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It's Time For A Professions Revamp [PART ONE]

By lunarmurchen - MEMBER - November 27, 2020, 00:07:17
Too long; didn’t read – The current state of the crafting and gathering professions experience ranges from lackluster to abysmal and is in great need of a revamp. I propose that Wakfu’s professions be remade to simplify core recipes and bring much-needed diversity to a system that reflects the outdated construct of players only being able to specialize in a set number of professions. Furthermore, a revamp of professions should make recipes easy to grasp and ought to encourage the player’s engagement with the ecosystem of the game, as well as emphasize the interplay between each individual profession.
Oh, professions. Professions.

If you want to be effective at playing Wakfu and you weren’t born an Enutrof, then sooner or later you will set yourself to the arduous task of grinding out the experience necessary to be able to craft items that truly up your game… And boy is it a grind, particularly exacerbated by the recent server merge. The exponential population increase has made it so that long queues have formed in every mine and players hover protectively over their crops. It is a regular occurrence to go searching for a tree or flower only to find that none of that specific plant exist. The frustration deepens as you realize you forgot to double check that recipe in the professions encyclopedia, and you actually need twice as many monster resources than you originally thought. It’s enough to make you want to log out of the game and go play something else.

Yeah, I said it. I’ll say it again:

Wakfu’s current profession system turns people off to that aspect of the game and negatively impacts the player’s gaming experience.

As a starting player, the professions and the many, many ingredients their recipes require seem overwhelming. With limited inventory space, it’s difficult to determine what items to keep and which could be recycled or thrown away. Once a player begins to gather resources and utilize the crafting professions, even more questions arise.
  • Why do I need two different kinds of monster resources to make leather?
  • What use does a Bomb have, anyway?
  • Where do the Rustic Orbs go on a Gobbsage String?
  • When would I ever have need for a Bobbin?
  • How is it possible to make stew from gobball wool and salt??

Long before a player has managed to craft anything of significant value, the real drudgery begins. Fighting monsters for crafting materials becomes a chore, with the minimum number of items used to craft a recipe rising in an increase so steep it takes you by surprise. Precious inventory space is used up to hold tree cuttings and plant seeds for the inevitable occurrence that someone else has reaped all of that resource and left nothing behind. In a game where the player must craft every basic component on their own at a material exchange rate of 10 to 1 and 8 to 1, you feel like you’re getting nowhere.

It’s time for Wakfu’s professions to be redone in tandem with the Wakfu team shaping the game into a MMO that can compete with other games of its genre.

It goes without saying that such a revamp would be a massive undertaking. I know because I’ve spent the last several years working on and off on this uh… proposal? Well, honestly, it’s more of a dream. After laboriously (and stubbornly) forging my way through every last profession this game has to offer, I have a lot of opinions about what professions could be, but I think that a proper professions revamp must take the following points into consideration:
  1. Players have the ability to level up in any profession of their choosing, which was not the case when professions were implemented. A revamp should include rewritten recipes that highlight and promote the interplay of professions.
  2. Core component recipes should be diversified and simplified, offering players multiple ways to level up a single profession while avoiding turning professions into a bottomless time sink.
  3. Rewritten recipes should follow a predictable pattern and require ingredients that make sense for the item being crafted.
  4. When it comes to materials required for a given recipe, gain should equal effort.
  5. Advancement of the professions should reward the player with a sense of accomplishment, not a sense of relief. This can be achieved by adding new and engaging recipes to every profession.
  6. Core components of any level should have intrinsic value beyond serving as a means of levelling a profession.

“Well shoot, murchen,” you say. “It’s one thing to put the words in a post, but it’s a whole other thing to actually turn words into practice. I mean, what would a professions revamp like that even look like?”

In the companion post to this one (It’s Time For A Professions Revamp [PART TWO]), you’ll find a link to an Excel spreadsheet that I put up on google docs. It contains the culmination of the stupid amount of hours that I’ve put into a theoretical professions revamp, including suggested new core component items, new plants, new recipes, and new crafting ingredients. I guess you could say that I love this game a lot, and I want nothing more than for Wakfu and Ankama to flourish and be successful for many, many years to come.

If you’ve hung on till this point, thanks for reading. On the second post, I’m going to be discussing the contents of the Excel spreadsheet and positing ideas of what a professions revamp could look like. If you’re not too interested in going through all that, I’d still like to encourage you to leave a comment on this post. What has been your experience with Wakfu’s profession system so far? What do you like and dislike about the professions system? In what ways do you think the professions system could improve and what about it would you prefer to stay the same? Is/Was there a point in your professions journey that is/was especially difficult? Why?

Just a few things to prompt your thought process~
10 -1
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