There’s a lot that can be said about New World’s crafting system. It has a lot of moving parts. I can only assume this is from an attempt to tie the various PvP, PvE, and Gathering/Crafting elements together.
In a cradle-to-grave sense, all crafting begins with gathering resources. There isn’t really a lot to be said about gathering. It’s a straightforward whack-a-node system. The respawn timers are short enough that you can farm or grind within a certain area, but long enough that sharing means losing out on a lot material. In a field with several hemp spawns this might not be too bad, but for skinned animals like bison, it’s intense. There’s no lockout timer on things like skinning, so if you shoot a bison from a distance and another player is closer, they’re the one who get to skin it. For a very limited spawn area and quantity like bison, things can get a bit cutthroat.
I have discovered that many nodes/creatures have various rare drops as well. Some are used to guarantee a certain stat bonus or skill mod, and others are just uncommon and rare crafting components on their own. Any ore node seems to drop gems from time to time. Many animals have special “parts” like fangs and feet. Items like Fey Iron are rare iron node drops that’s so rare I’ve only received it once myself. I can only assume stacking gathering luck bonuses on gear would help make this easier.
Most refining is pretty straightforward as well, though the refining skills are separate from the gathering one. Can’t level mining by smelting a huge stack of ore. The lowest tier materials like iron or rawhide are typically refinable on their own. The higher tiers tend to require the lower tier materials, an agent such as tannin or flux, and sometimes additional materials such as the ore or charcoal seen here. Leather and cloth tend to be a bit more simple than the metals.
The refining agents can only be obtained from PvE content. The various farms, enemy camps, and whatnot have crates and chests scattered around that typically give 6-12 of a single agent. They have a slightly more lengthy respawn timer than the nodes, but you can easily find six to eight, sometimes more, in any given camp. If you’re really motivated, you can simply run from one camp to another grabbing them and get a decent little stockpile. It’s pretty random, but there is a faction consumable that can convert one type to another. I personally haven’t had to do that just yet.
Skilling up at the lower tiers isn’t too bad. Things really start to slow down around 100 or so. The two main things that come from higher refining skills is that you get the higher tier recipes, and you get bonus materials added to your result. A slight increase in efficiency. I believe most of mine are somewhere around 7% bonus at the moment, which is nice when crafting the rarer materials.
Having the higher tier recipes, however, is not enough. You must also have access to a sufficiently advanced station to do the work at. I can only assume the controlling guild gets to choose the active projects, which can be started once per day. They work a lot like community quest boards. Various tasks are generated for players to perform and doing them adds a little bit to the completion progress. In a well populated city this tends to get completed in a few hours, but the less populated centers can take a bit longer.
It’s possible to see the different tiered stations if you look at the details on the map, though I’ve heard that this information isn’t always accurate and can take a while to update. You can also see the tax rates, which is nice.
The result of all this for me has been the requirement to move materials from one city to another in order to refine advanced materials or craft higher end gear. In this image you can see that most of the refining stations are only tier two. This means that we have to go to other towns in order to prepare the materials, even for the stations with more advanced crafting. In this case that’s engineering (tools, physical ranged, and ammunition) and arcana (potions, coatings, magic weapons.)
This hasn’t been a huge issue so far. Each town has its own separate storage. I’ve ended up with a hub city where most of my stuff is stored and several satellite stations in nearby cities. I can store my refining agents in their appropriate satellite areas to save space at the hub, and only bring back the final materials. I personally work mostly in three different locations, though I’ve gone to a fourth before as well.
As for how this happened, it was a deliberate strategy by our faction to get access to higher tiered stations sooner. Since you can only do one per day, there’s a coordinated effort across multiple towns and guilds to specialize.
I find the crafting system itself a nice balance of grind, customization, and complexity. A lot of information is provided up front, taking some of the guesswork out of the process. In most cases, there’s a fixed primary material and a few others that can be changed. The leathers and metals, for example, can be switched out in order to increase or decrease the final result. As you make these changes, you can see the displayed gear score range change accordingly.
The special resource slot allows you to control what stat bonuses or special perks the gear has. This can and will occur randomly on their own, but you can force a specific one to save time or resources. You can also use it to create custom gear, such a plate armor with an intelligence bonus. It doesn’t remove all the RNG from the process, as you can force a perk or a stat, but not both.
Adding azoth increases the displayed chances of getting bonuses and gem slots. Which ones increase and how much depend on how much azoth you add, and there’s an upper limit on how much you can use. This tier 3 robe, for example, and only take up to 30.
The advantage of all this means that it can be easy to create situation armor sets for activities like gathering. These screenshots were taken while I was browsing through my options and creating a set of skinning gear while also upgrading a few stray pieces. The amusing part of this is that skinning wolves is where you get the drop that grants the skinning bonus. It’s fairly rare, but I’ve accumulated several and figured it was time to start a set. It should, in theory, make gathering the materials for another set somewhat easier.
Taken as a whole, I personally like the way it works. It’s intuitive enough that it didn’t require hours of reading or research to figure out, and flexible enough to make gear suited to whatever build you have in mind. Most of the effort is in doing the legwork to get the base components.
Y’all take care. Don’t spend all that azoth in one place.