The depth of crafting in many games just absolutely sucks and I would say that Dark Age of Camelot's crafting system is the best to date (let's throw in Vanguard and any other game similar to it). This is how you did it. You had to make the base components of a weapon, then you merged those weapons in. Materials were bought from an f'in vendor, you didn't farm for anything but money, which you got DIRECTLY from the enemies.
You'd descend into Darkness Falls, beat up ghouls for about a month, go back to your house (or pre-housing, the city) and start turning it all into hinges which you'd sell to the vendor. Then you'd sit and craft your ass off for months working on a profession until you were legendary grandmaster or whatever, and then you could craft either 99 or 100 quality items.
The quality of the final item wasn't determined by the precursor items, which were part of the "roleplay" of weapon making, but added in a lot of fun that I miss. You made the hilt, the sword, and the guard, then you made the sword. The quality of the item determined how much "spellcrafting" you could put into it, which determined its "budget" for stats.
You then made gems of various sizes and budgets, placed them into the piece of gear, and voila you had your own custom set of gear FOR LITERALLY EVERY SLOT. You decided what every single stat was going to be and if you made the items yourself, it was a long painful journey that gave the game a purpose.
Now crafting has turned into more of a survival skill than anything else. You craft to make things you need, like potions or enchants, or to save yourself money. It's like the zambie games like H1Z1 and DayZ where you make some water to drink, you only pull up the crafting to make something you need, not something you want.
I want REAL crafting to make a comeback. I want the people who love crafting to start SCREAMING at developers as they're making games to add depth and purpose to crafting. Crafting shouldn't be some side feature thrown on the box art for the game, it NEEDS to be GOOD. WildStar for instance did a great job of making it more than nothing, but even that could go further.
Vanguard's crafting was awesome, you had to make the item and then finish it, with tons of steps and procedures in-between. It also took it 20349823 steps further where you had to learn and quest for each component process to learn how to build ships and stuff. It was super complicated and the highlight of the game for many.
WE DO NOT NEED TO BE AFRAID OF COMPLICATED SUBSYSTEMS THAT ARE SECONDARY TO THE ENJOYMENT OF THE GAME.
WE DO NOT NEED TO DUMB DOWN EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT OF A GAME TO MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE.
PLAYERS NEED TO STOP WHINING THAT CONTENT ISN'T ACCESSIBLE TO THEM FOR TIME CONSTRAINTS IF AN ALTERNATIVE PRESENTS ITSELF.
Back in the old school days of DAoC, if you want a full set of gear but didn't want to level crafting, then you could buy it from another player. This made crafting desirable but not necessary. Because if you could craft, you could sale your wares. Players who didn't have the IMMENSE time commitment could just buy from the crafters.
THIS CREATED A BEAUTIFUL ECONOMY OF PROPER SUPPLY AND DEMAND. There were only a FEW CRAFTERS who were able to MASS PRODUCE GOODS OF ADEQUATE QUALITY for a PROFIT. Unlike other games where everyone can literally mass produce everything with the recipe or the only "gate" to the crafting materials are rare raid dropped components. DAoC had a truly accessible hardcore/casual friendly system that converted time into a tradeskill.
Games need to get this back into them, or else crafting is just going to be reserved for making potions and bags and the audience that is being cultivated now is going to be far more resistant to crafting changes in the future.
I'm sorry if I offend anyone by saying that we shouldn't have a 100% fully accessible game. I understand that people have disabilities, time constraints, limited gaming experience, etc. However, as I've illustrated, you can have the main game be as accessible as possible, but add in difficulty to the subsystems to make them rewarding and, to some extent, limited.
Imagine if in WoW you were one of only five Tailor who could make legendary armor on your server. Trade chat would go a lot differently, huh? So would business, because it'd be booming. Obviously you'd want to scale this to a servers population, but still, difficulty isn't a bad thing, because difficulty spawns fun and having subsystems of varying difficulty provides various means for players to accomplish goals smoothly.
If crafting is difficulty / time consuming / fun, then people will do it, but fewer will do it decreasing supply. Because it's so hard, you can make the rewards... more rewarding, increasing demand. Players who feel they "have to have" something crafted can work through alternate means (gaining currency / wealth) to exchange with a crafter, which can be done on a different timetable than leveling / working at crafting.
Anyway, crafting rocks. Please if you love crafting scream at the developers of the probably early access game to make it awesome.
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