Funcom has made some of my favorite games, but they remind me a little of Rockstar… meaning, “let’s take this great idea, start coding it so it seems fun… and then stop short of every single thing that would make this something the player would want to stick with.”
To others I’ll say this…
Yes, this is a survival game. But when we have NPC specialists we can (should be able to) consult, we should be able to unlock a UI or interface that let’s us look for a recipe that is logically sorted, and optimized for finding that recipe from a list, context or visual, and begin the crafting process.
We are NOT cavemen/women, unlearned and unintelligent. Our characters have some level of smarts and quite possibly even education. We can figure out that a stone attached to a stick can make a club, or a weapon. When it gets more complicated than that, we still have some concept of “building” things. Stack enough rocks in one spot and you have a foundation. Great! But Funcom wants it to be more complicated than that, which is GREAT! But why must I “quess”? That is not survival, not does a survival game it make.
I have no issues with the stumbling in the dark approach to discover recipes, but the interface should be a place to help us players DO things. If I have learned the recipe, then I should both be able to sort my recipes into categories, and sub-categories, and once I locate it in the interface, it should show me what I need to craft. OR tell me which crafting station to assemble it at. But by throwing every single recipe into a box, and making us search visually for the right icon, and then NOT show us what we need to complete that recipe is just silly, frustrating, and what drives all but the absolute hardcore players… away.
Hey… I did “learn” the recipe right?
How about a feat then, that we can purchase, that lets us sort our lists out. My character may or may not know how to read, who knows. But I bet he can sketch or draw, and use that ability to keep track of what to use, or where to go, or what goes with what to make a thing.
Hell, even the Feat section is totally confusing and non-intuitive. You want to make a “thing” well, you will need a skill. Where is that skill you ask? Go click on every single icon until you see the icon that this icon is a part of. Oh wait, that icon you were looking for is in a different section under “more icons” – good luck!
Short version: The crafting system is not bad, but the information to guide us, and the user interface we have been given is downright shameful. The UI lacks a tremendous amount of information. I think most players would agree. And not just about the crafting system, but that is for another post/rant.
For those that think I am asking for too much information, and that the game does not need to provide a more intuitive UI… well, some of us WANT more info. For those that want less, then Funcom can put in an option to turn OFF the extra info. Let the player decide what is too much or too little.