Crafters are one of those things in Final Fantasy XIV that either you love or you hate.
For many, they’re definitely a thing to hate: they take up too much room in your inventory with crafting materials, they take too long to do anything, and they’re super repetitive.
For me, though, they were a thing to love.
That’s probably because I have a history of getting hooked on the really repetitive functions of games. For example:
- I’ve spent close to 500 hours of my life just riding my bike in Pokémon games, waiting for eggs to hatch in my mission to have four or more perfect stats on all of my battle-ready Pokémon.
- I’ve spent literal days digging up sand in Minecraft, because you need a lot of it to make glass panes for all the super-modern designs I like making.
- I’ve gotten to year 10 on Harvest Moon games, where you pretty much do the same thing every day. Once in a while I’ll switch when I tend to my animals, but still.
So it’s really no surprise that I loved crafting in Final Fantasy.
The start of a crafter’s soul
My adventure in crafting started when Shane and I got our first little house. I wanted to decorate it in all kinds of beautiful ways, but when I looked at the market board to find furnishings, I felt the sting of just how poor I actually was compared to legacy players who’ve had years to line their coffers.
When I learned I could craft those beautiful things, though, it was the greatest epiphany. I had visions of creating everything I could ever need, and I got started right away, picking up all the classes I thought I’d need.
I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.
I started with my weaver, because I had my heart set on making a combed wool rug. I didn’t know what I’d have to do to make it, but I was going to try.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that if I wanted to get anywhere with my weaver, I’d have to spend a lot of time leveling up my botanist. So I switched gears.
It also didn’t take me long to figure out that if I wanted to get anywhere with my botanist, I’d need to be able to craft gear for it, because the market board bit again. And if I wanted to get anywhere with my goldsmith, who could make things for my botanist, I’d need to level up my miner.
So really, my quest for crafting became a quest for gathering.
Getting back on track
For a long time, I put off getting started on what I thought would be the more annoying crafters; blacksmith, armorer, alchemist, and culinarian. I was sure culinarian would be the worst because it needed the most items, and it needed them from all three gatherers.
I spent a few months working through my favourites until I had them sporadically placed between 48 and 60. The annoying ones sat around 20-30. Right about then, I started to discover just how reliant most of them are on each other, and I sadly accepted I’d need to work on all of them if I didn’t want to drop my life savings on crafting materials on the market board.
So, I finished getting my gatherers leveled up with the help of some very useful guides, and settled in for the mission of getting all crafters up to 50. I figured that way, too, I could keep them all at the same gear level, and I wouldn’t have to keep buying things for them.
Somehow, in the course of all that, my culinarian—which I had thought would be the biggest pain in my butt—began to steal the spotlight.
The culinarian curveball
When I was getting started with culinarian, it was the worst thing ever. I needed at least five ingredients for everything I wanted to make, and of all the crafters, it’s the most reliant on itself. I’d have to make a bunch of ingredients before I could get started making what I actually wanted.
Those same qualities that annoyed the crap out of me ended up being what gave culinarian a huge lead over the others in my quest for master crafter status.
Well, that, and the fact that nearly all of its recipes make multiples. Sure, you need 5 flour (for which you need 5 wheat) to make this thing, but you get 4 of that thing from the recipe, so you’re not totally out.
It very quickly became the crafter that carried everyone else. I could gather the ingredients I needed fairly easily, and anything I couldn’t (or was too lazy to), I could buy fairly inexpensively. Because for some reason, those items are way cheaper than anything you need for a goldsmith or a weaver.
It did not take long at all for me to get up to 60, because you can even buy leve items pretty inexpensively for the culinarian. It then became my go-to collectables crafter, and I started building a little bank of scrips for when my other crafters reached 60. It became how I saved up for all my master crafting tomes, which is where all those expensive and rare housing items come from.
It also did not take long to get to 70, which was when I decided to go back and tackle the class quests.
Above 60, your class quests actually give you a special log of items to craft, and you don’t have to get your hands on the ingredients, but you do have to craft them. You can’t cheat anymore by buying the finished high-quality item off the market board. It made me sad.
Now, I fully expect that I’ll use my talented and well-geared culinarian to make all my weekly custom deliveries—but I’ll let my lower-level crafters, who are all sitting at 60, hand them in for all the experience points.
IMO: The worst crafter to level
In my quest to get all my crafters to level 60, I learned that one of the classes is way worse than any of the others when it comes to leveling.
It didn’t totally surprise me, but I did expect it to at least be better than culinarian. It wasn’t.
That class was the blacksmith.
It’s very similar to armorer in what it can make, but I learned when leveling my armorer that every tier of its leves up to level 60 included at least one that just required a basic material; either nuggets or rivets of some description.
Those items were easily made in high quality by my goldsmith, who was actually the first class I’d gotten to 60.
Not so much with the blacksmith.
I think between 50 and 60, there were maybe two tiers that had a material-based leve. Everything else required actual weaponry or gear, which was:
- Hard to make high-quality
- Super expensive to buy off the market
It made a pretty big dent in my savings, and now I know to save up again before I try getting it to level 70.
And in the meantime, it’s time to start building my collection of yellow crafting scrips for when I manage to get everything leveled up.