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SWTOR Crew Skills 101: Basic Crafting Guide

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
SWTOR Crew Skills 101: Basic Crafting Guide

Fyresygn's Avatar


Fyresygn
12.13.2011 , 07:54 AM | #1
Disclaimer: I put this information together for myself and decided it might be useful for others. I am certain that I didn’t get everything right, so please feel free to post corrections and I’ll happily update accordingly. Thanks!


Crafting Map: http://www.oldrepublic.net/258-crew-...endencies.html


Overview
Crew Skills/crafting in SWTOR is different from and similar to crafting in other MMOs. You still need to level up your skills, and you still have production vs. gathering professions, but your character won’t be standing at a workbench or a forge in SWTOR. Here is a brief overview of how it works:
  • As you play the game, you gain companions (up to 5) and a starship that becomes your crew’s headquarters. In SWTOR, you send your crewmembers out on missions (to gather materials) or to have them produce goods for you.
  • In this respect, you are more of a manager who juggles multiple crewmembers’ work. This also allows you to keep doing other things, like questing or killing, while your crewmembers are out producing/gathering goods.
  • Beginning gathering missions typically take 3 or 6 minutes, while crafting a green-quality item usually takes about 1 minute. Higher quality items take more time to produce.
  • As you gain more favor/affection with individual crewmembers (based on the decisions you make in game or gifts you give them), they work faster for you, decreasing the time it takes them to gather or craft something.
  • Crewmembers have different bonuses to Crew Skills, so that one crewmember might have a +15 to Underworld Trading, or another might have +1 to Crit on a Slicing mission. For more information on specific bonuses for each companion, see this thread by ForceWelder: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=3734


The Basics
After leaving your starter world around level 10, you will find yourself aboard a starship where you get to select your Advanced Class (hooray!). You will also pick up quests leading you to the Crew Skills trainers. Some things to know:
  • Go and talk to every skill trainer in the area, even if you don’t want to pick up that skill (just hit Cancel when they ask if you want to learn it). Each conversation you have gets you 450XP and an entry about that profession in your Codex. The Codex explains each profession in more detail and can be accessed from your Mission/quest window (triangle at the top of your screen) and the Codex tab at the bottom of that window.
  • You may learn 3 total skills per character. The only restriction is that you can only learn ONE production skill. But beyond that, you could take 3 gathering professions or mix/match them as you see fit (more on production/gathering combos below).
  • Once you have decided on your crew skills, click the diamond icon at the top of the screen and a new window will appear with a crewmember’s picture and three icons for your known professions. At this point, you can begin sending out your companion to gather materials. For example, if you have taken Underworld Trading, you can send your companion out on a mission to trade for rare metals or fabrics.
  • Each mission costs you some credits/$$ to fund and typically takes a few minutes. The longer missions have a better chance of bringing back a higher quality crafting material (i.e. a blue or purple quality item, instead of a green/white).
  • Some gathering skills also allow you to interact with items in the world to get materials. For example, Bioanalysis lets you analyze the corpses of various creatures you kill or plants you find on different planets. Archaeology allows you to scan crystal deposits found on planets and in cities.
  • Crafting an item can result in a critical success, which adds an “Augmentation” slot to the item. Augments are special enhancements gathered from the Slicing skill.


Reverse Engineering (RE)
This ability, learned with all production Crew Skills, allows you to break down item types you know how to create into their component parts (i.e. Synthweavers can RE some armor types, while Artificers can RE Light Sabers). This gives you back some of the materials you used to craft the item, but more importantly it gives you a chance to learn a recipe for a better-quality version of the item. In this way, you can progress from a green-quality item to a blue and eventually to a purple with enough Reverse Engineering attempts. For example, if you RE a green-level Medpac you might learn its blue-quality equivalent that heals for more and provides a HoT effect as well. Then, if you RE enough blue-quality Medpacs, you might learn the purple-quality version, which is an unlimited and re-useable Medpac item.



Gathering and Mission Skills


Archaeology
Through missions, this skill gathers Color Crystals, Power Crystals, and Artifact Fragments, materials used for creating Force-based weapons and armor. Color crystals are materials for Artifice, while Power Crystals and Artifact Fragments are used in both Artifice and Synthweaving. Archaeology also allows you to gather materials out and about in the world by scanning various geodes and crystal formations. These nodes are tracked on your mini-map.


