If you've ever wanted to create various types of potions by fusing items like herbs and monster parts, then alchemy may just be the craft for you. Alchemy products have more uses than simple medicine, however—you can also use them in synthesis to endow special effects to certain weapons. So it's no small wonder that adventurers who repeatedly engage in difficult battles rely on concoctions created by alchemists, which ensures that crafters consistently reap the benefits of their goods at the auction house. Many adventurers have considered the high demand of alchemy products when selecting their crafting profession.
So, what kind of life does a veteran alchemist live?
I interviewed an alchemy expert named V for the answer.
- --Hi! Thanks for the interview. Let's start out with the usual. What's your current skill level?
"100. My other skills include blacksmithing and cooking, both at level 60, and goldsmithing, which is at 40. I haven't got any of the others past amateur level yet."
- --Why did you choose alchemy?
"It just seemed like such a quirky craft, and that's actually what attracted me at first! But when I started, it was surprisingly easy to take up."
- --Hm, I see. Well then, moving on—how is your adventuring life going?
"I have three jobs at level 75—black mage, white mage, and red mage. I've never even tried a job that doesn't involve magic. I'm usually out and about as a white mage with black mage support or vice versa, because those two combinations make for quite convenient travel."
- --Do you think it would be difficult for an adventurer whose level isn't so high to become a skilled alchemist?
"Actually, I do think it would be rather difficult. Most alchemy ingredients are sold at shops and the auction house, but demand is so high that many goods at the auction house sell out immediately, especially items like malboro vines, which are used to make hi-potions. You'll need to use so many of them that it's difficult unless your level is high enough to go out and get them from marlboros yourself."
- --Do you need a sub skill for alchemy?
"If you're just making medicines, then I don't think a sub skill is necessary. But blacksmithing and goldsmithing do come in handy. Blacksmithing can be used with alchemy for making weapons and bolt heads. Goldsmithing is good for making fishing lures, such as minnows. There are also some recipes that make use of woodworking and clothcrafting, but they are fairly few and far between, so I would recommend raising those skills only if you simply can't suppress the desire to create those few items."
- --Is gathering the ingredients difficult?
"Well, you can buy a lot of the ingredients at shops, but it's important to know where to buy what. Also, when shopping at the auction house, it's wise to consider the price of the item, and go out and get the item yourself if it's too expensive for the time invested. Beehive chips are a good example of items that are better earned on one's own time because of the high price they're selling for lately. There are some recipes that make use of ingredients that are only dropped by incredibly powerful notorious monsters, but you can raise your skill to 100 without using those recipes."
- --How do you make gil? What do you sell?
"My main source of income is from medicines such as hi-potions, silent oil, poison potions, and echo drops. Lately I've also been selling anima for a profit. Sometimes I try to make HQ weapons and armor, but all too often I just end up with a pile of NQ equipment."
- --Have you earned more money or spent more money on your path to level 100?
"Hee hee, of course I've made a profit! There were times that I made something to increase my skill and lost money on it, but I was careful to keep my losses at a minimum. Once your skill level is high enough to make hi-potions, you will be able to easily make the HQ version of silent oil, which increases the number of pots from each synthesis. From that point on, it's easy gil!"
- --What's the most memorable item that you have synthesized so far?
"Although it has been over two years since then, a wax sword +1 was the first HQ item I ever synthesized, and I still keep it safely stored in my Mog House.
"I also still remember how happy I was when my hi-potions saved the day in my first battle against the Shadow Lord. I was really glad that I chose alchemy."
- --Is there anything in particular that you'd like to create?
"I'd like to be able to make medicines of the most potent variety, so I would have to say I'd most like to synthesize a vile elixir. Also, I wish that there was some kind of equipment that I could make that I can equip as a mage."
- --I'm afraid it's now time for closing remarks.
"Being able to make your own medicines really cuts down on expenses. The road to veteran is tough, but it's not that hard to get up to journeyman, so I recommend alchemy even to those who are specializing in another craft. It's also extremely useful for adventurers looking to make some gil!"
- --Thank you very much for your time.
And that was V, explaining how alchemy wasn't quite as "quirky" as she had imagined. Still, the accomplished mage's mysterious aura made her stand out among all the other crafters at the alchemist's guild.
After the interview, V offered me some poison potion from her bazaar with a well-mannered "Would you like to try some?"–just as if she were offering me a sip of fine Rolanberry 874. It is from enigmatic characters such as V that the wide varieties of medicines are made.