EQ2 Crafting, Part II: Getting Ready to Make Stuff

Let’s see if I can’t keep this from weighing in at over 10lbs of pure wordage.

Part I is here. This part will deal with the actual process of making things in EQ2. (Actually, having hit the 1800-word mark, this part will deal with preparing to make stuff. The actual making part comes next. I’m doing this to save your sanity and mine!) It is aimed very much at the novice, and I doubt seasoned EQ2 crafting vets will get much from it. So don’t even read it; go on, shoo! Oh, okay, you can stay. But be quiet in the back row there.

Different specialised crafters will use different skills (artificing for a jeweler vs artistry for a provisioner), but the basic process is the same for all recipes and all professions. Note, this does not include the secondary professions — transmuting and tinkering — since those do work a little differently, and are levelled very differently.

Step 1: The Crafting Station

You can’t craft in EQ2 unless you’re standing near a crafting station, and by near I mean “pretty much on top of”; and each recipe requires a specific crafting station to make. Food and drink are usually made on a “stove” of some kind (the actual name of the station may vary depending on whether you’re doing a quest and are using a tree stump to brew beer or whether you’re just making stuff in the comfort of your local crafting area); jewellery is made on a work bench, metal armour and weapons are made at a forge, clothing and leathers are made at a sewing table, woodworker and carpenter products are mostly made at the woodworking table, while sages use a desk to make their spells and alchemists use chemistry tables. Now, just because you mostly make stuff at a given station doesn’t mean you’ll only make stuff at that station: weaponsmiths get a few leather recipes (whips, woo!) which are made at the sewing table, and carpenters get rugs (sewing) as well as chandeliers (forge) that aren’t made at their primary station.

Similarly, most of the time a given crafting profession will use their primary crafting skill (aka technique). For reasons that predate the current crafting system, the names of the skills you use don’t match the names of the professions, so here’s a list of the professions and their primary skills:

Provisioner (artistry); Carpenter (sculpting); Woodworker (fletching); Tailor (tailoring); Armorer (metal shaping); Weaponsmith (metalworking); Sage (scribing); Jeweler (artificing); Alchemist (chemistry).

There are other crafting skillsets floating around in game that you may use from time to time, including geomancy, binding, and others. These do not come into play for normal crafting anymore, however, and are used mostly in places where you’re asked to make cross-profession or cross-school stuff (like the faction work you have to do before you can start the crafter epic).

If you click on a crafting station the tradeskill interface window will open, showing you a list of all learned recipes that you can use with the selected station. Each recipe has a corresponding icon, name, level (in parentheses) and relative difficulty with respect to your crafting level. Hovering over the icon for one of the recipe entries will pop up the box you see in the screenshot below.

That is one big honkin' spoon
That is one big honkin' spoon

The row of ? icons indicate that the item hasn’t previously been made. Each icon corresponds to a quality grade, which is sort of a leftover from previous incarnations of EQ2 crafting where you could make end up with items that ran from “rather crap” (I forget the exact term – crude, I think) to really good (pristine). The term pristine is still used in many item names, but these days there’s only one quality grade and the only things that vary (if at all) are things like the quantity you end up with (potions, ammo, etc). Anyway, once you’ve made a recipe those icons will fill in, though in most cases only the far right one (item fully completed) will have information since most of the time you’re not going to want to make an unfinished item.

Mousing over the icon will also show you the resources and fuel required to make the item. Since I’m not the smartest screenshot taker in the world I didn’t mouse over a “common” recipe but rather the imbued version of a common, so the resource requirements are the weapon you want to imbue plus an imbue material (smoldering material in this case), but the process is the same. To make the claws themselves I’d have needed a selection of resources such as ore, hide, and so on. Remember, if you’re making a Tier 8 recipe you’ll need Tier 8 resources and Tier 8 fuel (which is what’s shown in the screenshot).

Right-clicking on a recipe icon will give you an “examine” option, which opens the item examine window. Mousing over the icon in that window will show you details on the item itself. Yeah, it’s a rather roundabout way to get the info on an item, but most of the information presented in the recipe list is related to crafting the items and not to the items themselves — so the first layer of information is what you need to make it and so on, rather than what the item itself is like. It is what it is. Next to it is a screenie of the recipe filtering interface.

recipe_examine recipe_filter

The recipe window has an invaluable and fairly flexible search box. If you type in “chain” you’ll find any recipe that contains that word in its name. If the char shown above typed in “claws”, she’d find the claw recipes she has for every tier of crafting, and so on. The filter line and Edit button allow you to set more complicated filters, such as by class, by crafting technique or by specific crafting recipe book. Note however that this function can cause as much trouble as it saves, since it tends to “remember” filters across sessions and across characters. If you can’t find a recipe you know you have, chances are there’s a filter applied that you’ll need to clear before you can see what you’re looking for.

