I really don't mind a challenge. It's probably the largest reason I enjoyed playing ffxi and why I'm playing xiv. However, some of the crafting currently in the game is just flat out ridiculous imo.
NOTE: Minor crafting spoilers ahead
Before a million people scream at me about it being a beta and don't judge and all that, let me first say that I LOVE the ffxiv beta. As a whole, I think the game is outstanding and putting aside the UI issues (which will be fixed) and some other glitches, the game is fantastic and just what I was hoping for. Now, that being said...
DoH classes are a CHORE.
First of all, you have to decide what to synth. Well, since more than half of the recipes for the crafts include items that most players can't find without getting lucky at retainers, you are relatively limited. So let's say you FIND all your ingredients and are ready to synth. Well wait, first you better have a HUGE supply of element shards because most recipes require at LEAST 5 and sometimes more than 10 shards to execute. To be fair, they drop off most mobs and are obtained through almost all DoL activities (mining, fishing, harvesting, etc...) and can be bought at retainers, but it is still some effort to get them, especially if a character wanted to focus on ONLY crafting classes (good luck).
After that, you begin crafting. I won't comment on the UI because it will be fixed for release, but the actual mini-game of crafting isn't too bad. The idea behind it is very fun and unique, and really does make crafting seem like its own job. The PROBLEM with it is that you will break your synthesis... a lot.
First, if you are crafting something that is a couple levels too high for you, you can pretty much be guaranteed to break more than 50% of them, even if it's only 1-2 levels higher. Granted, this is only my experience, but it has happened on every craft I've tried thus far.
Second, even if you ARE crafting something at your level, you will STILL fail your synthesis 1/4 times or so. And the worst part is, there is really no indication as to why. You can do everything you should do... use standard synthesis and rapid if you are getting low on stamina, wait if it gets unstable, etc... and you will still fail for no apparent reason. Oh, and when you do fail you lose all the ingredients. Every time.
Let's say you actually DID make your synth. Woohoo! Congrats! It's an accomplishment! Now watch as you gain experience for your physical level, but not experience for your craft. Wait, what? Yeah, that's right, you will not always recieve experience for your current job even on a successful synth. Basically, think of the ffxi system for skillups, but this time you are using 3x more ingredients and shards and it takes 3x longer to synth something. It's a bit frustrating, especially when you go 5 synths in a row with no crafting exp, then you fail a synth and get the half crafting exp for a failed synth.
Ok, I realize that is a lot to take in and a lot of whining. I promise I'm done. I just wanted to point all this out to see what other people thought and get other reactions to the system currently. I sincerely hope they modify it before launch, or I feel there are going to be a lot of unhappy, frustrated crafters in a few months. =/