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[guide] what's the best crew skill for <insert class here>?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
[guide] what's the best crew skill for <insert class here>?

psandak's Avatar


psandak
03.05.2014 , 09:39 AM | #1
This is another question that pops up a LOT on these forums. So here goes another guide:

First and foremost, there are several perspectives that one can consider with regard to "what's best":

1. what crafting skill will provide the most use for the class?
2. what are the "optimized" companion crew skills; which skills are the class's companions best at?
3. how many and what are the desirable items from a given crew skill?
4. what crew skills does the players already have on other characters?

Each player has to decide what priority each of the above has. So now let's detail each perspective:

1. what crafting skill will provide the most use for the class?
  • Armormech: good for non-force users as you can craft armor while leveling; good for shield/absorb heavy tanks as you can craft augments; good for tanks in general as you can craft "resistive" armorings; OK for DPS and healers as you can craft mastery augments (theorycrafters say otherwise)
  • Armstech: good for non-force users as you can craft weapons and barrels; good for DPS classes as you can craft accuracy and power augments (power augments are good for healers too; but again theorycrafters are saying otherwise). Good for PvPers as you can craft endurance augments
  • Artifice: good for force-users as you can craft lightsabers, lightsaber hilts, Good for one-weapon classes as you can craft off-hand non-weapons (foci, generators, and shields); good for all classes as you can craft color crystals, dye modules, and relics
  • Biochem: good for all classes for stims, medpacs, adrenals, and implants
  • Cybertech: good for all classes for mods, enhancements, and ear pieces
  • Synthweaving: good for force-users as you can craft armor while leveling; good for defense rating heavy tanks as you can craft augments (although all tanks get all the defense rating they need and then some from mods and enhancements). Good for DPS and Healers as you can craft Alacrity and Critical Augments
NOTE: the rating 236 augments have a reshuffling.
  • Armormech makes Alacrity and Absorb
  • Armstech makes Accuracy and Shield
  • Synthweaving makes Redoubt (defense) and Critical
So to be self-sufficient you need all three


2. what are the "optimized" companion crew skills; which skills are the class's companions best at?

There is no more optimization. Companion specific crew skill bonuses are removed. If you want to see what was but is no longer the case, open the spoiler below.

Spoiler


If you want to craft items where critical successes will generate additional units (consumables and item modifications) then you should get at least one companion to influence rank 20 or more. Rank 20 is the equivalent crit chance of a formerly +5 crit chance companion with max affection.

3. how many and what are the desirable items from a given crew skill?
For those who are returning who have not played since 4.0 launch...
Things have changed. Bioware has redistributed crafted goods.

Biochem reusables are no more
Artifice no longer crafts enhancements but can now craft relics at all levels
Cybertech no longer crafts armorings or droid armor, but has had enhancements added.
Armormech now crafts "resistive" (endurance) armorings
Synthweaving now crafts "versatile" (mastery) armorings
Augments have been shifted around slightly:
  • Armormechs can now craft Shield, Absorb, and Mastery Augments. (formerly Shield Absorb, Aim, and Cunning)
  • Synthweavers can now craft Alacrity, Defense, and Critical Augments. (formerly Alacrity, Defense, Willpower, Strength)
  • Armstechs can now craft Accuracy, Endurance, and Power Augments. (formerly Accuracy, Endurance, Power, Critical, and Surge)

4. what crew skills does the players already have on other characters?
There is now absolutely no game mechanical reason to double up (or more) on any crafting skill as reusables are gone

This is your first character...
If you are asking about your first character, the answers are debatable. I fall into the camp of taking two of the three gathering skills (Scavenging, Bioanalysis, Archeology), and Slicing if you are a new subscribing player. My reason is that, I know from experience that trying to maintain a crafting crew skill so that what you craft does not lag behind can be credits intensive; just gathering from nodes is insufficient to maintain a crafting skill at or near a character's level - one has to run missions and lots of them. Others say that selling your wares on the GTN counter balanced the expense. While probably true, this path is riskier: maybe what you make won't sell.

