Again we meet, Adventurer - take a seat and listen if you wish to know more about crafting. This path is long, but should you persevere you will be richly rewarded.
Crafting in Albion is a fantastic part of the game: you get to equip what you make, and by gathering your own materials to craft with you can offset the requirement for Silver that it would otherwise require. The most important thing to understand from the very start is that crafting is a very time- and resource-intensive process, but the long- term rewards are very much worth it, from both a self-sufficiency and a sales perspective.
So, let us examine how you begin on your path. Once you have completed the first part of the tutorial, you will unlock the Novice Adventurer Mastery group in the Destiny Board, which will, in turn, unlock the Trainee Craftsman Mastery group (to the right of the Novice Adventurer node). This node will allow you to craft Novice items at four different types of crafting stations: Mage's Tower, Warrior's Forge, Hunter's Lodge and Toolmaker.
It is a good idea at this point to gather materials in the starter town and craft 3-4 duplicate Novice versions of each item you wish to equip - for example, if you wish to play as a Mage, make several copies of Cloth Armor and a Fire Staff. It is worth noting that collecting the materials for this will also start moving you towards unlocking the Trainee Gatherer node on your Destiny Board! Once you have made the Novice items and gained Fame from doing so, it is time to use one of the game's greatest crafting station options: Study.
When you study an item you get a minimum of 200% of the crafting Fame of the item you are studying. When you add this to the 100% Fame you already received for crafting the item, the result is a huge bonus that will allow you to quickly unlock Journeyman-level crafting. The downside is that you destroy the item by studying it, but the rewards far outweigh the disadvantages for progression purposes. It is important to understand that each item you wish to study has to be studied at the correct crafting station, so a Broadsword is studied at a Warrior’s Forge, a Mercenary Jacket at a Hunter's Lodge, and so on.
Once you have unlocked the next crafting level for a given item you will no longer be able to study the tiers of equipment below it, so be careful as you cannot just make huge amounts of Novice gear and skill up all the way to Expert. Some clever maths will allow you to work out how many items you need to make and then study to get you to the next tier with a minimum of resources used. Planning ahead when crafting is vital!
You will now have reached Journeyman-level crafting for the equipment you wish to use. This will open up your Destiny Board and allow you to start to specialize in the items you wish to craft as you head towards Adept-level crafting.
Following on with the Mage example, we can see that the entire Destiny Board for a Mage begins at the Journeyman Mage’s Tower Crafter node. Thus, unlocking this node allows you to specialize in crafting many different items. Please note at this point if you are crafting for self-sufficiency you will need to ensure your fighting skill levels and crafting skill levels grow at relatively the same rate. If you neglect this, you may not be able to wear the equipment you have just made - or even worse, you may not be able to craft the necessary equipment for the combat tier you have just unlocked.
As you make more and more items, you will unlock new tiers of craftable equipment, each requiring a crafting station of at least that level to be able to craft the item. Here is the breakdown of what crafting level you need to reach to craft higher-tier items, T4 (Adept) is attained once you reach level 1/100 for a given item. The other tiers are detailed in the picture below.
Note that if you are able to wear Adept’s equipment, you will not be able to craft it in a starter town, as the crafting stations there only reach Journeyman level. If you reach Adept in a starter town, you will need to make a journey to the nearest large city. With this in mind, let us examine tiers and item power and what they mean for crafting. The picture below shows you the basic level of item power for each tier, excluding any quality, Specialization or enchantment bonuses.
Thus, when you craft a Journeyman’s item, it will have a base item power of 500. This is modified by quality and Specialization. Both are very important to a craftsman as they often dictate the price the finished item can be sold for, or what bonuses they add when used in combat. Let us look at quality bonuses first in the picture below.
As you can no doubt see, crafting higher-quality items is very important, as they have much higher item power than their standard-quality versions. Keep this in mind while we examine the bonuses from Mastery crafting level and Specialization. We will once again use the Fire Staff of our Mage as an example.
