Is there something I missed or is crafting just rubbish. With the creds I get by gathering and doing missions I get the value of a scingle crafted item from the GTN. And I do not have to craft 20 green, 20 blue and 1 purple one to get the right result combination. So. I get the item I want + creds for the not-wasted mats + creds for the not-leveled skill + the creds for the missions I did while other crafted stuff. I could even get Consumables frmo the market if I wanted to!
Is there anything, except the "for the lulz" I have missed? (Don't get me wrong, almost all my character have a crafting profession. I only realized this on my attempt of a Jedi, who soon was richer than my 55. Due to selling rather worthless mats on then GTN. And NOT using them.
Crafting is an investment. If you want quick returns then you are correct that gathering and missions are a good source of income. But if you look more long term, crafting is the better source of income.
ALL of what I craft is significantly profitable without crits
(I make sure by periodically checking materials' values on the GTN). And without trying very hard, I generate several million credits a week selling stuff from all the crafting skills.
There is also a self-sufficiency factor. Because I have all the crew skills (maxed out), I can create whatever I want for less than what it would cost to buy off the GTN. All it takes is time, and I plan ahead often enough that time is not a factor (I usually have whatever I want waiting for me when I can use it).
Lastly, especially while leveling, one does not need
the best of the best. This correlates two factors:
- One does not need purple quality while leveling; blue quality is often more than enough
- One does not need "optimal" stats; Sure you want the Overkill (Power) blue, but if you get the Critical blue that's good enough for leveling.
edit: Something else that just dawned on me: who do you think buys all those materials? Crafters. Without crafters you have no market to sell your materials to. So obviously, crafting is not a complete waste of time and credits otherwise no one would do it.