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Beginner’s Guide to Apothecary

November 24, 2009

The next in my series of “Beginner’s Guides” for WAR:  Apothecary.

This Crafting Profession has been a favorite for a lot of people ever since its revamp which included the addition of Hybrid Potions at Rank 40.  Lately, with Butchering’s changes, it’s become more popular than ever.

Enjoy!

~Gaar

Quick Explanation of Crafting in WAR

WAR has a two-stage crafting system.  The first stage is handled through a “gathering” profession and the second stage is the actual “crafting” profession.

Here’s the rundown:

Apothecary – Crafting Profession – Makes potions with various temporary effects.

  • Butchering – Gathering Profession – Harvests monsters for items to use in making potions.
  • Cultivation – Gathering Profession – Grows plants and fungi to use in making potions.

Talisman Making – Crafting Profession – Makes talismans that can be added to worn items to boost stats.

  • Magical Salvaging – Gathering Profession – Deconstructs items for the parts to use in making talismans.
  • Scavenging – Gathering Profession – Harvests players/NPCs for items to use in making talismans.

At the time this guide was created, all Gathering professions were viable for use in each of their respective Crafting professions.  However, each Crafting profession has its own pros and cons, as does each gathering profession.  It is best to understand those pros/cons before selecting your professions, however you are able to change both your Crafting and Gathering profession at any time (however at the loss of all progress).

Crafting Storage

Most of the items you will use in your crafting will be tradeable, thus can be stored not just in your own inventory, but also your Personal Bank Vault and your Guild Bank Vault.  The exception to this rule currently are the Hybrid Seeds that are looted in Tier 4.

You have two options now for storing them in your personal inventory though.  Crafting items will automatically (upon purchase/loot) go to your Crafting Item Inventory.  This is the third tab of your Backpack as shown in the picture below.

This special inventory space starts with only one bag, but you gain more bags by leveling your crafting professions.  You gain a new bag for each 100 points you earn in each profession, giving you a total of five bags when you’re done.

If you run out of space here, items will start to automatically go into your regular inventory.  Items can be moved back and forth between the two types of personal storage areas by right-clicking on them.

Finally, no discussion of Crafting Storage would be complete without mentioning the Mail System.  :p

All tradeable items can be sent back and forth between alts (alternate characters on your account) and friends, then left in your mailbox unopened for a good deal of time.  Proper mailbox use can extend your personal storage space for tradeable items infinitely.

Selecting your Crafting and Gathering Professions

As a new player, your first exposure to Crafting trainers comes in Chapter 2 of the WAR Story.  (The PvE towns in WAR are designated as Chapters and the PvE road moves you through these Chapters in sequential order.)  If you are on a Trial Account, this is the only place you can learn these professions.

Those players with subscriptions to WAR can also train in their Capital City (Altdorf or the Inevitible City).

It costs no money to train or re-train a Crafting profession.  You can change your profession at any time, however you will lose all progress you have made in that profession.

The Apothecary, Cultivator and Hedge Wizard (Talisman Making) trainers also are Merchants selling items for their respective craft.

Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to level your profession(s).  For the sake of this guide, let’s assume you’ve made Apothecary your Crafting profession.

Apothecary Overview

Apothecary is all about making potions, potions and more…dyes.  Go figure.  😉

Of the two full Crafting professions, Apothecary is the one with the most “wiggle room”.  In other words, there isn’t just one way to make things.  Yes, only certain ingredients make the potions you want.  However, the additives you use can vary from things that make  you more potions with each craft to things that make the duration on potions longer.  Because of this, you have the freedom to make potions that fit you and the way you play.  (Granted, some additives are almost required for certain potions to maximize their effects.)

As you can tell from my first sentence, Apothecary is the “bulk” crafting profession.  Not only do you need to make lots of potions just to use, but you need to go through lots of crafting sessions just to get the lucky rolls to get the good potions as well.  It’s not uncommon to sit down with a couple hundred ingredients and knock out a bunch of potions all at once just to get 30-40 of the ones you really want to use and toss the rest on the Auction House cheap or just Merchant them.

Once you get to end-game Apothecary, you’ll want to hunt down the rare ingredients for Liniments.  These Hybrid potions are must-haves for Potion Makers.  This can take quite a bit of effort, but is worth it in the end.

Compared to Talisman Making, there is a lot more work involved, however because of the usefulness of potions and their limited nature, it’s well worth the effort.

Must-Have Addons for Apothecary

There really is only one Addon you need to have for Apothecary:  Crafting Info Tooltip.

To be honest, it’s a must-have for all Crafting/Gathering professions.  It’s just that good.

