This guide was created by Organic of the Aionsource Forums. All credit for this guide goes to him. To see the original posting and most updated version of this guide click here.
I've seen quite a few of the same types of questions on this board. Unfortunately, you often need to sift through lengthy threads to find the question asked and then read a few more posts to see the answer. I've tried to consolidate all of the Q&As I've seen as well as provide links to detailed or specific explanations for those questions where needed.
This FAQ is divided into six major sections and the outline is below.
NOTE: Updated/new sections have their titles listed in Italics. I've done this to help folks who are reviewing the FAQ to know what's changed since their last visit.
E. Expense and Time Needed for Armorsmithing 1-399, 400-450
F. How Upcoming Patches Affect Armorsmithing
Thanks to everyone who has participated in these threads and offered invaluable feedback. Please post any addition Q&As in this thread and I can add them to the FAQ below, including suggestions on section breakdown, etc.
A. General Armorsmithing Benefits, Title, Accessories, and Soulbinding
1. What classes can use/benefit most from Armorsmithing?
Armorsmithing crafts chain and plate armor as well as shields. This means Clerics, Chanters, Gladiators, and Templars can have their armor needs met through Armorsmithing.
2. What title do you get for becoming a Expert Armorsmith?
According to - Aion you gain +8 Magic Boost. We can only hope this is wrong and/or changing in Patch 1.5 as it's arguably the worst of all expert titles.
3. I heard Armorsmithing crafts Accessories, but Handicraft does that. What's true?
Helmets are considered "accessories", not armor. Any class can wear any accessory, so even the Scout and Mage subsclasses can wear chain or plate helmets which would increase their physical defense. Of course, they wouldn't take this tradeskill just for that
4. Why should I take Armorsmithing?
By leveling a crafting skill from 1-399, you can make 95% of what that trade has to offer. Also, crafted gear is far better than green or blue mob drops of the same level (gold mob drops are better than crafted blues of the same level as they have more manastone slots).
Worthy Noble level 23 blues are about the equivalent of the Worthy level 28 greens, which means they are as good if not better than mob drop level 28-30 greens. In other words, they WILL last quite a while if you get your blue set at 23. At level 28, the green quality quest rewards from level 29-30 quests are not as good as the stats on the blue 23 armor or blue 25 shield. At least longevity is a decent reward (assuming you don't level too terribly quickly).
By taking Armorsmithing, you are guaranteed to be able to make a full green set (assuming you have the recipes) for yourself and have a good chance at being able to craft blue items. Compared to wishing for a quest that has a good gear reward or grinding mobs and crossing your fingers for the right drop, crafting has much more solid results.
Also, for gear crafting skills: white items = 1 manastone slot; green items = 2 manastone slots; blue items = 3 manastone slots; gold items = 4 manastone slots. Having better gear makes a BIG difference as you earn 7 more manastone slots when you upgrade all of your gear to the next quality level. (Abyss gear has up to 6 manastone slots per piece of gear for an endgame total of 42 slots.)
If that wasn't enough, Draconic and Expert armors as well as the new Patch 1.5 crafted gold items can only be completed by a Master Armorsmith (400+ skill).
Finally, everything you craft has your name on it! Every non-consumable in the game that's crafted (e.g. all armor and weapons) will have your name on it. This allows you to not only contact someone whose armor you purchased off the Auction House, but also allows you to develop a reputation on your server as folks far and wide will be wearing "your" armor.
5. Are the items you craft Bind on Pickup/Soulbound once you craft them?
No. All crafted items can be traded to other players or sold on the Auction House. Green and higher quality items do become soulbound once you have equipped them.
6. How do I learn Armorsmithing?
All crafting trainers are located in the same general areas. In Pandaemonium (for Asmodians), go to the Temple of Artisans - the green section on the right side of the map just north of the Brokers and warehouse/bank. For Sanctum (Elyos), go to the north side of the Divine Road to the Artisan's Hall. All of the crafting trainers are in that green area of the map and the Armorsmithing trainer is at the southeast corner of that area.
Simply talk with the crafting vendor of your choice. You will be given a quest to gather a material used by that craft in order to prove your interest in the craft. Once you complete that quest, talk with the NPC again and they will give you the option of training in that craft.
