Updated Sun, Apr 27, 2014 by skylatron
As near as I can tell, this is the art of adding dragon shouts to your gear. You can add Enchantments to make your weapons do extra damage, or to your armor for Health and Stamina buffs, or a variety of other effects. You can buy cheap ready-made Enchantments from the Enchantment vendor, or you can mix and match different runes to make your own.
1. Gather Resources
Look for these little rune markers in semi-hidden, secret spots everywhere:
I often find them in kind of "clusters," located near another resource and tucked away among deco and rubble. They have different glowing cores - red, blue and green. The glow color tells you what kind of rune the marker holds: red for Aspect runes (circular), blue for Potency runes (square) or green for Essence runes (hexagon). Interestingly, according to "Enchanting Made Easy" by Fishes-For-Runes (an in-game book you can find laying around at your local Enchanters), the devs have taken color-blindness into consideration: Aspect runes glow dimly, Potency runes have a medium glow and Essence runes glow brightest.
You can also find runes in dungeon treasure, occasionally stored in sacks. There are tons of different runes kicking around, and you're probably going to need to buy inventory and bank upgrades if you want to get serious about Enchantment-crafting.
2. Experiment With Runes
Similar to Alchemy reagents, the various runes you find have unknown properties at first. It is only by combining them on the Enchantment bench that you find out what they do. You need to combine one Potency, one Essence and one Aspect rune to make an enchantment, and when you do so without first knowing what the runes actually do (which you sort of have to do for the first little while), the Enchantments you end up making will be a gamble.
When I first start Enchanting, I try to cycle through as many unknown runes as possible to unlock their properties. I end up making a lot of junk Enchantments this way, but those can be deconstructed, and it unlocks the rune properties for later.
3. Create and Recover
Once you have the rune properties unlocked, you can set about making the kinds of Enchantments you want, cycling in different sets of runes to achieve the desired effect for the desired item type. For example, one set of runes might add a small Stamina bonus to a jewelery Enchantment, but swapping the Potency rune may change it to an armor Enchantment, and switching the Essence rune might change it to a Health bonus instead.
At low levels, I find the circular jewelery Enchantments are essentially garbage. These items are level-range-restricted, and I'm not finding any enchantable jewelery under level 10. I have a few green and blue items from quest rewards, but these items have no Enchantment slots, so level-10-and-under jewelery Enchantments are a waste of resources.
If you ended up making a bunch of crappy jewelery Enchantments during the experimental stage, don't worry - you can deconstruct useless Enchantments and recover some of the runes wasted in their creation. You get back one rune per deconstructed Enchantment, and, as far as I can determine, the type of rune you get back is arbitrary but consistent - i.e. breaking down one Enchantment will yield a square rune instead of a circular or trapezoid rune for no apparent reason, but it will return the square rune every time.
4. Apply To Gear
Open your inventory, hover over the item you wish to Enchant, hit R. Select the Enchantment you wish to apply, hit E. Done.
This will be enough to get you from level 1 to level 10, but there's more to it than just the basics. For example, if you really want to focus on crafting, there are a number of passive skill upgrades you can buy to make your character a more effective craftsman.
Each craft has its own skill line, and if you want to get into the more advanced aspects of that craft - e.g. gaining the ability to create items above level 15 - you'll need to spend points and improve it. For example, if you want the ability to craft steel armor and weapons for level 16 - 26, you need to spend one point in Blacksmithing in the Metalworking passive ability.
(Incidentally, steel in the Elder Scrolls Online is created by smelting "steel ore," which occurs in higher-level areas of the game, and not by a special process of refining iron ore. Those of us who are used to crafting systems where steel is an advanced version of iron, or who possess a basic understanding of geology, might be confused by this.)
Also within the Blacksmithing line, you will find:
The Clothing and Woodworking skill lines have essentially identical abilities.
Some passive abilities are unlocked by gaining crafting levels - for example, one cannot learn the Metallurgy ability until reaching Rank 8 in Blacksmithing.
Mastering your chosen craft requires as much dedication as mastering your weapon. Spend the points and the effort you put in will pay off over time.