It’s worth knowing that you can open your recipe book at any time, even if you’re nowhere near a crafting station. The default keybinding for that is “N” and it’ll open the window you see in the screenie above. The main difference is that standing near a crafting station will filter that list automatically, according to the station you’re next to; opening it away from any station will open the “default” list, which includes all (or almost all) your recipes regardless of station. The only way to see absolutely all the recipes you have is to use the “unfiltered” list option, but in most cases the default list will suffice.

Step 2: Item Creation

When you’ve found what you want to make and have the resources and fuel required to make it, you hit the CREATE button. If I were a smart screenie-taker, I’d have a picture to show you, but I’m not so I don’t. In any case, that “Create”  button doesn’t take you straight into the actual making part — first you’ll see a resources list. There are slots for each resource required as well as for the fuel, and buttons that let you change which particular resource is being used; this isn’t something you’ll use a whole lot and it’s another one of those previous-system leftovers, but it’s there and it’s occasionally useful. (For example, my alchemist had a whole bunch of weeds and herbs left over from when those resources were actually in the game — they’re not actively used in recipes anymore, but were grandfathered in as alternatives to whatever the current resource requirement is. So, instead of {tier-appropriate root} she was able to use {tier-appropriate herb}, at least while her supplies of those old resources lasted.)

If you don’t have all the resources needed, or the fuel, you won’t be able to proceed. This is pretty much a no-brainer. If you do, you can hit the Begin button and you’re off and running. Once you hit that button, crafting begins immediately, so you need to be ready for it.

2.1 – The crafting window

craftwindow1

The shot above is what you’ll see when you start an item you’ve never made before. The only difference from the norm is that if you’ve made an item before, instead of ?s you’ll have icons for fuel, resource or item (rows 1-3) and for the finished product (row 4). Again, there are variations: for provisioners, for instance, the last 2 rows can produce items (1 or 2), and if you’re making arrows each row will show the item but if you only finish one row you’ll only get 25 (or however many) arrows whereas if you craft to the end you’ll get 100.

It is important to note that in MOST cases, you cannot finish crafting “early” and still get a usable product, or any product at all. You have to go all the way to the end of the fourth row.

From top to bottom, the window elements are:

  • The item’s name and icon. The name is coloured according to the recipe’s difficulty relative to your level/skill (even/white in this case)
  • The “summary” bar — the green line is the durability, the blue line is progress. Note how the green line is divided into three sections and the blue line into four. More on this later.
  • The detail window. For the blue (progress) bar, each row here corresponds to one of the segments show in the summary bar above. Note that these sections are not equal in length, i.e. in the amount of progress requied to get to the next section. In almost all cases, the first section (or row in this detail window) is larger — takes more progress to complete — than the subsequent ones. For the green (durability) bar, rows 2 and 3 are in fact one single section as shown in the summary area above. This is important mostly if the crafting goes badly, and if you’re reading this, it won’t!
  • The empty box below the detail section is where events will pop up. You’ll need to counter those events using the reaction arts shown below. Most events are potentially bad, but some can be extremely good — if you correctly counter the very rare “Innovation” event, for instance, it not only finishes your item instantly but also rewards you with a tier- and item-appropriate rare resource. Rar!
  • At the bottom of the window you’ll see: the recipe list icon on the far left (disabled during the actual creation process), the 6 reaction arts in the middle, and the STOP/GO button on the far right. If you’re in the process of making something, it’ll be a STOP icon (as shown in the screenie). If you’ve just finished an item, it’ll turn into a “make again” green icon which lets you make that recipe again without having to go all the way back to the recipe list. This is useful when you’re making a lot of a single item, such as consumables, or when you’re doing crafting writs.

As per usual, my wordiness exceeds that of Waffle McWordy, champion of last year’s Words Words Words competition, so the actual, you know, making part is going to have to be for next time. Do I know how to write cliffhangers or what?!

(Again, comments/edits/additions/corrections are welcome!)

Back to Part I

Part III

Part IV


17 thoughts on “EQ2 Crafting, Part II: Getting Ready to Make Stuff

  1. At the risk of adding an 11th pound of verbiage, I am very curious about what possible reason motivated them to use different names for the skills versus the trades. It’s very irritating when you go to brainstorm class/race/trade combinations and have to look up or memorize what the associated skills are called to tell what profession is getting a bonus from your racial traits. Is this an artifact of the old subcombine system?

    1. Essentially, yes. Crafters used to use a variety of skills to make resins/washes/oils and to make various subcombines, none of which are used anymore.

      I’m not sure that’s THE reason, though. I suspect part of it was to add depth to the system, though as with many other things in EQ2 what it really added was confusion. 😀 Take a look at the available technique filters in the recipe list and you’ll see what I mean (in case you hadn’t already).

