rewarding to do, then why did I notice FP in my way? Would I have made this forum post if the system was creating that more enjoyable and engaging experience it was supposed to?

This may be a case of different strokes for different folks, but it strikes me as odd to have roadblocks for roadblocks’ sake. And a FP-less gameplay loop of “open crafting, enhancing my build, slaying a boss, and getting better loot/crafting mats that push my build forward for the next challenge” sounds great.

It’s important to remember that it is a goal, but not the goal, like in any game. A game is built around a gameplay loop. It’s not about making drops valuable, its about making rewards valuable in the context of pushing the player that much further towards the next goal, in a cyclical motion. And in that broader context I still don’t really see much upside in FP as a system, since you can shatter loot drop towards the crafting system, making those drops still meaningful because of the amazing crafting system LE has already.

I did consider the need for rewards/goals, and overcoming goals, when making the thread—I just feel FP is quite arbitrary and not enjoyable in that regard.

But like any feedback and any game, there’s always different strokes.

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It wouldn’t though, you’d find your 1 base, grind out the mats & then craft it one time & you’re done.

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I’m not saying I disagree with the rest of what you said, but it’s worth saying that Chris Wilson’s opinions on crafting are stupid at best and not a great place to start from when talking about crafting. It is almost never worth it to spend your currency in POE in the way he describes and almost nobody is doing it. Items generally don’t have much value in POE for a myriad of reasons, but the fact that it is technically possible - through a gluttony of currency and Sisyphean patience with RNG - to turn garbage into gold is not on that list.

I don’t agree. Discussions about crafting have a very bad tendency to come from an all or nothing perspective - Either the outcome is for sure #1 super best or the whole thing was a waste. If you’re not allowing for incremental upgrades and the potential for less-than-perfect items to be outcomes you’re happy with, then that’s really not a fault of the crafting system, it’s a flaw in your perspective.

It is no more or less arbitrary than any of the rest of the RNG involved in finding/crafting amazing loot. It’s just another random stat on an item, like any other, and you don’t ignore any more or fewer items than you would if it didn’t exist at all.

No, it quite literally is the goal. EHG has said repeatedly that by design they want drops to be the primary method of loot acquisition, and therefore that they want them to be valuable. You may not like that goal, but any argument that it is not the goal is simply a non-starter.

-

It seems to me that the real complaint here is the same as it always is. All you really want out of the crafting system is an item editor and the FP system keeps you from having it.

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I don’t see how this makes it arbitrary. If that were the case, then Legendary Potential is also arbitrary. So is only having 5 tiers on an affix, and (generally) 4 affixes on a crafted item. Arbitrary would mean there’s no reasoning behind it, but the reasoning is very clear: to make some items better crafting bases than others, and in doing so prevent crafting from becoming so overwhelmingly OP that drops effectively don’t matter. Because we can point out the purpose of the system, it’s not arbitrary. This may feel pedantic but I believe it’s important that we clarify what exactly is wrong with a system when we dislike it. If something truly is arbitrary then that is definitely noteworthy and deserving of criticism, but in this case I think the core issue for you is that FP intentionally and successfully creates limitations on crafting, and you don’t like that crafting has these limitations.

If PoE removed the RNG of crafting while leaving the limitless potential, it would trivialize crafting. The heavy RNG in crafting for PoE is there specifically so that they can give it limitless potential. Because LE chooses to have less RNG, they need to restrict the power of crafting in some other way, and in this instance they chose to make it so that not all items will reach their full potential through crafting, although some will. The RNG has been shifted to a different point in the process, but still maintained in order to keep the game balanced.

In a different conversation we’ve had I believe it was established that you’re still going through the campaign and haven’t experienced endgame yet. If that’s true, then it might be the case that the most exciting drops are still something you haven’t experienced yet. This isn’t meant to shame you for being new or try to undermine your experience, but just to point out the reality that the crafting and loot systems are designed to be more exciting as you progress. The best stuff drops in endgame, which includes the best items to craft on. It’s also the case that FP is higher on higher level items, so you can get more average crafts then you can early game. This might explain why I answer all of your above questions as “yes” while you answer them as “no”.

I’m sorry, but I’m struggling to piece together a particular point you’re trying to make here. I don’t see how the shattering system undermines the FP system. If anything, it helps to necessitate it, since without the FP system, the shattering system makes it very easy to get the affixes you want to craft on an item. We’re all very quickly running around with perfect gear without some sort of device that slows down the process, and in the case of LE that’s largely accomplished through FP. Shattering and FP are complementary parts of the crafting loop, which is also a core component of the gameplay loop.

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I don’t believe removing FP interferes with or disallows incremental upgrades. That was not my experience when I was crafting before running up against FP barriers, so it wouldn’t be an issue with my perspective.

I am not sure about this point in general, as I know its not true from experience.

I believe this reinforces that valuable loot is a goal of an engaging gameplay loop. The goal is always to have a fun and engaging gameplay loop. I would be surprised if EHG believe The goal of the game is obtaining loot — I can do that in many games. It doesn’t differentiate LE, and it doesn’t lay a foundation for a fun and engaging experience on that journey to acquire great loot.

