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Swapping out A/M/E's and other ??s

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
Swapping out A/M/E's and other ??s

Oakdusa's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 01:29 PM | #1
I have been looking for a recent reference to this question, and I can't find an answer: If I use Mod-able gear during the leveling process, how often should I be swapping out A/M/E modules?

I gather that the mod levels usually span 2 levels, but swapping out a full compliment of mods every 2 levels is excessive. (ie. 9 armouring, 7 mods, 7 enh). Should I try to push it to 4 levels? therefore going from mod lvl 14 to lvl 16? or try to stretch it out to 6 levels? going from mod level 14 to 17?

Are the gear stats over-weighted in certain gear slots? (ie. do pants carry more stat weight than head slots). Since the mod gear have useless base stats, I am leaning toward "all gear slots are created equal, since they use the same sets of A/M/E.

Are Augments really a End-game slot? or should I consider getting the Augment slots unlocked?

tharbison's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 01:38 PM | #2
Everyone has their own 'strategy' when it comes to replacing mods, I'd say to remain effective in combat you should aim to replace them every 5 levels or so. It's not a science but that seems to be the consensus.

I'm not sure about the weighting - I've never heard anything to that effect I believe they're all the same.

I've never used augments - have heard they're mostly an end-game thing, and I don't play end game

MidichIorian's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 02:06 PM | #3
For me it's down to three things:

*When it's convenient. If I'm in the middle of a planet and realize that "oh snap, I'm in ten levels old mods" but I'm still doing fine I'm not going to go out of my way and find a vendor.

* When I have a bunch of comms. I'm usually skipping all the side-quests so I don't have a steady in-flow of planetary comms. The lack of comms can delay the process.

*Depending on what type of a/m/e's the vendor has to offer. For instance, a lot of planetary vendors only carry Patron mods for smugglers/agents so if I fairly recently put on skill mods I'm probably going to drop in main stat if I swap to patron, even if patron is a few levels higher. So whenever this happens I'll wait til' I'm high enough to use the next vendor. This also applies to other classes, some vendors only have, for instance, force wielder stuff and if you're playing sage/sorc it's better to get resolve mods.

All that said, I don't believe in gear being an issue, or atleast not as long as you keep it within reasonable levels. It may not be a good idea to travel to Voss in lvl 1 gear but I've been through it in lvl 25 mods and it was by no means impossible. Then again, other things, such as presence factor in too. If you have 700 presence whil leveling you're going to have much more help from your companion than a person who's on his/her first char with only the baseline presence. This makes gearing up a bit more forgiving.

Khevar's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 02:13 PM | #4
Generally speaking, I wait until I've a) reached the commendation cap or b) combat becomes a slog because my gear is underpowered.

phalczen's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 02:15 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Oakdusa View Post
Are the gear stats over-weighted in certain gear slots? (ie. do pants carry more stat weight than head slots)
This is the case for the amount of armor rating (and therefore damage reduction) that a piece contributes to your total. So, an armoring with a rating of 66 will translate into x armor rating for head/chest/leggings, but something less than x for gloves and boots, and even less for belt and bracers. (X depends on whether you are talking about Light/Medium/Heavy armor and whether the armoring is artifact/prototype/premium.)

However, 40 endurance on a head piece is worth as much as 40 endurance on a belt.

So, when you upgrade, you should put the highest rating armoring you own into the chestpiece/head/leggings first. Unless you have an offhand that uses armorings like Shields, Generators, and Foci, in which case you should feed your offhand first and then armor. Mods and enhancements, on the other hand, can be distributed anywhere you like.

Norcroft's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 02:17 PM | #6
Green mods : 4-5 lvl, blue: 6-7lvl and purple : 9-10 lvl your mileage may vary. If you are a tank class then the armor/ rating of the item will matter a bit. So for highest to least armor rating with same modification chest > legs -helmet > gloves - boots > belt - wrist. Also chest/leg/helmet/glove/boots have 3 slots (a/m/e) while belt/wrist just have 2( a/m ) so fill the 1st group first for more stats. Augments are usefull for endgame min/max'ing of stats to beat enrage timers/bosses but for regular pve is mainly a nice bonus.
If this is your 1st char save the trouble and use the class quest reward gear on self and companions. Flashpoint drops are awesome. Use comms to upgrade weapons or get slot items you do not have yet (helmets early levels not very sexy). Once maxed level and have some credits banked then go all in on an alt character with full mod sets.
I say this only because it gets costly quick trying to pay for all the mod upgrades, new abilities and any crew skills, repairs, medpacks, stims, adrenals, cantina buffs, mounts, pets and whatever else you like on GTN. Trying to take a taxi to your next quest area or fly ship to next planet only to find out your broke sucks a bit.

