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Bioware Don’t Dumb Down My Crew Skills In SWTOR!

Published by under Crafting,SwtorCrafter on Oct. 30. 2011.

Dumbing Down!


As a person who is still not in beta testing at this time I have the freedom to speak my mind and theorize on certain in game mechanics in SWTOR because legitimately I do not know for sure what some of them truly are like.  I have not as yet been infiltrated and absorbed by beta testing knowledge so I am still pure in my speculations and ramblings.

Take crew skills and crafting in SWTOR for instance, they have released a lot of general information in the past from mainly one dev diary and a lot of fansite interviews and some various Q&A’s found on the internet at different sites.

There is information out there, but it is just so up in the air right now what with all the rumors and hub bub I have been hearing floating around about how they are changing so many things about the crafting system at this time.

While I understand that they must change things as a result of feedback from the testers and actual time people have spent kicking the tires and such, the things I am hearing are worrying me to no end.


Why you ask?


Well OK, you twisted my arm.


Based on past experience with almost every MMO I have followed through development and up to release that had a “Crafting System” that they have touted as being “cool” and “innovative”  I have noticed a disturbing pattern that I hope doesn’t follow for the realm of SWTOR.

Unfortunately for me as a seriously dedicated crafter and economy lover in my MMO’s I am afraid that I am starting to see the worm-signs that this is true, that Bioware is dumbing down these systems to cater to certain user bases of the game and that the users who would crave complexity and depth (like me) from the system are going to get left in the cold.

While I understand this from a economic standpoint that Bioware has to make sure that this game appeals to their biggest user bases like the “Casuals” for instance, it still worries me to no end.  That the things that I have seen in the past about the crew skills system that were innovative and unique and complex, I am now hearing talk about being taken out or nerfed to the point of uselessness for the sake of simplicity in the system and accessibility.

This shows me that if the talk is true, that Bioware is going the same path as every other company when it comes to the issue of choosing to dumb down a crafting system before release to make it more accessible to a bigger segment of users that don’t want the complexity or don’t have time to research it to become it’s master.

OMG Bioware, please don’t take out the complexity in the system, please keep the depth.  There are many, many of us who want a system that we can master and can be useful to the in game economy with.  If you make this system “plain jane” and easy to master like World of Warcraft, Lord of The Rings, and countless others then you have just killed this game mechanic for us, those who would be challenged.  You will have effectively made it so that being a master means nothing because every one with enough credits can do it and that the gear or items produced is worth a lot less than it could be if the crafting system required effort and knowledge and skill to use.

Give me, expansive item modding systems that I can get lost in the possibilities for modding gear with.  Give me companions with certain bonuses or skills to certain crew skills so that they can be min maxed for effectiveness in production.  Give me interesting and complex item assembly systems complete with lots of resources and components and variations to choose from. Give me the ability to make gear that can share some of the best in game slots, not gear that is useless when compared to flashpoint and operations loot.

Give me the ability to become known and sought after on my server because of my skill or the items that only I or a very limited number of people can produce.  Give me complex crew skills queue ability to keep the crafting going while I am offline via longer crew skills completion times.  Give me a way to interface with the system and the auction house via smart phone apps to keep me hooked even while at work.  Give me tons of functionality via the auction house and the way I can interact with it.


Yeah I know, give me so many things, I sound like a whiny child.


Above all though, don’t give me a dumbed down, stripped version of what could have been because that will break my crafters heart.


Honestly I cannot say for sure if this is the case because I am not in beta testing, this is just a plea and a hope that it is not the case and that maybe someone from Bioware will hear the voice of one crying in the wilderness.


*fingers crossed*


Thanks for reading!

23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Bioware Don’t Dumb Down My Crew Skills In SWTOR!”

  1. MJon 30 Oct 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Give me… “Difficulty Settings” for elements of crafting. Now that would be innovating, huh?

    For example, take someone like me who isn’t that much of a crafter. Give me an easy mode that makes it “workable” so I can craft too. Give my man D here a veteran mode so he can get all complex with his crafting.

    Make it so we can both produce Item X.

