Crafting is one of my favorite classes of mechanics in MMORPGs. These games feature a ton of creative systems for making items that players use. Guild Wars 2 takes things in a very complex direction. Players are given nine crafting classes to work with in this game, Guild Wars 2 crafting gives players a total of nine crafting disciplines to work with.
Guild Wars 2 Crafting Basics
Armorsmith, Leatherworker, and Tailor are responsible for all the armor varieties in the game. Weaponsmith, Huntsman, and Artificer craft all the weapons in GW2. Chef, Jeweler, and Scribe can be used to create food, jewelry and other accessories to buff your character. These classes are somewhat locked off. You can normally have up to two active Disciplines at a time.
You can buy a premium item from the Gem shop to bring the number of active classes to four. It’s a good idea to try and see which classes you like, as having to swap around a lot is kind of annoying. You don’t lose progress by swapping crafting classes, so don’t worry about that.
The mechanics themselves are relatively easy to grasp, but hide a ton of depth. Players use Crafting Stations to deal with all of this. Within that Crafting Station, players will encounter recipes broken up into a variety of categories. The recipe tiers are Novice, Initiate, Apprentice, Journeyman, Adept, Master, and Grandmaster. This means that there are a total of 500 Levels of crafting recipes across all nine classes. So that’s a ton of work to do. but is it worth it?
Before we get into that, let’s talk a bit about the Crafting Station. The crafting system has so many materials in it that it’s too hard to list them all. It’s much better to use an external plan to know what you want to craft. Pwniversity has an incredible leveling plan for this. Before diving into that, let’s get back to the basics of the Station so you can learn what you’re looking at. Here are the tabs you’ll see, and what they mean:
- Discovery – This tab lists all the Recipes and Recipe Sheets your character can learn.
- Production – This tab displays all the recipes that your character already knows.
- Material Storage – This is where you can see what materials you have in stock.
- Bank – This is the remaining items in storage that aren’t crafting mats.
- Wardrobe – This tab is all your cosmetic items that you can equip.
The Economics of GW2 Crafting
In Guild Wars 2, crafting will cost you more gold than you’ll get from it, so it makes it less of a money-making venture. The goal with most crafting efforts is to offset costs of end-game crafting. Some of the best options for gear in GW2 are rather hard to get, and crafting eases that cost. The way this works is that basically, all the sub-400 recipes are just for leveling. Most players won’t be buying materials before this tier unless they’re following a leveling plan. The weirdest quirk in all of this is that the material costs always outweigh the final value of a crafted item, exempting the top-tier crafts. This is due to almost no one bothering with low-level crafted gear.
The rarity (or quality) of items is divided into seven tiers: Basic, Fine, Masterwork, Rare, Exotic, Ascended, and Legendary. Anything below Exotic falls into that aforementioned useless category for crafted gear. In short, it’s better to focus on gathering to sell for currency than selling crafted gear. It’s usually a good idea to farm up some Gold before really committing to leveling crafting for this reason, as you will undoubtedly lose money leveling.
Getting to this point reveals the Master Craftsman tier, one of the most important parts to beginning actually making progress in crafting. Legendaries are the most powerful weapons and gear. Getting them isn’t easy, but you can get them easier if you’re crafting some materials. These recipes will mostly be useful for making a bit of cash by selling items to lower-level crafters. This is harder to do know, thanks to lower player population. Getting past this 400-500 grind is your real goal though.
Getting to level 500 will be the biggest grind here, but it’s well worth it. The top tier of crafting recipes take a ton of time to make, so many players trade the components via the Trade Post. This is where the return on investment is often seen. When new expansions come out, there’s always new gear to be made. So being able to speculate and preemptively stock the market with higher-end materials is a good currency faucet.
At level 500, the armor and weapon crafters get access to another class of items – Ascended. These and Exotic gear are the best items in the game that most players can get. These use special materials like Spirit Shards—which can be kind of expensive, and you also need to invest time into the crafting itself.
Mystic Forge and High-end Crafting
You can craft Legendary weapons in the Mystic Forge. This uses Gifts as one set of components, which are also their own recipes. Players will end up with an Ascended or higher rarity weapon at the end of this. The Mystic Forge provides access to multiple unique recipes, and its where the real end-game of crafting begins.
One of the most common crafted items that sells for a steady income is Salvage Kits. A Salvage Kit contains the tools needed to salvage crafting materials from items that can be salvaged. They’re used for a variety of different items and have rarity tiers. High-end crafters pump out Mystic Salvage Kits by the boatload.
Materials Promotion is another common Mystic Forge craft. This allows the player to take lower-rarity materials and transmute a larger stack of them into a small stack, with a higher rarity. This is great if you want to avoid the gathering grind. Ascended and Exotic mats are used in all the end-game crafting, so taking the path of Rare>Exotic>Ascended is very common, although the material costs are pretty high. Most players stick with transmuting Exotic into Ascended mats.
You can also make Gift of Might, Gift of Condensed Might, Gift of Magic, Gift of Condensed Magic, Gift of Crystalline Magic, Gift of Ephemeral Magic, Gift of Fortune, Mystic Tribute, Gift of Prosperity, Gift of Competitive Prosperity, Gift of War Prosperity as well as all Gifts of Mastery and all Gifts for Legendary Weapons.