I see a bunch of misinformation leaking from the battlecraft side of the crafting game. This is hopefully to clear up that misinformation.
There's really three parts to the equation. First off, let me say this. Crafting in Final Fantasy 14 is a full time job. This is new to the MMO genre (The only one I could think of which was blurred is Lineage 2, but even then Artisans could attack for more than 7 damage / rock at R50). Crafting IS a full time job. Getting to rank 50 crafting is just as hard, if not harder, to get to as a Rank 50 conjurer or gladiator or etc. These are not NPCs, these are actual people who choose to play the game by crafting, and should hold as much respect, if not more respect, than they hold you.
1) Price Gouging
One of the biggest complaints I hear against crafters is "All they try to do is price-gouge us!". To a certain extent, this is completely true for the very first crafters on the server. When weavers first started hitting R24 across all servers, you started to see undyed canvas selling for 30k-50k/piece. Blacksmiths in particular needed this cloth to make their Rank 12 and beyond hammers.
However, is this so wrong? Do we not do the same thing?
I'd like to introduce you to two things: Apkallus, and Shards.
Apkallus are a high rank mob who drop things which weavers need to create Berets (Much akin to how Blacksmiths need Canvas for hammers, weavers need apkallu down for every beret, whether it's hempen (Rank 5), or Velveteen (Not rank 5). However, Apkallu drop off of Rank 50 monsters. When parties on Selbina first began to find and kill Apkallu for their down, you could easily see this material selling for 100k in JP stores. In the later weeks, the price went down, and is currently 30k-50k in each store stocking apkallu down.
How is this ANY different than what they did with Undyed Canvas?
I do not think Price Gouging is a bad thing. For one, there are multiple crafters on each server. I'd like to bring up a personal example for this too. On Selbina, there are two very high rank blacksmiths, Mina Mina, and Exam Mage. I was trying to make an Iron Lance, a ~R30 weapon, and it required a R40+ Head to create.
I gathered the require Iron Ingots, and noticed Mina Mina wasn't on so I checked the next the next highest rank, Exam Mage. Through my horrible Japanese negotiation skills, he basically said, "I'll create 4 iron lance heads, my materials, for 500k each = 2m gil". I laughed at this, waited the two hours for Mina to come online, and he did it for 70k. I gave him a very, very nice tip, and use Mina to this day. He got a loyal customer who tips nicely and asks for lots of lance heads. In fact, if anything, I tell people to NOT use Exam Mage, and I advertise willingly throughout my friends that Mina Mina is very nice.
Whether you see it or not, you also take advantage of basic economics with the price of shards. Simply put, the most efficient way to get shards is to simply be a disciple of war / magic class. When you go outside of Gridania, you get six shards by killing the first marmot you see, IF NOT MORE. (By the way, Crystal = 16x shards. It's a low level alchemy synth, making it possible you get 22x of one type of shard per monster). How long does it take for a Disciple of the Hand to get 6 shards? They have to wait for a leve-reset. There's absolutely no way for a disciple of the hand to get shards besides wait for a reset. However- most disciple of the hands are also disciple of the lands, to get their gathering materials. They get an average of 2 shards per successful gather, which means they make those 22 potential shards in about ten minutes. Simply put, shard economics are greatly skewed in your favor.
To put this in a way you can understand, imagine the only class in the entire game was archer. Your arrows are not npc-buyable. Every shot costs you 100g for the sh*tty cheap arrows, but up to 350g for the high level arrows. Sometimes though, against certain monsters, you need to actually shoot mother@#%^ing crystals, which go for 4k each. Without shards, crafters cannot level up. And they can't get them as well as you can.
When you sell your shards and crystals at market price or above market price, you are fueling supply and demand. It might be a little bit cryptic, but the lower you sell your shards, the lower the crafter can sell their goods. Why? Because it costs them less to make the item. If a shard costs 400g each, you won't see a crafter selling an 8shard-synth for 1k unless they were forced to (See: Half-masks and Carpenters, Silver Needles, and Ornamental Iron Hammer Heads). However, If that shard costed 100g each, seeing a crafter selling a 8 shard synth for 1k is actually a possibility.
2) The Crafting System
The purpose of most crafts are to supply the world with a multitude of high rank weapons. When release first came out / open beta first came out, many people complained about how inter-woven the crafting system is. To make a blacksmith hammer, you need a piece of undyed canvas. To make any low rank weapon, you need Fish Glue. To make Bone Hora, you need a drop off of some randomass spider-thing out in the woods somewhere.
However, the recipes follow a set of rules. It's really not that bad when you learn the pattern. Some items are scaling, other items are non-scaling. Scaling items scale with their rank in terms of recipe, and non-scaling items do not scale with their rank in terms of recipe.
Put the blacksmith hammer into account. A common complaint was "What the ****, my rank 7 tool requires a R29 material." Guess what the Rank 14 tool requires? A Rank 29 material. Guess what the rank 21 tool requires? A rank 29 material. The R32 tool? R29 material.
It looks unreasonable when you look at it from the perspective of a rank 7, however if you keep going, it's completely understandable. In fact, it actually works out to your favor as you get higher and higher rank.
Crafters WANT to repair your things. Simply put, they have already put the work into getting to a high enough rank to repair your things (Which is no easy task, by the way), and they could use a little bit of cash on the side.
