To me, every Disciple of the Hand looks like a lot of fun to level to 50, but at the release of A Realm Reborn I'll likely start with Goldsmithing paired with Mining. I've decided to take a look at which obstacles a Goldsmith has to overcome and share my findings with you. Why level Goldsmithing? 1. Goldsmiths can create the most individual pieces of gear. We create items for 73 equipment slots (spread over 19 classes). A close second is Weaver (72) and third Leatherworker (68). This also means there is generally plenty room for multiple Goldsmiths to compete on the markets. ( Source: xivdb.com Phase 3 beta, visualized in: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkadXJVMJCR4dFc1dFdfZ3BMOE0tQ1VwR2N3QnVqZEE#gid=1 ) 2. Goldsmithing is extremely easy. For almost all the recipes the only other class you require is Miner. There are only a handful of recipes requiring fishing for coral, and a few recipes requiring some farmed mobs, but these can be skipped. ( Source: http://www.xivdb.com/?search/!filters/IlJFQ0lQRVM6UlNSX0dPTERTTUlUSCI= ) 3. Goldsmithing is gemerally profitable, at least in the month after the servers open. There are several ingots and whetstones that only a Goldsmith can create, but are desired by other classes, being: Lvl 20: Mudstone Whetstone Lvl 23: Silver Ingot Lvl 30: Siltstone Whetstone Lvl 34: Mythril Ingot Lvl 42: Electrum Ingot Whetstones are only used by Blacksmiths (and Goldsmiths themselves), but Goldsmithing ingots go into over 200 recipes. This will allow you to easily barter with other crafters for ingredients and gear, or just straight up sell them on the Market Boards. 4. Being able to Repair and Materia Meld jewelry is convenient. About 38% of your gear is jewelry. (5 in 13 slots). When you're a Thaumaturge it's extra convenient because you'll always be able to repair your mainhand weapon. Additionally, Jewelry only has one Materia slot. This means only the first Materia has a 100% chance of succeeding. You can Forbidden Meld up to a max of five Materia, but it becomes increasingly difficult to do so. Your second Materia (meaning your first Forbidden Meld) has a success rate of about 25%, your fifth Materia (your fourth Forbidden Meld) only has about 5%. This means you will waste on avarage about 54 materia melding attempts to get a fully maxed piece of jewelry, or 270 attempts for all 5 jewelry pieces. If you're truly that hardcore player and want perfect jewelry it's probably best to do this at your own leisure. Obviously maxing out your materia melds is a massive Gil sink. ( Source: http://nix80.livejournal.com/22903.html ) So just Mining? Yes, and no. Mining is a must, as you need 662 ores, 35 whetstones and 109 gems just to make everything from the crafting log. ( Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0As3pVWz2bGVDdDFnT3l4QTE2c0NoYTFVQy1Kd1ZZM0E#gid=10 , Beta phase 3 ) Additionally you will need an ungodly amount of both fire shards and wind shards. When you reach mining level 20 you will gain an ability called Nald'thal's Ward, which for 400 Gathering Points will grant you about 25-30 fire shards. Botanists have a similar ability at level 20 called Llymlaen's Ward which will grant 25-30 wind shards. You can either try to sell ingots on the markets and buy wind shards in return, or try to become self sufficient and grind Botanist to 20 instead. ( Source: http://www.ffxivinfo.com/class/miner.php ) How high do I level Miner? Ideally all the way to 50 as fast as possible, as it will allow you to more easily obtain ores, more often high quality ores, grant additional attempts per node and additional items per attempt. You'll need to have statistics on your gear high enough to unlock certain perks. ( Source: http://www.disciplesoftheland.com/GuideView.aspx?gid=20 ) Unfortunately the Disciple of the Land classes are extremely boring, so it's probably better to stay slightly ahead with Miner compared to Goldsmith. Looking at the following chart, you can see which level of Mining (y-axis) you will need compared to the Goldsmithing recipes per level (x-axis). ( Source: Gossamer Isto! ) The blue surface is the actual mining level required, but if you flatten/fill all the peaks the orange surface is your practical required mining level. Please note the steep increase of mining required in the last 10 levels: You can make due with mining 35 all the way up to Goldsmith level 40. Then as soon as you hit level 40 you need level 46 mining ingredients! What about end-game? This is the point where most people will get disappointed. All crafted equipment for endgame isn't all that good. Dungeon and raid gear will quickly surpass all types of crafted gear, at least for Disciples of War and Magic. Endgame crafted equipment should be considered a stepping stone to get you up to speed for dungeons, or to quickly help you fill in a slot where you haven't been too lucky with drops. There are some exceptions when it comes to endgame gear for Disciples of the Hand and Land, but you'll have reached a point by then that you're trying to squeeze in a few single points of gathering/perception or craftsmanship/control at the cost of thousands and thousands of Gil. Conclusion This advice is the same for all other DoL/H: For those who enjoy the activity of gathering and crafting: you should definitly try Goldsmithing, maybe even as your starter crafting class. If you're able to rush to level 50 in the first few months you'll even stand to earn a small fortune that will likely last you your entire FFXIV career. Be aware though that this can take several weeks of fulltime work to reach this goal, even when powering through. If you enjoy crafting as a hobby on the side, you can safely try any craft up to level 17. You can purchase all required ingredients from your guild vendor and only stand to lose a few thousand Gil in the proces (and gain some low level gear). If you still like it after level 17, you could consider picking up that Gathering job and spend some time being an artisan. If you just wish to have good level 50 gear: don't bother with crafting. There are currently no stat related perks to levelling a craft, and if you're focussed on playing a battle oriented character you will likely be able to purchase your level 50 needs from the Market Boards or your Grand Company vendor.