MEAD: The Evolution of RIFT's Crafting
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
I don’t often get the chance to express my opinion on things in RIFT. Sure, there are little comments here and there. Squeeing over the newest and latest thing but I never get to just give the article of the week over to my thoughts, feelings and desires. There is of course a very simple reason for this. Trion releases too much awesomeness for me to talk about. But this time! This time I’m ahead of the game. I’ve already talked about all the major points of 1.9 which just came out this week. And there hasn’t been anything new about Storm Legion. So I’m going to talk about my favorite past time in RIFT, crafting.
From the moment I started playing RIFT over a year ago I’ve been addicted to crafting. In theory you’re supposed to slowly level your skill as you level your character. With the resources you need being available at just the right time. It didn’t work that way for me though. I’d finish one crafting level then immediately move on to the next. Even when I didn’t have the supplies to do so. In that case I’d buy them. It was expensive. Took me more than a year to get my first 100 platinum. And that only happened because I stopped buying crafting supplies and started selling artifacts on a very regular basis. But I loved crafting. I spent hours in the Manufactory making things, breaking them down then making more things.
But eventually I hit a point. A point where crafting wasn’t important anymore. Sure, I did my daily crafting quests from time to time. And I’d join in on a Crafting Rift group maybe once a week. But crafting wasn’t important anymore. I got my things I wanted. I wasn’t making any money off it so why continue? And then, like the Trion devs on high heard my cries of sorrow, new recipes were released. And they were purple and people were asking for them. They even came with new, very expensive materials which could only be made on a timer. And for a while getting everything gathered was great. But once again, that rut was back. While crafted items have always been very good and second only to planar gear which is difficult to get, there would always come a time when crafting wasn’t needed anymore, for a short time at least. Then came fishing and survivalist. And while there isn’t any money to be made there, since everyone and their Tartagon is doing it there is still a ton of fun to be had.
I don’t even mind sitting around in zones that I’ve outleveled already just to get that one last rare fish I need for the achievement. I could fish for days. It's more of a lifestyle than an art. I’m taking my time with fishing. I haven’t levelled it very far yet and that’s ok. But that isn’t enough to make me feel like crafting is important and something that is included in all things. That’s where the new orange armor comes in. Players do a dungeon, get the materials for this new spiffy armor which can only be crafted by the people who have really put the time in. It creates a bit of a community between the raiders and the crafters. But that still left us out of touch with the pvpers. That’s changed now as well!
1.9 gave us Conquest. The three faction pvp has more than just stabbing the enemy and taking control points. Players can craft buffs for allies. If you want you never even have to raise a weapon to the enemy. You can just stand there making things for your side. Crafters are slowly being dragged out away from the forges and into the rest of the world. They’re no longer the redheaded stepchild who never sees the light of day and isn’t really all that important past a certain point.
Storm Legion will be the ultimate step in bringing crafting to the community. As we saw in the E3 live feed there are going to be areas in the new parts of the world which will only be accessible with the help of raids and tons of people. Instead of crafting rifts, which only really matter to other crafters, there will be colossi raids formed by crafters. And everyone will want to take part. Partly because its new and shiny. But also because it is fun and has a little something for everyone. When it has become old news though, crafters will still be forming those raids, they’ll still want access to those materials. And that will almost force them to become leaders. And that isn’t a bad thing. Not at all. We crafters have an important role to play in Telara. And as time goes on our role is becoming more and more important. A crafter’s job is never done. There will always be something new on the horizon. I love crafting just as much now as I ever have. Though I admit I love doing crafting rifts much more than doing any actual crafting anymore. I’m very excited for the future of crafting. As much as I am for the future of all of RIFT.