I haven’t written about The Elder Scrolls Online for a while now so it’s about time for a new ESO post! And in this episode it’s… Crafting! I always loved crafting in games and knowing myself – I always will.
In Elder Scrolls Online crafting is enjoyable in my opinion. The common crafting items are pretty easy to obtain and cheap if you choose to buy them. Luck factor is only important while deconstructing items or improving them (only unless you have enough improvement items to make the chance of improvement go up to 100%).
Very helpful in ESO crafting is having a subscription (called ESO Plus) active – it gives you a special bottomless crafting bag in your inventory and increases your bank slots (and housing chests) capacity by 100%.
Tip 1: you don’t have to manually move crafting items already stored somewhere else to your inventory crafting bag – they’re moved automatically from the main inventory, bank and housing chests.
Tip 2: Stolen crafting items will stay in your main inventory until the „stolen” status is removed. If it’s not removed you can still use it but first the „legal” items will be consumed. If you launder the stolen crafting items they will be automatically moved to the crafting bag in your inventory.
You learn a certain crafting skill line while first interacting with a crafting station – this way you get an ability to craft all the items at the basic level which only require basic materials (all are gatherable and lootable). Depending on how much of these materials you spend (you can choose the amount) on crafting the item – the weaker or stronger the item will be.
In addition to basic materials like wood/metal/cloth/leather to craft gear, you will also need a style item that will let you craft the item in a specific style, giving it a certain look. In the beginning, you will only know one crafting style – your racial one, but you can loot or buy scrolls that will teach you other styles as well.
Looting crafting style items is pretty easy, they are not rare. The trick here is that you can only use those, of which styles you have learned. So if you only know Dark Elf style you won’t be able to use Nord style items and therefore you can’t craft in this style. If you don’t have any style items that you can use – you can’t craft gear at all.
Fortunately, even if you happen to not have any style item – you can easily buy it from crafting merchants, usually located next to the crafting stations. On top of that, the style items are universal, you can use the same ones for any gear crafting skill.
Crafting style/motif scrolls aren’t that common but most of them is not difficult to find either, especially if you always check all the chests and backpacks you find.
One of the ways to obtain a style item is through deconstructing gear. Deconstructing can also give you back some basic crafting materials, as well as items needed to upgrading gear. The items you get from deconstructing depend on what type of gear you deconstruct and what materials is it made of – for example, if you deconstruct an ash wood bow you can get some ash wood, a style item, and an upgrade item to increase a wooden item’s rarity. If you deconstruct an iron helmet, if you’re lucky, you may get some iron, a style item and an upgrade item for metal gear (weapon or armour). Deconstructing levels your crafting skill pretty well, depending on the rarity of the deconstructed item.
Refining lets you improve raw gathered items (like ore or wood) into actual crafting items you will need for crafting. To refine an item you need 10 pieces of the same type of item, for example, 10 oak wood pieces may give you several sanded oaks needed for crafting oak bows or staves. Refining also levels your crafting skill slightly.
By researching a piece of gear (in the process the item is destroyed) you can learn how to craft this type of gear with a specific trait, for example, researching (and remember – destroying) a sword with health return on hit trait would teach you how to craft a sword with the same trait. Similarly – researching a leather helmet improving your dodge chance will make it possible for you to craft such helmet, no matter what level of materials you’d like to use.
For crafting gear you won’t need recipes – once you get a certain gear crafting skill line you automatically are able to craft all the types of weapons and armours. You will need recipes for learning how to craft food and drinks, housing items and racial/other gear styles. In some cases, like with potions and glyphs crafting, you learn how to craft new types of them by discovering properties of certain ingredients.
Basic food and drink recipes along with the ingredients you can get from Brewers NPCs. Others, as well as style scrolls, you can loot everywhere, starting from chests and backpacks around the zones, through monster drop to writ rewards. A tip from me, if you want to get as many recipes as possible: ALWAYS check the backpacks you find in Tamriel.
Improvement is a pretty interesting feature in ESO. Any gear item can be improved, which means upgrading the item’s rarity level – white to green, green to blue, blue to purple, purple to orange. Of course along with the rarity you improve the gear stats, too.
To improve an item you need a special improvement item, different for each crafting skill. In addition, each level of upgrading needs a different level of upgrade item. You will need several of those items to get 100% chance of upgrading, which I recommend because failed upgrading destroys the gear item you were trying to improve.
Crafting writs are daily quests for crafting. They reward you with crafting items, equipment items that are profitable to either sell or deconstruct, a small amount of experience, style/motif scrolls and sometimes maps to hidden places in Tamriel that have lots of crafting items to collect. During special events completing crafting writs also give you additional loot chests.
