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Chairman Yang
if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
(02-26-2011, 03:55 PM)
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I can't think of any. As far as I can tell, they're universally boring and tedious. If the items they yield are weak, they're also pointless. If the items they yield are powerful, they can ruin the balance of the game. In general, they necessitate that the designers place tons of otherwise useless items in the gameworld and clutter up player inventories.

Which good crafting systems am I overlooking?
vocab
Member
(02-26-2011, 03:56 PM)
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Vagrant story

SMT games have demon crafting.

Eve online

Ultima online

The Witcher

I know Temple of Elemental evil, and Arcanum have a decent crafting system, but I don't know that much about it.
Last edited by vocab; 02-26-2011 at 04:00 PM.
archnemesis
Member
(02-26-2011, 03:59 PM)
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I kinda liked the crafting in Everquest II. The system in Star Ocean 2 is pretty popular, but I mostly used it for making food items.
John
Member
(02-26-2011, 03:59 PM)
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final fantasy ix's was good then, since you'd use it as you go through the game naturally, and you only craft items with practical use anyway. like weapons.
Pureauthor
(02-26-2011, 04:01 PM)
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The Atelier series? The whole game is built around itemcrafting.
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(02-26-2011, 04:02 PM)
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The Witcher's is pretty good. Its not just "weapon enhancements" or other bull, you have to mix all the potions you use out of herbs and alcohol. Makes you very dependent on crafting.
Shazzam6999
Junior Member
(02-26-2011, 04:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by John

final fantasy ix's was good then, since you'd use it as you go through the game naturally, and you only craft items with practical use anyway. like weapons.

That was the exact game I had in mind. IX's crafting system was excellent, it just felt like you were using the items in your inventory to upgrade. It also gave a use for all of the old items that you accrue in your inventory and do nothing with or vendor in standard rpgs.
Clott
Member
(02-26-2011, 04:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by John

final fantasy ix's was good then, since you'd use it as you go through the game naturally, and you only craft items with practical use anyway. like weapons.

IX had the only crafting system in an rpg I ever used.
Finaika
Member
(02-26-2011, 04:06 PM)
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WoW's crafting is good. I'm a leatherworker & I can craft epics.
Vorador
Banned
(02-26-2011, 04:07 PM)
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In Mana Khemia series crafting was a must since the strength and abilities of your characters depended on it.

Also Star Ocean series, Atelier series had a lot of crafting.

Witchers alchemy system was optional, but in harder difficulties it was a must to harvest materials and create those potions, it meant the difference between life and death.
Chairman Yang
if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
(02-26-2011, 04:08 PM)
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Hmm...I've used a bunch of the crafting systems you guys have mentioned and I'm still not sure what the appeal is. They're exercises in cataloging and collecting, and have little room for creative thinking or strategizing. I'd rather have the game designed around just buying stuff outright, and trimming the huge amount of otherwise-useless items.

I also just want to clarify that I'm not referring to how USEFUL crafting is. I'm talking about how interesting, from a gameplay perspective, it is. Like, yeah, crafting is important in The Witcher for example, but is it particularly fun?
Last edited by Chairman Yang; 02-26-2011 at 04:12 PM.
WanderingWind
Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
(02-26-2011, 04:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by Chairman Yang

Hmm...I've used a bunch of the crafting systems you guys have mentioned and I'm still not sure what the appeal is. They're exercises in cataloging and collecting, and have little room for creative thinking or strategizing. I'd rather have the game designed around just buying stuff outright, and trimming the huge amount of otherwise-useless items.

I also just want to clarify that I'm not referring to how USEFUL crafting is. I'm talking about how interesting, from a gameplay perspective, they are.

That's cool. I personally love that stuff in RPGs. You could not survive The Witcher without focusing on crafting and exploring every nook and cranny for important ingredients. I guess it all depends on what you like to do in your RPGs.
Rolf NB
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(02-26-2011, 04:11 PM)
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Etrian Odyssey
Find ingredients, and after delivering a certain amount, stores gain new stock. Infinite new stock for lower-tier recipes, one-off for the highest-end weapons.

