There was always something that bothered me about City of Heroes, and it took until the point that the game actually introduced its crafting system for me to realize that it was, in fact, the lack of crafting. And don’t get me wrong, the system there works… but it also doesn’t work in some ways because it’s clearly retrofitted into the game rather than an organic part of the initial design. It’s not a core element of how the game was built from the ground up, compared to games like Final Fantasy XIV or World of Warcraft or EVE Online.
The thing is that crafting isn’t what makes a game an MMORPG, and the case could be made that it’s a side activity in a lot of games. Sure, WoW has crafting, but it’s more of a hobby to take on when you’ve got nothing else to do than something that really informs the core gameplay loop most of the time. But looking at games that didn’t have it always brings to mind the lack, and I probably would have liked Guild Wars a lot more if it had a proper crafting system rather than… well, what it actually had. So what do you think? Is crafting fundamental to a proper MMORPG, even if the system itself might be underwhelming?