Archeage 101 - Proficiency System
Key Terms in this Section
Artisan Skill: Any gathering, processing, or crafting skill
Harvesting: Archeage specfic name for Gathering skills
Archeage has a very robust and unique artisan system, although it has changed a lot over the years. Before we talk about the system in Archeage specifically, let me lay a little ground work.
The commonality between most MMORPGs is the Artisan system, which is comprised of any gathering and processing of raw materials and turning them into finished products. Some games treat this as a three step process such as Eve Online where you have one step of gathering raw materials from asteroids, a second set of skills for maximizing how much processed material you get from the raw materials, and finally you have Production (Crafting) skills that use those processed materials to make finished goods. This is different from World of Warcraft where you would use your mining skills to go out and mine ore and smelt that ore into ingots and then use your blacksmithing skills to take those ingots and create finished goods; which is different still from Final Fantasy XIV where as a miner you go out and just get the ore, and then you use your blacksmithing skills to both turn the ore into ingots and then use those ingots to make finished goods.
While some games limit you to how many professions or skills you have with a hard and fast limit (World of Warcraft), others allow you to have as many as you are willing to invest in (Final Fantasy XIV) or train in (Eve Online). For Archeage, there is a hard limit to how many professions you can have at the highest level, however, you can level the majority of them up.
To break down the Archeage Proficiency System, let's first start with the Proficiency window. You bring this up by hitting the K key. You will see the window is broken down into three categories. The first is Harvesting. Harvesting is the act of gathering raw materials, be it animal products, crops, plants, trees, fish, or rocks and ore.
The next section is Crafting. Inside crafting there is a long list of different proficiencies that you can select from. As stated previously about Final Fantasy XIV, in Archeage, processing and crafting both belong to the same crafting, which is a useful way to level that proficiency up. For example inside the Carpentry Proficiency there is a receipt to convert Logs to Lumber. If I wanted to be to craft my own Erenor Bows, it would be a long and expensive process to level all the way up to 180,000 Proficiency just make weapons; however, as converting logs to lumber gives me proficiency in Carpentry all the way to the cap, it is a much cheaper alternative to level up this way.
The third section is the Specials, Construction, Larceny, Commerce will be your big three in this category, but there are rare breeds of people who specialize in Artistry (making in game player music) and Exploration (Sea Stuff and Treasure Maps). This section gets talked about more during the individual sections that focus on their tasks, although they do follow the exact same rules as the other two sections.
The final section of the Proficiency window is Language, which this section is relatively out of place because languages do not follow the standard model of leveling so these will be discussed in the Odds and Ends Section.
Why Proficiencies Matter
Outside of a few rare things that you expend labor on (tempering, feeding weapons/armors xp boots), every point of labor you spend will increase your ranking in one of your proficiencies on a 1 for 1 basis. This means that if you spend 35 labor opening a coin purse, you will receive 35 proficiency. As you become higher rank in a particular proficiencies, you begin to earn more XP for the labor you spend but you also begin to spend less labor.
You also gain titles at the 50k, 180k, and 230k levels, but that will be discussed in more detail in the Title Chapter.
While earning more XP is a nice feature, once you are max level with all your trees maxed this becomes a non-issue. Until Patch 5.5 and then we will all need hundreds of millions of XP to hit Ancestral 55 but that is another matter all together.
The key to the Proficiency system is that reduced labor cost. By getting all the way to the Famed Level (230,000 XP) you reduce your Labor costs by an amazing 40%. This means that while you are opening the same coin purse that used to cost 35 labor and gave you 35 proficiency, when you level up and it starts to take only 33 labor, it will only give you 33 proficiency. Why is this so important you may ask? The answer is because it revolves around the silver to labor ratio that you will often hear discussed when discussions come up whether or not it is profitable to do something.
I will go into more details on this topic during the How to Make Gold chapter, but for this particular situation I will do a very basic example.
An Ancestor Coin Purse generates, on average, about 1 gold 58 silver per purse. Now this
number shifts depends on who does the data gathering, how many they open, if the moon
is rising, etc. For this example we are going to use 1.58.
For someone with 0 Proficiency in Larceny, that coin purse is going to take 35 Labor to
open, and for that 35 labor investment they will receive not only 35 proficiency but also
1 gold 58 silver, so you will have earned about 4.5 silver per labor invested.
Someone with 230,000 Proficiency in Larceny, that coin purse is only going to take 21 labor to open. Using the same 1 gold 58 silver average, this means they are going to get 7.5 silver per labor invested.
This also translates into how much gold you can generate per 2,880 Labor (remember our daily labor earned).
Someone with 0 Proficiency will be able to open 82 coin purses in a single day assuming only daily regenerated labor. This would mean they would make roughly 129.56 gold with their daily labor.
Someone with 230,000 Proficiency will be able to open 137 Coin Purses and make roughly 216 gold with their daily labor. That is quite a large difference.
Maximum amount of skills
When it comes to Proficiencies, you are limited by a couple of different system mechanics as to how many proficiencies you can have at maximum.
The first, and the truest hard fast rule is that you are limited to 2/3/2 Famed (230,000) Proficiencies. What this means is that no matter what you do you will only ever be able to have 2 Gathering, 3 Crafting, and 2 Special proficiencies at 230,000. There are no boosts to this, no upgrades, no contracts, no anything.
The other is that you are limited to how many of each rank of proficiency you have at any one
given time according to this chart, but you can increase this with snowflakes at a 1:1 increase rate.
This means if you want to add on one proficiency, you can do that for 1 snowflake, but if you want
to add up to say a 7th proficiency, it will take 7 snowflakes.
Should you put all your proficiencies on one character? That depends. Would I put my any
proficiencies on an alt on the same account? No, not considering they draw from the same labor pool.
