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Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.
On the other hand the PC auto-learns some recipes where it is rather implausible that they would be able to craft them perfectly on the first try.
Describe the solution you'd like
Prototype qualities could be "dangerous", "defective", "normal" and "finished".
Exact percentages could be adjusted for specific "high risk" recipes like explosives and medicines.
Test conditions could also vary by category - electrical items could just be turned on to see if they start a fire in your base or electrocute you while weapons could require using them in combat.
Describe alternatives you've considered
Simply make a recipe that can only be acquired by prototyping.
Would also open up quest lines where NPCs ask you to test their prototypes, or NPC factions ask you to develop a prototype for stuff they want to craft.
I'm very in favor of the general concept to bridge between "I know the basic theory" and "I can make an example of this thing". In fact, depending on the difficulty, this could be used for "found" crafting recipes as well. In other words many many recipes would become "autolearn" in that your player can figure out the basics once they reach an appropriate skill level, but only very complete recipes would be clear enough to do, "here's the recipe, you know what you're doing so it'll work the first time". found recipes would provide a shortcut to a usable "blueprint".
To be clear, the only thing you can do with the prototype item is test it? So a "prototype crossbow" can only be used in firing tests, has a chance of breaking and injuring the player, and only becomes usable as a crossbow if it is "complete" AND passes it's tests.
It would not, the issue with nitrocellulose production is not that it's hard to "figure out", it's that it's fundamentally dangerous to do.
However gunpowder (black powder) crafting (and firearm crafting) is a great candidate for this kind of thing. The fact that gunpowder is a mixture of charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre is common knowledge, but the ratios and production methods are not.
Essentially I see two models.
Model B: Prototypes are essentially items with hidden properties. Those properties get revealed to the player by using them. For example clothing will only show the warmth stat when character starts to overhead or chill. Guns show dispersion and damage when shooting at a target. Armour shows armour value when being hit. Medicines their effect when eaten (or taken to a hospital and put in a special analyzer, I think considering the futuristic setting it's quite reasonable to assume we have perfected this whole animal-free testing, just use a tox-test-kit plus machine plus first aid skill and it tells you if you produced poison). When all stats are revealed the prototype counts as tested and gives you the recipe when it was a "perfect" prototype. Non-perfect prototypes can be used after fully being tested but have sub par stats (and may still fail horribly so use at your own risk).
I had a pretty long paragraph about this but I deleted it because I don't want to derail the prototype topic. Suffice to say in real life a chemist with a bachelors degree should be able to do it without blowing up and 48 h washing and drying doesn't mean 48 h hands on time, you could do sth. else in that time, like go hunting or reading some books or do some quests for NPCs, ...
I much prefer model A, but with a few tweaks.
The one feature that Model B adds is the ability to craft a prototype and then use it immediately, but with a chance of catastrophic failure. This might be considered "exciting", but in reality it's a pretty silly way to proceed. I don't think the addition of that feature justifies the significant additional complexity it would require. In particular, instead of test failures being fairly generic, it would require us to somehow quantify exactly what happens on a failure, such as having firearms under perform or accumulate damage, or have melee weapons inflict to-hit and damage penalties.
Good call, if you want to discuss it, use #27132
To understand my reasoning it's probably necessary to know that I imagined this mechanism as some kind of mechanism to fall back to only when unable to find the recipe. Something that a character only does rarely. And where the player after finishing says "YAY I did it!"
When prototyping a duster I think a test would probably be fairly quick, probably 15 min should be sufficient. Just wear it make some movements and check if it is unpleasant to wear or there is strain on some seems.
Do I understand you correctly? Player crafts a prototype. Then tests it (can only be tested once then the prototype disappears or perhaps can be salvaged for some parts). At first it has a for example 10% change to become a functioning item a X % chance to harm the character based on difference between skill and difficulty and a 90-X% difficulty to do nothing. This means when skill is high enough the character never kills himself. Every time the prototype successfully converts to the item it increases success chance for future items by 30%. If success chance is capped by mishap chance this also means characters with too low skill will only ever blow up and never succeed. Something along this line?
Do we want this to be the way to find most recipes or should this be a rare exception to fall back to only if one can't find the appropriate book with the recipe? This would affect how the relation of skill to the difficulty affects the danger of the process. When its the norm skill = difficulty should generally be safe if it should be a rare feat something like skill should be 4 higher would be acceptable.
Cool, yes that's a good point, though perhaps something about the recipe entry will control wether that much time is necessary, simple items get one short test, complex items get many long tests.
If it's complex, maybe it has something like 20/60/20 chance of success/inconclusive/fail in case it deserves multiple trials.
Yea something like that.
I think particularly straightforward recipes are more common, so the majority probably wouldn't have prototyping attached.
This would be based on the properties of the craft. Most aren't particularly long or dangerous, but I don't really care how many are, if they're difficult and dangerous IRL they should be difficult and dangerous in the game.
How dangerous failures are we talking about here? while the idea seems interesting if prototyping ex a grenade or a mine has a chance to have it explode and kill the player outright then this will in practice just be the equivalent of removing the recipes from the game, since no one would take the risk of random instant death in anything but a "just for lulz" run.
I'm sorry I used common language when I should have used professional language.
EDIT: For those unfamiliar with the terms. (I hope my translations from german to english are correct).
What do I mean by this?
Chemistry is a good example too, everyone can follow the instructions on a recipe that's generally not the problem.
RDX and dynamite are difficulty 7 recipes in the game.
Ninja post detected.
Yeah that's what I'm trying to get to.
There's essentially two ways to deal with this:
It's a tricky question I don't have a universal answer to.
In principle, I don't like either the, "with sufficient skill all recipes are safe", or the "outcomes are never fatal" option. They're both extremely arbitrary solutions to a complex problem.
Bomb disposal is a pretty great example. There are certainly bombs one can disarm manually with reasonable safety if proper procedures are followed, but there are also plenty of scenarios where a bomb cannot be manually disarmed with any real expectation of safety, so instead bomb disposal technicians will use robots, guns, other explosives etc to destroy the bomb.
There's a real tradeoff here, maybe you find some unexploded ordinance, and harvesting it would supply you with a great deal of material for your own bomb making uses, but it's never a safe thing to attempt. Maybe with sufficient skill you can fairly safely disarm the ordinance, but in this scenario, should the risk ever drop to nothing? I don't think so. On the other hand, what if there's a type of land mine that has a recovery feature? In that case it's IMO reasonable for a sufficiently skilled individual to have an actually safe way to disarm that kind of mine.
I do think that there should be mechanisms for managing risk, for example, when crafting dangerous chemicals, there could be a batch size where the side effects are manageable, but it's a tradeoff between safety and efficiency.