What is crafting?
Crafting is the general term to describe the transformation process of turning raw materials into items that can be used by players. The types of items that can be crafted are vast and there are over 1,000+ different recipes currently in the game. Weapons, armor, potions, food, and house decorations are among the most common types of finished goods that are crafted.
The crafting system is broken down into three stages each with their own skills: Gathering, Refining, and Production.
- Gathering skills (e.g. Mining) involve harvesting raw resources from the environment like metal, stone, animal hides, plants, and much more.
- Refining skills (e.g. Smelting) take the raw resources and turn them into refined materials that can be used to make items. Additionally, these skills can yield some basic finished goods.
- Production skills (e.g. Blacksmithing) use refined materials to create components and assemble the final product.
Why is crafting important?
In Shroud of the Avatar, crafting is at the heart of the game and its economy. This central role for the crafting system encourages a strong interdependence between different players to buy, sell, and trade raw materials and finished goods. As an example, crafters create weapons and armor that are to be used by adventurers to battle enemies out in the world. In turn, adventurers trade rare materials they find and provide protection to crafters in dangerous areas where valuable resources can be found.
The ultimate vision for the crafting system is to have every item in the game be able to be crafted by players--or at least one version of each item.
How can I be crafter?
Every Avatar can be both an adventurer and a crafter--though some people may choose to only pursue one path. At the most basic, being a crafter simply means that you focus time and effort at increasing your skill levels in the crafting skills. There is no limitation to how many of the individual skills or sub-skills that you can pursue. With enough time and effort, you can master them all.
You can find all of the available crafting skills under your Skills menu (hotkey K) and click the Crafting tab at the top left. Each of the primary crafting skills can be found on the left hand side and are grouped according to where they fall in the Gathering -> Refining -> Production process. Clicking on any one of these primary skills will show you the tree of sub-skills on the right.
As long as the little arrow next to the skill is green and pointing up, you will increase your skill level when you use the skill--more on this below.
How do I craft?
In order to craft you will need four types of things: recipe, ingredients, crafting tools, and a crafting station.
- Recipes are instructions that tell you what ingredients are required to craft a specific item and can be acquired in a variety of ways. Some recipes are purchased from merchants in towns, some are found in supply bundles while adventuring, some can be taught to you by other players, and some can even be discovered if you know the right combination of materials. Once you learn a recipe, it will be permanently added to your recipe book for future use.
- Ingredients are the materials, supplies, and components needed to create the item. Most basic materials are harvested from the world through Gathering skills and are transformed into refined materials and components. Rare materials are collected from difficult enemies while adventuring or salvaged from items found as loot on those enemies. Supplies are ingredients and secondary tools that can only be purchased from crafting merchants in towns.
- Crafting Tools are specialized tools for each skill needed to craft items
- Crafting Stations are specialized workbenches for each skill and is what you will use to craft the item
To begin crafting, you will need to locate the crafting station for the specific item you wish to create. Crafting stations can be found in almost every town and are often centralized around the town center or in a crafting pavilion located nearby. Players can purchase crafting stations from Housing Decoration Merchants to place in their home and many players who have crafting stations make them available to other players to use.
Many players share access to their special crafting stations (expert, benefactor, or founder) that grant a +5 skill bonus when used. These stations can be found in and around player owned homes.
Once you've located the recipe from the list on the left-hand side, if all of the ingredients have white text, it means you have everything you need to proceed. Either double click the recipe or drag the exact amount of materials from your inventory into the crafting inventory window (top box on the right). When all the appropriate ingredients are in the crafting inventory window, the Craft button in the bottom center will change color and you can click it to start the crafting process.
How do I increase my skill level and how does the experience pool work?
In Shroud of the Avatar, all skills are "use-based," meaning that they improve the more you use them. Each time you use a crafting skill, experience will be added to your crafting experience pool. The exact amount added to your pool is dependent upon the recipe, whether you succeed or fail, whether it is your first time crafting that item, and whether you craft the item exceptionally.
Crafting items one at a time grants the chance for an exceptional success, which gives a 5x bonus XP to the pool. If that success also happens to be the first time you craft a particular item, you will receive a huge boost to your crafting experience pool
If the crafting skill is set to train (green up arrow next to skill in skill tree), a set percentage of your current crafting pool will be deducted from your crafting experience pool and applied to that skill. Additionally, any skills related to the item you crafted that are also set to train will get a portion of the applied experience. For example, if you are training the four Smelting skills (smelting, batch materials, swift refine, and efficient refine), then the portion of experience applied when refining ingots will be divided amongst those skills.
Beyond setting skills to train, you can also set skills to not train, maintain, and unlearn. Setting skills to these states will result in these skills being ignored when experience from the pool is applied. Skills set to unlearn will also contribute experience back to the pool.
One common strategy is to grow the size of your experience pool by using skills that you have no interest in leveling. These activities may include skinning animals and harvesting plants with the intention to put all of that experiencing towards blacksmithing. The value in having a larger experience pool is that the amount of experience applied to the skill with each use is larger, so you level up at a quicker rate.
You can quickly grow your experience pool by taking advantage of the first time crafting bonus. Additionally, if the recipe you are using can accept any variant of a particular component (e.g. any type of strap), you can earn the first time bonus again by using each of the alternative variants (e.g. leather strap, hardened leather strap, supple leather strap) with the same recipe.
What else is there to know?
The basic hierarchy in crafting is Raw Materials -> Refined Materials -> Components -> Finished Product -> Enhancement (masterworking, socketing, and enchantment). Some simple items may skip one or more of these steps and some enhancements may not be available to all items.
* special thanks to Mac who contributed some knowledge and expertise for this guide