Ever see a piece of loot in a chest, the Auction House, or at a pawn shop and think something like, “I could use that if it was a ring instead of a pair of gloves.” You might already be a higher level and moved on to better things before you see the ring you wanted. But in DDO there is no need to wait to find that ring you’re looking for, if you take the time to learn how to craft it.
There are many types of crafting in DDO. For a list of them, look at:
Crafting can either be the creation of new magical items, or the upgrading of them. You first have to acquire the ingredients, and in the case of upgrading, the magical item to be upgraded. There are lots of different ingredients that can be acquired via quests, raids and wilderness areas. There are also challenges where the amount of ingredients are based on a score of how well you do in the limited time allotted. You may end up having to repeat your quest/raid/wilderness hunt/challenge, multiple times to get enough of an ingredient. You might also have to do different ones to get all the ingredients required. And all of this will be just to perform one crafting operation.But for this posting we’ll be focusing on Cannith Crafting, where you can use the magic on items from loot and end rewards to craft a lot of different things.
Perhaps in Stormreach and elsewhere in the world of Eberron, there are powerful Wizards imbuing magic into items through mysterious spells. Fortunately in DDO, the kind people of House Cannith have provided crafting halls, with magical machines available to the public for free, where any class of character with enough skill can craft all sort of weapons, armor and accessories. This is Cannith Crafting, and unlike all other crafting presently in DDO, there are levels that you gain as you practice it.
If you want the quick version, or even a really good reference with tables and pictures and such, check out the DDO Wiki page on it at:
Much of what will be gone over in this post will also be there. Some of the pictures included in this post are from there as well.
HOW TO MAKE MAGICAL THINGS
A few paragraphs down we’ll go over the crafting tutorial quest provided in DDO. But first we’ll cover the basics of magical things. When you acquire magical items, be it armor or weapons, clothing or jewelry, they are imbued with a certain amount of enchantment. (For those of you who have read the equipment basics post, this should be familiar). That magic originates from essences that belong to three different schools of magic. They are Arcane, Divine, and Elemental. There are 3 different essences in the Arcane school, 5 in the Divine, and 4 in the Elemental, for a total of 12. (See the wiki page above for a listing and classification of the essences). The essences come in greater and lesser form. Vendor/craftsman in the crafting halls can sunder greater essences into lessers, but you cannot reverse the process.
So where do essences come from? Greater essences can often be found in treasure chests. But one of the Cannith Crafting machines can, with the help of a reagent, extract some of the magical essences from an existing item. The item will be destroyed in the process, but Cannith will automatically reimburse you for some of the left over parts, which they recycle. So if you decide to become a crafter, you can start extracting essences from most of the magical loot you acquire, instead of selling it. You will get lesser essences from the extraction process and sometimes some greater essences as well.
Once you have magical essences, you can use another machine to craft magical shards, that can be used in yet a third machine to imbue specially prepared items with magical enchantments. But before we cover that, we need to go over the basic rules of magical items and how they apply to Cannith Crafting.
Every magical item requires that the character equipping it be at least a certain minimum level (usually just abbreviated ML). With most randomly generated loot, and always with Cannith Crafted items, this ML is calculated from the amount of enchantment imbued in the item. Randomly generated loot (but not named items), will have a number with a plus (‘+’) sign in front of it when you examine its description and look at the upper right hand corner. This is its level of enchantment. For Cannith Crafting, you take that number and multiply it by two. You then take the result and subtract one. This gives you the ML for the item. So the more magic you imbue an item with, the higher the level you will have to be to use it.
There are three different kinds of magic that you can imbue items with. For armor and weapons (but not accessories, i.e. clothing and jewelry), you can increase the basic defensive or offensive properties of it with an enhancement shard. This will put a plus number at the beginning of the item’s name. For any item you can imbue other magics from one or both magic groups that are denoted as prefix and suffix magics. The names come from the fact that when you craft an item, the magic will show up in its name in front of (prefix) or after (suffix) the name of the item itself. So you can have Dextrous +5 Boots (a prefix magic), or Boots of Striding 15% (suffix magic), or a combination, Dextrous +1 Boots of Springing +3.
All three magics come in various levels of power, and will increase the enchantment level (and therefore the ML) when crafted on to an item. So a +1 Shock Heavy Mace of Bleeding has all three magics. All three magics imbued in it are only level one enchantments, but they add up to three, and thus it has an ML of 5 (2 times 3 minus 1). Just to be clear, you can only have at most one of each type (enhancement, prefix and suffix magic) on any one item. Not everything you will run across in the loot you find will be craftable, especially the more powerful magics. And named items can break any and all of the rules.