B. Armorsmithing Skill Leveling and Work Orders
1. What's the best way to level Armorsmithing?
The only real way to level your skill is by completing work orders. There are two speeds at which most people level this skill: slow/milking and fast.
To level your crafting skill slowly, simply choose the lowest or next to lowest work order available to craft. As you're crafting easier difficulty work orders, you'll get fewer skill increases and you will need to complete more work orders overall to increase your skill. By completing more work orders, you increase your chances of receiving recipes as rewards. By increasing the number of recipes you receive, you increase your chances at completing chain and plate sets of recipes along the way. This will cost 3-4x more kinah overall and take substantially longer to reach the cap.
To level your crafting skill quickly, simply choose the highest or next to highest work order available to craft. Leveling the skill quickly means you spend far less kinah, but you also have substantially fewer chances to earn your recipes.
Reaching 399 doesn't get you anything in and of itself as there are level restrictions for using all crafted gear and it doesn't help if you have few recipes to actually craft. That said, it does give rise to a valid argument: Is it cheaper to milk the work orders to maximize your recipes - OR - raise your crafting skill as quickly as possible and hope you can fill in the blanks via the Auction House or world drops?
Ultimately, there's no absolute "best" way to do it. Either way, you require luck to obtain the recipes you want most.
2. What are Work Orders and how do I obtain and complete them?
Work Orders are the primary crafting mechanic in Aion. These are quests. You receive the quests from the crafting NPC. Work orders use a "P" skill system: "P" is the points. 1P work order = 1 point of skill to start crafting that work order. Work orders can be completed for a max of 40 skill points above the work order's level (e.g. doing work order level 1 until you've reached skill level 40). You can have a maximum of three work orders accepted at a time.
You can earn your first 40 skill levels in any tradeskill for FREE by repeating the 1P work order until you've reached 40 skill. This also ensures you'll have a few of the mats needed for additional crafting through 100P and can save you a bit of kinah.
After the "free" 1P work order (no vendor mat costs), you have to pay for mats from the tradeskill merchant in order to craft each subsequent work order. Work orders require you craft an item successfully 3-12 times before the quest can be turned in and cost anywhere from 40 kinah to 8,000+ kinah per work order.
By 230P, you have to start buying three different mats for each of the work orders. That costs ~2,500 kinah per work order. You may need several dozen work orders in order to get the recipes and skill points needed to move up to the next work order. By 300P, you have to use two or three pieces of three different mats for each of the work orders and you need 12 successful crafts per work order which means a total of ~75 vendor mats used per work order.
It should be noted that you DO gain experience for each successful craft while doing a work order. By 350P work orders, you're gaining nearly 30,000 xp per work order. That said, it's anywhere from 5-10 times slower xp gain than if you're in an xp farming party but at least it's something.
In Patch 1.2, work orders cannot be picked up after you complete your 399-400 quest and have 400 skill. After that, your skill raises through crafting actual gear to the 450 cap. I do not know if this changes in Patch 1.5.
3. Where do I obtain the materials needed to craft my Work Order?
To attempt to craft the pieces needed for work order completion, you need two components.
1. First, you need the mats the NPC work order quest giver provides you. These range from broken shields and leggings to helmets that need repairing. The NPC always gives you a few extra in case you fail.
2. Second, you need mats purchased from the materials vendor for that crafting skill. These will include things like lubricants and water. As those vendor mats are used over and over again for various work orders through 399P, be sure to keep those in your bank until you're ready to craft as you'll probably need them during that crafting session.
4. What happens if I fail too many times while crafting a Work Order?
If you have used up all of the NPC provided work order mats, you will probably need to abandon that quest and pick it back up. There's no penalty to doing this other than the kinah spent the mats used up for that work order's attempts. However, there is the possibility of a workaround. If you're able to accept a different work order that uses the same NPC provided material(s), you will then have "extra" mats to be able to craft your "failed" work order.
C. General Recipe and Set Crafting Questions
1. How do I find recipes/specific designs?
The primary way to learn recipes is by completing work orders. However, you can receive green recipe drops off mobs (elites drop more often than non-elites), but there's no guarantee the dropped recipe will be for Armorsmithing. Other than that, possibly trading with other Armorsmithers if they have duplicates works well (if you can find the right person to trade with) and, of course, finding recipes on the Auction House.
