Home > EQ2, MMO > EQ2 Crafting, Part I: Generalities

EQ2 Crafting, Part I: Generalities

Just about any crafting guide in any game is likely to become longer than the tl;dr crowd can stand, and this one is no exception, even with my skill for brevity and conciseitude (©Stylishcorpse, 2009). I’m therefore going to break this one down into parts, and since I’m adding stuff in as I go along, I’m not sure how many parts it will be. At least two, since I guess a crafting guide really should include information on how to actually craft — especially in EQ2, since it’s not a push-button-and-wait kind of crafting.

In this first part, however, I’m going to cover the basics of the crafting professions — what they make and what mostly sells. Harvesting may end up with its own section, and of course the actual “how the hell do I make this?” part will star in its own section too.

caprice_80Game-specific Jargon & Concepts

One term that’s used all the time in EQ2 is “tiers — it applies to adventuring, to harvesting, and to crafting. Opaque as it may sound when you don’t know the term, it’s pretty simpe: Tier 1 is levels 1-9, tier 2 is levels 10-19, tier 3 is levels 20-29, and so on up to tier 8 which is levels 70-79. It applies to crafted items, to harvested resources, and to some extent to the mobs inhabiting various zones (and to the zones themselves, for the most part). As with most MMOs, the idea is that characters will outgrow items as they level and will require replacements when they hit the next tier.

The crafting, harvesting and adventuring “tiers” are all related. For instance, to make a level 20 weapon you’ll need Tier 3 resources, which are harvested in areas with level 20-29 mobs — also known as T3 zones. (Harvesting level/skill requirements are covered elsewhere.) You’ll also have to be at least a Tier 3 weaponsmith, meaning you’re level 20+, in order to have access to the recipes. A Tier 3 item can’t be made using Tier 2 or Tier 4 resources (barring a few exceptions). Tier 5 is right out.

Common resources are what you’ll harvest 99% of the time from a harvesting node. The vast majority of items are made using these common resources. In the last few years the quality of crafted goods has been improved, and common-made items are comparable to most quest rewards or loot drops (WoW’s “green” items). Rare resources are, as you might expect, a rare harvest from a common node, though fortunately they’re now nowhere near as rare as they once used to be. Rares-made items are more expensive and require special crafting recipes to make; these recipes are learned from “Advanced” crafting books which are for the most part obtained through drop loot from level-appropriate mobs. They’re the equivalent of WoW’s “blue” items, for the most part. There’s a heavy demand for rares-made items in EQ2 nowadays, both because of the increased availability of rares, because of the ageing population of the servers (more twinked alts), and because better money-generation (quest rewards, sales of collectibles, etc) means people have the means to afford at least a few rare items every tier.

Items made with rares usually require a slightly higher level to equip than items made with common resources. Thus, a Tier 3 “Steel longsword” (made with the rare ore resource) can only be equipped at adventuring level 22, whereas the common-made “Carbonite longsword” can be equipped at level 20.

Currently, crafted adventuring gear is used throughout a tier, so at adventuring level 20 you have access to ALL Tier 3 common-made armour, weapons, jewellery and so on that your class can equip. At level 22 you have access to all rares-made goods for that tier. Note that crafting level is not used in determining whether you can equip a piece of adventuring gear — if you’re a level 80 crafter and a level 19 adventurer you won’t be able to equip that Tier 3 longsword.

Who Makes What?

There are 9 crafting professions in EQ2, separated into three groups each with three specialised professions: Craftsman (carpenter, provisioner, woodworker), Outfitter (armorer, tailor, weaponsmith), and Scholar (alchemist, jeweler, sage). This subdivision is important with respect to skill points, but doesn’t really come into play outside the higher-end crafting instances. Nontheless, here’s how it works:

Every crafter gets all the basic, level 1-9 artisan (generic crafter) recipes. These cover every profession, so everyone can make level 1-9 armour, weapons, food, combat art upgrades and so on. Artisan recipes nonetheless use specific crafting skills (e.g. artistry (aka cooking), artificing (aka jewellery-making), weaponsmithing and so on), which is used to determine a crafter’s base skill at making the item. This modifies the crafting-round results you get and the arts you have available, but we’ll cover that next time.

