Well, before I could get more of a response out the door... Lum has spoken the holy word and said some of the things I didn't.
Just to set the record straight. I am not a crafter by design. I much prefer the company of "Corp Por" to sitting around tailoring or popping potions for a living. However, in WoW, killing players doesn't pay as well as it did in UO since we could actually kill the crafters and take all their loot. Ahhh, the good old days... ;)
I do like to craft more as a hobby, and I like to see what is going on out there so I can talk about it and empathize with those poor folks that have to do this stuff on a regular basis. I also don't like dungeons, and I don't do raids for similar reasons, and because these days, I don't have 25, like minded friends to go play with either.
So, to continue now using some of Lum's comments as a refrence. I didn't know SWG had crafting designed by ex-UO designers. I was on my ten year vacation at that time, so I didn't get to play, but a lot of the things Lum mentioned, are in fact the same issues I have with WoW. Items are important to be valuable. I don't know exactly what the definition of being tedious would be, but the chance to fail, and difficult to find mats are pretty tedious in my opinion. Fishing is pretty tedious, and that's the trade I think has the best design for building around.
I noticed AION had a pretty nice selling system where they had an Ebay like WoW, or you could just plop your toon out front of a heavy traffic area and sell yourself. That system reminded of UO a little bit, but in UO, you could set your vendor outside your house and just fill it up with goodies, and then empty the virtual piggy bank vendor when you needed cash. You could then go out and continue playing the game and not be stuck like a statue out in the middle of a city.
Another thing I liked about AION and even Star Trek Online MMO, is that they try to give you a reason to wear "off duty" or clothes just to hang out. They do it different ways, but there are some really nice outfits you can obtain with the correct amount of cash on you. In WoW, its just not cool to wear a tuxedo or anything but the latest in Raid fashion. Everyone at any particular level will be wearing the exact same armor they get from the dungeons now. Since there is not much of a social side to WoW besides the trade chat from hell, we don't even want to see each other.
A crafter with the given skills and a wide variety of things to make could change all that. Even in UO, with limited options, people found ways to be different and hang out. WoW just doesn't seem to have that same loving feeling about it. Its a shame really.
Oh man, talk about memory lane. I have brought this up before, WoW for some reason skipped a couple of the most important trade skills and I have no idea why. Lumberjack and Bow Fletching are highly useful and since we have bows and arrows in this game, I don't see why we don't have anyone making this stuff. I killed so many birds in UO, that when I would be outside and see a bird flying around I actually wanted to kill it in real life. Just in my mind, I never actually would hurt a bird. Running around chopping wood for bows and arrows was also something that was sort of fun to do since you could get killed while you were out there. Blizz decided to go after cartography, which was also in UO, but it was one of the last trade skills they added. At least as of 2004 when I stopped playing MMO's.
Lum is not the only one that remembers this stuff. He's got the number of played titles on me, but I know where he is comming from.
I have more, but I have to go to work. =( I will leave you with this though. WoW, please hire an ex-UO craft designer, have them come in and fix your crafting game. Ask Tom Chilton, he should know a couple of these guys.
Thanks and happy hunting!