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Zzyli's avatar

Rainbow Angel

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Please note, this is not a thread making generalised complaints about Alchemy- I feel that those have been covered adequately in several other threads. If you have issues with other aspects of Alchemy (and I certainly believe it could do with some of it's aspects having an overhaul), please discuss them in another venue. This thread's purpose is to discuss issues with the current crafting system, namely failures during crafting. I totally understand that Alchemy is meant to be a gold sink, and this is fine, but I feel that the current set-up has two key issues, being transparency & equality/consistency.

Edit: So apparently, I've set this up like some kind of statistics paper & it isn't overly easy to read. If you scroll down towards the bottom of this post, there's a tl:dr version

Data discussed in this thread has been pulled from this thread, where over 200 crafting success rates have been submitted by users.

Transparency
I feel as though the current labelling of odds & crafting costs doesn't adequately express the potential costs for crafting an item. The formula is merely labeled with cost to craft, and at no point is there a suggestion of failure. Along with that, the associated odds with crafting formulae which have Low or Very Low odds will most likely fail several times before succeeding. I know that I personally have spent 320k (32 attempts), crafting a formula at Very Low odds at the level of the formula. Associating 10k crafting cost with this is somewhat misleading. Changing the words crafting cost to attempt cost would help to dispel some of this ambiguity, and I have further suggestions below.

Equality/Consistency
There is a great deal of disparity between the costs of crafting a formula at Low, and especially Very Low odds between crafts. Below is a graph showing the distribution of crafts at Very Low odds as submitted to the thread.
User Image
My primary concern with the current system is the fact that whilst we have an mean of about 12 crafts (and a median of 9), there's no apparent limitations on the upper number of attempts required to succeed- meaning that people can attempt 30, 40, even in some cases 50 times prior to the craft succeeding. This seems to me to be prohibitively expensive without any good reason- if we have a mean of 12 crafts & median of 9, why not create some kind of limitations. Whilst I am aware that crafting at one or more levels above a formula's level vastly increases the odds of success, the most experience benefit is provided for crafting at level, and I feel that most users of the Alchemy system wish to do this.

Suggestions
I'm aware that Alchemy is going to be having an overhaul in the near future, and I hope that the crafting success system could be included in the overhaul.
User Image
This poll shows that as at 18th November, the most popular option amongst people who have voted was to implement scaling odds- that each time you fail, the chances of success are increased for your next attempt on a craft. Personally, I'm not sure of how easy that would be to implement, and also feel that the alternatives of either having crafting costs capped (for instance having the cap at about 20% above the mean [e.g. 2 attempts for High & Very High, 3 for Medium, 4 for High & 13 for Very Low]) or a fixed cost per level which is in line with our current mean chance odds, could be viable solutions.

I personally prefer the third option, as I feel it very clearly deals with the issues of transparency and equality- you would know up-front exactly how much you'd be paying to craft an item, and I'd much rather know that I'm paying 100k upfront, instead of anywhere from 10k-400k+ for something which has 10k crafting costs.

I'd also like "Cost to Craft" as shown on the formulae in the Bifrost, user's inventories & the Alchemy interface changed to state "Cost to Attempt" as I feel this is more in line with the way that the current system works.

User Suggestions
Catalyste
What if they did estimated ranges then? It could say:

Estimated cost: 10k - 50k with the ranges looking more wider as the chances of crafting get lower.

Flux
Would be nice if the odds are updated in the formula description as you level up as well.


Summary (no numbers here- don't panic!)
~ Current Alchemy crafting system has issues with it's set-up owing to uncertain number of attempts
~ I'm proposing changes which would mean that you would understand from the get-go how much you'd be paying and also prevent excessive costs.



Your feedback is very welcome! If you have a suggestion for how you'd like the crafting odds system revised, please share.
MistressMinako's avatar

Girl-Crazy Man-Lover

I doubt complete transparency will ever be added. If Gaia wanted you to know that it will take 10 tries at 10K to make an item, they'd just make the crafting cost 100K and take out the random aspect.

It would be nice to see some kind of full stop after a certain number of tries. The oft-quoted ~16mil wasted on crafting that Rainbow Kitten Star highlights some of the major problems with general acceptance and overall effectiveness of Alchemy.

For what it's worth, I've found that the Orb Aggregate formula, if failed, does not take materials or gold out of your account. Conversely, when making 100 of such items for a friend, I failed ~33% of the time at level 3 (it being a level 1 formula). Had it actually taken gold each time, I would not have even attempted to use the system simply because I disliked the idea of failing so often with such a discrepancy in levels.
Zzyli's avatar

Rainbow Angel

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MistressMinako
I doubt complete transparency will ever be added. If Gaia wanted you to know that it will take 10 tries at 10K to make an item, they'd just make the crafting cost 100K and take out the random aspect.

It would be nice to see some kind of full stop after a certain number of tries. The oft-quoted ~16mil wasted on crafting that Rainbow Kitten Star highlights some of the major problems with general acceptance and overall effectiveness of Alchemy.

