Basic but it's all there
The way it works is your gathering and professions have levels. You collect resources from a node or location in the world, refine those resources at a station, and then craft the materials from refined resources -- if you have the recipe. The more you gather and craft, the higher your levels get. As of right now, you don't need to obtain tools like axes or mining picks to collect resources. It doesn't seem like much, and arguably it isn't all that complex right now, but it's a very flexible system that frees up the developers to worry more about balancing new items and less about how to implement anything new. As much as the fanboy in me hates to say this, if you've played World of Warcraft, you'll feel at home.
RoM will have you going through similar WoW motions, but a key difference is that the level of your professions aren't tied to your character's level. While you'd end up going broke on high-level resources, being able to master tailor at level ten could be a great option for those that find more fun in crafting and playing the economy.
The change they made
The one major change RoM has made was to add more value to the recipes currently in the game. They provided a random chance to get higher durability in world drops and crafted items. They also now give the chance of crafting higher grade items without changing what you needed in order to craft them. If you have a recipe for a rare (blue) item, it now has a chance at being crafted into an epic (purple) or even legendary (orange) item complete with very nice increases in base attributes.
Whether it was always part of the developer's plans or more from player feedback, it definitely made crafting more attractive. What it really didn't do was add anything. That didn't come until the plant system was implemented, but even that is a separate system apart from crafting items using recipes. All the forum chatter made me think the change was added mostly because of player feedback. It doesn't seem to add robust features that grow the system as much as being an instant fix for the way it currently stands in the game. I welcomed the change as much as anyone else did, and it may prove to be worth staying in the game, but the point is I think there are other ways the system can be grown to create a richer experience.
Aside from all the professions that are readily available and talked about in-game, disenchanting seems hidden in the dark corners of Varanas and the Obsidian Stronghold. Disenchanting isn't really a profession, but a skill that lets you dismantle weapons and equipment that anyone can learn by asking the right NPC. For all intents and purposes, disenchanting is useless. There's no level attached to the skill and every item -- regardless of its level -- yields maybe a single craft rune or resource. That means a level 49 weapon that could be sold to an NPC for a few thousand gold, turns it into one rune worth a few gold at best. Craft runes also drop frequently from mobs, making it by far the better method for obtaining them.
To me, this makes it appear that developers have plans for disenchanting, and I say what better way than using it to compliment crafting? Nothing but recipes would need changed, or maybe even keep current recipes the same and add new ones that utilize the skill. You could also give existing and new drops more than one use, as well as crafted items, making it a much more diverse and deeper system. If daily quest drops and weapons had a mix of new materials only available through disenchanting them, and in turn had uses for those disenchanted materials, you'd give more reasons to use crafting professions. Crafting could be more fun, more attractive and it would add toward a bigger, stronger economy.
Of course, it's a lot of speculation on my part. I think the way crafting stands now is good and doesn't need changed so much as just needing more of what it already has. But, what do you think? I'm curious to here your opinions on what you think of RoM's crafting professions and if you think anything needs done with them. Would you change it completely? Should crafted items be closer matched with dungeon rewards? Do you have a 30-page thesis on how to restructure it? Be as specific as you want. Now I must go, because a level 46 legendary helm takes a long time to craft.