I've never understood the idea that making crafting an active thing instantly makes it tedious and lame and obviously take forever, while combat being an active thing is totally, 100% fine. Are you mega-awesome at combat, but you bump into a little cluster of goblins? OMG! Obviously it's SO tedious to fight those goblins. Oh, wait, no it's still fun to fight them, and it's a LOT easier and quicker to slay them than it is to slay something much tougher.
I don't see why crafting couldn't be active and not-tedious. I mean, it's not like complexity = time requirement. Combat can be REALLY, really complex, but still only last 20 seconds, tops. Either you're dead after those 20 seconds, or your foe is.
I think it's about time someone decides to actually treat it like they would treat a combat system. In general. No, the forge isn't fighting you. But, random/dynamic stuff can happen while you're forging. There's no need for Surgeon Simulator 2013 levels of active crafting action, but maybe you've got active-use skills, and some indicators and such, based roughly on actual crafting processes. So, for smithing a blade, maybe you can shove it back into the coals to heat it, or shove it into water to quench it, or put it on the anvil and hammer at it. Maybe to make some crazy legendary blade, you have to do that a few times, while to make a "Rusty Dagger," it takes you like 5-10 seconds. But, you could still come out of it with a better or worse rusty dagger, just like you could come out of a simple fight with more or fewer HP.
In fact, that's another good example. Resource usage. It'd be abstract, but maybe the better you do in the active crafting process, the fewer resources you use up. The crappier you do, the more resources you use up. Just a thought. Not necessarily a "YEAH, DO THAT!" idea. But, heck, even if that's all that was affected, it'd be better than "Click... what? Failure?! Okay, click... failure?! Click... success!". Maybe your hammer does a mildly-RNG-affected amount of "damage" to the thing you're hammering on, and having it at the right temperature "buffs" your damage. So, trying to make a very nice blade at skill rank 1 would have you having to hammer at it and reheat it several times, thus using more resources, rather than actually having to "retry" the whole thing multiple times. It would take long-er, but still not super long.
A) It's really silly to pitch crafting as a full-time gig if it's going to take you 10 seconds to make 50 high-quality steel swords, and
B ) it's just plain silly to say "Oh, it's all about your choices in material selection and customization for crafting!" when, for combat, you get all that AND you get to actively apply it for varying result.
An active crafting system involving the making of even the best sword in the game would NEVER take as long as laying siege to a castle, or clearing out a dragon cave or something. As other people have said, crafting needs to be designed for people who want to do it, not for people who would never, in their lives, make a dedicated crafter no matter how you designed it. Combat isn't designed for the people who JUST like statistics and the math behind outcomes, so why should Crafting be, if you're going to be able to dedicate most of your time to either one of them?
I don't think that's a silly question. And yes, I'm well aware that crafting "minigames" have been kinda ridiculous in the past. But, I'm sorry... EQ2 crafting is not the ONLY way to do active crafting. That was more of a "we don't actually want to commit to designing an active crafting system, but maybe we'll just toss in some active-use reactionary stuff, as an afterthought, so that we can technically say it was an active crafting system, then improperly collect data about it so that we can dismiss the idea of active crafting as something preposterous."