[3.11] Path of Exile – Basic Crafting Guide for Beginners: PoE Harvest


Hello and welcome to another Path of Exile guide! This time I’ll be covering some basic crafting methods that you can use to get much better value from your currency and items. And while this is by no means a ?how to become rich in 5 easy steps? method, the information in this guide will help you better understand how to appraise the value of an item, progress through the game easier and faster and improve some of your existing gear. Before talking about actual crafting, you first need to understand a few basic notions about Path of Exile items and their general structure. The first element of an item is its rarity and this is indicated by color: white items are normal, blue ones are magic, yellow means rare and orange stands for unique. Uniques can and will break most of the rules which govern the other item types.

This is obviously intentional and part of what makes them unique. Crafting options are very limited with these so for the purpose of this guide I’ll mostly ignore them. For the other three rarities, this mainly dictates how many affixes an item can have. Normal items have no affixes, Magic ones can have up to a maximum of 2 and Rares can roll up to 6. Affixes are in turn split between Prefixes and Suffixes, so a magic item can have at most one prefix and one suffix but not two of the same kind. As you probably suspect, rare items can have at most 3 prefixes and 3 suffixes, amounting to that total max of 6. This distinction is quite important because certain mod types are either prefixes or suffixes. For example, resistances are always suffixes and so are attributes such as DEX or INT. This means that on a rare item you can have, for example, at most 3 resistance affixes or 2 resistances and one attribute affix.

But you can never have 3 resistances AND an attribute affix as well. You also cannot have 4 resistance affixes either, for the exact same reason: you’re limited to 3 suffixes. On the other hand, life for example is always a prefix so you can definitely have items with 3 resistances and some maximum life. As you’ve likely noticed there is however one additional mod on this item which I haven’t included earlier: it’s called ?Implicit? and it’s neither a prefix nor a suffix, so it doesn’t count towards that limit of 3 for each.

Implicits are associated with certain base items and they’re quite useful in crafting as you’re practically guaranteed to have at least that particular mod on the resulting item. You can always identify the base of an item from its name, which in this case is ?Two-Toned Boots?. The base of an item remains the same even if you craft it from normal rarity into magic, rare or unique. And since the base doesn’t change the implicit will also stay the same. On top of all these, items can also be what’s known as Shaper or Elder, identified by the cosmic or tentacles backgrounds respectively. Without going too much into the game’s lore or the Atlas conflict, I’ll just say that these items generally drop on maps with Shaper or Elder influence.

An item with this extra property can also have certain affixes which are exclusive to Shaper or Elder items. For example, on these boots, ?Socketed gems are supported by level 15 Life Leech? is a Shaper exclusive affix and cannot be found on non-Shaper items. Now, it’s high time I addressed the elephant in the room and what looks like my complete inability to count: these boots look like they have, besides the implicit mod, 7 affixes.

However, earlier I’ve said that the maximum number is 6 so what’s going on there? Well, one of the affixes, Dragonfly’s, is what is called a Hybrid and in fact adds two different modifiers. In order to get this detailed information about any item, you need to go to Options ? UI ? and check ?Advanced Mod Descriptions? setting. After that, holding ?Alt? key pressed while hovering the cursor over an item will bring up all this extra information. At a quick glance you can more clearly see which is the Implicit, the fact that the item has 3 Prefixes and 3 Suffixes, the name and Tier of each affix as well as the possible numeric ranges for each mod. So how is this useful? Let’s take another item as an example: again, without looking at the advanced information it seems like it has 7 affixes. Once expanded, it becomes obvious that in fact it only has 2 Prefixes and 3 Suffixes. Which means that, through crafting, you can add another Prefix, potentially making the item much more useful and valuable.

