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World and Elemental Effects
This topic is always in hot debate on the Final Fantasy XI forums throughout all websites online. Does facing a certain direction help with success? Does wearing certain elemental gear at a specific time of day increase your chance of an HQ? While those that actually know the secrets to crafting success are not talking (Square-Enix) and those that are talking (everyone else) are making many guesses and assumptions based on odd facts, experience and all the information they can find on the topic - but of course nothing is concrete without Square-Enix confirming any information.
You will not find all of the answers to your questions at this site. However I can offer words of advice based on my personal experience. I do not claim I am correct in anything said here - it is all observation and opinion.
Quite frankly as soon as the FFXI community figures out the formula I think Square-Enix changes it (/grin). Of course, I have no way of knowing if that is true - but it sure has felt like it throughout the years. My overall feeling is that crafting and High Quality results is largely random. However, there do seem to be some patterns, so I do not think the results are completely random.
In general I would like to make some observations that may or may not be correct - but they are things I noticed during my years of crafting. One thing to keep in mind is I mostly used Fire Crystals for my synthesis recipes, hence most of my advice is based on experiences with that crystal - whether that matters or not depends on who you talk to.
These are some observations I have made while crafting - I am not stating this information as fact, but rather my thoughts and experience with the ideas of world and elemental effects on crafting. I make no promises on your success in following my advice.
Most Importantly: No matter how much I struggled to follow theories on direction, moon phase and percentages, sometimes it just felt like it made no difference or that the difference was so small that it simply did not matter. I am not saying disregard using theories about moon phase, elemental gear and elemental effects - I am saying do not take it all so seriously because the impact of these things are not 100% effective. Do not obsess over these things - since there are no real Square-Enix answers you will only find yourself exhausted and frustrated on the topic. Take everything with a grain of salt.
World and Elemental Effects Page Contents
Time of Day
An Example: Rolanberry Pie
From 90 to 100 I spent much time synthing Rolanberry Pie for profit. This recipe is the one I used most often throughout my entire crafting career - a leader well ahead all other recipes. Rolanberry Pie was largely my best selling item, thus I made it very often so I have much experience with it in relation to elemental effects. I did observe from level 90 that I was able to HQ this recipe right away. While the HQ rate was very low, I saved the results and sold them as I completed stacks. As I got closer to 103 I continued crafting Rolanberry Pies and observing the strong increase of HQs throughout the leveling process.
Once Vysala was at 103, I continued my mass production of Rolanberry Pies and +1's. The HQ of Rolanberry Pie at the time went for 200,000 a stack (since then it has fallen significantly, but it is still quite profitable), so it was important that I looked for ways to increase my HQ rating on this particular recipe. Eventually I came up with the ideal combination of crafting elements for crafting Rolanberry Pie +1. Facing south, with the HQ Thunder Staff equipped, while wearing the apron and hat (and my remaining summoner gear), Vysala produced the most Rolanberry Pie HQ's. This was especially if the crafting began on exactly Midnight of Thundersday on Full Moon. I would do this regardless of moon, as long as the moon was higher then 75%. That was my set up, after much experimentation, for producing the most amount of pie HQs. I do not know if it is the best method, but it is what worked for me. This method enabled me to produce 1-2.5 stacks of HQ pie per 12 synths. This is HQing about half the time on a level 90 recipe under my ideal conditions.
Take it or leave it - that was my findings after years of mass production. Because SE changes the rules often, I have no idea how long I can keep that a successful combination or if it just turned out to be the best combination of coincidences.
I highly suggest keeping an eye on popular forum discussions on these topics to help further your research. More importantly I suggest experimenting with new methods and finding out what works best for you and your individual recipes.
If you choose crafting, of any type, as your main source of income you will eventually reach a point where you have maxed out your level and your craft stats will no longer be changing. It is at this point you should experiment the most - for you will have a list of the recipes that you make most often. Be observant on those recipes you craft often, with enough time and experimentation you may see some patterns that can reveal to you when it is best to synth certain recipes.
Most importantly - do not take this stuff too seriously or it will drive you crazy. I feel that even though the elementals effect crafting results, it is a small percentage of effect. I am sure there is some random factors involved in elemental effects too, and these simply can not be controlled. Do not let times, numbers, statistics, days and crafting elemental effects rule your gaming life - it will only make you miserable. Craft with observation, but mostly craft and enjoy the game.
As I said in the beginning; those that actually know the secrets to crafting success are not talking (Square-Enix) and those that are talking (everyone else - including me) are making many guesses and assumptions based on odd facts, experience and all the information they can find on the topic - but of course nothing is concrete without Square-Enix confirming any information.