(1) To level crafting quickly and efficiently, should I always spend the gil on guild support?
No. No, no. NO.
Facility support (regardless of which "level" (common/guild/master)) does not function in FFXIV the way it did in FFXI. Certain recipes in FFXIV have recommended facility support. It will tell you as much on the same little window that tells you the shard cost and any recommended training for the recipe. Get in the habit of paying close attention to this with every recipe. If you're getting a message in your chat log just before you start synthesis saying "This recipe requires more advanced facilities" (or something very close to that...they just changed the wording) then that means you don't have the appropriate level of facility support. And not having it applies a penalty
to your success rate and an increase to the maximum potential durability loss from a failed action.
That's what facility support does...it removes that penalty. It does not provide you with a bonus, and don't believe anyone who tells you that it does unless they can point you in the direction of a spreadsheet compiling the outcomes of thousands of synths. They can't. They won't. The best they'll be able to tell you is, "it seems to help for me."
No, it seems to cost you gil you don't need to be spending. Doesn't matter how long it lasts now. Doesn't matter how cheap it is compared to how much gil you can earn. It's a waste if the recipe doesn't call for it. Never take the advice of someone who advocates wastefulness "just because."
(2) To level crafting quickly and efficiently, should I focus on leves (across multiple cities) or straight up grinding?
Never pass up a tasty leve. Ever. Not only is it "free" SP (you don't have to provide mats or shards), it's free SP with a bonus
meaning that if you had done that recipe with your own shards and mats and earned 200 SP, the leve will award you 300. It's delicious. Also, you're going to want guild marks, and the only way to get those is from local leves. There's no getting around it. Don't pass on the leves. There's no good reason not to do them.
(3) With regards to crafting leves, I know that you should always use ALL of the free mats provided, but I've heard that some leves require you to run to camps to deliver crafted goods. Is traveling to the satellite camps a waste of time for SP returns?
Ummm...okay. Let's just back up a second here. You're not going to like crafting if your focus is on best best best min-max to the second ultimate returns....just thinking about it makes me want to swear at you. A lot. So just don't do it. Bottom line is that you're going to need guild marks and you're not going to get enough if all you do is convenient nearby leves that you don't have to...just do the leves. Period.
(4) To level crafting quickly and efficiently (i.e. I don't care about HQ's), is control my most important stat in crafting gear? Do I need to worry about crafting gear prior to Rank 10?
Don't worry about it. Rank 1-10 is a one hour process now. Get what you get. If you get some crafting gear, use it. Beyond rank 20, make an effort to get it and keep it repaired and relevant to your rank.
Cross-class dependence / sub-jobs
(5) Generally speaking, if I just want to level GLD, WVR, and CRP so I can repair my stuff, do I need to level other crafting subs to help my leveling efforts? Is it going to be a PITA to level just those three (3) DoH without other subs leveled?
Again, 1-10 for any crafting class after the November patch is a very fast process. Just do it and get it done.
(6) How important is it to level ALC? Sorry to post here, but the ALC forums aren't very active here at ZAM. I know that ALC can break clusters --> crystals --> shards, and I know that crafter's need shards, but I've heard that you need be a pretty high level ALC to reliably break crystals.
I've been breaking crystals -> shards reliably since about rank 14 alchemist. You need to be high rank alchemist to do clusters -> crystals, but that's secondary. Also with the most recent patch, alchemists can break fish into crystals/shards and it's very, very nice. Do what you want to do, but just keep in mind that beyond a certain rank any DoH class is going to call upon you to invest thousands of your own crystals to move from one rank to the next unless you go the slow route and do it all by leves. How you get your crystals/shards is up to you, but there's no quick and easy way to do it.
(7) I don't want to level leatherworking either, but it looks like a lot of the crafting gear is leather, and I know that certain gear like canvas stuff requires weaver and leather to make and or repair.
Nobody can advise you on what you will or won't like to do. If I had my druthers I'd have every DoH class to 50 just so I never had to worry about it. Do what you feel is appropriate for your circumstances. Nobody can tell you what that might be for you. Edited, Dec 20th 2010 10:14am by Aurelius