SWTOR’s “crafting” (I’ll tell you why it’s in quotes in a second) was semi-revealed. I’m getting my info on it from Darth Hater, so let’s hope the info is legit.
The gist of what we know about crafting comes down to this:
“Using their ship as a base of operations, players will be able to send their companions on crafting tasks, and particular companions excelling at specific duties.”
Essentially, you have companions that are AI controlled; you tell them what to do — like go out and gather you something or make you something; they do it. When in your ship they can craft or be sent out to do missions, go out and gather, make something, and all of this can be done even when you’re offline. When you’re online they can gather with you so that they are the ones picking the flowers while you watch them do it.
So why did I put crafting in quotes? Because I think it’s closer to being a slave master than crafting. It sounds very passive to me, but not all bad.
Keeping with the feel that Darth Vader wouldn’t pick flowers? Check.
Dangerously close to automated? Check.
Additional reliance upon companion characters? Check.
Instanced and withdrawn feel? Maybe a Check.
I feel like it definitely needs to be fleshed out or explained better. Right now it sounds like you sit in your ship and send your underlings out to gather things and they bring it back to you. Then you tell them to make something and they do it. That’s not actually ‘playing’ the game if you can just go afk. Maybe if the companions weren’t doing it all, like if they brought you back metal after you found the location (like as steady supply after you survey and area) but then you had to experiment with it or refine it and create a schematic for it and -then- give it to your companions for them to manage the production. It would be more like SWG, that way the companions would become factories that you insert your schematic into or harvesters you supply with energy, but you still went through the effort and had the hands-on role of creating something.
It’s different which is a good thing and I know what they’re trying to do by making you feel like you’re the important person and not the one doing menial tasks, but any time you remove the player participating in the game you’re asking for trouble. Bioware is borderline making crafting sound like an afterthought.