Ok, EQ2 doesn’t have a very stellar tradeskill system, in fact looking at most of the recent systems coming out in new games it seems to me as if everyone has just kind of given up on tradeskills and is resigned to just let it be “grind grind grind yer way to the cap.”
This system is so inherently wrong that it makes no one actually want to do it, even if the reward is worth the effort of it (Some games put in some of the best loot in the game into their tradeskills). EQ2 tried to make the system a little more interesting by putting in a few tradeskill arts which were supposed to add some timing and strategy to the system, but in the end it just made the system slightly easier to get the best quality stuff than I am sure the designers intended. It is also not that much more interesting than any other system ever was, the button pressing doesn’t even seem to prevent macroing much as people seem to ignore almost completely the little bonus boxes.
With that being said, I thought I’d come up with a few simple ideas to help EQ2’s system in particular. A lot of these ideas would offer very little new tech and would likely just involve the insertion of a small amount of code.
The first idea is to change rares so that they are about 10% more difficult to make, but offer about 10% more xp from the craft. This does a couple things, it makes sure the high quality stuff is no longer guaranteed, and it also makes it so that the player is rewarded with more xp for his efforts, making spending that rare harvest more worth it just to gain the xp. It also means less grind, less grind = good.
To that end, they need to institute it so that you gain xp from stuff that has greyed out to you. The reason for this is that right now there is little reason for a 60 to make level 20 items unless it is for the cash, and to be honest it is likely cheaper to get a level 20 to make 20 items than a 60 due to the lack of xp. Even if the xp isn’t great, offering a small chunk of xp for helping a friend would go a long way to grow a stronger sense of community, and also take away some of the grind. I mean no one is going to make this stuff just for the xp, it would be a lot more natural, someone needs help, you help and get xp for the effort.
Next a slight overhaul in the rare spells. This may be slightly controversial. I suggest a tiered system to adepts like we currently see for apprentice spells. This would mean that if you only complete the first bar you get adept2, second and third bars would get adept3, and all four bars would get adept4. They did this to add app4s a long time ago, they can easily put in the code for adept4s too. I could see this as controversial because it would waste a lot of rares, a LOT of them. Because people wouldn’t want anything but adept 4s, they wouldn’t buy 3s and people would just toss the 3s, and even get angry if the crafter fails to get a 4. This would also lessen the need for masters which again may upset people but at the same time may help alot of others.
Lastly new secondary tradeskills. I first would like to see yet another revision to some of the tradeskill items to become more adornment like. What I mean by this is that some items are actually pretty cool in tinkering, however they take the form of armor that some can’t wear, and at best is really bad for those who can. The whole purpose of the item is for the effect, which is fine but it’d be nice if the ability could just be added to an existing piece of equipment somehow. Tinkering would still have a ton of items that wouldn’t require this adornment system, but this would work better I think than how they currently are. I also think they need to re-add the rares into tinkering. But outside these I actually like the old secondary tradeskills.
For new ones, I’d like to see an appearance secondary skill. This skill would allow a crafter to apply a change in appearance to weapons, clothes and armor. They might even be able to do this so you can have 2 skills, one deals with physical appearance, the other deals with color, or put em both in the same thing. But the basic idea is that you could swap out the appearance of an armor with something else if you wish. This would mean that any armor could look any way you want. And you could also do color changes in the same way, offering players a truly customizable look and feel to their armorsets and weapons.
Lastly, since these suggestions include more rares needed in order to keep it going. I think that one of two things needs to occur. 1) slightly increase rare drop rates or have new harvesting tools that increase rare harvest chances or 2) Add new difficult tradeskill quests that require some sort of time, travel, and maybe instanced dungeuns of some sort that have rewards of rares (maybe even 24 hour timers on the quest or what not, or access quests to get to special mines that have a much higher chance at dropping rares, something to draw more interest for tradeskilling).