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

Posted by CoreChamber Sunday February 24 2008 at 9:57PM
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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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t0nyd writes:

I abhor crafting in any game. Altho I do believe it should be there, due to some people enjoying it. The problem lies with games like WoW. They put so much emphasis on equipment that the game becomes entirely based around it. They force you to spend countless hours gaining this equipment just to compete on any level. So in turn they make crafting nothing but a monotonous grind, this way, its as boring as raiding.

 If a game had a system to where you could craft useful items from the start and through out every level, i might actually attempt it.

Sun Feb 24 2008 11:44PM Report
wolfmann writes:

Crafting should be part of the core foundation of a game...

Anything less and it usually becomes trivial and not so much needed or used, and not much part of the economy either.


Mon Feb 25 2008 12:44AM Report
Anofalye writes:

I can craft if I absolutely have to.


But I dislike it.  I rather not have any crafting in my game or that it has the same considerations as in old EQ.


Forcing players into crafting is arguably as bad as forcing them to raid/PvP...however, it is at least accessible to pretty much everyone and not out of the scale as Raiding is a lesser evil.


But a lesser evil I rather avoid if possible.

Mon Feb 25 2008 1:29AM Report
wolfmann writes:

In a decent made game, with a planned out (core) crafter economy(not attached later), no one is forced to craft, since in a crafter economy, those that want to craft can supply those that don't want to craft... Just like with the loot game.

The only reason people feel they "have to craft", is because they fail at dependensy and wanna do everything themselves


Mon Feb 25 2008 1:44AM Report
Thaliost writes:

UO was like a bible for MMORPGs, and all the others have degenerated into lesser ones :(

Mon Feb 25 2008 5:31AM Report
craynlon writes:

imho it also succeeds and falls with the equipment in game

for me a fighter is no weaponsmith
a veteran fighter should be able to "craft" a deadly weapon out of a tree branch to kill his enemies after he got disarmed/ stranded/ robbed.
a weaponsmith should spend years gathering the right materials to make that perfect hammer, craft runes ontop of it and then put it on a shelf cause its far to valuable to slay some goblins with it....

Mon Feb 25 2008 5:48AM Report
CoreChamber writes:

 Anofalye, if you do not like crafting you shouldnt have to.  What im talking about in no way forceses anyone to craft.  In fact for a crafting system to be sucessful then everyone cant be one.  It needs to be something you have to invest  at least as much time as you would to pve.  I talk a little about that in my next part. 

Craylon, this is why crafting is so poor in games, a warrior should never know how to craft a deadly weapon, but he sure knows how to use one that a master crafter has just forged.

Mon Feb 25 2008 6:57AM Report
Anofalye writes:

As long as crafting give 1 more hps, I am FORCED to craft even if I don't want to.


Crafting shouldn't make soloers better at soloing, nor groupers better at grouping.  It could help a new player at soloing/grouping, but all his ultimate stuff, he should acquire in solo/group, not by crafting/purchasing craft stuff.


Forced Crafting isn't fun.  Crafting deserve a place similar as in EQ when it comes to gear stats.  And this is already far stretching it.

Mon Feb 25 2008 10:04AM Report
wolfmann writes:

Because you don't like the craft game, noone is?

Thats the gist I sense of your post here Anofalye.

I don't craft either, but unlike you, I see the value of crafting and for those that enjoy crafting. I don't like playing a healer class either... Should I be campaigning for the healing class to be made not needed or removed, and get my health fixes from cheap 1 cent potions or insane regen speeds?

I dun think so.

A good crafting system, is just as much a core of a game as a good PvE system... Sadly, most games are developed by combat wombats like you.. And then they wonder why their later tacked on systems for social gathering, city hotspots, crafting, community building and basicly anything that got no combat

Mon Feb 25 2008 10:32AM Report
CoreChamber writes:

Anofalye, your missing the point.  I think if I choose to be a crafter then I must use most of my game time to acomplish something.  As a smith I will never has as much hp as you the blood thirsty.  We co exist to help each other, I craft weapons to make you stronger in combat no the smith. If I want to pvp then ill roll a char that is a warrior.

Mon Feb 25 2008 1:54PM Report
HeadBytor writes:

Seriously, crafting is one of my favorites to do in a game. the game that fit my ideal crafting system was Pirates of the Burning Sea. the way you had to set up base strategically, and build the right structures to mine or whatever was awesome! I hope some game can put that crafting style into their game.

Grand Fantasia seems to come close (minus the strategic locations) but its a lot less robust than potbs

Wed Nov 25 2009 11:05PM Report
sfly2000 writes:

Crafting is the future in theese kind of games. To some extent at least. In a fantasy world it is probably inapropriate to let the players build everything...but in social games like Second Life they are going all the way and making the player into a real time developer more or less...

Still..not saying exactly this is the right path for MMORPG's...

Tue Jun 08 2010 3:57AM Report
sfly2000 writes:

The impact on economy is interesting also and spurs a lot of interaction in between players. Something that you want in an MMORPG...

Tue Jun 08 2010 3:58AM Report writes:
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