You can only receive specific recipes from specific work order ranges. For instance, Craft: Worthy Titanium Chain Boots - Recipes - Aion are a 110P recipe. As you cannot receive recipe rewards below the work order level you're currently crafting, and only as much as +10P above the work order you're crafting, you can only receive this recipe as a reward from 100P and 110P work orders.
Starting at 100 skill, you can receive two different green recipes each 10 points with an occasional green recipe at an xx5 point (e.g. 155P skill) for a non-Worthy set piece green item. All Worthy recipes can High Quality (HQ) proc to blue Noble versions.
Confirmed: Patch 1.2 did integrate a welcomed recipe mouse-over tooltip change. Now, when you mouse-over a recipe, it shows you not only what the recipes crafts (as it was doing in Patch 1.0), but also shows you what the Shining or HQ proc would be for that item.
2. How do I know when I have collected/learned them all?
A. Following is the armor slot breakdown through 399. This can be handy to see when you should give up trying to find a recipe through work orders. For example, if you're at 150 skill and still don't have the 110P boots, it's time to give up and move on. Worthy sets:
That totals 26 Worthy recipes for each 100 skill bracket after 100P (so 100-199, 200-299, and 300-399).
Level 23 and 28 gear have Titanium in their name. Level 33 and 38 gear have Adamantium in their name. Level 43 and 48 gear have Orichalcum in their name. Those names correlate to the ore they require for crafting.
Most folks are only concerned with the Worthy recipes as those can produce full, matching sets. You can get some green recipes that require monster parts (e.g. Craft: Basilisk's Shell Bone Plate Greaves - Recipes - Aion), but most folks don't craft those as they ruin the look of your set and don't sell well on the Auction House.
You can go here Armor Smithing - Recipes - Aion to look at the recipes for Armorsmithing.
3. Are there a maximum number of designs that you can learn?
AionArmory shows there are 790 recipes, though that includes both Elyos and Asmodian recipes (so roughly half can be learned by your faction). This does not include the new 1.5 patch recipes, but does include all of the individual mats you need to craft to forge armor. Of all of those, the armor recipes you're most concerned about are the Worthy recipes as those make full sets and are most valued on the Auction House.
You can go here Armor Smithing - Recipes - Aion to look at the recipes for Armorsmithing.
4. What skill do I need to craft X set at level Y?
Level 23 = 150 skill to craft entire set (pieces start at 110 skill)
Level 28 = 199 skill to craft entire set (pieces start at 160 skill)
Level 33 = 250 skill to craft entire set (pieces start at 210 skill)
Level 38 = 299 skill to craft entire set (pieces start at 260 skill)
Level 43 = 350 skill to craft entire set (pieces start at 310 skill)
Level 48 = 399 skill to craft entire set (pieces start at 360 skill)
It should be noted that you can fail to craft an item. However, the higher your skill is compared to the skill required for that recipe, the better your chances of completing a successful attempt. Skill level does not impact your ability to HQ proc an item.
5. Why are there level 38 recipes that require 299 skill and level 33 "Expert" recipes that require 400 skill to craft?
AionArmory show recipes such as Worthy Noble Durable Adamantium Breastplate - Items - Aion are 299 skill. However, to be clear, there are "Expert" armor recipes that require 400+ skill to craft.
Here's an example of the "Expert" armor: Craft: Expert Adamantium Breastplate - Recipes - Aion. This requires level 33 to equip.
Here's an example of the regular 250 skill HQ blue proc: Worthy Noble Adamantium Breastplate - Items - Aion and it requires level 33 to equip.
Notice that Expert pieces have slightly better base stats compared with the HQ blue procs off a green recipe. Also, the Expert recipes themselves are actually blue and take more "skill" to craft as you're not having to get lucky on your HQ proc from a green recipe to obtain a blue. The HQ proc on Expert recipes will give you gold items.
Also, Expert items give one additional stat bonus. In the examples above, the Expert item has 3 bonus stats while the HQ blue proc item has 2 bonus stats.
