When Chains of Eternity launched on November 13, 2012 your Character Development and Alternate Advancement window had some tradeskill-related changes.
The first thing that you were likely to notice, of course, is that you had to respend all your AA points again, since there were enough changes to AAs to need a respec.
You might have also noticed that the major tabs are down the lefthand side, instead of every single tab scrolling horizontally off the top of the window. And that there were not one, but two tabs for tradeskills. Since these are two very different critters, let me cover them one by one. (The green boxes with exclamation points show you where you have unspent points - don't forget to respend your tradeskill points before you start your expansion crafting!)
These are your old friends, the tradeskill AAs - with a twist! These no longer come out of your adventuring AA pool. Instead, you will get one point to spend in this tree every 20% of a crafting level from level 10 to level 18. (This makes a total of 40 points to spend.) Yep, you can fill out this entire tree before you even hit level 20 as a crafter.
I am not going into any more detail on this, as you can already see the different abilities when you are in-game ... and there are things coming up that will need a lot more explanation!
Get ready for ...
You will earn one tradeskill prestige point for every 20% of a crafting level from 90 to 95. (So level 92 crafters can expect to log in and have 10 tradeskill prestige points to play with.) Since this adds up to 25 points total, and there are spending requirements to get down a full tree, you can expect to be able to have enough points to fill in a tree enough to put 5 points into an endline, with 5 points left over. Decisions, decisions!
A. Seasoned Harvesting This ability not only grants you an increased chance to harvest rares, but grants you a track harvest ability, which can lead you to nearby nodes. You can spend up to 5 points in this ability, and each point increases your rare harvest chance by 1%, and reduces the cooldown on the track harvest ability. (The ability starts with a 2 minute cooldown at the first rank.) You must spend at least 3 points in this ability in order to unlock the next row in this tree.
B. Summon Artisan's Gathering Goblin Think "pack pony with rare mojo" and you're on the right track. This goblin can be sent out to harvest a specific tier, and has a chance to bring back rares as well. While the goblin itself can harvest in 2 hours, the cooldown on this ability starts at 12 hours for the first rank, drops to 9 hours for the second rank, 6 hours for rank 3, 3 hours for rank 4, and has an instant recast for rank 5. (You have to wait at least 2 hours after sending him out to collect the resources, but the instant recast lets you pull him out at will if you want him to follow you around for a while.) If you aren't likely to check it more than once or twice a day, you might not want to spend a full 5 points here if you are going down this tree.
C. Summon Crafting Stations If you are a die-hard crafter, you sometimes end up in odd spots and "just" need to run through a single combine or two. If you are prone to forgetting your tinkered portable crafting stations, this ability may be something you want to look at. However, be aware that the recast times are similar to the gathering goblin, so 1 rank in it will only let you summon a table once every 12 hours. (Then 9, 6, 3,and instant recast.) Whichever table you summon will last 10 minutes.
D. Salvage In order to unlock Salvage, you have to have spent three points in either Summon Crafting Stations or Summon Artisan's Gathering Goblin. This ability will allow you to break down gear into resources, with better gear giving you better resources. (If the numbers stay as they were in beta, Treasured gear is likely to give you 1, 2 or 5 common resources back; Legendary is likely to give you 20 common or 1 rare, with a 50/50 chance or so at which you get; Fabled should give you 1 or 2 rares.) The first rank in this allows you to salvage once an hour, then each additional rank lowers the cooldown by 15 minutes. (1hr/45min/30min/15min/instant)
E. Refining Once you have spent 15 points total in this tree, the refining skill unlocks. There is an extremely slim chance (<1%) that you can refine a common non-food, non-loam resource into one or two purified rares, though the large majority of the time you will only receive vendor-sellable slag. What refining is really meant for, however, is trying to turn your rares into a purer form of the rare. (About a 50% chance at purifying the rare vs a vendor-sellable slag.) The first rank has a cooldown of 1 hour, and each additional rank follows the same cooldown pattern as salvage. (1hr/45min/30min/15min/instant)
So, what is the use of refined materials? If you use a purified rare instead of a normal rare when crafting a gear item (weapon, armor, jewelry), the item will be created with a 10% boost to primary stats and many blue stats. (There are a couple blue stats that cannot be boosted in this manner (such as block chance), and a couple that only get a 5% boost (such as AE autoattack), but for most, it will be 10%.) It also gains a "Refined" tag to help you tell the difference between a normal mastercrafted item, and one that used refined materials.
Since folks keep asking, even though it is specified as "gear item" above: No, using purified rares in furniture does not gain you anything. No, using purified rares in spells does not improve the spell.
Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it?
Of course, along with the lovely extra "oomph" comes a downside. Until there is a broker revamp, you won't be able to search the broker on that refined tag, so your wares will mingle with the "normal" mastercrafted, and folks will have to be more careful about doing mouseovers instead of just a price compare on items with the same name.
There is no F. Mum did an oops and doesn't feel like redoing the lettering right now. :P,
G. Steady Hands This ability increases your durability gain by 1 for each point spent in it. You must spend 3 points in order to unlock the next row of the tree, and you are allowed to spend up to 5 points in it if you desire.
H. Grandmaster's Will More durability gain! Another one that increases by 1 for each point spent, and you can spend up to 5 points in it.
I. Experimental Preservatives You gain a 5% increase in food and drink duration per point spent in this ability, and can spend up to 5 points in it.
J. Innovative Insoles In order to unlock this ability, you must have spent at least 3 points in either Grandmaster's Will or Experimental Preservation. Each rank increases your ground mount and runspeed by 2%, and you can spend up to 5 points in this ability.
K. Experimentation This endline requires that you spend 15 points in the Experimentation tree to unlock it. Each rank allows you to experiment once on a crafted piece of gear (armor, weapons, jewelry). This experimentation allows you to boost specific stats, add a proc or add a decoration. The stats that you can boost are based on the primary and blue stats of the item. There are a LOT of nigglies with this one - To save yourself from costly mistakes you will absolutely want to read this experimentation guide if you are going to be involved in experimentation. For now, know that you're not going to be able to sleepwalk through the crafting process, and that the more you experiment on a single item (you can experiment up to 5 times, if you spend 5 ranks in experimentation), the harder it is to complete the crafting process. (Failure will destroy the item!)
L. Brilliant Techqnique This ability will increase your success chance by 1% per point spent. You can spend up to 5 points in this, and must spend 3 points in order to unlock the next two abilities.
M. Grandmaster's Design This will increase your critical success chance by 1% per point spent, up to 5 points.
N. Artisan's Discipline This will increase your progress gained by 1% per point spent, up to 5 points.
O. Systematic Conservation. This returns some of your build components (aka commons & fuel, not the primary ingredient), with a 4% return per point spent, up to 5 points. This won't be much use with combines that only use a few ingredients, but when you get to mass production, it will be a lovely thing indeed.
P. Mass Production. This allows you to do the equivalent of several combines at once, provided you have enough ingredients and fuel. The first rank allows you to make 5 times as many items at once, the second rank allows you to do 10 times, then 25 times for rank three, then 50 for rank 4, and 100 for rank 5. Note that as far as writs and experience go, these are still treated like one combine. So if you mass produce 25 stacks of arrows at once, you will only get xp as if you made a single stack, and any writ asking for that item will think that you only made 1 of the item. So, this isn't meant as a way to speed-level, or speed-writ, but rather to save you some combine time when you are making tons of food, totems, potions, poisons, ammo and house items, etc.
As with the other endlines, you must spend 15 points in the proper tree in order to unlock this ability.