How to Craft HQ Items in Final Fantasy 14
In this article, I will be revealing the secrets behind one of the biggest mysteries in Final Fantasy XIV: how to craft high-quality (HQ) items. If you did not already know, an HQ item is the +1, +2, or +3 version of a regular item, which typically has heightened stats or higher quality.
Note that in Final Fantasy 14, HQ items typically have hidden stat increases. In other words, a normal version of a weapon might say that it offers 100 attack. When you equip the item, your base attack will, as predicted, increase from say, 20, to 120.
A +3 version of the same weapon may also indicate that it offers 100 attack, however, when you equip the weapon, you might find that instead of your attack going from 20 to 120, it goes from 20 to 125. In this instance, the +3 weapon actually does offer bonus stats, but they simply are not displayed on the item (they are hidden).
While we do not know if hidden stats will be fixed in later patches, what we do know is that for now +1, +2, and +3 verions of items are indeed better versions of normal items, regardless of what the stats may indicate.
Why would you want to craft these? Simply because HQ versions of items are much more profitable to sell. A normal version of a level 50 item might sell for 100,000 gil, while an HQ +1 might sell for 10 times that amount and an HQ +2 might sell for 30 times that amount. HQ items are often the only way for crafters to make serious gil.
How to Make High Quality Items in Final Fantasy XIV
So now that we have established that HQ items are indeed good, the question becomes.. how do we craft them? Well, the answer, like the stats of HQ items, is hidden. However, through practice and developer interviews, we have narrowed down the elements necessary to craft HQ items. We will examine the contributing factors one at a time below.
Durability and Quality
During the crafting process, you see two scores: quality and durability. When durability goes to 0, the craft fails. Durability is completely unrelated to high-quality crafts.
Quality on the other hand has a direct relation to the likelihood of getting a high-quality version of an item. Many players have reported (and in my experience) that finishing an item with a quality score of “300″ or higher seems to be the “magic number” for getting an HQ1 version of an item, whereas “500″ is strongly correlated with getting HQ2 version of an item.
Quality score is increased two ways: via the items you use to craft the synthesis, and the crafting process itself.
Using HQ ingredients means that your craft starts with bonus durability and quality. There is a slight bonus to durability and a huge bonus to quality, especially with +3 items. If you use all +3 ingredients, your craft can easily start with 150+ quality before you even start synthesis. Getting to +500 quality is not nearly as hard when you start at +200!
While you craft you also can increase your quality scores. Using “bold” successfully typically increases quality the most. While this was patched a bit and repeating the “bold” command over and over again does not work as well as it used to, a successful “bold” synthesis still does increase quality a lot while not increasing “progress” too much. Either way, you want to avoid the “rapid” synthesis command when trying to synth an HQ item.
The Crafting Process Itself
While we are on the topic of the crafting process, the developers stated in an interview that the crafting process itself has a huge impact on whether or not you get an HQ item.
In particular, a “stable” synthesis (white) synthesis is not likely to get an HQ item. The more changes in color and action you have, the more likely you get an HQ item (and also the more likely you fail the synthesis!).
While sparks indicate the synthesis is close to unstable, it also means that you might get an HQ. While the exact formula is hidden, the developers have clearly stated the more color changes, flashes, sparks, and even unstabilities, the more likely you get an HQ item (as long as the whole process does not blow up in your face)!
As a result, standard and rapid synthesis combos do not work as well as mixing in some bold synthesis options. A combination of Bold and Standard synths are most likely to give you the HQ item you are looking for.
The “Touch Up” Option
At the end of making an item, you have the option to use the “Touch Up” feature. Rarely, when using this feature, and item can go from normal to +1, +1 to +2, and so on. It does not happen often, but I have seen it personally.
The type of equipment you have can definitely influence your results. In particular, the craftsmanship and magic craftsmanship stats are thought to relate to the quality score and your likelihood of getting a +1.
The control stat also helps, not directly, but it increases your chance of success, allowing you more likely to be successful when using “bold” synthesis or when trying to reign unstable elements back under control.
This is simple – the higher your level is compared to the recipe, the easier it is to HQ. This may be due to both higher success rates and a formula based on level, or one or the other.
Either way, the higher level you are compared to your recipe, the easier it is to HQ. It is always tough to HQ level 50 items, especially when you are not starting with HQ ingredients. Get guild support and have all the recommended training for best results in overcoming level disadvantages.
Final Fantasy 14 HQ Items Guide Conclusion
So to sum everything up, use the best possible gear, the best ingredients, try to push the quality score as high as possible, don’t shy away from color changes or sparks, and use the touch up option if you want to craft HQ items.
Just remember that part of the equation is luck, and getting an HQ version of a level 50 item is always tough. The best way to get HQ items is to just get materials together for 15-25 syntheses; that way you are likely to get a few HQ versions of whatever you are making and really spread the risk out. If you only make a few synths of a given item, do not expect an HQ!