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Critical Analysis of Star Wars End Game Crafting:

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
Critical Analysis of Star Wars End Game Crafting:

Crionos's Avatar

06.02.2012 , 01:05 AM | #1
Sorry for the TLDR!
How to fix end game crafting in SWTOR:

A letter to Bioware:

Currently, has also been the case since launch, the only truly viable end game crafting has come from BioChem. They offer the ability to make Adrenals and Stims that can be used by all classes. While I have taken the time to collect a variety of Orange schematics on my Synthweaver, and Reverse Engineer Level 22 mods/Armoring’s on my Cybertech the remainder of end game crafting is horrible.

So how does Bioware fix this? It’s almost a design challenge and coming from someone with a background in video game design I believe I could have the solution.

First Bioware offered up a ton of end game crafting viability with Synthweavers, Armormech’s, and Armstech all being able to craft Augments. One look at the auction house shows exactly how profitable this can be because there is an overabundance of augments available for these crafters. But they are still Q51 Augments? Where are the Q56/Q61 Augments? Why not introduce these schematic into the game and offer them to players that earn enough Black Hole Commendations or random drops from the new Explosive Conflict Operation. I have seen lots of Tier 8 Crafting materials but absolutely zero schematics. I will say my guild has not cleared all of EC on story yet and will reserve final judgment until that has happened.

So Armstech, Armormech, and Synthweaving are really left to craft Orange Augment Schematics to help allow people to buy “Better Gear” shells to drop their Rakata/Battlemaster/War Hero/Columi Armoring/Enhancements/Mods into. This creates another possibility for a large amount of crafting options but there is a relatively small list of items that are available for orange gear crit. To me the simple design solution would be to introduce more orange Schematics. Bioware had Artifice crafters spending daily commendations to buy +41 stat crystal schematics which offer the best crystals in the game all the way up to the top levels of gear Why not offer new customizable gear options for crafters through the daily commendations?.

Now even Biochemist’s in the game do not get this favor, in order to get the +128 Stat Stims you must tirelessly raid and hope that trash mobs in the instance will drop the necessary schematics to advance your guild into the upper ranks of stimulants and adrenals. I am fine and dandy with Bioware having these upper level schematics be raid drops but their drop rates need to be increased significantly. Our guild had full cleared EV Nightmare mode and achieved the infernal title. We have been in that instance for over 3 months now and only seen these drop twice!

This leads me back to all of the schematics that drop from bosses in Operations in Eternity Vault and Kragga’s Palace. All of the schematics are Bind on Pickup for the schematic itself and usually BoP for the item itself. Unfortunately this doesn’t do much good for a synthweaver, armormech, or armstech character that doesn’t have a use for those schematics. As a guild we have hated just throwing them away for a few thousand credits so we have allowed our crafters to roll on them and only a few are ever going to use the schematics for anything valuable. These should be special schematics that are not necessarily on the same par as gear pieces from the content you are currently running but offer as BoE gap pieces.

For Example:
I receive a schematice for Exo Stalker Robes: This is an Item level 136 BoP rope dropped out of one of the Hard Mode instances. Now let’s just say best case scenario that I’m a Jedi Consular and a Shadow Spec. Outstanding I can craft this for my toon, except that I’m already running Hard Mode operations and receiving Rakata level gear weekly which are all item level 140. It is also highly unlikely that I would have any use for Columi grade Robes at this point. Therefore, the schematic is completely useless since it is a Bind on Pickup. Combine this with the need to get 2 Rakata Energy Nodes in order to even craft it. These only drop from Kragga or Soa on Hard Mode or if you spend 125 fleet comms for a grade 7 crafting material box. All for a schematic that is equivalent to the gear I’m already probably wearing if I’m running Hard Modes with my guild.

