Over on FOH, where Scott Hartsman is an active member of the community, he joined in the conversation about crafting in Rift: Planes of Telara. The discussion was about a comment from an author of a recent MMORPG.com article.
Scott briefly touched on crafting as well. Players can expect an array of typical harvesting and crafting tradeskills such as mining or harvesting and they can have up to three of these active per character.
The reason for concern was because of the use of the word “typical”. The poster was concerned that crafting in Rift might be boring or not “meaningful”. Before Scott commented on crafting he described why “typical” was used and how much the visitor to Trion’s Studios actually saw of crafting.
The day the press came in, we didn’t show crafting. One person spotted a couple trainers and asked if they working, and I said “yep,” and answered a couple really brief questions about gathering and crafting. I don’t think that was more than a minute or two. We spent the day doing a lot of hands on adventuring, and mostly Q&A around the places people were going and what they were seeing.
(It was pretty freeform – Whatever they wanted to ask about, we answered.)
It does seem there’s quite a misinterpretation around the word “typical.” The first assumption is that it’s something we said, the second one looks like that’s the “best” way it can be described.
When we have folks come in to play, they’re welcome to write whatever they like. We don’t edit what they say, we don’t get a review pass before they post. This isn’t press releases where we control the language, this is: “They come in, they play, they write what they choose to write, and we hope like hell they enjoyed the game.”
After this comment he talked a little bit about crafting.
I’m also a big believer in making more of the crafting game about interesting item and recipe acquisition (especially in a world with the new types of content we have, and how they interact with each other) as opposed to item loss.
In the hypothetical case of: “everyone understands risk vs reward for adventuring…why not crafting?”
That’s a great question. Honestly, I think the adventure analogue to “crafting where you can lose (non-purchased-fuel) items” is “adventuring where you can lose xp,” which is also something that you just don’t see a whole lot of these days.
There’s just not that many people that enjoy it anymore. And that’s is from a person who personally used to love the rush of breaking into the planes of fear and hate precisely because of that ultra-risk. It’s just something that most non-niche games have gone past.
That’s more of a subjective point though – Some people love it, others don’t, and both opinions are equally valid.
One that I think everyone can agree with is Lum’s phenomenal post about how most MMOs actually fail because they have an entirely unrealistic scope — Scott Jennings – Legendary Failures of Legend, Part Two – MMORPG.com — Turning crafting into a full “sphere” of its own is a huge addition of scope, and corresponding failure risk.
If you’re making an MMO, it’s best to pick the battles you want to fight, so you stand a chance of succeeding, and can enhance it in more dimensions in the future.
Lets take a look at the first line of the second quote. It appears that crafting may take on the form of recipe and material acquisition. For those who enjoy reading debates on the Official Forums take a look at the end of this thread.