Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Crafting economics in Wildstar

The bonus beta weekend allowed me to test one more thing and come up with a new crafting plan for release. I had previously found out that the technologist had recipes that did not require store-bought components, so one could make money by crafting these recipes and selling them to a vendor. The disadvantage is that the buff potions you can make as technologist aren't of much use to yourself. Even at vendor prices you wouldn't want to drink that potion just for a 15-minute +8 buff on one stat.

I tried other tradeskills, like tailor, but found that for that profession the cost of the store-bought component plus the cost of the power core exceeded the vendor sales price of the items you can make. But one of my readers suggested smithing instead. It turns out that armor-smithing is better than tailoring in that it is more or less cost-neutral: If you make the 5 "Type I Steel" items, it will cost you 83 silver, and you can sell them for 82 silver. If you make only the best seller, the chest piece, you can even make a profit and get 100 silver.

But now I tried weapon-smithing, and the economics are better. All the lowest level weapons you can make are as profitable as the best armor. And if you make higher level weapons the vendor sales price goes up, while the crafting cost remains the same. So if you make all the recipes in your technology tree to skill up, you end up with a tidy sum of profit. And the weapon you can make for yourself (or alts) are useful compared to what you'll find. I'm not sure if there will be much of a player market for crafted gear, but as long as I can at least make money from vendors, I'm happy.

That settles my choice for my main at release to a draken warrior, explorer path, with weapon-smithing and mining as tradeskills. If I make an alt, it will be an esper with technologist, because technologist can craft the power cores the other professions require.

Any indication that crafting will not be the irrelevant fail (ok, maybe I'm a bit extreme :)) that it is in WoW or other WoW-likes?

Since you had posted in the past much about economics in MMOs in general and especially about poor design of the auction houses, I would be glad to hear your opinion to the Commodity Exchange in wildstar.
From Tobold's description, it seemed to me that it is essentially the same as WoW.

Crafting doesn't really work in these games, IMO, except combined with gathering as a time sink. Everyone does it and therefore there is one high-level professional producing stuff for every 5-10 high-level players (or maybe even fewer). Hence, no economy unless you somehow restrict certain high-value items to a very few producers.
Wildstar's weaponsmithing is still hardly a pass to craft "for free".
1) Some recipes are money losers, e.g. L 16 CAMs (a type of weapon mod) use a Sapphire Core (20.60) and a Bonding Interface (11.94), but sell for only 21.70.
2) To earn credits for rarer recipes, you'll want to be completing various assigned crafting orders, which cost you money to make but earn nothing since you can't vendor them. Completion doesn't pay much (if any) cash.
3) Some progress branches in the weapon tech trees require the salvaging of multiple weapons to progress, so you will want to salvage some or most spare crafted / looted weapons & thus have to feed money into the system.
4) There's no guarantee the weapon cost won't skyrocket beyond their value once you switch to higher tier components, like tier 2 fluxes. The inbalance between crafts shows that they didn't exactly think this through that carefully. Although tier -2 (Sapphire Core) based weapons are still money-makers if vendored.
5) Until/if they get around to balancing the economics between various crafting trades, word will get around and there will be many weaponsmiths and few tailors. Which means your stuff won't be worth much in auctions. Tailors may on the other hand be able to charge much more.

At level 16, I was able to keep my money supply roughly even while weaponsmithing through all my ore. But I wasn't earning any money either (I haven't try to auction anything), since the above factors do eat up some of your gold. And as you said earlier, money supply appears exceedingly tight, I have < 5 gold, having bought almost nothing. New class skills now cost > 1g each, it costs 5 gold to buy the first bank slot upgrade, > 10g for a basic mount, 1+ gold apiece for a week's worth of housing plot upgrades, etc.

I didn't realize techs can craft cores, that's pretty attractive.
I simply skipped the weaponsmithing daily quests and the recipes that lose money and concentrated on the money-making stuff. Yesterday, Sunday, I made 20 gold with weaponsmithing (using crafted cores from my technologist). That enabled me to buy a biodome for my house, plus amount. Not too bad for a day's work!
Nice. I have a feeling the current gear crafting economics are not going to stay the way they are for very long. Seems like way too much of a discrepancy between trades. At the end of the weekend I was able to make sapphire-core weapons that cost ~25s and sold for ~55s. 30s per craft is a pretty decent profit at a level (17) where a gold piece is still a good chunk of change. And that was not the high water mark of the Sapphire tier, I think it might make even more. Tier 3 will probably shift to the medium cost fluxes, and it remains to be seen if it's still a money maker.

There's currently a nasty recipe bug in a whole line of tier 2 weapons that require T3 components/ore (Platinum Condensers). I'm quite certain that was not intended, these are level 16 weapons and platinum is upper 20s. I reported it. From what I could tell, crafting in the beta is capped at the Apprentice tier (2), it seemed like I had enough XP earned to reach tier 3.

I did all the crafting dailies and all the salvaging, and still wound up at nearly 15 gold, but haven't bought a mount yet.
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