Demon's Souls
Have the smith upgrade your weapons with ores. The basic upgrade path takes a common ore, but you can branch off into several advanced forms of enhancements using rare, location-specific ores.
Create high-end weapons by giving up a base item and a boss soul, which is a once-per-playthrough occurence. Makes you choose between special weapon/special priest type spell/special mage type spell.

Originally Posted by Chairman Yang

In general, they necessitate that the designers place tons of otherwise useless items in the gameworld and clutter up player inventories.

Is this some sort of apology for the latest Bioware shenanigans?
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(02-26-2011, 04:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by Chairman Yang

Hmm...I've used a bunch of the crafting systems you guys have mentioned and I'm still not sure what the appeal is. They're exercises in cataloging and collecting, and have little room for creative thinking or strategizing. I'd rather have the game designed around just buying stuff outright, and trimming the huge amount of otherwise-useless items.

I also just want to clarify that I'm not referring to how USEFUL crafting is. I'm talking about how interesting, from a gameplay perspective, they are.

Ah yes, the problem of "well, I can add a +15% Fire Damage bonus to my Sword of Shocking, thus making it firey as well as lightningy and....making some encounters take ~3 seconds less because I am doing marginally more damage then before. Whoopee"
subversus
I've done nothing with my life except eat and fap
(02-26-2011, 04:12 PM)
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Originally Posted by Chairman Yang


I also just want to clarify that I'm not referring to how USEFUL crafting is. I'm talking about how interesting, from a gameplay perspective, they are.

there are non then.

I want alchemy mini-game in which the quality og your potions depends on your skill or wits.

Somebody, make it happen.
Chairman Yang
if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
(02-26-2011, 04:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rolf NB

Is this some sort of apology for the latest Bioware shenanigans?

It's the discussion in the DA2 thread that prompted this topic, but nope, I'm not impressed with the direction Bioware's taking with the series. While I think crafting could be usefully excised from just about every RPG out there--Dragon Age included--it's not like Bioware is replacing it with something better.
EviLore
Expansive Ellipses
(02-26-2011, 04:17 PM)
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-The Witcher. Allows for the creation of powerful potions, bombs, and weapon oils, all of which can only be had from crafting. Requires learning about plants and animal anatomy from books, then going out into the world and harvesting the appropriate materials yourself, and combining with the right types of alcohol, lards, or powders. Useful on normal difficulty, essential on hard.

-Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir. Almost all of the useful equipment for your entire party is derived from crafting rather than from drops or vendors. You find raw materials by exploring the game world, find books on crafting, use a character's crafting skills and stats, and combine it all with a massive gold sink that requires you to be successful with the game's core mercantile system in order to make enough gear to fully outfit your party.

Both of these are interesting and very useful.
kai3345
Member
(02-26-2011, 04:18 PM)
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lol was just reading the crafting argument in the DA2 thread and then saw this thread

on topic: Never really messed with crafting in RPGs, but I do like the option of it being there if I ever want to explore the game's systems further.

Favorite craftable item: The Rock-It Launcher from Fallout 3

Finally all of that useless shit you find has a purpose!
Last edited by kai3345; 02-26-2011 at 04:21 PM.
devenger
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(02-26-2011, 04:25 PM)
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I usually skip or try to minimally use the crafting aspect of most games, but Oblivion was the first game I actually made items I wanted to use, as opposed to just bulk items to sell.
Ezalc
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(02-26-2011, 04:34 PM)
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I think the crafting system in Rogue Galaxy was kind of interesting, IIRC, you actually had to build the assembly line in order to create items, not just gather up the ingredients and such.
tmacairjordan87
Banned
(02-26-2011, 04:35 PM)
I don't know if Dark Cloud 2 counts, but I thought it was brilliant. Taking pictures of everyday things and using your head or just dumb luck to create items. Some were small things like food, some were really good and useful.
decoyplatypus
Member
(02-26-2011, 04:38 PM)
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I tend to agree that crafting systems are more tedious than fun. Whatever satisfaction comes from creating your own equipment is usually far too shallow to compensate for lost time collecting resources and figuring out how to use them (which are rarely "fun" gameplay activities). Even FFIX, which required a minimum of "resource grinding," annoyed me by forcing me to hoard all my old equipment for the big pay off of letting me "synthesize" exactly what I would have been able to buy outright in other games. At least FFX (another crafting system I disliked) had the decency to let me influence the quality of my weapons through the crafting system.

