Tradeskills, in most MMOs, are the backbone for generating money in the game. Players who are successful at creating in-demand items are usually the richest, that is, until there are enough crafters to satisfy demand. But that's Economics 101, or another article. You're reading this for some insight into crafting in Everquest 2.
The tradeskills in Everquest 2 consist of three classes – craftsman, outfitter, and scholar. But first, you must reach tradeskill level 10 to make your choice of class. How does one increase tradeskill level? Pretty simple; according to a guide over at EQ2traders, you must go to a starting trainer to increase your tradeskill level to 2, thus making your character an artisan, and from there you start increasing tradeskill experience points by simply making items. You make items via recipes found in your Book of Knowledge (accessed by pressing the “K” key). Recipes can also be found in the world, can be granted as quest rewards, and even sold on the broker. This sets the ground for your choice of class, as experimentation with what you create will usually set you on your track. I'll break down the classes for you so you'll see that what you make usually makes you:
Craftsmen make food and drink. They can also make all sorts of wooden items, from weapons to furniture, totems, bucklers, as well as arrows and bows. Outfitters use blacksmithing and tailoring to create armor, metal weapons, and metal shields. Scholars create jewelry, potions, and poisons, as well as writing spells, skills, and combat upgrades. You choose this class, and level it up to tradeskill level 20. Then you get to pick a subclass that increases the focus from your primary class.
Craftsmen have the choice of becoming either Provisioners, Woodworkers, or Carpenters at tradeskill level 20. Each subclass is a focus on the different creations of the primary. Provisioners will focus on creating greater and greater food and drink, while Woodworkers will make better and better furniture, and Carpenters create the best of the best wooden items. Outfitters follow the same process with their subclasses – Armorer, Tailor, and Weaponsmith. Consider these as more along the lines of a specialization. The Scholar has the choice of becoming a Jeweler, an Alchemist, or a Sage.
The Craftsman class uses a woodworking table, a stove, and a keg to create their items. To make rugs, however, you have to use a loom, and you have to use a forge to create wall sconces. As you make food and drink, you will make items that will not only take longer to exhaust, but food and drink to up character stats. Furniture itself is usually just vanity items for your home, but there is one item of furniture that players might want to look into – altars. Craftsmen can create altars for homes in the Echoes of Faydwer expansion that, if sacrificed to, will grant favor to characters, allowing for miracles to happen from the god associated with the altar. You can find recipe books for these altars by finding Deity Historian NPCs in front of the Kelethin Library, and at the Butcherblock Mountain docks. There are two different types of altars, common and rare. There is a small aesthetic difference between the two, but the real difference is that rare altars will provide more and more to worshipers, especially if the altar is imbued. The other items that a Craftsman can make are wooden items. Staves, wands, bows, arrows, thrown ammunition, clubs, round shields, and bucklers fall under this classification. The Craftsman can also imbue these wooden items. Imbuing, starting at Tier 2, gives the Craftsman the ability to add a “proc,” an ability that happens usually in combat, to wooden items. For example, a staff can “proc” to do extra damage on attack, or a buckler can proc to increase blocking when struck. Imbued items are often more valuable to other players as well.
The Outfitter class uses looms for all of their tailoring and the creation of hex dolls, and the forge to make armor, and metal weapons. Outfitters also can make leather fist wraps, leather containers, and ranged slot items for ammo. Imbuing also comes into place with this class as well. Otherwise, this class is pretty straightforward. Note that I mentioned tiers in the Craftsman description a bit above. Well, Tiers control what level of item you can create, and in the case of the Outfitter, you may not be able to pump out an entire set of armor at one tier. Parts of it may be stretched throughout multiple tiers.
Lastly, we have the Scholar. The Scholar usually sits at a scribing desk to make their spell scrolls, a chemistry table for potions and poisons, and a work bench for jewelry. Scholars also create essences for tank characters, and runes for scout characters.
One more thing to learn about your first trip into the tradeskill game – reaction arts. When you made your tradeskill level 10 class choice, the trainer adds a new set of class-specific arts to your Knowledge Book. These reaction arts give you an easier time on getting your items in pristine quality (thus making them more valuable) when created. The Craftsman uses the Sculpting reaction art for making furniture or lockboxes, Artistry for making food or drink, and the wooden items use Fletching. The Outfitter uses Metal Shaping for creating metal armor and shields, Metalworking for metal weapons, and Tailoring for cloth and leather items. The exception to this are leather fist wraps, which fall under the Metalworking skill. Finally, the Scholar uses the reaction arts of Chemistry for tank essences, potions, or poisons, Scribing for spell scrolls, and Artificing for jewelry or scout runes. To find these reaction arts, all you need do is open your Knowledge Book to the tradeskill section, and hover your mouse pointer over each icon to learn which art is which.
In the next part of this series, we will focus on the materials for the tradeskill classes, the places to find the recipe books, and we'll look closer at the Level 20 tradeskill class choices.