SWTOR Crafting: A new take on themepark crafting

I was warned that I might not like SWTOR’s crafting because it’s nothing like the type of crafting I enjoy.  I enjoy the type of crafting you find in sandbox games where you can spend your whole day working on a craft, become known as THE person on a server for what you do, and have repeat clients.  This type of crafting has not existed for years, and does not exist in SWTOR.  However, SWTOR does a few things with crafting that I do find interesting.

Crafting in SWTOR fits with the theme of having a team of NPC’s at your disposal.  Pressing the ‘N’ key brings up your companion window where you can manage your crew skills, which are the same thing as crafting skills.  You can send your companions out to gather you resources or task them with actually creating items for you.  The entire process is hands off, except for the rare occasion when you find a node out in the hunting areas — even then, you only gather if your companion isn’t out with you.

You tell your companions what to craft, and they do it.  In the videos pre-release, Bioware made it seem like your companions worked at stations on your ship. I guess that mechanic didn’t make launch because right now it’s all an imaginary process.  You have to just pretend it’s happening but really all you get is a little window that pops up.

Honestly, I enjoy the system despite its shortcomings.  I think it’s a fresh take on the themepark crafting model.  Sending companions out to gather resources for me works.  I don’t have to worry about keeping my skills up to gather nodes or compete for them. I think each of the crafting professions offers something useful to the game.  Every item I make is something better than I would find questing at my level.  I’ve been able to craft gear I actually use, and if I craft a nice piece of gear that I don’t use or give away, I can break it down for more raw materials.

I like what Bioware has done with the traditional themepark crafting, and I hope it remains as relevant in the endgame as it is while leveling up.



  • Totally agree with you, unlike other MMO’s that have adapted the same I find myself actually using the stuff that I am crafting, and me and my guild mates are mailing stuff to each other all the time that we have crafted improving our equipment.

    I do miss the days of DAoC when you had hardcore crafter’s, and as you said they got repeat business, I had one specific armor crafter that I used all the time and he had many repeat customers, Skilling up a trade in Camelot was very much more challenging that any of the new MMO’s and it was almost like a grind to level 50 itself, the rewards were lots of coin if you took the time to get to grand master level. I would say that the model in DAoC was the best I have seen to date

  • Actly Gravy if you havent noticed, when your companions or out gathering or Making a item and you enter your ship. They are actly in the “crafting” area of your ship working at the station. Sometimes this happens sometimes it dosent. I have seen a few times where i will have two of the same companion, one standing in his normal spot and a duplicate crafting.

  • What impresses me more is the reverse engineering system. When you salvage an item, you have a chance of learning the schematic for a more advanced version. So you get recipes for green items from the trainer, make a batch of those and salvage them and you may get one or more recipes for blue quality versions of the same item. Salvage those and you can get the purple quality version. There are also multiple blue recipes from the same green item in some cases, do its quite possible for you to have researched an item other crafters don’t have access to. I suspect there actually is quite a niche for a dedicated crafter in The Old Republic, and as in DAoC you don’t have to level up your character to level up as a crafter.

  • @Tremayne

    Pretty sure you have to level your character to craft, you will notice that when you send your companion off to gather there is a level bracket, say 10 – 16 for a grade 1 item say gemstone, then for later recipes that require different mats you will need to be higher level think the next one is 17 – 20 level.

  • Off topic, I just wish they would sort performance issues out in Warzones, I mean i get 60fps on planets and it drops to 15 – 20 in warzones.

  • So far there are a couple things that I really appreciate about the crafting system. The use of your crew is awesome – I am not tied to one area where I need to be in in order to gather resources. That is a huge plus. Getting new recipes from reverse engineering is pretty neat. The fact that you can craft exceptional items is nice. Crafting is very accessible and easy to get into. If you do it while you are out adventuring, it doesnt ever require a lot of time. For that – I like it.

