A Guide to Beginner Crafting in Path of Exile
So ... over the past few months, I occasionally see comments concerning my sales that I post in guild chat. I'm not doing it to brag about how many chaos or whatever I'm getting ... I'm doing it to give other members an idea of what things are currently selling for. The other thing I'm doing it for, is to let other members know what things they can make and sell that WILL sell. All you need is at least 1 premium stash tab in order to list and sell items through PoEtrade and Path of Exile's trade system.
The things that people will do to reduce their tedium or speed the process up are sometimes quite extreme. They are willing to pay (out the nose, even) for that EXACT THING that they NEED RIGHT NOW, and if you happen to have it at a price that seems reasonable enough to them, they will buy it from you. Even things as simple as flasks become extremely important if it's THE thing that you need to enable your build to do something it otherwise could not handle.
So ... now that we know why people way "way too much" for this junk, let's get into making stuff that they think they need more than they need their chaos and exalts... :)
Basic Crafting in Path of Exile
First things first ... Path of Exile's currency system is all about crafting. Nearly every single currency item in the game has a function or use as a crafting material. This makes it fairly unique among games out there, as you can literally spend all your currency and end up with nothing to really show for it, or you could just spend a little and then multiply what you had WAY beyond what it was worth. For crafting, the first place to start is the easiest thing to craft ... flasks.
Crafting a flask requires a few things that you'll want to have in decent supply. The first flasks you work on will be for yourself, because YOU need them, obviously, but it's also something you can get into very quickly and cheaply, and it has a decent return for your investment.
You will need a few orbs of Scouring, on occasion, to strip the magic mods off your flasks... You may think it's better to leave them magic, but a Glassblower's Bauble will only increase the quality by 2% per use on a magic flask, costing 10 baubles to take a flask from 0% to 20%. This is actually pretty expensive ... right now in Incursion, I can buy 8 glassblower's baubles for 1 chaos, and that's cheap compared to the 10 chaos I charge per flask, but once you factor in scouring, applying 4 glassblower's baubles, and then rolling the magical affixes to exactly what I'm looking for, you'll see that it can take anywhere between 2 chaos worth of crafting material and 20 chaos worth to get what I was looking for. Thankfully, finding a good prefix/suffix combination USUALLY isn't that hard to do, so it's generally in the 3 - 4 chaos range for crafting cost. The other crafting mats you'll need are transmutation orbs (just a few, all you need to do is make the 20% quality flask magic) and a BUNCH of Alteration orbs, with a decent pile of Augmentation orbs.
There's no need for Jeweller's or Fusing or anything else that are higher value items other than the Scour if the flask you started with was magical. Obviously, if the flask you started with has the EXACT modifiers you needed, then it's worth it to use up the extra baubles to quality it to 20%, because you don't need to go to the trouble and expense of rolling those mods again.
Now ... what are these magical modifiers that we are after, you ask? The ones that are the most useful or sought after for that flask type and their general use, of course!
So ... what makes a flask tick? How does it work? How do the prefixes and suffixes work together? These are things you need to know in order to figure out which affixes are important. For life/mana flasks, the major considerations are the amount of healing/mana given over how much time. This means that in general, you want either the most massive amount you can get (Saturated prefix increases the amount by 50%, but increases the duration by 33%, which means your bulb will fill more slowly), or you want the most you can get INSTANTLY (acts like a rejuvenation from D2), which would be the Seething prefix (66% reduced amount, INSTANT application). Various other prefixes can benefit you for life and mana flasks, but these two are the main ones people are after.
The secondary consideration is for the suffix applied to the flask. You want it to have that "utility" application, that lets it go beyond being just an ordinary life or mana flask. It has to do more, give you additional benefit .... like removing certain afflictions or even curses, or increasing your movement speed, or even increasing your combat durability. The problem, however, is the duration of the flask effect. This problem can be attacked from two angles. One ... you want the flask and it's secondary effect to last as long as possible .... or two, you just need it for an instant fix to correct a problem. Thankfully, the second one is very easy to do, as Seething prefix is a 1-time instant use and has no duration to speak of. The first one ... well, the problem is that even if you have really long duration and great restorative power, if you reach full life/mana during the flask's duration it will then SHUT OFF the secondary effect early. Most people aren't too fussed about it, thankfully, but it's still a consideration, as many of the suffixes out there really shine if you can manage to make them last for longer, such as protection from being chilled or frozen, or increasing your armor or evasion for the duration. If they shut off early, it could be a problem, and using them while you have full life/mana for their secondary use is .... problematic. The best suffixes that sell reasonably well are "Heat", "Staunching", "Iron Skin", "Warding", and "Reflexes". Just for Life flasks, "Animation" combined with Saturated is an excellent combination for minion masters to help keep their minions going strong.
