Hi everyone. So I've been having trouble writing music. I've been dealing with various issues, as well as simply playing FFXIV to avoid thinking too much into things. I wanted to share with you the tracks I made so far, and also let you know what I ultimately plan on doing.
Originally, I wanted to write 30 songs, with suggestions from my friends, as well as people reading the older blogs (which are now hidden, because that's how I roll). Since I won't be able to write 30 songs, I decided to pull a "Nonsensicals" and add songs that I wrote earlier in the year, so that it will have enough tracks. I also don't think it will be ready by December 1st. I plan on writing music for all the suggestions given to me.
[Songs that will be added to the album that otherwise have no home]
And I'm embedding this one, because if you only listen to one song, it has to be this one:
Love, Lost, Live, Love (2013)
So that's what I'm going to do. I still have your suggestions, and plan on doing something with them. I don't know when this album will be done, but I'd like to have something I can share on Bandcamp by the end of December at the latest.
Hello. This is somewhat of a guide, but I need to let you know that I am not a crafting expert. I learn something new every day, and I try to be as good a crafter as I can be. I'm sure there are better guides. In fact, some of the information I post here may come from one of those guides. I will try my best to cite sources. I will not copy and paste anything. These are my own words.
This is my main character (sorry about the hideous armor :p):
As you can clearly see, I'm level 50 in all gathering and crafting classes. I've started leveling my WAR for the time being. I figure I could maybe share some tips I've learned over the past few months.
A couple of things:
- This is not a "How to Make Money" guide: I don't craft because I think I'll get rich quick. I'm not really interested in being rich. I craft because I find it fun.
- Don't sue me if this information is inaccurate: As mentioned earlier, I'm not an expert. I might list the wrong CP cost for an ability or something. I might even be using the wrong rotations. Who knows. I just want to share my experiences with crafting.
- I've come a long way, so my advice for lower levels may suck: I've been level 50 on most of the crafts for a while now. Armorer and Alchemist were the last 2 which I think I got sometime last week or so. I'll try to recall how I did things early on, but it could be useless dribble :p
Let's get the basic stuff out of the way. I believe you need to be level 10 and have completed the level 10 class quest in order to be able to unlock other classes. Unlocking another class is as easy as going to the specific guild, doing the 1st quest, and agreeing to unlock that class. You can unlock all classes, and level them all to 50 if you want.
The guilds can be found in the following cities (use your map, I'm not your mother! :p):
Limsa Lominsa: Blacksmith - South of Aftcastle Crystal
Armorer - South of Aftcastle Crystal (same location as Blacksmith)
Culinarian - Bismarck Crystal
Gridania: Carpenter - West of the large Aetheryte Crystal
Leatherworker - Leatherworker Guild Crystal
I highly recommend unlocking all 8, and at least doing the level 1 to 5 (and possibly 10) quests for them. You will get a ton of shards that will help you level. You may also want to consider raising certain classes to certain levels, as each class has unique abilities at level 15, 37, and 50. These are cross-class abilities, meaning you can equip them to other crafting classes (I believe it's 1 ability every 5 levels).
It's kind of like leveling subjobs in FFXI, except cross-class abilities can be equipped on other jobs as soon as possible. You can equip a level 50 ability to a level 5 craft and use it (assuming you have the CP to use it if it's an ability that requires CP).
General startup advice:
- Why are you interested in crafting? -- 1) I want to be able to repair my own gear ---- Being able to repair your own equipment can save you a fair amount of gil. I believe the minimum level to repair level 50 gear is level 41 of that particular craft. You can buy Dark Matter of different grades (1-5) and use them to repair gear.
-- 2) I want to be able to meld materia ---- At level 19, you can unlock the ability to meld materia to gear. It can give you stat boosts you wouldn't normally have. Level 50 materia melding is apparently required for relic weapons, so you may often see shouts for people requesting melds. It's a decent way to make a little side money, but often there are other level 50 crafters waiting to be able to jump in and get that gil. It's kind of like waiting outside of Home Depot for work =p
-- 3) I want to support my main class (craft weapons/armor, food, potions, etc) ---- Being able to make your own gear, food, and potions can save you money in the long run.
