Crafting at End Game

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

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.

My Idea #1

My first idea for ensuring that crafting exists beyond the levelling game is to introduce Ops only Reverse Engineering materials. RE’ing an Ops drop might give you 6 [Artifact Rakata Metal] that is used to craft higher level gear. Cybertechs could take two or three of these metal pieces to make a [Rakata Nimble Mod 24A] for custom gear, and Synthweaver or Armormech could use 9 of them to make a chest/legs/head or 6 to make a belt/boots. Same for weapons and shields. This would, give Crafters a way to continue to make good gear, plus allow them to creat Ops level gear with Augments.

The big disadvantage of this is the non-bound nature of these materials means that without going to an Op you can still be as well geared, simply by making money. Some people see is as a good thing, but as per my introduction, I still think you should be required to go to Ops to get that level of gear.

Pro’s

  • Keeps crafters of all types in business
  • Allows Operators (raiders???) to keep the same flexibility of gear appearance that they had before starting Ops

Con’s

  • Doesn’t restrict Ops level gear to those people who participate in Ops
  • Credits become the minimum requirement for top level gear, encouraging Credit-for-Cash operations (gold farmers and hackers)

My Idea #2

Instead of RE’ing an item, during looting players can elect to take the item as a Component. Similar to the Disassemble option, the Component option would fall between Need and Greed as a ‘I need this as a Component’. An [Ancient Rakata Component] would be capable of being combined with a Mod, Armoring, or Barrel to create an Ops level equivalent of it. Craftable armor could have one or two of these components attached to it to improve the gear’s stats to the Ops level, and the components could be Bound in order to require people to be there.

Master Looting would require the question to be asked ‘Do you want to give the item or a Component to the recipient?’, but I’m sure this could be managed.

Pro’s

  • Everyone can use these components, and continue to wear their Custom modded gear, or the nice looking L50 chest piece.
  • Ops level gear continues to be limited to those who participate in Ops.

Cons

  • Technical work required to provide the ability to loot as a Component, as well as bind Components to gear.
  • Augments can’t be used to combine with Components, or you’ll be able to boost a crafted item, then again with an Augment.

Conclusion

In the end, my hopes for crafting are:

  • Crafting is worthwhile for end-game gear.
  • End game gear can only be worn by people engaged in end game (ops) content.
  • Non-Ops players can still participate in the economy for end-game gear.

While I know there’s a few holes in the above ideas, as I’m not paid by EA or BioWare, I’d hope they could take the kernel of an idea, dust it off, and manage to tweak it and still meet those goals, assuming they agree with them.

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