Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Critical Break: 0-60 Series: Goldsmithing

This is an article written by me originally appearing on Ringthree's blog.

Critical Break is our crafting and economics column written by Qtipus. Q is an experienced crafter and also well versed in using the Auction House to turn a decent profit. Enough so that he was able to fund his own relic, Gungnir. Every Tuesday you will find Q's rants, raves and good crafting practices here. This week, Q continues his 0-60 series with the final installment: Goldsmithing.

Easily the worst craft to get to 60. Virtually every synth it has is a financial loss. The primary reason for it is stupidity. For starters, SE uses many of the ingots found through here as a reward in various BCNMs and Einherjar tiers. This causes a a rather large influx of the more popular ingots like Gold and Platinum ingots and as we all know...

...when the AH has 10 or more of an item up, people start getting really stupid with their undercutting habits. On the surface, this looks like a good thing since you can take advantage of said stupidity and keep your costs down, but since Goldsmithing is similar to Smithing in it's Ingot - Sheet/Ring/Hairpin/Earring - Scales pattern, the stupidity just keeps spiraling down through the various levels of financial hell.

I wish there were a way for me to write a Goldsmithing to 60 guide without starting off in such a negative way, but reality is what it is. You will lose a lot of money getting to 60 with this, so make absolutely sure you have a rock-solid method of income (or a ton of patience) before you attempt to tackle this. Some of the ingot synths can be slightly profitable, but any profit you make from them will get eaten up ten-fold shortly afterwards.

Read on for the pain...

Phase 1: Copper and Brass - Nothing Witty to Say About Them

This will be as simple as it gets through this guide. What you'll find is that you will be spending a lot of time making ingots early on, then taking advantage of the stupidity of people selling the ingots only to get victimized by more stupidity trying to sell off your results to recoup your money.

Guild. Buy the copper ores there, it doesn't get any cheaper. Stacks of these sell for a slight profit due to lazy crafters, so take advantage of it while you can. Keep some around for your next synth. If Guild prices are out of whack (i.e. more than 14 gil ea.), buy from Denvihr.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Copper Ore
Cap: Level 3

Use your previously made ingots to cap on these. Might be able to AH a few of these for a little profit, but don't count on it. Save one for your rank up, but NPC your results otherwise.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Copper Ingot
Cap: Level 7

There are usually a ton of Zinc Ores up on the AH in Bastok due to the fame quest there. Buy 'em at 500 gil or less, then buy your copper ore in the usual places. Stacks of these usually go for 9-10k on the Jeuno AH, so it might behoove you to make a few stacks specifically to sell and keep building that cash buffer if Zinc Ores stay in supply. If not, Palborough and Zeruhn Mines are the easiest spots to mine these things up with Palborough having the best rates, but far more spread out mining points.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 3x Copper Ore, 1x Zinc Ore
Cap: Level 9

Use some of your previously made brass ingots to cap on these.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Brass Ingot
Cap: Level 11

Can skip these if you like, but probably not a good idea. Save some money again by making your own brass ingots.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Brass Sheet
Cap: Level 13

Save one for rank up. Possible to sell on AH for a slight profit, but again, don't count on it. NPC results otherwise. It's possible to skip this synth and move onto the next one depending on the availability of silver beastcoins, but again...you probably want to pick up at least a couple levels off these things before moving on.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Brass Ingot
Cap: Level 17

Phase 2: Silver - Your Wallet's Last Stand

Sometime during this phase, throw a goodbye party for your wallet, cause afterwards, you're going to lose it.

Silver beastcoins are usually cheap on the AH. This synth comes in around the same price as buying the silver ores from the guild for 341 each as long as you buy them for 4k/stack or less. Save your ingots for a later synth.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Silver Beastcoins.
Cap: Level 18

Buy these from Goldsmithing guild at their lowest point. Cap on these and save for later synth.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Silver Ore
Cap: Level 20

NPC your results here. These have no purpose to anyone whatsoever. You can cap on these or move to the next synth and cap on that. You will have less invested in the next synth and you will make more in return to NPC.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Silver Ingot
Cap: Level 22

This is purely a bridge synth. You will lose a little money on this unless you farm up your zinc ores for the brass ingot. Buy a bronze hammer from Ciqala for 300ish gil and craft away. Just NPC the results.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Brass Ingot, 1x Bronze Hammer
Cap: Level 24

Save one for rank up. These cap at 27, but at least make to 26. You're going to lose about 500-1k/synth minimum here. As with the previous hairpin synths, you can possibly recoup most of your cost if you manage to sell on the AH, but I wouldn't rely on it happening.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Silver Ingot
Cap: Level 27

Keep your costs to the absolute minimum here. If you manage to do that, you'll break even on these reselling them on the AH. These sell about average there, so you could reasonably expect to move 2-3 stacks a day. Problem is that these are pretty much one of the only consumables that Goldsmithing has, so there are people who will HQ these as a bit of a side-money-maker.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Copper Ingot, 1x Silver Ingot
Cap: Level 31

This is the last chance you have to really break even or profit from any of the synths in this guide. They sell for cost or slightly above on the AH, but move about as fast as the Hiraishin. Again keep your costs to a minimum and cap on these.

