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Jerich's Guildwars 2 Crafting Guide Part 3: Crafting Explained (with Tips For Leveling)

By: Jerich

Make Sure to visit if you stumbled across this guide from the web. That is where I am actively updating it.

Part 3: Crafting Explained (with tips for leveling)(Back to part 1) (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Crafting Basics A: Learning a Discipline (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Typically the first thing you should do with a new character after doing one or so hearts quest is buy some gathering tools. I will talk more about this later. The next thing I would do if this is your first time playing Guildwars 2 is to explore your home city. In particular, look for the bank, the Asuran Portal to Lion’s Arch, and the crafting area… Here is what they look like:

Finding A Crafting Trainer

Once you have decided on your two disciplines, it is time to talk to the master crafter and learn them. Don’t worry too much about choosing wrongly. It is free to drop one of your existing professions and pick up a new one. It is also fairly inexpensive to pick up a discipline you dropped. (10 copper per skill point).

Personally, if this is your first time playing, I would go to Lion’s arch at this time through the glowing Asura gate in your home town. I would do this for two main reasons…

  • Lion’s arch is the way to get to other Newbie areas (you will likely want to do at least a couple).

  • Lion’s Arch is the best place to craft in the game (crafting stations, auction house, bank and mystic forge are all in one convenient location).

I used to do all my crafting in Divinities Reach, but honestly, Lion’s Arch is so much better than any other area that you want to make this your crafting home.

Becoming a Crafter is as Easy as Selecting a Quest

Now that you are a crafter, you should go out and farm some nodes, kill some monsters, and do heart quests / events until you hit level 5 (the first level where you can make items you can wear). You won’t have a ton of bag space yet, but you can right click on crafting components and send them directly to your bank. Once you hit level 5, you probably have enough components stored up to begin crafting…

Crafting Basics B: The Crafting Station (Back to top) (Basic level) (Intermediate Level) (Advanced Crafting)

You will want to run up to your crafting station and interact with it. A big user interface will then pop up with a variety of tabs you can pick from. There are four in all…

The tabs of the crafting station

The first place to begin is to go to your collections tab… If you have been gathering components and sending them to your bank, this is where they show up. In order to start crafting, you actually have to transfer all the material to your inventory.

Note that now might also be a good time to either craft yourself eight slot bags if you have the components, buy them off the auction house or at least buy four of the leather bags you can buy from almost any vendor.

The Collections Tab

Now that you have moved your materials to your inventory, you can switch to the recipe tab and start crafting. The first thing you will need to do is refine your basic materials. You should always do these in batch as soon as you are able to make a new tier because you want to get as many levels as possible through refinement.

Refining your raw components

After I have done this, it is time to make some intermediary components.

Image Showing the Making of a Crafting Component

If this is your first time playing, you probably won’t have enough materials to make a ton of items. You probably do have enough to make some. Hopefully you have some weak blood by now. If you do you can make some level five weapons or armor. You might also want to make yourself some bags and runes if your profession allows it.

Crafting Basics C: The Discovery Process (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

You may be tempted at this point to grind your levels on basic things like bags and simple armor. You should not do this. Guild Wars 2 crafting is discovery based and you level at least twice as fast using the discovery system. My next step is usually to make enough components to begin the discovery process. In the case of leveling Armorsmith, that means I will need to make some insignias.

An Image Showing how to Make Insignias

Once you have enough made components, you can switch over to the discovery tab and begin the discovery process.

The Discovery Process Part 1

The first thing you will see when you do this is a bunch of materials on the left. These are all the materials that are the ingredients of at least one new recipe you can discover. You can select any of them by either double clicking them or dragging them to the right. (Note: Charlatan pointed out that components can sometimes appear in red for cooking if you have found all the level appropriate recipes for that component.)