However, a few problems arise with this.
1) Sometimes, people want repairs anywhere they go. A crafter is a living, breathing human being with their own set of priorities. And sometimes, repairing your stuff is not high on their priority list. Don't hate the game because there's no crafters in your respective town.
Most commonly, the best thing to do when you need a repair is to go to the repair NPC and look around for a crafter. Sitting there /shouting "(Repair) (Can I have it?) (Armorer) R40+" is not going to do you any good if there are no R40+ armorers there to repair your sh*t.
Instead of sitting there ********* go find something else to do until a repairsman returns, or go visit their guild if it's located within the city. With the guildleve system being the way it is, you have all types of crafters in all three cities. If it were not for this, everyone would either be in ul'dah or the city where their guild is. Luckily, you have all types of crafters roaming everywhere because they need to get quests done for different cities. This makes it easier to find one, which makes it easier to get repairs.
If I cannot find a repair, I do the following:
a) Check the repair NPC
b) Check the respective guilds
c) Check the quest NPCs located in that town
d) Go on with my life and check again in 30 minutes or after I finish up town duties such as getting levequests, managing my retainer, etc.
And when you do find a crafter, the absolute fastest way to get their attention is in between synths, when their chatbox isn't flooded with "You attempt a Standard Sythesis".
2) Repair Materials
Sometimes, your craft can use some pretty hella weird materials to fix. For weaving, you see mostly Fents. Hempen Fent, Cotton Fent, Canvas Fent, Velveteen Fent. With blacksmith you see squares, leatherworkers spletches, and so on and so on. But sometimes, you have some pretty hella weird materials. Pine Crook require beastkin blood to repair. Plumed pine crook require Brass squares, an armorer item, on a goldsmithing synthesis (They actually cannot make brass squares themselves). Tortoiseshell Horas which use Tortoiseshells, a R35 Goldsmith / R25 LW sub synth.
Put a little bit of research into what you're wearing. A majority of the items are pretty good, however there are some outliers, and some things that aren't even worth it to repair. If the repair item is rare, don't expect someone to magically be able to repair your stuff. Personally, I carry Brass Squares with me. When I find a high rank goldsmith, I throw them a few and ask them to repair my plumed crooks, since they're likely to not have any themselves.
And that brings me to my next point.
3) Repair Prices.
Even if you have the repair material, giving someone 1k for a repair is an insult.
Don't think of it like, "Hey, it's just 1 minute of work. He doesn't deserve any money". It's actually the exact opposite.
He didn't put in "One minute of work". He put in HOURS and HOURS of leveling crafts. Hours and hours of working at synthesises. Again, crafting is a full time job.
Look at it this way. When you do a guildleve, how much gil do you get? Now, why are you not even giving 1/25th of that for a repair which you need done once every five hours?
I think it's extremely sad that the norm is ~5k/repair. Honestly. The amount of shards needed to get a single rank is honestly stupidly high, and the amount of time it takes to rank up is huge too. So why are you paying this person hardly a FRACTION of what you get in a single guildleve?
It just leaves me really salty. And then you guys ***** that people sell canvas for 30k/each. What do you expect?
I'll end with a few tips.
1) Weapons degrade in about 2 hours of constant grinding. They hit the 50% at around 1 and a half hours, and after a bit more they turn red. Carry multiple weapons. One of the things I see you guys complaining about on the forums is the fact that everyone has crazy high rank gear at low ranks. This is not because it's a bad system, it's because the gear is cheap. Since the gear is cheap, buy multiple of them. And suddenly repair problems are no more, just switch your weapon and you're ready for another 2 hours of constant grinding.
2) When making items, pay in shards (and maybe gil). Seriously. Crafters LOVE that sh*t. Back when Iron Falchions were 200-250k each, Mina Mina had two in his bazaar. My friend, who doesn't craft outside of guildleves, wanted these falchions, but didn't want to spend the money. They haggled using shards. My friend ended up paying 200k in shards for both of them. That's like a 50% discount, and the crafter doesn't mind at all. Shards are like food to these people. Those thousands of gil in shards you have is potential income.
3) Don't be a **** to crafters. You be a **** to them, they be a **** to you back. Be polite, wait until they finish their synth so they don't have to scroll up.
4) If your server is dying and you only see JP crafters, but you want to make an item-
Lets say you want to make a Heavy Iron Lance Head, but you don't speak a lick of Japanese.
1) Look up Heavy Iron Lance Head on ZAM.
2) Select Heavy Iron Lance Head
3) Switch the language to Japanese
4) Highlight where Heavy Iron Lance head WAS. That's the Japanese name for it ( ヘヴィランスヘッド（アイアン） )
5) Change it back to English.
Poof. Works with french and deutch too.
5) Create multiples. If you're going out of your way to make 1x bone hora, might as well make 4x bone horas. That way you're failproof (relatively), and you have extras for your durability.
And by the way, don't blame the crafter for failing, unless you see them sitting there TRYING to break your stuff. sh*t happens. Sometimes the planets are misaligned and it's the wrong daily element. Nobody knows about this sh*t yet.
By the way, this post isn't 3 days old. It's almost 24 hours old :)
Edited, Nov 23rd 2010 2:08am by Meowshi