Investigating the Legacy benefits

Posted: March 27, 2012 in General

After dragging my sorry butt to Leve 29 and managing to kill off Skavak in the Smuggler Chapter One, I finally got a look at the new Legacy window.
Read the rest of this entry »

My Trooper was busy assaulting a superweapon and he gets a call on the comm….

Elara you tease...

(In other words, how to effectively Custom your way to 50)

While levelling my characters, I like to use the Custom gear to keep a consistent look as I progress. This probably stems from my first character being a Cybertech, but its definitely and easy way to gear all classes without having to learn many skills.

However, one thing I’ve discovered/decided, is that the best time to use up all your materials to Reverse Engineer for patterns, is at the point where those materials can no longer be used for higher level items. These are essentially the ‘cut-off’ point where holding onto mats will simply end up with a big pile in the bank when you hit 50 (as I did, 2 tabs later).

With that in mind, this guide presents the points at which crafters should start burning up a certain type of material to get the different Prototype and Artifact customisation items.

Background on Customisable Gear

Customisable gear comes in a number of different slots. Some are crafted, some come from Class questlines, many come from Heroic quests, purchased with Commendations, and some just drop randomly.

  • Customisable Armor pieces fill the Head, Chest, Hands, Legs and Boots easily. If you’re really lucky (or know where to farm) you can also get customisable Bracers and Belts.
  • Customisable Weapons fill the Main Hand weapon slot, and if you’re lucky enough to dual-wield, then the Off Hand weapon slot.
  • Earpieces, Implants, Relics and Off-Hand non-weapons (Scatterguns, Focii, Generators) are not customisable currently.

Customisable gear takes a handful of different modification items:

  • Mods – Crafted by Cybertechs, Mods are the mainstay of customisable gear and one is usable in every single Custom piece.
  • Armoring – Crafted by Cybertechs, Armoring is used in the Head, Chest, Hands, Belt, Legs, Boots and Bracers Custom pieces.
  • Barrels – Crafted by Armstechs, Barrels are used in non-Lightsaber weapons, such as Blast Pistols and Rifles, Assault Cannons and Sniper Rifles.
  • Hilts – Crafted by Artificers, Hilts are used in Lightsaber weapons, both single and dual.
  • Enhancements – Crafted by Artificers, Enhancements are used in most Custom items, with the exception of Belts and Bracers.

Given the set of Custom’able slots, to fully mod a character from head to toe, assuming they have the custom pieces to accept the items, you’d need.

  • 7  Armoring
  • 1 Barrel or Hilt, or 2 if you’re dual-wielding
  • 1 Color Crystal, or 2 if you’re dual-wielding
  • 8 Mods
  • 6 Enhancements

Crafts and their “Dump and Burn” points

Cybertech and Armstech is nice and neat when it comes to tipping points. Each type of scavenged metal has a corresponding scavenged compound of the same grade. Prototype and Artifact Underworld Metals match up to the same grade as their Scavenged equivalents. Artifice isn’t so easy, as the crystals and artifacts are often used in different combinations as you progress. As such the lists below reflect more ‘tipping points’ for Artifice items than their Cybertech and Armstech equivalents.

Below is a list broken down by item type, of the best points to use up all your materials. If a material is grey text, then its not actually the last time you use it, but the other material in the item is reaching its tipping point. This is a concern only for Artifice.

For those wanting a level by level breakdown, so that they know when to bug their crafting friends or alts, go here.

Cybertech

Armoring

  • Silica/Desh – Armoring 3 (Level 11)
  • Laminoid/Aluminium – Armoring 5 (Level 15)
  • Plastoid/Bronzium – Amoring 7 (Level 19)
  • Plasteel/Chanlon – Armoring 10 (Level 25)
  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Armoring 12 (Level 29)
  • Fibermesh/Bondite – Amoring 15 (Level 35)
  • Resinite/Diatium – Armoring 17 (Level 39)
  • Polyplast/Electrum – Armoring 20 (Level 45)
  • Amorphous Carbonite/Neutronium – Armoring 21 (Level 47)
  • Zal Alloy/Durasteel – Armoring 22 (Level 49)

Mod

  • Silica/Desh – Mod 2 (Level 9)
  • Laminoid/Aluminium – Mod 4 (Level 13)
  • Plastoid/Bronzium – Mod 6 (Level 17)
  • Plasteel/Chanlon – Mod 10 (Level 25)
  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Mod 12 (Level 29)
  • Fibermesh/Bondite – Mod 14A (Level 33)
  • Resinite/Diatium – Mod 16A (Level 37)
  • Polyplast/Electrum – Mod 20A (Level 45)
  • Amorphous Carbonite/Neutronium – N/A (No craftable mod uses Rank 21)
  • Zal Alloy/Durasteel – Mod 22A (Level 49)