Why?  Because it shows you the “hidden” crafting information for each item when you hover over them in your inventory.  This is invaluable information for all crafters, especially when you want to make very specific things and at maximum potency.  Understanding the information it provides is the key to being a great crafter.

Go to Curse.com and do a search for this Addon and download it.  I prefer to manually install all my Addons.  It’s not difficult.  However, if you’d rather not, you can use the Curse Client instead.  (I’m not a fan as it’s always had issues on Patch Day when the new versions of addons come out and the old ones don’t always work.)

Note:  Some people like to use another Addon that is supposed to do a lot of the work for you when making Potions, however once you understand the math behind Apothecary, there really is no need for any additional Addon beyond Crafting Info Tooltip.

Leveling Apothecary

While I usually recommend just buying your ingredients to level the first 25 points in these professions, with Apothecary I don’t.  For one, it’s a lot more expensive to do than with the other professions.  The main reason though, is that you should be leveling either Butchering or Cultivation at the same time so you should have loads of free ingredients to use to level with.

What you do need to buy right away is at least one stack of 20 Apprentice’s Glass Vials.  Grab 40 if you can afford it.  You’ll need these while out running around so you can level your skill as you go instead of stocking up on ingredients and then doing it all at once which can just crowd your inventory at lower levels.

Just as with Talisman Making, the skill level of your Main Ingredient is what determines your ability to raise your skill with each craft.  (ie:  Once you hit skill 25, you need to use level 25 ingredients to continue leveling quickly.)

Once you have your Vials, open up the Abilities window and click on the General tab on the far right.  Drag the Apothecary icon to your toolbar.  Click the icon on your toolbar to open your Crafting Window.

Kinda empty, huh?  Open your Crafting Inventory and right-click on a Vial to load it into the window.

Now you’re ready to start.

The top-left slot is for your Main Ingredient.  You can simply right-click it in your Crafting Inventory to load it into the window.  The bottom three slots are for your additives.  These are primarily going to be taken up with Stabilizers in the beginning, however later you’ll also want to include things like Extenders and Duration modifiers.  More on those later.

Once you have added your Vial and your Main Ingredient, you will want to add a couple Stabilizers (these are prevalent in both Gathering professions or you can buy Water off the Merchant) until the Stability bar on the top right is all the way up in the green.  Once it is, hit the Brew! button.

You can continue leveling your skill in this manner by making “junk” potions until you hit 200 skill.  However, since you’re probably also leveling your character as well, you might as well learn to do it right and make things you’ll actually use in combat.  Use your “junk” ingredients to grind regular potions with and use your better ingredients (ie: additives) for the ones you want to use for yourself.  By leveling in this manner, you’ll always stay stocked with helpful potions, as any good Apothecary should!

Note:  If you have lots of higher-level ingredients, you can use the Apothecary skill potion (Alchemist Tonic) to boost your skill by 25 points for 30 minutes.  You can even make your own if you’re in a guild with access to the Guild Hall Merchant once you’re skill 50.  The item you use as the Main Ingredient is called Aggregate Compound and costs 1 gold.

Second Note:  You can also craft these items to help level with and sell the resulting Potion on the Auction House if there’s a market for that on your server.  There is also a level 100 ingredient called Revivification Compound that makes a Resuscitation Potion that is usually in fair demand, although the ingredient alone costs 15 gold.  I would save this for end-game crafting when you can make multiple for each ingredient due to the cost.

The Four Categories of Potions

While certain potions override others when you use them, there are four general categories of potions that can be used with each other since they don’t override the other or trigger a reuse timer.

  • Insta-use Potions – Heals, Energy and Damage Absorb/Shield potions fall into this category.
  • Stat Potions – Basic stats like Strength and Willpower, as well as the Hybrid Liniments, fall into this category.
  • Defensive Potions – Things like Armor, Thorn and Resist potions fall into this category.
  • Combat Potions – Molotov, Flame Breath and other combat potions all fall into this category.

Keeping this in mind, a skilled Apothecary can keep themselves and their friends outfitted with a full complement of potions to help them achieve victory in battle.  (For example, as a Tank in RvR at Rank 40, I like to use a Liniment and a Resist potion while also having both types of Heal potions ready and a Napalm potion for fun.)

Basic Potion-making Information

Once you have a bit of practice under your belt and are familiar with how Apothecary works in regards to making a stable potion, it’s time to try your hand at making potions you can actually use as opposed to just leveling.

With six different items that can be combined in various ways, this is where Apothecary becomes more complex than Talisman Making.

First off, when making potions for actual use, Vials matter.  Using the highest level Vial you’re qualified for is a must in these cases.  As they go up in level, they add both Stability and Power which are two very important factors in making good potions.

