I always end up crafting in MMOs. Something within me likes the idea of reducing my dependency on other players and the market when it comes to providing for my characters. So it was with some skepticism that I read the post “Craft Be Gone” over at The Common Sense Gamer.
The general gist of the post is that Darren wants to see some fresh ideas about crafting. However, I think his question is a bit premature. It assumes that his readers not only think there is something broken with crafting, but that they all agree on what that broken part is.
So I am going to try to write what I feel should have been the prelude to asking for ideas to make crafting in MMOs better. I am going to try to list out some of the things that I see people complaining about when it comes to crafting. Not all of these are universal to all trade professions in all games, but they seem to me to be applicable. I have divided these into two areas.
Making Stuff – Show me your skills as an artisan!
- Harvesting is boring/difficult/competitive – Some jerk stole my node while I fought off a bear, now I need to find yet another one.
- Harvesting requires adventure levels at or above the level of items you wish to make – Harvest tier 5 raws with my level 24 weapon smith?
- Crafting useful items requires craft skill levels beyond which your current skill level can support – I need to be a level 49 armor smith to equip my level 40 guardian.
- Can only make a small number of actually useful items – I have 63 recipes, but only two are worth making.
- Drops from adventuring of better quality relative to crafted items – The bane of early EQ. Armor items I could make even at high skill level were usually worse than drops from mobs I could kill with a harsh look.
- The best recipes are drops or otherwise not readily available – The stingy artisan crafts NPC won’t teach me purple recipes.
- Crafting is boring and repetitive and takes too much time – Maybe I just don’t “get” crafting?
Selling Stuff – We all want to get rich by crafting, right?
- Most items crafted are not in demand – Nobody will buy my crappy silken hoods.
- Market is over saturated – Nobody will buy my 100 crappy silken hoods.
- Market prices are too low – People will buy my crappy silken hoods, but only at a price that is almost break-even.
- People are always undercutting my price – Damn that guy who is now listed his crappy silken hoods 1 copper below mine!
So that is my little list of things I hear or experience on a regular basis when it comes to crafting. Before we try to fix crafting, what else do people think is broken in the realm of MMO trade skills?