Recipe: Earth Crystal, 2x Silver Ingot
Cap: Level 33

Phase 3: You Didn't Like Gil Anyway

Farming is the only way you're not going to lose your ass here. Farming the materials for some of these next synths sucks too, so that's usually not an option.

Here's the good news: You can cap this at 38 without really losing your ass as long as you buy mythril beastcoins off the AH for 14k/stack or cheaper. Ingot prices may be a little higher on other servers, but on Odin, the Ingots themselves are turning around for about 4-6k ea. Make as many of these as you can and then some, pay close attention to single ingot prices and stack ingot prices and sell according to the higher one. Turn in a Chain Gorget when you cap for your next rank.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Mythril Beastcoin
Cap: Level 38

Here's the bad new Odds are you're going to lose money here. You can buy mythril ores from the guild for as cheap as 1.5k ea and the AH is usually around the same point. Unfortunately the AH doesn't keep many ores around and the guild isn't down that low most of the time. Your only other alternative is to farm golems or antica or anything else that might drop the ore semi-regularly. A little relief is in sight with the next synth though.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Mythril Ore
Cap: Level 40

Use your ingots you just made to cap on these. The sheets sell for about the same as the ingot or a little more.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Mythril Ingot
Cap: Level 41

I put this here mainly as a bridge and didn't mention it's Vivified Mythril Ingot synth from earlier. The reason I didn't was because making your own animas requires you to have Alchemy at 75. Buying them off the AH is a joke on Odin. To me that pretty much tosses that particular synth out the window. However, there are some that make the ingot and sell it or some that find it in the Chocobo Hot and Cold Game. Compare the cost of the two materials to the sale price of Reraise Earrings and decide from there if you want to do this synth. You can buy the Mythril Earring from Scamplix or Matoaka. Due to it's low level cap and low level use, this item is spammed like crazy on the AH. They sell fast, but there's almost always a huge supply of them up.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Mythril Earring, 1x Vivified Mythril Ingot
Cap: Level 45

A brief reprieve in the mass spending dept. Make your own mats and definitely synth to cap here. You can probably skip Reraise Earrings or even Mythril Sheets and the second Mythril Ingot synth if you don't mind a 9 level gap. NPCing the results will net you a slight loss, but it takes a ton of breaks and a ton of loss before you even come close to matching what you'd lose by busting one or two reraise earring synths completely.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Brass Ingot, 1x Copper Ingot
Cap: Level 47

Phase 4: May As Well Be Charged 87,489 Every Time You Log In

There is no easy way to finish this off. Just grit your teeth and do it.

Gold Beastcoins are regularly thieved from higher level beastmen, so they're usually in steady supply. Make to cap here and keep for later synths. Turn in a Mythril Ring when you hit 48 for your last rank up.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Gold Beastcoin
Cap: Level 51

Same progression as the other ingots. The coin version is a couple levels below the ore version. Gold Ore is usually up in decent supply on both the Bastok and Jeuno AHs. You will likely lose 2-4k/ingot if you decide to resell these, but if you've been following these guides, you know to hold onto them and use them in the next synth.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 4x Gold Ore
Cap: Level 53

These sell on the AH for a loss, but they sell kind of decently. Cap on these instead of Gold Sheets as you'll lose more money on those and the level gap is covered by synthesis support anyway.

Recipe: Earth Crystal, 2x Gold Ingot
Cap: Level 55

These next few synths are probably going to hurt or make you sit on your inventory for a while. These do sell and they sell for about the same loss as the Gold Chains. Should definitely consider capping on these, but be prepared to have your inventory space killed on a mule for a while.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Gold Ingot
Cap: Level 57

Insane loss on Odin server. You lose about half the ingot value making these and reselling. Avoid these unless you just don't want to risk a double ingot bust on the next option.

Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Gold Ingot
Cap: Level 58

Higher level Goldsmithers will buy these in quantity attempting to HQ the mid-level stat rings. This makes their sales streaky though and the only way you're really going to move them is to sell them at a loss. On Odin, they sell for about a 5k loss, which isn't bad all things considering, but can still add up quick. They'll kill your inventory space while you wait for them to sell too.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 2x Gold Ingot
Cap: Level 60

This an appealing option due to the fact that it's a single-ingot synth and the results sell for a profit. The unappealing part of it is that it's cap is 64 and you're probably going to bust a few of them. Catch Artisan's Advantage and try to cap on these instead of Gold Rings if you don't want your wallet or inventory space destroyed.

Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Platinum Ingot
Cap: Level 64, but level 60 for this guide's purposes.

There you have it. Goldsmithing at 60. You probably lost about a half-mil to a mil if I had to estimate following this guide. Hopefully you made some gil from the actual profitable synths prior to the huge loss ones.

This also concludes the 0-60 Series. What I hoped to accomplish with this entire series was to shed some light on newer options that are available due to updates that have happened since a lot of the guides have been written. I also hoped to shed light on the options that were available to make getting from 0-60 as cheap as possible. These guides will likely not have their own dedicated section on this blog, so after they've all been published here, I will publish them on my own blog and dedicate a small section to them. Hope you guys enjoyed the trip and look for my next series, 60-100 to start up soon.

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Qtipus' Information

FFXI subscriber since NA release.