Crafting in ESO – Your Tempers Really Do Matter

Crafting in ESO can be both a rewarding, though sometimes tedious experience. As in any Elder Scrolls game, you can dabble in any, or all, of the crafting professions if you choose, giving you an inordinate amount of freedom compared to most other MMOs.

Normally the crafting systems in other games of this type are restrictive. Your character is a lot of times forced to specialize in certain areas, and in some games the crafting vocations are heavily dependent of the other professions. In ESO this is not the case. Feel like smithing a dagger? Go ahead. Want to enchant that dagger? As long as you’ve the ingredients needed you can. Any one can use any professions, provided you’ve the materials to do so.

That’s not to say though that you will quickly master each profession. As will all skills in ESO, crafting proficiency utilizes the skill points you gain when leveling up or completing certain quests. You have to really think hard when spending that skill point, as you can be potentially taking away from your combat ability. This is nothing new to The Elder Scrolls, as we see the example of this most recently in Skyrim, but for an MMO this is relatively untrodden ground. Now ESO has more than enough ways to accumulate skill points, so using one for crafting instead of a combat skill may not be a questionable choice in the long run, but this type of choice and freedom really make you think before randomly selecting where to spend your skills.

Crafting in ESO is broken down into several professions:

  • Smithing (Blacksmithing, Woodworking, and Clothiers)
  • Alchemy (Creating Potions/Poisons)
  • Enchanting (Adding Magical Qualities to Weapons and Armor)
  • Provisioning (Cooking Food to Aid You)

As you travel around the world you will stumble upon crafting nodes. These will provide you with the materials needed to eventually craft into the item of your choice. These could be wood, ore, runes for enchanting, etc. Once you’ve gathered enough materials, you will need to find a crafting station to create your new item. With Enchanting, you create Glyphs that can be applied to your item of choice. With the Smithing professions you can create any item in that profession from the start, which is really handy. As you use more materials in your item, you boost its stats, but also its required level to use them. You must also use an item to create the specific race style for that weapon or armor, and in the beginning you can only create in the style of the race your character happens to be. As you travel and explore Tamriel, you will find “motifs” that teach you to create in the other races’ styles.

Tempering is another facet of crafting that I enjoy. Being from Las Vegas, I love anything that is a gamble, and tempering your weapons can definitely be one. As in previous Elder Scrolls games, you can improve your items, either at a grinding stone or a crafting table. ESO adds this system to their crafting system in the form of tempers. Tempers are items you gather throughout your exploration of the world, but you can also get these items when you extract materials from other items in your possession. When you apply a temper to an item, there is no guarantee it will work. The more tempers you use, the higher the chance, but choose wisely as if your tempering fails, the item is destroyed in the process. There’s the gamble – will you risk that Iron Sword of Frost you just made, or leave it as it is? The choice is yours, but be prepared to live with it – no matter the outcome.

One of the crafting systems you find in ESO that I particularly love is the “extract” option. Too often I am getting quest rewards I don’t want to use, but they really won’t fetch me much as vendor trash. You can now extract materials from those items. Lets say we were given an Iron Sword from a quest giver. We could extract that sword and gain some experience towards our next crafting level, but also we might receive an ingot or two of iron. Re-purposing items seems to be the way the developers are trying to get you to move towards. The same goes for the traits you can add to items. Traits aren’t just there for you to use. You have to learn the specific trait for that specific item before you can apply it, and each for trait you need a specific item in order to apply it. To learn these traits you need to research them by using an item in your inventory that already has that trait on them. This takes a few hours, and you can only be researching one item at a time at any specific crafting profession, oh – it also consumes the item you’re researching, so choose carefully. Eventually though you will be able to apply this trait to any item of that type in the future.

This is where I think the tedious nature of crafting comes into play. Instead of allowing you to unlock that trait on any item in the profession that can utilize it, you have to continually unlock the same trait for each item as the game progresses. I can see why it’s done this way though, but it still makes me loathe some of the long waits in-between researching. This was probably done so you can’t have  every trait unlocked really early, and adds some balance to those crafters who may no necessarily have all the time in the world to devote to pure researching. I will still feel as though I am wasting time when I start researching a trait in the morning, only to start research on that same trait for another item right afterwards.

All in all, crafting so far has been a mostly pleasurable experience. My Redguard Templar has a few skill points slotted in blacksmithing and enchanting, as I’ve created all of my weapons and armor since she was around level 6. Doing so has really saved me some coin in the long run as I have not felt the need to purchase another player’s wares – yet. I can see though that eventually down the road I will be buying some higher level gear, that is until I can make it myself.

Keep it tuned to Elder Scrolls Off the Record, as well as Quest Gaming Network throughout the weekend as we bring you more articles and videos regarding The Elder Scrolls Online.


  • Great article can’t wait for this game to come out

  • I’m assuming that they lifted the NDA since you can post videos now?

  • I do enjoy crafting more in ESO than in other MMO’s I’ve played, but then I haven’t really crafted much at all in ither MMO’s save for Runescape.
    Nonetheless, I think I will do much of it in ESO since it is so open and welcoming.
    The thing that I really don’t get yet though is the motifs and styles. I don’t understand how to learn the others. And I know that at first you can only use the style of what race you are playing as, but then I can also make in styles that I didn’t think I purposely learned..
    And then there’s the problem of needing to craft items but can’t find any darn style stones that you have that motif or style unlocked.. I have several others that I could use but I cannot because I haven’t learned that style yet.
    And enchanting and achemy is still a bit ambiguous to me; alchemy less so though. I’ll just have to keep at it to figure out how to really do armor and weapon smithing..

