Being a mastercrafter for many reasons is the ultimate goal to achieve in Neverwinter. Often labeled as “endgame” for professions, masterworks require a substantial amount of time, grind, and Astral Diamonds to get through the multiple tiers of levels. Because temporary stronghold structures and explorer’s charts play a vital role in the process, it’s not even enough that a player commits to the process. Mastercrafters also need a strong guild and alliance that supply what they need. That’s why for many, the highest levels of masterworks are unreachable.
But those that get to the top of the mountain can reap the benefits. Masterworks is the only source of unbound state-of-the-art gear and often offers “bis” choices that players are willing to pay for. Items sell for way over their production cost and the profit margins can be insane. In our Astral Diamonds farming guide we list Masterworks as current best source of income. If you’re willing to put in the time and money, this guide will walk you through the process of leveling the first three of currently five levels!
First of all you need to check whether you’re eligible to do mastercrafting at all. Once you’ve brought a profession to level 70, and have access to a stronghold of a GH10 guild, the artisan will hand out all necessary quests for the full process. Also do know that you will need strong artisans and the Forgehammer of Gond. With very few exceptions this is the tool that you will use every time.
Before we get into leveling however, there’s one thing you need to decide right at the start. If you want to get masterworks to the max level all by yourself, you need all professions at level 70 at the start. Masterworks are structured in a way that recipes depend on resources of other professions. It means that you can’t just level alchemy without leveling everything else. The alternative is to do it with friends and supply each other, or buy the stuff you can’t produce yourself from the Auction House.
All options have pros and cons. The first one takes the longest, for the second you need guys you can trust (and won’t suddenly quit the game), and the last one is expensive. To give clear advise here is difficult, because it depends on how fast you want to achieve masterworks and what environment you have access to. I guess people usually use a healthy mix. They do most stuff alone, but use guildies and friends where they can and invest the ADs to speed up the process.
Masterwork Recipes I
The first batch of recipes requires you to craft basic products of a profession. With the Forgehammer you should have no trouble to reliably get the +1 results you need. Also try to use an artisan with the Dab Hand or Miracle Worker skill to be most efficient with your daily morale and or / results. If you don’t have the resources you’ll obviously need to do the corresponding Gathering tasks as well or buy the stuff from the Workshop Exchange Store or the Auction House.
I’d check the AH regularly anyway. Some of the resources are not expensive and you can save a bunch of time just grabbing them for a few ADs. Time is indeed the limiting factor during this phase. Your toon can only complete so many recipes per day, which means a profession can take up to a week. Again: I’d strongly recommend investing some money here to shorten the process.
Masterwork Recipes II
What you want to do is unlock the tier 1 recipes on all professions before advancing. The recipes at this stage do not already produce high-quality goods. They basically just provide the stuff you need for the next tier. Although we could craft everything ourselves at this point, it’s not advised to do so. It’s much easier and cheaper to use temporary stronghold structures to exchange Guild Marks and resources for the stuff you need. If you’ve unlocked all tier 1 recipes, you can trade for everything you need and doesn’t have to play the game of chance in your workshop.
That sounds easy enough, but there are a few obstacles to work through. First of all you need to farm the amount of Guild Marks first. Depending on the profession you might need tens of thousands to unlock tier 2, which is why it usually takes several Double Guild Mark events to level up. Second of all you need a working alliance that has the different temporary vendors up when you need them. As mentioned you ideally trade as much as you can, and craft little yourself. The structures are essential not to lose more resources than necessary. The only alternative is grabbing the stuff that’s unbound from the Auction House, but that’s not cheap either.
One particularly annoying aspect of leveling this tier up is the fact that you sometimes need normal (non +1) results to complete quests. It’s actually intended to not make it too hard to level up, but completely works against the logic of the system. Because using higher level assets might actually result in less chance to get the item you need. We have detailed the issue in this article, but the tl;dr is that you want to use as much proficiency and as less focus as possible in those cases.
Masterwork Recipes III
Once you’ve unlocked the tier 2 recipes on a profession, you can immediately buy the tier 3 ones. The artisan in strongholds sells them for 20 of a specific masterwork resource and the process of acquiring them is the same as with the tier 2 ones.
If you’ve achieved that, you can already be proud of yourself. That’s more than most players will be able to do in their Neverwinter career. MW III features a lot of viable recipes and endgame gear, but it’s unfortunately not the end of the road. There are two more tiers to unlock, and I’ll go through that process in a second article in the future!
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