Like in other games, once you hit a certain level of crafting in SWTOR, you’ll go to your nearest Crew Skill Trainer and learn a number of new recipes. In this regard, crafting in SWTOR hasn’t broken any new ground, but BioWare has an ace up their sleeve in this department. Crafting has undergone a number of iterations throughout Beta, but one aspect that has crafters excited is the ability to reverse engineer our goods. There have been changes made to this mechanic as well, to expand its role in how crafters will approach their trades.
Do we have your attention yet? Excellent. Now here comes the fun part.
Reverse Engineering gives the crafter a chance to regain a portion of the materials used to create a given item, akin to how Disenchanting gear works in WoW. The beauty of Reverse Engineering, however, is that you also have a chance to learn a better quality version of a given item. Let’s look at one of the staple schematics for a [Compact Medpac], a recipe every Biochem crafter will have from scratch.
The crafter will crank out a number of these, and Reverse Engineer them, hoping to get lucky and learn a new schematic or recipe based on this item. Eventually, the player is informed that this has indeed occurred, and they go back into their Schematics List to see what the new version holds in store.
The Prototype version, [Prototype Compact Medpac], now adds an additional HoT (heal over time) component to the same recipe, and requires a Prototype bonding agent in the process. In the current builds, these additional materials are gotten via sending your companions out on Diplomacy Missions for Medical Supplies. Far be it from us to rest on our laurels though, we’re naturally curious to see what comes after this. Thus, we crank a number of these out, Reverse Engineering each one until greeted by the lovely system message alerting us to the addition of a new schematic.
The resulting recipe now requires an Artifact-quality item to produce. These are much rarer, and are also obtained from Diplomacy missions. Where the Prototype recipe added an HoT component, the Artifact-level [Reusable Compact Medpac] can actually be used over and over again. Now, here’s where things get interesting. The resulting reusable item? Look at how it actually requires Biochem (at skill level 1) to use. This is essentially a bonus for the crafter, as no one else (other than Biochemists with the appropriate skill level) would be able to utilize them.
I for one, will probably end up being pretty obsessive about obtaining the highest-quality recipes that I possibly can. Keep an eye on SWTOR-Spy’s Crew Skill Database for a list of such items as they are discovered!
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