Monday, November 05, 2007

Multiplayer Crafting

What happens when you want to make a lamellar armor, but only have smithing skills? Without leather working skills, making an armor combining leather and metal pieces would be tricky, at best. While you could theoretically create parts of the armor beforehand, and then leave them in the care of a leather worker to complete the process, such cooperation would most likely imply waste and inefficiency. A better method would be to work together on a single item.

What happens, then, is that one player initializes the crafting, and asks the other player for help. Together, they smith and weave away, using their combined skills and resources to create the masterpiece, their efforts rewarded with an item they both can be proud of.

This could be used for other collaborations, of course. A master smith could get help from an apprentice; the apprentice gets to work on their skill, and get paid for it, while the master gets some assistance, making the crafting minigame that much easier. Enchanters could easily work in parallel with other crafters so that their enchantments can be placed on items of greater power.

It might be wishful thinking, some would think, but I think adding multiplayer crafting would really help the genre progress forward as a true multiplayer game, instead of a multiplayer solo game.

1 comment:

Talyn said...

Sounds great in concept, but flawed from the get-go.

Look at LOTRO's inter-dependent crafting. It was intended that "parts" from multiple players would be needed to craft an item. In reality, people create alts and use the mail system to do it all by themselves.

Your version makes it necessary for all parties involved to be present at once, which eliminates the alts unless someone is two- or three-boxing the game.

Sounds fine in the initial "just popped out of my head" phase but giving it even a few seconds of thought toward real application shows its ultimate failure. People don't like being forced to group, period. Forced-group crafting would be just as aggravating as forced-group adventuring.