-- 4) I want to be self-sufficient, and helpful to others ---- You may be looking to provide help for yourself and your friends. I like that. You and me should go get a beer or something.
-- 5) I want to make money ---- You're reading the wrong guide! I don't know how to make money with crafting! I'm a horrible salesperson! I'm barely scraping by! Any money I make immediately gets spent on improving my gear and other things! If you're on Excalibur, I probably need a loan! (j/k :p)
-- 6) I want to be able to HQ anything and everything ---- I can discuss this in later parts (assuming there is demand). It's a huge investment, requiring 4 level 50 classes, 1 level 37, and at least 2 level 15 classes. You also need to meld a crapton of materia and use food to meet the requirements for the current 100% HQ 2-star recipe craft sequence.
Starting out (Level 1-14):
I can't tell you which craft to level first, but I can give you some basic tips.
- I recommend leveling your craft at the guild of your chosen craft. There is usually a supplier that can provide basic materials for most low-level crafts. The items are usually cheap, too. Some items are available at other guilds, or general merchant NPCs. I suggest using the Eorzea Database and/or the official FFXIV Libra iOS/Android App from Square Enix. You can search for items, and it will tell you if an NPC sells them. It also tells you which monsters drop them, but the information (last I checked) seems unreliable. I was never able to get Jellyfish Umbrella from low-level Aurelias.
- Again, you may want to consider at least unlocking all 8 and doing the first few quests. When you reach higher levels, recipes will require more elemental shards. If you need shards and don't want to spent crazy money on the marketplace (and possibly support RMT & bots), low-level Miner and Botanist can easily farm shards.
- You may want to level Miner, Botanist, and maybe Fisher. You'll hit a point where you can no longer buy materials from NPC. The 3 gathering classes can get most of those materials. Some materials can only be received by farming monsters or doing levequests. Mining is good for Blacksmith, Armorer, and Goldsmith. Botanist can help Weaver, Carpenter, Culinarian, and Alchemist. Leatherworker generally relies on skins that are usually farmed from mobs by war/magic classes.
- All classes need each other. When you start making weapons/gear, and advanced recipes, you'll notice that you'll need materials from other classes. A piece of armor may require cloth from weaver. You can either buy the materials from NPC (if available), Marketplace, or you can get it yourself. I leveled up all my gathering and crafting classes to minimize the need for the marketplace.
So you have the shards and materials to craft. Let's take a look at the screen you will see when you begin a craft:
(1) Name of Item: If for some reason, the name isn't correct, WHAT DID YOU DO?
(2) Step: Each action uses a step. You have as many steps as you need. It's mainly just for reference.
(3) Durability: Each craft has durability. There are 3 types. 40 Durability (usually for materials), and 70/80 durability (usually for actual gear/items). Durability decreases by 10 with every "Touch" or "Synthesis" action. If Durability hits 0 before progress is complete, the craft will fail.
(4) Progress: I probably should've put this before durability. Oh well. You need to fill this bar using Synthesis actions. This is the only bar that needs to be 100% filled in order to successfully complete the craft.
(5) Quality: You use "Touch" actions to fill this meter. The higher the quality, the more XP you will earn from the craft, regardless of if you HQ or not, and you have a higher chance of producing a high-quality item (if high-quality is available).
(6) HQ %: If you use regular materials, it always starts at 1%. The percentage increases as quality goes up. It is not 1:1 HQ % to quality. At half quality, the HQ percentage (from my experience) is usually 15%. The number jumps up significantly the closer you get to 100% quality. Of course, filling quality 100% will always result in a high-quality item (when available, some items cannot be HQ'ed like fishing lures).
(7) Condition: This is important to pay attention to when you're trying to raise quality. Condition does not affect the amount of progress gained from Synthesis actions. The condition of the item changes with each step. It can be Normal, Good, Excellent, or Poor.
- Normal is the most common. Using a touch will result in normal progress.
- Good pops up often. You get more quality from using a touch on Good condition.
- Excellent can be rare, and is the best time to use your best touch. You get a huge boost in quality.
- Poor only appears after an Excellent has passed. It's the worst time to use a touch, as the quality increase will be small. Again, you will only see poor after an Excellent.
