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World and Elemental Effects

This topic is always in hot debate on the Final Fantasy XI forums throughout all websites online. Does facing a certain direction help with success? Does wearing certain elemental gear at a specific time of day increase your chance of an HQ? While those that actually know the secrets to crafting success are not talking (Square-Enix) and those that are talking (everyone else) are making many guesses and assumptions based on odd facts, experience and all the information they can find on the topic - but of course nothing is concrete without Square-Enix confirming any information.


You will not find all of the answers to your questions at this site. However I can offer words of advice based on my personal experience. I do not claim I am correct in anything said here - it is all observation and opinion.

Quite frankly as soon as the FFXI community figures out the formula I think Square-Enix changes it (/grin). Of course, I have no way of knowing if that is true - but it sure has felt like it throughout the years. My overall feeling is that crafting and High Quality results is largely random. However, there do seem to be some patterns, so I do not think the results are completely random.

In general I would like to make some observations that may or may not be correct - but they are things I noticed during my years of crafting. One thing to keep in mind is I mostly used Fire Crystals for my synthesis recipes, hence most of my advice is based on experiences with that crystal - whether that matters or not depends on who you talk to.

These are some observations I have made while crafting - I am not stating this information as fact, but rather my thoughts and experience with the ideas of world and elemental effects on crafting. I make no promises on your success in following my advice.

Most Importantly: No matter how much I struggled to follow theories on direction, moon phase and percentages, sometimes it just felt like it made no difference or that the difference was so small that it simply did not matter. I am not saying disregard using theories about moon phase, elemental gear and elemental effects - I am saying do not take it all so seriously because the impact of these things are not 100% effective. Do not obsess over these things - since there are no real Square-Enix answers you will only find yourself exhausted and frustrated on the topic. Take everything with a grain of salt.

World and Elemental Effects Page Contents

General Theory
Here are some of my more general thoughts and observations on crafting and elemental effects.

Ramuh Two Hour in Party
  • When I needed skill ups, I highly relied on resources like a Crafting Timer to ensure I got my skill. Most often though, I followed the direction chart (information on this available at Allakhazam) for the HQ/Skill direction when trying to skill and feel that my skilling was pretty good most of the time.

  • For the most part of my crafting career, especially while skilling up, I was strict to follow the general accepted Synthing Directions chart. It was later on in my career after reaching all of my cooking goals that I began to experiment away from the chart to find other answers. Experiment! With the game in an constant state of change, you never do know what you might discover.

  • I seem to HQ a recipe most while facing in the Southern direction on any crystal on any day - coincidentally this is the same direction for HQ/high skill for Thunder. Interestingly enough, Thunder often yields high HQ rates while desynthing in other crafts (such as alchemy). Of course I noticed this most on Fire Crystals - since I work with them the most.

Moon Phase
My thoughts on moon phase and its effect on crafting results.

  • For the best results one way or another, it is best to avoid full or new moon unless you are specifically looking for HQ or Skill up. For general crafting I would go for all the moon phases in between to reduce breaks.

  • Instead of a flat statement of new moon being good for something and full moon being good for something - I believe these successes depend on the crystal you use. I had many more HQs on a full moon with fire crystals then a new moon. I know this is contrary to popular belief but it is my experience. Since I crafted much of the same recipes I had a whole bunch of time to test this out.

Elemental Gear
These are my thoughts on elemental gear and how it effects crafting results.

  • Does Elemental gear on your person effect your crafting? I feel it does. Keep this in mind while on specific crystals - your gear could be the cause of significant amounts of breaks and loss of materials if you are not aware of your elemental effects on your person.

  • Some of the Members of Knights of San d'Oria Linkshell
  • I have many theories on elemental effects from gear that I would like to share, but none of them I feel are solid enough to write here without fear of misleading anyone. I will say that gear has a good say in your successes, high quality results and breaks. If you are unsure - unequip all of your gear before you synth! Otherwise experiment, using the elemental chart, as your gear can make a strong difference on your crafting efforts. I highly recommend starting with the HQ Elemental Staves for experimentation.

Weather Effects
Some thoughts on weather effects in relation to crafting in specific locations.

  • I heard this rumor many times during my synthing career - does synthing in certain cities or on certain maps with weather effects have any impact on your synthing results? I believe that if it does, it is such a small effect that it is nearly unnoticeable. I would not say this is my solid opinion on the topic, as I simply do not have enough evidence one way or the other to persuade me - as it never seemed to make any difference one way or the other during my crafting.