    And yes I know about the NDA(it will probably be over by the end of this month or early next-hopefully), and I have not said anything up to this point but I cannot find the answer to this(mainly in terms of the styles).. So I hope you or Zenimax can help clarify this..

    • im not sure it will be this way in the full release, infact i doubt it.. but during the beta there were vendors near crafting tables selling every type of crafting style ingredient.. unfortunately most peoeple never found the motifs so there was no reason to buy anything but your own race’s stones

      As for enchanting, i was a little confused at first as well but i worked it out.. in the world you could find Rune Words. there are 3 types of rune words and several variants of each which determine the effect, potency and which items it can be used on, when at an enchanting table, you needed one of each type of rune word,
      X (to determine how powerful the enchantment is, such as 5% or 10% buffs)
      Y (to determine what enchantment you were creating, such as Mana Regen or Lightning Damage)
      Z (to determine if the item was made to be applied to armour, weapons or jewelery)

      I hope this info helps.. and as for your comment about not crafting in an MMO since RuneScape, im almost the same, ive done a little bit in MMOs like GW2 and Battle of the Immortals where you could enhance your own equipment slightly, however in almost ALL MMOs since RuneScape, it is not a viable option for you to craft your own endgame items, which is really disappointing, having to level up a skill and work at it for hour, and have it be a useless investment, it seems like ESO is gonna make it worth out efforts though as the items I crafted in the Beta were all more powerful than loot drops.. and specifically tailored to my playstyle.

      Gosh this turned out long!

    • You can just buy the style stones from the blacksmith vendor. Obviously you can try to trade for the style you want to craft or have unlocked, but they are literally only 21 gold, so it’s super cheap to just get it from the vendor and sell the stones for styles you don’t have unlocked.

  • How i lerning more styles? I can make only The bone style, and its ugly

  • I also am waiting to see what the outcome will be with Crafting in General.

  • I always found rough maple while I was venturing, and even yew in Cyrodiil. But, where can I refine it to the point where I can craft it into items? I was never able to figure that out!


    • you find ‘workstations’ for the various crafts , such as a table or an anvil , then while on the menu , there is different tabs you can select for different things like refining your materials and researching traits etc 🙂 it took me ages to figure it out , but once i did , it led to a whole new side of the game that i am eagerly awaiting 🙂

  • I had to work hard to get ‘into’ the story line for ESO. For some reason it just feels kinda shallow to me and I’ve been an Elder Scrolls fan for ages. Once past the opening prison escape I started getting into the more animated and interactive expressions and quests offered and could appreciate the NPCs and quests more. It still felt linear like you’re being ‘pushed’ like a kid to the next area rather than having an entire section of a continent to explore first thing like the past editions.

    The crafting system kinda left me a bit cold. Provisions supplies were over numerous, rediculously so… viable meat and fruit in every barrel in dank caves and tombs? Seriously? While at the same time in each character I played I rarely ran across any herbs or other alchemy ingredients at all even in supposedly out of the way areas while exploring. The only node type I felt was ‘realistic’ tended to be ore nodes placed amongst, what else… rocks. Wood, which was all over the place realistically, was only actually useable from small already fallen half logs. Alchemy herbs were barely in appearance in either Aldamari or Daggerfall areas. I didn’t try the Nordic areas.

    Like the original poster, I did like the reclamation ability, but it didn’t make up for a lack of components to begin with, especially in Alchemy.

    The bright spot in crafting is the unique approach to enchanting. It’s got a logical progression to it. Discover translations to runes, think about how you’d combine the translated words into an actionable thought, BAM! Useable enchant! Well, sometimes anyway… couldn’t figure out why I could only enchant one weapon while dual wielding.

    I’m sincerely hoping these are just teething troubles like any works in progress would have, but without a viable user contribution community like Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim had to correct, rebalance, bug fix, and over all improve the game experience (or break it in some cases) I’m not so enthusiastic about the released product. “Wait and see mode… wait a couple of months at least after release…” is my particular synopsis so far.

  • Any idea if a pure craftsmen would be viable, and if he will be able to share his crafted items with other characters of the same account and of course be able sell any crafted items.

    • Yes, yes, and lastly yes. 🙂 That’s exactly what I attempted this last beta. I think I read somewhere that you could completely level one craft with 20 points. which means you could potentially have a character with 2 maxed out crafts (not including skyshards). I created multiple characters that would specialize in 1 craft while dabbling (hirelings for improved resource gathering) in each other craft. I dedicated the first 3 skill points to combat, went to my local dungeon, collected lots of loot, and deconstructed them for xp in each craft till I got to lvl 4. Obviously you sacrifice a lot of gold in the beginning this way, but it’s the fastest way I found to level and get resources. I got 5 characters to level 4 in each craft in 2 days. From that point on I would put all my loot in the bank and have just my specialist deconstruct from the chosen profession (ie Blacksmith deconstruct armor/blades, Carpenter deconstruct bow/stave, Tailor deconstruct clothes, etc)

  • Crafting in ESO was literally one of my favorite parts from the Beta weekend! I hope the next single player Elder Scrolls game learns from this. Crafting in Skyrim is very dull compared to ESO. It so so much fun finding the resources and then deciding how to use them. Even cooking (provisioning) has so much more use in ESO than in Skyrim. Maybe someone can create a mod for Skyrim to make crafting like ESO. 🙂

  • Bone is bottom of the list crafting, while the higher tier bone cost more to make, the other gear is also more items, but don’t forget it’s also racial, bone is used by ( Wood Elf / Bosmer ) and there are areas to change change there look and color as with dies and regents.

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