At level 9 you can pick a crafting school specialisation from the three groups mentioned above: Craftsman, Outfitter or Scholar. (This also instantly bumps you to level 10, by the way. And if you don’t pick a school at level 9 you’ll have to pick one at level 10 or you can’t progress.) From levels 10-19, then, your recipes include all the ones common to that group — so a Craftsman will get all 10-19 carpenter, provisioner and woodworker recipes.

At level 19, you pick a final profession specialisation which has to be one of the three in the group you picked at level 9 (or 10). Again, you’ll be automagically bumped to 20 — and again, if you don’t pick one at 19 you’ll have to pick one at 20 or you won’t be able to progress. From level 20 onwards, then, the only recipes you’ll get are the ones specific to your specialised profession — so a carpenter will get only 20+ carpentry recipes, a provisioner will get provisioning recipes, and so on. You can obtain other recipes through quests and by other means, but those will either be profession-specific OR they’ll be artisan-level recipes, meaning anyone can learn and make them. (Note that it is possible to change crafting professions, but you’ll lose all levels you’ve accrued in your current one and will have to start from scratch.)

This isn’t as artificial a restriction as it may seem. Crafting is based on an underlying skill point system which is derived from your level: profession skill = crafting level x 5. However, the skills in those professions you left behind, so to speak, will never be as high. For the two crafting groups you opted out of at level 9 or 10, your skill will cap at 49 (not counting item and other mods) — I know, this isn’t actually (level 9 x 5) skill points, but let’s not quibble. For the two professions in your skill group that aren’t the one you specialised in, your skill will cap at 99. This means that if you’re an alchemist and you need to craft a weaponsmith-skill item later on (as happens in the crafting instances), your weaponsmithing skill is at 49 regardless of what your actual crafting level is. If that same alchemist needs to make a sage item, their scribing skill would be at 99.

In other words, it’s hard to make stuff that isn’t your specialisation, assuming you even have access to the recipe.

Okay, But Who Makes What??

Now on to what each profession actually produces:

  • Carpenters make furniture and storage boxes. They don’t have much of a consumables market, though every new character made *will* need boxes for their bank and possibly their inventory slots (if they’re strong enough), as well as for their house vault slot if they have a house (which most people do). Nobody else can make furniture, either, and housing is quite a big thing in EQ2. Still, for the most part I’d make a carpenter out of love and not out of a rabid desire for quick money.
  • Provisioners make food and drink — in comparison to the carpenter, they’re nothing but consumables. Provisions provide out of combat health (food) and power (drink) regeneration, and player-crafted provisions are much better than stuff you can buy from NPC vendors or the occasional quest rewards. It’s the sort of thing you only notice when you run out, but they’re quite essential. Also, provisions now provide various different stat bonuses depending on the recipe.
    Provisioning is a steady if cut-throat and heavily competitive market. Each tier of recipes includes short-duration and long-duration items, and as you might expect the market for the short-duration stuff is almost nil — why bother even making it if, for almost the same resource/fuel requirement, you can make longer-lasting items? (You might argue that for cooks, shorter-duration stuff ensures more business, but the plain fact is, nobody buys it.) Lower level stuff does sell, but slowly. Since a level 80 (max) drink can be used by a level 1 character, there’s almost no point other than the associated cost in buying something lower. Food and drink auto-adjusts to the consumer’s level.
  • Woodworkers make a variety of wooden weapons (staves, clubs, wands) and all bows and arrows, as well as thrown weapons, smaller wooden shields (priests, scouts), totems (consumables for various uses like faster travel, better health/power regen, water breathing, stealth, etc.) and harvesting tools. Excellent consumables market, though the profit margin on individual items tends to be smallish, so you do better if you sell in bulk. Arrows are an obvious example of this.
  • Armorers make metal armour (sorry: armor for you US folks) and fighter-class shields. This includes several types of chain mail (with varying stat bonuses) for the scout classes and a couple of priest classes, as well as a selection of plate mail for fighters and other priest classes. Since armour is replaced every 10 levels, like most other adventuring gear, there’s a fairly steady market. There are 7 armor body-slots on a character, not counting the shield which not all classes can equip.
  • Tailors make the rest of the armour: leathers and cloth. Again, these come in several different types to suit varying classes, so for instance you’ll find a “woven” leather that’s heavy on the wisdom bonuses (aimed at priests) and a dextrous leather that is, as you might expect, aimed at scouts and light fighters. Tailors also make backpacks. This is a somewhat smaller market than carpenter boxes (because most people start carrying boxes on their characters as soon as they’re strong enough, since boxes are about 3x the size of a similar-tier bag), but it’s a market nonetheless.
  • Weaponsmiths make … weapons. Pointy stabby things, bashy things, whirly bladey things (ok, that last is a lie). About the same level of demand there as there is for armour and while people only need at most a couple of weapons per tier, there is a huge demand for rare weapons, much more so than for armour (which, at 7 pieces, requires a lot more rares and so is more of an investment).
  • Alchemists make potions (cures, heals, buffs), poisons (for certain classes) and all fighter-archetype combat art upgrades. The market for poisons is relatively steady but seems very competitive. The market for combat art upgrades is similar.
  • Jewelers make jewellery (sorry, jewelry), offhand items and scout archetype combat art upgrades. Everyone uses jewellery so it’s a reasonable market, and the upgrade market is similar to that of alchemists.
  • Sages make priest- and mage-archetype spell upgrades, and now they can also make empty books for players to write in. This may seem like a small selection, but considering that they cater to 12 different classes (half the classes in the game), they’re usually pretty busy. The upgrades market is similar to that of the other scholar professions.

As a side note, since it’s not vital to starting crafters, as mentioned above the overall “crafting” profession that everyone starts out as is known as “Artisan.” There are now high-level recipes obtained from chest rewards in the daily crafting instances that are used to make “shard armour,” and these are classed as artisan recipes which means anyone can make them. You’ll often see people asking for an armorer or a jeweler to make their shardy bits, but this is in fact unnecessary. Basically, in EQ2, if you can learn a recipe, you can make that recipe. How well you can make it is another matter.

Will My Stuff Sell?

Levelling a crafter in EQ2 is similar to other games: you make a ton of items to obtain crafting xp and gain crafting levels. Each level, you buy a new book of recipes with stuff you can make. This means that in many cases the broker (EQ2′s non-auctionny auction house) is saturated with stuff, and the competition is pretty heavy. All crafted items have a base value if you were to sell it to an NPC merchant, which is what it costs to make (based on the fuel cost, since fuel is an NPC-bought resource), and you’ll often see stuff being brokered under vendor cost. Personally I find this daft, because as a crafter that’s like shooting myself in the foot, so I never sell stuff under vendor price on the broker. You could argue it’s done for altruistic, buyer-helpful reasons, and maybe very occasionally it is — but most of the time I suspect people just want to shift the stuff they made and undercut the competition. I could go on about rampant undercutting (and its evil twin, rampant gouging), but I won’t.

What does sell is anything made with rare resources. Each weapon, piece of armour, jewellery and spell or combat art upgrade has a rare version, and there’s rares-made furniture and even boxes and bags. Provisioning is the only profession that doesn’t get to make much of anything with rares, which is a shame, but at least they make nothing but consumables so there’s almost always a market for provisioner-made goods.

