Please note, this is a relatively long guide meant to give the basic information about crafting.
With the open beta just a few short days away, I figured I'd make a very introductory guide to crafting for anyone who might be interested and didn't get a chance to try it out in previous betas, or those who did but didn't really get a good feel for it. This is going to be a rather rough (yet long) guide to start, and once the game goes up I will try and update it with new information. Feel free to add if you have any useful info for beginners.
There are 8 crafting professions. Each profession has it's own guild in one of the 3 starting cities. They are as follows:
Blacksmith- Limsa Lominsa
Armorer- Limsa Lominsa
Culinarian- Limsa Lominsa
To join any of these guilds, you must reach level 10 in any DoW or DoH class and finish the level 10 class quest. After doing that, go to any of the guilds and speak with the person behind the counter. It will give an option of joining the guild. Read the dialogue, go to talk to the guildmaster, read more dialogue and say yes when asked. Congratulations, you are now a crafter! You'll get a crafting tool and be able to equip it and start making stuff.
So now that you've got that out of the way, your first order of business is to understand a bit about how to craft. Pro-tip: Pressing the "N" key will open up your crafting log. Once you've got that open, you will see a whole list of recipes for the craft you are on (see image below).
1. The first thing you will notice is on the left it will show you a recipe level, which gives you a range of current recipes that you can make. When you click a range, it will display a list of recipes available to you to the right. When you click one of those recipes, it will show you info on the far right about that specific craft.
2. The red circle here indicates the materials you will need for this particular craft. Every craft will require a set number of shards or crystals of varying type (wind, water, fire, earth). Below that it will show the materials needed. It will tell you the quantity of each that you will need in order to make the craft.
3. This section shows the amount of those materials you have in your inventory. The first column shows the NQ (normal quality) materials available, the second column shows the HQ (high-quality) materials. You can click directly on the numbers in each column to raise or lower them (ie, if you have HQ copper ore, you can click on the 0 and it will raise it to 1 and drop the NQ to 1). Using HQ materials will increase the initial quality that your synth starts out with, which will increase your chance to HQ the synthesis, resulting in more experience gained and a better quality item (will be explained more below).
Once you've got your mats ready, click Synthesize in the bottom right to start your craft.
The menu that comes up in the top left is your synthesis menu. This is where you will check durability, condition, progress, quality, and HQ rate.
1. Durability is basically how much stress your synthesis can take before it breaks and you fail the synth. It starts out at the full amount, and with each step you complete, the durability will drop by a set amount. I'm pretty sure this is constant number based on the item you are crafting (for instance, it will drop by 10 for each step of a brass ingot). As long as you complete your craft before the durability reaches zero, you will successfully make your item. Pro-tip: You can still complete the craft if the durability reaches zero on the step that finishes your progress bar.
2. Condition is kind of like the status of your synth. This is used to increase the quality of your synth and effects the amount of quality gained by using certain skills. Poor - 50% of Quality increase (1/2 of base). Normal - 100% of Quality increase (base). Good - 150% of Quality increase (1 1/2 times base) (this may be 200%, been a few weeks!). Excellent - 400% of Quality increase (4 times base). This is extremely important for when you are trying to HQ an item, which I will explain more below. But basically, the better condition it is in, the more quality you gain which increases your HQ rate, so using skills that increase quality is best saved for when your condition is good or excellent. Also, the amount of quality gained is affected by how much of the Control stat you have, which is available on gear and will be explained farther down.
3. Progress shows how far along the synth is. When I talked about durability above, I mentioned that every step consumed durability. Well, progress is one of the bars that will increase with those durability losses. Each craft has skills that will increase your progress. Every class starts at level 1 with the skill "Basic Synthesis", which increases your progress amount based on your crafting level and the level of the item you are making (90% success rate). For instance, if I were to use Basic Synthesis on a brass ingot at level 1, each step I take would increase my progress by 9, while reducing my durability by 10 (so after 3 uses of Basic Synthesis, I would complete the synth with 27/27 progress and have 10 durability left. However, if I craft a brass ingot at a higher level, it will gain more progress each time I use Basic Synthesis. There is a lot more to this, as progress is also effected by the stats on your gear, but I will get into that later.
4. Quality is what you use to go for HQ synthesis items. As opposed to just using Basic Synthesis to increase your progress bar, you will receive several skills at higher levels that will increase your quality. The first of these is obtained at level 5, called Basic Touch. This will allow you to increase your quality by a set amount. The amount is set, but depends on the condition of your synth (see Condition above for more info) and also the amount of Control stats you have on your gear (more info farther down). You also have a very small and seemingly random chance of an critical success to quality, which will give a massive increase to your overall quality. In the above example, you start at 0/751 quality. Every time you increase the quality, your precent chance at a high quality item will increase, depending on how much quality you added to the bar. For instance, if I was able to get quality up to 400 and then finish the craft successfully, I might have a 40-50% chance at a HQ item instead of a 1% chance. Pro-tip: Increasing the quality of an item vastly increases the amount of experience you gain for completing a craft, so make sure you are maximizing your quality before finishing a craft, but also make sure you have enough durability to finish the progress bar so you don't fail your synth.