Oakdusa's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 02:42 PM | #7
Thanks a ton, these are all very helpful responses. I have been stockpiling Planetary Comms (since i don't need gear) and now I know to look for A/M/E modules on planet vendors......Awsome.......Now to find the right vendors.......
" The two most common elements in The Universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity......."
Harlan Ellison

Merouk's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 03:05 PM | #8
I believe that the game is tuned so you can still win if your gear is 5 levels below your character level (but it will be hard). And the rule is for GREEN gear (green armor, or green modifications inserted into orange armor). Blue is 4 levels higher than green, and purple is 4 levels higher than blue. So technically you'll be ok with blue gear 9 levels under your level, or purple 13 levels lower.

Most people replace whatever they can with BLUE quality every 5 levels of so, basically as they get to the next planet. So they end up with a mix of blue and green quality items that puts them about 3 levels ahead, so as they finish the planet, they're still within the range of the enemies.

For cheapest source of gear:

- Check the GTN for cheap modifications as you're about to go to a new planet, but if there's nothing cheap:

- Buy green quality armorings, barrels, and hilts from the "mods" vendor on each planet

- Use planetary commendations to buy BLUE mods and enhancements from the "commendations" vendor on each planet. These vendors also offer blue armorings, but at a cost of 7 comms, much more expensive than the 2 comms required for mods and enhancements.

- You can keep yourself + 2 companions in full orange this way, so ignore all other companions and only gear up your tank and your healer companion. Some quests may require a certain companion, but it should be a simple matter of buying some cheapo green gear from the GTN prior to doing that quest, then ignoring that companion afterwards.

- Your class quest or the various planet quests give out orange armor pieces at the final step, and they are fully modded (for the level where you get them). You get the pants at the first planet, the chest at the second, and so on, and you can end up with a full orange outfit (that matches itself). But, trying to set ALL your companions up in orange pieces will cost you a lot of credits.

- Each companion comes with his/her own modifiable weapon. It's colored green rather than orange, but the quality will be whatever mods you put into it. Nar Shaddaa has a vendor that sells orange modifiable off-hands (shields, knives, shotguns, etc.) for 14 planet comms each, and I'd recommend getting those for all your companions, because it can be hard to find shields and foci on the GTN at higher levels. Plenty of green armor for everybody, but not very many shields/foci/shotguns/etc.

- Shop the GTN over the weekend, if you can. There's a lot more stuff for sale, and prices are slightly better.

- Don't train crafting skills; they will drain your wallet. Train gathering skills and just gather mats and sell them for credits on the GTN at whatever the going rate; you can make a tidy profit, definitely enough to keep yourself geared up.

swtonewbie's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 05:19 PM | #9
I upgrade every 4 levels

When i first started playing i didnt have a cybertech so i had to use all planet comms. Also i never did any heroic +2, +4 or dailies so i had to plan out my comm spending early on. Below is what i ended up doing

level 15: upgrade chest, gloves, wrist, weapon/offhand--1 armoring and 1 enhancement from quest reward. First upgrade barrel/hilt, then armorings, then mods, then enhancements

level 19: upgrade pants, boots, belt, weapon/offhand

level 23: upgrade chest, gloves, wrist, weapon/offhand

level 27: upgrade pants, boots, belt--go to tatooine spaceport and look for the specialty goods vendor in the market place. For 11k-12k credits you can buy a weapon with blue quality mods, barrels/hilts, enhancements. The weapon itself has a level 28 requirement BUT the crystal and all mods have a level 27 requirement.

level 31 upgrade chest, gloves, wrist, weapon/offhand

After that i just keep alternating and around level 35-40 i will have a bunch more comms. The tatooine vendor is also very useful for saving 11 comms for a single weapon user, or more importantly 22 comms if you are a dual wield class or you already have a moddable offhand generator. I also do this for my companions since i usually dont have enough comms to spend on them this early.

Now the above strat is useful if you are a new player BUT i always recommend a new player should have at least 1 cybertech. My primary Cybertech has Scavenging and Underworld Trading so i could gather all the materials myself. With a cybertech i would craft 7-8 blue quality armoring and mods every 4 levels (same intervals as above) and i could use my comms for barrels and enhancements. And instead of alternating like i did above, i could now upgrade every moddable item every 4 levels. I could also craft armorings and mods for my companions, though for them i would just craft green quality since i didnt want to waste UW metal on them. For companion enhancements, i would give them my old ones when i upgraded. Since i had enough comms i could also afford to buy my companions their own barrels too.

Once i had that character with cybertech, scavenging, UW trading at level cap i would level alts that either had UW trading or slicing. I had a character for each of the crafting crew had cybertech, another had artifice and another had biochem. And each character had the supporting crew skills to go along with it. Once i started making more alts i would just have them pick up bioanalysis, scavenging, slicing, uw trading. Materials gathered would get sold on the GTN or go to the crafter to make sure they were stocked up. Slicing was of course to make more money so that i could buy UW metal when i didnt feel like gathering them with crew skills, or buying whatever.
I'm not really a noob...

Fidelicatessen's Avatar

03.24.2014 , 10:18 PM | #10
Some excellent responses here, but they haven't addressed your follow-up concern.

You should absolutely wait until max level to start worrying about augments. Huge waste of time/money if you're not max level yet.