    But make my “easy” item X about 20% less valuable than his.

    Now THAT would be cool and even encourage people like me to use the system and try to learn the harder ropes to make a bigger killing in the swtor economy.

    If not… I’m with D. Every MMO needs /something/ hard core. Why not something inherently made for a “select few” to begin with?

  2. Swtorcrafteron 30 Oct 2011 at 3:03 pm

    @MJ thats a very cool idea that I could totally see working with the right developers behind it.

  3. MrWarlockon 30 Oct 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I agree with crafting staying relevant long after raids items have been acquired.

    Though I don’t see it happening this way. Most of the crafting skills will become nothing more than placing mods in armer.

    The best I can hope for now is that the crafting items we make will be the best that our companions can use. BioWare has already confirmed long ago that raid items will trump crafting gear hands down.

    Yet I would like some high end items that need to be put together by crafters and raiders will have to provide the parts.

  4. Zlattoon 30 Oct 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Give me SWTOR crafting as complex as the concept of a multi- class, dual faction, Light/Dark/Grey alignment MMO!
    If I want a simple crafting system I have plenty too choose from.
    Give me SWTOR and not Wizard 101 !!!

  5. Ajay (R2D2)on 30 Oct 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I agree, at launch, I hope the system has some complexity. My main crafting experience is LOTRO, where it is more of a grind fest to max tier, with some rep-gated recipes from your crafting guild or rep factions.

    “Give me, expansive item modding systems that I can get lost in the possibilities for modding gear with.” – I believe there was a mention in the dev tracker that the modding system has been in-flux for some time. Don’t believe what you read / hear just yet, until the NDA lifts or the game launches!

    “Give me companions with certain bonuses or skills to certain crew skills so that they can be min maxed for effectiveness in production” – Disagree on this point. If your healing companion, who you preferred in tough situations compared to other companions, had a bonus to your crafting skill, you’d need to decide whether or not to lose combat effectiveness or crafting effectiveness. I think you really shouldn’t be forced to choose certain companions for crafting. This situation is analogous to species having certain innate bonuses / skills associated with them that could lean towards them being a certain class.

    “Give me interesting and complex item assembly systems complete with lots of resources and components and variations to choose from. Give me the ability to make gear that can share some of the best in game slots, not gear that is useless when compared to flashpoint and operations loot.” – This is one of my concerns. After hitting end-game in LOTRO again with the new expansion, the majority of max level weaponsmith products are totally useless. There are items from raiding with better stats. The only thing I’m good for is making legendary items, but those require rare raid resources, not really something I can make for being a dedicated crafter (more like getting lucky in a raid, then deciding whether or not I want to keep it for myself). During the leveling process, my craft was useful, but at max level, only the legendary items become worth it, which is silly. Another point, a problem with crafting while leveling is that if you focus too much on one activity, it causes you to lag behind on the other. For instance, focusing on crafting will probably get you to a point where you can’t acquire some higher tier resources easily because you’re still stuck on your capital world. Focusing on leveling is slightly better, but I’m guessing crafted gear will lag behind what you can get from various questing / flashpoint rewards. In summary, I think there needs to be a balance found between crafting progression and level progression, so that crafted items can have benefits while you work your way up to level cap and hopefully, close to raid-quality items.

    “Give me complex crew skills queue ability to keep the crafting going while I am offline via longer crew skills completion times. Give me a way to interface with the system and the auction house via smart phone apps to keep me hooked even while at work. Give me tons of functionality via the auction house and the way I can interact with it.” – These seem to be set for the Wall of Crazy (after launch). AH functionality I have not heard too much about publicly.

    Have you read about getting improved recipes by breaking down existing items? I believe it was mentioned on Massively recently. It’s a nice addition I think!

  6. Jetton 30 Oct 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Personally I would love to see no actual gear drops from raids, instead have components only drop. This way it forces crafting to be useful. Or at very least make all gear that drops be able to be reverse engineered so we can build a better copy of it.