5. HQ Rate is the chance at successfully creating a high-quality version of the synth. As mentioned above, it increases as the quality bar increases, but it is not a linear amount. It is on a curve, so at lower amounts of quality your HQ chance stays lower, but it increases much faster when you approach the top of the quality bar. The benefits of going for an HQ are to gain more experience per each craft, but also to gain high quality materials or weapons/armor/tools, which have slightly better stats than their NQ counterparts. HQ materials are very useful, as using them in a craft automatically starts your quality off at a much higher point (for instance, if I had use 2 HQ copper ore to start the synth, my quality would have started off at around 300 or so, which would automatically give me about a 15% chance to HQ the brass ingot.
6. Crafting Skills will be located in your hotbars. They range in use from stuff like Basic Synthesis which increases progress, Basic Touch which increases quality, Master's Mend which restores durability (so you can go for more quality or progress), Steady Hand which improves the rate of success of your next 5 actions by 20% (so you will have a 100% chance of Basic Synthesis working, or a 90% chance of Basic Touch working), and many others at higher levels which will help you to increase progress or quality more efficiently. The purple numbers at the bottom left of each skill let you know how much CP each skill uses. For each craft, you have a set amount of CP (Crafting Points maybe?) and once you reach zero, you will only be able to use 0 CP cost abilities like Basic Synthesis. So the basic idea is, use your skills to try and maximize the quality of your synth, and make sure to leave yourself enough durability to finish your progress. It's a bit complicated, but once you get into the swing of it it all makes sense.
Ok, so with all that explained, I'll give a little info about the stats associated with crafting and what they do.
I didn't circle it, but if you look up near the top you will see your HP, CP, and TP. CP is the only important one for crafting, as it is what is used for all of your actions while crafting besides basic synthesis. Use it wisely.
At the very bottom, you will see the crafting stats, Craftsmanship and Control.
Craftsmanship determines how much progress each use of Basic Synthesis will gain you. With 0 Craftsmanship, you will gain the base amount for each step. Every time you increase your craftsmanship, which is obtained through crafting gear, it will increase the amount of progress each step grants you with Basic Synthesis. I'm not sure exactly how much Craftsmanship increases your progress by how much, but it's roughly 10-15 points = 1 point gained of progress. So for instance, if I had 0 craftsmanship and used Basic Synthesis, I might gain 9 progress. At 89 craftsmanship, I would gain about 15-16 progress. Craftsmanship is crucial because the more you have, the less durability you will have to use to get your synth finished, which allows you more opportunities to increase the quality and go for an HQ and gain more experience. Also, while Craftsmanship controls how much progress you make, trying a recipe above your tradeskill level has a significant effect on reducing the amount of progress you get as well.
All of the gear with craftsmanship on it can either be bought from vendors, attained by completing crafting class quests, purchased at the Market board, or actually crafted by the different crafting classes.
Control increases the amount of quality you gain which each action. Again, I do not know the exact conversion, but it definitely makes a decent difference in your overall quality gains. A good rule of thumb is to try and have relatively equal amounts of Control and Craftsmanship, as both stats are essential for maximizing your chances at HQ items.
CP as mentioned above, is what is used for all of your actions (Basic Touch, Master's Mend, Steady Hand, etc). Increases to CP are only available on your jewelry slots, but are very important for getting every ounce of quality out of a synth, as it might allow you to get in one extra use of Basic Touch, which could be the difference between and HQ or an NQ, or even just adding several hundred XP to a synth. I believe all of the CP gear is crafted (minus the starting city ring), and iirc it was mostly made by goldsmiths and leatherworkers. Pro-tip: You can also add CP+ materia to your gear as long as you have materia slots. This is an excellent way to vastly increase the amount of CP available, and becomes especially useful at 50 when you can get tier 5 materia and put 2 on each piece of gear for a very nice bump to CP (this is subject to item stat caps).
One last important piece of information about gear. Aside from just the regular gear like head slot, body, etc, you also have an offhand for each craft. The offhand item increases your control and craftsmanship by a rather large chunk, so don't forget to equip one as soon as you are able (I believe all the level 5 craft quests give one as a reward, might be level 10).
Ok, so this is your beginner's guide to crafting. I'm sure there is a TON of information I'm leaving out, but this post is already incredibly long so I'm going to leave it like this for now. Feel free to comment or let me know anything crucial that I missed and I will update it. I'm going to go ahead and save a second post so I can add more information once the game goes live, such as skill lists for each class, possibly even guides to making HQ items, etc. Hope this info helps some crafting newbies out there!
Special thanks to Ravashack, carmelita, and HallieXIV for additional info!
Edited, Aug 13th 2013 8:54am by BartelX
Edited, Aug 13th 2013 9:03am by BartelX