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.