Armstech

Barrels

  • Silica/Desh – Barrel 3 (Level 11)
  • Laminoid/Aluminium – Barrel 5 (Level 15)
  • Plastoid/Bronzium – Barrel 7 (Level 19)
  • Plasteel/Chanlon – Barrel 10 (Level 25)
  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Barrel 12 (Level 29)
  • Fibermesh/Bondite – Barrel 15 (Level 35)
  • Resinite/Diatium – Barrel 17 (Level 39)
  • Polyplast/Electrum – Barrel 20 (Level 45)
  • Amorphous Carbonite/Neutronium – Barrel 21 (Level 47)
  • Zal Alloy/Durasteel – Barrel 22 (Level 49)

Artifice

Enhancements

  • Rubat Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 5 (Level 15)
  • Eralam Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 7 (Level 19)
  • Nextor Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 9 (Level 23)
  • Bondar Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 11 (Level 27)
  • Opila Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 13 (Level 31)
  • Opila Crystal/Galactic Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 15 (Level 35)
  • Firkrann Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 17 (Level 39)
  • Phond Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 19 (Level 43)
  • Damind Crystal/Alien Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 20 (Level 45)
  • Upari Crystal/Primeval Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 22 (Level 49)

Hilts

  • Rubat Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Hilt 5 (Level 15)
  • Eralam Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Hilt 6 (Level 17)
  • Eralam Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Hilt 7 (Level 19)
  • Nextor Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Hilt 9 (Level 23)
  • Nextor Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Hilt 10 (Level 25)
  • Bondar Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Hilt 11 (Level 27)
  • Bondar Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Hilt 12 (Level 29)
  • Opila Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Hilt 14 (Level 33)
  • Opila Crystal/Galactic Artifact Fragment – Hilt 15 (Level 35)
  • Firkrann Crystal//Galactic Artifact Fragment Hilt 16 (Level 37)
  • Firkrann Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Hilt 17 (Level 39)
  • Phond Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Hilt 19 (Level 43)
  • Damind Crystal/Alien Artifact Fragment – Hilt 20 (Level 45)
  • Upari Crystal/Primeval Artifact Fragment – Hilt 22 (Level 49)

Color Crystals

  • Amorphous(or Exquisite) Crystal – Level 7
  • Igneous(or Precious) Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Level 15
  • Opaque(or Immaculate) Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Level 23
  • Solid(or Pristine) Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Level 31
  • Lucent(or Flawless) Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Level 39
  • Polychromic(or Perfect) Crystal/Primeval Artifact Fragment – Level 48

Level by Level Breakdown

The following list shows the items you want to get at which levels. The materials beside them are for the Premium (Green) level item. For the Prototype(Blue) and Artifact(Purple) items extra materials will be needed. Cybertech items will require Underworld Metals from Underworld Trading, Artifice items will require Gemstones from Treasure Hunting, and Armstech items will required Researched Compounds from Investigation. Generally, Prototype items are equivalent to a Premium item 4 levels higher, and Artifact items are equivalent to a Premium item 8 levels higher.

The reason why these levels are relevant, are that your crafters are more likely to have the advanced patterns at these levels, if they follow the above advice (or came to the same conclusion).

Level 7

  • Amorphous(or Exquisite) Crystal

Level 9

  • Silica/Desh – Mod 2

Level 11

  • Silica/Desh – Armoring 3
  • Silica/Desh – Barrel 3

Level 13

  • Laminoid/Aluminium – Mod 4

Level 15

  • Laminoid/Aluminium – Armoring 5
  • Laminoid/Aluminium – Barrel 5
  • Rubat Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 5
  • Rubat Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Hilt 5
  • Igneous(or Precious) Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment

Level 17

  • Plastoid/Bronzium – Mod 6
  • Eralam Crystal/Lost Artifact Fragment – Hilt 6

Level 19

  • Plastoid/Bronzium – Amoring 7
  • Plastoid/Bronzium – Barrel 7
  • Eralam Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 7
  • Eralam Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Hilt 7

Level 23

  • Nextor Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 9
  • Nextor Crystal/Sacred Artifact Fragment – Hilt 9
  • Opaque(or Immaculate) Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment

Level 25

  • Plasteel/Chanlon – Armoring 10
  • Plasteel/Chanlon – Mod 10
  • Plasteel/Chanlon – Barrel 10
  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Barrel 12
  • Nextor Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Hilt 10

