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Crafted Prey

Tim Eisen Posted:
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Before I say anything about crafters I wanted to let the screenshot below sink in. That is a thick forest (an area specifically meant to push the system) with hundreds of players and bots (bots that were designed to be even more resource-intensive than an average player) battling it out in a game in Alpha that isn’t crashing. It’s holding strong and CSE has done very little optimization at this point! CSE finally hit around 3k before their physics system wanted to tap out.  I’ve been waiting years for a PVP MMO with a proper forest to ambush crafters in, and I think I’m finally going to get it! Not to mention thick forests make running away and hiding a bit easier… Skip to 26;26 in this video to see the live version.

Speaking of my favorite prey “opponent” CSE left 2015 with a major information dump about the crafter class. I tend to be in the “crafters are good for two things neither of which are excitement or a good time” crowd. Other than prey and to keep the world full of prey I’ve rarely had much use for those kinds of characters. It’s not so much their fault as it is the developers that have neglected them for too long. Its crafters that suffer the most from games that lack real world mechanics like crafted economies and a division of labor. I find them of such little use that haven’t played one for over ten years! Star Wars Galaxies was the first, last and only time I mained a crafter, then again if you’re only going to main a crafter one time, SWG was the game to do it in! Until maybe now...

If CSE can accomplish what they are planning then crafters in Camelot Unchained might be the best crafter we have had since SWG was alive and well. Do I think it will be as in depth? No, but between the fully crafted player economy, the supply and demand that is sure to form, the potential for a division of labor to emerge and the battle for control of said supply we have all the makings for a proper successor to the late great SWG crafter.

Even the crafting station in CU calls back to SWG! The Vox might make traditionalists uncomfortable but as someone that experienced a similar concept in SWG I’m confident most people will grow to love it. Equal parts mechanical, magic and luck it makes for a one stop shop that we can make our very own. I’m equally confident that crafters were drooling at the UI screen shot featuring the ingredient slots and all those glorious sliders! No game since SWG made it feel like I was actually experimenting and making a product that was unique enough to warrant putting my brand on it, let us hope CU can do the same.

Best of all CU crafters aren’t just keyboard warriors Vox button pushing their way to victory through the economic metagame. They can also gather, farm, ranch, merchant, refine, shape, break and help in RVR via repairs, traps and the building and operation of siege equipment! I knew CU was working in some SWG but I never imagined we would get some Ultima Online tossed in via those virtuous traps! While they lack offensive abilities they may have some unique defensive abilities. This crafter is sounding like my kind of scoundrel! If they have a “caravan/hauling” spec line I’d be set to play a “smuggler/merchant” named Ron Solo (FYI he is the scruffy nerf herding medieval version of Han).

As far as I know hauling isn’t a crafter specialization but for MY crafter it will be even if I have to role-play it! That’s right, I said it and I’ll say it again! If CSE brings the crafter they describe to life I’m playing a one, pretending it’s a smuggler, focusing on the merchant and combat deff aspects and naming my mutant goat Chewy (which you have to admit is a very fitting name for a goat).

“Did you just go from “crafters aren’t fun” to “I’m RPing a crafter” in a few hundred words?”

683 to be exact...yes that was a quick flip flop even for an election year but I have a good reason, nostalgia. What, you thought it was something more logical? Nope, not this guy! I do my thinking with the only thing that matters, my gut instinct baby! When it comes to the CU crafter my instinct moved me from crafters being “prey” to being the one class that might just keep my altitis in check! The variety, the possibilities for emergent gameplay and the twistedly intense feeling of vulnerability make it too much to resist. Some people like being Elmer, I like being Bugs! Maybe it’s my messed up world view but the idea that I’m at a serious disadvantage and risking my neck every time I step out of the safe zone is just too exciting to pass up! Let’s be honest, I’ve only ever excelled at running away in MMORPGs so this is right up my alley. My questions is, is it up yours? (Note to self, find better ways to frame questions to inspire comments below article than asking if it’s “up theirs”)

From barstool devs to keyboard warriors to CSE to the entire CUniverse, MMORPG.com and the whole MMORPG Genre, Happy Early New Year!


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry