By Emily Diehl October 6th, 2010 Last week we posted an article from designer John Hargrove, which introduced our upcoming Guild Wars 2 item system. Many of you were still curious about details, so we scoured the web and sent a pile of common questions over to John and Lead Designer Eric Flannum. Keep reading to see what we gathered and how they responded! Crafting Q: Will crafting be performed by players or NPCs? John: Players will definitely perform crafting in Guild Wars 2. Q: Will Tailoring be a player-crafting discipline in Guild Wars 2? John: Yes, Tailoring is one of the several crafting disciplines players can choose from that we presently have planned for Guild Wars 2. Armor Q: Do armor pieces and weapons have inherent bonuses, similarly to armor in Guild Wars? John: Yes, each weapon and piece of armor has inherent bonuses as well as an open slot that an upgrade component can be applied to for extra bonuses. The types of upgrade components will vary depending on the item; for instance, a crest is an upgrade component that is used to enhance light armor pieces. Q: Are armor bonuses fixed or determined randomly? How does a player upgrade their armor stats? John: The inherent bonuses on armor are fixed. However, the player can enhance their armor by applying crests to their armor. A crest is an upgrade component with unique abilities that can be applied to the open upgrade slot on any of your six light armor pieces. For example, you could apply the Crest of the Legion to your gloves to gain +10 intelligence, apply the Crest of the Dragon to your boots to get +100 health, and so on. The more matching crests you have on your armor, the greater the bonuses. Gathering Q: Will a resource node vanish after a player gathers from it? It would look really weird to see other players gathering from empty space. Eric: No, the node will not simply vanish. As it is currently implemented, the resource node goes into a used state on a person-by-person basis. For example, if you were mining a copper node, you’d see the veins of copper metal disappear from your screen as you gathered until the node was just a big chunk of empty rock in front of you. For any player nearby that hadn’t used the node yet, the copper veins would still be visible to them until they gather all the copper themselves and exhaust the node. So when your friend is gathering from a copper node, you’ll still see them whaling on a big hunk of rock and not just swinging at the air. Transmutation Stones Q: What exactly are transmutation stones and how do they work? Eric: Transmutation stones are really about taking the appearance of an item you love and making a new similar item you find look the way you want it to look. Transmutation stones are consumable items with a single charge that allow you to take two weapons or armor pieces and create a new piece of equipment that combines the look and stats that you want from each piece. If you really like the look of a particular shortbow, for example, but you’ve acquired another short bow with better stats, you can use a transmutation stone to merge the look of your old bow with the stats of the new weapon. Transmutation stones have nothing to do with finding max stat gear. All weapons and items will be available through normal play over the course of the game. Q: How much will transmutation stones cost? Will they be available outside of the in-game store? Eric: We haven’t finalized the pricing structure on transmutation stones. We’re not certain at this time whether or not transmutation stones will be available outside of the in-game store. Philosophically we believe that players should have a way to acquire items like transmutation stones through the course of playing the game and not just through purchase in the in-game store. We’ll talk in greater detail about how we plan to accomplish this when we arrive at a final paradigm. Q: When you transmute two pieces of armor that have upgrade components like crests, do transmutation stones allow you to choose which component to keep? John: Yes, when you transmute two pieces of armor, if there is an upgrade component on both pieces of armor, the player can choose which one they will retain after the transmutation. If only one piece of armor has an upgrade component, it’s automatically retained after the transmutation. Q: When we use transmutation stones, is the armor whose stats are copied destroyed? John: The transmutation stones takes two separate but compatible items and creates a new item in their place, so in a sense both original items are destroyed. Q: Can you use transmutation stones so that stats are decreased, rather than increased? Will you be offered the opportunity to revert the change, in case you made a mistake? John: Sure, it will certainly be possible to transmute into an item with lesser stats if that is what the player desires. Once items are transmuted there is no way to undo the process, but a player has to go through several steps and hit “accept” on multiple dialogues to complete the transmutation process, which makes it unlikely that a player would create an item accidentally. Q: Is the transmutation process the same for weapons and armor? John: Yes, the transmutation system is the same for both weapons and armor. Q: Will all of the most desirable armors in the game have crappy stats, thus “requiring” the expenditure of real money to acquire transmutation stones in order for our characters to wear the armors we want? Eric: Absolutely not. We’re not changing the way we make armor at all because of this system. Guild Wars 2 starts players off with basic but very attractive armor (as seen in our demo) and from there the armor only gets cooler. In fact, we have a ton of very cool armor at the high end of the game, which means that many players will never use a transmutation stone since they’ll want to keep the appearance of the new gear that they find. Thanks for answering these questions for us, John and Eric! It’s great to get more details on the item system. For those of you local to New York (or who may be headed out to revel in the nerdery that is NYCC), remember that we’ll be hosting our NCsoft meet and greet event on Friday night! If you’re in the area, be sure to swing by and say hey!