The latest update hints at a few ideas about Crafting in the New World – Blacksmithing, Cooking, Tailoring, Alchemy, and Carpentry. There will also be Farming, but that won’t specifically be a skill, but more along the lines of general knowledge that anyone can apply. Ok, sounds interesting, but how is this going to play out?

To be honest, I like the crafting in Minecraft (and so does Richard Garriott). I’ve spent days digging underground looking for materials, harvesting trees, making greenhouses so I can grow wheat and setting up tree farms. That is my main focus for Minecraft. I like getting those materials and searching through the landscape to find ore deposits then bringing them back to my lair and crafting weapons, armor and items. That alone is great fun and like I said, I’ve spent hours and days doing that.

But how will that play into an adventures game where there are evil forces at work laying siege to towns while they search for some mystical artifact? Working over your crops for weeks on end, or establishing tree farms, or building fish hatcheries doesn’t seem on the surface to help expedite vanquishing evil.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea and can’t wait to see it in action, but these two things sort of seem contradictory to each other. Going back to Minecraft, you search for resources, make weapons, lie in wait until dark then go slay a Creeper. But the Creeper isn’t actually smashing houses to the ground like Godzilla. For the most part, he’s harmless. How different would the game be if the Creeper was out smashing down houses or ripping up rail lines or punching holes in your castle wall? Could you really afford the time to harvest those materials and then wait until dark?

I’m really curious to see how this works together. It sounds great for your post-victory life where you buy a house, build your fence and raise some crops. Mind you, I never saw Ultima Online so I don’t know how this played out in that game. Perhaps this is an extension to everything Garriott learned from that game. I like the adventure and crafting idea, they just seem at opposite ends of the playing spectrum to me.

Read the full update here:
Update 20: An Interview with Warren Spector, a Quest and CRAFTING

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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