    However, I do agree with Keen that this system ends “dedicated crafting.” It was a real accomplishment in DAOC to be a Grandmaster Smith. It was something well worth it and something to be proud of. Here, it is too accessible so that in the end there isnt a real accomplishment attached to it. It is the trade off between having a pain in the ass system that is cumbersome, inaccessible but produced good rewards and a very accessible system that really eliminates any sense of accomplishment. It seems to be great for the non-crafter types (the majority?) but seems lame for the people who like to craft. One of many examples of an improvement in game design that makes the gameplay experience better in the short run but worse in the long run.

  • @andrew – yes, there’s a level equivalent on crew missions but my level 22 character was happily sending her companions on level 33-40 slicing and scavenging missions last night. The level bracket seems to refer to the rewards rather than being a gate on advancement

  • How odd that statement reads when surfacing from A Tale in the Desert, which has just unlocked advanced blacksmithing recently this Telling, and happens to have at least two notable blacksmiths (crafters) who can perform feats of banging polygons into shape that most cannot replicate. They’ve a ton of work orders currently from a long line of players.

    “That type of crafting” still exists in this day and age, but few are willing to invest the effort and energy to play such games.

  • I don’t like the grind of crafting so I quite like how they have solved the need for a system without having it impinge too much on story and adventure. The best moments have been while I’ve been clicking on resources for my companion to gather whilst simultaneously “channelling” quest items. It’s great to actually do 2 things at once and not be panicking that someone else will “steal the node”!

  • This statment:
    “The entire process is hands off, except for the rare occasion when you find a node out in the hunting areas — even then, you only gather if your companion isn’t out with you.” is not true. Nodes are not rare, they are quite plentiful and you can and should gather those nodes every time you come across them. Your companion being with you makes no difference.

    It costs, on average, more to send a companion on a standard gather mission (i.e. for materials that come from nodes) than it brings back. Keep in mind that some skills, such as scavenging and bioanalysis that also get to use dead mobs as nodes.

  • @Thomas: I find maybe 5 nodes per day of playing. On average, my companion missions bring in 99% of the materials I use to craft compared to the negligible amount I find in nodes.

  • I spent countless hours crafting in both LOTRO & WOW so the ability to send someone off to do it for me is great.

  • @Keen interesting. I cannot help but stumble over nodes. I have archeology and scavenging and run across them nonstop. I will admit they do become a bit more scarce after Kaas (empire side) but I have a ton of excess mats just from picking stuff up while questing. Strange that our experiences differ so much.

  • @Thomas: I wonder if it’s because I’m on one of the most popular servers? I don’t know what server you’re on, but on mine the nodes are scarce, and half of them are bugged out.

  • As was stated by Elspath above, they do go to the crafting station of the ship and work.

    More importantly, the crafting system you are looking for is Fallen Earth’s. The game has very good and bad parts, but the crafting is amazing.

  • I never crafted in WoW at all because gathering all the materials really bored me and I was never rich enough to just buy my mats. So far in The Old Republic I’m loving just sending my droid out on various gathering missions while I quest and gather what I find in the wild or scavenging/slicing certain mobs.

  • If I am on my ship, my guy is in his regular spot and at the crafting station…at least I did see him at the crafting station yesterday.

  • I also like how you have a chance of learning a better version of the design when you reverse engineer it. That’s definitely an improvement over “wow” crafting and adds an element of randomness.

  • What the… seriously? I am not sure I will like that. I haven’t played SWTOR yet but mostly when I craft in an MMO what I love to do is go to all the places in game and gather materials. I mean, having to kill 3 Ice Warriors to get the ore from their cave is what I like. SWTOR crafting will take some getting used to, I guess.

  • This might not have been mentioned, but the thing that I find excellent about the crafting system is that I, and my guild mates, are using all the stuff we make all the way up. There is orange “custom” gear you get in the game, which contain parts which need to be regularly replaced as you level to keep them current, and crafting supplies these parts.

    This is so great, as your no longer making useless greens as a means of leveling alone (most are reverse engineered). Also another upside is that gear that you like the look of, you can keep all the way, if you keep it current.

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