Should you avoid crafting in Guild Wars 2?

Guild Wars 2’s crafting system is fun, reasonably innovative, and helps you level – but does it also make you poor?

That’s the claim that Tobold’s making today, as he claims that given GW2’s crafting setup and particularly its global auction house, it’s almost impossible not to make a huge loss whilst crafting

“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.”

And he’s not the only one. Azuriel writes a very interesting guide to making gold in Guild Wars 2 today – worth reading if you’re a GW2 player – but in it, he too calls out crafting as essentially pointless

“A globalized Trading Post means the margins for any crafted good are always going to be razor-thin; it is not about competing with 1-2 Auction Barons, but all Auction Barons everywhere, including the ones willing to work for pennies a day. Supply for most goods is effectively unlimited, so there is no “cornering the market” without cornering ALL the markets. A few niche markets may develop along rare recipe drops (assuming they exist) or legendary materials, but again, they are “niche” across all servers… so not very niche at all.

Think about it for a second. Every weapon or piece of armor you could possibly craft can and will be crafted by somebody else. They will craft said piece multiple times because that is what they need to do to level up their skill, and they will need to sell that piece to pay for all the money they are sinking into the crafting system. Just like 200,000 other people.”

I’ve got to admit, my own inner AH baron has been agreeing with Tobold and Azuriel for a couple of days now. From the economy’s point of view, copper ore has actual “stored XP” in it, whilst the ensuing dagger is simply the biproduct of the XP-creation process. Whilst crafting has always been something of a gold sink in other games like WoW, the global AH and actual XP gain from crafting imply that it’ll be an EVE-level job to make gold from crafting in Guild Wars 2 – unless there’s some perk that none of us are aware of yet.

I’ll be very interested to hear the discussion on this one!

Will you be giving up crafting in GW2?