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      A Step-By-Step Guide To 2 Star Crafting by Caimie Tsukino

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      2 star rotations isn't new. There are at least 3 or 4 out there. Yet, many crafters do not understand how to utilize these rotations. They copied down the rotations, and follow straight-up every action listed on the rotation. Well, that is bound to fail frequently. End-game crafting is all about improvising and making decisions on-the-spot. To assist those who have difficulty understanding or executing this, I have created this guide to show how improvising can be done within 2 star rotations to greatly increase HQ-rate.

      In this guide, I have set up 4 different examples. You will notice that although Example 1 & Example 3 are essentially the same rotation (Rath's rotation), the arrangement of actions differ dramatically based on the circumstances. Through these examples, I would like to illustrate what kind of thoughts and calculations go through my mind when I craft, and what "real end-game crafting" is like.


      EXAMPLE 1

      Here, I will be demonstrating "Rath's rotation" (a.k.a. Method 3 in my Heavensward Crafting Guide). The term "Rath's rotation" only refers to the completion method on progress, but how quality is done is totally up to any crafter. Thus, this is my own version of Rath's rotation. I am not saying that this is the best rotation out there, but it's a very simple, secure and effective rotation that even people with minimal stats can employ. Thus, it's very friendly to anyone who just started taking up 2 star crafting.

      Please refer to my Heavensward Crafting Guide for more details of Rath's rotation:
      http://ffxivrealm.com/guides/ff14-advanced-crafting-guide-part-3-heavensward-by-caimie-tsukino.156/

      The summary of how progress is done in Rath's rotation is as below:
      Maker's Mark
      Piece by Piece
      Piece by Piece
      Flawless Syn (spam until 1150 progress is done)
      CS II
      CS II
      CS II

      Below are my carpenter's stats. You may say: "Oh, you're just strong in stats so it's easy for you!" True, stronger stats do make things slightly easier. The rotation only needs 718 craftsmanship (which is the minimal requirement for 2 star crafting) and 454 CP. One will need to reach 1150 progress in the Maker's Mark phase in order to complete the item with 3x CS II. But at 776 craftsmanship, it allows 1 extra failure of Flawless Syn (or 1 extra Trick of Trade!). You can have only 1110 progress, and still complete the item with 3x CS II. So stats do give an advantage, but it is not as important as knowing how to improvise your rotation as I am trying to demonstrate here.

      I have also screenshotted my cross class skills below. As you can see, I have forfeited Reclaim and took up Innovation instead. This adds an extra tool in my arsenal for me to increase my HQ rate, but without Reclaim, I will have no chance to save the item if too many Hasty Touches fail. Thus, I employ Innovation ONLY for crafted mats (like lumbers and ingots), but not final products. For final products, I will remove Innovation, and substitute with Reclaim instead, especially because I usually use as much HQ mats as possible for the final product anyway, so a little less power on the Byregot is ok.

