The idea of making something in a video game has been in role playing games (RPG’s) for a long time. The purpose of crafting is so your character could able to make something that is better then what can be purchased at a store. While this was commonplace in early RPG’s, games have gone away from this philosophy. Crafting is still fun, but it has become unnecessary in a lot of games.
Crafting, meaning that the player gathers materials and then combines them all together to make something better, is a standard in games. In the Final Fantasy games, the player kills creatures to get the correct materials to make the weapons that they want. In Skyrim, the player must get ore, either by mining or purchasing it, as well as leather in order to make just about any piece of armor or weapon. World of Warcraft, which is one of the largest games that involves crafting functions similar to the other two games, the player gathers materials and then builds the items that they want.
The best games make crafting relevant, either by making it a viable money source, or making the created items better then what can be purchased from the stores. World of Warcraft keeps crafting relevant by making it a money source, while Final Fantasy has the best weapons be created ones. Skyrim does a little bit of both: the player can create weapons that can be sold for a lot, whereas if they upgrade the weapons, they can be super powerful.
While crafting can be a fun and powerful tool for some games, it can bring down others. For example, if the gathering of materials takes too long, then some people will not put in the energy to do it. On the other hand, if the materials are too easy to get, then crafting could be overpowered. While being overpowered can be fun, it does get old. The other side of the convenience coin is when the weapons are underpowered. When crafted weapons are underpowered, then players won’t even bother with crafting anything. When players don’t touch something the developer has put into the game then the question is asked, why did they even put it in the game?
There will never be a perfect crafting system. It won’t happen for a couple of reasons; first, everyone wants to see something different in a system. Second, the developer has to choose how powerful they want to make the player. If the character is a super being then they will be able to make super weapons. However, this would mean that the crafting system should be more complex to make it harder for the player to become overpowered. Lastly, if the player is just a normal person, then wouldn’t it make sense that a store would have better stuff then what the character would make? There will never be a perfect system. There will be systems that work with each individual game, but not a universal system that will work for every game.
Crafting is an integral part of RPG’s; it allows the player to get access to money or good weapons. However, crafting needs to be balanced. If crafting is too strong the game will be broken. If crafting is too weak, then it will never be used. There will be no universal method for crafting, because ever game is different, but almost every RPG needs some sort of crafting system.