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Crafting Tips

Crafting Tips – September 28, 2010 2:19 PM (edited 10/1/10 8:49 AM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
A centralized guide to what we know about crafting seems prudent, and I'm gonna start it. Feel free to add your own thoughts or correct mine.

Local Guildleves
The easiest and cheapest way to earn skill points for a Disciple of the Hand is through local guildleves. These are offered by the NPC standing next to the one offering regional guildleves in each town. While you can only hold 8 local guildleves at a given time, it appears that you can actually perform a slightly higher number (I believe 10) before they stop offering them. This number appears to reset each time the offered leves change.

Local guildleves disappear from your list when you hand in the materials, or if you use up all of the materials without creating enough to complete the leve. Note that you can continue crafting after you've completed the required number of materials - if they ask you for 2 pairs of gloves, and give you materials for 4, you are allowed to make all 4. It is beneficial to do so since you will earn more skill points and experience, and a better reward. Each successful craft adds to your total reward modifier, which appears to be based on the craft's final quality score. However, it's generally better to be conservative and complete the craft at the cost of quality, since a botch results in far less skill points received.

Sometimes you will get a "you have received the necessary materials" message as soon as you accept the leve. In this case, you can immediately craft the requested items, then bring them to the specificed NPC. Other times, you'll need to speak to the NPC to get the materials. I only noticed this recently, but I suspect you only have to speak to the NPC's when they are in town, and only have to deliver items to local camps. I could be mistaken, but this would make things a bit easier if you need more than common support.

The Crafting Process
When you're actually crafting, you will take part in a minigame. Generally you have four crafting options, which I'll cover below. You usually begin with around 100 durability, 0% progress, and 1-10 quality. If durability runs out, even when you hit 100% progress, you will botch. Botching results in a loss of materials and a tiny amount of skill points gained. If you have any durability and you hit 100% progress, you will complete the item. Your quality score at that point determines the chance of a high-quality (HQ) result (or in the case of local guildleves, determines your reward bonus). However, increasing quality also increases the ongoing difficulty of the synth.

Standard Synthesis
This action seems to have the highest overall chance of success. You will usually lose a bit of durability, but can gain up to 20% progress, and there is a chance of getting a nice quality bonus. Even on a failure, you may gain nearly as much progress as you lose durability. You'll be using this a lot.

Rapid Synthesis
Since the retail release day patch, rapid synthesis is much less reliable. You can gain up to 30% progress, but the success rate seems lower than standard synthesis, so it's a bit of a risk. Using this a lot also tends to create sparks in the synthesis - I don't know what they do, but it can't be good. The upside of rapid synthesis is that it raises quality slowly, keeping the synth difficulty low. This can be helpful early in the synth, or when you don't care about getting HQ results.

Bold Synthesis
Bold synthesis tends to be the riskiest action. It fails quite often, and even when it succeeds, you don't always get the quality jump you're looking for. You can lose in excess of 30 durability, and only gain around 10% progress, tops. I like to do this if my progress is above 80% and I have durability to spare (at least 40, preferably 50+).

Waiting doesn't directly do anything except drain your durability. You lose more each time you wait consecutively - first 1, then 2, then 3 durability and so on. So why would you wait? Three reasons:

1.) The crafting colors (see below) can change if you wait, so this is useful to avoid situations that are unfavorable.
2.) Once you hit crafts above level 10 or so, you will start seeing elements destabilize. Though I'm not sure exactly what this does, it's definitely bad. Waiting gives it a chance to correct itself.
3.) Once you hit rank 10, you will start earning abilities that randomly appear in your crafting menu. Waiting gives you extra chances to have one come up.

As I mentioned, you start earning special abilities at rank 10. These are assigned as traits, and the ones I've seen tend to give you a bonus to some particular synthesis action for a short duration. They come up randomly, and you have to watch the log to see when they expire. Note that these are all Disciple of the Hand traits, so you can assign them on different crafting jobs, even those below rank 10. Unfortunately, switching to a lower-level discipline of the hand may remove traits due to a lack of action points, and you can't currently replace them with macros, so pay attention. It helps to put your most useful traits first in the list so they remain in this case.

Colors During Crafting
A short FAQ was released that shed some light on crafting colors, but it didn't mention rotating colors, so it's still unknown exactly what they mean.

White is good - you have the highest overall success rate. Waiting to get white and using standard synthesis is an effective, if conservative, crafting method.

Yellow is more likely to fail than white, and the FAQ mentions no specific upside. Given how red works, it is possible that you can gain more quality with yellow, but in general it seems like a color to be avoided.

Red is even less likely to succeed than yellow, but with the risk comes a potential for large quality gains. You can get huge quality increases with bold synthesis and a bit of luck.

