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. After spending hours upon hours writing eight 0-60 guides, Q shows he's a glutton for punishment by starting another series; 60-100. The first in this series is Bonecraft.
In the 0-60 Bonecrafting guide I wrote, I mentioned the fact that Bonecrafting was one of the easiest and cheapest crafts to level. This holds especially true for this craft up to about 70. Beyond 70, it gets a lot more risky, but the end result will still show you being around the break even point.
That's what I hope to demonstrate in this guide. Yes you will need some working capital and a little luck avoiding breaks (Artisan's Advantage is your friend), but the amount of time you'll spend farming up items for this trek is slim to none. This guide mostly relies on the availability of materials on the Auction House.
Each of these guides will ask three questions. These questions will revolve around where the money is made. Here they are:
Does this craft have consumables?
Yes, Bonecrafting has a number of consumables. The most notable of which are reraise hairpins/gorgets and arrowheads. There are a couple other odds and ends consumables, but these are the primary ones and they are consumed enough to make a living off of them.
Does this craft have in-demand end-game gear?
Yes, quite a bit actually. The Neptunal Abjuration set has 3 common pieces dropping from sky and are pretty much still among the best pieces you can get for the slots. The other two pieces drop off Fafhogg and out of Einherjar and generally sell for a loss due to spammage, but you may catch the AH at times for a little profit. There's also the hydra gear commonly used for damage reduction sets. A couple pieces of the unicorn set are decent and there's the ever popular Igqira set.
Lastly, does this craft have in-demand mid-range items?
Yes. While Beetle gear is probably a notch or two below "mid-range", some of it is good until those mid levels. There's also the Scorpion Harness and a host of weapons that are decent.
Before we really get into the guide, we need to go over what you will need in order to follow this guide. Details after the jump.
First, you will need to get Bone Purification. If you're serious about taking this craft to 100 and making money off of it, you're going to be using this particular key item a ton.
Second, Filing doesn't hurt. It's cheap from a GP standpoint and saves some time. There are some that will argue against using this since they feel it minimizes the number of chances you have to HQ various arrowhead synths, but from my testing, the end results are about the same.
Third, get your Protective Spectacles and your Bonecrafter's Ring before you start on this guide. Won't hurt to be doing GPs along the way so you can pick up your Boneworker's Apron once you hit 68. The reason for this relates specifically to a 25ish level stretch between 68-96 depending on which items you choose to synth.
Fourth, learn the value of the offset. Spending a little time killing for some of these materials early on (or fishing if it's high enough in level) and it will pay dividends later when the inevitable breaks occur. This doesn't mean farm up every single material you're going to use (unless I say otherwise...), but it does mean that you'll need to understand there's a value in working with time spent vs. gil earned/saved. The idea behind these guides is to have you at or over what you started with in terms of gil.
Lastly, patience. Don't overload yourself on too much stock. This causes materials to inflate and product to deflate.
Phase 1: Let Me See Your Patas
These are commonly picked up by woodworkers for making the arrows. If you have a buddy skilling on these arrows or that simply uses them to make money, sell them to them. Otherwise, just put your stacks up on the AH. They usually sell for a little above cost even if you NQ every single one of them.
Also be mindful of the single horn prices (4k) versus the stack horn prices (60k, or 5k ea). It will take 17 successful NQ synths to make one stack. Buying the horns at 5k each and farming up your bone chips will result in a cost of ~85k. Current AH prices at the time I'm writing this guide (early Sept) show stack sales at ~120k. As you continue to skill up, you can use these as a bit of a fall back for a bit of a quick cash grab as long as material costs stay pretty steady. Filing helps with this process.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Demon Horn, 1x Bone Chip
Cap: Level 63
This is just about the only item I will say "Go out and farm up your materials" for. Your main goal here is to keep your costs below 1k. Crab shells and giant femurs are usually in decent supply and cheap on the AH, but the carbon fiber will usually eat up your budget. All of the materials are cheap enough where if you want to lose some money on these, feel free. You probably made enough on the demon arrowheads to cover it. Make your own carbon fiber if your alchemy is at 45, but it will likely end up being cheaper just to buy off the AH. I hope you have a lot of mule room.
