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Help me understand how crew skills are supposed to fit into the game.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
Help me understand how crew skills are supposed to fit into the game.

Koshea's Avatar


Koshea
01.04.2012 , 06:00 AM | #1
While I'm leveling, crew skills can provide me with up to date gear so I stay killing enemies as fast as possible. But no one crafting profession will be able to keep all of my gear or my companion's gear up to date. So it's more like shoring up one area so I can focus on other areas with quest rewards and commendations and such.

But if I really focus on crafting while leveling I find myself strapped for cash quite often when it comes to repairs, abilities and getting my speeder. I try not to send my companions out on missions more than one level higher than I currently can use basically because every time I hit a new planet I craft my skill up as high as that planet says I should be able to use.

By contrast, I leveled a gathering only PC up to 50 and had no issues at all with money right up to buying level 50 speeder training and 11 skills plus I'd already bought my level 50 speeder and gotten all but the last bag expansion and an extra cargo bay. I'd say I felt I had no money issues at all.

On the flip side if I wait till I'm 50 to start crafting, it seems you miss out on most of the focus of crafting as level I haven't seen anything amazing for level 50's come out of crafting, with the exception of Biochem only because it reduces consumable purchase, I can do just about everything a biochem can do (minus implants) with money and if that's the best I can get with level 50 crafting that's a little disappointing.

So at what point am I supposed to be crafting? It's too costly while leveling up if you go for blues and purples and it doesn't keep up with quest rewards if you only use it for greens. Yet at level 50 the reason to craft and all the coolness of Reverse Engineering up to purple seems drastically fall out.

Only thing I can figure right now is crafting is useful at level 50 to gear out alts as they level. And the more level 50 crafting characters you have, the better geared your NEXT alt is going to be while leveling. I hope that's not the extent of it, but it's the best I have come up with so far.

At the moment I'm thinking every leveling character should be either all gathering or Biochem. Because reusable stims, adrenals and medpacs basically turn those items into extra class abilities rather than consumables. I can deal with a crafting skill that basically gives me abilities that mean I don't have to spend money on consumables.

Does anyone else have any other options? I know there's lots of anecdotes about "I had enough money to buy everything all the way up, your obviously a bad player if you don't have all the money in the Star Wars universe" but those are not helpful. I believe I proved I could manage my money well enough by leveling a character to 50 and not having any trouble, it's now while I'm leveling a second that I'm having all kinds of money issues and it's really coming down to how expensive it is to craft but I want it to be worth it.



Here's a second point I'd like to make that makes it hard to be a good crafter. Let's say I want to be a crafter of Might Mods (first of all, what happened to the odd numbered mod mods, I'm only getting the even numbered ones from the trainer), so I go out of my way every time I gain a new one to RE it all the way up to epic. Great, I've spent a lot of time, a lot of money getting it up there. Now I go to make a bunch and sell them because that's what I want to sell in and the max I can post them for is 2 days. Is there a reason this is so short? It's something that really frustrated me about WoW and unless it's a server issue with handling all those item for that long I see no reason for it to only last that long. With a 2 day max posting you are really driving the economy to fluctuate rapidly on the cost of an item. With the stuff I was posting with my gathering character there was no point in going through all the menu's needed to see what something was going for, the time felt wasted. I just posted at default value and said to hell with it if I screwed up the market, it's only for 2 days, but if enough people do that, and you know they are, especially since going through the motions of looking up the menu's needed to check the price will generally show you that most people either didn't or arrived at the same conclusion, enough people are posting at default price I can't increase the cost.

So at this point, why not just have a vendor instead of the GTN, this vendor will pay you full default price for anything you give him minus his cut and sell you anything the game has that can be traded for default price. Honestly, with the horribly clunky interface the GTN has, the default values being entered for you and the longest posting time of 2 days, this is a better solution than a GTN for server load on all those items.

To be clear, I don't want this option, that would take away a big aspect of community from the game. What I DO want is a solution that doesn't make this option seem better than the GTN. Right now, it is not.

Solutions
- Make it at least a week I'd like to see even a month that we can post our stuff, this will generate a real economy as people actually compete price wise and supply and demand actually make a difference for the same cost it is for 2 days now. (For Example, there are no skill barrels on the GTN, is that because the people who make them didn't post any recently or because there's a genuine lack of people who make them or interest in making them. Who knows, guess I'll check back in a bit) I don't want to either have a bank alt sitting at the GTN and log on to check him every 2 days or come back to the fleet from questing JUST to check my auctions cause they flooded my mailbox every two days. I'll check the current going prices and price competitively if I can do it once a week and see if it sells. I don't post green items on the GTN cause quite frankly, I don't believe it's going to be checked by anyone who cares enough within those two days and I can get straight cash from a vendor.

