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Reader Comments (43)

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:22AM (Unverified) said

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The perfect crafting system for me would be a subtle balance, somewhere between EQ and WoW. It's important that an element of skill, or at least differentiation between different crafters, is present: if my items are the same as everybody else, is really takes away from crafting as an important part of the game.

It is also important to make sure the crafting system is not luck based. I absolutely hate the WoW yellow or green items, that have a completely random chance of giving you a skill point, or the WAR salvaging skill that arbitrarily fails for no apparent reason.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 9:08AM Tristik said

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~~
I think SWG had it close to where it should be. The materials that go into items have varying levels of quality. Depending on the quality of materials used, you'll get a higher or lower power/strength/quality item out.

I do agree with doing away with failures. You're a craftsmen. You know what you are doing. Sure, it might not come out perfect (a la extra-low quality items), but it comes out.
~~
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Posted: Mar 18th 2009 2:22PM (Unverified) said

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I agree with Brian, and everyone else further down the thread.

SWG had the best crafting experience ever imagined in a game. - The reasons for that are many, but the top 5 had to be:

1. Complex and rich, while intuitive and rewarding. - Simple to learn, difficult to master. - That right there, is the holy grail of all gaming concepts. - You started out with simple recipes and quick easy methods, but ended up with huge, franchise-running mass-productions, that could put your name on the map as a respected and appreciated member of the community.

2. Player driven economy. - While loot was accesible, it was much more realistic, in mostly being other people's used junk, or ressources. If you wanted the best, you went to a respected crafter.

3. Shops. - While heavily relying on another holy grail of mmorpg's - Player housing - this feature really appealed to the personal business owner in all of us. Create and decorate your own little personalized shop, or lease a spot in a mega mall of other well-known crafters, guaranteed to attract customers from all over the galaxy.

4. Ressources of varying quality and rarity. - Any ressource of the required name or type would do, but find a ressource of a better quality, and you could make items of a better quality.
And ressources weren't always in spawn, and was never of the same quality, even if they bore the same name. Being vigilant paid of big time.

5. Experimentation system - basically a gear-game for crafters. Even if you had the best available ressources and top-tuned gear for the crafting process itself, your skill, and the stat-bonuses granted through gear and other areas, would grant you just a little extra bonus to get the best quality item out of the crafting process.

You want to know how to make a good crafting system? Take a hint from SWG.
- In fact, take as many hints from the SWG crafting system as possible.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:23AM JohnD212 said

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I like it challenging without being too much work. I loved Everquest 2's crafting because the process itself was challenging...it didn't require too much leg work to get the parts but the process made you pay attention. WAR on the other hand was just plain boring. Random stuff and a thousand items all named something different but with identical icons....crazy.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 10:19AM (Unverified) said

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EQ2 was alright, better than some games. But it has a couple major flaws that makes it a failure overall:

1) They made a "mini-game" out of crafting, they wanted it to be similar to a mob encounter where you have to actively "win" the encounter to get the reward. But the mini-game is about as complex and fun as a game of tic tac toe.

The crafting process itself is more of a time-sink than anything else, it's totally shallow.

2) All your items are exactly the same as everyone else and there's absolutely no difference between crafter A and crafter B. Everyone uses the same materials to produce the exact same goods with the exact same results.

3) To focus entirely on crafting means that you will spend 90% of your game time either at the broker or at the workbench. You will not see most of the game and there is little if any reason to interact with other people because everyone can just go to the broker to see who is selling items the cheapest and hit up their vendor.

4)Also the broker system + identical items means the only way to gain sales and get people to buy from you instead of someone else is to undercut them.

Eve is a little more successful with their crafting system, even though all crafters produce exactly the same items in that game, too.

The segmented markets in EVE mean that you can try to corner the market in a specific area of the galaxy. Because there is not one central AH/broker where everything is listed for sale, you can sell your goods at a premium if you find a good location where demand is high and supply is low.

Or you can help support your corp by producing many items, because items are temporary and always need to be replaced after they get destroyed.

The biggest flaw with EVE's crafting is that the only difference between crafters is the cost of producing items. The only thing that makes you a better crafting is being able to produce items for a lower cost, there is no individuality or real "craftsmanship" involved.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:24AM (Unverified) said

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I always feel kind of bad about how little I care for crafting. I've played almost every MMO under the sun, from SWG to WAR, and I've never, ever cared about crafting. I tried to care when SWG was new, but even then it didn't hold my attention.

I'm a quick-gratification type of gamer, so a long, involved process just bores the hell out of me. Give me something easy, or let someone else do it. Those are the two systems I prefer.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:26AM ultimateq said

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The crafting system in WoW is trivial. Whats the point of even having it?

SWG's crafting system was complex. Its a shame they scrapped it, because it was absolutely amazing.

Vanguard's Crafting System is tedious. But I would rather play on Vanguard's system than WoW's. Because when you make a crazy item, it took a little bit of work, and you can appreciate it a little (or a lot) more.

