the more I hear about SWG crafting system, the more I wish I would have been able to experience the game prior to the breaking changes made my Sony.
to the OP: I agree on many of your points. And don't think that my spam below is arguing your points, you have a good basis for the argument. I just found it puzzling that you used WoW's crafting system as an example. Avid crafter here...I'm the kind of guy that won't get to level cap for ages cause I'm crafting too much, creating alts to craft with, etc.
Out of all the systems I've crafted with, WoW's is the most generic and boring of them all. It's sole focus is leveling it to cap so that you can get the level cap items to use. the amount of items you can get from crafting that are actually better then the items you get while questing are slim to none. and usually they are rapidly out-leveled. even the purple tiered items are worthless...you get to the next expansion zone, and the greens their immediately outperform the previous purples you worked your butt off to make. so Wow's crafting is very bland and SOLELY focused on level cap. here's a few other things that SWtOR does that are better:
1) Everything you make has the potention of being much better then ANYTHING you can get in game for your specific level at the time. it takes work (crafting, RE for the next tier, crafting again) but it's there. unlike WoW's system, where you can't improve the base patterns. they are simply what they are. a Prototype lvl 16 set of legs, as an example, will outperform more quest reward and Comm rewards through lvl 22-24 easily.
2) Even the lower tier schemes are better then what you get via quests or comms. the comm based items (mods or equipment) are itemized very generically. As an example, if i want a high str armor mod for my JK, I need to craft it...all the amor mods from Comm vendors prioritize Vitality over Strength.
3) Augements. don't need to say more. there's your fur liners for bracers, your equipment buffs for eingineering, your ring enchants all rolled up into one....augements can severely boost a toons stats, even while you level. In comparison, fur liners aren't even available in WoW until 70 iirc because they origionally were an end game crafting item...not a leveling item. Same with ring enchants. can't get till 70 because....they were an end game bonus when BC was first put out. But you can augemnt anything you can craft (for the most part) as early as your teens.
4) the amount of special or powerful recipes you can find in SWtOR are far more then in WOW...and they are at all levels, unlike Wow where the "nice" patterns are only found at, again, level cap thresholds (because they were rewards from raiding, not leveling bonuses). But i can get a blue level 15 Schematic from UT that can be RE'd to a protoype tier piece of gear that will easily last me ten levels or more. If thats not a level based reward, I don't know what else would be. The fact that some people don't take advantage of it is probably due to RNG factor (you won't always have it), and lack of patience. but it's there.
those are just a few. not saying that it's perfect, but just pointing out that it's light years better then WoW's, and WoW's really doesn't cater to leveling toons any more (even less) then SWtOR's does. Not to mention that WoW killed ANY aspect of crafting being viable as you level with one thing: Heirloom items.
Plus...I was confused. You stated that SWtOR really needs more motivations to craft as you level (I agree), but the changes you mention are all really level cap based benefits. which I also agree with btw
having a special bonus for each craft I think is really needed. I fail to understand why they give synthweaving some of the best bracers and belts outside of campaign gear as "gimmes" once you hit 400 (I already have rakata bracers and belt crafted for my merc, and she's not even lvl 50 yet), but theres no implant for Bio? no earpiece for Cybertech? sure, cybertech gets to craft lvl 56 mods (if you get into the Ops to get the patterns), but they should have something like the earpiece. And....you have to run Ops to get the higher tier mod Schematics, whereas synth gets belt/bracers from the vendor for about 4k per schematic. So I agree with you, I was just confused as to how those bonuses are beneficial as you level?
If you meant providing BoP items at various tiers of crafting, then I could see that being a nice bonus. Like giving Cybertech's a BoP purple earpiece that is available from the vendor. you reach crafting level 100, get a level appropriate prototype equivalent schematic, and bam!. I definitely support that. make the materials reasonable too. the idea is that you are gaining experience as you craft, and are holding some of the best stuff aside for yourself. it shouldn't be any costlier then a level equivalent blue in materials.
I also support the idea of decaying products. Like special (purple or prototype level) items needing repair by the appropriate craft using a few materials as the cost, or something like that. Or having to use higher grade materials to craft higher tier items, like a grade a phobium metal for a prototype, but a green can use grade D or grade E material). all of that sounds very involved and fun to do.