Saturday, October 4, 2014

Entropia Universe (Part Nine)

Gameplay (Continued)
The Paying Activities

  • Crafting
    Entropia Universe - Construction Machine
    Albeit less complicated than compared to the previous two paying activities (just gather the needed materials, stand in front of a construction machine and craft), Crafting is by far the it demands the player to be calculative, clear-minded and level-headed.

    One must not only know the mechanics of crafting (how crafting works), about the mathematics of markups (the price at which to buy materials and sell the products at), but also about the general workings of EVERYTHING, YES EVERYTHING found within the game.
    This is so that you can analyze what to accordance to what is useful and what isn't, what will sell or not sell (and at what price), what might be profitable and what can never be. One simply cannot craft blindly in Entropia Universe.
    But of course, I must stress again that I'm in no way a professional crafter and hence cannot possibly serve to replace the position of one. However, I will aim to provide you with a primer course so that you will know where to start looking and what to start asking.
    • How Crafting Works
      To craft something, one will need to have (in their possession) the appropriate blueprint (of the item your planning to craft) as well as the materials or resources required to make that item (refer to the blueprint).
      You do not need to carry those things with you 24/7 as they can be accessed directly from your storage (both the blueprint and the resources). However, they will have to be in the storage, ON THE SAME planet as you storages are separate for each planet.

      Though not necessarily needed, you should also consider buying the blueprint books from the "local" Technician in order to store and manage your blueprints (once you start collecting a sizable lot of them). However, you will need to buy the "correct" ones each planet has its own set of blueprint books that is used to store their own planets' blueprints.
      Entropia Universe - Construction WizardEntropia Universe - Crafting The Item
      Once you meet those two requirements, you can then step up to the "Construction Machine", open up the "Construction Wizard" (like as shown), select the blueprint and hit the "Construct" tab.

      From there onwards, its just a matter of selecting the number of attempts you will be crafting, whether your crafting on "Quantity" or "Condition" or somewhere in between, whether your using residue in the final product or not and then hitting the "Construct" button to start the crafting process.
    • Finding The Right Blueprint (To Craft)
      Entropia Universe - Blueprints In Auction
      There are quite a number of blueprints that you can come across in the world of Entropia Universe. From end-product blueprints (to craft items that you can actually use like Amps, Armors, Finders, Enhancers, Vehicles and Weapons) to "Component Parts" blueprints (intermediate stuff that you make in order to craft other intermediate stuff or the final end-products) to even fashion/style blueprints (to make stuff like Furniture, Clothings and Textures).
      And the best place to find them the "Auctioneer" of course.
      However, despite the plethora being offered, the very first thing a Crafter MUST realize is that...not all of them should be bought/acquired. As not all of them can be crafted or is worthwhile crafting.
      What do you mean by that?
      One, the "market" for that crafted item might already be "saturated", "filled" and/or "no longer needed". For instance, if they are "end-products", then these are quite usually "unlimited" items which can be repaired. And precisely because they can be repaired, most players would probably just require one of such an item and will be done with it. If they are "Component Parts", then chances might be that the final end-product (of which these components are used in) is no longer needed...and hence there's no need for those parts any more too.

      Two, due to "economical" reasons. These can be either that the markup of the blueprint itself being too costly to acquire, the components/materials needed to craft the item are being sold too expensively, you do not have the sufficient skills to make them economically or perhaps that there's other more economical replacements for those much so that the crafted one can no longer "compete" with them unless the crafter sells them at a "loss".

      Three, it is a "useless" blueprint. In such cases, these can be component parts which aren't needed/used in any other "end-product" blueprints. Or it may be that certain "vital" ingredients are no longer possible to be obtained and hence you simply cannot craft the end-product any more.
      The game devs might have made it order to "balance the economy" and prevent further copies of that item from ever being created.
      However with that being said, there are also certain blueprints that are very worthwhile to purchase and craft...despite it or its materials being very "expensive" and with very high markups. These are usually very "rare", "unlimited" blueprints of "limited" items or "limited" blueprints of "unlimited" items.

      With the crafted item being "limited", it assures a constant demand (if its a useful item). And with you owning an unlimited version of the blueprint, it would practically ensure that you will be one of the "dominant" providers of that item.

      As for limited blueprints that churns out an "unlimited" item, most of the markup (of the blueprint and the materials required) actually lies upon how useful that "unlimited" item will be. For instance, imagine owning an "unlimited" version of a "limited" SIB weapon. Just the fact that you can enjoy using that weapon all you want without having to worry about getting another replacement (once its broken) worth all the markup and trouble to craft it in the first place.
      Well...the only way to find out whether a blueprint is worth it or not is to see the "big picture" first and figure out how it all fits into the in-game economy. (Investigate from top to bottom and trace the entire workflow right from the end-product and all the way back to its very first components/resources.)