EQ's crafting system was archaic and pretty painful in the beginning. Dragging all of the items into the container, 1 at a time, no stacks, to get just 1 combine. Yeah that wasn't fun for me, but they did improve it later.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 10:11AM Lateris said

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I miss the SWG crafting system. For me it was an amazing process.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:34AM (Unverified) said

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Crafting should be as gratifying as combat in an mmo.. if you don't like combat, you should be able to "play" the crafting, and vice versa.

This off course means there should be risk and reward.

I think Vanguard got pretty close to getting it right actually. While the actual mechanics may have been messed up, the art of making diplomacy, crafting and combat separate but interdependant acts of gaming, they potentially catered to a lot of different people.

There's just too few games that allow me to "play" a crafter. EVE online atm is what brings me closest, with it's economy, invention, bluprint research and all.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 9:54AM Lethality said

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This.

Very close to what I am saying... crafting is an entire game in and of itself, and it doesn't have to mean pushing buttons... but rather knowing your customers, knowing the markets, etc.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:36AM (Unverified) said

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I think when people say negative things about WoW's crafting system, what they really say is that the items you can make are sub-par. I happen to like WoW's crafting system. The fact that the items you make stink is something else entirely, made exponentially frustrating by the fact that at one tier of blacksmith you can only make a one handed sword, while at another you can only make a two handed axe. A slight tweek to WoW crafting i think would be ideal.

For example, you get a recipe for "sword"

So, at a low level, you can use copper and coarse stone to make a copper sword, but at higher levels you use mithril, cobalt, titansteel for mithril, cobalt and titansteel swords. That sword would have increasingly better stats as you make it with better materials, and you could specialize like we've seen with Savage, Tempered and Brilliant Saronite armor.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 10:59AM (Unverified) said

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I like the crafting elements in LOTRO. I think they have a good mix of easy to craft items, one use "rare" crafting items and the mastery option which allows you to craft a better than normal item if you get lucky when using one of the rare components.



Posted: Mar 18th 2009 1:21AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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As a person who has so far crafted and gathered more than ground mobs I think I disagree.

LoTRO is a "set a number to make and head out of the room to get a cup of coffee" crafting system. Sure you need some rare items and there is a random chance of a mastery bonus, but it is random.

There is no skill involved. Want to gain a level? Buy a few hundred sturdy hides, set the boiled leather counter to 200 and come back in an hour. Meh.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:47AM (Unverified) said

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SWG's crafting was brilliant. I think I mentioned before but I used to have a Bio-Engineer and I was always trying to mix Rancor and Bantha DNA into some weird little pet monkey thing.

It was a pretty deep system where you could tailor-make items suited to different purposes based upon what you put in and the quality of materials you used.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 8:54AM (Unverified) said

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As mentioned above, SWG's crafting system is really quite awesome. It's complex and thorough, yet incredibly satisfying.

It is to date, the only MMO crafting system I have encountered that not only provides capabilities for mass-production through factories, but encourages it.

Sadly, with the removal of decay of weapons and armor, crafted items aren't as sought after as they once were, but you can still make a name for yourself if you manage to provide excellent products at a decent price.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 9:00AM Holgranth said

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The HOLY GRAIL of crafting to me would be a system where the player first designs the item, for example a sword, selecting what style of blade they want, what kind of designs on the blade, if it has gem sockets on the pommel, what material the blade its made out of, what material the handle is made out of.

If the character is an enchanter type they can also design enchantments or runes to be imbued into the sword.

Then the player gets a list of nessesary materials and step by step instructions on how to make the sword, (Hammering out the sword, folding it, quenching it ect.) and various "Quality Enhancing Steps" optional steps that will give the blade a greater quality.

The quality depends both on the skill of the player, and the addition of quality enhancing steps.

This means an amature Blacksmith can still make a steel sword but it won't be as good as the one made by a professional.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 9:06AM (Unverified) said

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I have to agree, SWG has the best crafting system I have ever played. The ability to make unique items that nobody else can make puts it far and above any other system imo. The fact that you could make an item out of many many resources and the results would differ based on the materials used really rewarded the people that put in the effort.

If you wanted to craft as an afterthought then you could make a simple blaster to use with no problems, but if you wanted to make unique weapons to set yourself apart you could gather your krayt tissue and your rare metals and make a truely unique weapon.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 9:13AM (Unverified) said

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UO crafting system was nice! I love the time when I was a Grandmaster Blacksmith and my sword and plate was named: Exceptional Katana made by Miss Alicia.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 9:15AM Snorii said

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I agree with everyone else, SWG had the best crafting system. I also liked the way EQ2 made you pay attention during crafting.

Posted: Mar 17th 2009 9:52AM (Unverified) said

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I agree with everyone else, SWG had the best crafting system.

QFMFT
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