Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

The “I” word and Crafting

Darren over at Common Sense Gamer wrote an interesting article asking the community what they thought about the current state of crafting and what in the world we are going to do about it.

The actual act of crafting itself needs to be spiced up just a bit. Something needs to be added to make it go…for lack of a better word…”pop”. Honestly, I’m at a loss right now (I blame the Corona I’m drinking…too much lime) as to how this would be done…

I hate grinding, I like reward and I love the “I” word. Innovation is what is needed here and that does not necessarily mean making it more complex. Crafting has been in almost every MMO I have played and I usually have tried it beyond the beginner levels. There are only a few that I have maxed out the level or skill in and I have yet to find a system that I could not understand.

Now, hes asking about the act here, and not how its implemented in game or across the “spheres” of gameplay. The act I assume is the actual, click click – change recipe – click click – check inventory – click click – drink beer – click click – skill-up. I agree that it is monotonous and even in the most complex of systems its just a disguise of a grind. So how do we change this? I’m going to try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one but answer it best that I can.

Why does crafting need to have this longwinded approach to creating an item? Why do we need levels or tiers? Lets bring together the players by combining the adventuring and crafting and I propose this by not basing what a crafter can create by how much time they have sunk at a table but how many items they have studied.

If a Weaponsmith for example, had an action called “study” or “reverse engineer” and that action allowed the player to use up items in the world to learn a recipe, this would open up the system to a whole new area that I have yet to see before. Clicking a shortsword for the first time adds some type of notation that shows the type of sword it is and how many more are needed before you truly understand the recipe. Then once the recipe is learned the player simply goes to town and can craft the item. The timesink of crafting is moved to that of adventuring and discovery rather than grinding and repetition at a table.

What about the harvesting and materials needed to craft the item, what do they use?? Well let me ask you this, how often have you been ticked off about the amount of boar skins or dwarf swords you have gathered through the years had absolutely nothing to do with the game economy? Imagine if these items actually contributed to a regional stockpile of materials. This could include not only quest items but also drops sold back to vendors as cash. These materials could then be used to create items by crafters. Do you see the cycle here and why a crafter would be able to create items from these drops? Its because he learned recipes from them as well.

I’ll go into this idea more in part 2 as its leading more into the game integration of crafting and not about the actual mechanics of it.



June 20, 2007 - Posted by | Brainstorms, Crafting

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