This thread got me out of lurk status since if I don't have anything nice to say to the community, it's just best not say anything at all. All things being said, I've mainly only been focusing on crafting since alpha, and I've come up with theories and a guide that might help people understand the crafting system better. This is my several months of experience with crafting and it is a work in progress til I can get the proper screenshots and do some more tests.
As highly suggest you look at the link above that gives a good beginners guide that tells you the basics of crafting and how to. Here though I will give it a more in depth poke, of what I have experienced, tested, and read up on and come to these conlusions.
Selecting a craft and confirming you will be prompted by a screen like things (taken from the beginner guide as I lack screenshots right now.) http://common.allakhazam.com/images/c/3/c34836c3dcf452f1a36ddb5678ac1478.jpg
I have yet to be able to purchase the skill books, mostly due to time constraints of my testing and running out of materials before I hit level 20+ crafts so I can start raking in points to buy them. My theory thus far is though that it makes the craft harder when you don't fullfill one of these requirements, such as a workshop.(synth suport of the correct kind) and the right skill book. In beta phase 3 I would test crafts out that required both while being in the skill level/above and the fail rate would be quite high if it required both and I didn't use synth suport or have the skill book, while when I used synth support it became that much more easy. Perhaps this is just a coincidence, in theory it could just mean you could make items with better stats if you have the skill books.
There is crafting gear in the game that helps crafting stats, there are three primary stats I forget wich and will update it soon, as I get some screenshots and the likes. this gear is good to have as it up's the success chances a good deal if you have a full set of gear. For those having troubles and that don't have any, I woulld suggest getting some gear. The tools as well have different stats, I am unsure what stat helps what kind of craft, but basic logic dictates using the right tool for the right job would help in theory, I have hadm mixed results with this though.
Note: SE mentioned later on they plan on having different tools do different recipies on the same craft items or adding different stats to the same item in an interview. Alpha observations also showed they had higher tier tools, such as iron tools instead of beginner/bronze, and you needed these tools in alpha if you wanted to ever succeed with higher tier crafts. Not sure about open beta, and release? We can only guess.
You will notice you sometimes get +X materials, using these will add a bonus to quality and durabilty at the start. I would suggest against using them, from my testing I'm leaning towards thinking that the higher grade materials you use the harder the synth attempt gets, unless you have levels and experience under your belt, I would suggest sticking to normal materials until you are sufficiently leveled. In theory it could also be the quality, he higher it goes the harder the craft gets as the higher the quality is the higher chances are that you will HQ.
Crafting: (the beef and potatoes.)
Once you have started your crafting process, you will notice four options as stated in the beginners guide.
Standard synthesis: This is balanced in quality, and progress. You lose the least amount of durability of all the three when you fail it would seem. This will be your main bread and butter unless making lower level crafts compared to your level, you should mainly stick to this as I will explain later.
Rapid synthesis: You gain almost no ammount of quality, and plenty of progress, seems to have a high fail rate, unless you know what you are doing and are sufficiently high level (or a risk taker) I would suggest only using this on opertune moment as failure rates are high and failures tend to have larger losses if you fail or higher chance for instability.
Bold synthesis: This gives high quality and low progress, as above, only use this when skilled enough or in opertune moment while crafting as it can potentially be explosive to your durability, progress and quality.
Wait: This allows you to wait a turn, if you don't like the odds on the craftin, you can wait and see if the odds are more favorable, this is a most to use during crafting, if you avoid it you will most likely fail. You lose durability each time you wait. At first 1 then 2 then 3 and Ect, adding +1 each time you wait in a row without preforming any other actions.
the actual synthesis:
First thing you will notice is while you are crafting is the orb of light. Listening and watching it is key to crafting, don't be in a rush to just push buttons, wait, take a couple of seconds to look at it. I will explain the colors. Will add screenshots later to demonstrate. (I will warn about some crafting instruments it is a hard to see the orb due to lighting and bloom, such as the needle, the fabric you sew on is while and blinds the area around the orb.)
