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Tooltip

5.8 Crafting Primer - Making better items

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Howdy all,

I was recently asked on Reddit how to make better items in response to a post. I started the reply and it got sort of long, so I thought I'd throw it up here and link it instead. I'm sure I've missed some stuff so please feel free to make any corrections / suggestions, I'd really appreciate it! I should mention I joined in 5.8 so I'm by no means an expert and this reflects my meager knowledge.

This primer will assume you have some idea as to which profession you're interested in. 

First off, here's one of the devs walking through crafting changes in the current patch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URZC4k0b_nM Watch it and don't worry if you don't fully understand everything right off the bat. It's still good to see the UI and all that.

Generally, crafting improvements (making better stuff) come from 2 places:
 
Account Training
Your passive account training (click Skills at the top of the screen from character select or press esc, then the dumbbell icon from in game). There you begin your account training and can invest points in a particular crafting path (start this early!). To focus on crafting, select the crafting basics tree and start spending points to unlock the professions you're interested in. Once you get to the actual crafting tree node you want, you'll notice several branches you can invest in.

All crafting trees have 5 primary branches, 4 of which split into 2. From top to bottom, they deal with:
  1. Experimentation
    1. Success
    2.  Points
       
  2. Assembly
    1. Success
    2. Speed
       
  3. Recipes
     
  4. Mass Production
    1. Thrall durability
    2. Quality of Thrall

How experiment points, success and assembly affect your crafting is discussed below. For now, we'll be mostly ignoring Recipes (since you currently get them from Disciplines), Mass Productions (not in yet?) and Assembly speed (currently set at 1s).
 

Recipes come from Disciplines
Pressing J will open your crafting menu where you'll notice basic recipes. Currently in 5.8 (and 5.8.1), all crafting professions are available to everyone by crafting and equipping the appropriate major discipline (hexagon shape). Once you have that, you need to find the appropriate crafting table. They are found in forts / keeps out in the campaign world, or in Eternal Kingdoms (EKs).

Materials Matter
When you find a table, you'll see all the different recs available to you. For example, if you're a blacksmith, you'll have the ability to make a Metal Bar. This requires 3 slots of 3 "non-basic" ore. Depending on the type of ore you use, the metal bar will take on different properties. Here is a useful reference: http://winterblades.net/crafting-combinations/ This concept of "materials matter" is general across all crafting. So you can make items with any old material, but the best, custom tailored items will require particular materials (found in campaigns). I've heard it said on these forums that the most basic materials contribute the most to an item with a diminishing returns on contributions from higher level components.

Assembly Success and Experiment Points
Once you've obtained the appropriate materials for an item, you can then start crafting. Each crafting stage has a success / fail (Assembly) chance based on the recipe, material quality, and your skill level (increased through passive account training and other skills like leadership, gear and vessels). If you fail the assembly, you lose 1 quality level . This can turn a set of blue materials into a green item, so assembly chance is important!

If you succeed in assembly, you are allowed to invest experimentation points into the craft. This allows you to customize your item based on the properties that the base materials grant the item. Using our Metal Bar example, after consulting the Winterblades website, we see that using Iron in all the slots gives the metal bar Attack Power and Crit Damage. Thus, you will be allowed to invest experimentation points in Attack Power, Crit Damage, and Durability. The more you train your account in the appropriate crafting discipline branch, the more experimentation points you'll have to spend up to a max (this max can be increased through various means). But that's not enough. You then select how risky you want to be and based on that, you'll have higher or lower chances to succeed or fail at the experimentation leading to higher or lower bonuses for that stat. This is affected by the Experimentation Success skill in your account training (and other bonuses).

Once you're settled on what to invest points in, and how risky you want to be, you roll the dice. You now have a final opportunity to modify the item by rerolling either the single (minor reroll) or all the experimentation rolls (large reroll) for a variable amount of Ethereal Dust. When you reroll, you are guaranteed a better result than the original roll. Finally, you customize (currently just naming the item) and that's about it!

Summary 

Creating better items is a combination of having more crafting skill (assembly success and experimentation points/success) from your account training, the right materials. Do your research before you set out to craft an item. Ask your clients what they'd like, and make sure you're well equipped. Find out if someone you know has specced into Leadership, or can make you certain potions that can help with crafting.

I hope you found something useful here, and if you spotted anything incorrect, please let me know!

Edited by Tooltip
corrections

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You only lose 1 quality level on an assembly failure, so if you use all blue ore to make a metal bar and fail the assembly, you will get a green metal bar.

The Large reroll will reroll all of the experimentation points and the result is guaranteed to be higher than the original roll.

Gear and vessels/attributes also contribute to your crafting stats.

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Another tip. Materials quality increases the assembly and experimentation difficulty. It uses the highest quality to calculate the increase. These were the values last time I checked.

  Assembly difficulty increase Experimentat diffiduclty increase
Poor 0 0
Common 10 5
Uncommon 15 10
Rare 25 20
Epic 35 40
Legendary 50 60

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