I'm thinking about starting a new series called "Why I played..." and listing some of the many games and MMO's I played for a significant amount of time, and what I enjoyed about them...we will start with A Tale in the Desert, which, despite my complaints about how it was run, I enjoyed my time with.
The reasons I enjoyed it though revolve around the mini-game style of the various aspects of it. Everything was a mini-game from crossbreeding to glass making. I enjoyed having to be somewhat skilled in parts of the game to actually make them function (especially wine making and glass making, but the latter I succesfully macroed at one point). I would still be playing the game for these aspects if the overall system wasn't so difficult and time consuming.
I am looking for a game that simulates these parts of it, especially if it included an economic reason for making wine or similar items. In ATITD, the economy exists but is a barter economy, which largely sucks for a game. Its hard enough finding something you can make that someone else wants, let alone getting a good idea of what something is "worth." For example, sheet glass for me in ATITD wasn't very valuable as I had max skill in making it, all the equipment and large stockpiles of materials, but to someone who doesn't make glass it could be valuable. Also, I have sold glass for 4-5 ash per pane, and for 150 leeks per pane. It's all variable and relative, and my prices were almost always negotiated.
If anyone has any game recommendations that recreate the good aspects of this game but with better support and a better economy I'd appreciate the answer. Thanks.