by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
EverQuest 2 has one of the more unique systems for crafting in the MMO world. Even though it has been simplified greatly, actually crafting things can be a daunting task without the proper guidance. I don't claim to be an expert crafter, these are but the humble experiences of Tier 5 Armorsmith.
When you begin the game, in your inventory (the "i" button) you'll notice a scroll called "Starting a Tradeskill Profession" which does nothing more really than tell you to seek out a tradeskill instance. It seems kind of moot at this point because there is only one instance per city neighborhood.
GU28 will supposedly be moving Tradeskill instances to the outdoors, but we'll assume they'll have the same NPC's. The tradeskill instance location is different for every neighborhood but you'll see a "Crafting Trainer" outside the entrance. If you're still on the starting island, it's inside the tower on the first floor. You'll find 5 different types of NPC's in each of the neighborhood instances:
Wholesaler: A wholesaler sells fuel which is required for everything crafted. Be sure to check what type of fuel is needed for your recipes before you purchase it. Basically he stands around all day selling coal, kindling, candles, etc... He's kind of like an EQ2 Kirkland's. No I have NOT been in Kirkland's, I just smell it every time I pass it in the mall.
Rush Orders: Rush Orders are tradeskill writs performed by creating random tradeskill items. While I personally think this is a sweat shop tactic to sell more jum jum juice, this will provide you and your guild (if you are in one) with a good amount of status. The trick to these is, they are timed. You will get the quest from the Rush Order NPC, grab your orders off the nearby desk, and get to work. The writ will consist of random objects of various difficulty. There are three types of Rush Orders you can ask for: Regular, Talented, and Difficult. Their availability is based on your level. The best part? The items you create are removed from your inventory as you complete them, and you are reimbursed for the cost of your fuel.
Work Orders: Work Orders are very similar to Rush Orders, with the exception they aren't timed, and they require you to craft more of each item for less status reward.
Broker: Ah, the Broker, NPC which everyone hovers around. The Broker sells stuff, yeah I know duh!
You'll need to speak to the wholesaler who will give you a book of recipes. Examine it. You can access your list of recipes by using the "N" button. The difficulty listed is the level of the recipe and a color code that works similar to adventure level in determining how much experience you get. Yellow and white, are more difficult than blue and green. Each time you create something at the highest quality level for the first time, you get additional experience.
Select a recipe, right click, and you'll find two options, but you'll want to try examine. This will let you know what you'll need to make the item in question. Your last ingredient on there will be your fuel and is sold by the wholesaler. As you progress, your fuel will get more expensive. This will also let you know what type of machine you will need to use to make the item. After you've wandered aimlessly looking for the machine you need, you'll need to highlight it, hit "N," highlight what you want to make and click "create."
As you increase in level you'll need to find the crafter trainer (currently outside each instance) to sell you recipe books for more recipes.
Now I'm sure you could find someone to explain it to you, but I don't understand the purpose of the next screen other than maybe to show you that you're missing an ingredient. Once you begin, the fun begins.
Get to Baking You Sissy!
As you can see in the screenshot there are 4 levels each with a blue and green bar. Each level represents a level of a quality. I'd like to be able to tell you that everything is useful, but to be honest? Very few people will buy anything not of pristine quality.
The green bar is at the top and reprensents your durability. When one of these bars run out, you drop to the next level of quality. It is possible to "get one back" but we'll talk about durability buffs later. The blue bar represents your progress. When you fill up the bar on that level, you move to the next level. When you've completed the highest level, your product is completed.
Buff it Up!
Crafting unllike other games, isn't a crap roll. You don't sit back and hope the bars work out, you've got tools to help you. Every tradeskill has a set of buffs you can use to help you out. There will be 3 each for each tier. At Tier 1 (level 1-9) you'll have buffs that increase progress, at Tier 2 (10-19) you'll have buffs that increase your durability. Examine the following and learn well what your buffs do:
Durability (Tier 1,3,5,7)
Decrease success chance by X%, Increase progress by X
Decrease durability by X points, Increase progress by X points
Increase progress by X points (note this ability always costs power)
Progress (Tier 2,4,6)
Decrease success chance by X%, Increase durability by X
Decrease progress by X points, Increase durability by X points
Increase durability by X points (note this ability always costs power)
These buffs also have a secondary purpose. Throughout your crafting session, you'll notice certain events arise with the same icon as one of your buffs. If you click the right buff in time, you'll usually be rewarded with a bonus to your durability or success. If you don't, you could take a penalty to them. If you select the wrong buff, many occassions you'll take severe damage to your power or even health. Let me tell you, being incapacitated by a stove is a little embarassing.
Becoming a Baking Machine!
I would just like to point out I do NOT bake, I do something manly like make armor. Ok you've got your crafting going now, so how do you become efficent? When you're crafting, you'll notice two sets of numbers above the machine you're working on at certain intervals. These are your durability and progression numbers for each crafting cycle. What's important however, is that it denotes the end of a cycle. When you see those numbers, you know that whatever buffs you just used have been added in and can be used again. You'll need to experiment a little to see what works best for you. Don't be afraid to use progress and durability buffs in tandem, it does work.
As you level up, you can find the crafting trainer outside the instance, and purchase your next levels recipes. Keep an eye out for "advanced" recipes on the broker or in your adventuring that you can use for additional crafting.
So until next time, keep making those muffins (which I do NOT do), fuel or economy.
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