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Understanding Crew Skills

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
Understanding Crew Skills

psandak's Avatar


psandak
06.24.2017 , 11:03 AM | #1
So, there have been several “I do not understand crew skills” threads lately. So, I guess it is time for another guide. Be aware this is my longest guide to date.

High level overview:
There are three broad categories of crew skills: gathering, mission, and crafting. Gathering and Mission skills are used to acquire materials for crafting skills. Crafting skills – as the name suggests – are used to create equipment and other stuff using the materials acquired through gathering and mission skills.

Gathering Skills:
There are three gathering skills: archaeology (arch), bioanalysis (BA), and scavenging (scav). Gathering skills produce premium/green quality and common/white quality materials used in crafting.
  • In Arch there are four basic material types: Power Crystals, Artifact Fragments, Color Crystals (three distinct colors (Red, Blue, Green) , and Powders (AKA vendor materials).
  • In BA there are three basic material types: Biological Samples, Biological Compounds, and Medical Supplies (AKA vendor materials).
  • In Scav there are also three basic material types: Metals, Compounds, and Flux (AKA vendor materials).

These materials have three methods of acquisition:
  1. “collecting from the field:” across the galaxy, everywhere you go you will find gathering skill nodes (density of nodes varies), right click a node and you get some gathering skill materials. Nodes are specific to the skill; you cannot gather scavenging node if you do not have scavenging as a skill. For BA and Scav each node will generate all green materials types for that skill. Arch is slightly different in that all nodes are “crystals” each color of color crystals (red, blue, green) is a different node, and there are power crystal nodes as well. The former will generate color crystals of that color (red nodes will generate red color crystals) and power crystals and artifact fragments. The later will only produce power crystals and artifact fragments.
  2. “send companions on missions” missions cost credits but you can play the game and acquire materials at the same time (heck you can even “collect from the field” and run missions if you wish). Each mission generates one types of material. The exceptions are “discovered missions” (AKA “Crafting Missions” on the GTN). Discovered missions are one-shot deals: you acquire one (methods discussed later), you use the item to unlock the mission, you run the mission it generates, it is gone from the mission list. You can acquire that mission as often as you wish, but each is a one-shot deal and you can only use one at a time (i.e. you cannot acquire six or eight of the same discovered mission unlock all of them and send all your companions on that same mission at once)
  3. “vendor materials”: there are no vendor material nodes. Vendor materials MUST be acquired with credits. Whether you buy them from the vendor or run the one mission per grade does not matter, you WILL spend credits to acquire these materials. From grades 1-4 it is probably more cost effective to run the missions but I find it easier to simply purchase these materials from the vendor; they do not cost that much anyway. Grade 5 is a wash (so long as you have a decent influence rank companion), buy from the vendor or run the mission. Grades 6 and up it is significantly more cost effective to run the mission; orders of magnitude more cost effective. I run these missions every chance I get using a relatively high influence companion because crits are a HUGE bump in quantity (standard result is a single digit return, a crit result jumps that to 20+)

When a companion critically succeeds at a gathering skill mission (other than vendor materials missions), the yield increases by 2 units.

Mission Skills:
There are four mission skills: diplomacy (dip), investigation (inv), treasure hunting (TH), underworld trading (UWT or UT). (slicing will be discussed in a moment). These skills have two qualities of materials: prototype/blue and artifact/purple used in crafting.
  • Dip produces medical supplies (DIFFERENT than BA)
  • Inv produces compounds (DIFFERENT than Scav)
  • TH produces gemstones
  • and UWT produces metals (DIFFERENT than Scav) and fabrics

There are no mission skill nodes, these materials MUST be acquired by running missions (whether you run them or you buy them from someone else who ran the mission does not matter). Standard mission skill returns result in prototype/blue materials. Critical success on Bountiful and Rich mission skill missions will return a larger quantity of prototype/blue and a small amount of artifact/purple materials (Bountiful yields 2, Rich yields 3). Moderate and Abundant Mission Skill Missions NEVER yield purple materials. There are also “discovered missions” for these skills. The advantage discovered missions offer for mission skills, is that they are guaranteed to generate artifact/purple materials, no critical success necessary although on a critical success it will yield more.

