TESOElite Crafting Q&A With Paul Sage Summary

Paul Sage Crafting Q&ATESOElite hosted a live  Crafting Q&A session with Creative Director Paul Sage from Zenimax Online.

The Q&A discussed various different crafting topics, such as the value of crafted gear in end game, crafting hirelings and their usefulness, research and traits, racial styles and motifs, costumes and dyes, crafting economy, inventory and bank space.

The community also asked more specific questions about different crafting professions.

We did a summary of the questions & answers and categorized them to make it all more readable for you.


Q: For you, how long does it takes to master a profession?

A: Not sure how long it takes to master a profession, but pretty long is my guess. ~200-300 hours. Assume top tier. It also depends on the professsion. Smithing will take longer because of research.


Q: Will you continue to raise the max crafting level throughout ESO’s life cycle?

A: Almost assuredly.


Q: In end game on ESO, will the Crafting gear be equivalent or better then dungeon drops?

A: Crafted gear of equal level and equal quality rating is always better than dropped gear from a numerical standpoint. Weapons do more damage, armor has more… armor. However, certain enchantments can only be found on drops. Crafters can always improve those items which have unique enchantments.


Q: We get not crafting experience when we improve an item, and we get very little experience when we break down an item we make. Is this working as intended?

A: It is. You’ll get more inspiration if you break down an item you find or another crafter makes.


Q: Can we craft Veteran Rank 10 items?

A: Of course, provided you meet the criteria.


Q: Will we be able to craft or modify the top gear in the game, or will the top gear only be gainable through adventure zones and dungeon’s?

A: The top gear that drops will always be able to be improved by crafters. We have what internally we call “boosters” but are tannins, resins, and tempers for the Smiths. Using these, you improve the gear you find. Of course, unless you have a lot of them, you can’t improve them without risk… For instance, there is a temper for Fine quality and one for Superior. If you need 5 tempers to get to Fine with a 100% chance of success, you might need 8 to get to Superior with a 100% chance of success. However, you could risk destroying the weapon by not using enough boosters as each booster adds a percentage of success.


Q: Is the gear we create on par with the highest level gear we can get from drops?

A: Yes, or better.


Q: Can I go to the first station and craft and level up to get ability points or do I need to go do quests and dungeons to gain levels to get the ability points? Does crafting gain experience towards the level of my character?

A: You may have to adventure to get skill points. You could explore and find skyshard, or do quests, or level up, etc. There are many ways to get skill points. However, crafting gains will not grant you XP to level your character. They go into your crafting skills. Internally we call the meter for crafting inspiration. That is what you gain that allows you to unlock new crafting skills (passives.)


Q: Is crafting tied to your level? Meaning as long as I’ve invested into the skill lines can I be a level 20 character and craft lever 50+ items so long as I have the resources for it?

A: Your crafting skills (inspiration) are not tied to your level (experience). As long as your find the resources and the skill points, you can craft high level gear and advance crafting without needed to level at the same pace.


Q: Will the reward of say Legendary or Epic crafts be a notable difference then a drop anyone can get from a dungeon?

A: Legendary items do not drop…


Q: Will players have to craft or buy crafted items to hit level 50 efficiently ?

A: Efficiently is a tricky word as it could mean different things. But no, you can hit 50 without crafting or buying crafted gear. It will make it easier if you do I think. Support your local crafters!

Resource Nodes

Q: Are the resource nodes for crafting always going to be free for all, or will the nodes spawn for that person to pick or is it going to be a race to get it first?

A: As of right now, those are public access nodes. We have considered privatizing them, but again… we have to be careful about flooding the world with resources. I can’t stress strongly enough how teamwork will help build up supplies.


Q: How does the Hireling system work for receiving materials?

A: You add a skill point to the skill and they send you a nice mail the next time you log in (assuming you were logged out for a while), with materials attached. You should read the mail. There are good stories that Wynne McLaughlin and the writing team added to the mails.


Smith Professions (Blacksmithing, Clothing, Woodworking)

Q: Woodworking seems to have less craftable items than others. Are there any plans to add more?

A: We have upped the drop rates on some of these items to improve your ability to advance in Woodworking. That said, there is always the possibility of adding more items made of wood to the game.


