crafting

The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the most useless crafting system?

Yesterday Blizzard Watch’s Anne Stickney penned a wee piece on crafting in World of Warcraft whose title just grabbed me. “Are you still crafting items in WoW?” My brain read it as “are you still crafting items in a game that hates crafters? What kind of dummy are you?” And that’s because as Anne points out, WoW has had a tradeskill problem for a really long time. Blizzard has always seen crafting as supplementary at best, never a core game feature, never a system that should ever threaten the “real” game content. WoW is not the MMORPG you play if you’re serious about Being A Crafter. Which is one of the reasons I haven’t felt tempted to go back to it since I bowed out during the hot mess that was Draenor – there are way too many games out there catering to crafter types like me.

The saddest part is that even then, WoW’s is far from the worst crafting system around. I bet you can think of worse. Which MMORPG has the most useless crafting system?

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Crowfall’s concept art attempts to capture the spirit of conquest, building, and exploration

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Crowfall just spat out a 3,000-word essay in full technicolor. The art team behind this upcoming PvP MMO pumped out a trio of paintings that attempt to capture the three primary pillars of the game.

“The pillar word behind the first piece is conquest,” said ArtCraft, “fulfilling the role of the Mercenary, Warlord, or Monarch. The pillar word behind the second piece is build, the drive to become a bastion of harvesting and crafting, a kingpin of merchants and trade. For the third and final piece, the pillar word is exploration, the feeling of anticipation and exhilaration that drives one to press on through dense forest and over steep mountains.”

If time-lapse art creation is oddly mesmerizing to you, then gaze upon what waits you after the break.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s R51 is now live with updated vendors and the skill spec system

It may be the shortest month of the year, but Portalarium has pushed out Release 51 to Shroud of the Avatar on schedule all the same. After all, it’s got a launch to make next month!

The release includes a number of new and uncloned scenes, performance improvements, story and quest polish, another pass on player vendors, combat balancing, character polish, and the new skill specialization system.

“Players can now specialize in a couple of schools of combat and/or magic to gain extra bonuses such as extra glyphs,” the studio explains. “This was a massive overhaul that gives over 125 new updates to spells and skills in the game to players who choose to specialize rather than generalize.”

What didn’t make it in as planned? New spells for Chaos Magic, unique crafting components, crafting refining tweaks, offline mode maps, and the heraldry creation system. Oh yeah, and the name entry system has been ever so slightly delayed.

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Conan Exiles isn’t going the lockbox and battle royale route – for now

Are you a little sick and tired of lockboxes everywhere and all of these games desperately trying to jump onto the battle royale bandwagon? It might be of some small comfort that Funcom has no immediate plans to add either to Conan Exiles (although “never say never” and all that).

Creative Director Joel Bylos addressed these issues and more in an interview with PC Gamer. Now that Conan Exiles is just two-and-a-half months from official release, Bylos said that the team is working hard to making the whole package work, even if it means cutting content.

Bylos was asked several questions about the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and how it could impact Conan Exiles’ profile. “You just do your thing and make things that are unique and interesting,” he said. “In terms of press attention, it’s always hard to get press attention when there’s a pretty girl at the ball. PUBG is definitely the pretty girl at the ball this year.”

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Elder Scrolls Online dataminers spoil the heck out of the upcoming chapter

Ever since ZeniMax promised a new expansion-scale chapter for The Elder Scrolls Online this year, dataminers have been champing at the bit to be the first to dig up all the details. It’s not even a secret anymore that the area is sure to be Summerset Isles, thanks to datamining we covered last month as well as a pretty big hint at the end of the Clockwork City DLC, but maybe stop reading if you don’t want to know more!

The latest UESP digging has revealed new music, new locations including Evergloam and Artaeum, the sload mobs, new loading screens (including one for Mephala’s Realm), quests revolving around the Mages Guild and Psijic Order, and the jewelry crafting skill.

Still grumpy over the focus on Summerset and High Elves? Our own ESO columnist Larry Everett recently penned a piece examining some other possible locations for future DLC. Also, Justin is right there with you.

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Pantropy works to simplify crafting and protect players from offline raids

With $24k out of $94k raised so far, the German mech shooter Pantropy has a long road ahead of it in its Kickstarter campaign.

The team hasn’t stopped developing for the game during this period, however. It reported that work is being done on an “offline raid protection system” to make the PvP battlescape a little more fair.

It also acknowledged that its crafting system needs an overhaul: “We also got a lot of feedback from our current playerbase and the result is that our crafting is waaaay to complex. We’ll try to re-write all crafting recipes today and make them more simple.”

As we’ve pointed out previously, Pantropy is a little larger than your typical multiplayer game but less than a bigger MMO, with a server size of 64 to 128 players duking it out over an alien landscape.

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Stardew Valley multiplayer beta is due out for the spring

If you’ve long looked forward to farming with and marrying your friends in Stardew Valley, the day is inching ever closer. While the game’s multiplayer side has been delayed on multiple occasions, it’s aiming for a beta test starting this spring, so players can take advantage of all the patch features included therein. That includes playing together, new crafting features to distinguish belongings, and yes, the ability for players to marry one another instead of town residents.

No word yet on whether or not multiplayer will also allow you to have illicit marriage affairs after marrying your fellow players, but we’re going to go ahead and say that falls a bit outside of the game’s scope.

The patch will also add language support for French, Italian, Turkish, and Korean, so further players can enjoy more localized languages in addition to all of the multiplayer functionality. Again, nothing is certain quite yet, but if all goes according to plan the testing of multiplayer is just around the corner.