The Discovery Process Part 2

Now that you have selected at least one component, you can clearly see how many undiscovered recipes there are that use it (note that not all of these will currently be creatable at your skill level). You can also see the required skill level for the currently selected item. The nicest thing about the discovery pane, is that the items that don’t combine with the current level grey out (which makes finding new recipes fairly easy).

Next I just keep adding components...

The Discovery Process Part 4

Notice that all the other components are now grayed out and I have the option to craft this new recipe.

The Discovery Process Part 5

When you click the button, it tells you what you have crafted, adds it to your list and gives you the option to make more. If particular, note the large amount of bonus experience we get for discovery. In this case it is 100% but it can go as high as 150% if we get a critical success. This is the main reason you generally want to level crafting through discovery. You can level with half the materials you would use just by grinding. Next I will talk about how to efficiently level crafting.

Intermediate Crafting Part A: The Guild Wars 2 Tiered Crafting System (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Crafting in Guild Wars 2 uses six tiered system. During the beta weekend events we have been able to get to tier three. Here is a chart that shows the tiers as of Beta Weekend 3 (I have added the tiers after tier three by searching for recipes).

Guildwars 2 Crafting Tiers at a Glance

As you can see, there is a repeating pattern of 75 skill point for each level except for tier five (which has 100 skill points) and tier six (which has one skill point). Every discipline except cooking (which follows a real world recipe system) follows this pattern:

  • First 25 Skill Points: Refine Base Materials, Make Component Items, Fine Equipment (Three Types)

  • Next 25 Skill Points: Fine Equipment (The Other Types)

  • Final 25 Skill Points: Masterwork / Rare (T2-T4) Equipment

  • Tier 5 Extra Skill Points: Rare Equipment

  • Tier 6: Exotic Equipment (Requires Globs of Ectoplasm as a Limiting Ingredient)

Now let’s look at how you get experience using this system…

Intermediate Crafting B: How Each Tier is Structured (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

If you want to level as effieciently as possible, you need to understand the strucutre behind each crafting Tier. Every discipline except cooking uses a repeating pattern. Let's look more closely at T1 Armorsmith...

A Closer Look at the Tier 1 Armorsmith

As you can see, the tier can be split into three sub-tiers of skill, each being comprised of 25 skill points:

  • In Sub-Tier 1: We will primarily refine our raw materials, make crafting components and discover the first level of armor (Note that in this tier we can make three types of armor)

  • In Sub-Tier 2: We will primarily discover the next level of armor (Again three new types)

  • In Sub-Tier 3: We will discover masterwork armor. Since masterwork armor takes a lot of fine crafting components to make, this is the most difficult sub-tier to skill through.

  • Once you get to skill level 75 you repeat the process, but this time with Tier 2 components.

Intermediate Crafting C: Tips for Efficient Leveling (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Here are some general tips for leveling that apply the above information to level as efficiently as possible….

Tip #1: Make your refinements and components as soon as they become available.

Refinements and components only give experience for twenty five levels. You will want to front-load them as much as possible because doing so will extract as much experience from them as possible before they go grey. I always start by doing batch refinement of everything I have collected so far and then make enough components for my discovery process. Read section D for an example of how to do this in practice.

Tip #2: Discovery is almost always better than grinding.

The reason why is that discovery yields 100% more bonus experience than grinding on a known recipe. The only reason I would grind is if you are making something that you will use (bags, gear, multiple runes, etc) or if you find an especially easy recipe (cooking and artificer have a lot of these low hanging fruit).

Tip #3: You should make items appropriate to your sub-tier when possible

You may be tempted to keep leveling a Sub-Tier 1 level item once you hit level 25 because they will still yield experience. Resist the urge. Why? You will level much faster and more efficiently using the Sub-Tier 2 armor that just opened up. This will mean you will have more available fine crafting components for Sub-Tier 3. Since this is the hardest Sub-Tier to get through, you will need as many components as possible.

Tip #4: Be adaptable in your level strategy.