6. How much does it cost to craft a set?
To craft a piece of gear, you need ore, refining stones, ores of high purity, and aether. You also need a charcoal per ore to create an ingot and then a dissolving agent of some sort to mold that ingot into a mat (e.g. plates) used to craft the actual piece of gear. You cannot farm charcoal or ingots, so they must be purchased from the vendor (though you do receive a handful of these as work order rewards).
As total costs completely depend on how lucky you are to get your blue HQ procs (assuming you're after those and not content with just greens), it's impossible to say how much it will cost. However, each level 23 suit is ~150,000 kinah for vendor mats alone. Each level 33 suit costs around 450,000 kinah in vendor mats alone. Those assume 5 attempts each piece.
7. How much time does it take to craft a set? Is it easy to craft for your legion?
Assuming 5 attempts per armor piece (most people have 15-30% HQ proc rates) and you're crafting five pieces in a set (assuming no shield), it may take up to two hours of just crafting ingots needed and another hour to create the wires, chains, and plates needed to craft each piece of gear. At the quickest, it's 3 seconds needed to craft an ingot, chain, wire, or plate, then anywhere from 3-12 seconds per piece of gear actually being crafted.
I personally prefer to craft all ingots first as I've found having five attempts at that same piece of gear in a row gives me a better overall chance of getting the HQ proc than just crafting enough mats for one attempt, then having to craft enough mats for a second attempt, etc. Plus, you can then AFK, Alt+Tab, focus on chit-chat, read forums, etc. while that's crafting when you craft in bulk.
That said, having one crafter per legion makes sense from a kinah and mats perspective as well as gearing up that person with all the recipes needed, BUT it is a gigantic time sink as the time to craft is so extensive. If you're crafting for your legion, you need an abundance of patience.
8. Is there any way to speed up the time it takes to craft an item?
As was discussed here Faster to craft while transformed?, using transformation foods will allow you to "skip" the "successful craft animation". While this may not save hours and hours while leveling up through work orders, this WILL save significant time while actually crafting gear given you need to first craft upwards of thousands of ingots, hundreds of plates and chains and wires, and each of those have a success animation.
9. How do I get the materials I need to craft a piece of armor?
In Armorsmithing, there are two types of materials: those you gather and those you craft.
Gathered materials can generally be obtained solo, can usually be farmed, and include:
a. Ore (e.g. Iron Ore, Titanium Ore, etc.)
b. Ore of High Purity (e.g. Titanium Ore of High Purity) are rare gathers from the regular ore nodes
c. Aether (e.g. Aether High Purity Crystal) which can be regular or rare gathers from aether nodes
d. Armor Fluxes (was Refining Stones) (e.g. Worthy Greater Armor Flux) that drop randomly from mobs
Crafted materials are created by using ores + charcoals (obtained by purchasing from the materials vendor) of various qualities in order to create ingots. Ingots are then either combined with themselves or with dissolving agents (also obtained by purchasing from the materials vendor) to form:
a. Small, Medium, and/or Large Plates
Just look under your Craft Tool (press K for skill > click the Crafting tab > right-click on your Armorsmithing icon) and scroll to the very bottom of your recipe list for "Other". There you will find the list of all mats you can create yourself including things like Siege Weapon Protectors used in fortress raiding.
Once you have all of the mats collected or crafted as needed by the recipe you're going to attempt to create, just select the recipe in your list and click the Craft button. You always want to craft just one piece of armor at a time in case you HQ proc. No need to attempt it more often than necessary.
10. What do armors even look like?
Go here Show off your work! to see quite a few of the armors (chain, plate, male, and female) posted.
11. How do I get "Worthy Noble" (was called "Craftsman's Shining") versions of my armor?
Armor, weapons, and accessories have the word "Noble" in their names when they've undergone a High Quality proc. While crafting an item, you have a 10%-30% chance to "proc" which allows you to attempt to craft the next highest quality level using the current mats with the current recipe attempt. While crafting a white, you can get a chance to craft green. Greens can HQ proc to blue and blues can proc to golds. There is no guarantee of receiving a HQ proc, though the HQ crafted item will have better overall stats and one additional manastone slot than the item from the recipe you were actually crafting.
