After months and months of doing Ixali daily quests and over 800 Ixali Oaknots later, I have finally reached ilvl 60 on all my crafting classes! Here's a small flowchart of how I did it:
★ First off, every class started with fully melded, HQ, class specific gear, Master Crafter I recipes, and Artisan main tools.
★ The trickiest step was the first 3 star synth. Blacksmith makes the Artisan offhand tools for 6/8 of the others classes, so I chose to make its offhand first in order to help making the other five a little easier. My first ever attempt resulted in a Reclaim fail, losing all my materials. Little did I know this would be the start of many, many more disasters to come, but I didn't let it get me down.
★ A week later, I tried making BSM's offhand again. Success! One down, seven to go.
★ Every week after gathering materials from the Ixali dailies, I would attempt crafting another offhand in the following order: CRP > WVR > LTW. This is because CRP makes the final two offhands (for WVR and GSM), and all three are needed to make the highest level of crafting gear, the Artisan set; WVR for body and legs, LTW for hands, and CRP for shoes.
★ I then finished up crafting the final three offhands before attempting anything above 3 star; CUL > ALC > ARM in order of usefulness. Each offhand took one week to gather enough Oaknots, but only two synths failed, resulting in 11 weeks to make all 8 offhands.
★ Now for the hardest part. To unlock the Artisan gear, which are all 4 star recipes, you need to hand in three HQ, extremely difficult, luck-based token items. The NQ version of these token items, along wish Master Craft Demimateria and Fieldcraft Demimateria III are used to obtain the Supra weapon for each class, but more on that later!
★ SO! I set about finding a good rotation for these monstrous recipes. I tried countless times but never achieved a 100% HQ rate. The highest I got was 80%, but the standard rate was 30% while praying with all my might. I am also pretty sure Reclaim is not a 90% success rate like it says on the skill's tooltip.
★ Some way or another, I managed to unlock the 4 star recipes for LTW, WVR and CRP. With GSM's desynthing skill at level 100, I also made a whole bunch of Master Craft Demimateria and handed in all my failed attempts at token items for Supra main tools in preparation for the new recipes.
★ Back to the drawing board, I made a new, original rotation and tested it out on some easier 4 star synths before attempting the Artisan gear itself. Then again, after trying to HQ those token items, anything seemed easy...
★ After pinning down the perfect rotation, I crossed my fingers and finally got to work on the real thing:
★ The Artisan gear - much like the glasses from Patch 2.2 - are wearable by all classes, and contain 3 open materia slots for easy materia melding. This one, single apron replaced eight fully melded body pieces, giving me a ton of gil back when I converted them into materia:
So long, old friends.
★ But I didn't stop there. I still had 26 minutes of food remaining, and a whole bunch of leftover Oaknots. I successfully made the hands, legs and feet in quick succession, replacing over 30 pieces of class specific crafting gear!
In retrospect, the artisan gear is a tiny, tiny, almost insignificant step upwards from overmelded class specific gear. However, the fact that a single set of gear caters to every class is a huge boost for crafters who only plan to focus on a couple of crafts, but might dip into the others at some point without feeling the need to climb the gear ladder from scratch every time.
Currently, I have unlocked 5/8 of the Master Crafter II books, and obtained 5/8 of the Supra main hand tools. However my main, Goldsmith, has taken it one step further!
Patch 2.5 introduced new Lucis main hand tools, which - unlike the pathetic upgrade from Artisan to Supra - are a gigantic boost to both Craftsmanship and Control.
They are also huge, like the class specific Luminary weapons, and best of all, dyable! Here is GSM's Urcaguary in metallic red.
The Lucis hand in tokens take a little longer to obtain than the Master Crafter II books, but are way less stressful. Failing a synth by NQing it no longer throws you into a pit of depression, as every NQ item can be traded to Talan for your base materials back. All it consumes is clusters and a few easy level 40 items which can be easily HQd or bought straight off the Market for cheap. The other (refundable) items needed are previous tome items like Emery, which are now a staggering 9,000 Grand Company seals per pop, and a brand new set of items obtained from Levequests or your GC.
The biggest challenge in obtaining as Lucis tool isn't obtaining these items, though. It's the fact you need twenty of these 3 star tokens, they must be HQ, and they only have 40 durability. Because almost all of the base materials are NQ, you will be starting off with as little as 6% HQ rate, and physically cannot get to 11 stacks of Inner Quiet before you run out of durability. Even though you can simply trade in failed NQ attempts for another shot, you'll still need a lot of luck to be able to make all 20 HQ items before ripping your hair out. Good luck!
Lastly, the reason I chose GSM wasn't because it was my main, but because outside of Innovation, GSM has almost no other useful cross class skills, meaning certain skills like Ingenuity 2 or Careful Synthesis II had to be taken out of my rotation as there was no space to cross class all the important ones like Hasty Touch and Reclaim with it's measly 10% success rate.
Since then, my recipe has changed, so that's no longer an issue, and one day I might get all my crafts up to the Lucis stage. First though, it's time to upgrade my Disciple of the Land classes though, don't you think?
Thanks for reading!