Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Crafting regrets

I took up jewelcrafting in Guild Wars 2 with my alt as second tradeskill yesterday, while the auction house was down again. This morning, when it was back up, I instantly regretted that choice: Even the best level 35 masterwork jewelry I could make only sold for coppers more than the vendor price. There is simply no money to be made with jewelcrafting, you can't even craft stuff for yourself cheaper than buying it.

I think Guild Wars 2 is extremely bad for making money from crafting, because the auction house spans all servers. There is no opportunity for arbitrage in such a large economy. And every player "produces" more items in the form of loot drops, or because he has to craft hundreds of them for crafting skill points, than he "consumes". Thus the economy is in permanent oversupply, and the prices of everything are close to the floor, which is the vendor price.

That means that gear is essentially free: You can buy the best possible gear on the AH, and after you outleveled it just sell it for 1 copper less to a vendor. Even the leather and cloth gear which on the first day of the AH still held prices up slightly better (because cloth and leather are harder to gather than wood and metal) are now selling for less than the cost of the materials. Spinks already wondered whether it would be profitable to buy gear and salvage it, but unfortunately salvaging usually doesn't return the expensive part of the crafting, but mostly the cheaper base materials, so I don't think that would work.

In a comment on this blog yesterday somebody complained that the Star Wars Galaxies crafting system led to the players most invested in crafting becoming very rich. What is wrong with that? Isn't that like complaining that the people most invested in raiding in a MMORPG end up with the best epics? I do believe that hard mode raiding should give the best epics, and hard mode crafting should have its rewards as well. Only there isn't any hard mode for crafting, there is just this trivial version which leads to a market awash with cheap mass-produced junk.

So this morning I checked what I would need to buy to level jewelcrafting further, which is gold ore, and then just shrugged and gave up. There simply doesn't appear to be a point to crafting in Guild Wars 2. Are the any "bind on pickup" recipes like in World of Warcraft? If not, I'll just buy everything for cheap on the AH.

I wanted a crafting MMO. So I gave up on WoW and am now playing Eve. I certainly wont be joining GW2.

I don't play GW2 to make a profit, I play to enjoy myself and relax. I'm really enjoying cooking and the discovery aspect of the crafting. I have no intention of 'cheating' by looking at recipes on the web, it defeats the whole purpose. Games are simply that, something to be enjoyed. The beauty of a game like GW2 is the great variety of things to do, there's something there for nearly everyone.
Crafting was never profitable at leveling. Especially in a new game when million of people skill up crafting professions.

In a new game that everyone leveling professions, no one has money to spend for gear..everybody saves the last bit of copper and gear themselves from karma vendors, drops or from their own crafting.

I never saw crafting as money making, I always loved to have all crafting professions across my characters to be self efficient. I want to craft my own armor as I level even if I know it is better to sell the materials and buy the armor.

once I level my professions i will sell the rest of materials to people like me, that for RP reasons want to level their professions instead of just buy things around. At 80 level you can craft the best armor in the game and I don't know if it will be cheap to buy it..

Also, except the T3 Cultural armor that is for cosmetic, I cannot think atm why I will need any gold.
The problem you have is that you are competing with people who don't care about profit. That doesn't mean the crafting system is broken. (Gathering metal, on the other hand, is really quite profitable which it does need to be because you have to pay for gathering tools. It may not be worth gathering the other materials.)
The "Point" in crafting at the moment is the huge quantity of XP you get from doing it. You can easily get about 10 adventure levels from maxing out a single craft.

With the ability to use every craft in the game (only cost is to switch back to an old craft) a good number of players are sucking up crafting materials purely for the quick levels.
I believe that the biggest point of crafting in GW2 is that you need it to be able to craft the legendaries.
It bothers me that in WoW (the only MMo I'm really familiar with first-hand) you don't get any skill improvement for spending time but not catching a fish (for example). Time spent in concerted effort at a task at the least moves you along a plateau. To decrease the item-flood, why not have attempts be potentially item-productive but always increase skill level?
Also, there have got to be engaging mini-games for crafting (maybe randomly generated) instead of the click-and-wait progress bar. If not, it sounds like a fun challenge to come up with some.
Like others have mentioned, the 'point' of crafting is not always to return a profit, but it's required to craft legendary weapons, and you also gain a HUGE amount of experience from doing it. That's also not to say that things won't settle down once people grow bored and move on. The trade post was down for almost two weeks, people have stored up a LOT of goods in that time to sell.

re: salvage, you can certainly salvage the rare items from crafted goods - use a better salvage kit. In specific the black lion trade post salvage kit is 100% guarantee to return the rare components.
+2 for Eve, best crafting, economic and trading MMO around.