      I could debate the relative merits of the old system over the new one, but it’s water under the bridge and the new system has something the previous iterations didn’t: instant usability. While I’m a big fan of interdependence as a general idea, I’ve yet to see it implemented in a non /head-desk kind of way. (EQ2 was no exception.)

      1. And no, I’m not sitting here waiting for comments. 😀 I’m sitting on my email waiting for my interpretation gig details. They’re already overdue. Shocker!

        Gotta love the freelance life. 😉

      2. I’ve got a rant in the hopper about LOTRO subcombines, so I can relate. Still don’t see why they wouldn’t have renamed the skills when they consolidated them, though.

        Also, this is probably a question for the next installment, but I’ll be curious to hear about the benefits of +5 to skill etc. I’ve heard that they’re somewhat useful for cross-skill combines in the TSO tradeskill missions, but you’re probably not going to be spending a racial trait slot on that sort of thing after the revamp, even if you are a dedicated crafter.

      3. Even as a dedicated crafter I don’t bother with +skill stuff unless it’s there and I have a free slot for it. There are a couple of threads on the official forums about the relative merits of various crafting bonuses, but I’m grateful for the reminder — I’d have forgotten all about those otherwise, and they really should be included in any sort of remotely comprehensive guide.

        Listos version though, and IMO YMMV etc etc: +success chance > +crit chance > +progress/+dur* > +skill. A better chance for a good “roll” result each crafting round is much, much better in the long run than having +5 or even +20 to a given skill (+5 being more or less equal to +1 level). Consider your non-spec schools, in Lyriana’s case Craftsman and Outfitter — if you’re doing a crafting instance and making non-specialised stuff, you’ll be using skills capped at 49 when you’re making level 70 (skill 350) recipes. Even +20 doesn’t count for much there, whereas +10% success chance makes a big difference (which I can vouch for).

        *to add insult to bonus injury, the +durability bonus items you can buy from the Far Seas people (item sets) actually HARM more than they help. The modifier is applied only to the base crafting tick and if you get a negative result, it actually INCREASES that negative result. So a -50 durability tick would end up as a-55 if you had a 10% durability bonus. In the crafting instances, where you tend to make stuff that isn’t your specialty, bad results are far more common than they are in normal spec-prof crafting. Talk about dumb-assed design.

        I’m going to see if I can’t scare up the various discussion threads I found on this.

  2. I’ve gotta say Ysharros, your posts on EQII have made me want to try the game. I thought to try the trial but apparently I already have at some point, so Sony wants me to buy the game. At this point, do you think it’s worth getting the Starter Kit for $20 or just got for the Shadow Odyssey at $40? I’m a little nervous about dropping $40 on SO without knowing whether I’ll even get into the game. In short, HALP! 😀

    1. If you just want to get an idea whether you like the game, you don’t really need the Shadow Odyssey expansion — though if it were being offered as a cheap bundle (as I believe it was on Steam a few weeks back), I’d say otherwise.

      To start off with though, the everything-but-TSO package is really all you need. TSO offers some higher level content, and that includes higher-level crafting content, and by the time you’d be ready to explore that you should already have a fair idea whether you actually like the game or not.

      Course, you can also cheat — make a different email address and account, and use that to redo the trial. That said though, the trial is so restrictive (no tells, no housing, and other such anti-gold-spammer measures) and the bundle offer so relatively inexpensive that I’d just get the full version. You should be getting a month’s free play with it too, so it’s not a bad deal all round.

    2. The last time I checked, free trial accounts automatically include keys for everything but TSO, i.e. you pay the $15 that you would pay for the month’s subscription anyway and don’t pay anything for the account. Also, free trial accounts created since this change went in back in February are flagged for a free bonus cloak that has as much of a speed bonus as many early level mounts, awarded completely free to every character you create henceforth.

      My advice would be to start a new free trial, and, if you don’t hate the UI or basic feel of the game, spend the $15 so you can actually trade stuff, have a house, etc. You could also ask Ysh to send you a referral invite, which would get her some free stuff, but my general experience has been that the system for making sure that SOE gets the money the new player wants to give them is much more reliable than the system that makes sure that the referring player gets credit for the referral.

      Unless you get to level 50+ trade (or 80 adventuring) and decide you need TSO content, you can wait for the new expansion in February, which will almost certainly include TSO in an all-in-one pack.

      1. GA is right – the referral thing is mostly a couple of perks that aren’t vital. The Journeyman’s cloak is the shiz though, and you get that from upgrading the trial anyway, no referral needed. (Right? GA will confirm. I got referred, and for a long time I assumed the cloak came with that but I gather it’s a separate thing.)

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