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Path of Exile: Gotta catch ’em all in the new Bestiary League and update 3.2.0, coming March 2

With a new Path of Exile challenge league every three months, you might wonder whether Grinding Gear Games can keep coming up with new themes for each one. And each quarter, it does! We’ve had leagues where prophecies add a random element to the gaming, where powerful rogue exiles turn on players, where secret golden chests full of loot are uncovered, and where portals open to a different dimension — just to name a few. The current league includes gaping fissures into the abyss. So what’s coming next?

For that answer, I sat down with Producer Chris Wilson to talk about PoE’s next update, which hits on March 2nd. If you’ve ever looked at any of the creatures in game and wished you could have have one of your own, the Bestiary league will give you that chance. Color me super excited! And if collecting creatures isn’t your forte, there is plenty more happening in content update 3.2.0. Read on for the whole run-down!

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Crowfall’s latest development stream is all about hello and goodbye

If you missed the most recent development livestream from Crowfall’s team, you can watch it now just below. And it’s covering a lot of ground, including the recently announced changes to the way that character slots and character creation will work. Those of you worried that your plans of necromancy were shot down can rest assured that even with the game’s new Crypt system, Necromancers and the crafting of potent vessels remains just as important; all that’s changed is the way that these things are brought into the game, not the fundamental concepts.

Of course, this look at the outline of what’s being added for the game’s fifth alpha test is about a lot of greetings and departures, introducing vendors, spider canyons, and lady centaurs while removing basic armor and certain well-known class builds. You can get the full rundown in the video just below; be fairly warned that it is an hour long, so don’t start watching if you have to leave in a couple of minutes.

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EverQuest II adds a level boost potion for crafting

Want to get crafting done in EverQuest II but without all the crafting parts? Well, now you can have just that with the tradeskill level 100 boost. Buy it for 3500 Daybreak cash (i.e., $35) and your character’s tradeskill class will be set to 100. The potion also grants an associated 500 skill in tinkering, adorning, transmutation, and the associated tradeskills. In other words, it’s all the joy of crafting without all of that… crafting part.

Players who are still Artisans will be prompted to pick a specific tradeskill class when using the potion, which serves as a quick boost to start in on the new signature quest line for tradeskills. Anyone with an All Access membership will also benefit from a 10% discount on the purchase. Obviously, players who have already done the crafting work won’t have any need of this, but if you’re languishing at lower levels… well, you can change that, and it’ll just cost some money now.

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Dead Maze unleashes the zombie apocalypse today

Where will you go and what will you do when the zombie apocalypse hits? You better figure it out real fast, pal, because it’s already here.

Dead Maze, the multiplayer zombie survival simulator, officially launched today. Its 2-D free-to-play offerings shambled its way onto Steam, where players can see if they really can make it in the end of the world. Apart from its presentation, Dead Maze sets itself apart from most other zombie titles by putting the focus on social cooperative survival instead of PvP conflict.

“We want to build fun multiplayer games that players around the world can enjoy together,” said Atelier 801 Co-Founder Mélanie Christin. “With Dead Maze, that meant looking at how we can approach a zombie themed MMO game that feels fresh and new for the genre, where cooperation is key. I believe we achieved that with Dead Maze thanks to its unique art style, deep crafting system, and our growing community of players.”

More story campaigns and a player map editor are in the works for future updates. Check out the launch trailer below and see how MJ fared when she was thrown headfirst into this savage world (she’s trying her hand at it again today at 3:00 p.m.!).

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Grimdark multiplatform 2-D MMORPG Mad World hits Steam this fall

Mad World first popped up on our radar last summer, when we learned it was a HTML5-based Korean action MMORPG vying for your attention on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. This week, studio Jandisoft announced plans to launch the game on Steam this coming fall. It’s touting story-driven quests as part of a cute but grimdark storyline, along with crafting, guilds, and other MMO necessities. Interestingly, there are no classes here – just weapon skills.

“Clad in unique hand-drawn 2D art style, Mad World stays true to the classic MMORPGs but with a few tweaks. Leaving the MMORPG’s standard combat style, the game’s Target and Move style makes the combat more dynamic, and its classless weapon-based skill system gives more options when using skills.”

We’ve got the latest “mood” trailer down below!

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Multiplayer sci-fi sandbox Pantropy has launched its $91K Kickstarter

Last September, we first heard about Pantropy, a “sci-fi faction multiplayer shooter with mechs and focus on building and crafting” and a really cool name – not quite an MMO, but in our orbit, we think, particularly with the sandboxy features, hosted servers, and 128 potential players per server. At the time, German studio Brain Stone was plotting a November Kickstarter, but that was apparently delayed, as the Kickstarter launched just a few days ago and runs for the next month and change with a $91,903 US goal.

€15 (about $18.34 US) – is the cheapest pledge for a copy of the whole game at its estimated June 2019 launch; in fact, the devs are straight-up calling it a preorder, though you’ll need to pony up a little more for early access or closed alpha, set for later this year. The Kickstarter is specifically meant to help the team finish the game faster, optimize for performance and multiplayer, hire an extra level designer, add high-end sound effects and music, and flesh out the story. PvE servers are slotted for the second stretch goal (around $122,000 US); character customization (“play as male or female, tweak your appearance into something you’re proud to wear into battle”) comes at $305,000 US. Console ports are also on the table.

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