Level 27

  • Bondar Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 11
  • Bondar Crystal/Prehistoric Artifact Fragment – Hilt 11

Level 29

  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Armoring 12
  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Mod 12
  • Lacqerous/Phobium – Barrel 12
  • Bondar Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Hilt 12

Level 31

  • Opila Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 13
  • Solid(or Pristine) Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment

Level 33

  • Fibermesh/Bondite – Mod 14A
  • Opila Crystal/Ancient Artifact Fragment – Hilt 14

Level 35

  • Fibermesh/Bondite – Amoring 15
  • Fibermesh/Bondite – Barrel 15
  • Opila Crystal/Galactic Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 15
  • Opila Crystal/Galactic Artifact Fragment – Hilt 15

Level 37

  • Resinite/Diatium – Mod 16A
  • Firkrann Crystal/Galactic Artifact Fragment Hilt 16

Level 39

  • Resinite/Diatium – Armoring 17
  • Resinite/Diatium – Barrel 17
  • Firkrann Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 17
  • Firkrann Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Hilt 17
  • Lucent(or Flawless) Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment

Level 43

  • Phond Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 19
  • Phond Crystal/Hypertech Artifact Fragment – Hilt 19

Level 45

  • Polyplast/Electrum – Armoring 20
  • Polyplast/Electrum – Mod 20A
  • Polyplast/Electrum – Barrel 20
  • Damind Crystal/Alien Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 20
  • Damind Crystal/Alien Artifact Fragment – Hilt 20

Level 47

  • Amorphous Carbonite/Neutronium – Armoring 21
  • Amorphous Carbonite/Neutronium – Barrel 21

Level 48

  • Polychromic(or Perfect) Crystal/Primeval Artifact Fragment

Level 49

  • Zal Alloy/Durasteel – Armoring 22
  • Zal Alloy/Durasteel – Mod 22A
  • Zal Alloy/Durasteel – Barrel 22
  • Upari Crystal/Primeval Artifact Fragment – Enhancement 22
  • Upari Crystal/Primeval Artifact Fragment – Hilt 22

Conclusion

While in truth this is really a “As I Level” guide for me and my alts, I hope that others can get the same benefit out of knowing what levels are the best ones to try to get all patterns, based on material use.

My Preferred Goal for Professions

I believe in the model that says you should get more from a Flashpoint than you’d get solo for the same effort. And you’d get more from an 8 man than you’d get from a Flashpoint. For 8 vs 16 the jury’s still out. However, I’d still like to see professions more useful in endgame than they appear to be, and more the what they were in WoW.

My View of the Current State

I haven’t had a lot of exposure to the Ops environment, so is post is partly a ‘from the outside looking in’, so if my basis is wrong feel free to point it out in the comments.

Looking at SWTOR professions, only one, Biochem, provides a continuing stream of crafting past reaching 50 and making the best pieces. In WoW there were a number of ‘improvement’ skills that modified new gear (Jewelcrafting, Enchanting, Blacksmithing/Tailoring/Leatherworking to a lesser degree), as well as the ‘consumable’ profession, Alchemy. SWTOR’s Slicing and Cybertech appear to be able to do that at first glance with mods and augments, but the reality is that Augment Slots only appear on crafted gear, and both Augments and mods can be removed, at a cost, from existing gear. This means that even if there’s a way to make customized gear even to Ops gear, changing base pieces doesn’t require crafting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 24, 2012 in Star Wars: The Old Republic

All quests were completed using a Smuggler Scoundrel. This affects the rewards and the companion affection gains, and using Stealth is noted where applicable. Also, this post will be updated as more information is discovered.

At Level 50, after completing your Class quest chain, you go into the Interlude. This is essentially the start of your end-game experience, and one of the major parts is doing the Dailies for gear and mods. Two chains, one on Ilum and one on Belsavis, lead you through the areas where you need to go for your daily quests, gathering Daily Commendations as you go. After the break I’ll detail the Daily quests and their rewards.
Read the rest of this entry »

Bug Workarounds

  • If you have one of the following issues, press Ctrl-U twice to reset your UI.
    • Can’t click any action buttons or interact using the mouse.
    • Only part of the guild roster is visible, or is unable to be resorted.
  • Use the keybind to open your bag, if you need to use the Reverse Engineering button.