White: This is the orb in it's stable form, when it is white you will have the highest succes rate and lower losses when failing. You always start out in white mode, I would suggest using rapid/bold synthesis during these times depending on what you are attempting to do, you losses will be minimal if you fail.
Rainbow colored: The orb will be changing colors constantly and pulsing rapidly, this means the craft is unstable, sucessfull crafts seem to have a higher chance of stabilizing the orb to white, though I would reccomend sticking to standard synthesis as it has a higher rate of failing as well as higher losses when you fail. Alternatively you can gamble and use the wait command in hopes of it going white, though there is a low chance of it happening.
Note: I am yet unsure if there are two grades of this, one lightly unstable and one very unstable in open beta, it seemed like there was that in beta, but perhaps this is the chaotic they changed graphically. (Pay attention to the pulses and how rapid the color shifts are if you are uncertain or superstitious.)
Solid color: This is when the orbs elements grow chaotic, it will take a solid color of the element that is unstable, it is a 100% chance fail no mater what you do, the only thing you can do is wait til the color stops being solid and starts to pulse and flicker again or if you are lucky and you get a white orb. If you acedently press any sort of synthesis button, it will explode violently, reducing your durability, progress and quality by a huge amount. (usually tests show about half durability in general)
Sparks: Sparks! this is very bad, I am not sure what this does at the moment, but most likely it increases failure rates, or it increases durability loss when you fail or something nasty. The sparks typically come after about 3-4 fails ar rapid/bold synthesis during one craft, I would suggest using judgement calls to determin if you want to risk it after you have failed 2 ish rapid/bold synthesis. I believe sparks are permanent, I have yet to wait or successfully standard synthisis out of me when trying to test sparks to see what they do. (anyone with further information what the sparks do, I please do tell.)
Here comes a short small guide that I can reccomend people do, this works for me, it might not work for all, but it is mostly gambling/luck and personal judgment. Use these tips at your own risk.
It is usually a good idea to start out by taking different guild leves to get all the crafts up a level as you gain materials for free if you feel like running about a little, the first level or two is always the hardest. When starting a craft it is usually a good idea to start with a rapid synthesis, a success on that can mean up to 20/25% progress, the orb always starts out as white, so the chances are in your favor and good, the orb will usually be white for 1-3 crafts depending on luck and if you fail.
Once the orb has gone unstable I suggest always using at least one wait command, then trying a standard synthesis, usually from my observations, the orb has a higher chance at becoming stable again at the start if it has just become unstable. it is only one durability loss to wait once then try a standard synthesis. Keep going the standard synthesis way until it is white, if you fail too manny bold or rapid synthesis I would suggest stop using them for the time being, as the sparks might show on the craft from too manny failures with those. Keep an eye on your craft, if the color becomes solid, just keep waiting as stated above until the color changes from solid into white or the pulsing multicolored orb. As warned above, if you hit a synthesis button while it has a solid color like one of the elemtns (such as red or orange,) Then expect heavy losses.
Keep this up, only use rapid/bold when when it is white (unless you have failed too often.) Use 1-2 waits on the unstable multi colored orb, then standard and repeat until the orb changes to white or solid. If solid use wait commands until it is safe again to synthesize again. Repeat until you succeed or fail, again I suggest putting on as much crafting gear as you can muster, and to avoid recipies with high quality in materials as I suspect the higher the quality the harder the synth success rate is, depending on level and gear of course.
This method has kept me getting a steady 4 crafts out of 5 succeeding if my luck is average.
(when the servers are up I'll add screenshots and do a some more testing/updating. Also I'll add this to the wiki, for now this is a placeholder so I don't lose what I have typed. )
Also, how to you make a wiki addition, I dont' really want this to be mixed up and getting folks confused, I'm not sure it would fit there since it's a lot of guess work and theories from observations, though I can edit it in just fine, Just thought it would be less confussing if it has a subject of it's own so it don't get mixed in. Currently trying to figure out how to make new pages to the wiki and failin. though perhaps since it's 1am, any help would be very welcome if someone could direct me on how to create a new wiki page. Edited, Sep 7th 2010 6:55pm by mjv