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Vanguard crafting is a turn-based mini-game which relies on skill and strategy for success.

The crafting system is designed to be a viable and fully-fleshed game experience in itself. The crafting sphere is a fullblown sphere just like adventuring, complete with classes, subclasses, levels, attributes and skills.

The original concept was that, while interdependent with Adventuring and Diplomacy, players do not need to level these other spheres to advance in crafting. Nor will it be necessary for crafters to spend most of their time harvesting to acquire the materials necessary to advance.

Over time, though, the developers couldnt resist to make highlevel items that violate this rule. Also, to get many of the most interesting highlevel items, such as raid gear for crafters, adventuring level is definitely necessary to excell in crafting.

There are a couple of items that cannot be crafted: masks, parrying daggers, and bard instruments are examples.


[edit] Is it worth it ?

A common question from newbies is if crafting in Vanguard is worth it.

First of all, the game is now saturated with crafters. So just for crafting things, no you definitely dont need an own crafter, unless you are really too horrible in social skills to interact with other people.

Second, at maxlevel crafted items are basically worthless, because raid drops are far superior. But SOE keeps adding things to craft that you need for raiding. Mithril Runes of Health for example are needed by tanks for the extra hitpoints, so making your tank a blacksmith is a good idea. So yes, while items itself are no longer worth to craft the items themselves, doesnt mean that crafters are unimportant.

Third, if you are a powergamer, you want a maxlevel crafter and a maxlevel diplomat, because then you can wear items that further improve your adventuring character (diplomats give pretty much the same advantages as crafters, you can put up civic buffs, can parley for specific drops, and gain faction that otherwise is hard to obtain).

[edit] Find the Motivation for crafting

If you find crafting very hard, be assured that its getting easier and easier with higher levels. Level 50 crafting is most of the time quite trivial.

Do not craft for hours one day and then just stop crafting, frustrated. Just make a rule that you craft any fixed time per day. This can be a single batch (approx 10 min), a full set of batches (30min), or a full outpost (which offers about 9 batches in the optimal difficulty range, so thats 90min), and then go do something else. With this technique, one gets quite quickly to a level 50 crafter without even noticing it.

In the past, double XP weekends also helped greatly with leveling crafters. Sadly since the introduction of the freemium concept, they have been replaced by double SC weekends.

[edit] The Crafter

[edit] Crafting Class

Player characters do not have a crafting class when they start playing, and arent forced in any way to pick one up. Their corresponding inventory page shows just a generic "crafter" as class name.

In order to gain a crafting class, the player has to finish one of the three available introduction quests. Each of the three introduces the player into one out of three trades - Blacksmith, Artificer, or Outfitter - and level him up to level 3 as well. Each of these trades will split into two specializations once the player reaches level 11, for a total of 6 available crafting classes.

It is technically possible but absolutely pointless not to specialize. One would not get access to recipes of either of the two specializations above Tier 1.

The trade themselves offer a number of recipes that both specializations share, such as horseshoes for both kinds of blacksmiths.

For many more details see the main article about crafting classes and the individual crafter class articles linked in the list.

[edit] Level

The maximum level for crafting is currently 55.

[edit] Attributes

The crafting sphere knows four attributes:

  • Problem Solving: affects remedy actions. All remedy actions take this stat instead of one of the others as base attribute.
  • Reasoning: affects utility actions. Utilities are consumed during the crafting process and have to be replaced constantly by buying them anew.
  • Ingenuity: affects station actions.
  • Finesse: affects tool actions. Tools are fixed items. Every trade has its own set. An initial set can be bought from the merchant, but on higher levels more valueable versions are available.

One gets +7 on all attributes every levelup, and during gaining the next level, one gets another 4 points which can be spent freely.

[edit] Skills

Each crafting trade has a number of skills, including two skills associated with each of the two possible specialization. Skills are separated into refining and finishing skills, each used exclusively for that variant.

While the names differ, the skills are always set up the same:

  • Refining Field Skills:
  • Refining Action Skills:
  • Finishing Field Skills:
    • A trade class skill for finishing.
    • A specialization class skill for finishing.
    • A opposite specialization class skill for finishing. This should always be zero.
  • Finishing Action Skills

The maximum base skill level in any skill is 10*level, until the maximum value of 500 is reached. Gear and buffs might add above this value.

Every levelup, one gets 24 points to distribute into both groups of action skills. One gets 10 points for the single refining skill, and 20 points for the finishing field skills. Therefore the opposite specialization class skill should always be zero (before gear), as otherwise the other two cannot be maxed. Not having the field skills maxed results in hefty penalties for craft jobs of same level.

