Crafting and Gathering in FFXIV
The crafting and gathering game for FFXIV appears to be a deep, intertwined economic system with built in dependencies. Dependency simply means that one profession relies heavily upon another profession. In other words, one of the professions provides access to a good that is needed by one of the other professions. An example of this is the mining profession’s ability to generate ore and the subsequent blacksmith, armorer and goldsmith need for ore to produce ingots, rivets and other ore-based materials.
In this system, the three gathering professions provide raw materials to the eight crafting professions. In practice, though, there are four sources of raw materials in FFXIV. Three of these are associated with Disciples of the Land professions (botany, fishing, and mining) while the final source comes from creatures (animal hides, meat, etc.). Some of these materials are used in early stage synthesis recipes to produce intermediate resources like lumber and ingots. Other raw materials, such as crow’s feathers, are used as components in recipes that create final products that are in turn equipped and used by adventuring classes or crafting/gathering professions.
Similarly several crafting professions produce an intermediate good. This intermediate good becomes an input in final product recipes. Typically these intermediate goods are needed by the profession that made them, but frequently other professions rely on that intermediate good as well. For example, a number of armorer recipes require a mix of iron ingots and brass ingots. While the armorer can make his or her own iron ingots, he or she would need to find (or become) a goodsmith to fulfill the brass ingot need.
General Thoughts on Dependency
Every crafter needs a specific array of shards, crystals and clusters. While this creates a dependency on a specific gatherer in the initial levels, in practice both the miner and botanist can eventually produce each type of shard, crystal, or cluster. Because of this, we don’t track crystal dependency on the infographic.
Virtually every crafting profession uses raw materials from each of the four gathering sources. To be truly self sufficient, you would need to have every crafting and gathering profession at maximum level and you would also need an inordinate amount of free time. In the long run, this may be feasible, but at game’s launch it is highly unlikely that a player can maintain a reasonable pace of advancement with all professions.
However, each crafting profession also has a heavy requirement for specific inputs and those inputs are typically from a narrower range of professions. As an example, while Blacksmiths use pieces from monsters and botany on occasion, the Blacksmith is heavily reliant on ore from mining. As we look at dependency we are focusing primarily on the more frequent sources of dependency.
We are looking at heavy dependency when a crafter has a number of recipes relying on parts from a single source. If a crafter has an occasional (one or two recipes in a five level band) from a source we are not tracking the dependence. Depending on your crafting intent, some of these lesser needs turn out to be quite important to your daily efforts
We are also primarily looking at dependence in the first 20-levels of the game. In practice dependency changes over time. For instance, a leatherworker relies heavily on monsters (skins) early on. However, around their third tier of crafting, the leatherworker also needs Alumen to process skins into hide. Mining, thus, becomes important later on even though it is a relatively low priority early on.
Goldsmithing and Culinarian are reasonably independent of the other crafting professions. While there are some recipes which require an intermediate crafted item, most of the goldsmith and culinarian recipes simply require raw materials from a gathering source. However, the cost of this independence is a reliance on a much broader range of raw materials. The goldsmith and the culinarian will each have a fairly cluttered retainer inventory.
Alchemist is also largely independent of other crafting professions, however in the process of creating arcanist textbooks the alchemist becomes dependent on the weaver profession along with either the carpenter or leatherworker (depending on the type of book).
Armorers and Blacksmiths can each produce hard metal (bronze, iron, steel) ingots and rivets. Because of this, professions who depend on those intermediate combines can look for supply from either Armorers or Blacksmiths.
Dependency is also greatly heightened by the crafter and gathering need for gear. While we do not address this dependence in the infographic, it is worth commenting on. The tools of the trade as well as the crafting gear itself comes from a number of different professions. The tools of the trade become very important by your mid-20’s, seeking out HQ gear/tools and then properly managing your materia allocation becomes a significant part of your crafting and gathering activity.
Gathering Tools of the Trade (provided by)
- Botanist (Blacksmith)
- Fisher (Carpenter, Blacksmith*)
- Miner (Blacksmith)
Crafting Tools of the Trade (Provided by)
- Alchemist (Armorer, Blacksmith)
- Armorer (Blacksmith)
- Blacksmith (Blacksmith)
- Carpenter (Blacksmith)
- Culinarian (Armorer, Blacksmith)
- Goldsmith (Blacksmith, Carpenter)
- Leatherworker (Blacksmith)
- Weaver (Goldsmith. Carpenter)
Weavers, Leatherworkers, and Goldsmiths are heavily involved in the provision of gear for all crafters and gatherers. Blacksmiths produce most of the crafting tools, but the remaining professions (save culinarian) each produce a couple of crafting tools.
Each crafting and gathering profession is heavily dependent on at least four, and often five, other professions. The gathering professions each rely on Blacksmiths for tools, Leatherworkers and Weavers for clothing, and Goldsmiths for jewelry.
The crafting professions share in these dependencies, while often adding at least one other crafting profession for one tool type. Atop this, the crafters also depend on the gatheriers for resources and generally depend on 2 or more other crafting professions for intermediate crafting materials.
As an example, were I trying to be a self-sufficient Armorer, I face a pretty Herculean task keeping supporting professions up to speed. In addition to armorer, I would need to also level up Blacksmith for my tools, Leatherworker and Weaver for my clothing (I double dip with leatherworker since they also provide a high demand intermediate good), Goldsmith for my jewelry, Mining for ore, Carpentry for lumber, and Botany for the logs to make lumber. That’s seven supporting professions just to keep my armorer advancing.
I doubt that’s realistic for most players. If I’m willing to accept that I can’t be fully independent, though, I can become mostly self-sufficient with a much smaller profession path. In addition to Armorer, a Leatherworker and Carpentry focus keeps me stocked in intermediate goods (and even some crafting gear). I then depend on gatherers for resources as well as Blacksmiths, Goldsmiths and Weavers for other gear and repair needs.
It is highly unlikely that more than a handful of players on a server will achieve self sufficiency. If you wish to play the crafting professions, you must accept that you need others to get by. And by others we don’t just mean customers. A successful crafter needs to occupy a hub-spot in a network of artisans.