Anarchy Online's designers and developers certainly haven't and continue not to hold back when it comes to possibilities with tradeskilling. To say that there are a lot of items that are involved in tradeskilling or are productions of a tradeskill process really is a drastic understatement and you can see that for yourself by looking into the tradeskills guides within the knowledge section of this site.
What is tradeskilling?
Well, tradeskilling involves certain skills to be used alongside tools and certain items to create something really fantastic and wonderful.. usually!
What are tradeskills?
All of your tradeskills can be found in the Trade and Repair tab of your skills user interface:
All of the skills are dependant on Intellegence and at least one other basic ability. Depending on your profession and breed, allocating Improvement Points (IP) into these skills can differ in "cost".
Can I Tradeskill?
Some professions are "made" for tradeskilling, by this I mean that they have a lot of items that can be used to increase tradeskill skills, they have good bonuses in armour that is specific for them and to spend Improvement Points on tradeskills isnt as costly as for professions that are not "made" for Tradeskilling.
The professions that have a good toolset when it comes to tradeskilling in particular are Engineers and Traders. However there are quite a few professions that have a particular tradeskill they are good with. For example, Meta-Physicists and Nanotechnicians with their Nano Programming, Fixers with Break and Entry skill, Doctors with PhamaTech.
Just because you aren't a profession that is potentially "made" for tradeskilling does not mean you cannot tradeskill - but it isnt highly adviseable, mainly due to the fact that to get anywhere in AO, you have to grow your character, and this doesn't come by tradeskilling alone. Due to this, wasting IP in areas where it can be avoided, should be avoided.
Which Tradeskills are the most useful?
Usefulness depends on your criteria on the whole. What do you want to make? Many tradeskillers start out making implants or perhaps a set of Carbonum Armor. So, at a low level as a tradeskiller, think about what you want to do with your skills and then, as you grow and develop and inturn gain more IP - perhaps raise other skills too depending on what you want to make.
How can I tradeskill?
Using the tradeskill interface, tradeskilling becomes on the whole quite logical!
There are two ways you can tradeskill items in AO. You can either combine items using the tradeskill window or by combining the two items directly in your inventory.
You can open the tradeskill window by either pressing SHIFT-T or by the buttons on your user interface.
When you have the window open, you will see that by inserting two items will either show you what you can create with those two items or show you that there are no possible combinations. It is also in this window where you will see skills required to complete your tradeskill step.
Alternatively, you can combine two items together directly by first picking up an item by selecting using a left-click, then shift-right-click on a second item. Note that you cannot combine two items that are inside a backpack or other container. You can only combine items in your main inventory.
There are a couple of things to be careful of.
First, the order of the objects matter. Regardless of whether you are using the tradeskill window or combining directly in your inventory using shift-right-clicking, to order matters. If you pick up the wrong first object or put it into the first spot in the tradeskill window you might get an error indicating that the combination is impossible, or worse yet, you get the wrong item.
Second, the result of the combination will always go into your main inventory. If you do not have enough free slots in your inventory to old the resulting item or items, the product(s) will be put into your "overflow" inventory. You must retrieve items from your overflow inventory before you zone, or those items will be lost.
Finally, in some cases if you have sufficiently high tradeskills, sometimes the quality of the result will be slightly higher than the raw materials. If you or your client requires the product to be a specific quality, then you should not use the direct combination method of tradeskilling, as that will always allow the product to "bump" up to the highest possible quality that your tradeskills would allow. In the 18.4.0 patch, there is now a slider in the tradeskill window that will allow you to select between the minimum quality that the raw materials will create up through the maximum quality that your tradeskills would bump the item, thus allowing the tradeskiller control over the quality of the product.
Where can I get the parts I need?
Finding the components for tradeskilling can be very easy, to moderately time consuming, to needing a whole army (ok.. ok.. a team or two and some luck) to find the parts you need.
The easiest parts to get your hands on are those that are sold within tradeskill departments in shops. Moderate difficulty is when you just need to go out "into the field" and gather items. The most difficult are those in areas you need a certain amout of skill in.
Most tradeskill items, where to find them and the processes you will need to undertake are listed in our knowledge section.
Can't I ask someone else to tradeskill for me?
In most cases, yes, you can! As long as the end product doesn't end up with a NODROP tag then there is no reason why you cannot ask someone else to help you.
Asking someone else to help you though, especially with some tradeskilling combinations can be an incredibly lengthy process, for other occasions, the amount of time a tradeskiller even at level 220 would have to also invest into swopping equipment or even putting in a different implant to get the skill required should not go unnoticed.
Friends and guild mates will often do tradeskilling for free, giving them cake, cookies, or free buffs / help in return I am sure would not go unappreciated. However, should you ask someone you don't know very well for help tradeskilling, then there are a few curteous things you can do in return - as well as saying please, and thank you!!
If you have a lengthy set of combines to do, for example a set of implants. Help the tradeskiller by separating out the implants with their relevant clusters.
It is also important to note that in cases such as implants, if a tradeskiller has skills much higher than those actually required then the QL of the implant may raise by 1 or 2. (See above, regarding the use of the quality slider in the tradeskill window.) In addition, Infused Yutto NCU or AI yalms, will be created in QL range according to skill of builder.
What is also a nice thing to do is to offer the tradeskiller a tip. To start describing this area in any detail - well I would just be recovering discussions and information that is readily available else where. A great thread to use as a guideline to tipping or charging depending on whether you are the tradeskiller or someone needing tradeskilling done is Bereal's Pricing for Tradeskills v3.0 .