A lot of those suffixes are also excellent choices for Utility flasks, because a Utility flask doesn't have a point at which it can turn off ... it will always do it's thing for it's full duration. The best prefixes for Utility flasks are those that will maximize your use of the flask itself, either by increasing it's duration or the number of times it can be used from fully charged. This gives us a small range of useful prefixes to look for, for most of them, such as "Ample", "Chemist's", and "Experimenter's". Checking the flask's charges used vs charges at full charge will tell you which ones are best for your flask type.
Let's use a Diamond Flask for our example here. This flask has a base of 4 seconds per use, uses 20 charges per use, and has 40 charges max. In order to get 3 uses of this flask, Ample prefix would have to roll a perfect 20, giving us 60 max charges. Each flask use would last 4.8 seconds, with 20% quality, for a total flask time in use of 14.4 seconds. Chemist's prefix would give us no benefit, as you cannot reduce the flask charges used enough to give us 3 uses from full, but Experimenter's can increase flask duration by 30 - 40%. Obviously, this falls quite a bit short of the 50% increase from a perfect Ample prefix, but the problem is, how often do you roll a 20 on that? Experimenter's can at least give you extra time in use even with a "crappy" roll. So let's go with 30%... Even without 20% quality, a 30% experimenter's flask gives 5.2 seconds of use, for 10.4 seconds overall. With 20% quality and 30% experimenter's the duration is exactly 6 seconds ... so 12 seconds of use. At the opposite extreme, a 40% with 20% quality will give 6.4 seconds, so 12.8 seconds total time. This is at least comparable enough to a perfect Ample prefix to make it useful overall. All you need after scoring a perfect ample or any experimenter's prefix is any decent suffix on your list! These, of course, are the same ones previously mentioned.... Heat, Staunching, Warding, Reflexes, Iron Skin ...
You can follow the same process of though for all other flask types, with a few additions here and there as they warrant it. Obviously, a resistance flask is going to benefit best from ... even more resistance! For example, A Ruby flask would benefit from resist all being added, or having Dousing for the suffix to remove the effect of burning. A Topaz flask would work with resist all as well as Grounding, to remove being Shocked. This extends the utility of that flask type even further. Atziri uses a LOT of fire and lightning damage against you, and she hits as hard as a truck. She also reflects any curses you are using on her back at you! So a flask with Warding that also increases your maximum resistance to fire or lightning is just plain common sense!
So ... the process for this is quite simple ... get your chosen flask type, scour if necessary, raise quality to 20%, transmute to make it magic, alt till you have a prefix or suffix that you like (or the completed flask), augment if necessary, and re-roll with alts if you don't like what the augment did till you are happy with the results. For a very difficult combination that is hard to find, you may end up going through over 100 alteration orbs .... this is perfectly normal and why people pay so much for a really good flask.
I generally end up selling most of my flasks for 10 chaos each, with the really great combinations or hard to obtain ones at 20 chaos each, though near the start of the league some of my well-rolled flasks went for 1 exalt because there just weren't any that fit the bill for those people who REALLY wanted them early on.
Next up, I'll bring up other basic things that are easy to craft and sell.
Basic Ring and Amulet Crafting
There are many different base items in path of Exile, and many different ways to express your playstyle, as well as commonly acceptable and available means by which to level up your alts (alternate characters). Most of them focus on the use of common and commonly available unique items for twink gear. The problem is that while these unique items perform their function fairly well, they are often lacking in some very important aspects for later areas in the game .... resistance and life. The best rings to focus on for these to issues are 2-stone rings and prismatic rings, as they can help you spread those needed resists around to which ever elements you need them in. Prismatic rings go one step further in providing you with resistance against all 3 elemental damage types. I focus my crafting on these 4 types of rings, for the most part. (3 types of 2-stone rings and the prismatic resist all ring) For amulets, I usually focus on the Onyx amulet, which gives + to all attributes for it's implicit modifier.
