You've either stepped into an alternate universe where crafting mattered in WoW or you're lying. The only times crafting ever mattered were at level cap, and that was back in TBC and WotLK. Unless buying fish feasts (which you could most likely make yourself since everyone can level cooking) counts as "supporting a craft". <,<
Edit: I just remembered enchants, gems and the leathercraft/tailoring attachment for pants. That's still not really "supporting a craft", but rather a thin thread by which crafting hangs on to relevancy in-game. It's also why engineering has been seen as largely useless for most of the game's life.
People buy crafted items and materials all the time in WoW. I'll give you an example...
My warlock has both fishing and cooking capped. I am able to fish for and cook all of the foods I would need for instances. However, it's a better use of my time to farm the money I need to purchase the fish from someone else and only cook them on my own. I can farm the money to buy the fish in less time that it actually takes to catch them all. I get my meals at a reduced cost and whoever caught the fish makes a profit for their time. This is the point I was trying to bring across, but mostly relating to the primary crafts since it's not something just anyone can do.
Another example using primary professions...
My warrior is blacksmith/jewelcraft spec'd. Blacksmithing allows me to create sockets on gloves and bracers that I can put extra gems into and jewelcrafting allows me to make higher quality gems to put in those sockets. For that reason, this combination of professions is seen as ideal in terms of maximizing your gains. Jewelcrafters prospect raw gems from ore and cut those into a finished product. If I am blacksmith/jewelcrafter I can't mine the ore I need to prospect the gems. I need to rely on other crafters with mining to gather and sell the ores to me, but it's almost always a profit even if I purchase the ores from someone else.
This is the point I'm trying to make. The fact that XIV allows anyone to level any craft without a steep investment(ie. leveling a class to cap for every other profession you cap) will lead to common materials flooding the market. I'm not saying that it can't be overcome, but it's a hurdle none the less. If the market is so saturated with crafters, you'd need to have very rare materials needed for certain crafts if they are going to be of any value in terms of trying to sell them. Edited, Sep 18th 2013 5:15pm by FilthMcNasty
So...remember when I wrote this on the the 18th?
Have no fear: I'll bookmark this, set a timer, and bump it within a month or two and we can discuss just how off mark you were then
I think plenty of time has passed to demonstrate that you have no argument when it comes to the FFXIV economy.
The economy has actually picked up substantially since last you posted. There is a high demand for low level gear, as I predicted, because people are leveling their 2nd DoW/DoM job to 50 now. You thought people wouldn't rely on crafters to buy the lower level gear: that they'd just make it themselves.
Go take a look at the market. There is plenty of gear that sells at a steady, rate coming directly from crafters. Not only that, but HQ low level gear is also in demand similar to FFXI's HQ low level gear.
Since many people I have spoken with haven't leveled a third craft to 50 by now, I'd say it's a no brainer to dismiss your statement about complete self sufficiency. It just isn't feasible and most of the population understands that.
If you're self-sufficient in most crafts, chances are you haven't leveled many of the DoW or DoM jobs either. I would say, that unless you have several of the crafts maxed at 50, you can currently make better gil at level 50 with a combat job. Considering some fo the materials required to make this armor we're speaking of, it's just not feasible to make your own. You don't go, "Oh, well I need to level paladin now...guess I'll go level an appropriate DoH job instead." As you said, that would be counterproductive and a waste of time.
Even if you can make the item, you're still going to be relying on the market to purchase the raw materials without a gathering job leveled. Many crafters are buying plenty of materials from the AH due to this and leves.
High end gear obtained through crafting is currently in high demand.
Materia is in high demand. Melding the materia is also in high demand.
High quality food (and even NQ food) is in high demand for groups proceeding through coil. Ethers as well.
On top of all of this, there is a fountain at level 50 that allows you to make money without having to level a crafting job at all.
All in all, the economy now is pretty stable and, as I mentioned several times above, you have no idea what you're talking about. Edited, Oct 3rd 2013 9:37am by HitomeOfBismarck