Final Fantasy XIV gave crafters an endgame of their own with the Ishgardian Restoration, and the Expert Crafting introduced in 5.21 kicks it up a notch. A large notch. I mean, sweet Hell, these expert crafts are not for the meek. I will open this guide with a straight up warning: if you are not in decent crafting gear, with materia melded, and willing to purchase high-quality food then these new recipes are out of your league.
I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from trying their hand at expert crafting: enterprising crafters need to be aware this is indeed the crafter endgame, so they better come to it willing to meet it on its own terms. If your goal is to farm Ishgardian Restoration scrips then you can do so more efficiently with the level 80 regular crafting recipes, which do not require penta-melded gear or god-like patience to complete. A maxed-out regular level 80 craft will award 60 scrips, whereas a barely passable expert craft will dole out 62. To be absolutely blunt: you’ll save time and sanity crafting the basic-ass 80 recipes than you will with expert crafts. Expert crafting is for the points and leadership chase, not much else.
If you are indeed a titan among your fellow craftsmen then this guide is for you: below I have a priority based rotation that will ensure you complete all your expert crafts if you meet the minimum criteria. If you exceed those standards then you can expect your expert crafts to reach max quality. As a final bit of good news: all materials for expert crafting come from the Diadem, so you can farm these all up there if you have max level gatherers.
I would like to quickly thank u/bobbybouchey88 over on Reddit, who’s guide helped me narrow down what needed to be done, though well after I burned through a small planet’s worth of materials testing every possible combination of skills.
Expert crafting requires top-end gear, materia melding and high-quality food.
Let’s start with the gear, shall we? At a minimum, you should be in 460 crafting gear (the Facet set) and rocking the 430 crafting accessories/belt. You can technically use the 470 White Scrip gear from turning in collectables as a crafter, and I recommend it if you are looking to reach minimum viability. Reason being: the crafted gear can be overmelded with materia, while the Professional’s set cannot be melded at all. All that said: whatever gear does have materia slots will need to have them filled.
That is because you need 2480 Craftsmanship and 2195 Control to even be allowed to craft the expert recipes. This is a hard mark to hit without materia, and if you are looking to save money you can reach these caps more affordably with the White Scrip gear. If you wish to reliably max-out the quality of these expert recipes, however, you will need to splurge on the Facet equipment, and aim to overmeld it. Furthermore, food will make your life infinitely easier in one of two ways.
The first has to do with your CP. While not an official barrier to expert crafting, having less than 550 CP will lead to failure, so if you are able to cross the Craftsmanship and Control thresholds with gear and materia you will need to roll over the CP line using food. I recommend high-quality Mejillones al Ajillo for this purpose. You can also use the crafter potion Cunning Craftsman Syrup to boost your CP another 13 points, but this effect only lasts for five minutes, so if you are below 550 CP focus on the food.
If you have Facet gear and have overmelded it then CP will likely not be a concern, so you’ll want food that increases your Craftsmanship and Control, thus allowing you to more easily cap the quality. HQ Popotoes Au Gratin works well here. The Cunning Craftsman Syrup can be of use if you prefer a little CP wiggle-room.
While not necessary being a specialist can help you clear some of these hurdles, because you’ll receive a minor increase to all three stats if you are one. You can’t change specializations without consequence, so if you opt to specialize ensure you do so on the crafter you are dumping all your work into.
Okay, that out of the way, let’s move onto the “rotation,” which is really nothing more than an opener, a priority list, and a finisher.
Expert crafting will require an exorbitant amount of steps to complete.
Expert crafting is massively different than regular crafting, because two of the status effects have been removed in favor of three new ones. Excellent and Poor quality are gone, and in their stead now reigns Centered, Sturdy, and Pliant. To break down what each does:
- Centered increases success rate by 25%.
- Sturdy reduces durability cost by 50% (can be stacked with Waste Not I and II).
- Pliant reduces CP cost by 50%.
These new status effects mean you’ll have a priority system in place as you craft. Centered is wasted on skills that are already at a 100% success rate, for example. So, with that in mind, let’s break into the rotation.
Start with Muscle Memory, and check the status after. If it’s Normal, Sturdy, Good or Centered then activate Veneration. If Pliant pops prioritize Manipulation.
Once Muscle Memory and Veneration are active you have two routes: pop Inner Quiet if the status is Normal, or use Rapid Synthesis if the status is Centered or Sturdy. The idea with this opener is simple: push your progress far enough that one Rapid Synthesis after the opener will put you a single Careful Synthesis away from completion. If you only have two stacks of either Muscle Memory or Veneration left then focus on Rapid Synthesis until it either succeeds, or one or both of those statuses expires. If you couldn’t get Rapid Synth off before these dropped then restart the craft.
The Observe Game – The Actual Craft
Once you have completed the opener with a successful Rapid Synthesis pause for a moment and make sure Inner Quiet was activated. If it was not then do so now, unless a Good status proc is active. Always, always, always prioritize using Tricks of the Trade on Good procs until you reach eleven stacks of Inner Quiet.
Once Inner Quiet is active you’re gonna start to focus on what the status procs are, and use explicit abilities for each. It goes as follows:
- Good Procs – Tricks of the Trade
- Pliant Procs – Use Manipulation. If Manipulation is active and above two stacks use Waste Not II. If both are active, and Manipulation is above two stacks, use Preparatory Touch. Do not use Waste Not II if Manipulation is not active.
- Centered – Use Rapid Synthesis on your first one after the opener, then Hasty Touch thereon out. If you forgot to use RS on the first one, be sure to use it on a Centered proc before attempting the finisher rotation.
- Sturdy – Use of Hasty Touch until you reach eleven stacks of Inner Quiet, have Manipulation active above 30 Durability, and if Prudent Touch won’t put you under 82 CP. If unsure, stick with Hasty Touch until you are comfortable with expert crafting.
- Normal – Use Observe, unless you have max durability with Manipulation and Waste Not II active. In that scenario use Hasty Touch. Well-geared crafters can cycle between Observe and Focused Touch when Inner Quite reaches eleven stacks and are comfortable with their CP.
You are essentially Observe fishing for procs, though do be mindful of your durability throughout the process. If you at or below 15 durability pop a full cost Manipulation to stave off defeat, and don’t break your craft just because a Centered proc appeared while at 10 or lower durability. The idea here is to use Manipulation to hover above 30 durability, without dipping below 15 until the very end of the craft.
Once you have have 82 remaining CP you will kick off the finisher. If you somehow reach 4500 quality you can also start the finisher, because it will max out your quality. Of note: you need to have at least 3500 quality for this to work, so if you can’t reach this point before hitting 82 CP you are not equipped for expert crafting.
You should have at least 15 durability for this to work, and if you forgot to use a second Rapid Synthesis during the actual craft then you may well be boned here. Assuming you are not, the final rotation is simple: Innovation, Great Strides, Byregot’s Blessing, Careful Synthesis.
There are sexier ways to finish a craft, yes, but starting out you should be more concerned with crossing the finish line than maxing out quality. Once you are comfortably pushing beyond 5k with CP and durability to spare you can look into a better finisher.
That’s the long and short of expert crafting: it will take a multitude of steps, a wealth of patience, and deep pockets to complete. So long as you equipped yourself as I explained you shouldn’t have any issues with the above rotation. Best of luck out there crafters: you’ll need it.
- This article was updated on:March 13th, 2020