Are Workshops Really Such a Big Improvement over Old Professions?

I think I’ve gotten a decent look at the new workshop system that got introduced with Neverwinter’s Heart of Fire update. And I have to say I really like some aspects of it. It certainly gives professions a more prominent place. Plus you have to be much more decisive what you want to achieve on each toon and act accordingly. Old professions focused on single characters.  Running a workshop on the contrary is something that involves the whole account and a lot of theorycrafting, which I do appreciate. These benefits might even offset that maintaining alts got a lot more time-intensive.

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Despite that however, I figured that most of my personal excitement about professions comes from the fact that I have to set up all my toons again. In other words: I have something to do! But other than that, I have to say that I don’t really get how workshops are supposed to be a big improvement over old professions. The leveling, recipe and asset structure has changed slightly, but overall the system and its purpose barely moved. Mastercrafting is still king and the useful recipes they introduced on lower levels could have been implemented similarly in the old system. You could even say that all workshops did was bringing an additional RNG element to professions with Artisans.

Same Results, Different Path?

It’s really weird. You certainly can’t rule out that the devs plan to extend the system at some point. But at the moment workshops are not exactly capable of much more than professions were. You’re getting to the same point by just using a slightly different path. Or am I missing something here? I mean it’s not like we suddenly have a super immersive crating system now. We still don’t go out in the world collecting resources or unlocking recipes by try and error for example. In other games crafting is essentially a full game within a game where players can spend hours exploring and doing stuff. Around here it always was just a complementary system, and that didn’t really change. What I definitely like are the quality-of-life improvements workshops brought. But once again, you could have done something like a Delivery Box in the old system as well.

I guess what I’m trying to question is whether workshops are really that huge upgrade over professions? Does it take crafting in Neverwinter to a whole new level or isn’t it just a replacement that’s a little more advanced in some areas? That’s not bad by an means by the way, but I’m still surprised that some players seem so overly ecstatic and call workshops the savior for the formerly broken professions system. In my opinion workshops are bound to run into similar issues than old professions over time, because most of the core elements did not change.

Professions+ Instead of Provessions 2.0

To be a little more specific, the core issues for me are:

  • You can’t make professions your own: Everyone has access to the same set of global recipes. You have too little options to specialize yourself and unlock stuff that others don’t have.
  • Recipes are unflexible. The system needs constant maintenance because older recipes lose viability over time.
  • Gathering resources is either repetitive (masterwork nodes) or no gameplay element at all. It’s mostly just grabbing stuff from vendors or running a “Gathering Profession”.
  • Professions do not offer unique rewards. They are for the most part just an alternative path to gear or refining points.

The above things were already issues in the old professions system and still are in workshops. The devs without question have improved the basic structure of professions, but didn’t fundamentally change what the system adds to the game. To me that doesn’t mean workshops are a fail, but I think it’s a missed chance. With such a major overhaul of professions, I would have hoped for more like professions 2.0 rather than professions+. It’s surely a little fussy, but in case Neverwinter really wants to become a haven for crafters, it has to present a lot more than current workshops.

What’s your take on workshops vs. professions? Do you agree that the system didn’t improve in key areas or are you more optimistic about the future of crafting? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

8 thoughts on “Are Workshops Really Such a Big Improvement over Old Professions?

  • December 20, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I agree completely that they put effort into revamping it only to change the details. The previous UI was a panel that was a flat wall of click on text boxes..and now is 3 (craft, gather, hire) panels of flat wall of text boxes you click on. There is nothing game like about it, nor interesting. The end results got nicely updated; some nice pieces. The workshop gfx look nice but don’t factor into usage or gameplay *at all*. I often wonder if NW is actually a browser game…the cost went waaaay up, and “features” like the delivery box are just bottlenecks that didn’t exist before.

  • December 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I have to say, I tried the workshop for a week and abandoned it. The devs said the system was meant to be ‘not-for-everybody’ and at least in my case, I think it is exactly that.

    Is there a point in crafting while leveling up? I have never had any issue getting better gear from quests, and I have leveled characters before and after the workshop.

    Is there a point in crafting while at max level? Not for me, since my BiS gear is on the Barovia hunts, Omu hunts, etc.

    So the workshop is only there for me in terms of profiting, not because I will use any of that. I could, I could go all the way to MW max level, but that is a pain and involves too much money and time.

    But I am glad they put the workshop update. Now I get to spend less time doing professions (instead of managing a bunch of leadership alts); in fact, I spend 0 time on professions now! So… That is great, I am not feeling forced to engage in professions in order to keep up. Sadly, it has not brought anything worthy to the table, not from my perspective.

  • December 20, 2018 at 10:50 am

    It is setup to be a AD sink for most just look at how much our old profession gear got devalued.

  • December 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm


  • December 20, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    As someone doing “casual” MW5 crafting (e.g. not playing the market hard, crafting mostly for personal use & friends’ commissions & occasional AH sale), I notice a few pluses and a few minuses.

    – Morale is nice. Love that I don’t have to hemorrhage ADs to rush most tasks now.
    – Skills like Dab Hand and Recycle are really cool when they proc.
    – I like being able to invest a little in creating my own supplements (e.g. Distilled Philosopher’s Keep) as backup for attempts at “big” stuff.
    – MW2 unlock, previously a major hurdle, is much easier now, since you can use superior tool immediately to attempt the orange deliverables @ ~70% success instead of praying for that 20-35% success chance with the old system.

    – Not happy that the success chance dropped from 75% to 70% w/o supplements on MW stuff.
    – For certain MW recipes that used to yield 1 for t2, 4 for t3, the elimination of t2 concept is a nerf; sucks to not be guaranteed at least 1 Bronzewood Lumber out of 12 Bronzewood Logs, for example, as was the case previously when using Mythic Forgehammer (guaranteed t2 or t3).
    – Not running into this a lot, but I find the whole idea of Gathering to be tedious.
    – +1s not working at SH temp vendors is really sucky.
    – I’m running out of gold 🙁

  • December 21, 2018 at 11:30 am

    it is SO tedious and pointless, 99% of the crafting is completely filler to get to mw weapons or something that is actually useable. all that cannon fodder that only eats up resources and time just to lvl should be left out, if the point is to reach masterwork to create the best weapon usable in game, then the weapon should be the focus and something really asiated to the creation of it thru the lvls and use that base to then crafted into mw and that should be lvling, not create crap unusable to get credit from a random npc to upgrade the workshop or lvl the artisan, plus is way to convoluted, and not well explained, there is so much room to error that is not fun not sensitive to follow, is only explained the basics ABC of the peripheral system and not the core, i rather have the old system, this new one is not worthy.
    if i were starting now and someone tells me that the bis weapons came from crafting and c this system, i quit the game and move on with my life.

  • December 21, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    The new workshop system was designed to get less people to do professions, so that the people who continue to do professions get more out of it. Before, there was no graceful way for me to earn any AD, but under the new system, I’m earning hundreds of thousands of AD per day split between 4 toons.

    Basically, making it harder to do paradoxically made things more worthwhile to do. And I definitely appreciate that.

  • January 30, 2019 at 1:57 am

    The percentage was greatly nerfed by 20% if you had a good artisan, meaning to make the bronze wood lumber, it can fail ,maybe 7 out of 10 times which it has done on many occassions, which leads to guild marks problems, as all coffers are full majority of the time, also if you want to make high proficiency potions you have to open lockboxes

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