DDO has been hinting at a true crafting system for nearly a year now, and we've even gotten a little taste of it during special events, but Update 9 will finally make it a reality. We don't have all the details just yet, but two bits of information stood out. Fernando Paiz had a chat with Lore Hound and had some interesting things to say.
"We currently have crafting in DDO, but most players get into it in the higher levels of the game. [...] What we wanted to do was get players into the idea of crafting and give them a system where they can learn to do it and have useful things to do even if you're a level 4 character instead of a level 16 character."
Fernando Paiz was pretty clear in his desire to open this part of the game to everyone. While DDO maintains a decent amount of content for all level ranges, the adventure packs that come with each update are limited by their very nature. It's impossible to release an adventure pack with a full level range, and that's not a bad thing, but it means that the addition of content designed for every single character in the game is pretty exciting.
"In the crafting system, you can deconstruct [an item] down to its components. So you'll take the essence of paralyzing [for example] and you'll get a paralyzing shard that then you can re-forge into a new weapon depending on your character. Maybe you're a fighter, you put it on your +5 Bastard Sword and now it's a Paralyzer Bastard sword, and that's sounding pretty good for your character."
This has been a huge point of interest with the DDO community and is going to be the core of crafting in my eyes. In many cases -- particularly at lower levels, players have to rely on the luck of the loot drop or the auction house to get good gear. When this system is introduced, we'll finally be able to take matters into our own hands and create the perfect item like we can in so many other MMOs. We're expecting full patch notes on Update 9 sometime next week -- I'll be watching for those very closely!