So how do I propose a fix for this?
The exotic crafting materials should all be able to be purchased but at a high cost. I think that the biometric crystal alloys should be available for around 20 daily commendations and that each crafting material should progress in cost based on the level of gear it can craft. Or it can be purchased through fleet commendations as well for those that would prefer the space missions to doing daily missions. I know that Bioware doesn’t want to just hand gear to players and give them free gear ups but at this point in the game 6 months after release the players that are gearing up now should be able to “fast track” into the new content that their guilds are running.

So what am I proposing going forward?

First: All crafting materials, Biometric Crystal Alloys, Rakata Energy Nodes, etc… should be available to purchase from either the Daily Comm’s vendor or the Black Hole Vendor if you want to really increase the costs drastically and fleet commendation vendors.

Second: Schematic drops should not drop set pieces but should offer “gap” pieces. For example if you are running normal mode Eternity Vault the schematic drops should offer gear prioritized for getting to the next level of the instance, in this case Eternity Vault Hard Mode. Since you are earning Columi level gear in these instances the schematic drops should be Bind on Equip and they should be Item Level 138, half way between Columi Item level 136 and Rakata Item level 140.
Take the following two pieces of gear:

Columi War Leader’s Boots
Item level: 136
+93 Strength
+116 Endurance
+53 Defense
+48 Shield

Rakata War Leader’s Boots
Item Level:140
+99 Strength
+124 Endurance
+57 Defense Rating
+51 Surge Rating

My schematic I would propose:
Whatever name you’d like to follow with, could be Exotech War Leader’s boots(even though there are already these boots in the game)
Bind on Equip
Item Level: 138
+96 Strength
+120 Endurance
+55 Defense
(any + tanking stat you would like to see here)

Since this is Bind on Equip now, Synthweavers now have a viable schematic to help craft gear that their fellow guildmates can utilize as well as offer a good revenue stream for many players that are gearing alts or are new to the game but what to jump right into content with their guilds. This system scales right on up.

So to further my example let’s say we are running Denova story mode:
I’m going to assume most of the players running story mode Denova are running the instance in mostly Rakata Grade gear so Item level 140: Success in the instance drops Black Hole Commendations which are used to purchase the entry level 146 gear. I don’t think that players should receive gear that can fill all of the slots but I do believe that they should get schematics that are Bind on Equip that gap from Rakata level to Black Hole level.

So: (BoE Schematics)
Synthweavers get: Belts/Bracers/ and one major piece, ie.. Helm, Leggings, or Boots (note no chest pieces or weapons)
Armormech: Same as Syntweavers but schematics for Aim and Cunning users.
Armstech: Barrels that offer Q60 Grade upgrades
Cybertech: Mods/Armorings/Earpieces Q60 grade level
Artifice: Hilts Q60 Grade, Black Hole Relics(step down from Campaign)
BioChem: Upgraded Stims and Adrenals to match content curve(Step down from Black Hole Implants)

If You want to provide crafter only rewards: Then top level crafting should allow end game crafters to make at this point in the game 2 Campaign level pieces that are Bind on Pickup but don’t carry any set bonuses. Very similar to how Bioware in release allowed new 50’s to craft Rakata grade Belts and Bracers, and Implants. Cybertech’s should be able to purchase Bind on Pickup Earpieces that are equivelant to Campaign level Ear pieces. All of this should be awarded through either the fleet commendations/Daily Commendations/ or Black Hole Commendations.

This system also scales really well as Bioware introduces new content to the game. While I like the customization that occurs by selling augment kits that can be used on any piece of gear, this only further destroy’s any end game crafting for the purposes of making credits in the game. Basically all I can sell now at this point is Augment kits and maybe a few BoE items with augments attached to them. Offering a larger variety of Bind on Equip schematics is the only way to totally fix these issues all together.
GM The Omega Knights

Carba's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 06:02 AM | #2
Nice proposal. But, the game design chosen by Bioware is to make all crafting a secondary and supportive adjunct to raiding. It's the same for space and role playing. The idea that a player can have a fullfilling experience only doing crafting is actively blocked by the game design. Same is true for space and role playing. Allowing players the choice of how to play the game amounts to creating a "sandbox" game and the devs have repeatedly said they control the game and not the players.