There is currently a theory that assumes having higher Daeva Points (DP) while crafting can help increase your HQ proc chances, though it's not yet confirmed and the same sizes are simply too small to provide proof at this time. There are apparently other theories as well with people claiming they have virtually guaranteed HQ procs. I do not know how they're supposedly causing this, but would certainly love to know!
It should be noted that just because the item you're crafting starts the HQ proc animation, it can still fail (though rarely).
NOTE: AionArmory.com did replace all of the "Craftsman's" and "Shining" quality armor with "Worthy" and "Noble" respectively to accurately reflect the naming convention for Patch 1.5.
D. How to Make Money with Armorsmithing
You *can* make money, even by Armorsmithing, but you need to be a bit lucky by getting HQ procs on your greens to blues and then being willing to not wear that blue and sell it on the Auction House. Blues last a long time, so those with money will definitely buy them off the Auction House.
Overall, the general feeling is that you just about break even crafting your own gear with Armorsmithing and, on average, it's a bit cheaper (depending on your server and how expensive crafters put gear up for sale on the AH) to craft yourself than to buy on the AH.
That said, any of the duplicate green or blue recipes you receive as rewards can be sold back on the AH. In C-Aion on North China's Azariel server, most Level 23 Craftsman's recipes sell for 100,000 kinah; level 33 recipes sell for 200,000 kinah; level 43 recipes sell for 500,000 kinah or more. Blue recipes can be sold successfully for 800,000 to 1.5 million kinah each.
I stumbled upon this Kinah earning guide earlier today. It offers other suggestions on how to make kinah: How to Earn Kinah in Aion.
E. Expense and Time Needed for Armorsmithing 1-399, 400-450
1. How expensive is it to level Armorsmithing to 399?
In general, expect to spend over 1 million kinah to reach level 199 in a tradeskill.
In general, expect to spend 3 million to 5 million kinah to reach level 399 in a tradeskill.
If you level Armorsmithing slowly, expect to spend upwards of 8 million to 9 million kinah to reach 399.
Crafting 300-399 took me 336 work orders and cost over 2.4 million kinah, so well over 7,300 kinah per work order.
For a detailed examination of skill 300-399 leveling, go here: 300-399 Armorsmithing: Details on XP, Kinah, Time, Rewards, Etc..
2. How long will it take me to reach 399 skill?
Overall, from 1-399, I spent ~65 hours of focused crafting going slowly. Most people I've heard from who go as quickly as possible can go 1-399 "in a day" (8-12 hours), but that depends on how many of the work orders you fail along the way and how lucky you are with always obtaining a skill point increase while crafting each work order.
3. How do I get from 99-100, 199-200, and 299-300?
In order to receive the first point in the new range, you need to pay for the skill increase. You must be at 99, 199, or 299 in order to buy the increase. Talk with the work order vendor when you've reached that skill and click on the button to increase the skill. The 299-300 point costs 400,000 kinah, so expect to spend about 650,000 kinah for all of the skill increases until 399.
4. How do I complete the 399-400 quest?
This thread 399-400 Armorcrafting should explain most of that process. In particular, I tried to outline the quest progression in this post here: 399-400 Armorcrafting though.
Per Cerafina, here's additional information about the 399-400 quest process from the Asmodian perspectve:
Firstly, after you hand in the Craftsman's Shining Strengthened Orichalcum Shield, you'll get a follow-up quest to speak to Vidar and be dubbed an "Expert Armorsmith" (cut scene blah blah). You then receive the Experts Hat and Design: Expert's Adamantium Shield pattern (also I believe this will be the point you get the title as well, although I haven't got it, not sure if it'll be something that happens in a later version of the game, or if I'm just a nub and haven't found it yet). You'll also get access to a new quest to speak to one of the bankers and get a free warehouse upgrade.
After this I was somewhat puzzled, as it still said I was 399/399 Armorsmithing. I went back to Kinturan and asked to learn Armorsmithing, this gave me the next rank of the skill and it's free (not really if you count the beans needed for at least the 3rd quest).
After learning 399-400 skill, the Shugo in the Temple of Artisans, will now allow you to buy the recipes needed for the raw material conversion of the Baluar pieces and the new vendor materials to do so. There is also an island in the upper Abyss (due west of Asteria Fort - very long flight) populated by Shugo (this is the same for Asmos and Elyos), they sell all the Draconic recipes (all professions) although the higher level designs are only available when you hand in set's of Balaur Hearts (both types).
