Guild Wars 2 diary: Feeling Crafty

We track the trials and travails of Ozzie's Syvari Mesmer as he gets involved in crafting in Guild Wars 2. Read on for part 3.

If you missed the first two Guild Wars 2 diaries, you can read them here. After exploring the Caledon Forest and the Grove and helping out with random odds and ends, it was time for my personal story to continue. There was lot of chatter about this dark faction of the Sylvari called the Nightmare Court. It was time to deal with these rogues. But first, I had to deal with the matter of my full inventory. Having killed many things, my inventory was constantly full of crafting materials that would prove useless in battle. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to craft and the game wasn't doing a good job of explaining it to me. After exploring Caledon Forest a little more, I found an area filled with artisan crafters who offered to teach me trades--up to two at a time. I learned the armorsmith and tailor skills and decided to start crafting. Of course, I had no clue where to start and I couldn't find a clear tutorial on how to do so. I also found myself increasingly drowning in junk with nowhere to put it. With nearly every fallen foe leaving some sort of loot behind, my inventory filled up fast. Fortunately, I have the Shack community to help me out with this growing inconvenience. Shacker Chod advised me to "make sure you use the option Deposit Collectibles in your bag to send all that stuff to the bank. It frees up a lot of space." Amazingly, this strategy worked, and I suddenly had a lot more space! Then came time to figure out how to use the crafting table.

The crafting interface

Unfortunately, the supplies I picked up for my chosen crafting professions were surprisingly sparse. I poked around the interface, making random items and increasing my XP for those professions. I didn't wind up crafting anything useful, only putting together Jute Sandal Soles and Jute Tunic Linings, and I wound up depositing everything I made into the bank. I have my eye on Mighty Embroidered items and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to craft them soon. Overall, learning crafting wasn't easy and I still don't feel like I have it down all the way. But when in doubt, just poke around and learn for yourself, I guess. With my crafting lesson out of the way, it was time to resume my personal story. Up to this point, I had skated through missions by relying on other players to do the heavy lifting. While there's been plenty of mission variety, they've all shared the common factor that other players would often lend a helping hand. That wouldn't be the case this time around. Personal story missions would strictly be solo excursions. Fortunately, I had a two-handed Trident and enough knowledge of my Mesmer skills to carry me through. Much like the side-mission by Briarthorn Den, my personal story quests would be centered around deception. After fending off a Nightmare Court rush and escorting a prisoner to a Sylvari jail, I once again had to blend in with the court to uncover their plans. The early missions were simple enough to complete, but the next personal story mission took a bit of a difficulty spike and also introduced a new wrinkle that will see many players branch off to their own narratives. My ally, Tiachren, had a lost love named Ysvelta being held captive by the court. After finding her, we discovered that she had been converted to the Nightmare's cause. After she escaped, our ruse was discovered and we had to fight out way out. It was not easy, as our original prisoner was invulnerable for most of the fight, leading to several deaths. I hit my first snag, so I quit the mission and leveled up some more before returning. After successfully completing that quest, I had a decision to make. Tiachren was sure that Ysvelta could be swayed back from the Nightmare Court's influence and back to the Dream. Caithe, the firstborn that had put this plan together in the first place, grimly noted that once a Sylvari falls to the Nightmare, there's no going back. I was forced to decide whether to try and save Ysvelta again or protect the Astorean villagers from the attack that she was about to lead. I had to decide whether the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. I ultimately decided that love had to win out in the end, so I chose to attempt to sway Ysvelta back to the Dream, which ultimately proved to be a futile effort. This was a fine introduction to GW2's branching story paths, but it'll be interesting to see if these seemingly-consequential choices will ultimately affect my story down the road. Next time, I attempt to conquer the crafting table again with some help from a friend and also look to explore the rest of the forest before heading off for greater Tyria.
Shacknews' Guild Wars 2 diary series follows Ozzie Mejia's journey into NCSoft's online world. Read the ongoing series here.
Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 4, 2012 2:15 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Guild Wars 2 diary: Feeling Crafty.

    We track the trials and travails of Ozzie's Syvari Mesmer as he gets involved in crafting in Guild Wars 2. Read on for part 3.

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      September 4, 2012 2:29 PM

      Crafting in GW2 is an odd beast. It takes a bit of getting your head around, particularly the Discovery stuff. However if you look around on the net there are plenty of recipes out there for you to 'discover'. I think like many games though, crafting kind of feels like a half useful tack on in GW2. The rest of the game is incredible though :)

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      September 4, 2012 2:35 PM

      The crafting has been the most difficult part of figuring out GW2. Some of them are pretty easy to find the different components like armor and weapon smithing, but it was so unclear where you were supposed to be getting leather and cloth stuff from. Also the odd limited crafting tools thing seems annoying. Like you need a special kind of axe to cut down certain kinds of trees. Overtly complicated.

