Spell / Combat Art Info FAQ
Where do I find that cool spell?
based on an original article by Spectralmist (Carey Sauerbrun)
This is a general guide on acquiring Spells and Combat Arts.
Apprentice level spells / combat arts (with the exception of Apprentice I's) are made using recipes from books that can be purchased from the vendors just outside of the tradeskill instances. For T1 (levels 1-9), the books needed are the Artisan Essentials books. For T2 (10-19) and up, the books are preceded by the name of the class (ie - Scholar Essentials Volume 10). Don't be surprised if you don't see all of you tradeskill Essentials books noted on the vendor - he only shows you the books for your current tier and below. As you hit the next tier, all books for that tier, for your specific tradeskill, become available.
Apprentice I spells / Combat Arts are the default - when you gain a level you gain Apprentice I skills (you probably already know this, but I'm starting at the beginning...) There are no recipes for these, and they don't come from mob drops. After level 50 you do not automatically acquire Apprentice 1 spells; you'll need to find a higher version as described below.
Apprentice II spells / combat arts can be acquired in two different ways - you can buy them off certain "trainers" in the city zones, or you can buy them off crafters (via the broker or through personal contact with the crafter) that are having a rough day in the tradeskill instances (it doesn't take much to make these).
Apprentice III spells / combat arts can only be acquired through a crafter (Sages craft mage and priest spells, Alchemists craft fighter combat arts (essences), and Jewelers craft scout combat arts (runes)). These are a bit better than the App II's but you probably won't find very many; crafters that can do these usually just knock off an App IV instead. They do seem to be required for Tradeskill Writs though (note - as of LU24, TS Writs are disabled. Hopefully this will be remedied soon.)
Apprentice IV spells / combat arts can also only be acquired through a crafter, again through personal contact or via the broker. This is the highest level that can be made with the recipes from the Artisan (or Jeweler, or Sage or Whatever) Essentials books that are found for sale on the Tradeskill vendors (location noted above).
This covers the basic level of spells / combat arts.
Now, we move on to the Advanced spells and arts.
Adept level spells / combat arts (with the exception of Adept I's) can be made using recipes from books that can only be found in chest drops off of mobs. As of this publication (June 2006) the T1 Advanced books are available on the Crafting Trainer outside the Tradeskill instances; if you want them, they sell for a couple silver. The books that contain the recipes all have Advanced in the name. For instance, I spent a good long time trying to find the Advanced Scholar Volume 12 book - if you happen to find one, let me know. Many people that find these books can't use them personally and so they put them on the broker and sell them. So - where to find these books? They are chest drops off any mob of the appropriate level, so kill a few mobs or check on the broker.
Adept I spells / combat arts are ALSO found - ready made - in chests that mobs drop. This is the only way to find them, and they are very slightly better for the most part than Apprentice IV spells (though it really is a close call). No recipes for this level of spells / combat arts exist.
Adept II spells / combat arts - well - they don't exist. Don't waste your time looking for them at this time.
Adept III spells / combat arts are the ones that use the recipes found in the Advanced books mentioned above. Not only do you need the recipe from the Advanced books, but you also need a Rare raw found while harvesting. You can get the rare either by harvesting it yourself or buying it off the broker. Prices for rares on the broker vary wildly, so prepare to watch the market carefully.
Adept IV spells / combat arts - again, at this time, these don't exist. See the Adept II description above.
Finally, we move on to the Masters...
Master I spells / combat arts, as far as I know, are found in chest drops off Epic (read - raid level) Mobs, and occasionally (more often recently I understand) off of named mob drops in dungeons (usually need at least a good group to take them out though, and who knows who will get the Loot?) and very rarely off of solo mobs. These are the ones that all the L337 (elite) players hunger for.
Master II spells / combat arts are upgrades that you get automatically every Tier or so starting at level 14, + another every 10 levels (24, 34, 44). You usually have a few choices to pick from. You get to pick one only. There are many discussions about "which should I pick" in the class forums. Note - more than likely these master upgrades will be replaced/superseded downstream with another art. Something to keep in mind.
Many thanks to Spectralmist for permission to use his article. All changes are my fault - Calthine.