Manufacturing equipment for your Leader can give you useful boosts for both combat (like Infantry, Cavalry and Range Attack), economy (like Food Production increase) and development (like Construction and Research Speed). This guides explains the basics of manufacturing equipment.
In the Workshop there is a possibility to Manufacture Equipment. There is a large list of recipes for Helmets, Armor, Legs, Main-Hand, Off-Hand and Accessories. You can select the All Equipment option to select all possible recipes for an equipment slot. There is also an options to select the available equipment associated with a special event (via Event Equipment). To be able to manufacture equipment you need to have at least the required amount of each of the materials (but it is good to be careful with manufacturing equipment with materials of mixed quality, more about that below), a required amount of gold and a minimum required level for your Leader. Manufacturing does not happen instantaneous and the more expensive gear can take quite some time. You see the time required in the screen just before you start the manufacturing process. By default the highest quality of each of the required materials is used, if you want to change this to a lower level (e.g. when you want to manufacture an all blue gear and not waste one golden material) you can also change the materials in this final screen before starting the manufacturing process.
Equipment gives you boosts. Your leader needs to be equipped with gear for the corresponding boosts to work. When exactly the leader should be equipped with the gear depends on the type of boost. For Research, Construction, Troop Training, Trap Training, Manufacturing the leader should be equipped with the corresponding gear at the moment you start the activity. Afterwards you can change your Leader's gear. For combat, troop load, gathering boosts the Leader should be equipped with gear during the activity. One example where this could go wrong is when players gathering on a resource tile with their Leader (which I personally do not do because he can easily be taken) later change their Leader's gear, which potentially results in resource tiles not being depleted. The boosts of Leader skill points work in the same way.
Beginners sometimes make the mistake of working on only one gear set that they use for various activities, but you should have a specialized gear set for each activity. The minimum you need is a gear set for Research, a set for Construction and one (defensive) Combat gear set. Later you will likely work on gear sets for each attacking Combat type (i.e. Infantry attack set, Ranged attack set, Cavalry attack set). In the Data menu there is a Boost Types overview that gives a set of best and available gear for each boost type, useful when deciding on specific equipment you want to manufacture. There is also a Gear overview with all available gear including pre composed gear sets for a number of activities.
Often you not only change your equipment but also respecify your Leader Skill points before an activity. It is important you make an effort to get maximum boost for each activity, whether that is Research or Infantry Attack.
There is equipment just based on standard materials and gear that is based on materials from events. In general the boosts from the standard materials equipment are less than the boosts from event materials equipment, but the materials from special events are also harder to come by (more about that below) and you also often require a lot more. From this point of view when starting to play it can still be useful to first make equipment from the standard materials for research, construction and combat, and afterwards start working on better equipment for each category from the event materials.
The standard materials are relatively easy to come by, via gathering, from the Admin and Guild Quests, and from Material Chests that you can get in various ways. For Event specific materials you need to focus on hitting and killing the corresponding monsters, or look at opportunities to get the event specific chests.
There are five quality levels, indicated by colors, the same for materials and equipment. If you use all materials of the same quality level you are guaranteed you also get the equipment of that quality level, if you use materials of mixed quality levels the game indicates a chance (e.g. 70% purple, 30% gold) you will get a piece of certain quality level. In the Workshop you can fuse materials (4 of one level to 1 of one level higher). If you have plenty of materials you might fuse them to gold, but I find it better to only combine to blue or purple first and only if I know I am going to craft certain gear possibly combine the required materials higher. My motivation is that in some situations I will not be able to manufacture with all gold materials, and I typically prefer to craft with all purple, rather than 3 purple and one gold.
Two of the more difficult decisions when manufacturing equipment is whether to wait until you have enough of the quality level 5 or gold materials to craft with all gold materials, and if you do not, whether to gamble or for example craft with all purple, or blue materials.
There is no one answer that fits all situations. I tend to look a several of the following factors in deciding what to do.
How fast does the boost of the gear decline with declining quality level. In most cases blue will already have less than half of the gold boosts, which is quite a steep decline, so crafting blue equipment might not make much sense, but maybe there are situations where you can either craft 3 purple accessories or one gold, and boost wise it can be better to go for the three purple ones.
The necessity to have gear. Since you are likely nonstop researching and constructing, having good research and construction boosts is giving great benefit early on. If I do not have any gear for an activity, I am more likely to settle for lower quality first. Similar as with construction and research you need at least one good combat set and it is better to how something of lower quality than nothing at all.
I do not often gamble when manufacturing in this game. The situation in which I do gamble is if I have decided not to wait for gold for one of the above reasons and I have a large amount of gold materials of one or two, but obviously not all, of the required materials. In this case I tend to do use the gold as I see it as a cheap way to have a chance of having gold gear. I use a material I have a lot of to compensate for the fact I have not much of another material.
After forging equipment, do not forget about the jewels. They can really give significant extra boosts for combat compared to the equipment itself.
There are two common mistakes that are being made, which can both prove very costly, as materials are in general difficult to come by, so expensive to waste.
One mistake is making what you currently can make instead of planning to make what you really need. Often it is better to wait until your leader level is higher (a lot of the good equipment is only available for commander level 40 or even higher), you have more materials or you have more gold.
Another mistake is not paying attention to material levels. Players manufacture something with a mix of lvl 1 to lvl 4 or even 5 or 6 mats and end up with useless piece of lvl 1 gear. Manufacturing anything of mixed quality level materials should be a very conscious choice.
I hope the above gives you some guidelines what to manufacture and when to manufacture or wait for better materials. If you have any questions or tips to share, let us know.
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