Then you get the affix names and tiers and I’ll use the dexterity mod to exemplify this. It’s a suffix, called ?of the Falcon? and Tier: 6. The name itself is not that important and it’s just an alternative way to say ?Tier: 6 dexterity mod? in this case. The tier however is really important and that is what determines the possible numeric ranges of an affix. The highest tier is 1 and the lowest can go all the way to 13. You can see that Tier:6 Dexterity mod can roll a value between 23 and 27, but to better visualize how they work, here are a few additional tiers for this affix. Basically, the lower the tier number, the larger the affix values. Finally there is one last piece of information in the advanced item description which is of huge importance: the item level. This stat determines what’s the possible range of tiers for each affix. Continuing with the previous example, since these boots have an itemlevel of 75, the highest possible tier for a Dexterity affix is 2. You’d only be able to find Tier 1 on boots with itemlevel equal or higher than 82.

Now, I’m sure all these numbers start to be a bit confusing and how in the world is anyone supposed to remember all these? Well, rest assured, I’m absolutely convinced nobody in this world knows all these affixes and their tiers by heart. And it’s not necessary anyway. You just need to remember that Tier 1 is the highest, the higher the tier the larger the values are for an affix and bigger item levels allow for higher tiers. There are also two excellent websites that I can recommend as reference for item affixes: a Path of Exile wiki page and the ?Mods? page from poedb.tw website. I’ll link both in the video description down below. On either of them you just need to select the item type and you’ll get a list of all possible affixes that can be found on it, along with their tiers and minimum item level for each tier. If you’re curious enough to go through a few of them, you’ll probably notice that some affixes can only be found on certain item types but not on others.

For example you’ll see that rings and amulets can roll spell damage but this affix will never be found on body armours. And while movement speed is mostly found on boots, it never rolls on gloves. Now that you’re familiar with the items’ general structure. we can start looking at some basic crafting methods. The first and most obvious form of crafting is through the use of currency orbs. Apart from being used in all sorts of trading, each of these can transform items in a specific way. Of these, the most basic orbs are the ones affecting item quality. Armourer’s Scraps are used on armour pieces and will increase the amount of evasion, energy shield or armour that the base provides.

Blacksmith’s Whetstones improve weapons’ physical damage while Glassblower’s Baubles increase the duration of flasks effects and buffs. All these currencies can add up to 20% quality to each item. When applied to white items the quality will increase by 5% with each orb, by 2% on magic items and finally by 1% on rares and uniques. As such, if your aim is to start crafting from a white base item, it’s probably a good idea to use the quality orbs first. Finally, the last orb in this category is Gemcutter’s Prism which increases the quality of skill gems. Since these cannot have different rarities, each prism raises quality by 1%. Every gem gains a different bonus from quality so you’ll likely need to check the wiki page for the gems you want to improve to find out what you’ll get.

The next category of orbs are the ones used to upgrade items from one rarity to another. First, there’s the very basic and cheap Orb of Transmutation which upgrades a normal, white item, into a magic one and the resulting item will have one or two affixes. Then you have Orbs of Alchemy. These upgrade a normal item to a rare one with 4 to 6 affixes. A Regal Orb is used to upgrade Magic Items to rare ones by adding a single affix each time. Whatever mods the magic item had on it will be still present on the newly obtained item. This is a crucially different process than applying an Alchemy Orb because it allows you to more precisely control at least two affixes on the resulting rare item. Finally there’s the Orb of Chance which transforms a white item into another random rarity. However do note that the probability to obtain a unique item is much lower than that of getting a magic one.

All these upgrade orbs will never change the item base, the quality, the item level or the implicit. So if you use an Alchemy Orb on a pair of Bronze Gloves with 5% quality and item level 25, the result will be rare Bronze gloves with 5% quality and item level 25. This has some pretty important implications for crafting: for example since the item level doesn’t change, the possible affix tiers are already known. As such it’s likely much better to use a high level base to increase the chance of getting high tier affixes and thus higher numbers. Or, if you want to obtain a certain unique item by using Orbs of Chance, then you have to use the same base item as the unique you’re aiming for.

