Cards on the table, I’ve never liked the crafting system in Guild Wars 2. It’s got a lot of lovely things, such as the speeding up through large batch jobs and the XP that helps you level up, but I dislike the discovery system where you have to combine items and see if there is a recipe you can discover. It’s always seemed like too much hard work to me. After all, how do I know what the devs were thinking when they planned them out?
My dislike started right back on day one when I first tried to make something back at launch. I found the system confusing, both in terms of how to make something but also in terms of how it progressed, and wasteful, using up my very meagre resources and not producing anything I required. After filling up my small inventory bags with worthless rifle-buts and pistol handles I called it quits and vowed never to do it again
True to my word I’ve spent the last three and half years deliberately avoiding doing any crafting at all and instead concentrating on farming and selling mats which has netted me a goodly amount of gold. That is until now (dun dun duuuun!).
It all started about three weeks ago when most of the guild members were on holiday, working away or playing ESO. I found myself with several bank tabs full of basic mats such as copper ore and green logs. As I can store 500 in my collection bank this meant I had 1,000 or more and they were taking up space in my main bank (another of my pet hates, things taking up my valuable bank space!). Now normally I’d send to my guild mates and beg them to process them into ingots and planks. But no one was around! With my bank tabs rapidly filling up with more and more filthy bits of rock and mossy lumps of wood I was faced with the very real prospect of *gulp* having to refine them myself! Oh, the horror!
I knew I’d need a guide, someone I could trust to help me navigate a path through the process and I knew that guide had better be one that understood the current state of things rather than being a year or more behind the times. Naturally, as with all things Guild Wars 2, I turned to Dulfy. Surely Dulfy could help save me my time, money and sanity as she had done with both Fractals and Dungeons. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my head around the guides I found there at all and so turned to Google for help.
And lo! For Googl dideth revealeth unto me-eth the amazing pwniversity guides! They appealed to me because, in their own words, they are “don’t suggest farming or buying tons of items, because there is a more efficient way”. I liked the sound of this! Even though I have a fair chunk of gold and a lot of collected mats, I am at heart a hoarder and I hate, hate, HATE the thought of parting with my hard won gold and materials on something I really did not want to get sucked into.
I was rewarded for my Googling because these guides are brilliant! They blast you up through the crafting levels whilst minimising the cost of the journey, albeit at the cost of learning a lot of the available recipes. Also the cost is only minimised and not removed as it can still cost you many tens of gold to get characters to level 300 if you do not have a good store of mats and over 300 there is always going to be a high cost as these mats are harder to collect for a casual player such as myself.
Would I recommend these pwniversity guides? Absolutely. In just three sessions of around two hours each I’ve got to 300 in Huntsman, Leatherworking, Artificer, Jeweller, and Cooking with a net cost of around 20 to 30 gold pieces (crafting mats did cost me more than 20gp but I sold some of the things I made and so at this point I’m about 20-30gp down on where I started) and I’ll be levelling the others this week until I have all at 300 and then I decide on which (if any) I start getting higher.
If you decide that these guides are how you’d like to level in crafting, here are a few tips that could help you as they’ve helped me:
> Each 25 level progression follows more or less the same pattern. Learn this pattern and things will go buttery smooth for you.
> Each 25 level progression is designed to give you around 25 levels but if you use a guild crafting booster and/or an item booster (1 laurel each for 30 mins from the laurel merchant) you can gain up to 10 levels more.
> Whilst that last point sounds great, as you progress higher the lower level items give less XP before quickly dropping to none. In practice this means if you buy everything from the list for that 25 level progression, the last few items might not grant you XP meaning they are a waste of money and mats.
> My advice if you are using XP boosts is to buy half of the mats and see if that gets you up. If not then start buying more but only enough to craft 1 or 2 items at a time until you cross that next 25 level line and have to switch to higher tier mats for the next 25 levels.
> Even if you have the mats always check the price of the items required on the trading post against the price of the base materials need to make those items. Often the item is cheaper than mats required to make it so it can save you valuable mats to simple buy it. Other times the opposite is true and you are best crafting it.
> As you craft items your bags will fill up. Check the sell and buy prices of these items and if there is no profit to be made in selling them you are better using a salvage kit to recover some of the base items (currently this is worth doing with leather as there seems to be a leather shortage in game so the price of leather is very high).
> In some professions crafted items are need for higher recipes (e.g. in Cooking you can make a pizza and then that is needed for higher tier pizzas as one of the components) so you may want to check on the GW2 Wiki before you sell or salvage stuff you might need to craft again to progress later on.
So there you go, a once crafting-hater has been converted, more or less, by a good guide. This is pretty much what my mate El said would happen and she is always right about these things 😀 My plans for crafting are simple right now – refine mats for sale and make bags for my toons – but I’m beginning to feel the stirrings of an interest in the idea of a flirtation with the notion of a of the system behind crafting ascended items… oy vey.