Guild Wars 2 designers answer player questions about armor, crafting, and Transmutation Stones

Last week's Guild Wars 2 news got a huge community reaction. The loudest discussions came from the announcement regarding Transmutation Stones and their relation to the upcoming game's item shop.

John Hargrove and Eric Flannum answered some of the most prevalent fan questions last night in the newest ArenaNet blog post. Predictably, most of the questions centered around Transmutation Stones, but we also learn a bit more about crafting, gathering, and armor stats. While some questions remain unanswered for the time being, there are plenty of new details to pore over. Follow along after the jump as we take a look at them.
Crafters rejoice! Player crafting has been officially confirmed, revealing our first discipline in Guild Wars 2: tailoring!

John and Eric also addressed a minor cosmetic issue regarding gathering nodes in the world. While it's great that we won't all be bickering over nodes, some players worried that this mechanic would cause them to see other players mining nothing but thin air. Thankfully, ArenaNet seems to agree that that would look completely silly, and has implemented it so the appearance of the node changes for you once you've mined it, rather than disappearing completely.

Armor stats are shaping up to be very interesting, and the potential for customization is looking better all the time. Armor will have a combination of fixed inherent bonuses and open upgrade slots. For example, a full set of light armor has six pieces, and each piece will have one open upgrade slot. "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."

Speaking of customization, the biggest part of this blog post focused on those Transmutation Stones. The Guild Wars 2 community had pages of questions and concerns on fan forums, and ArenaNet spent this week poring over them and addressing the ones asked most.

Unfortunately, there are no answers to the ones near the top of the list: cost and availability through gameplay. "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."

John and Eric also addressed the theory that ArenaNet would deliberately design armor to "encourage" players to spend money on Transmutation Stones. Accusations that the most attractive armor would have bad stats and the armor with good stats would be unattractive are completely unfounded: "We're not changing the way we make armor at all because of this system," Eric says. "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."

Finally, we learned that the stones are single-use as many players speculated, and John and Eric went into detail about how the stones work for weapons and armor. This new blog entry should clear up the vast majority of current player questions, so check it out -- and don't forget to take some time to look at the new pieces of armor art!

This article was originally published on Massively.