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[Tinkering] Moff Tarkin's Tinker FAQ (updated 12 September 2008 by Basara)

Moff Tarkin

Lore Keeper
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend

2003 Version by Moff Tarkin, drawing on
Kofu's Tinker FAQ
MinostheMiner's Tinker FAQ

2008 Revision by Basara. Please direct all updates, corrections and additions to Basara, or another current moderator of the Craftsman Forum. Note that several sections of the original document were removed due to obselescence or repetitiveness.

Minor update 12/2021: adding an optional means of training up to 50, using wood instead of ingots.

Contents of section 1 (general Tinkering data)
  1. I'm at XX.X% Tinkering. What do I make to gain skill?
  2. Does a GM marked tool have more uses than an exceptional one?
  3. How many ingots from 90 to GM?
  4. What are the skill requirements for making items?
  5. Why should I become a GM Tinker?
  6. What happens when I use coloured ingots while Tinkering?
  7. How much longer does an Exceptional tool last?
  8. How do I make a potion keg?
  9. How do I make a Golem?
  10. Which items sell best?
Section 2 will follow shortly, with information such as more detailed versions of the Tinkering crafted artifacts & magical jewelry.

1.1. I'm at XX.X% Tinkering. What do I make to gain skill?

In practice, the common method was to buy up the skill, make clock parts until you get to 48.5 skill, then start on lockpicks. The clock parts, like lockpicks, only require one ingot apiece. Lockpicks would then take you as far as 96.0 skill, but get very slow at around 90 skill. Somewhere in the 90s, one would then switch to things like Spyglasses, scales, etc.

This was somewhat streamlined and aided by Mondain's Legacy's quests, and the New Character Quests in New Haven (the latter, not an option on Siege Perilous - you'll have to work it up the hard way).

Siege Perilous training is pretty much the same, except you will either train the skill up from 0, or have the base from character creation (blacksmiths start with 30 Tinkering, Tailoring, Blacksmithing and Mining).
If starting with a freshly-created Blacksmith Template, or a custom template with higher skill, on Siege: Skip to Step 3 in the training method below (ignoring references to the quests and their rapid skill gain), and you'll probably be better off going the wood method Alternative listed in Step 3. Plus, since SP is a 1 character per account shard, if you are training a crafter, you're FAR more likely to be training a crafter mule, if you're training a tinker, and those Carpentry tools will probably come in handy.
If adding Tinkering to an existing character on Siege, starting at 0 Skill: Start by making utensils (spoons, etc.) until you get to a skill level where the items in Step 3 of the guide below are more efficient for gains, then switch to them.

For shards other than Siege Perilous, this is probably the optimum means of training the skill:
  1. Go to New Haven Tinker shop, buy the skill as high as it will go (will be 33.3 there -; most other shops will only go to 30.5 or so).
  2. Accept the Tinker accelerated gain quest from Amelia, the guildmaster.
  3. Make clock parts - there is actually another quest giver in the same building that takes clock parts, and gives you tinker tools back as rewards! Accept that quest, and sell off any excess tinker tools that accumulate (as well as the other tinkered items that show up as bonus loot).
    * (Edit 2021) Alternatively, if ingot prices are absurd on your shard (which they get there eventually, until the Devs do something that resets NPCs (happens occasionally, and not always all NPCs at once), you can get a hatchet, and make wood tinker items by chopping your own logs inside New Haven. You get a lot more logs per time invested than you do mining for ingots (not to mention there's no smelting losses), so this is a good option for the frugal tinker. You can make Rolling Pins (Cooking skill tool) and the three Planes (Smoothing, Jointing or Moulding - all Carpentry skill tools). all the way up to the next step (50 is where they all hit 100% success) - and you can either sell the tools, or use them when training those skills.
  4. When you get to 48.5, switch to crafting tinker tools (using the "sold" form of tinker tool), until you hit 50.
  5. Finish the accelerated gain quest, get the reward (a blessed 500 use tinker tools that's reversed), stick that reward into your bank, and head to Heartwood, in the center of Yew.
  6. In Heartwood, go to the trinket weavers turn in 10 crafted tinker kits at a time (they can even be used up ones with only 1 use left) for the "Necessity's Mother" Quest, to get the crafter's satchels. You want to look for 4 recipes in them - Pendant of the Magi, Resilient Bracer, Essence of Battle, and Scrapper's Compendium. The first three are Tinker recipes, and are rare - the last is also rare, and is an inscription recipe that sometimes drops from tinker quests.
  7. Once you get to 60 skill, or when you get the recipes (whichever comes first), switch to lockpicks. Either have a character that can donate to the Britain library, or have someone help your tinker complete the quest (i.e. go get the speckled scorpion poison sacs for you to give to Petrus at that stage of the quest), as the picks can be donated to the library. Stay on those till you hit the 90s.
  8. Now, return to Heartwood. Make the spyglasses ("The Far Eye" quest) or the wind chimes until you hit Grandmaster. The spyglass is a lot cheaper, but the wind chimes are harder, and give a better chance of a gain - if spyglass gains slow, knock out a chime quest or two.
1.2. Does a GM marked tool have more uses than an exceptional one?

