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.