Global Chat: Is MMO crafting obsolete?


Tipa over at Chasing Dings recently posed an intriguing question to her friends and readers: Does crafting have any place in the modern MMO? Before you have a kneejerk response to that, read her piece and consider crafting from a new angle.

“In real life, crafting is an outlet for explosive creativity,” she said. “Crafty people, in real life, make amazing things, astounding things, and they inspire other people to test their limits and try new things. But crafting in MMOs is just the opposite of that — you press some keys and out comes an item. Whether those keys make your character mime swinging a sword or swinging a hammer, the result is the same.”

Read on for more MMO blog essays, including the nuances of community management, obsession with EVE Echoes, and a possible misstep for Blizzard.

Contains Moderate Peril: More community management problems in LOTRO

“The upside of difficult situations, such as the one which SSG currently faces, is that they present an opportunity to learn. Sadly, SSG and Turbine before them seem to have a blindspot when it comes to reflecting upon their prior community relations disasters and adjusting their corporate behaviour accordingly.” My newest obsession is EVE Echoes

“There have been a few glitches here and there, but so far the launch has been incredibly smooth – and I’m having an absolute blast. I have a hard time believing that this is a mobile game – it plays incredibly well (I’m using my phone, but you can also use an ipad etc).”

Altar of Gaming: All of FFXIV’s collector’s editions digital items

“The official site doesn’t make it very easy to understand what kind of cosmetic items each one includes, so we’ve grouped them all below, providing screenshots for each one of them, in order to make your buying decision easier!”

Misdirections: Blizz, what the f*** are you actually thinking?

“Seriously, Blizz? Hundreds of thousands of people are dying, — thousands every day — people’s lives and livelihoods are destroyed, and real life plague is spreading uncontrollably in much of the world, and you think it is fun to replicate this in a f***ing game???”

Cosmetic LOTRO: Travel companion

“I also dug up an old retro shoulder wrap. I used to use these type of shoulders all the time years ago. Ten years ago they were the only decent model we had to create a Ranger outfit with. There are so many vintage cosmetic items in LOTRO that I still love using. Combined with more recent gear, they get a second chance to shine.”

Later Levels: Fishing in Elder Scrolls Online

“I have a long history with fishing in this game. I’d previously bagged the Morrowind Master Angler achievement during our 50-day challenge but failed to get the Grahtwood Angler title thanks to one lousy creature. I was struggling to get the Thrassian Eel and so, as you’re more likely to catch a rare fish when others join you, I enlisted the help of Phil. The only problem was that he ended up catching that flipping eel for himself every time we fished together while I walked away empty handed.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.

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Well I love crafting, and that’s what I do in MMO. That’s enough for me. If it’s pointless for developing my character it doesn’t really matter. I play for fun, and if I’m having fun then that’s all.

John Kiser

Crafting has a place if you actually design it to have a place. Many modern mmorpgs are completely and utterly focused on just the combat aspect of everything and thus crafting tends to take a back seat. Most of the time you only really see it as an aspect in sandbox mmorpgs and often times those turn into gankbox type games instead of having the interoperability that could and really should exist in games. We just don’t really develop a lot of systems in mmorpgs to get deeper as time goes on and sadly current mmorpg crafting is a result of chasing the lowest common denominator for too long.

Bruno Brito

No. Most companies are just terrible at making a system worth a damn.

SWG crafting is good. ESO crafting is good when you get past some hiccups ( heavy timegates, the overabundance of materials designed to make you waste bagspace, and crafting being a skillpoint hog ).

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I enjoy MMO crafting quite a bit and I spend a lot of gaming time doing it. Yes, ultimately it is pointless. Yes, I’ve never made any significant gold selling crafting items on the AH. But I really enjoy crafting a slightly better piece for my character than I’ve had drop and seeing the slight improvement that makes. I enjoy gathering and the odd bit of aggro you get.

Games like Villagers & Heroes with robust crafting and farming really suck up my time. And then the actual crafting games like Travelers Rest or Farm Together or My Time at Portia are always on the burner.

Having watched crafting go from indispensable to AH fodder only to not even that has been a tad bit dispiriting. I enjoyed in early LOTRO going out and searching for the rare beast that dropped the rare item necessary for the excellent cloak or weapon that had unique stats on it. Now, of course, there’s nothing like this in most MMOs. And more’s the pity.

Still, one of the first things I always check out in a game is the crafting.

Bruno Brito

Some of the best gear in ESO is crafted, and improving gear also requires you to use a feature from crafting.


Crafting is inventory management and grind. Grinding and inventory management nightmares will never be obsolete in mmos.

Jim Bergevin Jr

I’m not really interested in being a crafter in a game, and tend to ignore it completely when a game allows me to. That being said, I think it can be put to greater use in MMOs for people who are interested in it.

Crafting should be a completely optional system and unnecessary to any progression in a game. I should never need to craft nor be required to deal with a crafter in a game. However, it should allow for creativity, like allowing someone to make unique clothing for characters, and unique items for housing, like paintings. That would be something worth having.

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Demon of Razgriz

Crafting needs to either go away completely or be given greater use. I’ve always hated having to go out and have to do the “search for this one or two specific enemies that will drop what I need even though the chances of getting some random number generator to hit so I don’t have to spend 40 hours trying to get 5 damn ingredients while my inventory fills up with useless other common ingredients and the xp/gold gain from the hunt itself is so minimal but if I go to the shop to buy the item and/or ingredients I gotta either use real world money or play the convert one currency to another grind/charade or pay the overinflated prices”. On top of all that, pretty sure the somewhere along the lines, whatever I crafted will only last maybe 3-5 levels before it’s useless or nerfed I’m a future update. Leave items/gear as drops. Be able to get it in a shop. Leave the time sink to something more beneficial and useful for players.

Robert Mann

Crafting in MMOs has been a dead horse since the late 90s. That is, it hasn’t really gotten any love from developers for so long that it might as well be dead.

I really couldn’t care less if the current MMO crafting went away. It’s generally pointless except to give people wanting more options on the AH something else to sell.

When everyone can easily be a master of crafting everything, it has no real value except the time it takes. It’s not a role at that point, it’s a chore. This remains true even to the most ‘restrictive’ sandboxes around at this point. There’s minimal variety, minimal fields, no specializations, and nothing to differentiate a person from others. It’s like if your combat abilities were tied completely to gear, and everyone has the exact same capabilities otherwise (and classes still feel so homogenized and talents so blatantly bland that this problem exists even with player ability to some extent).

Crafting is a virtual world thing. It’s a role in societies within a virtual world. Without the virtual world aspects, and with just a phoned in system with no reason to care about anyone else except for quick stuff when feeling lazy… crafting will never be special. It’s missing everything that is vital for crafting to feel good to most anyone.

MMO crafting is dead. Long live MMO crafting’s next iteration, should it be any better. The same, however, is true of everything short of the combat side of MMOs by and large… so it should be no surprise.

Chosenxeno .

As someone who has only really enjoyed crafting in WoW I can only hope Crafting is dead. I’ve always hated it. I already have a Job IRL. I signed up for the job of Adventurer in the onlne space. Why am I being forced to make Elven Baby Booties?


There aren’t a lot of mmos with crafting, usually I just see vending machines that take unusual forms of currency. You put in your mats and out pops a sword or whatever with little if any input on the player.