Tradeskilling, or crafting, lets players create new equipment and furniture using resources found in the game world. You can choose to develop a tradeskill as a side activity to your adventuring career, or you can focus your character exclusively on tradeskill progression. EQ2 was designed to make the tradeskill career interesting and rewarding in its own right. In this guide, we'll introduce you to the tradeskill classes and the mechanics of crafting items.
How it Works
Your character actually has two classes: an Adventure class and a Tradeskill class. Your Tradeskill class has its own experience bar, and earns its own levels. You can see these in your Character window. You even have a separate section in your Knowledge Book for Tradeskill abilities.
Initially, you are a generic Artisan. If you choose to develop your tradeskill, then you'll choose a Tradeskill Class later, as you rise in levels.
The general process of creating an item looks like this:
- Scribe the recipe in your Recipe Book.
- Get the materials that are specified in the recipe.
- Find a crafting station for this tradeskill.
- Start the crafting process.
- Use your crafting skills to create the item.
We'll discuss these steps in a bit more detail. Then afterward, we'll take a survey of the tradeskill classes that you can choose from.
Your Recipe Book
- Main Article: List of Recipes
Press N to open your Recipe Book, or choose "Recipes" from the EQII Menu. Your Recipe Book will also open whenever you click on a crafting station. Here you have a list of all recipes that you have scribed.
- Note: N is the default keymapping for the recipe book, in can be changed under options
If you're a new Artisan, then the list of recipes may be short. But after a few levels, the list of recipes will get very long. A filter helps you to narrow down the list to the types of recipes that you're interested in, or if you know the name of the item you want to create, then you can find a recipe by its name. If you have a crafting station targeted, then the list is also filtered to match the crafting station.
When you click on a recipe in the Recipe Book, a tooltip popup shows you the ingredients that are required, and whether you currently possess those ingredients in your inventory. If you don't have an ingredient, then it's written in red. The type of crafting station is also listed; you'll need to find one of these crafting stations before you can use this recipe.
Learning New Recipes
To add a recipe to your book, you obtain the recipe on a scroll, right-click it and choose "Scribe". This is the same process that's used to learn a new spell or combat art.
There are two "tiers" of recipes to be found in EQ2:
- Essential Recipes: these are sold by Crafting Trainer NPCs around Norrath. Each time you gain a level in your tradeskill, you can learn a new book of essential recipes for that level. These recipes will create Handcrafted items.
- Advanced Recipes: these are found by other means, usually in treasure chests dropped by monsters, or occasionally from certain quests. The only exception is the first tier (levels 2 through 9), which are sold by Crafting Trainer NPCs. These recipes will create Mastercrafted items.
Material and Equipment
Crafters need raw materials in order to make their goods. The recipe in your Recipe Book will tell you what materials you need when you examine it. There are two types of materials that you'll need:
- Fuel and basic materials: purchased from NPC merchants. These are readily available next to almost all crafting stations.
- Raw materials: harvested from out in the world. You can buy raw materials that other players collect, through the Broker, or you can go out and harvest the raw materials yourself.
As you gain each new tier of tradeskill level, your raw materials will come from the next tier of outdoor zone, which means that it takes better harvesting skills to harvest them, and the harvesting will take place in more dangerous zones. (See the guide to Tiers.) There are three types of raw materials to be found out in the world, that you can use in your recipes:
- Common materials: these items are used in Essential recipes, and will create Handcrafted items.
- Uncommon materials: these items are used to create Imbued items (whether handcrafted or mastercrafted).
- Rare materials: these items are used in Advanced recipes, and will create Mastercrafted items.
Harvesting tools exist that can help in the tedious task of harvesting. The common tools, made by woodworkers, reduce the time to complete a harvesting attempt. The tinkered tools also provide a boost to your harvesting skill, increasing the chance for success and the chance to find rare materials.
Those taking up a trade typically start the Gathering Obsession a quest series in the Isle of Mara as soon as they can, as it rewards gear and a special "pack pony" (an ability) that can be "sent" to automatically gather materials needed to level their tradeskill. You will get an in-game mail from Qho requesting your help as soon as you complete the basic gathering quest in the starter areas (Neriak, Gorowyn, New Halas, Kelethin).
