So you want to be a master crafter in WildStar? The journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step.
Hey WildStar fans! With the epic-six week class drop finally at an end and the press NDA lifting for levels 1-15, we’ve seen a lot of combat and action-packed info from the WildStar community. Today I want to take a step back and look at a different aspect of the game, one that can sometimes be overlooked in many MMOs. However, in the case of WildStar, our topic of discussion is actually one of the key systems that holds the entire game together and is also one that you might not think of right away. This is the game’s crafting system.
In some games, crafting is included as a “side-project” or something that isn’t given much attention compared to other design aspects. This can often make those dedicated crafters out there feel unimportant, especially once the majority of the player base has reached end-game and crafted gear becomes obsolete. However, In WildStar crafting serves a very important role and not only allows crafters to serve an important economic purpose in the game, but it also allows them to specialize in a specific crafting area and make crafted items that are generally better than other rewards given in various parts of the game.
Today I’ll walk you through the basics of the crafting system and touch on the individual parts that fit into the greater picture. And while this won’t cover every nook and cranny of each crafting skill--and there are a lot of them--it should get you started on the right road to becoming a master crafter at the very least. And one final note before we get started, keep in mind that while you will see some of the crafting UI that is currently in beta, all of the UI and even information we cover isn't final and may be subject to change; beta is beta remember. So without further ado, let’s jump into some crafting!
Crafting 101: The First Steps
So, say you want to become a master crafter in WildStar; someone known throughout the galaxy that everyone goes to for the best wares. Well, there are a few things you have to do before people will begin lining up for you in order to throw their galactic currency at your screen.
The first step in your crafting journey will be to reach level 10. Crafting skills can only be acquired after reaching this level, because you need at least some basic knowledge of the planet before you go hunting and gathering on your own. As you’ll find out later, crafting isn’t all about picking the flowers and smelling the roses. Some of those roses may try to eat you, so it’s best to be decently equipped, even as a crafter. But, because of how good crafted armor and weapons are compared to standard questing rewards, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Upon reaching level 10 you’ll receive a call from some of the crafting NPCs in the area that are willing to show you the ropes and put you on your first steps toward making your own goods. This is also where you’ll choose your first crafting professions, of which there are many. Now it’s important to note that crafting professions are broken down into two categories. These are Tradeskills and Hobbies and within them are crafting and the corresponding gathering skills. Let’s break each of these down so we can more easily understand what each one is used for.
Below is a list of each Tradeskill and Hobby with its in-game description. I’ve added my own comments where applicable.
Weaponsmith-”Weaponsmithing is the art of forging weapons from metal and infusing them with Eldan circuitry. This tradeskill is best paired with Mining.”
Armorer-”The armorer forges heavy armor from metal plates, then powers them with microchips and power amplifiers. This tradeskill is best paired with mining.”
Mining-”The Miner excavates ores and crystals to be used by the Weaponsmith and Armorer.” (The Architect uses some of these materials as well)
Outfitter-”The outfitter uses leather and bone to craft medium armor. Power amplifiers and microchips allow the crafter to enhance the attributes on crafted items. This tradeskill is best paired with the survivalist.”
Survivalist-”The Survivalist skins leather and cuts meat from creatures. It also chops wood more efficiently than most harvesters”
Technologist-”Combining mysterious omniplasm with local flora, the technologist is a master experimenter, creating powerful medical and attribute enhancing potions. This tradeskill is best paired with Relic Hunter.”
Relic Hunter-”The Relic Hunter Scraps Eldan technology for parts and omniplasm.”
Architect-”Home-a place to put your feet up, a place to hang your hat. The Architect shapes housing items so you can do just that. This tradeskill is best paired with Survivalist.”
Tailor-“The Tailor uses cloth collected from humanoids to craft light armor. Microchips direct the flow of Eldan energies to enhance the armor. This tradeskill has no preferred pairing.” (Because anyone can salvage items upon completion of the salvaging tutorial quest.)
Before we move on to the Hobbies section of crafting, it’s important to note that only two Tradeskills can be active at any given time. However, it’s possible to swap Tradeskills in and out on the same character without losing your progress. You’ll have to pay a fee and wait a certain period of time (numbers that are still being determined throughout beta) each time you swap out a tradeskill. This makes it possible to become a master craftsman without having to make multiple characters if you so choose.
