Crafting is in a bad state nowadays. There will be an update in a few months, but it won't necessarily change much.
You can start crafting at level 20. You get a quest to obtain your workshop, from Sergent Knox at Protector’s Enclave. The retainer you pick at the beginning will stay with you but will not have any impact on your crafting.
Here are the main items you can craft with every profession :
- Alchemy : healing and buff potions, also supplements for crafting (useful for mastercraft).
- Armorsmithing : armors for Barbarians, Clerics, Fighters, and Paladins, and shields for Paladins and Figthers.
- Artificing : weapons for Clerics, Rangers, Warlocks, and Wizards.
- Blacksmithing : weapons for Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, and Rogues, and most of the tools for other professions.
- Jewelcrafting : rings, amulets, and gemstones (for refinement points).
- Leatherworking : armors for Rangers, Rogues, and Warlocks.
- Tailoring : armors for Wizards, and belts.
Eventually, you can level up every single profession if you feel like it. And leveling many of them will actually be quite useful as most of the high level items require materials crafted with other professions.
There are two important things you should look at when crafting items : Proficiency and Focus. Proficiency is the first gauge, which gives you the probability of you succeeding on making an item. Focus is the second gauge, which gives you the probability of your item being +1 (of better quality, with better stats).
A couple times a day, you will receive artisan applications. You can also use Zen to receive a new random application.
There are many very good common artisans, many very good rare artisans and many very good epic artisans, but there are also bad ones in every quality. Quality isn’t really a good appreciation of how good an artisan is (just like item level for players…).
The best artisans are those with the highest commission multiplier reduction (usually -75%, -50% in artificing) when making armor reinforcement kits. These require Astral Diamonds to craft, and the cost is reduced with proper artisans.
When leveling your professions, or when making gold (look below), the best artisans are the ones with miracle worker (when using morale) and the highest speed multipler (when you’re not in the workshop). It’s of course better for your finances if they do not have a big commission multiplier.
The best artisans for crafting high end items (especially Masterwork) are the ones with the highest Dab Hand (when making materials) or Recycle (when making finished products). That said, Proficiency and Focus matter too. The goal is to maximize your chances to make an item (+1 if necessary), and to avoid losing materials which may be very expensive.
The complete list of artisans can be found here. Stats are for level 70 artisans, level 80 have 50 more points in their stats.
You can get a free set of beginner tools for every profession in a box behind the artisan’s counter. Higher level tools are made with different professions. You need a certain level in your profession to be able to use higher level tools. No reason to buy the best tools if you can't use them.
- Alchemy requires an Alembic, which are made by Armorers.
- Armorsmithing requires a Raising Hammer, which are made by Blacksmiths.
- Artificing requires a Picatrix, which are made by Artificers (how convenient !).
- Blacksmithing requires a Cross-pein Hammer, which are made by Blacksmith (cool too !).
- Jewelcrafting requires a File, which are made by Blacksmiths.
- Leatherworking requires a Round Knife, which are made by Blacksmiths.
- Tailoring requires a Needle, which are made by Jewelcrafters.
You also need different tools to gather different items with adventurers.
- Buckets and Crossbows are made by Artificers.
- Hatchets and Scythes are made by Blacksmiths.
- Nets are made by Tailors.
Proper tools make things way easier. The best tools you can craft are Cobalt+1 tools which give your artisans a 575 proficiency and focus bonus. These require your profession to be at level 80 for your artisans to use them.
There are also Legendary tools (which are random rewards from lootboxes). These only give a 550 proficiency and focus bonus to your artisans, but they also provide a +10% recycle effect, which means that you can avoid losing your materials up to 35% of the time when you fail making an item with an artisan who already provides 25% recycle. That is very useful when crafting Masterwork items for which you do not have a 100% chance of success. You need your profession to be at level 70 to be able to use a legendary tool.
But the very best tool is the Forgehammer of Gond. It is an artefact which lets you craft any item in the game and provides a bonus of 600 proficiency and focus to your artisans. It is better than a legendary tool if your proficiency is above 75% (that is if you use Wintergreen Balm +1 supplements to craft Masterwork items).
In order to upgrade the workshop, you need to complete a series of quests. Upgrading your workshop will let you recruit more artisans, better artisans, and will make the delivery box bigger.
- Workshop 1 : 12 slots in the delivery box, up to 8 artisans.
- Workshop 2 : 18 slots in the delivery box, up to 14 artisans.
- Workshop 3 : 24 slots in the delivery box, up to 20 artisans, you can also recruit rare artisans (regularly, not every day).
- Workshop 4 : 30 slots in the delivery box, up to 26 artisans, you can also recruit epic artisans (once in a while).
Upgrading your workshop is not a necessity but it makes things practical, especially if you are doing many crafts at the same time, or if you are looking for specific rare or epic artisans.
To upgrade your workshop to rank 3, you need 500k commission points. The easiest way is to craft Beeswax (Alchemy level 44) and give them to Lady Begum when she accepts them (it changes every day). You need 2223 Beeswax (less if you make +1’s). It takes about a month or two. I think it’s a very good investment if you are serious about crafting.
