Ok, given that common knowledge is never as common as we believe I have decided to put together a tradeskill guide that will hopefully be of use to everyone from the brand new noobs to the players who have multiple characters with maxed out crafting skills.
While I am going to do my best to keep this simple, I do love to go into details and over common knowledge to make sure I do not leave important bits of information out. Whenever I assume someone knows something, I am proven wrong every time.
I am not going to be covering any tradeskill class specific abilities, tips and so forth, this is meant to be a general guide.
I am also not going to go over ingredients for the same reason, and because that is common knowledge that the game mechanics make you learn.
What I am going to go over is the following bits of information, if I have missed something, by all means let me know and I will add it to this in the correct spot.
Part 1 – Tradeskill progression
Part 2 – Tradeskill abilities
Part 3 – Tradeskill counters
Part 4 – Power management
Part 5 – Ghost Durability
Part 6 – Getting the most bang for your buck
- Part 6a – Ability usage
- Part 6b - Items
Part 1 – Tradeskill Progression
When you start crafting you will get a window that shows what your making at the top, a green bar with three little lines and an empty bar whit three empty lines. Right below that are four more green bars and four more empty bars.
Each one of these four bars represents one of the sections from the above two lines. All these bars track two things. The green bars track durability, or hit points of the materials you are using. The empty bars track progress, and as you spend time crafting they will fill with a blue bar.
You want to keep the green bars as full as you can, if you lose too much of it your crafting session will fail and all you will have is your fuel. As each one of the green bars empties, it vanishes and takes the result for that level away.
Once your blue bar fills the last visible bar for your item, the crafting session is complete and you can move on to the next recipe, or repeat the one you just did.
Above your crafting station you will see two sets of numbers pop up as you progress through your crafting session. The first number listed is the amount that your durability [green bar] has changed, the second number is the amount that your progress has changed [blue bar], a number in red means that you have lost something from that category, while a green number shows an increase.
If you get both numbers in red, it means you have just failed a progress check; the results from this can vary each time. Possible effects range from Power loss, physical damage, extra durability loss and loss of progress along with even more durability loss.
Part 2 – Tradeskill abilities
Everyone has six tradeskill abilities [similar to combat arts and spells] for their chosen tradeskill. Each of these six receive an automatic upgrade every 20 levels, starting at level 20 [that’s tradeskill level, not adventure level] that removes the previous version.
These six abilities fall into one of two categories.
1) Durability Increase
2) Progress Increase
Your durability increase abilities will be one of each of the following
-Durability at the cost of power
-Durability at the cost of progress
-Durability at the cost of chance of success.
Your progress increase abilities are similar to your durability ones; you get one of each of the following.
-Progress at the cost of power
-Progress at the cost of durability
-Progress at the cost of chance of success
The first ones, the ones that cost power to use, will drain your power pool by a certain percentage [listed in an actual amount in the ability description] and increase either your durability or your progress by the listed value.
Your second sets of abilities are different. Each one costs you a bit from the other to get the desired effect. Meaning you will lose durability if you use the ability to increases your progress, and if you use the other one, your progress increase will not be as high, but you will be rewarded with durability.
The third sets of abilities are similar to each other. You get a boost to either durability or progress but it reduces your chance of a successful progress check by a listed percentage. This makes it more likely that you will fail at a test and suffer one of the effects listed in part 1.
Just so you know, your default durability and progress amounts are –10 to durability and + 50 to progress. Keep these in mind it will come up in following parts.
Part 3 – Tradeskill Counters
At the bottom of your tradeskill window, just above your list of tradeskill abilities is a window, from time to time an icon will pop up there with a bit of text. This is a tradeskill mishap that you must counter quickly. It is easy to know which ability to use, as the icon that pops up will be the same as the ability needed. You also have a choice between your durability skill and your progress skill.
I highly recommend countering the tradeskill mishap, if you do your guaranteed to have a successful progress check, however if you fail to counter it, you may not be so lucky. The common result for not countering a mishap is a failure on the progress check, with the results listed back in part 1. Also from my experience, if you fail to counter a mishap you get a penalty on the up coming progress check, making it very likely to suffer a really bad backlash, and you also get a penalty on the NEXT progress check as well.