However, I do think there are some crafting systems that reward thought and strategy. SMT Demon Fusion, for example, requires players to temper their decisions to short-term needs (a fire immune demon) and long-term strategies (passing along key skills). I'm not an unqualified admirer of Vagrant Story's crafting, but it did call for careful planning and allow customization beyond what a "shop" could offer.
Ceebs
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(02-26-2011, 04:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by Chairman Yang

I also just want to clarify that I'm not referring to how USEFUL crafting is. I'm talking about how interesting, from a gameplay perspective, it is. Like, yeah, crafting is important in The Witcher for example, but is it particularly fun?

I personally find crafting pretty fun. I will often grab a post-it pad and jot down stuff I need and spend the next few hours gathering stuff. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but for some reason I really enjoy it.

I normally can't stand JRPGs, but I played like 80 hours of Dragon Quest IX just for the crafting.
SatelliteOfLove
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(02-26-2011, 04:42 PM)
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Star Ocean 2. The interplay of crafting, skill building, out of combat tricks, and influence on battle stats was awesome.
Coxswain
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(02-26-2011, 04:45 PM)
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Uhh... Puzzle Quest? Maybe, sort of. Produces some different puzzles, anyway.
Monster Hunter is a kind-of-sort-of case; crafting equipment itself is usually just a matter of grinding, and once you're playing the game regularly, you're expected to just have finished products in your inventory and nobody is going to want you to run off looking for base components, but at certain points in the game there's definitely some fun to be had in scrounging around the forest for a particular combination of meat and roots and honey and plants that give you an edge in your current mission - as gathering and crafting is on a shared timer with your actual mission, there's a tradeoff between using your time to be more prepared for the task at hand, and using the time to actually complete that task.


In general though I don't think that there are very many, if any at all, that are fun in conjunction with the main game. As you said, you can usually divide them into systems that require a lot of work and give weak, little returns, systems that are flexible and powerful, but crack the main game in half, or afterthoughts that are just an excuse to bump up the game's itemization by an order of magnitude or two.

I think the middle option is where you'd run into "good" crafting systems. Star Ocean 2 is a pretty good example. The main game itself just shatters to pieces if you start making extensive use of the crafting system, but there's so much crap you can do with it that it sort of becomes its own game unto itself. Apart from making weapons and armour and all that stuff, you've got everything from cooking (which has a ton of different things to make that all have different effects, modified by characters having food they do and don't like that changes the effect, plus has its own Iron Chef minigame in the latter half of the game) to forgery (make yourself some Life Insurance so you get tons of money if you die in a fight where you've used it, take hostile control of an inn so you don't have to pay to stay there, or make copies of other items), to writing books that earn you millions and millions of dollars in royalties once you publish them, to whipping up an impromptu item shop in the middle of a dungeon (via sending an animal "familiar" to do some shopping for you, using a "pet food" item), or learning to play a bunch of songs/instruments that can give you bonuses in a fight or (if I'm recalling correctly) get yourself into a fight with the game's optional superboss.
It's a total mismatch to the flow of the 'actual' game, and there's problems with it including a downright aggravating random element, but it's such an extensive system that by the time it runs out of novelty, you'll have very likely spent as much time on it as you would playing through the game proper, even if practically speaking it is just a big hodgepodge of random design elements thrown against the wall. I don't know if I'd outright call it 'good', but it certainly kept me entertained, and I still dink around with it a bit when I replay the game, although that might be nostalgia.