If you were to put things on an alt, I would only due that if that alt was on a different account. For
example my Alchemist and my Handicrafter are on different accounts, but that is because I did that
all the way back at launch. With the title system the way it is now, I would highly recommend investing
in snowflakes and leveling the trades on a single character so you get the titles and thus the title XP
from them on your main, at least until you get to Title Level 4 which will be talked about in the
Inevitably the time will come when you want to make a particular item, but you are slightly short on the proficiency you need and thus you cannot make it yourself. At that point you will have to make a decision, you can either find someone else to craft it for you (either by finding a crafter or using the Crafting board) or by increasing your own crafting skills so you can make it yourself.
The crafting board is the next section and it will be explained in detail there, but for now we will talk about upping our own proficiencies.
Hero Statue Buff
The first way to do this is via Hero Hall Statue Buff. This is a flat +2,000 Proficiency which you should be rolling with all of the time anyway, because the stats on the Statue Blessing are too good to pass up.
Next there have been several costumes introduced over the years that grant a flat 10,000 to all
proficiencies. While these are not always available, should they come back during an event they
should be your primary goal to acquire.
There are also the Dawnsdrop items that come from the Vocation Shop. At base level these provide a bonus of 5,000 proficiency, but can be upgraded to provide 10,000 / 15,000 / 20,000 depending on which tier you upgrade them to. Each of these items affects 3 or even 4 skills (Chest Piece) and are broken down as follows:
Head: Handicraft, Tailoring, Artistry
Chest: Weaponry, Logging, Construction and Exploration
Wrists: Alchemy, Leatherworking, Farming
Hands: Larceny, Machining, Mining
Belt: Cooking, Printing, Husbandry
Legs: Masonry, Carpentry, Gathering
Feet: Metalworking, Fishing, Commerce
For each Major Crafting Proficiency there are 2 items that can be placed on a house that give 5,000 and 15,000 Proficiency respectively. If you are looking for these items in the crafting menu you will find them under Property > Furniture > Functional Furniture. The crafts that can have this furniture made are: Alchemy, Carpentry, Cooking, Handicrafts, Leatherworking, Metalwork, Tailoring and Weaponry.
Occasionally there are buffs that enter the game that grants 5,000, 10,000 or even 20,000 to a craft for a limited amount of time.
As you level up your proficiency you will get titles at 50k and 180k that will give you a boost to your proficiency. At 50k the boost is 8,000 and at 180k the boost is 12,000. This helps close the gap when you are going for those high level proficiencies.
One final topic is the Specialty Houses that go along with Crafting, specifically the Apothecary House and the Armorer’s House. I wanted to make sure to mention their existence in the Proficiency section, however, they will be talked about in depth in the housing section.
Crafting Request Board
One final thing to discuss in the Proficiencies section is the Crafting Board. The crafting board is a place you can put crafting requests for things that you cannot craft yourself or a place where you can head over to put your crafting proficiencies to work.
For people who are looking to make money with their crafting, 99% of the time on the crafting board you wont make any money. Most people throw up the bare minimum requirement for the craft, and even then you only get 50% of the money that is listed, the other half goes to the community center. Personally, I would say just let their requests stay up there forever. If people want to try to pay 10 silver for 5000 labor, let them.
In truth, the only ones you really want to be looking for are the ones that help you level proficiencies which are normally difficult to level. Examples would be Machining or Weaponry, because there aren't really good ways to grind these proficiencies up. Usually I can come up with text examples of how a process works, however, the Crafting Board is so intricate of a system, that this is one of the few times I will drive you to the video for your explanation.
Why Proficiencies don't matter
Up to this point, I have talked about how Proficiencies matter, and the things you can do with them, and how they help you make money, how they help you level, etc. Unfortunately, with the arrival of 5.1 a lot of the profit that came with having a high level Proficiency went out the window.
In Archeage, like in most other games, the best gear and weapons is craftable only by a rare few who dedicated time, effort, energy, and most importantly a bucket load of money into their crafts. Previously only people with a minimum of 180,000 Proficiency could make Erenor weapons, which are in fact the best craftable items in game. Unfortunately, with the introduction of 5.1 came another cash shop short cut which circumvents the hard work that people put in. This came in the form of the Request Completion Certificates.
Request Completion Certificate
Introduced in the 5.1, these items, sold only in the cash shop, allow you to auto-complete any craft through the craft board regardless if you have proficiency or not. For example, if you wanted to get an Erenor Dagger made and you didn't have 180,000 Weaponry, you could list the Dagger to be made. Now, if you were to list the Dagger to be made and offer a fair price for the labor, someone might make that Dagger for you. If, however, you didn't want to pay a stranger a lot of gold, you could just use a Request Completion Certificate to do the craft automatically. While not free, as you have to pay both the cost in credits of the Request Completion Certificate and a gold fee, it is still a much cheaper alternative to have these than leveling up your several proficiences to 180,000.
Tier 2 and 3 Crafting Materials
One Term you may here in game, and you will see elsewhere in this guide, is the phrase Tier 2 and 3 Crafting Material.
A Tier 1 Crafting Material (Crafting Mat) is Cloth, Iron Ingots, Stone Bricks, Leather, and Lumber. These are tier one because they go from Raw Material (fabric, iron ore, raw stone, pelt, and logs) into their finished version.
After that you have Tier 2 crafting mats (Beautifully Colored Fabric, Sturdy Ingot, Sturdy Stone, Fine Leather and Fine Lumber). This requires 10 of the raw material and additional materials.
After that you have Tier 3 Crafting mats (Cloudspun Fabric, Sunridge Ingots, Rising Star Stone, Wind Spirit Leather, Nuri Forest Lumber). These require 10 of the Tier 2 crafting mats and additional materials.
With classes finished we will now discuss Social Organizations.