I was not sure if I should publish this article:- I had a lot more to write on this subject, in fact it was going to be in two parts. But unfortunately I had some pictures from Fallout 4 on why I thought the crafting system was so great. I have redacted that part of the post due to at present what I can only assume is DRM. I can neither save the pictures onto my Xbox or upload them to Onedrive. If Bethesda are so precious about any picture from their game I will not honour their work with a critique.
Overview. (Like Over-watch but with less bullets.)
I enjoy crafting in computer games, always have. From the earliest MUD’s I played which was Vampire Wars with the crafting of end game gear to the spreadsheet assisted industry of ‘Eve Online‘ all have engaged me to a level almost eclipsing the more typical game play mechanics. In the MMO Asherons’ Call (which I still play) the original spell casting mechanic was a crafting system in its self. You actually had to find out what spell components you could use to cast certain spells, which was great fun for a while, but then spell component generators were formed so it took the mystery/’grinding’ out of making useful spells. Eventually they removed this mechanic from the game.
Many modern games have a crafting element to them this does not always gel with the game play type but seems to be added to extend the time played as you work towards the best gear to finish the end game boss’s. Crafting is a major part of any MMO’s arsenal it could be a way to craft ammunition for your use, or upgrading existing equipment for end game content raids. Firefall have taken the rare move to remove and rework they’re crafting system (again.) They also removed my favourite ‘class’ the one I had all the pimped equipment for to play raids etc. If you play MMO’s you understand that normally raid level gear takes some time to acquire that relies on rare drops and a lot of time ‘grinding’ for all the materials needed. So with the massive change in patch 1.6 of Firefall I ended up with a lot of top-level class’s but with mid level equipment because of the complete rework of the equipment system. I can see why they have done it and I like the look of what is there at the moment. I’ve been playing since early Beta and this is their third attempt at a crafting system I think and every-time it seems like a reset of all my hard-work. Grrrr! I do get invested in what I create, I enjoy a good crafting system which allows me to tailor my gear to gel with my play-style.
Borderlands series takes a slightly different approach but still works with the same ‘you got to work for it to earn it regime’. All the equipment is completely randomly generated, which gives some very interesting weapons for example a shotgun that has a 3 round magazine put each pull of the trigger uses 2 rounds. Or you might get a double-barreled shotgun with an advanced enemy tracking sight, but occasionally the planets will align and you will get a combination of attributes that works and you think is the best gun you have ever had. Well at least for a few levels then you find its underpowered and you start praying to RNGesus for a good Loot roll.
Elite Dangerous has the beginnings of a crafting system added with the Horizons season of expansions and they will be expanding on that with their 2.1 expansion. At present the main use of the crafting system seems to be helping explorers extend their jump range with some magic beans, I mean crafted items that are acquired from exploring planetary surfaces for raw materials. The next expansion is releasing ‘Engineers’ which we assume is going to allow pilots to tinker with the equipment and make permanent modifications. But at present this is PC only they still have not given any idea when Horizon’s expansion will be available on the Xbox 1. But I am hoping for around June/July time.
Bethesda Crafting. (Like normal crafting but more refined.)
Skyrim and Fallout 4 both use the same game engine but with a ‘few’ modifications. Both games has interesting crafting systems which I throughly enjoy. The equipment tinkering and alchemy does not rely on any RNG so you know what you are making before you start which I think is very important for a good crafting system, take note star trek online! Both the Blacksmithing and alchemy where very simple but especially the alchemy kept me collecting all the things! With nearly any character you wanted to progress in your armour skill to make the correct type of dragon armour or numerous sets because dragons where easy to find. Then you improved that set to legendary, using top-level alchemy skilled potions. This would allow you to make the best armour in the game. The skill was useful all through playing cause as new armour became available you could give it a quick upgrade if you the skill and the right material. Often you find that crafting is useless until you have maximised the skill which means you might have to ‘grind’ through a 100 levels until the investment bares fruit.
Well all that wall of text was my introduction and I had written the ‘meat’ about Fallout 4’s extensive crafting system covering weapons/armour and buildings, but as I mentioned at the top, unless I can download visuals from fallout 4 on my xbox I wont continue this article.
See you on the other side…