[edit] Actions

Reaching certain skillevels gives the crafter additional crafting actions during the process of crafting. See the main article about that for a detailed listing.

[edit] Crafting Process

Before the crafting process can begin, the crafter must have four necessary things: a recipe, a crafting station, component materials and tools in an equipped toolbelt.

Of course it also helps to be wearing crafting gear and being under the effect of crafting buffs, which are available from diplomacy drops, civic diplomacy, some crafting quest items.

[edit] Recipes

The recipe, presuming you are an appropriate level to use it, defines a set of actions which must be performed. Recipes can be obtained from trainers, through quests, and from drops.

Examples include:

  • The standard recipes are available from the continental trainers if you have finished the continental quest for this tier.
  • From Tier 3 on, the most important upgrade and consumeable recipes are available through masterwork sigils.
  • Other such recipes are mob dropped or have been made available as diplomacy drops (Jewelry Upgrade).
  • Housing and ship quests have highly increased faction requirements and own questlines to learn them; especially the Mineralogist housing bricks and cornerstone quests are sometimes very dangerous.
  • Many other less important recipes are hidden behind questlines, such as Repair Stones (Artificer 23) or Shandrel's Robe (Outfitter 45).
  • Some recipes are even raid dropped. See raid harvest.

It was also planned to allow learning recipes by experimentation, but this has been dropped.

[edit] Crafting Stations

There are 3 types of crafting stations: refining, finishing, and assembly. Refining and finishing stations are only for a certain trade, while assembly stations dont specialize further - and are hardly ever needed, except for the final step of creating ships by carpenters, and for certain crafting questlines. Therefore, in total, there are 7 different types of stations.

There are also special crafting stations in APW, one for each craft. These are needed to craft an special ingredient for APW armor.

[edit] Component Materials

The ingredients required for crafting recipes fall into two categories: expendable crafting utilities and components. Utilities are vendor-purchased items (for instance, Cleaner), while components can be resources obtained through harvesting or supplied by a city through a work order, or material refined in a previous crafting session.

[edit] Tools

The tools of a crafter's trade, such as the blacksmith's hammer, the artificer's chisel, or the outfitter's needle, are the final item necessary for crafting. Just like adventuring weapons, these tools can have different qualities and value, and crafters may even create their own tools. Tool quality will be an important factor in the outcome of the crafting process.

Its fairly easy to spot the correct tools for your trade on the crafting merchant - they arent grayed out for being not useable.

Several places like Bordinar's Cleft or Ahgram have exotic crafting merchants which will sell rare level 5 tools. The main source later is drops from work orders. Some quests also give improved tools. But the ultimate selection of crafting tools, as well as a great 6 slot toolbelt, is available from raiding in the Ancient Port Warehouse.

[edit] Gear

Other equipment, while not part of the 'vital four' of the actual crafting process, certainly has the potential to significantly affect the outcome. The tool belt, for instance, may alter how many tools the crafter can have ready during the crafting process, while other equipment might grant bonuses to abilities.

[edit] The actual crafting

For a step-by-step outline of crafting, please see Crafting Process.

[edit] Advancement & Groups

Advancement does not explicitly require interaction with other players, however creating complex and powerful items and learning special things will require interaction.

[edit] Experience

Generally work orders are the primary means of gaining crafting experience. In the past, using a newly learned recipe for the first time also gave experience. This has later been changed to the current state: recipes that are still close enough (or even above) the current level of the crafter will always give experience, but first use of learned recipes will not, if they are too lowlevel.

However, as crafters want to have faction and work order rewards like masterwork sigils, crafting tools and preferably upgradeable crafting gear, this change didnt changed much about leveling.

Originally it was the stated goal that the player would require about as much time to reach the maximum level in crafting as it would be to reach the maximum level in adventuring.

This might still be true for normal, enjoyable adventuring. However, powergamers have proven this to be wrong, being able to move a new character from level 1 to 50 in just about a week. And unlike adventuring, there are no shortcuts in leveling a crafter - everyone has to do exactly the same.

The new maxlevel of 55 for both adventuring and crafting has changed this prospect a bit, because there are repeatable quests for highlevel crafters that allow to reach level 55 in a "blink of an eye", or more precisely some couple hours.

[edit] Work Orders

Work Orders are the normal way to level a crafter, albeit standard crafting now also offers some crafting experience gains.

A work order is a crafting commission from taskmasters in cities and, more importantly and with more beneficial rewards, outposts. There are also special, hidden taskmasters without a label which give a bit better workorders with higher rewards, to lowlevel crafters. Above ca level 25, cities stop giving work orders altogether, and the player is forced to travel to various outposts.

