A Beginners Guide to Crafting in Aion

Before we do anything, let me give you a warning about crafting within Aion. Despite what the evil denizens of your starting area will imply when they insist you gather ingredients for their health potions, you can *not* do any crafting until you complete your ascension and become a daeva. That’s right. None. Nada. Zilch. Do you have any idea how much time I spent roaming the land, looking for a crafting trainer in the early levels of the game? Better me than you though, right?

Once you've managed to ascend and become the stunning immortal you were born to be, you'll need to make your way to the crafting district of your capital city (Pandaemonium for the Asmodians or Sanctum for the Elyos). Check the map to find the correct section of the city and make your way there to begin.

There are six different crafting professions you can learn. To learn a profession, just talk to the appropriate trainer within the crafting district. While you can learn all of them, you can only train one to the highest levels in the game, so keep that in mind for the future. The current professions available to choose from are:

Alchemy: Create potions, magical weapons (spellbooks for casters), and equipment upgrade items. The kids will be banging on your door day and night to see what you've been brewing.

Armorsmithing: Create all metal armor pieces for the tanks around the land. They may not have a lot of brains, but it's your job to give them the means to protect what little they've got.

Cooking: Create tasty foods and beverages to buff you and your groupmates, not to mention your customers. Sure, everyone could survive on gruel and water if they really had to, but let's face it... nobody wants that.

Handiwork: Make wooden weapons and all the parts that don't fit into any other profession. You're the one-man (or woman) cleanup crew. If it's needed in a recipe by someone else, you’re the person to make it.

Sewing: Tailoring cloth and leather armor pieces is your life. It may not be the most glamorous sounding gig in the game, but creating a powerful robe will keep your local spell slingers happy. Trust me; you always want to keep your casters happy.

Weaponsmithing: Thoughts of creating metal weapons consume your every waking moment. Armorsmithing may be all about protecting a fighter’s noggin, but you just want to see someone get brained with one of your creations. If it was designed to be shiny and cause a world of hurt, you were the hand behind its creation.

While it's possible to learn each skill, I'd advise grabbing one to concentrate on initially. The costs involved with becoming proficient in your chosen profession may start off small, but they’ll begin burning their way deep into your pocketbook before you know it. If you’ve got the kinah to spend, or the time to hunt down materials, more power to you. You'll still need to do work orders to get recipes (unless you want to buy those off of other players as well), so be prepared to pay, no matter which path you choose.

To craft anything in Aion, you have to be at the appropriate workstation. As a Sorceror (and Spiritmaster), I chose to concentrate on the Sewing profession to offset the cost of armor pieces in the future. Thus my instrument of imminent pauperdom was a magical loom. Feel free to choose any station in the area. It doesn't matter whether another player is there or not, as it has absolutely no effect on your own work.

Once you've chosen your loom, the crafting UI will appear. The window will show you what recipes you have available, how many of each you can make with the materials you currently have available on your person, and an option to choose how many you wish to create. It may sound a little convoluted, but it's actually an intuitive and elegant piece of design work. At a glance, you can see what you need to do and whether you've got the ability to do so.

Choose how many widgets you wish to make (you can also select the "Make All" option), then click the craft button and get ready to pray. Similar to the method of gathering used in Aion, the actual act of crafting involves clicking once, then sitting on the edge of your seat in palpable anticipation as you watch your pass and fail meters rise. Sadly, you have no control over their progression. If your pass meter reaches the end before your fail meter does, you've successfully created your very first item. Just because you managed to create an item doesn't mean you'll get a skill-up point for it, so you'll need to be both patient and persistent.

The primary method of gaining skill (and recipes), is to complete work orders for your profession trainer. As you progress in skill, your trainer will give you more difficult orders to fulfill. If you can’t gain any skill-ups from a work order, your trainer will no longer offer it to you. It's nice to know they're looking out for you.

For the very first work order, your trainer will provide all the materials you require to complete it. If you happen to fail the order, just abandon the task and grab it again. When you do, the trainer will remove whatever requested items you had managed to complete and give you the quest over again. Yes, that means you'll need to start from scratch. Just look at it as more opportunities to gain some skill.

There are a couple of different ways you can go about getting your skills up. The first (and possibly most boring method), is to grab the first work order from your trainer (skill of 1 required) and continue to repeat it until your trainer no longer offers it to you (skill of 40). This method will save you some much needed cash, but may not be worth the cost in sanity since as you progress closer to a skill level of 40, your skill-ups will come less and less often.

Unlike some other games, the trainers in Aion do not limit you to only having one active work order from them. This brings me to the second method of gaining skills and the route I chose to pursue. Be warned that this method gets expensive quickly, so be prepared to take the occasional break to go out there and do some hunting to replenish your ever-dwindling coin purse.

By taking every available work order (more will open up every 10 points you progress in your profession), it not only saves trips back and forth between the loom and your trainer (though this is a miniscule distance), but also grants you better rewards. With this method, you'll be gaining progress at a steady rate instead of trudging through the lowest order to save some money.

Every work order past the first requires you to provide some of the materials yourself. Everything I needed for the first tier of trainer (skill of 1 to 99), I found on the Sewing merchant right near the looms. You'll be amazed at how quickly the costs of all this adds up. I know I certainly was. As I mentioned earlier, be ready to go do some hunting and you'll make back the cash in no time. Fortunately, it doesn't take too long to gain a decent amount of money in Aion. This is a good thing, because to progress past a skill of 99, you're going to need 18,000+ kinah to do it.

For those old-school players of EverQuest, this method of crafting and gaining skill will feel very familiar. Unlike other games, if you fail in the creation of your item, you will lose the materials you were using to create it. This is no big deal in the very beginning, but imagine how much more painful that system is going to feel as you get closer and closer to the top, losing both expensive and rare materials alike. The system may be simplistic, but that doesn't mean those players at the top tiers didn't pay their dues along the way.

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