I just finished scratching off another mmorpg from the list of current games released that promised to make crafting better, revolutionize it, make it more innovative, yada yada yada.Â You would think by now that I would have stopped hoping, but alas, if it is my one weakness, I always have hope.Â Seriously though, what is it with crafting that these game developers just can’t get right?Â It’s either too big a grind, worthless, boring, too complicated, or not complicated enough.
I’m looking back at all the mmorpgs I’ve played over the past decade+ and thinking about each one of their crafting systems and what went wrong.Â I’m not going to make a complete list, but the ones I list and rmble on about incoherently will suffice.
The Realm – Some useful crafting elements like enchanting, but overall worthless.Â Why make stuff that is worse than the stuff that drops off mobs?
WoW – Making ueless 700 gizzerboofles to achieve a skill high enough to use a super rare recipe that is useful in one particular situation… no.
EQ2 – The system was involved and creative but it was a grind and at times just a tad overly complicated.Â I never felt like I could play the leveling game and still have time to craft.
Vanguard – Similar to EQ2, it was creative but overly complicated and a grind.Â At times it felt like it was worthless.Â Non-dedicated crafters need not apply.
LOTRO – Woah, a system where you can craft gear that’s on par or often better than raid drops… but still a stupid grind and at the end of the day the process to get to the point of making good stuff was tedious and boring.Â 90% of the people won’t see a payout in the end.
WAR – It’s still a grind.Â There are no recipes, crafting crap grows on tree’s, and it’s way, way, way overly simplified. The stuff crafters can make is mostly (I use this term GENEROUSLY) useful, but the market is overly saturation because there are only TWO crafts.Â Honestly, most people go for gathering skills not to craft but to sell the stuff to a vender to farm cash.Â I’m really having a hard time believing that this many people carry around seeds in their pockets…
SWG – By far the best crafting system of any mmorpg out there but not perfect. It had useful items (at the time I played, not sure if they changed it) or the only items, it was central to the entire game in many ways, it was creative in its approach, and it allowed the every-day player to jump right in and participate. It was dynamic and interesting. However, at the end of the day it was a grind to the top.
I want a game with crafting that:
- Makes GREAT (not good, grrrrreat!) items worth using.
- Doesn’t require grinding to get to the point of making good items.Â Making 700 things to be able to make 1 item is no different from having to find 690 things to make 70 to make 1.Â Grinding is grinding.Â Find a better way!
- Gets the character involved with the world and out of the workshop, town, hub, etc, feeling like they can play the “normal” game and be a crafter too.
- Is profitable to the majority, and not to the few, and supports a very healthy game economy.
- Is dynamic! It needs to change and not always be the same.
- Is actually creative and doesn’t find new ways to dress up old tricks that didn’t work in the first place.
- Isn’t trying to be innovative for the sake of being innovative… really, if you can accomplish the majority of the above using an older system then DO it!
The Bind on equip vs. Bind on pickup vs. No binding at all debate is much too involved for this topic, but it’s worth mentioning that crafting needs a form of binding to ensure the items do not get oversaturated and that crafters remain in business.
Right now I don’t really have much of a solution.Â I think if it were obvious enough to point it out then games would have already incorporated the solution.Â I just know that we have yet to experience the ‘ideal’ crafting system once again.