Now moving on to the Hobbies section of crafting, these include:
Cooking-”The Cook crafts succulent dishes from all manner of flora and fauna native to Nexus.”
Farmer-”The Farmer gathers plants and their seeds. Plants can be used by the Technologist or the Cook, and seeds can be planted in a garden.”
Runecrafting- While this technically isn’t listed under hobbies, this is something that all players gain access to upon reaching level 15. Runecrafting is the art of using the worlds Primal Elements in order to enhance gear, including Armor and Weapons.
Now, unlike Tradeskills, you can have all of the Hobbies active at one time, so anybody can cook, and anybody can gather seeds for farming once you’ve visited the appropriate trainer. While there are only two hobbies as of right now, one can assume that this will apply to all future Hobbies that may be added to the game.
While farming leaves little progression to the player, aside from collecting better seeds to plant, cooking on the other hand definitely allows those dedicated players to become master chefs and stand out from other cooks, if they so desire, by finding new and difficult recipes to master or by modifying existing ones.
We’ll talk crafting progression soon, but for now let’s start with gathering and what you can expect while collecting materials around Nexus since this is the first thing you’ll need to do.
Hunting, gathering...and being hunted
Throughout my time playing WildStar so far, one thing I can most certainly attest to is that Carbine doesn’t hesitate to try to find new ways to make old MMO mechanics fun and interesting. Gathering is definitely one of these mechanics where they’ve gone and put a little “WildStar flavor” on top--cooking pun intended.
Let’s say you’re a miner and you’re out gathering mats so you can go back to town and begin pumping out some epic weapons for your buddies. Mining in WildStar, along with the other gathering Tradeskills, is pretty straight-forward. You buy a mining laser, or whatever tool is associated with that Tradeskill, and you begin cutting your way at the gathering node. As I said, straight-forward.
But just in case you didn’t understand that. I’ll go over it again. You get a mining laser and begin chipping away at the--what the heck?! My mining node just got up and ran away!
Yes, as you may or may not have guessed, with Nexus being a pretty diverse planet filled with countless species, some of these creatures have used natural cloaking methods to hide...or sometimes hunt their prey. While out gathering, it’s actually quite common that, after chipping away at some of the basic materials, your gathering node will actually be attached to the back of a creature now scurrying away, or attacking you, in panic. And while this creature won’t steal the materials you have already collected, killing the creature will make it drop additional materials for you, so there’s incentive to try to chase these little guys down.
Now, you should probably take the word “little” with a grain of salt. Not all of these creatures in disguise are tiny. In fact, some of them are pretty big and rather than use this method for defense, they’ll use it to lure unsuspecting prey to their doom. There have been multiple occasions where, what I thought was a mining node, ended up being a giant rock-spewing worm that tried to eat my face off.
While slaying these predators will grant additional materials, no one will judge you if you decide to freak out and run in the opposite direction--I may have done it once or twice. But a master crafter stands their ground for crafting materials right? Well, I’ll leave that for you to decide. Just keep in mind that these things will kill you if you aren’t careful, so streaking and gathering isn’t advised.
Now gathering isn’t all about the danger. You can actually stumble upon some pretty awesome discoveries while out searching for materials. After clearing out a gathering node, it’s possible to come across subterranean caverns that have long since been abandoned by creatures, and in their place, lays a nest of fresh crafting materials ripe for the taking.
However, in order to prevent players from just staying in these caves all day long, you actually have a time limit before the cave collapses on you and you are ejected. So it’s important to move as quickly as you can and gather as many of these extra materials as possible before time runs out. Think of it as a gathering mini-game of sorts. While mining is just one example, these random gathering events occur in different capacities with some of the other gathering Tradeskills as well.
I will say that while some of the gathering nodes may be disguised as creatures, hostile or otherwise, the only ones that seemed somewhat challenging were the giant mineral-spewing worms. With that being said though, I don’t think it’s Carbine’s intent to make these things overly difficult. If I had to take a guess, I’d say they were put in place to keep things interesting and fun, help hold the players attention and possibly help combat botters or gold farmers set to “auto-farm”. However, since this game is still in closed beta, things are subject to change.
Now that you’ve survived the gathering phase and have arrived safely back in town, it’s time to begin forging your way to glory. It’s time to craft.