Whether it’s questing in Tamriel, helping members of your alliance or actively participating in PvP in Cyrodiil, you’ll need to know crafting basics in Elder Scrolls Online so you can have an advantage. You can start crafting on any level once you complete the tutorial and this has many benefits especially when you have more than one character. You don’t have to complete any quests or tutorials before you can craft nor are you limited by the number of crafting trades you can participate in. So you’re free to try all of them before choosing the ones you want to focus on, or you can strive to become a jack of all trades quite literally since items required for each don’t overlap. You just have to go to the respective crafting station and these are numerous throughout the cities of Tamriel. There is one initial limitation and that’s being able to craft only in the style of your race unless you acquire books called Racial Motifs and there’s one for every race/style. The items only vary in appearance and the value and characteristics are selected when you’re crafting the item. There are 6 crafts in Elder Scrolls Online:
- Blacksmithing – craft metal weapons and armor
- Woodworking – craft bows, staffs and certain shields
- Clothier – craft light and medium armor
- Provisioning – cook meals that provide various stat boosts
- Alchemy – craft potions and poisons
- Enchanting – craft weapon and armor enchantments
Despite the items being completely different for each trade the gameplay mechanics for each are similar and that’s not a bad thing because the system is very enjoyable and surprisingly deep. Crafting in Elder Scrolls Online is structured around 5 different menus: Refine, Creation, Deconstruct/Extraction, Improvement and Research. Each craft uses at least one of these menus with Provisioning being the simplest craft, which only allows you to cook/create meals. Alchemy and Enchanting have less crafting menus with only the latter allowing you to deconstruct/extract items.
- Refine is for turning raw materials found throughout Tamriel into items for crafting such as turning iron ore into iron ingots for blacksmithing, and is only available for Blacksmithing, Woodworking and Clothier trades.
- Creation is exactly how it sounds and this menu has an elegantly simplistic look to it that lets you know exactly what you need to create an item as well as its stats, level and value if you’re blacksmithing, woodworking or creating clothing. Increasing the amount of material used increases the stats, level and value, and changing the crafting style changes the appearance of the item and you can add traits to these items if you’ve researched a trait for that item type.
If you look at the picture above you’ll notice items are required for the style and the traits, if applicable. You can buy these items from the appropriate vendor next to the crafting station and they’re cheap and they’re identified so you don’t have to figure out which material goes with which of the 10 styles.
- Deconstruct/Extraction is a really great feature as you can choose to turn weapons, armor and enchantments you don’t use into materials you can use to craft new items and this gives you another option besides selling these items to merchants. So if you’ve always used a staff but you keep looting bows and receiving bows for completing quests you can deconstruct those items and receive wood and other items in order to craft a better staff. Doing this doesn’t always result in getting items back in your inventory so you should weigh deconstructing an item against its value if you were to sell it depending on your proficiency in that craft.
- Improvement allows you to increase the stats and value of your items through the stages of Fine, Superior, Epic, and Legendary.
- Research allows you to learn traits that you can apply to items you craft however you can only research a trait if you have an item that has that trait, you can only apply that trait to items of the same type, and the item used is destroyed in the process. Each weapon or armor type has its own line of research traits. So for example, if you have a one-handed sword that has the added ability to cause extra penetration you can research that trait but can only apply it to one-handed swords. So yes you have to research the same traits for every single line. In addition, researching traits take time so it can take 6 hours to 24 hours to research a trait and there’s a limited number to how many you can research at once with the starting point being one craft. So if you’re researching a trait while blacksmithing you can still research another trait while woodworking simultaneously.
You can find raw materials for the various trades by mining them, killing animals or finding them stashed in crates, barrels, etc. You can also unlock skills by assigning your skill points to the crafting line to not only help you see these raw materials in the world from a distance but also have them delivered to you everyday. So if you’re serious about crafting it’s worth investing some skill points in the crafting tree because there’s one for each trade and this level of customization all but guarantees that if you devote your time and skill points to blacksmithing you’ll clearly have the advantage in that craft. The more you craft the more you raise your proficiency in it and by using the skill points earned to unlock crafting bonuses it becomes more than just mining raw materials making a choice to become an expert in that craft and having the freedom to do so. The crafting system is really impressive to me because it’s not only accessible but with the crafting skill line requiring about 24 skill points to completely unlock all the bonuses there’s a deep customization that adds an additional level of gameplay. And all the materials you deposit into a bank are available to ALL your characters so it’s possible to create another character, skip the tutorial and go right to crafting with all the materials you collected with your other characters being immediately available to you.
These are just the basics to crafting in Elder Scrolls Online. Be sure to check out my guides for each of the trades to see how to become proficient in the one of your choice.