Jan 162014

60 seconds to build the character, 45 minutes to build his equipment
60 seconds to build the character,
45 minutes to build his equipment

It is commonly believed that Cannith Crafting is broken, or unfinished, or that it just takes too long to earn crafting levels compared to what you can make with those crafting levels.

Or maybe it is just that in many other MMOs, people who take the time to master crafting are able to make things that other people want to buy. Put your time in and you have a built-in income stream.

It does feel like maybe there was supposed to be another upgrade to the system, maybe to crafting level 200? Something that would let crafters make more of their items available to people unbound or to make things that people will want to use later in the level cycle.

And I can’t argue that crafting has kept up with changes in the game, because it has not.

  • You cannot craft an item that has current weapon prefixes and suffixes
  • You cannot craft an item with Spellcraft
  • You cannot craft anything Epic, although the game emphasis is now on Epic levels

Not everyone agrees with this. Some of the older weapon mutations are better than the new ones. Only casters really need Spellcraft, and not even all casters. And as Izaak points out, some crafted items are usable into Epic levels.

Regardless, I think everyone will agree that there is one thing you can do with Cannith Crafting better than you can with any other game system: kit up your lower level characters.

All the way through Heroic levels, if you are willing to take the time, you can outfit your guy/gal to peak efficiency with 100% crafted items. Yes, you will want add your Greensteel items, they are better than can be crafted, and there is probably a Named item or two that is similarly too good to leave out.

Yet, most items can be found with two Augment slots. Meaning you can pick up to four mutations for that item. Four! That you picked yourself, intentionally!

It is time-consuming and essence-consuming but if you are willing to make the investment, your Heroic characters can as well equipped as the raid-running multi-TR powergamer.

This is especially true at the lowest levels. An example:

Recently I needed a low-level character to accompany a guildie that had returned after a long absence. Everyone was waiting on me, so I used Veteran Status to create a 4th level caster druid; I’ve recently spent a lot of time on caster druids and was comfortable making one in a hurry.

The character performed relatively well that night, it is a solid build even on first life, but his equipment was so … bad. It bothered me. I can do so much better. And I did, the next night I spent about 45 minutes at the crafting altars and now my 4th level druid has these capabilities:

  • WIS +3
  • CON +3
  • Power VIII
  • Dusk
  • False Life
  • Combustion 42
  • Glaciation 42
  • Devotion 42
  • Sustenance +7
  • Jump +7
  • Striding 15%
  • Evocation Focus I
  • Stability

I was going to dominate the lower level content regardless, I know it quite well and this is a good build. Some would argue that my 45 minutes was wasted, and so were the thousands of clicks that I spent building up my crafting character.

Maybe so, but I like having everything I want on my character. He can compete against multiple-TRs with all kinds of past lives and even though he is on his first life, acquit himself decently well.

Even one as anal-retentive as I will not do this over and over for the character as he levels; he will level too fast to keep up. But now he has a solid foundation, one that will take him through to double-digit levels without worry.

And that’s one less thing to worry about.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  10 Responses to “There is one thing that Cannith Crafting does really, really well.”

Comments (10)
  1. You forgot invulnerability on your armour, that 5/magic DR is a real lifesaver at low levels.

  2. I quite like how the crafting can fill out perceived gaps in your equipment, and there are some fun combinations of enchantments you can create πŸ™‚

    In DDO, the variety of equipment, class, race, feat, enhancement combinations makes it far more entertaining that your standard MMORPG. I’m sure Geoff can attest to the beauty of being able to make custom Dwavern Axes (and rags) for a halfling, you won’t see that in the other [redacted] licensed game on the market πŸ˜›

    And yes, we out level everything far too quickly in this game πŸ˜‰

  3. Good read. I didnt know you could craft Dusk by the way. I want to add that I really hope they add Flaming/Shock II, III, Mettaline Transformation (suffix), Humanoid Bane, Heartseeker II and be able to sunder essences at 5:1 rate instead of 1:1. So much time wasterd to get a few hundred lesser essences that can be used up in 10 seconds.

  4. I agree. I have used Cannith Crafting a lot on lower level and Heroic lives. Creating stat items, skill items, and weopons of pure good have been immensely helpful to my characters.

  5. Hmmmm, Not sure I can completely agree with you sentiments here after the latest round of loot changes. I’d really like to know which old weapon affixes are better than current ones; to the best of my knowledge almost all of them have been improved or consolidated into all-in-one enchantments that are, as a whole, better than the individual parts. The only exceptions I can think of are the pure stat damage effects (getting an enemy into 0 ability state is something my rogue LOVES to do to get guaranteed sneak attacks), and the lost 3% chance to stun on stunning weapons…. Otherwise, everything else I’ve seen/cna think of has been outshone.

