Sometimes you have questions about Tradeskills, and some times we have a couple of answers. These are common tradeskill questions and their answers.
Question: "At what level can I make <insert item>"
Answer: Crafting in AO is a little different than many other games and it depends more on skill levels than your actual character level, so this is both a complex and simple question to answer. The simple answer is: when you have the required skill to make it. The complex answer is that it varies widely based on how much IP you invest in Tradeskills each level and what items and implants you have that buff those skills. This would mean that a very poor and lazy engineer could make level 200 carbonum at level 200 but not make anything else because he is stark naked and didn't invest much IP into tradeskills, while a better equipped engineer or trader could make ql 300 alien armor at level 200 or 200 carbonum at 100. So always check how much skill is needed to make what you want to make and see how you can collect equipment and skill bonuses to get yourself there.
Question: "Where can I find this tradeskill component I am looking for?"
Answer: Most recipes on most AO guide sites will tell you where you can find tradeskill components. Some of the most common components are found in the tradeskill sections of most shops, while the most rare need to be camped since they drop from certain monsters or NPCs. All of the recipes on AOwiki will have a list of components in them, which will include a brief summary of where you need to get the item from.
Question: "I have all the skills necessary and I got the components but I can't seem to combine the items, what am I doing wrong?"
Answer: Likely your problem is that you are trying to either combine items that are equipped on your character or you are trying to combine items in backpacks. In all tradeskill operations you must have the items in your main inventory to combine them.
Question: "My inventory overflowed when I did a tradeskill and I closed the window! How do I get back the item?"
Answer: First, do not leave the zone; if you go into a shop or change areas while you have over flowed inventory, the items in overflow will be deleted. Second, there are a couple of ways to provoke your inventory to overflow, but one good way is to open trade with a friend and put one item in the trade window, than fill the rest of your main inventory up with items from back packs, lastly cancel trade and your inventory will over flow. You can also overflow your inventory by performing another tradeskill while your inventory is full, so some engis keep a screw driver and robot junk around in case this happens. When your inventory overflows and you accidentally close the window, you just shift + click the screw driver on the junk in your full inventory to open the window. Engineers can also overflow their inventory by casting a pet nano with a full inventory, causing the the pet shell to overflow their inventory.
Question: "How can I upgrade my weapon?" or "Where can I find the recipe for Heavy Notum Tank Armor"
Answer: Not all items in AO have tradeskills associated with them, nor are all of them able to be crafted. Your best bet to see if an item has a tradeskill associated with it is to open your tradeskill kit with shift + t and drop the item in both the first and middle box. If the kit says it is in any processes that likely means that it can be modified or is involved in a tradeskill recipe. Next, you will want to check this site and others to see if they have found the recipe. The same goes for existing items, if you think it might be tradeskilled look around the tradeskill recipes and check to see if anybody has found a way to do it. Not all the tradeskills in AO have been discovered, but most are known.
While it may seem an attractive proposition to split the burden of IPs spent on tradeskills between characters, and it may appear as though the game was designed to do just that, by making, for example, Doctors good at doing Pharma Tech, there are notable exceptions to the general rule that such Tradeskills are a stand-alone process. The best example of this is Jobe Clusters, which always require a second attribute as well as Nano Programming, so they can also require Quantum Field Technology or Weapon Smithing.. So either resign yourself to not being able to perform all tasks, or find a way to raise an Engineer up levels without good combat skills, or use Title level IP resets to reduce the combat skills once leveled to higher levels.