To upgrade your workshop to rank 4, you need 5M commission points. And the easiest commissions you could fill for level 3 are no more accessible. The easiest way is now to craft Myrrh (Alchemy level 68). You need 6667 Myrrh (less if you make +1’s). It takes about 6 months. Epic artisans are not a lot better than rare ones (many common or rare artisans are better in many circumstances), so it’s only a good investment if you are going for Masterwork, or if you have nothing else to do with your artisans.
You can litteraly craft money. You do not need money for many things but if you want to craft higher level items, you’ll need tons of gold. Removing enchantments can also cost quite a lot of gold… You can also sell it at the auction house !
The method is simple : level up Leatherworking to 10+, buy Leather (55 copper each), Cotton Boll (14 copper each) and Cotton Yarn (55 copper each) from the profession vendor. Craft Leather Halfboots (1.26 silver commission cost, reduced to 32 copper with a -75% commission multiplier artisan) and sell them (34.18 silver each, +1s or not, same price) for a minimum profit of 31.68 silver each. With a Miracle Worker artisan (Jaqueyn Locel), you can craft 100 of them with morale every day, and with a -75% commission multiplier artisan (Sundien Nodariel) you can fill your box when you're away, and that’s a total of 118 Leather Boots you can get (with Workshop 2) within 5 minutes. That's a total of 37.55 gold you can make by just connecting and selling your boots every day. And that’s per character !
At the current price of gold bars in the auction house (gold bars can be bought and sold to and from vendors at the same price, so they are an easy way to sell gold at the auction house). which is about 210 AD each on PS4 at the moment I’m writing this, that’s about 8k AD you can make this way, daily, per character. It takes less than 5 minutes per character, worth it !
Make sure you use a miracle worker artisan (like Jaqueyn Locel) when using morale, and a -75% commission multiplier artisan (like Sundien Nodariel) when leaving the workshop, to maximize your profits !
You can craft kits to improve your gear. These kits either give up to 880 in one stat, 3520 HP or 2% stamina regeneration. They can either be put on your armor pieces (head, torso, arms, feet) or on your rings and artefacts (rings, neck, waist). The best kits require your profession to be at level 70. Crafting a kit costs 125k AD (which can be reduces to 31250 with a -75% commission multiplier artisan). If you do not have the proper artisan and tool to guarantee a +1 at minimum AD costs, it’s better to buy them directly from the auction house (a Cobalt tool with a -75% commission multiplier artisan is enough).
Armor kits (head, torso, arms, feet) :
- Defense and HP, from Armorsmithing
- Accuracy, from Artificing
- Power, from Blacksmithing
- Critical Strike and Deflection, from Leatherworking
- Armor Penetration and Critical Avoidance, from Tailoring
Ring and Artefact kits (rings, neck, waist) :
- Awareness, Combat Advantage, and Stamina Regeneration, from Jewelcrafting
Masterwork is very very expensive. You will spend millions of AD before reaching Masterwork 5 in any profession (probably around 5 or 6 million, if not more). Currently, you can still only craft level 70 items with Masterwork… and there’s absolutely nothing of interest. All the level 80 crafts are better.
Currently, Masterwork is a gamble (hoping for Masterwork 6 in the future), or an activity for the completionnists. It takes years to reach the top.
If you still feel like doing it (don’t), you will need to farm stronghold encounters every day. Wait for Guild Mark x2 events to exchange Influence with Guild Marks, and 20% Guild Marks sales to buy explorer charts, in order to get materials for Masterwork (which will take hours to gather in their respective areas). You will need tons of materials. And you will lose plenty due to the fact you never have a 100% chance to succeed.
There is a series of quests you need to complete before unlocking Masterwork 1 to 5. You start with the Master of Coins at the Stronghold (you need a guild at a high enough level, and a profession at level 70 or more). Then, you complete quests from the Artisan to unlock Masterwork 1 and 2. You need to buy the recipes for Masterwork 3 from the Artisan (it requires regular items, not +1's). The next step is to go to Chult, to get the Masterwork 4 and 5 recipes.
There is one little trick you need to know : you can convert any +1 item in your profession tab to a regular item. It converts the whole stack. So, make sure to split them if you don’t want to convert everything. Many times, you will be asked regular items and not +1's.
Make sure to craft tons of Wintergreen Balm +1 to reduce the chances of failing a craft. Materials are too expensive to waste them.
You will eventually need all crafts at Masterwork 1 (or more), to be able to make Masterwork 3 or 4 items. I advise unlocking Masterwork 1 on many characters to be able to use more morale on early Masterwork materials. The quest for Masterwork 5, which requires filling commissions in Chult (which are very expensive), enables you to unlock all of the Masterwork 5 recipes (as long as you complete the Masterwork 4 quests for each profession and don’t spend your commission points in between). This is why it’s not a good idea to have different characters specialise in different professions for Masterwork. If you do so, you will have to fill Chult commissions for all of your characters instead of just one. Of course, that means you need at least one good artisan for each profession on your main character. But if you have your workshop at rank 4, you can get epic artisans in any profession and you should be able to recruit enough artisans for your needs.
In the end, you’ll be able to craft items that were best in slot in mod 15 and are useless since mod 16… Mod 19 is there and it won’t change anything (though it’s been confirmed that new Masterwork recipes are coming in the future, and they should come during mod 20 if all goes according to the roadmap). If you start now, you may reach Masterwork 5 by the time mod 21 is out. Things may change by then…