by Midgar Studio
Weapon crafting sounds nice with a lot of room for creativity by combining the three parts for a weapon. However, there needs to be an incentive for the player to level different weapons. Since weapons gain experience and levels, switching weapons might hurt the player in the long run. If sticking with one weapon becomes the best choice, weapon crafting has the risk of becoming a non-relevant gimmick.
About potions and armor crafting I have to agree with Mighty No. NaN. It borrows from the non-flexible and problematic system that is seen in many MMORPGs. If you have a fixed list of items required to craft and a fixed result of the crafting process, it becomes merely a "fetch quest in disguise". E.g.: bring me 10 iron bars and i will give you an iron armor.
In my oppinion, crafting needs to give the player some means of changing the outcome of the crafting process. After all, it is handmade for the player so some personalization would be expected.
Some ideas: There could be only a small number of recipes. Like heavy armor, medium armor and small armor. And depending on the material the player uses during crafting, the outcome is different. Example: use iron bars with the heavy armor recipe and you get a heavy iron armor. Use dragon scales with the heavy armor recipe and you get a heavy dragonscale armor.
If I have one request regarding the alchemy system, please don't use The Witcher as inspiration. I found the alchemy system in The Witcher so laborious and time consuming. It's just my opinion, but having to sit down in the middle of gameplay and meditate in order to complete a mixture was not fun and got in the way of enjoying the rest of the game and story. A menu with the ingredients you have on one side, and a space where you can mix them on the other is a good template. Then the alchemy should happen instantly. No meditation necessary ;)
I honestly like this kind of system, because this reminds me of Rogue Galaxy on PS2, that was a golden era of RPG... This one brings even more options available to use/craft. Keep it up, will you?
Hmm. I like the idea of a fixed number of swappable components for weapons. That puts a nice bounds on it, and might encourage experimentation. Conversely, I'm not sure how I feel about the unbounded combinations system of armor and alchemy. That tells me that it won't be possible to stumble onto combinations and that you will have to either know them in advance (ie. strategy guide), or "unlock" them by finding the recipe.
Using an old game as an example, one system I loved back in the day was Breath of Fire 3's dragon gene system. You could make a combination of 1-3 genes to cause the hero Ryu to morph into different kinds of dragons. Since all the genes had well-defined effects you could reasonably predict what would come out when you combined them. If you combined Fire+Ice+Thunder you'd get a dragon with all those powers. If you combined Force+Shadow you'd get a warrior with dark powers. It was a system that was consistent and encouraged experimentation.
So I feel like it would be nice to somehow be able to experiment. If we can only make stuff once we have the recipe then you are basically just buying that item, but are paying with multiple currencies in the form of materials rather than a single currency in the form of coins.