It’s painfully obvious that this game tries its hardest to force players to seek one route of expertise in the hopes that players will each have their own craft. There are a couple problems with this:
1.Everyone needs to level up their combat. The game forces a player to grind “combat levels” in order to be a master prospector for example. It’s not the levelling that is bad, its the narrow “You must be a mage/warrior/ranger and kill things” logic in a world that is dead set on trying to push players into different areas. It just doesn’t quite fit in my opinion.
One Idea for this would be to implement a civilian type armour into the game which focuses on gathering certain materials, crafting. and maybe even traverse cliffs. This type of playstyle would have limited combat abilities and rely on bodyguards. The whole point is to not be combat driven. Technically you could just pretend you’re in civilian clothing and not level up. But there should be difference between civilian and paper mache.
2.Another problem is that each player given enough time can master multiple crafts. This only invalidates trading between players and overall turns everyone into eventual clones. This game tries to stop that by making it so grindy that it will take a long time to master everything, but the problem is still there, with enough time you can be a master of all craft.
An idea I saw from another game was quite unique in regard to crafting. The idea was that each player required a random set of ingredients for potions, meaning that all the ingredients were valuable either to trade or to brew (There was no X ingredient that trumped all). Take it a step further and you could have each player randomly (or they can choose) be proficient in a particular craft. So for example someone could have a unique ability to add an extra trait slot (or another ability to choose from) on all swords they craft. Another player could be proficient at stone gathering, allowing them to gather rare stone types which few else can gather. Perhaps certain buildings or other crafted works would require said rare materials (or be improved with them). You could go even further and give players penalties in other professions.
This could make every player a valuable asset to the economy indefinitely.