Bioanalysis
Through missions, this skill gathers Biochemical Samples and Biochemical Compounds that are both used in Biochem. Bioanalysis also allows you to gather materials out and about in the world by scanning the corpses of defeated creatures or from plants on planets and in cities. These nodes (including creature corpses) are tracked on your mini-map.


Diplomacy
Through missions, this skill gathers Medical Supplies used in Biochem. Diplomacy also has the unique aspect of rewarding Dark Side and/or Light Side points as well, depending on the missions. For example, in the mission “A Cure For What Ails You,” you send your companion to negotiate for the release of an important cure, and you gain both Medical Supplies and Light Side points. In the mission, “Knows Too Much,” you send your companion to convince the Hutts to execute a captured thief to keep him quiet, gaining you some Medical Supplies and some Dark Side points.


Investigation
Through missions, this skill gathers Researched Compounds used in Armstech for making weapons. Investigation also sometimes produces a “schematic” (or recipe) for other professions, which may be sold at the auction house or traded. Finally, Investigation also uncovers completely new Missions themselves, which can provide rare materials for all professions, item enhancements/modifications, or rare gear. These Missions can be traded/sold like the above schematics.


Scavenging
Through missions, this skill gathers Scavenged Compounds and Scavenged Metals that are used to craft item enhancements, armor, or weapons. Scavenged Compounds and Metals are materials used in Cybertech, Armstech, and Armortech. Scavenging also allows you to gather materials out and about in the world by collecting scrap metals. These nodes are tracked on your mini-map.


Slicing
Through missions, this skill typically brings back more credits than it costs and is therefore a direct source of profits (i.e. you send out your companions to slice/crack a safe, or to acquire/steal rare computing equipment). It also produces lockboxes and cases, which can contain gear and items. It also is the only source of gaining Augments, which fit into the Augmentation slot in gear (slots that appear from a critical success when crafting gear). Lastly, Slicing sometimes allows for different paths to be taken in instances (i.e. slicing open a door…think lock-picking).


Treasure Hunting
Through missions, this skill gathers Gemstones used for creating items in Artifice (Force-based weapons). Similar to Slicing, it also has missions that bring back valuables that can be sold, and is a source of profit (i.e., you spend 100 credits to fund a mission, but get back 150 credits in return).


Underworld Trading
Through missions, this skill gathers Luxury Fabric and Underworld Metal used to create various gear and enhancements. Luxury Fabric is used in Synthweaving (Light Armor), while Underworld Metal is used in Synthweaving (Medium and Heavy Armor), Armortech, and Cybertech.



Crafting Skills


Armortech
This skill creates armor used by the Trooper/Bounty Hunter and Smuggler/Imperial Agent classes. It manufactures Medium and Heavy armor with stats suited to non-Force users (Aim, Cunning, Endurance, and secondary stats). As many beta testers will agree, if you skill up your crafting as your character gains levels, the crafted gear is far better than gear you receive from questing alone (and on-par with gear from instances). Granted, the profession does not produce anything but gear, however you will get a full set of epic/purple-quality gear (BoP) at max level.

Armortech relies on materials from:
Scavenging: Scavenged Compounds and Scavenged Metal
Underworld Trading: Underworld Metal


Armstech
This crew skill primarily creates weapons used by the Trooper/Bounty Hunter and Smuggler/Imperial Agent classes, although it also produces weapons useable by Jedi Knights and Consulars in the form of Vibrobaldes (with Strength stats) and Electrostaves (with Willpower stats). I’m not entirely certain why someone would use a Vibroblade over a Light Saber, but perhaps it is for flavor that is actually functional. It is also likely that these weapons are for companions who have STR as their main stat, but cannot wield a Light Saber, making this skill one that should have wide appeal. Armstech also creates Blaster Barrels that are used to upgrade/enhance weapons.

Armstech relies on materials from:
Scavenging: Scavenged Compounds and Scavenged Metals
Investigation: Researched Compounds


Artifice
This crew skill creates a variety of items, including Light Saber upgrades (Hilts) for both Jedi Knights/Sith Warriors and Jedi Consulars/Sith Inquisitors. Additionally, it also manufactures the Color Crystals used by all weapons that provide bonuses to Endurance and/or Critical Rating and changes the color of your weapon. Artifice also makes Enhancements that give stat bonuses (mainly Endurance and secondary stats) and can be used to upgrade either weapons or armor. Artifice also makes off-hand items for Force Users (Focus), as well as Troopers/BH (Generators and Shields). Finally, this skill also makes Relics that fill the Relic slot on your character screen.