Q: Playing through the beta I unlocked crafting with Oak and have some of the raw materials, yet the only woodworking options I have to craft with is maple? How does this work exactly?

A: If you have the right skill and the right materials, you should be able to craft with Oak. I can’t think of any reason you could not.


Q: With Crafting being as viable as it is in ESO, the “upgrading” from a lower level item to a higher is incredibly difficult, time-consuming, & finance-consuming. Will this be re-visited & re-interfaced in any ways?

A. The high payoffs of crating will take time and effort investment. I don’t think we’re interested in short-cutting that.


Q: Can the players can make tannin, resin, temper materials? Or this item can get for drop, chest, extracting and from hireling only?

A: You get these from three sources:
1. Hirelings. They are pretty good at sending these to you, especially if you have ranked them up.
2. Extraction. Depending on the weapon or armor will give you these.
3. Refinement. Another way to get the “boosters.”

They are restricted to these methods, because we want crafters to be valuable.

Research / Traits

Q: When you research a trait of lets say Blacksmithing or Clothing for example a item is heavy armor and for medium armor in a race skill of choice. Can that item you research help improve you to make advanced armor or weapon later on in game?

A: Let’s see if I can clear up traits. Traits are properties you can add to a weapon or armor piece. As the weapon increases in strength, so to do traits. (This is not true of enchants.) To learn to craft a trait on a weapon or armor piece, you must research it. This means you must find a like weapon or armor piece that has this trait and research that exact type. For instance, to learn the sharpened trait for daggers, you must find a dagger with the sharpened trait. Then you must destroy it to learn the trait. If this is the first trait you have learned on daggers, it will take six hours. The next trait you learn on daggers will take 12 hours. The next 24, and so on. If you wish to learn the sharpened trait on a sword, and it is the first trait, that will take 6 hours. So, you’re probably going to have to specialize in the weapons and armor pieces you want to learn all the traits in.

Now traits aren’t just beneficial for their own sake. Traits are the gates to crafting sets. To craft a set piece at a special set location, you have to know a certain amount of traits. It varies depending on the “set” you are trying to create. Some “set” pieces might require you to know 3 traits and some might require you to know 6. When you consider “set” bonuses need at least three pieces of gear to be worn before they kick in, you can see crafting will take dedication.


Q: Why is there such a long research time for traits?

A: Thanks for asking. There are a number of reasons, but perhaps the most important to me is the offline experience. There is something special about logging in and seeing something complete. It is hard to explain, but I love that moment when I can research a new trait, craft a new thing, or even feed my horse after logging back in. Also, it ramps the game up more slowly. Not everyone will be able to craft everything right away. It is going to take time for the game to mature. And perhaps finally, it also makes the dedicated crafter stand out just a little bit more.


Q: Is the 6 Hour timer for researching traits going to stay?

A: Well, as I mentioned, it actually goes up in time. And yes, it is going to stay.


Q: What do you consider will be the hardest form of crafting to take on?

A: Enchanting is easiest to learn, most difficult to raise. (We are looking into this.)


Q: Is there any plan to make enchanting a bit more in depth of a crafting branch than it is?

A: I think we would like to add more to it, yes. But it is still a very valuable profession.


Q: Why cant we “Improve” unique items?

A: From an enchanting perspective? Some enchants are already built in and make that dropped gear unique. This is what makes dropped gear stand out.


Q: Is it possible to find in books or other, some recipe with the name of the runes and the enchantment’s effects?

A: Runes give all the hints of that language they will ever give. However, you can now hear runes as they were always meant to be on our PTS. Each time you create a glyph, you will get to hear how the words are actually said.


Q: Are there alchemy recipes in the game? or is recipes just discovered through crafting.

A: You just discover them by alchemisting, alchemicaling, alchemying, alstoprighthere.


Q: What do you predict will be the most popular form of crafting?

A: Alchemy


Q: Can we craft poisons? If not, will we see them later?

A: In the future, I would not be surprised to see poisons.


Q: There are four effects for each herb in alchemy, can you learn more than first effect by continuing to eat an ingredient or is it capped at the first ability?

A: Capped at the first.


Q: Can we look to Skyrim for help on alchemy ingredients?

A: I don’t think so. Maybe Lee Ridout (alchemy designer) could answer better than me on that one.


