In Star Wars: The Old Republic you’ll find that there is a very unique crafting system that has been built over the typical crafting and gathering system that you find in most other major MMORPGS. At it’s base, you have your typical gathering skills and crafting skills that everyone is familiar with, except in SWTOR you are not doing the busy work, your companions are. Because of this crafting skills are referred to as Crew Skills. By the time you reach level 50 and have completed your character’s story line, you’ll have six different companions to run your Galactic sweatshop!
Crew skills are broken down into three different categories: Gathering, Crafting and Missions. Gathering and Crafting should already be familiar with most MMORPG veterans. Gathering allows you to procure materials while Crafting uses those materials to make stuff. The new addition to the crafting sphere are Mission Skills. These skills are essentially fetching and gathering abilities where you gain a myriad of odd things like schematics (recipes), mission discoveries, rare materials and gifts for your companions.
The difference between Warcraft Crafting and SWTOR crafting is that you don’t do anything yourself. The only thing they have in common is that there are gathering nodes in the open world that you and your companion can loot. The way Crew Skills work is that your companions do everything while you are playing the game. When you open your Crew Skill window you’ll see each companion listed with up to three Crew Skill Icons. By clicking the icon, you’ll open up the the individual skill pane.
- Crafting Skills open up a familiar pane with your known schematics. When you select the recipe you order that companion to go off and make the item. You can queue up to five items at the same time for each companion. Items take varying times to make. The higher the schematic and the rarer, the longer it takes.
- Gathering Skills open up a mission pane where you can order your companion to go out and gather materials. Each mission has a difficulty rating that act as a skill check. The higher level the mission the longer it takes to complete. Missions have varying yield types from Moderate Yield to Rich Yield. The higher the yield the more you get and the better quality items you may receive. You’ll also get different types of rewards. For example Slicing returns either lockboxes or augments.
- Mission Skills work similar to Gathering skills. When you click on the skill icon, you’ll be given a list of missions to send your companion on. You’ll see varying yields types and reward goals. For example, Diplomacy returns companion gifts and rare materials for Biochem.
On top of all that each companion has a bonus to a certain Crew Skill. For example Mako is very good at Slicing and adds a +15 bonus to each mission you send her out on. When a Companion returns they will tell you if they did a good job or not and whether or not you’ll be happy. The higher the bonus, the more likely they will return with higher yields and rare materials.
Almost all missions from Mission and Gathering skills have the chance to return random Schematics and Mission Discoveries. Mission Discoveries unlocks a certain mission for that skill that returns better than average results. The different missions of any skill are not always available to a player so the more yielding missions a player has the better.
The higher level your Crew Skill is, the longer it takes to complete a mission and the more expensive they are to do. At the high end, average missions take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes long to complete. Remember, if you have enough credits in the bank, send all of your companions out to do missions before logging off!
Slicing is one of the most profitable and market-independent skill in the game and is recommended to all new users. You can gain lockboxes by opening those that are scattered on all the worlds, like any other gathering node, or sending your companion out on missions to gain them. Lockboxes only have one purpose, giving you money. Instead of going around collecting crafting materials from nodes and selling them on the market, you get straight up boxes full of money. Simple and elegant. The other item that you gain from Slicing missions are Augments that can be placed on equipment with augment slots (augment slots are the result of “critting” when creating any piece of gear).
For new users, simply repeatedly send out your companions on missions for high yield lockboxes and wait as the credits roll in.
Bio-Analysis is your typical gathering profession where you collect “plants”. Nodes are scattered all over the planet for you to gather from. You can also analyze Silver-Rated beasts to gather materials. Bio-Analysis is used in conjunction only Biochem. The missions allow you to have your companions go out and gather level-appropriate crafting materials along with some of the basics that are used in some schematics like First Aid Kits that can also be purchased from vendors.
Scavenging is another typical gathering profession just like Bio-Analysis that allows you to gather from junk piles and killed Silver-Rated droid NPCs. Scavenging materials are used for Armstech and Cybertech. Missions result in you either receiving standard materials or vendor purchased items like Thermoplast Flux.
Archaeology is the last gathering skill that allows you to gather crystals and artifacts for Artifice and Synthweaving. Nodes are available in the open world and you can gather via missions.