(8) Quit: Press this button in the rare instance where you decide that crafting just isn't your thing, and you want to be a dancer, going against the wishes of your parents and the family dog.
Let's talk stats.
Craftsmanship : This stat determines how much progress you get from synthesis actions. The higher the stat, the more progress you make per attempt.
Control : This stat determines how much quality you get from touch actions.
CP : Many abilities require CP to use. It's basically the equivalent of MP/TP/GP on other classes. The difference is that it does not regenerate during a craft (although certain abilities can restore some). Also, it instantly fills back up to 100% after a craft, allowing you to immediately work on another craft.
Craftsmanship and Control can be increased by gear (main/sub tool, head/body/hands/legs/feet), and/or food. CP can also be increased by gear (usually rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces) and/or food. Level 15+ gear usually have materia slots, where you can meld materia to increase stats. However, not all gear can simply have materia attached. There are limits to how much of a stat can be added to a piece of gear. I'll talk more about materia if there is demand for a part II.
Let's talk abilities.
Lv. 1 "Basic Synthesis" : Increases Progress. Efficiency: 100% Success Rate: 90%.
- This is all you can do from level 1-4. It's free to use, but reduces durability by 10 with each attempt. At 90% success rate, you should have little problem finishing a craft. But I'll say this now, and probably again later, 90% is not 100%. It can and will fail.
Lv. 5 "Basic Touch" : Increases Quality. Efficiency: 100% Success Rate: 70%.
- This ability costs 18CP. It increases Quality, which raises the amount of XP you get for the craft if it is successful, and increases the chance of producing an HQ item. With a success rate of 70%, you probably don't want to use this without giving yourself some padding in case of a failed synthesis attempt. Especially on 40 Durability items, where you can only do 4 touch/synthesis actions.
Lv. 7 "Master's Mend" : Increases item durability by 30.
- This ability costs 92CP. It adds 30 durability to the current craft. Good for when you are at 10 durability, and would like more attempts to increase quality/synthesis.
Lv. 9 "Steady Hand" : Increases action success rate by 20% for the next 5 turns.
- I believe it costs 22CP. The next 5 actions will be 20% more successful. It adds to the action percentage (70% becomes 90%, 90% becomes... well.. 100% :P). Extremely useful since it guarantees Basic Synthesis will succeed if it is up, and greatly increases the chance of Basic Touch succeeding.
Lv. 11 "Inner Quiet" : Grants a bonus to control with every increase in quality.
- I do not know how much it costs (XIVDB doesn't list the amount, I think it's 16CP). You basically want to begin every craft with this ability if you plan on increasing quality. Once used, it is active for the duration of the craft (unless you use an ability that removes it, more on that later), and each successful touch means the next touch will increase quality more.
Lv. 13 "Observe" : Do nothing for one step.
- Costs 14CP. Does exactly what it says it does. You like pissing away CP right? Nah, but seriously, Observe is probably best used during a Poor condition (unless you are ready to finish the craft with synthesis, or it takes more than 1 synthesis action to finish the craft).
Level 15 "This is where we part ways"
As mentioned earlier, each class gets a unique ability at level 15, 37, and 50. These abilities are cross-class, meaning other crafting classes can equip them (same as cross-class for war/magic). I don't remember if you need to be level 5 to equip an ability. It's possible you can start at level 1, and every 5 levels, you can equip another (possibly skipping 5? I don't know. Check your actions and traits menu).
Many of the abilities are useful, while some, not so much. Since this is a 1-15 guide, I'll only discuss the level 15 abilities, and how I feel about them.
Lv. 15 Carpenter "Rumination" : Removes Inner Quiet effect and restores CP by 8CP x the number of successful touch actions.
- This is a good ability starting out, since it gives you extra CP towards the end of the craft. The downside is that it removes Inner Quiet, meaning all of your touches from this point will be their normal efficiency (assuming you don't activate Inner Quiet again, but seeing as how this ability will probably only restore 8-40CP, you may just want to use the CP for touches or a higher level synthesis action that requires CP).
Lv. 15 Alchemist "Tricks of the Trade" : Restores 20CP. Can only be used when item condition is Good.