Nope, there seems to be no information that proves this theory. However, certain tools with fixed uses (shovel, pickaxe) always get more uses at exceptional quality (be they made by a 80 skill Tinker or a 100 skill tinker) - and when sold, tend almost always be GM-crafted, possibly leading to the misperception of there being a Grandmaster bonus. See a later FAQ entry on exceptional tools.

1.3. How many ingots from 90 to GM?
You will probably need anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 ingots to reach GM. This of course is dependent on what you make and how fast you can make them. If you take your time and use the Guaranteed Gain System to your advantage, you will use far fewer ingots than if you simply power through to GM. as most of the items have negligible sale value, you are probably better off doing things to fill quests & donate to the library, as noted in section 1.1.

1.4. What are the skill requirements for making different items?
For a complete listing of Tinker craftable items and their associated skill requirements, please visit the Stratics Tinkering Page. Use the ability to sort by skill (and to plug in your current skill) to see a more straightforward list of what you can and cannot do.

1.5. Why should I become a GM Tinker?

Being a GM Tinker has many advantages.
  • Certain things are best at GM, for other characters to train on, such as Golems (whose skills, stats and resists improve with the tinker skill).
  • There are certain craftable jewelry types that are difficult even at GM skill - and not worth even attempting at a lesser skill.
  • Locked wooden boxes made by a GM tinker are the fastest way to advance a character from 75 to 95 Lockpicking skill.
  • You can also make potion kegs for use in conjuction with the alchemy skill and these also sell well on their own.
  • You can also make tools for other craft skills, so tinkering is a good supplementary skill for your crafter or mule.
  • Other things are also useful, such as the kits to engrave metal chests with identifying labels. Faction trap disarming kits can also be made (But IIRC requires the character to be in a faction)
  • Finally, you create trapped chests which are an effective way of keeping things safe from thieves in Felucca.
1.6. What happens when I use coloured ingots while Tinkering?
From the Tinker menu, all "Jewelry" and all "Miscellaneous" will retain the color of the ingots used to create the item. Weapons, and the crafting tools that can also be used as weapons, take on the color of the metal AND the metal properties (same as smithing). One can enhance such weapons/tools made of iron (such as those found in loot), and if one does so, they can change into one of the "neon" colors from baving more in an elemental damage type, than in physical damage.
BEWARE: Some scammers will make/enhance non-exceptional Smith's hammers out of the metals, and attempt to trick the gullible into buying what they think is a runic smithing hammer (even going so far as to use the tool down to the expected number of charges for a runic). The typical give-away for this is the hammer having the same damage types as any other weapon made of the material (true runics do 100% physical, with the exception of some VERY old runics, which are almost certain to be in rares museums, not someone's vendor).