Here we have not yet crafted any Fire Staffs of Journeyman level or better, so our Mastery level is 0/100 and we are as yet unable to make Adept Fire Staffs. However, you can see that passive bonuses are very important, as they are per level and thus make a huge difference very quickly. Now let us examine the bonuses from Specialization if we craft Fire Staffs.
These are even bigger bonuses that we have to consider. So now we know that tier, quality and Specialization are all very important indeed. By progressing through the Destiny Board, you increase the Item Power (I for your crafted items. You gain an additional bonus in quality for each weapon of the same type - so in this case, Fire Staffs. Furthermore, you are rewarded with an additional quality bonus for your specific item for each Specialization level!
You should now understand how important Study, Mastery and Specialization are to crafting and their effects on item level. Now we need to look at how using enchanted materials from Adept level upwards affects an item's stats as well.
To craft with enchanted materials you enter the crafting menu as if you were crafting an item with normal materials. In the crafting box you will see three diamonds. Each of these relates to the enchantment level of materials you wish to craft with. The green diamond allows you to craft .1 (Uncommon, green icon frame), the blue diamond allows you to craft .2 (Rare, blue icon frame), and the purple diamond allows you to craft .3 (Exceptional, purple icon frame).
Simply select the level of enchantment by clicking the corresponding diamond, and if you have the correct materials in your backpack you will be able to craft the item. Bear in mind that if the item requires multiple material types, all of the materials must be enchanted and all must be of the same level! It is generally best to craft using Focus in a city whenever you use enchanted materials for the 45% material return bonus, as this will allow you to make more enchanted items.
The bonus of crafting with enchanted materials is that each enchantment level increases the item's IP. Each additional enchantment level increases the IP by 100 for regular items, by 75 for Artifacts, and by 50 for Hellgate Artifacts. The following table, based on Elder (T items, shows how enchantment level affects item power.
Speaking of Artifacts, it is important to know the different types of Artifact and what the terms actually mean - both in terms of item power level and where we can source the materials to make these pieces of sought-after equipment.
There are three type of Artifact materials:
You can craft all Artifacts at the Artifact Foundry, found in every major city. You can also use Runes to get a random Artifact piece, and with this Artifact you can make yourself an Artifact Weapon or Artifact Armor item. You can find Runes, Souls and Relics in various dungeons - the higher the tier of the dungeon, the higher the level of materials you'll find. You may even get an Artifact or Artifact piece straight away as a random drop!
Okay, back to crafting. To make crafting with enchanted materials even more appealing, enchanted items have an approximate tier bonus as detailed in the picture below. As you will appreciate, this is a huge factor when it comes to selling items, as enchanted items of high quality are sought after and command high prices at the Marketplace or in the /trade channel!
It is also incredibly important to understand that, when crafting high-level items, you will need to have a plan to source the materials. This can be done either by raising your gathering and refining levels so you can produce the materials yourself, or by having the ability to self-fund and purchase the required materials. If you are purchasing the materials yourself, it is a good idea to utilize buy orders on the Marketplace to get the materials as cheaply as possible, so that you can maximize your profit or study potential.
So how can you give yourself the best chance to make quality and/or enchanted items? Why, by using food buffs of course, specifically salads for crafting. Salads add a short-duration but high-bonus buff to your crafting skill. It is sensible to always use food buffs for crafting with enchanted materials from T4 Adept level (or from T5 Expert for non-enchanted crafting) if you intend to sell the items or wear them yourself - below these levels, it is unlikely you will see the benefit. Here are the details of the basic salads available for crafters to use.
Each of the above salads will give you a short-duration buff to crafting speed and quality. There are other salad recipes based on fishing that can also aid you in your crafting; the details of these can be found in the numerous fishing guides on the Forum.
Crafting is an exciting and highly rewarding part of Albion Online; hopefully this guide has given you the information needed to start crafting without making the mistakes some players make during the early game.