- Slicing was nerfed because it generated straight credits at too fast a rate. Well, why not do go the other way with it. Someone who's got a crafting profession and a mission profession, how do they generate cash? GTN, no. Why not make a blue craftable item that vendors will pay quite a bit for, so you crafters can keep up with the cost of living. You need the common mats, the rare mats and the crafting skill but with that you can craft your own money as well, or have it craft a credit case or something. Anything to make crafting better at generating credits without having to overnerf slicing. This would cause items on the GTN to go down as more people buy them to RE them if they are low enough value and basically establish a market value for almost any item, it would encourage lower level players to post green items on the GTN if they can't RE them themselves, and the proper crafter could buy that item, RE it, craft a vendorable item and make his money back, both people win, community established, item stays on the server a little longer than if the original person vendors it but clears out a lot of the worthless greens that clutter the GTN today.

TLDR
- Crafting is uesful but too expensive while leveling
- Crafting is fine moneywise but not useful at level 50 (except Biochem)
- Crafting's main purpose these days is outfitting alts (except Biochem)
- GTN needs an overhaul, in no way does a system designed to work like a less functional version of WoW's and without mods benefit sellers (ie crafters)

Solutions
- Make posted items able to stay on the GTN Longer, a lot longer.
- Make craftable vendorable items to help crafters cover costs.
Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts
Study Hard, Be Evil

Aepervius's Avatar


Aepervius
01.04.2012 , 06:37 AM | #2
I heard (but could not verify) that all GTN are local to each planet, aka what you post on taris is only visible on taris.

Should it be the case, a great step forward would be to make the GTN trully a network and truly galactic by having all item posted accessible from all planet.
Tempus Fugit : Omnes Vulnerant, Ultima Necat Ergo Memento Mori .

Koshea's Avatar


Koshea
01.04.2012 , 06:44 AM | #3
I can verify that they are the same from Dromund Kaas and the Fleet, beyond that I'm not sure, are there even GTN locations on the other planets, I never found or checked them if they were.
Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts
Study Hard, Be Evil

Rizem's Avatar


Rizem
01.04.2012 , 07:43 AM | #4
Crafting has been a side game in MMO's for a while now, unfortunately. Where does it fit in? It's just something else to do if you enjoy it, it doesn't have a specific reason or place in leveling/equiping.

As for the GTN, 2 days is a little annoying but also has its benefits. Right now especially, 1 week or 1 month is a huge amount of time, things change so quickly.

I tend to price to market when selling my crafts, the 2 day limit means at times i have to match my competitors, but i can also put things on much higher, knowing it's likely at some point that item will be the only one on there and people will likely pay it.

As for default pricing, for loot drops sure, but any crafter really should be market pricing or cost+profit pricing, otherwise there's nort much point in crafting to sell. So no i think you're the exception there is being lazy.
UO->EQ->UO->SWG->UO->L2->WoW->PotBS->WoW->WAR->WoW->SW:ToR

Hett's Avatar


Hett
01.04.2012 , 07:51 AM | #5
Crew skills are broken. And I could bet it will stay this way, so my very own thread on the matter will be a total waste of time like it's been leveling up Synthweaving (for me) to 400.

Hopefully though, that thread will be of some use for other developers lurking these forums looking for ideas for their game in development.

If you ask me, they'd been wiser not to put crafting into the game at all, instead of rushing a complete overhaul of it two weeks before release and no testing on it.

Having it live now requires guts to do the huge amount of fixes, rebalancing and reitemizing needed to fix it as a system. Odds of this happening = 0.000%

Koshea's Avatar


Koshea
01.04.2012 , 07:56 AM | #6
Which is my point about 2 day limits.

If you post yours at a higher price knowing at some point it's going to be the only one up there, that's an artificial limit imposed by only having a 2 day limit, you can't judge the value of something based on that.

If however some point during a week yours sells at that higher price because all the lower level one's have sold, well know we know there's demand for it and it probably should be selling at the higher price, in fact it's profitable to buy all the lower level ones and resell them at the higher price in that case.

I don't think it's being lazy to not use the GTN we have been given with all it's faults and just post stuff at the default value. I'd love to be able to price compare and post based on that but at the moment we just can't do that without a lot of effort and from what I've seen the effort isn't worth it.

Maybe a month is too long, maybe it's not, but it will even out the market (good for buyers) and show what's really profitable (good for sellers and game designers) versus when someone is just profiteering like how you mention.
Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts
Study Hard, Be Evil

Koshea's Avatar


Koshea
01.04.2012 , 08:07 AM | #7
And yet there are games where crafting works, and I don't think it would take much to make this work.

First, crafting doesn't generate credits very well, that needs to change, this isn't a completely player based economy like EVE or SWG so you need to be able to generate the resources that the game deals in, which is credits and that by itself will fix a lot of problems. Mainly establish a baseline that everything else should be more profitable than or it's not worth doing, it will give crappy items worth to people who can RE them and set a much firmer standard on what a specific raw resource is worth.