Have you been finding a ton of a specific component? Go ahead and discover one of each type of item that component can make. Are you finding an even amount of components? Cherry pick the recipes that use the least amount of materials and make one type of each of those. You should be constantly evaluating what you have available and use those. The main thing to watch out for is the second set of 25 points. Don’t violate Tip #3 if you can help it.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to use the auction house.

You can get a lot of discovery points making things like runes and sigils if you buy the rare components on the auction house. Always be searching for cheap fine crafting materials and rare components. Sell you excess materials and buy these cheaply. You will level a lot faster if you do.

Tip #6: Become best friends with web crafting databases

While most of the general recipes are predictable, you will often miss easy experience like runes and bag discoveries. You should bookmark sites like and and get used to using them. I use Guildwars 2 wiki to get a general understanding of what is available to craft and gw2db for its sorting potential. In particular can sort according to crafting discipline and skill level. This lets you see at a glance what you can craft.

Tip #7: Don’t kill yourself with efficiency, expecially if you are making equipment for yourself as you go

You don’t need to worry about being as efficient as possible. As long as you are not completely inefficient you should be able to level quickly and easily. Just making gear you are going to use will almost take you through a tier. The bellow example illustrates this point.

Intermediate Crafting D: An Example of Leveling from 0 to 75 Armorsmith (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Let’s say I am making a new warrior and I want to create my own gear and bags while leveling. I don’t have access to the resources of another character so I won’t be able to do things like frontload the first 20 points of each tier with refinements and components. Here is what I can expect assuming I am really unlucky and don’t get any critical successes (You will actually level slightly faster than this example).

Character Level 1-5 (Armorsmith Skill Level 0)…

During these early levels, I will mine ore, farm jute and some blood. Once I get to level 5 it is time to make some armor and runes to wear!

  • Refine 21 copper ingots: (Current Skill Level 5)

  • Refine 8 jute: (Current Skill Level 7)

  • Make bronze glove lining, bronze glove panel, bronze chain chest lining, bronze chain chest padding, bronze chain leggings lining, bronze chain leggings panel, bronze chain boot lining, bronze chain boot panel. (Current Skill Level 10)

  • Make simple mighty gauntlets, shoes, coat and leggings. (Current Skill Level 14)

  • Discover a rune of life: (Current Skill Level 17).

  • Make three more runes of life: (Current Skill Level 20)

Character Level 6-10 (Armorsmith Skill Level 20)…

I continue to mine ore, farm jute, etc. I am also going to try to get twelve bone chips so I can make myself some vital armor. Once I have the materials, I will make myself two eight slot boxes and some level 10 armor.

  • Refine 20 bronze ingots: (Current Skill Level 21)

  • Create 2 eight slot boxes: (Current Skill Level 23)

  • Refine Ingots, create a suit of chain components and 4 vital jute insignias: (Current Skill Level 24)

  • Discover a full set of vital chain armor: (Current Skill Level 28)

  • Make 4 runes of life: (Current Skill Level 31)

Character Level 11-15 (Armorsmith Skill Level 31)…

Continue to farm ingredients and level. I am going for a defensive character with my warrior so I decide I want toughness this time and make sure I either farm fifteen tiny scales or get them from the auction house. I also need four crystal and molten slivers to make runes for my level fifteen armor. I am also going to want three tiny scales and three glittering dust to make my last two 8-slot bags.

  • Make my 5 resilient insignias and a set of chain components: (Current Skill Level 34)

  • Discover my resilient bronze armor: (Current Skill Level 44)

  • Discover an 8-slot equipment box and 8-slot safe box: (Current Skill Level 47)

  • Create a rune of life… Create / Discover 2 minor runes of the soldier and fighter. (Current Skill Level 51)

Character Level 16-20 (Armorsmith Level 51)…

I am continuing to level and farm Tier 1 materials. Note that I will start finding tier two materials somewhere in this level range. In keeping with my defensive theme, I’m going to make some masterwork resilient armor and keep the same rune combination as last time (with one rune of Svanir thrown in the mix).

