Crafting, the Perfect Excuse

Zyngor | Wednesday, August 06, 2014
So there's the possibility that I spent most of last night awake, leveling the Artificing and Mining crafting professions on my mage in Rift. Then again, I was also sidetracked watching the entertaining SourKoolaidShow livestream on Twitch. These guys stream Monday-Thursday nights, and blend together gaming, comedy, and roleplay elements, by instituting an encounter table where they must roll a D20 die on the hour and institute the corresponding number's challenge on a chart. Last night's stream happened to be a special food stream - Taco Tuesday! Crazy things happen when you have 100 hard and soft shell tacos from Taco Bell. Here were some sample challenges that had to do last night...

4 – BURRITO POP – Using duct tape, 5 bean burritos are strapped to Shawn’s chest. Each time his character dies, Dan Paul will smash one. If Shawn dies more than 5 times during the round, he must eat them.
3 – DEATH SAUCE TACO – Dan Paul and Shawn must both eat a taco with Death Sauce before the end of the round. 
6 – EAT LOTS OF TACOS – Whoever can eat the most tacos in one round wins.
(L-R) Dan Paul and Shawn, hosts of the Sour Koolaid Show
Needless to say, many tacos were consumed during the night. Be warned, the stream is marked as mature, and sometimes things can get a little crazy (especially when there is alcohol involved), so be warned if you are or have youngins around. Oh, and sometimes a wizard may show up...he's been around, and don't mess with him or he'll put you down.

Mine! All mine!
Anywho, back to the whole me spending probably too much time working on the crafting bit. I spent a good deal of last night leveling my Artificing (manufactures various magical equipment) to max, as well as raising my Mining skill. In the midst of this horizontal character progression, I sudden came to the realization: why am I doing this?

A decent number of the MMOs out on the market these days do include some form of crafting system.Some are fairly simple (I find Neverwinter Online, which works on timers, to be pretty easy to manage) while others have a slew of tiers and crafts to manage (two that I play that come to mind are Rift and LOTRO), and may seem daunting to get everything done.

Perfect time for a /bio break
These days, I generally prefer solo game progression. MMOs provide me with a platform where I can still be social with others, while experiencing the environment as I see fit. As such, crafting is a platform where I get to dive out into the wild, exploring the landscape for the proper materials to improve my crafting professions. Sometimes, I must even dive into the wild market that are the in-game auction houses, where you never know what deal or rip-off you'll run into. Either way, it provides me with a way to improve my character's ability to become a more adept, well-rounded individual.

Then again, sometimes I realize that I may be squandering my time, filling up this alternative experience bar with imaginary points. I honestly don't really use too many crafted items to improve my actual characters' performances, nor am I the type to craft a bunch of goodies to sell on the auction houses. Really, I'm addicted to improving my craft just so I can see that my craft has been improved. Perhaps I have Crafting Completionist Syndrome?
Neverwinter's browser-based platform, the Gateway
Some crafting systems also seem to be designed around making it less of a chore, and more of a hobby. While Rift and LOTRO requires the players to be actively involved in juggling your materials, and make the items on the spot via inductions, Neverwinter Online utilizes a time-based mechanic where you simply make sure you have what you need, pop open their Profession window, and queue up the item. Minutes/hours later, you can pop that window back up and collect your item. Additionally, Neverwinter offers a browser-based platform, the Neverwinter Gateway, which you can access out of game, which makes crafting on the go a cinch. Then again, the feeling of having completely maxed out a LOTRO character's crafting professions, with the respective guild mastered, is a pretty darn good time.

While crafting is not a deal-breaker for me in an MMO, it's certainly a nice distraction, and usually complements the leveling experience. In times, it has the possibility to provide character gear progression (though quest gear these days is normally sufficient enough, at least for solo play), and can be a solid means to accrue a little extra spending gold, or supply friends/guildmates with new shiny armor.

May all your equipment crit, and don't forget to tip your local crafter!

Like crafting? Hate crafting? Were you born with a hammer and whittling knife in hand? Share below!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a crafter and I always have this mad idea that I will be totally self sufficient in an MMO... kinda defeats the point in MMOs but there you go... this is the way tons of alts are born :P I'm really liking the crafting in ESO, it's fairly easy but still has depth and challenge. Achievements are tied to it too which is nice

    I think my favourite crafting system was in Vanguard as it was basically a mini game and pretty complex. That however, was a system which was pretty hardcore and I think was the only MMO where I only took up one craft!