I found these videos very informative:
There are 8 crafting disciplines that include 3 for armortypes, 3 for weapon types, jewelcrafters, and cooks.
Armorsmith – crafts heavy armor for Warriors and Guardians
Leatherworker – crafts medium armor for Rangers, Thieves, and Engineers
Tailor – crafts light armor for Elementalists, Necromancers, and Mesmers (yes, the last profession is definitely a Mesmer)
Weaponsmith – crafts non-magical melee weapons
Huntsman – crafts non-magical ranged weapons
Artificer – crafts magical weapons
Jewelcrafter – crafts rings and necklaces
Cook – makes food that can be used for temporary buffs
Each outpost or city will have crafting stations for each discipline that players can use to craft.
Crafting disciplines have skill levels from 1 to 400 points, and each item you craft will give you experience towards your ability level (it is not possible to fail to craft something or fail to get experience).
In addition, though there will be critical successes in crafting, the critical will cause your character to simply use less materials to craft the item or perhaps get more experience from crafting the item. Critical successes will never add to the value or stats of the item crafted (otherwise people would only ever want to buy critical crafts).
Each character can have up to two of the disciplines (previously listed above). Also, if you choose to drop a discipline in favor of another, your skill level of the dropped discipline is kept for that character, so should you ever decide to return to your previous discipline, you will start off at the skill level at which you stopped earlier.
How to craft:
The crafting itself uses an experimental method to discover recipes. This is hard to describe if you haven’t experienced such a system before. If it helps, if anyone has played Asheron’s Call, I get the impression that the crafting system is a lot like the spell system from that game, save the tapers.
In most games, crafting systems are more like you collecting and unlocking recipes for your character. You, the player, could even know the exact mats needed to craft something but not be able to craft the item because your character has not gotten the “drop” of that recipe off of a mob and “learned”/unlocked it. In experimental systems, however, the actual ability to craft is inherent in the crafting discipline. If you have the crafting discipline on your character, and the discipline is of appropriate level, you CAN ALWAYS craft any item the game knows of that is craftable by that discipline. There is no need to go unlock how to make bronze gloves by getting the drop off of a mob or learning from a trainer. As long as you, the player, know what makes bronze gloves (let’s say 3 bronze and 1 opal), you can craft that item on your character as long as you have the mats to do so.
For example, if some friend of yours is a jewelcrafter, and you are also a jewelcrafter, the way you “learn a recipe” is if you friend says in party chat, “Hey, if you put silver in the first slot and a ruby in the second slot you get x.” That’s it. The player learns recipe combos, the character itself always has the ability to use them at any time (provided you aren’t trying to craft a lvl 400 item on a character with only 100 jewelcrafting level).
It is called an experimental system simply because it encourages the player to experiment. For example, if you have some wood, iron, and topaz lying around. You can go ahead and toss them into the crafting box and see if anything pops out. It might be a recipe for all you know.
If anyone with experience with this type of system knows how to explain this better to people who have never seen this before, feel free to give it a try. I’m not sure if I was clear or not.
Gathering nodes will be scattered throughout the world of Tyria. However, the ability to gather itself will not take up a discipline slot; all characters have an inherent ability to gather materials from nodes.
In addition, one character gathering from a node does not deplete that node for other characters. If a group finds a node, each member of the group can personally gather the full mats dropped from that node, regardless of who else in the group also gathers from the node. In other words, gathering from a node will deplete the node for your character only.