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What Happened to Crafting?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heyo! You, armorsmith! You, weaponsmith! Cancel my order, I just got this epic second-age weapon off an orc, and this awesome armor from some deep, dark, dank place in Moria. Your stuff is crap.

The other day I commissioned a level 58 critted halberd from one of my kinmates. Why? Actually, the DPS rating is a lot better than the level 57 third age "legendary" I currently have, despite the almost perfect legacies and some tier 6 runes. I also want an alternative damage type weapon for when I might go back to places like Sarnur or Haudh Iarchith with mobs that require certain damage types for effective combat. As an aside, I'm curious as to what happened to that idea and why it doesn't play a more active roll in the legendary weapon system.

Anyhow, I'll be getting a Peerless Thain's Halberd for a backup weapon in these unique situations. I would have preferred a weapon with light damage, such as the Mirrored Ancient Steel Halberd I once had before legendaries came about, but alas, the new critted crafted weapons don't have that option. It's either Westernese like the Halberd, Ancient Dwarf-Make, or Beleriand. That means I'll probably commission a Peerless Thain's Greatsword and Peerless Thain's Great Axe at some point to have my bases covered. Again, why? Well, those special circumstances, but mostly because I can. And I don't want to believe that crafted weapons and armor is completely useless.

Actually, the crafted armor is useless to me. I've got a full set of the Captain gear acquired from the instances, bought from the AH before said armor was Bind on Acquire. I'm a bit disappointed that crafted armor is no longer "comparable" to the epic sets gained through group play. Certainly the Mirrored Armor wasn't as good as the Rift Armor, but it still was a viable set for combat. With the new enemy types and behaviors in Moria, this became less true. And you could run the Rift in a set of Mirrored Armor just fine, but you cannot run the Watcher raid in crafted gear. No, you'll be dread-killed. You need the best armor in the game, the radiance gear acquired from not just running all 6 instance and winning the roll, but doing so in hard mode.

I'd like to see crafted gear become viable again. One of the big pushes with LOTRO was to make crafted items useful, and equalizing them with raid gear was exactly how to do it. They weren't perfectly equal - raid gear was marginally better. But it worked for who played what type of content. The more "hard core" players went raiding and therefore cared more about getting the best of the best gear, even if it wasn't massively better than the crafted gear. The more casual players went after the crafted gear because it was easier to gain without grouping. And they could deal with it being slightly less than the best because it would still function in whatever activity they wanted to do, even if they decided to do a casual raid run, just for kicks.

Bring back the crafted gear market. Show our hard working laborers that their product is important. Let's acquire crafted gear because it's useful, not just for the heck of it like me.

2 Responses to "What Happened to Crafting?"

Scott Says:

I've always been very casual about crafting but I always appreciated that the SoA game had the crafted stuff pretty much on-par with the best reward gear. I never did bother getting a full Rift set, it just wasn't necessary. Sure, the shadow resistance was nice, but it wasn't required, and honestly crafted gear was probably better while not in the Rift (or some other heavy shadow situation).

We could sort of see this coming even as the SoA game advanced, though. Some books added gear sets. Currently, I'll check with armour crafters, etc. into the 30's then there's the 3-piece gear sets from the Trollshaws and the jewel set from Evendim. Shortly after that is the Fem set from Angmar and two different sets of jewelry as well.

For casters back then, getting kindred reputation in Forochel gained them the crafted Hoary Arochs Robe, which in many situations was superior to the Rift robe. Best caster robe in the game, hands down unless you specifically *needed* that shadow resist from the Rift robe.

The MoM game pretty much invalidated weaponsmithing; I can't think of a single good reason to bother obtaining all the metals to grind through the final two tiers now since so-called Legendary weapons drop so often.

Maybe it's ok that the Watcher is considered (at the current level cap anyway) *the* top-tier raid, and thus requires the top-tier raid gear. Maybe it isn't. But if that's the case, I can't help but believe they'd have been better releasing the pre-Watcher "turtle raid" with Moria and saving the Watcher for later rather than release them in reverse order like they did.

Then again it's not ok that they left the instances broken for so long. If they'd fixed them from the get-go, I doubt 80% of the guilds would be totally geared out like they are now.

At this point, I don't even know that it can be fixed. The very first expansion has first-age legendary weapons? What the hell? Where does that leave us to go? You guessed it: legendary armour we get to level up, putting the final nail in the armour crafting coffin.

At least for now, scholars, cooks and jewelers are still useful and can even sell their wares.

Jaxom92 Says:

Yeah, thank goodness I'm a yeoman huh? Who knew the easiest, and arguably most useless crafting profession could sell their wares better than weaponsmiths.