Sometimes the colors will cycle and pulsate, and can do so at different rates. I have no idea what this means, but my gut feeling says it can randomly help or hinder you. Maybe it makes whatever result you get that much more pronounced? (More progress, more durability loss, and more quality.) The pulsations can occur at different speeds, which is likely important as well. Success rate appears to be fairly high when these colors show up;

Based on your final quality, there is a chance of getting a HQ result. This is still pretty random, as I've had a number of HQ synths on material stacks at 80 quality or so, but haven't when quality is in the 200-450 range. I've seen stacked items HQ for both quantity and quality: for instance I've crafted 12 hempen yarn and gotten 12 hempen yarn +1, and seen others get 16 hempen yarn. According to the FAQ, the type of HQ can be determined by whether you use a primary or secondary tool. For weaving, at least, the secondary tool seems to result in increased quantity, while the primary tool gets +1's and above. The easiest way to create HQ items is by using HQ materials (see below).

In the case of final products like gear, the HQ process appears to be a bit different. When you finish these crafts (outside a local guildleve), you will be given the option to "touch up" the result. You can do this as much as you want. In my experience, touching up just drains durability and does nothing else. The durability drain gets larger the more you do it, so be careful. It seems unlikely that there is a chance to increase quality with touch ups - my guess is that sometimes you outright change your gear to a +1 or better. But until I actually see it happen, I'm not sure. Because of this, you have a good incentive to finish these crafts with a lot of durability remaining.

The crafting guidelines above are based on normal materials. Using +1 or better materials will increase your starting durability and quality scores. These can be pretty dramatic bonuses - using moko grass +3 with moko grass +2 (yes, you can mix and match) to make hempen yarn yielded a starting quality in the 300 range, though only 150 or so durability. Wertz remarked on having less overall success using HQ materials, and they may in fact be harder to work with, but there's not enough evidence to say for sure. But because you can HQ practically anything in this game and use it to enhance the next level of synth, HQ materials are very nice to have (or to sell for a nice profit).

Note that, as you increase quality during a synth, the success rate is lowered. (This is why you tend to fail more toward the end, and why it's a good idea to wait to use bold synthesis.) However, the quality bonus from HQ materials does not raise the difficulty of the synth.

Recommended Training
Many crafts have a training type listed in their prerequisites. These aren't strictly necessary, which is good since I still have no idea how you earn the guildmarks needed to get the training. Whether the craft is harder without the training, or easier with it, is unknown. In any case, you can ignore these until you start earning them.

Other Crafting Skills
As in FFXI, some crafts have secondary required skills. It pays to check recipe lists ahead of time and determine what "crafting subjobs" you'll need to level. You don't gain skill points in the secondary craft, however.

Finally, you can get crafting support, a la FFXI, with the use of crafting facilities. Some crafts recommend common or guild facilities (higher-level crafts may require master facilities). As with training, I don't know how important these really are, though unlike with training a message appears in your log telling you that you need larger facilities. Accessing even better facilities than a craft recommends appears to enhance your skill, but not by such a great degree that you can go crafting things you normally have no shot at.

There are three types of facilities, and the higher two are only accessible at the correct guild. You cannot get synthesis for another class at a guild. At low levels, common facilities from a guild cost 100 gil, guild facilities cost 200 gil, and master facilities cost 500 gil. When I hit rank 10, all of these doubled, and I expect they will continue to increase in price as I advance in rank. Facilities last a few minutes. It's not clear whether facility expiration affects a craft in progress - that would be mean and unfair, but this is Square-Enix, so it's possible. My gut says they don't, since the facilities are listed when confirming the initial craft as an available resource.

If you're not in a town with an appropriate guild, you can still gain access to common facilities. In town, speak to the NPC that repairs gear and select "perform my own repairs." He will offer common facilities in the crafting job you're currently on. This appears to cost 50% more than getting it from the guild. There are also NPCs at most, if not all camps that offer support in the same way, though they cost double guild rates. Sometimes these NPCs can be hard to find - if you're on a local levequest, try selecting "small talk" when talking to the target NPC. If they are the support provider, they will offer it to you.

Final Notes
FFXI required a bit of multi-crafting crossover, both for two-craft recipes and getting certain ingredients. FFXIV takes this to much greater extremes. Actual crafts are ridiculously involved - about as involved as you'd expect them to be in real life. We're talking making rivets to keep your armor together here. Early on you'll need to buy materials or have your friends help you out to make most of the cool stuff. With the current market ward system, it can be a slow-going process, but crafting is fun and rewarding, so stick with it. Just make sure you don't start a project you can't finish.

There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
Random Thing I Just Learned – January 11, 2011 12:44 AM (edited 1/10/11 7:44 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
I don't know how I've crafted this long without discovering this, but if you're like me and like to wait out bad conditions (incidentally, since this original post I've grown much more comfortable with red and yellow, and much more frightened of flashing), this is really useful. Using an ability resets how many times you've waited. Thus if you wait 3 times, then use Fulfillment or something, the next wait will only cost 1 durability. Sure, you lose a turn of your ability, but it can pay off, especially late in a craft.

There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
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