      You will also need to analyze them individually, consider their markups, sales volume and whether its worthwhile to make/collect them all by yourself or would it simply be better to purchase some of them from others instead (and at what markups). Stuff like that...
    • Limited And Unlimited
      Just as there are limited and unlimited weapons, armors, finders and amps, there are also limited and unlimited blueprints as well.

      For limited blueprints, these typically offer you a limited number of attempts to "craft something"...while unlimited blueprints don't offer you such a limit and you can craft them as many times as you would like to (so long as you have sufficient resources for those "attempts/clicks").

      However, because the final crafted product can also be limited or unlimited, it is often very confusing indeed to try and figure out which is which (whether it is the crafted item that is limited or is it the blueprint that is limited)...just solely from their names.
      For instance, the following examples.
      Breer P4a (L) Blueprint
      Jester D-1 Blueprint Improved (L)
      Shear XR50 (L) Blueprint (L)
      Can you tell which is which?
      Entropia Universe - Limited Unlimited Blueprint
      Well, the simplest way to tell whether the blueprint is limited or to actually refer to its "Item Info" (of the blueprint). If its a limited blueprint, it will have a specific stat called "Remaining Attempts" (tells you the number of attempts/clicks left for the blueprint). If its an unlimited blueprint, then there will be a specific stat called "Quality Rating" (QR) instead.
      The purpose of this "Quality Rating" is that it will aid in "boosting" the "Chance of Success" (COS) when attempting to craft using the blueprint...especially if the player doesn't quite have enough skills (profession level) to max the blueprint on his/her own. If the player already has sufficient skills, then this QR won't matter "that much" any more.

      Quality Rating starts from "0.0" (min) and goes all the way up to "100.0" (max). The higher the QR, the more it will affect the crafter's COS when using the blueprint. (QR can only be increased by using the blueprint itself to craft.)
      Entropia Universe - Product Info Example
      However, to actually tell whether the crafted product is limited or not, you will either have to rely upon your experiences, look it up on external sources/websites (like "Entropedia" or "Bob The Builder") or check it up personally via the "Construction Machine" (if you already have the blueprint itself).
    • Chance Of Success (COS)
      Below shows the examples of two typical blueprints' info.
      Entropia Universe - Blueprint Info Examples
      Of all the information that can be found on the blueprints, the most important one of them all (that you absolutely must know of) would be the "Success Rate" or "Chance of Success" (COS).
      You can hover your mouse cursor over the bottom-most part of the "Success Rate Bar" to see the actual "COS" value.

      Alternatively, this COS value can also be seen when you open the Construction Wizard. If you own the blueprint that is...
      Sadly though, this COS value that you see here does not refer to the success rate at which you can create/make the product.

      Instead, it is actually some sort of a percentage value which encompasses the total amount of "Success" and "Near Success" that you may have when crafting on the blueprint.

      Confused? Let's look at an example then...
      Entropia Universe - Brukite Stone Texture Example
      During the course of a typical crafting run, your crafting attempts may result in either a "Failed", a "Near Success" or a "Success".

      If its a "Failed" attempt, you will get nothing in return while the resources for that click will be consumed.

      If its a "Near Success", you will get some of the original materials used in that click...returned back to you.

      If its a "Success", you will then usually get the crafted product plus maybe some other stuff like blueprints, residues and precious stones (Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Opal and Ruby).
      The blueprints that you may get would mostly be of a similar type as that which your crafting. If its a weapon your crafting, you would get a weapon blueprint. If its components, you would get a component blueprint. Textures would net you a texture blueprint and so on and so forth.

      Furthermore, these blueprints that you get are also planet-specific (to a certain degree). Apart from generic ones which can be looted almost anywhere, most of the planet-specific blueprints can only be looted while your crafting on that planet itself.

      If you want Planet Calypso's blueprints, then you would have to craft on Planet Calypso. If you want Planet Arkadia's blueprints, you will have to craft on Planet Arkadia.

      And as far as I know, you don't necessarily need to craft that planet's blueprints in order to loot them. You will just need to be crafting there, that's all.

      The residues are used as "TT Value Fillers" for when your crafting products which are limited while the precious stones are typically used in the tiering of unlimited items.
      And generally-speaking, if you do a SUFFICIENTLY large number of crafting attempts, add up the number of "Near Success" and "Success" that you get and divide it by the total number of crafting attempts, you should roughly get a percentage value that is very close to this COS that is shown on the blueprint itself.
      However, in the case of my example, I have clearly not done enough attempts in the run and as a result, the percentages do not quite add up...since no "Near Success" attempts have been seen.