In ESO the best way to get housing items is either by crafting them or by buying ones crafted by others. Each gear crafting skill gives you a special option of crafting housing items. You can get a lot of recipes for crafting housing items the same way you get all the other recipes. It’s a bit tricky though, because to craft some really nice housing items sometimes you have to have more than one gear crafting skill levelled up.
Through blacksmithing you can craft metal gear that includes:
- heavy armour
- swords, maces, daggers
- metal housing item
Basing crafting item is ore, obtainable by mining ore nodes throughout the world and by deconstructing metal gear. To use raw metal you got from mining you have to refine it first.
Metal items with traits are researchable.
Through woodworking you can craft wooden gear that includes:
- wooden shields
- wooden housing items.
Basing crafting item is wood, obtainable by chopping wood found throughout the world and by deconstructing wooden gear. To use raw wood you got from chopping wood pieces you have to refine it first.
Wooden items with traits are researchable.
Through clothing skills you can craft light (cloth) and medium (leather) armour as well as fabric- and leather-based housing items.
Basic crafting items are cloth/fabric/ fibres and leather. Raw cloth items you gather from plants (like cotton or jute). Leather is lootable from animal/monsters' corpses. To use raw fibres/leather you have to refine them first.
Cloth/leather items with traits are researchable.
Jewellery (unlocked with Summerset expansion)
Jewellery crafting is available only for players who have Summerset expansion unlocked. Those who don’t have the expansion can’t craft jewellery but everyone can mine precious metals like silver or gold that are the basic crafting items for this crafting skill (they have to be refined before they can be used).
Through jewellery skill you can craft:
- housing items
Jewellery items with traits are researchable. You can only deconstruct jewellery items that you got after unlocking Summerset.
Through enchanting you can craft glyphs that allow you to improve all your gear pieces.
For crafting glyphs you need runes obtainable by collecting them from runestones throughout the world and by extracting (deconstructing) existing glyphs.
The type (what gear type can you enchant) and feature (what does it give) of created glyph depend on the used runes – you discover their traits by using them for the first time.
To use a glyph open your inventory, choose the equipment piece you’d like to enchant and through the context menu choose „enchant”. Then you’ll be able to choose one from available glyphs. You can enchant an already enchanted gear but the old enchantment effect will be overwritten by the new one.
Through provisioning you can craft food and drinks. You learn to craft new types of food and drinks by consuming found/bought recipes first.
There is a lot of various food and drink ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, plants, grain, meat, seasoning (duh!).
Food increases maximum of at least one of your stats (health/magicka/stamina) for at least 30minutes. Higher level/rarer foods increase more stats for a larger amount and a longer time. Drinks work in a similar way to food, but they increase the recovery speed of at least one of the stats for a while rather than increasing max amount of this stat.
You can craft food and drink at marked crafting stations but also pretty much at any fireplace or bonfire, including the dungeons and houses ones.
Through alchemy you can craft potions returning at least one of your stats or increasing (or decreasing) some abilities (sneak, hit, etc.) and poisons with various effects you can equip your weapons with.
Crafting items for alchemy are plants, mushrooms and in rare cases – mobs loot. Additionally, you will need a „base” item – for potions it’s pure water (lootable, but also look for springs in lakes and rivers) and for poison it’s grease (common loot from monsters).
Similarly to Enchanting – you discover plants' and mushrooms' traits by using them with other ingredients that share at least one trait with them. Every alchemy ingredient has 4 traits – for discovering all 4 you get an achievement.
Fishing in ESO isn’t really a crafting skill – you can’t level it, you don’t create anything through it. But I think it’s still worth mentioning because from fishing you can get food ingredients and additionally, if you’re lucky, you can fish out a sunken bag with random crafting items in it.
To perform fishing you need a lure – if you don’t have ESO Plus active the lure should be in your inventory rather than in your bank. Not everything can be a lure but if somehthing can be used for fishing and you have it in your inventory – it would appear in the lure menu when you interact with a fishing spot. You can loot lures from many sources but the easiest way is by catching butterflies and fireflies (or other insects).
I really recommend using Votan’s Fishing add-on – it remembers fishing spots you used and what you caught there, recognizes water type and suggest the best lure for this type of water.
Remember – after you catch a fish you have to fillet it before it becomes a crafting item.
Oof, that’s was long post again. And an old one – I started it 2 months ago but never really had time to finish it, until now. I’m sure there is more to say about crafting but I think it already looks pretty complicated (it’s not that bad when you actually practice it several times), so I’ll just end the post here.
I think one of my most favourite crafting mechanics was in Rift, but the ESO one is really enjoyable too, especially because you can still deconstruct gear here and hunting certain motifs/styles is quite fun. I also like that it’s a bit more complex here than in other MMOs I’ve played and at the same time you don’t depend on luck (with the exception of deconstructing) which is definitely not my forte.
Anyway, I think in the post I covered all the ESO crafting topics or at least the most important ones. Let me know if you have any ESO crafting questions!