My loose association with crafting in MMOs

mining

Because I’m perpetually two years behind in World of Warcraft, I’m just now discovering that my garrison can be used to help me catch up in professions if so desired. No matter what character I end up playing for Legion, I want her to have mining and engineering, because I love toys and gadgets in the game. So I’ve started to use the mine and engineering shack to level those professions from 1 to, what, 700 at this point? It’s going to be a long summer, I think.

Actually, it’s pretty cool and takes a lot of the frustration of trying to get caught up in these professions, so I’m definitely not complaining. It’s certainly nice to have it all in one spot, augmented by mining out in the game world as well.

Getting the ball rolling on all of that made me think of my loose association with crafting in MMOs over the years. I’ve really never been a crafter in spirit or in practice, yet I’ve always professed the desire to do so. What happens is that either there’s a game that’s been out for a long time (and I feel so behind in crafting that I don’t want to start) or there’s a new game (and I’d rather do gathering professions for easy guaranteed money). Or sometimes the game’s crafting system is simply to obtuse or not interesting enough to warrant investigation.

Yet there have been a few MMOs that got me into crafting in some form:

  • Lord of the Rings Online: At various times, I’ve leveled scholar (for potions) and farming (for food buffs), although I never did see much point in crafting armor and weapons, since quest rewards were almost always good enough to keep you going.
  • WildStar: As I blogged about last year, I did spend a good amount of time crafting housing items. Being able to make stuff to put in my house was a big motivator for wanting to craft.
  • World of Warcraft: Probably the only time I really got into crafting seriously was with my Warlock, as I leveled engineering in vanilla and TBC. Loved my little flying helicopter and the extra ports.
  • Fallen Earth: A game that’s about 40% crafting anyway, I loved the system here. Having real-time queues meant you could set things up, go adventuring, and not have to stand around miming some action while crafting bars progressed. Being able to make my own weapons and vehicles (especially my first motorcycle!) gave me such a sense of accomplishment. I truly miss it.
  • RIFT: I think I tried a few crafting professions over the years, although none was memorable enough to mention here, apparently. But I did!
  • The Secret World: Using the crafting interface is mandatory for some missions, so I guess it warrants a bullet point. Some people really like how the crafting works, but I am not a fan.

In an ideal world where MMOs all had engaging and rewarding crafting systems and I had plenty of time to game, I’d probably be much more of a crafter than I am in practice. But the reality is that I only get a couple of hours a day to play, and I don’t want to spend that time looking at a recipe window when I could be out doing something in the game world.

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