From an Elyos perspective, once you complete your Worthy Noble Durable Orichalcum Shield crafting, talk with Vulcanus. He gives you 200,000 xp (you do get a whole 2,052 xp for each "successful" failure at the shield) for the quest completion and Vulcanus' Recommendation.
Accept the New Quest: [Expert] Armorsmithing Expert - Quests - Aion and then click "I'll go at once". Take the elevator pad upstairs and talk with Fasimedes. He'll progress you through a cutscene. Click OK and you'll be given Expert Hat - Items - Aion and Design: Expert Adamantium Shield - Items - Aion as well as 25,000 xp.
While you're there, be sure to pick up the Sanctum Quest. You can talk with Bustant in the Hall of Prosperity to unlock a row (8 slots) in your personal warehouse and earn 15,000 xp!
Go back to Vulcanus and talk with him. Click "Learn Armorsmithing". You'll see: "The Armorsmithing skill has been upgraded to 400 points. Maximum skill level of Armorsmithing has been upgraded to Level 5." This is a free upgrade. Congrats on completing your Expert quest!
In Patch 1.2, there is no title awarded for Expert Armorsmithing, even though it says there should be and the cutscene apparently gives it to you. However, in looking through all of the titles I've earned, it's not there.
Also as of Patch 1.2, the Craftsman's Premium Armor Refining Stone drop rate increased considerably. As such, those stones, which used to cost millions PER stone for the 399-400 quest, are now purchasable for between 125,000 and 300,000 kinah each. This is a SUBSTANTIAL change and allows a much easier completion when before it was virtually impossible due to the prohibitive materials costs and low drop rates.
5. How do I level my skill after I reach 400?
After reaching 400 skill, you are no longer able to pick up new work orders. As such, the only way to increase your skill is to actually craft usable items. For crafting professions such as Cooking, you can use DP tricks to craft jellies and quickly reach the 450 cap (DP food - infinite production). However, I'm unaware of any such tricks for Armorsmithing.
F. How Upcoming Patches Affect Armorsmithing
1. What exactly are the new recipes that can be crafted in Patch 1.5?
Go here Recipes - Aion for the list of all Armorsmithing recipes in Patch 1.5.
2. Will you be able to purchase green quality recipes from the Armorsmith materials vendor?
Confirmed: Patch 1.2 does not provide an option of purchasing the Craftsman's and other green level recipes from the materials vendor.
Confirmed: Open Beta version 184.108.40.206 for NA/EU does not allow green or higher quality recipes to be purchased from the materials vendor.
3. Will craftable level 50 gear be better than endgame PVE pieces?
4. How will the new Daevanion Armor set (quest) affect interest in Armorsmithing?
As of Patch 1.5, there is a new quest chain set of armor. To complete the set, it involves having five level 30 characters on the same server on the same account. Each character completes the quest for one piece of the armor set. You can then transfer the armor pieces (and weapon once you've completed the armor set) between your characters and complete a mini-quest to change them from cloth, leather, chain, or plate into whatever you need (e.g. change it from cloth to plate).
There is a ton more info here for the level 30 set Daevanion Set Items - Elyos for Elyos, including a step-by-step walkthrough of the quest. Look here Elyos lv50 Daevonian set quest outline and here LV50 Daevonian Armor Confirmed Requirements for more information about the level 50 set.
The question now is: How viable are Tailoring and Armorsmithing (and Weaponsmithing for that matter) now that you can quest a set that's worth keeping from level 30-50? The answer is: How many alts are you leveling to 30? For people who have "alt-itis" and roll a ton of alts, it's an amazing way for them to complete a full set of armor and one weapon that can be shared across all five characters. The suit really starts to be worth having once you've collected three pieces and continues to get better through the fourth and fifth pieces. The quest chain can also be repeated at level 50 for the same type of results.
I don't honestly expect the Daevanion Armor set to dampen people's need for armor and weapons in the game. For a select few, it will be an amazing bonus that compliments their already expansive character leveling interests. For everyone else, it's a nice-to-have someday, but won't really impact their mains at all.