(1) Many crafts take too much materials, requiring too much gathering. This can literally eat up days for very little net return.
For example, trying to level Engineering or Furnishing. These can use up materials needed for other crafts that are not reliably / quickly obtained in vast amounts, such as iron. Or require extremely tedious amounts of gathering such as hundreds of Flint to process Gunpowder only to throw away the vast amounts of Gunpowder. And yet making Gunpowder is one of the better ways of levelling Engineering because the materials are plentiful and do not take away materials for other crafting/refinement.
- More Town Board missions for Crafting and representing all crafts. Currently Jewelry, Engineering, and Furnishing are not represented at all, for example.
- These missions should be of the template similar to “Craft Armaments” missions, where you get a special quest item and a special formula to craft, which awards a sizable amount of crafting skill. Typically they use low-tier materials in limited quantities.
- A wider array of materials should be used whenever possible, e.g., for Provisioning and Alchemy. Right now for instance, Alchemy town board missions just ask for only either healing or magic. This stresses the quantities available for those types of potions and a lot of other reagents go unused.
(2) Cost to craft involves too much repetition
(2a) The cost of repetition is too high
The randomness of the results means repeated attempts. At low tiers this is moderate, but once you get to Tier IV, each attempt has a “hidden cost” of all the refinement materials required to produce the Tier IV+ materials.
Further, some crafts require much more time in gathering. Iron and Sand Flux for example are not as quickly obtainable in the vast quantities required as Wood or Fiber, and therefore presents another chokepoint.
(2b) Reducing repetition RNG floods the market with too much “good” gear
If we reduce RNG too much, the game becomes “pay to win” because non-crafters can completely skip crafting and just make money (or buy RMT money or bot and sell materials for money) to simply buy off the Trading Post.
Solution: Bound to Player Retrofitting
To reward crafters for pursuing crafting, a Retrofitting mechanic can be used to steadily reduce RNG but the item becomes Bound to the person doing it.
- When you get an item, either a world drop or crafted, you can attempt to Retrofit it.
- During a Retrofit, you can adjust upward the core materials. Each time you can at least match all the materials, you are guaranteed a Gear Score increase amount toward the maximum allowed during that crafting attempt.
- During a Retrofit, you can choose to retain a Perk, or change it with a Charm, or randomize it with Azoth.
- Your crafting skill determines what Tier of materials you can work with, so you have to level your crafting in order to Retrofit.
Retrofitting therefore involves a lot of repetition, but less so and the player can steadily work toward the item they want.
(3) Too much botting and RMT
The tediousness of the crafting mechanics encourage players to bot or buy botted materials, and in quantities that encourage them to buy RMT gold in order to buy those materials.
Solution - Reduce the amount of materials required for crafting. Make most gathered items Bound on Pickup and only a fraction randomly found to be unbound and therefore tradeable. Anything made with Bound materials also becomes Bound.
(4) Binding gathered materials and the subsequently crafted goods means most items are not tradeable. So what about the marketplace?
An option is to not bind gear drops and materials gathered from Expeditions, which can be assumed to be too hostile for bot spamming.