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Crafting with…Courtney! Episode 32: “I see you like XP!”

Hello everyone, and welcome to the thirty second episode of “Crafting with…Courtney!” I’m here to make crafting fun, easy, and good for you!


Last week we talked about the various ways to get Essences, so this week, let’s figure out the best way to spend them! Getting good deals is the fuel that drives the soul of the serious shopper, and shopping for Crafting XP can be very fuel-efficient!

Yes, it does take a lot of Essences to level all of the way up to 150, but thousands of Essences can be saved by making the most of your leveling effort! The basics of leveling up is easy:

  1. Get Essences
  2. Use those Essences to make Shards that give you XP.
  3. Deconstruct the Shards you don’t plan to use (either now or in the future) to get back some of those spent Essences.
  4. Win!

Here are some tips to get the most XP out of those Essences:

Not all Shards are equal!

When deciding which shard to craft, take a look at the Essence cost! Different shards at a given level will have different resource costs due to their popularity and power, among other things. Take a look at the XP you’ll get, and pick the one that uses the least amount of Essences! This tip is pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how much a little research can save you in Essence costs!

Be an original!

As you craft a shard over and over, you’ll notice that the amount of XP you get lessens over time. That’s because the shard becomes easier to craft every time you craft it, which is great for when you want to increase your chance of success, but less great if your goal is getting the most XP from your shards. So, craft a shard a couple of times, then move on to another shard with a similar (or equal) resource cost!

Take a risk!

No one likes to fail, but if you never take a risk you’ll miss out on a ton of XP! You can craft shards as long as they have a 50% chance of success (before a crafting success booster is applied.) Yes, you will lose some Essences when you fail, but the amount of XP you get may be much higher than if you choose a less risky recipe and craft it instead!

How risky to go? That depends on personal choice. Since odds come into play, you might be willing to craft at 50% success, but you might instead be more comfortable crafting at a 70% success rate. Don’t forget that Crafting Success Boosters are available in the DDO Store to eliminate some of that risk!


Some of us are riskier than others…my succubi friend, for example, tends to have a “riskier” wardrobe than I do…
That said, the risk vs. reward also depends on how many Essences it takes to craft a shard. Look at the following comparison of two Unbound shards:


The shard with the 50% success rate will give you 68% more XP, but you can make about three of the 70% success rate shards for the same Essence cost. For the 50% shard, you’ll get 168 XP, but three of the 70% shards will get you more than 300 XP for about the same cost!

This brings me to one of the most important tips you’ll hear today:

Switch to Unbound Shards once you level up a bit!

This may seem like odd advice; after all, don’t Unbound shards have three times the Greater Essence cost and oftentimes three times the dragonshard and collectible cost? Yes, they do! But, that’s comparing an Unbound Underwater Action Shard to a Bound Underwater Action Shard. When you look by level, on the other hand, you’ll see that a Bound shard eventually costs a lot more than an equal-level Unbound shard! Look at the following level 20 shards:

At level 20, the Bound shards cost between 1 and 6 Greater Essences, and 4 to 32 Lesser Essences, depending on the shard. When we look at the Unbound shards, you’ll see a cost of about 3-18 Greater Essences, but the Lesser Essence cost stays the same as the Bound version of the Shard!

So, it comes down to finding the shard with the least Essence cost. Sometimes, that’s a Bound Shard, but you’ll find that as you level up, eventually the cost of Unbound shards is far less than the cost of Bound shards! Let’s skip to level 50 and take a look at some Bound shards:

The shards cost about 10 Greater Essences and 80 Lesser Essences, compared to equivalent Unbound shards, which cost between 9 and 18 Greater Essences, but only 12 Lesser Essences!


…and it gets even more pronounced as you get above level 50! Keep in mind that you’ll get the same amount of base XP from a level 50 Bound shard as you will a level 50 Unbound shard, so figure out which costs the least, and craft it!

Transmute Essences only when you really need to!

You can turn 1 Greater Essence into 5 Lesser Essences, but that can be an easy way to not have enough Greater Essences when you need them! Oftentimes, you’ll be better off buying the Essences you need from the Auction House or DDO Store than you would be turning your Greater Essences into Lesser Essences.

Boost your way to new heights!

If you have the Turbine Points, or are serious enough about crafting to want to earn Turbine Points through running quests for Favor, then I highly suggest buying Crafting Success Boosters and Crafting Experience Elixirs from the DDO Store! They aren’t necessary, but who doesn’t like to get where they’re going more quickly? I find them to be an inexpensive time-saver, and lets you use a ton less Essences over time.

These are just a few tips to help you get the most out of your hard-earned Essences. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section below! As always, thank you for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out cool Cannith Crafting recipes in our Crafting Cookbook here!



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