Located in northern tip of Lion's Arch, the Mystic Forge is a mystery to most players. However, ArenaNet definitely intended for this to be one of the easiest ways to gather gear for your character. This and scripted storyline dungeons are meant to gear your character throughout the leveling process.
Enchantress Standing by Mystic Forge
How does the Mystic Forge Work?
If you want to get better gear while leveling from the Mystic Forge, all you have to do is put four items of the same type (four helms, four pistols, four daggers, four rings, etc) and you will get a much better one that is several levels higher than the average level of what you put in.
Putting Weapons in the Mystic Forge
This is the best way I've seen to upgrade my own gear, and by the time you do go up three levels you have enough blue/green crap to make a few Mystic Forge combinations.
I haven't tried using them yet, but you can put mystic coins as part of your offering to the Mystic Forge. These should greatly improve the results of your combination.
Can You Make Gold Using the Mystic Forge?
I believe that you can, but there is still always a chance of losing gold. From what I've seen, putting four green items of the same type will usually yield a great yellow item of that type. If you look at the cost of blues (four blues of the same type can become a green), it looks like combining all the way from blue to green to yellow items of the same type could be profitable. I will be conducting more research to see if there are consistent opportunties for profit by using the Mystic Forge. I really need to try using the mystic coins more and seeing if there is an opportunity to buy all the ones that people aren't using on the Trading Post.
Expect a follow up post in the coming weeks showcasing ways to make gold with the Mystic Forge, especially at low levels when players don't have access to it.
Don't Use White Items
I highly advise selling to vendors or salvaging any white items you have. I haven't seen a single time where four white items became a blue.
What You See Isn't Always What You Get!
If you get an item with something like "+5% damage to ogres", then buy a better sigil and replace it. You'll end up selling the item for far more, but be sure to check the auction house before applying.
What's Your Experience with the Mystic Forge?
Share your experience in the comments!
*WARNING: Your mileage may vary with the forge. I didn't ALWAYS get upgrades in gear quality with this strategy, but it was frequent enough to make me believe it is a factor.*