Many players anxiously awaited Guild Wars 2′s crafting system because of the ways in which it differs from other crafting systems found in most MMORPGs. The discovery system, the fact that crafting cast times aren’t stagnant, the idea of one character having access to all of the crafting disciplines, and, of course, the fact that crafting gives pretty awesome experience all ties into this original excitement. In fact, leveling through crafting was one of the ways the first level 80s leveled so quickly. ArenaNet definitely attempted to do something a little unique with the game’s crafting system.
Now that we’ve all had some time to take part in the adventures around Tyria, and see for ourselves what GW2′s crafting has to offer, the real question becomes– does GW2′s crafting system live up the hype? Is it as good in practice as it first sounded on paper? Each individual person is going to have their own answers to this question, naturally, but let’s take a look at both sides of the coin, shall we?
I’m going to be using some opinions from players on the official forums as points of reference. Make sure and chime in with your own opinions in the comments section if you have something you’d like to add or share! For this subject, the opinions are taken from this thread and this thread.
First, let’s look at the negative aspects about GW2′s crafting system:
Well, I think the overall problem is that you level way to fast in this game. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if you got experience for typing /afk or /dance.
So, all the people who really enjoy crafting and wish to make things mostly for themselves are kind of screwed since you level so fast as a character, you cannot keep up with crafting items for the rapidly passing character levels. The mats do NOT come fast, it takes a lot of farming to be able to get the proper materials to craft even one item. But, since you level is adjusted per zone, you still continue to get experience and so continue leveling creating the problem of even more behind in crafting level vs player level.
So, crafters are thus faced with a few choices in getting mats BUT NOT LEVELING:
1. Create a low level alt to get mats in a lower level area.
2. Buy mats
This is an interesting observation, and true. For players who level while trying to keep their crafting skills at their level, it’s quite difficult to not out-level their current content. This leads leveling players to reach level 80 before they may have intended, but at the same time, this is a positive aspect as well, in my opinion. Farming materials isn’t always very fun when everything is too easy to kill. Also, this system’s kind of handy for players who enjoy alts.
One thing’s made apparent here, however– fine crafting materials can be a pain in the butt to collect. This is partially due to the low-ish drop rates of many (the rumors about diminishing returns on farm locations don’t help, either), the fact that many recipes need large amounts of fine materials, and the fact that ArenaNet keeps adjusting crafting drops. Fine materials used to be found fairly frequently in bandit item bags, but now it seems like Butter and Chocolate are found more often than anything else. All of this can be quite discouraging for players who can’t afford to play the Trading Post.
And that brings me to the next player opinion:
“With the market right now (inflated material prices because to many people are crafting just to get to Lvl 400 as quickly as possible) and the amount of gear that drops off the mobs, there isn’t much reason to craft here atm. I am sure it will get better once the material prices drop, but the market still won’t be there to make good money selling. Getting the Legendary Weapons is 1 good reason. The XP is another.”
This is another side effect of crafting rewarding such good experience– everyone’s taking part. In most MMORPGs, some players skip crafting altogether, boosting the in-game economy. In Guild Wars 2, there’s little reason to ignore the system while leveling, and since all players can grab every tradeskill, there’s less specialization. Add in a uniquely-global Trading Post and the fact that the Trading Post was added late into the game’s launch, and the effect is exactly what we see– an over-saturated Trading Post, with very little reason to sell most low-level crafting items on it.
Will the market improve in time, allowing players to sell what they craft for a better profit? Most likely. That said, it is still possible to make a profit on the Trading Post, but it may take a bit of research.
And yes, as far as the positives of crafting in GW2 go, Legendary weapons are definitely something to look forward to for most players. The experience and the different useful Exotic pieces of gear are also useful. Here’s another thought:
“The only real reason to do crafting is if you find it fun.”
A good point. Is crafting fun in Guild Wars 2, or is it merely a time and gold sink? It’s both, in my opinion. Once the game settles a bit, hopefully our economy will improve and make things a little more profitable for everyone. Personally, I enjoy the game’s crafting so far and find it worthwhile, but I am still leveling. What do you think?