Blacksmithing is one of the six professions in The Elder Scrolls Online, and much like in other games it enables you to craft metal-based armor and weapons. Blacksmithing isn’t just designed to waste your time and resources: you can actually craft some of the best armors and weapons in the game making this tradeskill a very popular one.
There are a few tricks to leveling Blacksmithing that new players often aren’t aware of. The biggest misconception is that creating items gives most Inspiration Points (IP) — it’s a fact that actually destroying items by deconstructing them is far more efficient when it comes to leveling. You will get the biggest IP gains by deconstructing quest rewards and monster drops, so any items you no longer use should be either deconstructed for materials and IP or used for researching traits. Research and refining ore doesn’t give any IP. Also worth noting is that deconstructing better quality weapons gives more Inspiration, so extracting a blue item will give you more IP than extracting a green one.
The second best method of obtaining Inspiration is by extracting crafted items by other players. Extracting items which you created gives roughly a third of what you’d get by extracting the very same items created by other players, so keep that in mind! Pair up with a friend or join a guild, craft items and exchange them with other players to get the most IP.
Clearly there’s a limit to how many items you can obtain for deconstruction, so inevitably you will have to craft a lot of make additional strides in IP gains. When crafting items the amount of IP you gain is determined by the item level, not by the amount of materials used, so make sure you craft items which effectively give you more IP per ingot (hint: daggers).
The most efficient way of leveling blacksmithing (outside of extracting rare and higher quality items) is definitely by pairing up with another smith and exchanging items with him. To give you an example, deconstructing your own level 6 Iron Dagger gives you 40 IP per ingot spent to craft it, while deconstructing the same level 6 Iron Dagger created by another player would yield 99 IP per ingot spent.
As you can see you gain more than double the amount of Inspiration by deconstructing items crafted by another player (or your alt). If you’re adamant about working alone though, focus on creating daggers — as mentioned IP gain is tied to item level and not the amount of ore used, and these typically use the least amount of materials.
To conclude, the most efficient IP gain per ingot ratio is by crafting a level 6 Iron Dagger (40.5 IP/ingot), followed by level 16 Steel Dagger (110 IP/ingot) once available. Whenever possible try to extract items crafted by other players rather than the ones you created yourself.