I know Tobold doesn't care for the non-consensual PvP at the heart of Eve.

But I do know that losing all your gear when you die is the engine that makes the Eve economy work. Now get out there and die, it's good for the economy!
Some points:
1- with all crafters (some players are "crafters", they craft at any MMO) advancing to skill 400, the prices will be hit down;
2- that happens at any MMO;
3- players will need two crafter professions maxed at 400 for craft one legendary weapon;
4- for craft all elgendary weapons, need all crafting professions;
5- legendary weapons are bound.

Basically, crafting is easy and it is giving xp and helping people to advance.So, a lot of people are crafting and sellign the junk at trade.

We too need think that who wants a legendary weapon (that is not better than an exotic weapon, just have a "cooler" skin) will need advance two crafting professions (for each legendary weapon) to skill 400. And there are a lot of people that want have that legendaries.

We need consider that crafting provides gear that is so good as drops, but no one can control what stat the droped gear will have, while a crafter can control the stat the crafted gear will have. So, for have a good set of gear, it is better craft it yourself.

We too need consider that at level 80, the easiest way to get exotic gear will be to have 400 skill at a crafting profession. maybe sell exotic gear at trade will make money, but we need see it.

With relation to market, it will need a lot of time until estabilizes. Currently, there are more crafted gear sellers than buyers. Maybe that will be diferent at the future, but need time for the market estabilizes.

Finally, If you want make money, the best way is sell crafting mats at trade. If you sell a lot of mats you will get a good money.


Tobold, the comparation with SWG is unfair. GW2 was a themepark, not a sandbox. Sandbox MMO (SWG, EVE) crafting will be profitable, but at any themepark advance crafting will not make money, problably will lose it. To be fair to GW2 you need compare teh crafted items market to the market at other themepark, as Rift,SWTOR and WoW.

Um, do you really require crafting for legendaries? I thought the Gifts were tradeable, not soulbound.

Although "everyone thinks they need it" would still explain why people skill their crafting even if they do not really care about it.
The point of crafting is the same point to doing anything in a leisure activity - entertainment. If you find it entertaining, do it: if you don't, don't. Personally I find it enormously entertaining and most of my efforts have gone into crafting: hunting for mats gives a wonderful structure to my adventuring and exploring.

I have no interest in the economy for it's own sake. I do find the wide availability of everything slightly annoying at the moment but it won't last. In a while dead patches will show up that can be exploited economically if that's your thing. It's not mine.

As pointed out above. you most certainly can recover the good ingredients from items if you invest in a good-quality kit designed for doing so. I keep several different qualities on em to use for different tasks.
There's no reason why a Themepark can't have a crafting system that goes beyond gather/click button. The truth is devs don't put in the work and crafting has become an afterthought. Best example of how lame Themepark crafting has become = SWTOR, where crafting is so boring, they gave you an NPC to do it for you so you can do more exciting stuff.

I agree it'll take time for the economy to stabilize, after which it'll become exactly like the WOW economy - 400 skill items going for a Premium and everything else a mash up of junk and marginally useful gear.
You can make money buying and salvaging, but the margins are low and you spend A LOT of time putting up buy orders for every random possible loot drop out there.

I invested 50s and came out with about a gold after selling the materials from salvaging, but that was a lot of volume to go through.

The problem with crafting is that materials are more valuable than the crafted products. This is not surprising for a Diku MMO, especially when crafting is so lucrative for gaining experience to level.

What GW2 needs is more consumables. Do away with repair vendors in the world and move it to require a player crafted repair kit. This is just one idea, but more consumables than just food are needed. Then allow crafters, through time and the discovery system, to "lock" certain recipes so they have a short monopoly on crafting the item for a period of time for their server.
Changing mob drops to crafting mats instead of items would help reduce item oversupply and increase crafting. It has always surprised me that MMOs disregard crafting since it is a simple mechanic to bring players together.
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