Is That An Elite Harvester Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Tugg Back in Bestine

Tugg Back, being confused in Bestine. Look, a dancing Stormtrooper!

Earlier today on Twitter, some people seemed to react when I mentioned that I planned to do some AFK-mining with my trader in Star Wars Galaxies. I can understand that, doing things AFK are almost the same as botting in other titles. I thought I’d return to the culture of AFK that is present in SWG in a later post, but inspired by Stargrace’s writings on Vanguard, I thought I’d take a look at crafting in Star Wars Galaxies.

Crafting in Vanguard is awesome. Crafting in Star Wars Galaxies is a science, at least for newbies like me. Poking around in it can be pretty fun, but if you’re going to try to make any credits out of it you’re in for a ride. Something I noticed when I decided to take my poor trader out of early retirement a few weeks ago. He went from simply pulling up worthless materials for easy credits to trying to wrap his poor Ithorian head about the finer details of weapon crafting…

Bear with me, because this might get a bit long.

Tugg Back, my budding crafter, was luckily already level 90. I grinded him to cap through the usual means – going for a structure trader, picking up a grind kit of materials and making statues until my eyes bled. It was horrible, took about three hours of insanity, and I don’t ever want to do it again. Sadly, a trader beneath level 90 is more or less worthless to the current community, seeing how old it is, so it was pretty much needed.

Re-speccing him to a munitions trader, putting my expertise points into weapon smithing (our guild city already has an awesome armor shop), I took a look at what I could put together. From the list of weapons I picked the Advanced Laser Rifle. It sounded basic enough, and “advanced” sounded better than the normal laser rifle. For it, I would need a frame, a receiver, a grip, a barrel, a core and an optional scope, stock and elemental chamber. Reasonable enough.

Then I started to take a look at what materials I would need, and that’s kind of where I am right now. In a state of miserable shock, trying to figure out if this project is worth the effort or not. For the frame, receiver and grip I will need some rather easy stuff – link-steel aluminium, non-ferrous metal and polymer. But the full list of stuff I will need to gather is a bit longer…

Rhodium Steel
Duralloy Steel
Duranium Steel
Ryll Amorphous Gemstone
Polysteel Copper
Carbonite Steel
Crystalline Gemstone
Inert Petro Chemical
Reactive Gas
Chromium Aluminium
Green Diamond Crystalline Gemstone
Corellian Deciduous Wood
Varium Carbonite Ore
Phrik Aluminium
Tolium Reactive Gas

This will get me an Advanced Laser Rifle with an acid elemental chamber. Sweet! Just go out and mine the stuff, right? Run up to a Reactive Gas-node and get the good old mining pick out? Oh, no. I’m just getting started.

Tugg Back and harvester

Tugg Back placing an elite harvester... in a swamp!

You see, there is Rhodium Steel and there is Rhodium Steel. Materials in Star Wars Galaxies have stats. A freaking ton of stats. All of them don’t come into play when you’re going to craft something, for most of my stuff I just need to keep my eye on Overall Quality (OQ) and Shock Resistance (SR). But I still need to find the darn materials, and they need to have spawned somewhere in the galaxy in the first place. Different spawn, different stats. Luckily, some brave souls keep updating the list on the wonderful website SWGcraft, so lazy traders like me don’t need to scour every planet to find what they need.

All of the stuff on that list isn’t available at any given time. They might spawn, they might despawn, they might pop up when I least expect it and disappear before I have time to get my harvesters there. And then, of course, there are planets like Mustafar where you can’t even place harvesters so you have to rely on sampling – pulling up small quantities of materials from the ground. Which is where my trader is right now, AFK-mining away to get his hands on some sweet high-statted copper. Yum yum yum. I had plans to AFK-mine that really nice gemstone that had spawned the other day, but of course that was already gone…

Are we done yet? No, we’re not. Here comes the whole “you need money to make money”-thing. Because when you finally have the materials needed, you need to put it together. And to get the best result, you need to pray to the Gods of Chance – you will need to “experiment”. And to make sure that the Gods are smiling in your favor, you need to stack up on crafting gear. Which I surely don’t have right now, and can’t afford anyway. During Empire Day, they hand out a nice bandoleer with a lot of bonus Luck, but that’s about it for me right now.

Tugg relaxing at home

I'm just going to sit here and stare for a bit...

So this is pretty much where I stand right now, confused and scared and excited at the same time. It might sound like I’m complaining. I’m really not. I’m looking forward to getting this project off the ground, slowly building up a nice stock of materials (I haven’t even mentioned things like weapon augmentations…) and trying to put up a small weapons shop in some corner of our guild city. It won’t be the fanciest shop in the world, but I’m going to sell some really nice weapons to my customers. That’s the plan, at least.