For the basic 2-stone rings, I try to roll it the same way I do with my potion flasks ... I'm looking for a high resistance roll (suffix) or all resist (suffix) combined with a high life roll (prefix). If I get a combination I am happy to try, then I use a Regal orb to roll a 3rd affix ... this is where it gets risky and costly, as the affix you roll IS totally random. If it's something I dont like the look of, then I scour it and try again or I scrub my efforts and throw it in the pile of 5-chaos rings I'm willing to "toss out" for someone else's needs. On the other hand, if it's something that I like, then I'll have a look at what modifiers I can craft on it to improve it's value further .... after that, I "grade" my rings in tiers of 10, 12, 15, 20, and 25 chaos .... sometimes going all the way to 1ex or better for very very nice rings that would be in high demand.
For the Onyx amulets, I try to roll one that has an explicit + all attributes modifier on it, and add another modifier to it for whatever I may be lacking for my character at the time ... usually adding more damage or another explicit stat modifier to boost it even further. Then I can regal it to give it a random mod and make it rare ... I then craft it to add life or damage to it, to better round out it's overall usefulness and value.
Other crafting methods ARE available, but are also much more expensive to try, and thus, riskier, but can give rise to rings with more than just 4 modifiers. These include the scour/alch method, the scour/essence method, and the chaos spam method. The methodology here is to roll or re-roll the rare item repeatedly till you are happy with all or most of the mods, and then finding a way to add a crafted mod to the ring to improve it further before selling at what is hopefully a profit. There is little to no control in these methods ... the best control being in the scour/essence method, as you at LEAST have control over one single modifier of the item.
The additional costs in my method for building a ring up from magic to rare is ... you'll need a lot more scours this time around, plus a bunch of regal orbs to roll a magic up into a rare by adding a single modifier. The benefits to this method are ... you KNOW you already like the two magic mods before you regal it. You KNOW you'll like at least 3 modifiers after it's been regaled and crafted .... the chance you are taking is whether or not you like the 4th modifier that is random.
As for how to get prismatic rings .... (Duh, Skie ... these things DON'T DROP ANYWHERE!!!) You just need to obtain all three types of 2-stone rings and then vendor the set of 3 for 1 prismatic ring. Follow the same guidelines in crafting a prismatic ring as crafting a 2-stone resistance ring ... these are very much in demand.
Now ... where the heck do I get a SHAPED Prismatic ring???? Well, that's actually rather simple, if a little more expensive. You buy a set of 3 shaped 2-stone rings just like you would for making a normal prismatic ring ... the result is a shaped prismatic ring. You can then ID it (3 rare identified shaped 2-stone rings yields 1 unidentified shaped prismatic ring from the vendor), and if the mods are not to your liking, then scour it and start your crafting process ... whichever method you prefer. The idea behind the shaped/elder rings is 2-fold ... you can get some insanely powerful modifiers, like a curse on hit, or reduced reflected damage or other equally nice mods that you can not find on un-shaped or non elder rings ... and there's a nice bonus to be had for using a shaped or elder ring and other shaped or elder equipment on your character with certain unique items.
A half-decent shaped prismatic ring that would have only sold for perhaps 10 - 15 chaos without the shaped item type will easily go for 60 - 200 chaos ... with really great modifiers, it will easily fetch more. Why?? Because of the Mark of the Elder Steel Ring. If your other ring is a shaper ring, you get a massive boost to your attack damage.... 60 - 80%. The opposing Shaper's ring, which is an Opal ring, does the same for elemental damage and spell damage if your other ring is an Elder ring. This is THE major source of my income in trading in Path of Exile. I've made and sold at least 12 shaped rings for a total of nearly 50 exalts this league (incursion), and this is the first time I've ever done anything like this. It's literally easy enough for a newb like me to do with just a little study, know-how, patience, and luck.
