The info-dump yesterday (I’m still calling it info-dump because it makes me feel better) was all about crafting. I’ve always been a PvP fan, don’t get me wrong. There’s just something about crafting that pulls me in like a bugzapper. Maybe it’s the allure of wealth beyond dreams, or the fact that someone needs me for something, or even I might secretly get a chublin from watching a little bar move across the screen. Who knows, really.
While I was hoping for a PvP dump, I’m not ashamed to say that the crafting dump will last me just long enough to the next dump, which will hopefully be PvP. Reading through the info, there were quite a few points that excited me. Though I’m still currently optimistic (as should anyone be to a game that isn’t out there and playable*), here’s a few points that I thought were neat, and what might be of concern. Here goes:
1. Harvesting is actually a profession
What I like: Want to get rich? This is probably how you’re going to have to do it. Crafting takes resources and harvesters seem to be king of this. It’s nice that they’re moving away from the DAoC model of “buy 10 things in the store” and adapting a bit of the Node Gathering ability.
What makes me nervous: With a small community split into three realms, I have genuine concerns of price fixation and market control. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a game economy that is fluid. I just worry that with seven professions and three realms (21 segments) that we’re going to have few Harvesters right out of the door and crafting is going to be WTF expensive.
2. Soldier for Hire looks pretty win
What I like: The concept is always roleplayed in any game you go to. Moving the concept out of the forums/fansites and into the game should be pretty interesting. I don’t mind having a bodyguard if I’m going out into the field. Solo play is nice, but someone trained to keep me from dirt napping is A-Ok.
What makes me nervous: I’m not sure how closely this coexists with the Bounty Hunter system, but it looks like a “defensive mode only” profession. The drawback I see is that if there aren’t any players to protect (say you don’t play in prime time), then you can’t advance your profession. I could be wrong about this, though.
3. Open-ended professions
What I love: (Yes love). It’s easy to make something you know how to make. I don’t mind doing that at all. It makes it easy to max stats, go with the cookie-cutter design and all that pre-fab noise. I’m completely in lust with the Inventor Profession. It looks like you’ll be able to create custom schematics (recipes) and put them out on the market to other professions.
What makes me nervous: Given the fact you can learn new things from other players, I worry about the Inventor profession running out of stuff to do. A helmet may decay over time, but a wiki article outlining all the recipe combinations won’t.
4. Augmentation (Biotech)
What I like: This reminds me of the spellcrafting system from DAoC. There were slots in armor and you could upgrade each piece with a certain amount of points. It sounds like the Biotechs will be necessary at all times, which is good.
What makes me nervous: Not a whole lot really. I love the concept as much as my first born.
5. Different stats on the same items
What I like: I like that PBG is breaking the mold a bit here. Stuff like this leads to quite a bit more diversity among players and can really open up a market for secondary sales. The item I settle upon might not have exactly the stats that I’m looking for, but at that price, why not?
What makes me nervous: The OCD in me is little scared that I won’t be able to get the same item twice. If I have armor to support my spec, and it decays, there’s a very real chance that the replacement piece may not necessarily fill the gaps left. It’s obviously too early to tell how much the variance will be between same-named item, but it still gives me a smidge of anxiety.
Summing It Up
I wrote a majority of this last night, but decided to sleep on it before publishing it. It may sound like I’m coming off negative here, but that isn’t the case at all. The concerns I voice about the crafting are just that, concerns. They’re not founed on reality, but merely on speculation. There’s a side of me that just wants to shout from the rooftops that this is the best crafting system ever invented. However, it’s just on paper right now (for us outside the game studio) and they’re a complicated thing those game economies. I look forward to getting in there, getting my hands dirty, seeing just how great this system is and allaying my concerns. Yes, I’ll accept a beta invite, Sanya.