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The intermediate crafter's tips and observations from 6.0.2


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Since my last review, did a bit more crafting, got a feel for the system, and I must say...I kinda like the system as it currently stands. Full disclosure, I never crafted a damn thing before 6.0, and the high prices of even basic augs and kits finally drove me to it. Once there, I discovered that, under certain circumstances, you can make crafting a challenging and time-consuming, but worthwhile activity in-game.


I have some tips for others like me, who are intimidated by the terrible reviews of the new system, but are either bored or desperate enough to try it for the first time:


- Define your goals: do you want to, say, produce purple augs/ gold enhancements to sell and make a profit? Or do you just want to save yourself from having to vomit millions to strangers on GTN for blue augs, kits and stims? These can dramatically change your crafting experince - for instance, the first route will necessitate high rank comps, huge warchests of mats, conquest rewards, multiple toons etc. The second might be blitzed in a week or so with low-to-mid-level toons, some gathering and a few lucky crits on a couple of toons. It is up to you to see what you want from the system.


- Consult online guides: this might sound trite, but the best way to level crafting time and cost-effectively is to have a plan. For ranks 1 - 600 any old guide will do, and for 600, focus of green and blue bonded/assembled components. You can find a bunch of good guides on either Swtorista or Vulkk.


- Choose the right skills for you: for me, in 6.0 the skills in order of importance are: Biochem (purple stims and medpacks); Synthweaving (blue and purple crit and redoubt augs); Armormech (blue and purple alac and absorb augs); and Armsmech (blue and purple accuracy augs). If you do not want to do all four, I recommend having two craftng alts: one with Biochem, Diplomacy and Bioanalysis and the other with Synthweaving, Underworld Trading and Archeology. Your main should have slicing - Missions are a decent way to get mats, Ember, or credits from GTN,


- Focus on gathering skills in the first/second week: If starting from scratch, spend a week leveling your gathering skills, then accumulating mats from Onderon and Mek-sha, while running missions for, for instance, UT. FREE TIP: You do not need to level up your gathering skills to 700 to start getting rank 11 mats! Once you hit 600, you will start getting them, so that can save you the 500k fee. 600 - 700 are only there for missions if you do not want to spend time doing the grunt work yourself, but farming nodes is faster and cheaper.


- Build up a credit bank for crafting in the first/second week: unless you are already well off, you need to start prepping for the sticker shock. Crafting in 6.0 ain't cheap - leveling a skill past rank 600 will set you back 500k, boosting influence with your companions to speed up crafting and increase crit chances will set you back millions, and even individual missions are pricey. Luckily, crafting/gathering mats sell low, but relatively reliably. Take bundles of e.g. about 1k green slicing/archeology mats, break them down into smaller stacks, and you can start making just north of a million per sale. Green mats are plentiful and easy to harvest provided you have the nodes to yourself, so this will allow you to at least be cost neutral.


- Get those Jawa scraps! Unassembled components/scraps etc. are useless for rank 11 crafting, but are a great way to get ranks 1 - 10 mats for free! Run normal content, disassemble gear and collect nodes while underleveled and you will have everything you need to start crafting. Build up a treasure chest of around 3 - 4k green (and optionally 1 - 2k blue) scraps to get those sweet 1 - 600 ranks done.


- Be in the right guild: Having a supportive guild can be beneficial in many ways - their guild bank might be flush with low-level crafting mats they can give you free-of-charge; they might have passive Critical Crafting and Mission bonuses, and the active Professional training one; and they might be big enough to invade and complete large weekly conquests so you can get mats for crafting purple/ gold items.


- Ignore crafting amplifiers: these might seem like a prudent investment, but their benefits are either marginal (mission efficiency), or outright do not work (crafting crit chance). At any rate, you will have blown millions on irrelevant stat boosters, which could have been used for leveling your comps to achieve the result better.


- Set up your companions: a rank 50 companion, with appropriate passive and active guild and legacy bonuses will crit when crafting about 50% of the time (based on a sample of about 100 purple augs). If you are desperate for money, level up no more than 1 comp per toon to rank 40-50 for purple items you can take your time with and keep the others at 20 - 30 for lower value blues and bulk crafting.


- Most of all, be patient and have fun! It takes a special kind of lunatic to do crafting in 6.0, but if you can get in the groove and have a specific goal in mind (e.g. saving 50 million by criting on 20 purple augs for instance), then you will find crafting to be a relatively fair and responsive system. Good luck!

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