Finding a Crafting Station
- Main Article: Tradeskill Stations
Crafting stations provide artisans with locations at which to make their wares. In order to work on your tradeskill, you must stand near one of these crafting stations. You don't have to target the crafting station, but if you click on it, your Recipe Book will open automatically. Each type of artisan works at a different type of crafting station (there are seven types in all).
You'll find crafting stations scattered around all of the cities and various villages in Norrath. In the old cities, crafting stations can also be found in traditional tradeskill instances. Some special crafting stations are even found in the more dangerous adventuring locations, where you may need the assistance of adventurers to reach and use it. If you belong to a higher-level guild, you may even be able to buy crafting stations for your own house.
If you become a regular crafter, finding a convenient crafting spot is important. Places such as certain high level guild halls, North Qeynos, West Freeport, the Docks Marketplace area in Neriak, etc. have crafting stations, fuel merchants, trainers, nearby bank tellers you can reach without zoning and perhaps even a Broker, making them desirable places to craft in.
The Crafting Process
To help you understand the process, look at the image of the tradeskill window on this page.
While in-game, you will select a recipe in your Recipe Book and press "Create". If you have all of the necessary ingredients, then you are taken to a summary page, listing the ingredients that will be consumed. When you press the "Begin" button and the crafting process begins and the crafting window will look like the image shown here.
Now note the two bars at the top of the image of the tradeskill window: a blue progress bar, and a green durability bar. Below the top blue and green bars, note the four phases of the process represented by identical green and blue bars.
You will primarily focus on the two bars at the top, but as you craft, each set of lower bars can be manipulated to maintain a balance between the green and blue bars in the lower part of the window. By attaining success in each phase, you will make an item.
In short, your goal is to make the blue bar fill up faster than the green bar shrinks.
- If the blue bar at the top fills up, then you've successfully created the item.
- If the green bar shrinks below a certain level, then the quality of the item drops and you may not make the item.
- If you fail to create an item all you loose is time. Any rare materials and fuels are returned to you and you'll see the message that you "created [the name of the fuel]" you are using.
- Attaining Success
When you're new to tradeskilling, the act of making an item may seem hard. This is not unlike being a new adventurer in low quality gear with the most basic weapon and only the lowest possible skills. The more you craft though, the easier it gets, as each success adds to your skill in the trade, in the same way you gain skill increases while killing monsters.
Now look at the the image of the tradeskill window and note the very bottom; there you can see 6 icons that represent each action you can choose (kind of like a spell or combat art). The three actions on the left will effect the durability of the item in some manner. The three actions on the right will effect the progress.
To see exactly how this works while in-game, start crafting an item and place your mouse over each one of the 6 actions.
- You can note that some actions will increase the durability at the sacrifice of progress, while others have the opposite effect.
- Two of the six will also affect the overall chance of success.
- Only one action grants an increase in durability and one grants an increase in progress with no loss to the other and without decreasing the chance of success. Because nothing is sacrificed by using either of them, these two abilities can be thought of as "neutral".
While it would seem you want to use only these two "neutral" abilities, that is not the case.
You can only use the "neutral" abilities periodically and at a higher stamina cost and (due to factors described in the coming section) you will also begin to learn to use all 6 abilities in a manner that balances durability and progress for success.
If the green bar for durability drops, you will use the 3 abilities that help you recover durability. If your durability is stable or increasing, you will use the 3 abilities that speed up the progress. Other factors you will need to watch out for are covered in the next section below.
- Main Article: Tradeskill Events
Every few seconds during the crafting process, an event occurs. This is not too different from combat. These events can lower your durability, or slow your progress. Occasionally you'll even get a beneficial event. If left unchecked, these events might cause you to fail to create the item. You'll use your Crafting Skills to respond to the events.
Each time an event occurs, its name and icon are shown in the bottom left of the crafting window. Click your crafting skill that has the same icon, within four seconds, to respond to the event and reduce its negative effects.
As your experience grows, you will come to realize that crafting events are an asset for the crafter - when intelligently countered, these events become an opportunity to exert greater control over both the progress and durability bar. Countering events also result in more opportunities to use your reaction skills, resulting in faster gains in your character's crafting skills.
