Sure every MMORPG to date has some type of crafting, right? But why cant they give us a robust crafting system, a crafting system that will let us build communities, a crafting system that will let us feel like we contribute to the world we play in. For once I want that robust crafting system without having to sacrifice combat mechanics. It's like they can't focus on both for some reason. To really understand what I and many others want, we must look back and see where other games have succeeded and failed.
Let's start at the beginning with Ultima Online, which just happens to be my first MMORPG and possible the best crafting/world building game to date. I just don't understand why more companies didn't try and go with the ideas that UO brought to the table. UO showed us that you could have it all. A complex skill system that promoted fun PVE/PVP and a crafting system that felt rewarding, fun and really made you feel like you were apart of the world.
The first time I played UO I honestly felt like I hopped in a time machine, went back in time, and became a black smith. So what did UO do right? Well they didn't water down their crafting system, most of the time it wasn't easy being a crafter. To be a crafter I had to work on skills that applied to one, in my case I was a black smith so I need alot of strength. I mean let's be honest, if I'm going to carry a bag of ore I have to be strong. The stronger I am, the more I can carry, the more profit I can make.
Crafting in UO made me want to explore. I couldn't just circle a zone and look for ore I had to I had to go find a cave, a cave that was not only close but safe and not to crowded. There's nothing worse then a thief hiding in the shadow ready to jump you and take your hard earned ore. That's one place where the community come together. There were many times when all the miners would band together and help their brother miner who was getting robbed. It's things like that, Risk VS Reward, that you must have to make a crafting system fun.
After a long day or days of work I have my bank filled with all this ore and now I have a decision to make. I could sell it to another smith, or I could smelt it myself and start taking orders or just make it and sell it to a npc for a lower profit. Even lower profit if you had failures, failure is something you must have. I mean what smith could ever cast a sword and not mess up. The best thing about UO was that most of the time there was always people needing something, and there's nothing more gratifying to know someone is using your armor. Now I finally have the cash to buy that pack horse to carry my ore.
There's still so much UO offered to the crafting world such as houses, castles, boats, you could even write your own books. These are just some of the examples where UO succeeded even though some of the ideas were changed the same principles still remain. I never understood why developers ran with the everquest idea over the UO, I really believe UO had the best of both worlds, to bad it was a 2D game.
Part two coming soon.
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