Time of Day
Below are some of my observations and theories on crafting at specific times of the game day in Vana'diel.

  • Does time of day effect your crafting? I have a very strong belief it does have some effect in determining High Quality results. When do I feel the best time of day is for crafting for HQs? Keeping in mind I use mostly Fire Crystals - I would say during the night hours of the game day are the absolute best times of the day to expect HQs. The worst time of day for me to HQ is noon to 4pm game time. I rarely get any HQ in those hours I have found.

  • So what is the best single hour of the day for me to craft? I personally have always found the midnight hour to be the absolute most valuable time during the game day to get HQ results. More often then not I will HQ a recipe if I craft at the top of the midnight hour.

Day Effects
My observation on days.

  • The worst day overall for me in crafting as a cook has always been Windsday.

  • The best days have always been Thundersday, Lightsday and Darksday.

Vysala Fighting Snow Maiden

As with any crafter you do develop superstitions on certain things. Why do I mention this? Because I found this to be a common thread with other crafters I talked with - not just within myself. A couple of my superstitions are: the order of ingredients in the crafting box makes a difference as some items in some boxes seem to be lost in breaks more often then others, location makes a difference within the same town - I often felt crafting at some locations in town were better luck then others and I also felt that lag caused less successes and more breaks so it was best to stay away from other crafters and craft alone when possible. What can I say - we all have our odd beliefs - I do not really think in the logistics of crafting these had any effect (but a part of me of course asks... "or does it?").

An Example: Rolanberry Pie
I would like to share one of my most privately kept secrets during my crafting career.

From 90 to 100 I spent much time synthing Rolanberry Pie for profit. This recipe is the one I used most often throughout my entire crafting career - a leader well ahead all other recipes. Rolanberry Pie was largely my best selling item, thus I made it very often so I have much experience with it in relation to elemental effects. I did observe from level 90 that I was able to HQ this recipe right away. While the HQ rate was very low, I saved the results and sold them as I completed stacks. As I got closer to 103 I continued crafting Rolanberry Pies and observing the strong increase of HQs throughout the leveling process.

Once Vysala was at 103, I continued my mass production of Rolanberry Pies and +1's. The HQ of Rolanberry Pie at the time went for 200,000 a stack (since then it has fallen significantly, but it is still quite profitable), so it was important that I looked for ways to increase my HQ rating on this particular recipe. Eventually I came up with the ideal combination of crafting elements for crafting Rolanberry Pie +1. Facing south, with the HQ Thunder Staff equipped, while wearing the apron and hat (and my remaining summoner gear), Vysala produced the most Rolanberry Pie HQ's. This was especially if the crafting began on exactly Midnight of Thundersday on Full Moon. I would do this regardless of moon, as long as the moon was higher then 75%. That was my set up, after much experimentation, for producing the most amount of pie HQs. I do not know if it is the best method, but it is what worked for me. This method enabled me to produce 1-2.5 stacks of HQ pie per 12 synths. This is HQing about half the time on a level 90 recipe under my ideal conditions.

Take it or leave it - that was my findings after years of mass production. Because SE changes the rules often, I have no idea how long I can keep that a successful combination or if it just turned out to be the best combination of coincidences.

Vysala's Mule Gladia

In Conclusion
Elemental effects of your gear, direction you face, time of day and the moon phase do have a small effect on your synthing results. I do not think it is a large effect, but it does not hurt to tilt the tables in your favor to prevent breaks and encourage HQs.

I highly suggest keeping an eye on popular forum discussions on these topics to help further your research. More importantly I suggest experimenting with new methods and finding out what works best for you and your individual recipes.

If you choose crafting, of any type, as your main source of income you will eventually reach a point where you have maxed out your level and your craft stats will no longer be changing. It is at this point you should experiment the most - for you will have a list of the recipes that you make most often. Be observant on those recipes you craft often, with enough time and experimentation you may see some patterns that can reveal to you when it is best to synth certain recipes.

Most importantly - do not take this stuff too seriously or it will drive you crazy. I feel that even though the elementals effect crafting results, it is a small percentage of effect. I am sure there is some random factors involved in elemental effects too, and these simply can not be controlled. Do not let times, numbers, statistics, days and crafting elemental effects rule your gaming life - it will only make you miserable. Craft with observation, but mostly craft and enjoy the game.

As I said in the beginning; those that actually know the secrets to crafting success are not talking (Square-Enix) and those that are talking (everyone else - including me) are making many guesses and assumptions based on odd facts, experience and all the information they can find on the topic - but of course nothing is concrete without Square-Enix confirming any information.