The crafting system in Cataclysm is absolutely excellent with how intuitive it can be. Granted, I can only imagine how much of a spiderweb of code exists to have such a MASSIVE crafting system with the basic tools already available. Impressive is impressive after all~
Regardless, an idea that has been on my mind as of late has come from how I’ve thus far been creating items, namely creating parts and then the item I’m after.
A concept that I’m looking for would be something along the line of either a chain-crafting system, or an additional window that allows for sub-crafting.
Let me explain both concepts as I’ve come up with two depending on what would work better in the code.
The first would be some form of chain-crafting. What this would be, in theory, would be adding an additional function into the crafting. Say you need 4 steel sheets in order to craft yourself some storage drum. Instead of [b]atch crafting 4 sheets and then going back into the window to craft yourself the drum, adding a different function for [c]hain crafting could be available. What this is would be to start the crafting of one of the base ingredients, and then being able to check what can be created from this item. Selecting an item from this list could prompt you through a series of windows to craft each of these sub-items in a cue if you do not already have them available. This would likely be a separate crafting window itself. To help visualize, imagine you need 4 items for this drum, Items 1-4. When you select to craft Item 1, you go into this new potential window which displays potential crafting recipes with a hotkey much like [b]atch crafting as my example. Selecting this key brings up a crafting list, much like a crafting category like [dry] or [meat] under the Food section or what have you. In this list, you have all of the items your character knows either in white, since you have the materials, or grayed out due to lacking materials.
Selecting one of these recipes then brings you into the next window, which shows the ingredients you need. If you have the ingredients, you just craft, but that isn’t the main benefit of this concept. Instead, it would be to allow you to craft the ingredients either individually or cue a crafting [project] of sorts that uses up all the ingredients for the sub-items in order to craft the big turkey.
I’ll be honest, Doing this in the perfect way envisioned, even without too much knowledge of code, sounds like a herculean task that I’m mostly leaving here for potential inspiration of additional ease of access in the crafting system.
The main item from this that I could foresee being implemented would be the lattermost feature, namely being able to craft the sub-items from any crafting recipe if you have the ability to craft these items. Whilst branching this further and allowing you to chase the ingredients through their respective recipes would be useful, I could foresee starting with being able to craft one tier below an item to be a massive timesaver for the player.
A justification to this would be my need to, at times, check the wiki for crafting chains/ recipes, as well as having to search-chain the ingredients for a tool that I want to create. There’s an argument to be had that the character is searching through their books stage by stage to actually create what they want to make, and at the same time that’s a piece that the player themselves can let the character alone spend.
Thus, you have both of my very basic concepts of crafting improvements.
You can either have the ability to craft up from an ingredient into more complex items through a chain, or you can craft down from a recipe that you have in mind.
Both are rather herculean if attempting to implement either as a full concept. Lesser versions such as being able to jump to individual ingredients to craft instead of having to search for them in a sequence and being able to stay on the item you want to craft would be useful. Equally, being able to follow ingredient chains from the lump of metal in your hand all the way up to elecric forges if you know the recipes/have the books would be equally useful. Either will allow players to spend more time crafting and playing the game and less needing to dive into the wiki for information. Especially nowadays where the updates have gone past what the wiki can sometimes explain for you.
Since I’m able to scratch the surface of the herculean task of any of these concepts, I’m not pushing for them to be added as much as be considered for what -can- be accomplished.
For the Cataclysm~!~