Slicing:
Slicing is the one skill that falls into both gathering and mission categories. Slicing is a hybrid skill because it has nodes like a gathering skill (these nodes generate lockboxes of credits and VERY rarely a discovered mission), but the materials from slicing (“Sliced Parts”) can only be acquired by running missions. There are also two lockbox missions per grade of slicing (excluding grade 10). If you run those missions and get a critical success you will get a random “discovered mission” for that grade (i.e. run a grade 6 slicing lockbox mission you may get a grade 6 discovered mission).

Please note: Treasure Hunting (TH) also has lockbox missions, but these are different. TH lockbox missions generate stuff (usually random equipment) not credits (but you can sell what you get for credits), and while there is a chance that a TH lockbox mission will generate a discovered mission, that chance is VERY low. Also having TH will not allow you to gather slicing lockbox nodes.

Sending companions on missions for materials:
You cannot queue up missions to be run. You assign *A* companion to run *A* mission. As a subscriber, at level 66 or above you can send eight companions on eight different missions if you wish. NOTE: once a companion is assigned to a mission you cannot assign another companion to that same mission until the first returns (in fact once a mission is assigned it is removed from the list of available missions to be run, until it is complete) Also NOTE: there is a flat 5% chance of mission failure where no results will be returned at all. There is nothing you can do to alter this chance.

Crafting Skills:
There are six crafting skills: Artifice (Art), Armstech (AT), Armormech (AM), Biochem (BC), Cybertech (CT), and Synthweaving (SW or Syn). Each crafting skill produces a different set of items. See my “best crew skills” guide for more detail but the basics are:
  • Art: Color Crystals, Dye Modules, Force weapons, Lightsaber Hilts, offhand non-weapons and Relics
  • AT: Tech weapons, Barrels, Augments (stats: power, accuracy, endurance), and Augmentation Slot Kits
  • AM: non-force user looking armor, high endurance armorings, Augments (stats: shield, absorb, mastery) , and Augmentation Slot Kits
  • BC: Consumables (Stims, Adrenals, Medpacs), and Implants
  • CT: Ear Pieces, Mods and Enhancements, grenades (consumable), ship parts (for on rails space combat NOT GSF), and vehicles
  • SW: Force user looking armor, high mastery armorings, Augments (stats: Alacrity, Critical, Defense), and Augmentation Slot Kits

How to craft anything:
There are a handful of ways to acquire schematics:
  • Trainer – each crafting skill has a trainer where you can learn (for credits) myriad prototype/blue schematics (in specific cases artifact/purple). Each schematic requires a specific skill level to train.
  • Random drop from mission skills. All the mission skills in most grades have a chance to drop a random schematic that involves those materials. For example: investigation usually drops armstech weapons schematics, while Underworld Trading generally drops armor schematics for armormech and synthweaving
  • Random drop from mobs. This usually comes in the form of specific “bosses” dropping specific schematics. Operations bosses will always drop at least one schematic based on the difficulty of the operation (SM – Tier 2, VM/HM – Tier 3, MM/NiM – Tier 4). Some World Bosses also drop schematics (e.g. Nightmare Pilgrim drops magenta color crystals schematics). Lastly, every GC crate you earn has a chance to contain a schematic of that tier. These are Bind to Legacy and therefore can be given to other characters within legacy but not traded/sold to other players.
  • Reverse Engineering (AKA RE) – the process of RE is the same regardless but the intent and results are different depending on what you are REing.
    • If you RE a blue quality item you have crafted, you have a 60% chance to acquire a new purple schematic similar but better to the item you are REing. You cannot RE a crafted purple to get something better…purple is as high as crafted quality goes.
    • If you RE a purple quality item modification you have acquired through Galactic Command (GC), you have a 100% chance to acquire the schematic for that item (not better than).
  • Purchase from vendor: most of the “reputation” vendors offer a few schematics, mostly color crystal or dye module (cosmetic in nature)
Spoiler


