At first glance, the crafting in AO seems to be typical of other MMO's. You have your crafting levels with new recipes available upon reaching some arbitrary level. You gather up the materials and the crafting job constitutes a workload you have to work through to come up with the finished product. As an aside, there are literally no trash drops in this game. Chances are if you don't know what an item does, it is used as an ingredient for some crafting recipe somewhere. This will drive those with packrat mentalities bonkers as they come to grips with the limited inventory space. After you gather up the necessary mats and go through the steps to define your job and workload, you will then find out where Atlantica Online diverges from the norm.
Your crafting progress is fueled by the XP you get from killing stuff.
Sure, you could get an auto-craft license on the market or as a reward for a quest chain you get in your 40's. This license will allow you to craft in the traditional way without having to kill anything and is a great option for those crafters unable or unwilling to engage in combat. But it really is faster and more efficient to craft the other way. The process seems a little strange at first and not a bit counter-intuitive but, eventually, you get used to it and will appreciate the fact that you’re not tied to a forge or sewing table if you want to make something. Guild officers can even set up guild crafting jobs where the huge workload is shared by everyone in the guild and their kills contribute to its progress, provided they aren't doing their own personal crafting. You can learn as many crafting skills as you want and there are a huge variety to choose from. Everything from weapons, armor, food, potions, buildings for your towns, skill books, and even licenses needed can be crafted. I'd say that short of special items only available from the item mall or special quest rewards, everything found in this game can be crafted. The only limitations being that it takes some effort and quite a lot of gold in order to level up your tradeskills. There are even plans to introduce end-game gear that is crafting-only; a move that hasn't met with universal acclaim.
That's not the only new wrinkle to crafting in this game. You gain crafting levels (up to a max of 100) by gaining craft XP. Once you gain enough XP to go to the next level, you will then need to be trained up before you actually gain the new level. It's even possible to gain enough XP to gain several levels at one time. Training can be done by finding the appropriate NPC or a player high enough to train you. For example, you can begin to train others at level 11 and can train those levels 11 and below. The same goes for levels 21, 51, and so forth. Training takes a huge chunk of Will which limits how often you can do it but the trainer gets a crafting XP reward as well for doing this which can be a great way to level up your crafting on the cheap.
There are other ways to gain crafting XP. There's the normal way of personal crafting jobs but you can also gain it through the guild crafting jobs as well. When the job finishes, it awards crafting XP to those guildies who contributed to the progress. You also get XP from dismantling gear into materials you can then use to create new crafting jobs. Teaching others also gains you crafting XP as mentioned already. These alternate methods are a great way to level your crafting without having to shell out for expensive materials. For example, I was able to level up my Machine skill from 0-12 purely from the XP I got from one guild crafting job (admittedly it was a huge one) without having to scrounge up so much as one lugnut or whatever it is they need to make things from that craft.