BASICS AND TUTORIALS
If you are fresh off the boat from Korthos Island, you will see Mari Mosshand. She will give you a red bag to keep collectables in, and a blue one for your gems. The gems are strictly a form a wealth that can be sold to get platinum pieces. Some collectables however are used in Cannith Crafting recipes. For magical essences though, you will need a green bag. Head to the southwest (lower left on the map) portion of the Harbor and talk to Felix d’Cannith. He will offer you a tiny ingredients bag. If you happen to be level 3 or higher, he will also offer to direct you to the crafting hall. This option will allow you to begin a short tutorial quest on Cannith Crafting. There is also a redundant bag provider and quest giver in the Marketplace. A warforged named Vertigo, located between the gate to the House Phiarlan and House Deneith enclaves (northwest/upper left part of the map).
After acquiring the quest from Felix, the Marketplace gate will start flashing on your map. Go through it. Once in the Marketplace a yellow arrow will guide you on your mini-map to the House Kundarak enclave. Just inside House K and to your right is the entrance to the crafting hall. Although Cannith Crafting was introduced in Update 9 of DDO, it wasn’t until Update 11 that there actually was a House Cannith you could visit. As a result there are two crafting halls that, except for some cosmetics and location, are identical. For now we will stick with the one in House K.
Just inside the House K crafting hall is the greeter and tutorial quest giver, Maker the warforged. Behind him is a mailbox. To the left are a set of five crafting machines, a vendor/craftswoman, and a bank. To the right is a mirror image, except the vendor has a different name/gender, and there’s an Auction House instead of a bank. You can use either side for crafting and purchases.
When you talk to Maker, he will allow you to start the crafting tutorial. This quest is non-repeatable and cannot be abandoned. It also has an odd quirk. Maker will want you to purchase and craft certain things. If these things are in a green bag, Maker will refuse to acknowledge that you have them. The easiest thing to do is to double click any green bags you have in inventory and uncheck the “Auto Gather” box at the bottom until you complete the tutorial quest. Even after you complete the tutorial quest, Maker and either craftsman/vendor can help refresh your memory on how to craft by answering questions.
Once you start the quest, Maker will ask you to buy two crafting reagents, Lorinda’s Ultimate Remover (colored green and used for extracting suffix magic) and a Dust of Disjuntion (colored grey and used for preparing an item to be imbued with magic). A vendor is at the far end of either side of the hall. When you are purchasing these items from the vendor, you will also see blue soul bags for soul gems (used in greater bane magic and created by the “Trap the Soul” spell), the yellow Parfett’s Leading Dissolver (for prefix magics), and the red Liquid Knife potion (for removing the “+” enhancement from weapons and armor). For right now just buy the green and grey items as Maker directed. If you take up crafting you will eventually need the yellow and red ones.
If you have these items in your main inventory and not in a bag, Maker will allow you to advance the quest. He’ll give you a -1 Weak Quarterstaff of Lesser Halfling Bane and ask you to extract some magical essences from it using the Item Deconstruction machine. Walk thru the archway to either side of the hall and the machine will be immediately to your left.
Click on the machine, then open your inventory and drag the quarterstaff into the “Your Ingredients” box. Given the current items in the box, the machine will display all possible crafting options for those ingredients. In this case we want fire essences. So click on that option. The machine will automatically place the necessary remaining items it needs in the “Your Ingredients” box, provided of course that you have them on you. Unlike Maker, the machine doesn’t care whether they are in you main inventory or a bag. Hit the Deconstruct button. The machine performs its function and gives you a random amount of essences based on the enchantment level of the magic you are extracting (see the wiki for details). You should now have at least one lesser fire essence in your inventory.
Go back to Maker and advance the quest. He now wants you to make a magic shard. There are actually two types of shards, bound and unbound. Bound shards are bound to account (BtA), and can only be transferred to other characters via a shared bank account (free to VIP or purchasable in the DDO store). Unbound shards are just that, and can be freely traded, auctioned, mailed, etc. Unfortunately unbound shards will require higher levels of crafting and more essences than their bound counterparts. And some high level shards will have no unbound counterpart.
The Bound Shard crafting machine is just past the Item Deconstruction machine on the left side. (The right side will have either the bank or Auction House followed by the two unbound crafting machines.) When you first click on the machine, the left portion of the window for it will display a recipe book. You can click on it to see pages of what you can make with the your current crafting levels. In the upper right part of the window are various ways to filter what is displayed, including altering the crafting levels to show things you cannot currently make. For now you can either place some or all of the ingredients in the “Your Ingredients box” to make a “Fire Touch” shard. Or an easier way is to type at least part of the name in the search box and click on the “Fire Touch” recipe to auto-fill in the ingredients. Note that there is a “Chance to Craft” listed in the lower right corner once a recipe is selected. You can attempt to craft a shard up to ten levels beyond you current crafting level, but the chance of failure increases the higher you go. You will also lose more ingredients if the attempt fails based on how low the chance of your success was. However, if you do succeed, you will become 5% more effective in crafting that particular shard, as well as earning some crafting XP. But in this case the crafting level required is one in the elemental school, which all characters start with. So press the “Craft” button and head back to Maker with your new bound shard.
