I think I’ve gotten a decent look at the new workshop system that got introduced with Neverwinter’s Heart of Fire update. And I have to say I really like some aspects of it. It certainly gives professions a more prominent place. Plus you have to be much more decisive what you want to achieve on each toon and act accordingly. Old professions focused on single characters. Running a workshop on the contrary is something that involves the whole account and a lot of theorycrafting, which I do appreciate. These benefits might even offset that maintaining alts got a lot more time-intensive.
Despite that however, I figured that most of my personal excitement about professions comes from the fact that I have to set up all my toons again. In other words: I have something to do! But other than that, I have to say that I don’t really get how workshops are supposed to be a big improvement over old professions. The leveling, recipe and asset structure has changed slightly, but overall the system and its purpose barely moved. Mastercrafting is still king and the useful recipes they introduced on lower levels could have been implemented similarly in the old system. You could even say that all workshops did was bringing an additional RNG element to professions with Artisans.
Same Results, Different Path?
It’s really weird. You certainly can’t rule out that the devs plan to extend the system at some point. But at the moment workshops are not exactly capable of much more than professions were. You’re getting to the same point by just using a slightly different path. Or am I missing something here? I mean it’s not like we suddenly have a super immersive crating system now. We still don’t go out in the world collecting resources or unlocking recipes by try and error for example. In other games crafting is essentially a full game within a game where players can spend hours exploring and doing stuff. Around here it always was just a complementary system, and that didn’t really change. What I definitely like are the quality-of-life improvements workshops brought. But once again, you could have done something like a Delivery Box in the old system as well.
I guess what I’m trying to question is whether workshops are really that huge upgrade over professions? Does it take crafting in Neverwinter to a whole new level or isn’t it just a replacement that’s a little more advanced in some areas? That’s not bad by an means by the way, but I’m still surprised that some players seem so overly ecstatic and call workshops the savior for the formerly broken professions system. In my opinion workshops are bound to run into similar issues than old professions over time, because most of the core elements did not change.
Professions+ Instead of Provessions 2.0
To be a little more specific, the core issues for me are:
- You can’t make professions your own: Everyone has access to the same set of global recipes. You have too little options to specialize yourself and unlock stuff that others don’t have.
- Recipes are unflexible. The system needs constant maintenance because older recipes lose viability over time.
- Gathering resources is either repetitive (masterwork nodes) or no gameplay element at all. It’s mostly just grabbing stuff from vendors or running a “Gathering Profession”.
- Professions do not offer unique rewards. They are for the most part just an alternative path to gear or refining points.
The above things were already issues in the old professions system and still are in workshops. The devs without question have improved the basic structure of professions, but didn’t fundamentally change what the system adds to the game. To me that doesn’t mean workshops are a fail, but I think it’s a missed chance. With such a major overhaul of professions, I would have hoped for more like professions 2.0 rather than professions+. It’s surely a little fussy, but in case Neverwinter really wants to become a haven for crafters, it has to present a lot more than current workshops.
What’s your take on workshops vs. professions? Do you agree that the system didn’t improve in key areas or are you more optimistic about the future of crafting? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!
Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 75,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.