I am writing a game, sort of like an mmo, but also with econ sim and all items and resources are player generated. I already can create the map, and seed resources, and create various recipes, and I have, and I will have a small demo finished before next year. But there are some big parts of the game I need input on.
One topic I am particularly interested in is the different crafting skills and their integration.
Now one issues is alchemy and crafting. Potions made by alchemists will have the ability to altar natural resources to make them more useful for various tasks. For instance, certain potions can be used in forging ingots that will later be used in creating weapons and armor. It will give them bonuses to various stats. For instance it would increase their strength, or lower their weight, much like alloys. Certain potions can also be used in the process of crafting an item, say, a sword, to give it a sharper edge. In additions, when enchanting items, one thing you can do is carve words into the weapon to give it affects. Now in general better enchanters can put more power in a word. And better materials can hold more charge. But also, the definition of the characters matters. Usually the metal smith will carve the words in, but you could also use a potion purchased from an alchemist to get a more precise engraving. Because a weapon has a limited amount of this which can be done before damaging its integrity, being more precise means being smaller which means fitting on more magic.
Further, certain professions can affect the total magic capacity of a sword. This is called, aligning the matrix. Potions or magic use in crafting the weapon could arrange its physical characteristics to be more receptive to magic. So a high level alchemist or enchanter could allow you to use a stronger spell on an iron sword than would normally be possible.
A whole bunch of professions in the game have this sort of crafting interaction. These sorts of things benefit capital, like plows or picks or hammers as well as weapons or armor. Magic can affect the power of potions, and vice versa. Magic or potions can cause crops to grow faster, and possibly magic can be used to breed new plants, although this is somewhat iffy.
These sorts of things can allow multiple classes to have better gear in questing, for instance a player with better metal craft can use better metals and forge superior weapons, but if you have lower metal crafting but high level alchemy or magic, you could make equipment of comparable quality.
Additionally various classes would be able to make cosmetic changes to items, like coloring metal or wood, and other such things.
I know many people would consider this to be incredibly complicated to code, but I am pretty sure I know how to do it without spending a lot of time.
What I am more concerned with is the player reaction. I know players love to customize, and lots of min maxers would be excited about all the ways to improve a weapon and that they can play lots of different types of characters without harming their ability to craft or quest or what not. But for casual players, I think it might be confusing to have all these options and also, players willing to spend a lot of time in game could produce vastly superior items.
I really would enjoy a game where this is possible obviously, or I wouldn't be making the game, but what do you guys think about this kind of thing?