  • Make my armor components and six embroidered jute insignias: (Skill Level 55)

  • Make my 2x runes of the soldier, warrior, 1x rune of life and discover a minor rune of Svanir: (Skill Level 59)

  • Make my masterwork resilient armor: (Skill Level 70).

Note that at this point, I am probably only one four discoveries away from Skill Level 75 and Tier 2 (depending on how lucky I have been with my discoveries). That should be pretty easy at this point.

I don’t typically plan out my leveling path in this much detail, but I wanted to show you how easy it is to get from one tier to the other even if you are not 100% efficient. You can practically do it just making items that you are going to personally use. While it is possible to level a bit more efficiently that my warrior did in this example, you can still level crafting while you level up your character and keep yourself geared at the same time.

Advanced Crafting A: How crafting experience Is Calculated (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

The Math Behind Crafting Experience

People at Guild Wars 2 Wiki have already figured out how the experience formula for crafting works. I am going to get a little mathy here… so if you don’t like math, feel free to skip to the conclusions summary after the next chart.

The raw equations (taken from

  • Equation for Experience Needed per Crafting Level: xp_req(N) = floor(xp_req(N-1) * 1.01) where

    • The first crafting level requires 500 experience.

    • Each level beyond that requires 1% more than the last.

  • Equation for Crafting XP Gain per Item: xp_gain(N) = xp_req(N+1) * multiplier * (1.0 - (N - N_min) / span) where

    • Refinements have a multiplier of .3 and a span of 25

    • Parts have a multiplier of .6 and a span of 25

    • Items / Foods have a multiplier of 1.4 and a span of 40

  • Discovery gets a bonus of 100%

  • Critical successes get a bonus of up to 50%

  • Making items in batch may or may not give bonuses (this is currently being debated on the talk page of the wiki)

The important thing to note here is that the xp gain equation takes the requirement for the next level into consideration. This means the leveling curve is flat and the percentage of experience you get towards your next level is only dependent on the item type you are making and how much you exceed that items minimum level requirement.

By using these principals and the equations, we can build the following experience gain chart which should be viable for the entire crafting process:

Crafting Experience Chart

Observations (Non-mathy folks start reading again here)

  • Refinements and components only give experience for 25 crafting levels beyond the minimum.

  • Gear / Food gives experience for 40 levels beyond the minimum.

  • Discovering a recipe at the level it opens can yield almost 3 crafting levels of experience!

  • Gear / Food and Discoveries will give you the Bulk of your experience.

Advanced Crafting B: Tips for the Completionist who is Overleveled (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

One problem serious crafters may face is being overleveled. If you are serious about cooking and leveling multiple professions at once you are probably going to go for completion of each zone. This means that you may hit level 25 before you start getting many tier two ingredients. It would be a sad thing indeed to not be able to create your own gear! Here is how to get around this problem…

Tip #1: Offer to Make Gear for your Guildies/Friends!

Most likely, you are leveling slightly slower than the powerhouses of your guild that are not going for multi-zone completion. Offer to convert their raw materials into gear for them. You get levels and they get gear. Everone wins!

Tip #2: Use the Mystic Forge!

Even if you don’t have any friends, you should at least make friends with Zommoros. He is always willing to help you out… for a price.:) You can actually covert one tier of ingredients to the next using the Mystic Forge. I will go into this more in the next section. If you are doing multiple full clears of zones, you are most likely swimming in Tier 1 components and skill points. You can use those extra ingredients to start you on your Tier 2 journey so you don’t miss out on the fun of self-crafted gear.

Tip #3: Use the Auction House!

Sell some of your excess ingredients and buy tier two ones. While this is usually more expensive than the Mystic Forge, you should be able to get some great deals if you look for them. Some components make gear that not a lot of people want and these tend to go for cheap.

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