As for adding even more mods to your crafted ring ... well, that's gonna rely on some pretty extreme luck and very high material cost. You'ld have to hope and pray, by using some exalted orbs on your ring to add 1 random modifier to it for each. There's no guaranteed results, other than YOU BETTER LIKE THIS RING A LOT BEFORE YOU EVEN START THIS, because the only guarantee is that it will at least still have the mods you started with. You DO have the option to use an annulment orb on it to remove a modifier ... but the modifier removed will be TOTALLY RANDOM, and you could very well destroy the value of the ring you were so hoping to improve.
So, yet again, the process is simple. Get your base item ring - 2-stone rings or a prismatic ring ... shaped if at all possible for best trade value. Scour it back to non-magic, then transmute and run a ton of alts through it looking for good mods to play with. Don't forget to use blessed orbs on it to raise the implicit values to maximum, of course! This is just as important as quality, but you can do it at any step in the process. Once you have at least 1 modifier you like, then augment it for a second mod ... if you like both mods you see then hit it with a Regal orb. If you got lucky with a 3rd good modifier, then go craft it for a 4th mod and you're done! Set your desired price on it in your trade tab or equip it on whichever character needed it and you're good to go! The mods you are looking for ... prefix: decently high life, damage modifiers. For the suffix: resist all, straight resistance. For shaped rings, obviously shaper prefix and suffix can wildly affect value. Crafted mods you can add to raise or increase value: Life, Resist all, single resist, damage (generally in that order).
Crafting "special" items
OK ... so you've started mapping, gotten to level 70+, found some "special" map-only-drop-items .....
These are items like: Steel Rings, Opal Rings, Spiked Gloves, Bone Helmets, Fingerless Silk Gloves, Gripped Gloves, Two-Toned Boots .... There are more, but we'll focus on these.
Specific maps may sometimes drop certain ones, while other maps have more than one type enabled to drop. They all have implicit mods that you generally can't find on other items, and these implicit mods can stack with explicit mods. If you enchant one in the Labyrinth, it will replace the implicit with an enchantment, so leave off it cuz your natural implicit is generally going to be better for you. That's why you're using these items to craft with to begin with ... more control over the end result!
The ring crafting can be done quite simply ... see the previous section for those. We're going to focus on the cheap and easy ways you can craft the other items listed here. Let's start with gloves!
Spiked Gloves have an implicit from 15% up to 20% increased melee damage. If your base doesn't have 20%, then bless it till it does. This makes your end result much more attractive to a buyer ... as does 4 linked sockets and 20% quality. Remember, these people are LAZY. They don't want to have to do anything to their purchase to make it the best that they can cheaply. And they'll pay more for your results as a result.
For Gripped Gloves, the max is +18% increased ranged damage. For Fingerless Gloves, it's +16% spell damage. If you've gone into your options screen under the UI tab section you'll find a checkbox marked "Advanced Mod Descriptions", and make sure it's checked, then when you mouse over any item in the game and hold the "alt" key, you'll see a breakdown of the modifiers for any item, including it's possible ranges, whether it's a prefix or suffix, and what tier the modifier has ... lower number tier is better.
A Shaped base will have special modifiers that can appear on it that in addition to it's implicit and explicit modifiers can also increase it's value tremendously, as there are benefits to wearing additional pieces of shaped gear for certain uniques. Mods that give certain gem support effects can vastly improve the value and performance of your character's gear set, but that's a discussion for another time ... right now, we just want mostly ordinary gloves. Life, added damage/attack speed/cast speed, resistances. A spread of decently high (30%+) resists will go a long way towards making your gloves look good, as well as some decent life, above +70. Added damage of some kind, or attack/cast speed depending on the item base. The lowest I sell these types of items for is 10c for something esoterically strange and not worth very much. The highest I've sold these for is over 1 exalt. People will pay out the nose if the thing you have is EXACTLY what they need to complete their build... especially if it's hard to make, on top of that.
So .... the process is fairly simple and can be pretty cheap, there are several methods that can be used, as well.
