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Insider Trader: Crafting speculation in the Flower Kingdom

Amanda Miller

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

To celebrate the kick-off of HKO-Insider, Insider Trader will be doing a bonus column this week! As the closed beta has only just been put in the works, there are understandably few details floating around.

Currently, we have confirmed at least the following professions:
  • Mining.
  • Gathering fruit from the wild.
  • Tailoring.
  • Furniture-crafting.
  • Farming.
  • Cooking.
  • House-building.
This week we will speculate on what we might see, and compose a wishlist for what we would like to see. Join us on Friday as we resume our normal schedule and delve deeper into the concept of mining as a profession, building on today's overview as well as player feedback.

I am sadly noting the obvious lack of any jewelcrafting profession. Does this mean that the ore we mine will solely be used for income, or will it be used to build houses and furniture as well? Seriously though, why can't we make shiny things?

Knowing Sanrio, I sincerely doubt that the upcoming Hello Kitty Online will prevent us from making sparkly, pink, shiny objects for our homes, characters, pets and friends. It does cryptically suggest that we will be able to "decorate" our houses. Is that a hint? I hope so!

I also predict the addition of new metals, including rare and desirable specimens. Many players who enjoy crafting are also collectors of sorts, and rare items are an integral part of the MMO experience. Because the mining should take place in actual mines, I don't think it will be as competitive a venture as it is in WoW.

Gathering fruit:
This is fairly self-explanatory, although I do have to wonder if the forests bearing fruit are also the adventure areas with monsters! Maybe the fruit isn't so free after all.

With any luck, the fruits will have various buffs, either for fun (turns you purple) or for practical use (turns the monsters purple and makes them sick).

Without any mention of armor-types such as plate, it is safe to assume we will all want to hone our tailoring skills. While there is no doubt that there will also be fun and fashionable items, I hope that there will be rare recipes or - hope against hope - player-created unique designs.

I wonder if the cloth will drop from monsters, such as in World of Warcraft, or if it will only be purchasable from vendors?

Are you excited about player housing? Who wouldn't be! Of course, we'll have to furnish our own homes. Again, I hope that players will be allowed to create their own designs, or at least customize the templates in some way. I would be interested to see Blizzard implement player housing, but they have confirmed recently that there are still no plans to do so. It will be interesting to see what Sanio comes up with.

It would be especially interesting if we could specialize in one area, creating a strong market for unique items and designs. Can you say 'gossip bench,' 'water slide' and 'dentist's chair'?

This also looks to be a very important skill that many players will want to cultivate, although fruit gathering is likely in place to make farming optional. Still, if you plan to be a master cook, you will likely need produce other than fruits! While I totally support the idea for Hello Kitty Online, I can see why games like WoW have not embraced the concept.

As a die-hard fan of Harvest Moon games, I'm definitely most excited about this option. I doubt we will be given farm animals, but I'd love a barn full of sheep and cows myself. Heck, I'd take a barn full of emus and a field of unicorns.

I bet this will be one of the most useful occupations. Bribing Hello Kitty with gourmet cookies for a rare pet, soothing monsters with t-bone steaks or sleepy soup sounds like a creative way to complete quests and achieve ends.

In games like Harvest Moon, there were recipes that could be found or learned from townsfolk, but there was also a discovery element to cooking. Hopefully, the possibilities will be almost endless, unlike in WoW, where they're severely limited. Cooks, it's time for a new MMO!

I'd also like to see a supernatural aspect to cooking. First Aid could be a witch-doctor-esque branch from the cooking profession, allowing players to create salves and potions to restore health and other attributes.

Professions we'd like to see:
These are unconfirmed but should almost definitely be included. Not only do they have utility, they also would be incredibly fun.

Personal stylist:
Everyone loves character customization, but sometimes it is so impersonal. I never change my characters' appearances because, when I load up a screen and just switch everything around, I feel like I switched my character, or had sloppy digital plastic surgery.

If we could go to other players and have them dye our hair, do our makeup, apply war paint, and help us choose our outfits, I think that would feel much more personal and realistic.

As noted above, I strongly feel that players would benefit from being able to make their own fashion jewelery, buffed and jeweled armor, and home decorations. From tiaras to gemmed robes to wind chimes, this skill set would add even more customization and cute-factor to the game.

Besides, I want to be able to make jeweled collars for my pets; is that so much to ask? Besides, if WoW has it, Hello Kitty Online should too.

This could be a diverse profession, from being able to paint murals to being able to add different colors and patterns to other players' crafted items, to a theme-inspired system similar to that of the Wii's My Sims. If you are unfamiliar with the game, go buy it. You can gather items like ore and ghosts and thorns, and either use them to form items, or use them in an abstract form to paint things.

My character needs to be covered in butterflies and mermaids. Seriously. It'll go with the purple hair. What better way to permanently enchant your character with spells and abilities than through body-painting?

If there are enchanters, then furniture-makers can make wands, and jewelcrafters can make them sparkle! Okay, in all seriousness, enchanting adds customization to each item worn, including jewelry, so by not including it, our characters will be all the more alike. I don't know about you, but from a company that licenses Hello Kitty exhaust pipes, I want to see the customization options go through my Keroppi roof.

It would be interesting if enchanters with other skills, such as furniture-crafting, could forge items like arrow-heads, talismans, and other items to enchant, either with curses or with wards. I bet Sanrio could take enchanting to a whole new level, beyond anything Blizzard has implemented.

First Aid:
As mentioned above in cooking, I would like to see players given the opportunity to create bandages, lotions, salves, potions and many other restorative items. Perhaps this profession could be achieved once unlocking a certain skill level from both cooking and enchanting, making it an elite skill and creating a market for the crafted items. Alternatively, we could re-name the profession and the crafters could also delve into poisons.

While first aid isn't the most popular profession in games like WoW, I think with a solid revamp, it could be highly sought-after.

As a gathering skill, players who are uninterested in cultivating time-consuming professions could still make some cash and funnel their products through the market to enchanters, tattoo artists, painters, cooks and first aid workers. Herbs have a wide array of potential uses, and could be placed not only on monsters, but in the adventure areas, encouraging combatants to go deeper and search harder, in order to come home with a satchel of the rarest and most lucrative reagents. Again, I bet Sanrio could take it further than Blizzard.

What new professions would you like to see, and what would you have them produce? Of the professions mentioned above, what additions or amendments would you make?

Don't forget to tune in on Friday, April 3rd for a discussion of mining, its possibilities, and how it might fit into the grand scheme of professions, economy, combat, and progression.

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