Thursday, November 24, 2011

Phase 4: Oh right. I need to make credits.

Note: This article may contain spoilers for the upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. If you don't wish to have anything ruined, I suggest you keep scrolling to the next article.


Note #2: The information posted below is based on the most recent Beta Build. There is a possibility that the crew skills and their intended use may change at release. Please take the following notes as advisory, and not the hard-fast rule.



They craft. You watch. Hands off approach!
Crafting is either a ton of fun or the bane of MMO’s. It’s a necessary evil if you expect to have any money in your pocket by the end of the day. In TOR they are called Crew Skills. I mentioned them in my post about companions, but now we’ll go into detail.
Crew Skills allow you to have more freedom in customizing your character and crew. And credits. Lots and lots of credits. Because as with any game, you need money to move forward.

Crew Skills can be obtained at level 10. They are broken down into 3 categories: Crafting Skill, Gathering Skill, and Mission Skill.

Crafting Skill – The things you make.
Gathering Skill – The primary method of obtaining materials to make the stuff in your crafting skill.
Mission Skill – Rare materials to help you make rare items. (TOR uses a color coding system for rarity: Grey-Green-Blue-Purple are the most commonly seen. Green is the most common among crafts, with Blue and Purple being rare).

Your crew can only learn a maximum of 3 skills total. That is, you and your team will have access to the same 3 skills. No, your new Wookie buddy won’t have his own set of crew skills giving you infinite resources. There needs to be some element of effort put into crafting.

From there, there are another subset of rules. You can only have one Crafting Skill learned at a time. So choose wisely. However you can have as many Gathering and Mission skills as you’d like. So you could, potentially, start out with nothing but Gathering skills and come back later on to learn a Crafting skill. Now the plus is that you can drop and learn new skills as you wish. Simply open your Crew Skill window, click the X box and Accept on the prompt to unlearn your skill, then go to a trainer and learn a new one. Now, something to keep in mind.

You can unlearn what you have learned, but you can not recapture what you have unlearned (hopefully you saw that I did there).
Current Crew Skills Window with Craft.

Example: Let’s say you chose to pick up Armstech and leveled it to 100. You decided this isn’t the right crafting job for you so you drop it. But a few days later you want to pick it back up. That’s fine. However you will not retain those initial 100 levels. You start right back at level 1. So while crafting is a simple system, there are penalties for dropping and learning new things on the fly.

To make the most use out of your crew skill, you’ll need one from each category (a craft, a gathering, and a mission skill). This will allow you to take full advantage of that particular craft you have selected. The current breakdown is as follows in the order of crafting, gathering, mission:

armormech - scavenging, underworld trading
armstech - scavenging, investigation
artifice - archaeology, treasure hunting
biochem - bioanalysis, diplomacy
cybertech - scavenging, underworld trading
synthweaving - archaeology, underworld trading

If you read the TOR website, you’ll notice that I missed Slicing. Well slicing is fast, easy credits for the early levels. It’s a nice pick me up if you are low on funds and provides schematics for crafts that aren’t available at the NPC trainers. It currently has no use in crafts.

If you are looking for a self-sufficient route, here are the jobs that work best for each craft:

Jedi/Sith – Artifice (weapons), Synthweaving (light, armor)
All non-force users – Armstech (weapons), Armormech (medium, heavy armor for aim/cunning)

And for those wanting miscellaneous stuff:

Mounts, Droid Parts, High Tech Armor (for strength based) – Cybertech (Jobs that could use: Jedi Knight, Republic Trooper, Bounty Hunter)
Stims, Implants – Biochem (Jobs that could use – Smuggler, Imperial Agent primary, but open to all jobs).

Crew crafting on the Bounty Hunter ship.
Next, Reverse Engineering. This is a process that allows you to break down an object to obtain its resources and potentially earn you a new schematic for your craft. The process is simple. Open your inventory, change to RE mode, and click on the item you wish to take apart. This doesn’t work on all objects such as implants and medical supplies, and best used on armor and weapons. Even the gear that drops from enemies can potentially be RE’d. But if you’re wondering how you learn those Blue/Purple schematics, this is how. Make a few green items, RE them, and you’ll eventually learn the Blue version. You can also find schematics through Mission Skills and Slicing Nodes.

There are a few ways to go about the crew skills trade depending upon your play style.

1.) The Gathering Hoarde. You gather. And you gather some more. And you keep gathering because everyone needs materials. Well now you’ve got plenty of them to sell off.

2.) Mission Hunter. You have enough credits to spam Missions, which yield the Blue and Purple materials for the higher end products people want to make/buy/sell. It’s a pricy way to go, but the reward could pay off big in the end.

3.) Craft for the Credits. Based on the stats of forum polls and even official BioWare polls on what people are going to play at launch, there will be a LOT of Jedi’s and Sith’s running around. So two ways to go about this: Either cater your craft to the majority OR focus on helping out the minority.

If you center on Force crafting you’re likely to make credits fast, but the market will be flooded. Expect price fluctuations and to undersell others just to get your stuff moving.

If you go with the minority, sales will be slow but you’re more likely to guarantee yourself a sale and at a higher price point then the item’s value. Why? Because less will be on the market and you’ll find people in dire need to gear. They want the best and few others are crafting what they need. Larger credits can head your way, but it does take more time/patience.

4.) Managing Yourself. You pick a craft, gather, and mission based on your needs. It’s a money saver in the long-run because you won’t have to rely as heavily on the Galactic Trade Network for your purchases. Granted you can only pick one craft so you’ll have to forage for the rest, but if you take Armor or Weapons that’ll cut half of your costs right there. Don’t forget, you can make stuff for your companions too!

5.) Slicing, slice, slice. You’ll probably read this on the TOR forums during your initial run-though. A lot of people will praise slicing as fast, easy money. Because it is. It’s been toned down over the builds and probably will be again before the game’s release. The benefit is that it’s quick, simple, and requires little attention. You will also, on the rare occasion, receive crafting schematics and lockboxes for items to sell on the GTN. Not profitable as a craft over the long run, but good for starting out.

So there you go. A crash course in Crew Skills. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section (open to all!). I wanted to give a general overview rather then a detailed play by play. You should be able to pick it up and figure out the rest quite easily.


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