Cheapest and easiest .... scour to plain white, bless for max implicit, add quality to 20%, then pray to RNGesus and smack it with an Orb of Binding. You can typically get Binding orbs for around 3 per chaos, making them even cheaper than orbs of Alchemy. If the resulting rare item isn't something you're wanting, feel free to scour and bind it again. The 4 linked sockets will stay just fine, and the Orb of Binding will still work repeatedly this way. Repeat till you have mods you are happy with and can work with for further crafting. More on the "further crafting" in a bit. While orbs of binding were exclusive to harbinger, they are relatively inexpensive in standard (where everything from harbinger and up got dumped), and can be obtained in any league with the harbinger zana mod active, and are quite easy to obtain in incursion's temple of atzoatl, as orbs of binding drop whole from the chests in the vault/treasury of the vaal room on occasion. If orbs of binding are not available, you'll have to get your 4 linked sockets the old fashioned (and more expensive) way. Make sure your quality is maxed at 20%, then hit it with jeweller's orbs till it's got 4 sockets, and then with orbs of fusing till those 4 sockets are linked.
Another method is ... start with the orb of binding method, and once you have your 4-link you can scour and switch to essence crafting. This is more expensive, but gives the benefit of having more control over the end result, as one of the modifiers in the item will be a known quantity. Again, scour and repeat till you have something you want to work with.
The next method ... well, scour/alch after you bind. Same basic results as additional orbs of binding. Use this if you're really low on binding orbs, as you'll want to use them to replace using up jewellers and fusing to 4-link your item base.
And now for the more expensive methods .... after you bind, you spam chaos orbs till you get something you're happy with. This method can get ridiculously expensive and I don't recommend it ... unless you've got a lot of chaos to risk.
The final method I have for you is .... metacrafting. You take the initial item after adding quality and working on the implicit ... and you can bind it here if you want to cheaply 4-link it ... but then you'll scour it (if you're unhappy with it of course) and then you use an orb of transmutation on it and begin re-rolling the magic mods with alteration orbs till you have modifiers you like. Augment for the second mod if one isn't present .... once you are happy with both mods, then you use a Regal on it and hope for something good to pop up. If you don't like what the regal orb did, then you scour it back to white and start over from scratch. Repeat till you have three modifiers you like ... then add a 4th modifier by use of a crafting table. This is the "further crafting" step, by the way ... you figure out what's "missing" in your results and use your crafting tables to replace it. If it's missing life ... definitely add life if you can, it's a prefix slot mod. If it's missing a specific resist that you need, you can add up to 30% of it as long as the suffix slot is free! If you have life and 2 good resists and you're happy with just those three mods, you can add casting speed or some other modifier to help improve your item further.
For boots, rather than an added damage modifier, an increased movement speed modifier is highly sought after ... 25% or better move speed can definitely be worth the crafting expense, with good life and resists. Movement speed is a prefix ... it CAN be crafted onto an item, but it's limited to a maximum of +17%.
Two-Toned boots can be had in flavors that mimic that of the Two-Stoned Rings ... with a maximum dual resist of +18% to two different elements out of the 3 available. Their defensive type also varies, one giving armor and evasion, another giving armor and energy shield, and the third giving evasion and energy shield. The three types of boots are always set. These boots can be vastly superior, as your chances of getting decent resistance values on them are much higher. This makes crafting them into decent all-resist boots a fairly trivial matter, as you can simply choose the essence that provides the resistance that is missing and hope for increased movement speed and + life ... and possibly even just craft whatever comes up missing!
For the Bone Helmets, the implicit is +% Minion Damage up to +40% damage... In crafting these, any roll that includes +1 or +2 to socketed minion gems could get to be pretty nice ... or possibly one that rolls -% mana reserved ... For shaped Bone Helmets, you can also go for things that can increase your area damage (for exploding minion builds) or add other really nice effects. Obviously, this is a good place to find more life and resists to round out a character, but this helm is all about the minions for 99% of players. If you can craft one using the +% minion life essence and happen across a +2 to socketed minion gems roll, you're looking at one heck of an easy item to sell for waaaay more than your average hat.
Last, but not least, shaped versions of all these items could possibly be obtained for not a whole lot .... (try to keep it under 5c). You can roll some ridiculously nice items that can act like +3 sockets linked on your base item or more .... A really nice shaped crafted item can easily be sold for multiple exalts.