The next category of orbs are the ones that add, remove or modify existing mods in certain ways. Blessed Orbs are used to re-roll the numeric value of implicit mods on items that have one and they work on all rarities, including unique items. These are relatively cheap so they’re really useful for min-maxing your gear and squeezing out something like a few more resistance points or life from items with implicits. Then there’s the Orb of Augmentation which adds an additional affix to a magic item that only had a single one. Orbs of Alteration will re-roll a magic item for a new set of random affixes. The result is completely random and whatever affixes were previously on the item have no impact on the outcome. And yes, you can even get the exact same affixes again; it’s not common but it happens.

Since they’re relatively cheap, orbs of Transmutation, Augmentation and Alteration are very often used together to create a magic item with one or two very good affixes. You start off with an appropriate base for your target craft, keeping in mind the required minimum item level and whether or not it needs to be a Shaper or Elder item. Improving quality at this point is recommended if the item supports it and you’re not crafting something like a jewel.

Then upgrade the normal item to a magic one with a Transmutation Orb. If you’re lucky and you hit a Tier 1 affix for a mod that you need, then you can go with an Orb of Augmentation to hopefully get a second high tier affix. If the resulting affix is really bad then the best option is to start using Orbs of Alteration. You generally repeat this process until you have two useful affixes of at least tier 1 or 2.

Depending on the base item and what you rolled on it, you might already have quite a valuable magic item that can be sold for a decent amount of currency. There are a lot of crafters out there that cannot be bothered with these first, tedious, steps and are willing to pay a premium for the convenience. The alternative is to use a Regal Orb on it which will add one additional affix and transform it into a rare item, while of course retaining the two existing mods. So let’s pretend that that these two affixes are what I was looking for, Tier 1 or 2 lightning damage and crit. chance. The chances to get a good, high tier affix with the Regal Orb are quite slim, but it can happen and in such cases the item’s value has increased tremendously. However, more often then not you’ll get a bad affix, as it happened here.

In that situation you can use an ?Orb of Annulment?, a rare and quite expensive piece of currency. This randomly removes one affix from an item so in a scenario where you have two great mods and a bad one, there’s 1 in 3 chances to be left with two good affixes. If you’re lucky and you remove the shit mod, you now have an even more valuable item than it was before upgrading from magic to rare.

At that point it can either be sold or further crafted using some more advanced methods that I won’t be covering in this guide but likely in a future episode. However, in my case I removed one of the good mods so the only real option is to use an Orb of Scouring and restart the crafting process. Orbs of Scouring will remove all affixes from an item and will thus turn it into a white rarity one. It does not however affect the items’ quality, implicit, enchants, sockets or links. Finally, let’s say say you managed to craft or buy a great item with good, high-tier affixes. As you’ve likely noticed, for most affixes, inside the same tier, the actual numeric value has a small variation range. For example, on this armour the Tier 3 ?Hero? prefix can have values between 80% and 91% . Tier 8 suffix, of the Lynx, can have between 13 to 17 Dexterity. Using a ?Divine Orb? will re-roll the values of all the affixes on an item. Just keep in mind this will not however change the tiers themselves. As you can see after I applied a divine orb, I got higher numeric values on most affixes but the tiers remained exactly the same as before.

Since Divine Orbs are quite rare and expensive, they’re generally used on very valuable items for min-maxing purposes. This also includes high-end uniques. And since we’re on the topic of very expensive crafting currency, an Exalted Orb can be used to add one new affix on a rare item that currently has less than 6. However before you go adding random affixes on your items, keep in mind that an entire mid-tier gear set for pretty much all my builds costs around 7 to 10 Exalts. You’re almost always better off buying decent items rather than adding a random affix on your existing equipment. It’s a very expensive gamble that might only pay off on items that are already extremely good. Even in that situation you can completely ruin them by adding a useless affix.

And the final piece of currency used to manipulate item mods is the Chaos Orb. Ironically, while this is probably the best known orb in the entire game it is also one of the most useless when it comes to actual crafting. Chaos Orbs simply reroll all the affixes on a rare item, both tiers and numeric values. It’s an almost complete randomization of the item and as such the results are always unpredictable. Some might even say chaotic. It’s generally used on items which can roll a wide variety of useful affixes in a large number of combinations. Jewels, rings, amulets, maps, strongboxes, these are generally good options for chaos spamming.

