I just want to say that I think it's great that you're out speaking to the players that want this game and are looking for input to make it something we haven't seen before. I have no doubt that you'll make a distinctive game.
Crafting has always been one of those things I enjoy doing to break it up a little bit, but I've never been one that has had to have it be a focus. My wife, on the other hand, LOVES crafting and when I was talking to her about this post this morning we went over a few things and ideas we thought would be really cool. I'll just briefly go over some of the things.
1. With your plans of a player driven economy, you need to make crafting a viable career. It can't be something you can max out in couple hours if you have the money to do so. When you pick a vocation it should be something you're committed to if you want to be good. There needs to be depth to it not just a few recipes that you make over and over to level up. I want to do research and write notes down on how to make that cool item. I want players to say, hey you want an awesome sword, you need to go to "Billy" the sword maker.
2. World Markets are ok for what they are for but it is not my favorite system. By far, my favorites were SWG and DAoC. Having a merchant at your house/store is a definitely a must for me with a new game. It was so fun to decorate your store in SWG and have your merchants selling your wares. People would come to your place and browse the shop. Instead of a world market, you have a merchant board where players can go and post up their location and what they sell. Players can then go shop around. Players should also be able to purchase npc merchants that would travel into the RvR lands. There would be risk doing this because of other realms killing the caravan, but players would be able to purchase in keeps without travelling back to their cities.
3. Epic/Legendary weapons/armor is the next thing I want to see in this game. These items would only be able to be created by the most dedicated of crafters. For example, a player has gathered up all 4 named pieces of "The Sword of Tim." (Pommel, Blade, Haft, Jewel). He would take these components to the crafter whom has specialized in the sword type and has mastered his skill. He must also have a high enough "lore" skill to read the scroll that describes how to make the sword. My initial thought would be that no other player could have this exact weapon, but I could see powerful guilds going out and just getting all the legendary stuff before anyone else would have a chance. CSE would need to have a TON of items like this that would be super rare so as it's not very easy to see these items but when you do see someone with them, you're in awe.
4. Cosmetic customization for items would be another thing I'd love to see. How awesome would it be to look at someones armor and recognize the crafter just by the way it looks? This sounds like a nightmare for the programmers but I think it's a super awesome idea that should be done if possible. Any other types of customization (guild symbols, realm symbols etc) should also be done by the crafters themselves as another way to sell their services.
5. Crafting materials should have a quality rating. It's very boring when you just grab 1000 pieces of steel and just craft 100 swords to level up, but when you have a couple of pieces of 99% pure steel, you can experiment and make better quality items. SWG was great with this idea. You would survey and find the best materials you could find to make your items the best that you could. The highest quality materials should be used to make the very best of items.
6. There should be multiple specializations for people to choose from. Not only should there be lots of crafting schools to choose from but there should also be multiple specs to choose to master. This will help give crafters more of a name for themselves. Instead of having thousands and thousands of master weaponsmiths, you have a thousand that spec in 1 handed swords. Of that thousand, you have 100 that specialize in 1 handed swords of Quickness.
What would be the point of having a player economy if everyone could just make whatever they need by themselves? Crafting would just be another time and money sink like every other game is now. My wife isn't one that loves to RvR, but she LOVES to craft and design and decorate her house and even though this game is based on RvR, she is excited at the possibility of being a crafter in this game and making items for our realm. In addition, she should not feel like a lesser player just because she isn't out doing RvR. There should be rewards and titles that speak of her great deeds for the realm or even Legendary crafting tools that crafters would quest for. Crafters should feel just as important to the war as the people out fighting. I know there are other people out there that want to do the same.