If you hit the right tradeskill ability to counter the mishap, the mishap icon will go green, if you fail to counter it correctly, by either doing nothing or hitting the wrong one, it will go red.
I will give you this ray of hope, some times, just sometimes, nothing happens if you counter wrong or don’t counter at all, but this is not something you should rely on. It is possible to DIE while crafting.
Part 4 – Power management.
Given that two of your abilities cost you power, and mishaps can also drain power from you, managing your power pool correctly can really help you out, more so on long crafting sessions where you knock out item after item.
The first thing you should keep in mind is that crafting is considered out of combat, so your power will regenerate at the rate it would if you were standing around, not fighting.
The next thing to keep in mind is that the power cost from your two tradeskill abilities, and the power cost from tradeskill mishaps are percentage based. Yes the give an actual number amount but that number is based off of that percentage of your power pool.
What dose this mean for you?
Well since it is non-combat you can make use of things like power totems and power regenerating drinks while you craft, or anything that increases your out of combat power regeneration. Including the abilities gained by some classes and races. The power totems and drinks give you a pre-set value of power regeneration per tick, which is around the same length of time between each progress check, maybe even a little shorter.
This means that these items will fill up a smaller power pool faster than a large one.
Can you guess what that means?
It means that if you can make your total power pool amount as small as possible, the drain from your tradeskill abilities and crafting mishaps will be a smaller amount, since they are based off a percentage of your total power pool and will be better off set by the fixed amount of power you get from totem’s, drink’s, ect.
Properly set up, you can go through a massive length of time doing nothing but crafting with effectively unlimited power.
The way THAT becomes important will come up in the following part.
Part 5 – Ghost Durability
Some of you may have heard of this, but I have encountered so many people who never heard of this, people who went through tier after tier of crafting, some even having their crafting levels maxed out. To put it short, they were pulling their hair out after learning about it.
Oh, that’s right, I haven’t told you what it is, despite so many people saying it is common knowledge when I brought it up with them.
Ghost Durability is durability beyond what is shown by the green bars in your crafting window. Durability beyond 100%.
This is where the information from power management comes into play.
First, let me tell you this. You can use your tradeskill abilities at any time during a crafting session, not just when you need to counter a mishap, that’s right, at any time.
Now you can’t use two similar ones at the same time, such as your power cost for durability and your power cost for progress. They are on the same refresh timer, so when you use one, the both of them are unusable for several seconds.
If you use your durability increase abilities each time they refresh you can build up durability that is not shown by the progress bars, however the game dose track it and you can use it to your advantage. Taking your durability into the ghost range gives you extra padding against failed, and critical failure, progress checks, making it more and more likely that you will make the item you are trying for and opens up a few options for you that could make crafting faster. These suggested options will come in a following section.
Part 6 – Getting the most bang for you buck
There are three ways to make a crafting session easier, and increase the chance that you succeed over all, producing the item that you want with less stress and hassle. The first one was covered in Power Management so I will not go over it again; only suggest that you re-read that section.
The other two ways involve using your tradeskill abilities and making use of items.
Part 6a – Ability usage
As I said in Part 5 – Ghost Durability, you are not limited to using your tradeskill abilities only when you need to counter a mishap, you can use them at any time you want. This opens up two options that I will suggest, both of which make use of it.
Option 1 – Depending on two of your tradeskill abilities, this is a useful tactic. Check the amount of durability gained from your power cost for durability ability and the durability lost by your progress at the cost of durability. Add them up, and do not forget the base –10 durability that you normally lose on each progress check. If you end up with durability gain, despite the losses, then use those two abilities between each progress check. [IE you gain 20 durability from your power cost, lose 5 from your progress at durability cost and lose 10 at each normal check, you still gain 5 durability each check, taking you into ghost durability]
Option 2 – If you would still lose durability from the above option then you should use the durability at the cost of power and the durability at the cost of progress. Again, this takes you into ghost durability, farther into it than option one actually, however progress will be slower.