As with many resource-based and mass-production-to-level-based games, however, EQ2 is experiencing the usual trend where resources can cost more than the finished product. This was very evident in SWG back in the holocron-grinding days, but it’s present in any MMO that uses similar craft-levelling methods — the one thing people are guaranteed to always need are raw materials. Thus, in many cases (especially at lower and middle levels) it can actually be more profitable to sell resources, and particularly rares, than to make finished products and try to sell those. Irksome as this may be to people wanting to level a crafter without doing their own harvesting, it’s a viable revenue stream for those who have raws to sell.

Note — EQ2′s broker is more of a storefront than an auction house. Goods go up for a fixed price which doesn’t change unless the seller alters it. There is no bidding. Since I’m not a fan of auction houses I think this is a good thing, but it may put people off or seem weird if you’re used to WoW-style auctioning. It’s still entirely possible to buy low and sell high, and even on my relatively lightly-populated Lucan D’Lere server, broker trade is usually quite brisk (for the right goods).

Does That Mean I Should Be A Harvester Too?

Being the harvesting junkie I am, I can’t give an unbiased answer to this. Even without that, though, it’s evident that any intensive crafting effort (levelling more than one crafter, for instance, or intending to produce a lot of goods) is going to be more cost-effective if the raw materials aren’t bought. You’d have to figure out how valuable your non-harvesting time is compared to the time spent harvesting; note that harvesting takes quite a lot of time if you’re doing it in quantity, though it’s entirely possible to hop somewhere and grab a few resources. Since these resources are “contested,” i.e. available to anyone with the skill to harvest them, what you get depends on how busy your selected harvesting area is. If you can, avoid harvesting at busy times like weekends.

Harvesting itself will be covered in its own section. You’d be surprised how many tips and tricks are involved in harvesting, if you intend to do it seriously or for gain.

Till Next Time

Thanks for reading all the way down here, if you did. To those who don’t craft in EQ2 but would like to, I welcome comments or questions and I’ll be happy to clarify. To those who already craft in EQ2 (or have done so in the past), I’d definitely like amendments, additions, and other tips, tricks or trade seekrits you can think of.

Part II

Part III

Part IV

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  1. August 28, 2009 at 7:35 am | #1

    A few supplemental notes from the perspective of someone who crafts primarily for the benefit of future adventuring (rather than making money on the broker or just for the sake of crafting):

    - Carpentry gets an extra leg up if crafting is a very part-time hobby for your adventurer. You need a crafting level at, above, or even way above your adventuring level if you want to craft all of the stuff you will actually use from other professions. It doesn’t matter what level your house furniture is if you like the looks, and everyone can benefit from boxes. (Caveat: Check the broker, it’s often flooded with cheap top tier boxes that someone produced while leveling and is now dumping to get rid of them.) Woodworking also gets the nod here because low level utility totems (e.g. water breathing) remain useful at high levels in ways that other consumables (e.g. low level health potions) do not.

    - Ysh may disagree with me, but I would not recommend provisioning to anyone for any reason. The markup on cooked food and drink is so low that it’s not worth the time it takes to phyiscally make it. During the time you spent cooking, you could have been producing something that you would not have been able to afford on the broker, AND the trade is crippled for leveling with a small number of new recipes per level. (Also, the short duration stuff tends NOT to offer a stat bonus in addition to the regen, which may help to explain why it is less popular.)

    - If you’re not out to sell stuff, armor and jewelry are much more versatile than weapons. You have eight slots for armor and jewelry and only 1 slot for a weapon (two if you dual wield). It’s much easier to buy the one weapon you need than to buy eight pieces of tier armor. Also, tailors serve a slightly smaller number of classes with their armo(u)r, but they make “hex doll” trinkets that EVERY class can use, and, as Ysh noted, bags that are going to be better than nothing.

