This is a guide written completely by myself as I progressed through each of the tradeskills. It is not perfect. I still discover small mistakes and typos. I am constantly updating this guide with new information. Even today I am still learning new things all the time. At times I did not learn a better way until after I finished with a harder way. This guide does not include every possible way to tradeskill. I do make notes of alternatives when I know of them. I am willing to add ideas, links, guides, and corrections from anyone if you make a reply post to this thread.
After all that was said, I still believe you will find this guide better than any other you might read. This is partly due to the fact that it is current. It have collected and updated all this information during the years 2011 and 2012. Often I had to sort through information that was 10+ years old. It is also because I always looked very hard for the easy way to get things done. I did not want to spend months to complete a tradeskill or even weeks and months to farm materials. I have a style of tradeskilling that is geared toward spending a little more money if it means less farming and faster skilling. And many of my recommendations lean toward this method.
I am currently master in 10 tradeskills with 10 maxed trophies. I will never be able to do poisonmaking. So, there is no guide under that section now. Please contribute if you can with a good guide. Please feel free to contact me if you would like help with anything.
The rest of this introduction section will discuss basic tradeskill topics, things everyone should know about no matter what tradeskill you might take on.
[_] 01. EQTraders.com is your best friend as a tradeskiller. I do not include all full recipes, sometimes just the names where you will need to look it up. Sometimes I don't even include names, only general references. On certain rare occasions ZAM.com has provided me with information that was not found at EQTraders.
[_] 02. Class Trainer. With each tradeskill you can buy the first 20 skill points for a cost of 20 training points. Once your skill is at 20 you can never buy more again in this way. If you have ton of training points available I would suggest doing this. Skipping this will not hurt you in anyway because the first 20 points in every tradeskill are the cheapest, fastest, and easiest to get anyway.
[_] 03. 300 Max Skill. No one can improve their base skill past 300. SOE is not ever planning to increase this (that I have heard). Apparently improving tradeskills in this way is very difficult, or at least not worth the effort spent to do it.
[_] 04. 345 Modified Skill. After equipping your trophy (or using other items with tradeskill modifiers) your modifed skill level can never improve past 345 (15% mod x 300 base skill= 345). I have never heard of plans to improve this. If it ever does happen this would not be hard to implement a larger skill modifier. You should be working to obtain and level up your tradeskill trophy as soon as you can. See the special section [02. Tradeskill Trophies] below.
[_] 05. Stacking Modifiers. Like with so many others skills in this game, stacking modifiers does NOT work. If you have 2 or more equipped you will only get the benefit of the single best one.
[_] 06. Tradeskills are not cheap. You cannot go into this without the realization that you will have to spend LOTS of money. Vendors alone often charge fortunes for purchased materials, especially at high skill levels. You can do things to keep costs down like farming materials yourself, but you can only take it so far. Certain tradeskills are much cheaper overall (like Baking and Brewing) compared to others. If you are a first character playing this game you should probably put off the urge to do any serious tradeskilling until later. Anyone who wants to works seriously with tradeskills should figure out first how to create a larger and consistant income stream.
[_] 07. Sucesses and Failures. These are sometimes very important. Being able to sell back succeses to vendors will often (not always) get most of the money you have invested back. When you fail a combine it is money not gained back at all. These resales to the vendor are often what keeps costs from getting out of hand. Players with less money to blow will want to pay particular attention to this. If you want more tips on how to get the most money back read the information in the [08. Jewelcrafting] chapter of this guide.
[_] 08. Random Number Generator. Your trophy will follow set rules to improve, making it easy to determine what is needed. Your skill improvement does not. Each and every combine is subjected to a random dice roll to see if it will improve. Over the long run you can expect to see a more consistant average form. But you will still see wild swings in skill gains. You can get 6 skill improvements in a row, or go through several stacks of materials with no improvements. Do not be surprised to see your self combine 100+ times and not gain skill at high skill levels. It can and DOES happen.
[_] 09. Using the Bazaar. Many people think that they should not buy in the bazaar. They think that if they farm the materials themselves that it will not cost them anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. All items have a value, either what you pay for them, or what you did not earn from not selling them. Your time is worth money, and this translates to what your materials are worth. If you spend 20 hours farming materials and compare that to the cost to either buy or sell in the bazaar you can begin to see what I am talking about. Often times you can find great deals on what you want in the bazaar, where people have priced items far less than their true worth. Maybe you cannot farm the items you need as easily as another class or level might. Maybe you can earn far more by farming something else to sell for more money than the amount lost farming materials yourself. Tradeskill materials are often needed in such large quantities that you might drive your self crazy trying to collect them all yourself. It is obvious you should watch prices for some period of time to get the best buys and save yourself a small fortune at the same time. You should also start looking for what you know you will need as far in advance as you can.
[_] 11. Aternate Advancement for Tradeskills. These AA skills are very important to consider. See the special section [03. Alternate Advancement for Tradeskills] below.
[_] 10. Choosing a Skill-up Path. There are many things to consider when chosing a skill-up path.
Availability of materials is a large concern. Different players have more and less access to different materials. Obviously, if you know where and how to get certain materials in large quantities you should be looking to find recipes that use them.
Cost vs Buyback. How much total you spend compared to what a vendor will buy back your finished product is important. Sometimes, the cost to buy is cheap, but the vendor may not pay you anything back. Sometimes he won't pay you anything for very expensive combines. Many times the vendor will buy back for 90% or more of your cost. A few items are even desired by other players, allowing you to sell for a much larger return in the bazaar. Most people will be very concerned about the total amount you are spending.
Simplicity. Some recipes are extremely simple to make. They use materials that are easily acquired, even from vendors. Some recipes have very few or even no subcombines, saving you lots of time. Some materials require you to travel all over the world to get, others are all in a single area. I always liked simple and easy recipes, and looked hard to find them.
[_] 12. Vendor Windows. If you have portable combine containers you can work at a vendor, with his buy/sell window open. This will allow you to buy single or small quantities of materials and combine them without needing to close the vendor window.
[_] 13. Inventory Space. Having more inventory space to hold materials really helps a lot. You won't run around to vendors as often with more space. The new Extraplanar Trade Satchels are now the best choice. Get 2 or more of these if you can. Get the largest bags you can find otherwise, and drop off unneeded items in the bank to free up more space.
[_] 14. Tradeskill Zones. Abysmal Sea is pretty much a tradeskill only zone. Nearly every trradeskill will have materials and quests that can only be done here. At times it may be best to travel here and plan to stay until a certain milestone has been reached. For all other times I leave one non-playing character camped here,so can quickly buy certain needed materials and drop them in the shared bank bags. Later Crescent Reach was added to the game and it has almost all tradeskill materials that Abysmal Sea has. You may find the need to visit each zone occasionally as they both have different tradeskill quests.
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