Cooking is going to be a very intensive profession. It's going to take a lot of gold to get max level and more notably it's going to take a lot of time. Of course there is still the benefit to crafting in general which gives you XP so there is a bit of a trade-off to investing the time and gold. The aspect of cooking that I want to cover today pertains to how you go about obtaining the materials. Unless you're going to buy them off of the Guild Wars 2 Trading Post you going to be spending a significant amount of time gathering them from around Tyria. If you go through the game and you skip over utilizing the farms throughout the world you are doing yourself an incredible disservice.
What are Farms?
Farms are a concentrated group of nodes spread around Tyria. All farms consist of eight nodes grouped together. Farms are limited to just one per map which means that there obviously aren't going to be as many farms as there are standard nodes. There are still going to be quite a few farms considering the amount of different regions that are part of the world. Each region has a certain amount of maps within it as well. Right now since very few people explored the higher-level zones we only know the locations of a few of the more basic ones.
Just through cross-referencing some of the farms to the prices that are reflected on the trading post I can say that a lot of the farms get neglected just because of their location. For instance – there is a clam farm in the Brisban Wildlands. This farm really isn't all that far out of the way from anything that is highly traveled; however, it is underwater so many people don't want to go get it. I don't know what the reasoning behind this is but it seems like a lot of the items that are underwater people are not willing to go and get. I'll get more into this on a later post, but for now just keep that in the back of your mind.
Cooking is going to be an expensive profession as I said earlier. The thing that makes it a little more difficult even with the globally shared economy is the way that farms are set up. Farms can only be harvested once in a 23 hour time frame. So essentially you're only going to be allowed to harvest them once a day, that is, unless you are incredibly dedicated and you do it at exactly 23 hours every time. I'm guessing this is highly unlikely.
The reason you stand to make a decent amount of gold if you decide to just sell the materials on the trading post is because even with the globally shared economy very few people are going to be motivated enough to hit up every farm every day that they can. Because of this and the high demand for cooking items by people who are leveling their discipline I predict that there is going to be a lack of materials in the economy as they pertain to cooking. Going off of the past beta weekends and stress test this was mostly true.
After the game launches I'm sure there's going to be an extensive map showing where every farm is located. At that time I'll post it on the site, but for now we just have to go off of what's shown on the wiki and different sites that have documented them as best as they can. Hopefully this happens quickly after the game launches. If I were a betting person I would say that some sort of map will be created before the end of the early access period which begins this Saturday.