1.7. How much longer does an Exceptional crafting tool last, compared to a normal one?
This is hard to say. For one thing, tools have different use totals on Siege Perilous than on the other shards. The following items APPEAR to be true on the regular shards, but are based on observation, not official data, for tools used to craft other items.
  • A normally crafted tool has a minimum number of uses in the low 20s. The exact number is uncertain, perhaps 20 or 21.
  • A normally crafted tool can have uses as high as the high 70s or low 80s (and the exact number may vary by the tool type)
  • An exceptionally crafted tool will always have a minimum of 50 uses. One of the odd things about this bottom end is that is possible for a very good normal tool to have more uses that a bottom-end exceptional tool.
  • The maximum number of uses for a tool, varies by the tool type. The maximum number of uses for Alchemy, Tailor, Smith and Tinker tools is 150.
  • The Maximum number of uses of Cooking Tools (skillet, etc.), Fletching Tools and the various pens (for cartography, inscription, etc.) is somewhere approaching 300. I can only confirm that I have seen some pens with over 250 uses, a skillet with 268 uses, and a fletching tool with 271 uses.
1.8. How do I make a potion keg?

To create a potion keg you will need to follow these steps and have at least 75.0 Tinkering skill:

First, you will need an open keg; these can be the kegs from dungeons, gypsy or brigand camps (have to open and empty before using for the potion keg), or can be crafted. To craft these, you will need at least 57.8 Carpentry skill along with the following items:
  • 3 barrel staves (requires 00.0 Carpentry skill and 5 boards to make - can also use the ones recovered from a shipwreck)
  • 1 barrel lid (requires 11.0 Carpentry skill and 4 boards to make)
  • 1 barrel hoop (requires 00.0 Tinkering skill and 5 ingots to make)
  • To turn the materials into a keg go to the Carpentry menu, select "Containers", then "Keg".
To turn your open keg into a fully functioning potion keg you need the following materials:
  • The previously made (or looted) open keg
  • 10 empty bottles
  • 1 barrel lid
  • 1 barrel tap (requires 35.0 Tinkering skill and 2 ingots to make)
To turn the materials into a potion keg go to the Tinkers menu, select "Assemblies", then "Potion Keg". If successful, you will be the proud owner of a working potion keg waiting to be filled.

1.9. How Do I make a Golem?
  • First of all, you must have at least 60 skill.
  • Next, you must have the requisite parts: Clockwork Assembly, Power Crystal, 5 Gears, Iron ingots and Bronze ingots (50 of each ingot by the old FAQ - not sure if those ingot numbers are 100% accurate). You get the first two parts by killing Golems, Exodus overseer/minion types, Blackthorne Juggernauts and betrayers. the gears are craftable by the tinker.
  • When you have all the parts on you, double-clicking the clockwork assembly makes the golem.
  • Note that Golems do not bond, are really flimsy if made by a Tinker under Grandmaster skill, and aren't much good against most modern monsters.
  • However, a grandmaster-made Golem can be used (with care taken to heal it, or let it regenerate) with a 100% poison weapon, to train any skill that one can gain through combat, as a sparring partner.
  • Originally, the grandmaster-made golems had 100% poison resist. This has been lowered to 99% for all new golems, so one has to be sure not to accidentally kill one's golem in training.
  • This is the obsolete Golem FAQ, originally written in mind of using one as a pet (not really an option anymore). Information of a modern sort, on using a golem to train, can typcially be gotten through the UO Players Corner Forum
1.10. Which items sell best?
The following items seem to sell the best, in descending order:
Potion Kegs
Crafting Tools
Metal Container Engraving Tools
Locked or trapped chests (to specific customers)
The 3 Artifact-level jewelry types

Almost all of these are things people will special order.

Many thanks to Moff Tarkin, Kofu and MinostheMiner for creating the original FAQ's used to piece together this one.

Thanks also go to: ThePolack, LeBaiton, the Great Maker, Gillmartin
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Placeholder for Section 2 of the FAQ.

Plans for Section 2.

A writeup of the Tinker BODs.
A section on Golems and Kotl Automatons
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