EQ Traders Corner
Beginner's Guide to Smithing

by Myrron Lifewarder

Updated November 23, 2004

This guide is a step-by-step method for reaching a smithing skill of near 200. It is short and to the point. Each of the steps outlined below are suggested based on cheap cost and readily available supplies. These steps are designed for the beginner in smithing, who wishes to increase his or her skill at a relatively cheap cost to themselves. This guide suggests steps to a smithing skill of 188. There is a section after the guide suggesting several routes for smithing beyond 188, but these are not laid out step-by-step.

First things first: increase your stats! If you are a caster, raise your intelligence/wisdom (whichever is your primary stat) as high as you can before attempting to smith. Melees can do this, but strength may substitute for wisdom/intelligence. So get either wisdom, intelligence, or strength as high as you possibly can. There is no need to max out all three stats; just pick one that should be easy to increase. Recall that spells, songs, and food may also alter stats, not just armor and weapons.

Why do you want to increase your stats? As your stat increases, so does your chance of getting a skill-up in smithing. This is not to be confused with the actual creation of a new item. Whether or not you succeed when trying to create a new item depends on your smithing skill level. If your smithing skill is 25, you have the exact same chance of creating a steel boning whether your intelligence is 120 or 180. However, with a 180 intelligence, you will be more likely to improve your smithing skill to 26.

Many recipes are also requiring more and more tempers, so after a while you may find it worth your while to raise your brewing skill. A skill of 150 should allow you to reliably make most tempers.

Without further ado, the guide:

(Begin Steps in Guide)

1. Sharpen rusty weapons (sharpening stone + rusty weapon) until the mid-20's. The first rusty weapons begin to trivial at a skill level of 18, but you can take your skill up to 24 with a rusty longsword. Sharpening stones may be bought in a few locations, including Erudin, Ak'Anon, Felwithe, and Freeport to name a few. You can sharpen some rusty weapons all the way to 26, but I think it's ok to move on to steel boning at 24. You can sell tarnished weapons and recover the cheap cost of the sharpening stones; you find enough rusty weapons at low levels off of enemies so you shouldn't have to buy any. Alternately you can make metal bits (2 small pieces of ore, flask of water) to 18, but if so, you will need to buy the ore. Rusty weapons are free.

2. Create steel boning (small brick ore, file, flask of water) until 37. If you don't see a file for sale, you can make one (1 metal bits, file mold, flask of water; trivial at 21). If you are also interested in tailoring, you may alternately make studs (3 metal bits, file, flask of water) until 35 and then boning until 37. However, I tried this, and for whatever reason I got skill-ups with almost every boning attempt, while studs took more time to prepare and gave me fewer skill-ups. Steel boning may be saved if you are a tailor, or sold back to recover some of the cost of the ore.

3. Create lanterns (1 metal bits, lantern casing mold, bottle, flask water) until 68. This is surprisingly cheap. It will take you a while to make a few stacks of metal bits, but otherwise this is not too costly (several plat). The lantern casing molds are not stackable, so have a few empty backpacks/containers with you. The only nuisance here is that lanterns do not give you much money when you sell them back to a merchant.

4. Create dairy spoons (2 metal bits, scalar mold, flask of water) until 74. Same as before; these sell back for even less than the lanterns. However, they, too, are fairly cheap to make.

5. Create banded gorgets (1 sheet metal, gorget mold, flask of water) until 92. Sheets of metal can be made (2 small bricks of ore, flask of water) and are stackable; molds are not stackable. I suggest making banded gorgets (these are cheapest) until your skill hits in the mid-80's. Some quests require banded armor, so you could try selling some of your wares, but overall there's not much demand for banded armor anymore (at least on my server).

6. Continue with banded helmets (2 sheet metal, helm mold, flask of water) until 106, then move on to banded mail (3 sheet metal, mail mold, flask of water) until 115; or continue to fill orders for banded armor until you trivial it. Sheets of metal can sometimes be bought from merchants (East Freeport, for example), if you do not wish to make it. If you wish, you can move on to needles (step 7) before 115 though, as you will use the needles later to get to 132 (step 8).

7. Create embroidering needles (needle mold, 1 metal bits, celestial essence, flask of water) until 122. Save what you make for step 8. Celestial essence is a no fail combine made by combining 1 celestial solvent (vendor-sold in Shadow Haven and Bazaar) and a spell research component in a mixing bowl. If you do not have the Luclin expansion, you can always ask a buddy who does to buy you the components needed, or even try to find someone selling celestial essences. There is a list of which spell components are useable for this recipe at EQTraders: Celestial Essence Recipes.