    Yes, there may be one or two items you could put together that can last a life time (everbright ooze/rust monster weapon) but that’s because there’s such a disparity in acceptable alternatives (muckbane in harbor quests and the exceedingly rare muck’s doom in the Pit). Though chances are if you were to find a random everbright weapon; it’d be better than what you could craft.

    As for the gear you crafted for your level 4-bie, have you taken a really good look at the loot that drops at low levels recently?

    Equal-or-greater ability items are not uncommon, Wizardry II items are a dime a dozen (and that’s better than Power VIII by 20 SP), admittedly Dusk is cool, false life is readily found (as is vitality, which stacks with false life), non-weapon spellpower enchantments are nice and not as easily found (though I still run across several), skill bonuses are easily found, where striding is concerned there is now a Speed Enchantment which covers striding AND a small attack speed boost (which seems to stack with other bonuses in my usage, but I’m not sure), I can’t say I’ve seen a DC booster so that’s nice, Stability is cool but deflection and resistance items are readily available as are natural armor bonuses. All of that doesn’t take any account to several of the new enchantments out there either; deadly is *very* nice enchantment that seems to drop frequently and spell crit items are exceedingly awesome in their adjusted values (especially when stacked with other sources of spell crit chance).

    Granted, feather-falling and underwater action are probably still easier to craft and if you’re looking for *specific* skill bonuses (rogue skills, haggle, etc.), the truly useful/desirable ones still seem to be incredibly rare so crafting is a good route.

    These are just my thoughts on the subject and, more or less, why I feel like Cannith Crafting in its current state truly is not worth the time and effort (especilally considering the rapidity with which characters gain low levels and the pace at which wild loot outstrips power levels of crafted loot).

    Honestly, I think the biggest thing that would work towards putting crafting aright in DDO is to take the stance that if it’s good enough for Random Loot, it’s good enough for Crafting and have all enchantments dynamically added/removed/updated in the crafting tables as they are in the random effect tables.

    • Power VIII > Wiz II by 30 points, and there are no 10 point False Life random drops that can be worn at 4th level (there are two named items though). On the other hand, Speed > Striding, and every melee build should have Deadly which cannot be crafted.

      Not arguing with most of your main points, and I totally agree that crafting would be improved if it kept up with random loot. But I was able to put that loot list together in 45 minutes. I sincerely doubt I could have matched it using the auction house (and if I did, it would still have taken about as long), and there is no way I could have accumulated an equally potent list by finding it as random loot.

      So we agree to disagree on the usefulness of crafting for kitting out your lowbies.

      • That’s the thing to Cannith Crafting, if you can’t find the item in the AH, chests, friends, pockets, etc … then, make it! If you can’t make it exactly, make some near enough, it’s more fun when there’s still the chance of finding better loot, well, in my opinion πŸ˜›

        As for ooze and rusty beaters, Muckbane and Muck’s Doom are not finesse weapons, so I have characters that have made Everbright Light Maces of X damage burst etc. Oh, and my favourite: Elemental Damage (burst?) Scepter of Aberration Bane, at higher levels when you really want to make a rusty go away they are better than Mucky weapons.

        Yes I imagine there are better random loot items, now and in the past, but if you don’t have those better items, make something else fun!

        (Sorry, this got too long, even I might not read it :P)

        • First of all, thanks to Geoff for correcting one of my mistakes; somehow I’d gotten it in my head that Wizardry was 50 SP per level of enchantment when it’s actually 25 SP, which definitely changes things. ((I believe that the highest Wizardry item I’ve seen in that low range is Wizardry III which is still 5 points short of Power VIII, so that’s awesome! One point for Cannith Crafting that I wasn’t counting before!))

          On the other hand, I’d like to provide a correction of my own; I have a set of False Life + 10 bracers (random loot) with ML 3 that would like to argue against your claim that false life doesn’t exist on such low-level loot. πŸ˜‰

          I’d also like to ask Bob why the muckbane clubs not being finesse weapons are a deal-breaker. If you need to use your dex bonus instead of strength to score a hit on an ooze…well, you’re kind of in trouble… And except for (what I’ve only seen as) very rare edge cases Weapon Finesse does nothing for damage; are you maybe in one of these edge cases most of the time, or are they less rare than I realize? And yeah, making your own burst of everbright is probably more effective than using a muckbane or muck’s doom (the gap starts closing if you’re carrying it to higher levels and slotting augments) but wouldn’t finding an of everbright weapon be more likely to give you a stronger weapon against oozes? Though you still have a point about Rust Monsters, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before a combined bane that includes aberrations is introduced to the loot tables and then of will outshine even what can be made. Also, some of us (myself included) tend to lack the foresight required to obtain a wooden, out of specialization, weapon to enchant just for rust monsters or are still working so hard just to get our crafting levels finished that we can’t afford to make “extra” stuff like that when we have something “that will do”. πŸ™

