What is a Crafting MMO?
Games which allow players to experience a deep level of creation centric content that is non-combat oriented. These are sometimes referred to as professions or trade skills. Players in these MMOs craft their own weapons, armor, consumables, cosmetic equipment, and other items. This always involves gathering materials of some kind. Sometimes this leads the player out into dangerous territory. Often times, especially for lower end materials, there are some safe spaces. Games with more advanced markets allow adventurers to sell dangerous-to-get goods to crafters. Finally, these materials are then converted into refined materials or combined to produce advanced equipment.
Although most MMORPGs now have a crafting component of some sort, not all of them are very well fleshed out. Those who enjoy this aspect of their online gaming will see often see games that advertise crafting as a major component. Then after playing them, disappointment sets in either because the equipment is relatively weak compared to questing/adventuring or that there is very little customization options. It’s pretty easy to generate a standard system where players just generate bigger numbers over time. It’s a lot more difficult to create a system where players can really engage in crafting for a long period of time and feel rewarded for doing so.
Thus, we have created this list of crafting MMO games. All of these titles rate the ability of creating one’s own gear and items as a key feature. The core design of the gameplay is integrated around personalized equipment creation. This has many potential implications. For instance, a true player driven economy may arise. In these, players will set prices for items instead of the developers. Players will essentially stay in charge of what is rare and what is not, though developers can limit materials to change that. This adds an important non-combat skill to players who like MMORPGs but don’t like the combat as much.
With that said, not every crafting MMO offers such a deep economy. The primary factor we look at is whether crafted gear is customizable and if it is competitive with top end loot from adventuring. A lot of the weaknesses in MMOs for crafters is that raid loot flat out beats crafted gear. Ultimately, this can leave players feeling like their dedication to crafting is wasted. Thus, we created this category so that players who enjoy crafting can have access to a solid list of titles to fulfill their needs.
Through rebalancing and patching, situations can change where a game’s focus shifts. This can also be true for what was once a great crafting MMO. Item strengths will be shifted around and a chosen profession can be completely nerfed. If that does happen, feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to change category tags for games to reflect changes we may have missed.