Guild Wars 2: Craftaholics anonymous

Crafting is funny to me.  Not the concept, but how attractive it might seem in one MMO for me and be completely irrelevant in another.  Out of all of the things I anticipated doing in Guild Wars 2, crafting was certainly not one of them — but here we are, and there I am harvesting and crafting like mad.

I didn’t really look into the game’s crafting until last week, when I read a humongous guide and realized that this could be quite fun to try.  For me, crafting is best when you get in on the ground floor of the launch or from day one in a game.  So I did a little research, and decided that I’d give it a go with artificing and cooking.

So here are a few things that are delighting me about crafting in Guild Wars 2:

1. You can gather everything

Gathering (like crafting) is a little money sink, since you have to pay for tools that are eventually used up.  But that’s okay, since it’s an option and the game keeps it fairly manageable.  There are three types of nodes to gather — wood, ore, and plants — which feels perfect.  Way better than scads of different types.  Each node grants a few basic crafting mats with a chance of a rare mat as well.  You can also buy mats from vendors (including karma vendors) or find/salvage them during your journeys.

I really like not being limited in my gathering; it reminds me of Fallen Earth, and how addicted I got to gathering nodes there as well.

2. There’s no competition for nodes

God bless ArenaNet for making crafting nodes non-exclusive.  I hated that feeling of rushing toward a node while seeing someone else doing the same, worried that they’d get it first and feeling resentment toward them either way.  In GW2, any nodes you see can be harvested by you, period.  And harvested by others, period.  A node might burn out for you, but it’s still good for others, so there’s no worry there.

3. You can deposit mats into storage from the world

GW2 has gone a long way to making inventory management user friendly, including using the trading post and mail from anywhere.  But I think I like the ability to just toss my crafting mats into storage with one click (especially that “deposit all collectables” option), which keeps my inventory free and clear.

4. Crafting stations let you access both your collections and your bank

Crafting stations really are one-stop convenience marts for us, giving us access to what we have in storage as well as the ability to make stuff.  I hear that the bank access is relatively new, but it’s a good move, as crafters can put half-finished items in there.

5. Discovery rocks

As a crafter, you need recipes.  You get several to start with in your profession and can find/buy more (especially from karma vendors), but the coolest way to get more is through the discovery system.  Basically, you mix and match items in the UI until it tells you that you can craft this for a new recipe.  If you do so, you get a buttload of XP and crafting XP, as well as that recipe to use from now on.  It’s very thrilling when you can unlock this.

6. You can swap between professions  (for a fee)

While the game only lets you have two crafting professions active at a time, you can deactivate one without losing your progress and activate a different one for a fee.  In this way, it’s possible to level all crafting disciplines to the max level.  I like it because I know that the mats I find that I’m not using now might be useful later.

And the one thing about crafting I don’t like?

1. It makes you go broke

Crafting is, at least right now, a big money sink.  It takes money to gather mats, money for additional mats, and takes potential sources of income away from you.  How so?  Well, aside from items that are designated trophies (aka vendor trash), you can and probably will salvage most of the drops you find for their mats.  This means that you don’t sell those items and get the coin for them, either.

So unless you’re putting out goods on the trading post, crafting will suck money out of you.  I found this out to my shame when I hit level 10 and couldn’t buy my trait tome because I was dirt broke.

8 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: Craftaholics anonymous

  1. I wasn’t able to buy my tome as well. Luckily you get a lot of money from doing the hearts and probably pick up some trash loot to sell as well. I love this crafting system much more than other MMO’s in that after a while, the discovery process starts to make sense. And I’m not making 100 sets of pants that I’ll never use.

    Hopefully selling high end items will pay off for being broke at the low levels.

  2. Cooking is the most expensive one to level. In addition, the Trading Post prices will be determined once we know how useful these things are in the world.
    I’d suggest levelling one of the other trades if money becomes too much of a problem.

    That said, cooking is really fun and I’m levelling it myself. It’s recipes resemble the real world ones a little. After Lotro’s cooking, this is a welcome change.

  3. The only reason crafting’s a money sink right now is because the Trading Post’s not working. In beta I made far more money from crafting than I spent (of course beta pricing won’t represent live, but I still expect to more than break even when the Trading Post finally appears).

    My main complaint is what they’ve done to leather and to a slightly lesser extent cloth since beta. The amount that drops now is tiny compared to what it was. Today I have hunted for over four hours and not found a single piece of leather. Not one. Killed many kinds of animals and humanoids and had plenty of crafting drops but no leather at all and almost no cloth. This has been the story almost every day. In Beta I got 75% of my leather and cloth from animals and bandits. Now I get nearly all of it from deconning armor and even that drops too rarely.

  4. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about crafting before since I thought it would be far more simple than what it actually is. I also thought the discovery system would end up being a gimmick.

    Now that I am finally figuring out how to better level my crafting and seeing the stuff I can make, I am much, much more in love with it. Discovery is pretty useful, not simply to get new recipes but simply because it might give the best XP to level the crafting professions. Also, agreed wholeheartedly about being able to access the bank from the crafting station! It makes everything so convenient that makes you wonder how you could live without such a feature before.

    My only complaint though is the same as Baghpuss. Being a leatherworker I am finding myself running out of leather pretty fast. And that is even salvaging every leather item I can and having a couple friends sending me leather to help out. I am now trying to visit the other newbie zones to get the materials I need to get to the next rank of crafting.

  5. When you finish Renown Hearts, NPCs will send you thank-you letters in the mail. Make sure you take the money that’s attached! I had the same problem with lack of funds from spending 80 copper per cooking ingredient 😦

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