8. Make racial needles (embroidery needle + a specific essence) until 132. This is open to people of all races, despite the name. The essences that work with this are the clockwork, vital, cabilis, erud, faydark, and nektulos essences, which are brewed by mixing a zone-foraged/dropped item and a flask of water, trivial around 122. The easiest in my opinion is the faydark essence, in which you mix a cinnamon stick and water together. These needles were at one time sellable to merchants to minimize loss, that has changed. If this route does not appeal to you, other smiths have made electrum ornate chain bracers (bar of electrum, smithy hammer, chain pattern **not the same as tailoring patterns**, 1 high quality metal ring, and a flask of water) to 128, then moved on to step 9.

9. Gold ornate chain bracers to 135. Ornate chain requires an appropriate chainmail pattern, a smithy hammer, a bar of metal (silver, electrum, gold, platinum), a flask of water, and high quality metal rings in varying quantities. At 132, you really don’t need to use silver or electrum bars anymore, so people tend to move directly on to gold bars. Bracers require 1 high quality ring (and has the highest trivial for all items requiring one ring), so bracers seem to be a good item to skill up on. Alternatively, the electrum coif (helm) requires 2 rings, but trivials at 139 and does not require you to buy gold. Rings are expensive, as they require you to combine a flask of water, a file, and a large brick of high quality ore (yield 2). In addition, high quality ore is only sold in three places currently: Qeynos, Kaladim, and the Bazaar. Thus, some people stick with items that require only one ring, but others go for items requiring two. At some point, usually when people have the choice to use platinum bars or move on to fine plate, people move on to fine plate.

10a. Fine plate visors to 163, bracers to 168, helmets to 179, and breastplates to 188. Some people say to move on to fine plate items right after 122, skipping ornate chain entirely. People tend to recommend fine plate visors (smithy hammer, 1 leather padding, flask of water, appropriate mold, and 1 medium quality folded sheet of metal) to 163, then bracers to 168. (Or just go straight into bracers, skipping visors). Fine plate helms (requires above components but 2 medium quality folded sheets of metal instead of 1) will then take people to 179. Fine plate breastplates (3 medium quality folded sheets of metal) carry you to 188. Leather padding is made by combining a low quality wolf/bear/cat/rockhopper pelt with a silk thread (2 spiderling silks in sewing kit, no fail) in a sewing kit. Leather padding trivials at 31, so it may be worth your while to raise your tailoring above that to reduce failures. If you buy your padding, this will save you time but cost more. Killing animals for pelts and silks will take you plenty of time, but cost less money. Medium quality folded sheets of metal cannot be store-bought; it is different than the medium quality sheet metal that is store-bought. A medium quality folded sheet of metal is made by combining 1 block of medium quality ore, a flask of water, and a smithy hammer.

10b. Some people can skip a portion of fine plate by using cultural recipes. Check on EQTraders (Recipes - Cultural Tradeskills) to see what items your race can make and see if there are any trivials above 122 that may be cheap. Wood-elves, for example, have the option of making Fier’dal fletching kits to 163 somewhat cheaply. I believe halflings have a similar item (Vale sewing kit) that might also fill in the gap between ornate chain and fine plate. However, your cultural items may not sell back to merchants well, so when looking at cultural stuff, check to make sure you can recover some of your money losses. Even if you can’t sell back to merchants, you may find cultural items cheaper to make than selling back ornate chain and fine plate. This is not an option for everyone. Usually you will end up returning to fine plate at some point, and reach 188 with fine plate breastplates.

(End Steps in Guide)

Congratulations! You've hit 188, and I'm sure it has been painful. 188 will suit most people's needs, but if you wish to continue, I have outlined several routes to grand mastery below. First, some thoughts on the guide:

In the guide, you may notice I skip steps. For example, it is possible to move on from dairy spoons (trivial 74) to fillet knives (trivial 76) before moving on to banded. However, I find that skill-ups come more quickly when working on items that trivial about 15-30 points above your skill level. Thus, this guide usually has you working on an item at most times that “challenges” your skill a little.

Tips: Recently it was revealed that you have a better chance at a skillup when you succeed on an item versus failing, so this guide always has you working with something close to your skill level. It may not necessarily be faster to begin at skill 0 making banded mail, and almost certainly more costly. Also keep in mind equipping the geerlok may lower your strength/wisdom/intelligence stat, which decreases the chance for a skillup, so there may be a tradeoff. Finally, if you use anything to increase your charisma for buying supplies (opal steins, for example), remember to unequip them when you go to the forge and re-equip items that give you strength, wisdom, or intelligence (whichever you need).

After 188

There has been considerable interest in what items to make after you trivial fine plate. Based on the trivial listings at EQTraders, my own experiences, and what more experienced smiths have mentioned on the message boards there, there appear to be several primary routes. Most routes are expensive and can cost you time as well as money, so be prepared.

