One of the features in Diablo 3 that was not present in either of its predecessors is the introduction of the three Artisans. These specialized craftspeople will follow your characters from act to act, providing assistance along the way. And the more you work with them, the better your rewards will be.
The current plan at release is to have a Blacksmith for your forging needs (weapons, armor, and socket creation), a Jeweler for all things gem-related (upgrading to higher quality gems and removing them from sockets), and a Mystic for magical and alchemical items (potions, scrolls, runes, and charms). And one of the most exciting features of the Artisans is that their level, goods, and services are shared among all your characters, at least in the beta. This is especially beneficial for people who don’t generally stick to just one main character.
In the current beta build, the only artisan that is available for testing is Haedrig Eamon, the Blacksmith. After completing a couple quests for/with him, Haedrig will begin to offer his services to you.
The materials Haedrig needs to craft items for you are mainly acquired through using your Nephalem Cube to break down your loots (however, they can also be dropped by monsters, chests, etc.). You can break down items of any quality and are given materials of that level. For example, if you use your Nephalem Cube to break down an Inferior or Superior item, you will get Common Scrap. Magic items award Subtle Essence while Rare items award Fallen Tooth and Legendary give Petrified Bark. However, it should be noted that you are sometimes, albeit very rarely, awarded higher level materials than the item you broke down (i.e. getting a Fallen Tooth from a Magic item) and the only items for testing currently are from Act 1 Normal. Additionally, it is not known if Set items can be broken down by the Nephalem Cube or what materials they would provide if so.
In order to craft higher level items, the Artisans require training. This training is provided to them by collecting Pages of Training, combining five of them into a Tome of Training, and giving that tome to them with some other varying materials and gold. Every time you train your artisan, they will have a few more items/services available to you. After training five times, the Artisan will level up and provide you with items from the next higher tier as well as get an upgraded physical appearance to their shop.
The Blacksmith starts off as a Apprentice (level 1), crafting items with that prefix. With training materials available in Normal difficulty, Haedrig can learn Journeyman, Adept, and Master prefix items as he levels up. However, for Grandmaster and beyond, items such as the Assorted Fragment from Nightmare difficulty is required. Because of this, it is not possible to get to level 5 in the current beta build.
Here are a few of the higher level items available for characters in Normal difficulty. Mouseover the links to see the item’s stats and the materials required to craft it.
Again, I would like to reiterate that all of this information is based off of the current beta build and is always subject to change. However, if it does, we will keep you updated. And, as always, let us know your thoughts and opinions on the artisans in the comments!