- This ability does not cost CP, but can only be used when item condition is good. You gain 20CP, and status returns to normal. The benefit is that you're able to restore some CP, which can lead to more actions. The downside is that you're giving up a Good status, which could boost quality by using a touch instead. It's actually an extremely useful ability.
Lv. 15 Blacksmith "Ingenuity" : Lowers recipe level to current level for 5 steps.
- Costs 24CP. Used when attempting to craft items above your level (you can usually craft items that are 5 levels above your current level). Under normal circumstances, using touch and synthesis actions on items above your level have reduced results. Ingenuity removes that penalty, allowing for normal increases in quality and progress. I only really found this useful for level 50+ crafts. At that point, it is one of the essential abilities to be able to HQ 2-star recipes.
Lv. 15 Armorer "Rapid Synthesis" : Increases Progress. Efficiency 250% Success Rate 50%.
- Fairly certain it doesn't cost CP. I never use it. At 50% (70% with Steady Hand) success rate, I don't recommend relying on it to 1-shot progress in crafts. I don't really recommend this skill at all.
Lv. 15 Culinarian "Hasty Touch" : Increases Quality. Efficiency 100% Success Rate 50%.
- Similar to Rapid Synthesis, except I actually recommend this one. It's the only Touch that doesn't use CP. It's fairly useless at 50% success rate, but Steady Hand makes it 70%, which is a bit more reliable. Level 37 Culinarian also gets Steady Hand II (30% success increase instead of 20%), making Hasty Touch more viable.
Lv. 15 Goldsmith "Manipulation" : Restores 10 durability after each step for the next 3 steps.
- Costs 88CP. I guess you can consider it a slightly cheaper Master's Mend, but there are some things to note about it. First, if you use an ability that does not reduce durability (and you have less than max durability), it will increase durability by 10 for that step. Second, if you use a touch or synthesis action, even though it is instant, durability will be reduced by 10, before regaining 10 durability. This is important to know, because if you activate Manipulation with 10 durability left, and use a touch or synthesis that doesn't finish the craft. IT WILL HIT 0 AND FAIL. It is still a very good ability (especially for 40 durability items). People recommend using it at 20 durability just in case you need to perform a touch on a Good/Excellent condition.
Lv. 15 Leatherworker "Waste Not" : Reduces loss of durability by 50% for the next 4 steps.
- Costs 56CP I believe. While active, Touch/Synthesis actions reduce durability by 5 instead of 10, allowing for more actions. Using an ability that does not reduce durability will take up 1 of the steps, which can be considered a waste, however, sometimes you need to use that step for something else. I recommend using Steady Hand, then Waste Not, so the next 4 turns are +20% success and -5 durability. This is another important ability.
Lv. 15 Weaver "Careful Synthesis" : Increases progress. Efficiency 90% Success Rate 100%.
- Absolutely essential for any and every craft. I consider it (and the level 50 Careful Synthesis II ability) the most important cross-class ability. Even though it doesn't increase progress as much as other synthesis actions, it's 100% successful. You don't need to waste Steady Hand on it. It's also free to use.
Tips and Tricks (General Advice for 15+ crafting)
- Don't take my "guide" at face value. If you feel that something I say is not right, don't be afraid to try and find your own method. I'm not trying to tell you exactly how to craft. It's a science. There are theories. Someone could find a new way to make crafting easier than it is as I'm writing this. These are just my general thoughts based on my experiences.
- You can use high quality ingredients in your craft. You have to manually select them in the crafting screen before you begin the craft. Any HQ ingredient increases quality before the craft even begins. For the most part, if you use all HQ ingredients, you only need half the quality you would normally need (roughly 15% HQ rate at this point), making it way easier to get a high quality item. Some items don't really contribute much. I'm assuming it's based on the item level. HQ table salt barely adds any quality to higher level recipes (makes sense, I don't think I ever heard anyone say "HOLY SHIT THIS COMPLICATED DISH IS DELICIOUS. IT MUST BE THE TABLE SALT" =p). Also, one thing to consider, is that using HQ ingredients reduces the XP bonus gained from increasing quality. I'm not 100%, but I think using all HQ ingredients means you get a 260% bonus instead of 300%. Could be 250%, could be the state of Alabama. I don't know.