The use of crafting abilities is an important aspect of efficient crafting. There are two purposes of crafting abilities:
- Countering crafting events
- Improving the durability or progress gained during a round
Your most powerful abilities are located at the bottom of the crafting window, but can also be found in your Knowledge Book. The abilities can be activated with either your mouse or keyboard numbers 1-6. Within the six abilities, there are two sets, each of which covers three different types of reactions to crafting events. The first set improves durability, and the second set improves progress. Abilities of the same reaction type are on the same cooldown timer.
Multiple abilities can be used each round, for cumulative effects, but when there is an event to counter, the first ability you use during the round must be the appropriate reaction, or you will fail to counter the event. If you aren't comfortable using multiple abilities in a round, try using only one, or even none (except to counter events) until you get the hang of it. Be cautious when using abilities near the end of a crafting round because you may end up using one at the beginning of a new round, which could cause you to suffer an event.
- Main Article: Tradeskilling
The tradeskill classes are organized in a hierarchical fashion. You begin as a generic Artisan, and then specialize at level 10 and again at level 20.
- Artisan: At levels 2-9 you are a generic Artisan, and can try all of the tradeskills.
- Class: At level 9 you must see a Crafting Trainer and choose one of three classes: Craftsman, Outfitter, or Scholar. You'll belong to your chosen class from levels 10-19.
- Subclass: At level 19 you must choose one of three subclasses. You will belong to your chosen subclass for the rest of your tradeskilling career.
- Craftsmen must choose between Provisioner, Woodworker, and Carpenter.
- Outfitters must choose between Armorer, Tailor, and Weaponsmith.
- Scholars must choose between Alchemist, Jeweler, and Sage.
- Note: You need to speak with Crafting Trainer that sells the tradeskill books to select your class and subclass. Such NPCs are normally located just outside of any village crafting zone.
Changing Your Mind
You can respecialize your tradeskill whenever you choose - but be warned! Changing your mind means you are converted back into a level 9 Artisan. You lose all of your tradeskill experience and recipes beyond level 9, and must earn all of those levels and recipes from scratch. However, you do not lose any special recipes that you currently have. Ex: Frostfell, Nights of the Dead, Guide Quest, etc etc.
- To respecialize your tradeskill, visit a Tradeskill Career Counselor NPC in any of the cities.
In addition to your Tradeskill Class, you can choose to adopt one (or both after LU55) of the following Secondary Tradeskills:
- Tinkerer: make a wide variety of gadgets, that cast useful spells, from common harvested items.
- Adorner: Create Adornments with items created by Transmuters.
Secondary tradeskill classes are actually skill-based:
- Your secondary tradeskill is described by a skill number, rather than a level. For example your tinkering skill may be 243/600.
- Your secondary tradeskill is listed in the Skills -> Tradeskills tab of your Character window.
- Your secondary tradeskill is limited to 5 times your highest level - either your Adventure level or your Tradeskill level.
Your Tradeskill Career
- Main Article: Tradeskill Timeline
Much of your advancement will come from creating items and gaining tradeskill experience in doing so. You can advance even faster and get rewards at the same time, by doing tradeskill quests and tradeskill writs.
- Main Article: Crafting Tutorial
EQ2 starts your crafting career with the most basic skill of all: harvesting materials from the outdoors. When your character firsts enters the world, nearby you'll see an NPC who offers a tutorial quest named Tutorial: Learning to Harvest. This quest can lead you to the rest of the crafting tutorial, or you can skip it and proceed directly to your home city to find a Crafting Trainer.
You begin your tradeskill by speaking to a Crafting Trainer. You'll find one of these in each of the starting cities, in the crafting district. The tutorial quests give the artisan experience with the various crafting professions, the first 7 recipe books, and a crafting tunic with bonuses. When done, you'll be ready to talk to a Crafting Trainer to choose a crafting class. Assuming no failures, you will need to harvest (or buy) 1 jum jum, 5 rawhide leather, 3 malachite, 5 raw elm, 7 tin clusters, 6 raw root, 5 lead clusters, and 2 leaded loam.
