Synthesis is a major gameplay mechanic in Final Fantasy XIV gameplay which is heavily tied into the Armory System. While the basis of it is similar to the Final Fantasy XI's counterpart - requiring materials and crystals to create a new item - it also has some differences.
The Disciples of the Hand classes can perform Synthesis.
- Alchemist - Creates poisons, glues, spices and some weapons.
- Armorer (raising hammers) - Creates many weapon types and armors.
- Blacksmith (cross-pein hammers) - Creates all things metal - except jewelry.
- Carpenter (handsaws) - Creates everything involving wood.
- Culinarian (skillets) - Creates food.
- Goldsmith (chaser hammers) - Creates jewelry and bone stuff.
- Leatherworker (headknives) - Creates leather equipment.
- Weaver (needles) - Creates robes and outfits.
Once a player changes to a Disciple of the Hand, they may open the main menu and choose "Synthesis" to start crafting.
After choosing the required materials and the recipe, or from a list of previously used recipes, a window will appear on the bottom of the screen, with the following values:
- Progress: A bar representing current synthesis progress. The synth is finished hen it reaches 100%.
- Durability: A number representing the synthesis durability. If it ever reaches zero (even if the progress bar shows 100%!), the synth is failed; every item and crystal used will be lost.
- Quality: A number representing the synthesis quality. If this number is high, it increases the chance of a High Quality result. Increasing quality also gives a bonus to the experience points received at the end.
On the left portion of this window, the player will be able to choose the following options:
- Standard Synthesis: The basic synth option. It will have a moderate impact on every synth stat, and also has the highest success rate.
- Rapid Synthesis: Synthesize with an emphasis on efficiency. It will greatly increase progress if successful, but with no quality increase.
- Bold Synthesis: The exact opposite of the Rapid synth; will greatly increase quality on success, but with little progress increase.
- Wait: Uses 1 durability point (and one extra for every wait). The player will simply "skip a turn", watching possible changes on the crafted item.
- Touch Up: Gives a chance to turn the item into a High Quality item or break the synthesis.
- Up to five crafting abilities the player has equipped may appear.
When crafting, the player also must pay attention to an extra factor: The color of the orb representing the crafted item. Each synth starts with the orb colored white, which gives the highest success rate for every action. After each action, this color may change to yellow (reduced success rate), red (even more reduced), "chaotic" (blinking colors, effect still unknown), sparks (reduced success rate and increased durability loss) and even lose control over one of the elements, each one with it's own negative impact on the synthesis.
Just like Final Fantasy XI a synthesis may also result into a High Quality item, which is just a improved version of the original. However, a High Quality Synth may also wield different results than expected, either giving a higher amount of items than normal or a completely different item altogether.
To make high quality items, players must increase the "quality" value while crafting. As that value goes up, a display showing the current % chance of getting a HQ item is increased accordingly; a HQ synth starts being possible at around 300 quality, but only reaches 100% at 1000 quality.
Using HQ items as the materials increases the initial quality, up to a starting bonus of 507 quality (7% HQ chance). If the end result is not high quality, but the player had at least 1% HQ chance, the touch up option will appear, which gives half off the original odds (if the synth ended at 30%, touch up will have 15% success rate) to turn the item into HQ or break it.
Disciples of the Hand have three special status that are exclusive to them and affect synthesis:
- Craftsmanship, which affects the success rate and amount of progress with synthesis actions on most synthesis.
- Magic Craftsmanship, which has the same effect as the above but only affects the so-called "magical" synths.
- Control, which affect the likelihood of getting negative synth effects.
When leveling up disciplines of the hand, players may learn special abilities that can be used during the synthesis process. These abilities have several different effects, ranging from increasing the likelihood of success for a certain crafting command to instantly completing the synthesis on the first turn.
Each ability may be used only once per synth, and is available at all times until used (with the exception of Hasty Hand, only available on the first turn) and have no kind of cost attached to them. This is planned to change on the 2.0 update, as crafters will be required to spend "CP" to use crafting abilities.