      The food that I'm using here is Seafood Stew HQ, which adds max CP and a great 31 Control.
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      The item I'm making here is Astral Birch Lumber. There's no point of using NQ Birch Lumber or NQ Astral Oil, as those things are very easy to acquire HQ. If you need help crafting those, please refer to my HW Crafting Guide.
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      To start off the rotation, I used:
      Maker's Mark
      Comfort Zone
      Steady Hand
      ...and now I'm ready for Piece by Piece
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      Here, I have finished the 2x PBP and 3x Flawless Syn which were protected under the Steady Hand too. And now I'm ready to spam more Flawless Syn.
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      One Flawless Syn failed, but a Good condition appeared.
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      Because I have over 776 crafts, I just need 1110 progress here. I have room for 3 failed FS's. So I gladly took the Trick. I can still afford one more FS to fail after this.
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      Well, things were lucky. No more FS failed, and I actually made it to 1150 progress.
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      At this point, I renewed the Comfort Zone, and activated Inner Quiet. It is important to remember Inner Quiet here. Even I have a tendency to forget.
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      After this, I set up Steady Hand II and Waste Not, and I'm ready to push Hasty Touches.
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      After 1 Hasty (which failed), a lucky Good appeared. The decision has arrived: Should I take a Trick, or should I use Precise Touch?
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      I took the Precise Touch. This is because I had gained 20 extra CP during the Flawless Syn phase, and also because I just failed a Hasty, so I want to make up that lost IQ stack. If I didn't take any Trick during the MaMa+FS phase, then I would probably have taken a Trick here.
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      After this, we go back to Hasty spam. And as usual, another Hasty failed. Now, notice how we have only 3 steps of Comfort Zone left. If I try to do another Steady Hand + Waste Not phase, then our CZ will be renewed very late.
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      To circumvent with this issue, we now do CS II's as "fillers". I used 2x CS II here to bring durab down to 10, and CZ down to 1 step left.
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      Now, I used Master's Mend II, which added 60 durab, and CZ fell off here.
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      Comfort Zone is then "comfortably" renewed.
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      And I'm ready for another SH II + WN phase. So here it goes...
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      As usual, Hasties are never kind to us. Another Hasty failed out of 4.
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      Here, I renewed the SH II, and pushed 2 more Hasties. Luckily these landed fine. And suddenly, another Good appeared.
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      This is the part which we needed some calculations. I usually bring out my calculator at this point to help. Should I take a Trick or should I use Precise Touch? We now have 67 CP + 8 CP (from the remaining CZ step) = 75 CP. If we used 18 CP on Precise Touch, how many IQ stack will we achieve, and do we still have enough CP for a secure Byregot phase? We were already sitting at IQ9, thus using a Precise Touch would hit IQ11, which is ideal. If I could only reach IQ9 or less after a Precise Touch, then I would have thought twice about it. As for CP, if we use 18 CP here, we will still have 57 CP left, JUST ENOUGH for a Great Strides + Byregot. And after the Precise Touch, we will still have 2 steps of SH II left, JUST ENOUGH for a Great Strides + Byregot. Thus, the decision is clear: Go for Precise Touch!
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      Great Strides + Byregot for the finish! 100% quality reached.
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      Tadaaaa!
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      Some say making 2 star crafted mats are difficult. But with some good stats, and some good improvising, it's really not that hard. As you can see from my inventory, I made 12 of them HQ in a row (including the Adamantite Ingots and the Aurum Regis Ingot). Ok, I have NQ-ed some before, but it's really not frequent. Maybe 1 out of 10 or something.
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      EXAMPLE 2

      In this example, I'll be demonstrating a different rotation that I have invented specially for BSM. This is because BSM lack 1 Cross Class slot to use Rath's rotation while keeping reclaim. As mentioned before, when I crafted final products (for other classes), I ALWAYS keep Reclaim and forfeit Innovation. But as you can see on the cross class panel below, if we have to add Maker's Mark, Flawless Syn and Piece By Piece, then we have no room for Reclaim or Innov at all. Thus, I developed "Method 4" in my crafting guide, which utilizes Muscle Memory and Ingenuity II for progress. This arrangement allows both Reclaim and Innov to be kept, which is wonderful. The rotation does require 734 craftsmanship and 431 CP.

      The summary of progress is as follow:
      MusMem
      Ingen2
      CS II (w Ingen2)
      CS II (w Ingen2)
      CS II (w Ingen2)
      CS II (w Ingen2)
      CS II (w Ingen2)
      CS II

      It does require 7 steps for completion, which is 2 steps more than Rath's rotation. But you will always have both Innov and Reclaim available. My rotation also uses fewer CP than Rath's rotation. Rath's rotation uses Maker's Mark (20 CP), which is usually recovered from a Trick during the string of FS's, then there's a Steady Hand (22 CP) and 2x PBP (30 CP), so it's around 52 CP (sometimes 72 if a Trick is not taken during the Maker's phase). My BSM rotation only needs 6 CP for MusMem and 32 CP for an Ingen2, so only 38 CP needed. I have been using 2x WN in my rotation for quality. But with that extra CP, you can technically use Manipulation, and it'll add another 1 extra touch. Alternatively, use the CP on more Basic/Precise Touches to secure more IQ stack.

