• Riding The Wave - Crafting Gold In Guild Wars 2

    In the early stages of any game launch, especially one as large as Guild Wars 2, the in-game economy fluctuates rapidly when compared to an economy which has had time to settle down. The value of items is constantly changing as players move through content, making for some interesting money making schemes.

    Browsing Guild Wars 2 community sites such as /r/GuildWars2 in the first few weeks after launch would lead one to assume that making money using crafting and the Trading Post is next to impossible. However, I've found that crafting professions can be extremely lucrative if you know where to look. In this article I will focus on Armorsmithing, as this is the skill I use, but I am sure the ideas transfer over to most other crafting skills as well.

    The crafting system is based around the concept of 'tiers', each defined by a set of fine crafting matierials which are semi-common drops from enemies in the world. There are six tiers in total:

    • Tier 1 (lvl 0-20) - Tiny Scale, Bone Chip, etc.
    • Tier 2 (lvl 20-35) - Small Scale, Bone Shard, etc.
    • Tier 3 (lvl 35-50) - Scale, Bone, etc.
    • Tier 4 (lvl 50-65) - Smooth Scale, Heavy Bone, etc.
    • Tier 5 (lvl 65-80) - Large Scale, Large Bone, etc.
    • Tier 6 (lvl 80) - Armored Scale, Ancient Bone, etc.


    At the end of each tier, crafters can make high quality (rare) items that are expensive to make, but also desirable for being the best items available at certain level brackets. People are willing to pay a premium to get the very best, which is obvious if you look at masterwork (one quality lower than rare) items of the same level. On the Trading Post, masterwork items are sold just above vendor prices, while rare items are sold at 10-20x vendor prices, simply because of the colour and some higher numbers.

    That's all well and good, you might be saying, but having this information isn't worth much without profit margins! Well let's take a look at some example crafting costs and sale prices.

    Take, for example the Tier 3 'Strong Gladiator Chestplate' (lvl 50). This finely crafted piece of lingerie (no seriously) will set you back 15 Vials Of Blood, some Bolts Of Cotton, and a few Steel Ingots. When I started crafting these for profit, the price of blood was 80 copper each (it's since gone up, we'll come back to that later). Add to that the other materials and you get a total cost of around 18 silver. Average prices for the chestplate on the Trading Post were 30-40 silver. Needless to say, I invested all my current gold into these rare pieces of armour and came out a few days later with almost 20 gold saved up.

    However, as hinted at earlier, at the time of writing this guide, the profit margin in these rare items has fallen considerably. Lets take a look at the information we know so far and try to fit the pieces together.

    Three days ago:

    • Tier 3 fine crafting materials - Supply was high because there were lots of players farming the right content, resulting in a fall in price.
    • Tier 3 rare crafted items - Demand was high because there were lots of players at level 50, resulting in a rise in price.

    Today:

    • Tier 3 fine crafting materials - Supply is low because the average player level has moved past the tier level.
    • Tier 3 rare crafted items - Demand is low because the average player level has gone past the tier item level.


    We also know that due to the nature of the game, the average player level is constantly increasing. The correlations we can draw from this should be obvious: As average player level increases, the supply of that tier of materials increases, causing a fall in price for those materials. Demand for that tier of crafted rare item increases, causing the price of those items to rise. This creates a wave that follows the average player level, making crafted items that fall near to the average player level more lucrative to craft.

    As a crafter, riding this wave up to level 80 will give you many opportunities for profit through crafting. To see proof of this happening you only need to take a look at the change in material and tier item prices on the Trading Post over the past few days. The transition from Tier 2 to Tier 3 was missed because the average player level had passed that threshold by the time the Trading Post was up and stable, but the transition from Tier 3 to Tier 4 is occurring right now. It's an exciting time to be a crafter in Guild Wars 2!

    Now, it might be temping to think of this as guaranteed profits and you should level up your crafting RIGHT NOW. However, this is so lucrative because of one select reason. Not many players choose to level up crafting professions, or have the drive to use it for profit. The more people who begin crafting in an attempt to make some easy gold, the more the profit margin of doing so will fall. The price of crafting materials will be driven up by high demand, while the price of the rare items will fall because of high supply. In other words, GET OFF MY LAWN!

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Target's Avatar
      Target -
      Haha, I just started leaving my weapon smithing a lot today, going to max it asap now and just use that to make me some money, some of the mats get so expensive at certain times of days, its annoying but quite interesting to see. Anyway nice article, hopefully I will be able to use it to make some gold
    1. Chazlene's Avatar
      Chazlene -
      Might need a couple of read-throughs to fully understand this lol, glad I've not let my crafting level slack behind.
    1. Joe's Avatar
      Joe -
      Nice guide man, you be rich
    1. Target's Avatar
      Target -
      Just leveled weapon smith from 130 to 337, used +50% exp boost and leveled up 5 times while crafting, now to make some money from this
    1. Calneon's Avatar
      Calneon -
      Let me know how it goes Target.
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