Work orders give crafting experience, faction, and money. Single work orders have nothing else, but sets, which require three items to be made, and batches, which require five items to be made, also give a "goody bag" reward. This item contains all kinds of things, most importantly its the only source for better crafting gear and tools.

In the beginning of the game, this was also the only way to get ultra rare harvest. This was later changed, so now one only gets normal and sometimes rare harvest this way.

In the past, batches that have been made to all A and which are of a level that has dropped recipes, which was Tier 3 for everyone but Outfitter, there was also a chance to drop one of the special recipes. For Outfitters, there was a Ammo Case recipe at Tier 2 which was really hard to get because they would level it out very fast. This is now a normal recipe everyone can get from the standard crafting trainer.

Later all this has been changed to the mechanism of masterwork sigils and mob dropped recipes. Each craft now has exactly three recipes per level (exception: Blacksmith Horseshoes are only available on Tier 4 and 5, so on Tier 3 they only have 2 recipes) they can buy through handing in silver or gold masterwork sigils that drop from tier 3 batches made to all grade A.

Items crafted for selling to players are not made by work orders. They will require the crafter to obtain the necessary materials themselves - including requiring to get the recipe.

[edit] Levels and Tier

Crafting Recipes are split into 5 tiers:

  1. Novice (Tier 1, Level 1 - 10)
  2. Amateur (Tier 2, Level 11 - 20)
  3. Apprentice (Tier 3, Level 21 - 30)
  4. Initiate (Tier 4, Level 31 - 40)
  5. Journeyman (Tier 5, Level 41 - 50)
  6. Artisan (Tier 6, Level 51 - 55, but there are no normal recipes or continental quests any more)

Beginning at level 11, and every ten levels afterwards, provided you have enough continental faction, which is (tier - 1) * 100 (so you need, for example, 100 faction for Tier 2), you may start the continental tier quest for a continent. Completing this quest will give you 100 faction on the home continent and 50 on any other continent; thus a crafter can always start all these quests on their home continent.

Once you have finished this quest and have at least tier * 100 faction (enough to start the next tier quest), you are able to learn the recipes for this tier and continent. You only need to meet this condition on one continent to gain access to the general recipes of this tier, which arent continent specific.

Most people of course get all continents.

Please note that House and Ship recipes arent included, need own quests and have increased faction requirements (500 for Tier 3, 2000 for Tier 4, and 5000 for Tier 5, on the respective continent). Thus it is perfectly normal if a Carpenter may only create ships from Qalia, but not from the other two continents, but being able to craft bows, staffs and clubs from any continental style. At least in the past this was common; nowadays with the increased faction rewards, its only because of lack of trying if a crafter doesnt get 5k faction on all three continents before they hit level 50.

It is advised to either wait 3 further levels or handle the necessary refines for these quests on a highlevel crafter of the same trade, as otherwise a lot of time will be needed to handle the refines one by one, instead of by a pack of 5 refines at a time.

As always, if you do crafting quests later, they will be easier to solve and their xp reward will be higher.

[edit] Continental Styles

Thestra, Kojan, and Qalia each have their own continental style. A player will learn recipes of their own continent's style, but if they wish to learn to craft using the style of the other two continents, they must travel there and learn from various trainers to understand the other styles.

To learn Thestran styles, one must travel to New Targonor. To learn Kojanese styles, one must travel to Tanvu. And lastly, to learn Qalian styles, one must travel to Ahgram. On higher tiers, and depending upon profession, different trainers have to be sought out. Additionally, the trainers for ship and house ingredients are again located elsewhere.

They also need to do workorders on the other continents to gain enough continental faction. More specifically, to gain access to all normal recipes, you need 100 continental faction per tier; to gain access to boat and ship recipes, you need 500 continental faction for tier 3, 2000 for tier 4, and 5000 for tier 5.

[edit] Group Projects

Complex designs, meaning currently ships and houses, require multiple crafters to complete. More specifically you need a Mineralogist for most parts of a house, and a Carpenter for most parts of a ship, and the final processing; but also items such as fasteners from any blacksmith, and items such as sails from any outfitter.

Also, for upgrading, all crafting specializations need items from other crafting specializations, such as the armorsmith who needs cloth bolts from an outfitter.

[edit] Multi-sphere Interaction

Crafters seeking to make high quality goods will need to rely on other adventurers/harvesters for quality resources. The influence of diplomacy in crafting is however limited to recipes and basic components for diplomacy items.

With the introduction of the Ancient Port Warehouse raid dungeon, this has changed a bit. Maximum level diplomats are now required to obtain one of the ingredients needed for the APW quested armor and thus take part in the actual crafting.

