I have to admit that when Big Daddy-O Bill (thanks to new minion in his life) asked me to write a Neverwinter crafting preview, my inner geek cringed in a big way. I have to simply be blunt and say that I am not a crafter. It's one of those things that has not interested me much in MMOs over the years, though I am an avid patron of those who do love crafting. I am always happy to pay for the goods I need whether through commission, private sale or through the auction house. I <3 crafters!
It's likely that many people like me will continue this way in Neverwinter though I will admit to being pleasantly surprised with the ease of the crafting professions that the game comes with. Players will be able to choose from Leadership, Mailsmithing, Platesmithing, Leatherworking or Tailoring. If you check out the video below, you can get a good look at the types of things that each class can create, from the simplest to the most complex, and doubtless, most expensive items in the game.
I chose Leadership as it seemed to be the easiest at the onset. The crafting panel is accessed with a single "N" keystroke. I started by hiring, or creating, a mercenary. To do so required the simplest click of a button and about ten seconds later, I had a mercenary. I did a few more complex crafting things with him and ended up creating chests that were filled with healing potions, temporary altars, identify scrolls and more. Over time and with patience, Leadership professionals will be able to create some pretty amazing supply chests.
As each of the other professions' names imply, there will be skilled laborers making heavy, medium, leather and light armors in addition to the more generalized Leader.
Crafting also occurs in the background so players can open the panel, select a 'recipe' for their hirelings to work on and they will happily work away for the required amount of time.
The sheer number of items that most professions can create is astonishing, from the mundane "white" items, to the ultra rare "purple" items. Rare recipes change about every hour. In the time I spent crafting, I did not see any weapons but it seems reasonable to assume that, if weapons cannot yet be created, new professions will be added to allow for that functionality.
All in all, at least for a crafting simpleton like me, the system seems robust and deceptively simple. I suspect that the economy will thrive with crafted items that, hopefully, be unobtainable anywhere else.