      Here is a demonstration of how I utilize my own invention.
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      As usual, I would use as much HQ mats as possible since this is a final product. There's no room for failure (NQ). Reclaim it if necessary.
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      We started off with MusMem.
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      Then I activate CZ and IQ.
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      Now activate Ingen2.
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      ...and push 5x CS II. We cannot take any Trick of Trade here (unless you're over 818 craftsmanship. See my crafting guide for details).
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      MM2 to replenish durab.
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      I got a lucky Trick here.
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      Time to push quality. So here we go with SH II + WN, ready for Hasty spam.
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      We got lucky here. All 4 Hasties landed.
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      Reactivate CZ.
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      Then I was ready for another SH II + WN phase... when a Good suddenly popped after I used SH II.
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      Since I have taken a Trick earlier, I know I have extra CP to spare, so I used a Precise Touch here.
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      Now, I activate WN, and went back to that Hasty spam phase. Notice how we only have 3 steps covered by SH II now because of that Precise Touch earlier.
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      After 3 Hasties, which very luckily all landed, we have 1 step of unprotected WN left.
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      And that's ok, because our durab is at 25, which is equal to 30. So I IGNORED the last step of WN, and went ahead to renew my Steady hand II. We're equal to having 30 durab at this point. Again, this is the moment when I used my calculator. We have 75 CP + 24 CP from remaining CZ steps (but requires 3 more steps) = 99 CP. If we use 18 CP on Basic Touch here, we will have 81 CP left, and 4 steps of SH II left. We will then reach IQ11. The minimum Byregot finsher (Great Strides + Byregot) is 56 CP. 81 - 56 = 25 CP. That means we can still use Innovation. Ideally, the best way would be:
      Innovation (18 CP)
      Basic Touch (18 CP and reach IQ11)
      Great Strides (32 CP)
      Byregot (24 CP)
      ... the 3 steps before the Byregot would be just enough to recover all 24 CP from the remaining steps of CZ.
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      Even if we were sitting at IQ10, this would have been sufficient to HQ the item due to the use of Innovation.
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      EXAMPLE 3

      In following example, I will demonstrate what I will do when I don't get any Trick of Trade during the beginning phase of MaMa+FS in Rath's rotation.

      Below is the situation... I have already gone though MaMa, CZ, PBPx2, and a string of FS's until CZ has fallen off already. Yet, I still haven't got any "Good". Luckily all FS's landed ok. Thus, I decided to renew my Comfort Zone earlier here, before the last few FS's were done!
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      Since I renewed my my CZ earlier this time, after I finished all the remaining FS's, I am already having only 7 steps of CZ left (which is good, I can get more CP returned earlier).
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      Then I set up my SH II + WN, getting ready for Hasty spam. Notice how this time, my CZ's remaining steps aligned perfectly with SH II and WN steps.
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      After 4 Hasties, which all luckily landed, CZ is finished too!
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      So I renewed the CZ, and since we don't need those CS II fillers here, I was going to use SH II + WN for another Hasty spamming phase. But when I used SH II, a Good appeared.
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      Now since I DID NOT take any Trick at all in my MaMa phase, it's important NOT to use Precise Touch here, but to actually take in more CP. So I used Trick of Trade.
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      Now I used Waste Not, and notice how I only have 3 steps covered by SH II.
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      After 3 successful Hasties, I now have 1 step of WN left unprotected. This is the perfect time for a filler CS II.
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      So CS II it is to bring durab down to 10. Then I used Master's Mend 2 to recover my durab back to max of 70.
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      I renewed my SH II, and then went Hasty spam 3x, and they all landed fine. At IQ11, and with 93 CP left, it doesn't matter what I do anymore, it's gonna HQ anyway with a GS + Byregot. Just keep in mind that since we only used 1x CS so far, we need 20 durab for completion. So Byregot MUST be used at 30 durab.
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      EXAMPLE 4

      In this example, I will demonstrate what goes through my head near the critical finisher Byregot phase of an item, and how I managed to fully utilize my CP.

      Here, we have an Astral Birch Lumber, which I made my way to IQ9 after some Hasty failures. I have 25 durab left, which means I can do only 1 more touch before the Byregot. It is quite essential that I land the following touch successfully if I want to HQ this item with good HQ rate.
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      Now you see the famous "Caimie's Calculator" on my PC that I described so many times. This little boy is essential to my crafting, and has helped me countless times. First, we find out how many CP we got, so it's a easy 107+8 = 115 CP total. GS+Byregot requires 56 CP, and 1 extra Basic Touch (to secure that IQ10) requires 18 CP. We do need 25 CP for SH II as well. We would end up having a wasteful 16 CP... that I cannot utilize for an extra Innovation.

