When you break down what activities in the game are actually productive you realize that crafting basically produces all value in the game, while adventuring just consumes it for very little in return, and doesn't give you any reason to actually try and take on difficult challenges. Crafting produces the vast majority of all items in the game, in particular the equipment that adventurers need to be at full strength. The system ensures that adventurers have to keep buying gear no matter what, so crafters not only produce almost all worthwhile items in the game, they also have guaranteed demand for them as long as people exist who are trying to play out a fantasy of going on adventures. These items also aren't created from rare resources that need to be harvested from dangerous creatures or anything, simply harvesting large quantities of basic resources can create the best items. There is virtually no risk involved in procuring resources, but almost all truly powerful items in the game are created by this process. Adventuring on the other hand produces very little. It's the source of most gold in the game, which is used to upkeep buildings and buy some vendor bound resources, but it's not the only source of gold, and gold is only worth as much as the items you can buy with it. It also has a chance to yield artifacts, which are useful, but only constitute a small portion of the items in the game, and drop seemingly randomly. A few special resources like dragon meat require slaying powerful enemies, but food consumption is once again purely a system that puts a cost on adventurers. Adventuring doesn't follow a risk vs. reward model either, there is no content that has a serious chance that you will fail to complete it, and there is no loot that you can only obtain from that content except for a few trophies that are vanity items at best. The one thing that adventuring produces that crafting doesn't produce is adventure XP, but the exponential cost of advancement and the fact that half your character's stats tend to come from gear makes this a relatively short advancement track. When XP loss was still in place you could argue there was more reason to perpetually gain XP, but it created a high risk low reward situation where it also just wasn't worth actually doing anything difficult. What you end up with is basically a game where chopping wood, picking cotton and mining ore for hours eventually produces the most powerful items in the game, but fighting your way through the most difficult dungeon yields a vanity item at best, and no real reward. Taking on tougher challenges isn't part of your advancement as an adventurer, because the game doesn't reward you for completing difficult content, it only rewards crafting, and the best thing you can do as an adventurer is bring back the gold to buy items and trophies crafters might want to buy with your gold to decorate their castles. This is simply a broken system. As an adventurer you have a mountain to climb in the XP system for a short while, but the slope intentionally becomes too steep to go any further, and your only avenue for advancement at that point is procuring more powerful equipment. That equipment doesn't in any way come from taking on daunting opponents and raiding difficult dungeons, it comes from a completely different play style that has nothing to do with going on adventures except the occasional easy monster roaming around a resource node. Crafting should be an important part of the game, but there needs to be a reasonable reward scheme to adventuring as well that gives you goals to pursue. Maybe people could earn permanent perks for completing zones and killing bosses, maybe there could be rare materials needed for the best equipment that come from killing the most dangerous creatures, maybe crafted gear could get a portion of its stats from slotting runes or sigils that are bind on pickup and must be obtained from adventuring. Something should compel people to seek out challenges and tackle a broad range of content. At the end of the day it's almost expected in MMORPGs that there is some sort of "gear progression" where taking on the most difficult challenges in the game is what yields the best rewards. Some form of that is needed in Shroud. It's not that you need to buy items from crafters to be powerful that's making this whole game feel pointless as an adventurer, it's that there is nothing outstanding you can actually accomplish and get a real reward for. You could put a fantastically difficult dungeon in this game and it would still feel pointless if you get the best gear from just gathering materials in low level areas, and then slay the dragon and at best you get a small chance of a trophy for your wall.