Route 1: Shadow Scream Armor. This requires little money, but a lifetime of farming. The recipe is: swirling shadows, humming luclinite mallet (no drop), vah shir anvil (no drop), humming orbs, (medium) banded armor mold, water flask. The humming orb recipe: wailing substance (no drop), shrieking substance, vah shir anvil (no drop), luclinite mallet OR humming luclinite mallet (no drop), metal rings. The mallet and anvil are rewards from quests. People like this route because it is cheap, but hate it because many of the items that must be farmed and quested. Shadow scream armor can take you all the way to 250.

Route 2: Acrylia Smithing. This seems to be an in-between route to 242. It can be costly if you buy all of your components, but the only item really difficult to obtain seems to be the windstones needed for acrylia temper. Acrylia plate smithing requires a combine smithing hammer, combine acrylia temper, acrylia chain jointing, leather padding, appropriate plate mold, appropriate number of folded acrylia sheets. The temper is made from an essence of wind, crushed windstone, vial of clear mana (crushed windstone obtained by combining 2 windstones in a mortar & pestle) brewed together, trivial 122. The chain joining requires 1 acrylia ring (large brick of acrylia, flask of water, file), water, combine smithy hammer, and a file. The folded acrylia sheets are simply a block of acrylia, the combine smithy hammer, and a flask of water. Some people might want to look into making acrylia chain mail first, but the hardest chain piece trivials at 215 so most people just go right into acrylia plate. Like fine plate, the usual progression is bracer first, then helm, then breastplate. However, since all three require just 1 temper, you might as well just make pieces that sell well on your server.

Route 3: Mistletoe Cutting Sickles. It sounds deceptively simple: Blessed Sickle Blade, Blessed Sickle Hilt, Blessed Sickle Pommel, and a Smithy Hammer, which takes you all the way to 250. However, each piece requires extensive sub-combines and is very costly, arguably the most expensive route to 250 there is. Check Second Gift of the Elves if you want to look into this route, but be prepared to easily spend 500,000pp or more attempting to go to 250 on sickles.

Route 4: LDoN Plate Armor. These all require medium quality folded sheets of metal, plate molds, superb leather padding (storebought), smithy hammer, water flask, and a LDoN temper. There are five kinds of tempers: bone (goblin bones + water), granite (gargoyle granite + water), lichen (ice lichen + water), sand (sand verbana + water), and swamp (pondweed + water) tempers, all of which can be made with a brewing skill of 130+. It doesn't really matter what kind of temper you use if you're looking to skill up. Make the collar first (to 194), then the helmet (to 204), then the breastplate (to 212). LDoN plate armor is one of the most popular ways to skill up to around 210 because the only item not available from stores is the temper component. The sellback value is also pretty decent; you only lose what you pay for the temper, more or less.

Route 5: Enchanted Velium Bits. This is an interesting option. It requires a coldain velium temper, 2 small pieces of velium, and the spell Enchant: Velium. Yes, this is the actual scroll; no, you do not need to be an enchanter. You place all four items in a forge, and you may get some lore, no-drop enchanted velium bits back. You must have a skill level of 165 to even attempt this combine, and since they are no-drop, you can't sell them back at all. Making these can be real expensive if you buy velium from the bazaar, or real time consuming if you farm it, but otherwise it is a very simple recipe that many people use. This can take you to a skill of 222.

Route 6: Check your cultural options. Some races have great alternatives they can pick from. You may have to find people who can imbue or enchant stuff, but this could prove to be much easier than the other routes.

What's this about some "freebie" points I've heard about? Planes of Power recipes can only be attempted once you reach a raw skill of 220, or once you can modify your skill to 220. This means anyone who has a raw skill of 210 and equips a geerlok can try PoP recipes. One recipe is for ethereal metal rings. This requires one brick of ethereal energy, one ethereal temper (made by a 220+ brewer or bought in the bazaar), and one file. The trivial is 212, so once you reach 210 you can equip a geerlok and make these rings until 212. The rings are used in ornate and elemental chain recipes, so they can often be sold in the bazaar to people needing them. The two "freebie" points are 211 and 212, which can be achieved using this recipe. Alternatively, you can make ethereal metal sheets, which also can take you to 212 but require 2 bricks, the tanaan smithy hammer, and the ethereal temper.

In general, you won't often see a profit as a smith. You certainly will lose money up until the point that you can make banded armor, and even now I don't see people wanting to buy banded or ornate chain very often. However, smithing, like all tradeskills, is a fun way to take a break from the normal routine of raids, grouping, and soloing. That, and it’s pretty cool when someone asks “can anyone make me an acrylia breastplate?” and you can respond, “Sure, no problem!” Good luck!

--Myrron Lifewarder
Wood-Elf Druid on Vazaelle

Post Script. I would like to thank all of the people who have been posting in the EQTraders smithing message board. Their comments and suggestions, as well as their testing of the new trivials, has led to the creation of this guide.

Created: 2003-06-07 03:10:45          
Last Modified By: Verdandi Board Goddess          
Last Modified on: 2006-04-12 06:14:33          

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