Bugs aside, sometimes it's helpful just to hear people talking to gather feedback and get some general impressions about what people enjoy and what they don't enjoy. When I logged in this evening, one of the folks online told me they were in the middle of discussing what they wanted to see in crafting quests. Obviously this is a topic of interest to me, since I'm the one who creates those quests! And I know what I think is fun, but I always try to get feedback on what other people think is fun also, because my views aren't necessarily always going to be shared by everybody.
When I asked to hear what they were discussing they wanted to see in future crafting quests, there was initially a long list of rewards, not actual quests. While that's useful in a different way, if I were trying to figure out what to give out as rewards, it's an entirely different question from what people want to actually do during the process of a quest. As it happens, I have a number of cool rewards already ready and waiting to be awarded somewhere so I was more interested in hearing how they might like to earn such things, than what they would like to be rewarded.
However, eventually the discussion worked around to answering the actual question of what folks find fun in crafting quests. I've put in quite a few crafting quests since I joined the SOE team (all of which should be included on EQ2Traders' crafting quest list) and they've been fairly varied in nature. Many involve actually crafting items, but not all; after all, many adventure quests don't actually involve killing things, so I reckon that tasks like deliveries, exploration, and other non-combat errands are fair game for either playstyle.
The evening was unfortunately cut a bit short by an unscheduled Test server update, but before the servers went down, the general consensus on what folks would like to see more of is:
- quests that don't necessarily involve crafting items, or at least, not crafting large numbers of items that feel like a grind;
- quests that encourage crafters to get out and around the world a bit to see the sights;
- quests that have a bit of history or lore about the world, helping crafters to feel they are part of the story of the world;
- quests that actually change the environment, such as moving items around, building items, etc.;
- quests that are funny, such as accidentally torturing a poor tradeskill liaison (as in the Advanced Journeyman Tasks quest, which I wrote while in a rather peculiar mood and which people seem to be very fond of).