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Vysala's Cooking Guide
Vysala's FFXI Cooking Guide Introduction
The number one rule to remember is: do not power craft, you should stop every 5-10 levels and learn all about the new recipes you have access to. Then work the AH for a few days and make some good gil before you head back into skilling. Believe me, time and patience will get you to 100 without making you poor. You just need to learn your craft along the way and take the time to utilize your mules and your AH slots to make money along the way.
Going slow and experimenting with money crafting along the way means that you will make it to 100 and know your craft more than any power crafter ever could. At 100 you will be enriched with the knowledge of the kinds of markets that work well for you and how best to use them to your advantage. Once you are at 100, you will also be able to use that knowledge to leverage the High Quality versions of your best selling items to further your profits.
Many of the recipes past 60 require a lot of time, gil and patience. That does not mean you have to be broke by the time you reach 100, it just means you need to take that extra time to craft for gil. When I reached 100 I had all of my guild point items, except the furnishing, and I had almost four million gil. I got from 0-100 in about a year. Why did it take so long? I divided the gil earned from the craft: some of it went into new gear, some went into producing more product to sell and some went into skilling. In other words I did not let skilling a craft ruin my ability to enjoy the rest of the game, I just allocated my time carefully. I think if I did not have a full time job at the time, I could have done it in 6 months instead.
The point is; do go slow, do take your time, do not power craft, do not stop playing other parts of the game and do get to know your craft so you are not bloody poor during your skilling path or by the time you finish.
Not all servers have the same Auction House prices, because of this you should do the research ahead of time to make sure that the path you choose is the best for your server and your investment. Ultimately, this is my experience on skilling up this craft and because of many conditions that vary from server to server.
I do suggest any recipes that require any of the special key items in cooking to make, except for alternatives. I also steered clear of all recipes that required a sub craft, except for alternatives. I also liked to synth many different items instead of long strides of a single item, that way I had a variety of items to sell. While this path may not be the "best" it is simply how I made it to 100. Remember that my path does not have to be your path, deviate from my course if you find that you have the skill to do so, or if other paths will bring you better profit along the way. Getting to know your craft is a huge part of making the best of it.
Keep in mind that all journeys have an ending, but getting there is half the fun and the knowledge you gain is priceless.
Before you begin...
And now onto... The Guide.