Black Opal Workshop Production Chain Guide

When talking about the new Workshop system in our Uncensored Podcast Vol. 3, Rainer and I already touched on the possibility of using alternate characters to produce refining points for personal use or the market. Today I’d like to dig deeper into such a production chain and offer some numbers and ways how to maximize your output.

The base idea is fairly simple. Just like you used alts to make all those Leadership chests, you now run Jewelcrafting recipes for unbound RPs. The Black Opal one is the best you can craft and hence it makes sense to go for it. The Workshop system however complicated things a bit because you also need to supply the required materials, and generate Gold to keep up a 24/7 production. Before we start digging into the best way of making Black Opals, just know that earlier recipes for refining points are indeed inferior. It’s not like the Gold production where low-level tasks net the most gain. Black Opals are better in both refining points per day and gold invested per refining points. So you indeed want to first level up Jewelcrafting and Gathering to level 70 to be most efficient.

Recipes You Need

The four recipes you need are:

  • Black Opal (Jewelcrafting Level 69)
  • Raw Black Opal (Gathering Level 70)
  • Slate Whetstone (Jewelcrafting Level 68)
  • Slate (Gathering Level 68)


Slate Whetstone requires Slate and Black Opal the Whetstone and Raw Black Opal. Since the Gathering tasks return 12 mats per completion, you shouldn’t need to run those 24/7 to be able to supply the Jewelcrafting recipes. It’s important to stop the Gathering tasks once you have enough for a certain amount of time, because then you can use more space of your Delivery Box for the Black Opals. With the Slate Whetstone it’s a different story. In case you plan to run the full production chain on a single character, you need to make sure that they don’t get outpaced by Black Opals. Otherwise your “factory” will just stop.

What you can obviously also do is use your daily Morale to make additional Slate Whetstone. I’m not a huge fan of that because ideally we want to maximize refining points. So spending Morale on Black Opals makes more sense. Gladly, there’s a way to achieve all of this. The bad news however is that we need to use very specific Artisans.

The Production Chain

So here’s how it’s all going to pan out. The Gathering tasks are not as much of an issue. I would look for Adventurers with decent Proficiency values that don’t add to Commission and also don’t feature a speed bonus. The latter might sound weird, but we will likely have enough materials and don’t want our Delivery Box to get cluttered. As skills Dab Hand and Passion Project make most sense. There’s a few possible ones, but the choice won’t make or break the recipe chain. So just use whatever fits our needs the most.

You’ll most likely also won’t get to the Proficiency goal by using an Artisan and best basic tool (+360) by the way. Again not an issue. The Gold you’ll lose hurts, but you’re still going to make enough materials. Overall you might even be able to pause the Gathering tasks on certain days because you have some surplus. You can obviously also sell that stuff on the Auction House.

Unlike Gathering, you need to grab specific Artisans for Jewelcrafting to be most effective. I have intentionally avoided purple ones because those are hard to come by on an alt account that usually only gets to Workshop level 3 at best. The ones I’m using are:

  • Black Opals: Aiha Amaphilel (rare)
  • Slate Whetstone: Haie Xilomne (common)
  • Slate Whetstone: Patime Hoshur (common)

Since we want to get additional Black Opals with daily Morale, we need to craft twice as many Whetstones to keep up. You are going to make a few more than you need and might be able to pause one of the tasks on some days. Aiha Amaphilel has the Miracle Worker bonus to boost your daily Morale completions. Haie Xilomne features Passion Project to save Gold. All Artisans have good speed and Commission bonuses. If you use other than these ideal ones, you’ll get less RP or have to pay more Gold.

Why No Dab Hand?

You might think it should make sense to use Dab Hand for Slate Whetstone. In fact however, the speed bonuses are much more important to get more materials per day. And Jewelcrafting has no Artisan that features both Dab Hand and a decent speed bonus. Using the mentioned Artisans adds up to 25,000 refining points per day and costs roughly 25 Gold. One additional Gold farming alternate character should be able to cover that.

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Currently on PC a Black Opal sells for roughly [sc name=”astralicon”]1,000, meaning you’ll generate [sc name=”astralicon”]25,000 per day. That’s not bad per two alternate characters, especially since maintaining the chain is easy once it is set up. The limiting factor will be your activity and Delivery Box size. Running five tasks fills up a Workshop level 2 or 3 (I don’t expect alts to hit 4) within 8-10 hours, even when artificially slowing down the Gathering tasks. So logging twice per day is a must. You can lessen the load on daily logins by adding a third character that either does the Gathering tasks or produces Slate Whetstones. It basically splits the load on more Delivery Boxes, but obviously means you have to level Professions on an additional character.


It’s a lot more work now to set up the production chain on alts to make refining points. But once done, it’s as much effort farming Black Opals in Workshops as it was producing Leadership chests in the old Professions System. The maintenance is higher however until you get the three “perfect” Jewelcrafting Artisans to do the job. Waiting for them to apply can take a while, and I’m not sure it’s worth it to buy those Profession Packs for that specific purpose. You have to craft a lot of Black Opals to get your ADs back. If Gold is an issue by the way, you can switch to Flawless Sapphire using the same logic that I’ve presented in this article. This will only net you 50% of the RPs, but also cut the Commission costs in half.