[edit] Enchanting

While crafting more complicated items (weapons, armor, jewelry, also some consumeables), additional properties can be added to them by adding enchantments during the crafting process. This is possible through special utilities (catalysts), and through rare harvest.

The most usual way to create these items is having to craft refined items from the harvest resources, then craft a secondary finished item from the refined items, and then combine both refined items and the secondary finished item into a primary finished item. Three of these four necessary steps can be improved, but the refined items used for crafting the secondary item cannot be improved.

After these steps, the final product can be improved with rare or ultra rare harvest, in a separate step called upgrade. These recipes also need a specific refined item from a different crafter specialization - for example, armor smiths needs cloth bolts from tailors for their upgrades.

Enhancing catalysts are called dust (for tier 1 and 2), powder (tier 3 and, in case of attuning, also tier 4), shards (yes, plural - tier 4, and there are no attuning shards) and crystals (again plural, tier 5).

The following enhancements are possible:

  • Attuning catalyst. These are always blue (green in the past, but nothing else changed). These are applied during the refining step. Applying attuning catalysts results in a blue (uncommon) item instead of a green (common) one, and is necessary to apply any other catalyst. This is possible from tier 1 on. All attuning catalysts can now be bought from the exotic crafting merchants.
  • Resonating catalyst. They are blue, yellow, or orange, hinting a bit about their respective quality, but you shouldnt blindly take that hint at face value. These are applied to the primary finishing step, where the attuned refined items and the secondary item are combined into the final item. This is possible from tier 2 on.
  • Focussing catalyst. These are always orange. These are applied to the secondary finishing step, which creates an additional input item that is added at the end of the primary finishing step to the final item. This is possible from tier 3 on.
  • Rare harvest resources. Applying a rare requires a secondary item ("attachment") from a different crafting profession. From tier 4 on, you also need the extra refined item being of rare type as well. Rare harvest does exist from tier 2 on, and upgrading with it makes the final item rare (and have a name in yellow color) and its name start with "Superior".
  • Ultra rare harvest resources. They are completely the same as rare resources, including that the secondary refined harvest has to be rare (but NOT ultra rare) from tier 4 on. Ultra rare harvest exists from tier 3 on, and the final item name starts with "Flawless" and is orange (ultra rare, also sometimes called heroic).

WARNING: If you bring your item to 100% quality, there is a chance that it becomes rare (yellow) instead of uncommon (blue). Such an item can no longer be enhanced further with an ultra rare harvest. This is of course unimportant if you are on Tier 2 (cant upgrade to better than rare) or dont want to upgrade higher than rare in the first place anyway.

  • Ancient catalysts (always resonating crystals) drop from raids and are always legendary (red). They are used in place of the standard resonating crystals and have the same descriptions, though there apparently isnt always an ancient version of every normal resonating dust. The final item will be already red and cannot get upgraded any further, thus the crafter doesnt even need to own the upgrade recipe for the item in question. These crystals soon became kind of obsolete, though, as fast after their introduction the maxlevel was raised to 55. They are a still a great way to equip new level 48+ characters fast without doing any quests by themselves, though. The final items have names starting with "Masterwork", but are most of the time somewhat inferior to actual raid gear, while being better than anything else.
  • The upcoming raids come with new mechanisms to create red (legendary) or, even harder to get, two purple (fabled, sometimes called relic) items (the longsword Mara's Kiss from any Blacksmith and the handwraps Atonement of Vol Anari from any Outfitter). While this is currently the only way for crafters to create fabled items, the two items themselves are very underwhelming in their properties and hardly deserve their color status. These items will require special, rare drops from raids before they can be worn.
  • Another level of quality is gold (mystic). There is currently no way to craft any items of that quality.

Not all enchanteable items following this general scheme. Jewelry, for example, only buffs a single stat (or gives a resistance) on all tiers, where the stat in question only depends upon the cut of the jewel. Harvester tools and Harvester clothing may use rare materials, but cannot carry any enhancement utility whatsoever. Horseshoes need 2 ores, from Tier 4 on those have to be rare ones, and can be enchanted with a same tier orb or sphere of pure matter. Bows only allow one out of 3 resonating catalysts (of the assassin, of the marksman, and of the sniper), but neither an attuning nor a finishing catalyst; they also need orbs of pure energy and you get to choose from 6 different variants (2 per continent, which also adds the continental effect).

Catalysts drop from deconstruction, work orders, as addition to harest, and very rarely from mobs.

All attuning catalysts can now be bought from merchants.

