Players must choose a path in the artisan skill tree for each character. Within each of the three parent artisan paths (Gathering, Processing and Crafting) there are different professions. A character may only ever master one of these parent paths.
Gathering is a parent artisan path, along with processing and crafting. Within each of the three parent paths lies different professions. You may only ever master one parent path. But you may spend time mastering each profession within the parent artisan path. – Steven Sharif
Becoming a master Crafter or a master Processor or a master Gatherer should be a significant time investment and resource investment; and because of that it should also be something that when you achieve that status it's like people on the server know who you are. – Steven Sharif
- Players can dabble in all professions at a "beginners" level before they decide to master a particular pathway.
- Choosing a specific path in the skill tree allows the player an opportunity to specialize in a certain area. This encourages player inter-dependency, enhancing the artisan experience.
- It is possible to master multiple professions (but not all) within a parent artisan path, but this will be a long and labor intensive feat, requiring many resources.
- Masteries aren’t just about making an item. They grant many things, including titles, access to items, bargains, and quests. 
Players will have the opportunity to kind of dabble in all of the professions at a very beginners level and then you know that kind of gives them an understanding of what that profession feels like and then allows them to kind of pinpoint the direction that they want to go in to master particular professions. – Steven Sharif
When we reference not being masters of all that doesn't mean you're not a master within your own one of the three artisan types, which is you know crafter or gatherer, processor. You will be a master of one of those, you will not be master of the other two. – Steven Sharif
- Progression in the gathering artisan class unlocks higher level harvesting tools that enable gathering of higher level resources.
- Tools will have durability and tool lifespans.
- Artisans will not need to rely on other trees in order to make their tools.
Tools do advance within the artisan tree, so your ability to either gather, process or craft will require the equivalent tools necessary at that stage of crafting in order to accomplish the task at hand. So, you could not mine copper and mithril with the same tool. – Steven Sharif
Artisan supply chain
Artisans within Ashes of Creation must choose a path in their artisan skill tree. This inter-dependency establishes a supply chain from raw materials to finished product. Each stage of the chain may require caravans to transport goods from one artisan to another.
- Obtaining raw materials:
- Refining the raw materials with the Processing profession.
- Crafting the finished product using its crafting recipe.
As a crafter you're going to want to know where certain recipes can be fulfilled; which nodes have the capability of creating what you've processed material that you've gathered for; and then you're going to want to plan out your route to either transit the goods there or make sure that you're situated in the area so that you can go out collect and build in that area as well. So there's a lot of planning that's going to be necessary. – Steven Sharif
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (32:07).
- Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:09:46).
- Interview, 20 July 2020 (18:47).
- Interview, 27 March 2020 (5:25).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (6:12).
- Livestream, 30 April 2020 (54:33).
- Interview, 27 March 2020 (9:00).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (38:25).
- Livestream, 30 April 2020 (53:11).
- Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:05:58).
- Interview, 20 July 2020 (20:17).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (8:22).
- Livestream, 8 May 2017 (20:41).
- Livestream, 18 July 2017 (38:30).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (26:00).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (24:18).