Q: With alchemy crafting, will there be any potions you can create in which increase experience given, inspiration given, will they possibly increase your crafting skill levels, or even materials extracted whilst the effect is active from the potions?

A: We don’t have plans for potions like that at this time.


Q: Are there any plans to add farming to get provisions perhaps with the addition of peoples own personal home you could have garden in the yard.
second if we get personal homes are we going to get manikins to display our neatly crafted items.

A: We won’t have housing in for launch, but if we did have housing at some point, having a garden would be neat.

Racial Crafting Styles / Racial Motifs


Q: Will there be crafting patterns for rare gear/weapons?

A: There are styles which are rare. Mentioned above.


Q: I’ve seen in the last beta that it is possible to create Daedric Armor. My question is: Do all Daedric armor pieces look the same, or will they all have their own race influenced looks? (e.g. Argonian, Nordic, etc…)

A: Daedric armor is a style in the same way Bosmer or Orc is a style. So while the light Daedric armor looks different from the heavy Daedric armor.


Q: Will you add another styles, colors or traits in the future?

A: We’ll, hopefully, always expand on crafting as long as the game goes on. So I fully expect more styles.


Q: How difficult is it to find racial motifs? Are there some motifs that are far more rare than others?

A: There are definitely racial motifs which are rarer than others. Especially some of the higher tier motifs like the primative or daedric styles. Some of these are very difficult to find.


Q: Are Motif locations going to be in static bookshelves, or are they random throughout the world?

A: Random


Q: Are you planning on adding an ancient dragon crafting style, extremely rare motif and insanely rare resources.

A: Not at this time.

Crafting UI and Systems

Q: Why is there no option to preview armor on your character before you craft it?

A: In game development, you have to make choices about what you can do with the time you have. This was something we wanted, but something that didn’t make it in. The good thing about MMO development is that we could add that feature later.


Q: Is there any plans to introduce preview (what item is going to look like on the character), before crafting ?

A: This is something we’ve discussed, but doing so would take a lot of development time. It isn’t high on our priorities right now, but things change.


Q: Do you have any plans on improving the UI for the crafting tables (such as the woodworking bench) so we can filter even more what are we going to do?

A: We don’t have any specific plans to work on the UI for crafting station improvements in the near future.

Costumes / Visuals / Dyes

Q: Can we use the appearance of an armor? To keep statistics from one and appearance from the other?

A: We have a system in place for Imperial players to be able to switch the appearance of an item to Imperial Style. We may expand upon that.


Q: There is an option to choose not to display helm but on some of the armour I have seen I would like to remove shoulders as well, I noticed a costume slot too, will there be more options on what can be displayed and a larger variety of costumes to help customize characters, make them more individual?

A: The costume slot is designed for our disguise mechanic and our costumes. We’ll almost certainly be expanding the variety of costumes as the game continues. There are costumes you get right now for hitting Vet Ranks. As for adding a toggle for shoulders, I don’t think that is something we have considered up to this point. Mostly, I believe, because shoulders aren’t like faces where you have put a ton of detail into them and want to see them.


Q: What do the devs think about custom particles for weapons and/or armors? I’m thinking about a gem that makes your helm bleed, or something like that, might be just cosmetic, but its the little things that makes me love this game.

A: I like the idea, but I always want to be cautious about how many glowy things are on screen at once. It can make large-scale situations visually hectic.


Q: Why is there no option to preview armor on your character before you craft it?

A: In game development, you have to make choices about what you can do with the time you have. This was something we wanted, but something that didn’t make it in. The good thing about MMO development is that we could add that feature later.


Q: Will we be able to have guild crests/logos on gear?

A: This is something the team is very much in favor of. VERY in favor of.


Q: We will be have the option to dye our armors?

A: Answer unclear… ask again later. (Magic 8 ball reference.)


Q: Why no dye system ?

A: No dye system, yet…

Crafted Item Sets

Q: Why the requirements for low level set gear are so high? (traits/research based)

A: Crafting sets are not tied to level. You pick the set you want and it can be applied to any level gear. Traits requirements are stiff to make sure crafters are special.

Economy / Guild Stores

Q: Is having a vibrant crafting market important to your vision of the game, and if so, how will this be accomplished without item decay (which creates a constant need for new gear)?

