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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.

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