Eorzea Reborn FFXIV First 15: Armorer

Your New Armorer

A FFXIV First 15

What is a FFXIV First 15

Eorzea Reborn’s FFXIV First 15 builds are based on an idea we used in the Secret World, where our My First 60 builds are still quite popular.  These are guides for new players trying out new classes.  A FFXIV First 15 guide emphasize your early levels with the class, specifically focusing on getting you ready for your first dungeon runs.

Armorer Overview

Armorers are a Disciple’s of the Hand (DoH), and members of Eorzea’s crafting community.  Armorers focus on making heavy armor of the plate and chain variety.  As such, their wares satisfy the needs of Gladiators, Lancers, and Marauders.  Armorers also make the primary crafting tools for several other crafting classes.  Armorers also make intermediate items such as metal plates, rivets, and metal ingots which are needed by several other crafting classes.  Additionally, armorers can repair any of the items they make and armorers are also needed to slot materia into any of the armors they make.

You can not start the game as an Armorer.  You must complete the level 10 class quest with your initial character before you are permitted to join other guilds.  Once you have done so, simply visit the armorer guild in Limsa Lominsa and talk to the guild registrar to begin armoring.  The blacksmith guild is located in the same workshop as the armorers guild, so you might choose to pickup both at the same time and see which suits you.

The Limsa Lominsa location presents a problem for quickly becoming an armorer.  Unless you are a Marauder or Arcanist (who start in LL), Limsa Lominsa can not be reached until you complete the level 15 city quest for your initial class.  Once that is done, you have cheap airship access between the three cities and teleport to the crystals in each town once you have tagged the crystal a first time.

The only other way to reach Limsa Lominsa the first time is through the ferry.  The ferry departs Vesper Bay in Western Thanalan (near Ul’Dah).  However, at least for beta-3, the ferry runs are prohibitively expensive for new characters (in excess of 50,000 gil per trip).  While this cost should come down, players starting in cities other than Limsa Lominsa will need to wait until the level 15 city quest is complete before starting as an armorer.

Gathering Your Materials

Crafting in FFXIV is actually a pair of resource games.  The first resource game involves material gathering.  For an armorer, you are going to need an extensive amount of ore and crystals.  The ore comes from the Disciple of the Land class Miner which starts in Ul’Dah.  Ice Shards appear to be the commonly used crystal for armorers and they are primarily found in low level botany nodes.  So, at least for the first few levels, armorers are heavily dependent on both harvesting classes.

Additionally, you will regularly need intermediate crafting items from other classes.  You will regularly need leather, lumber, cloth, and soft-metal ingots (copper and brass early on).  These are produced by the leatherworker, carpenter, tailor, and goldsmith classes respectively.

Early on, you can reasonably easily do all of this yourself.  You can get through 15th level without needing more than a half dozen levels of each of these other classes since you are mostly just processing the materials used in their first tiers of crafting.   However, by 15th level you will easily find that a self-sufficient armorer is going to take an inordinate amount of time.  You may find it easier to buy resources using the trading post feature found in each of the starting cities.

Starting a Crafting Attempt

All recipes begin through the crafting log.  By default this is mapped to the “N” key.  It is also available via the menu buttons under the personal logs button.  When you are playing a crafter, the crafting log opens to your currently equipped crafting class.  You will then see a list of recipe levels and the recipes available in that level range.  Picking a single recipe shows you the materials needed for the chosen recipe as well as your stock of those materials.

Crafting Starting a Recipe

The example above is for the carpenter recipe “ash lumber.”  While this is an armorer’s guide, the recipe lists work the same for all crafting classes.  In the red rectangle, you can see that ash lumber is listed in the 6-10 level range.  The “Ash Lumber” recipe itself, in the green rectangle, has been chosen and has a light highlight applied to it.  The blue rectangle shows you the details for the ash lumber recipe.

The recipe has 40 durability, which governs the number of abilities you can use before failing the recipe.  The difficulty of the recipe is 20, which interacts with your craftsmanship (I believe) to influence the possible success rate of crafting progress.  Finally, the current quality is 0, this could be increased by using HQ Ash Logs.

The recipe itself requires 3 ash logs and 1 wind shard.  I currently have 77 normal quality (NQ) ash logs and 0 high quality (HQ) ash logs.  The recipe auto loads normal quality items, but you can choose to replace these with HQ items if you have them.  Once you have your materials loaded (remember it should auto-load what you need) simply hit Synthesize to begin the Crafting Process.

