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YPHM #9 – Crafting for the Non-Crafter

Hi, I’m Taix. I’m an MMO elitist, I take my video games way too seriously, and in this edition of YPHM, I’ll be talking about another staple of the MMO genre, crafting! Whether a hardcore crafter who spends hours farming mats and gold to make the rarest of items, or a super casual crafter who only participates for the additional crafting-related combat or stat bonuses (if applicable to your MMO of choice), all MMO players have a relationship with the crafting system of some sort. In this article, I’ll talk about my own experiences and opinions on crafting in general, along with some additional things I hope BioWare does to make crafting enjoyable to as wide an audience as possible.

As the title of this article would suggest, I am not a crafter. I like the thrill of killing things (PvP or PvE) much more than creating them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect crafting as a whole. Like all MMOers, I’ve dabbled in crafting (I’m including gathering under the umbrella of crafting for this article) here or there to get some cash, or later in WoW to attain the stat bonuses that come with crafting professions. Unlike those who consider themselves hardcore crafters, however, at the end of gathering resources for what seems like eternity and spending 20 minutes making wool shirts, I just feel sort of short-changed instead of accomplished, even if said profession level gets me that extra 20 spell power. I don’t like investing the time into crafting when I could be doing something more fun.

You can always tell the hardcore crafters. They’re the ones selling goods in bulk in capital cities, or the one person on the server who has put in enough time to have the rarest robe pattern in the game. They’re usually the richest people on the server, and are heavily invested in the server’s economy. I don’t gather goods in bulk, have never had a super-rare pattern to sell, and mostly only have enough cash on hand to cover the next few repair bills and gear enchantments (unless I’m saving for something big), but each to his own. I love hardcore crafters, because unlike the other types of gamers that I usually complain about (solo endgame enthusiasts, keyboard turners, the stereotypical SWTOR forum-goer, etc.) they’re actually really useful to have around and be friends with. I had a jewel-crafting acquaintance on one server who cut me so many gems that he eventually started giving me really rare epic cuts for free (I’m a good tipper). It’s essential for all hardcore guilds to have an experienced crafter for each profession, especially if rare crafting patterns drop during raids.

BioWare’s system of crafting is unique, to say the least. Having your companions passively gather things around you while you continue the slaughter takes the hum-drum farming side of gathering off of the table; having them craft (and go on gathering missions) in the background while you continue doing fun things means everybody can enjoy the benefits of basic crafting without the serious time investment. The mission skills are completely original from what I can tell, and may end up being some of the most beneficial crew skills in the game. Everything about this crafting system emphasizes the ability to “set it and forget it”, so to speak, which is perfect for the casual crafter like me.

The problems start to come in when you think of the hardcore crafters. As I said before, I love hardcore crafters, and those who want to put in the time investment required to farm materials and seek rare patterns should be heavily rewarded. There needs to be endgame super-rare crew skill-related patterns, materials, or items that require the PLAYER to put in actual time and effort on their own character in order to take advantage of such rewards, and as of yet BioWare has yet to announce such things. From all we know, it is possible to be a skilled micromanager and reap all the benefits of crafting while farming Warzones or Flashpoints. I honestly shouldn’t be able to make as much money as those who dedicate themselves to crafting, and I most likely won’t need that much money anyway. Another reason there needs to be a way for hardcore crafters to differentiate themselves has to do with server economies, which might become unbalanced if rare goods flood the marketplace.

To sum up, I’m very much looking forward to crafting in SWTOR, because the system is very non-crafter friendly. Until we see some hardcore crafting content, however, I’m skeptical about how well the system will actually work in the long run.

Disagree with me? Think you have a brilliant idea that would change the crafting game for the better? Tell me on the forums here, or leave a comment below. As always, comments and ratings are always appreciated.

‘TIl next time.

-Taix

 

 

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