Finally SWTOR is released and operating, the NDA is not a problem anymore, and I have had time to experience and digest the crafting system in SWTOR. It has been a long drawn out time of waiting for this game and to find out if I will be pleased or not based on what they have created as their crafting system and dubbed “crew skills”.
At the onset of this article I want to say right away that I am pleased. It is a system that I have found to be fun and engaging, with just the right amount of complexity and diversity to allow me to find niches that I actually enjoy spending my time crafting in for me, for my friends, and the people who buy my products on my server. It appeases some of the fears I had in this article, before I actually had a chance to get my hands on it.
Some of the things I personally look for when testing out a new crafting system to see if I feel it is a success are things like these three indicators listed next. They are signs to me that a crafting system is worth my time and that I will enjoy it. While these are not all the things I look for, they still represent a very important part of my overall happiness as a crafter in a MMO game realm. Be prepared, personal opinions follow!
Am I able, by using my crafting skills I have chosen, to self support my character and my friends with quality gear and items I have personally made for them?
I chose Bounty Hunter as My main class that I am focusing on, I chose the advanced class of “Mercenary” and specced myself into a pure DPS role with a smidgen of heal ability for me and my companions. The two things I am concerned about as that class is my armor, because I have the ability to wear heavy armor from the Armormech crew skill to stay alive, and my blasters provided from the Armstech crew skill , so I can make stuff dead and get its loots.
I had the fortune of having a friend that wished to play a BH also with a advanced class choice of mercenary and the two of us made a very formidable pair indeed. I chose to work the Armor needs for the two of us and he chose to focus on the weapons.
This worked out surprisingly well and we were both poster children for the others work. We were always sporting the best purples made by the other that those skills could provide at any level range as we traveled through the content. Our gear allowed us to bulldoze through anything thrown at us at level, and up to 3 or so levels above us as long as we didn’t take on too many at once. I was proud to know that I was making armor that was as good as anything I saw on anyone else, or on the Galactic Trade Network aka the “auction house”.
We never felt the need to buy items off the GTN that were of the same skill we were crafting from, it wasn’t necessary, our gear was top of the line. The only thing we ever bought was modifications to supplement the mod gear we could make to fine tune it to our class and skill needs. There was other options like loot drops from warzones or flashpoints that had gear that was comparable and sometimes better but for the most part our gear we made was always at hand and very excellent. This was a total win in my opinion.
Is the system deep enough to provide a challenge and ensure that my effort pays off with the ability to call myself an elite crafter in my area of specialty, to feel like I have a niche?
You bet it is. It is challenging to say the least. There are many options in what you are able to craft, and many opportunities to learn more. Always growing, always adding to your repertoire of products you can provide. Thrown in the item modification system and wow the possibilities are staggering.
This means that the chaff will be blown away from the ranks of the would-be-master-craftsmen. The ones who truly have the dedication can shine and find that they have the ability to produce top quality items with high demand. To feel like they are truly special and elite and needed on their servers.
I don’t know how many times I have been searching the GTN and thought to myself that I could make better and have made better than anything I had seen for sale. I don’t know how many times I have inspected another character and come away with the conclusion that they needed to benefit from my skill and gear I could produce. I don’t know how many times people have seen the gear I wear and link to them in chat and say “wow that’s pretty awesome can you make me that”? From my point of view that is a total win.
Am I able to market my product to other players and on the GTN for a profit to fund all my crafting endeavors?
The answer is a surprising yes! Even for a market that is trying to find its feet and get established I still was able to make credits hand over fist from my gear sales. There is so much content to explore and experience at this point for me to have fully immersed myself in the options that alting provides but if I had the time I could totally see myself running around three characters or so, all supplying each other and being able make quite a profit from crafted gear and the excess materials provided from the mission skills.
Taking the perspective of a single player character running the Armormech skill though I was always able to produce and sell my best gear. I didn’t not waste time trying to sell the greens or blues because I needed all of them to reverse engineer to make it to the third tier of crafting skill products, the purple item schematics. That was the bulk of what I sold and my bread and butter. (I did also have good luck selling the blue critted versions of items as well, but frankly they were worth more to me as fuel to reach the purple tier to bother with trying to sell.)
For example the purple tier chest piece items at around a level 35-45 range I can make, I still have no problem selling for about 7-11k credits each pretty reliably. On average per piece, the mission credit cost of gathering the materials for these items myself was averaging out around 30 or so percent of the items sell price at that range which translated into a very good profit in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that if I was in a hurry to craft something and didn’t want to wait on the missions or gathering skill results, often times I could find really good deals on the GTN for those materials as well.
With the profits I had from doing my quests, loot drops, and item sales I was very self reliant and was able to constantly fund my missions, buy new skills for my class, and buy mods for my gear. In my opinion this is a win as well, and was a nice change from always being broke in other games.
These indicators let me know personally that I am very pleased with this system and foresee a bright future ahead as a crafter in SWTOR. A future where I as a crafter can be able to be needed and useful through my crew skills for myself and my friends and even my server which is a breath of fresh air and something I have longed for since the days of early UO or pre NGE SWG.
Bioware in my opinion has done an outstanding job with the crew skills system in SWTOR, what are your thoughts?
Do you agree or disagree?
Have you felt differently?
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