To speak a bit to the original question of this thread:
“Are the devs sure that the crafting order system is a success?”
The crafting order system is by no means perfect. There are many ways we would like to improve it over time. We have been having many of these discussions internally, as well as listening to feedback from all of you. Since this is such a new system though, we don’t want to make any snap-judgements and make big changes before giving things a chance to settle and seeing how it develops over time.
We do believe that the system has been successful in one of its core goal though - to enable crafters to make soulbound, useful gear for players at all levels of play. This elevates the overall value of professions within the game and helps to deliver on the fantasy of being a crafter creating valuables for yourself and others.
It has also been successful in providing a new way to for crafters and customers to interact, one which is inherently more social, and when you get to use it, hopefully more satisfying than previous ways to do so! But again, very much not perfect!
As far as the public order system goes, it seems to be working well as an easy way to get something crafted for yourself if you aren’t worried about getting the best quality and want it quickly. This was always its intent. We definitely wish that as crafters, it was easier to find public orders to fill. Unfortunately even though there are quite a few public orders going through the system, given the minimal effort it takes to fulfill a public order and the relative number of crafters around to fill those orders, there will almost never be many orders up an any given time with the way it currently works…they get filled too quickly and easily.
We are looking into ways to have more orders to fulfill though, because for most, we think it tends to be a pretty satisfying activity and a great way to earn skill and a bit of gold when you can find an order to fulfill.
We also think the guild / personal order side of things are working moderately well. These methods allow players to connect and get their items crafted with more control. There are several issues we would very much like to improve though, including:
Helping better connect customers and crafters. There is nothing wrong with a bit of effort to get the best gear, or to attract customers. This is currently mostly accomplished through trade chat though, which while it does have a nice social component to it (something we love to see more of), it is by no means an ideal way to find a crafter for a specific item, or a customer to craft for.
Helping better support interactions between players who are depending on inspiration to reach a higher quality level.
We suspect that as players finish getting their high end crafting gear and complete purchases of other one time uses for Artisan’s Mettle, players will be more willing to use Artisan’s Mettle to guarantee higher quality crafts. That will help, but even then, inspiration will always be a useful way to get max quality gear crafted. The crafting orders system is not supporting this as well as we would like it to, since as a customer, you cannot place an order and know exactly what you will get - you need to rely on a handshake deal that your crafter has the inspiration they promised when attempting to craft items for you.
In addition, there will be lots of other quality of life features we will be looking into to help making it smoother to use, easier to learn, and more.
As always, thank you for the feedback. We will continue working to improve professions in general and the crafting order system in specific! Meanwhile, happy gathering and crafting!