Discipline and Discovery - First Crafting Details Revealed for Guild Wars 2
As part of the week-long buildup to PAX East this weekend in Boston,
ArenaNets Andrew McLeod has revealed the first details on how crafting and
gathering will work in Guild Wars 2. In his blog post, Andrew gives us an
overview of what crafting disciplines will be available, examples of how
materials can be obtained, and how crafting will be more reliant on discovery
than simply purchasing new recipes from trainers.
On the crafting side of things, players will be able to train two different
disciplines at a time. The fickle-minded need not fear though; youll always
have the option to change your mind and learn different disciplines should you
so choose. Then, should you opt to switch back at any point, you'll retain any advancement or recipes already learned for that discipline.
Here you can see an example of the in-game crafting UI which is accessed through a tab in the main Hero window
The current list of crafting disciplines includes:
Weaponsmith Weaponsmiths craft melee weapons, such as swords, axes and
Huntsman Huntsmen craft ranged weapons like bows and pistol, as well as
torches and warhorns.
Artificer Artificers craft magical weapons such as staves and scepters
Armorsmith Armorsmiths craft heavy armor pieces.
Leatherworker Leatherworkers craft medium armor pieces.
Tailor Tailors craft light armor pieces.
Jewelcrafter Jewelcrafters craft jewelry, such as rings and necklaces.
Cook Cooks can prepare food which characters can eat for temporary combat
This list doesnt necessarily push the MMOG envelope as much as you might expect
in light of all the other unique gameplay mechanics in GW2, and on the surface
appears to be pretty vanilla. However, that doesnt mean crafting in GW2 will be
the same empty exercise of pressing a button and calling it a day that most MMOG
crafting has devolved into over the years thanks to the dreaded WoW Effect.
As noted above, ArenaNet intends crafting to be a more rewarding experience for
players by allowing them to experiment with the materials in their possession.
By doing so, youll be able to discover new recipes. Once a new recipe has
been discovered this way, it will be added to your list of available combines so
youll never be left guessing what components you used the first time.
Likewise, Andrew explained that the various crafting disciplines would have the
ability to create upgrades for their gear. In his example, Andrew noted, For
instance, a weaponsmith can craft a handle which can be attached to melee
weapons to give them a chance to poison enemies.
We also learned that crafting disciplines will use an experience-based system,
with a maximum of 400 points that can be gained. It remains to be seen if
advancement will be gated by combat profession level as it is in most MMOGs, or
if you can reach that 400 point maximum with no restrictions beyond having
enough resources to get there.
Another question mark is where crafted items fit into the overall itemization
hierarchy. Its all too common in MMOGs for crafted gear to be maybe slightly
better than random solo-mob drops, but then far less powerful than what can be
obtained in group situations. This is usually the silver bullet that kills most
players desire to bother with crafting in the first place since, at best,
youll be able to create some gear to help you while leveling up, but once you
reach the level cap theres rarely a worthwhile payoff for the effort.
Chances are, the gear upgrades you can make, such as the weaponsmith example
cited above, will help provide a sense of balance here, but it remains to be
seen if the discovery system for obtaining new recipes will be a source of
fascination or frustration should the results prove to be lackluster compared to
The other potential downside to the discovery system is the inevitable
cataloguing of all potential combines for each discipline on the web shortly
after the games launch. Call it what you will, but it kind of defeats the point
of wanting players to be able to distinguish themselves as a crafter when they
can pull up the in-game wiki (already confirmed as part of the extended
experience for GW2) and scan over the list of possible combines.
It will be interesting to see how each of these things is being addressed to
keep the crafting system fun and interesting for players. As the Ten Ton Hammer
team descends upon Boston this weekend at PAX East, well be sure we have our
interview guns loaded with questions on all of this and much more. In the
meantime, be sure to join the discussion on crafting and gathering in our Guild
Wars 2 forums!
Designer Andrew McLeods original blog post, including details on how resource
harvesting will work in Guild Wars 2, can be found on the official Arena.net
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.