I realized I never went in-depth on how exactly the new crafting system in DF will work, and that’s about time.
Recipe difficulty and crafting skill
Crafting skill still works the same on the surface level, it goes up when you craft orange, yellow or green recipes, and determines what you can learn. On top of this it will also determine how the new quality system turns out. Every material and finished item has a quality, that ranges from 1-3 for materials and 1-5 for most finished items. Higher quality items have higher item level, or a stronger effect in the case of consumables.
To craft a high quality item you need to outskill the recipe difficulty. This is a new number unique to each recipe. If you can match the recipe difficulty, you will craft at the maximum quality, less than that and you will craft somewhere below. At skill 6 this recipe will mostly be 1 or 2, whereas at skill 45 it will be 3 most of the times, with some procs going to quality 4.
Profession skill is king
Players usually prefer the best option, so this means that having high enough skill to consistently craft max quality items will be very important. You can only get 100 skill from leveling your profession, but the hardest recipes have difficulty as high as 300+. So how do we get there?
Equipment and knowledge
You can equip profession equipment which gives you a bonus to your profession skill. These will obviously be very important. On top of that is the new knowledge system. Essentially a talent tree you invest points into for your profession.
For most gear it’s a three tiered approach, with a generic node for plat armor, then one for large armor pieces, and lastly a node for each specific armor slot. For Armor smithing we can get 90 points of skill for 90 knowledge specifically for greaves, with another 20 points from maxing the greaves specific node for 110 skill. On top of that you can unlock the ability to use finishing reagents to even further increase your skill.
Knowledge is king
This leads to profession knowledge being the most valuable thing in the game. I made a video two days ago dovering how you obtain knowledge, and needless to say. It’s important. It’s also going to be extremely important how you spend it. Maxing out the first nodes in a tree will give you more flexibility, as it will give you skill for every recipe type. Specializing will make you a king at one specific recipe. If you just rush for the final node for greaves you will have 20 more crafting skill for those than someone who maxed the first node first.
We don’t know what’s best
At this point it’s too early to tell what the best approach will be. My gut feeling is that specialization will win out, but it’s hard to say. It will take months to be able to craft every item type at max quality for a single crafter, so having duplicate crafters will be very strong. Most professions also have a generic specialization that gives skill with every profession recipe, which may be necessary to max out crafts.
Optional and finishing reagents
Optional reagents make their return. They will increase the recipe difficulty, but can add strong effects like 50% increased potion duration, which is likely well worth a quality hit. You can also add infusion reagents to craft armor and weapons at a raid item level. This will have to be handled through the work order system, but if you can craft quality 5 raid item level gear, you’ll be swimming in sales.
Profession racials are OP
Profession racials are incredibly strong due to how skill works. They increase the maximum skill you can get from leveling your profession. Getting 5 extra skill from your race is akin to getting 5 extra knowledge points. You will want to match your crafters with profession bonuses as much as humanly possible if you really want to optimize.