As for the point about an item editor… again, I tried to state in my original post that FP inhibited the potential of most drops making loot less valuable so it seems like what you think the FP system does is precisely what I felt it did the opposite of in my own experience.

Like I said, different strokes: I can attest that certain elements of your experience (you don’t ignore more or fewer items, etc.) definitely not true during mine. Hence the topic for feedback and discussion.

It doesn’t, and I didn’t say that it did.

You’re complaining that having less FP on an item than you wanted automatically means it does not have any value to you, and that is only true in two cases:

  • You’re already running with gear that’s optimized so close to theoretical perfect maximum that it’s impossible for you to create an incremental upgrade with sub-optimal FP.
  • You have a poor perspective that is excessively exclusionary to “sub-optimal” outcomes.

No direct experience is required to understand this point. It doesn’t cause that effect because it can’t. FP is just another randomly rolled stat like any other randomly rolled stat. There’s fundamentally no difference between an item with lower FP than you want and an item with a lower tier stat than you want. You think there’s a difference, but that’s just because you’re too busy looking at the Wizard to notice the man behind the curtain.

What you stated in your original post is that you want to “craft to your heart’s content” and a “more open and unrestricted system”. What you are describing is nothing more than an item editor with a very thin layer of abstraction that lets you tell yourself - and believe - the lie that it’s totally not an item editor.

Yeah this is a great point, while I disagree with the other perspectives here that FP is a good system to have, the disagreement definitely is on the basis that I don’t like that crafting has these limitations. I don’t think that’s a problem — in my experience there are often games (especially multiplayer, loot-based games) that come out with restrictions to ‘incentivize’ grind or create ‘epic’ drop moments. I generally feel like these have less upside than downside. I understand others disagree. It’s good the devs hear from all the potential players and perspectives so I don’t begrudge anyone who disagrees.

On the point about arbitrariness — the point was more that things like 5 tier affixes seem in line with conventions of ARPGs, FP however is more unique to LE. Of course, there is an element of arbitrariness to all of these decisions and mechanics. FP, in some sense, “sticks out” more than other traditional ARPG stat lines. That’s all.

This is definitely true as well. I came to the feedback forum since the game is still in development to give experience from that perspective of a newer player to LE but not new to ARPG (if that makes sense). So all my feedback is going to have that particular perspective informing it.

I actually fully expect that, were I to invest more and get into ‘later’ content (maybe even before endgame), some of these answer might flip just like you’re mentioning. The problem, or at least where I’m trying to provide feedback, is that I don’t know if I would have gone that far were the game fully released. By the time I hit Lvl. 50 the game was really starting to lose me. But the devs are responsive and there many awesome and original ideas in LE so I felt it’s worthwhile to offer the feedback from that perspective. Does that make sense?

Hmm, that’s interesting. I didn’t really feel them working complimentarily together. But mileage may vary. I’m open to changing my mind on it when I play more.

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You’ve provided really good feedback here. Even if we don’t agree with the major points, there are aspects of what you’re saying that have been brought up before as possible weaknesses that vets of the game have a harder time grasping. One, in particular, is how difficult it can be to craft early game. Through a combination of lacking shards and having low FP, most new players aren’t able to really experience just how strong crafting is in the game early on, and therefore it can definitely feel underwhelming. I had the privilege (aka ‘torture’) of putting a sizable amount of hours into the previous system, and for me this crafting system is so far and away better than the old one while also being so similar that it just immediately clicked for me. Hearing how new players are experiencing the crafting system during their first playthrough is important feedback that us longstanding vets can’t really provide without significant bias.

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Been reading through everything posted above and the thing that kept coming up in my mind is that @RJca is trying to craft at a time when there is no real need to craft in the game - in my experince virtually every drop (in at least the first 30-40levels) is some sort of upgrade (or side move to readjust affix needs) and this “wanting to craft earlier than needed”, is for me the most valuable feedback about crafting - not the validity of FP or anything else…

Early game items are such low level and have absymal FP generally and any attempt to craft on these items will cause frustration especially if the player does not yet understand that crafting is intended for later use and is currently designed that way…

Even if a player wanted to do low level crafting, there is no need to aim for anything more than a tier or two of an affix… because you dont need it… Item levels & lower FP force this, but in hindsight it can be interpretted as frustrating because veryone is trying to get higher when they dont need to… but want to anyway.

No idea how to approach this because most of the issues about FP mentioned above dont apply in late-game… so attempting to “fix” them to match (or facilitate) early game crafting is likely to have serious repercussions - especially in making it easier to make god-tier items in late game and effectively removing any grind or loot chase at the time when people would be doing exactly that…

Honestly, based on my experience there literally needs to be a big red stop sign saying “Dont craft yet”. or at least something to help new players realise that they cannot craft super dooper items at low levels.

