To Craft or Not to Craft?

Recently on Virtual Bastion, I posed an age-old query, one that, like it’s Shakespearean influence, may never have a true answer. To craft or not to craft? That is the question.


Last week, my new favorite obsession on the PS4, Neverwinter, received a significant update, which included a complete overhaul of its crafting system. Prior to the update, in-game crafting was, well…in my mind, it was perfectly fine, though some might call it dull. Crafting was a mostly passive experience. In the game, you simply navigated to your “Professions” page, chose a profession (i.e. leatherworking, tailoring, alchemy) to upgrade, hired certain professionals (which could also be obtained through some quests), and then “sent them off” on any number of available tasks, which could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Once the tasks were complete, a notification popped up, and you could then choose to re-assign tasks or not. Most came with rewards of small amounts of XP and/or gold, as well as armor or weapons or other resources, depending on the task. It was simple system…

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  1. […] To Craft or Not to Craft? – The crafting system, much like quick-time events, are one of those things that got copied endlessly once it caught on. I don’t think they’re nearly as bad as quick-time events, though I can understand why others are sick of them, and I know how tedious they can get. Reading Cary’s take on them across many different games from The Last of Us to Breath of the Wild was fascinating. […]


  2. The crafting system is pretty tired by this point, but I think Breath of the Wild made it work because you get a lot of the materials you need simply exploring and playing the game normally. I remember only really having to go out of my way to get anything important a few times, and it was never a real hassle.

    With Skyrim, I think I too ended up using the Alchemy system a few times in the beginning of the game only to abandon it later when the game practically throws health potions your way.

    With The Last of Us, I don’t really think the crafting system complements the way Naughty Dog makes their game. It’s markedly faster-paced than a standard survival horror, yet slower-paced than a typical action title, and I feel the crafting system only makes this problem worse.

    All in all, if the developers can make it work, they should, but they need to know how to prevent it from becoming busywork.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, because that’s certainly how it feels in Neverwinter. It also feels very separate from the rest of the game.

      I always try to make an effort with any crafting system, but I never seem to have the patience to “get good” at it. I would say that Breath of the Wild may be the only exception, because you’re right, it’s extremely well-integrated into the gameplay. Folks should take a lesson from that.

      Liked by 1 person

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