It would be great if it made the best in game stuff, but currently it doesn't and it doesn't need to in order to be useful, it just has to have a place. And in the world I live in people make stuff to make money even if it isn't the best stuff and currently that's not a function of crafting as you mainly entice other people to buy your stuff with money they have earned through -not crafting-

I think with a few fixes crafting could be a great system in this game, but right now it's missing some key components to make it worthwhile and then later it could be expanded upon, but right now they just need to make it worthwhile so it's worth doing.
Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts
Study Hard, Be Evil

Rizem's Avatar


Rizem
01.04.2012 , 08:11 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Hett View Post
Crew skills are broken. And I could bet it will stay this way, so my very own thread on the matter will be a total waste of time like it's been leveling up Synthweaving (for me) to 400.

Hopefully though, that thread will be of some use for other developers lurking these forums looking for ideas for their game in development.

If you ask me, they'd been wiser not to put crafting into the game at all, instead of rushing a complete overhaul of it two weeks before release and no testing on it.

Having it live now requires guts to do the huge amount of fixes, rebalancing and reitemizing needed to fix it as a system. Odds of this happening = 0.000%
You don't actually say anything of use here. Broken? You don't explain yourself and i don't think it's broken, i certainly don't see any reason not to have included it.

I guess you're talking mostly about the pvp/pve vs crafted balance and the relative cost. That is balancing, pure numbers and added schematics. Simple to fix, if they chose to. It's a design decision, not a black/white right/wrong.
UO->EQ->UO->SWG->UO->L2->WoW->PotBS->WoW->WAR->WoW->SW:ToR

Hett's Avatar


Hett
01.04.2012 , 08:19 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Rizem View Post
You don't actually say anything of use here. Broken? You don't explain yourself and i don't think it's broken, i certainly don't see any reason not to have included it.

I guess you're talking mostly about the pvp/pve vs crafted balance and the relative cost. That is balancing, pure numbers and added schematics. Simple to fix, if they chose to. It's a design decision, not a black/white right/wrong.
The reasons are in my forum signature.

Note: something in need of a fix is by definition broken. So they should fix it. And they won't.

Rizem's Avatar


Rizem
01.04.2012 , 08:24 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Koshea View Post
Which is my point about 2 day limits.

If you post yours at a higher price knowing at some point it's going to be the only one up there, that's an artificial limit imposed by only having a 2 day limit, you can't judge the value of something based on that.

If however some point during a week yours sells at that higher price because all the lower level one's have sold, well know we know there's demand for it and it probably should be selling at the higher price, in fact it's profitable to buy all the lower level ones and resell them at the higher price in that case.

I don't think it's being lazy to not use the GTN we have been given with all it's faults and just post stuff at the default value. I'd love to be able to price compare and post based on that but at the moment we just can't do that without a lot of effort and from what I've seen the effort isn't worth it.

Maybe a month is too long, maybe it's not, but it will even out the market (good for buyers) and show what's really profitable (good for sellers and game designers) versus when someone is just profiteering like how you mention.
The value is what it sells for, so yes you can judge the value. But i accept that having the 2 day limit impacts the value.

You're ignoring supply and demand in your examples and it mostly invalidates them. If mine sells, yes we know there's probably demand at that or higher price, but that doesn't mean if you put yours on at a higher price they will necessarly sell, becuase I'm still going to under cut you. In my example remember i put 1 on at a higher price as a tester or a profit squeeze, in the off chance it was the only one on there. All the rest of them i pitched to sell, that means undercutting the bulk of the market. If you keep buying up my cheaper ones and putting them on at the max price people will pay for them, I'll keep posting ones higher than my original but cheaper than you're trying to sell for. You are trying to price fix and unless you have super big pockets and limited supply, it rarely works.
The 2 day thing in this sence just keeps the market a bit more fluid, you can catch a lull and sell something higher than usual due to lack of supply, it allows prices to fluctuate quicker than they would if there was a constant benchmark. Most people undercut by fractions constantly, so you see the price very slowly drop forever. With shorter auctions it's much more likely for supply to stop at some point, allowing demand to force the price higher.

As for default/price comparing etc, I'd suggest again that's just you, or just the casual sellers. Yes it's a crappy interfact, yes it takes a while, but wow AH used to be horrible (not quite this bad) missing many of the convenience aspects that mods added then bliz put in the client. PotBS AH deliberately hid the asking price, which created it's own dynamic.
People who are crafting to sell are price matching and market checking and doing all those things. It's part of the game, if you chosoe not to do it, that's fine and you can still sell some stuff and make some money, but you won't maximise your sales and/or profit. Just like any area of the game, the more you put into it and try to maximise, the more you'll get out.

I know for a fact all my competitors are comparing and price matching becuase i see it lol and i'm forced to react to it! I also see the occassional seller who (like you) puts things on at crazy prices, either massively overpriced (i ignore them) or massively under priced (i also ignore them). But these people just sell 1 or 2 items, theyre casual sellers. In their case the 2 day rules makes little difference.

tldr - the 2 day rules isn't better or worse over all, so as it helps with server load, it's fine.
UO->EQ->UO->SWG->UO->L2->WoW->PotBS->WoW->WAR->WoW->SW:ToR