In a step by step description:

[edit] Refining Enchantments

The most common way to enchant an item during refining is to use Attuning Dust as a Catalyst. When you're selecting your components for a refining recipe, if you have some dust that can be used to enchant that particular material, a new category "Catalyst" will appear in the list of crafting components. Selecting the Attuning Dust (or Powder, or Crystal, on higher tiers) you wish to use will place it on your work table. During the crafting process you will have only one chance to apply this Dust, if you don't apply it, the dust is not used, but the item does not gain the enchantment. This opportunity comes after you've completed Stage 2 but before you've done your first action in Stage 3. As people often miss this single chance, theres a macro command /craftingaddsecondary to fix it during Stage 3. Be careful when enchanting during the refining process as the resulting item may not be usable in the recipe you were hoping to use for finishing ! For example, it is not possible to craft heavy armor with a +Vit enchantement.

An attuning catalyst can always produce five refined items (unless the crafter is of too low level or managed to somehow screw up his general refinement skill).

You cannot just apply any attuning catalyst to any crafted item. The recipes specifically state which kind of attunements they accept.

[edit] Primary Finishing Enchantments

On tier 2 and higher, you can find resonating catalysts that can be used to add an additional enchantment during the final item creation stage. The process is identical to applying enchantments during the Refining phase.

Resonating catalysts are the most powerful enchantments, as they are the only ones who can add procedures to items, such as additional ice damage to a sword.

Resonating catalysts that are not a proc as well as the finishing catalyst discussed in the next section remove the default bonus of items, which are hitpoints from most items, except mage items like light armor, which defaults to energy as a bonus.

Refining catalysts always exactly produce one single item.

[edit] Secondary Finishing Enchantments

On tier 3 and higher, there are also finishing catalysts, which are added to the secondary items added to items and allow a third effect.

If the resonating catalyst is not a procedure, the effects of the resonating and the finishing catalyst will be halved. Thus finishing catalysts arent as popular as a newbie crafter might think.

While technically also a resonating catalyst with a proc, in the case of resonating catalyst of health, or of energy, this will occur as well, as health and energy force hitpoints or energy on equipment, thus allowing to make robes that give hitpoints instead of energy (popular with Blood Mages who need a lot of hitpoints to work with), or heavy armor that gives energy instead of hitpoints (popular to Clerics who suffer from Mana issues).

Unlike resonating catalysts, which always only produce one item, finishing catalysts can always produce 5 items from a single catalyst, as a crafter may always produce 5 secondary items in one step and only has to apply one catalysts to enhance all final products. This more than compensates their smaller drop rate.

[edit] Upgrade

If you added an attuning catalyst, which from tier 3 on you are actually forced to do, the final item is blue. If you have a rare or ultra rare harvest, the required upgrade recipe (which, from tier 3 on, is a drop from workorder batches and cannot be bought from the instructor), and the required secondary refined item (fixed for your class, and must be rare from tier 4 on), you can perform an upgrade. This is just another normal processing, which has to reach grade A. If you fail to meet the later requirement, you will loose both the rare harvest and the blue crafted item. The difficulty of this process is equal to a medium workorder on the level you got the upgrade recipe, i.e. 14 for t2, 24 for t3 etc.

[edit] Continental Effect

An advantage that many crafted items have over other items is the socalled continental effect. It is however very small.

[edit] Crafting Commands and Macros

Certain commands and macros can be used during the crafting process. However, like other aspects of Vanguard, the crafting process cannot be automated.

[edit] Optimal skilling of a crafter

How to optimally skill your crafter is a very tricky science. Common suggestions about it can be found here.

[edit] More Information

Salim Grant (Silius), the Sigil designer responsible for the crafting sphere, created a thread on the official Vanguard forums where he has answered many questions and explained in depth about the crafting system. Genda over at Vanguard Crafters has also done some fantastic articles on crafting in Vanguard.

[edit] Creating unique items

Don't know where to put this... Maybe smb. can sort it in?

Crafting has a great level of customization, through the use of materials such as attuning dusts as well as their level of quality. If a crafter desires a Grade A final item, they may have to use more expensive components to help them if they're aren't quite good enough to handle that item difficulty. Occasionally, a person may get a chance to turn the item they're creating into a unique item with a special opportunity, which opens up interesting situations for a limited market of rare crafted items that cannot be created on purpose. You'd better be on the good side of the better crafters on your server for the chance of bidding on one of these rarities!
(Source The riches of Vanguard #38)

The only place where this actually ever mattered is the improved version of the Ammo Cases. These have a chance to give additional bonusses. One needs to craft hundreds of these to 100% to get one of these upgraded ammo case, and then its only rare quality. Suffice to say this item is extremely expensive.

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