For what it's worth, I've found that the Orb Aggregate formula, if failed, does not take materials or gold out of your account. Conversely, when making 100 of such items for a friend, I failed ~33% of the time at level 3 (it being a level 1 formula). Had it actually taken gold each time, I would not have even attempted to use the system simply because I disliked the idea of failing so often with such a discrepancy in levels.

The issue that you've encountered with the Orb Aggregate is actually a different issue with the system, what's commonly known as a 'chain fail'. It brings up the fail message, but doesn't delete the gold from your account. It's sort of the crafting equivalent of 'you're posting too fast' This is different from an actual fail- which will delete the gold from your account. While chain fails aren't exactly ideal, they also aren't costing people gold, so I'd consider that to be a low-priority bug to be dealt with.

To me, there's no reason why they couldn't add the transparency to the system- set the cost for Very Low crafts at 10x what they currently are for instance & leave it like that. While I don't like the idea of paying a few million to craft some of the higher-end items, I'd much rather knowing that upfront instead of having another Kitten Star fiasco.

Even if they don't, I'd really like to see some kind of system implemented where people aren't failing 40+ times to craft something. The crafting odds system seems to be unecessarily complex as it currently is, with no real value in the complexity.
Flux's avatar

Business Tycoon

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Would be nice if the odds are updated in the formula description as you level up as well.

Caches and cases have a Very Low chance of success that improves the more you level up, but the description still says the odds are Very Low. Maybe for those is common sense to know the odds are better, but what about Very Low chance formulas that are one level below yours? Are the chances now just Low or better?
MistressMinako's avatar

Girl-Crazy Man-Lover

Zzyli

I wasn't aware it was a bug. Granted, I wasn't crafting for profit, but I did find it extremely exhausting to fail over 1 out of every 4 tries, especially when the fails came in clusters of 3 times or more on one crafting attempt. It really puts me off to using the system in any serious capacity.

The reason I think Gaia won't address transparency is simply the reason that's been driving the general disrepair of Alchemy: communication and a lack of wanting to fix what some staff members refuse to believe is broken. Perhaps I'm stepping outside the scope of the thread, but I wonder how bad the system would look to users if they did release the odds?
Catalyste's avatar

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What if they did estimated ranges then? It could say:

Estimated cost: 10k - 50k with the ranges looking more wider as the chances of crafting get lower.
Zzyli's avatar

Rainbow Angel

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MistressMinako

I wasn't aware it was a bug. Granted, I wasn't crafting for profit, but I did find it extremely exhausting to fail over 1 out of every 4 tries, especially when the fails came in clusters of 3 times or more on one crafting attempt. It really puts me off to using the system in any serious capacity.

The reason I think Gaia won't address transparency is simply the reason that's been driving the general disrepair of Alchemy: communication and a lack of wanting to fix what some staff members refuse to believe is broken. Perhaps I'm stepping outside the scope of the thread, but I wonder how bad the system would look to users if they did release the odds?





The thread which I've linked to in the OP has a pretty good empirical model of the crafting odds- there's probably 30-60 crafts in each category at level. Whilst there's not actual offical models from the staff end, as far as I can tell, each attempt has a chance attached to succeeding, and when you hit craft (assuming there's no chain fail) it pretty much rolls a die/generates a number & decides if you fail or succeed for that attempt. Odds seem to be about 9/10, 2/3, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/10 in the corresponding decreasing categories. So the odds are available for people who'd like to have a look at them.

I'm also not sure if you're aware about it, but Alchemy is due for a revamp probably earlish next year, and as far as I understand, they're hoping to simplify the system a bit. While I'm not exactly sure what that's going to entail, I hoped that bringing a big chunk of empirical data to the attention of the staff would help them look into crafting odds as part of the revamp.

One of the other things about the Alchemy system is that there's almost no official explanation for how things work. There's a lot of user-created resources in the Alchemy forum, but I realise that people may not look there to see if their concern or issue has been covered by another user, or even be aware that people have information on the thing they're interested in.

Really, what it boils down to was that I was interested in the chances of getting an infamous Kitten Star level of attempts while crafting, and I think that it's far too plausible given our current crafting system.



Catalyste

That could be a good idea- I've popped that up in the OP.
Aldo Simoncini's avatar

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The chances are one reason to ignore alchemy completely. I remember when I tried to craft the H2k11 items I had to pay 25k. Though both items had high chances to craft, one failed 2 times and the other one 1 time. This doesn't encourage me to even try items with medium or low chances. So for me alchemy is only good to make a profit by selling components.
Nyadriel's avatar

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Reason why I have been ignoring it as of late is because of having to to waste so much gold trying to craft a level 4 item - while being at level four... and failing 12 times out of the 12 attempts or whatever it was, over the coarse of a day.
NOT WORTH IT!!

At some point after a number of fails, there HAS to be a success. Failures really should be limited after a certain number of times.
Liebe Liese's avatar

Beloved Bunny

Nyadriel
Reason why I have been ignoring it as of late is because of having to to waste so much gold trying to craft a level 4 item - while being at level four... and failing 12 times out of the 12 attempts or whatever it was, over the coarse of a day.
NOT WORTH IT!!