Maker will now give you an ordinary Heavy Mace and ask you to disjunct it. Disjuncting prepares an item to be imbued with the magic of one or more shards. If an item is already imbued with magic, then it will erase all existing magic to prepare it to be crafted upon. Disjuncting an item with magic already on it will not give you any essences. You also cannot disjunct named items. Be aware that there are some random loot gen items that might appear to be craftable, but on closer inspection you will notice that they are bound to character on equip (BtCoE). For the purposes of crafting, these are essentially named items. So head back to the first machine and put the Heavy Mace in it. Since it has no magic, there is only a disjunct option listed. Select it and press “Deconstruct”.
If you bring up your inventory and hover the mouse pointer over the Heavy Mace, you will see in its description “Craftable (+5)”. This means it is ready to have up a total of a level five enchantment crafted on to it. At crafting level 30 (with a 100% chance, or a 50% chance at level 20), you can start crafting special shards that increase the item’s potential for having a higher level of enchantment on it. But until you have a character above level 9 (remember the multiply by two and subtract one rule, use it on 5 and you get 9), you won’t need to worry about this.
So now when you go back to Maker, he will ask you to craft the magical shard on to the prepared Heavy Mace. For this step, follow your previous path around the room to the left until you reach the third machine, the Bound Items device. Click on it and place both the Heavy Mace and the Fire Touch shard in the “Your Ingredients” box. Even though there is only one recipe that matches, you will still have to click on it before hitting the “Craft” button.
Congratulations, you now have your first Cannith Crafted item. Head back to Maker and complete the quest. You will gain a small amount of experience and Maker might even offer you a reward. Besides this you have also gained some crafting experience each time you used the Decontruction and Bound Shard machines. Pull up your character sheet (‘C’ key or main menu in the lower left corner), and click on the Crafting tab. All operations involved the Elemental school of magic, and this is where your current experience lies. To get experience in the other schools, you will have to deconstruct and/or craft shards that have magics in those schools.
CONTINUING TO CRAFT
If you are a free-to-play player (you haven’t spent any money on DDO to acquire Turbine Points or a VIP subscription), then you probably won’t want to spend your earned Turbine Points on a shared bank account. If so, you will have to craft on all your characters that you want to have Cannith Crafted items (or obtain high enough crafting levels to craft unbound shards and larger essence requirements). Each will have to level up each of the crafting schools separately. While this limitation might make you think that crafting is not worthwhile, between the easily acheived crafting levels of 8 and 15, there are arrows and runestones well worth the effort.
If you do have a shared bank account, it is best to concentrate your crafting efforts all on one character, so that it can acheive high levels in all three schools, and craft shards for your other characters. Once you have crafted the shards, trade them through the shared bank to the character who needs the Cannith Crafted item. Once a bound shard is crafted on to an item, the item is then bound to that character. It doesn’t require any crafting levels to use the Bound or Unbound Item machines, and no crafting experience is earned using them. So even if you don’t craft, or don’t have very high levels, any character can get unbound shards from a high level crafter and make their own equipment. Unbound shards can even be crafted on to an item and then traded, auctioned, mailed, etc. to the end user, as long as it is never equipped by the crafter.
To gain crafting levels quickly, you will need to craft shards that you will have no use for. Deconstructing items will give you a little crafting XP besides the essences extracted, but most XP will come from crafting shards. When you are done crafting useless shards, you can recycle them in the Deconstruction machine. You will only get a small percentage of what you put into them back, and you won’t get any crafting XP.
Be sure to check out the web pages on the DDO Wiki about Cannith Crafting. Also check out a crafting planner that can help you do ML calculations and see what magics you can combine on which items. There is one listed in the Library under Other Resources. Be aware that until you get to very high crafting levels and can craft Flexible shards, certain magics can only be applied to a limited set of items. The wiki or a planner can give you a list of what items will accept a certain magic. Or you can just hover the mouse pointer over the item icon in a recipe on the Bound or Unbound Item machine, and it will list what items will accept that magic.
Regardless of whether or not you take up crafting, you can get your first small green bag (which holds 30 different types of essences) for free from Gustavine Kyerrh in the Tower of the Twelve. All other bags will have to be purchased from vendors or the DDO store, earned from acquiring favor, or traded for using planar shards.