When people hear the phrase “massively multiplayer online
game”, images of shining knights, dark wizards, and evil
monsters fly through their minds and click into place like pieces in a
puzzle. As each piece snaps into another, a flowing mural begins to
form, painting href="http://lotro.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=749"
land of glory and adventure on the minds of the young
and old alike. As such, it comes as no surprise that there's one
critical mechanic in the genre that generally gets ignored by all but
the most passionate: crafting.
are the quiet backbone of the heroic warrior battling the
forces of evil. They are the beating heart of a game's economy. With
each blow of their hammers, or pass of their needles, they create the
items of legend that players crave with the ravenous appetite of a
starving dog. At least that's what they'd have you believe.
The truth is, I've always felt it took a certain type of player to be a
crafter. No matter which game we're talking about, I've had a tendency
to associate those that loved crafting to those that live for cleaning:
they’re both a little OCD. They have a distinct need to
follow specific patterns over and over to achieve the results they
desire. As such, I've always harassed my friends that enjoy such
activities with some href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/49617" target="_blank">good
Why buy a
sweet chestpiece when you can make it?
The harassment I've doled out over the years has finally come back to
bite me square in the ass just like the shockingly painful jolt of a
horsefly bite. Not content to eat this href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/49249" target="_blank">crow
by itself, my recent
addiction has seen fit to come complete with a slice of humble pie as
well. Not only am I crafting like a fiend these days, I'm crafting like
a fiend in target="_blank">World
of Warcraft. Kill me. Kill me now.
I now have four characters that I'm advancing in WoW for the sole
purpose of being able to train in the next crafting tier. Rather than
striving for that uber set of armor in dungeon X, I'm striving for that
next set of uber armor I can make. To say that feeling this way in a
game is foreign to me is the understatement of the year. Ask our
resident Harvester of Ponies, Ralsu. He just about had a cow when I
told him that I was crafting like an evil dwarf trying to outfit an
army. He just couldn't fathom it.
Crafting in WoW is the first system that I found, for lack of a better
phrase, easy enough to be accessible and not require a Master's degree
in Engineering to figure out. In its current state, I think about the
crafting in WoW about as often as a woman thinks about chocolate, or a
man thinks about sex. Ok, even I can't think about crafting that much,
but you get the idea.
As mentioned before, I've tried crafting in lots of other game and have
had different degrees of fun, ranging from a decent tan to a light
sunburn. At some point in each game though (normally within the first
few levels), I've always decided the crafting system was either href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank">too
complex, or far href="http://eq2.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=582"
dependent on other spheres. Some players absolutely
love these types of systems and find them more engaging than the latest
episode of CSI. In their opinion, the more convoluted the steps are or
the more you're forced to interact with your fellow crafters, the
better. That's not the type of crafting I've ever enjoyed.
I want to have the ability to go out into the world, mine my little
material node, then skedaddle back to town for some relaxing button
pushing to get my skills up. I don't want to have to depend on Joe
Shmuckatellie making me that silvery doodad just so I can increase my
own skill levels.
WoW has a very simple system of gathering the right materials and
clicking create or create all. The easy color coding system makes it
perfectly clear whether or not you will get a skill point for creating
particular item or not. Orange is guaranteed to increase your skill,
a probable chance, green is possible, while grey has no chance. On the
surface, this sounds insanely boring, but it’s the ease and
accessibility of the system that makes it so addicting.
So is it the game itself that turned a normally docile individual like
myself into a maniacal crafter of multiple spheres, hell-bent on
getting to that next tier, or was this a side of my inner being I've
simply suppressed for the last decade? I'd sit here and debate
issue with you, but I've got to run… there’s a new
set of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/index.php?q=tth_wow_db/results&query=mageweave"
mageweave clothes begging to be made!