The greatness of a craft consists firstly in how it brings comradeship to men.

So ArenaNet blogged about their crafting system yesterday. Here’s a summary of some of the salient points, with my feelings on them:

I’m Andrew McLeod, one of the Game Designers responsible for creating an in-depth but accessible crafting system for Guild Wars 2.

Well hello, Andrew.

Characters can be proficient in up to two crafting disciplines at a time. We feel that this allows players to have a good variety in the items that they can craft, but still maintains player interaction and exchange. It also gives a stronger focus on the specifics of what you can craft- especially with the depth and size of each of our crafting professions.

Show me the depth and size of your crafting profession, baby.

Although a character can only have two disciplines at a time, they can change their crafting disciplines by visiting the master craftsmen NPC that can be found in all major cities. When you change back to a crafting discipline that you’ve previously learned, you regain your skill level and known recipes from that discipline, but the cost of changing disciplines increases with the skill level in that discipline.

Mmmm, yes.

Characters can gather all types of crafting materials, and gathering nodes in Guild Wars 2 are not exclusive, or used up after a player gathers materials from it.

Ohhhhh, yes.

If you’ve played other MMOs, you may have felt frustrated when trying to gather crafting materials; you’re running around zones trying to find nodes, only to have someone beat you to the node, or take the resources while you’re fighting an enemy that attacked you before you could gather them. In Guild Wars 2, each node can be gathered by every player, so when you see a rare node off in the distance, you don’t need to abandon what you’re doing to try and beat other players to it.

Nnnnn, yesssss!

We decided to make gathering available for all characters for a couple major reasons. First, we wanted gathering nodes to be sought after by every player, so that when players are grouped together they don’t need to feel guilty by making the group wait for them while they run off after an ore vein on the side of the road.

Oh God! Yes! Yesss!

Secondly, gathering professions are often used for economic gain, through selling materials to other players, and we didn’t want crafters to have to sacrifice their economic potential in order to be able to craft gear for themselves and friends.


If you haven’t previously crafted that item, you discover the recipe for that item, allowing you to easily view the correct combination to recreate the item. Some basic recipes are automatically learned by characters, but the recipes for most items must be discovered by the crafter. A few recipes can only be learned from a trainer or from drops in the world.

Ooo, ow. Not like that. That’s awkward, I don’t want it in the wiki, baby.

Leveling up your crafting skill uses an experience system—each item you craft is worth an amount of experience. There are 400 skill points in each discipline, though crafting items will often give multiple points worth of experience.

Mmm, that’s better!

Our intent is that you should never have to make something you consider worthless while leveling a crafting discipline.

Oh yeah, here we go. Here we go. Oh. OH! Yessssssss.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at crafting in Guild Wars 2. As you can see, the crafting system we’ve created really reflects our philosophy of cooperative, accessible gameplay.

Well, it was good for me.


11 thoughts on “The greatness of a craft consists firstly in how it brings comradeship to men.

  1. ffox

    :D :D :D :D :D

    (in all seriousness tho – the wiki thing sounds kinda lame and they recently addressed it with what boils down to – we know you’ll read it on the net and that’s fine for us if it’s fine for you)

  2. Melmoth Post author

    Yes, it seems that Tobold (and others, I’m sure) have raised the same point.

    I have to say though, if that’s the worst thing about the crafting in Guild Wars 2, I imagine I’ll be able to live with it.

    We’ll have to see how the discovery system works first. For example: Minecraft’s discovery system was excellent because there was a pattern of logic to it (once you knew a few basic starting recipes); if you want an item in Minecraft you have to gather the right materials and form the correct – and most importantly, relatively intuitive – pattern. If GW2 follows a similar system, then there’s inherent enjoyment to be had from the ‘art of discovery’.

    If, on the other hand, it’s just a matter of slapping materials at random into slots until something valid pops out, then I expect certain wikis will be getting a lot of page hits shortly after GW2 launches.

  3. ffox

    well, i don’t have the heart for that but i feel i’d have to…

    it’s not like minecraft. there are some screenshots on Rock Paper Shotgun and some higher-res on guru but don’t remember in which thread. (i liked its crafting pretty much although i read every recipe on the wiki from day one)

    in GW2 you have 4 slots and just combine stuff in them. raw materials combine in lesser-items – components – which you then combine into the real thing. f.e. you craft leather straps, metal hilt, blade, handle etc. and then combine the sword from them.

    your crafting experience level limits your ability to successfully combine the materials in a recipe (i.e. if crafting the iron hilt requires you to be craft level 2 you can’t copy it from the site and make it on level 1)

  4. Melmoth Post author

    Ah well, I won’t decry it before I try it, but it will be a shame if it’s just another system that encourages you to alt-tab to a web browser in order to be able to progress.

  5. ffox

    exactly :)
    i feel a bit disappointed to be honest, but i’d rather restrain from judgment for now – this move is either very slick, or very naive. i can’t tell before i see it in the larger context of the game.

  6. darkeye

    Oh so you really liked it, was hard to tell.

    Had a few doubts about the crafting system but from reading the dev posts on the GW2guru forums I think I’m happy with most of it. I like that they are aiming for the player to be able to level up crafting by making gear just for themselves. That there is no critted items with better stats, crits on recipes just refund some of the materials or give bonus leveling points. The crafted gear is the same level in terms of power as the dungeon gear, only differing by appearance. You can bet that the crafted gear is going to be plain looking and the dungeons will have the exotic looking stuff and that’s the way it should be.

    As long as the discovery process is intuitive, and there is a certain rationale about what bonuses a component adds, I’d like that implementation and it would probably make the whole wiki agrument moot. I’ve never played minecraft but the amount of people saying they just wikied stuff, doesn’t that just defeat the purpose of the game.

  7. Melmoth Post author

    I’ll still be carefully clutching the Handbag of Doubt until experiencing the released game; Warhammer Online’s pre-release developer reports have taught me to maintain a moderate but healthy level of scepticism.

    I certainly like what they’re saying, however, because they’re claiming to address a large number of the issues regarding crafting that have been raised repeatedly in the blogosphere, and elsewhere, for the past five years or more.

    Once again, here’s to them delivering on their promises. But if not, the Handbag of Doubt is waiting to be swung in wild over-arm retribution.

  8. Garumoo


    “We decided to make gathering available for all characters”

    “gathering professions are often used for economic gain, through selling materials to other players”

    Does not compute.

  9. Melmoth Post author

    Think gold farmers and the lack of profitability in them focussing purely on gathering when everyone can do it.

    Players will still trade/sell those raw materials they gather which they can’t use, but with everyone doing so, I imagine the idea is that it will be a very poor time/reward investment for gold farmers.

    Or that’s what I read into it, at least.

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