Crafting guide - fully understand materials and how to use them - Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI)
Crafting is quite a tricky mechanic in Inquisition which takes a while to understand. Moreover, you need knowledge of the attribute system to fully utilize it.
Schematics is what allows you to craft a particular item. There are different tiers: 1-3. The third tier is the highest. The fourth tier is only available on DLCs. Third-tier schematics are fairly expensive, so think about who will be using the equipment before buying them.
Ways to obtain schematics:
Merchant near the fountain in Val Royeaux
Dwarf bookseller in Redcliffe
Merchant in Emprise du Lion (fort)
Hissing Wasters - western camp merchant
Looted from chests, containers, enemies
War table operations
There are two major equipment types that can be crafted, which also contain craftable upgrades for empty slots:
Weapon – used to deal damage: daggers, bows, staves, etc
Grip or haft – improves stats of your weapon based on materials you use for crafting.
Pommel or blade – based on what materials you use provides different stats increases.
Runes – runes can provide big increases to DPS. They can work on specific types of enemies, like living, dragons, or undead. Also, some of them increase elemental damage which may be overall the best choice.
Armor – changes your looks and also provides increases defense. Armors also come with upgrade slots:
Arms – increases stats of the armor, by the materials that were used for upgrade
Legs – also boost armor stats, depends on the materials that were used for the upgrade
Now that you have schematics, you will need materials. You should be collecting everything that you find. Also if you have sufficient gold you can buy some of them at Black Emporium.
Types of materials
Metal – ores that you find: iron ore, obisidian, onyx, etc.
Cloth – cotton, dragon webbing, lambswool, etc.
Leather – bear hide, bronto hide, nugskin, etc.
Materials are easy to obtain, have in mind the higher tier it is the bigger boost your equipment will get
Once you have schematics, you are ready to craft. There will be slots that provide different benefits to the item that you choose to craft
Damage and Armor – this is the base slot that the item will get. Using higher tier materials gives a bigger boost.
Offense – provides offensive bonuses: increased damage to barriers, critical damage, critical rate, etc. The best one that I recommend is checking if the slot accepts Cloth type materials. This is important because materials like Plaidweave provide a direct increase to attack, which results in higher DPS
Utility – primary attribute increase. If you are a Mage, Cloth will provide bonuses to willpower and magic. For Warrior, Metal affects strength and constitution. For rogue, Leather: cunning and dexterity.
Defense – this is an armor slot for armors and their upgrades. Offers increased defensive capabilities: more health, melee defense, and chance to stagger. I think it has its narrow uses, but you should avoid it as it does not increase your damage.
Masterwork – is unlocked later in the game. It is a complex slot. There are two types of materials that you can use: Fade touched and Critical.
Fade-touched – provide some bonuses which apply temporarily or on certain conditions, like increased magic after a kill.
Critical – these provide a chance for critical crafting. This means that it may create an item with further boosted stats. When using them I would recommend a quick save.
Choosing what to use
So crafting can be overwhelming, but there can be some simplifications to be made, which you can follow to make a decent crafted gear. Follow this priority list:
Offense slots. Take Metal or Cloth for direct damage increase: attack%. However, in more advanced builds and late game, an increase to critical damage and chance may be better. In this case, use Leather offensive slots.
Utility slot: this depends on your class and what materials you have on hand. Generally going for class attributes is a decent idea:
Mage – cloth. Willpower, and magic. Look carefully to what benefits they provide. For example, if you see that cotton gives +6 willpower compared to Ring velvet gives +6 magic and +3 willpower take the latter. Overall, Ring Velvet will provide higher increase to damage.
Rogue – leather. dexterity and cunning. Dexterity may be better as it provides an increase in critical damage. And you will have a generally high critical chance later in the game
Warrior – metal. Here it is a bit tricky. You should aim for strength and constitution (especially this one if you are a tank). However, the constitution does not provide damage bonus. One alternative could be using, utility slot with cloth - willpower, which increases magic defense and attack, for all classes including warriors.
Defense: go for Metal as this increases your hp, and gives more melee defense, overall the best choice. Leather and cloth are the worst and provides some resistance and ranged defense. I do not recommend this slot and try to avoid it
Masterwork: I put it last as it depends on your playstyle what material you would use. In case you plan to use critical-crafting material, don’t forget to use quicksave before crafting, to reload if it fails.
Thank you for reading. Crafting really helped me against the fight with Ferelden Frostback. I made specific equipment to utilize its weakness: low cold resistance. You can use various materials: metal, cloth, leather to create an item for your needs
Please leave any comments if I have missed anything