Stephen’s Tin Foil Hat – A Radical Proposition

tinfoilRemember when we donned the tin foil hat not long ago and pondered just what might be the next 101? I’ve been thinking about the conflict that exists between crafters and, for lack of a better term, looters in Wizard101. I’ve got a radical concept to toss out there and I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.

Ever heard the term ‘Sandbox MMO’? It’s an MMO where one has a great deal more freedom in how one succeeds as a player. In its purest form, the game is whatever you want it inside the theme. Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies are two of the most prominent examples of sandbox MMOs I’ve come across (though both have gone the way of the dodo), but many others certainly exist.

Wizard101 could never be a pure sandbox MMO. That has to happen from the start, but what if a really radical change were made that elevated crafting into a profession all its own. What if…there were no more drops?

That’s right. Average or slightly above-average gear might be available from NPCs or as quest rewards, but the really high-end stuff was only available through crafting. If you wanted the hottest robes and wands, you had to either put the time in and craft them, contract with a friend to have them made for you, or make the gold to buy them.

All of a sudden, crafting is REAL. Crafting becomes a gigantic part of the game, impossible to ignore, and a major factor in everyone’s gameplay. It also begins to create an actual economy, where crafted goods (made of raw materials and time) have great value. An experienced crafter is just as valuable as a highly-skilled Life wizard. Heck, top end PvP teams might contract a crafter to work for them, paying that crafter to create high end gear for them and no one else – it’d be like having a crew chief in NASCAR.

This is a wild concept, and, to be honest, I just don’t think it has a snowball’s chance in Dragonspyre of happening, but it’s an interesting ‘What if…?’ I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Drop them in a comment if you like, or shoot them over to us at spiralradio101@gmail.com.

3 thoughts on “Stephen’s Tin Foil Hat – A Radical Proposition

  1. I think this would be a great concept for another game. They created p101 and have talked about a new game. P101 has some of the same concepts as W101, but it’s a whole new game. New fight system and everything. I think KI could so do this with another game. Have an actual trading system so it’s not just all bazaar based. You could have a bazaar as well, but have it so that you can trade with friends if you wish. You get a drop you don’t need, but your friend is looking for it, bam! Now you can hand it to your friend. All in all, I think it would be a great idea, just I think it should be for a new game and not just added to W101 or P101.

  2. While I agree it won’t be happening, it is something I’ve been wanting to see since the first time I crafted. If you really wanted to make a crafter someone to be respected as much as the tank or healer, change the dynamics of crafting as well.
    In other words:
    Star Wars Galaxies (RIP) had a great take on the resources themselves. Each resource had stats that effected the crafted item differently. Wood type X from Y area might have a hardness of 7, while that same wood from area Z might have a hardness of 8. If a staff used wood hardness as a stat, the difference in the area would make the difference in quality.
    Ryzom has a nice system for resource gathering. First, the player adds different skills together to make a hotbar slot that gathers the way they want. You could add speed (for dangerous areas) and leave out quantity. You could add higher quality while leaving out lower qualities. You could even have multiple people working on a resource together to make the trip worth more.
    Vanguard has the best crafting system I’ve ever seen. No click and it’s done there. There are multiple steps and each step helps determine the quality of the item. Oh, and you had better have planned ahead for problems. Water in you belt will help solve the overheated metal difficulty that might show up. Sweat dripping in your eyes? Use a cloth rag and it stops interfering.

    Needless to say, I’ve thought about what crafting COULD be like were a game be willing to let the crafters have a chance to do something other than join in the hack and slash. Now excuse me while I go hunt zombies so I can finish crafting my beach house in Minecraft -sigh-

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