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 60-100 series with the fourth installment: Leathercraft. This week's special guess editor/commentator/contributor: Mr. Ninja "Don't call me Connie" Fox
In researching how to get to 100 for this craft, one thing dawned on me...
This is insanely cheap and easy to get to 89 if you go out and farm and not real painful at all to get to 100. The last 11 levels will probably annoy most people due to the number of non-stackable items you have to lug around plus the forced waiting for wyvern skins, but compared to other crafts, man it's easy.
The things you go out to farm have great drop rates and generally have accessible Outpost warps or NPCs you can unload your inventory to. On top of that, the creatures you're farming drop other things you can AH for a good chunk of change. It does no good though for you to be able to get to 100 rather easily if you can't do anything with it, so here's the prerequisite questions:
Does it have consumables? Not really unless you count the various leathers. This is one thing that Leather is rather weak on as it does not have a true consumable that's noteworthy. While the leathers generally sell for a nice profit and at times, very fast, you won't be making a ton of money here in the volume selling department.
Does it have in-demand end-game gear? Again, not really. The Dusk set has a few pieces that are worth buying (at least until you get Homam for some jobs), but without a true cursed set to make, Leather is pretty much stuck with the odds and ends of various sets (usually shoes) like the Errant, Sha'ir or Blessed sets along with various mantles like the Cerberus Mantle.
Does it have in-demand mid-range gear? Yes. Items from the Amemet Mantle+1 to the Byrnie+1. You can reach the T2 HQ level on a number of synths with this craft that sell for a decent-outstanding profit margin. I wouldn't go so far to say that this is the best craft by far for mid-range stuff, but it's up there.
This may be one of the reasons why the various leathers don't sell for a loss as there aren't really that many other synths along the way that can absorb it. There are no HQ (Higher-Quantity in this case) leather synths, so everyone making the leather is stuck with the same results no matter what level they are if they can make the synth.
If I had to give Leather one big thumbs up that other crafts don't have, it's definitely market stability and that may be the single biggest reason why it's easy and cheap to get to 100.
Ninjafox's Intro: : I hope you all fall in a hole. I hope you all get caught in your zippers. You need Clothcraft for a lot of Leather gear, so level it. Then level smithing.
Read on for how.
Phase 1: Ninjafox's Favorite Skin - Cockatrice
As the previous two guides have begun, it's a continuation of the 0-60 guide I previous wrote. Cap on these and save 'em. Hopefully you've been farming these up. It really wouldn't hurt to make about eleventy-billion stacks of these for later use.
Recipe: Dark Crystal, 1x Tiger, 1x Distilled Water, 1x Windurstian Tea Leaves
Cap: Level 61
The title to this section alludes to this stretch. You're going to be spending a lot of time in Onzozo where the cocks are plenty. You can make some money on the side selling the stacks of cock meat on the AH. Otherise, load up a few stacks of grass thread and earth crystals and head out there to farm those cocks. NPC your results, these don't sell on the AH at all.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 1x Grass Thread, 2x Cockatrice Skin
Cap: Level 63
If farming cocks isn't your thing, you can delay the inevitable by going to farm bugards instead. Pretty much the same deal as the Beak Mantles in terms of drop rates and what to do with the results only your inventory is going to be in pain from all the non-stackable items these things drop. Sell any HQ skins or tusks you get for decent amount of money (usually in the 5k ea. range) and cap.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Bugard Leather
Cap: Level 63
If you thought you could avoid the cocks, you're wrong. Go to Onzozo with some (hopefully) home-made sheep leather and earth crystals in tow and get ready to jerkin your cock skins. Sell the cock meat on the AH for some extra money and NPC the jerkins.
Turn in a pair of Battle Boots to pick up your Artisan rank once you hit 68. If you get bored out of your skull farming these things, it's rather safe to move onto the next synth around 66 or so. Or just skip it altogether and spend gobs of time with coeurls in The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah if you want to prolong the skillup process.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 2x Cockatrice Skin, 1x Sheep Leather
Cap: Level 69
Phase 2: Elephants, Coeurls and Tigers - Indigenous Creatures From Ninjafox's Homeland
Ninjafox Comment: Make sure you keep plenty of Coeurl Leather around for future synths.
Very in demand leather and easy to farm too. In the NW section of Zi'Tah, there is a loop you can run just mauling Coeurls. Save the whiskers and the meat for AH sales (more the meat than the whiskers) and turn the hides into leather. Definitely cap on these.
Recipe: Dark Crystal, 1x Coeurl Hide, 1x Windurstian Tea Leaves, 1x Distilled Water
Cap: Level 71
If your Clothcraft is 35 or higher, spend some time making 2-4 stacks of wool thread by farming sheepskin from the Highlands. If not, you should probably move onto the next synth as this is listed here primarily as a bridge synth. Head back out to your favorite tiger farming spot and farm some more hides. Cap on these if you choose, NPC the results and move on to the next synth.