Second comes the Main Ingredient.  You will want to pay special attention to the level of the ingredient you’re using and the Power it is going to provide your potion, as well as its Stability rating.  The total Power of your potion is going to determine the Rank of player that can use it as well as how strong it will be.

Next come the four different types of additives for your potions:  Stabilizers, Extenders, Multipliers and Stimulants.

Stabilizers do just what they say, they stabilize your potion so it will be successful.  These are required in nearly all potions you will make, so get familiar with the different kinds available to you.  (Currently Cultivation provides the best Stabilizer in the game: Goldweed.  This Stabilizer not only acts as its namesake but also adds a Multiplier to the potion.)

Extenders increase the duration of the effect the potion will have.  Maximizing duration is great for things like basic stat potions, Heal over Time potions and others.  However, they are completely unnecessary on things like Direct Heal potions or Energy potions.

Multipliers do just what they say, they multiply the number of potions you get from each crafting attempt.  These are great for things like Direct Heal potions where you want to make lots of them all at once.  (Currently Butchering has the best Multiplier in the game.  It allows you to make six potions with each crafting attempt.)

Finally, Stimulants increase the chance of you making a better potion.  Every crafting attempt you make has a chance to “crit” and create something better than the basic potion.  Using these ups your chances of that happening.  (That being said, it’s rarely a viable additive in the long run.  Extenders are much more desirable for potions that you want to last and Multipliers end up providing you with more of the potions when they do “crit” so there really is no reason to use Stimulants often.)

Armed with this information, you should be able to experiment with various combinations and create some very useful potions for yourself and your friends.

For more in-depth information to assist you in crafting usable potions while leveling, check out this guide by Irinia.  While some of the information is outdated, a lot of the basic information about how Power, Stability and Multipliers work should still be accurate.

Making Dyes

You didn’t think all Apothecaries did was make Potions did you?  😉

Both Cultivation and Butchering provide Pigments that can be used to craft Dyes by an Apothecary.  Here’s how it works.

Once you have a Pigment from your Gathering profession, you’ll need to go buy both a “Wooden Mortar and Pestle” and an “Alum Root Extract” from the Merchant.  These are both required to make Dyes and do not come from anywhere but the Merchant.

Open your Crafting Window and right-click the Mortar and Pestle to load it in.  This creates a new Dye-making version of the Apothecary window.

Once loaded, right-click the Pigment you want to turn into a Dye, then right-click the Alum Root Extract.  Once you have all three ingredients in, hit Brew! to make your new Dye.

Note:  Cultivation’s Pigments are tied to the level of the seeds as well as specific seeds once you’re using skill 200 seeds.  Butchering currently just drops the various Pigments at random, regardless of your skill level.

Advanced Apothecary

Once you’ve leveled your Apothecary skill to 200, you’re ready to learn more!

The best thing to do is to go to the following web sites and read up on the information they have to offer.  They are also places you can ask for more information on things that you aren’t sure about.

Also, don’t forget to use your in-game Advice channel as well!

Official Forums for Apothecary

Warhammer Alliance Forums for Apothecary

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ambrosios permalink
    November 24, 2009 3:23 pm

    Very nice guide, I’d just add three things:

    1) Another required add-on is “Motion”. Why? Because it allows you to queue potions. Once you have finished leveling, you will want to mass-produce multiple stacks of potions and with the standard interface, you have to click the repeat button every time. With Motion, you can just say: “repeat this recipe 40 times”, click one button and come back 2 minutes later when it’s all done.

    2) I don’t agree that vials matter. The only time I use anything else than the cheapest vial is to make potions from lvl 200 ingredients (because two stabilizers aren’t enough to stabilize it, but two stabilizers + a lvl 150 vial are, which leaves the last spot for a duration enhancer, multiplier or stimulant). For anything else, I just use the cheapest vial and good stabilizers.

    3) A quick list for what character level is needed to use a potion created from what level of main ingredient. (Actually, the character level depends on the power, which depends on the main ingredient, the vial and, possibly, whether you crit. This list is for uncritted potions using the cheapest vial.)

    lvl 1 main ingredient -> potion for a lvl 5 character
    25 -> 10
    50 -> 15
    75 -> 20
    100 -> 25
    125 -> 30
    150 -> 32
    175 -> 35
    200 -> 38

Trackbacks

  1. Beginner’s Guide to Talisman Making « Gaarawarr Gabs
  2. Beginner’s Guide to Butchering « Gaarawarr Gabs
  3. Beginner’s Guide to Scavenging « Gaarawarr Gabs

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