|This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide. |
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
In the last year or so, I have really gotten into crafting. It is a lot of fun, and a steady source of income for me. With the depression of the crafting market, it is really hard to make serious profits anymore, even on High Quality synths, but with effort and determination, little bits of gil can be made that eventually add up to decent gil.
Check out my user page to see my crafting levels. As of writing this guide, I am a level 60 Tanner. I have stopped leveling Leathercrafting to work on Goldsmithing, but eventually, I want to use Leathercraft to sub to Clothcraft. However, since Aranar has written such an excellent guide, I decided not to even bother messing with his chosen craft. What follows is my effort at a Leathercraft Guide.
The Basics of the Basics
To misquote Waka from Final Fantasy X, before you get started with any craft, you need to know the basics of the basics.
- Where are the guilds?
- Am I doing this fast? am I doing it cheap? or am I going to make profit along the way?
- Do I farm the materials or do I buy off the Auction House?
The Guild in San d'Oria is the main guild. Many times, even if you're dead set on farming materials, buying some of the materials from the guild will be better. In addition, you will also find the synthesis support NPCs here. See the Leathercraft page more more details.
A couple items of note on the guild:
A lot of what you will be synthing will be leather. The two main ingredients, other than the animal skin itself, will be Windurstian Tea Leaves and Distilled Water. For the love of all that is holy, do not waste gil on buying these off the Auction House. These materials can be gotten for dirt cheap from vendors.
Windurstian Tea Leaves can be obtained from the Sarutabaruta regional vendor. Since this is usually controlled by Windurst, the regional vendor is Baehu-Faehu. Baehu-Faehu is a little Taru-taru by the gate to West Sarutabaruta in Windurst Waters. The tea leaves sell for 18-20 gil.
Distilled Water can be found in almost any shop. It usually sells for 10-12 gil. Alternatively, you can buy or synth a Water Tank (Alchemy 6) for cheap, creating a quick and easy source of distilled water right at your fingertips.
Unlike in other crafts, I've found that farming materials for leathercraft skill ups to be remarkably simple, fast and cheap. The time factor for the farming is definitely worth the effort given the decent drop rate for materials when farming with Treasure Hunter. With TH2, the drops rates are down right phenomenal.
Other Crafts / Subcrafts
Leathercraft can be a solo craft all the way to 60 without any need for leveling another craft. However, I found it quite beneficial to cross level Leathercraft with Clothcraft. Both crafts use similar materials, and many times items you craft for skill ups in one craft, could be used in the other for skill ups as well. For example, Wool Thread plays a major role in several mantles. Not having to buy these could go a long way towards saving gil. Especially considering the materials to craft Wool Thread are so cheap.
(0 - 11) Sheep
Farm the Sheepskin. The best place to farm sheep, with the best drop rate, are the Mad Sheep in Konschtat Highlands. Bring about 2-3 stacks of Dark Crystals, Windurstian Tea Leaves and Distilled Water. Although the Willow Log recipe is available for leveling, do not bother with it. Willow logs are not stackable, and more expensive than the tea leaves. Hold on to the Sheep Leather for later synths, or sell at decent profit.
- Sheep Wool (4)
- Sheepskin x2
Again, farm the Sheepskin. Use the Sheep Wool to craft Wool Thread for Clothcraft skill ups or sell for marginal profit. Not much profit here unless you synth the Wool Thread yourself because Sheep Wool sells for quite cheap at Clothcraft Guild.
- Rabbit Mantle (7) (Test Item for Recruit)
I skipped this craft and went straight to Solea below. Five hides per synth are difficult to come by, let alone at a reasonable price. Additionally, you're just going to desynth these anyway to get your materials back because they do not sell well on Auction House.
- Solea (11)
This is a total loss synth, but the Solea can be desynthed to gain some of your materials back. I just synthed and desynthed and synthed again until all my materials were gone. If you are very adventuresome, you can buy Solea off the Guild for about 600 gil, and desynth them for your base materials. Additionally, you can desynth Leather Vests for the materials, sometimes upwards of three Sheep Leather at a pop. However, all I ever seemed to get were either one Sheep Leather or one Lizard Skin, and nothing in between.
