MMO Crafting

Almost every major MMORPG has to have something at least vaguely resembling a crafting mechanic and an economy. It’s generally supported by an auction house, and because of WoW, we generally see the economy protected through a soul-binding system, in which powerful items bond to their users and must be trashed once they’re no longer useful to the player. It’s a fairly solid system, and it works for most cookie-cutter MMORPGs… but isn’t it a little boring? To begin with exploring crafting and gathering, lets look at the kinds of games they’re used in (specifically, the level-based and skill-based games I mentioned last time), and how they’re generally represented in each.

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Soul Master Also has a Crafting System

There are a lot of us who enjoy the relaxing, rewarding activities of crafting and gathering materials in the open game world. Some of us like to specialize even further by simply focusing on one or the other. This isn’t to say that games following the standard WoW model don’t allow for that kind of focus, but they usually don’t have a class specialized for the sole purpose of crafting and/or gathering. Rare is the title with the “merchant” class, which either doesn’t level up, or levels up based upon activities related to stimulating the economy. Most games that do are skill-based, rather than level-based, meaning a player can just focus on their crafting or gathering skills, while neglecting their combat skills.

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Crafting Screen in Tales of Fantasy

In a level-based system, the caps of a players crafting skills might be directly tied to their combat level, just like in WoW. Not only does this make zero sense, for a number of reasons, but it forces the would-be crafting or gathering specialist to actually play the game. Why would it be that someone needs to be well-versed in the art of kobold thumping in order to sew a better shirt? I have no idea. Furthermore, how is it that all of these paragons of accomplishment are masters of the anvil, legendary prospectors, surgeons supreme, and anglers of great renown in ADDITION to being the greatest and most powerful dragonslayer in the land, resplendent with riches and lewtz most purple? Can you fit all of that into a single person’s life? Apparently!

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WonderKing- Apple Makes Apple Juice!

A long, long time ago there was a now defunct space-faring MMO called Earth and Beyond; some of you might remember it, and some of you might have no clue. I rather liked the game, as it had three separate flavors of experience points: exploration, combat, and trade. It was a delightful compromise between the intensely complex skill-based system of progression, and the simpler level-based system. By selling things at a profit and crafting, you gained trade experience, and all of those activities were enhanced by improving trade experience and leveling up in that category. This allowed traders, an actual class, to become the dynamos of the game’s economy. I have fond memories of making ammunition myself, and selling it at the leveling areas out of my ship, like some kind of arms-dealing ice cream truck. These kinds of activities are fun, and unfortunately rare in a lot of MMOs.

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Zu Online – Even Obscure MMOs have Crafting Systems!

Can you name some MMOs where crafting is a distinct and separate part of the game’s leveling system? What are your favorite MMOs to be a crafter or gatherer in? Can you name any that have a distinct class centered around economic activities? Let us know! As always, I’m woefully uninformed when it comes to these titles, so your guidance is appreciated in directing me to games that are fun. If you have any fun, crafting related stories, share! I’m not sure what constitutes a fun, crafting-related story (except maybe that time you hit the craft-all button and came back and they were all crafted, and it was awesome), but surprise me!

By, B. Olivia

 
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