Recipe: Ice Crystal, 1x Tiger Hide, 1x Wool Thread
Cap: Level 75
This is used for Salvage feet and profitable. Especially if you can solo marids for the hides. The stacks themselves usually sell faster than the singles due to people generally being lazy or due to there rarely being 12 singles listed on the AH (at least on Odin). Pick up your Imperial Tea Leaves off the AH, make to cap, sell and profit.
Recipe: Dark Crystal, 1x Marid Hide, 1x Imperial Tea Leaves, 1x Distilled Water
Cap: Level 76
And back to Zi'Tah you go. This is mostly optional as not everyone can really handle the Manticores in the next synth. Pick up a few stacks of cotton thread from the Weaver's Guild at it's cheapest point (~120gil), head out to Zi'Tah and start farming those hides again. Make to cap if you choose.
Turn in a pair of Tiger Gloves once you hit 78 for your Adept rank and NPC your results.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 1x Coeurl Hide, 1x Cotton Thread
Cap: Level 79
Phase 3: WOOHOO! Done With Coe---DAMN!
Ninjafox Comment: Cuir Gear is like Jesus Juice for some other gear not mentioned in this span if you want to make actual gear.
Manticores aren't all that easy to deal with compared to what you've been fighting/farming so far, but their leather does sell rather decently. You can also sell their other parts for a bit of money too even though they don't stack. Make these to cap, sell your results on the AH.
Recipe: Dark Crystal, 1x Manticore Hide, 1x Distilled Water, 1x Windurstian Tea Leaves
Cap: Level 80
This is a new synth added in the July '09 update. The Ruszor hides sell for rather cheap on the AH and the leather sells for more. The leather has only one purpose outside of skilling up and that's in the Tsukomo. I wouldn't expect these to move fast, but they will move and as long as you're smart with your buying, you should make a little money. You can also skip this synth if you want and go straight to the next one.
Recipe: Dark Crystal, 1x Ruszor Hide, 1x Distilled Water, 1x Windurstian Tea Leaves
Cap: Level 83
And back to Zi'Tah you go yet again. Take a few stacks of Wool Thread with you too. Fortunately, if the zone is controlled by any nation and you have the outpost warp, there's an NPC nearby that you can take advantage of to dump off inventory once it gets full. Make to cap.
Recipe: Ice Crystal, 1x Coeurl Hide, 1x Wool Thread
Cap: Level 85
Farm up about 7-8 stacks of Coeurl Leather and half as many Sheep Leather and make these to cap. Then say good bye to easy farming as, up to this point, you could have essentially gotten here making a ton of money along the way.
Turn in a Coeurl Mask for your final rank: Veteran.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 2x Coeurl Leather, 1x Sheep Leather
Cap: Level 89
Phase 4: Masking the Monetary Loss
The vast majority of this synth you can farm up. I'd recommend making a stockpile of the hides, leathers and threads used in this synth and then just camping the AH for wyvern skins as they aren't listed in huge numbers very often. If you're only paying for the skins themselves, then you're going to be close to breaking even on the rest. This will definitely require you to have Clothcraft at 35 or higher for the wool thread portion of it.
This is likely the largest gap you've had to deal with so far, but given the alternatives between 89-here, this is far cheaper and far less risky. Hopefully you've made an extra few hundred thousand gil from farming up the other stuff so that you can absorb the losses if you choose to buy everything off the AH.
Recipe: Ice Crystal, 2x Tiger Hide, 1x Wool Thread, 1x Ram Leather, 1x Wyvern Skin
Cap: Level 95
Since the next synth has a cap of 102, a bridge is in order. These are used in the final Gobbiebag quest as well as a couple of the more popular Relic Weapon quests and some of the AF2+1 quests. As of this writing, the leathers sell for a little less than the hides (which only drop from Orcs in Dynamis) on Odin inexplicably, but it shouldn't be too difficult to correct that and break even. Definitely cap on these and have patience.
Recipe: Dark Crystal, 1x Griffon Hide, 1x Distilled Water, 1x Windurstian Tea Leaves
Cap: Level 97
Until the Wahlahra Turban came out, these used to be one of the best hats the jobs that can wear it could use. Now it's more for show than anything else. With the implementation of Augments, these have picked up a little bit of new life, but they still sell for a loss. Treat this the same way that you treated the tiger mask. Stockpile the various leathers, hides and threads used and camp the AH for the wyvern skins. You'll be spending some time killing the Toramas in Onzozo for the HQ hides as they have a great drop rate there.
Recipe: Ice Crystal, 2x H.Q. Coeurl Hides, 1x Wool Thread, 1x Ram Leather, 1x Wyvern Skin
Cap: Level 100 (102)
Congrats! You're now at 100 and ready to make some money.
Ninjafox Comment: I hope you fall into the abyss if you undercut me.