User Interface

  • Turn on Area Loot.
  • Turn on all 4 Action bars, you’ll need the space.
  • When you’re not changing the buttons on the bars, lock them using the icon next to your portrait. Its very easy to drag icons, especially when you’re using 2 monitors.
  • Shift-Left Click and Drag will bring up the split interface for a stack, but it will also put the item in your chat box. Shift-Rigth Click and Drag however, will not put it in the chat window.
  • Under General abilities is your Emergency Fleet Pass. But be warned, it has a LONG cooldown.
  • You can move your Chat window around by dragging the General tab. Unfortunately you can’t lock it.
  • You can also move your Operations frame around by right clicking on the image of 4 people.
  • Use the Exit Area button on your Minimap to exit a Flashpoint.
  • Ctrl-Left click to view items on your character. Weapons can’t be displayed unfortunately. If you Ctrl-Right click however, it will try to equip it, which is never good when you’re viewing items to send to another.

Companions

  • Companions like AOE. A lot. Don’t expect to hold your CC if you’re not careful.
  • Companion abilities reset to their defaults when you mount up. Its hard to stop them using abilities that they’d normally use.
  • A healer with a companion who is a tank or high DPS is just as effective as a DPS or tank with a healer companion. Just make sure to heal them.
  • Gearing your companion is as important as yourself. Learn their primary stat, and keep an eye out for gear that may be useful for them.
    • To turn on comparison of gear for your companion as well as you, check the Interface settings.

Crafting

  • If you’re a Cybertech, buy any Orange pieces you can get your hands on for both you and a companion. The Commendation vendors for different planets often have one or two pieces. Then keep these modded up as you level.
  • When crafting, an Artifact item can usually be used about 8 levels prior to its standard stat equivalent, so learning earlier patterns and getting Artifact quality items is worthwhile to overgear an area.
  • Missions can make you very poor very fast. Keep an eye on the cost of missions and make sure you have enough for your skills at higher levels, when they cost up to 10,000 credits each.
  • Always keep a stock of the vendor bought parts of your crafted items in your Bank. Don’t go overboard though, they can get expensive.
  • Yields for missions are (in ascending order of return):
    • Moderate – Small number of Prototype level items
    • Abundannt – Larger number of Prototype level items
    • Bountiful – Large number of Prototype level items, chance at Artifact materials
    • Rich – Large number of Prototype level items, higher chance at Artifact materials
    • Wealthy – Guaranteed number of items of all categories for the Mission skill. i.e. For Underworld Trading you get Prototype and Artifact Metals, Prototype and Artifact Fabrics, and some Companion gifts.
  • If you wish to level a skill up quickly, focus on the Green patterns. You can completely level a crafting skill on a L10 alt (or one with a companion at least) simply by feeding gathered materials from a higher level character. Without the mission skills you won’t get the Prototype or Artifact items, but you will get the skill, and the ability to get those later.

Gameplay

  • Use Recuperate as often as needed to ensure you go into battles at full health. You never know when extra troops will drop in.
  • Kill something in every area where you have a quest. You never know where your bonus quests will come in.
  • When you get bonus quests, complete them as quickly as possible, don’t hold off, as if they say “Stage” then there’ll be more to do.
  • There is a Bonus Series on all worlds past this initial one, though it may not be accessible straight away. Keep levelling, and anywhere you missed out on the series, check the spaceports after each new level. They also make you a lot of money. For example the Nar Shadda series netted me approximately 35k at level 33.
  • Pick up every quest you see in the area, and keep an eye out after picking one up. The more quests you can lump together the more likely you are to complete them quickly. Bonus quests often share mob kill counts.
  • Crowd Control the Strong and Elite mobs and take out the handful of smaller mobs first when dealing with a mixed group. The less firepower on you the more likely you are to survive.

Miscellaneous

  • Hyperspace travel takes no more than the time it takes to run from the cockpit to the door, but its nice to watch the stars fly by once in a while.
  • Always read your Quest Tracker even if you don’t read the quest. Don’t fly to Nar Shaddaa to hand in a quest you can use the ship’s Holocom for.
  • If you like fashion, keep every Orange piece you find, so that you can mod it up and use it to make a matching set of gear.
  • Your ship moves with you, if you take a shuttle or Fleet Pass to Carrick Station (or the Imperial one)
  • You can buy a Fleet Pass from the Security Vendor (requires a authenticator), but everyone starts with an Emergency Fleet Pass ability with an 18hr cooldown. Its good to use if you have to log off and want to be in a rested zone in a hurry.

Posted: January 5, 2012 in General

First Impressions

Overall, SWTOR continues to impress with a rich storyline and well developed game systems. I’ll cover a few of the bugs at first, but these are easily ignored in the richness of the rest of the game.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 25, 2011 in Star Wars: The Old Republic