Aside from weird outliers like that, though, I'd sooner be rid entirely of crafting in games. Where it provides actual utility to the rest of the game, it can be replaced with an alternative that cuts out the tedium, and where it isn't adding depth, it's sucking up development effort that could have gone toward a good subsystem. I'm definitely not a fan of the traditional WRPG style of having to collect a big persistent bag of herbs and bits and bobs throughout the entire game, or anything like the crafting systems that have been in any Level 5 RPG I've played.
Articate
Banned
(02-26-2011, 04:50 PM)

Originally Posted by Clott

IX had the only crafting system in an rpg I ever used.

You would!

I enjoyed the system, though, albeit I came to recommend KoTOR's system. Requires a fair bit of thought and loads of possible outcomes. Only problem is that the components you get throughout the game are random and there's no way to farm them.
Durante
A Deadly Premonition hit his Dark Soul like a bolt of Lightning: "I can make their games better."
(02-26-2011, 04:53 PM)
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Originally Posted by Pureauthor

The Atelier series? The whole game is built around itemcrafting.

That's a great answer. Also add in the Mana Khemia games. The crafting/alchemy in those is interesting (in addition to being useful of course, the game is basically about it!) by allowing for experimentation and strategy.

In these games, you are not just making some item according to the recipe, you can combine a huge number of different, powerful effects on the item depending on the quality and type of your ingredients. However, effects react to each other and sometimes cancel each other out, so you need to be careful about that. You can also discover different recipes by using slight variations on existing ones. And there is an element of long-term strategy throughout the games since at each point in time there are rare ingredients you will only have a limited number of, and you need to decide which item(s) to use those on, maybe equipment that is immediately useful or more complex materials that are required later (or maybe save them up for a recipe you have not yet discovered).
Last edited by Durante; 02-26-2011 at 05:51 PM.
I NEED SCISSORS
Banned
(02-26-2011, 04:54 PM)
Dead Rising 2.


Yes it's an RPG. Yes you can craft new weapons.
Chatin
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(02-26-2011, 04:55 PM)
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Stretching the definition of crafting, it was fun in Rogue Galaxy.
Articate
Banned
(02-26-2011, 04:56 PM)
If we're talking about MMOs, too, then Anarchy Online has the single best crafting system ever, in terms of complexity and getting something useful out of, while not breaking the balance of the game. The game has shifted its focus a bit away from it, but it's still there and it's still awesome/necessary
Quixzlizx
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(02-26-2011, 04:58 PM)
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Another vote for Mana Khemia here. There's even a short mini-game while you're crafting items.

Edit: You only have to go through the mini-game the first time you craft an item, or when you want to change the item's attributes.
Piecake
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(02-26-2011, 04:59 PM)
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Originally Posted by Coxswain

In general though I don't think that there are very many, if any at all, that are fun in conjunction with the main game. As you said, you can usually divide them into systems that require a lot of work and give weak, little returns, systems that are flexible and powerful, but crack the main game in half, or afterthoughts that are just an excuse to bump up the game's itemization by an order of magnitude or two.

I remember Vagrant Story having an excellent and very deep crafting system that was vital to the game. I don't believe that it cracked the game in half either. It has been a long while though
Y2Kev
The Last Guardian is Dead. Sorry.
(02-26-2011, 05:01 PM)
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Originally Posted by Chairman Yang

I can't think of any. As far as I can tell, they're universally boring and tedious. If the items they yield are weak, they're also pointless. If the items they yield are powerful, they can ruin the balance of the game. In general, they necessitate that the designers place tons of otherwise useless items in the gameworld and clutter up player inventories.

Which good crafting systems am I overlooking?

I also dislike it, but outside of like...MMOs...it's kinda always optional. So the value add is usually broken items, you're right.
Basslover
Junior Member
(02-26-2011, 05:02 PM)
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Legend of Mana:

Great PS1 RPG with non linear story and LOTS of customization options, create a golem from scratch, raise and level up pets, create weapons and armor, grow vegetables and fruits and collect materials from battles and use both to create said golems, weapons and armors.

