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High Quality is a better form of a Normal Quality item such as a weapon or piece of armor. High Quality items are occasionally produced through crafting.

For example:

In this example, the high quality Spatha has more attack power and a reduced delay compared to the normal quality one.

Identifying High Quality Items

HQ versions of equipment often have a +1 in their names, for example:

Some, however, have an entirely different name than their normal quality counterparts:

Some items have multiple levels of HQ, and can be identified by the border around the item's picture:

  • NQ has no border.
  • HQ1 has a White border.
  • HQ2 has a Blue border.
  • HQ3 has a Yellow border.

Items with 4 variants (a possible HQ3) are rare and are usually only seen with items like medicines (for example, Hi-Potion +3). Items upgraded via Trial of the Magians currently have up to 3 variants of HQ (up to HQ2).

It is not always the case that the border around the item indicates a HQ item, recrafted items can gain the white border for a NQ synth, and the blue border for an HQ synth, for example:

Crafting High Quality Items

In order to create a HQ synth, it is necessary that your effective craft skill level (meaning, base skill including any sorts of bonuses from equipment, Imagery, and Moghancement) is at least equal to the skill cap of the synth being performed.

Testing has shown that the rate of high quality synthesis is correlated with your skill in the relevant craft compared with the skill cap of the item being synthesized, according to the following table:

Level Range 0 - 10 11 - 30 31 - 50 51 +
HQ Rate 1-2% 8-10% 25% 50%

Note that Desynthesis follows different rules with regard to HQ results, mainly in that chances to HQ are much greater regardless of the crafter's skill level, but so is the chance for the desynth to fail.

Certain equipment raises your effective craft skill by at least +3 (depending on the craft), advanced synthesis support by another +3, and with the proper furnishings it is possible to receive another +5. This results in an effective maximum crafting skill of 123 for some crafts like cooking.

Your high quality rate is rumored to be also affected by the current Vana'diel day and Moon Phase.

  • Crafting with a crystal thats element is strong to the current day will decrease your chances of receiving a HQ result but increase your chances of success.
  • Using a crystal that is weak to the current day will decrease your chances of succeeding but increase your chances of HQ.
  • New Moon: Increased HQ rate, decreased success rate
  • Full Moon: Increased success, decreased HQ rate
Source

Items that increase the rate of high quality success:

Items:
  • Sugar Rusk Minor boost to HQ rate & reduces mats lost from failed synthesis
  • Chocolate Rusk Moderate boost to HQ rate & reduces mats lost from failed synthesis
  • Coconut Rusk Significant boost to HQ rate & reduces mats lost from failed synthesis

Another test (directly unrelated to High Quality, but further proving the above table) can be found here.