- At a certain point (I forget when), you'll be informed about Quick Synthesis. The button is next to the normal Synthesize button before starting the craft. You can set it up so that you can auto-craft items (up to 99 at a time assuming you have enough materials). There is a pro, but mostly cons to using this method.
- The pro is basically that you can set yourself up to make 99 of something, and walk away (do something else outside of the game, like watch a movie).
- The cons are that you only get 50% XP instead of 100%, and that even at level 50, you can fail some of the crafts (HQ rate is 1% regardless of materials used), losing the materials for any failed craft.
- I only really recommend using this if you don't mind the possibility of losing materials, and you would like to step away for a while and maybe watch an episode of something :p
- When trying to gain experience points quickly. I recommend 2 methods. First, try to do every recipe in your book. You get bonus XP for the 1st time you do a craft. Last, try to increase quality as much as you can before finishing the craft. If you fill quality 100% using normal materials, you get a 300% XP bonus). Check out this image.
The above image is the same item crafted using 3 different methods. The 1st one was done via Quick Synthesis. The 2nd was just starting the recipe, and using Synthesis to complete it. The 3rd was my attempt to fill quality to 100% before finishing the craft. The XP difference is huge.
- I'll say it again with a different number. 99% is not 100%. If it is not 100%, it can and will fail (or produce a normal quality item in regards to HQ %). Also, it's not the percentage it says it is in realistic terms. 80% success rate does not mean it will always fail 1 out of every 5 times. I don't know what random number generator SE uses to determine if an action succeeds or not, but don't get upset if you fail a 90% action 2-3 times in a row. Anything below 100% is luck.
I'll say it one more time, because I feel it's extremely important to know. It is not really possible for it to be 80% successful, in the sense that if you use an action 1000 times, you will fail 200 of them guaranteed. This is a common complaint among anyone that gathers and/or crafts. No one says anything when they succeed 5 times in a row with a 70% Steady Hand + Hasty Touch, but if they fail more than twice in a row, suddenly the system is rigged.
If you perform an action with less than 100% success, be prepared for it to fail.
- I don't know how many abilities you can equip at level 15 (2 or 3), but I seriously suggest getting Weaver, Alchemist, and Culinarian to 15, at the very least. Goldsmith and Leatherworker are also great abilities to have.
- Careful Synthesis is 100% successful. The 10% difference in efficiency is usually not a big deal at level 15. I mean, there will be crafts that you can finish with Basic Synthesis, but need 2 steps for Careful, so don't replace Basic Synthesis until you get level 50 Weaver Careful Synthesis II. Assuming you want to put that much effort into it.
- Tricks of the Trade is a great way to restore CP. 20CP covers the cost of another Basic Touch.
- Hasty Touch, though fairly unreliable, with Steady Hand, is great for 70/80 Durability crafts, and useful for 40 Durability ones. Since it's the only Touch that doesn't use CP, you can use Steady Hand + 5 Hasty Touches and save that 90CP (5x Basic Touch) towards either a Master's Mend, or to cover Manipulation.
- A common technique to try to increase quality as much as possible, is to use Steady Hand + Hasty Touch, and Tricks of the Trade on every Good condition. Use Master's Mend I/II or Manipulation to increase durability. Repeat until you have just enough durability to finish the craft with Careful Synthesis.
- You can level just 1 craft to 50 without touching the other ones. But ultimately, you're hurting yourself, especially if you're wanting to HQ items consistently.
Last thing for now. I have a saying. You get back more than what you put in. I might be saying it wrong, but what I'm getting at, is that if you're willing to put the time and effort into leveling certain classes to 15, 37, or 50, ultimately you'll be way more capable of producing high quality stuff.
I apologize if anything I say sounds like I'm being an ass. Especially the whole 99% is not 100% thing. I just get frustrated when I see people annoyed when they fail something at below 100% success.
I have a personal saying as well. If SE was my doctor, and they told me I had a terminal illness with a 99% chance to survive, I'd start writing my will. =p
If you have any questions, I am more than happy to try to answer them. If there is a demand for a Part II, I'll use it to discuss up to 37 (levequests, materia melding, elemental crafts, and 37 cross-class abilities). If not, you know where you can tell me to shove it =p