Both Option 1 and 2 lead into my next suggestion.
Only use one of these options until the first progress bar is full. The first progress bar takes more progress points than the next three. So if you use the first one to build up a great deal of ghost durability you can then make use of it to speed up your crafting session.
Once that first bar is filled, start using your progress at the cost of power ability and your progress at the cost of durability ability. After the time it took to fill the first bar, you will be surprised at how fast you will fill up the other three.
The next thing you should keep in mind goes back to ability counters. Remember what I said, if you counter a mishap correctly, your next progress check will always be successful? Do you also remember those two tradeskill abilities that reduce your chance of success if you use them?
Guess what, if you counter a mishap, then use one of the abilities that reduces your chance of success, you will still always succeed on the next test, and depending on which one you use, you will get a boost to either durability or progress.
Personally I use the progress one unless my durability is running a bit lower than I would like, such as from a failed test.
Some times, if you are feeling lucky, you can use it even if you are not countering a mishap for that test, nothing stopping you, just don’t make heavy use of it, because the more you use it, the more likely you are at failing the next test, and it also increases the chance of a critical failure as well.
Part 6b – Items
There are so many items out there, even more since they introduced tinkering. Some of them, like power totems and drinks, I went over in power management, however these are not all of the items, no, they are just the tip of the iceberg.
There are a good number of tradeskill boosting items out there, some of them made by tinkering; some of them are quest rewards. There may even be some that are random drops in certain instances however I do not know, heck I wont claim that I know all of the items out there that benefit tradeskilling, I’m just going to let you know about some of them.
The first item is something that EVERY tradeskiller gets when they start, The Artisans Tunic. It give a +1 to all tradeskill skills, now at higher levels that’s not much, but when you are just starting, that can make a big difference on your progress checks. It even gives a bit of extra health, making it more likely that you will survive each session [remember, you can die during crafting if you take enough damage]
After you hit level 20 in and pick your final tradeskill you can begin taking Tradeskill quests. I strongly suggest you take this quest line, your second quest in this chain gives you a cloak for your chosen tradeskill that increases your resist vs. the damage type you will take while crafting, it also gives you a +5 to your crafting skill. As you progress the line you will eventually get a stronger cloak, it still gives you a +5 to your skill, but increases your resist vs. crafting damage even farther.
If you know a tinkerer, make friends with him or her, they can create a lot of items that are rather useful to crafters. For each of the tradeskills, except for tinkering and transmuting, they can make three items that when attuned and in your inventory, will increase your chance of success by 1%, 2% and 3% and from what I have heard these items stack, meaning that if you have all three, all three of them will increase your odds of a successful progress check. The only thing I do not know is if these percentages are added together, or applied separately.
Now below you will find a pair of links, these links will take you to a list of items, all of which effect tradeskills skills or your chance of success, so I will not be going over any more of those items. The reason I went over the tinkering items is because as far as I can tell, these links do not mention that they stack.
Now a line of items not listed here are also tinkering items.
They are called Environmental Suits, and come in three different types. Noxious, elemental and arcane. The only problem with them is that they are chain armor, making it impossible for people limited to cloth or leather to use.
Noxious Environmental suits take 3% of the noxious damage you take and converts it into power gain.
The elemental suits do the same for elemental damage, 3% of elemental damage taken is converted into power gain
The Arcane environmental suits however only do a 2% power gain from arcane damage taken.
If you can use them, I recommend that you do, it will help with power management a bit, and a little bit, from enough sources, can add up fast.
The first link will give you a list of Crafter Specific gear.
This next link will take you to a list of crafting gear you can get from the Far Seas Trading Company
Since these links seem fairly complete, it would be extremely redundant [as well as time consuming and space consuming] to re-list here. Also since each time listed is a link to a description, you can check specific items far easier.
I really hope that this is of use to a lot of you out there.
Edited, Apr 25th 2009 12:09am by Pagengamer