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        September 4, 2012 2:48 PM

        It's not so bad. As you level up and start hanging out in higher level areas, you start buying the slightly more expensive gathering tools.

        Getting enough leather to skill up has been a nightmare, though. :(

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      September 4, 2012 2:42 PM

      Crafting has to be the biggest grind of the entire game no doubt. I have spent 5 days harvesting and farming to raise my weaponsmith past 75. I gained 10 levels doing this so that's the one questionable benefit of doing it. However, looking into Master craft and all it is well worth the investment. karma items will not compete with top tier craft items from everything gathered.

      With that said, the rest of the game is nothing short of amazing. It's been years since a MMO has sucked me in like GW2 has. I could play for mad hours a day easily.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        September 4, 2012 2:45 PM

        Sounds like you've been doing it extremely wrong, have you been crafting the same items repeatedly instead of discovering new recipes? You should never ever craft something that you've already discovered unless it's a component.

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          September 4, 2012 3:41 PM

          He may be doing it right. I have been trying to discover things, to get my Tailoring up to 75, and failing horribly, because Jute is hard to come by, and as you get closer to 75, the more exp you need to level tailoring, so what used to give you 4 levels in tailoring, now gives you a quarter, meaning you will need yo find 4x as much Jute as before, just to break the 75 mark. This is doubly a problem when you think of the 'uncommon' items required to discover and create items, that don't drop off those mobs that drop jute.

          I am sitting at 73 currently, and I just gave up on farming jute, because I would rather do a level appropriate zone. Hell I may have "out leveled" my other profession, artificing, because I am getting seasoned wood now.

          Crafting is frustrating, but I will admit rewarding, because I am wielding a weapon I made, because it was better then the vendor stuff and drops so far. Really conflicting feelings about it so far.

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            September 4, 2012 3:49 PM

            i dunno, i think you're doing it wrong, too. i'm at 125 tailoring and i have yet to make the same thing twice. the statement "what used to give you 4 levels in tailoring, now gives you a quarter" tells me everything i need to know -- you're clearly making the same items more than once. you should literally never make the same thing twice. your crafting experience should come from discovery and there's enough discoverable recipes, at least from 1-125, that you don't ever need to make duplicates of the same item. even at 125, a single discovery will give you more than a full level of crafting xp.

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              September 4, 2012 4:24 PM

              to be absolutely clear, at any given time you've got 7 insignias and 6 armor slots you can make. this is 42 distinct items you can discover. you will level up to the next bracket way before you discover all 42 items. i will generally make myself a full set of gear to wear, and then make a few additional sets of gear using different insignias until i've unlocked a new set of insignias. the additional ones are often not complete sets, i just make whatever i can using the mats i have laying around before moving onto AH/farming for additional mats. repeat forever

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              September 4, 2012 6:35 PM

              Actually I am not, you misread that line.

              Shoulders I can 'discover' 8 types of shoulders, the first one my give me 4 levels but by time I get to the discovery of the 8th it only give me a quarter of a level.

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                September 4, 2012 6:36 PM

                Sorry 6 types, but you get the idea.

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                September 4, 2012 6:50 PM

                i've never gotten less than a full level on a discovery. i've only done 38 discoveries to get from 1-125.


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                  September 4, 2012 8:10 PM

                  I just jumped in, and discovered a jacket, and did not get a level,. I finally got my level 75, by discovering 3 more items, that is 4 discoveries to make it from 73-75. If you are gaining a level per discovery, (more at early parts of the level), then congrats you are doing something that I am not doing in the discovery phase, because it has not worked that way for me. (Late in the level, early on, I get quite a few levels)

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                    September 5, 2012 7:30 AM

                    Discoveries give less XP if they're much lower level discoveries.

                    For instance, if you're at level 50 crafting and you're discovering an item that says "requires crafting skill 0", you're not going to get nearly the experience you would from discovering a recipe that requires a skill of 50.

              • Zek legacy 10 years
                September 5, 2012 7:25 AM

                At skill 50 you get new insignias for (Master) recipes. You're meant to start discovering those instead, they give tons of exp to boost you up to 75.

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                  September 5, 2012 7:34 AM

                  The master insignias you can't craft until level 50 even if you have the supplies and put it in discovery. Then once you hit 50, don't they just show up?

                  I don't remember. This MMO shit drives me crazy.

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                    September 5, 2012 7:40 AM

                    they show up in red a few levels (5?) before you can use them, i suppose to let you know that they're coming. this is true for all of the "free" recipes

                  • Zek legacy 10 years
                    September 5, 2012 7:44 AM

                    Yes, insignias themselves are free recipes, and you can craft any piece of gear with them once they show up on the list.

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        September 4, 2012 7:10 PM

        If the auction house is up, that takes the grind out. Just buy the trophies you need. Hell, I may even consider buying gems and trading for gold to do that just so I don't have to grind. My time is worth money.