Please do also note that my calculations are based on using the best available basic +360 Proficiency tools. Imho most won’t be able to constantly supply alts with Masterwork stuff (much less for all five tasks). Theoretically using better tools can net you up 32,000 RP though (and save a bit Gold as well). I personally don’t think it’s worth the heavy investment, but that’s up to you.

I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to set up a Black Opal production chain on alternate characters! Are you crafting refining points as well? Using a different approach? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

5 thoughts on “Black Opal Workshop Production Chain Guide

  • November 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Good Guide! And many thanks to you and Rainer, who is always very friendly and helpful and replies to queries on his YT channel!

    As practice, I started Professions on an Alt and she’s been churning out Black opals since she made enough Natron +1 and Iron Sand +1 for other Alts to do the introductory Tutorial faster.

    I have a ludicrous number of old Materials and Workman vouchers to exchange on my account, and I do notice that crafted items sell for about 1/5 or less of the cost to make, and the Professions Vendors charge 5 to 10x the amount of silver for selling me Materials than they pay me when I Gather them!

    Some extra Notes:
    For level 70, the +360 Tools are Adamantine

    Aiha Amaphilel, Rare, Fee/Speed: -75/+125, Prof/Focus: 330/330, Miracle Worker 20%
    Haie Xilomne, Com, Fee/Speed: -75/+75, Prof/Focus: 335/335, Passion Project 20%
    Patime Hoshur, Com, Fee/Speed: -0/+100, Prof/Focus: 340/340, Miracle Worker 20%

    So with the Adamantine file, these guys have a Proficiency/Focus rating for Success and a +1 Result of:

    Aiha 87%, 77% for Black Opals
    Haie 89%, 79% for Slate Whetstone
    Patime 90%, 79% for Slate Whetstone

    which is not bad, if not the best, but for Alts with Adamantine tools, at least they are cheap and fast.

    One of the best Rare Adventurers (for cost and Speed if not Proficiency) is
    Xerazze D’Zzen, -25%/+75%, 360/340, Virtuoso 25%

    But it’s a risk trading your Stars for old slots opened as you might get:
    Saba Ohchibe, +75%/+50%, 345/385, Miracle Worker 20%, which is a lot worse.

    I have very few basic recipes in my Spreadsheet as yet, as it’s incredibly laborious copying from in-game. One day, I hope to make it interactive, so I can match my best Artisans and Tools with the recipes.

    Might you possibly do an article on cost-effective ways of upgrading to Rank 3? Those that are up and running at Rank 2 I have making Black Opals and stuff to help my Mains get Rank 3 faster.

    But nothing that will Bring the Nerhammer! I have about 20,000 quicksilver on my account. If only I had started trading them with Begum before Cryptic noticed!


    • December 9, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Focus is calculated differently from Proficiency.

      Every task/recipe has a Focus but, unlike Proficiency, there is a Minimum Required.

      Minimum Required Focus is calculated by subtracting 207 from the given Focus value.

      Then, Minimum Required Focus is subtracted from your actual Focus (Artisan + Tool) and also subtracted from the Focus value of the recipe or task.

      Than THAT is expressed as a percentage. The divider is always 207.

      So if your Focus is 360+360 = 720, and the recipe Focus is 568, then 568-207 = 361 (and, of course, 568-361 = 207)

      So (720-361)/207 = 359/207 = 100% (Max, can’t be higher than 100%)

      If Focus = 802
      802-207 = 595, so (720-595)/207 = 125/207 = 60%

      If Focus = 901
      901-207 = 694, so (720-694)/207 = 26/207 = 12%

      Sometimes they round up, sometimes they round down.


  • December 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

    It’s worth mentioning that each opal costs about 1.41 gold to produce, so Passion Project on every possible artisan in the chain might be a worthwhile consideration.

  • December 5, 2018 at 9:37 am

    My above comment was a little hasty. What you really need is 50 or 75% less commission on the artisans producing slate whetstones and the final black opals. Passion Project in addition to that, if possible, would be a bonus, but the point is that nothing will drain your gold faster than fecklessly producing black opals.

    • December 5, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Yes, she’s gone through a few hundred in a week or two. Ultimately, I’ll set up some alts producing gold and some producing various materials to feed a few Grandmaster Crafters.

      Also, I have noticed since my earlier post that I may have something wrong with the Focus rating.

      I don’t know why, it may be to do with the Artisan’s level, Professions level and/or Recipe Level, but on some Alts with low level crafting or low level Artisans, the Focus rating as a percentage:

      Focus rating % =/= [(Artisan Focus + Tool Focus)/Recipe Focus] x 100

      although their Proficiency is worked out like that.

      Not sure what’s happening, but I’ll compare some recipes with different characters.


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