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3 February 2012 7 Comments

The State of Crafting at Endgame

It’s sad to say, but it’s true: crafting at end-game is almost irrelevant for most crafting skills right now.

To use Cybertech as an example, we Cybertechs make three broadly-useful items: Armoring, Mods and Earpieces. (Plus some fun sidelines: droid upgrades, consumable grenades, and self-only vehicles.) Our very best craftable mods are only on par with what you can get from a daily quest at level 50, and our very best Armorings and Earpieces are actually worse. (The best craftable mods are Armoring/Barrels/Hilts 22s, and you can buy 23s with 8 daily commendations each.) This is approximately the case for most crafting skills, except Biochem, and there’s been a lot of unhappiness on the forums about it.

The good news is that Bioware’s listening, and they’re not done improving the crafting system. Yesterday, Georg Zoeller said

“We want to create significant incentive for players to engage in the crafting economy – as provider of goods or supplier – without requiring players to take up a specific profession as a ticket into endgame.”

and he also said

“As stated, we are working on making all crafting professions fully endgame viable. We’ll talk more about specifics, like Armstech or Synthweaving when we have specifics to announce.”

Based on what we know already, you can expect the following upcoming changes:

In patch 1.1.2:

  • Biochem: Energized and Exotech stims and adrenals will no longer be Biochem-only.
  • Biochem: Rakata stims will remain Biochem-only, but will be reduced in power to match Energized-level consumables.
  • Harvesting droids and creatures will now return slightly fewer resources.

That’s a fairly significant hit to the appeal of Biochem, but I do feel that it’s necessary to give other crafting skills a chance; until now, Biochem has been widely considered the only option for endgame play.

In patch 1.2:

  • “Basemods” (Armoring, Hilts and Barrels – the mods that give an item its rating) will be extractable from Artifact-quality gear.
  • Custom armor will be crittable to give augment slots.

These two changes, between them, will allow endgame players to wear the set of custom (i.e. fully-moddable) armor they prefer without sacrificing any stat effectiveness. You get a purple drop in an Operation, you pull the mods out of it, and put them into your carefully-assembled stylish custom set. Presto – all the tasty stats, none of the tedious sameness. This won’t help Cybertechs or Artificers, since the mods will come from Ops drops, but it’ll help Armstechs, Armormechs and Synthweavers who can make receptacles for said mods in the form of armor and weapons.

Also in patch 1.2:

  • More BoE schematic drops for artificers (and other professions).
  • “Increased relevance of augments”, whatever that means.
  • Better reverse-engineering chance.

All good, as far as it goes.

And here we have a ray of hope for the mod-crafters, from the same topic, 11 pages in:

Rephlexie: “Please I beg of you add some Artifice schematics for us 50s to play with. Even just 23 rating ones. Give us some purpose in gearing out our guilds a bit.”

GeorgZoeller: “Yes, among other things.”

Excellent news! If they do this for Artificers, I can’t imagine they’ll leave Cybertechs or Armstechs out in the cold.

Obviously, there’s more news yet to come — but this is certainly enough hope for me to resist the urge to drop Cybertech and pick up Biochem.

7 Responses to “The State of Crafting at Endgame”

  1. DraconianOne 3 February 2012 at 19:28 #

    It’s all good news although personally I think crafting needs an overhaul away from total reliance on the RNG for everything from schematics discovery, augment slots, augment creation (if you can call it that) and so on. It would be great to think that they might make crafting more relevant (although I can already hear the non-crafters qq’ing already).

  2. Iyeri 4 February 2012 at 04:35 #

    As someone who’s still only midlevel but has nearly maxed my Cybertech already because I like crafting: WOOT!

  3. Rolapin 6 February 2012 at 20:06 #

    As a fellow cybertechnician, I agree that mods are not useful anymore for endgame but crafted ear are awesome for most classes.
    Each crew skill has one or more craft that are useful. Not many but yeah, some are useful.

    • Siha 6 February 2012 at 21:38 #

      Unfortunately, you can buy earpieces with daily commendations too that are arguably just as good as the crafted ones – or, for some combinations of stats, better.

  4. Angrim 22 February 2012 at 05:54 #

    Ironic that I find this thread the day after having a lively discussion in guild Vent about this very subject.

    At this point, most people in my guild are switching to BioTech as soon as they hit 50, since for now it’s the only crafting skill that is actually useful for endgame. I truly, truly hope that BioWare fixes this disparity soon, as I’m rapidly approaching 50 myself and don’t want all the time/credits I invested in Synthweaving to be for nothing.

    I will say though, that it’s made leveling MUCH easier, as I’m able to keep myself in level appropriate gear, which is far superior to quest rewards for the most part.

    • Siha 22 February 2012 at 08:32 #

      Honestly, I’d hold your horses on switching until we see what happens in 1.2 and what else they announce after it, unless you’re a hardcore raider who needs to leverage every possible advantage.

      As of patch 1.2, the best available stims will be Exotech, which will be usable by everybody, closely followed by Energized – also usable by everybody. Rakata stims will still exist, will be reusable, and will be Biochem-only – but their stats are being reduced to match Energized-level consumables, so they won’t even be top-of-the-line any more.

      What this means is that as of patch 1.2, the only Biochem advantage will be financial – Biochemists will be able to save money by using a reusable Rakata stim, though it’ll be slightly worse in stats than the one-shot Exotech stims. And Biochemists will doubtless be able to make money, too, by selling stims to everyone who isn’t a Biochemist (which will be a larger population post-1.2 as Biochem will no longer be considered ‘mandatory’). But if you’re not too worried about money, or you’ve already levelled another profession that you want to stick with, in a few weeks’ time there will be no reason to switch to Biochem.


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