For artisan levels 10 through 19, there are new tradeskill quests. There is a questline in New Halas, for example, that gives a rare for each quest completed and at the end you can buy all the level 10-19 advanced books for a few silver each. You can also gain experience by crafting items (especially newly discovered recipes in your recipe books available from the NPC outside the crafting zone which can be purchased up to 9 levels in advance). Upon reaching Artisan level 19, you will once again need to make a choice on your tradeskilling career. You will gain level 20 by talking to a Crafting Trainer and choosing your Artisan subclass.
- Main Article: Tradeskilling Factions
Starting at level 20, you may perform repeatable City Tradeskill Tasks Quests to earn tradeskill experience, faction with your tradeskill society, Status points, and money.
Tradeskilling factions are the "5th faction" in each city, representing the hardworking tradeskilling artisans. You improve your standing with these factions each time you complete a Tradeskill Writ.
At each crafting area, a merchant sells standard fuels and the typical faction-based items, such as exclusive house items, titles, and fluff armor. To buy the faction items, you must reach certain tiers of faction with that group (usually at multiples of 10k. i.e., 10k 20k 30k) by doing Tradeskill Writs. The faction merchants also sell crafting stations for your house, but substantial faction is required: 10k for the "Simple" stations (crude craft only, mostly for decoration only) or 30k faction for the "Elaborate" stations (up to pristine).
Work Orders and Rush Orders
- Main Article: Tradeskill Writs
Tradeskill Writs are a special type of tradeskill based quests that can be taken in order to earn coin, tradeskill experience, Status, and Faction. These are the bread-and-butter quests for advancing your tradeskill. Writs come in 2 types:
- Work Orders: these are untimed quests. You cannot obtain them until you're skilled at your main tradeskill class, at level 15.
- Rush Orders: these are timed quests. They require half as many completed items as Work Orders, and reward more faction and status. You cannot begin them until level 20.
In each tradeskilling area you'll find two Foremen that offer writs. All work orders come from one foreman, and rush orders from the other. After talking with the foreman and accepting the quest, the writ does not begin until you "pick up" your invoice. There is a Work Orders Desk near the foremen that is clickable. Clicking the desk will locate your invoice and "begin" the writ. If it is a Rush Order, the timer starts NOW!
While you create your items, they are collected automatically by the shop steward's staff and do not go into your inventory. As each line item of the invoice is completed, the shop steward will check your work for quality and reimburse you for your fuel. When you complete the entire invoice, return to the foreman that gave you the job for a small cut of the sale price of the goods, and the warm feeling that comes from a job well done (the promised coin reward and some faction).
Grandmaster Service Quests
- Main Article: Craftsman Timeline
At certain levels, you can do special tradeskill quests for the Grandmaster in your home city. These quests earn you tradeskill experience and might earn you a book of advanced recipes.
A Service Quest is available at each tier of levels from the 20's through the 60's. These quests require you to go out and harvest raw materials and/or find certain NPCs, and then craft a few items. As a reward, you get a book of advanced recipes for your current tier, and in some cases, a special cloak that is specific to your tradeskill class.
It is recommended that you do these quests, especialy since the introduction of the special cloaks. These items will facilitate the rest of your crafting career.
Higher Level Quests
- Main Article: Tradeskill Timeline
Here are some examples of rewarding quests to look forward to in the upper levels of your tradeskill:
- At level 32, you can craft to get a leaper mount.
- At levels 45-50, visit Lavastorm to find a line of tradeskill quests from the inhabitants there.
- At level 50, you can do a quest on the Isle of Mara, which rewards you with a trophy item for your tradeskill class and a very large bag.
- At levels 50-80, complete the Ship Out quest in the Moors of Ykesha to open up a large set of faction quests on the Isle of Mara, with both solo and group tradeskill missions. They are not part of the Fallen Dynasty Timeline but progress from the Moors to a more neutral area that can be accessed by characters of all levels, safely.
- At levels 70-75, quest lines are available in Kunark, from each of the three major factions where crafting can be performed: Riliss, Bathezid's Watch, and Danak Shipyards. Getting these factions high enough enables you to buy advanced recipes unique to each faction.