You can also dump a few of these up on the AH for sale if you choose to and try to get lucky by catching a goldsmither who is skilling up. Save one of these to turn in for your Artisan rank.
Recipe: Fire Crystal, 1x Crab Shell, 2x Giant Femur, 1x Carbon Fiber
Cap: Level 68
This is only here because it's a relatively cheap synth to make. It's a loss if you buy your ram horns off the AH, so if you elect to use this as a synth, head out to the highlands or the plateau and start raping some rams.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Ram Horn
Cap: Level 69
Phase 2: Reraise Items Are Your Best Friend/Worst Enemy
You need Bone Purification here. You also need a friend who can make some animas for you. Buying stacks of animas off the AH will rape your wallet. Not that buying the somber, startling or radiant clusters/memories will be easy on it, but definitely not as hard as the end product. This begins a series of synths that you will be selling on the AH.
Your Bonecrafter's Ring comes in mighty handy here too. HQ'ing below the cap is rare as it is, but killing that chance while increasing your chances of NQ success will definitely pay huge dividends for you.
A staple of your next 12-14 levels. Save all of your results. Good thing they stack. Cap on these before you move to the next synth. Also, once you cap, buy a crapload of Shall Shells or Istiridyes off the AH for 7k/stack or less. If they aren't that low, hopefully your fishing skill is somewhere around 25. You can park yourself in Nashmau and fish up the Istiridyes all day long.
Since you're at 71, you're now in HQ Tier 3 range for the pearl and black pearl synths. Making your own always works out to be cheaper than buying off the AH, so keep this in mind. If you want to mass produce these to make money off of them through volume selling, buying the black pearls off the AH can be offset somewhat by making sure you made a couple stacks of your own. On average, for every 8 stacks of shells I burned down, I ended up with approx 3 stacks of pearls, 1 stack of black pearls and 4 stacks of pebbles. You can do the math from there as to how many stacks it will take for you to get to the 10ish stacks of black pearls you'll need to cap at 80 here. NPC the extra pearls you have (1,235 gil with max fame in Windy) along with the pebbles and I hope you have a ton of storage space.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Light Anima, 1x Water Anima, 1x Lightning Anima, 1x Coral Fragment
Cap: Level 71
These will ultimately get turned into Reraise Hairpins. Start using the aforementioned Pearls and Black Pearls you hopefully made before starting these synths. Try to get up to around 73 before you start putting the results together with the Vivified Coral you made earlier. If you have both of your +skill armors and synthesis support, you won't experience many breaks. Hold onto one of these to turn in for your Adept rank once you hit 78.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Coral Fragment, 1x Pearl, 1x Black Pearl
Cap: Level 77
Around 73-75, you'll start making these and selling them on the AH for profit. On Odin, the profit margin is usually around 5-10k each and they sell fast. Unfortunately, the market is pretty saturated with undercutters. Be mindful of this as you list them for sale. You will likely be undercut within 2-3 sales.
Skilling up between 73-80 will pretty much consist of alternating between Coral Hairpins, Reraise Hairpins and Coral Gorgets as you need the supplies. You will be revisiting the Vivified Coral synth quite often, so again, I hope you have at least 2 stacks of each anima and I hope that you get a little lucky with the skillups.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Vivified Coral, 1x Coral Hairpin
Cap: Level 80
You will be making these primarily for the next synth. If you get completely pissed off with the Shall Shell/Istiridye synths to make Coral Hairpins (I don't blame you if you do), then this is a good way to cap at 80 too. Farm up your sheep leather (you do have Leathercraft at 4 don't you..?) or buy off the AH if it's 8k/stack or less. Save your materials for the next synth.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Sheep Leather, 1x Coral Fragment
Cap: Level 80
Cap on these and sell them on the AH. They don't sell as fast as the Reraise Hairpins due to their job limitations, but they still sell at a good pace. These are almost always listed a little cheaper than the Hairpins as well due to a slightly lower cost.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Vivified Coral, 1x Coral Gorget
Cap: Level 82
Phase 3: Trumpeted Fanfare
In most guides, the area between 82 - ~86 is usually a complete wasteland of money. The general consensus for these particular levels consist of making the various parts of dragon armor. These are generally still good to make, but they sell super slow and often for well below cost. They serve no purpose other than to provide a material for an Alchemist who is perhaps trying to HQ some of the cursed Wyrmal gear. The skillups through this area will be slow, but fortunately, SE has given Bonecrafters a better way forward.