          And sparked by this discussion, last night I made a brand-new level 4 artificer and ran level 2 quests on elite for a little under an hour (I started a 1-hour timer and stopped with over 6 minutes left, so not quite bound within 45 minutes but very close). And while what I got is most certainly NOT equal in caliber to your crafted loot list, I did get some pretty decent things in such a short amount of time:
          – Acid Resistance 10 Goggles
          – +1 Breastplate of Vitality 5
          – Bracers of False Life 10
          – +1 Reconstrutction (36) scepter of Healing Lore (11%), ML 2 ((It’s not the specific enchantments or their combination that I feel are important here, but the numerical levels of each enchantment available; I admit it’s still a craps shoot.))
          – Ogre Power 2 Gloves, ML 3. ((Crafting clearly wins out here, following the progression, ability +3 won’t be equippable until lvl 5 in the wild. However, in many cases, a +1 won’t matter except as a bufffer against one point of ability damage.))
          – +1 Seeker 2 Sickle of Righteousness. ((Ever since their update to weapon damage type, Righteous weapons are *very* nice to have in the absence of other good-type alternatives.))
          – +1 Shock Repeating Light Crossbow of Slowburst, ML 4
          – +1 Frost Battleaxe of Slowburst, ML 2
          – Boots of Tumbling +5, ML 3 ((Once again, I feel it’s the numerical level available on this one that matters; getting the skill you want is definitely a problem.))
          – +2 Thaumaturgy (potency 28, Corrosion 42, Radiance 42) Quarterstaff of Ice Lore 11%, ML 4

          So as a recap, an hour of running quests and looting level 4 chests yielded many things that, while not specifically useful to the character at hand, were rather nice for their level in and of themselves. Now, adjust into that the benefit of running with others who would be willing to share if you had just jumped in and started questing and probably questing and looting higher-level quests/chests. Also of note, in that under-an-hour timeframe, I had advanced the character three ranks through level 4 without the aid of learning tomes, XP elixers, or other outside sources of XP (I’m a VIP so there’s that bonus, and the bravery bonus from running level 2 quests on elite, but no other help).

          So to wrap it up, I don’t hate crafting; quite the opposite really. I was quite excited when it was announced and when it was released I began grinding all my loot up and trying to utilize the system. And for the time that it was actually on-par or better than random loot I used it as much as possible. My feelings towards it now are more encapsulated by saddened and depressed; I find that nowadays I just break stuff down and try to level my crafting for the sake of leveling my crafting. There’s no reason to make high-level stuff as it’s vastly outshone by random loot, and at lower levels I’m reluctant to spend my hard-earned resources on gearing up a character who’s just going to fly past the gear’s usefulness and will likely find an item that makes what I’ve made obsolete within a small span of time.

          But anyway, that’s that from me. Thanks for letting me just spew some of this stuff out. Good luck, have fun, and take care all. πŸ™‚

          • Yes, the current loot tables are insane, and the current XP available is insane.

            But, people will play the game how they feel suits them, sometimes that means not using a club (Muckbane) on a character that prefers khopeshes (Khopesii?), where or not it’s more effective or splits oozes or not πŸ˜‰

            For some characters at various levels their to-hit can be borderline, I remember in the old epic quests people having to turn off Power Attack for that extra +5 … and with the new enhancement dex to damage for finesse weapons, who can say for a character if it’s worth using a crafted finesse weapon over a Muckbane?

            Again, the bottom line is random loot is random.

  6. Regarding crafting everbright weapons – my favorite is to look for byeshk warhammers (for TWF) or Maul (for THF) with a red slot. Then craft a +whatever (appropriate for your level) screaming everbright weapon with it. Slot it with an augment appropriate for your level. I think if you craft it at least with a +1 enhancement it will be ML10 and considered a paragon weapon. So it does 1.5(d) damage in addition to whatever augment you place in it (I think 1-3 damage for ML8). So for example a Byeshk Maul thus crafted overcomes the DR of Aberrations (like rust monsters) and does:

    1.5(1d10) + 1
    1d3 for augment
    1d6 sonic (scream)

    Then at L12 you can make it a +2 enhancement with a 1d4 augment.

    Much better than a muckbane or muckdoom! πŸ™‚
    Granted I have seen (rarely) a random loot everbright item that is as good, such as a bodyfeeder or icy burst or some such, but not often, and even more rare that it would be a warhammer or maul.

What do you think?

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