Remember 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.