It’s time for another guide to being an effective soloist in The Secret World. This time, I’ll be looking at crafting and how it can support the soloist.
Now, crafting isn’t something that’s going to help too much in the early part of the game — with a few notable exceptions, which I’ll get to. You’ll replace gear quickly enough that it likely won’t be worth the effort, and it’s another complication that would worsen TSW’s already steep learning curve.
However, at endgame, crafting can be a fantastic tool for the soloist, and it’s one of the reasons being a soloist at endgame is so much more viable and rewarding in TSW than it is in most MMOs.
How it works:
Crafting in The Secret World isn’t like in other MMOs. They are no professions, no skill ups, no grind, and few limitations. You can create every craftable item in the game immediately after character creation, assuming you can somehow get the necessary materials. This means you can effectively ignore crafting early on and jump into it at endgame without needing any catchup.
Materials for crafting are mainly acquired by dissembling items you don’t need. To disassemble an item, open the assembly window — default hotkey is y — and place the item in the item slot at the bottom. Then click “disassemble.” Runes, which are one of the major crafting materials, also frequently drop from enemies.
Materials will tell you what they can be used for if you hover over them. For example, hovering over fire will tell you that it is used to add attack rating to items.
To create an item in TSW, you need to place the materials in the assembly window in a specific pattern. What the correct pattern is depends on what you’re trying to make. Seven metal in one shape will make a sword, while those same seven pieces of metal in another shape could make an assault rifle, a blood magic focus, or any other weapon.
So it’s sort of a puzzle mini-game. To learn the pattern for an item, place it in the disassembly window, and it will show the item’s pattern and materials. You don’t have to actually disassemble the item. Just drag it back to your inventory once you’ve learned the pattern.
Of course, you could simply look up all the patterns online, but where’s the fun in that?
You also need a toolkit to craft most items. These are placed in the toolkit slot of the assembly window. The quality of the toolkit determines the quality of the produced item. A QL7 green weapon toolkit will produce a QL7 green weapon. A QL10 blue glyph toolkit will produce a QL10 blue glyph. Higher level toolkits require higher level materials.
Green toolkits drop often, but blue and purple toolkits would be best acquired from the auction house.
You can also combine many crafting materials to upgrade them to a higher quality level. Five sacred fire can be assembled to create one pure fire. Similarly, one pure fire can be disassembled into four sacred fire. No toolkit is required for this.
Ten toolkits can be combined to create one toolkit of a higher quality — green to blue, for instance — with an “artisan’s tool augmenter” toolkit. You can even make purple toolkits this way, providing the only reliable way of getting epic gear outside dungeons and PvP, though it is a fairly intensive grind.
The most basic use of crafting in TSW, and one that everyone should learn early on, is how it allows you customize your gear. Most gear in TSW has a modular design: the item itself determines base stats (health, attack power, etc.), its glyph determines its secondary stats (hit, block, etc.), and signets add special effects similar to enchantments in other games. Note that signets only apply to QL10 gear.
While it barely qualifies as crafting, you can customize your gear by adding a new glyph or signet. Simply place the item and the desired glyph/signet in the assembly window and hit assemble. No toolkit required. Note that any glyph or signet already in the item will be lost.
This is a great way to customize your gear towards your needs. Penetration rating and hit tend to be the best stats for soloing, but it can depend on your build. I’d focus on damage signets, but a few tanking or healing signets, depending on their effects, can be useful for the soloist. For example, my Dragon’s sword has a signet that grants a damage absorption barrier on critical strikes.
Gear and gadgets:
Although TSW is generally a great game for soloists, your options for gear progression are pretty limited. Discounting the handful of epics from the issue storylines, you’re limited to QL10 greens or QL9 blues — I strongly recommend ignoring the QL9 blues; you want signet slots.
However, crafting offers another option. It’s fairly easy for a solo player to get a full set of QL10 blue gear through crafting, and if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can even get QL10 epics this way. It’ll just require a great deal of pax romana, a great deal of time, or most likely both.
Start by crafting weapons. While blue talismans are something of a tradeoff versus greens because green talismans include a balance of health and damage instead of just one or the other, blue weapons are simply better than green weapons with no disadvantage.
Crafting is also the main way to get gadgets in the early game, and the only source of gadgets for soloists. Gadgets are similar to trinkets in other games. You can activate a gadget for a powerful temporary buff on a two minute (ish) cooldown. Gadgets can provide either offensive or defensive effects, and you can have as many gadgets as you want, though they all share the same cooldown.
I recommend a gadget that boosts attack rating, but feel free to experiment with others.
Crafting can also be used to produce any of the consumables found in the game. Now, I don’t recommend crafting create energy drinks or any of the standard buff consumables. These drop so often from enemies that it’s just not worth wasting the materials.
But there is one type of consumable that can be a Godsend to soloists and can only be acquired through crafting: pure anima.
I cannot overstate how handy pure animas are. For example, if you’re struggling with survivability, drinking a health pure anima can be a literal lifesaver.
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I hope this guide will help you to capitalize on the benefits of crafting in The Secret World. Not only is crafting in TSW surprisingly useful, but I’ve also found it surprisingly fun.
I’ve always liked the idea of crafting in MMOs. I enjoy the fantasy of going into the wild, harvesting materials from the local wildlife, and MacGyvering it into a new weapon or suit of armor. But in practice, it always turns into a tedious grind with little benefit.
But I actually enjoy crafting in TSW. There’s no grind, and discovering all the patterns and recipes makes for a great little mini-game.
If you’d like to learn more about crafting in TSW, you can check out this extensive guide on the official forums. However, I really do recommend learning on your own without the help of such detailed guides. It can be a very rewarding process.