We have discussed professions and crafting systems several times on the Riftforge Forum. Sometimes humorously, sometimes for real.
One approach – made almost default by World of Warcraft – is the so-called split between gathering and crafting professions. It is very similar to most other MMO’s.
We'll examine this approach and contrast it with a resource management game like Miramagia.
Although some players oppose the inherent “grind” element of skinning 300 beats to level up skinning, personally, I’ve never found gathering professions tedious. With skinning you have a great control over the source (kill-skin-repeat).
Mining is different from skinning because you mine ore from nodes which refresh regularly. The downside is that since nodes are realm specific there’s competition for them. Especially, if your realm is very popular, getting enough ore would require mining in downtime hours (like 1-6 am).
The other approach to crafting and resource collection is … actual resource management game like the free fairy game Miramagia. Let’s examine the different aspects of using a farming simulation as a basis for a crafting system:
Obviously, most plants start as seeds. You need to buy the seeds from a shop (or find them during gameplay). Then you plant them (there are no types of soil but it’s an interesting idea to explore later on). Finally, different plants are on different growth timers, so collecting can be optimized by grouping plants by their growth times.
One of the most important aspects of any resource gathering and crafting (or customizing) system is rarity. If you can get everything from the store at level 1, then it doesn’t deserve to be called a “system”. In Miramagia, there are several types of rare resource. One is obviously by level of experience. More interesting is special events, these could be seasonal or random. Here’s an example of a Halloween themed village with pumpkins. Imagine being able to grow very special pumpkins for just 24 hours on October 30th.
Crafting and rarity have an obvious utilitarian angle but there are also social elements, i.e. bragging rights. When you can view neighboring farms, this social (bragging) element becomes quite strong.
Give Miramagia a go and let us know what you think about using a farming game as the basis for creating a crafting system for Riftforge.
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