Crafting has been in a rather retrieve place since I began playing mmo’s all those years ago. Mostly it has ranged between the stages of mildly useful to completely irrelevant but in every aspect it has always been a non essential part. You can use it if you want, or not if you so wish as mostly it’s just a fill in for real gear or a minor buff. At best it is a money sink, at worst an annoyance and it seems apart from the rare few titles this is all we have received.
I actually enjoy crafting and creating items that are useful or needed by others yet I’ll be the first to say that I would rather mmo’s not have crafting if it’s done in this usually style. It’s an after thought that would be better to not exist. But when done well it can and does greatly improve the virtual world experience.
I have seen it work, and work extreme well in a rare few mmo’s and it become both a focus of play, and enriched the entire experience and it is these experiences that make me extremely excited to hear that Camelot Unchained will be making crafting an integral part of play. The 7th Foundation Principle was the first I heard about Camelot Unchained’s plans and there have been a wealth of interviews and videos afterwards that have gone into more detail about it, and it all sounds fantastic.
Specific crafting classes for people to dedicate towards that allow a broad approach, or specialisation. Degrading gear that needs to be repaired and replaced, which should keep the economy far more balanced as well as create ongoing need. An interesting system for crafters that avoids grind, yet allows a certain amount of input. And of course energy that should create inherent wealth within crafted items. These all add to a few aspects of crafting that should create a great system here.
Goals and Motivation
Camelot Unchained is aiming for an actual in-game economy that is far more than we have now. The fact that npc enemies and such won’t be dropping gear is a huge part of these and a great departure in my mind. Obtaining all your armor and weapons from an npc’s is a limiting factor towards crafting, it means it will never obtain much importance and pushes goals around progression towards specific styles of content.
Changing this, and having players create all the gears creates a wide new range of goals for players to work towards that are short and long-term, and also work in towards their specific style of content. What and where you play in the game can probably be rewarding in a certain way and help you build towards certain goals.
I also find this kind of content more of a motivator to me as it just feels more meaningful within these worlds to be actively crafting something. To be gathering materials and then get something important crafted. It’s a process that is less removed from the result, and at each step you are able to see exactly how far along that goal you may be.
Having a robust crafting system also enables far more options to players and, from what I’ve heard with CU’s popcorn and serious crafting models there will be something there for people with different playstyles and time constraints. People will be able to be superficial crafters and either repair gear when needed, or create lower tier items for those in need. Those that want to dedicate themselves towards crafting will also have that option as well and the ability to specialise in chosen aspects if they want.
But it goes further than that to other gameplay aspects as well. A good crafting system ensures that those that want to farm or gather materials are always needed. Personally I actually enjoy explore for materials to sell and I love that this will be a worthwhile endeavor and Mark has already talked about having the Veilstorms shift these materials around so constant exploration will be needed. Then add to that the elements of risk/reward involved with exploring the more dangerous areas and it becomes an important gameplay aspect to itself – and one that has varying amounts of risk that people can accommodate too.
Those that enjoy combat can gather needed materials from slain enemies, or maybe just focus on gold earning to buy things outright. And, from what I’ve read of the trade caravans and such you can loot these for what you might need, or maybe even offer your protective services in return. It’s a mechanic of play that is very much a balancing factor of time as well. Those that obviously pay more will be needed to maintain there equipment more. Those that don’t, will still be able to gather and progress but not get left too far behind because of it. It all just enables far more options within play that are both important and useful
I am longing for a crafting system that is actually useful and not just the the individual but to the guild, and the faction at large. A system where those that craft can gain a reputation for it, and be known for their services. To be sought after for a great number of things. I also see that crafters will have their own specialisations that are a part from the specified sections as well as CU aims to let players have an insane amount of customisation towards the completed items like the ability to min max specific stats. With the magic system around crafting it seems finding, maintaining, and utilising your own crafting may be incredibly individual. I love this.
With Item degradation being an important aspect of play, crafters will be constantly needed as well – maybe just for maintenance of gear but often replacements as well. And it won’t just be for these small elements either but working for realm pride in many instance to build and siege castles. To create and connect places and work towards greater goals in a larger group. I’m just really interested to see how these elements of creation and destruction can work together to create new styles of play
Most of all I’m longing for a certain amount of interdependence in play and there are quite a few elements within CU that I see improving this aspect. I hate the crafting systems that we are in now where anyone and everyone can basically be and do everything all by themselves. Camelot Unchained will be a little different in this aspect as often, we expect interdependence in crafting meaning that a wide range of components will be needed for a single item, and that these items can’t be made by a single character. In CU you will be able to make these single items by yourself but, what I believe will be a tiered mastery system that requires specialization.
I like that everyone can dip their toe into crafting as well but it’s also good that you are able to specialize in a particular items, particular components are even specialize in refining materials which will make your Vox, or crafting table better and maybe faster at doing these things. I believe it is this that was needed to create options and styles of play but also support interdependence. You may not want to waste your energy on making and producing certain things, and there might be people who are better at that job than you so it would be worthwhile for you to utilise there services and save your energy for different work. I see this eventually creeating certain networks and groups of crafters that no each other, and work together to provide what they need and specialize further into their own areas.
Then there is also the dependence that both crafters and the combat classes will have towards each other; one supplying much needed items and supporting the war and the other providing them with wealth and resources to maintain there own weapon stocks and shops.
Most of all I am incredibly pleased to see a company, and a passionate group working to improve upon crafting in mmo’s. It is the element that feels like it gets forgotten during development, and so we get the same copy paste approach to design that is incredibly tired and boring at this stage. CU understand this and are thinking about and developing crafting in new, unexplored ways.
The basics of crafting and the reasons why are being refined, taking in aspects from old and recent mmo’s. Allowing unprecedented amounts of input in the process to truly personalize the item and the experience. Changing around the market system in a few ways like shop positions being exchanged for realm service rather than money. Changing how long crafting might take away from the instantaneous and the whole treating crafting as more of a magic user should allow them to twist, explore and improve upon what crafting can be and currently is.
Reasons to be excited posts