When reading about Final Fantasy XIV you hear plenty about the adventure jobs, dungeons, raids, and questing, but one often overlooked part of the game is the crafting and gathering jobs of Eorzea. Because I’ve spent much of my time in game lately learning the ins and outs of crafting at end game (and I still have so much to learn), I decided I’d write a little bit about the changes since Heavensward and what players leveling crafting can expect.
Unlike in some MMOs, crafting in FFXIV is not as easy as taking a stack of materials to a crafting station, clicking the “Make All” button and AFKing for a while. Sure, there’s an auto-craft option in FFXIV, but that’s not something you want to use on a precious two star item that took you a few hours to gather the materials for.
I’ve found FFXIV’s crafting to be quite complex and interdependent between all crafting jobs. I made a conscious choice to level all of my crafting and gathering jobs to 50 at more or less the same speed, a task I finished just a few weeks before Heavensward released. I currently have one crafting job, Goldsmith, at level 60, and I’m working on my others a little at a time.
The Importance of Gathering
I really can’t imagine leveling my crafting jobs without leveling the gathering jobs that go out to fetch the materials I need. Every single recipe requires crystals as a catalyst in some form, which are a time sink to gather, but so much cheaper than dropping all your gil on the market board. That’s not counting all the other materials you need. Culinarian recipes, for example, often have a huge shopping list of stuff needed to craft just one item.
Folks say that there are ways to make lots of gil with crafting jobs. Either I’m just not dedicated enough to do all that market research, or I’m that much of a crafting noob, but I’ve not struck it rich enough to fund the cost of buying all the materials I need to keep up with leveling my crafting.
So, unless you have a bunch of gil, gathering jobs are super important to keep around the same level, or higher, than crafting jobs. To make it even sweeter, this also unlocks the ability to make gathering retainers. These you can send out on ventures for specific materials as long as you’ve gathered that material once yourself. This is a time saver for when you know you’re going to need to gather a ton of one ingredient. You can also sell these materials on the market board for a bit of a profit.
Crafting After Heavensward
Heavensward’s release introduced 10 more levels to all crafting and gathering jobs. It also introduced a new collectible and scrip system, which I’ll talk about a bit later on.
It seems that there’s a steep leveling curve to make it from 50 to 51 on all jobs for some reason. But leveling beyond that isn’t terribly difficult to do with all the options we have to earn experience.
I generally follow the crafting guides at FFXIV Guild, which tell you the best crafting leve turn-ins based on bang for your buck in materials and time. As long as you have the leve allotment and the materials, striving for high quality leve turn-ins is the fastest way I know to level crafting jobs.
You can supplement this with striving for high quality daily turn-ins at your Grand Company. You can also do daily beast tribe quests with the Ixali for bonus crafting experience and crystals. Once you reach level 56 in a job, scrip turn-ins become available to you, providing experience and scrips based on which collectible you turn in.
All crafting jobs have new quests, which you unlock every three levels, starting at level 50. These provide you with gear that you can use to boost your crafting while you’re leveling. I’ve learned that some crafting jobs have it easier than others in this area, however.
For example, I didn’t break a sweat to turn in the normal quality item for my Goldsmith’s level 53 quest. But Weaver’s level 53 quest requires a high quality pair of gloves, for which you must gather from a timed node (or purchase) one particular rarer material. It’s just silly how unbalanced these two are! So check the different jobs as you reach 53 to see which one has the more reasonable quests.
Or, you can always just buy the gear you need. Most of it is available pretty cheap from vendors or the market board.
I’m not going into too much detail about how crafting collectibles work. But I’ll give a quickie overview. You activate the Collectible Synthesis skill, which gives you a buff that makes every item you craft turn into a collectible.
Similar to Grand Company turn-ins, Rowena now has turn-ins at Idyllshire that change every day based on the crafting job. Choose an item from that list and then craft the item like you usually do, trying to make it as high quality as you can.
Instead of quality, while you’re under the Collectible Synthesis buff, this adds to the item’s collectibility. Once you reach at least the minimum collectibility number on Rowena’s turn-in chart, you can complete the item and turn it in for experience and blue or red scrips.
The nice thing is that it’s similar to a leve turn-in, but it doesn’t burn up your leve allotment so crafting collectibles is a good supplement for leveling when your leve count is low.
Blue and red scrips are to crafters what Tomes of Law and Eso are to adventuring jobs. You can turn these in for gear, favors, and very importantly, Master III books for crafting jobs. Master III books unlock important end-game recipes, especially for crafting jobs that you’ve specialized in.
Crafters and gatherers gain scrips independently, so you can’t use a crafting scrip for gathering gear. However, crafting jobs share scrips, so you can earn scrips on your Leatherworker to buy something for your Weaver. Right now, you can earn as many blue scrips as you like but red scrips have a weekly cap (similar to Eso tomes).
At level 55 you can complete a quest to unlock crafting specialization. This allows you to specialize in any 3 crafting jobs you choose. Specializing unlocks cross-class crafting skills for that job and recipes that you couldn’t craft otherwise. You can use red scrips to change your specialization but that’s a pretty steep price. So choose well.
In a game where omni-crafting has been encouraged previous to Heavensward, the specialization system is one that’s been heavily debated between crafters. Specializing in crafting has become important, especially now that the third step of the new Relic weapon quest requires materials that only specialist crafters can make.
Gearing Up at End Game
Before you can even think about crafting those specialized items, you have to reach level 60 and have the right gear. Again, I use the guide at FFXIV Guild to help determine which pieces of armor I need and what materia I need to meld into them.
The guide suggests crafting or buying a set of Chimerical gear to start out, which you’ll use to craft for scrips and work towards the red scrip set eventually. But doing this can be costly, especially since you’ll need to meld the right materia into the gear to get the stats you need for crafting.
Crafter’s materia is pretty costly. However, rather than buying or spirit bonding your own, there are a few ways you can get materia now without spending all the time and gil. First, the tokens you can earn at the Diadem can be used to purchase materia. Second, if you have access to Free Company airships, specific routes (such as #3, #13, and #17) have a chance to bring back crafting materia, too. So if you help build the ships, then maybe you can request some materia in return for your work!
No matter which way you gear up, I bid you happy crafting!