    - EQ2 has 24 classes, each of which gets 2-3 spells per level for 80 levels. There is a non-zero chance that the specific spell you need will not be available on the broker when you want it. If you don’t have the option of running crying to Ysh when you can’t find a crucial spell upgrade, you might want to make sure that one of the characters on your account can make your spells. The one exception I would make to this recommendation are the melee priests (Wardens, Mystics, and Inquisitors, if using the melee AA specs); for these classes, your main attacks are granted by AA’s and automatically scale by level. For these classes, I would go with your armor crafting class.

    • August 28, 2009 at 7:47 am | #2

      Thanks GA. Your reasons for crafting are so utterly different from mine it’s useful to have your PoV — especially since I suspect the way & why you craft is far closer to most other people’s. I may have to add a disclaimer to the post. ;)

  2. Ann-Marie
    August 28, 2009 at 8:16 am | #3

    A beautiful start to the guide, Ysharros. I couldn’t have put it better myself, and seeing the correct spellings added icing to the cake (yes, I’m from the UK).

    However, I want to refute one of Green Armadillo’s comments on provisioning. Though I’m a craftaholic and have after type of crafter (on two accounts, so two of each), my main crafter on my main account is… a provisioner. I worked out a basic system for pricing (a fixed multiple of the cost of fuel and vendor bought ingredients), and have done well. Often I end up lower priced than the other sellers – not because I’m going for the quick sale, or purposefully undercutting, but because I think its a reasonable price for the Tier.

    Also, if you check the recipes, the level x0-x4/x5 don’t seem to have stats to the food and drink, but the level x5-x9 do, so don’t ignore the short duration foods and drinks. The way Domino has allocated the fuel quantities, the prices balance out, and its a viable market.

    Of course, like you, I’m a harvester as well. One thing I will agree on is that the raws costs on the broker can kill you as a crafter. In fact, as a provisioner at later tiers, it can actually be crippling if you want to price decently and make a profit.

    As offered before, if you ever want to touch base with another EQ2 crafter in your writing this guide, please just drop me an email,

    Yours,

    Ann-Marie
    a.k.a. Elkestra

    • August 28, 2009 at 8:31 am | #4

      Ack thanks for the reminder, Ann-Marie — I’m not the ignoring or snobby type, I’m the forgetful type!

      I’m not aiming for vast complexity in this crafting guide (series), especially since I manage to complicate things quite enough as it is just with my basic rambling writing style — it’s mostly intended as an overview/refresher/introduction for those who haven’t crafted much in EQ2 yet and might like to try, or at least form an opinion about whether they’d even *want* to try it. It’s not for everyone. Or so they tell me. ;)

      And yes, my first and “main”(ish) crafter was a provisioner too. She was first to cap (60/70/80 included) and she’s made the vast majority of what money my characters have in common on the account.

      Provisioning can be quite profitable, because there’s a constant market for stuff. And while the markup on a given T8 item may only be a couple of gold (or less), especially if you price reasonably, that’s 40g profit on a stack of food that takes me not quite 10 minutes to make. A half hour of crafting for-sale foods can thus net me over a plat — I don’t think that’s too shabby, and best of all, it uses almost no resources any of my other crafters need.

      That said, I also don’t have any high-level adventurers, so I have no idea how much money one can comparably make in the same amount of time when adventuring. I also don’t play to ammass wealth I’m never going to use (what’s the point?) — and, being a multi-crafter, I can make most everything I need. So as GA points out, my craft-centric point of view is likely different from your average adventuring-first type player.

      • Ann-Marie
        August 28, 2009 at 9:00 am | #5

        Another thing we have in common, I concentrate on crafting so much, my adventurer classes only go up via accident (POI experience) or because it makes harvesting easier (I have one who is my main harvester (46).

        That said, the harvesting questline from Mara gives 17g+ per tier quest (even at lvl 5) so its tempting to do a mass harvest on each of my alts to give me some additional monetary backing.