      Furthermore, as the TT cost per click of this blueprint is very small (0.01 PED per click), the chances of the system trying to return you a part of the "cost per click" is almost non-existent.
      A good rule of thumb to gauge the number of "Success" that you will get in a to multiply the COS shown on the blueprint by 42% and then by the number of clicks that your attempting.
      Bullseye 1 Blueprint
      COS: 63.4%
      No. of Attempts: 100 clicks
      For instance, if I were to do the above hypothetical run, then my expected number of "Success" should reasonably be about 26 to 27 times out of the 100 clicks (100 x 0.634 x 0.42).

      But of course, this is only a rough gauge and might not be totally accurate. Furthermore, at any point in time, there's no guarantee that the game developers won't do something to much so that you might get significantly more number of "Near Success" and a lower number of "Success".
      Just in case your interested, from what I've read, Non-SIB blueprints (those with SIB showing "Never") have a maximum COS of 90%. SIB blueprints on the other hand have a maximum COS of 95%.

      With a mixture of your character's skills (profession levels) and the blueprint's own QR, you will be able to reach these maximums. However, that will be as far as it goes. Regardless of the blueprint, they will NEVER EVER be able to reach a COS of 100%. EVER.
    • Quantity Or Condition?
      Entropia Universe - Quantity Condition COS
      For this "Quantity Condition Slider", it is basically sorta like some "gambling mechanism". It allows you to tweak and control your "Success Rate" (COS) when crafting on the blueprint.

      Leaving it all the way to the left, on "Full Quantity", you will be able to craft at the COS as reflected on your blueprint. If pulled all the way to the right, on "Full Condition", your COS will drastically drop to some very small value...of about maybe 1% to 10% tops (depending on whether you've maxed the COS of the blueprint or not).
      And as you know the COS affects the amount of "Success" and "Near Success" that you will get during a crafting run, hence you should naturally expect that the numbers will drop when you pull it towards "Condition". However, with this voluntary decrease in COS, the "TT Value" of the product that you might get will also be correspondingly higher...but that is if you get a "Success".
      Anyway, this slider (in my opinion) is an option best left alone and untouched...if your a newbie crafter. Usually, crafters will only touch it if they are either "gambling" (trying to get very high TT Value hits) or hoping to loot more blueprints, residues and/or precious stones.

      For crafters aiming to sell the products they make, the slider will almost certainly be left on "Full Quantity" order to maximize their chances of getting the products made.
    • Residue
      Entropia Universe - Residue Types
      There are five kinds of residues in Entropia Universe. Animal Oil Residue, Energy Matter Residue, Metal Residue, Robot Component Residue and Tailoring Remnants.

      Most of these residues are typically looted (as a by-product) when your crafting various kinds of blueprints that requires ingredients of that "class type".

      For instance, Animal Oil Residue can be looted when your crafting blueprints that uses "Animal Oils" such as "Animal Adrenal Oil", "Animal Eye Oil" and "Animal Muscle Oil". Energy Matter Residue and Metal Residue can be obtained when crafting blueprints that uses "Enmatters" and "Ores" respectively.

      Robot Component Residue should be obtainable when you craft on blueprints that makes use of "Robot Components" while Tailoring Remnants are mostly obtained when your crafting clothes and blueprints that goes under the category of "Tailoring".
      However, some of them (like Animal Oil Residue and Robot Component Residue) can also be looted off mobs that you hunt as well.
      And as previously mentioned, these residues are then used as some sort of "TT Value Fillers" for when your crafting end-products which are limited and cannot be repaired.
      Entropia Universe - GeoTrek H41 Mina (L)
      To illustrate my point, let's take a look at the above blueprint which makes the limited BLP Pistol, GeoTrek H41 Mina (L).

      When you tick the box "Use Residue", this will flag to the system that your willing to spend residue to "fill up" the crafted product's TT Value.
      Note that not ALL residues can be used as a "filler" by the blueprint. The residues that can be used will vary according to the blueprint and the class of ingredients required by the blueprint.

      But generally speaking, if it uses "Animal Oils", then you can use "Animal Oil Residue" as the filler. If it uses "Enmatters" and "Ores", then it should be able to take in "Energy Matter Residue" and "Metal Residue".
      In such a situation, whenever you get a "Success" and manage to obtain the crafted product, the game system will then automatically consume the appropriate amount of residue (in PEDs and on a 0.01 PED : 0.01 PED TT Value basis) so much so that it fills up the crafted product's TT Value to the maximum possible for that item.
      In the case of the GeoTrek H41 Mina (L), since each click costs 47.73 PEDs (TT Value) of ingredients, we should reasonably expect that its crafted product's TT Value (ON AVERAGE) will be around that much as well. Assuming that your crafting on "Full Quantity".

      But since its maximum TT Value possible is 230 PEDs, hence the system should (ON AVERAGE) consume about 182.27 PEDs of residue to fill it up...assuming that you have a sufficient amount of them. If you do not, then it will just take whatever you have and fill it up accordingly.
      As for the rest of the options there, its just to allow you to stop the crafting process when you've finished using your available well as to prioritize which are the ones to use first.

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