而对于开发者来说，锻造道具应该能够有效地说服玩家愿意花费他们辛苦所得的货币。这时候他们就需要想办法保持锻造产品与游戏掉落道具之间的平衡。一大策略 便是在锻造中包含非装备性质的选项。如锻造一些能够消耗的物品，如药剂，以确保需求的稳定，以及强化装备威力的功能，如宝石或者能够让锻造者提升道具（游 戏邦注：可同时适用于游戏掉落道具、玩家自己锻造的道具）等。按照这种方法，获得最佳装备的角色便能够同时地利用两种游戏玩法的优势。
The Role of Crafting (Part I)
In this article, game designer Brendon Trombley looks at the various ways crafting adds to player experience in MMOs and how developers can use an understanding of these roles to build better crafting systems.
Since early on, crafting has been a major staple in the design of MMORPGs. Without some sort of crafting system, most online worlds would seem empty, nothing more than hack’n'slash mechanics wrapped around a leveling curve. Yet, for such a peaceful pastime, crafting has a sordid history. Past games have been fraught with resource grinds, wasted components, forced participation in crafting systems, useless recipes, and sadly, sometimes even useless tradeskills entirely.
Crafting can even be a source of strain between player and developer. If the balance of power between player-created and dropped items isn’t carefully calibrated, crafters and non-crafters can feel useless and neglected compared to the other and will blame the developer.
How can all this strife be avoided? A source of conflict is that crafting’s role for developers can differ greatly from its role for players. Reducing this conflict by addressing the needs of both parties is a good step towards a designing a successful crafting system.
So what’s the role of crafting for players?
It breaks up the grind
This is probably the single most important aspect for players. They crave variety, and if they get bored with fighting monsters all day and don’t have anything else to do, they might as well just log out. Crafting offers a satisfying alternate activity to the regular pattern of kill-loot-kill by giving them a separate form of character advancement.
Keeping this in mind, developers should keep crafting accessible to all players. That means allowing players to take both combat and crafting skills without negatively impacting each other. Players shouldn’t have to choose between the two. Crafting should also be kept engaging and include interesting choices, whether in the selection of materials, or the choice of product to make. No one wants to replace a grind with an even more tedious grind.
It’s a source of items and cash
Players derive a great source of satisfaction earning a tidy profit from the items they personally created. Even better, if they can personally use the items, they get to feel self-reliant seeing their own efforts augment their combat skills.
For developers, this means of course that crafted items must be useful to convince players to spend their hard-earned cash on them. This is where the tricky balance must be struck between crafting and dropped items. A great strategy is to include non-equipment niches in crafting. For instance, crafted consumables like potions ensure a steady demand, and equipment augments such as slot gems or enchantments allow crafters to increase the power of items, dropped or crafted. In this way, the best-equipped character is one who has taken advantage of both styles of play.
It appeals to constructive and social play styles
Some players don’t find rampaging around the world, destroying, killing, and pillaging everything they encounter terribly fun. Some would much rather hang out in cities, socialize, and create cool items. They enjoy the interdependency and community that crafting promotes, sharing or creating materials with their guildmates and friends.
These players are an important part of the player base, and retaining them should be prioritized properly. Developers should keep them in mind by creating a crafting system that is engaging and fun, but not demanding of all the player’s focus. Some systems have included real-time combat-like actions to replace boring progress bars. This could be a mistake, because it forces the player to stop socializing while they craft. Instead, crafting should be more cerebral, taken at one’s own pace. The interesting action should happen before the player clicks ‘create’, such as in the choosing and collecting of specific resources, materials, or recipes to use.
It creates greater customization
This is a feature of crafting that can appeal to different player types in different ways. For those interested in character-building, taking a tradeskill is a way to further differentiate their characters. For social players, making decorative items allows them to tailor the appearance of their characters and environments. For the combat strategists, the ability to customize their equipment allows them to maximize their stats and effectiveness in battle.
Fostering customization is a facet that is often neglected by developers, being as it tends to come with extra overhead cost. However, the loss of the potential benefits should not be taken lightly. When crafters can tailor the stats or appearance of their items, it greatly increases their engagement in the activity. Dropped items, by their nature, come as they are. When recipes also have locked-in stats, it seems to be a missed opportunity to differentiate those items from drops.（source:gamedesignaspect）
So what’s the role of crafting for developers?
It adds legitimacy to the game
It’s a sad fact that many developers include crafting in their game simply because they are expected to by the outside world. This leads to poorly designed systems that are added seemingly as an afterthought and can end up dragging the game down.
When designing in a genre where player retention is vitally important, developers should think carefully about their audience while considering crafting systems. If the game is meant to appeal to a specific player type, for instance casual or combat-oriented players, it may be possible to leave out crafting but include features that create similar benefits. Otherwise, if it’s decided that including crafting is indeed required, it should have the proper attention and budget allocated to it or players won’t use it, making it a wasted effort.
It gets players to spend more time playing
The goal of any system in an MMO should be to engage players and keep them willing to play the game over a long period of time. Crafting offers a form of character advancement that, when combined with combat advancement, creates plenty of motivation to spend time in the game.
When taken too far, this concept may lead to the addition of artificial time-sinks to crafting systems. Unnecessary grinding, long progress bars, and harsh penalties for failure may require the player to spend more time crafting, but at the cost of increased player frustration. Too much frustration, and there’s a chance they will stop the activity entirely. Avoid this by ensuring there’s always a sense of progress for the player. Perhaps the items they grind are ingredients for recipes down the line or components for other tradeskills. Perhaps advancement is based on experience rather than random skill-point increases.
It creates interdependency between players
MMOs, being multiplayer games, should of course include mechanics that foster player interaction and cooperation. Crafting systems are an effective way to do this. They allow players to create and enhance items for others, and promote the sharing of resources and materials.
A great way to create more cooperation between players is to include recipes with rare dropped components or ingredients crafted from other tradeskills. However, these recipes should be special exceptions that produce extra-useful items. Don’t require too much collaboration for basic items and especially not for regular advancement in the skill, or players will become frustrated at the extra time and money costs.
It promotes a strong economy
A strong economy increases player engagement and, if the developer so desires, can be a source of income if real-money trading of in-game currency is allowed. Crafting is a major source of trade between players. Additionally, it creates value in all those skins, fangs, gems, and other drops that would otherwise be merchant fodder. Merchant-bought components can help remove currency from a mostly positive-sum money system, reducing inflation.
Use crafting to promote the economy by first and foremost making the results of recipes worthwhile for all kinds of players. Then, create a variety of sources for ingredients: merchants, drops (rare and common), resource nodes, and other recipes. Create demand by designing ingredients to be useful in multiple recipes, and maximize the number of drops that are useful in at least one recipe.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the ways to create a successful crafting system. Nor should all the tips here be included in the same game. Developers should instead prioritize their goals while thinking carefully about the goals of their audience. That way, they can craft a system that satisfies the needs of everyone as best they can, creating a stronger game in the end.（source:gamedesignaspect）