I’ve frequently said that Final Fantasy XI influenced a lot of my later feelings on MMOs, and this is also true of the crafting. For those unfamiliar with the game’s crafting, it worked like this: First, you looked up a recipe elsewhere. Then, you got the right kind of crystal, the materials, made sure to face in the right direction, waited until the right day of the in-game week, and did everything else that you were told increased your chances of a successful craft. Then you clicked a button, and you watched as the crystal exploded and you didn’t even get a skill-up, much less a crafted item.
This all was made even more ridiculous when it was revealed that it really was just a random roll and stuff like day of the week didn’t matter.
Of course, there are lots of moments of random chance in MMOs. Some of it is just part of the experience; you don’t get cranky about the fact that your 25% chance to critically hit in Star Wars: The Old Republic leaves you without a critical hit for 12 attacks. But sometimes you’ve also got random systems like World of Warcraft’s Titanforging that makes every drop a moment not of “yay, upgrade” so much as “oh, gosh, I hope this one rolls the secondary stats I need so it’s not garbage.” So what’s the most irritating bit of MMO randomness you’ve dealt with?