You can get lucky and roll a decent enough item, as I did with a Steel ring while recording this guide. Or you can spend a hundred chaos and get absolutely nothing. The last category of item crafting currency is comprised of orbs that affect sockets and links. As you’ve likely found out from the first minutes of gameplay, most items in Path of Exile can have sockets where you can put skill gems. These sockets can in turn be linked allowing the gems you put inside to influence each other in certain ways. If you’re unfamiliar with this system, then it’s probably a good idea to check out my Beginner Tips and Tricks guide by clicking on that ?i? thing in the upper right corner. The maximum number of sockets on any particular piece of gear depends on the item type. 1-handed weapons and shields can have up to 3 sockets, helmets, gloves and boots up to 4 and body armour as well as 2-handed weapons a maximum of 6 sockets. Using ?Jeweller’s Orbs? on an item will re-roll the number of sockets it has, within the limitations I’ve just mentioned.

This also re-rolls the colors and links since you can always obtain less sockets than you had before. One thing worth mentioning is that you can no longer apply Jeweller’s Orbs on an item that already has its maximum number of sockets. Linking these sockets is done by using ?Orbs of Fusing? which re-roll the number of existing links on an item. This does not affect in any way the number of sockets or their color. Somewhat similar to Jeweller’s orbs, you cannot apply any additional Fusings on a 6-link item. However you can do it for example on a fully linked helmet and that will simply re-roll all the links. One very important thing to note here is that item quality increases the chance of getting more links when using Fusing Orbs, so do yourself a favor and improve the quality before attempting to link items.

The last piece of currency that affects sockets is the Chromatic Orb. As its description indicates, it is used to re-color all the existing sockets on an item. While white sockets exist in the game, they cannot be obtained by using Chromatics as these can only roll red, green and blue. The resulting socket colors are not entirely random: an item’s attribute requirements directly affect the chance of rolling certain colors. Strength is associated with red sockets, Dex with Green and Intelligence with Blue. For example, this item’s highest attribute requirement is Dexterity, followed by Strength and zero Intelligence. That means it will have a high chance of rolling Green sockets, somewhat moderate for Red and significantly lower to see blue sockets. In this case blue is what is called an off-color. This is especially important on 6 socket items where it might be almost impossible or very expensive to obtain a large number of off-colors. Apart from using standard currency, there’s one additional basic crafting method that I’ll be covering in this guide: the hideout crafting bench.

After completing a quest in Act 2, the NPC Helena will grant you access to your own hideout. And probably the most important functionality for this area is the crafting bench. This can normally be used to add a single affix on a magic or rare item which has less than max. By default the bench comes with a few basic recipes but you can find more by completing various types of content. Some can be found after unveiling items dropped by Syndicate members, others at certain depths in the Delve mine, while more esoteric ones in Incursion Temple rooms or after completing prophecies.

While the affixes you can add this way have lower values than the naturally rolled ones, they are still great ways of improving your gear for a low cost. Also, unlike the almost complete randomness of currency orbs, the crafting bench provides some degree of control and flexibility in customizing at least one affix on your items. For example the ring I’ve crafted earlier using Chaos Orbs had an empty prefix so it can be further improved by crafting something on it using the bench.

I could for example add some flat damage or minus mana cost, making it a good ring for a Cyclone build. And if I end up using it, I can even replace that mod later with another crafted one, depending on what I need at that point. While the crafting bench has a lot of other functionalities such as meta-mods, manipulating sockets and links, crafting corrupted items and so on, these are all more advanced topics. And there are of course quite a few other crafting methods, each with its own functionalities, and all can be combined with the basic methods to achieve different results.

Learn anything new, exile? If you did, then you’ll probably be happy to hear that there are more videos coming up in the near future with more exciting builds to try. Make sure not to miss them by subscribing to the channel so you get notified when that happens. And while you’re at it why not like this video as well or drop a comment down below to let me know your thoughts.

Thank you all for watching and see ya next time!.

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