- At level 80, you can undertake the Artisan Epic Timeline, which gives two valuable rewards: the Earring of the Solstice, which enables you to see and collect a special set of collection quests, and a prestigious cloak with a special graphic specific to your tradeskill class.
- At levels 80-90, a large line of quests is available in Odus; see the Sentinel's Fate Crafting Timeline. The quest line culminates in a Signature Quest for tradeskillers.
- At level 90, the Destiny of Velious Crafting Timeline becomes available, granting you a flying mount and the Othmir Shell Armor, and ends with the first and only Tradeskill Heritage Quest (rewarding the Blessed Coldain Prayer Shawl).
- At 95, you can complete a quest series to get your basic and advanced recipes and The Hand of the Maker (which offers bonuses).
- See the Tradeskill Timeline for a complete list, organized by level and game content expansions.
Tradeskill Alternate Advancement
Much like adventuring which has Alternate Advancement points that allow you to choose some special skills, you will also start to gain a special Tradeskill Alternate Advancement points as you level. These points can give you a wide range of bonuses to related to crafting, special skills like Refining, and increases to your harvesting skills, and many other things.
Commissioned Work for Other Players
- Main Article: Commission System
The Commission System allows you to offer your tradeskill expertise to another player, and optionally to be paid for it. The buyer provides the materials, and watches your progress in a simplified version of the Item Creation screen. When the job is complete, the buyer receives the resulting items automatically.
To begin a commission job, both the crafter and the customer must stand near the crafting station to be used. The crafter opens their recipe book, finds the recipe, targets the customer, and then begins to craft like normal. The crafter and the customer are each presented with a different screen, with the crafter waiting on the customer to proceed. At this point, the customer can add whatever they want to in the window, similar to a normal trade. Much like a trade, both parties must agree on the terms to continue.
Once both people have agreed to the terms, the tradeskill window continues to operate as normal and the commission window stays open to allow the customer to see the overall progress of the crafting process as it occurs. Once the crafting process is complete, the finished product(s) will go into the customer's inventory and the fee will go into the crafter's coin purse.
Looking for Work
You can advertise to other players that you are available to do crafting work. The "Looking for Work" (LFW) flag is similar to the "Looking for Group" flag that adventurers use to find each other. Other players can search for crafters who are Looking for Work. If you want to sell your skills, try typing "/lfw on" and see if business comes your way.
- Main Article: Harvesting
If you're a crafter low on funds, or if you just prefer the feeling of being fully self-sufficient, harvesting your own materials is a good way to go. Maximize your skill level, seek out the less-traveled spots, get harvesting tools to make the task more efficient, and put on some good music. Before you know it, you'll have stacks of materials ready to use, and a lot of gold or platinum still in the bank that you can spend on something else.
And all that stuff you harvested but don't need? Sell it! Not only do you save money, you can get paid back for the time you spent digging in the dirt!
- Main Article: Tiers
Harvesting nodes vary by tier, requiring a higher minimum skill to harvest rare materials in each successive tier. If your skill is in the right range for a zone, you are more likely to harvest a rare material. To view the required minimum skill for a particular node by right-clicking the node and selecting 'Examine'. Or, just try to harvest the node; if you're below the minimum required skill, you'll get a helpful message that lists your skill and the minimum requirement.
Harvesting skills have a chance to improve with each harvest attempt. Checking your skill levels in the "Character" window of your user interface is a quick way to get a complete overview of your skill progress.
Certain quests contain harvesting tasks. If you harvest here and there, you'll keep your skills rising so when it's time to get resources in a quest, you won't have hours of make-up chopping and fishing to do.
- Main Article: Harvesting Tools
Many harvesting tools are available to reduce harvest time by a varying amount and/or provide a bonus to harvesting skills. They are made by woodworkers or tinkerers. These tools reduce the time taken to complete a harvesting attempt. The tinkered items also provide a boost to your harvesting skill, increasing the chance for success and the chance to find rare items.
Gathering Quest Series
Most players who take up a tradeskill also complete a long signature quest series commonly known as the Gathering Obsession Timeline.
In doing the series, you will develop a love-hate relationship with the main NPC, get to read some really funny quest text, find yourself rewarded with both coin and (without spoilers) a way to gather more materials with less effort on your part.
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