I have been playing this game with my seven year old son for a couple of months, and we both really like it. I have a few suggestions on how to make recipes more fun. 1) making each one recipe different 2) *poof*,side effect 3) balancing powerful items 4) yes to trading crafting items
1) Could we change the reagents in a recipe around, to experiment and make slightly different things? Right now, we have to give each recipe the same reagents to make the same things from the recipe each time. What about being able to slightly mix up the reagents to create different looks for the same item? For example, instead of having a recipe for one type of bedspread, you could add in an extra stone block and have a blue and green bedspread instead of a red one. The crafting window would have to be changed to allow the user to select which mix of reagents to add to the recipe. But if the game system could dynamically mix parts of images together ( say shape and color, and texture ) it would allow a way to add over 100,000 items just for housing, and all under user control. of course, the rules of each recipe would not necessarily be known and would require experimenting!
2) Another idea I have is to add some uncertainty to making items. Suppose once every while or so, instead of creating what you wanted, something else would appear, like a flying elephant following you around for a day :) , or what you made plus the flying elephant :P
3) One more idea, a way to balance extremely powerful items made by recipes. Example: Having made that powerful cloak is so cool, but a pity it keeps throwing you into battle with every third wandering monster in the game while you wear it (or have it ?), or it only lasts a certain number of battles before disappearing? Or gives your character zits ?
Anyone remember rust monsters from dungeon and dragons? What about side effects of powerful recipes. Some wizard101 thing could appear after a recipe is used , sometimes ?
4) I agree with others who posted that crafting items should be made tradable , it would add extra to the game because then some characters would want to collect reagents, buy the recipes and sell them for a profit, without having to put them in the bazaar for other people to mess up the trade.