Good Stuff!!
Coxswain
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(02-26-2011, 05:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by I NEED SCISSORS

Dead Rising 2.


Yes it's an RPG. Yes you can craft new weapons.

Actually, I can kind of agree with that. "Kind of", because I wasn't especially taken with it in DR2; I found it was more useful to stick with a couple of 'staple' crafted items and just figure out where I could get replacement components to make more as I did tours through the mall. Using the crafted weapons was usually fun; finding and carting around some of the lame-o items required to make them decidedly less so, unless there was a convenient spot that had all the ingredients just sitting around together near a workshop that you were passing by already.

But I thought it really shined in Case Zero and Case West. The games are short enough that you don't really get into much of a routine, and the maps are small enough that you kind of have to make do with whatever is in the area that you're headed for. In Case West especially I think I ended up making every combination, not just for the achievement but because they were all useful to me.

Originally Posted by Gonaria

I remember Vagrant Story having an excellent and very deep crafting system that was vital to the game. I don't believe that it cracked the game in half either. It has been a long while though

I really couldn't say one way or another. It's been a long time since I've played it; I don't remember liking it but then I hate every Matsuno game and I'm not particularly willing to dig out my copy to find out whether it was the crafting I hated or just the general Matsunoness.
Platy
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(02-26-2011, 05:07 PM)
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Rune Factory (at least the wii version)!
Einbroch
(02-26-2011, 05:09 PM)
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Star Ocean 2. So amazing how it intergrated every aspect of the game into the crafting system.
carlo6529
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(02-26-2011, 05:13 PM)
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The most intricate crafting system I've played was ff14 online. The whole game is pretty much wrapped around crafting. It is an mmo though.

Other then that, Dragon Quest 8's crafting system was alright.
Shinjitsu
Banned
(02-26-2011, 05:14 PM)
EVE Online has an amazing crafting system. May not be what you are looking for though.=)
EatChildren
Chico is Quiet
(02-26-2011, 05:16 PM)
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Another RPG thread, another opportunity to rave about Arcanum, which had a crafting system.

In Arcanum it was simple; just as in some games you can apply points earned by levelling up to schools of magic, so too could you apply points to schools of crafting and science.

There were eight schools; Herbology, Chemistry, Electrical, Explosives, Gun Smithy, Mechanical, Smithy, and Therapeutics. Each of these schools had seven 'levels' of objects to craft, so (for example) if you wanted to learn the third craftable in Explosives you had to learn the two before.

Each school and each level of crafting was also accompanied by a stat check of the core stats, and these stats were not unversally shared between all the schools. So, for example, if you wishes to persue a line of Smithy, you wont necessarily have the stats to persue a school of Herbology. One would require Strength while the other would require Intelligence.

This meant that the crafting system was not so much a class of its own, but something to accompany the build of character you chose, to the degree you chose. Lets say you want to be a gunslinging character; maybe you want to dump tons of points into firearms, perception, and all that, and use money to buy ammo and weapons. Or maybe you'll spend some points on other stats and invest in the school of Gun Smithy, which would allow you to craft some powerful weapons early, and some weapons that are not sold at stores.

Tech build could adopt any style of play; maybe you're playing as a brute warrior, so you want to invest in Smithy to make some of those powerful weapons. Maybe you're playing a charismatic and intelligent character who does more talking than fighting, so you might want to look into the school of Herbology and Chemistry to craft healing potions and stat boosters to get you out of tight spots. Maybe you're a theif who'll also persue a school of Explosives, or maybe you'll persue Mechanical and build some mechanised arachnids.

The choice is yours and it only goes as deep as you want it to. Maybe, as a thief, you're not really interested in a full school of Mechanical. Okay, fine. Just learn the first two levels; spike trap and auto skeleton key. Those will be useful.

On top of this the game also displayed a stat level for each school of crafting. The more you learn in one school, the higher the score for that school. You could buy books to boost these school points, so you might end up with a high score in the school of Chemistry, but a score of zero in Gun Smithy because you haven't bothered to learn anything there.

