Most ancient people were religious, superstitious and LOVED flashing their social status.
If you look at noblemens swords and other weapons and clothing and bodies etc you will gold inlays in swords, jeweled pommels, etchings in the sword blade (often done while forging, so that the etching are actually BEHIND another layer of iron, making it not wear off with use, as etchings added afterwards with hammers will), extremely decorative helmets and armor (supposedly, according to some of the sagas viking chieftains even had wings (but not horns) on their helmets because of some religious symbolism, but sadly, no such helmet has ever been recovered), 7 meters (!) of cloth in a pair of pants, teeth that were hollowed out and gems chiseled into the cavity and, of course, lots and lots of tattoes. It was also common to have someone carry your banner AND some even went as far as to carry a banner in their left hand instead of a shield!!!
Some of these were to show off, others to pay respect to some deity or another, but most of them were actually to help you survive battles. A modern man may find this perplexing, but remember that, yes, the ancients were superstitious, so they honestly believed a gold inlay would make them less susceptible to catching arrows. And in a sense, they also were, because a false sense of confidence will make you better at performing, psychology stuff. Not to mention, Indian tattoos containing low dose snake poison induce antibodies against the toxin, making you immune to snake bites. And all of this in a world without magic. I know modern weapon smiths and medieval weapons practitioners on youtube and for some reason also historians argue plain blades are the best, but these people simply do not understand the extent to which the ancients were superstitious!
Imagine then, the magical decorations that would run rampant in a world with magic. I would even go so far as to call the lack of decorations in the BG saga unrealistic, considering. Yes yes, the graphics were not up to date then. But they are now! I think the KOTOR crafting system is one of the best (and NWN and Divinity: Original Sins and the Witcher 3 among the worst), allowing you to change the handle, egde of your blade, etc. I think a future game should incorporate a system similar to KOTOR, where you can change the pommel gem etc for different powers. You could also chose body modifications for different powers. Thus, you can FIND (but not craft) amazing gear, and then modify said gear with amazing decorations, foregoing the time wasting crafting system of the games I mentioned earlier. When it comes to crafting, less is definitely more, and to much makes you lose interest very quickly.
This way, it still becomes about questing rather than excessively complicated and ultimately boring crafting to get the best gear, but in excess of finding the best sword, you then need to find the best pommel gem, and edge overlay, and...