Learn how to truely take advantage of the blacksmith and jewelcrafter in Diablo 3 when you check out our guide on crafting. If you find the grind a little grinding or just want the finest loot right now, it's time that you turned to your favorite artisans and start putting them to work for you. Stop trying to wait for that special drop. Become a patron of the arts and reap the rewards of some of the best weapons in the game.
First thing's first: To say you'll be crafting items in Diablo 3 is a bit of a fallacy. Instead, you as the Hero will return Magic, Rare, or Legendary gear that you want stripped down to its components to one of two Artisans. You'll meet one of these Artisans, Haedrig the Blacksmith in Act I. The other Artisan, Covetous Shen the Jeweler, will be met in Act II.
Apparently only Shen wears his personality type on his sleeve, while Haedrig remains a mystery -a sexy, bearded mystery.
As you adventure through the lands of Sanctuary, you'll come across plenty of special items. As opposed to the mundane items with standard values of damage and protection, special items will grant your Hero bonuses to stats, damage, Life, and other attributes. These bad boys come in three flavors: Magic, Rare, and Legendary, each more powerful (and harder to find) than the last. They're also associated with differing colors. Remember them, because it'll be super important later:
- Magic: Blue
- Rare: Yellow
- Legendary: Orange
If you should pick up some spare Magic, Rare, or Legendary items that your Hero won't be using, you can bring them back to Haedrig. He'll disassemble the item and strip it to its individual components. You can then use these to craft even more powerful items, provided he has the required training and blueprints or plans. Shen meanwhile can combine lesser gems into more powerful ones that can be socketed into certain items.
- Diablo 3 Guide: Know Your Loot
Now that we know who and what we're looking for, let's take a look to see how it all comes together.
While Shen can combine any gems found during your playthrough, Haedrig requires your items to be broken down. Each difficulty of Diablo 3 will grant you new components that Haedrig will use. The list is quite small, so let's take a look at them, by difficulty.
- Normal: Subtle Essence is gained by salvaging Magic quality items on Normal difficulty, while a Fallen Tooth is gained by salvaging Rare quality items on Normal difficulty.
- Nightmare: Shimmering Essence is gained by salvaging Magic quality items on Nightmare difficulty, while a Lizard Eye is gained by salvaging Rare quality items on Nightmare difficulty.
- Hell: Wishful Essence is gained by salvaging Magic quality items on Hell difficulty, while an Encrusted Hoof is gained by salvaging Rare quality items on Hell difficulty.
- Inferno: Exquisite Essence is gained by salvaging Magic quality items on Inferno difficulty, while an Iridescent Tear is gained by salvaging Rare quality items on Inferno difficulty. You can also gain the ability to salvage Legendary quality items on Inferno difficulty, which results in gaining Fiery Brimstone.
Remember that only Haedrig needs these components, so it would be wise to focus on training his skill during your first playthrough. His level of training will be shared across all characters tied to your Battle.net account, so you can get some pretty wicked gear even at low levels when playing an alt.
Speaking of levels: Each Artisan starts as a Level 1 Apprentice, but they can be raised to a Level 10 Exalted with the proper training. In order to raise your Artisan from one level to the next, you'll need to bring them components and gold. Eventually however, they'll require pages or tomes to progress. These are dropped by creatures in the world, and can be quite rare.
A Page of Blacksmithing and a Page of Jewelcrafting will only drop on Nightmare difficulty, while a Tome of Blacksmithing and a Tome of Jewelcrafting will only drop on Hell difficulty. The ultimate training resource, the Tome of Secrets, is one of the few exclusive Inferno drops. You can also find plenty of plans for both Haedrig and Shen as loot drops in the world of Sanctuary.
- Diablo 3 Guide: In-Depth Look at Different Playstyles
So here's the real kicker: How does crafting work in Diablo 3? What's the step-by-step how to craft instructions?
Start by bringing your Artisan some proper materials. Open up their respective creation tabs and look through their recipes to find one you like. Let's start with one of the most basic, Haedrig's Apprentice Leather Cuffs. These cost 2 Subtle Essence and 320 gold. To gain the necessary Subtle Essence, sacrifice two Magic quality items to Haedrig. Hit Craft. Be aware though that when you hit Craft, Haedrig will create the cuffs, with random properties attached.
Yes, like so much of Diablo 3, crafted stats are random. You can't interrupt the process or choose what you'd like, even at Exalted rank. It's a gamble, but when it pays off, Haedrig and Shen can create gear more powerful than even some of the rarest drops in Diablo 3.
Shen meanwhile will take three gems of a like size and kind and combine them into one gem of the next highest quality cut. So for example, three Chipped Rubies become one Flawed Ruby, and three Flawed Rubies become one normal Ruby. Shen can also remove gems you currently have socketed into your gear for a fee. Thankfully, this returns both your item and the gem intact to your inventory.
Remember, both Haedrig and Shen need practice to become Exalted Artisans, and even at the highest levels, they won't have access to every recipe. You'll still need to have a strong Hero to adventure out into the world to find them plans, pages, and tomes. So fire up Diablo 3 and get lootin'!