Information here has been gathered from around the internet and is my interpretation of how things work; like everything in WAR at the moment however, it is subject to change.
Warhammer Online is trying to achieve something different from other MMORPGs with their crafting system. Their aim is to a make a fun, and ultimately rewarding system that does not “feel like a grind” and where everything you create has a relatively immediate use. (So no making thousands of “Wizmos” or “Gyrochrons” that go straight to the nearest NPC vendor!)
The proposed method for accomplishing this is not to have set recipes but instead use an ingredient based system. This means that instead of picking something out of a list, you gather up a few ingredients and throw them into a pot and hope something cool comes out the other side.
A recipe based system would have you chose out of a list of potions, it so happens that you require a healing potion, the recipe says you need to gather X, Y and Z. You go out and gather the needed ingredients and shortly later you have your healing potion. This is additionally limited as everyone who reads the same recipe will make the same potion.
The Warhammer method is significantly different: Let's say three goblins have been tasked with brewing some healing potions for the guild. From experience the goblins know that plant X is good for making healing potions so they all go and gather plant X. However, they need other ingredients in order to make the potion. It happens to be well known that healing potions need water, so all three goblins also gather some water, during the trip the third goblin is attack by a squid, and after the fight takes the squid leg, deciding he might be able to use in his healing potion. All three goblins now make their potions. The first and second goblins combine their plants and water together in an alchemical process. The first goblin is successful and makes a healing potion; the second by chance achieves a more potent healing potion and records the results. Now the third goblin mixes his plant and water together and then drops in the squid leg …….BANG…FLASH….smoke and a strangely enlivening aroma fill the air, he has brewed a healing potion that also increases attack power.
The Warhammer method involves a lot of guess work and blind luck but also rewards you for trying out odd combinations with the possibility that your potion comes out stronger than intended. This system also allows you make consumables tailored to your play session. For example, your tank needs a strength potion, however you are going to be engaging in some RvR so you're going to favour very powerful but short lasting strength potions. However a few hours later you're attacking the king and now your tank needs strength potions that can last the encounter but might be a bit weaker. Flexibility is key. Another benefit of this is that some people might be able to work out a potion that no one else can make and then either choose to sell the ingredients needed to make it, or keep the secret and sell the potions for profit.
The obvious drawbacks of this plan is that it is very likely we shall see all known combinations published on the internet and hence it will, with time, turn into a recipe based system, with the down side that you have to alt-tab every time you need to look at one.
The System Explained
Two crafting skills are currently available:
* Talisman Crafting
You do not need to be at a specific area to craft. As long as you have all the parts needed with you, apothecary can be done anywhere.
And four gathering skills:
* Magical Salvaging
You can only choose one crafting and one gathering skill. This means that in order to make the more powerful items it will be necessary to work with other players so that all the needed ingredients can be acquired.
So let's go into more detail about each skill.
These two belong together as they are very similar but aimed at different monsters. What this skill involves is searching a killed monster for additional resources. You will be able to see if a monster can be butchered or scavenged as flies will swarm around the dead corpse. A simple right click enables you to use the skill providing you have it trained. To work out which monsters require butchering and which may be scavenged the following can be applied: if it lives in the wild and looks like an animal it can only be butchered, if it looks humanoid or might have pockets it must be scavenged (NB: Orcs and Scaven have pockets so they fall into the scavenging section even though Scaven are animals and Orcs live in the wild!)
When simplified: butchering is the practice of cutting up defeated monsters to gain useful organic parts, scavenging is simply looting personal effects and items.
This is not daffodil gardening! Mossweeds and fungi are some of the prime species involved (basically you will be growing potent vegetation). For this skill you need to buy yourself pots, soil, seeds and spores. Seeds and spores can be obtained as loot from monsters, as quest rewards or traded with other players. Pots and soil can be bought from vendors. In order to grow the plant or fungi you place the seed or spore into the soil and then you carry the pot wherever you go in your bag. Over time the plant grows and during different stages you can add thing into to the soil to help develop or modify the plant (troll blood for example) After a short time the plant can be harvested and you either get a new type of seed (to cultivate a stronger plant) or an ingredient that can be used in conjunction with the apothecary skill.
To sum up the growth cycle:
1. During the first stage you can add soil
2. During the second stage you can add water
3. During the third stage you can add nutrients
After growth it needs to be harvested, after harvested it goes into backpack and the pot is ready for use again
In order to use the apothecary skill a container, main ingredient and support ingredients are usually required. The type of container dictates how many support ingredients you can add. The main ingredient determines what type of potion you are going to end up with and support ingredients assist the creation. All main ingredients are very unstable so you need support ingredients in order to increase the chance of successfully producing a useful potion. However some support ingredients might add extra effects or additional properties such as making the potion stronger or last longer.
You can make 3 types of items iwth Apothecary: Potions, Lotions and Powders.
Example: I decide I want to make a strength potion, so buy a simple container that can hold one main ingredient and three support ingredients. Next I get a type of plant that adds strength, and then to make the potion stable enough to be successful I add two units of water. That leaves one slot free for something extra, so I decide to throw in some wolf’s blood and observe the effect. As I do so the potion froths and a dense cloud of deep red smoke boils forth, before being carried away by the wind. When I return from the bush I had run to hide behind and look expectantly into the container I find……nothing. Obviously that combination was not a wise one!
Note that in order to make specific potions you will have to have done certain things in game, for example you may have to down a certain boss to acquire some special ingredient. In addition, you have a chance of your potion failing, if it does the container may brake and not be useful but the ingredients do not go away.
This involves extracting magical properties out of items. Providing you have an enhanced item (something with a stat bonus on it) and the required skill level then you are able to withdraw the special property, however this destroys the item in the process. If an item has more than one stat bonus on it (for example +5 willpower and +2 strength) you can decide which stat bonus you wish to take out of the item, but be careful as you will lose the other bonus for good, so choose wisely.
Talisman Crafting is the production of armour additions that provide small stat boosts to the player when they are attached to equipment (akin to jewel crafting in World of Warcraft.) In order to make a talisman you need a number of items, first something that you are going to enchant (a rock, ring, etc), some kind of catalyst to help in the process and also at least one item gained from Magical Salvaging. After these have been carefully crafted the result should be a talisman that can be slotted into armour giving it an extra stat boost.
Note that only rare and powerful items can have talismans attached to them.
As you can see there is a lot of guess work involved in crafting and in order to make some of the more powerful items you're going to need to ask for help from other players who are trained in the other gathering skills. Resultantly guilds should attempt to organise their players so all the skills are covered and also to make good use of the guild bank system so that everyone has access to a wide range of resources.
Please feel free to make suggestions for updates or improvements by PMing me.