Hard one… because the current crafting system is very good (barring a few possible changes) & very flexible for when you need it to be… but I can understand it being very frustrating at lower levels…

I think that is incredibly subjective. One may not “need” to craft early on, but even putting 1-2 levels of void/necrotic resist on most gear slots when you’re in the relevant era provides a massive defensive buff (like 20%-40% of actual DR) as well as a significant offensive improvement to your weapon (flat damage, crit, etc). You just won’t be able to put many levels onto affixes because of the low FP of an item & you probably won’t be able to “max out” (take the affixes up to the max level you can wear) an item.

I don’t think that’s the case and I’m not sure the fevs have ever said that. Not being able to “get the most out of it” or “crafting is more limited early on” is very different to “we don’t want you to craft until mid-end game”.

Given that the devs have put a crafting related popups/quest in well before you reach the end of time, it’s clear that they want the player to be aware of and doing some crafting early on.

IMO what they need to do better (somehow) is manage the new player’s expectations of what is possible with low/mid/high level crafting.

Problem for me is that I have been playing too long to put myself back into a new players shoes. I have a fair number of characters now - I am not crazy into alts for each possible build but at least 1 of each available class mastery right now - and I dont think I ever did any crafting on them until at least reaching Lagon… even my most recent levelled builds from when I understood the game far better…

I never crafted early because I didnt really need anything crafted… I distinctly remember reaching points where I would get my arse kicked by some lightining mobs or birds and realised I needed another level of elemental protection - but I still didnt use crafting because I would either have a choice item saved in stash or something better would drops from a few extra runs the maps… Its only at those moments like Lagon that I would consider a craft to fix a hole…

In the first few months of playing, I also didnt have any crafting mats (or at least not many of the good ones) so this also prevented me from relying on crafting.

So yes, its subjective but realistically I honestly didnt find the need for crafting (which is a plus for the loot drop system)… even on the new crafting system which is much easier than the old, crafting early on (even with an abundance of mats/resources) just didnt seem neccessary to me.

Not saying the devs dont want players to craft early, but lets face it there are hurdles specifically in place to prevent crafting - lack of mats, cost of shattering runes, low FP on low itemlevel white/blue and even rare items, big FP range loss possibilities mean some items can get one or two crafts max, lack of hope/chaos runes early in the game… All of these are nothing more than ways to prevent early crafting and I think they are negative in that they make it hard/frustrating.

So yes, they may not say they dont intend people to craft, but these factors say otherwise because they are almost irrelevant in late-game and for anyone who has run a few chars already and stocked up… so they are worse for any new player to experience…

I believe this circles back to my initial thought - of crafting early when there isnt really an incentive to do so… take the OP - its obvious to me - they have attempted to make good crafted items at a time when its REALLY hard to do so without a lot of luck, and this expectation has definitely resulted in frustration with the Crafting system…

I hate gated mechanics in any game but I am wondering if it would simply be easier to move the crafting quest later in the game and lock it better than it currently is (mat availability and itemlevel)… While this is a negatively focussed solution, it does prevent the frustration that early failed crafting can give players…

Is the incentive to take less damage not enough? I know the campaign is generally very easy, but what about when they give it a balance pass & it becomes somewhat harder? Should they then “re-enable” crafting? Sounds like an aweful lot of too-ing & fro-ing just because you can’t craft up to t20 easily early on.

That would be totally throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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Maybe this is all because the game is too easy early on?
Maybe the issue is irrelevant and new players are just being noobs?
Maybe crafting itself needs to be considered in the same way the game needs a balancing pass?
Maybe loot drops are not enough on thier own to negate the need for early crafting?
Maybe the game needs much more tutorials / hand holding?

All that I take from this is that there are sticking points in the game that add frustration for new users and if the game is going to catch the majority of casual players (* I exclude people like you and I in this and probably the majority of forum members) and keep them interested beyond one run of the campaign, then these kinds of things need to be addressed somehow…

Even if we, especially arpg veterans, dont think that the issue is actually that bad, posts like the above and a few comments I have seen on other feedback related threads and discord, seem to indicate that this general frustration and lack of engagement (for casual people not interested in alts/grinding/hardcore etc) could be something that might negatively impact the game long term…

:slightly_smiling_face:I was about to post something negative and somewhat derogatory, and then I re-read your post. Thank you. It is possible to balance and provide something for all levels of players. It just takes a little more thought and a fair amount more work.

As for crafting I think it is actually in an ok place minus some balancing, and something to make it a bit more real crafting and less of an RNG slot machine. A single upgrade/craft should not be able to suck out more than half of the FP right at the first swing of the RNG bat. I personally have only usually used it to try and replace something I found already with most of what I need(unsuccessfully), for example I had the same dagger from around 30-70. replacement was also found and only needed slight upgrades. I don’t really see upgrades as crafting. I think a once per item rare rune that allows you to selectively and deterministically replace 1 prefix or one suffix would help move it more towards crafting without becoming an item editor.

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Personally, I see that now there is a system of endless asian grind.
Just because now crafting does not make it possible to get an affix above T5.
As a result, we grind items from the floor with good T6-T7 affixes, ignoring crafting, and using it only when we got items with necessary T6-T7 affixes.
But given the fact that it is almost impossible to get 4 T7 affixes on an item, we have an endless grind of items from the floor, with absolute disregard for crafting.

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