A: Item decay taken to item destruction certainly makes a small percentage of communities happy, but my experience with it is that it makes the hard work to get certain items very frustrating. Unless you means resources needed to repair gear and not full on destruction of equipment. However, we went with an economic answer for item repair vs. a crafting solution. Item decay can certainly work, but probably wouldn’t work well in our system.


Q: Will I be allowed to steal from crafters ? Using say lag in trade window or just lying to them and walking off with their stuff ?

A: No. There is certainly no plan to allow that.


Q: We will be able to set some kind of store to sell our crafted items (apart from Guild stores) at some point in the game?

A: That is something we’d like to do, but we have to do it in the right way.


Q: Is there going to be a mass trade/selling/buying system for crafting goods and other items? such as an auction house?

A: There is a guild store right now. If you join a guild you can sell items to your guild members. This might seem restrictive at first, but you can join five guilds. We expect trade consortiums to start up in the game. Part of the reason we have done it this way is we felt that with the Megaserver, being able to just find whatever you wanted at all times can really hurt the overall game. We love trading and want to encourage, but we don’t want to kill the game in doing so. However, we are looking at ways for guilds to have an even larger presence in how they sell their goods.


Q: What do you think the most lucrative crafting profession will be at the launch?

A: It is hard to say, at first guess I would say Smithing. I think in the early game it will be Smithing and Enchanting. Enchanting is harder to find and level, so less crafters may yield more money rewards. Smithing is going to take more time and searching to master. Later on it will be Alchemy or Provisioning is my guess. Alchemy and Provisioning will have more demand because of the consumption rate. However, enchanting nodes are more scarce (though those will improve soon). Ya. I may have to go with Alchemy or Provisioning simply for consumption rates as the game becomes harder.

Inventory / Bank Space

Q: Since crafting materials take up space in our inventory…Would it be possible to implement crafting bags for strictly crafting materials?

A: Our inventory space and bank space provides a much needed gold sink. Something useful to spend your money on. Currently, that friction is useful to the game, and removing that isn’t something I think we want to pursue at this time.


Q: Items for crafting take a lot of place. Will you implement an interface dedicated to crafting items like GW2 or Neverwinter ?

A: Bank space and inventory space are friction elements for the economy. It is unlikely we will have a dedicate crafting inventory in the near future. Choice is important.


Q: I love the fact that you can leave items in your bank and still use them for crafting. My concern is, I guess I horde to much of everything since I’m crafting everything, and run out of space really really quick. Is there away to fix this, or should i simple just keep selling my mats and make low level items to makes space?

A: I would say you are going to have to make some choices about what you keep and what you don’t. Bank space / inventory space is another limiter to being able to work on all crafting skills at once. It isn’t impossible, it is just harder if that is what you choose to do. There’s also a TV show about your “problem.”



Q: Will we have glass, amber, daedric, ebony, and stahlrim items to craft? What about crossbows?

A: Some of those will be in for launch. However we will not have crafted crossbows in.


Q: Will there be any one handed or two handed katana?

A: No katanas at this time.


Q: Will we be able to craft snugly warm cloaks for our adventurers? Who doesn’t like a cloak, they’re very stylish after all.

A: We do not have cloaks in the game at this time.


Q: At high levels are crafted items going to be Bind on Pick up to give exclusive benefit to crafters?? Or will there mats for crafting high level items be BOP?

A: Most crafted gear is tradeable, because craftspeople need to be able to sell their wares.


Q: Will we eventually be able to craft gear for our horses? i.e. a saddle bag for extra storage space, armour, horseshoes to increase speed etc.

A: Not at this time, but eventually, anything is possible.


Q: Will the ability to Craft Jewelry (Rings and Neck pieces) be put into the game?

A: It is something we have discussed for the future and it is something we would like to do.


Q: Do any of the races have race-specific bonuses to crafting skills or do all races receive the same XP? For example Wood Elf gets more XP when crafting with wood, Orc gets more XP with blacksmithing, Nord gets more XP with provisioning, etc.?

A: No, there are no racial crafting bonuses. I don’t know that these have ever been brought up internally. Interesting idea.


Q: Do crafted items have the same effects in Cyrodiil that they do in PvE? Can we bring back raw materials that we find in Cyrodiil to craft items in PvE?

A: Yes and yes.