      The most straight forward logic would be to substitute the Basic Touch with a Standard Touch (which requires 14 CP). That will be the most secure method of utilizing the remaining CP. But heck, for the sake of demonstration, I decided to go a different route... Since I am only lacking 2 CP, I decided to "steal" it from SH II, and use SH instead.
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      So here I went with SH, Innovation...
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      Then a Basic Touch at 90% success rate.
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      And then wrapped up with GS + Byregot under the power of Innovation and IQ10.
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      Obviously that's plenty of power to shoot us all the way to 100%.
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      In this example, it seems rather risky and unnecessary to use SH, Innov, Basic T, GS, Byregot this way. A straight up SH, Standard T, GS, Byregot would have been the safest thing to do. But let's assume we have only IQ7 instead of IQ9 in the first pictures, then my bizarre arrangement here may provide that extra quality needed to HQ this item. Because we know a naked GS+Byregot (without Innov) at IQ8 is definitely not enough to reach over the 70% HQ rate threshold. Thus, an Innov-buffed Basic Touch + an Innov-buffed GS+Byregot may be the key to HQ the item.


      Remarks:
      This example also demonstrates why I now regretted acquiring my one and only one i180 mainhand tool (only my CRP took the i180 tool). Yes, it has very impressive stats without the need of overmelding, but it just doesn't provide me with that extra 4 CP like an HQ i170 mainhand tool, that could be critical sometimes.
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      In this guide, I used a few HQ mats to craft those Astral Lumbers. You may say I'm "cheating" a bit. I notice that for GSM, it's a bit harder to acquire that much HQ mats. So the initial quality will be lower. However, if you follow the methods I showed above, then there should be no problem HQ-ing Aurum Regis Ingots even from near-zero initial quality.


      Epilogue

      When I craft something difficult, I always have a calculator right next to me. It’s very important towards the end of a rotation that we try to maximize our remaining CP.

      Is there enough CP for multiple Basic Touches (which will greatly increase fidelity), and still enough for Great Strides+ Byregot?

      Is IQ really low, but enough durab and enough CP to add an extra (3rd) Waste Not phase for 2 extra touches? What cross class skills are at your disposal? If you have both Innov and Ingen2, perhaps instead of pushing a few more extra risky Hasty Touches, it would be better off to use Innov to just buff up 1x Basic Touch and the Byregot?

      Is IQ so low, that you should gamble with further durab recovery, leaving yourself only 56 CP for an unprotected Great Strides + Byregot? Or is Reclaim a better decision?

      One must also take into account the remaining steps of Comfort Zone and even the remaining steps of Steady Hand II which can vary from time to time. Is it worth for me to push 2x Hasty Touches, and then set up a new Steady Hand + Great Strides + Innov + Byregot, or is it better for me to just use Basic Touch x2 and then immediately Great Strides + Byregot while SH II is still active? I would think the latter might be a better choice, since it’s more secure, as long as the IQ stack is sufficient.

      When calculating CP, not only does one must take into account those 8 CP per upcoming steps of the Comfort Zone stack, but one must be also sure that there are enough steps to retrieve those CP before the Byregot.

      End-game crafting is WAYYY more than just following someone else’s rotation. It’s a lot of on-the-spot decision-making with taking Tricks vs Precise Touches, a lot of thoughts/ideas on how to modify rotation to accommodate those Tricks / Precise Touches, a lot of estimation on how many IQ stack you can reach at the end and decide if it’s sufficient based on experience, a lot of calculations near the end to plan a brand new finisher Byregot phase base on how many IQ stack, how many CP and how many steps you have left. These are only some of the major factors that contribute to a “good crafter”!

      “Observe, calculate, and decide” (and good luck too!)

      Of course, the best crafters will just simply invent rotations that are even better than the ones they read about… They pioneer. They explore. They perform experiments to test new methods. They investigate possibilities. Every time they acquired stronger stats, they revise their rotations to see if improvements can be made.

      I will be retiring from the game permanently in mid-December due to new job, new schedules, new home, and possibly new family planning. This is perhaps my final contribution to the crafting community. I shall finish this with the same sentence I started off in my first crafting guide 1.5 years ago. Always remember: “The best crafter is not the one with the best stats, but the one who makes the best use of one’s stats”!

      With love,
      Caimie


      Acknowledgement

      Thanks to my gaming partner, Valestia Tsukino, for bearing with me and playing games with me for over 2 years. Thanks to my in-game husband, Kumiko Hirasara, for being the most wonderful in-game husband ever, always so loving and caring, and able to harbor my sometimes-uneasy personality with so much patience. Thanks to Raven Karasu for always being so supportive with everything. Thanks to Panderin Venture and Daddy Levels for being wonderful crafting buddies, and Panda for introducing me to Rath's rotation in the first place, and Daddy for all the help with raiding. Thanks to Lukah Killu and Elaine Strachan for always offering help to AoT members, and help make our FC a wonderful place. With them taking part in the management of AoT, I am positive our FC will continue to grow and flourish.
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