It is my goal to spend some time evaluating all of the crating professions of the upcoming MMO Crowfall. The unreleased title from ArtCraft Entertainment is in its pre-alpha testing where a mix of PvP-centric players are testing alongside deep meta-game players who focus on testing crafting and gathering. (I spend a lot of my time avoiding the first group currently) I discussed Necromancy as a Crowfall profession previously, and if you have not had a chance to look into its ghoulish fun I encourage you to take a peek. But today we cover what I think could be the most difficult profession in Crowfall … Runemaking.
What makes a profession difficult? There are a lot of possible answers to that question. For instance, to be considered the master of your profession you must have the best recipes, but what happens when the recipes are rare world drops? In Vanilla World of Warcraft I can’t remember how many times I climbed that dumb tower in Western Plaguelands to kill that spellbinder. But if you wanted to be considered an Enchanter that could offer the best enchants you had to be able to offer Crusader.
In Crowfall all the recipes are only available to you if you decide to spend the training on it. But here is where any player thinking of playing a crafter hits their first real ‘choice’, the time spent costs you time you could have spent on some other profession, some other gathering option or straight up combat training. So to be a crafter in Crowfall means you have decided to sacrifice some survivability and some combat ability compared to other players.
What could make Runemaking so difficult?
Reliance on Others
Here is where I get a bit theorycrafter-ish, so please take what I say with a Diet Coke can-sized grain of salt. [Ed. Note: Hopefully not all at once] I have spent hundreds of hours testing crafting in Crowfall and to date Runemaking seems to be the one profession does not have a primary gathering profession that pairs with it. For example:
- Blacksmith – Mining, even though more materials are needed the highest volume of material to accomplish your task seems to be ore.
- Leather-worker – Skinning, a lot of hide is needed along with other refining efforts
- Necromancer – Digging up body parts
To date all of the professions seems to have a clear ‘faucet’ skill to enable you to gather the primary resource you will use…except Runemaking (and to a lesser extent Alchemy). This profession needs copious amounts of wood, ore, stone, blood, etc., so one thing that will make Runemaking more difficult is the reliance on others to get you the materials needed to craft. Crowfall is not a game that will allow you to be good at everything. In fact, there are specific skills that need to be trained to open up the gathering of certain materials. Can you equip an axe and attack a tree? Yes. Will you get much wood from it or any wood of decent quality from it if you are not trained in Logging? No.
Another challenge Runemakers in Crowfall could face is a form of ‘analysis paralysis’, the breadth of what you can create versus what you should create. A Runemaker can create specialized tools for all gathering professions, Specialty Seals used to shift weapons and armor from a Combat focus to a Crafting/Gathering focus and weapon components used by Confessors, Druids and others.
Owning the Holy Grail
To add to the list of impacts the Runemaker will have in Crowfall, recently the section called ‘Discipline Runes’ was added in a patch and the breadth of this profession changed again. If you look closely at the image below we finally see the emergence of two very, very integral parts of the future Crowfall gaming universe: Thralls and Disciplines. What profession is in the mix to allow players to expand their archetype with these very important game mechanics? Runemaking. Do you see where I am headed now?
To date it looks like the Runemaker will be creating the mechanic to customize your and other players’ Archetypes, just like the Necromancer will have the ability to customize a player’s Vessel, but with what I have seen in game and heard from the development team at ArtCraft I am leaning towards this formula for overall impact:
Disciplines >> Vessels
I could be wrong but just look at the example given below. Would gaining a few points in basic attributes trump this?
If you decide to follow the path of Runemaking you will be in high demand, but you will also be in need of a wide range of resources that you will have to find a way to procure. Will it be from robbing the dead bodies of gatherers? Will you find a way to create a barter system with a broad group of gatherers since there’s no official in-game currency? In its current state I find it difficult to imagine the most powerful crafters in game (in both wealth and influence) not having a large section of Runemakers in their midst. In Crowfall‘s current state, it’s my opinion that Runemakers are positioned to be the profession of the rich, both famous and infamous.