It's that time of year again. I need advice from the MMORPG community!
I have been working on a multiplayer crafting game. The game should be mainly focused on crafting and selling items. After some previous suggestions, I decided to make items have a variety of stats. I am quite happy with that, as it gives the trading game depth, while still keeping it approachable to new players. For example, certain ores may be more heat resistant than others, passing this property onto a sword that used the ores in crafting. The market then simulates demand for certain attributes, affecting the prices based on stats used. Beginner crafters can still make profits regardless of stats, but expert crafters can choose to play the stat game to make their work sell for more.
While the broader meta-game is quite fun, the actual crafting process is boring. I am realising a game isn't fun if the very core moment-to-moment short term gameplay isn't fun.
Do you have any ideas on how to make the crafting process itself more engaging?
How would you feel about some sort of a mini-game in crafting? I can think of two approaches to this. Either a skill-based task, where you need to press the right buttons at the right time. Perhaps your character swings a hammer and you need to press a button at the perfect time to hit the iron ingot accurately. Or a puzzle-based task, where you need to figure out some sort of a crafting puzzle as part of the process. Perhaps you need to find the right ratio of ingredients that randomly changes each time you craft.