I also know people who seem to really enjoy it, it gives a different angle to the game, something that other people may enjoy vs the populous that posts. I think a bit more clairity on the whole system from the get go would have been the best set, what starting skills lead to what outcomes, and a reverse process - I want this end item, where do i start. though it looks like it will be used to power up equipment the good part is its ingame gold, which gives balance back to the non $ spenders. Also the great thing I see with this is the abitly to move bouses from one item to another, think of all the gold you'd spent on +ing and bonusing a set item that youve outgrown and can not sell.
just my 2 cents
Could you perhaps encourage some more of these players who enjoy the Professions system to post here? We've heard from maybe one or two of you, but I think it would be helpful to hear more opinions on what the system does *right* (we've already got plenty of opinions on what it does wrong, of course).
Speaking of what the system does right, I *do* like the idea behind Enchant/Soul Shifts. Those are by far the most appealing parts of the system, IMO (as long as they are restricted properly), b/c they'll probably save players money in the long run and encourage more new players to attempt to enchant or soulcraft their gear to higher levels/grades. I think one of the biggest factors that was preventing our more casual crowd from getting into the competitive aspect of the game was the fact that (before Professions) they would have to constantly re-apply all efforts to upgrade their gear each time they acquired something new and better, while the Enchant/Soul Shift system allows them to recycle all the hard work (and money/IM points) they poured into upgrading their old gear. Since they can do that, they're more likely to try upgrading to the highest possible levels (+16-20, Artifact-Legend), which should help get more players involved in the competition in the long run. I'm sure it's also a relief to many as not everyone can afford to repeatedly upgrade new and better equipment as it arrives -- to fully upgrade a brand new weapon or set of armor every few months would become very costly over time, especially when you consider that many players like to maintain multiple characters with at least decent gear.
I'm not of the mind that Professions does *everything* wrong. There are some good ideas, as I just noted. I just think the execution is poor, since the whole system is rather boring and kind of discourages players from actively participating in gameplay.
As for the "I don't mind AFKing all the time b/c I'm busy anyways" argument, that may be true for a minority of players, but I think it's a safe bet that the vast majority of players would prefer something more engaging -- most players who log into a game do it because they want to *play* the game, not leave it running in the background while they go find something else to do (in that case, why bother playing at all?). And sure, you can argue that Professions is "optional," but why design a huge new system for the game if it's only going to be used by the minority, and then only b/c they have no time for the game in the first place? It just doesn't make any sense -- especially when you consider the fact that there are so many players already who are growing bored with the game (mostly due to a lack of meaty end-game content, which is alarming considering how quickly one can reach the end-game in this game). A highly repetitive, mindless system like the current Professions one is *not* what the game needed right now. It had the right intentions -- give players of all levels something to do that will keep them busy for months and months -- but if it accomplishes that goal by pushing players toward "AFK-play," then it kind of defeats its own purpose.
Keep in mind, too, that the system is still young on our server, and we have yet to see the long-term effects. Imagine how discouraging it will be for new players when they enter PvP, BSQ, or EW for the first time and get one-shot KO'd constantly by players will fully amped, fully socketed gear (and this will happen at all levels eventually, since there are many players who choose to cap some of their characters at specific levels, mostly for low-level PvP purposes). I suppose you could argue that it won't matter to players who don't care about PvP -- but then you run into the fact that, with amped and socketed gear, PvE is going to become even easier than it is now for PvE-centric players, too, which will take away some of the fun factor.
Ultimately, I think it can be summed up like this: If you want players in a game to have fun, you have to challenge them. While the Professions system does in fact present players with various challenges (earn a certain amount of skill EXP, gather a certain number of XYZ material, etc.), it presents those challenges in such an unappealing way that most players likely won't bother attempting it or will quickly give up on it because it isn't *fun*.
There are other games that have introduced systems a lot like the current Professions system that *do* present challenges while remaining fun, and I think that's where we should start if we're looking for a way to "fix" the system with some kind of overhaul. What do these addictive games do that our Professions system does not? I think Maronu listed ideas that wonderfully demonstrate working toward the solution: We need to get the player more actively involved.
For instance, consider the following idea for overhauling the Gathering system (borrowing ideas from other sources, obviously):
Players can form a normal party (up to 4 players) and enter one of four different instanced maps. There will be a different map for each Profession (Fishing, Gardening, Logging and Mining). Once inside the map, they will each participate in one of four different mini-games (one for each Profession):
1. Fishing - All players sit on a dock or beside a lake. A timer is set for 5 minutes. Until the timer runs out, shadows (little fish-shaped shadows) will appear and disappear in the water in random locations. Players can use the arrow keys or their mouse to manipulate a little "lure" cursor that designates where they will cast their line, and press the "X" button or the left mouse button to cast the line. If a player successfully casts in a shadow area, they must wait until they see a tug on their line (which comes with some sort of visual cue and/or sound effect), then press the button again to reel in their lure (only the first player to cast in a spot gets the chance at whatever is there). Sometimes they get the "junk" item for the Fishing Profession, and sometimes they will get fish. The Grade of the fish caught depends on the size of the shadow (bigger shadows/fish are rare and don't appear as frequently) -- and the more players in the party, the higher the chances of high-Grade fish appearing. At the end of the round, players also get a MM-style "bonus wheel spin" that gives them a chance for more fish materials based on their performance (total fish caught, Grade of fish caught will contribute to an overall score).
2. Gardening - Each player begins in one of the four corners of a giant vegetable field/garden. A timer is set for 5 minutes. Until the timer runs out, vegetables will pop up from underground and then quickly disappear again at random locations. Players must run around (PLEASE NOTE: MSPD DISABLED) and harvest/pull out the vegetables, using the "X" button to tug on them until they pull them out (first player to a vegetable gets dibs on it). Pulling out vegetables either rewards the player with a "junk" material or a useful vegetable. The bigger the vegetable is when it first appears, the more times the player must hit "X" in order to harvest it successfully (meaning it takes more time), and the better the Grade of the vegetable will be (higher-Grade vegetables are more rare). The more players in the party, the more frequently rare vegetables will appear. At the end of the round, players also get a MM-style "bonus wheel spin" that gives them a chance for more vegetable materials based on their performance (total vegetables obtained, Grade of vegetables obtained will contribute to an overall score).
3. Logging - Essentially the same thing as Gardening, except with trees (of various sizes/Grades) that sprout up and players using axes to cut them down (again, hitting "X" more times for taller/bigger trees for a chance at better materials).
4. Mining - Essentially the same thing as Gardening and Logging, except with jewels/ores that pop up and pickaxes as the tools.
There are other specifics that I haven't outlined here -- for instance, make it so that each time a player enters one of the "instanced" mini-games, his Fatigue bar decreases by 10% or something. But you get the idea.
Essentially, this is all just building on that notion that we want to get the player more involved in what's going on. No, these ideas are not terribly original or innovative -- it's all just speculative and meant to encourage more brainstorming. Anyways, the way I see it, keeping all four mini-games very similar would make things easier on the development team because they could basically just build the Gardening/Logging/Mining mini-game once and then reskin it for the other two. The Fishing mini-game would probably require a bit more work, but I doubt it would be too much more difficult.