Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Farming for Crafting Materials

I've been reading a fair number of FFXI crafting guides lately. Mostly I'm doing this to get a feel for the past and a rough idea of what vendors may sell different things I need since frankly every guide is terribly outdated at this point. The FFXI economies have been completely transformed in the last little while with the most recent expansions drastically changing the way people level and how money enters the game. At any rate, the most frequent comment I'm finding is these guides is what to do when the established price of a needed mat is 'too high'. Almost always the advice given is to go farm the materials yourself to 'save money'. Also, every crafting recipe requires a crystal to use (common drop from every monster worth experience in the game if you have a signet buff) and many people completely ignore the value of these crystals.

The problems here are you're not saving money by farming materials yourself and crystals actually have a very real value. Just because you have a bunch lying around doesn't mean you can discount what they're worth when figuring out how much crafting is costing you. You could just sell those crystals and have the money instead! And if a given material is worth so much you can't afford to buy it maybe you should farm it up and sell it instead of crafting with it. More to the point, you should have an 'optimal' way to make money and should spend your time doing that in order to buy the expensive stuff instead of farming it yourself.

This assumes, of course, that there is an actual stock of the overpriced item. Right now it seems like a lot of base materials are completely non-existent on the auction house. My goal has been to level woodworking in order to repair fishing rods and make various useful consumables. Every guide says to level in the teens on acid bolts (or some other kind of bolts) because they sell fast and for a reasonable profit. I would love to make acid bolts. But one stack of acid bolt heads has sold in the last 2 weeks. No one is making this stuff. So, if I want to make them myself, I need to level alchemy. Which means I need to level smithing. Hence, reading all the guides, which want me to go kill bees because beehive chips are too expensive on the AH. Gah! Farming is a solution to scarcity and possibly is a good way to make money. It is not a solution to losing money skilling up a craft. If a recipe is unprofitable then it's unprofitable regardless of how you obtain the materials.

BMI: 22.02 (-.07)
Wii Fit Age: 38 (+5)

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