Guild Wars 2, Log Three: I Made A Thing! Then Another Thing, And Another Thing...

Oh, dear. I have begun crafting. I put it off until I reached level 20 with my main, and truth be told it's just as well. I've never yet sold or traded away any of the crafting materials I've come across (though I should really put the ones I can't use into the guild bank), and I still ran out remarkably quickly.

Ah, well. One basic set of armour that I didn't need, and a couple of eight-slot bags that I did, and it was back into the field with me to acquire more leather and jute.

Why couldn't I have picked a crafting discipline that relies on easily-mined metals or readily-chopped trees? Silly me. Still, half a decade as an Assassin-Tailor in EverQuest II seems to have prepared me remarkably well for putting in time as a Thief-Leatherworker in Guild Wars 2. In fact, a lot of what I see in GW2 reminds me, pleasantly, of a more streamlined version of EQII.

"Streamlined", though, is the operative word. The "Discoveries" tab is a great addition to crafting, but I'm a particular fan of the "craft all" button that lets a player refine a huge stack of stuff into a smaller stack of more usable stuff almost instantly. That, right there, is a fantastic feature that makes crafting feel almost fun, rather than punishing like I'm used to it being from other games.

I really needed a crafting break for a while too, because group events on the overland maps had been wearing me down. It's one thing to zone from a safe spot in the overflow to the middle of a melee on the "real" server when there are plenty of players at hand. Suddenly to find yourself alone, surrounded by an event appropriate for 5-15 players? I'd like to say that at least I made my deaths count, but I really didn't. Two dozen level 24+ monsters, to one level 19 me? It feels profoundly unfair, and while the penalties for death are at least minimal, I began deeply to resent the incessant, repeated events that made up the war between the Seraph and the centaurs in the Kessex Hills.

Indeed, the repetitive nature of the large overland zones began to get to me this past week. I enjoy collecting vista views and points of interest, and heart quests and skill challenges are worth completing for their rewards. The pattern, though, grows stale fairly quickly, especially given how many of the heart quests I've completed are utterly interchangeable with one another. (Surprise! Whenever a trap needs checking or a rock needs turning over, it'll have an angry creature in it!)

I do now wish that the first available dungeon zone were at level 20 or 25, instead of level 30. While I've settled into a groove that gains me about two levels per day, it's a groove that's in danger of becoming a rut. Exploring the world still motivates me — particularly now that I've been able to walk from my starting area, through a higher-level area, to other races' starting areas — but when a map's uncovered, it's uncovered.

At least the maps I'm uncovering remain beautiful, though, and fun to explore. And once a character hits 20 and has amassed some weapons expertise, skill points, and skill slots, playing a class really starts to come into its own. The ability to swap out my preferred pistol/dagger weapon set for a bow at pretty much any time is enormously useful, particularly when I find myself standing in the midst of a massive event, with attackers drawing in from all sides.

Kotaku's MMO reviews are a multi-part process. Rather than deliver day one reviews based on beta gameplay, we play the game for four weeks before issuing our final verdict. Once a week, we deliver a log detailing when and how we played the game. We believe this gives readers a frame of reference for the final review. Since MMO titles support many different types of play, readers can compare our experiences to theirs to determine what the review means to them. Catch up with log one and log two.


    Honestly, low level crafting was so slow, and the products you make so useless, that I wished I could just skip straight to lvl 100.
    And then the marketplace opened.
    A word of advice: Spend $10, get 800 gems, convert them to in-game gold, and buy enough crafting materials to power-level the first crafting tier.
    800gems will get you over 1 gold, and I only needed ~20 silver worth of items from the market to get from lvl20 to lvl104 in the hunter profession.

      The key is discovery. Basically anything you create through discovery will give you double experience - one lot for crafting the item, and one lot for discovering it. So unless you're making stuff for yourself or friends, never craft anything you have already discovered. There should be enough to discover in each tier that you can advance to the next one (thus getting more new recipes for items to craft that you can use in discovery) just by using this process.

        Not for tailoring though, you just can't find enough jute in the time you spend in the appropriate areas. You either have to grind for it or buy it or get stuck.

          actually there is more than enough jute. The key is salvaging. Don't just sell or forge the gear you get as drops, salvage everything. When my tailor reached 20, she had enough crafting mats to get a full masterwork level 20 gear, as well as the other stuff I needed to craft to get me to level 75 so I can craft the masterwork level 20 gear.

    i like where the screenshot comes from. My happy grind spot lol

    "Indeed, the repetitive nature of the large overland zones began to get to me this past week. I enjoy collecting vista views and points of interest, and heart quests and skill challenges are worth completing for their rewards."

    I partially agree with this. If you see the same event repeat over and over again it can get tiring, but at the same time, it needs to repeat often enough so that other people don't find themselves with nothing to do.

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