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I leveled up a character to 80 in GW2. I tried crafting (tailoring and artificing) a couple of times and found it to be generally pointless – the items I was crafting were weaker than the items I was getting from drops. I'm sure this was largely because my crafting was already lagged behind my character's level.

Crafting yields XP. This is a great way to make leveling go faster.

But my character is already 80. So is there any reason – beyond the crafters' backpacks, of course – to pour all that time and precious gold into maxing out crafting? If it's just for the backpack, I feel like I might as well just grind the Spinal Blades.

I know there are some useful consumables that Artificers can make, but since crafting is fairly expensive I'm assuming that it's relatively cheaper to buy what I want to consume from the Trading Post.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about Spinal Blades vs the crafters' backpacks; I haven't been able to find concrete stats for the latter online so I haven't been able to directly compare the items.

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    You actually need to have a crafting profession maxed to even make the Spinal Blades backpack. Part of the final recipe is a Gift of Blades, which is a crafted Account-Bound item that requires you to have 500 in either the Tailor, Leatherworker, or Armorsmith craft. – KOVIKO Dec 29 '14 at 21:18
  • However, you don't need to max crafting to get an ascended back item. You can still get the Prototype Fractal Capacitor, for example. – KOVIKO Dec 29 '14 at 21:35
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There are quite a few reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First would be the one Zeta has already mentioned, but there are many more:

  1. Ascended items (both weapons and armour)
  2. Legendary weapons (all require level 400 in some crafting discipline)
  3. Craft for other alts (just because you're 80 and haven't maxed tailoring doesn't mean it can't be useful for a lower-level alt) - plus, getting more levels and thus skill points isn't necessarily a waste
  4. Craft for yourself (once you level up, it's handy to be able to craft yourself a set of 80 exotics with the stats you want)
  5. Craft for money (spidy is your friend)
  6. Unlock skins (for achievements)
  7. Do certain "treasure hunts" like Mawdrey, or get other high-end items like Light of Dwayna
  8. Use up all that bloodstone dust (which is account bound and can't be used until you're level 450 in one of the disciplines)

More specifically, since you mention artificing, you can combine agony infusions (which will become important when you start doing fractals). Check spidy on artificing for specific recipes that can help to make you money.

Also, a note on that crafted backpack, the exotic level 78 one will actually give you better stats than a level 80 one, but not better than an ascended one (in my case, Mawdrey, which, incidentally, required being level 500 in one and level 400 in four more crafting disciplines).

In short, if you're a beginner, I recommend you craft to level up your lower level alts, or (if you're already level 80) to support those alts. If you're a veteran, you'll want to progress to high-end items, many of which will require crafting skills.

Four character slots (you get five per account without buying additional ones) give you enough capacity to train up someone for each of the eight crafting disciplines without having to pay to switch (you can have two disciplines per character; if you learn more than that, only two can be "active" and you pay 10 copper per crafting level to re-activate it). I try to have disciplines that make sense (e.g. huntsman and leatherworker for my ranger), but it doesn't really matter except for storage convenience.

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Ascended armor and weapons. You can aquire them with ascended chests, but that's more or less gamble. If you want a specific armor or weapon set and don't want to pray for the correct chest, you have to craft them yourself.

Remark on the crafter's backpack

The exotic backpacks are capped at level 78. The ascended backpacks (such as the Beta Fractal Capacitator) cannot get acquired by crafting, but via the Mystic Forge.

  • Thanks! I'm a long-time MMO player but pretty new to GW2 and the complexity is a bit overwhelming. – Matt Ball Dec 29 '14 at 2:05
  • To echo the answer to an unasked question: indeed ascended gear is worth it. We have some lovely answers here. gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/159714/… – Vael Victus Dec 29 '14 at 18:48
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  1. Easy and guaranteed method of obtaining Ascended equipment which gives you an edge in WvW and PvE content (especially Fractals).

    • Ascended armor sets are typically a big driving factor in the decision to level crafting professions. Crafting is the only reliable way to get a full set of Ascended armor as all other methods of obtaining ascended armor are either a huge gamble (as every stat distribution is possible) or fairly lengthy to accomplish (and only provide a single piece of armor).

    • Ascended weapons are also a big driving factor in the decision to level crafting professions as they are relatively simple to create (after leveling the appropriate crafting profession), especially compared to the armor. They are obtained the same way as armor sets: one a time from very rare odds that are more likely to give you what you don't want or by crafting the exact item(s) you want.

  2. Crafting Account-Bound items that cannot be purchased from the Trading Post.

    • Tempered Spinal Blades, as you mentioned in your post, requires a Gift of Blades to be crafted, which requires you to have maxed one of the armor crafting professions.

    • Mawdrey will require you to have a Lesser Vision Crystal which is most easily obtained by crafting (either directly or via the Exotic Equipment collection), but can be obtained through other methods.

  3. Crafting items that are expensive to purchase because they have a crafting cooldown.

  • Hmm, not sure about ascended equipment being "easy" to obtain. ;-) Have a look at the base components for Zojja's Visor, for instance. Also, it may be worth mentioning that Mawdrey can be obtained without crafting, at least if you're willing to spend a small fortune (~143g at the time of this comment). – Amos M. Carpenter Jan 1 '15 at 2:21
  • In comparison to slowly getting it from very rare ascended chests, it's basically keeping up with a daily cooldown for a month. – KOVIKO Jan 1 '15 at 5:01
  • Agreed, crafting sure beats relying on RNG! :-) – Amos M. Carpenter Jan 1 '15 at 7:36
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Crafting is actually pretty useless in this game because anyone can get full sets of gear from dungeon currencies or with karma points. Even the backpacks can be purchased with fractal currencies. The only 1 reason to craft is for the ingredient to make a legendary, but overall, guild wars 2 crafting is useless, specially when even legendaries have the same stats as non-legendaries.

  • I disagree with you. Ascended Armor is still the best armor in game and only available via crafting or some lucky drops... Same counts for ascended weapons. Also mawdrey is only available via crafting... the most voted answer is in my opinion still valid, at least till HOT is released. And legendary weapons have the same stats as ascended weapons, but they are better then exotic... – kl78 Oct 2 '15 at 8:11

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