Now on to actual crafting:
Firstly, you must craft “components”. Components are premium/green quality items (schematics available at the trainer) that are used to craft better quality items. EVERY schematic requires a specific quantity of components. EVERY component (except the newest “Infused” one; that’s a unique situation) requires a formula of 2/2/2 gathering skill materials:
  • AT – Arms Assembly Components: scavenging (2 metals, 2 compounds, 2 flux)
  • AM – Armor Assembly Components: scavenging (2 metals, 2 compounds, 2 flux)
  • CT – Cyber Assembly Components: scavenging (2 metals, 2 compounds, 2 flux)
  • BC – Cell Grafts: bioanalysis (2 samples, 2 compounds, 2 medical supplies)
  • Art – Artifice Bonded Attachments: (2 power crystals, 2 artifact fragments, 2 powder)
  • SW – Synth Bonded Attachments: (2 power crystals, 2 artifact fragments, 2 powder)

Regarding the new “infused” components: they have a recipe of 4/4/4/1 the 1 being a new material that can only be purchased from the command boost vendors. They cost 6 command tokens and 3k credits.

Regarding Augmentation Slot Kit Components (ASKC): these are acquired by RE of any piece of equipment or component. Most cost effective and time efficient method of acquiring ASKC is crafting components (assembly, cell grafts, attachments) and RE them. NOTE: there was a bug a while back where when one would RE components they would not get ASKC. Have not heard anyone having this issue in quite some time, but no resolution was ever published nor workaround ever firmed up (because the cause was never discovered). Personally, I only ever RE 50 at a time and ALL 50 at once and I have never encountered this issue).

Once you have components…
  • Blue quality equipment or item modifications: combine those components with blue quality mission skill materials. Except for augments and augmentation slot kits prototype/blue quality items require mission skill materials as follows:
    • AT – investigation compounds
    • AM – underworld trading metals
    • Art – treasure hunting gemstones
    • BC – diplomacy medical supplies
    • CT – underworld trading metals
    • SW – underworld trading fabrics
    • ALL augments and augmentations slot kits (crafted by AT, AM, and SW) require blue quality sliced parts from slicing
  • Purple quality equipment (schematics acquired by RE of blue quality crafted; armor, weapons, ear, implant, relics): follow the above except add some purple quality mission skill materials
  • Purple quality item modifications (schematics acquired by RE of blue quality crafted; barrels, hilts, armoring, mods, enhancements, augments) use blue quality materials as above but ALL require purplequality sliced parts.
  • Artifice Color crystals and Dye modules are purple schematics regardless of source (no RE for better stats), these item modifications always require blue and purpleTH gemstones.
  • Rating 230 and up (230, 234, 240, 246) purple quality items follow the pattern above, but add in a combination of exotic materials as well. Some number of:
    • refined isotope stabilizer (RIS; available from FPs, Ops, PvP daily and weekly rewards)
    • Void Matter Catalyst (VMC; available from Ops, and weekly PvP reward) OR Strategic Resource Matrix (SRM; available from conquest personal goal) i.e. you will never see a schematic require both VMC and SRM equipment (armor, weapons, ear, implant, relic) require SRM, item modifications (armoring, mod, enhancement, barrel, hilt) require VMC

To craft…
You assign a companion to do so. The influence rank of the companion decreases the time it takes to complete and the critical success chance.
Critical Success comes in two forms with crafting:
  • Extra unit: if you are crafting an item modification (armoring, augment, dye module and the like) or consumable (stim, grenade, etc) or component on a critical success you get an extra unit of that item. For item modifications and components, this effectively doubles your output (craft one augment, critically success yields two augments). But for consumables the impact is less (perform a crafting of stims that normally yields 4 units…you get 5 units on a crit: 25% increase in output, perform a crafting of an adrenal that normally yields 6 units…you get 7 units on a crit: 16.667% increase in output)
  • Augment slot: if you are crafting equipment on a critical success you get an automatic augmentation slot of appropriate level to the gear (e.g. if you are crafting a piece of armor that requires level 35, you will get a level 35 augmentation slot when you crit regardless of what class level or crafting skill level your character is)

As a subscriber, you can assign up to five items to be crafted by any one companion (i.e. at level 66 and above with eight companions you can assign up to 40 items to be crafted at once. There is no restriction on what a given companion can be set to craft…you can set all eight companions to craft five of the same thing (e.g. mass production of components) or you can set each companion to craft five different things (e.g. 40 unique items) or any combination in between. Furthermore, you can set different companions to different tasks: 3 companions can be crafting, 2 can be running mission skill missions and 3 can be running gathering skill missions or any other combination you can think of.
Spoiler


For those that hope that there is ability to craft truly unique stuff
Spoiler


I hope this helps all of you budding crew skill-ers out there. Comments and contributions are always 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

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
06.25.2017 , 02:49 AM | #2
Excellent. Thanks. Perhaps you should add Cartel Market items to the list of things you cannot RE, just to be explicit about it.