  7. Swtorcrafteron 30 Oct 2011 at 3:44 pm

    @Ajay thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this you have some of the same concerns as me and I am really glad to see others thinking about the same issues.

    I know the item mod system is in flux right now but like I said the things I have been hearing…. yeah I know I shouldnt listen until I see it first hand but without being in beta and being able to put my thoughts on the beta forum in the form of feedback this is the only outlet I have to express my concerns.

    and about the breaking down of existing items and improved recipes, yeah that was kinda my reveal from the interview with Damion mentioned in the article and other ones we did with bioware 😉

    thank you guys for this discussion keep it coming!

  8. Swtorcrafteron 30 Oct 2011 at 3:45 pm

    @Jett wow that is an interesting idea, I would love to see that and try it. I am not sure I have ever seen a game that did that with drops, I wonder if there is any out there like that?

  9. Anonon 30 Oct 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Don’t get your hopes up. It’s not very complex. I know.

  10. Figmenton 30 Oct 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I have so many hopes for crafting in SWTOR, but for the sake of my sanity I’m only reserving one that I really hope makes it. That hope is the sustainability of the crafting gear versus quests, flashpoints, and ops. If I level my crafting at a comparative pace to my questing I want the gear I make to be useful, not grindfest items. And, as others have mentioned already, the gear really needs to be useful at op level.

  11. Saravion 31 Oct 2011 at 12:17 am

    Hey Mr. Anon. Who you calling not very complex? I think it’s a great crafting system with ample opportunity for both simplicity and complexity. Reverse Engineering has some very rewarding applications if you stop to think about the newly released info. Can’t say more than that without treading into NDA territory.

  12. Swtorcrafteron 31 Oct 2011 at 12:23 am

    thanks guys for stopping by and reading and commenting we appreciate it!

    Thank you for keeping the discussion NDA friendly that is appreciated. 🙂

  13. Bobon 31 Oct 2011 at 1:56 am

    What are they doing to “dumb” down crew skills exactly?

    You state you are hearing all these rumors about Bioware “dumbing down crew skills”. But after reading your thread, I have no idea what it is that they are supposedly doing (or planning to do) that has got you so worried.

    Overall you are very general in your complaint and give little to no facts. Appears to me like you are someone who likes to worry just to worry.

  14. swtorcrafteron 31 Oct 2011 at 3:02 am

    @bob, i would like to go into more detail but due to nda concerns i can not. I realize that sounds like a cop out answer but it is what it is sorry. Thanks for your views though.

  15. Jetton 31 Oct 2011 at 4:02 am

    Bioware needs to lift the NDA, this close to launch it does more harm than good. Whats the worst that can happen, we call them on something stupid? At this point I believe it would help calm the masses.

  16. Ajay (R2D2)on 31 Oct 2011 at 4:46 am

    @swtorcraft Yea, I was thinking your site got that info first about breaking down items, just didn’t know what it meant until we got more details on how it works in-game!

  17. Drakai88on 31 Oct 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Custom avatar

    I have seen how crafting works in SWTOR, some of it I like other areas could use improvement and that is about as far as I can go without getting smashed by the NDA hammer.

  18. Undeadfatheron 31 Oct 2011 at 4:33 pm

    @Jett – That is the best idea ever. Raids are still important (to get the items) and Crafting is still important (to craft the epic items). It’s a win win.

  19. prenerfedon 31 Oct 2011 at 8:13 pm

    One of the aspects of crafting that I’ve seen nothing about is craftable PvP gear. We’ve heard that there will be a PvP only stat (“resilience?”) that will appear only on PvP gear, supposedly from PvP vendors for purchase with PvP tokens. But will ANY PvP gear be craftable??? Could we possibly buy some recipes with those tokens? If not then it could be seen as a further dumbing-down of the games systems in that you are limited to getting PvP gear only from PvP vendors after participating in a lot of PvP. More than a bit redundant, and more than a bit of a grind for those who get a late start in the wonderful world of killing other people in-game for fun and profit.

