Crafting in Neverwinter
I've been playing a little bit of Neverwinter. I've almost dropped out of MMOs at this point, but I have a little bit of spare time over the summer. The important thing is that it's pretty convenient to play in short bursts, unlike Wurm, where your half hour of available time ends up being used making sure you don't starve. Also, Neverwinter is free (there's a shop, but it's not particularly intrusive, and you can play very well without it).
And one of the most interesting parts is the crafting. I do realise I say that about many games, but Neverwinter has a few features that are markedly different. It's reminiscent of Everquest II, with a dash of EVE, and it feeds solidly into the economy and progression. Here are a few interesting bits.
Offline Crafting: You have access to the Professions functionality via the website. You can't deal with vendors, but you can sell on the Auction House. The central conceit here is not that your character is doing the craftwork themselves, but that they are hiring craftspeople to do so. So you can log in, and tell your alchemists to go fetch stuff to distill (or to make potions, or whatever), your tailors to make clothes, and your mercenaries to go protect the market (that's the Leadership craft). Some tasks take 10 minutes (low level alchemy and tailoring stuff, for example), and some take up to 18 hours. You can have several tasks running in parallel, and open up more slots by leveling crafts and leveling your character.
Crafting Gives XP: It doesn't give a LOT, but the Leadership craft gives small amounts for some tasks. This makes it possible to level a character from level 10 (when you get access to crafting) upward on crafts alone, if slowly.
Low Level Crafts Remain Useful: One of the biggest issues with crafting in, say, WoW, is that you make a few dozen low-level wotsits in order to level up, and there's nothing to do with them but sell them to vendors. In Neverwinter, if you want to make, say, Cloth Robes +2, you start out with the lowest level task, Gather Wool Scraps. Then you make the Wool Scraps into Wool Cloth, the Wool Cloth into Cloth Robes, the Cloth Robes in Cloth Robes +1`, and the Cloth Robes +1 into Cloth Robes +2. And so forth. This means that if you want to shortcut the process, and make the Cloth Robes +2 (and get the Tailoring XP from them), you can buy the Robes +1 and the necessary other materials (some of which are also made in a different chain) from the Auction House. The effect here is that your low-level stuff is useful, and low-level crafters have an economically viable output.
The Craftspeople Are Tradeable: You start out by hiring one apothecary, tailor, etc. You can hire more - indeed, you need to if you're going to use more than one slot. But you can also upgrade them, using the same slots. The upgrades are long tasks, 18 hours, so it's not something you can do quickly. But you can take your third or fourth tier craftsman, and sell them (or, presumably, in world terms, their contract) on the Auction House. You can upgrade tools the same way.
I'll be interested to see how this works out. One of the effects of the low-level components is that there's a definite use for low-level alts, too - at the very best, your character has 9 crafting slots, and you'd probably rather be using those on high-level stuff than low. So a level 10 alt can work away on producing the wool and vitriol you need for higher level tasks.
And then there's the limited slots and limited time - this means you absolutely can't spam your way to the top of a craft in a few hours once you have enough money, as per WoW. You need to work your way up, bit by bit.
The offline crafting is keeping my interest in very effectively at the moment, so I'll be sticking with Neverwinter a while longer. If you're looking to get in contact, look for Barakas Vlord@notarion, on the Mind Flayer shard.
Posted by Drew Shiel at July 19, 2013 12:23 PM