At some point after a number of fails, there HAS to be a success. Failures really should be limited after a certain number of times.


Thats why I stopped - the risk of failing too many times. Im lvl 4. - I would pe panicked if i wanted to craft something big later on and run out of funds due to the high fail rate lol. (not complaining - just putting in my 2 cents lol)
DLSmith6157's avatar

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Liebe Liese
Nyadriel
Reason why I have been ignoring it as of late is because of having to to waste so much gold trying to craft a level 4 item - while being at level four... and failing 12 times out of the 12 attempts or whatever it was, over the coarse of a day.
NOT WORTH IT!!

At some point after a number of fails, there HAS to be a success. Failures really should be limited after a certain number of times.


Thats why I stopped - the risk of failing too many times. Im lvl 4. - I would pe panicked if i wanted to craft something big later on and run out of funds due to the high fail rate lol. (not complaining - just putting in my 2 cents lol)


I agree, I have failed over 20 times on a level 3 formula, I am level 3 alchemist, and I am considering quitting alchemy due to the feeling that all I am accomplishing is throwing my gold away and gaining nothing in the process for it. I do think that there should be a cap on the amount of fails and/or letting us know the approximate cost of being able to complete said formula. I know of many gaians that will not do alchemy for these reasons. alchemy should be for all who want to participate in alchemy and not just for the rich. this could encourage those that do not have the funds to do the alchemy formula's get and make more gold, by playing the various games on Gaia.
Liebe Liese's avatar

Beloved Bunny

DLSmith6157
Liebe Liese
Nyadriel
Reason why I have been ignoring it as of late is because of having to to waste so much gold trying to craft a level 4 item - while being at level four... and failing 12 times out of the 12 attempts or whatever it was, over the coarse of a day.
NOT WORTH IT!!

At some point after a number of fails, there HAS to be a success. Failures really should be limited after a certain number of times.


Thats why I stopped - the risk of failing too many times. Im lvl 4. - I would pe panicked if i wanted to craft something big later on and run out of funds due to the high fail rate lol. (not complaining - just putting in my 2 cents lol)


I agree, I have failed over 20 times on a level 3 formula, I am level 3 alchemist, and I am considering quitting alchemy due to the feeling that all I am accomplishing is throwing my gold away and gaining nothing in the process for it. I do think that there should be a cap on the amount of fails and/or letting us know the approximate cost of being able to complete said formula. I know of many gaians that will not do alchemy for these reasons. alchemy should be for all who want to participate in alchemy and not just for the rich. this could encourage those that do not have the funds to do the alchemy formula's get and make more gold, by playing the various games on Gaia.


Well, to be honest, a lot has changed with Alchemy, and I believe, if someone new were to start out and not have much, if they asked around, Im sure a lot of us know easy steps to lvling up- without wasting gold. Considering many formulas that were once hard to find are in the shop now- and the inflation has gone down tremendously- I believe it is not just for the rich- but also geared to the dedicated- if you play it smart- you wont waist gold now like we did months ago. smile - but yea, I never had a huge fail rate but I sympathies with those who have lost thousands, millions, just on the crafting part sad
Zzyli's avatar

Rainbow Angel

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Misfortuned Checkmate's avatar

Charitable Angel

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As a level 7 Alchemist, I've had to put up with ALOT of fails from formulas in my previous levels.
For example, when I was a level 5, I (foolishly) attempted to craft a Sunstone (also level 5),
and ended up losing like... 1.1mil-worth in crafting fees.
I was, however, completely prepared for the losses. (I remade the losses within 3 days of selling caches)
Then, when I was a level 6, someone requested me to craft the same item, and it only took me 1 TRY. classified_fu
I'd definitely like the changes to be made, especially if it was Option 3
(referring to your poll you had on the crafting rates. I voted #3 ;D )
Zzyli's avatar

Rainbow Angel

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Misfortuned Checkmate
As a level 7 Alchemist, I've had to put up with ALOT of fails from formulas in my previous levels.
For example, when I was a level 5, I (foolishly) attempted to craft a Sunstone (also level 5),
and ended up losing like... 1.1mil-worth in crafting fees.
I was, however, completely prepared for the losses. (I remade the losses within 3 days of selling caches)
Then, when I was a level 6, someone requested me to craft the same item, and it only took me 1 TRY. classified_fu
I'd definitely like the changes to be made, especially if it was Option 3
(referring to your poll you had on the crafting rates. I voted #3 ;D )

I like 3 as well. If something is going to cost me 1 mil to craft, it would be kind of nice to know up-front about it. I've crafted a lot of stuff at Very Low odds (because I am a masochistic idiot, and also for science) and I've had a lot of failures, but I've had some crafts work first go. This system just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I'm completely cool with the gold-sink, but the current failure system seems pointless.

You're also the one who keeps taking 3 goes to craft things on high right? emotion_awesome

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