In years past, we’ve given out a formal award for the best MMO crafting, but this year we’re taking a break from that. There are several reasons for it, but the big one is a little bit of apathy I saw creeping in over the last year or two, as the games we wanted to vote for were often old or in some cases inaccessible thanks to sunsets. That’s more a sign of decay in the genre than in our sensibilities, I think, when newer gamers’ economies and crafting systems just don’t measure up to the giants on whose shoulders they stand.
But I am personally a crafting-centric, and especially economy- and trading-centric, MMO player, so I still want to highlight that huge component of our genre. And if I’m pressed to pick a living, modern MMO for the award, I’d actually choose Albion Online, whose economy actually surprised me this year. Not only is the crafting and gathering fun and lucrative, but it’s baked into the game as an essential component rather than being a sidegame for keeping you grinding between raids.
Which MMO would you say offered the best crafting and economic systems in 2021?