    However if lower level (meaning reduced stats vs. gear of a similar character-requirement level) PvP gear can be crafted then it would add another layer to the crafting community in that it would let some crafters make some coin off of people who PvE to the level cap and suddenly find themselves at a loss (literally) every time they PvP. With a few extra credits to spend on some crafted PvP gear they could gain a toe-hold on competing with those players who were using PvP to help level up.

    Some may say that PvP and crafting are secondary systems in SWTOR, and that PvE is the focus of the game. While that seems to be true for the TOP level gear that we’ve heard about so far, it is a woefully misguided design decision if there is no overlap between those systems at all. PvE will have some overlap with crafting in that materials for top level crafted gear will come from end-game PvE. PvP should have some overlap as well, beyond having a few gathering nodes in the PvP areas. Perhaps at the very least we might be able to Reverse Engineer some of the PvP gear and learn some patterns if not purchasing patterns directly? Again: far more questions than answers here. Come on NDA lift!

  20. Lakaenon 01 Nov 2011 at 7:43 am

    Someone should Spam post this to the ToR Dev’s. They must not Dumb the crafting system down. Im way to excited for it and it needs to be complex..

  21. Gechoon 01 Nov 2011 at 10:59 am

    I think adding a talent tree system for crafting would be good and offer a lot more versatility to crafting. Think of it this way every 100 points in your crafting lvl you get 5 points to spend in your tree now in that tree you could add 5 points to a stam bonus so every item you craft from that point on will get the standard stats plus the 5 stam you have from talents or you could have 1 point in stam 1 in int 1 in det etc so all you gear then has those extra stats. I dont know how hard this would be to implement but think that it would offer a wide range of diversity to the crafting market that you could for instance stam stack for tanking gear or wisdom stack for healing gear it would make ppls crafting more specialised and useful end game at least imo.

    On the other hand i like some of the ideas put in on the original post althou just to say im sure they have announced(or at least i read somewhere) that crew skills are dependent on how they feel towards you and that they have a chance of crit abilities be it they can make an upgrade or make 2 for the matt cost of one also find rare items while gathering etc which is good but at the same time luck based which im not a great fan of. (ofc this may be wrong and i read something that was incorrect)

    Althou I personally would like a crafting system that is simply to lvl I do want to be able to craft items that have use end game be it on par with flashpoint/operations or by adding epic items that are very hard to replace or by doing raid pattern drops. I watched an interview with daniel erickson i think it was when he said the best boots in the game are craftable but you need items that can only be gotten from operations. Althou this is good and opens up the market slightly I can help think that it will hinder a lot of crafters as they may not have the ability,guild, or other means to go in operations to get the matts.

  22. Swtorcrafteron 02 Nov 2011 at 8:27 pm

    @prenerfed and @gecho, thank you guys for your views on this subject very nice and I appreciate it. you have both given me some really interesting things to think on indeed. 🙂

  23. oleumon 20 Nov 2011 at 8:10 pm

    NDA is now off obviously. The system is more complex than WoW and LotRO. Something from EnB maybe in the reverse engineering. I’ve only played just a little recently but there’s enough complexity to make it interesting.

    The make or break for me will be the way that the “Auction House” functions and the usefulness of crafted items.

    PoTBS and FFXI had the crafters AH system to beat them all. The WoW/LoTRO system is fail for a crafter. The in game AH is not something I’ve had time to look at much in TOR beta but think its more WoW than PotBS. Of course if crafting does require some effort on behalf of the crafter, big ticket items will never make it to the AH system anyway. Not with a WoW type system.

    The usefulness doesn’t “have” to be there at launch. New schematics could be introduced at any time. The mod system could allow items with very good but not best stats be craftable that could exceed raid items in some cases (critical versions of artifact quality with perhaps multiple open mod slots). There does need to be a reason to craft or you may as well leave the system out of the game.

    So I am optimistic at this stage. It has potential, if the right decisions are made down the line. What is there at launch almost certainly won’t be there in 6 months or a year. There are 2 stats at the moment for Companion Craft Skills. Maybe they will become modifiable at some point in time. Perhaps gear with crafting stat boosts will be craftable? There are still many possibilities, don’t write it off yet.