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Crafting Skill Ups

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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.

Overview

Gaining skill in any craft may be influenced by a number of factors. The only proven influences are the gap between current craftskill level and the recipe's skill cap, and guild synthesis support.

Hypothesized influences include such things as day of the week in relation to the crystal being used, moon phase, and (perhaps the most controversial hypothesis) the direction the player is facing while synthing.

Failed synthesis can give skill-ups, but only if the unmodified skill level is at least 5 under the cap for the recipe. Using skill gear and support will increase your success rate until your skill is high enough to get skill-ups regardless of succes.

The Formula

Skill Cap - Your Skill - Sum("The Factors") = X

The Skill Cap

The maximum skill level attained from this recipe.

Your Skill

The number to use in this formula your current skill level truncated to the units digit (rounded down). There is no difference in performing a recipe with skill level 54.2 or 54.9. Only full levels are considered. Guild items that add '+' skill levels, should be considered as a whole skill number, and be added to the number listed in your status window.

"The Factors"

Below is the list of factors that are most popularly rumored to influence the success rate of a recipe and/or the likelihood of receiving a skill up.

Synthesis

Synthesis

SynthingCompass

Synthing Compass

Compass

Elemental Strengths

Factor

Situation

Effect

Days of the Week

Same day as crystal
    or
Lightsday (for non-dark crystal recipe)

+1

Opposite day to crystal (day is strong against crystal)
    or
Darksday (for non-dark crystal recipe)

-1

Any other day

0

Moon Phase

Full Moon

+1

Half Moon

0

New Moon

-1

Synthesis Image Support

Paid Synthesis Image Support

+3

Free Synthesis Image Support

+1

None

0

Compass Direction

Same direction as crystal

+0.5

Opposite direction to crystal (direction strong against crystal)

-0.5

Any other direction

0

Note: The number to apply based on moon phase can be adjusted to levels between 1 and 0 (negative or positive) based on the percentage difference between half and full moon. A 75% Waxing moon phase would result in a +0.5

Note: Please note that the elemental compass and moon phase effects are not considered reliable or correct by many experienced crafters, and has little obvious effect on crafting results. it may help, but should not be relied on for improved results.

Chart

Crafting Chart

"X"

Now for the "X". This is the result of the formula, and below is what you can expect from various numbers.

The Redundant Zone: < 1

  • Skill ups can be harder to attain.
  • The recipe is too easy to improve your skill.
  • Just too many factors helping you succeed, so no chance to learn.

The Success Zone: 1 - 2

  • Very good rate of success.
  • Skill ups will happen, but some will be lost due to the recipe being easy to your current skills.
  • Best used when the recipe is break even or profit, and/or when the ingredients are expensive.

The Prime Skill Up Zone: 2 - 5

  • Very good rate for skill ups.
  • Failures will happen, but at a fair trade off for skill ups (in most cases).
  • For anywhere from 7/8-1 levels from cap, it is fairly easy to get the "X" to be in this range>
  • You still gain skill on breaks

The Difficult Zone: 5 - 7

  • You do not gain skill on breaks
  • Supplies better be cheap, or you will be digging yourself into a hole.
  • (Edit: this is not correct: You still DO gain skill-ups if your nominal skill (the one that shows in your window) is 5 or less below the cap of the recipe.)
  • (**Edit: Clarification. When you are 5 or more levels below the craft (advanced synth and skill items added), You can get skill ups if you succeed in making the item. However, if you break the item, you will not get a skill up.
  • Double Edit Clarification: You CAN still get skill ups on a synthesis failure, albeit very rare at this point. I was 6.3 away from cap of item, had NO 'benefit effects' active (i.e. gear, food, guild support, Mog Power, etc...), got a "critical Failure" losing all synth mats, and still got a 0.1 skill-up. Danallen (talk) 00:06, May 28, 2014 (UTC)

The High Risk, Low Reward Zone: > 7

  • Only for the case that each other recipe will give you an even higher loss
  • Please move onto another craft/recipe before wasting your gil here.

Examples

Lizard Cesti - Leathercraft 17 - Earth Crystal

Level 13: Craft on Earthsday (+1), Face South (+.5), New Moon (-1), No Guild Support (+0) = 0.5
x = 17 - 13 - 0.5 = 3.5

Level 14: Craft on Earthsday (+1), Face Southeast (-0.5), Half Moon (+0), No Guild Support (+0) = 0.5
x = 17 - 14 - 0.5 = 2.5

Level 15: Craft on Windsday (-1), Face Southeast (-0.5), Half Moon (+0), No Guild Support (+0) = -1.5
x = 17 - 15 + 1.5 = 3.5

Level 16: Craft on Windsday (-1), Face Southeast (-0.5), Half Moon (+0), No Guild Support (+0) = -1.5
x = 17 - 16 + 1.5 = 2.5

Official comments

Square Enix has never come out and directly addressed how synthesis works behind the scenes, opting instead to let players try to scientifically work it out - the purpose of the game, after all, is to simulate a real world in which the laws of nature are not yet fully understood.

At the FFXI Fan Festival on March 14 2006 in Santa Monica, California, the question “Does the direction you’re facing have anything to do with crafting results?” was asked of a panel of developers during an open Q&A. The developer who replied laughed openly, thought for a moment, then answered cryptically with a smirk: “Face whichever way your heart tells you and believe.”

The issue is still unresolved to this day.

Conclusion

This guide has been generally accepted in the FFXI community for a few years, but not without serious debate. While many high level crafters will stand by their belief that only one factor affects synthesis - player skill level vs. skill level of synth, others believe in skill plus moon phase only, and still others take this guide (or similar ones) as infallible gospel.

Good luck to all FFXI crafters, and keep up the good work.

A web-based application that uses the theories contained in this guide to aid crafters in their synthesis is available here: FFXI Crafting Timer

A complete test can be found at this article. It can be used to aid your judgment in determining if this is true or false.

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