The Karakul leather portion of this synth isn't super cheap compare to it's sheep leather counter part. This is due to SE's stupidly implemented Imperial Tea Leaves. If you happen to catch a few stacks of these leaves on the AH, definitely swoop them up. The Karakul skins are commonly available for 1k or so each and this makes your Karakul leather synth cost around 2-3k each instead of paying the ~7k that they're currently selling for. Wivre Horns are usually available too for around 3k and the end result of this synth sells decently for profit around 10k ea.
Have a set of Coral Bangles ready to turn in for your final rank: Veteran
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Karakul Leather, 1x Wivre Horn
Cap: Level 86
Easily the best gift SE ever gave to Bonecrafters. This is a HUGE level gap, but well worth it when you consider the alternatives. If you've picked up the 3 pieces of available gear from GPs and can get the trumpet shells off the AH for less than 21k/stack, you can just park your patootie right in front of a vendor and NPC your results for a slight profit. There will be breaks yes, but if breaks are your only loss at this level in any craft, you're doing wonderfully. My experience through this phase saw me HQ 3 rings and break around 20 synths. I know I got lucky, but my pointing this out is really just to show that this level gap isn't anything to be super worried about. Definitely make to cap.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Trumpet Shell
Cap: Level 96
Phase 4: Final Push
The path to 100 here gets rather tangled up. You're either limited by AH supply or you're taking rather large monetary risks. Hydra greaves material prices have come down quite a bit since the implementation of ZNM along with the Orochi Nodowa. Both of these pieces sell decently paced on the AH (especially the latter) and for a profit, but the issue is catching the scale. For the path to 100, I tried to go with items that were relatively cheap and had materials available for short burn sessions.
If you manage to nab these on the AH for 2.5-3k ea., you can NPC the results for 2.7k. Not a huge loss at all. You might even be able to sell a couple on the AH for a decent-sized profit since it's used in one of the most commonly upgraded relics; the Gjallarhorn. The material for it isn't always available though.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Colossal Skull
Cap: Level 100
At this level, you can HQ the piss out of some Titanictus for the shells. Make sure you take advantage of this. NPCing the results here will be a loss no matter what, so try to make sure you keep your costs to a minimum since this thing doesn't sell on the AH at all.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Titanictus Shell, 1x H.Q. Pugil Shells, 1x Sheep Leather
Cap: Level 100
There you have it! You now have a craft at 100 with mostly profitable consumables and end game gear sets that have managed to stay in demand all these years. Between the Neptunal Gear, Igqira Gear and, to a lesser extent, Hydra gear, Bonecrafting has a lot to offer in terms of making money as long as you're mindful of the fact that HQ money is a bonus and not a way of life.
If you brought this to 100, then it's obvious you're wanting to make money at it. If you haven't already done so, your next priorities should be getting your Leathercrafting and Alchemy subs capped. Picking up Tanner's Gloves will enable you to reach tier 2 for both portions of the Scorpion Harness synth (with Adv. Leather support).
The 60-100 series will follow the same pattern as my 0-60 series. One thing that I will be doing, as I have not actually leveled all crafts to 100, is that I will be getting contributions from experienced crafters for these guides. Next week, we'll take a look at Clothcraft.