The Daily Grind: Which MMO offers the best crafting (not gathering/trading) experience?

    
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BURNS

A while back, I remember having a discussion with a reader about crafting in MMOs where I was arguing that having good crafting is pointless without a good economy. And I still think it’s true. A crafting system without a solid economy is just a minigame. And that’s fine, but a truly full-bodied MMORPG needs the economy part too.

That said, as a crafter who is really a trader at heart, I am first in line to admit that most MMO crafting sucks whether or not it has an economy to feed into. My home, for example, is Star Wars Galaxies, and there are so many things in that crafting system to love, like the constantly changing resources, the resource caps, the experimentation lines, the effort required to do even One Thing Well. You need a spreadsheet! But at the end of the day, you’re still just clicking combine. The systems around crafting are far more detailed and complicated than something like World of Warcraft’s, but the arc is the same: get resource, combine resources into thing. Consequently, I’m sure I’ve noted on the podcast how I don’t like hand-crafting in SWG. It’s just as boring as in other MMOs – worse, since a lot of times you still have to experiment. It’s the gathering and trading and all the stuff around the crafting there that I love (and it’s why I focus on factory production crafts).

Maybe there’s no way to fix this or rethink this. Maybe by definition crafting is always going to distill into clicking-to-make-thing unless you’re in one of those MMOs where you’re dispatching NPCs to do that part. So maybe I really don’t like crafting after all. You tell me: Which MMO offers the best crafting – not trading – experience?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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starbuck1771

always star wars galaxies no matter how many times you ask the same question.

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Darwinbc

You can’t talk about crafting in MMOs and not recognize Vanguard!

Turing fail
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Turing fail

IMO, No Man’s Sky crafting is more engaging than that of EVE Online or Warframe– the other MMOs I still play. Because I’m building and equipping bases, NMS crafting has immediate, usable results. The design and building processes is more satisfying to me than the more abstract procedures of EVE or Warframe.

The most interesting crafting I’ve experienced was in a non-MMO: Skyrim. Alchemy, Magic, Weapons and Armor Smithing, all with their own ingredient variables and formulae, and progress choices.

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hooby _

I’d go as far as claiming that what Warframe does isn’t even really crafting. It’s more of an unlock-system actually.

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K8 D

I like ffxiv crafting because its semi in depth, is actually useful, and uses materials from one crafting job on another.

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SwordBreaker35

ESO and FFXIV has good crafting not great but good sure the mini game of FFXIV is meh at best but the amount if thing you can craft is nice.

ESO on the other hand have also shit loads of stuff to craft but belive it or not the gear you craft us useful even in end game. I played my shear of mmo´s but 9(% of them are like hey you can craft shit but that shit is utterly useless compared to quest items and dungon/raid drops which make me question why the hell do you even have gear crafting if it´s utterly pointless ?

honestly the game that has done crafting right is Terrafirma craft which is a mod to Minecraft that tries to be more realistic. Let´s say you want to make a iron pick axe first you have to find clay make a clay mold then harden that clay mold in a fire pit and then get Refined Iron Bloom and so on. I could describe it all day and not do it justice but it makes crafting more fun.

Instead of FFIXV press button 1-10 to use a skill and done or fail. but problem is having crafting more realistic or complex would before the heck out of people and would make mass crafting a shore.

So I say have simple crafting but make what you craft equally as good as radi/dungon gear becuse some people rather want to craft than do the same dungeon 50 times over. And let the complex or realistic or advance crafting to games like Ark,Conan,Minecraft,Terraria and so on.

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Rndomuser

I don’t think some people may classify this game as “MMO” but I would say VRchat. It gives many people the ability to craft whatever custom avatar they want to with huge variety of animations, or any kind of items (limited by their own imagination and game’s ToS) for their personal instance of in-game world. Which not only allows players to enjoy uniquely-looking avatars and locations (including their personal housings) but also allows artists like 3D modelers who know how to use Blender and other similar tools to earn real life currency for their work of crafting those custom avatars and custom objects. I think “Second Life” also offers this ability, though I haven’t been following this game in a long time and I don’t follow any artists who create anything for that game or any streamers who play it.

Unfortunately most other MMORPGs (especially the most populated ones) do not have such ability and all of the crafting in all those games like WoW, FFXIV, GW2, ESO, EVE, SWG, BDO and others only involves “clicking few buttons to automatically create item from a list of very limited recipes provided by developers”, which I personally find as an extremely boring timesink and would never consider paying any real life currency for any item crafted in these games. That’s just me, though, and I know plenty of people who are satisfied with the generic “add materials, click buttons to generate item which game developers already created and added into the game” system.

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Anstalt

Sadly, just about every MMORPG I’ve ever played (and nearly every single player RPG too for that matter), the crafting has been exactly what is described by Bree: insert components into recipe, click button to craft.

There’s no gameplay there at all, it sucks, it’s boring as hell. The gameplay is always centred around the gathering, and the excitement is centred around the trading. The crafting itself is always terrible.

Only MMO I’ve played where crafting was a bit more involved was FFXIV, but I only tested the game for about a week so didn’t experience much crafting. My expectation was that the crafting minigame would probably just become boring or frustrating very quickly, but I didn’t stick around long enough to find out.

I would love to see a game that actually put some gameplay into the crafting process. Imagine a crafting system with the same sort of complexity or depth as combat mechanics! Where crafting a basic sword was equivalent (in gameplay) to fighting a normal mob. Where crafting a legendary sword was equivalent to fighting a boss!

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Sarnaut Explorer

I mean if tying a mini game to crafting can make it “fun”, then Allods “does” that. Anything from literally resembling yahtzee, to manually mixing components. I think that the best thing that can happen to crafting is the prospect of becoming a store, or the guild’s personal blacksmith.

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Ironwu

For me, the best MMO crafting is not about the process, it is about the products.

Even today, ESO crafting can produce gear that is viable to gain entry into Vet Dungeons and Raids. Not just a few pieces either; full sets of gear.

Not only that, but crafted gear AND gear from drops can be upgraded through crafting to Legendary (Gold) status.

In addition to that, the major (Trait) stat for any piece of gear can be changed to what is desired (as long as you could craft that stat on that type of gear normally).

The ESO crafting system is simply the most useful I have ever played as it relates to actually creating powerful gear, all the way to the start of end-game content.

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Arktouros

First discussion I think it really varies on how you define economy. A lot of people criticize Black Desert Online’s economy because of the lack of player to player trading but easily is one of the most best/managed economies out there especially for crafting/lifeskilling. Spreadsheets for calculating out best deals on cooking both in terms of time spent gathering or for smart purchases are big in the game. Really the game just shows that all it takes to have a robust and good economy is players constantly needing items to upgrade their equipment rather than just go hop on the latest Ferris Wheel ride and collect your max upgraded gear at the end in a themepark.

As for “actual player inaction involved in creating an item” systems EverQuest 2 and Vanguard were the only system I know of that makes you actually do something beyond just click and it crafts for you.

As a person who heavily crafts in most games I care almost nothing about that part. I would much rather the economy and value of goods be tweaked right rather than have to play some shitty whack-a-mole minigame because someone thinks it’s “interesting.”