The Crafting Process

The second resource game for armorers is the crafting process itself.  Each crafting procedure is a balancing act between three condition states.  These conditions are the durability of the item, the progress towards completion and the quality of this crafting process.  The crafter juggles these conditions through the application of crafting abilities and a crafting point (CP) resource pool.

Durability represents the number of times one can attempt crafting steps before depleting the resources and breaking the in-production item.  The durability of an item is a fixed starting amount based on the recipe itself.  Early on your recipes all have 30 durability, but by the time you are in your mid-teens you will be working on recipes with 70 durability.  In the example above, the Ash Log recipe has 40 durability and I have used up 10 of those durability points.  Virtually every step in the crafting process uses 10 durability, so this starting durability tells you roughly how many attempts you get before you will fail the crafting process.

Progress indicates how close you are to completing the current crafted recipe.  The amount of progress required to complete is unique to each recipe.  Early recipes might only take 10 progress to complete, in your mid-teens it will generally take 70 progress to complete recipes.  Progress is gained on successful application of certain crafting abilities, which in turn cost 10 durability (progress increases, durability decreases).  In the image above, I have successfully completed an ability action, resulting in a 16 of 20 on the progress meter (at a cost of 10 durability).  Progress attempts can also fail, costing you the 10 durability without resulting in any progress gains.

Crating Progress Ability

The amount of progress you gain is influenced by the crafting ability chosen and the amount of craftsmanship you currently have.  For instance, successful application of “basic syntehsis” above is a 100% efficient use of your craftsmanship.  Your craftsmanship is, in turn, influenced by your crafting gear and clothing.

Your chance to succeed is determined by the ability you choose (basic synthesis has a 90% success chance) to use and possibly by the difference between your craftsmanship and the recipe difficulty level.  It does seem that “easy recipes” (e.g. those well below your crafting level) have a lower failure rate than that listed on the ability tool-tip itself.

Crafting Quality Status

Quality provides an indicator of your likelihood of making a High Quality (HQ) item.  Increasing the quality condition raises your chance of performing a High Quality completion of the current recipe.  Quality is influenced, in part, by the materials chosen in the crafting recipe, HQ inputs give you a much higher base chance to make HQ goods.  In the example above, I have used HQ iron ore which starts the crafting process at 363/726 on the quality meter.  I have a 15% chance of making a HQ item before I even begin applying abilities!

Crafting Quality Ability

Quality is also influenced by certain crafting abilities.  The successful application of these abilities raises quality while lowering durability (by 10) and also costing some of your Crafting Points (CP).  Quality attempts can also fail, costing you both durability and crafting points while resulting in no quality gain.  In the image above, the initial carpenter quality ability, “Basic Touch,” has a 100% efficiency using your Control with only a 70% success rate.

Crafting Crystal State

The amount of quality you gain on a successful attempt is influenced by the crafting ability chosen and your control attribute.  Control is, in turn, influenced by your crafting gear and clothing.  Your chance to succeed is partially determined by the crafting ability you use.  Basic touch, for example has a 70% base success chance and provides 100% efficiency in using your control points.    The other part of the quality success is tied to the crystal state itself.  On your crafting table you see a crystal which vacillates between white, yellow and red states.  You have the best chance of succeeding on a quality improvement in the white state and the lowest chance of succeeding on a red state.

Class Abilities

  • Basic Synthesis (Progress)
  • Basic Touch (Quality)
  • Master Mend (restores Durability)
  • Steady Hand (increases success chance for 5-turns)
  • Inner Quiet (Buffs control as quality improves)
  • Observe (wait one round)
  • Rapid Synthesis (high progress, low success rate)
  • Standard Touch (better quality)

The list above is your full ability list through level 19 armorer.  You should note that most crafting classes use the same list of abilities.  Thus while the illustrations provided in the prior section were carpenter images, the ability names (Basic Synthesis and Basic Touch) are directly the same for armorer.  Each class that I have worked through picks up these abilities at the same levels and they perform the same way for each class.

Your level 15 ability, Rapid Synthesis (250% efficiency, 50% success rate) can be mapped over to other crafting classes.

Progress abilities enver cost CP, but they do use up 10 durability per application.  By your late teens, you have two abilities that influence your progress.  Basic Synthesis is your first ability and is your go-to ability for working recipes.  Later on you get Rapid Synthesis which gives you a much higher efficiency rating, but only a 50% success chance.  Rapid Synthesis is there to power through easy difficulty recipes.

Quality abilities always cost CP and they also cost 10 durability per application.  You pickup your first quality ability at level 5, Basic Touch which converts control into quality at a 100% efficiency with a 70% success chance.  Later on you receive Standard Touch which has a better efficiency with a lower success chance.

