A better system
One of the biggest complaints in some of the less popular MMOs has been the shallowness of the crafting system. Rift, however, has taken a big hint from Lord of the Rings: Online and incorporated a three-skill profession scheme. Most of the crafting skills work out to require two of the gathering skills, which just a couple of exceptions. That allows players to either pick up extra gathering skills for additional money, or to contribute to guild crafters.
The system as a whole provides a much more integrated experience for all players. The materials gathered by any one person will typically be more than they can use, allowing for a healthy economy to grow. Conversely, some players are making their mains take three different crafting professions while simultaneously running an alt with all three gathering jobs. Even if you have no interest in crafting whatsoever, take a couple of gathering professions for the cash. I mean, come on–who couldn’t use a few extra platinum? You’ll be rolling in dough before you know it.
Foraging: This skill allows you to track and pick up herbs, flowers and wood items. The Foraging skill is useful for Artificing, since you’ll be making wands and staves; it’s also a requirement for the Apothecary skill, since the plants you gather will be brewed into potions. Weaponsmiths and Armorsmiths will use some of your wood for a few of their recipes, as well.
Butchery: The leather hides skinned from fallen beasts are turned into armor by Armorsmiths and Outfitters. Other materials gained from this skill are also used for the Apothecary profession.
Mining: The ores gained from the Mining skill are smelted at a forge and used in Weaponsmithing, Armorsmithing and Artificing. The gems sometimes found in mining nodes are also used by Artificers, mainly for crafting rings and necklaces.
Weaponsmithing: Just as the name implies, you’ll be crafting all weapons with the exception of wands and staves. Since that’s everyone except Mages, this will likely be a popular profession to have. If you’re taking Weaponsmithing as a skill, you’ll also want to take Mining for the ore and Foraging for wooden handles, stocks and the like.
Armorsmithing: Armorsmiths will of course want Mining; Butchery is also very useful for this profession, as it will be used in creating chain armor.
Artificing: The favored skill of Mages, as it’s a great source of staves and wands. The rings, necklaces and trinkets are also nice, and all pieces seem to be good sellers in the Auction House. Take Foraging and Mining so you’ll have a good supply of ore and wood for your craft.
Apothecary: Potion brewing players will need the plants gathered from Foraging and items gathered from Butchering beasts. Any resources from these gathering skills that aren’t needed can be sold to other players or passed on to alts.
Outfitter: Outfitters craft leather and cloth armor from hides and cloth; since cloth drops off of humanoid mobs, you only need Butchery as a gathering skill. This leaves you with an open profession spot for either Runecrafting or some other skill.
Runecrafting: This profession is the only one in Rift that is self-supplying. Breaking down enchanted items supplies the materials for what you’ll create with Runecrafting, which are primarily gear-stat-boosting items. Think of this like World of Warcraft’s Enchanting skill.