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Crafting in MMORPG's or lack there of. (Part Two)

Posted by CoreChamber Monday February 25 2008 at 8:45AM
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Another game with a robust crafting system would have to be "A Tale in the Desert". This game is nothing but a craft fest, all you do is craft and that's the point. The developers here made a decision, no combat what so ever, and that is where they failed in my opinion. You build and you build and you build until you start wonder what's the point. Yes, I know, this is what some people want, and you're not wrong for wanting to do only crafting. You want those tight knit communities where friends almost become family. But for the world to feel alive you need numbers and by numbers I mean subscribers. Who wants to have a hut out in the middle of no where for no one to see. Again, in order to have a successful MMORPG I think you need both PVP/PVE and crafting, they go hand and hand beautifully.
So what did "A Tale In The Desert" do right? They made a complex crafting system. I mean you have to do some studying. Right from the start the first thing you have to do is craft tools. I mean come on, what did you think? That some crafting tool god would appear from the clouds handing free tools to the newbies, I think not. So I'll start out getting some slate to make a blade and some wood to build a wood plane so that I can make boards. I'll then turn around and use those boards to make brick racks, then with a little sand, mud and that grass I picked and set out to dry, I will make Bricks. Getting one step closer with each brick to building my compound.
From that point the possibilities are wide open on what you want to make. Nothing is easy, you go step by step building tools and other components to reach that final product. Yet in the end, after I have built so much, I begin to wonder what's it all for. Did I really do anything but pollute Egypt with compounds and works of art? Suddenly I look around and notice that others have quit and I now live in a ghost town, knowing they must be off looking for war in some other game.
But you're thinking I must be wrong, massive subscribers don't make a good crafting system. I don't think it makes a good crafting system but it promotes one. You need people to craft for because with out them your just selling to npc. Any crafters worse nightmare is to think that none of their items are being worn. For example, lets take a game with a massive subscriber base and determine why "I" felt the crafting in the game has failed. There is nothing more massive than World of Warcrat, yet I am uninspired by its crafting system. Why? Cause everyone crafts. It is such a watered down crafting system that everyone can do in minutes.
If the crafting system is easy and fast then the market is going to be flooded with the same items that hardly ever sell. Why buy it when you can make it yourself. No one knows me as a black smith in WOW, I'll never get to come up with some catchy business name to promote my items in tells. The only point in wow where I felt crafting mattered is when the game first launched. WOW has made the same mistake that many others have, the end game items are far better then anything I will ever craft. It's like when they release an expansion they forget that some people play the game to craft, and what do they do, they give us a few new items to craft.
But who wants to raid and pve if the best items are made by crafter. Well I for one don't, That's why I believe there has to be balance. I think the average gamers gear should be split between crafting items and dropped items. Why can't the adventures come back from an epic journey and walk into my shop and say I plunder this magical hilt form the hands of Lord Doom himself, can you craft me the finest blade in all the land. Oh look at that, now the crafter and the Warrior both have something to do with that blade. Balance also comes with house and boat building. Its just that something extra that is needed to make the crafter feel more needed.
In WOW the resources are in random locations so you never get to feel like a mining community, you never see other miners unless you both just happened to be in that same random location where you both race for that resource. Which doesn't promote a community but rather the opposite. So WOW has nothing to offer a ture crafter, I mean I'll never sail around on my own boat, I'll never have my own shop, I'll never have to work with someone else to build any item. I might as well just forget crafting all together and just be that warrior and make my own potion/enchants whenever I need them. I mean don't get me wrong I played WOW for a long but the point of this topic isn't about PVE its about crafting and WOW offers me no reason to play as a crafter.

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Part 3 soon to come.

Crafting in MMORPG's or lack there of. (Part One)

Posted by CoreChamber Sunday February 24 2008 at 10:57PM
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  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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8 Bit About Me

Posted by CoreChamber Thursday October 4 2007 at 2:29PM
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Wow.. my first blog. The beginning of a lot of out of no where posts about possible meaningless topics. I'm a gamer and been for as long as I can remember, I just enjoy it, its better then reading a book to me. I'm in to just about every type of game as long as it has a good story and character development. Yet I do prefer to play games on a PC then a console, I'm kinda attached to the keyboard and mouse, even though these days it would be nice to have a third hand or something, those hot bars keep getting bigger and bigger. I'm going to focus on MMORPG's because I think that is where the future of all gaming really is. Who really wants to play a single player game when you can be in a social one, I know you think well some times I don't want to be social I want to go and do my own thing, and I understand, but you can have your cake and it to. I'm in an MMO and there are thousands of people around me but I don't have to talk to them, or play with them, but there still nice to have there to make the world feel alive. I can and sometimes do put alot of hours into games, but I never let me self get stuck on one. Yes I will raid or grind to get the best gear, not to feel leet or uber but to enhance my fun. I can be at the top of my game and quit the next day to start over and try out something new that has came out. I try my best to try it all (MMO wise), the good the bad and the ugly. So this is where things start off, my thoughts on current MMO's, upcoming MMO's and what "I" think the future of them should be.

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