Welcome to the LOTRO Crafting Window – Proficiency and Mastery
LOTRO has a pretty big crafting system, but you can manage most of your interaction with it in one little window. We explain how to use the Crafting Window, and how leveling through Crafting Tiers works.
Your Lord of the Rings Online characters’ Crafting efforts are governed, logically enough, from the Crafting window. Let’s take a look at it and learn how to use it effectively.
We will assume you have already chosen a Vocation (explained here). That gives you a group of three Crafting Professions. Pressing “t" or clicking the hammer and anvil icon (to the left of your hot buttons) will open your crafting window, which has a tab for each profession.
Lots and Lots of Recipes
In each tab, whatever the Profession, you will see an Apprentice heading. Apprentice is the first Crafting Proficiency Tier Level. To the right of it is a progress bar, initially empty. If you click on the plus sign to expand the Apprentice heading, it will give a list of subheadings.
Click on any of these for a list of crafting recipes you know. There are a reasonable amount of recipes you know automatically, and you can find more at vendors or as loot drops. If you have a high enough level (more on this later) in the respective Profession, you can right click on a recipe in your inventory to learn it.
You will probably spend some time looking at the different recipes, discovering what you can make and what supplies you need to make it. No hurry: it’s a nice day, so I’m going to sit outside my hole and have a pipe of Old Toby. While you are poking around, do note that every recipe lists a number for Crafting XP.
Crafting in LOTRO is divided first into Professions (the tabs) and Proficiency Tier Levels (the main headings under the different tabs). Every time you execute a recipe, you get a set number of Crafting XP in the respective Tier and Profession. As you perform recipes, the progress bar to the right of the Proficiency Tier heading will fill with orange.
Once it is full, you may have to complete a quest to progress further. Gathering Professions (Farmer, Forester and Prospector) will level automatically, as described in the next section. Production Professions (all the other ones) will require that you do a quest first.
Talk to any Crafting Vendor of the Profession in question and they will point you in the right direction. Try to do this quest before you do any more crafting, as your Crafting XP for that profession will be wasted in the interim. Once you complete the quest, the following occurs.
Going Up Crafting Tier Levels
When you go up a crafting level, either automatically or after finishing the associated quest, the progress bar will change to a bronze Anvil, indicating you have achieved Proficiency in that Tier. A new progress bar will appear to the right of the Anvil, indicating your progress on Tier Mastery (explained in the next section).
Also, the next Proficiency Tier will appear below the one you have just completed. If you just finished the orange bar (Proficiency) of the Apprentice Tier, it would have one anvil and an empty Mastery bar, and the Journeyman heading below it with an empty progress bar to the right.
Crafting Proficiency and Mastery
As we have just explained, each Crafting Tier is divided into two levels. You start by working on Proficiency and filling your yellow bar. Once it is done, you can start working on Proficiency in the next Tier, but you can also work on Mastering the previous one. The progress towards the latter is measured with a yellow bar, and completion is indicated by a gold anvil.
Proficiency and Mastery, to a large extent, level separately. You can continue moving through Tiers earning only Proficiency in each one. The problem is, you can’t earn Mastery in a Tier until you have Mastered, not just become Proficient, in the previous Tier. Any Crafting XP earned in a Tier where you are already Proficient, but haven’t yet Mastered the previous Tier goes to waste.
In the screen shot, for instance, you would not get any XP from the Master Tier (not to be confused with Tier Mastery vs Proficiency) recipes.
Mastery and Crafting Critical Successes
If you can level your Crafting Tier’s Proficiency without putting all the extra resources into earning Mastery, why bother with Mastery? Well, it opens up Critical Successes. Once you have completed Proficiency and Mastery of a Tier, indicated by a bronze and a gold anvil beside the Tier Heading, selecting a recipe from that Tier will offer Mastery Options.
There are two tabs at the bottom of the Crafting Window. One shows the recipe and required components. The other, Mastery Options, is greyed out until you Master the tier. Clicking on it once it is available will show you what your Critical chance is, based on bonuses from tools and scrolls. It also shows what you will produce if you succeed. If you fail, you will produce the normal item from that recipe.
Most interestingly, it shows an item you can use to increase your Critical chance dramatically. If you have the item, you can click the check box to use it. It will be consumed whether you succeed or just generate the normal item.
Critical Crafting Successes either generate more of the normal item you are crafting, or a significantly uprgraded version of the normal version. In fact, Critical Crafting Success items are some of the best in the game for their levels.
Now you know all about the Crafting Window and when not to waste precious resources crafting things that won’t give you XP. That means you are ready to do some hands on crafting. First, you’ll need to find some crafting resources with your gathering Professions.