This point system is then taken further, into a Schematics feature. As I said; eight schools of crafting, seven things to craft in each school. But there's more. You can buy, find, and discover schematics for craftable objects that are not learned through normal school progression. Simple read a schematic and bam, its part of your crafting list. However, some schematics cross schools of crafting, and that is where the point system comes in. You might discover a schematic for the mechanised healing arachnid. To build this device not only will you need the appropriate score in Mechanical, but you'll also need a certain score in another school, perhaps Herbology or Therapeutics. Maybe your character is a pro at Mechanical, but sucks at the other. You wont be able to craft this new contraption.

The actual crafting system was very simple; every object you craft required two components, and as long as you had those components and the right score in that school you could craft it. The 'useless objects' thing didnt really apply, as most goods could be crafted from items bought at stores, found in bins, or scattered around the world. The steampunk setting made it so material was plentiful in a logical way. Want to craft that Chepeau of Magnetic Inversion? Head to the clothing store, buy yourself a top hat, and then run across the street to buy some charges (or whatever). Sometimes the parts were more complicated, though always appropriate. In the above example of the medical mechanised arachnid, you need to have crafted a basic mechanised arachnid for use in that schematic. But that's okay, because in order to have the score to build that medical mechanised arachnid your score in the school of Mechanical would allow you to craft the basic mechanised arachnid.

But you know what? As great all this was, it was totally option. You could, very easily, and quite thoroughlly, play through the game multiple times as multiple different class builds and not once, not ever, touch any of the schools of crafting. After all, there were also fifteen schools of magic to learn, each with five spells, and numerous other skills as well.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Arcanum is my favourite RPG of all time.
Narag
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(02-26-2011, 05:35 PM)
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Really liked FFXI's even though it had so many variables (real or imagined). I enjoyed the penalty upon failure but more importantly the rare HQ equivalent of an item.
WanderingWind
Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
(02-26-2011, 05:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by EatChildren

Arcanum

Yeah. If I had 10 million dollars, I'd use it to fund a new Arcanum.
animlboogy
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(02-26-2011, 05:40 PM)
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Play on a heavily nodded Minecraft server. It turns the game into an MMO.
Torillian
Junior Member
(02-26-2011, 05:47 PM)
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I have to agree with those that said the Atelier series and Mana Khemia. In fact most games by Gust have at least a good crafting system even if it isn't the main focus of the game like Atelier and Mana Khemia. The sheer variety of things you can make in those games because of all the stat changes that can occur while crafting them is very impressive.
EatChildren
Chico is Quiet
(02-26-2011, 05:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by WanderingWind

Yeah. If I had 10 million dollars, I'd use it to fund a new Arcanum.

Its my dream. Its the one IP that I would love, more than anything, to see a sequel to, or even just a remake. It would be an insanely daunting, but to see Arcanum with a little more polish running on a modern 3D engine would be my game of eternity.
Angelus Errare
this looks like one of those Final Fantasy games lionhead always makes
(02-26-2011, 05:49 PM)
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Pinko Marx
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(02-26-2011, 05:50 PM)
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Star Ocean 2
Vagrant Story
Dragon Quest VIII and IX
Confidence Man
360 release: 2005
PS3 release: 2007
I need the reminder.
(02-26-2011, 05:54 PM)
The idea that a crafting system has to be "fun" in order to justify itself is silly.
WanderingWind
Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
(02-26-2011, 05:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by EatChildren

Its my dream. Its the one IP that I would love, more than anything, to see a sequel to, or even just a remake. It would be an insanely daunting, but to see Arcanum with a little more polish running on a modern 3D engine would be my game of eternity.

The world it created was amazing, even if the gameplay was damn near broken. Science! Magic! Victorian fashion! Ogres! Bank robberies!

All in the first 10 minutes. Also, lots and lots of death.
Haunted
(02-26-2011, 06:01 PM)
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I think Minecraft of all games actually has something going there with its dependance on patterns.

Getting maximum (and logical) usage out of a limited pool of materials.

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