To confirm that 4.x changes (aka components and reduced RE paths) did not impact my opinion about new players and crew skills, I ran an experiment: I started leveling a new Sith with synthweaving, archaeology, and underworld trading. I attempted to craft armor pieces as I was able.

Here is what I found:
#1 I got off Korriban at level 15, meaning that the first stuff I could craft was 6 levels lower than the character level
#2 if I did not already have a stock/leftovers of grade 1 materials in my legacy storage, I would not have been able to craft anything useful while on DK. I would have been stuck just crafting components to level the skill
#3 even the stuff I did craft (all blue/prototype), while it was in fact better than anything that randomly dropped or rewarded, it was still significantly below my character level. The "good news" on that front is that with level sync it does not really matter that my gear is only appropriate to the planet I am on; overgearing does not help as much.
#4 due to lack of companions I typically had to stop playing for a short period to craft.
#5 nothing I crafted (all armor) required a material other than arch and UWT.

I believe I answered the question on many players' minds at the time: it is still VERY hard to acquire materials to craft level appropriate gear in a timely fashion with a single character. Therefore, my advice stands: it is best for a new player (or a player starting over on a new server) to take two gathering skills and slicing.

Contributions are welcome.
The Ortzid Legacy on The Harbinger
Car'beerd (Guardian) Dalkery (Scoundrel) Blairnah (Sage) Daellia (Merc) and 11 other characters
Understanding Crew Skills / High End Schematics / Best Crew Skills / Crew Skill Money Making / Reverse Engineering Rules / SWTOR Story to date

Khevar's Avatar


Khevar
03.05.2014 , 11:41 AM | #2
I'll add to this, CopperHamster put together this extensive spreadsheet quite some time ago:

https://docs.google.com/a/copperhams...lZDlOcUE#gid=0

It covers:

1. Which companions have which bonuses.
2. Grinding affection to maximize companion efficiency / crit.
3. Other useful companion crafting information.

georgemattson's Avatar


georgemattson
03.05.2014 , 06:11 PM | #3
Great guide, Pete. I'll look at it in more detail when I get home, but one thing jumped out at me upon first glance:

Quote: Originally Posted by psandak View Post
Artifice: good for force-users as you can craft lightsabers and focuses; good for all classes as you can craft color crystals, enhancements, and dye modules, (and relics IF you can RE an existing unit)
Artifice also produces lightsaber hilts. IMO, those would be far more important than the lightsabers themselves, since a player would most likely be swapping those out more frequently. You do mention it later in your post, but I think crafting for 1-54 is just as important as crafting for 55.

One other thing I might suggest; you've offered opinions on how best to make money at crafting. I think it would help to include a lot of that here, given that making money while crafting (or at least trying not to lose too much money) is helpful to everyone and for some folks, it's the central purpose. Granted, a lot of that money making comes from gathering, not crafting, but I think a guide on crew skills would be an excellent place to address that question.
...and I'm back. For the third time. Maybe the fourth. I've lost count. Leveling yet another Sentinel/Maruader, and I'll likely figure out what I'm doing in about a month or so, right before I quit again. Not sure if I'm subscribing again.

psandak's Avatar


psandak
03.05.2014 , 07:35 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by georgemattson View Post
Great guide, Pete. I'll look at it in more detail when I get home, but one thing jumped out at me upon first glance:



Artifice also produces lightsaber hilts. IMO, those would be far more important than the lightsabers themselves, since a player would most likely be swapping those out more frequently. You do mention it later in your post, but I think crafting for 1-54 is just as important as crafting for 55.

