One of the best ways to gain better gear in Dragon Age Inquisition is through crafting. Crafting gear will give you better item stats, provided you have the schematics(blueprint) for it. Crafting armor or weapons also allows you to have upgrade slots,which add more attributes to your weapon and armor. Most “unique” or rare items I’ve come across in the game don’t even have upgrade slots where you can put additional stats like +crit chance, or crit damage or whatever. Crafting also allows you to have a masterwork slot which gives your weapon an additional unique ability. They can also have rune slots for you to equip runes.
Are crafted items better than uniques? The advantage I see from unique (purple) weapons/armor over crafted ones is that unique weapons could have slightly higher armor/DPS rating and a lower level requirement. However, most uniques don’t have any upgrade slots and sometimes the “built-in” attributes and masterwork property on the item are not necessarily the ones you will want. Some uniques though, have special properties that are exclusive to that item. Example is the unique bow I found which fires 3 arrows. However, it didn’t have any upgrade or rune slots.
Through crafting, you can better control and select the item properties and attributes and gain upgrade slots to better the item.
Crafting in dragon age, when you encounter it for the first time can be confusing, but when you know what things mean, it becomes easier.
Over the course of the game you will encounter “schematics” which are just the blueprints for armor and weapons. You can’t just craft any gear, but need the schematic for it. Schematics can be found through loots drops, chests, war table rewards or by buying them on merchants.
When you want to craft, you go to the crafting table (which is first encountered in Haven).
So to explain what goes on the screen when crafting, let’s have an example schematic.
Let’s say we have this armor schematic: Sturdy Vanguard Coat
It says the following:
- Armor: 13 metal
- Defense: 4 Leather
- Defense: 4 Cloth
- Masterwork: 1 masterwork
The first attribute “Armor” is the main armor rating. The higher this number is, the higher the armor rating is going to be.
This schematic also has 2 Defense slots – leather and cloth, each needing 4 pieces of each.
Lets click the leather defense slot and select one material – “Lurker Scales”.
Why does it say 7% ranged defense?
Look below on the attributes of the Lurker Scales. Since this is a defense slot, we’ll look at the defense slot attribute on the lurker scales.
It says Defense Slot: + 1.75% Ranged Defense.
Since this schematic requires 4 leather, the total ranged defense you get is 1.75% x 4 leather = 7%. That’s just how it is calculated.
Now different materials give different attributes, so choose which one best suits your gameplay. If we chose Hardened Gurn Hide as the material, it would have given us the attribute of +7% chance to bleed attacker on being hit instead.
To know what attributes each material can give you, see this post.
Different armor/weapon schematics have different slot type combinations and crafting materials give a different attribute per slot type.
If we were crafting another armor type with a “utility slot“, like for example the “Templar Armor” below, it would give us a different attribute for the same material.
This templar armor schematic has a Utility Slot requiring 8 leather.
So if we select again Lurker Scales as the material, we look into its Utility Slot attribute which gives +1.75 cunning.
So you would get a total of +14 cunning (1.75 x 8) for the 8 leather utility slot.
Again, this is for the leather slot. The other slots are cloth and metal. Each type has different material list which give different attributes and properties.
Main Slot – Armor Rating/Weapon DPS
The main slot is the one on top of the tree (the one circled above). It is simply the slot for the armor rating (or weapon dps). You would select a crafting material here to set the armor rating, or weapon dps. So you would want to choose the material that gives you the highest rating, which is the material with highest tier. Doesn’t matter which material, as long as its the highest tier, to give you the highest rating. For example, all tier 3 materials would give the same armor rating, so you would want to choose your most abundant one (or most unused). However, the exception would be if the material you choose is Silverite, Snoufleur Skin and Dales Wool cloth. Why? Choosing either of these as the material for the main armor rating will remove the class restrication on the armor.
So notice on the previous screenshot above, the Templar Armor is “Warrior Only”. If you put Silverite on the armor rating slot, you can give the heavy templar armor to your rogue or mage. However, notice again that it says Human-Trained only. So unless your rogue or mage is of the human class, they can’t actually wear it. In other words, the class restriction is removed when using the said materials on the main armor slot, but does not remove the race restriction.
Another exception would be if you are crafting a staff weapon, you would want to select the right metal material since different metals determine if the main damage type of the staff which would be either fire, cold or electricity.