Wish me luck. I’m still trying to bend my head around all the concepts at play here. It’s an amazing system, with a nice depth. It’s light years ahead of other titles, and together with Vanguard it has one of the most interesting crafting systems of all time. The only games that come close is Ryzom and in a way EVE Online. And I never managed to get much crafting done in those two…

Or perhaps I’m just making it more complicated in my head than it actually is in reality. Hopefully that’s the case.

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  1. Maugh says:

    I loved the crafting system in SWG. I enjoyed the complexity, especially when compared to WoW’s anemic crafting system.

    You’ll get used to it; it just takes time. Consider what it was like in the beginning, before SWGcraft came along. Scanning planets, and keeping track of resources, was practically a full-time job unto itself. :)

  2. redheadedtim says:

    Make sure and check out SWGAide. There’s a link on the swgcraft forums. It’s a small java app that can help you monitor your harvesters theoretical haul (assuming the spawn hasn’t run out) as well as maintenance and power. There’s a little bit of setup, like entering harvesters and their BER and maintenance, adjusting your expertise bonus and harvest faire buff, but it’s pretty cool. You can set alarms that will check swgcrafts latest list of currently spawned resources against profiles you set up. You could set one for a certain type of link steel and another for geothermal energy, w/ different stat minimums and maximums you want.

    I can’t handle the harvester maintenance, mine always blow up, but for people who actually like crafting, it’s a great tool.

    • Petter says:

      Yeah, I’ve downloaded SWGAide and started to poke around in it. Looks like a great and invaluable tool. :) And I know exactly what you mean about harvester maintenance, I name the waypoints after date and material *and* keep notes next to my computer. I used to forget all the time before, which probably cost me quite a bit of grind mats I could have sold…

  3. I loved the intricate nature of crafting when I first played SWG. After coming from a game like EQ, it was a real shock and an incredible experience. I remember hanging around friend’s houses whilst they made me gear and poking around all of their mineral harvesters etc. It was a very cool and grand experience.

    It’s only been recently that I’ve really appreciated the depth and amibition of the original. I mean those guys (the devs) were really trying to create something huge and spectacular. If only they had had a little bit more time and money…

  4. [...] Petter takes a look at the science of crafting in Star Wars Galaxies. [...]

  5. The Claw says:

    What’s the market like for buying those materials, though?

    Do you have to go and search out all 15 of them yourself? Would buying some of them from other players end up costing so much that it would make the whole exercise unprofitable?

    • Petter says:

      I’m quite sure that I would need to buy some of those materials in the end, unless I can find spawns for all of them. But with hardly any money to begin with, buying materials seems like a bad business idea right now…

  6. Jaffy says:

    Hi, Petter,
    I keep checking up on your progress every so often and am glad to see you are looking at all aspects of the game, such as now with crafting.

    I have had a trader which has been munitions (or armoursmith in the old days) for about 4 years, but even before that I was still monitoring swgcraft for good spawns a least a couple of times a week and harvesting anything that was good. I now use swgaide and sort the resources on OQ first (click the OQ heading to sort) and I decide what to harvest that week from there. Most things use OQ in some % so looking at that first help me spot any good stuff, I then look at its secondary stat to see if that is high enough, often it is SR or CD.

    In short I have a huge stock of resources of all types aquired over 6 years of playing the game.

    But here is the main point, sometimes I still find that I don’t have resources with the stats to get me over the magic 96% when I am making weapons as they call for such obscure resource types. I’m a perfectionist so it annoys me to make anything less than the best but with Weapon making you just have to accept that you can’t always hit the best as the random real life luck roll at the experimentation stage can sometimes be cruel.

    I only make weapons for myself and my guild really, about once every couple of months but I am aim to make the top weapons with augs and enhancers and weapon bits.
    I am sure there is a market for weapons that leveling players would use at say levels 48, 60, 80 so I would advise you mass manufactuer weapons for those levels. Without years worth of resources you will struggle to make the really good weapons that level 90 players will pay big money for.

    You can buy the weapon subcomponents (which is what I do if I havn’t got the res to CAP them) but they will be expensive so may not make sense for making lower level weapons.

    So rather that going for Advanced versions try making a few standard versions and setting the useage level lower so you can sell them cheaper.
    If you wanted to make them better than the competion put some mid stat Augs and enhancers in them, but that means you can’t do a factory run of the final weapon. You can get augs and Enhancers in the 12-15 or 160-190 range of easily killed NPC’s, often people just delete these so ask around and ask them to save them.

    Another thing is that people tend to look for certain weapons as they offer small advantages. For example if I was looking for a rifle I would seach for Tusken rifle as I know they can be produced with simple res and are kinetic damage which goes through Personal shield generators. For Carbine I would look at the Alliance Needler Carbine for similar reasons.

    Send me a tell ingame to Kimogilla and I will chuck you a box of weapon scopes and stocks for free to help you along.

  7. Sobuno says:

    Glad to see you like The SWGCraft Project. Be sure to head on over if there is anything you think we could do better or if something is broken. Or just to discuss the finer aspects of crafting with other crafters :)

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