        • August 28, 2009 at 9:22 am | #6

          Tough as that harvesting quest can be to do — *purely* because of those @(*&!^#% creature dens, actually — it’s really worth it. I’ve got the harvester cloak on 3 of my characters now, partly for the bonuses and partly for the featherfall effect, which really helps with my RL fear of heights. Running around Kelethin is a LOT easier when you know you won’t automatically go SPLAT if you overshoot a ramp. :D

        • Ann-Marie
          August 28, 2009 at 9:34 am | #7

          I agree. Only really got into it a short time back, but gradually more and more of my crafters are doing it (I just hate that long 20-90 skill) T2 stage of getting harvesting up.

          On the vertigo aspect, I’ve ended up redoing a lot of my crafters into Fae or Arasai after that expansion, so its not so much a problem (Flight and Glide) – well ok, it is a problem any time I play one of my non-Fae/Arasai and go off a cliff…lol.

          I’m really hoping that Domino can get a few more of these tradeskill quests down to the lower tiers. The majority of them start at lvl 40-50 (except the journeyman/etc ones that start at 25), and it seems ‘late’ at times if that makes sense.

          Be well,

          Yours,

          Ann-Marie
          a.k.a. Elkestra

          PS. Does the blog-system not allow a Reply after the 3rd one?

      • August 28, 2009 at 9:01 am | #8

        Obviously, there’s a niche for every market, which you’re more likely to be able to find if you’re willing to spend more time on it.

        Personally, most of my cash comes from putting rare harvests on the broker. The T7 and T8′s (other than the hard metal) are usually worth a plat or so, and I pick up enough of them while out doing other stuff anyway that I can afford to pay someone else 40G to cook my food for me. (This is, of course, why it’s better for all of us to have both avid crafters AND adventurers in the same game. ;))

        By contrast, the markup on, say, a Adept III/Expert spell upgrade is often so high that it isn’t worth the cash if you can’t make it yourself, because you’ll outlevel it before you can pay for it.

        • Ann-Marie
          August 28, 2009 at 9:10 am | #9

          Oh, I defintely agree for some of the items from the other crafters. Indeed, some items are so extortionate, it only caters for the L80′s with alts.

          At that point, its simpler and easier to make your own mule-crafter.

          It’s wonderful to note that those of us who love crafting more, and adventure just for pleasure or harvesting needs, often actually enjoy these games better at times, simply because we aren’t hamstrung by some of the price-gouging (materials being the exception, but those in the know harvest too).

  3. Ann-Marie
    August 28, 2009 at 8:18 am | #10

    That should of course be ‘have every type of crafter’… lol.

  4. August 28, 2009 at 9:37 am | #11

    @Ann-Marie you can nest a bunch of levels of replies — I’ve just limited mine to 3 or whatever it is because there usually isn’t a need for more. And the columns get piddly-small, which bugs me aesthetically. It’s all about the style, after all. ;)

    • Ann-Marie
      August 28, 2009 at 10:03 am | #12

      Oh, if you put it that way, I agree :D

      I’ve seen some that allow 5-7 replies and you’re almost reading a word per line… *shudders*

      Anyway, it was just a minor query, not a complaint. Having discovered you, it’s a wonderful blog I could wish I’d discovered earlier.

      • August 28, 2009 at 10:27 am | #13

        Ah, thanks! I’m very flattered, and extremely bad at graciously accepting compliments.

        Say some more, so I can practice! ;)

  5. August 28, 2009 at 10:39 am | #14

    sounds neat.. I don’t have the time or money to dedicate to EQ2 but it really does sound neat, if I ever get a station pass maybe I’ll check it out.

  6. I am a spammer
    April 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm | #15

    After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
    from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with
    the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from
    that service? Thanks a lot!

    EDIT – Yeah, nice try. Links removed.

  1. September 2, 2009 at 7:20 am | #1
  2. January 10, 2010 at 8:59 am | #2
  3. July 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm | #3

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