How useful is crafting in WildStar
I had seen some comments in previous discussion of Wildstar crafting where people said that it sounded exactly like World of Warcraft. So in this post I would like to highlight some important differences in crafting between Wildstar and WoW, and explain why I think that crafting is more useful in Wildstar.
Items in both games, and in fact in most games today, have a minimum level that your character needs to have in order to wear that item. The times of Everquest, where your main could farm high-level items and then equip your alt with them is over. The items a level 40 character finds are not usable by a level 10 character. In the context of a leveling process, where the level of your character goes up constantly, sometimes several times in one session, this minimum level of gear has important consequences: You constantly “outlevel” your equipment. You might have received at level 10 at the end of a long quest-line a very good “blue” item of minimum level 9 or so, but you’ll find that when you hit level 12, even a bog-standard green item with minimum level 12 is better. And you might or might not find one in the process of questing and looting.
In Wildstar you have recipes with minimum levels that are rather close together, usually not more than 2 levels difference between one tier of item and the next. Furthermore the materials you need are easy enough to gather at the level that you need them. If you spend time at level 10 for example to gather iron, you can make heavy armor or weapons with a minimum level of 10, and even 12 or 14. Do a crafting session and the next time you’ll go adventuring you’ll already have the gear for the next couple of levels in your inventory.
The other thing which Wildstar does better than World of Warcraft is that there is more variation regarding stats. In World of Warcraft you would craft a bronze dagger (or many of them to gain crafting skill), and every single bronze dagger in the world was totally identical. For different classes these standard items are of different degrees of usefulness, because maybe the paladin wants different stats on his heavy armor than the warrior. And even for different builds of one class some items are more useful than others. In Wildstar the recipe does not fix all the stats. Instead when crafting a specific item, you get a pool of points (and you can increase that pool by using more expensive cores as components). You can then decide at least one, sometimes several, stats that you want to put into that item, and increase those stats based on a color code and point cost. In the end two crafted items with the same name can have very different stats in Wildstar.