Durability declines by 10 with nearly every ability used.  There are two important exceptions to this for a mid-teens armorer.  Early on you pickup Master Mend, rather than burning 10 durability, it restores 30 durability for a rather high CP cost.  Much later, you pickup Observe which allows you to “skip” a turn.  For a very small cost of CP, you can wait, letting your crystal state cycle without burning durability.

Finally, you have to self-buffs that are interesting to use.  Both of these abilities cost a moderate amount of CP and do not use up any Durability.  The first of these, Steady Hand, gives you a 20% better success rate for five straight rounds.  A bit later, you pickup Inner Quiet.  For a small CP payment, you can buff your Control stat on each successive improvement in quality.  Under this buff, quality improves control, which in turn improves your yield on future quality attempts.

Crafting Rotation

For Ore processing, most of the time I am simply trying to maximize completion speed.  In this case, my crafting rotation is very simple.  Basic Synthesis x3, Master Meld, Repeat as needed.

For XP-grinding, you get slightly higher xp for the amount of quality in your synthesis, so work in a few Basic Touch moves.  On these attempts I use Basic Synthesis until I only need one more BS success to finish the recipe.  I then Master Meld and use Basic Touch until I run out of CP.  I then use BS to complete the recipe.  I do not recommend ever waiting until 10 durability to complete even the simplest BS attempts, it is very irritating to miss that final attempt and destroy the item.

To complete hard recipes, I make use of the Steady Hand buff and focus on Basic Synthesis.  Using this technique, you can complete recipes 5+ levels over your crafting level.  This is quite useful when completing high end guildleves.

I do not currently have a preferred rotation for HQ combines.  The xp-grinding rotation isn’t a bad one, particularly if you work in Inner Quiet at the start of your quality enhancement.

Leveling Your Armorer

There are three basic paths you should follow in leveling your armorer.  The first involves xp gained from grinding through raw materials.  You need to produce a lot of ingots for crafting.  Early on this is Bronze (2 copper ore, 1 tin ore and 1 ice shard).  By your mid-teens, though, you will also be working with Iron Ingots (3 iron ore and 1 ice shard).  Knocking out stacks of these ingots provides xp while fueling the way for your second leveling path.

The second path involves finishing off your crafting log.  There is a bonus xp award on your first completion of a crafting recipe. You will, therefore, want to complete each recipe on a tab to maximize this benefit.

The third path for leveling involves guildleves.  Crafters do not have the quest progression that adventuring classes have, so you will need to stockpile leves to rapidly advance your crafter.  You also want to complete leves with HQ combines whenever possible.  An HQ leve turn-in provides a 200% bonus payment, that’s 3x the xp for a single leve.

For the armorer, I prefer the leves provided in the Limsa Lominsa adventuring guild.  Take out any and all leves that can be turned in to Bango Zhango.  Bango Zhango is located in Limsa Lominsa at the main Atherite Crystal.  This means you can use the aethernet, to quickly turn in leves to Bango and then aethernet right back up to the aftcastle and take out some more leves.

You are also going to find armorer quests from the armoring guild leader at levels 5, 10 and 15.  Completing these quests provides gear upgrades and early tips for armorers.  In particular, the guild master will tell you some of the classes you rely on for materials and those for whom you can sell to.  This is a nice introduction to the merchanting aspect of the armorer.

 Go to the Class Landing Page
Go to the Crafting Landing Page

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6 Responses to Eorzea Reborn FFXIV First 15: Armorer

  1. Chris says:

    I have to say that crafting is a lot more fun in XIV than it was in XI. And, for the most part, you can get through the first 20 levels of recipes (possibly more) with items that are readily available from NPCs.

    I hope they don’t cap vendors’ inventory like they did in XI (e.g. certain lumber and ingots). Having to camp the guild counters was hugely annoying. Even if they do, though, it’s easy to farm shards with miner/botanist, so having to synthesize low level ingredients is not as much of a waste of crystals as it was in XI.

  2. Telsten says:

    You guys should tag all the first 15 posts with their own metatag so that it’s easy to get a listing of them all.

    :) /wave

  3. stewart0 says:

    I didn’t look into it in depth, but I assumed that the difficulty of the recipe referred to the total number you need to reach on the progress bar.

  4. Skwaru says:

    Did anyone had problem like this?
    I’m armorer, trying to craft a brass alembic (amateur’s alembic + bronze rivets + brass ingot) got the mats, highlighted on white as well but actualy cant craft it coz i get ” not all mats selected” precisly alembic. At details window (blue rectangle at first screenshot) insteed of nq/hq i just have unclicable “<< unselected" mby some1 already met with this problem? :l

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