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        September 5, 2012 7:33 AM

        You didn't gain 10 levels getting to 75. You gain a total of 10 levels in *maxing* a given crafting skill...that is, getting it to 400.

        You might've gained a few levels on the way to 75, but it sure isn't 10.

        At least for me, it's pretty rare that I am crafting stuff I can even use. Usually my crafting is popping out items a few levels ahead of me being able to wield them.

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      September 4, 2012 2:47 PM

      My only tip for leveling crafters: Make sure you only use your mats for discoveries first, and then and only then, when you've discovered everything at your skill tier, make repeated versions of things.

      I learned the hard way that the xp from a few discoveries is far greater than repeatedly making the same "Mighty xxyyzz". Made me waste a lot of very good materials :(

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        September 4, 2012 2:50 PM

        PS- You will never discover everything for your skill tier before leveling past it. The bonus for discovery is too great and there are too many recipes. However, some recipes are tricky and you may not figure them out yourself without looking them up on a site like

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          September 4, 2012 7:13 PM

          As I grew my craft I didn't need most of the shit items I created.

          Better to sell or to salvage?

          The low level stuff I salvaged to get more jute but the wool stuff I sold because I could then turn around and buy what I needed for my next "discovery"

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            September 4, 2012 7:39 PM

            or you can throw stuff in the mystic forge if like to gamble some really cool things out of there.

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              September 4, 2012 9:06 PM

              I don't know what any of this post means

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                September 4, 2012 11:04 PM

                You can make new items out of old ones at a thing called a Mystic Forge. Something like 4 items to make 1 new one. Never done it myself, but had friends tell me of its existence.

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      September 4, 2012 7:09 PM

      Crafting Q - tl;dr - Do I need to buy recipes or can I make everything if I know the ingredients from various wiki entries?

      After reading the crafting guides and wiki entries I think I finally understand the basics. I'm making some quality stuff as a jeweler and I was in desperate need of armor so I'm going to do that as well.

      (And I'm not going to bother with a 2nd or 3rd as my character, I'll use the other profs with other characters)

      But I don't understand the recipes. With jeweler it is pretty straight forward -- medal part A + B + Stone or Jewel = item.
      Medal C + Stone = Jewel

      Stones + dust = better stone

      So wtf do I need a recipe for?

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        September 4, 2012 7:26 PM

        I think the recipes are just for if you don't understand discovery, but I could be wrong.. I'd be pretty surprised if the special racial crafted stuff could be crafted without the recipe, but I could be wrong.

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          September 4, 2012 11:54 PM

          the recipes that the vendors sell seem to be Rare quality (as opposed to Master, which is lower but you learn automatically at a certain craft level).

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            September 5, 2012 7:20 AM

            So recipes at the high levels would be worthwhile to get better gear?

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        September 5, 2012 8:11 AM

        There are some recipes for jeweler that you cant discover I believe. You can buy those from the jewelery vendor. Theres also some special jewlery recipes that you cant discover that sell from heart vendors.

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      September 4, 2012 9:53 PM

      Does anybody else reach a stagnation point just before the next crafting tier? How do you overcome it?

      i.e. I get to 50 in jewelcrafting, then using the next tier collects I easily get up to 65/75 discovering recipies using all the jewels I've collected, but from 65->75 it's a hard slog to make master jewels, or get enough mats to make the sockets/chains etc. I think I'm at 145 now and struggling like hell to make it to 150, when I can again use the 300-odd gold I've collected to probably bump me up to 165/175 and struggle again.

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        September 4, 2012 11:52 PM

        it took me ages to get to 150, but once i did i think i ended up going straight to around 250-260 from there (and got like three levels in the process)

        but, yeah, there's totally that awful stagnation point

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        September 5, 2012 7:22 AM

        I just took the wiki and made a list of things to "discover" and went item by item and I quickly boosted.

        And remember as you progress you can use your previous level rocks + previous level dust to make the next level rock.

        But I have two other people sending me rocks and medal so hax basically

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        September 5, 2012 7:50 AM

        Not sure what to tell you, you need the materials. You should be able to find most of them through PvE leveling, but you might fall a bit short. The trading post will help with that, otherwise you could play an alt to help supply the mats.

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          September 5, 2012 10:33 AM

          Yup! It's the "bit short" bit that always happens gathering mats :)

          I'd have been happy to buy the last few bits needed off the trading post, but as yet I've not been on at a time that it was working, heh. Just went on a silver hunt anyway, which got me the 150.. which then bumped me up to 220 which is of course just a few gold shy of the next rank 225 :)

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      September 5, 2012 12:07 AM

      Anyone got a good 1-400 guide with exact materials to buy for each bump? I found this one but its not super specific on amounts -

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