One other thing I might suggest; you've offered opinions on how best to make money at crafting. I think it would help to include a lot of that here, given that making money while crafting (or at least trying not to lose too much money) is helpful to everyone and for some folks, it's the central purpose. Granted, a lot of that money making comes from gathering, not crafting, but I think a guide on crew skills would be an excellent place to address that question.
Fixed it in the OP thanks, good catch .

as for a money making guide, this is not the place for that. While money making is a consideration when choosing crew skills, the secrets of my success, belong in another thread. Maybe soon
The Ortzid Legacy on The Harbinger
Car'beerd (Guardian) Dalkery (Scoundrel) Blairnah (Sage) Daellia (Merc) and 11 other characters
Understanding Crew Skills / High End Schematics / Best Crew Skills / Crew Skill Money Making / Reverse Engineering Rules / SWTOR Story to date

psandak's Avatar


psandak
03.11.2014 , 10:26 AM | #5
/bump
The Ortzid Legacy on The Harbinger
Car'beerd (Guardian) Dalkery (Scoundrel) Blairnah (Sage) Daellia (Merc) and 11 other characters
Understanding Crew Skills / High End Schematics / Best Crew Skills / Crew Skill Money Making / Reverse Engineering Rules / SWTOR Story to date

DawnAskham's Avatar


DawnAskham
03.17.2014 , 08:59 AM | #6
Nice guide OP.

I can't tell you how many times I've replied to the 'what is the best crew skill for X' question with the very questions you listed, though sometimes I still get the 'yeah yeah but which one is best'.

I also echo take three gathering as first crew skills as mats sell faster and with less risk than crafted items (it takes time to understand what sells and what does not).

I've also found slicing can be leveled to 400 at effectively no cost just running lock box missions (below 400 I've always ended up slightly ahead of expense before accounting for mission discoveries, above 400 the returns are less than the costs but come out ahead playing the crit / RNG game for parts / missions).

Edahsetin's Avatar


Edahsetin
08.04.2014 , 01:52 AM | #7
Since you posted in my guide thread, I thought I'd post in yours

If you're looking for an alternate guide you can use mine at: What's the Best Crew Skill for My Class? A SWTOR Crew Skills Guide

It goes over a lot of the same information that's covered here, but I personally find it more readable being less 'wall of text' dense. It offers more then just the facts and that might be something you're interested in if you're a beginner.

Interested in learning the best Crew Skill for your class? Or maybe the top Cartel Market Purchases? Maybe your looking for a Gift Guide with quick glance summary. Find all of my SWTOR Articles in my Star Wars The Old Republic Master Guide

g_land's Avatar


g_land
08.16.2014 , 09:59 AM | #8
Just found the layout to be somewhat cumbersome for my purposes, rearranged it by skill and highest crit to lowest. Maybe someone else might find this useful:

Crafting skills:
Armormech: +5 Trooper, +2 IA
Armstech: +5 Smuggler, +2 JC, +1 BH
Artifice: No crit available
Biochem: +5 JK, +2 BH
Cybertech: no crit available from class story companions
Synthweaving: +5 JK, +5 SW

Gathering Skills:
Archeology: +5 SI,
Bioanalysis: +2 Smuggler, +2 BH, +2 SW
Scavenging: +5 Trooper, +2 JC, +2 SI
Slicing: +2 JK, +2 SI, +2 IA, +1 Smuggler

Mission Skills:
Diplomacy: +5 IA, +2 Trooper, +2 JC
Investigation: +2 Smuggler, +2 SW
Treasure Hunting: +5 SW, +2 BH, +1 JK,
Underworld Trading: +2 IA, +2 SI, +1 Trooper, +1 JC

JonnyRay's Avatar


JonnyRay
09.22.2014 , 10:40 AM | #9
Page 4? Really? For one of the best guides to this FAQ on these forums?

Unacceptable. Back to page 1 with you!

Soupmaster's Avatar


Soupmaster
10.13.2014 , 11:39 AM | #10
I wanted to add that SI also has +2 to Underworld trading Critical but its tied to Andron that has +2 critical slicing. So SI has a companion that has two criticals attached to it.