Before you can begin crafting anything, you must first open the Crafting Panel. This can be done in several ways: pressing “T” on your keyboard, right clicking on a crafting station such as a forge or workbench, or by clicking the anvil-shaped crafting icon in the User Interface tray at the bottom of your screen.
Of course, what you see on your crafting panel is directly related to which vocation you have chosen. However, beyond specific professions and recipes available to you, each vocation’s crafting panel is the same. What you make will be different, but how you make it will be determined in the same ways.
As you can see, there is a lot of information on this one panel. To make things a little simpler, I’ve added some numbers so we can dissect the panel one element at a time.
- Vocation: chosen by visiting a crafting trainer in your local crafting hall.
- Profession tab: select one to use one of your three crafting professions
- Proficiency completed: Indicates basic requirements met to complete a tier of crafting
- Mastery completed: Indicates advanced requirements met to master a tier of crafting
- Currently available recipe: The number in parenthesis indicates how many you can make with your current materials
- Currently selected recipe: The icon shows what you will make with this recipe and displays how many crafting points you will earn
- Tool and facility required: if either of these conditions aren’t met, you will be unable to make the product. The name of the missing tool or facility will be in red.
- Ingredients needed: In this example, 243 is the number of hides in inventory, 2 is the number needed per piece of leather.
- Proficiency tab: This shows what the basic recipe will make and is the only one of these two buttons available to you while you are working on proficiency and for certain recipes.
- Mastery tab: Clicking on this will show you what you need to increase your chance to achieve a “critical success” and what the result would be.
- Make All button: “Make All” will make as many of the currently selected recipe as you have materials for in your inventory.
- Make button: This button will make as many of the current recipe as the number displayed here. You can change that number by typing in a new one, or by using the arrow buttons.
The recipe shown above is probably one of the simplest available. Most recipes will have multiple ingredients; some gathered on your travels through Middle-earth, some purchased from a Supplier or Craft Provisioner in a crafting hall. If you can’t tell whether you need to buy an ingredient from an NPC, check the tooltip as you mouse over it in your crafting panel. It should say something like “this item can be purchased from a supplier or vendor”.
To level your crafting ability, you must earn points. The amount needed is shown in a bar like this. In this example, 600 points are needed to reach proficiency in this particular tier. Each recipe completed from this tier will add progress toward completing this tier of crafting. Now, after each tier of crafting is complete, you will need to speak to an NPC before you can progress toward mastery or even proficiency of the next tier. Your craft provisioner (for crafts such as Metalsmith or Tailor) or a Supplier (for crafts such as Prospector or Forester) will have a quest for you to complete before you can advance. Some of these are as simple as “reading” a book they give you. Some are as complicated as traveling to a specific location to get a special ingredient to make a one of a kind item for a trainer to inspect.
After you have unlocked the ability to master the tier, you’ll get a new progress bar showing what you need to gain complete mastery of that tier. Mastery is, to a certain extent optional. You can progress to the next tier without needing to master the previous one, however you can’t master the next tier until you’ve mastered the tier(s) before it.
Recently, things have changed so that you can earn a “critical success” while still working on the mastery portion of a crafting tier. For crafts such as prospector or forester, this means you will have a 5% chance of getting more from a recipe than you normally would have. For crafts such as tailor or jeweller, this means you will produce an item of higher quality than the recipe generally produces. Most crafts have special items that you can use to increase your chances of getting a critical success. By clicking on the mastery tab (item 10 in the earlier example) you can see what item you need for this increased chance. No matter what, your base chance is 5%. Certain tools and scrolls can increase that chance. Using an optional “crit item” will add an additional 45% to your critical chance.
So there you have it, the basics of advancing your craft skill and how to understand and utilize your crafting panel. I’m willing to take suggestions for my next crafting post, so please leave a comment if you have something you’d like to see discussed here!