(11 - 21) Dhalmels
At this point, I would just jump to Dhalmel Leather at 21. Although it is a 10 level gap, even with all the breaks, you'll make more/lose less money than if you synthed any of the other in between synths. Be sure to synth during Full Moon and on Darksday to achieve the best results. Trust me, you'll be fine. And in the end, if you farmed the Dhalmel Hides, you'll still make a profit.
- Karakul Leather (12)
This has never been a very good synth purely for the fact that it does not sell well, and the materials are expensive. I only place this in here because it is easy and quick, possibly for a 1-2 level bridge to the Dhalmel Leather. The Skins can be farmed with difficulty by high levels or bought off the AH. However, the leather stacks do not sell well at all, and the individuals move only at a moderate pace (one to two a day), making these inadvisable for mass production.
- Fisherman's Gloves (14)
Hey, do not look at me, you are the one that would not take my advice on jumping straight to Dhalmel Leather. You would think this is a decent synth, but I am almost positive these all sell at a loss, even if you farm the Lizard Skins.
- Lizard Gloves (16)
Oh, leave me alone. You only have yourself to blame for this synth. If you farm the Hill Lizards in Valkurm Dunes, please at least be kind enough to go to the western part of the zone around (D-6), (D-5) and (E-5).
- EDIT - I still wouldn't do it because I had no problems getting sheepskin, but it seemed to work extremely well for another player: Levels 7-11 (I'd still switch to Dhamels at 11). This suggestion involves farming in Crawlers' Nest.
- Lizard Cesti (17) (Test Item for Initiate)
Seriously, just buy this from Auction House. Otherwise refer to my statements with regards to Lizard Gloves.
- Wolf Fur (19)
- Wolf Hide x3
With the March 2008 update and the popularity of Wolf Felts for a Dancer Artifact Armor, this craft becomes more viable. If you can get the Wolf Hides for cheap from the guild, you could possibly sell your Wolf Fur for a small profit on the Auction House. Check your server Auction House to be sure.
Farm the Dhalmel Hides. The best place to farm dhalmels, with the best drop rate, are the Bull Dhalmel in Buburimu Peninsula. Alternatives, if you are higher level, you can try Eastern Altepa Desert near the zone to Western Altepa Desert, or Western Altepa Desert near the zone into Rabao. Per run, bring about 4 stacks of Dark Crystals, Windurstian Tea Leaves and Distilled Water. Until you get to about 7 levels from cap, farm the hides, then take the items to guild for synthesis support.
Alternatively, the Dhalmel Hides should not sell for more than 1000 gil on Auction House (or rather, you should not pay more than 1000 gil). If you pay 2000 gil or more, you are just asking to lose money on the synth. Hold on to the Dhalmel Leather for later synths, or sell at decent profit.
(21 - 31) In Between
For the life of me, I can not tell you why I did not do this craft. Yes, there is no market for the stacks, but the materials are dirt cheap and/or easy to obtain from Bugards in Tavnazia. Heck, go camp Megalobugard and you'll get a ton, with a good chance at getting the NM himself. Sell as individual items for The Gobbiebag Part V quest, or NPC it.
- Dhalmel Mantle (27) (Test Item for Novice)
Mantles are always cheap and easy to make. Synth and Desynth these, or sell at cost/small loss. Notice the beginning of a pattern of Clothcraft materials popping up here. Wool Thread is much cheaper if you can make it yourself.
- Sandals (29)
I would not do this because I try to avoid using two leather in one synth. That is just a personal preference. But it is simple, easy, and can be desynthed to get your items back.
- Breath Mantle (30)
Upon obtaining Novice Rank, you can get the key item Leather Ensorcellment. You will never find Fragrant Dhalmel Hides on the Auction House, so you'll have to make them yourself. However, tanks love this item, so it makes for an interesting alternative. Check your Auction House before considering this.