And you should petition the Powers That Be to have this stickied. (Please?)
http://www.swtor.com/r/Hg3sV2
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

psandak's Avatar


psandak
06.25.2017 , 08:18 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
Excellent. Thanks. Perhaps you should add Cartel Market items to the list of things you cannot RE, just to be explicit about it.

And you should petition the Powers That Be to have this stickied. (Please?)
Done.

Added the line: "Any and all custom/orange quality equipment (from the CM or otherwise)" in the list
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

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
06.25.2017 , 10:51 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by psandak View Post
Done.

Added the line: "Any and all custom/orange quality equipment (from the CM or otherwise)" in the list
There's a small number of purples from the CM as well (example: there's this one assault cannon with two barrels at the front and a doohickey on the side that's purple and has the CM symbol and is claimable from Collections, but (a) it isn't orange and (b) you can't RE it either).
http://www.swtor.com/r/Hg3sV2
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

psandak's Avatar


psandak
06.25.2017 , 12:26 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
There's a small number of purples from the CM as well (example: there's this one assault cannon with two barrels at the front and a doohickey on the side that's purple and has the CM symbol and is claimable from Collections, but (a) it isn't orange and (b) you can't RE it either).
You have a point, I made another adddition
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

Mithros's Avatar


Mithros
06.25.2017 , 03:21 PM | #6
You forgot to mention one other possible source of schematics: Mission skills.

Someone with UT, for example, has a chance to get armormech or synthweaving schematics on a successful mission result in addition to underworld metals and/or underworld fabrics.

Likewise, investigation has a chance to return an armstech schematic, treasure hunting has a chance to return an artifice schematic, and slicing missions have a chance to return cybertech schematics.

But excellent work, as always.
I'm sure that more than a few people will find this guide helpful.
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psandak's Avatar


psandak
06.25.2017 , 05:21 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
You forgot to mention one other possible source of schematics: Mission skills.

Someone with UT, for example, has a chance to get armormech or synthweaving schematics on a successful mission result in addition to underworld metals and/or underworld fabrics.

Likewise, investigation has a chance to return an armstech schematic, treasure hunting has a chance to return an artifice schematic, and slicing missions have a chance to return cybertech schematics.

But excellent work, as always.
I'm sure that more than a few people will find this guide helpful.
You are absolutely right thank you. edit made
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

Bookworm_Jedi's Avatar


Bookworm_Jedi
06.25.2017 , 09:29 PM | #8
Thanks! Been playing for years and it's still nice to read guides

I do have a question. I reverse engineered something for cybertech and got a purple for it. In order to craft it, I think it needed two slicing components.

Since I don't have slicing as a CT crafter, that's when you have to use GTN correct?

TheGreyRanger's Avatar


TheGreyRanger
06.25.2017 , 10:47 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Bookworm_Jedi View Post
Thanks! Been playing for years and it's still nice to read guides

I do have a question. I reverse engineered something for cybertech and got a purple for it. In order to craft it, I think it needed two slicing components.

Since I don't have slicing as a CT crafter, that's when you have to use GTN correct?
You can also roll an Alt that has slicing. Then just throw the materials into legacy storage. That way your whole legacy has access.

psandak's Avatar


psandak
06.26.2017 , 05:33 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by TheGreyRanger View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Bookworm_Jedi View Post
Thanks! Been playing for years and it's still nice to read guides

I do have a question. I reverse engineered something for cybertech and got a purple for it. In order to craft it, I think it needed two slicing components.

Since I don't have slicing as a CT crafter, that's when you have to use GTN correct?
You can also roll an Alt that has slicing. Then just throw the materials into legacy storage. That way your whole legacy has access.
TheGreyRanger is correct that you can roll another character as well as buy from the GTN.

However, if your primary objective is to craft mods and enhancements from Cybertech, you might want to drop UWT for Slicing because UWT blue quality metals are usually cheap on the GTN and that is all you need for purple mods and enhancements, whereas those same purple mods and enhancements require purple quality sliced parts which are somewhat expensive.
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