Crafting: The Voice of Magic
4/5 on the Bat Shit Crazy Meter
Get the popcorn out, crafting lovers: this section’s all for you. For those of you who’ve yet to check in with Camelot Unchained, here’s the low down: crafters will have their own class. Yes, we’re talking a full-fledged class at character selection, with a focus not on combat but on creating equipment, materials, and more for their realm. This class will be considered a “pure” crafter, able to play full time without an additional support character. They will be a huge boon in RvR, not just sitting in cities hawking their wares. Simple and quick repairing and crafting – called “popcorn” crafting by City State – will be available for all characters, but only crafters will have a full selection of goodies to create. There also won’t be an auction house, meaning players will have to actually interact to buy, sell, and trade goods.
Oh, and since this is a PvE game? Crafters will be the suppliers of their realm in a quite literal sense. They will supply everything from basic equipment to traps, siege equipment, turrets, and more. This may be cause for panic, but there are a few reassurances we’ve been given. Players will be able to place bounties for large item orders, in a similar way they might set a bounty on another player’s head, to seek out a crafter for their needs. New player crafters will be supplied some items to help them get started, and will not be so out of place among higher level crafters that they sit around feeling useless. Underpowered realms may also find themselves in the favor of their King, being granted some basic equipment to help keep them on the battlefield.
Combatant classes will be able to do a moderate amount of “popcorn” crafting, enough to make them somewhat self-sufficient on their own. They will be able to do minor repairs, fletch their own arrows, and create minor useful supplies. They will also be able to gather, harvest, and mine on a limited basis, primarily restricted to common materials that they find as they explore and battle. Meanwhile, crafters will have the ability to repair heavy damage to equipment, create better equipment, and gather or harvest rarer materials in addition to common materials. Crafters will also be able to use souls captured in battle to make rare and powerful items. Cooperation is encouraged between crafters and combatants in multiple ways, and players who bring crafters gifts of the materials they find on their own will certainly be appreciated.
Speaking of gathering and harvesting, characters will be able to gather materials in a few ways. Players can find materials in unowned fields, those their realm has claim to, and enemy fields. Characters will also be granted the opportunity to claim their own fields for harvesting, though combatants will have smaller fields than crafters. Teams and guilds may also set up fields with shared permissions to help assist each other in collecting materials. Items will also be able to be recycled, even when destroyed, and materials may also be scavenged from non-player creatures.
Crafters will be pleased to find a few major deviations from the MMO crafting norm in Camelot Unchained’s system. To start with, all crafters will have their own personal and customizable crafting device, called the Vox Magus. Based on a pipe organ, this device allows crafters to combine materials and components in an interactive way to create new items. A crafter will sit down at their Vox Magus – which progresses with its player – to use sound and magic to manipulate the materials they place inside. This won’t require actual music knowledge, of course (sorry musicians!), but it will result in what should be an enjoyable, unique experience for each item crafted.
The Vox Magus is a portable item, able to be used in a house, town, or other area, and will be displayed to other players as a crafter works, offering quite a show for a customer. They can also be used by multiple crafters – that is, additional crafters can assist a primary crafter in speeding up the crafting process and adding additional power to the created item.
Another key deviation – though we’re curious just how it will exactly be implemented – is a change in how crafting experience is gained and items are created. We’re all used to, by now, the standard system which requires often reproducing the same useless item over and over again to gain a few points of skill. That just isn’t fun though, CSE believes, and so they’re tossing the idea out the window and instead making item crafting always rewarding and always time consuming. Crafters will also be limited in how much they can craft in a limited time frame, in the same way mages are limited by their available casting pool, in order to ensure that crafting time is rewarding.
Because the game uses encumbrances, and crafters will be a bit squishy, there’s another feature in place for crafters: caravans. These travelling caravans will be able to transport goods from one area to another in the realm, helping supply the front line of battle. This isn’t Silk Road’s caravan system, though, and merchants will choose when to ship their caravans, not wait for a predestined time slot. As the realms are all contested, of course, players will be encouraged to hire combatants to work as guards to protect the shipment as it moves. Successful shipments not only deliver orders, but are reported to the realm’s King who will then reward players bonuses for their work.
This is a pretty promising crafting system design, especially since it not only caters to those players who enjoy crafting, but to those who want to enjoy crafting but have been turned off by the drudgery most MMOs have been delivering for years. However, the entire presentation felt a bit rushed, and full of blank concepts that simply haven’t been fully developed yet. The crucial question of “What do crafters do with their downtime?” simply wasn’t answered, and so we’re missing a full picture of exactly how crafters build structures, create items, spend their time, and influence the world. While we feel the general idea is pretty ground-breaking, the lack of clarity in its implementation holds us back from giving it a full “bat shit crazy” score.