It was cheap and easy, but in retrospect, I do not like this synth as much. There is just no real market for Parchment. To get you to the 25 to 28 range for Ram Leather, Bugard Leather and Dhalmel Mantles are much better. Rolanberries can be bought in the M&P Market in Upper Jeuno.
- Vellum (31)
This became an option with the WotG expansion. It is used in two quests including the SCH flag quest and the Retrace scroll quest. Both the individuals and stacks sell at a moderate pace of one to three per day. The problem is that Gold Dust will be a pain to get as it is rarely on the AH. However, if you are a goldsmith (level 47) as well, the materials to craft it are real cheap.
(31 - 49) Rams and Wolves
Because there is very little Leather in this range, your choice become much more limited based upon the economy of your server. I did Ram Leather (35), Wolf Gorget (39), Waistbelt (42) and Ram Mantle. However, as before there are several other interesting alternatives. My criteria for selection was as follows: Synths that have 1) few ingredients, 2) cheap ingredients, 3) easy to obtain ingredients, and/or 4) can be synthed and desynthed without too much loss of gil.
- Wolf Mantle (33)
Standard Mantle. I would skip it, though, and go straight to Ram Leather.
Farm the Ram Skin. The best place to farm rams are the Tremor Ram in Konschtat Highlands, only because, if you are bored, you can kill sheep too for Sheepskin. Per run, bring about 4 stacks of Dark Crystals, Windurstian Tea Leaves and Distilled Water. The drop rate on skins is great. If you have TH2, you can get upwards of five skins per kill. Wide Scan helps too, due to their large spawn areas. Bring a friend who wants the Ram Horns to split the load, or sell the horns for nice profit.
Alternatively, the Ram Skins should not sell for more than 1000 gil on Auction House (or rather, you should not pay more than 1000 gil). If you pay 2000 gil or more, you are just asking to lose money on the synth. Hold on to the Ram Leather for later synths, or sell at decent profit.
- Magic Belt (37) (Test Item for Apprentice)
Do not skill up on this. The materials are a pain to get. If you can buy it off Auction House rather than synthing it yourself, do it. Toad Oil is tough to get.
- Wolf Gorget (39)
Synth and Desynth these. Notice the Clothcraft item. Wolf Hides sell for cheap at Guild. If the price is jacked up, just wait another day for it to go back down.
- Barbarian's Belt (41)
I only mention this to say skip it. The material are cheap, but the belt does not sell well, and the desynthesis recipe does not get you the same materials back. If you are thinking of using these belts to later synth the Enhancement belt later on, do not bother. Those belts do not sell well either.
- Waistbelt (43)
Synth and Desynth these. Notice the Clothcraft item.
- Powder Boots (45)
I seriously debated doing this synth for the same reasons one would do the Breath Mantle above. Check your Auction House before doing this though.
- Cuir Bouilli (47) (Test Item for Journeyman)
I would not skill up on this, but the items were cheap and easy to get for Journeyman test.
- Ram Mantle (49)
Yet another Mantle. Synth and Desynth as per usual. May be sold at cost or for a small loss on Auction House.
(49 - 61) Catoblepas and Tigers
From here I went straight to Catoblepas Leather (58) until 54, and then Tiger Leather (61) to 60 where I capped out this craft. However, back then, people XP'd off of the Catoblepas. They do not anymore. Quite a shame. Great XP location. So now, it is virtually impossible to get their skins. Others have suggested Moblin Sheep Leather as an alternative, but the skins cannot be bought of AH, nor can you sell the leather on the AH. Therefore, you'd need to farm the the skin from the Moblins in Movapolis, where the drop rate is not good, and NPC the leathers. Not good.
