Over the past three beta weekends, I leveled each crafting discipline (All except huntsman over 100). I also spent a ton of time mapping zones and researching any source I could find. Here are some pointers to help you hit the ground running when the game releases.
Table of Contents
Part 1: A Crafting Overview
Part 2: Choosing a Crafting Discipline
Part 3: Crafting Explained (with Tips for Leveling)
Part 4: Gathering Explained (More than Just Nodes!)
Part 5: Crafting Maps (Vendors, Farming Locations, and Gathering Routes)
Part 6: Tips for Selling on the Trading Post
Part 7: Discipline Specific Advice
Part 1: A Guildwars 2 Crafting Overview
Three Things Everyone Should Know About GW2 CraftingÂ (Back to top)
#1:Â Everyone should Gather
Gathering in Guild Wars 2 is a HUGE source of experience and loot.Â Even if you are not going to craft in GW 2, the first thing you should do when you start leveling is buy some gathering tools and at least harvest the nodes on questing path.Â I will discuss gathering more in part four.
#2:Â You Don't Want to Level Crafting by Grinding on Default Recipes
The fastest and most efficient way to level crafting disciplines is to use the discovery process.Â If you choose not to use this feature, you will need about two to three times the materials.
#3:Â You Should not Try to Learn all the Recipes
The Guild Wars 2 system is designed so that you will only learn about 1/4 to 1/3 of the total crafting recipes while leveling.Â If you try to learn them all, you need three to four times the ingredients (which could be better spent leveling an entirely different discipline).
Why you should craft in Guild Wars 2 (Back to top)
While you could play Guild Wars 2 without crafting, there are several reasons to consider picking up a couple disciplines even if you werenâ€™t planning on it:
- Experience: Every crafting profession will give you ten character levels. When you throw gathering in the mix, it is not impossible to get over 25% of your character experience just through crafting.
- Self Sufficiency: Even with a global auction house, there are often times you will not be able to find the exact item you want. Leveling crafting lets you tailor make your equipment to whatever stat you want without having to hope that someone put the exact item you want on the auction house for a decent price.
- Fun: If you value discovery and making your own gear, the Guild Wars 2 crafting process is easy, non-grindy and fun!
- Completion: If completion is your thing, no character is fully maxed out without two level 400 professions.
- Helping Others: It is fun to be able to meet other peopleâ€™s needs.
- Achievements: Crafting actually has its own achievement section! You have to max out every discipline and do quite a bit of gathering and salvaging to complete them all. Also, many of the daily and monthly achievements (which have great rewards) are crafting related.
- Epic Items: You will need to have at least two crafting disciplines maxed to make epic weapons. These are the mountaintop goals of GW 2 PvE.
- Profit: While it can take a lot of work to become wealthy while crafting, it is actually one of the better ways to become wealthy (if you know what you are doing). I will write a section on this later.
- Convenient Bank Access:Â You can access your bank via crafting stations.Â Since there are crafting stations at each major outpost, this means you will be able to access your bank on the field.
What are the Guild Wars 2 Crafting Disciplines? (Back to top)
*In addition to specialty bags, armor crafting professions can all make normal and invisible bags. Jeweler Accessories consist of rings, earrings and necklaces.
What are the steps of the Guild Wars 2 Crafting Process? (Back to top)
Guild Wars 2 does not employ any crafting mini-games like Everquest 2 or Vanguard Saga of Heroes. This is what the general crafting process looks like:
Step 1: Gathering your Raw Materials (using one or more of these methods)
- Harvest a node
- Break down drops using a salvage kit
- Loot items from monsters
- Buy items from vendors for gold or karma (some of which must be unlocked first)
- Transmute the ingredient using the Mystic Forge (either upgrade the tier of component or make an entirely new one)
Step 2: Combine your Raw Materials into Intermediary Ingredients
Step 3: Combine your Intermediary Ingredients to form a finished product
- Using a recipe if you already have it
- Using the discovery process if you do not
Here is a more detailed chart for you visual people that shows how the complete cycle works...
How is Guild Wars 2 Crafting Different than Other MMOs? (Back to top)
While there are similarities to existing MMOs, Guild Wars 2 definitely has some distinctives.
- It is Discovery Based: You are given very few recipes and have to experiment (or read a guide) to uncover new ones. This is by far the most efficient way to level and actually pretty easy if you know what you are doing.
- It is Anti-Grind: You do not need to make 100 widgets to level crafting in Guild Wars 2. If you are doing it right, you will only make one of a specific finished product.
- It is Big: There are a ton of recipes to discover. Armor Smith alone has over eighty finished products in tier one. Expect there to be well over 500 valid recipes for each profession.
- It has Bloat (which is a good thing): Each crafter is not meant to discover everything. Most people will make less than a quarter of the total recipes while leveling. This is by design and discovering each recipe will be a time consuming (and somewhat wasteful process). You could most likely level four to five disciplines with the resources necessary to completely explore on of them.
- It is More Streamlined: From being able to send crafting materials directly, to being able to access your bank while crafting, to being able to discover recipes without every looking at a guide, Guild Wars 2â€™s crafting process is more user friendly than any game I have played.
- It is Not Random: While some people may debate this with me, I believe this is a good thing.
Wonâ€™t a Global Auction House Ruin the Crafting Market? (Back to top)
While this has worried many people, Arenanet has designed their crafting system to work with a global marketplace. Here is how:
- You donâ€™t need to make more than one of any item while leveling. This prevents crafted items from flooding the marketplace.
- You wonâ€™t discover more than a quarter to a third of the items while leveling. This means that everyone will have niche recipes that they make that other people donâ€™t
- There are a ton of recipes to make (that means that there are enough niches to satisfy a lot of people)
- Due to Guild Wars 2â€™s item scaling philosophy, crafted items wonâ€™t become obsolete with new content like they do in other MMOs.
- Crafted items are Bind on Equip, so people wonâ€™t resell them.
I believe that these factors will enable a smart and motivated crafter to turn a profit even when faced with the competition from a global marketplace. I will go into detail on how later.