Crafting Skills in SWTOR are very similar to those in World of Warcraft. Each equipment type has it’s own group where you have a corresponding crafting skill. The difference in SWTOR is that every skill has the ability to reverse engineer everything. Every green schematic that you have has a corresponding blue schematic. To unlock the blue schematic, you have to Reverse Engineer a crafted green item and get lucky. Then, once you can manufacture blue items, you can reverse engineer them for purple schematics.
When crafting armor or weapons, you have a chance of “critting” which puts a mod slot on the item for augments. Augments are gathering from Slicing.
Armormech are crafters of heavy and medium armor that non Force Users wear in the game. Even Force Users may find Armormech useful to outfit their companions.
Supporting Crew Skills: Underworld Trading, Scavenging
Items Made: Heavy and Medium Armor
Suggested Classes: Trooper, Bounty Hunter, Imperial Agent, Smuggler
Synthweaving is specifically used to craft armor for Force Using classes. It produces Light, Heavy, and Medium armor for every Sith and Jedi
Supporting Crew Skills: Archaeology, Underworld Trading
Items Made: Light, Heavy and Medium Armor
Suggested Classes: Jedi Consular, Sith Inquisitor, Jedi Knight, and Sith Warrior
Armstech is a weapon crafting crew skill that is used for all classes that wield blasters, pistols, rifles etc. Even Force Users might find this crew skill useful to create weapons for their companions. Armstech can also create Barrel Mods for weapons.
Supporting Crew Skills: Scavenging, Investigation
Items Made: Heavy and Medium Armor, Barrel Modification
Suggested Classes: Trooper, Bounty Hunter, Imperial Agent, Smuggler
Artifice is a crew skill that offers a myriad of products that you can create. With this Crew Skill you will be able to craft a range of item modifications, lightsabers and more. Mainly this profession is useful for all Force Users, however there is enough in this profession, mainly armor and weapon enhancements, for non force-users to benefit from.
Supporting Crew Skills: Treasure Hunting, Archaeology,
Items Made: Lightsabers, Armor/Weapon Enhancements, Lightsaber Hilts (mod for lightsabers), Lightsaber Crystals (mod for lightsabers), Relics (a/k/a/ Trinkets) and Generators (off-hand items)
Suggested Classes: Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor
For veteran MMORPG players, you can liken Cybertech to Engineering in World of Warcraft. Cybertech contains gadgets like grenades and Transport Beacons. This Crew Skill also offers different modifications for armor and weapons including Mods and Armor Plating. Other items include items for the “Ear” slot, relics, a/k/a/ trinkets and items to upgrade your actual Ship! When reverse engineering certain Cybertech consumables like Grenades, the high end version is a reusable item.
Supporting Crew Skills: Scavenging, Underworld Trading
Items Made: Ship Mods, Armor Plating, Item Mods, Ear Items, Gadgets, Droid Companion Equipment
Suggested Classes: Everyone
Biochem is your standard consumable profession. You can create stims (flasks and buff potions), medpacs (heal potions) and adrenals (short term buffs). Biochem also allows you to craft Implants which can be likened to SWTOR’s “ring” slot. Every consumable Biochem is able to make has an epic version of each recipe which gives you an item that is reusable, so no running out of consumables; however these are only usable by people with Biochem.
Supporting Crew Skills: Bio-Analysis, Diplomacy
Items Made: Stims, Adrenals, Implants, Medpacs
Suggested Classes: Everyone
Mission skills are kind of like Gathering skills except that they have no “open world” component. There are no nodes to farm so the only way they are accessible is from your Crew Skill window. As you can read above, each Mission Skill brings back some sort of rare material for a Crafting Skill however that isn’t all. Each Mission skill also rewards you other items.
Mission Rewards: Companion Gifts, Research Components
Useful For: Armstech
Mission Rewards: Companion Gifts, Medical Supplies
Useful For: Biochem
Mission Rewards: Luxury Fabric, Underworld Metal, Companion Gifts
Useful For: Synthweaving, Cybertech, Armormech
Mission Rewards: Companion Gifts, Gemstones, Lockboxes
Useful For: Artifice
Those are all of the different Crew Skills and how they actually work with each other. Remember, every time you send out a companion on a mission, they have a chance to “crit” and bring back Mission Discoveries and random Schematics. Collect all the Mission Discoveries for your own Crew Skills that you can so you have access to the best and highest yielding missions possible.