ForceTorque's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 07:35 AM | #3

Excellent post.

asbalana's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 09:01 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Carba View Post
Nice proposal. But, the game design chosen by Bioware is to make all crafting a secondary and supportive adjunct to raiding. It's the same for space and role playing. The idea that a player can have a fullfilling experience only doing crafting is actively blocked by the game design. Same is true for space and role playing. Allowing players the choice of how to play the game amounts to creating a "sandbox" game and the devs have repeatedly said they control the game and not the players.
I must agree. As advertised, pre launch, crafting was to be more dynamic and important but if I understand the OPs post correctly, is actually raid dependent to produce, at the highest levels, BoP gear inferior to most raid drops.

It is the devs game to control and to this point (again contray to pre launch representation) they have adoped the raid or die philosophy (ala WOW) and are tyring to force players into that mode. It is sad for those people in the community that are "crafters" first and do not care to or cannot raid, but what is - is. None the less, it would be nice to see a true and accurate statement from the devs concerning craftnng and discussing it's role in the game and to the degree it is intended to be dependent on raiding.

MetalHed's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 09:30 AM | #5
awesome post and ideas...I agree 100%.

Hate that raiding has become required to be a good crafter but I don't see them changing this thought process until the CU/NGE...wait wrong game, or is it? Mr. Lucas is hard to please and I don't forsee him being too happy a year or two from now.

Diktat's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 11:32 AM | #6
Either is controlled or not by devs crafting is just a senseless minigame with no other porpose besides money sink.
I've got crafters of all professión and for some time I tried to acquire purple mods and gear even for low levels but I stopped soon when I realized that my characters were leveling up too fast for any crafted mod to make worthy the effort and money invested on them, and without big problems using just green drops and blues from planetary commendations. But what convinced me that the craft is pointless is the rakata gear collected from dayly and weekly commendations. All of it is waaaaay better than any gear any crafter can make, so why bother craft anything?

The only way to fix this sh..t is remove commendation gear and allow crafters craft it. Any other thing will be just patches that will change nothing.

GnatB's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 01:49 PM | #7
Not sure I could disagree with the OP any more strongly. Unless there is a way to get daily/blackhole commendations via crafting (which there isn't) the schematics for crafting shouldn't be purchased with daily/blackhole commendations.

Add crafting quests, (give me 20 augmented custom lightsabers) to get crafting commendations, (or somesuch) then you buy those schematics with crafting commendations.

AshlaBoga's Avatar

06.08.2012 , 09:53 PM | #8
1. Crafting is the ONLY way to create/obtain AUGMENT slots.
2. Crafting is the ONLY way to obtain augments.
3. Augmented gear is part (of a balanced breakfast - kidding) and parcel of BiS gear. The only item that is BiS that CANNOT be augmented is the Matrix cube (and maybe the offhands - I haven't checked those).

None of the following require you to raid.*
You want an Augmented Lightsaber? Crafting.
You want a Magenta crystal? Crafting.
You want an Augmented Campaign Relic? Crafting.
*You can get the ingredients from space missions and don't have to fight any npcs, with the exception of the Illum Force Ghost if you want a Magenta crystal.

Crafting gives you up to 2 pieces of Rakata gear (and reusables if you're BIochem).

You can RE the BH Earpieces and Implants and sell that for millions of credits. It seems that the PEBKAC.
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Diktat's Avatar

06.09.2012 , 02:32 AM | #9
1.3 will make all that crafting to get an augmented pointless since all you'll need is an augment toolkit to put an augment slot into ANY gear. So no need crafting AT ALL.

Teykos's Avatar

06.09.2012 , 12:36 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Diktat View Post
1.3 will make all that crafting to get an augmented pointless since all you'll need is an augment toolkit to put an augment slot into ANY gear. So no need crafting AT ALL.
Augment Toolkits are created by crafting only. You cannot go to a vendor and buy them or loot them off a corpse.