My suggestions would be to do Raptor Mantles and/or Raptor Jerkins until you feel comfortable synthing Tiger Leather, but realize that you will lose money here. Personally, I'd do Tiger Leather as early as 52, not worry about the 9 level gap on the leather. You will lose less money doing the leather than you will on any other craft, even with breaks, and you may even make money. But, as per usual, I'll give you some alternate crafts if you do not feel as brave as I.
- High Breath Mantle (52)
Another one I seriously considered like the Breath Mantle. These sell like wild fire because the +5 Enmity is almost godlike for tanks. However, they do not sell for much. But, it gives you something to do with your Ram Mantles rather than desynthing them.
- Raptor Mantle (53)
Another Mantle to synth and desynth. Although I am unable to find any information on the desynthesis results, I would assume that the results would be similar to Waistbelt or Rabbit Mantle. This item is also used for one of the Mog House Safe expansion quests, though it does not sell for much.
Oh, I do not doubt this is a useless craft. The only thing for which Catoblepas Leather is good is Relic Armor +1. But ... 1) the Hides sell for 1000 gil or less on Auction House, and 2) NPCs pay just under 800 gil for the Leather. It is a very minimal loss to bridge you to Tiger Leather where you will make a profit.
If you pay more than 1000 gil for the Hides, you are just asking to take a bath on the synth. Be patient and wait for it to go back down. It will.
- Raptor Jerkin (58) (Test Item for Craftsmen)
With the disappearance of Catoblepas Leather as a synth item, this grows again as a possible synth/desynth item, but what you get back is minimal. You would have to assume this is a loss synth item if you decided on this route.
Do not be afraid to start this synth as low as 51. You can farm the Tiger Hides, but I did not. I paid 1000 to 1500 gil on Auction House, or bought them from the guild at their low point of 1312 gil. The individuals and stacks sell well enough to make this a profit, even with breaks.
I stopped at 60, so my proficiency with the craft ends there. However, your climb from 0 to 60 should have taught you a lot about the Leathercraft market. Additionally, if you leveled Clothcraft simultaneously with Leathercraft, many of the synths will be much cheaper later on.
For the purposes of this guide, I am not going to give all the synths that one could do from 60 to 100, because I have not analyzed the market well enough to do that. However, I will list some crafts that I would definitely try to do, if I were to continue on.
- Battle Boots (66) (Test Item for Artisan)
You can synth most of these items, and Iron Scales should not be that expensive. Alternatively, it is not a high level Smithing synth; you could make them yourself.
I see no reason why you should not do this from 61 to 71.
- Tiger Mantle (75)
Synth and desynth per usual, or you can sell the mantles to NPCs for 1,250 for a modest loss.
- Marid Leather (76)
It seems to sell well. The Hides and Tea Leaves appear to be cheap enough on Auction House to make this a worthwhile synth.
- Tiger Gloves (77) (Test Item for Adept)
Items are easy enough to get. I would not skill up on this.
- Coeurl Gorget (79)
Synth and desynth per usual.
Theoretically, you could do this from 71 to 80. However, do not expect your leathers to sell as fast on the Auction House as before.
- Coeurl Mantle (85)
Synth and desynth per usual.
- Coeurl Mask (87) (Test Item for Veteran)
Test item. I am not sure you want to skill up on this.
After 87, one would really need to analyze the market to limit your losses, and maybe find some profit. Either find items with cheap material to synth and desynth, or find items that sell well - which would be rare.
A couple of strategies to keep in mind:
- Few Materials
- Cheap Materials
- Decent NPC sales price (e.g. Catoblepas Leather)
- When all else fails, just synth one item for 10 - 15 synths, then a second different one for 10 - 15 synths, then maybe a third, so as to spread out your product. This gives you multiple items to sell at once without flooding the market with NQ materials.
- Be patient. If you power through these levels, you will lose millions of gil. You will never earn all your money back, no matter how much you synth later on.
Since writing this guide, I've received several suggestions and tips. Please also take a look at the Discussion page for these. I have not incorporated all the suggestions because I do not necessarily agree with them, or I have not tested them, but I point them out as additional resources for your crafting needs. Good Luck.