Artifice relies on materials from:
Archaeology: Power Crystals, Color Crystals, and Artifact Fragments
Treasure Hunting: Gemstones


Biochem
This crew skill creates consumables that give stat bonuses or restore health, as well as Implants (equipped items). The consumable item types are: Stims (moderate primary stat bonuses for 60/120 minutes), Adrenals (large secondary stat bonuses for 15 seconds), Medpacs (restores health to you), and Med Units (restores health to you and your companion). Implants are items you can equip in the Implant slot on your character screen and give a combination of both Primary and Secondary stat bonuses.

Biochem relies on materials from:
Bioanalysis: Biochemical Samples and Biochemical Compounds
Diplomacy: Medical Supplies


Cybertech
This crew skill produces a variety of interesting items, including Armoring for all armor types (that give Primary stat bonuses), Mods for weapons/armor upgrades, Cores/Parts/Motors for Droid armor enhancements, and Armor/Weapon Upgrades for your ship. You can also make Transport Beacons that teleport group members, and bombs that do AoE damage along with stun, slow effect, DoT, movement speed reduction (epic versions of these bombs have unlimited uses). Also, this skill makes Earpieces—equipped items in the ear slot on your character screen that gives Primary stat bonuses. Lastly, this skill creates BoP mounts: Custom-Built Hoverbike, Custom-Built Speederbike, and Hotrigged Speederbike (epic mount).

Cybertech relies on materials from:
Scavenging: Scavenged Compounds and Scavenged Metals
Underworld Trading: Underworld Metal


Synthweaving
This crew skill creates armor for all Force users, including light, medium, and heavy types. As many beta testers will agree, if you skill up your crafting as your character gains levels, the crafted gear is far better than gear you receive from questing alone (and on-par with gear from instances). Granted, the profession does not produce anything but gear, however you will get a full set of epic/purple-quality gear (BoP) at max level.

Synthweaving relies on materials from:
Archaeology: Power Crystals
Underworld Trading: Underworld Metals and Luxury Fabrics

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ChimDeathmonkey
12.13.2011 , 08:01 AM | #2
Nice write up. And yes, in most cases my crafted gear was well ahead of my quest rewards.
Spoiler

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bakdafunk
12.13.2011 , 08:20 AM | #3
Excellent post very helpful and informative

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Dartmed
12.13.2011 , 08:21 AM | #4
Excellent post. Very informative and well written.

My thanks to you sir
Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease

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Vadau
12.13.2011 , 08:24 AM | #5
Nice guide! thanks.
]

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Trishot
12.13.2011 , 08:53 AM | #6
Nice one mate, I vote sticky!

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VegaPhone
12.13.2011 , 08:59 AM | #7
For Bio Chem, is it necessary to get Diplomacy to progress the production/crafting skill of creating higher tier items, or does diplomacy act like Bio-analysis and collects the materials automatically instead?

It seems Diplomacy has a nice way of creating dark side light side points but other than that, I would rather collect the items manually and put a different skill instead to do other things.

Is that possible, or would I be limiting my production/crafting in Bio Chem?

Also thnx for the very useful guide.

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skidrows
12.13.2011 , 09:01 AM | #8
Nice Thx.

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magicMOJO
12.13.2011 , 09:06 AM | #9
Good info, thanks.
"I started to work my mojo, to counter their mojo; we got cross-mojolation, and their heads started exploding." -AP

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MethodiusTOR
12.13.2011 , 09:09 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by VegaPhone View Post
For Bio Chem, is it necessary to get Diplomacy to progress the production/crafting skill of creating higher tier items, or does diplomacy act like Bio-analysis and collects the materials automatically instead?

It seems Diplomacy has a nice way of creating dark side light side points but other than that, I would rather collect the items manually and put a different skill instead to do other things.

Is that possible, or would I be limiting my production/crafting in Bio Chem?

Also thnx for the very useful guide.
You need diplomacy for mission "gathering" from your companion, you send them out to gather the supplies for you and they bring them back, I do not believe you can gather these materials yourself, or you can always buy them on the AH.