I've been working up the Blacksmith and Miner classes in Free Realms, and I kind of like how crafting in works there. If you're not familiar with the process, you should check it out:
The sticker comment there with crafting in Free Realms is at the end of the video . . . you do this process over and over and over. What was awesome and fun for the first 50 times, slowly begins to lose its shimmer. Then again, comparing it to Wizard101 or Everquest or The Game Which Shall Not Be Named or any number of other MMOs, it feels more "real" than simply clicking a button to say "combine" these things. GO! I like that I can get more or less of a raw or refined element based on how well I do on the mini-game.
So, if you were to apply a similar system to Wizard101, I think it could be done . . . better. I like that I can collect ground spawns of items, but what if when I clicked to pick up a ground spawn, I was given the option to play a short mini-game to get a better chance at the rare node item? (This would be kind of how the silver chests in game work, only you get an either/or option instead of all/or nothing situation.)
You know how we have four or so different crafting tables in our houses? I think each one of those could be turned into a mini-game as well. I like options though, so I would like to keep the "click to combine" option of crafting for the sure thing, but since I'm a gamblin' man, how about instead of clicking to combine, I get the option of playing a mini-game for either nothing or a rare combined item! Sure, I can craft tacos, but what if I played a mini-game to make SUPER TACOS WITH SUPER SAUCE? Sure, I can craft a carousel, but what if I could craft a rideable carousel? Hmm? It'd be like crafting advanced!
But, please, KI, if you were to ever take crafting in this direction, just make sure there is more variety than what crafting is like in Free Realms. My word do those mini-games get repetitive after 100 times or so. Then again, I guess that's why they put leader boards on them so you could try to get yourself into the top 10. :-)