As I was playing through with the my barb, I found and kept upgrading my weapons and armor throughout but once I started using the blacksmith artisan (somewhere around level 7 I think) I quickly found that even the first tier of items the BS could make were leagues above anything I had been finding. At level 9 I finished the beta, pretty much geared out in the first level of items from the BS. Nothing I really found the rest of the way came close to the stats of slapping on the most basic BS crafted armor with all the plus's to vitality. I pretty much bee-lined to the skelton king too, so I think I was playing the proper content for my level and yet even the most basic BS items were OP compared to what I was finding.
Dito on my second play through with the WD, though this time I focused on used the BS artisan ASAP out of the gate. I finished beta with him on level 11 and BS artisan on level 3... The items i was getting at level 3 from the BS were (of course) even more OP than with the barb and his BS on level 1. In both cases not even the rares that dropped came even close to the blues the BS could make and salavging the rares for the "teeth" needed for the BS to make a rare belt was a no brainer... that belt was godly compared to the rares that dropped throughout the betas for either character (2 and 3 rares respectively I believe), not many I know, but the fact none of them even came within the same ball park as the first rare the BS could make concerned me.
One of the things I always liked about D2 was piece-mealing my armor and weapons together over time and from what I've seen of the crafting system so far there seems to be the potential for everyone running around with the same sets of gear throughout the game (ie BS gear), kind of like in another Bliz game that I shall not mention (except in that one everyone runs around in the same gear they find in dungeons/raids). This of course wouldn't be "diablo-ish" and I can't imagine Bliz missing the mark that badly, so hopefullythe BS artisan is just OP early on.
I know, Beta is only until level X and you've only seen X percentage of the game and on and on, and trust me I'm not doing that, but I am curious...
TLDR: Has anyone else found the crafting system to generally be over powered in the Beta compared against the drops you got from mobs and bosses throughout, or did I just have horri-bad drops through out my two play throughs? Anyone have any insight or remember seeing any blue comments that might extinguish this crafting concern?