The masterwork slot is where you can give your armor or weapon a special property. It is the top most slot with the star icon separated from the tree as seen in the screenshot above. In the course of the game, mobs, creatures and metal deposit nodes will give you a chance for a “Fade-Touched” version of the material. If you equip a fade-touch material on your armor or weapon, it will have a special property or ability.
For example equipping “Fade-Touched Obsidian” will give you the property: On hit: gain 3 guard. Which means when you hit a mob, you gain 3 guard. Equipping the Fade-Touched Plush Fustian Velvet will give you a 10% the chance to apply hidden blades upon hitting an enemy. To see what the other fade-touched materials can do, see the post on the masterwork crafting and fade-touch descriptions.
Note that equipping a fade-touch material is final and you cannot change it later on.
Another reason you want to craft is to give your weapon/armor additional attributes by putting upgrades on upgrade slots. Some weapons and armor schematics give you empty slots for upgrades (some don’t).
These empty slots can be equipped with upgrades which you can also craft.
An example upgrade is the dense dual-blade grip for the dagger. Crafting and equipping it can give your weapon an additional +27% critical damage bonus. Crafting a grip upgrade is the same as crafting armors or weapons. It also requires a schematic. An example below shows the dense-dual upgrade grip schematic for daggers.
This grip schematic gives us a total of 9 leather to use as the Offense Slot. If you want to add critical damage bonus to your dagger, you would use Lurker Scales on the 2 slots.
After crafting the grip upgrade, you would go to the Modify Weapon table (which usually nearby a crafting table) and select a dagger and then the upgrade grip for the dagger.
If you wanted to add like +flanking damage bonus instead, you would of course select another material instead of the Lurker Scales. Or you could use a different grip schematic with different slot types (metal, cloth) if you wanted different attributes.
You can still add runes to your weapon. Runes give additional elemental damage to your weapon either fire, frost, lightning and spirit, or give you additional bonus damage against specific any types (vs. living, corrupted and dragons).
Runes can be crafted on the weapons crafting table. They have different tiers and also require schematics. They can also be dropped during the game or found in chests. Equipping a rune to a weapon is pretty much straight forward as adding upgrades. Your weapon however, must have a rune slot to equip runes.
The materials for runes are slightly different as they are dropped from fade rift mobs and corrupted mobs. It also requires a blank rune stone which can be bought cheaply from merchants.
So that’s pretty much a basic rundown of crafting. Here’s a labeled image showing you of the things going on when you craft an armor.
Other common questions:
I have armor schematics with the same armor rating, which one is best?
Each armor or weapon schematic, or even upgrade schematics will have different slot type combinations. One could have 3 defense slots, and the other one could have 2 defense slots and 1 utility slot. Remember crafting materials will give different properties and attributes depending on the slot. The other difference they have would be the material type the schematic needs on the slots – metal, cloth or leather. A schematic could require all metal materials in all the defense slots, or 2 metal materials and 1 leather material, all giving different attributes and properties to you gear.
Another criteria in choosing a schematic would be the visual look of the armor. Some players pick armor simply because they like the way it looks.
And the last one would be the upgrade slots. As I have discovered, not all armor schematic have upgrade slots.
So to choose the best depends on the attributes you want (or availability of the schematic), or the looks of it on your character (if that plays an important part to you). For a list of what attributes a material can have for their ulitity, offense and defense slots, see the post on crafting materials and their description and location.
I crafted Legion of the Dead Armor, but it didn’t have any upgrade slots?
Unfortunately, this armor schematic does not give any upgrade slots. There are a some schematics which don’t give you upgrade slots.
Is there a level restriction on what tier a material must be so I can use it on my armor or weapon during crafting?
There’s no level restriction, as long as you have the material you can craft using that material. So you can be level 1 and use a tier 3 material on a tier 2 armor schematic. The limitation really is just where you can get the higher tier mats, which is on maps with higher enemy levels.
Does the material I choose matter in the main slot in determining the armor/dps rating?
Yes and No.
No in that all tier 3 materials (for example) will give the same armor/dps rating on the main slot. So choose which one you have the most abundant of.
However, the instance when the crafting material on main slot would matter is when you want to remove the class restriction of the armor you will be crafting. In this case, you need to put Silverite (t3 metal), Snoufleur skin(t3 leather) or Dales Wool cloth(t3 cloth) on the main slot. The other instance is if you are crafting a staff, the material in the main slot would determine the staff damage type.