As an open-world RPG, The Witcher 3 allows you to fill your Mary Poppins-esque pockets and saddlebags full of delicious loot. When traversing the world, you will undoubtedly come across a plethora of swords, armours and animal hides. However, the game also offers players an extensive crafting system that allows the creation of often-superior weapons and armour.
If you don’t know your Dismantling from your Diagrams, here are a few tips that will allow you to master The Witcher 3’s crafting system:
1. Loot: Pick up everything, especially metals
RPG veterans will know that rifling through people’s prized possessions is a staple part of an adventurer’s quest. Already touched upon in our Beginner’s tips, looting as much as you can is imperative. Most weapons and armour that you can craft require rare metals and plate (not the dinner variety). Make sure that you already have the materials you need by looting at every opportunity. The same applies to weapons – although they may be useless to you, you can take them to a Blacksmith or an Armourer to be dismantled later on.
Don’t make the mistake I did and have to go running around the world trying to find that one Meteorite Ore to craft a pair of gloves.
2. Dismantling: Coming away at the seams
Before you go out to search for that one particular material you need to craft a piece of armour, consider that you might already have it. Armourers and Blacksmiths allow you to dismantle all manner of materials into component parts. Need a Monster Brain but only have a Drowner Brain? Flick over to the Dismantle tab at any craftsman and they will able to give you what you need. Obviously remember that once you dismantle an item it cannot be recovered, so make sure that you are happy to lose the item forever.
3. Diagrams: Leonardo da Vinci
Specific items cannot be crafted unless you possess the right Diagram. Throughout the world, you will come across Diagrams for crafting materials, potions, oils, weapons and armour. These are mostly found in chests scattered across the land, although some will come as a reward for certain sidequests. Remember, Diagrams don’t contribute to your carrying weight, so don’t leave one sitting in a chest because you fear that Geralt can’t possible carry another page.
4. Witcher Sets: Witcher Armours are Best Armours
Speaking of Diagrams; Witcher Sets exist, and grant special set bonuses that compliment your build. Are you honing Geralt to become a melee-focused warrior? Keep an eye out for Feline Armour pieces. Are you pooling your ability points into strengthening all of your Signs? The Griffin Armour is for you. Do you want Geralt to become an impenetrable tank? Search for the Ursine armour. Each of these Witcher sets are upgradeable to Enhanced, Superior and Mastercrafted versions that require you to locate individual Diagrams and rare materials for each one.
5. Craftsmen Levels: No level up for you
If you have been lucky enough to come across a rare or powerful Diagram, remember that not all Craftsmen were created equal. Unfortunately, the Dwarven Armourer in White Orchard quickly outlives his usefulness, and you will have to look towards greener pastures. If you come across a Blacksmith or Armourer whose level is too low to craft what you require, try looking in the cities for more skilled workmen. This is important when it comes to Mastercrafted items, as there are only a couple of Mastercrafters in the world, whose services only become available upon completing a quest.